Category Archives: diet

Operation size 16 – Mission Complete!

So my goal in February was to fit nicely into my size 16 jeans.  I think I made it…do you?

I definitely think I could wear these out the house now and be good to go!  I’m really REALLY happy with the changes in my body and I learned a valuable lesson – leave the scale ALONE.  The scale right now has me up in weight.  Partially I know from that time of the month and partially from leftover stress from February.  But obviously I haven’t gained weight in the sense of my body getting bigger or flabbier.  I get compliments about having lost weight and looking smaller, weird.  I feel really good going into March and the March Madness challenge.  I know I can keep making big changes in my body if I stay dedicated and CLEAN with my diet.  It will be hard since I have very little in person support for that.  But I know I can do it if I try really hard.  

Operation Size 16 Video Edition

Posted a little video on my thoughts on my challenge.  My focus areas for the week are discussed in the video this week instead of me writing them out 🙂

Also please let me know if there are topics you would prefer I vlog about instead of blog about!  Or blog about instead of vlog about.  I’m still figuring out what I want to do, but I do like the weekly video check in right now. 

Leave me a comment here or on my video on you tube with your answers to my questions about workouts too, I would love to hear from you!!!

Post Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

It’s the Monday after the holiday and as we all head back to work it’s evaluation time for Thanksgiving health and fitness goals:

For me, I was 100% on exercise.  I sometimes had to workout late (10pm start = ouch) but I stayed on track and pushed hard.

For food I was maybe 80%.  I did eat tons of veggies and my healthier options.  But I also had too much mac and cheese (ironically not even on Thanksgiving – but Friday night.  the man makes it 2x a year and I just went a little overboard), too many meals out (spent all day in the city on Wednesday, out shopping Friday, out for the game Saturday) and too much meat (I had meat 2x a day for 3 days in a row – big big change for me).  I also skipped shakeology one morning, which is a disaster for me.  Seriously.  I don’t know why I do that…every time I do I really struggle with cravings all day.  Lesson learned, I haven’t skipped again.

So now it’s Monday.  The family members have all gone home (one with a ton of mac and cheese left overs), the football games have been played and my gym is now my gym again instead of the spare bedroom.  So how do we get back laser focus after a holiday like Thanksgiving that is very much a food and sit on your butt kind of weekend?  Four super easy steps, that’s how:

  1. Water.  Like you are crossing Death Valley folks.  Guzzle a gallon today.  Why?  A few reasons.  One being if you drank a little more than normal (which is kind of typical during the holidays, especially when surrounded by family, eh?)  then it’s time to rehydrate.  Two being you probably didn’t drink enough over the holidays (I didn’t – I struggle at home anyway, and when I’m crazy busy cooking and entertaining it’s easy to forget to guzzle).  Three being it will help you stay full while you bring your food intake back to normal levels (something has to replace that mac and cheese!).  Four being – it’s just healthy for you and you should drink a lot of water anyway for life.  Pick your number, ponder it over a glass of water.  No flavoring of the water with anything in a packet either.  Fresh fruit and/or veggies (like cucumbers) if you need a break from plain water.  
  2. Eat Clean.  Alright, it’s time to be a little strict on yourself this week. Check out Michi’s Ladder and stick to the top 2 tiers.  Personally, I don’t do non-fat cheese, I stick to regular cheese, that’s my only mod.  But I don’t have much or have it often.  I also will be really focusing on building mainly vegetarian or vegan meals home and on the road this week.  Lots of veggies and lots of fruit too.  If it comes in a bag or box and isn’t onion, oranges, grapefruits…you get the drift – leave it alone.
  3. Train Mean.  Whether you stayed on your exercise plan or not – today is the day to move.  Doesn’t matter what you do, just sweat it out.  I am still doing INSANITY and got my workout in today as I did through the holiday.  Go move.  Now.  I’ll be here when you finish 🙂
  4. Sleep.  Yes, you heard right.  Sleep.  I was so off schedule this week staying up late to hang out with family and waking up early to cook or watch football.  I’m going to definitely focus again on my 7-9 hours of sleep a night like I usually get.  Sleep is important for health, lots of studies talk about how people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have health problems and be obese.  Combat that by hitting the pillow on time tonight.  Figure out what time you need to wake up and try to be in bed 7-9 hours before that.
Something else to start thinking about this week – what are you going to do to keep it solid through the holiday calendar that officially kicked off last Thursday?  For me, it’s INSANITY obviously.  It is a 63 day program and will take me all the way through new years day so it is perfect for right now.  What’s yours?  I realize now how big a fan of laying out your workout plan for a long chunk of time, then working that plan.  Beachbody programs (all of them), Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, and I’m sure tons of other programs, these are just the ones I’m really familiar with.  If you can’t afford a DVD program or simply don’t want to spend the money on one – totally ok, you can DIY this.  Sit down RIGHT now and plan out a program in whatever your exercise of choice is on a calendar.  Then do it.  Even if it’s Dance Central for exercise – print off a calendar for now through January 1st and write down every single day you will workout.  Then daily cross it off.  This is powerful – it’s the contract with yourself to stay on track and move.  
Do the same for food.  Time to think about your diet too.  There are tons of options.  Beachbody and JM programs have food books with them to help guide you.  There are other in person options like Weight Watchers.  You can also take the opportunity right now to start the Ultimate Reset, which you guys all know I think is just the best thing ever and totally changed me and my hubby.  If you are not feeling me – add one good thing as you take away a bad thing.  Example?  No more McDonalds for breakfast – have something from home.  One simple change that will go a long way.  Do that every week an you will be on your way.  There is a nice chunk of time to do it right now and especially if exercise isn’t your thing – this is the best way to get started on health.  In general – diet > exercise for weight loss.  You can’t exercise out a bad diet – but you can have a great diet with no exercise and be crazy healthy.  So don’t just focus on exercise – focus on your diet while exercising.

