Sunday, July 26, 2015

From 3 days to 3 weeks


Tomorrow marks week 3 from starting this Carb Cycling/Chris and Heidi Powell inspired lifestyle change. 

I am down 6 pounds. This is definitely - at least for me - a slowly but surely experience. I am trying not to obsess over the scale, therefore didn't weigh myself again until this past Friday. My clothes are fitting more loosely so I'm trying to go just by that much of the time. 

Non-scale victories:

  • I haven't bought lunch out in 3 weeks 
  • I have dropped the cream and sugar from my coffee - initially I transitioned to Unsweetened Almond Milk but tried one morning without anything and actually prefer it
  • My wine/cocktail intake is way down. Living in a summer community during the summers this is nothing to scoff out - cocktails are the way of life! (The Powells say get rid of all the alcohol and while I get that's an easy way to save oodles of calories, I've chosen to follow the in moderation/no booze during the work week plan. This is real life, y'all.)
  • My activity level has increased and I am feeling stronger 
  • I signed up for yoga and am loving getting back to it - it's been far too long. Also, planks suck.
  • My water intake has quintupled.
  • Weekends are hard. For the most part it's not hard to be smart about what I'm eating, but I find it hard to stick to the 5 meals every three hours because our days are not predictably scheduled.
  • Dinner is the hardest during the week for sticking to the three hour schedule. I'm still eating several hours after my typical 3:30 pm snack and at this point I'm not sure how to shift that just given the way the evenings go.
  • Our grocery bill has increased. I think that part will sort itself out, and part of that increase is because I am eating from home for every meal versus skipping breakfast and ordering lunch out. Big picture our costs are probably reduced, but the supermarket is benefiting while I sort this all out.
  • The 9 minute missions are very hard for me still, especially when they are upper body focused. I've also missed them in the mornings a couple of times and find them even more difficult in the evening.
  • I need to step up the shredders (cardio/strength workouts that are essentially HIIT based).

Things I've learned:
  • Planning is everything. You cannot succeed at this without planning. I have been making my lunches on Sundays so that I can just grab them out of the fridge every morning.
  • I have been experimenting with my breakfast - eating within 30 minutes of getting up is unappealing to me, but I now understand the importance of it. One can only do so many egg whites and veggies so I've reintroduced protein shakes. That's more my speed first thing in the morning.
  • I've had a couple of high fat/heavy meals on reward days at restaurants and I've left feeling sick both times. Note to self, it's worth the $8 extra bucks for the healthier meal on the menu.
  • Because of the way their plan is structured I do not feel deprived, which is why I think this is successful. Because let's face it - this is all a mental game.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Update - 3 Days In

Well, here we are, day 3. It may or may not hurt to type. The 9 Minute Missions - which are essentially torture sessions (burpees, anyone?) are killing me. Maybe that's dramatic. Or is it? I've not been this sore in ages, which tells me 1) I'm super out of shape and 2) Walking on treadmills does not a workout make. At least not when that's all you're doing.

On my mind on day 3:

  • The food intake seems to be okay. I'm tracking with My Fitness Pal and still coming in too high in calories on the low carb days. Which is sort of hilarious since I'm not exactly eating a lot. I figure this is all going to take continued fine tuning.

