Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Weight of the World

Ok, so I have a confession to make.

But it's not  FOOD based confession.  Shocked?  I KNOW!  Me eating well for 26 days, staying 100% on track for 26 days was formerly unheard of.

Did you hear me?  26 days!

Even when I gave up chocolate for lent a few years ago (I'm not Catholic but really do like the thought of sacrifice/focus that tradition lends) I ate all kinds of other weird dessert things to replace my daily dose of dark chocolate.

No more.  I traveled all last week and did a great job staying on track!

But I made a decision while I was out and about.  One of the reasons last week was SO good for me is that I stayed with a friend at her apartment and I planned every.single.meal.  This was super helpful and I honestly did not eat ONE thing off plan!  I left on Sunday and returned on Thursday evening.

Even found myself in the car on the way home Thursday without a lunch plan.  Oops.  I found a grocery store and purchased hard boiled eggs and carrots.  It was delicious and plenty filling.  And I was CRAVING these things!

Amazingness.  Still. 

So realizing this next week will be completely unpredictable. I leave Monday morning to head to Atlanta to start my new job.  Spend the night in Atlanta, then drive home Tuesday evening.  Wednesday morning, head out to begin touring my region, stay the night in Savannah, then tour those 3 facilities and head back to Atlanta, spend the night, then go through training on Friday.

I'm going to pack a cooler tomorrow with my breakfast options as those will likely need to be quick and easy, and I will truly pray I can find decent food options everywhere else I go.  Some of the towns I'll be touring through are small. 

Given the uncertainty, I made a well thought out decision to get on the scale yesterday and make note of my current weight.  \

GASP! Yep, I weighed.

But it wasn't in a moment of weakness, giving in to a craving to do so or anything unhealthy.  I just decided I really wanted to see how next week of eating out almost every meal would affect my overall results as this week is the last of my official Whole 30!

Now I have decided I will not be posting about my weight just yet.  Yep, to keep you coming back to my blog and wondering.  Just kidding, really because I didn't weigh so I would lose focus.  I weighed to be able to weigh next Saturday and be able to tell how my new job is going to affect my healthy lifestyle.

You see, I'm already making it a Whole 50.  I may or may not have dark chocolate on my birthday (March 1).  I haven't decided yet.  But I certainly don't feel like food owns me, and I also don't feel like I need to decide on that at the moment. 

I feel really strong.  Really determined.  Really happy with this way of eating.

Yes, I am definitely going to do some reintroduction.  I LOVE beans and I want to see if they affect me negatively or not.  I'm curious about grains but  miss them less honestly.  And occasionally I would love cheese and a little bit of sugar (not together - haha). 

But I CANNOT believe how successful 25 days was, eating really YUMMY food and not going hungry, even one day or night.

I am eating plenty of fat with every meal, enjoying some of my absolute favorite foods ever (avocado is one, and I've always always been a happy carnivore).  Developed some new favorite foods, like brussel sprouts, snap peas, limes, and mangos. 

The one thing I KNOW I have to do better at this week is exercise more consistently.  I ended up with 3 rest days this past week which is too many; mainly because I stayed up too late visiting with friends, and "couldn't" get up early enough a few days then ran out of time.  This will NOT happen this week!

Given that, I'm posting my workout schedule to help me stay accountable.  Here it is:

Sunday: Afternoon run (going to happen in a little bit)
Monday: early morning T30 Weights workout and HIIT 15, 20 or 25 (whichever I have time for)
Tuesday: early morning interval run on treadmill plus a TF workout
Wednesday: early morning T30 Weights workout and HIIT 15, 20 or 25
Thursday: early morning 2 mile run on treadmill plus TF Abs workout
Friday: REST day - sleep "in" then work, then drive home (also happens to be my birthday)
Saturday: We'll see after this crazy week. :)

So there you go.  My workout plans.  Please pray for me this week!  I'm excited about my new adventure, and planning to stay on track throughout it!

Thanks friends!  Home stretch of my first Whole 30!!! Woot woot!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

10 Benefits of Amazingness. And Then Some.

So here I am, trying this new thing.

