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Down to 90 Days..

I cannot believe I have made it this long. Well, yes I can, but I have done it with very little effort and have learned so many things along the way. The biggest piece I have learned is that life is about balance.  Balancing the good and the bad and  to just keep moving forward through all your ups and downs.

I want to talk a little about metabolic issues today. There is much controversy regarding metabolic damage (Metabolic Damage:”This is a condition where the nervous, endocrine, and immunological systems lose their ability to function properly due to extreme weight loss measures or repeated dieting. In functional medicine we call it neuroedocrineimmune dysfunction because these systems are not separate at all, but have overlapping communication and integrated function” -Jade Teta ND, CSCS). Some gurus simply believe it just does not exist, and then there are those that believe it truly does exist, because they are living examples of it.

The people I have read first accounts and stories of as well as people I know in real life are what I like to call “Perpetual Dieters”, they spend more time dieting than not dieting, and because they are constantly suppressing their system, losing weight becomes next to impossible for them. “I’m only eating 1000 calories a day and I’m not losing, I just don’t understand it” I see this ALL the time. Which is most often followed up with, “Please tell me what to do, BUT, note, that I cannot eat carbs due to the intolerance I have” Let me let you in on a little secret- you are NOT carb intolerant. NOT. (again, I must put in my little disclaimer of- I am NOT speaking of anyone with a true documented medical condition- celiacs et al..and when I mean documented, I mean not SELF dx’d, I mean you went to the Dr. and were officially tested for said conditions). What I like to tell these perpetual dieters is that first and foremost you really need to work on re-setting your *system*. What does this mean? This means that you must spend some time slowly upping your caloric intake to where it really should be. Which will vary according to a few different variables such as, your age, your weight, your height and your activity level. Then I tell them, if your not moving, you NEED to get moving, be active, exercise!! Which is followed by “Well I do cardio every single day, I am moving”, which leads me to say the unthinkable..ready for this? Hold on to your hats……”STOP DOING THAT MUCH CARDIO!!!” just stop.  What I would really prefer is for you to stop cardio all together for a period of time. NO cardio is NOT evil or bad and I know that some will argue with me until they are blue in the face. However, combining excessive amounts of cardio on top of EXTREMELY low calories is NOT beneficial to you. Sure, it may work at first, why? Because you are shocking your system and it’s something new. Trust me on this, you WILL eventually hit that stall. The  point where you stop losing weight and you may even start gaining- which makes people assume they must need to lower their calories even more and do yet even more cardio. NO. Just stop.

My advice is to cut back your cardio to maybe a few leisurely walks a week, some stretching and start picking up some weights. What I will warn you though is that stopping cardio cold turkey and eating more right away will make you retain water like nobody’s business and therefore you will see the scale numbers go up. Take it slow, I would first start dropping the cardio little by little (keep your calories the same right now), I would focus on eating more protein and fiber for awhile to keep you feeling satiated. Did you know that  you should be eating at least 1g of protein per your bodyweight? Some may argue it should be lean body mass vs total body weight..I say 1lb per your bodyweight. So if you weigh 125, it would be 125 grams of protein a day, 140 would be 140 grams per day and so on. I would also strive to be sure you are getting at least 25-35 grams of fiber in your diet daily as well. Most people really struggle with this, I highly encourage logging all your food to get a grasp on your macronutrients.

THEN start upping your calories little by little and at the same time, start incorporating those weights. Do not be afraid of lifting weights. I cannot stress this enough. If you are a woman NO, it will NOT make you look bulky and ugly. Put that thought right out of your pretty little head right now. Lifting weights will make you a little fat burning furnace, long after you have stopped your workout. Lift heavy. Period. There is no such thing as *toning* it is a myth people. Nobody spot *tones* anything. ANYTHING!!! You want to look leaner and stronger, pick up the weights and get to it. I cannot stress this enough. “Well I have back issues, I have shoulder issues, I can’t lift weights” YES you can. You may have to do a little more research to be able to sub out exercises, but you can do it. STOP MAKING excuses. JUST STOP. I have seen many people face many adversities and still keep going. They don’t give up. They continually strive to be the best them they can be. I have friends that have back problems, that have had back surgeries, you know what? They are still out there everyday fighting the fight and doing what they need to do. You have to first figure out why you keep making up excuses to why you can’t do what you know you really need to do. The only one stopping you is YOU.

