Let’s talk about this home for my spirit, this body of mine.
I’ve abused this body with junk food, lack of motion, stress, unappreciative men, and self-loathing, over the years.
So what now?
There is no time like the present to get it tight and get it right. In the past, I’ve started by adopting healthier eating habits. As we exit 2013, I look forward to resetting my internal metabolic clock. This time around, I will start with a commitment to the following dietary rules, at least for the first three months of 2014, since I have some birthday goals (35 in March…sheesh):
Drink no less than a gallon of water a day
Avoid all fast and processed food, sodas (and other carbonated beverages), and sweets
No carbs for the first 10 days, starting Sunday, December 29th; then, only consume complex carbs (unprocessed carbs, such as quinoa, steel-cut oats, and lentils)
As far as my activity level goes, any activity that I incorporate, from this point on, is more than I get in right now. This is what I will commit to:
At least 30 minutes of activity, daily
That’s it? Yes, I keep it simple. Of course, this will be no small feat. I’m an all-or-nothing chick. I can’t commit halfway; I’m not a part-time mother/sister/daughter/friend/lover, so I just like to dive in, head-first. Call me crazy…updates, including pictures, will follow.
Last month, I mentioned that I was embarking on a journey to lose at least 50 pounds. I was 60 pounds away from being at the appropriate BMI level, but losing 50 pounds would put me in my comfort zone. I ultimately didn’t kickstart my new plan until the week before Christmas. Fast forward to today, and as of Tuesday, the 23rd, I have lost 11 pounds! I’m so thankful to see progress and the fruits of my labor.
So here’s what I’ve been doing, thus far:
Breakfast ~ Frozen fruit and leafy green vegetable (spinach or kale) smoothie every weekday and eggs and turkey bacon on weekends
This past week, I have added cottage cheese, for added protein and creaminess, flaxseed for Omega-3’s, and apple cider vinegar to aid digestion
Lunch ~ Either boiled eggs and vegetables, straight vegetables with low-fat dressing, or vegetables with a protein (turkey bacon, ground chicken, or baked fish)
Dinner ~ Vegetables and ground chicken, turkey bacon, or baked fish
Snacks ~ A boiled egg, here and there, but no more than 3 boiled eggs per day (I love mine whole – no discarding yolks for me!). Also, I have found a “clean” oatmeal cookie recipe that consists of only oats (I use whole grain) and 1 banana. Believe it or not, it is a really tasty treat!
Sounds boring, I know, but it has worked for me. I am figuring out ways to add variety and additional flavor to what I eat. I’m learning about spices that I never used before, and I haven’t felt deprived, at all.
4-5x week ~ about 1 hour of cardio via YouTube dance, Zumba, and Plyometrics videos. I have several playlists of videos at my disposal, so I can tailor my workout to the specific amount of time that I have to work out. I try to work out for a little while, first thing in the morning, and then again in the evening. When I oversleep, I aim to work out longer in the evening to make up for it.
5x week ~ 20-25 minutes of Pilates or traditional ab exercises via YouTube fitness videos
Within the next week, I am going to purchase some hand weights (to replace the sets that I lost recently) and some ankle weights. Then, I plan to incorporate more strength training to my workouts.
How are you making better choices regarding your diet or fitness level this year? Do you have a plan for success?
My goodness, I hope not! I have been a vegetarian (no red meat, poultry, or seafood), pescatarian (no red meat or poultry), non-red meat-eater, and full-on carnivore at various times throughout my life. Presently, I am contemplating eliminating poultry from my diet again. I haven’t eaten red meat in 16 years. In the first few years after making that choice (which was rather easy, as I’ve never been hog-wild over red meat, pun intended), I decided that I would kick poultry to the curb, as well. I found the lack of chicken in my diet to be the most difficult aspect. I had become very adept at concocting the most delectable chicken meals, at least in my humble opinion. This lasted all of 2 years, at which time I dove into all of the chicken and turkey I could find!
This time around, I feel the same way I felt over 15 years ago. The thought of consuming animal flesh is starting to gross me out – seriously. There is no judgement around these parts. To each his own. I believe this to the point that my children are introduced to everything edible so they can ultimately make their own diet choices, as I did so long ago.
