A New Direction

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Jump Start the Body

I need to seriously jump start this weight loss process. I haven’t had to lose this much weight in a really long time and the traditional measures I have used in the recent past are not working as effectively. This is probably because the amount of weight I need to lose as well as my body has become very comfortable on the nutrition plan.

Many years ago I purchased a book, The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. At that time it did not apply to me because I was already very close to my goal weight so I stored the book and just rediscovered it yesterday when I was rummaging through boxes under our stairs. I reread the box to refresh my memory and this nutrition plan is definitely the wake-up call my body needs to get going and stay on track (fingers crossed).

The 17 Day Diet is four separate cycles of 17 days per cycle. Each cycle is different to keep the body guessing and prevents plateaus. It is focused on nutrition and putting the right foods into your body. Each cycle adds different foods gradually. This plan specifically targets belly and visceral fat (which is where I carry my stubborn fat). Visceral fat is very unhealthy and my large amounts of belly fat is creating a high BMI that I need to lower to be healthier and maintain the low rates on my health insurance.

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What I like about this plan (so far) is the diet is thoroughly researched and developed by a doctor who has been involved in his patients’ weight loss for many years. He designed The 17 Day Diet to promote eating healthy, focus on foods that promote weight loss and removal of visceral fat, and so you can see results quickly. He even has considerations for different cultural diets, PMS week, and carbohydrate sensitive individuals (like me). So far, I cannot find a way out of this nutrition plan (other than not doing it or giving up). It really is simple; there are grocery lists, menus, guides, considerations, etc. The only thing I do not like about this book is the weight guide. I disagree with the chart. I am 5’3″ and small framed/boned. The chart says I should weigh 109 – 115 pounds. Not a chance that I even want to weigh that much and I know I would be uncomfortable weighing that little. So I am going to keep to my goal weight (125 pounds) and when I feel great in my skin I will move to the maintenance mode. That is the good thing about the plan as well; you can move through the phases as you see fit. It is a flexible plan.

The first cycle starts with unlimited lean proteins and cleansing vegetables with two servings of low-sugar fruit, two servings of probiotic, and one to two tablespoons per day of friendly fats. Also, three cups of green tea and at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

The second cycle adds additional protein (lean cuts of meat), some natural starches (i.e. grains), and some starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes).

The third cycle adds additional protein, some different natural starches, some more starchy vegetables, and new friendly fats. This cycle adds portion control and varies the calorie intake daily to keep your body guessing.

The fourth cycle is all about maintenance. There are many tips and guides on how to maintain your weight loss.

I am going to document and track my experiences with The 17 Day Diet and you will see those posts every day going forward. Keep checking back every day to see my progress and join me if you like!

Staying Strong

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One Day at a Time

My first week was really great! It wasn’t always easy but I stayed strong and kept at it. I lost 1.4 pounds and 2.5 inches throughout my body (one inch of that was belly fat!).

Food: I had no intense cravings, headaches, or other issues related to decreasing my calorie intake and eating more healthful foods. I had to remind myself to eat breakfast, which has always been a struggle for me. My favorite breakfasts are:

  • One piece of whole grain toast, 2 ounces turkey sausage, one egg, and half of an avocado cup (only 300 calories for this breakfast);
  • Sometimes I substitute the toast for one serving of Kashi Waffles;
  • I like to add a Yoplait low-fat yogurt or fruit.

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My favorite lunches are:

  • Romaine (2 cups) and baby spinach (1 cup) salad with one can of tuna, 1/2 cup of quinoa, and two tablespoons of Italian dressing; OR
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup baby spinach sauteed with a splash of hot sauce and 4 ounces of salmon (baked with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper).

I made sure to have a light snack between meals and I think this really helped with my cravings and headaches I normally go through when transitioning back to healthy eating. My favorite snacks are:

  • Townhouse Pita Chips or carrots and Sabra Hummus or Greek Yogurt Spinach Dip;
  • Fruit;
  • Popcorn;
  • Pumpkin seeds;
  • One Kashi Waffle;
  • One tostado with half of an avocado cup;
  • Two turkey breast slices.

One item that I cannot live without is Simple Truth Digestive Herbal Tea. I have at least three cups of this tea per day. I haven’t had any tummy issues, bloating, and I feel more “regular” since drinking this tea.

TEA

Dinner time is all about portion control, moderation, and creating healthy alternatives. I don’t make the entire family eat what I eat. I try to find recipes everyone would like (we have four children) and with four children it can be difficult to make something everyone will eat so sometimes I will cook a separate meal for myself.

I did well this past week; I only went over my calories once this week (I really wanted Qdoba LOL). I had a few indulgences but made sure to manage my food intake properly to allow for some Milk Duds and a glass of wine this week. Overall, food was a success!

Exercise: I was able to walk without crutches this past week. I started off slow and used two crutches, then went to one crutch. Now I’m walking without crutches, just in my boot. I started off walking for 20 minutes at a time. I walked for three hours straight yesterday and about died, so I will tone it down to an hour per day. I am just so proud of myself that I am finally moving around and getting a little exercise in my life. One step at a time (literally).

