You’ll be pleased to hear that I did not succumb to the gooey chocolatey chip cookies at the eleventh hour, and instead did Stage 1 Workout A #4 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. Then ate some eggs, showered, and went to bed.

Without further ado, my stats:

Measurement July 1st July 31st Difference
Body Weight 156.4 147.8 -8.6
Body Fat Percentage 26.0%* 25.8% -0.2%
Bust 35″ 33.5 -1.5″
Waist 31″ 29.5″ -1.5″
Hips 36.5″ 35.5″ -1″
Right Bicep 12″ 11″ -1″
Right Thigh 21″ 20.5″ -0.5″
 * Based on last test in November 2012.
Favorite Accomplishment: Completing Whole30 was my only goal this month. Mission Accomplished.
Overall Grade: A

As expected, my weight loss plateaued after the first half of the month. I’m at a point in my weight loss career where I have to kick and scream and punch and claw for every ounce lost. On the plus side, all that catfighting I’m doing is helping me lose inches and gain muscle.

147.8 is my lowest recorded weight as an adult (to be honest, the last time I weighed that as a non-adult was probably in the fourth grade), and is what I weighed during the peak of my weight-losing back on October 27, 2012. For comparison, my measurements then versus now:

Right Bicep
Right Thigh

Haha! My thigh got bigger. Oops.

Whole30 Closing Thoughts

You can read all my Whole30 posts here in case you missed them. There’s not a whole lot left to say that I haven’t already said. The numbers above tell me that the diet was physically successful, but was it mentally and emotionally successful? Did I tame my sugar dragon? Have I eliminated my bad food habits? Has it changed the way I look at food? Do I feel like a healthier person?

In a nutshell: Umm…sure! Despite that cookie aberration from last night, sugar cravings were always manageable. My “bad food habits” were things like needing to have a grainy carb for breakfast along with a salty protein, or needlessly eating 6 small meals plus snacks every day. I do feel healthier, cleaner, and less lethargic. And I absolutely love the fact that I eat practically zero processed foods; my entire grocery trip is done on the border of the store (meats, produce, eggs; that’s it!).

Where do I go from here? The Whole30 guide suggests a gradual reintroduction phase where, for the next 10 days, I begin to experiment with each of the banned food groups, then record how my body reacts to them. Honestly…Cassie ain’t got time for that right now. I’m going to remain largely Whole30 compliant for the next two weeks, but if I want to have a drink, I’m gonna have a drink. If I want a bite of a cookie, I’m gonna have that bite. It has to be worth it, though.

Is Whole30 Right For You?

If I took a page out of a tabloid magazine and told you that you could lose almost 10 pounds in a month, would you believe me? If I told you that if you followed a certain plan EXACTLY, no matter how crazy it sounds, and you WILL lose weight, get healthier, and begin to fix your relationship with food, would you do it? If I PROMISED you that, if you do everything I say, with absolutely no cheating, you WILL be successful, would you trust me?

When I went veganish last year, and at the beginning of Whole30 this year, I got a lot of the same comments. “I could never do that.” “I could never do this.” “I’m addicted to cheese.” “[This food] would be impossible to give up.”

First of all, don’t use the words “can’t,” “never,” and “impossible” about food. Most of the time they are code words for “won’t,” “don’t want to,” or “not even gonna try.” Don’t worry, I’m not judging you. There are a lot of things that are good for me that I don’t want to do either, like eat a lot of vegetables. But if someone told me a plan had guaranteed [healthy] results, I’d be stupid not to at least attempt it.

Whether you are experiencing a weight loss plateau, or are just starting out and need to get over that cycle of losing and gaining the same 5 pounds, I highly recommend trying the Whole30 challenge. Look at this way: you don’t have to give up food groups FOREVER. It’s just thirty days. That’s what I kept telling myself and is what helped me push forward. By the end, one of two things will happen: you’ll pat yourself on the back for challenging yourself while happily eating a grilled cheese sandwich, or you’ll wonder why you thought it was so impossible to eat this way to begin with.

Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing Part 1
Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing Part 2

Photo-Jul-20,-8-16-37-AMIt’s that time again! My time slot was at 7:30 this morning, but I uncharacteristically slept right through it and didn’t wake up until 7:45. I mulled over getting up and going, or just waiting another month till they came back to my hood, eventually deciding to go. I felt bad for missing my appointment and then just dropping by, so I didn’t mind letting two other people go ahead of me even though I was there before them. They probably had appointments they didn’t sleep through.

That dunking in the water after expelling the air in my lungs thing? Never gonna get easier for me. I was already panicking and felt like I was drowning after just making the appointment. I think the test operator’s patience is wearing thin with my shenanigans. I should start practicing in the pool.

