Articles/ fitness/ Fitness & Macros

Progress Update

August 28, 2014
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I’ve mentioned it in passing a few times on my Instagram, but realized I never really did anything formal here on my blog.  I figured since I’m committed and fairly deep into the process now, I would do a little “check in” on the cutting/dieting phase I’m currently on.  I don’t take selfies often and certainly post even less of them, but sometimes I would like to have things documented here on my blog so people can see where I’m at in terms of my body.  I definitely  practice what I preach so actually seeing “me” might give people a better idea of what I am about and what I stand for.  With that… here we go!

Here I am, roughly 4-5 weeks into my cut and honestly couldn’t be happier with my progress, body, and most importantly… my mental state.

www.corinanielsen/livefit

This dieting phase has been ENTIRELY different than my last one for SO many reasons.  Words can’t even describe how completely night and day things are for me this time around.  I honestly don’t even feel like I’m trying here and it’s been over a month.  I keep thinking to myself “I must not be working hard enough because this does not feel like “work”.  I already see & feel so many changes in such a short amount of time.  Again, all of this goes back to my mental state and how I knew this time around, I had to think of of everything I was doing differently IF I was going to succeed.

First off, I promised myself a few things going into this cut:

  • I wouldn’t have a timeline… originally I was thinking it would be a mini cut of about 4-6 weeks but I feel SO good right now and my metabolism & hormones are still stellar so I find no reason to stop just “because” I first had a 4-6 week # in my head.  Part of the reason why I think I had such a hard time earlier this year was because I had a looming “end date” in my head the entire time.  I wanted to hit all of my goals by my 36th birthday.  That was the plan for myself.  That’s what I put out into the universe (and in my head) so I had to make sure I got there.  This time around, I promised that I would simply go by how I felt.  I didn’t have a specific goal weight, body fat, or anything else.  I just wanted to bring my body up a notch.  Nothing less, nothing more.  No pressing timeline.  No date/s.
  • I wouldn’t force myself to train when I didn’t want to or push my body harder than what I thought it could handle… when I injured my knee last December (only a few weeks into my last cut), I seriously took maybe a week off to rest it (and when I say a week, I mean more like a few days at best).  Surely there was no way I could possibly reach my goals if I wasn’t able to train lower body AND eventually do my cardio, so what did I do?  I pushed my body too much and too hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE training… like LOVE love it BUT sometimes we really do need to pay attention to our bodies.  It’s ok to rest if your body needs it (and sometimes even when you don’t think it needs it).  Although I did go somewhat lighter on my lower days, I still tried to push through cardio towards the end of the cut.  Where did that get me?  NO closer to my goals because I couldn’t do things with the proper intensity AND a crap knee.  This time around, I swear I’m training less than before and am TOTALLY fine with it.  As the kids have gone back to school and sports have started for both of them, our schedules are seriously jacked up most days.  Some days there is absolutely no way I could get to the gym to train.  Instead, I would do what I can here at home, working with what I had, doing the best that I can.  If it happened to technically be a back training day and I couldn’t lift at the gym because I was playing chauffeur, no problem.  I would just throw in some back stuff the following day.  No stress, no worries about how my body or progress would be effected.  I’m lifting because I love it.  I will push myself out of my comfort zone while training BUT not in an unhealthy manner.  When I train though, I give it my ALL… always.
  • I wouldn’t always feel the need to follow the “rules”… you know the rules I’m talking about.  “You need to eat this amount and at this time or you will lose all your muscles”, “You need to stay away from this type of training because its not effective”, “You shouldn’t run (OK well I still don’t do this because well, I still hate running with a passion… you get my point though)”, “You have to train this body part like this to grow this way”, “You shouldn’t do this”.  “You need to do that”.  To be honest with you, there are SO many rules out there, that shit gets confusing and ultimately everyone is different anyways so what works for one, may not work for another.  The ONLY rules I committed myself to were #1 lifting 4 days per week (again, no particular schedule or program), #2 I would track my macros the best that I could every day, #3 if at any point I began to hate or resent anything I was doing, I would stop it.  Aside from the those things, I threw all of the other rules out the window.  I didn’t pay attention to what everyone else was doing.  I didn’t care what anyone else was training, how they were training, why they were training.  I have been doing “me” day in and day out and still LOVING every minute.  Literally every minute because its on my own terms, just as I want to do it and how I want to do it.
  • I wouldn’t train to look a certain way… during the majority of my journey, I was convinced that I wanted and needed to look like XYZ.  I needed to have chiseled abs like this girl.  I had to have popping obliques like her.  I wanted to have a tiny waist like that girl.  I wanted muscles here and there and everywhere like so and so.  What I learned earlier this year is that I will NEVER look like any of them simply because I’m me nor will anyone else ever look like me.  My body is my body and my body is perfectly fine as it is.  Are there things I want to improve upon?  Yes of course.  But do I need to strive for an “ideal physique” that’s ultimately only in my crazy head anyways?  No, definitely no.  I no longer train to look like anyone else.  I no longer feel the need to grow all the muscles.  I train and lift because I love it.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I do what I do to feel strong, to feel empowered, to feel good about myself, to feel healthy.
  • I wouldn’t go overboard OCD meticulous on my macro tracking… so my first reverse diet and cut, I literally tracked EVERY single macro/micro nutrient that went into my body.  I hit my numbers 99.999999% of the time to a “T”.  I left no room for error and my numbers were immaculate.  My very type A personality didn’t mind it so much but looking back on things, I went way overboard.  Sure, being consistent puts you that much closer to your goals of course, but the tole it took on me mentally just wasn’t worth it.  I may be able to track an entire day within 2-3 minutes time, but doing that for a solid 8+ months?  And for someone not even competing for anything?  Just doing this for myself on no timeline?  Not really necessary.  For the past 5 weeks, I have hit my numbers exact maybe 90% of the time (never going too far over or under), but again… tracked the majority of everything I ate but never had a problem sneaking in a bite here and there of things without accounting for it.  If we ate out, I did what I could.  If plans changed, so be it.  I rarely “fixed” it in MFP and again, my numbers are great to keep me on track with my cut, but not perfect.