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Here We Go Again

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I’m Back!

Hello ladies and gents! Wow, a whole lot has happened in five months. Let me give you the run down; I gave up on exercise and continued to eat healthy after the adrenal fatigue fun and then I started to feel better and gave up on eating healthy. When May came around, I told myself “who cares? I am going to LIVE!” Well, I lived it up and never stopped eating junk for months. On July 2, I broke my leg (fibula right above my ankle) which required surgery. I have been 100% non-weight bearing and laying/sitting for two whole months while continuing to eat junk all. day. long.

Results of these “fabulous” decisions? My GI tract is miserable, constant headaches and fighting days of migraines, a LOT of extra weight gain which makes it very difficult to move around on my crutches and knee scooter, sluggish, fatigued, acne, moody, cranky, nothing in my closet fits (yes, that includes my fat sweatpants), and pretty much an overall sense of ickyness and misery.

When I weighed and measured myself I realized how out of control I have allowed things to get and I say “NO MORE”. I am getting back on track starting immediately. I have updated my Resources page with new information and my Progress page with new goals and measurements, so be sure to check out those pages.

I am going back through this blog, day-by-day, to get motivation and more ideas for shopping lists and creating weekly meal plans. I’m going back to the basics because I know that everything I have done previously has worked, so I am going to start at the beginning and create a new life for myself. My nutrition is going to be the biggest component of this journey since my exercise plan will have to be highly modified.

Since I have a broken right leg, I will use a foundation of push-ups and sit-ups as well as my stress relieving yoga video to get things started. I have Googled “exercises to do when you have a broken leg” and there are dozens of videos for me to use including CARDIO! No way, so cool! Cardio for crutches. So happy that I have options.

If you find yourself in a situation like mine, stop making excuses (this was so hard for me but I did it) and get yourself in a positive mindset. You’ve got this! Let’s do this!

Adrenal Fatigue

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Your Adrenals are Important

I never knew how important. After months of exercise and healthy eating, I was not getting any better, in fact, I was feeling miserable and gaining weight. In two weeks, I gained six pounds. I couldn’t get rid of my cold and cough (since December). Finally, I decided to go to the doctor (ggrr, not my fave). I was diagnosed with pneumonia and she addressed my other concerns as well. After all was said and done, I learned the value and importance of my adrenals and thyroid.

Adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and produce hormones that control blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, react to stress and illness in an effort to alleviate the stress, and burn protein and fat. When you put your body under significant stress, your immune system is compromised (I was sick all the time) and your adrenals can become very tired of trying to alleviate your stress and illness.

Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenals have very little activity because they cannot keep up with your body’s stress since your body is going through chronic, long-term stress.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion, especially in the afternoon. I was passing out at around 2:00PM and could barely get out of bed to pick up my daughter from school. I struggle to find any kind of energy throughout the day.
  • Inability to handle any stress. Since my adrenals are not pushing out hormones in response to stress, I am not able to focus and find my strength to handle any type of stress. Instead, I feel overwhelmed, depressed, and anxious. Therefore, the more stress that comes my way, the more it piles up, the more cortisol builds up in my body (that nasty hormone that holds onto fat for emergencies and my body thinks it is in a constant state of emergency). It is a vicious cycle.
  • Unexplained weight gain.
  • Mental fogginess, forgetfulness.
  • Severe PMS including high and lows, intense cravings for salt and fried foods.
  • Extremely low to non-existent libido.
  • To add to the fun for me; also included is dizziness, panic attacks, numbness and tingling in my hands and/or feet, very cold feet and/or hands, shakes from low blood sugar, headaches, and a complete lack of desire to do anything except sleep.

There is hope. My doctor gave me some great advice on how to lessen the symptoms and improve my overall health. My body needs to reduce inflammation, build up my immune system, and take better care of my body through food and mild exercise.

Helpful Hints:

  • Strengthen your immune system and gut. Take a daily probiotic and eat yogurt daily.
  • Do not over-exert yourself; including exercise. A daily walk is enough to boost your hormones and improve the fatigue. Also, being outside helps decrease the mood swings and depression.
  • Eat every two hours and NEVER skip breakfast.
  • Eat a LOT of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a LOT of lean protein (chicken, fish).
  • Eat the Superfoods for Adrenals: salmon, avocados, coconuts, olives, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, kelp, seaweed.
  • Eat one avocado per day.
  • Drink water (and only water) like a fish. I am still drinking green tea and my digestive health green tea (3-4 cups per day).
  • Avoid sugar and (at least for a bit) avoid white bread, white flour, etc.
  • Avoid fried foods and processed foods.
  • Stick to a low(er) sodium diet.
  • Be in bed no later than 10:00PM and get at least 8-10 hours per night.

For more information, here is a great infographic on healing adrenal fatigue including herbal supplements, vitamins, and minerals.

I am hopeful (although it can take up to 24 months to heal my adrenals) and at least I know what is wrong with me and how I can fix this issue. If you have (or had) adrenal fatigue and you have any advice/suggestions/information please feel free to comment.