Fat (lbs)
Lean (lbs)
Fat (%)
Lean (%)

If you have been following along for a while, you are already aware of the stellar “maintenance mode” (HA) I’ve been in for a long time, so I’m just glad my numbers went in the right direction, as minuscule as they may be. The mobile lab was testing at the Pasadena Marathon expo that I attended, and I’m torn as to whether I should have set a baseline for pre-Whole30 stats or not. Maybe it’s good I didn’t because I know the numbers would have been bad. But that’s neither here nor there and I’m happy with my results today.

According to the American Council on Exercise chart, I’m average. I can deal with average!


According to the Jackson & Pollock chart, I’m ideal. Ideal is even better! Jackson & Pollock seem like pretty cool dudes if you ask me.


If I look at the chart on my test results, it says what my goal weight SHOULD be, provided I only lose fat and not lean mass. Unless I’m being really, really diligent about my diet, it’s hard to lose fat poundage without losing a tiny bit of muscle with it. BUT, as long as I eat enough to complement my workout regimen, I should be okay, and Whole30/paleo definitely helps with that.

Photo Jul 20, 10 19 06 AM

When I took my first dunk tank test, Linda (the operator) told me I should aim for 22%. That is a very attainable goal for me, but would I be selling myself short? Maybe after I pass that hurdle, I’ll make it a fun game to chase 18-20% so I don’t get complacent.

Skin removal surgery will help a little with that. A super long and detailed post about that exciting topic will be posted some time this week. Fun times.

Measurement June 1st June 30th Difference
Body Weight 153.8lbs 154.2lbs +0.4
Body Fat Percentage 0.0
Bust 35″ 35″ 0″
Waist 31″ 31″ 0″
Hips 37.5″ 36.5″ -1″
Right Bicep 12.5″ 12″ -0.5″
Right Thigh 21″ 21″ 0″
Favorite Accomplishment: If I had to choose just one, it would be running in my first 10K race on June 9th, with a pretty decent time too.
Overall Grade: C+*

Somebody call the waaaambulance, because I am in a shitty mood, and had been in a shitty mood the entire weekend. Saturday morning, I ventured out to run my scheduled four miles. This would be my first time running in six days because I was really undisciplined and skipped my two midweek short runs. I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but if I don’t keep a steady schedule of workouts with no more than two days of rest between, I feel like I’m starting over from the beginning on my next workout. In hindsight I should have done the four miles on Friday so I could have Saturday to recover if needed before Sunday’s race. (This is me foreshadowing.)

Photo Jun 29, 8 29 59 AMPhoto Jun 29, 8 29 54 AM

Thanks in large part to 30 little green, weird-smelling, but effective EnergyBits tabs, and sheer will, I ran the four miles at the park without any walk breaks. I felt good enough afterwards to get a weight circuit in, but I think that’s where I messed up. Though I am always conscious of good form, I must have aggravated something in my knees while doing squats. Later on in the day, after waking up from a much needed nap, my left knee was in a lot of pain when I moved or bent it certain ways. Walking was difficult. I iced it, elevated it, and prayed to the running gods that it would magically disappear the next morning. Trying to ignore the pain, I went to the expo anyway and picked up my race packet, set all my alarms, and laid out my gear before going to bed.

When my alarm woke me at 4:30am, I swung my legs out from under the covers and tested my weight on my knees. So far so good. I softly bounced on the balls of my feet. Hey, this may work! I did some butt kicks and OW WHAT THE HELL, NOW MY RIGHT FOOT HURTS TOO!

Photo Jun 29, 7 09 56 PMI don’t know what it is about running that has made me super emotional but I crawled back under the covers and wanted to cry. There were no tears, just sort of a dry and over dramatic wail. For the next two hours I stared at the clock, in bed, and contemplated going anyway. Instead, I sulked and moped pretty much all day, occasionally breaking out into my dry wail when I’d pass by my race bib laying on the table.

For fugg’s sake, get a grip, self. It’s just a 10K. It’s a 10K in hot ass Pasadena where it’s gonna be over 90 degrees. It’s not like it’s the half marathon that I’ve been training for. But I really and truly was excited for it, and who doesn’t get bummed out when something they’ve been eagerly anticipating doesn’t happen? I think I pushed myself too hard, and too quickly. So after a lot of debating and over analyzing, I abandoned my current half marathon training plan (WAIT–KEEP READING), and will be taking the next 9 days off running.

During this break, I will fit in some of the other things I miss doing, like spinning (not so hard on the knees), and maybe this kettlebell class at a studio that opened up across the street from me. It’s also warm enough to do some swimming; also easy on the joints.

