Tag Archives: weight loss

It’s been a long time….

I have to admit, I’ve been cheating on you.

I’ve been blogging elsewhere privately during my pregnancy as I didn’t want this blog to become a pregnancy blog. I thought I could still write broad yet meaningful topics here on ThirtyStory while experiencing this life changing event – but, turns out – I couldn’t. I’m sorry about that – and sorry about my disappearing act.

As the day draws closer to actually having my son (we’re due April 23 – just a few weeks away now), I’m definitely feeling that same old current sweeping by me that I had before – that overwhelming feeling of “Can I do this?” And not the be a mom thing. Obviously, I’m doing that whether I’m ready or not, right? But my mind has turned toward those days and weeks after my son is here and I have no excuses to not be exercising regularly again. When I’ll be self-conscious again about my weight (not that that has truly stopped being an issue for me during pregnancy) and I won’t be buying clothes that are made especially for my large belly. At least, that’s the hope, right?

I’ve witnessed more than a few of my friends whip right back down to pre-baby weight and then some – and I wonder, will that happen for me? I’ve struggled with being overweight my entire life, can I honestly let myself believe that I’ll be one of the lucky few that bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies? Not that I was even all that happy with where I was BEFORE getting pregnant, but it would sure be nice to at least bounce back to that instead of staying bigger.

I am trying to prepare myself for battle. I know that finding the time and energy to exercise is going to be much harder as a new mom. Working full time, teaching, and having a little one is going to eat up most of my time, so I have to have a game plan. I know other moms and dads who find the time to work out – so I know it’s possible. I just have to find the right work out plan, the right timing and all that jazz. Unfortunately, I won’t know what the “right” plan is until I’m living it. I can’t predict what life will be like in less than a month for me. All I know is that I still have goals for myself – that I still want to reach toward being a healthier and fit person. I don’t want to lose that part of myself and I start this new chapter of my life.

Knowing who you are and who you WANT to be is a big part of any successful goal setting process. I think I have a pretty good grasp on both of those things right now – so it’s all about finding the right path to the goal. I know it will be another adventure – something totally new and different from anything I’ve experienced so far in my life. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I feel like I did the night before my first 5K – so afraid I’d fail, but excited to try.

And that’s what I’m sticking with – the excitement of trying.

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Celebrating the BIG WIN

Last time, I talked about the little things along the way and how we shouldn’t overlook how important they are to us on our journey to being healthier. Today’s weigh in felt like a BIG WIN for me, and so I wanted to also properly celebrate that because all those little decisions I’ve been making this week paid off.

What I Did This Week:

I have been tracking my carbs a bit more – not writing down every single thing but paying a bit more attention to where I’m getting my carbs. I was surprised that one of the all natural fruit/nut bars I’ve been eating has like 23 carbs! That is a lot for such a small food item. I definitely want to be careful and not rely too heavily on those as a snack if I’m eating something starchy during the day (like my one allotted potato or corn based meal!). Just having that awareness has helped me make better decisions this week about what I should snack on based on what I had for lunch or what I’ll be having for dinner.

Apparently, it worked! I had gained a bit of weight last week unfortunately. But I sort of saw it coming because I just wasn’t on the bandwagon as much as I should have been. I had Mexican food twice PLUS a day at a baseball game where lunch was wings, popcorn and hot dogs. While I didn’t indulge in a bun with hot dog and  I passed on the cookies -there just is no recovery from so many off plan meals in one week. My weight REALLY fluctuated last Friday and it was depressing, but great motivation to pay more attention this week so I can meet my goals. So I was down about 4 pounds this week from my number last week which was a major win! I know a lot of it was probably just inflammation from eating the wrong types of food last week, but I think at least 1-2 pounds of it is reflective of my hard work this week.

