People, I finally went to the gym.
For real, this time.
It was freakin’ awesome.
It has been approximately six months since I stepped foot inside the gym, and if we are being honest, probably two years since I actually put in a decent workout.
Some people are surprised when they find out that I didn’t exercise at all to lose my weight. I would probably have been surprised too, I guess. But when you cut out the crap from your diet, your body just goes where it needs to be. Naturally. And sometimes really quickly. However, exercise is important.
All Spring, Summer, and Fall, I walked daily, of course. It helped that being in the stroller was a calming distracting for Eli. Walking is great, and movement helps to detox the body and tone it.
But sometimes you need to sweat!
Muscle is important, and while I was no mean lean machine before I got pregnant, it was clear afterwards that pregnancy kills your muscle. Since I’m toying with the idea of baby #2, the last thing I want to do is embark on another pregnancy without some muscle mass in tow.
So anyway. The gym was good. I’m keeping track of my workouts and will probably share them at some point on Best Mama.
In the meantime, PLEASE try this!
It is called a sweet potato hasselback. And if, STILL, you are afraid of butter, please please please, step over into the light with me and try this. I promise it’s so delicious.
Also, I did not have gouda, which will be remedied soon. It was still just as delicious with the raw cheddar I had.
Eli also enjoyed it. A lot. And all over the place.
Have a great Wednesday you guys! I’m off to clean this hizzy before hubs returns from his trip, and then kiddo and I are off to pick up our bounty of farm fresh goodies – more on that later!
A warm, smooshy welcome back to these guys:
Coconut milk in coffee works. It really does. But I missed my creamer.
Ghee is not butter.
So, we survived. Actually, we did more than survive, we thrived on the Whole30 plan. For me personally:
- Digestion improved seriously. My tummy was never really bloated.
- I felt “lighter” somehow. Never bogged down after eating.
- Throughout the entire 30 days I did have moments of lightheadedness. They passed quickly.
- My appetite reduced a bit; I was never hungry in between meals.
- Not sure that my sweet tooth really went away. I will say that my cravings for sweets stopped raging, but I did miss my chocolate.
- No cravings for things like bread and pasta at all.
In terms of results, I lost 6 lbs. Mind you, I had gained 5 lbs over the course of our Sonoma vacation and the days after it, where we continued to be little piggies. So number wise, this puts me about where I was before.
However, I lost 2 inches from my belly and 1 inch from my waist. I can definitely see my love handle area has smoothed out and I’m loose in my pants. So my pants are a loose 6 now, but I’m not quite ready to squeeze into 4s.
I sucked it up and here is a picture. I know I love before and afters.
The thing about my body now, is my belly is such a bowl of jelly. That’s what happens when you grow an 8 lb baby in there, gain 60 lbs and then lose it all in a relatively short period of time. It’s just sadness sometimes. But, it’s progressively getting better. And that’s something to be happy about!
Was it hard?
It wasn’t hard. The biggest challenge for me was the fact that we couldn’t drink. In social situations, I suck at sipping on club soda. That’s just how it is! But I stayed strong and I’m glad for it.
Cooking increased quite a bit for me, as I am now making meals for myself, Eli and Hubs, in addition to lunches for hubs to take to work. Mostly. This simply takes a little planning and some momentum. In the swing of things, it’s no big deal. A couple days away, and it’s a small mountain climb up, but I get there eventually.
In the past, I’ve always preferred eating out to eating in. That’s changed in a big way for me. I love preparing our meals, knowing exactly what’s going into them, and seeing the results that simple, real, nourishing food gives you.
Hubs did great. I was really impressed with him, especially because he had to travel a lot and go to functions where there was free wine. He really stuck to his guns and it paid off! As of this morning, he’s down 9 lbs in those 30 days. His pants are super loose. He’s happy!
Well, clearly, butter and cream are back for me.
Both of us are bringing back wine, but not spirits, and we aren’t going to be knocking back a bottle every night either. I think Hubs has some thing going on where he’s only going to let himself have a glass or two if he’s worked out that day. For me, I’ll just try to be moderate. Like, no day drinking. 🙂 Just kidding. Sort of.
I’ll continue to make our meals at home using the Whole30 guidelines for the most part. It’s healthy and after 30 days, I’ve got it down pat. This way, 90% if not more of our food will be awesome; that allows for the occasional not so great thing.
As far as sugar goes, I’m not going to be putting sweetened condensed milk back into the rotation, I promise you! Just the thought sounds kind of gross now. I am liking Coconut crystals, as they are not highly processed and contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals – and taste good. I think I’ll be sticking with that and Stevia, when needed.