  • The workouts, as I mentioned before, are kicking. my. ass. I never would have believed you if you told me 9 minutes of exercises were harder than 60 minutes on a treadmill. I would have been wrong. I have been doing the cardio piece too, which involves walking the dogs and I've been trying to run up hills but it's triggering some spectacular asthma attacks, so I need to percolate on how to best manage the cardio aspect of fitness.
  • To be successful on this plan - really any plan I guess - one has to plan ahead. The last thing I wanted to do after entertaining all weekend was cook a big pot of ratatouille on Sunday at 10pm, but I did it, and I've been grateful this week to just be able to grab my already portioned tupperware and hit the road.
  • Spinach is very versatile. Tonight it substituted itself for pasta since we didn't have enough spaghetti squash and can I tell you how great it was with ground turkey and sauce?
  • I like the structure of 5 smaller meals a day, eating every 3 hours. I just keep screwing up dinner. We tend to eat much later than 6:30PM so I'm dragging on keeping up with the schedule in the evening.
  • I discovered a new product for the high carb day of carb cycling: Siggi's Skyr Yogurt. It's apparently Icelandic. And it's awesome. You should try it.
  • I haven't spend a dime on breakfast or lunch out this week. And let me tell you, I haven't missed it one bit. Plus, if I keep this up, we will definitely be millionaires. $12-$15/day on crap takeout foot adds up. 
  • I have switched to Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk for my coffee. I'm saving approximately 75,000 calories every morning with this change.

And so that's that. I have found that I am tired much earlier every night. In fact I fell asleep in the middle of writing a blog post on Monday night. Getting up earlier and being more active plus the removal of unnatural stimulants are making me tired, but in a good way.

Until next time ....

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Plan

Yes, the theory of weight loss is simple. Less calories in, more calories out = lost weight. 

But I know myself and I know that to make this successful I need a plan.

There are approximately 75,000 weight loss plans in the universe. This is a fact. I found it on the internet.

After days of deep intensive internet scouring (read: googling things and following rabbit hole links to blog after blog) I stumbled across the theory of Carb Cycling. Intriguing, isn't it? So off I went to see what else I could find and ended up at the (virtual) doorstep of Chris and Heidi Powell. What I read made sense, so I ordered their book. 

I've been reading it over the last few days and sat down this morning to make my plan to tackle Week 1. Yes, I'm starting Monday. Because starting before the July 4th weekend just seemed like setting myself up for immediate failure. Because watermelon margaritas are awesome.

The theory behind Carb Cycling is that if one alternates low carb and high carb days your body will be confused, and it will burn fat and use carbs for good instead of becoming saddlebags. Now, the carbs on high carb days are whole foods, not chips and crackers and cookies. Or beer. (But they build in a reward day, so all is not lost!)

As a full-time working mom I know I will only be successful if I plan this thing ahead of time. I won't lie, sitting down to actually make the plan was overwhelming today. But I stopped overthinking it and looked at the graphics and y'all, it's not rocket science. Whole foods. Portion control. 5 smaller meals a day. 

I spent a good hour working on a list today and hit the market. It's now 10:54PM and we had a great day full of friends and family and I am just sitting down after making Chicken Ratatouille, one of the book's recipes, which will serve as lunches over the next 4 days. 

I feel prepped. Mentally and with what's in the fridge, so in the words of Peter Pan...

Here we goooooooooooooo!

Because Fit by 40 was Taken

I’ll be 38 in 4.75 months. Math is not my strong suit but I’m pretty sure that gives me 16.75 months to implement changes to my life.
Seems reasonable, but it appears I have significant commitment issues when it comes to actually getting healthy. I’ve been truly fighting with my weight for the last decade.
Once upon a long time ago I was a dancer who spent 20 hours in the studio every week. I could eat San Luis Sourdough dipped in ranch dressing with a diet (of course) coke till the cows came home and never worry about my weight.
I battled the freshman fifteen and then the graduate from college and move to NYC and eat Chinese food from the local hole in the wall every night 15 and then the oh I’m married now I can settle down fifteen. You see the pattern. It’s been the worst for the last decade. My answer to all of life’s emotions is food. Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat. Bitter? Eat. Frustrated? Eat. And when you couple that with taking a year off from the gym, well, you find yourself a stone’s throw from a number on the scale that you never imagined hitting, and thinking it’s about damn time to fix this.
Sure, I hate how I look. But the worst part is staring down the big 40 and realizing I’m not getting any younger and had better get on this if I’m going to do it.

So here we go. For real this time. Because I owe it to myself and my family.