Results

Either way, I am now about 7.4 pounds away from my first mini weight loss goal!!! 7.4 pounds away from my “wedding weight” as I like to call it. I’ve come a long way – I’ve lost about 10.6 pound since my initial visit with a nutritionist to do my metabolism testing back in December. My TurboFire program definitely helped light a fire under me again to take control of my situation instead of just being mad about it. And now my 30 Day Food Challenge has given me the tools I needed to make some life changing changes by really helping me focus on what I’m eating.

I’m finding that what Mark Sission (from marksdailyapple.com) says is true…80% of your fitness/health comes from your diet, 20% from exercising. I definitely think I had this ratio mixed up in the past. I was trying to work out all the time to compensate for some bad eating habits. Now I’m focused on making good decisions with my eating I can work out and not feel like I have to kill myself every time. I can be active in an enjoyable way – like on a hike, a walk with the dogs (although sometimes walking Yoshi is a nightmare!). Last night I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t do my strength training program (on the agenda for tonight!). But I decided to do a few sprint type things in the house – I did 50 jumping jacks and then jumped rope for 30 seconds. I did walking lunges and then quick feet drills. I ran up and down my stairs about 20 times as fast as I could (with my dog Peach running right along side me haha!). Something was better than nothing.

I feel like this new way of eating is very empowering. I am finally in control – and it’s a really good feeling. And today was definitely a reminder that all the little decisions along the way can pay off for a big win.

image

This is my BIG WIN Dance

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My LAB (Life After Bread)

A few short weeks ago, if someone would have told me that I would not be eating bread or most of my typical snack choices (Goldfish Crackers, Triscuits, Granola Bars…etc), I probably would have thought it impossible. Truly, when my chiropractor first gave me an article on some of the positive impacts of removing wheat from your diet I read it – but it seemed so far out and crazy that I didn’t even consider it.

As many of you know, I decided to take the plunge and do a 30 Day Food Challenge that mostly centered around a Primal/Wheat Free foods. All of a sudden, 30 days have flown by and I’ve officially entered a new stage of my life: Life After Bread.

My husband asked me over the weekend, “So what’s next?” as he knows I’m constantly looking for fun and challenging ways to be more active, eat healthier, etc. I replied, “Nothing – this is it. This is good.” And it made me happy to finally have found something that doesn’t feel like deprivation. It doesn’t feel like a diet. It’s not boring, I’m not starving and I’m also not kicking my butt in the gym every single day until I’m reduced to a puddle of sweat on the floor.

It does mean that I put a lot more thought into what meals I’m preparing, the ingredients I use and my “usual snacks.” But I was already thinking a lot about those things to begin with – so it’s just been a bit of a learning curve to think a DIFFERENT way about food. Understanding that there IS life after bread is certainly step 1. I didn’t think I would ever say that – but when I’m not eating it all the time, I don’t crave it. It’s really that simple. In fact, a LOT of my cravings have vanished. It’s not perfect – of course I’m still tempted when I see sugary, carb loaded desserts – but it’s really not as all-consuming as it was before to me. It felt like before – I just didn’t have the will power to say no to cake, cookies, bread baskets…etc. And now it’s just a bit easier to take a pass.

I have noticed that certain  foods impact me in ways I never knew they did. I think I was so accustomed to eating wheat and grains and processed foods that I didn’t even notice that they were making me feel low energy, congested, or upset my stomach. Now it’s pretty crystal clear to me when I eat something that probably should be on my “extreme moderation list.” And it’s easier to avoid those foods when you can physically FEEL the negative impact of eating them. I would associate it with people who avoid foods they are allergic to – the food is usually not worth the reaction.

Shrimp Vindaloo served with Cauliflower Rice

I still am figuring out how to make it work and still participate in real life. For the most part, I’ve found it fairly easy to find things when we go out to eat. It helps that I don’t have Celiac Disease or something that would make me SUPER sick if I make a mistake, but when you are trying to avoid wheat/grain in restaurants there are still good options at most places. I tend to order meat & veggies for the most part. Still super delicious and actually pretty different from what I’d order in the past so it is giving me some variety that I didn’t have before. Another bonus!

