Project 5×5: Results

Today’s the day. Today’s my 25th birthday. (It’s also ironically my 125th post). Today was the deadline for my somewhat of a stretch, but still achievable 25 day countdown of goals to achieve, that I titled, Project 5×5.:

  1. Lose 5 pounds
  2. Lose 5 inches
  3. Do 5 new DIY crafts
  4. Make 5 new recipes
  5. Finish last 5 chapters of my portuguese language book

So the question is, did I achieve my goals. Well, short-answer, no. But I got very close with the ones I didn’t achieve, well I think. Let me explain.

1. Lose 5 pounds.

This is the only personal info you’re going to get. Most people who know me wouldn’t believe me if I told them my weight anyway, so what do I care. I started at 177 lb. After week 1, 176 (progress). After week 2, 176.6 (ok we’re going backwards now). Today. 173.6. Net loss: 3.4 pounds. I didn’t make my goal, but I lost 3 pounds in a week, which I’ve never done. So I think I totally would’ve made this goal if a certain cycle didn’t interrupt this 25 day time frame (which, 25 days–28 days, I was bound to be interrupted). In my nutrition course we learned what most women already know: that men lose weight more easily than women. BUT, what I didn’t know was that women lose weight in that zig zag graphic pattern they always show in TV shows about a business losing money: Up a bit, down a bit more, up a little bit more, down a bunch. Women lose weight the same way. We lost 2-3 pounds, gain a half pound (or more) when Aunt Flo comes, and then resume weight loss.  An excuse, I know, but a plausible one.

2. Lose 5 inches.

Okay, I just have no idea how many I lost overall. I’m not writing down my final measurements because you don’t need to know all my business, but the piece of paper I started writing down measurements on I lost, and then I thought I wrote down what I could remember in my phone, but then apparently didn’t save it. So what I can remember, compared to today, is that I lost about 1/2 an inch in my waist, 1/2 an inch around my legs, and gained about 1/2 an inch in my arms. Overall–not even close. But when I was measuring myself again this morning, I realized how much room for error there is in measuring yourself as I got two totally different measurements for my waste (I went with the larger one, FTR).

Despite my not achieving these two goals (and in retrospect, 5 inches may have been ambitious), I learned a lot more about my body. I generally eat well–could probably use more produce, but I’m not a fast food eater and I rarely consume refined grains or refined sugar. And I’ve been working out pretty hard these last few weeks, all different types of workouts–HIIT, AMRAP, kettle ball, jump rope, running. What I realized, but what I really already knew and just confirmed, is that I bulk up before I lean out. This is part of why I struggle with losing and keeping weight off, because that first bulk up period really frustrates me. The other part is my life is very phasic right now so establishing a routine is just very difficult. But as a woman, you want to slim down and tighten up, not bulk up. But this is the body I was given, and I think if I just push through, for once, not give in to the frustration and the phases, I could have some great muscle definition.

Even though I didn’t meet those particular stats above, I think if there were some objective measurement of “softness” or “squishiness,” some scale on a point basis, then I totally lost 5 points.

3. Do 5 new DIY crafts.

COMPLETED! I only posted two of them before, so below are all 5:

DIY Plates:


DIY Upcycled Tshirt:


DIY Head band:


It looks a bit off wearing it with my thick twists, but it came out alright. This is one that I’d probably try again with a different colored t-shirt and probably more strips to make it thicker. Instruction here.

DIY Eye Cream/Eye makeup remover: Instructions

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DIY Fitness Guide:

Okay, this isn’t so much a DIY as it is just a useful craft for me. I visit various workout sites and come across others in emails, magazines, articles, etc., so I decided to compile them all into one journal and then created a table of contents that separates them by workout type (HIIT, AMRAP, Challenge, Circuits, etc.). Within that TOC, I can see what muscle groups the workout targets, and how long the workout will take. So now I can depending on how I feel, and how much time I have, I can choose workouts quickly and appropriately. There are no real instructions on how to make one, except to take a journal and write out the exercises–which is time consuming. You could also type them up and print them out and do some creative binding. Whatever makes you happy:

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4. Make 5 New Recipes:

Fig & Pecan Tart


Jamaican Oxtails


Black Bean Brownies


Ayib (or Ethiopian Cheese)

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  • Buttermilk


  • Pour buttermilk in pot
  • Put on low heat
  • Keep it on the heat for about 20 minutes, until the milk fat separates from the water
  • Let cool, strain, and refrigerate
  • Eat with injera or other Ethiopian food, or eat however you like!

Kolo (roasted barley with peanuts, an Ethiopian snack)

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  • Barley
  • Peanuts (not pictured)


  • Rinse barley under warm water
  • Toss with some salt and/or ground hot pepper (usually, berbere, but cayenne would work as well)
  • Options: put in a large pan over low heat and toss while it browns OR put it on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven on around 325 F for 10-15 minutes (The first time I tried on the stove top, I definitely burned it because the directions said it should pop, and I was waiting for it to pop. The second time I tried, I didn’t burn it, but it wasn’t quite as crunchy when I tried it somewhere else. The third time I put it in the oven, it got an even brown–which I couldn’t achieve stove top–and was nice, hard and crunchy. I’d recommend doing in the oven, but if you have a more even heat source stove top, try it there too)
  • Once the barley cools, mix in some peanuts and snack away!

5. Finish last 5 chapters of Portuguese language book

Four down, the last chapter is being completed as we speak. But there’s no sense in rushing through it just to finish it if I don’t retain any of the information.

Anyway. If you’re still reading, thanks for hanging in there on this long post. I love giving myself these little challenges, they keep me busy when I’d otherwise not know what to do with myself. So I’ll end this in true public health fashion.

Lessons learned: I’m really glad I scrapped the idea of reading 5 books, because that probably never would’ve happened.  It was great going through my pinterest pins to pick out DIYs to do, but I realize many of the ones I want to do require more supplies than I could afford right now–hence my low budget choices.

Recommendations for the Future: I’m giving myself to the end of the month to lose that last 1.6 pounds, but I’m sure that won’t be too much of a stretch. I need to plan out time each day where I will study languages so I can become fluent. There’s no reason why I’m not at least bilingual by now.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy my birthday. But I already have my next challenge on deck–FIND EMPLOYMENT!