In the spirit of being brutally honest let me begin with a little vent. I am frustrated today. Wednesday is always my favorite day because it’s my day off from any exercise. With as hard as I’ve been working my body definitely NEEDS this day off. On Tuesday nights my muscles are incredibly achy and I’m literally spent. So while I also enjoy the days I get to exercise, Wednesday has been a nice day to rest my body, re-focus and prepare for the next week of body work. Having said that this morning I had a huge set back. I have been stuck on the scale of 155 since first week of February. I’ve talked about the plateau more than once and I’m in a serious one at the moment. Keep in mind I haven’t actually seen anything less than 155 since I was pregnant with Logan 8 years ago. Today was my weigh in day and I was so excited about seeing some results. What number flashed at me??? 157! I literally felt shocked, perplexed, disappointed, perplexed again, and then just flat out angry. As a matter of fact several hours later I’m still angry and even more perplexed. Mathematically the numbers don’t make sense and I need some logic. I don’t like things that are illogical. Now….I know I’m gaining muscle and it weighs more…so there is that. I know that as intense as I’ve been working I’ll likely lose inches and not see much happening on the scale (I’m okay with that) but it’s still frustrating when the numbers don’t budge and I still have so much more to lose.
So I decided to take some pictures so that in a month I can compare those in hopes of feeling less discouraged. This did nothing for my self esteem. Something about seeing yourself in a bikini in a picture is horrifying. Why does it make you look so much bigger than standing in front of a mirror?!!? I was horrified, not necessarily at my body, but just because I thought I was making more progress than I am. Apparently, my clothes are deceiving. I’m less confident of being anywhere near a bathing suit this summer.
So why share all this? Because this is truly what the weight loss journey looks like. I don’t want to paint a false picture of rainbows and butterflies and that I’m anywhere close to where I want to be. I have achieved A LOT. I’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible but this road is shaping up to be very long and very exhausting. I want to share my bad days because you’ll have them too and it’s okay. It’s okay to know that you’re body is doing something and still get discouraged when the numbers don’t move. It’s okay to have meltdowns and want to literally scream and shout from the rooftops. It’s okay to want to throw your chicken breast across the room and stomp on it unit it turns into a gooey cheese pizza. These are normal feelings and if you don’t have these then you are a robot. Okay….taking a deep breath….in conclusion I will continue on my path. I will continue to eat well, track my food and workout like a machine…because I know I’ll look better in the end….even if the end is a long ways away.
Anyways…..thanks for bearing with me and letting me get that off my chest. So on to todays topic. I will be answering some questions and touching on a lot of things that we normally use as excuses to not lose weight.
1) I don’t have the money to eat healthy.
Yes, healthy food is expensive. Produce isn’t cheap and it goes bad quick so it can often go to waste. Almond butter and protein powder and all of these things are expensive and add up. I get that and I agree. As a mom who does not have a guaranteed paycheck every month I can COMPLETELY understand a tight budget. However, here is the thing. You may feel like you’re spending more but you’re really not. Our portions in this country are so ridiculous it’s not even funny. You’ll eat less of the healthy stuff because it’s real and filling whereas you’ll eat more of the unhealthy stuff. It may be cheaper but the amount you’re consuming will equal out your consumption of of the healthy foods. I also find things to last a long time. Flax oil, coconut oil, almond butter, protein powder etc may cost more up front but they last a really long time. So per serving it’s not much and it goes a long way.
2) My fresh food always goes to waste.
I don’t like going to the store every single day and this isn’t even feasible for most of us so we are forced to buy a lot of things at the beginning of the week. By Friday half of our produce is likely gross. Therefore I buy a lot of things frozen. In the summer time I get a lot of my produce from Farmers Markets and it will last a solid week because it’s of really great quality. However, in the offseason that isn’t an option so I buy a lot of frozen produce. You can find just about anything in the frozen section these days and it’s actually cheaper than buying it fresh. You can cook it however you like, steam it for a quick side dish, throw in in yogurt or oatmeal or literally anything. It lasts forever and you’ll never have to worry about waste. If you don’t like it in it’s frozen form…throw it in a bowl the night before and let it sit in the fridge so its ready to go in the morning.
3) I don’t like water.
Sorry but you’re just going to have to suck it up. Yes, water is tasteless and in the world of sugary sodas and drinks water is about as exciting as a rubber tire. Bla, bla, bla…get over it. I assure you, like exercise, you will learn to love it. I have never been a big drinker of soda and other stuff so this was probably easier for me…however I didn’t drink much of anything throughout the day at all. I was severely dehydrated all the time and even have a history of passing out due to dehydration. Now I drink on average about 100 oz of water every day. Yes, this is a ton but my body craves it. It wants to stay hydrated and considering our bodies are made up of water it needs to be hydrated in order to function properly. I start every morning with hot lemon water…..yea not a caramel machiato but I chug it and get it over with….then the rest of the day I chug chug chug. Yes, I have to pee all the time but well it’s just the price you pay. You’re urine should literally be so clear you can’t even tell you’ve peed. That is when you know you’re drinking enough.
Good news your body will adjust and not mind the taste. All those other drinks will become so overly sweet and gross you won’t be able to stand them. But you have to quit them. If you can’t go cold turkey (which is what I recommend) then slowly ease yourself away from them. Cut your consumption in half and then slowly eliminate them. I promise you’ll feel better.
4) I don’t like to exercise.
I touched on this yesterday but truly this is also non-negotiable. You have to move. Move, move, move, move…..no really go move.
5) I can’t afford a gym membership.
