Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – Day 5,6 and 7

Hello everyone! I know I haven’t been posting over the last couple of days. I want you all to know that I haven’t quit. I’ve still  been sticking to my workouts and my diet, I’ve just been so tired when I get home from work that I fall right asleep after making dinner. Here’s a recap of the last couple of days.

Day 5

Day 5 was on Friday. For my strength training I had to focus on shoulders, which is a body part that I can honestly say I’ve never focused on in my entire life. It was a nice workout. It got my heart rate up, a nice sweat going and I learned that as you workout your shoulders it can make your arms look more shapely and toned so I’ll definitely continue to make this a staple in my strength training.

During my work day there was a lot of free food available after a conference and of course that food included lots of pasta. I have to say that I gave in. I ate some chicken and broccoli pasta and one stuffed shell and it was DELICIOUS! I switched my “cheat day” from Saturday to Friday, to justify my actions. I don’t really eat that much on the weekends anyway so I made it work. I also ate a light dinner to make sure I didn’t go over my caloric intake for the day.

There’s nothing wrong with a little cheating every now and then. The key is to not go too crazy and to make sure you cut back in other areas so everything balances out by the end of the day.

For my cardio I had the Lower Focus DVD of the T25 series. This is literally a whole lot of squats, lunges, more squats, more lunges and a few more squats just in case your butt and legs weren’t in enough pain. The best part about this workout is that you’re dripping in sweat after the first 10 minutes. It really gets your heart rate up without a lot of jumping around.

I was so happy by the end of the day because according to the Body Beast schedule I got to rest from strength training on Saturday and only had to worry about my T25 workout.

Day 6

Day 6 was Saturday and I was happy that I only had to workout once. I had the T25 cardio workout, which once again, get’s the heart rate going and works your entire body. It was nice because I had a very light breakfast, a light lunch and a lot of vegetables for dinner so it was a very good day. I did cheat a little bit by eating a little mac n cheese but only in moderation.

Day 7

Today I got to rest from T25 and only had to work Chest and Triceps for my strength training. I’ve come full circle, completing all of the workouts for the week and the majority for both the T25 and Body Beast series, at least for the next couple of weeks until I move on to phase II.

Lesson’s Learned

After completing a full week, and not allowing myself to skip any workouts, I’ve learned that (1) you can work through soreness. Over my last few posts all I did was complain about soreness, but as I pressed on I worked through it and now I have a light amount of soreness but nothing compared to the last couple of days. I feel a lot better, a little stronger and my endurance has improved. Also, waking up early has slowly become a habit. I’m usually wide awake at 5:00am and have gotten to the point where I actually look forward to my workout… sort of.

(2) Sleep is vitally important and is not something you’ll have to work hard to incorporate into a routine. As you workout more your body is going to force you to go to sleep. You’ll be so tired that you’ll look forward to going to bed like no other time in your life. Before I started this journey, 11:00PM was when I started thinking about going to bed, now if I’m not in bed by 10:00PM I’m fast asleep on the couch.

(3) Eating better makes you feel better. I haven’t had any fried foods, no sugary drinks or snacks, no bread, a lot more water and vegetables, more fruit and I’ve been taking my vitamins regularly. I feel so much more clear headed, my sleep is better, I have more energy, working out is a little easier, my endurance during my workouts is better and I’ve noticed that as more and more people in my office are starting to get sick, I’ve been able to avoid what’s going around, no doubt because my immune system is stronger. You literally are what you eat.

(4) Bad foods are not as appetizing. I thought that the longer you stay away from bad foods, once you finally get a hold of them you would enjoy them more than ever. That wasn’t my experience. Eating that pasta on my cheat day tasted good, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be and it wasn’t because of the way the food was prepared. I felt guilty, knowing that this cheese was going to set me back a little bit. I couldn’t really enjoy it, which is ok. It kept me from going overboard. But going forward I know I won’t be satisfied with any “cheat foods” until 4 months from now when I’ve reached my goals and I can really celebrate.