There are times when it’s hard – and I make an exception. That is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about the Primal Blueprint book by Mark Sisson – he promotes adopting an 80/20 rule because it’s hard to be perfect and strict all the time. Sometimes you just want to eat cake, or you are in a situation where people are basically insulted if you don’t try their food. But I think i can live with following this plan 80% of the time. And most likely, it will be more like 90% of the time because I do feel like I can control most situations since I’m already in the habit of bringing my lunch to work, not eating out super often, etc.

I’m getting to the part in Mark’s book that discusses primal lifestyle in the weight loss mode and I think that will be helpful for me to focus in on things I can do (or avoid) so I can really reap the benefits of Primal eating. Then once I’m where I want to be – maintaining won’t be as strict as long as I’m still on the 80/20 bandwagon and staying active.

Some goals I have for the next few weeks:

  • For the best weight loss results, I need to be keeping my carb intake between 50-100. I’m going to track my meals for a few days to see where I am already just to be sure I’m not accidentally eating something that is blowing me out of the water with carbs. I’ve never paid that much attention, and I SHOULD be in this zone already by eliminating wheat but  I just want to be sure. I am currently signed up on paleotrack.com but am also going to look into fitday.com.  We’ll see which one i like better!
  • I’m going to focus on adding more moderate cardio to my week. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what I should be doing. The strength training is going well! I’m doing that 2x a week already. Last week I went to the trampoline airobics class and it was a fun workout – I could see myself doing that once a week again!
  • I want to have a focus this month on backing off the corn and potato – corn is definitely troublesome for me so I need to make sure I’m not overdoing it. I think I may set a rule of one corn and one potato serving every week (if at all) while I’m really pursuing weight loss!

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Live & Learn

Encouragement for the day!

First, a quick update (i know this is probably more for me than you, but just pretend to care!)  This is from my Monday Lift Heavy Things session.

Circuit 1           C 2
Push Up (Goal: 30) 17                     13   (still doing knee push ups)
Pull Up (Goal 20)      20                     20    (used assisted machine which I’m still not thrilled with)
Squats (Goal 50)        50                      50   (I think I’m going to keep at this level for awhile since i’m already doing the essential move, it’s still hard to get to 50 on the C2!)
Plank (90 seconds)   60                     46  (knee/forearm style)
Left Side plank            45                     45   (knee/forearm)
Right Side Plank        45                      35

Notes: I’m still amazed at how hard it is to do push ups and pull ups. I have a lot of work to do before i even think about moving on in both of those areas. I know that i’m hitting my goal with the pull ups – but I’ve used the assisted pull up machine at the gym which is basically cheating I think. I’m supposed to be doing the 2 leg assisted with a pull up bar – so I bought a pull up bar for my house. Tonight I’ll be doing the lift heavy things session at home so i can see how I go with the actual 2 leg assisted versus the machine. I have a feeling it’s going to be WAY harder and I’ll see those numbers come down before they will go back up.

I still have quite a ways to go with the plank series as well. I’ve improved my time since last week, but adding another 30 seconds to my first plank is a big jump to shoot for..and then I have to double my time right now on the second circuit plank. I’ll get there! Still struggling a bit to get on a good schedule with things. Trying to do the lift heavy things series 2x a week and then sprint 1x a week. The other days are for the moderate cardio days. Tomorrow I’m going to my airobics class which will be fun. I’ll categorize that as a Play Day – but it will double as a good workout.

A Few Lessons I’m Learning

Warning: This section is wildly random and not very well written. I apologize in advance, my friends!

I feel like I’ve been totally off track this week, even though I really haven’t. I just had my 2 eat out days yesterday for lunch and dinner and that always makes me feel sort of gross because I’m just not eating what I had in mind. We had a work event yesterday and it included tickets to a skybox for a local baseball game. I was super proud of myself for not eating a bun along side my hotdog – totally ignoring the cookies (they even had chocolate chip, my fav!) and I tried to eat carrots and broccoli as my big snack vs. the wings. But still – totally not food that I would have eaten if I brought my lunch yesterday. But sometimes, life happens and you are at a work event and you just eat what they have and make it work even if it’s not ideal.

