Saturday, March 10, 2012

Made It To March And Still Going Strong

So I've left behind all the New Year's Resolution quitters, to keep going strong with my mission to get my bikini body - the healthy way.  Since the first day I stepped on the scales I have lost about 20lbs and dropped a dress size, and I'm still motivated.

It's been about 10weeks since I started my resolution, and I'm sure many people who have lost weight don't see that as any big deal, but this is how I see it... how many people lose a lot of weight quite quickly through some fad diet or exercise program, and then within a year or 2 start to pile on the pounds again?  The way I am doing it is NOT a diet.  I've just adapted my lifestyle to a more balanced one, so I still have sweet treats (in moderation), but I think twice before I eat anything, I read the labels on EVERYTHING (yes shopping takes twice the amount of time than it used to), I make the majority of meals at home (so i can control what goes into the food and how it's prepared), and I've been educating myself to which processed or junk foods I can eat (in moderation) without doing too much damage.  I've also been working out more and educating myself about what's right for my body type.

By thinking before I eat, I am slightly more conscious about what I am doing... e.g. Do I really need a second helping of a high carb or high sugar meal? Do I really need that dinner on the menu that has twice the calories of something else I'd enjoy? Do I really need that doughnut that's "staring" at me through the glass display in the coffee shop? Am I really hungry right now or am I just wanting to eat 'cause I'm being a couch potato? How much time would I have to put in the gym to avoid that food doing any "damage"? etc.  It wasn't easy at first but over a month I trained my mind to think that way so now it doesn't really take any effort, it's just become a natural reaction when I see food.  Then I also make notes every day, through Weight Watchers Online, to keep track of what I eat so if the scales are not too kind to me on weigh in day I can take a look and see where I "cheated".

I won't deprive myself of anything, it more comes down to portion control.  For instance, if I have a craving for pizza, I will order it with light cheese or light sauce, and avoid oily meats on it, I may order grilled chicken and spinach for instance... which I love, but then I will also limit myself to 1 or 2 slices, rather than trying to eat most of the pie.  If I'm going to eat pasta, I try to have wholegrain, and I only eat a fist size portion (and no second helpings no matter how good it tastes. But I'll try to east it slowly to make it last longer!).

If I want a burger, I use a George Foreman Grill to cook it the leanest way, and if I want cheese on it I'll use a low fat slice, or some mozzarella (which is made with skimmed milk).  If I am out and about and want a burger I try to go to a place where they grill the meat rather than fry it.  Then sometimes I'll eat it as an open sandwich to save on carbs, or if I'm being really good I'll get it wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.  I also don't have cheese on it (as you'd be amazed how much fat and chemicals can be in "fast food" cheese).  Now restaurants are stating the calories in each plate they offer on the menu is also helpful to me for deciding what to order.

By checking the labels on foods when I'm out shopping, I AVOID all products that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (which is in pretty much every type of food in the States), and try pick foods that have minimal ingredients.  If the ingredients stated are longer than an average shopping list I will avoid them.  I also avoid any foods with hydrogenated oil, high cholesterol and/or high in saturated fats (the fats that can damage your heart and arteries).

By making more of an effort with exercise, I have been feeling a lot fitter, and it helps me sustain energy when I'm out working at an event for long periods of time.  I still have a love/hate relationship with the gym, so on the days when I really don't want to experience the sweaty aroma of strangers, I climb the canyons of the Hollywood Hills (and imitate Rocky when I reach the top!), or get my Cardio happening through Zumba (which really can kick your arse).  I've also been to some fitness classes at my gym, including the Zumba one, but that is a story for another day.  To support my fitness goals I have also started taking supplements to get the most out of my workouts, but also to make sure my muscles are getting fed, so I can tone up while losing fat.  I've still got a way to go before I'll be satisfied, but Rome wasn't built in a day, in the same way I didn't put on the weight overnight, I can't expect it to just disappear (though wouldn't that be wonderful?!).

I would say my biggest weakness to work on, currently, are buffets, which I discovered on a recent trip to Vegas.  I have managed to make better choices of what I eat if I go to one (which is rare), but I still lack the self discipline to only get 1 plate of goodies.  So until I lose another 10lbs I am going to avoid them, and then I will make it my next challenge.

