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.
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.
Well, here I am again folks. I have definitely been in denial. I have taken the phrase “let myself go” to a whole new level; holy moly. But I know that I can get back on the healthy lifestyle wagon and succeed because I’ve done it before. So I’m not too worried; alright I lied, I’m very nervous because my weight gain was significant this time, EEKK!!!
So here is what we need to do; yes, I’m including everyone who has deviated from their weight loss goals or fitness regime or healthy lifestyle living. We just need to get back on track, start with the small victories, and turn little successes into huge accomplishments.
First things first:
- I got rid of the fatty and salty foods that tempt me all day long.
- I stocked up on protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, green tea, kefir, and all the other detox preferred foods you can find throughout my blog. I will add more carbs after the first week or two.
- I got my at-home workouts, weights, and other exercise stuff out of storage.
- I made sure I had all my supplements to start taking again.
- I got my big cup filled with water and a lemon wedge.
- I reviewed my previous blog posts for helpful information to remember what I need to be doing this week.
Now I know what everyone is thinking; it’s the holidays, this is the season for eating. Trust me; I’ve thought about this and I’m not setting us up for failure. I am going to still have an indulgence every now and again. I will participate in Thanksgiving’s eating festivities. I will still bake all my Christmas cookies. The key to our success will be MODERATION regarding our food intake and consistent (and longer) exercise time.
Here’s to SUPER success!!!
Tips on Eating Healthy When Eating Out
This is probably the hardest hurdle to tackle when changing your lifestyle to cleaner, healthier eating. Eating out includes any restaurant, fast food, event, another person’s home, or any other place you will be consuming food that is not in your home; where you are not surrounded by your “normal” consumable food that you prepare.
Prep. You really should plan ahead when eating out. If you know you will be eating at a restaurant for lunch or dinner, then plan your food intake throughout the day. Make sure the meals and snacks you will be eating at home are healthy; low-fat, high-fiber, high-protein options. Once you have lowered your calorie intake at home, you will be better prepared for dining out.
- If you are worried about your ability to maintain moderation, have a high-protein and/or high-fiber snack before you leave the house (i.e. apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter, a piece of thin sliced turkey wrapped in lettuce).
Ordering. If you use the MyFitnessPal app, you can plan what you will be ordering before you even arrive at the restaurant. If you don’t have the time to look on the restaurant’s website, or do not have access to MyFitnessPal, here are a few suggestions when it comes to ordering your meal:
- Look for the low-calorie section of the menu. Many restaurants have a section on their menu for the healthy options, where they list the calories as well. Order from this section of the menu.
- Think like Sally (When Harry Met Sally) and order dressings, sauces, etc. on the side. In fact, feel free to order a la carte so you don’t have a large plate of food staring up at you. Use the Burger King theme, “Have it your way!” when you go anywhere. Many restaurants are very accommodating to special requests (just be sure to ask politely, don’t be demanding, you don’t want to be “one of those customers”).
- Pay attention to how items are prepared and avoid fried, sauced, overly salted foods. Stick to grilled and baked items.
- Limit your alcohol intake. These are empty calories that increase the hunger chemicals in your body.
- See if anyone in your dining party wants to share an entree. This option saves you money and calories.
MODERATION! You can always have a bite (or two) of a shared appetizer or dessert. Just don’t eat an entire appetizer, a huge meal, and an entire dessert (plus a few alcoholic drinks) all by your little self. This is how the calories start to add up and your body feels painfully full and bloated.
Hydration. Always stay hydrated throughout the day, during your meal, and after your meal. Many times those hunger pangs are brought on by thirst and chemical reactions to all the yummy smells in the restaurant. Drink lots of water during your meal and after your meal to feel more full and satiated.
No one said eating healthy was a piece of cake (oohh cake!). Go easy on yourself if you splurge. It is not the end of the world. Healthy living is a journey where mistakes and wrongs roads can be taken at any time. Just remember to try your best, there is always tomorrow, and you can always add an extra work-out into your week if you went really overboard. Stay strong! Stay healthy!
Why am I Not Losing Weight or Inches?
Well, I didn’t lose as much weight or inches as I thought I was going to (see Progress Reports for more details) but I feel absolutely amazing! I have so much energy, my skin is glowing and fabulous, and I have seen drastic improvements in my mood (I am happy and less stressed).
However, I was still concerned that I did not lose hardly any inches or weight so I asked my brother-in-law (fitness guru) to gain some insight and perhaps a starting point for some research. He and I went over my exercise (extreme cardio and strength training daily) as well as my food diary (nothing but healthy foods with very minimal carbs and sugar). He suggested my problem was not allowing myself a single indulgence and the level of exercise I started to do immediately. I researched leptin (the look-out hormone, the gatekeeper of fat metabolism that tells your body when to hold onto fat storages). Leptin will make your body hold onto fat storages if it senses your body is under stress:
- Exercising too much (especially if your body is not used to a rigorous work-out routine)
- Sudden change in diet (especially if you suddenly decrease your intake of carbs and/or sugars)
- Lack of sleep
- Stress (which increases cortisol; another hormone that holds onto fat cells)
All these items listed above, I am guilty of; unknowingly putting my body under stress by over-exercising too soon, drastically changing my diet to the extreme, and I don’t get near enough sleep that my body requires for all these changes. I should have been gradual about my exercise and in two weeks I should have allowed myself a small indulgence or two. Yesterday, I made a new plan that will require half of the exercise I was doing and trying to get as close to my BMR as I possibly can (after review of my food diary, I was usually 200 calories under my BMR for the day) without going over. I am going to allow myself a small indulgence every week (probably on Saturday or Sunday). I knew the last ten pounds were going to be hardest to get rid of and I want so badly to get rid of them immediately but I learned a valuable lesson in patience this weekend. A lifestyle change is more than dramatic weight loss, it is a journey and I need to enjoy the ride or I won’t be able to keep the weight off for good.
Moderation is key (and that goes both ways); you shouldn’t over-indulge but you shouldn’t under-indulge either.