For now, I’m happy I was able to complete a full week of workouts, while sticking to my diet. This all may seem overwhelming at first, but if you take it one day at a time, one meal at a time and one workout at a time, you’ll be in shape before you know it. Look at the soreness as a prerequisite. Once you work through it and pass the test everything after that, while still being challenging, won’t be painful and you can begin the satisfying process of watching your body change for the better.

#body-beast, #eating-better, #shaun-t, #t25, #weight-loss-2, #working-out

Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – Day 4

It’s Day 4 and the soreness hasn’t subsided.  According to Men’s Fitness there are 5 ways you can combat muscle soreness:

  1. Drink plenty of water (rehydrating gives your muscles what they need to recover)
  2. Massage – Massage rollers or handheld massage devices work well
  3. Compression – Wearing compression clothing (helps with circulation)
  4. Sleep (8-9 hours is recommended to help you muscles repair and recover fully)
  5. Eating plenty of protein throughout the day (small portions rather than one large portion after your workout is recommended)

The only thing from that list I’ve been doing is drinking plenty of water and sleeping. I’m trying to eat more protein but my choices are limited due to my diet. I’ve been taking steaming hot showers/baths and stretching and that’s been getting me through so far. That and a little old school Tiger Balm.

Workouts

This morning I did Beast Cardio which incorporates fast past weight lifting with jumping, squats, lunges and plank work. I was dripping in sweat and it was only 30 minutes. It’s very tiring. I was so tired when I was done that I got back in the bed to get some more sleep. The schedule required me to do Beast Abs as well and that was very hard. My core is not that strong so I look forward to seeing my progress as I work to complete this program.

In the afternoon I had to do Ab Intervals on the T25 series. That also mixes in a lot of cardio so you burn a good 250-300 calories within that 25 minutes. Once again I was sweating puddles.

Diet

I haven’t eaten much today. I’ve notice that as I watch my portion sizes, eating smaller meals throughout the day, and eating high fiber natural carbs like potatoes and apples, I’ve noticed a real difference in my appetite. I’m not as hungry and my cravings for certain foods have started to decrease. Eating almonds, whole fruit and filling foods like oatmeal really keep you sustained throughout the day and give you more energy.

Now, if only I could get rid of this muscle soreness…

#body-beast, #diet, #exercise-2, #muscle-soreness, #shaun-t, #t25, #weight-loss-2, #workout

Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – Day 3

The word of the day is SORENESS!

I am so sore!!! I was way too tired to doing anything last night, so once again, I’m completing yesterday’s post this morning.

Yesterday my strength training focused on Back and Biceps. It was a pretty long workout (about 50 minutes) and it was very challenging. With completing Chest and Triceps on day 1, Legs on Day 2 and Back and Biceps on Day 3, every muscle in my body is officially out of commission. Every part of my body hurts. I get out of chairs like I’m 80 years old and I’m still walking around like I’ve been in a car accident.

To top it all off I had to complete Total Body Circuit, which is one of the hardest workouts on the T25 series, for my cardio. I completely butchered that workout. I could barely keep up and was in pain for the first 15 minutes until my body warmed up enough to ease some of the soreness.

Someone in the office brought donuts to work so the smell of Dunkin was all over the office and followed me around like a shadow. I stayed strong by thinking about the calories and fat that would completely ruin the progress I’ve made over the last couple of days and I’m proud of myself for sticking to my diet.

Nutrition

Still working on my sodium. It was a lot better yesterday because I’m a lot more conscious of the need to watch it. I’ve also learned that I need to increase my protein since I’m doing weight training in addition to cardio. Since egg yolks have some much cholesterol, I’m going to focus on egg whites and skinless chicken breast to reach the amount of protein I need for the day.

Rest

When they say rest is important it is very important. I usually go to bed around 11pm or later. Now, I’m thinking about bed at 9:30 and I’m definitely in bed by 10:30 at the latest.