In conclusion, this was a great 30 days for us. I could see doing this annually as a way to “reset” yourself and clean out any bad habits that have built up over the year.
We’ll be continuing as I said, with the few modifications. Hubs still has about 20 lbs he’d like to shed, and like I’ve said before, I’d love to lose about 7-8 lbs myself. Not a huge rush though.
If you have any questions about the Whole30 program or weightloss in general, throw ’em at me!
We’re leaving town again this weekend to visit family in CT. So, you know how it goes with me, traveling and blogging… 🙂
A post will be coming at you with a FABULOUS recipe though. Tomorrow morning!
So, today is Monday and the last day of week 2 of our Whole30 Challenge.
It’s honestly become less and less of a deal. Prepping is definitely a huge help. If you’re currently doing the challenge, here’s what I prep Sunday night to help a bit with meals:
- Steam 2-3 sweet potatoes
- Par-cook purple cabbage
- Chop lettuce for salad
- Chop peppers (for use in salad or veggie stirfries)
- Dice an onion
I’m not a huge fan of cooking any type of protein before hand, unless it’s chili. But with the above prepped, I can easily add veggies to anything or make a quick salad.
Sunday was kind of a lazy hang around sort of day, save for my 2 hour trip to the Farmer’s market + Whole Foods. I found myself snacking on sweet potato chips a lot, which I don’t tend to do during the week. Considering what I usually do on a Sunday, I’ll call that a win.
I have a hunch that if I were sleeping well at night, I’d be waking up feeling pretty darn good these days. Eli has decided to kind of be crazy with his sleeping the last few nights, so I wake up feeling kind of left of center, but it fades after I have my green juice and is distant history after my morning coffee!
I’d love to tell you that weight has magically melted away, but that isn’t the case. I do feel that I’ve lost weight, but nothing drastic. I’m still in my same size pants and stuff, but I can tell my belly is flatter and less bloated, which is always nice.
Some exciting developments:
Babycakes loves going up stairs. As you can imagine, going down stairs is not working out, since he employs the same “going up” technique for going down. Basically, if he’s suddenly quiet, I need to RUN and find him, not walk. It’s been a blast. Especially when he learned how to pull down the gate and use it as a ramp. You can’t buy that kind of fun, people. Especially when you’re trying to watch Prison Break.
We went to the playground and it was the first time he actually played instead of just swinging in the baby swing. VERY fun! My little booger is getting so big. It’s freaking me out that he’ll be 11 months old soon…
I miss these days when he always passed out after his milk. Sigh. People said that they would grow super fast. But I didn’t realize how very fast it would be! Blink and your little creature is suddenly a little person trying to communicate with you.
Or giving you looks.
Speaking of, he also had his first green smoothie. We drank it through a straw, and clearly my man doesn’t yet get the concept yet. He did enjoy himself though. In this picture he’s giving the fist pump to show he’s finished. 🙂
I hope you all had a great weekend!
Today is day 10 of the Whole30 Challenge, and I can’t even believe 10 days have gone by! We’re still going strong, drinking our green juice, and going to bed early. 🙂
I’m starting to feel great though. There’s a lightness in my body and mind that is very peaceful and nice. I can’t tell you when I last had a full blown craving (OK, just kidding, it was like, 6 days ago. HA). But the point is, I can feel the difference and it’s nice.
However, this leads me to think about one of the hot topics in weight-loss today, which is the all mighty calorie.
Have you ever done something like this?
I have. Many times over.
Is it fun? NO.
Does it work? To a certain extent, yes.
Think about it. If you go from eating a high calorie diet that consists of tons of processed food and sugar, and then suddenly cut your calories down by nearly half, logic tells you that your body is going to release some weight.
But take a look at the food listed on the spreadsheet. Cookies. Fat free, sugar free yogurt. Skim milk. Fruit. That’s ALL sugar. At some point, eating like that is going to catch up with you, and it’s not going to be a joyful reunion. Not only that, but eating a diet that is so severely restricted in fat is incredibly bad for your metabolism and your essential bodily functions. It turns out we NEED fat in order to run our bodies correctly. A layer of fat around our cells is what keeps them healthy and alive!
So what’s this whole thing about a calorie is a calorie? Have you heard this? I have heard it a lot. Basically, a calorie from an apple is the same as a calorie from a Snickers bar. Honestly, this logic is coming from the same people who put up the commercial telling you that your body can’t tell the difference between High Fructose Corn Syrup and other types of sugars – you know, the one where they are all eating in a corn field? It defies all logic and reasoning to say that your body isn’t sophisticated enough to realize that an apple is not the same as a Snickers bar.