Just wanted to give an update on how things are going for the Whole 30 and for me overall.

I'm on Day 18.  What???  Yep, it's flying by.  Here is a link to the website to learn all about the Whole 30 challenge and the benefits of doing it:  Whole 30 Details

Let me just list THE TOP 10 amazing benefits I'm reaping from eating CLEAN and W30 approved foods ONLY for JUST 18 days:

Ten Benefits of Amazingness (i.e. the Whole 30) SO FAR:

1) energy - I feel great and absolutely experiencing increased strength in my workouts. 
2) strength - to tag on the above, I actually feel my muscles more than I EVER have - I told my husband I can feel my abs, the ENTIRE length of them, and I KNOW soon we will meet!
3) BAD cravings GONE - my prior cravings/issues with sugar.  GONE.  I even made pancakes this morning for my daughter, including handling dark chocolate chips with my BARE hands.  NOT ONE made it into my mouth.  Didn't even want them.  (I felt a little bit like an alcoholic handling a beverage from their past - a bit shaky but couldn't believe how strong I felt!)
4) GOOD cravings HERE - I am craving things like: hard boiled eggs (which I haven't even made yet), brussel sprouts, lean meat, snap peas, green beans, broccoli, healthy soups, fish, etc. WEIRD but YEAH!
5) Physical Improvements - ok, while I'm not allowed to weigh, I just know the scale will be good to me when I do get to weigh as I can just feel it.  I can visibly see changes in my waistline, face, arms, etc.  My hair is shinier, my teeth apparently whiter, my fingernails longer, white tipped and stronger than ever, and my skin clearer. 
6) My will is SOLID - I don't even feel a little unsure of myself, even with a bunch of travel coming up in the next few weeks. I know HOW to do this and I'm DOING it.  Period.  Not at all afraid of what might happen. 
7) My GUT is GREAT - enough said.
8) Sleeping like a BABY - No joke.  I'm waking up in the same position, on my back, as when I go to sleep.  I've never been able to sleep on my back (yes I have an amazing Serta IComfort mattress too) but man, the 8-9 hours I'm getting are solid.
9) Intense FOCUS - If you know me you know this is a huge deal.  I'm usually the "oh look, something shiny" person in the room and have a hard time buckling down sometimes.  I've had laser focus lately.  Getting a ton accomplished at once and knocking things out, all kinds of things.
10) INCREASED HAPPINESS - this one is funny.  I had read you might feel happy for really no good reason.  This is absolutely true!  Now, I do have one blessed life...a great husband, beautiful little girl, dog who adores me, and friends who are absolutely amazing.  However...I still have a house in Florida that needs to sell, some big expenses coming up as I change jobs and have to have COBRA insurance and not one part of me is concerned.  Granted, I'm a normally very positive person, but honestly, I feel more positive than I ever have.

There it is, folks.

Whole 30 eating is EXTREME.  It is CHALLENGING.  I won't call it hard.

Because, to quote from the book, It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, "Please don't tell us that this is hard. Beating cancer is hard.  Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard."

I've been at this "dieting" thing for 3 and a half years.  I've lost 100 pounds, gained 40 back, then lost another 11 (plus however many I lost this month!).  I consider my last 4 years pretty decent trial and error experience.  I've spoken AGAINST ditching carbs or eliminating food groups.

But this is NOT eliminating carbs.  It's eliminating GRAINS and eating only the carbs that God himself made.  Read the Grain Manifesto here:  Grain Manifesto

I've had cheat MEALS that turned to cheat DAYS that turned to cheat WEEKENDS that turned to cheating 50% of the time. 

I've tried moderation with "bad" foods, exercising more to compensate for eating more (uh, that doesn't help by the way) and self-loathing after eating something "bad." I've tracked every single morsel I put in my mouth, tried to exactly estimate how much I needed to burn, eat, etc.  I've made myself crazy counting, and accounting for, and not spending ANY time really thinking about how I FELT - my gut, my mind, my heart, my muscles.

So are you going to ask the question or are you going to wait for me?