Met friends for dinner last night at a Mexican place and had a salad. So that was good. Then today our admin is celebrating her birthday so we went to lunch to celebrate. I ate my lunch before I went, but had this fear that I was going to be starving later on in the day so I ordered a little snack to eat while I was there and walked away feeling totally overfull. I’m not sure what happened – I just had a slight mental break even though I really haven’t struggled with being super hungry in between meals. It was like a flashback moment to how I used to be….and I’m sure some of those old habits will take a little longer to go away completely. Live and learn, right?

Even though our 30 day Challenge is almost up, I’m definitely not going back to how I used to eat. I feel SO much better avoiding most grains and processed foods. We haven’t even been as strict with all the processed stuff because we didn’t eat a whole lot of that to begin with – but I can really tell a difference when I’m eating food that we’ve prepared at the house versus what we have when we go to a restaurant. There are some places that are an exception because we are lucky to have some great local joints in Charlotte who use really good quality food. It’s easy to tell the difference between those places, as well!

I do think a personal challenge I may take on after this is to do a better job of avoiding more corn products. I can live without most of the breads and rolls and things like that. I didn’t think I would be okay, but really it’s not that bad. I don’t miss it for the most part. But as usual – chips and salsa are my personal krptonite. And I feel like if I go to a Mexican place to eat (which I do pretty often as it’s a common fav among my friends and family) – I can carefully order my meal but I really ruin it with too many tortilla chips. I need to get to a place where having just like 6-7 chips is plenty. I sometimes feel like I could sit in a room full of fresh tortilla chips and eat my way out of there with no problem. Okay, maybe not – but what I’m trying to say is: it seems like an addiction for me. So I gotta do something about it. Of course, most paleo/primal folks say to avoid corn products in general or encourage you to use “moderation” – but I think I can’t utilize moderation until I stop feeling like I have to have them, right?

If you could see me right now, I’d be making a super sad face. But because the idea of not having chips and salsa makes me so sad, it shows me even more that I have a problem. 🙂

“Hello, my name is Dre and I’m addicted to tortilla chips.” I guess that’s step 1, right?

Oh well, another lesson learned! More tomorrow folks….and maybe tomorrow’s post won’t be so scattered with random musings.

 

 

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Lift Heavy Things: Progress Report

I did my Fitness Assessment on Monday (for the Primal Blueprint Fitness program I’m doing) and so today was my first actual circuit workout utilizing my assessment as a starting place. Check out yesterday’s post if you have no clue what i’m talking about.

Here are my results:

Knee Pushups: Goal is 30

Circuit 1: 22
Circuit 2: 15

Assisted Pullups: Goal is 20 (i am using the assisted pull up machine at my gym…still figuring out what weight to set it out to replicate a double leg assisted style as outlined in the primal guide)

Circuit 1: 20
Circuit 2: 20 (i made it harder because the first set was too easy – just not enough resistance) Obviously I am still figuring this out!

Squats: Goal is 50
Circuit 1: 50
Circuit 2: 50
I didn’t find these EXTREMELY challenging – but I think I will do one more week of these before I move to the next level up.

Forearm/Knee Plank: Goal is 90 seconds
Circuit 1: 90 seconds
Circuit 2: 90 seconds
I’ll admit – this was harder than i expected it to be. I’m not positive my form was perfect the whole time during either circuit. Going to keep working on this one for another week before I move up to next level.

Forearm/Knee Side Plank Left Side: Goal is 45 seconds
Circuit 1: 40 seconds
Circuit 2: 30 seconds

Forearm/Knee Side Plank Right Side: Goal is 45 seconds
Circuit 1: 30 seconds
Circuit 2: 40 seconds

The side planks are also harder than i expected. For some reason I feel like I’d be better at it if I were using my whole arm instead of being on my forearm, but maybe that’s crazy. Still have some work to do on the side plank series.