On July 9th I begin my new training plan, which is great because it basically picks up where I left off, but also adds some speed work later on. The timing is perfect too; it ends on October 26th and my half (Rock’n’Roll LA – use code PAVEMENTRUNNER10 for $10 off! Thanks to for the tip) is on October 27th. My original plan would have ended on August 24th and I wasn’t sure how I’d be preparing for the half with two months to spare. Without a schedule I probably would have winged it, which could be bad news.


Have you ever run in costume? For someone like me, who just wants to finish the race in one piece, running in costume seems extremely cumbersome and annoying. I get super aggravated when I’m running a few miles and my freakin’ earbud cord gets in the way. It looks fun on paper though. Maybe I can be festive with a headband. Or pair of wings.

*About my C+ grade…

If you just look at the numbers, the month of June was a complete bust. I gained weight, and I didn’t actually lose as many inches as I thought I had. It wasn’t so bad, but when you factor in how hard I’ve worked and how decently I’ve eaten, one would expect that I would pull better numbers. My grade should have been a D.

But I don’t want to look at how my June went based solely on numbers. I did some pretty good things in June. I ran my first 10K. I upped my longest distance to 7 miles. And the following week upped it to 8 miles. Best of all, I finally quit smoking. Probably the most important factor in my health and well-being, way ahead of weights and measures.

Do you ever feel like you’re trying to reinvent the wheel when attempting to lose weight? My entire weight loss career has been a Planes, Trains & Automobiles of weight loss. I feel like I have wasted so much gas trying to get to the one place I need to go, but I also keep forgetting that, despite all the detours, I am much closer to “home” than I was yesterday, six months ago, or two years ago.


The left picture is what I think of when I read about all my other friends who are at, or within ounces of, their goal weight. It is stupid of me to think that way when I know first hand that it is the actually the picture on the right for almost everyone, not just me.

I can’t hide it well when I’m moody, can I? Probably why I’m terrible at poker, or lying, or telling parents their baby is “cute.” Last month I proclaimed that “June would be better” than May, and though I’m not supercalifragofficially counting my stats until Sunday the 30th, today’s check-in was a flop. Over the last four weeks, not counting the huge PMS gain/drop/wash out in between, I gained 0.4 pounds. That could change for better or worse come Sunday, but not by a lot.

Activity or nutrition weren’t issues at all (well, I have enjoyed a few happy hours this month, but nothing crazy). One can argue that I’m training for a half and shouldn’t expect to lose any weight. Or, because I’ve quit smoking, it is inevitable that I am going to gain weight. (For those keeping score: 13 days cigarette free and 8 days completely nicotine free!) The bottom line is, those are all excuses, and could have been circumvented if I was really, really strict about things. Or…if I really want to live and die by the scale. Which I don’t.

I feel good about myself and I feel healthy. Ditching the smelly smokes has made me cranky here and there, and I’ve had to mentally squash a few cravings, but it will only ever be a wise decision on my part. And last Sunday, I added another mile to my “longest distance completed” record with a pretty decent average pace, too! I had to stop and restart this run because a quarter mile into the first attempt, my pants kept falling down and I had to go home to change. On the way home, I was near tears (and I don’t cry, ever, really) and wanting to give up completely. But I didn’t.

Photo Jun 23, 10 49 42 AMPhoto Jun 23, 10 49 47 AM
I refused to believe that after all the hard work I’ve put in to better myself in the month of June, that I wouldn’t get ANYTHING measurable out of it, so I pulled out the tape. When you’re honest about what you’ve been up to, at least one of these things, the scale or the tape, ain’t gonna lie. I was pleased to see that I am an inch or more down in almost every body part, or the same in the parts that I can’t really help, like my boobs and my thunder thighs. Full comparison stats, including weights and measures, will be posted on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon, when I get home from my second race!


Despite its name, the Pasadena Marathon had to cut the 26.2 out due to lack of city approval and permits, so they’re only having the half marathon, 10K, 5K, and kids’ fun run. I’m doing the 10K because, just like my first race, I already have 6 miles on the training schedule that day. Two birds, one medal. Also? Practice! Unlike my first one, this race is a medium-sized official event with an expo, vendors, street closures and all that fancy stuff.

Anyway, circling back to the title of this post: Reinventing the Wheel. I am debating even talking about this because who knows how dedicated I will be, but on Monday, July 1st, I’m starting Whole30. A new way of restricting disguised as a new way of eating. It’s like Paleo but stricter. Super strict eating. Totally up my alley, right? My girlfriend and I are doing it together, so maybe that will help. I’ve read about any downsides of doing this while also maintaining a rigorous workout routine (like running), and the first-hand accounts varied wildly. Everyone is different, so I won’t know how I’ll handle it until I’m knee deep in it.?I am really and truly going to try my best; I love the idea of consuming no sugar or processed crap, but no promises.