How did that work for you Clara???

Yeah. It didn't.  I am a sugar addict.  And I tried to justify that because the rest of the world justifies it every day.  Sugar does NOTHING LASTING for my body and the temporary high just isn't worth my overall health.  And I gained weight back.  Almost HALF of what I lost in 2 years back in just 8 months. Which brings me to last December, and then right now.

It may sound crazy that I'm just 18 days into something and claiming a permanent healing.  Maybe my tune will change after I travel for the next 3 weeks.  Maybe not.

But on the off chance my tune, resolve, gut and health remain the same and continue to improve, I'm going to continue doing what I'm loving - this W30 lifestyle.  I already plan to extend it another 20 days and make it a Whole 50+ with some reintroduction as I have a group of friends embarking on it starting on Monday.

If I like it, I think I'll make it a WholeFOREVER.  Why not?  In fact, I just spent a little while creating a new board on Pinterest "Good Eats for Life" and deleting my "Favorite Recipes" board that contained CRAP that I might indulge in here and there in life, but don't plan on creating in my kitchen anytime soon, if ever.  Sugar OWNED me folks.  Even pictures of it.  No more.


Visit the website.  Read the material.  Buy the book.  I'm telling you, if you don't feel better after 30 days I'll eat some cheesecake.  (just kidding.  that actually sounds gross right now - that's HOW sure I am that this will change your life!).


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Living Like No One Else

If you're a Dave Ramsey follower, you've heard this quote of his:

"Live like no one you can live like no one else." 

Now in the above, Mr. Ramsey is referring to financial health more than physical health.  I have had people laugh at me when I said I wanted to have no car payment, or planned to get completely out of debt.  "No one does that?!?"  or "That's not the American way!"

Uh.  Yeah.  That's the point.  Always leads me to that counseling/coaching question I like to ask when someone is adamant that what they are doing is "working" and it clearly is not (i.e. they are upsetting people left and right with behavior they think is justified..) "How's that working for you?"

We use cash only, credit just for gas which we pay off every month, and we live where every dollar has its place. Now, there is always room for improvement and I know for a FACT I could spend less than I do, but overall, we are not further in debt, even after my husband being in school for 5 years, and if all goes as planned it will all be paid off in 2014 (which is all now student loan debt as we paid everything else off).  So while I might be the only one not charging vacations to my Visa or getting a new car because I want a new car, and doesn't everyone have to have a payment anymore anyway?  I don't care.  I don't mind being different as it will help us meet our ultimate goals.

Rant aside, here is the parallel I'm finding to my healthy lifestyle journey.

Eating the way I am right now, and probably will for a long time, is DIFFERENT than EVERYONE around me, including my family for the most part (they eat the dinners I cook but otherwise they also eat bread, chips, popcorn, etc.), friends, co-workers, pretty much everyone.

Sometimes, being different can be challenging. Like in situations like tonight where we attended a fun Valentine's banquet fundraiser.  The menu had chicken, green beans, macaroni and cheese, rolls, congealed salad and red velvet cake for dessert.  Not to mention the tons of candy everywhere on the tables.

I made a request of having just chicken and green beans and caught more flack for it than necessary.  No one was really angry about it, but a few unnecessary comments were made.  I just closed my eyes and reminded myself...

"Live like no one you can live like no one else."

Not one person who likes to pick on how I eat will see their ab muscles in 6 months.  I WILL.  Makes me almost willing to post my before/after pic with the sports bra and shorts.

Almost I said.

Overall the point of this post is this:  when you are working toward improving your life, many times people who don't agree with your method, timing or choices will feel free to say something to you about it.  These same people are SILENT when you are filling your body with poisonous foods like sugar (and ALL of its substitutes) or whatever else.


Because you are being different. Sometimes, I truly believe, people are in awe of your discipline.  And maybe a small part of them wishes they could do what you are doing but it just seems to hard.

Well, doing HARD things is the only way to meet your GOALs.  If it were EASY, everyone would do it, right?