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Forgive Yourself

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No One is Perfect

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On your weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey there will be obstacles; there will be self-doubt. There is no such thing as perfection. Every day brings the opportunity to make the decision to select good choices.

As we all navigate this crazy beautiful life, anything and everything happens; kids get sick, you get sick, work stress, relationship stress, your work responsibilities, the household responsibilities, finances, car repairs, four children pulling you in different directions with their busy social lives, and constantly trying to be the best wife/mother/friend/sister/daughter/employee that I can be to everyone in my life. But hey folks, guess what? Life happens, regardless if you are ready for any of it, whether it is good or bad.

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PLEASE REMEMBER: If you make some negative choices during your journey, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself. Be strong in the knowledge that no one is perfect. Everyone stumbles at some point(s) in their life. Last week, I had a sick kiddo, my cold came back, I was stressed about a great job opportunity (that I ended up getting), I was tired and exhausted, and a super busy schedule. All are “great” excuses; however, I made the decision to not eat and what little I did eat was junk food. Also, I made the decision to not exercise at all. I was really hard on myself, but I realized I have to stay positive and move forward.

I am so ready to get back into the swing of things with my healthy lifestyle. I am working on being nice to myself (mentally) and taking everything one day at a time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. I am definitely going to maintain a positive attitude and strive to be a better version of who I was yesterday. Stay strong everyone! Live! Have fun! Take care of yourself.

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New Start: Week One

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T25 and Healthy Eating

This past week went well. The T25 workouts were difficult but I survived. The exercise made me sore but not nearly as sore as I used to get in the past. I was successful at working out in the mornings; one day we had to work-out before dinner due to my husband’s schedule.

As for eating healthy, I did great during the weekdays. I was significantly under my BMR calorie goal every day. On Tuesday I was not feeling well at all and barely ate anything because my stomach could not handle any food. The weekend arrived and I was a little naughty; I had my favorite candy (Rainbow Twizzlers) and over-indulged on Sunday with my husband’s delicious homemade Mexican rice and chili. However, I was only over my daily calories on Saturday.

Overall, the week was successful. I stayed below my fat and carb percentage and was above my protein allotted percentage. I stayed below my allotted calories for the week. I drank a ton of water all week.

I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted to lose but I did lose one inch in my waist and most importantly, one inch in my belly fat. I don’t have anymore water and waste weight to lose, so now for the super hard reality that I have a lot of fat to lose has set in. But that’s okay because I am lowering my daily calorie intake (from 1,530 to 1,200) and increasing my exercise. I plan on adding Jillian Michael’s “No More Trouble Zones” circuit video to my exercise routine three times per week, in addition to the T25 workouts.

I know that the lowered calories are probably going to cause headaches (as they have in the past) but I plan on having small meals throughout the day and continue to drink a lot of water and hot green tea to help with any complications that may arise while I shrink my stomach to a normal size. I estimated that I was eating around 2,700+ calories per day, (no wonder I gained 18 freakin’ pounds LOL), so I am prepared for my body to go through some major griping and complaining. I just love food, GGAAHH!

Here’s to another successful week. It’s all about small victories people.

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New Day. New Start.

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Beachbody, T25, Focus

No more excuses. I now weigh more than I have in a very long time. I haven’t been over 140 pounds since I was pregnant (and post-partum) with my daughter. It was a humbling weigh-in on Monday morning.

Last summer (2015) I purchased Beachbody’s T25 (Focus T25) and tried it once; never tried it again. Last year, I basically slacked off; ate whatever I wanted, did not exercise at all, and now I am paying for it.

So, I am going to stick with the T25 (Alpha and Beta phases). I am going to start eating significantly better and exercising like a crazy person. I am going to become a “morning” exercise person. I am going to stick to strict eating using My Fitness Pal.

Also, I joined a Beachbody Challenge Group to help keep me motivated and on track. I created a public profile on Beachbody for anyone to see my journey in a more “logistics” manner if you prefer. OR if you are on Beachbody too, connect with me!

The first day (Monday) was easy to get up and work out. However, the past two days have been difficult. My husband (thank goodness) has been helping me get my big butt out of bed and get downstairs for our T25 workout. Yes, the hubby is doing this with me this time around (so proud of him).

T25 is no joke. It is 25 minutes of hard work. The program is set-up for you (it comes with a calendar to follow) and each video comes with a cool down just for that work-out. I am a hot sweaty mess afterwards (as well as sore and tired LOL) but it is so worth it. The videos are motivating and have a low impact alternative for many of the exercises that still keep your heart rate up and still feels super intense.

T25 Alpha is 5 weeks. It is a foundation to getting your body whipped into shape. After I complete Alpha, I am onto Beta, which is more focused on weight training, toning, and building muscle (plus more intense exercises I hear). Beta is an additional 5 weeks. I cannot wait to see my results by April 4th!!! Just in time for spring and summer, WOOHOO!!!

Here’s to not quitting. Here’s to the new me in 10 short weeks!

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