I hope if you are doing something similar to me, it is going well for you.  I've received a lot of messages since I started this Blog, so I feel it's good we help each other keep going.  And if you did start the year right and gave up, it's not too late to get back on track.  Plus the gym is much quieter at this time of the year so it's less chaotic.  If you "cheated" and want to give up, then forgive yourself and keep moving, your body can handle a few extra sugars now and again.

We CAN do this... Emily :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 2 - 1st Resolution Report

Well, so far so good... I haven't cheated yet - although I know it's still early days.

It is Day 2 of my new years resolution - or as I like to call it - my "promise to myself"... and I made the most of it:
  • I washed all the dishes and pans etc., by hand (instead of using the dishwasher - hey every calorie burned counts right?! ) and cleaned the kitchen.
  • I deep cleaned the bathroom - tiles and all.
  • Watched some New Year detox tips on TV .
  • I joined WeightWatchers online so I could keep track of my food allowance.
  • I went power walking - running some errands at the same time.
  • I ate healthily - without feeling I was missing out on anything - after all I can eat anything as long as it's within my "points" allowance for the day.
  • I drank 5 glasses of water and some green tea, & coffee - so it didn't quite meet my required 8 glass minimum, but it's better than I was doing! And I resisted soda/fizzy drinks and juice.
So time for bed... also thank you to everyone who sent me messages about this.  It won't be long before we have our own social group for this kind of thing :-)

Here are some fun quotes I found about weight loss...

"The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again"
- George Miller

"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is."
- Ellen Degeneres

"If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner."
- Henry Sambrooke Leigh

"The rest of the world lives to eat, while I eat to live."
- Socrates

"Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip."
- Arnold H. Glasgow

"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork."
~English Proverb

"Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake."
~Author Unknown

"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. "
~Author Unknown

"I'm allergic to food.  Every time I eat it breaks out into fat."
~Jennifer Greene Duncan

"To lengthen your life, shorten your meals."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year New Start 2012

Well to begin with I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who makes a promise with the best of intentions, to quit something or to have some sort of self improvement as a new year resolution.  Well this year is no different... I have made myself a promise that I am going increase my fitness levels, lose body fat and tone up.  I know it isn't exactly an unusual concept, and something that I'm sure other people around the globe have declared to do too.

I'm sure it's not just me that has received a cynical look from close friends or family members when I have made a declaration to do something different, so this year, I am not going to go through that humiliation.  Instead, I am going to use this blog as a "Dear Diary" so to speak.  It means I can communicate things, without being judged, or having to listen to people not take me seriously.  It also means I can make notes of things that motivate me, and share stories from those days that are harder than others.  And, it also means I have to stay true to myself and stick to the plan.  Hopefully, anyone reading this blog who can relate, will join me on this mission.

So today is 1st January 2012.  For me this means:
  • No more junk food, except on allowed cheat days, and only if it's an urge I can't resist.   
  • I have to make my primary beverage water, and warm green tea. Though I will still allow myself to have a medium glass of fruit juice for breakfast (although that will cost me around 100 calories)!  
  • I will endeavor to use the George Foreman grill for cooking meat, 
  • I will use my juicer at least once a week - to make a "high nutrition" shake, 
  • I will try to avoid microwave meals as much as possible, and reduce my use of the microwave altogether (yes Microwaves are not that healthy for you)... 
  • And probably the most important thing is making sure I get at least 30mins of exercise every day, and at least 1.5hours of cardio or strength training every other day.
  • Keeping a weekly progress report including a weigh-in.
  • Keeping record of any days I couldn't stick to the plan - or ate badly.
  • Getting rid of any excuses.
I do have a gym membership, but I know it's going to be busy throughout January with all the new people who, like me, have made a new years resolution to lose weight/get fit, so for the time being, I am going to start off with:
  • Power Walking in my neighborhood
  • Zumba Dancing/Training on my Wii
  • "Playing" Wii Sports, Just Dance 3, and the Michael Jackson Experience
  • Intense house work - heavy duty cleaning etc
  • Getting up to change the TV channel, instead of just using the remote
  • Doing something active whilst watching TV or a movie
  • Using hand weights and exercise ball.
Then by mid February, the gym should be almost back to normal (yes most of those new members will have given up already), so I will start using it again, especially for the strength training, as I can do most cardio outside of the gym.

If any of you are reading this and are planning to do something similar, then I'd love to set up a little social group where we can share ideas and tips, and help keep each other motivated.  By the end of the year I want to feel like a different person... so my one question to you is... ARE YOU IN?