But they say it, don’t they? And plenty of people eat a snack-sized Snickers bar instead of an apple. I know this, I used to be one of them!
Let’s go back to the whole calorie counting thing though. Is there a more miserable way to live your life? Is there a more surefire way to turn a teenage girl into an anorexic or bulimic with horrible self image?
Here’s my message to you: A calorie is NOT a calorie.
I know this for a fact. I’m currently stuffing so much delicious fat into my face these days, that my Weight Watchers points tracker would probably malfunction. Even on this Whole30 plan, which is seen by everyone I know as severely restrictive, doesn’t leave me feeling hungry or dissatisfied ever. I am NEVER hungry. Why? Because when I am hungry, I eat.
The burn of a rumbling, empty tummy is no longer a “sign that the fat is leaving the body.”
It just means I’m flippin’ hungry.
And this is why I’m a Health Coach. I discovered this amazing reality for myself, and I want to share it with EVERYONE. ANYONE. Anyone who has tracked every morsel that went into their mouth. Went through dress rehearsals in their heads about dinners out with their loved ones (Ok, I can have ONE bread stick or a glass of wine, NOT both!), binged on vacation because they couldn’t take it anymore and then came home and HATED their lack of willpower and self-confidence.
It’s all OK. Deep breaths.
Here’s my two cents for you.
Cent 1: If you can’t figure out how it was made, don’t put it in your mouth.
Cent 2: Eat your fat. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, nuts, seeds.
That’s my rant for today. 🙂
A quick reflection on weight loss. Are you ever “done”? I’m finding it to be an interesting mental predicament. I hit my goal (wedding) weight, and even dropped down almost 5 lbs below it. But for some reason, I didn’t feel like, “Okay, check that box off!” I think has a lot to do with the fact that a) I can’t believe I actually lost all that weight without doing something ridiculous, b) my body is shaped completely different than it was when last this weight and I met, and c) I’m just so flippin’ used to being a diet and/or trying to lose weight.
How sad, huh?
A large part of what I’m learning at IIN is how important being happy with YOU and YOUR LIFE is in respect to also finding balance with your health and weight. There are other things that matter. My relationship with my husband and my family, my friends, my career, and my spirituality. It’s terrifyingly easy to let a lot of those things slip away, especially when you’re busy running after an 8 month old, keeping everyone clothed and fed, and being in school. But it’s completely doable – you just have to remember that you want to do it. I have to remember it every day. These are called Primary Foods.
In the world of food, yesterday was pretty epic.
I roasted my first eggplant.
It was heartbreakingly easy. Cover twice in tin foil (no air gaps) and roast over an open flame for about 15-20 minutes, giving it a quarter turn every few minutes.
It came out tender and smoky. Amazing.
Visit Shiksa in the Kitchen for more details and other methods to roast. This was perfect.
I whirled it up with a little tahini, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and smoked paprika, for a version of baba ghanoush.
Then it I served it as so:
It was so mouth-happy.
The cucumbers were sliced and marinated in a mix of apple cider vinegar, salt, stevia, and dill ala Mama Pea. The tomatoes were chopped. The corn roasted in its husk at 350 degrees for exactly 27 minutes. So delicious. And all from my CSA box!
Yes, I was hitting the food blogs hard yesterday.
I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!
So, guess what?
As of 7:24 this morning, I am officially…
Back at my wedding weight!
I’m obnoxiously excited. Which I should be.
When I got pregnant with Eli, I was already 18 lbs heavier than my wedding weight, which really sucked, but it was what it was. Back in January, when I started to consciously want to lose the weight, I was 28 lbs heavier than I am now. Losing weight at this time in my life hasn’t been as challenging as it was in the past though, and I came up with a few ideas as to why.
Having been on a perpetual “diet” since puberty, I truly believed that to lose weight, one had to severely restrict food, count calories, and exercise like hell. I had a very narrow mindset about it and I’ll be honest, kind of a negative one. Obviously restricting something you love (FOOD) and forcing yourself to do something you don’t love (work out), doesn’t equal a positive person. And it didn’t equal a skinny person either, because just as soon as I had lost some weight, I would “celebrate” and gain it right back. Dieting wasn’t sustainable because life was getting in the way and I wanted to enjoy it. I didn’t see that I could be both slim and happy.
Having Eli really changed a lot of my feelings about my body. I know I’ve written about that before. But I think it made a huge difference in my current weightloss success. As huge as I was, as lumpy as my stomach looked, as stretchy as my pants had to be – there was something SO much more important going on! I had a baby to take care of, to feed with my body. In order to do that, I had to be kind to myself, giving my body the nutrients it needed to produce what Eli needed. Taking the focus off of ME for a second, really put things in perspective.