So I still need to do my sprint workout this week (thinking about doing that tomorrow) and then I want to try and get a walk and an easy  bike ride in this weekend as well to count as my “move slowly/rest/play” days.

Tomorrow is weigh in day! It’s week 3 of my wheat free/paleo/primal inspired food challenge. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

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Primal Fitness: Are you Ready?

Source: tribesports.com

Alright, so today has been super busy so I’m going to update as quick as my little fingers will type so that you all can be up to speed on my next challenge.

Of course, I’m currently doing my 30 Day Food Challenge (Paleo/Primal Inspired) and if you’ve been paying attention you know that 80% of your health and fitness goals are obtained through what you EAT! So it’s super important.

But we can’t forget about that other 20%: Exercise!

So I am REALLY changing it up. By really, I mean that it’s going to be flat out weird for me to do this fitness challenge because it’s so different than anything I have ever tried before. Are you ready for this radical idea?

I am going to work out less.

What?! That’s right folks. The word is less is more. Less does not refer to less efficient though – and that’s the key to my next challenge. I am going to be traveling back through time to connect with my primal ancestors. That’s right – I’m following the Primal Blueprint Fitness plan. It’s written by Mark Sisson (yes, I mentioned him last time because i’m reading his book The Primal Blueprint) and it’s all about getting fit through some core movements and targeted activities. If you want to check out the fitness plan for yourself – you can get it for free by going to his site here.

You have to subscribe to his newsletter to get the passwords to download his ebooks – but the newsletter is full of great information if you are considering dabbling or learning about Primal/Paleo lifestyle. Think protein, healthy fats and carbs from good places (like fruits and veggies vs grains) and that’s the premise of the lifestyle.

The idea is that our modern day methods of working out are actually not always that great for us. We suffer from what Mark calls “chronic cardio” – where we exert ourselves at too high a level for too long a period of time – and it actually has negative consequences like burnout, fatigue, and as I’ve experienced: injuries.

Source: marksdailyapple.com

So the primal fitness plan focuses on strength training (he calls it “Lift Heavy Things”) 1-3 times per week (using your own body weight) through 4 essential movements: Plank, Squats, Push Up, Pull Up. He also suggests a one short but intense Sprint workout a week. The other days he calls “Move Slowly for a Long Time” days and this should be something active like a walk, hike, cycling (think about 55-75% of max heart rate) for 2-5 hours per week.

He also encourages you to return to your childhood – and play more! So whether that’s frisbee, playing tag with yours kids, playing on a friendly softball team or the YMCA kickball team – just doing something that is active but doesn’t have you thinking “oh gosh, I gotta work out now.” He also encourages you to listen to your body and rest. Get a good nights sleep everynight – and of course, try and stick to your Primal eating plan at least 80% of the time for max benefits.

So I’m trying it out. The first step was to do a self assessment so I know where I need to start with my Lift Heavy Things workout. Your goal is to be able to progress to the Essential Movement – but you might not start there. For instance, one of the moves is a pull up. I literally laughed out loud at my feeble attempt to even lift THIS heavy thing off the ground at the gym yesterday. So I’ll be starting with assisted leg lifts fo ‘sho.

The self assessment can be found in the fitness ebook (when you download it – type in page 50 and the next 2-3 pages are about it).

Here are my results and where I’ll be starting:

Pushup: I could only do 6 big girl pushups (on hands and feet) – so I’ll be starting on level 2 with Knee Pushups.

Pull Ups: As mentioned above, I couldn’t even pretend I did one. So i’m starting at level 1 with Chair Assisted Push Ups (2 legs).

Squats: I rocked the squats. The level 4 was for people who could do 61+ so I just stopped at 65 because it wasn’t like anyone was around for me to impress. So I’ll be doing Level 4 – Full Squats.

Plank: I held the plank on forearms and feet for 50 seconds. This has me starting on Level 2: Forearm/Knee Plank + Side Knee.

If you are wondering what any of this means, he has videos linked in the fitness guide so you can see how to do the exercises!