My goal is to try and continue to get the message out that low calorie/extreme cardio diets are NOT the way to go. They are ruining your body. Get off the cardio machines and move some iron. I have come from a background of distance running as most of you know that have been following me. I have spent years running and years of depriving my system of the food and calories it needed thinking that is what I was supposed to do. I eventually burned out, hard. I was starving, my body was starving and my running began to become something I no longer loved. I hated it. I no longer wanted to associate with other runners that I knew, it made me sad and it made me jealous. I felt like a failure and without my running, I felt like they had no need to be my friend anymore, because the one thing we had in common, I put on the wayside for awhile. They stopped talking to me and I them. I spend a great deal of time physically and emotionally repairing myself. Emotionally because I felt like a huge failure. I felt like a fake. I used to say how much I loved running and it was who I was. The truth is, I ran myself into the ground. Do I miss it? I miss it a lot some days. Maybe I will go back some time, but right now, it isn’t my focus, and truth be told, I do very little cardio right now. Maybe 2/20 minute sessions a week at the most. My body has thanked me for it and you know what? My body is in the best shape it has ever been in. NOT because I run, but because I stopped and I started seriously weight training. Is running bad? NO! Of course not! What I will say, is if you are a runner, please be sure you are EATING enough to sustain your body and your runs. This was my biggest problem. I simply was not eating to fuel my runs. It took me a few months to really be okay with not running. I was very much like “Well, if I’m not running, then who am I?”.. I’m a wife, mother, friend and most of all an individual person that is separate from the rest. I have dreams and desires and things I want to do.

As you know, I personally follow a macro nutrient based lifestyle. This is what I like and what I prefer, so I will often refer to this lifestyle throughout my posts. I have had people ask me how it works and can I teach them. It’s very easy and very freeing. Step one is figuring out your macro breakdown do this by going to: www.iifym.com once you go there go to tools and figure out your numbers. Then it will then break down what your macros should be based on your daily caloric intake. Once you have that all figured out you are set to go. Like I have said in previous posts, you will need to log your daily intake- I highly suggest you get yourself a food scale so that you can be precise in your calculations and logging your food. If you find that your calories are MUCH higher than what you are used to (which I suspect it will be), my suggestion would be to start out slow until you work your way up to where you should be. You may have some initial weight gain, but that will even out and stop AND some may even find that they lose right off the bat. Either way, stick the course, do not give up. Stick with it day in and day out. Give it 10 days, once you make it 10 days, give yourself another 10 days..it will become a habit, I promise. Diet followed with a good strong exercise/weight training  regime will give you results. I promise.

If you have any questions, please post them and I will be sure to get back to you.

 

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Friday! Yes!

Now that I am down to 2 work days a week, I feel so much more NORMAL. My sleeping is back to being what is normal for me, I feel better, and I look forward to tackling my days now.

Dropped the kids off at school and headed to the gym (gotta love those early morning workouts, get em’ done and claim your day!) Today was chest, shoulders, tri’s and bi’s. I’m deloading so all my weights are light. I feel like screaming in the gym- “I AM ON A DELOAD WEEK! DELOAD! THIS IS NOT MY TYPICAL LIFTING WEIGHT!!” but, then I figure, who really cares? Nobody is watching me NOR do they really care. When you workout, never compare yourself to anyone other than YOURSELF.