You do not have to go to a gym to lose weight. I joined the gym because it was a cheaper rate and I could go with my best friend to keep me accountable. However, you can do anything outside of a gym as good as inside one. Here are some simple things you can do outside of the home:
Go for walks or jogs on your street or at the park….better yet go for a bike ride.
Run up and down your stairs increasing your time every week.
Park as far away from the front entrance of any store to increase your cardio output. Or if you’re just there for food park on the other side of the store so you’re forced to walk all the way across the store.
Have kids?? Go outside and play with them….they’ll make you burn calories even if you don’t want to.
Girls night?? Instead of going somewhere to just sit for hours….plan a moving activity…go shopping and walk around, go play a sport, do a yoga dvd and burst out in giggles at how ridiculous you look, go dancing, go walking, go have a picnic in the park and then play frisbee, get creative and just do anything that requires moving more.
Turn a normal activity into exercise – do squats while cooking, lunges while feeding your baby, walk around while talking on the phone, push ups and tricep dips while brushing teeth. Anything and everything can be turned into exercise.
See no gym membership required and look how much fun I’m having….
6) I don’t have time for exercise because of my job/kids.
Clearly as I mentioned above you can fit in exercise but for a true long 30-60 minute workout you need some time. I get that and as a mom of 3 kids and a business owner I understand time is limited. Yes, my schedule is likely more flexible than a person who goes to a job. I can work late the night before in order to fit a workout in in the morning or whatever. However, I still have a lot of things to accomplish in a day and there are too few hours in the day. Here are some things I do. I go to the gym at 8:00 (sometimes 7:00) at night once all the boys are in bed and down for the night. This only requires my husband to be present in the home but I don’t need a babysitter or really require much of him (because he is just as exhausted). I do my workout DVD in the morning and often times its with all three boys sitting there watching me. I’ll stick Gavin in an area where he can move without getting into anything and he will just sit and play while I exercise. Is this ideal? No but it works for me and the kids actually find it to be quite entertaining. Make exercise a family thing. Go outside and race around the yard…..make an obstacle course. You’re leading by example so this is a great way to let your kids know what it really means to be healthy and strong.
You’ll make time for netflix binging, and social media so make time for exercise. Some day when you’re not in the hospital recovering from heart surgery or a stroke you won’t have Facebook to thank but rather yourself for putting in the time to take care of you.
7) I hate counting calories.
I’m going to give you a couple different answers to this. Losing the first 50 pounds I never counted calories. When I was cutting carbs I ate unlimited veggies and proteins. I didn’t eat 12 chicken breasts or anything but if I was hungry I would go snack on broccoli and a hard boiled egg…..I know super duper exciting. Anyways, because I was following diet books I didn’t need to count calories because I just met the requirement of the book. Now that I’ve hit my plateau I am religiously counting. It is a pain and can be time consuming but I think once you have 10-20 pounds left this becomes a necessity. You’re body just holds onto everything like crazy at that point so you really have to be very aware of what you’re taking in and doing.
8) What are your favorite calorie counting apps?
I use the Lose It app but can also count calories from my fitness tracker. Myfitness pal and MyPlate are also good ones. They’re all free so just find one that is user friendly and will be the quickest for you. If it’s not quick you won’t use it. I think they all have scanners now which is awesome because you can just scan the UPC on whatever you ate and it automatically plugs in the info. Super time saver.
9) I can’t live without cupcakes…can I follow the 80/20 rule and still lose weight?
For those who don’t know the 80/20 rule is eating clean 80% of the time and eating whatever 20% of the time. I am probably going to go against the popular grain here and say NO I don’t think you can follow this…..at least not at first and not really at the end. I am the type of person that if I indulge even one time it completely throws me off. One ice cream cone would lead me to some fries which would then lead me to a burger and “what the heck the whole day is shot so lets order a pizza.” Sound familiar? Therefore, the only way for me to succeed was to be completely strict. I did not cheat or put one bad morsel in my mouth for 3 whole months. I even managed to survive Halloween without anything bad. This was the hardest thing I have ever done but honestly after a couple of weeks and seeing the scale move it got a lot easier. I live with a bunch of boys who can eat whatever they want so I was constantly resisting candy, desserts, fried chicken, pizza etc. It was KILLER but I knew none of that was worth undoing all the work I was doing so I stuck to my guns. Even after that 3 months I didn’t really indulge much. I was still pretty strict and stuck to everything. I’m to the point now where I’ll allow myself the occasional indulgence…like last night I had a small serving of ice cream for the first time in months….it was within my calories but clearly made me gain 2 pounds so bleck. Anyways, I think I am back to the point where i can’t afford an indulgence but we’ll see if I can stick with that or not.
So I guess it depends on you and your personality. If an indulgence is going to sidetrack you then don’t do it. Stick with it and you’ll see a lot quicker results which will motivate you more to continue.
10) I’m super busy and don’t have a lot of time to fix healthy meals and end up going through the drive-thru. Tips?
Meal prep is crucial to losing weight and being healthy in general. Pick a day….most common one is Sunday…to prep all your meals for the week. I literally write down everything I’m going to eat. This includes even snacks. I know every day what I am going to eat and when. This may sound boring but honestly it is freeing because it takes a lot of thought out of what I’m going to eat. It’s amazing how much time we spend on that question alone every day. Chop up your veggies, make some dinners ahead and freeze them, assemble your salads, make some smoothies, hard boil eggs…etc. This will make sure you have no excuse throughout the week to hit any drive thrus or grab frozen calorie ridden meals from the store. Again, put in the time and work and it will pay off……I promise!!
DON’T GIVE UP…..the journey may be tumultuous but IT WILL BE WORTH IT!!
Join me tomorrow when I talk about the must have gadgets to lose weight! Happy Hump Day!