Benefits So Far

My sleep has improved greatly. I used to toss and turn at night. Now, as soon as my head hits the pillow I’m out like a light until 5:00am.

If you have problems with regularity this workout regimen is for you. Although you’ll be sore going to the bathroom, the actual act of a bowel movement will be no problem for you. I’m sure the combination of the diet, all the water that you drink, in addition to the exercise, helps your body release anything unwanted with ease.

 

 

 

#better-sleep, #diet, #exercise-2, #regularity, #weight-loss-2

Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – Day 2

I was literally so tired last night that I couldn’t write a post, which is why I’m posting this morning.

Working out is so easy when all you have to do is workout. But when you throw your real job, house cleaning, cooking for the family, Bible study and other meetings into the mix, it gets harder and harder everyday to stick to your resolve and your schedule.

I woke up a little later (around 6:00am) to do my strength training. The focus was legs and I’m feeling it from the waist down. My calves, thighs and butt are so sore! I’m walking around like I’ve been in a car accident and I have to take a deep breath before I go up the stairs. It hurts to stand or walk, it hurts to sit, it hurts to lay down and it even hurts to go to the bathroom. But somehow I was able to work through the soreness and gear up for my cardio workout.

After work I had to get ready for Bible Study so I ate a healthy snack (Life cereal), changed clothes and was out the door. I didn’t get home until 9:45pm but I didn’t want to miss any workouts, keeping my promise to get through this week without any slip ups. I popped in the T25 Speed 1.0 DVD. This cardio is intense but is mixed in with stretching for a brief cool down throughout the workout. I’m happy to say that I’ve done this in the past and stumbled and bumbled through it, but this time I was able to keep going without stopping which is an absolute first. That means my endurance is increasing which is a good thing.

Cravings

Let’s talk about cravings. I’ve gone two full days with no bread, cheese, desserts, sugary drinks (I’ve only been drinking water and almond milk), pork, beef, turkey, or sliced deli meats. I WANT SOME FETTUCCINE ALFREDO, GARLIC BREAD AND PEACH MANGO TEA!!! I WANT SOME LASAGNA WITH A LOT OF RICOTTA CHEESE!!! AND I WANT SOME CUPCAKES!!! I digress. I try not to think about what I can’t eat but focus on what I can. I successfully stuck to my diet. I had my oatmeal, had a nice low-fat chicken salad wrap and some vegetable soup, a banana, an apple, some almonds and some cereal. I was never hungry throughout the day which is very important. Don’t let yourself get hungry! Hunger pains will weaken your resolve.

If you want some more tips to curb your cravings, check out this link: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/28/health/dailyburn-how-to-stop-food-cravings/

For me, I’ve found that whenever I’m craving something I shouldn’t eat I reach for a few almonds. They seem to curb not only the craving but my appetite as well. Drinking plenty of water helps too. You’re usually too full to eat anything.

Nutrition

In logging my foods, I’ve confirmed that I need to take a good multi-vitamin to ensure I get all of the nutrients needed to reach my goals. I’ve started taking Alive. For some reason I always opt for liquid vitamins as I feel they are absorbed better than pills. This isn’t backed by any research, it’s just how I feel. So I take half a cap full of Alive in the morning. WARNING: This stuff is disgustingly nasty. I mean it’s worse than any cough medicine you’ve ever tried. But I feel like its effective so I keep taking it.

Alive

The MyFitness App has also shown me that I don’t get a regular amount of iron every day. So I’ve started taking iron supplements.

Iron

Actually, I’ve been taking these for a while now (about 2 months) and I’ve never experienced the constipation and stomach troubles that regular iron supplements cause. Also, my energy levels are a lot better.

All in all it’s been a challenging couple of days but as Frederick Douglas said “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”. I look forward to reaping the rewards of my hard work and diligence.