Even though my weight were low, I went with higher repetitions, and yes, by golly I am a little sore. My routine was this:

Bench Press

Cable Cross-overs

Incline Flys

Incline DB Press

Bicep Curls

Single Bicep Curls

Tricep Rope pull downs

Dips off a bench

Presses

Lateral raises

Rear Delt Raises

I did some Ab work as well.

Most of these were 4 sets of 12-15 AND supersetted with one another.

 

So I have to share. I had stopped to go to the bathroom (well, because that is what happens when you drink close to a gallon of water a day), and a lady (a little older than myself) stopped me and asked what I did in terms of working out. She said she is absolutely amazed with my physique and my body is her inspiration. I was so COMPLETELY and UTTERLY  flattered. Her and I spoke for the next 20 minutes (normally this would bother me as I was in between sets, but I wanted to answer her questions), she told me how she lost 45 lbs over the last two years and how she has come to love going to the gym. She even went as far to say that she goes home and tells her husband about me, and how badly she has been wanting to talk to me (her husband finally pushed her to just talk to me..so FUNNY! I  just cannot imagine that) We had such a great talk and I so badly wanted to tell her to quit the daily cardio she is doing- BUT, I refrained. The first thing I have learned in this whole process is to NOT tell people what they are doing WRONG, but encourage them in all they are doing RIGHT.  She even went as far as to ask me if I thought it would be weird if she wrote down everything she saw me doing next time I was at the gym (stalker much? NO, KIDDING!! TOTALLY), of COURSE I said YES! I was so flattered. NO really. I hope to be an inspiration to SO many MORE people out there. I want people to know that this is a REAL attainable goal. You CAN do this. I am  HAPPY. I am not restrictive in ANY WAY. NONE. I don’t have any forbidden foods, I don’t do LOW carb, Low fat, Low ANYTHING. My workouts are SO rewarding. I love them.

 

I would not be fair for me to say that you can look like me or have the physique you want without saying that nutrition REALLY is a HUGE part of it. HUGE. You can go to the gym all you want, but you really have to close that nutrition loop. I am not talking about crazy diets (It isn’t a diet it’s a lifestyle), rock bottom calories or being miserable. So please, just take those thoughts out of your head. I realize that not everyone wants to have to measure their food, or watch their intake. I realize it may turn people off right there. I may have just lost someone in that last statement. It’s ok. When they are ready they will come back. The first thing is that you need to get an idea of HOW MUCH you are actually eating in a day. The only  true way to do this is to TRACK your food for a week. EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth, write it down. There are TONS of apps out there, that you can download to your phone. My favorite are Mynetdiary and Mymacros. There is myfitness pal as well, but I don’t care for it honestly. This way you can see where your calories are. That would be step 1. You really cannot just go all willy nilly and guestimate. It’s too important. I want you to be able to see if you are eating too much OR too little. Believe it or not, too little is a common theme.

 

I personally  choose to follow my macros. I enjoy this way much better.  I will talk about that tomorrow. However, for now, a good tip I received from a reputable source is this:

If you want to lose weight, multiply your weight by 12. If you want to maintain, multiply your weight by 14/15. That is a good GUIDE/STARTING point. This way you have a general idea of numbers. Well, I don’t want to bombard today, so I will post more soon. Remember, give it a chance. Track your intake for a week. It’s a real eye opener. Try not to be conscious of what you are eating. Just eat the way you are right now. Measure it and track it. Go!

 

Some of My Favorite Things..

Some of my favorite things..

Some of my favorite things..

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Some of us have “go to” foods that we use on a daily basis. I thought I would share just a couple of mine (God knows I have a TON). First is my Cellucor. This is by far the best brand I have tried to date. Seriously. Go get yourself some. Like, NOW. They are good for Protein Shakes (to which I say, I use mine with WATER only. Yes, it’s an acquired taste, BUT, you get used to it. Besides, the flavors are good enough to stand on their own), I use it for my proyos (which I posted a recipe for yesterday), I also use it sprinkled on some stuff here and there for extra sweetness.

