I have been at this low cholesterol nutrition plan and exercise for three weeks now. I have to give myself a huge pat on the back because things are going very well.
I did not think I would be as successful but the Beachbody Challenge Group is such a fantastic and supportive group of women, which greatly helps in my accountability because I do not want to disappoint them. The first week, I had a few headaches and I was a little irritable; however, I survived and things are much easier for me.
I think my stomach is shrinking because I do not eat very much and moderation is becoming more natural. Portion sizes are easier to manage and my body is not craving food like it used to, which is fantastic.
I did not lose much weight last week but I did have two cheat meals and did not exercise very much. I continue to lose inches and some of my pants are loose on me now. Not only do the numbers look good, I just feel amazing. I am happy, I have higher energy, my libido is coming back, I am at peace, and have more patience. I just feel…so good.
As I go into week four, I am planning on jogging/running on the elliptical 12 miles per week and getting 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into my diet per day. I heard these measures (on top of my low cholesterol nutrition plan) will help blast the belly fat (which I have a lot) so I am excited to make these additions and see what happens at the end of the week.
What a difference a
day moment makes…
My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.
My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.
I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.
I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.
It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.
I am a creature of habit.
We have a new puppy. Her name is Lulu. I thought Lulu was going to exacerbate my anxiety and cause problems for me and my little bubble of routine. Wrong! The opposite has occurred. This little girl has become a major soother/anti-anxiety component in my life. She is turning me into a morning person. I am so productive and getting so much done. Also, Lulu has given me time to each day, so I added exercise back into my day-to-day routine. All because of a dog that my husband could not live without.
- 0600-0630: I wake up and let Lulu outside.
- 0630-0700: I make and drink my hot green tea with lemon. I do not like eating breakfast before the sun is up and I do not like having food in my stomach when I work out.
- 0700-0800: Sometimes I go back to bed, sometimes I exercise, sometimes I clean, sometimes I play with Lulu and Boomer (my little Papillion mix), sometimes I take my older children to school, sometimes I read, sometimes I watch the news.
- 0800-0900: I get my youngest up and ready for school. I have another cup of hot green tea with lemon. I make sure the dogs are fed and then outside to play.
- 0900-1000: I make sure I have completed my first exercise (T25) by this time. I eat breakfast after I exercise.
My Favorite Breakfast
- 1000-1100: I do laundry or clean house. I make sure to have a snack.
- 1100-1200: I catch up on my television show (Real Housewives BH/OC) and I do an extra workout routine; typically I go to my local rec center and run on the elliptical.
- 1200-1300: I eat lunch. My lunches consist of salad and protein (chicken, fish, tuna). I also like to eat fruit and/or yogurt with my lunch.
Spinach Salad (White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing) Blue Cheese Crumbles
- 1300-1400: I try to rest and take a quick nap. The dogs determine this hour because sometimes I end up playing with them instead.
- 1400-1500: I take my shower and make myself presentable. I make sure I have my big snack (Shakeology) during this time because this is when I get the most difficult cravings.
- 1500-1600: My children start to come home and I spend most of my time herding cats.
- 1600-1700: I start to prep for and begin making dinner.
- 1700-1800: We eat dinner. Dinner varies for me. If I worked out twice that day, I will sometimes eat what the family is eating or I will slightly modify my dinner (for example, yesterday I had two intense workouts, so I ate a hamburger with avocado and an egg, no condiments and sweet potato fries instead of regular fries). It just depends on my mood.
- 1800-2200: I spend time with my family. We tend to relax and unwind by watching our favorite television shows or a movie together. Sometimes we play games. I have a treat, which can range from a couple pieces of chocolate to a small serving of ice cream to a slice of pumpkin pie to a doughnut. I don’t deprive myself but I don’t go crazy either.
* When I am working (I work nights 7:00P to 7:00A twice a week), the only difference is I work out once a day and I do not eat lunch because I am sleeping. I pack a healthy lunch and snacks to take with me to work.
This is life. Of course the schedule varies. But overall, this is my life, my bubble. And I love it.
It has been such a fun end of the year for me. My family and I went on a cruise the week before Christmas and I did very well with all the walking and activities (thank you physical therapy!). I definitely noticed that my cardio is nowhere near as strong as it used to be and I even got a little winded going up and down stairs (just like at home). My breakfasts (yes, I ate breakfast every day) were healthy high protein and there was no time for unlimited snacking (like I do when I home) because we were so busy with all the activities and fun things to do on the ship. I was surprised that I didn’t gain weight after the holidays and cruise; in fact, I lost three pounds. However, I was so winded from walking and using the stairs that I quickly realized that it is time to add some exercise back into my life, especially cardio.
This new year I have decided to take a different approach to getting healthy, much different than the past four years.
I am not going to stress about counting calories or what the scale says or fad diet plans or anything at all. I am going to focus on my body; feeding it healthier alternatives, healthy snacks, and lots of water and green teas. I will be using all the information and knowledge I have gained over the past four years and continue to find new healthy recipes to keep the variety.
I am going to start exercising with the lower impact exercises until my leg is fully healed and ready for my normal exercise routines again. I will start with the elliptical and try doing the T25 (following the low impact modification) and/or OrangeTheory to push myself a little bit in order to get back into the swing of things with my exercise routine.
I am not going to beat myself up if I miss a workout or overindulge/eat unhealthy foods on occasion. I’m not looking for fast results. I am looking for a consistent routine that will develop into good habits and hopefully wonderful results.
I will continue to keep you posted on my progress and any new items to post but mainly I am just going to live and enjoy each moment. It is time for me to just…be.
Cycle 1: Accelerate: Day 1
- Breakfast – strawberry meal replacement shake and I use one cup of TruMoo chocolate milk and one cup of ice in my shake.
- Lunch – turkey sausage, chicken breast, onions, and quinoa with steamed cauliflower that had a little hot sauce on them. I mixed all these items in a pan together and ate until I felt comfortably full. (The book has a guide on “fullness meter” and “hunger meter” to assist in overeating or not eating enough). I had two cups of hot green tea with lunch.
- Snack #1 – six ounces of Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Honey with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. The six ounces (or 3/4 cup) is a LOT of yogurt, so I took my time eating it.
- Snack #2 – Yoplait Lite Key Lime Pie Yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Dinner – my leftover’s from lunch, salmon filet, chicken breast (which I wasn’t able to finish), and spinach sauteed with garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil. I had two cups of green tea with dinner.
My first day was a good day. I did not get my fruit servings in before 2:00PM so I skipped the fruit servings. Mild headache for most of the afternoon but I ate slower and drank a lot of water. I tried to keep my hands busy (because I get bored) so I crocheted when I was sitting. I wasn’t hungry but still had cravings; cheesy enchiladas and chips LOL It was mind over matter.
I got 30 minutes of mild swimming for my exercise. The book requires 17 minutes of mild to moderate exercise per day so I am ahead of the game today.
I am not counting calories, which is nice, so I am not using My Fitness Pal during this time. I will still be getting my weight and measurements but at the end of each 17-day cycle. I am anticipating reaching (or getting very close to) my goal weight after the first cycle, but we will have to see how things go and if I need to move to the second cycle before going to maintenance mode, I would be okay with that too.
I am hoping the rest of the cycle continues to go smoothly.
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.
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;
- 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.
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).
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!