 

 

#body-beast, #diet, #exercise-2, #exercise-goals, #losing-weight, #shaun-t, #weight-loss-2

A Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – Day 1

One down and only one hundred and twenty-five more days to go. Today was the epitome of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Here’s why…

The Good

My workouts went as planned. I got up at approximately 5:15AM and completed my strength training and after work I completed my cardio.

Today my strength training focused on chest and triceps and believe me when I say my triceps need a lot of work. It was a lot of push ups, something I’m not particularly good at, tricep dips, and a whole lot of technical weight lifting jargon that I can’t remember. The point is I got it done.

This afternoon I had to do the T25 Cardio DVD and it really gets your heart rate going. I was sweating puddles after just 10 minutes and by the time I reached the full 25 minutes I was ready to lay down and take a nap. The thing about Shaun T’s workouts is that they are fun. He really mixes up the moves so you don’t get bored, but they take a lot of commitment to complete.

I stuck to my diet today as well. I refrained from my forbidden foods and ate my healthy planned breakfast, lunch and snacks. I also met my goals for the required caloric and water intake, as specified by the MyFitnessPal App. When I went to the break room to prepare my lunch there was a huge plate of chocolate chunk brownies sitting right next to the refrigerator. But I looked at them and said “get behind me Satan!” and went on about my business.

Brownies

The Bad

I feel like crap. My chest is really sore, my back hurts, my shoulders feel like they’re going to fall off and I can barely lift my arms to type. It’s so true when they say if you don’t use your muscles you’ll lose them. I think my muscles are mad at me for putting them through this torture. However, I’m determined to keep on going so I took a hot bath, slathered on some Tiger Balm and said a prayer. I’ll need God’s help to keep this up.

The Ugly

There’s nothing more hurtful than the truth. I thought I was doing so well today until I looked at the nutrition log on my fitness app. Take a look at the pic below. Do you see the areas highlighted in red? That’s where I went wrong today and the main concern is my sodium. I mentioned in my first post that I’m trying to avoid high blood pressure and heart disease and a high sodium diet is the main culprit for these disorders. I literally ate oatmeal, salad, some chicken breast, soup, yogurt and nuts and I went over my recommended sodium intake. After looking deeper at the nutritional facts, it seems that soup and salad dressings are very high in sodium so I’ll have to watch this tomorrow. I read that although most people can have about 2,300mg of sodium a day, African Americans are recommended to have only 1,500mg due to the high rate of high blood pressure cases. I’m just going to focus on getting to 2,300 for now.

MyFitnessPal

Well, I’m absolutely exhausted and the only thing I have to look forward to is doing the same thing tomorrow. My small term goal is to complete a week without any slip ups. So far, I’m on the right track.

#body-beast, #diet, #exercise-2, #nutrition, #shaun-t, #soreness, #t25, #weight-loss-2

A Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – The Last Last Supper

A Slight Setback

Oh the dreaded setback. How I loathe thee!

Okay people, here’s the scoop, I had a little setback today. I hate starting things on Sunday. Honestly, it’s hard to start anything on Sunday, because… well… it’s Sunday. You want to relax, enjoy a nice spiritual day and enjoy some nice soul food before going back to working for “The Man” on Monday morning. I guess it’s a cultural thing but there’s nothing like some fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens and sweet potato pie on a Sunday afternoon after a good spiritual feeding. HOW I LOVE SOUL FOOD!!!

soulfood

Anyway, since I’ve already slid off the wagon, my official start date is Monday, October 26th. I’m going to enjoy the rest of this day, capping it off with my last cup of ice cream. I’m okay sliding off the wagon a little bit, because I’m not trying to be the next Miss America (as if a black woman could be Miss America anyway). I have my fitness goals but I also don’t want to become a robot that doesn’t enjoy life. Don’t forget that life is a gift and a little sweet potato pie never killed anyone. The key is moderation. As long I get back on the wagon I’ll be okay, but this time I’ll strap on a seat belt or something.