Next I have my fats. I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut anything. So, of course I use it to cook with! Duh! Coconut butter is my favorite to put on toast or sweet potatoes! YUMMO! Coconut oil has a very high burn point, so it’s good to use for stir fry, sautéing foods as well as taking the place of Olive Oil. (which I  do still use btw). The Spray oil is good for when I am watching my fats and I want to save them for say..umm..GOODIES..lol

Then there is my beloved Peanut Butter. Oh, how I love thee..My love…Okay, sorry. Anyway, I love Peanut Butter and Co PB, it is delicious. Beats ANY OTHER HANDS DOWN! So I have a few varieties in my arsenal. I keep adding, as you really can never have enough of the nut butters. I also like cashew and almond butter as well. Who are we kidding, I’m not prejudice, I will eat ANY BRAND and FLAVOR of nut butters. Remember that comment up there? The one where I mentioned saving fats for goodies. I introduce you to  me goodies. My besties. My nutbuddies. HA! (and yes, I have other fat sources as well! Avocados,  fish oil et al)

Ahh, lest we not forget my Quest Bars. These are the GREATEST CREATIONS EVA’! Do you hear me? EVA’!  These do not have all that crap in it that most (insert popular brand named protein bar here) have in them. No, seriously. I wouldn’t lie about something like this. They are fabulous. You can order them online, or GNC or Vitamin Shoppe carries them as well. I have found that Vitamin Shoppe has the biggest variety of flavors. My favorites are : Banana Nut, Apple Pie, PB&J,  Cookie Dough, Cinnamon Roll, White Chocolate Raspberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter, Brownie ..Oh wait, see what I did there?  Ahh, yeaaaa, that’s  pretty  much ALL the flavors except a few I forgot to mention.  So, yea..go get thee some!

Have you tried these gums? The Dessert line? YUM. No, really YUM. I have probably ALL the flavors. My favorite is not in the picture because I am out. OR, maybe one of my kids stole the pack. Grrr..Anyway, it’s Sherbet.  So yummy. Fills that sweet tooth craving when you need it.

Then there is Liquid Aminos by Bragg. It takes the place of Teriyaki, Soy Sauce etc.. You can use it on tons of things. Chicken, rice, fish, etc..my favorite is to put it on my rice.

Anyway, your tastes of course may not be the same as mine, but I believe that everyone has their go to staples and these are a few of mine. I  have tons, but I don’t feel like taking pictures of my whole pantry/refrigerator!

 

As always, be sure to count all these in your daily macro intakes 🙂

 

OH! I forgot to add, the one bottle up there with my powders are Branch Chained Amino Acids. I will speak about them at a later date.

 

 

 

Protein Pancakes..aka Proatcakes.

 

Protein Pancakes are really versatile. You can do tons of different combinations to satisfy your  taste buds. I have a few different flavors that I like to make, but I will give you a basic recipe.

1/3 cup oats

1 scoop Protein Powder (whatever flavor you like/or have on hand)

2 WHOLE eggs (you don’t have to use whole eggs, you can just as easily use whites, just be sure you double it then, I mean, really..use the WHOLE egg for this recipe)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1T Oat Flower (yes, I use it because it add a little more of fluff to them in addition to the baking powder)

1tsp Vanilla Extract

(If you are taking Omega’s, this is a good recipe to throw them into. I take liquid form so I just throw my daily dose in here)

Blend it all together in a mixer. YES, it will be thick. It’s fine. If it REALLY bothers you, you can thin it down with some milk (almond, soy, 1%, skim, full fat whatever YOU want)

Plop them in a pan and fry them up! This recipe will make 2 large ones, or 3/4 smallish ones.

My favorite is to melt some pb on top, SF Cool Whip and SF chocolate syrup. (No need to comment on my SF stuff, I use it sparingly, so it’s all good in my book)

 

Make sure you figure out your macros and log it all 🙂

Random Food Pictures..

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