Thursday, August 13, 2015
Hello Everyone! Hope you're doing fantastic and enjoying these HOT summer days. I am a certified beach bum and sun lover, but this weather even has me looking forward to cooler temps!
Yesterday was my 45th birthday (even I can't believe I'm this old). Anyway, I digress. I posted the above picture yesterday on my Instagram and Facebook pages, proving a point that even on my birthday I managed to squeeze in a short workout. This picture has led to a lot of questions from FB friends about how I'm losing weight, as I have now lost 51 pounds. So I decided to start documenting some of my habits and what I am using, what I've learned, etc.
Let's start with some of the questions I've received. Hopefully this will help others in their weight loss and fitness battle...because believe me, it's a battle. No doubt about it.
Question 1: "How did you get started?" This one is actually easy: I joined the gym and starting going to the classes. When I started this journey, I needed to lose 75-80 pounds. It wasn't easy - I couldn't believe how I wasn't able to keep up. There were people so much older than me - many older than my parents - and they could run circles around me. I would push myself to the point where I could still breathe but barely (ha) and then just try to slow down but NEVER stop. I have never once walked out of a class at the gym.
Question 2: "What types of exercises are you doing?" This answer is a little complicated. Please keep in mind, I am not working a "regular" job and am working from home selling on FB, Ebay and am a distributor for It Works. Therefore I have a lot of flexibility (and time) that others may not have. Activities or classes I have done include: Step Aerobics, Zumba, Zumba Toning (Zumba with the shake weights/toning sticks), Strength & Conditioning, Water Aerobics, Pilates and Yoga. I also take walks and have been running (all this outside here at the beach). My "perfect" workout days include a combination of Cardio, Strength training and Core training. For instance, tomorrow I will take a 9:30am Strength & Conditioning class, 10:30am Yoga and 11:30am Zumba Toning. Excessive? Perhaps, but I have the time so why not! Bottom line: Get Moving! You have to turn your body into a calorie burning machine, which means move, move and then move some more. Added bonus: the more you move, the more calories you burn, and the more you can eat. :-)
Question 3: "What do you eat?" Now, this is the struggle. Because you see, I can exercise and actually enjoy it and don't mind exercising. But this girl likes to eat, I'm not going to lie. I don't think it's healthy to starve yourself...I don't skip meals. I don't deprive myself. I eat. Some days I eat terrible, others I am a model dieter. ha! Bottom line: I eat at home as much as possible. I prepare most of my food. I plan in advance. If man made it or it's processed food, I try not to eat it. There are notable exceptions (such as my It Works Profit protein powder that I use to fuel up post workout). I have been participating in Meatless Monday for weeks. On those days, I have gradually transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. No meat, no cheese, no animal products at all. It's been quite easy and I've noticed I feel great not just on Monday but on Tuesday too! I will likely begin to share some Meatless Monday recipes, in case you are interested in trying this method as well. Did you know that meat sits in our stomach for days? The thought kind of grosses me out, to be honest! To give an example of my meals, I will use a "non Monday" type menu below:
Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with fresh fruit mixed in (typically blueberries or strawberries) OR Egg White Omelet with fresh veggies such as Kale, Onions and Red Bell Peppers
Lunch - Fiber Rich Homemade Bean Soup (can mix in leftover meat such as shredded chicken for additional protein) OR Big Green Salad with a Lean Protein such as Grilled Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Grilled Shrimp or Salmon OR Low Carb Rollup Sandwich with Lean Protein
Dinner - Grilled or Baked Meat (think grass fed, antibiotic free when possible) such as Boneless Chicken Breast, Lean Ground Turkey Patties, Portabello Mushrooms, etc with Steamed Veggies (avoiding starches such as Corn and Potatoes), Another Big Salad with Balsamic Vinegar dressing, maybe some Brown Rice OR Egg White Omelet with fresh veggies OR Whole Wheat Pasta with lean protein and veggies.
Snacks - Protein Shake, Whole Raw Almonds, String Cheese, Fiber One Brownies (what can I say, I have a sweet tooth), Dark Chocolate Square (at least 80% Cacao), mixed fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, etc, Crackers and Hummus, Apple Wedges with Peanut or Almond Nut Butter, Homemade Kale Chips
Question 4: "How do you know you're eating enough/not too much/etc?" Not even joking, this is another huge battle. My biggest piece of advice: Journal. Your. Food. I know, I know...you know what you're eating. Guess what!?!? You really don't. You might think you know, but until you start writing it down or logging it into an app (I use My Fitness Pal), you really don't know. Now I understand, this was a huge mistake of mine in the beginning of my journey. I was losing weight but not as quickly as I wanted, but I wasn't being honest about what I was eating. Once I started using My Fitness Pal religiously, and logging all my food, then I could actually SEE the impact of my choices. I had no idea about things like sodium content, etc until it was in my face. Once I was armed with the information, I was able to make better decisions and started to lose a little more weight.
Question 5: "Are you taking any supplements, and if so, what?" During the first few months of my journey, I wasn't taking anything. I made a promise to my husband that I would do as much as possible on my own, without any help. As it got increasingly difficult, I began thinking "maybe I need to try something". Around the same time, my sister started as a Distributor with It Works, and I signed up as a Loyal Customer. Now I am also a Distributor (website HERE) and am using the following products: Thermofit, Greens, Greens Chews, Profit, Fat Fighters, Regular and our Wraps. After using just two of our wraps, I had lost another 2.5-3" off my waistline. So I can definitely say YES, they are helping me in the battle of the bulge! Maybe they can help you too, feel free to message me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or view my website.
There have been so many people who have helped me along the way. My husband and my immediate family's support has been crucial - they have been amazing cheerleaders and helped me through many a tough day. I have several other family members and friends who have lost significant weight and have been an amazing inspiration - here's looking at Steve, Jennifer, and LJ (AKA Lisa). Watching their journey gave me the confidence and desire to start mine! My drill sergeants (oops I mean instructors) Sherie, Beth and Bonnie have worked my butt into a shape where I can finally do the work. My running friends and 5K partners Gwen and Susanne have inspired me along the way, and their advice and encouragement is making me a better runner every time my feet hit the pavement. Now my husband is running with me when he's home and that's been fun for us! He is so fast and pushes me to get better every time we start at 5:30am to "beat the heat".
This game isn't over by any stretch of the imagination, but I am finally ready to get it done. Hopefully these words will help you too! Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. Best of health and wellness to you all!
P.S. I have other things to tell you about but thought this was more than enough to digest in one post - if you have questions email or comment! I'll get around to covering it all, promise!