Well I avoided SO many bad things this weekend.  Friday night date out with my hubby I had a beautiful steak and salad with oil/vinegar.  Saturday we were out shopping and I had a steak and steamed broccoli and asparagus.  Today I ate out twice, having chicken and green beans each time.  I'm kinda sick of green beans but true story, I ordered peas at lunch then remembered they are legumes...

Am I always going to be this extreme?  No probably not.  But I feel better than I ever have just 12 days into the Whole 30.

I'd venture to say I will likely eat more like this, than not once it ends.  I'll reintroduce food groups as instructed but if anything gives me excess gas, bloating or makes me get a zit, it's back out of my diet.  Permanently.

And when I reach my goals and have clear skin, strong abs, and lower body fat % than I've ever had, I will still eat this way.

It's a lifestyle.  Not a fad.  And the science doesn't lie.

And my results won't either! (still haven't weighed but got my FAVORITE jeans on today!!!! haven't worn them in MONTHS!)

Rant complete! Have a great night...and remember...whatever you are doing for YOUR health is your business.  Don't let anyone toss a disapproval grenade into your bowl of whatever.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Scale-ing Back

So I'm 4 days into the Whole 30 and honestly, the food part has not been very difficult.  Probably because I had already been focused on protein, produce, healthy fats and water. But something else HAS been really really hard.

Let me back up first and tell you that the only main changes to my current diet were removing beans, dairy and dark chocolate.

If you know me well, you know the loss of my daily dose of dark chocolate is serious.  But honestly, it is not the hardest part of this whole thing and I find myself thinking about it very rarely.

Know what I'm obsessed with instead?


I'm not supposed to weigh during the 30 day challenge.  I weighed and did pics/measurements at the beginning as it was time to wrap up January anyway, but no scale for 30 full days.

The only time I've ever done that was when I broke my ankle in 2010 and couldn't get on the scale with a cast on. 

Holy geez, I had NO IDEA this would be so hard for me!

So this is a big mind thing I'm going to have to get past in order to survive the next 26 days and conquer what apparently has become an obsession these last 3 years that I didn't realize was an issue until now!

My trainer friend Nate wrote about this in his blog and has some great insight about training, weight and the scale; check it out HERE.  I read it this week for inspiration when I realized I couldn't stop thinking about or talking about the dang thing!

Overall...obsessively weighing has done nothing FOR me.  If anything, its made me absolutely crazy!

Weighing every morning, before doing anything else.  Weighing after every single long run praying I had run at least half a pound off.  Weighing after a huge meal, and being upset with myself for having eaten too much.  Weighing as soon as I came in from being on a trip to see how badly I had damaged things while traveling.

In thinking about it, I realize that I always step on the scale with slight hope but mostly negative anticipation.  Which is funny, as I've seen the scale go down 100 pounds before, right? Gradually, but still down.  And yet, I always get on there self-loathing in advance, sometimes hopeful, but more often than not in this past year, flat ticked off with myself for not being disciplined enough to have a good number every single time I weighed. And sometimes the number would send me into a tailspin of said self-loathing that would include a dive bomb off the wagon faster than you can say bloat. 

I had my weighing down to such a science, that I knew I would lose about .8 each week until the week of my cycle, when I could lose anywhere from 1.5 - 3 pounds in one week.  When I was consistent, it was more predictable and I actually got on the scale less frequently.  I think it became unhealthy in the last year when I slid off track so much.

SO I'm going to try not to drive myself (and everyone else) crazy with how much I miss the scale...but honestly, I probably won't be able to sleep on night 30 when I know I can get up and weigh myself again...which also happens to be my birthday!

In other news, I've been kind of lethargic and tired, so I've been working out but not as intensely as I was before.  I'm sleeping as much as my body needs to (which means I'm heading to bed NOW) and even taking naps when I can.  I am reading this is common at the beginning of the Whole 30, so I'm just following the plan to a T and hoping I will also experience the burst of energy sometime in the next week or so.  I'm definitely sleeping hard, that's for sure!

That's it for tonight.  Have a great night!  Feel free to share if you're scale-obsessed too...would love to know I'm not alone!