Bad Associations Spoil Useful Habits

Today I heard a spiritual talk based around 1 Corinthians 15:33 which mentions the importance of watching your association. My mom used to recite this scripture to me every time I wanted to go to a party or do something unchristian like. Well, believe me when I say that this applies to every aspect of life. If you’re going to reach any goal it’s important to surround yourself with people that will assist you with reaching that goal. My husband is officially bad association. I love him dearly, but his love of french toast sticks, Welch’s fruit snacks and ginger beer is really messing up my resolve. My mother used to say “you can put on a clean white shirt and play in the mud but you’ll never make the mud clean” and she is so right. I know I’ll never be able to change my husbands eating habits, and I know there are times when I’ll have to cook or buy him the very items that I’m striving to avoid. But like I said in my last post, it’s important to continue to meditate on the reason why you’re doing this in the first place. I didn’t do that today (don’t judge me) but going forward this will be my life line.

Preparation

I read somewhere that it’s important to plan your meals ahead of time so you have a few good go to meals and snacks to get you through the day.  I’ve always hated doing this and have avoided it for years, but I’ve seen how I get at work when I’m hungry and don’t have a healthy snack plan B. I head straight to the vending machine for some Cheetos, Cheez-its, nacho cheese Doritos or anything else cheesy (I love cheese). So I’ve packed some oatmeal for tomorrow’s breakfast (Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packs – 150 calories), I bought some apples for a snack and have salad for lunch. Almonds are a good energizing snack for that “i can’t wait to get out of here and go home” syndrome that always seems to hit me at work around 2-3pm. If’ I’m still hungry I have some Oikos yogurt for an emergency.

Tracking

I’ve downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories. I’ve avoided using this in the past because when you have to log your calories it’s like reporting to the IRS. You know when you owe and when you’ll receive a nice tax return and I usually owe. I hate when I’ve eaten something  that I know will put me over my recommended caloric intake for the day and have to see the red highlighted number and pop up reminding me that I’ve gone over my goal. It’s a necessary evil, because it holds me accountable for my decisions and actions. I highly recommend using it as it tracks your steps, you can log your exercise for the day and you can even track your nutrition. This is vital for anyone trying to reduce their sodium, cholesterol and/or fat.

The Last Last Supper

Well I’m off to enjoy this ice cream before I have to get up at 5am to begin this strenuous journey.  Till next time.

#exercise-2, #exercise-goals, #losing-weight, #weight-loss-2

A Food Lovers Weight Loss Journey – The Last Supper

Hello. My name is Heather and I love to eat. Anything with pasta, heavy cream, bread and cheese makes my heart melt and don’t get me started on Boston Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie or any kind of cake. To be honest I’m eating a couple of slices of pizza while I’m writing this blog entry, but this is my last day so I’m making the best of it. More to come on that later.

Here’s my problem. Although I love to eat, I need to lose some weight and get in shape and the two don’t really seem to go together very well. Hence, the need for this new journey. I’ve promised myself that by the time I turn 30 that I’ll be in the best shape of my life. Well, time flies when your eating good because I now have only 4 months to keep this promise. So to keep myself accountable I’ve started this blog to record my journey. This is really just going to be an outlet for me to post my triumphs, failures and frustrations. So there’s going to be a lot of ranting and raving, because like I said, I love to eat. I’ll also be sharing information I learn along the way as I do a lot of research whenever I set my mind to something.

Why Now?
In order to keep myself motivated I’ve read that it’s important to reflect on why you want to lose weight in the first place. That main motivator is going to be needed whenever an office party leaves you staring at a plate of glazed donuts, or when your mother bakes you a cake just because she loves you.
For me the main reason I want to get in shape is because I want to prove my father wrong. Big women tend to run in my family and throughout my entire life my father would tell me that I’m going to be just like them. Just so you know, he’s a little on the heavy side as well, so I guess the taunting throughout the years proves that misery loves company and I refuse to be a part of that company. I’m usually very good about watching my diet and exercising but I recently had surgery that didn’t allow me to workout for 6 weeks and let me tell you… it shows. I am not about to visit my parents in the Spring just to see the look of “I told you so” painted across my father’s face.