So 2x a week I’ll do the Strength Circuit – which means I’ll do a series of pull ups, push ups, squats and planks and then repeat. Each move has different levels – so once you can get through both sets of your circuit and hit the right “number” you can level up to a more difficult version of the move.

I am planning on using my TurboFIRE HIIT workouts to do my Sprint workout – this will be good because it’s about 10-15 minutes of intense cardio that pushes me with built in 1 minute recoveries. I may also try to do some stairs/treadmill sprints since it’s only 10-15 minutes. I can handle that once a week (I think).

And then the other days I’m going to do crazy things like, go for a walk. Hike on the weekend. Ride my bike around the neighborhood or town with my bike friends. I’m still going to be doing my turbo workout because I teach the class and don’t want to stop doing that. I will count it as my “play” – since it’s definitely more than 55-75% of my maximum heart rate!

I’m excited because this will give me a TON of flexibility to try out new workouts or revisit old ones (like going to the Trampoline Airobics class). Maybe I’ll even brave the rock climbing wall this year. EEK.

Of course I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. I’m nervous about the idea of doing so much less in terms of intensity – but maybe it’s what my body needs. Maybe I don’t have to kill myself to have the body I want….maybe I just need to trust that my kick A ancestors were on to something.

After all, they would have lived a lot longer if there weren’t wild animals attacking them or if they had some modern medicine to cure things like infection. In fact, based on the research done on their remains – it’s predicted that if accidental death or infections, etc. didn’t occur our paleolithic ancestors would have a max life span of about 94 years. And yes, that is actually LONGER than what’s predicted for our current human population based on how things are going in the human evolution right now. Pretty crazy, huh?

Who wants to go primal with me? I’m excited about getting my hunting and gathering on.

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The Final Results (Summer Challenge)

So glad I finally stopped dreaming about it – and just started working on it instead.

It’s time to reveal my final results for my TurboFire program. I started it 3 months ago – and the time has flown by. Technically, I still have one more workout to do – and it’s a 40 minute long stretch, so I’m guessing that one more workout isn’t going to dramatically change my results. Rest assured, I will do the last workout though!

More than ever – this summer challenge has reminded me that I am capable of completing what I started. I wouldn’t say that a few years ago – but perhaps a person can truly change, after all.

This week I’m down 1.8 pounds from my weigh in on Thursdays (since I weighed in a day early due to my traveling last week). I’d like to share that I had an “emergency” weight number previously (before I gained 15 pounds) and that was always my number that made an alarm go off in my head even when nothing else would. It was a number that would typically stop me cold in my tracks and help me get my head in gear. The last time I saw it and just kept  gaining weight, I felt helpless in the struggle to stop gaining weight. I felt like I was doing everything right – and yet, the pounds kept coming on despite my workouts and calorie counting.

Today, I got to see my emergency number again – but this time, I’m going the RIGHT way…back down below it. That is an an amazing feeling!

Totals for Program:

Chest: down 2 inches

Hips: down 2.5 inches

Thigh: down 1 inch

Waist: Down 1.5 inches

Arm: Down .5 inches

And as for my weight: Down 8.8 pounds!

Not too shabby, right? Especially since I really don’t feel like I was really committed to trying to eat better during the first half of the program. I mean – I was still trying to do well (eating most of my lunches and dinners at home), but I had what seems like 50000 events where I let myself cheat for whatever reason.

I’ll be taking my “after” pictures this weekend. So I’m curious to see how my body shape might have changed. I’m assuming I’ll be a little less pudgy as I do feel like I’ve put on more muscle! The other day when I was doing my workout – there is this one section where you have to put your hand on your thigh as you touch down and I was like “whoa!” because my leg felt rock solid when flexed. I’ve always been muscular – but this is a new level.

This is also the completion of week 2 for my Food Challenge, so I’m excited to see what changes continue to happen for me over the next few weeks. I am, of course, already researching my next physical challenge and I hope to be ready to share that with you on Monday! We’ll just say I’m feeling very primal about it!

 

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