Turbo Pump Update

I’m now about halfway through the Turbo Pump month.  I’m constantly looking at the plan and updating it as I go through the different workouts and realizing what will and will not work together.  Last night I did Sculpt 30 for the first time ever and probably last time this month.  Not that i don’t love it, because I did.  But I want to use that day for a weight work and the bands are hard, but not what I’m looking for right this month.

Aside from the adjustments, I’m so in love with Turbo Fire again.  It’s such a good program because the music is great and the workouts are hard. All my friends know that I really am a fan of the hard workouts, if I’m not drenched in sweat then I am not happy.  And Turbo Fire does that for me.  I’m noticing some real progress with inches so far this month.  Pants that I was wearing a few weeks ago are now needing belts.  My stomach is shrinking.  And my arms, which always have been a least favorite area of mine, are finally starting to shrink and my shirts have more room in the upper arms. I’m getting really excited about weight loss…and shopping 🙂  I cannot WAIT to start shopping for pants in the regular women’s section – that’s happening by Jan 1 people.  
Also wanted to share some diet details, as I have settled into a good rhythm post reset.  
Everyday for breakfast is shakeology now.  I was alternating it with oatmeal but I started to notice that on the days I had oats instead of shakeology I had lots of cravings for sweets.  So I have stuck to the shakeology.  I prep it in the morning as the last thing I do before leaving for work.  Then I drink it on the way to work.  This is my new habit.  My old habit was stopping at Panera or Starbucks or the diner near my job for a breakfast plate of something.   Anyway, that’s breakfast and I think I’ll be sticking to that most days.  I do the vegan tropical strawberry right now, but I will be trying the vegan chocolate for my next shipment.  I blend the strawberry with some banana, some berries, sometimes some other fruit if I have it.  Always some PB2 and almond milk.
Lunch and dinner are variations on the same theme.  One meal a day is always a bean based meal.  I love beans and it keeps me full, which is why I like to do this at lunch.  I like a bigger lunch because of the way my work schedule is.  I also usually have a salad at lunch, again helping the size of my lunch and helping me stay full.  This combo hasn’t lead me to mid afternoon cravings yet.  The other meal is a veggie based meal.  Stir fried veggies or something similar.  Large portions of veggies and usually a grain on the side.  
On top of those meals, I drink lots of water.  I still aim for half my bodyweight in ounces.  Yeah, I go to the bathroom like a million times a day, but I can tell the difference in my hunger levels and my skin with this.  
If you are struggling with diet and all of this looks like a HUGE leap for you, you have a few options.  You can either decide to make one or two changes now (like adding shakeology in place of one meal or making the decision to not eat fast food or deciding to cut out certain processed foods or journaling your meals) and slowly convert your diet to a more whole foods diet that way OR you can do something like the Ultimate Reset to give you a jump start (really, let’s be honest, a kick in the behind) on all these changes.  Which one you need to do is up to you and how you work.  For me, the Reset turned out to be the best thing, but I know for others it will not be.  The diet question is one you have to sit on and really think about and decide what you are going to be then do it.  It doesn’t matter what you do, it just matters that you do something 🙂

Last thing – I started an Instagram account!  I will be posting meals and other happenings around the healthy engineer hub.