More importantly, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease run in my family. When I say these things run in my family, I mean they run throughout my entire immediate and distant family tree. Grandmothers on both sides, uncles, aunts, mother and cousins. At family gatherings they talk about their health problems as if they’re normal and they announce that someone else has “gotten the sugar” (we’re country folk so that means they have diabetes) like it’s a badge of honor. Everyone tends to look like it was inevitable in the first place and practically “welcomes them to the club”. These are the most deadly and preventable health problems plaguing Americans and I know that one day I’ll have to eat right and exercise anyway. So, I figure its better to get into the habit now instead of waiting until the doctor tells me I have diabetes and need insulin shots. I don’t want my grandmother to announce to the family that I now have “the sugar”.

Lastly, I enjoy working out. I enjoy sweating out my frustrations after a long day of work and I always sleep like a baby when I workout regularly. I miss that feeling of accomplishment after a long workout and I miss seeing my body gradually change from a Coca-Cola can to a Coca-Cola bottle.

The Goal
My goal is to lose 20 pounds in 4 months. According to the weight loss gurus, that is about 1-2 pounds a week, which is reasonable. However, I don’t just want to lose weight, I also want to tone some trouble spots that seem to run through the family bloodline. That includes my arms, lower belly, hips, thighs and butt… just to name a few.

Me Now and the Goal

The left is how I look now and the right is my goal. As I continue to look at the picture on the right I laugh inside because this is not going to be a fun journey.

The Regimen
In order to reach this level of fitness I’m going to have to do much more than 15 minutes of cardio 3 to 4 days a week as those old Nordic Track commercials would like you to believe. This is going to be torture. I absolutely hate going to the gym so I’ve purchased two at home workouts that will help me reach my goals. T25 and Body Beast.

Workouts

I’m going to get up early in the morning and focus on strength training with Body Beast. Don’t let the guy on the cover fool you, I’m not going to look like a body builder by the time I’ve finished this workout. There is a Lean Beast version that’s more for women that want to build lean toned bodies.

My cardio will come from T25 which is what I’ll do when I come home from work. This is a program put together by Shaun T. I find him to be motivating and it’s an interval training workout that’s optimal for fat burning, especially in those problem areas. If I can workout in the morning and in the evening I can really start to attack fat two ways; (1) by building muscle which helps to burn fat throughout the day, even when you’re resting, and (2) by burning fat through intense cardio interval training. I’ll be working out Monday through Saturday, while simply stretching and doing ab focused exercises on Sunday.

The Diet
I’m not going to lie, changing my eating habits is going to be harder than sticking to a workout routine. I’ve decided to cut out cheese, bread and sweets throughout the week (Monday – Friday). Saturday will be my cheat day for these items but I’m not allowing myself to eat or drink any of the following: fried foods, soda or any other sugary drinks, pork, beef, any kind of cold cuts or sliced deli meats, creamy soups and salad dressings, and last but not least pizza.

I will focus on eating whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats (just turkey and chicken). I’ll be eating 4-5 small meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and sometimes a light snack before 9:00pm (depending on when and what I ate for dinner). I’ll be drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day and drinking a small cup of almond milk for calcium, as I don’t drink regular milk.

The Last Supper
Today is October 24th and it’s literally the last day of my care free eating life. Today is my last day to eat, drink and be merry and believe me I’m going to live it up.

I’ll be posting everyday so you can follow my ups and downs. You’ll be able to track when I fall off the wagon and the steps I take to get back on. I look forward to this challenge and I hope this will motivate others to take control and do what’s best for their bodies and their lives.

#diet, #exercise-2, #food, #food-lover, #weight-loss-2