Scale Shocked Part 1

Just as I’d wishfully predicted, my big gain from last week has been erased. I thought twice about weighing myself for fear of a bad number ruining yet another Friday for me, but I felt it was important to check in just for good measure. The results were positive; I clocked in at 151.2 pounds for a somewhat immaterial loss of 9.4 pounds. If I pretend last week never happened, I’m down 2.6 pounds so far in the month of June (I guess that’s still true whether or not last week happened). It’s the Baby Bear of losses; not too much, not too little. Juuuust right.

I’m glad I weighed in because I’m the type of person whose motivation snowballs. Instead of rebelling and eating a plateful of hash browns and binge drinking at lunch today, I’ll continue to make smart food choices and will not kick and scream too much before working out later. It’s been a solid 7 weeks since becoming a born again fat reducer, and I’m happy to say that it’s sort of a no-brainer to be “good,” nutrition and activity-wise. There have been a couple slip-ups here and there, but no complete derailments to report.

Also, I’ve been eating like an adult and not a broke college student scavenging her cupboards for canned tuna and dry ramen to make a sandwich, with marshmallows for dessert (actual items in my pantry).

Accidentally Blackened Salmon with Mango and Edamame

Accidentally Blackened Salmon with Mango and Edamame

If I did munch on anything, it was relatively healthy and worth every bite. My teeth are still very sensitive from dental surgery (mostly a phantom/hypochondriac type sensitivity) and these chips were crispy, but not too rough on my mouth (stop it).

Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

Way Better Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

And finally, don’t blink or you might miss that there is a 10-week and approximately 10-pound difference in the pictures below. Hopefully it is obvious that the one on the left is the older one. A simple cotton skirt like this, with no rigidity or shape plus curving vertical stripes, is a disaster on my midsection normally. There may not be a noticeable visual difference, but I definitely felt more comfortable wearing it now. I didn’t spend all day tugging at it to make sure it was covering all my wobbly bits or making me look pregnant. It might be my new favorite outfit. Weee.

L: April 3rd; R: June 12th

L: April 3rd; R: June 12th

Measurement May 1st May 31st Difference
Body Weight 159.6lbs 153.8lbs -5.8lbs
Body Fat Percentage 26.0%* 0.0
Bust 34″* 35″ +1″
Waist 31″* 31″ 0″
Hips 36″* 37.5″ +1.5″
Right Bicep 12″* 12.5″ +0.5″
Right Thigh 20″* 21″ +1″
*Taken from last known measurement on October 27, 2012.
Favorite Accomplishment: Completing my longest run, EVER! 6.07 miles, 12:09 pace; 1:13:46 overall. It is slow, but it is DONE.
Overall Grade: B+

It’s funny how weight loss works when you actually put in the effort. In the month of May, I felt like the old Mae, making the right food choices 90% of the time, with workout days outnumbering rest days by a whole bunch. Most importantly, I did it without starving myself. My daily calorie goal is 1600, and when I had a tough workout, I ate to make up for it. If you’re curious about my daily food intake, I publicized my MyFitnessPal food diary again and can be accessed from the menu on the right of this page. Or here. (Note: I got really lazy with tracking one or two days this week.)

Unfortunately, the last time I took my measurements was back in October during my lowest weight of 147-148, so I can only compare my current stats against those. Since then, I apparently grew about an inch in every direction! Oh well. June 30th will be better. FYI, my body fat percentage was last tested via water tank around the same time as I took my measurements, and if I had to guess, I went up a percentage or two, but I’ve been surprised before. This stat will likely only be updated once every six months. I really don’t want to be dunking in the tank every month. That shit is scary!

Photo May 29, 6 42 28 AM

While I don’t have my exact inches from the beginning of the month, I can definitely say that I shrunk. I bought this dress from Modcloth in a size S back in February, and it had zero chance of fitting back then. I couldn’t even get it over my hips when it was completely unzipped! Every few weeks I’d try it on again, and though I got a touch closer each time, the outlook was bleak. On Wednesday, I extracted it from the depths of my closet and tried once again. Considering I could hardly breathe while wearing it, I wouldn’t exactly say that it fit, per se, but hey, it zipped up!

I hope you like this new format of progress reporting. At this point in my weight loss career, weekly weigh-ins seem overkill. Provided I keep this good streak going (and I will!), next month’s grades will be stellar. Some exciting things are happening in June, but I’ll fill you in on those once they happen.