One thing that has remained constant throughout my entire journey this past year is that I have always loved MYSELF (and not in a creepy, self absorbed, conceited way).  No matter what was happening on the outside physically, I loved myself enough on the inside to accept ME.  Am I perfect?  Uh, not even close.  Could I probably train more?  Maybe.  Could I be a better mother to my kids?  Yes.  Could I be a better wife to my husband?  Yes.  Could I make more time for friends?  Yes.  Could I give up more time to help others?  Yes.  However, I know I have lots of great and amazing qualities… ones that are unique to ME.  Also, even though I may have wanted certain parts of my body to look like someone else’s, I still loved “me” on the inside.

This is something I stress constantly here on my blog and Instagram.  I see so many women truly believe that if they hit a certain body fat % or number on the scale, their lives’ will miraculous change and they will love and accept themselves.  This could not be father from the truth.  There will ALWAYS be things about your physical appearance that you hate.  If its a certain thing on one day, it’s going to be something else on another day.  We are women after all, we are just wired wrong LOL!  Far too critical and always our own worst critics.  We see things that others don’t BUT others see things about us we can’t see.  How do you fix that?  That’s something thats not easily answered or remedied.  It’s an ongoing process and I truly believe it begins with looking in the mirror each and every day and knowing YOU are worth it.  YOU have value.  YOU are needed.  YOU are loved.  YOU are amazing.  YOU are enough.  Fix what might be going on on the inside and I assure you that you will begin to accept and love the things on the outside as well.

So what do I think you should take a way from this post?

Bottom line is be kind to yourself.  Be gentle on your bodies.  Love yourself enough to accept YOU at whatever size or shape you are FIRST.  And most importantly…. your fitness journey is just that… a JOURNEY.  It’s not a 3 month fast track to whatever your goals may be.  Stop looking at it as a rat race where you are trying to keep up or pass everyone else.  There is no need to rush.  There is no need to sprint to the finish line.  Fall in love with the entire process (and yourself of course) and I assure you… from the bottom of my heart with my whole heart…. results will come.  It may not be the quickest way, but I promise its a way you will fall in love with that will keep you going for the long haul!!!

And some technical details for shits & giggles (not that they matter much because my approach, body, macros, body composition, metabolism, goals, and everything else are going to much different than anyone else.):

