I was well within my BMI and was often told I looked thin. Despite this, I found that I lost weight in this process and my pants started getting loose. I wound up losing 24 pounds in total. I did not expect to lose all that weight but I did.
Despite this weight loss, I knew I was not in my best physical condition. I was a by the book "cardio bunny". I liked running, playing tennis, spinning, and never lifting weights. I finally started had started lifting some weights in December but I knew I needed to do more. My hip flexors were killing me and at times I was waking up at night with aches and pains. In March I started picking up on strength training and also adding more calories in my diet to fuel my workouts. I knew my muscles needed more protein and I needed to feed my body to improve. I gained back about 10 pounds. At first I felt a bit defeated but then I realized that I have been building more muscle. I feel stronger, confident, and I don't crave sweets anymore! I have way more energy and I am way less tired! My current weight has been steady for many months now and I plan to hang in maintain mode now.
I started this blog as a way to share what I have learned in my journey. I hope I can inspire my friends and anyone else who would like to feel good inside and out. If you are interested, here is what I did.
1. I cut sweets pretty much entirely from my diet - that means pop, alcohol and desserts are not in my regular diet. I also cut out artificial sweeteners. I drink tea and coffee but no cream or sweeteners. Once in a while I still have a pop, glass of wine, a donut, or a Slurpee - we all deserve treats - but it is not a daily thing.
2. I cut most simple carbs and focus on complex carbs - think quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes and sprouted grain bread. I do still eat fruits like apples and bananas, but pair it with a protein to avoid my blood sugar spiking.
3. I focus on eating lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and seafood. Other proteins I like are organic peanut butter, mixed nuts, cottage cheese, eggs, and greek yogurt.
4. I increased vegetables in my diet - asparagus, brussels sprouts, peppers, zucchini, radishes, and carrots.
5. I started using MyFitnessPal as an app to track my calories but more importantly, my macros to make sure I am getting in the right ratio of carb/protein/fat. I also use the app as a tool to make sure I am eating enough.
6. I make sure to eat every 2-3 hours and after dinner I stop.
7. If I go out to eat, I research the menu. I learned that Olive Garden and similar restaurants pack a ton of sodium and calories in most of their foods. I have learned to really think through and plan my orders when I go to a restaurant.
8. We rarely go out to eat. I like to know what goes in my food. I prefer my home cooking to restaurant food. It is cheaper, tastes better, and it is healthier. A triple win.
9. I pack snacks when I travel or am on the go. This avoids the situation of food searching and winding up with an unhealthy option.
10. I switched from being a cardio junkie to upping my strength training. This has really helped me keep my joints strong and increase muscle mass. And it makes be feel like a badass too!
I hope to use this blog to touch on each of these as I share healthy recipes that are easy to make. We are all busy people, but with focus and desire you can still keep up with work, family, and life, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
|My before picture with my husband.|
|My after picture.|
I don't look much different, do I?
But I feel a million times better!