Funny how the mind works. I have no issues with eating seafood. Most likely, this is because of the way that I can identify limbs from meat, while I am incapable of doing so with seafood.
Have you ever considered excluding anything from your diet? Why?
Let’s keep it real – I need to lose some serious weight. By serious, I mean that I’m not looking to lose that “last ten pounds” so I can fit into my clothes better. I need to lose at least 50 pounds, but 60 would be ideal. It’s crazy, because my family and friends would say, “no way!” I know how much I weigh, and I know what weight I feel most comfortable at. I was diagnosed with chronic hypertension after giving birth to my first son, five years ago. I couldn’t believe it. Yes, I was overweight – but I had just given birth! Yes, I have a family history of heart disease and hypertension – but I was still in my 20’s! There were a lot of “buts” filling my thoughts. It just didn’t seem fair at the time. It was my reality though. I know that my hypertension is partly due to excess weight and partly due to stress. I use meditation techniques (which I will discuss later) and pray in order to relieve some of the stress in my life; however, life happens, and various stressors present themselves on the regular. So here I am: I gave birth to my third and final child this spring, and I have a large amount of weight to lose. I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, and this is my life, right? So let’s get it!!!
My last post discussed the new diet regimen that I will follow starting October 1st. On a weekly basis (at the very least), I will provide an update on my progress and any tips that I discover. Please feel free to do the same!
I’m honestly not sure how I will tackle my weight loss journey this time around. When I lost weight after my second pregnancy, I worked out either before work or during my lunch break. On the weekend, I did Taebo. This worked pretty well, as long as I ate right.
This time, I am nursing (go me!), so I use my lunch time by going to pump during the day. I will have to wake up earlier so I can work out at home. I’m not good about working out at night – it just doesn’t suit me. In the coming days, I will need to come up with a plan.
My first step to natural health is adopting a better way of eating. No fun, but definitely worth it in the long run.
Starting October 1st, I will cut back on my secret love affair with sweet snacks and desserts…let the separation anxiety begin!
I will incorporate the following details into my regimen:
Consume no more than 1200 calories per day
No soda or sweet juice
No fried foods
No carbs with dinner – I read somewhere that it is better to eat a more filling breakfast and let your calorie consumption taper throughout the day. On the weekend, we may have a filling breakfast, but during the week it is not likely. Lunch can consist of carbs, but our society is more accustomed to eating a heavy, fatty, carb-laden dinner. Dessert is literally the icing on the cake! No more – I must part ways with sweets, for the most part. So long, lover!
Wow…so many No’s…well, here is what I can have:
Drink half my weight in ounces of water – no small feat (for example, a 150lb person would consume 75 ounces of water per day)! I usually drink around 6 cups of water per day, but I haven’t weighed 96 pounds since I was in middle school…
One cup of coffee per day
Nuts or cheese for snacks, two snacks per day
Breakfast each day, full of protein! I’m usually really bad about eating breakfast. I’ll have coffee while I’m getting ready in the morning, but I’m always in such a rush that I don’t get any breakfast in. Once I get to work, it just doesn’t happen. I’ve got to do better!
Breakfast and lunch can have carbs but again, I must focus on my protein intake – with an infant in the home, especially one who is still not sleeping through the night, energy throughout the day is a must. In order to stay alert for work, I must consume a fair amount of protein.
One dessert per week
So where does the “natural” part of my new regimen come into play? I mean, the purpose of this blog is meant to delve into all things natural, right? Prior to getting pregnant this time last year, I was juicing…and I loved it! I would make a mean pea soup with avocado for lunch, and I would make all-fruit smoothies for breakfast. I would eat a salad with protein (poultry or fish) for dinner. At first, I thought I would be lethargic and down-right bitchy, but that wasn’t true at all. I really did feel clean, if that makes any sense. I wasn’t even working out much, yet I lost twelve pounds in the first two weeks. It was crazy! I made sure to include enough green vegetables, like kale and spinach, in both my smoothies and soups to ensure that I was consuming enough protein. That is what I want to get back into. I know that going cold turkey and diving into a new eating regimen just isn’t effective for long-term success, so I thought I’d ease into eating better and ultimately, juicing again.
So tell me, what natural qualities are you adding to your diet?