  • Of course I continue to use a flexible eating approach even while dieting.  I eat 95% “healthy” nutrient dense food and then fill the other 5% with whatever the hell I want to eat like pizza, ice cream, whipped cream (this is a daily staple of mine as you can see from my Instagram), chips, cereals filled with sugar (mmmmm cereal), and other things I can fit in my macros that aren’t organic and are most likely full of GMO’s.  Why?  Because it’s my body and I choose to put whatever I want in it.  I know as long as I stay on top of my macros, my body and progress will not be greatly effected.  I’m not scared of any food or food groups because in the grand scheme of how I eat EVERY single day, I’m perfectly fine throwing in a processed cookie here and there.  Balance, moderation, long term sustainability, no food phobias, not causing my body to eventually reject foods and/or food groups because I cut them out, and again, because I want to.
  • I lift 4 days per week hard and heavy.
  • For the first 4 weeks, I did ZERO cardio.  No HIIT, no LISS, no MISS… I didn’t even do supersets for anything while lifting like some people do to keep their heart rates up.  Last week, I added in ONE 30 minute MISS into my routine.  I chose to simply hike and enjoy the outdoors near my house.  Absolutely have not stepped foot on a machine in MONTHS nor do I plan on it this entire cut.
  • I carb cycle: 5 lower carb days and 2 high carb days (spaced 3-4 days apart).
  • In the past 5 weeks, I have only had about 2 calorie drops.  I am currently still losing weight and body fat on an average of roughly 1,700 calories per day.  I’m 5’tall, 36 years old, and roughly 100 pounds (yes, I am #funsized but no longer feel skinny fat).
  • I eat my first meal around 9:30am after I have dropped the kids off at school, get at least 24 ounces of water in me (this I made a habit of last year to ensure I get a good start on my gallon+ a day), answered emails and checked in with clients.  I don’t eat every 2-3 hours… I basically eat when I am hungry and stop when I feel full.  It normally ends up being about 4 good sized meals with some snacks here and there.  I eat my last meal of the day around 11:30pm right before I go to sleep and it’s usually made up of ice cream, whipped cream, cacao nibs, berries, Walden’s chocolate sauce, and peanut butter… as well as a tortilla filled with peanut butter.  This is honestly my last meal EVERY single night or at least a very similar combination.
  • We eat out as a family at least 1-2 nights per week.  I track as best as I can but again, it’s much more important for me to enjoy my company and food than it is to worry about my numbers all day and night.  I’m consistent, but not obsessive.
  • I take very very very few supplements.  Not even BCAA’s or creatine anymore because I discovered they were giving me stomach pain (sucralose and products with Splenda KILL me).  I do take a multi vitamin, fish oil, B12, matcha green tea powder with almond milk and stevia is usually my pre workout of choice, and I have cycled Cellucor’s Super HD because well… it is honest to goodness magic.  I take ONE capsule in the morning and I literally feel like I can tackle a bear within 20 minutes.  Seriously my favorite “supplement” ever.   I think I am addicted.  Like literally I am addicted.  SIDENOTE: One morning I went to grab my capsule and the bottle was EMPTY.  I discovered my husband found my stash (yes I hide it from him) and he was STEALING them.  Honest to God, I got mad at him and didn’t talk to him the entire morning.  I felt like a crack addict.  Sad but true.  It’s good shit.   **(If you are interested in it (you really need to try it), you can use coupon code CORINA at www.cellucor.com for a discount and free shipping.  You will NOT be disappointed.  It’s one of the VERY few products I swear by.)

OK, that’s it.  That’s all I have to report this time around… no idea how long this cut/diet will last.  No plans.  No dates.  No expectations.  Just going to continue doing what I love and what makes my heart happy!  Rest assured though, the moment I begin to hate or resent anything I’m doing… this girl will stop and call this cut quits.  My mental well being, hormones, and relationships are FAR more important to me than having any particular physique.  I do this for me… nobody else!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Carly
    August 29, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Love this post and you look amazing!!!! Seriously.

  • Reply
    Romina
    August 29, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I loved every line of it. It felt like you have written it for me. I feel exactly the way you do right now. I relate to everything you have said. You look amazing. You should be very proud of yourself.

  • Reply
    Victoria Roper
    August 30, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Simply adore this post Corina, you are an inspiration.
    In your opinion do you think I could get results doing pretty much what I am exercise wise, which as it happens is not far from what you do, but having the same macros each day. I just find that carb cycling isnt convienient for me, although I do understand the ethos behind it.

  • Reply
    clara
    September 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Corinna,
    Thank you so much for sharing all your experiences. I have a question , i usually visit Whole Foods in Columbus Circle or Unión Square in New York. I never found the stevia drops with flavour that sometimes you were showing in some post… I think you cant either find truvia products..
    Could you please tell me where I could buy the drops of stevia and the products you use to savorize your wáter?? In Manhattan?
    Thank you so much and sotty if it was already said.. but I cannot find it if so…
    THANKS

    • Reply
      corina
      September 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      HI Clara! You can buy Sweet leaf online 🙂 I get mine at Sprouts though!

  • Reply
    Heather Baedke
    September 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    You look great and I love your traing approach!! Did you work with someone to find out your macros and such or how did you figure out what worked best for you?

    Heather

    • Reply
      corina
      September 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Heather! I have William at Metabolic Evolution doing my macros for me for my cutting phase!

  • Reply
    Roxana
    October 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I love this blong …I am addicted 🙂

    Roxana

  • Reply
    Denise
    February 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Corina,
    Do you use the Cellucors Super HD only during a cut or all the time? Is it a natural supplement?

    • Reply
      corina
      February 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      I no longer use it actually… I discovered all of their products were causing me stomach issues and pain.

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