So, when I decided it was time to start losing the chunks, I didn’t go into it with a “3 months or BUST” attitude. I knew it would take time. I started off with Weight Watchers in January and lost between 5-6 lbs, but quit after almost two months. Weight Watchers is great for some people, but for me, it only encourages poor eating habits. I’d be hitting the fast food because I had enough points, not eating any veggies, and saving the extra points for wine. Awesome. I know.
Instead, I decided to get back into juicing. I truly believe flooding my body with all of those vital nutrients in the morning freed my system up to start letting go of excess weight. I have not and do not eat like an angel in an organic garden. I love my wine. I sometimes have french fries. Cheese happens. But my attitude changed.
I stopped criticizing myself when I looked in the mirror and instead focused on the nice things that I noticed. I totally kept several pairs of jeans in descending sizes in the bathroom to try on every now and then, and as I was able to button up each one, I felt like a total rockstar. If I ate a meal full of less than awesome things, I didn’t go completely crazy and continue to eat gross – I simply shrugged, made a better choice later, and continued to juice, blend green things, and take my little baby out for walks around the pond.
Some people have asked exactly what I’ve done. I’ve tried to narrow it down:
- Juice every morning (a green juice, not a fruit juice)
- Cut out refined sugars and carbohydrates. Sugar is the biggest thing.
- Avoid processed food when possible
- Easy on gluten and grains in general, except for Quinoa and Millet
- Food combining 70-80% of the time (see the tab on my header)
- Daily walks
- Positive attitude
It seems like my body is trying to reach its “ideal” weight right now, which is probably between 5-10 lbs less than I am. My plan is to continue putting nutrient rich fuel in, keeping the pressure off, and implementing some enjoyable exercise that will help me redevelop some muscle (pregnancy didn’t do me right in that respect).
In other news…School starts for me very soon, and so I won’t be able to blog daily. I’m going to update twice a week, which will probably be better for you guys anyway, since my posts should be more interesting than say, a quick iPhone shot of my green juice and a “WASSUP?”. I’m thrilled to become a Holistic Health Coach and can’t wait to learn all sorts of wonderful things and ways to help people achieve their ideal balance in both body and mind. It’s going to be a heck of a ride!
I’ll be back Monday with a post on my weekend – we actually have a Date Night planned, sans bebe, so it should be pretty cool.
Have a great Friday, a fabulous weekend, and stay cool!
I’m starting off this Monday morning with a double portion of hot pink juice.
I am loving the beets still.
So, let’s recap the week. I absolutely intended to take tons of pictures and post at least 2-3 blog updates with photos. I managed one. Running around after Eli, cooking, cleaning, and socializing made the camera lowest on the totem pole. Unfortunately that sickness I was complaining about last week is STILL with me, and was hitting me pretty hard all week. And of course, Eli got it as well, and that combined with several different scenery changes, hours and hours of driving, and lots of people to entertain him, made his sleep schedule absolutely horrifying. Hubs and I were harkened back to the days of old, when our little bundle of joy woke up every. single. hour. It was hell.
I’m glad to say though, that on Friday when we got back, he went right back to normal and fell asleep in his bed for a home stretch of 4 hours. THANK GOODNESS. Because this momma was about to lose it.
Martha’s Vineyard was beautiful as always and we had some fabulous weather. It was great to spend time with my sister and her boyfriend, my in-laws, and my dad, as well as my husband’s daughter and her daughter.
You may be wondering how my little to-do list went?
Well, I lost 4 lbs on vacation! Which is completely unheard of. I actually weighed my several additional times to make sure. This means I’m only 4 lbs away from my wedding weight! I’m thrilled. Really thrilled. Granted, things are not in the same place as they were on my wedding day, but hey, take what you can get right?
I’d love to tell you that I only ate salads and lifted weights every day, but that would be a lie. I had a good time, drank plenty of wine, and didn’t stress about the food. I was careful to stay away from obvious sugar though – cookies, cake, etc. One thing I did do every morning, regardless of how zombified I felt, was make a green juice.
It really helped my body stay on track as far as digestion goes, and also gave me some much needed energy. Can’t say enough about it!
James’ daughter and granddaughter stayed through Father’s day, and we took some time to walk around DC and do some sight-seeing.
How cute are my boys?
The plan for today is to do absolutely nothing + eat lots of veggies and drink lots of water. I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully more coherent!
Have a wonderful Monday!