What Do I Do If….

I’ve asked my Facebook friends to suggest what they want me to write about.  Caitlin wants to know what I do when in social situations such dining out, drinking socially and even home partys.  This is a big opportunity for anyone to f*ck up but if you are mentally committed to your goals it isn’t so hard.

Date Night

I’m dining out on a date or with friends, what do I order?  

Watching what you eat is a HUGE part of being healthy.  Even though the diet I am following is very specific with a lot of protein and very little carbs it can be difficult to eat out.  You need to keep in mind what you need to eat and what you don’t.  A great tip I received from my friend Stacey is to focus on the protein and build around that.  So for example, you order chicken or fish (not friend of course!) and if it comes with a veggie and potato then ask for double veggies in place of the potato.  Or only eat a little of the potato.  If you are out for Italian where it’s hard to avoid pasta, most restaurants offer whole wheat pasta.  This doesn’t mean you can have whole wheat Fettucini Alfredo so get that out of your head!!  (Let’s be real, good Italian alfredo is amazeballs but so not worth the calories after busting your butt in workouts.)

Shots!

I’m going out drinking with my friends, can I drink?

This subject couldn’t be more perfect for me at the moment since I’m going to Atlantic City tonight with about 20 people!  Yes, you can drink but if you drink often then you have a bigger problem than watching your calories.  Last Friday night I gave in and had a glass of red wine.  Typically I could drink 1-2 glasses with a meal but about three sips in it went right to my head.  This is good because it means I don’t need to drink a lot.  Stay away from mixers (cranberry juice, orange juice and sour mixes) because they are high in calories and sugar.  The SkinnyGirl lines of cocktails, vodkas and wines are a great alternative or just have vodka and club with lime.

Snacks!

What do I do at family gatherings where I don’t have options?

I don’t know about your social gatherings but everyone always brings something such as appetizers, wine and dessert.  If you know there won’t be anything healthy for you to eat, why not bring it with you and share with everyone?  This way you know how it’s made.  There are great ideas on Pinterest that you can find if you need suggestions.

It’s important to follow a healthy diet but it doesn’t mean giving up all the delicious things you love.  You can have what you want but in small amounts.  I already know that I’ll be partying in AC tonight, having a family dinner tomorrow, dinner with friends on Saturday night and Easter brunch so I need to make sure I stick to my diet in between and make smart choices in those situations.

(Taking a few days off from the blog…Happy Easter to all!)

Far From Perfect; Closer to Puke

I feel as though my recent posts have been too fluffy and wanted to remind you that I’m far from perfect.  Tonight’s class was super tough and I started to feel lightheaded.  It could have been lack of protein today or just the up and down movement but either way I felt discouraged.

Here are some true stats of the last 2 weeks:

  • Number of times I’ve thrown up in my mouth – 3
  • Number of times I’ve come close to tears in class – 2
  • Number of times I’ve cried after class – 2
  • Number of classes I’ve completed – 8
  • Number of pounds I want to lose – A LOT!

Before class I was dreaming of a burger a fries and after working so hard there is NO WAY I’m eating that!  I worked way to hard to do that to myself.  I’ll keep moving along and update you all.

Babe Ruth

What Is My Workout?

I Love Burpees!

I realized recently that i haven’t been very informative about what my workout regiment is and let you know!  I’ve been talking a lot about Zone 360 in but what is it!?  The best description is like a boot camp.  Zone 360 has been designed to target every muscle in your body through interval training, strength training, speed, agility, flexibility, endurance and balance (atleast that’s what the website says!).

What does that mean exactly?  Each night we focus on a different part of the body.  For instance, Monday night was more of a core workout but it also incorporated legs.  We did stations for 30 seconds and you can go at your own pace.  First I had to do squats while moving a thick rope up and down like waves.  Next I had to pick up a 10lb medicine ball up in the air and throw on the floor then squat and pick up 3 times.  Then I had to put the ball on the ground and tap it with my toes 5 times.  Next were bear crawls (imagine walking on your hands and toes with you ass up in the air) for 50 meters then frog jumps back 50 meters.

Next station was a step with weights; the step was approximately 1.5 feet in height.  Then burpees with a bosu and lastly taking a 30lb bar, pressing it against your chest then clearing it over your head, resting on your shoulders and squat.  We completed three rounds of this in 30 second increments.  It was great!

The best part of these classes is they are different every time.  It keeps me interested and definitely the heart rate up.  If you are tired of your usual workouts on a treadmill or are looking to mix it up, I highly recommend classes at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County or a gym that offers boot camp near you!

Benefits

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 10.27.47 AM

I’m into my second week of Zone 360 and my diet.  I have felt so many benefits already and wanted to share if you’re looking for some motivation.

  1. Clarity – Before I started this there was so much “noise” from myself and outside people.  In an unconscious way I seemed to cling to negativity because I felt bad about myself.  But I also had inside noise because I was always thinking about what I should be doing like going to the gym or eating better.  I am so busy with the workouts and planning my meals that I have no time for the bullsh*t but also feel very positive and want to help others become better.  
  2. Strength – I was already a strong person but I feel even strong now.  I am stronger to make better decisions for myself and to push me to kick butt in class.
  3. Confidence – Lack of confidence has always been a bit part of me because I never felt good about myself.  I felt like everyone around me had their sh*t together and somehow I was missing the boat.  I feel more confident already because I’ve accomplished so much in a week and a half.  I know I can push myself outside of my comfort zone and succeed.  I also think my blog followers have given me confidence to persevere.  Through the many comments and text messages I found that I have more in common with people than I knew because they face the same challenges.
  4. Clearer Skin – I have been blessed with good skin my whole life.  I never went through zit breakouts like I know so many people do.  The other day I was washing my face and noticed that it was so much smoother.  I’m sure I’ve been sweating out a lot of toxins like my friends cosmo and pinot noir!

I also want to start to share my weekly goals with you to hold myself accountable.

This week’s goal:  Sticking to the workouts and making it through without stopping.  Continue to stick with the diet and lose 5 pounds.

Food!!

I love cooking especially during the holidays.  In fact, for Christmas Eve I cooked everything from Ina Garten’s recipes.  Ina, better known as the Barefoot Contessa, cooks mostly French for entertaining which means butter, cream and oil.  These were my 3 food groups and I was a huge fan of carbs!

Taking on this change in my life has meant changing the way I eat.  Luckily for me I have always loved vegetables but eating them for every meal can be challenging.  I am not a nutritionist or doctor but I have found meals that work for me to follow in these simple rules:

  • 1 gram of protein per pound of weight
  • No carbs after 4pm
  • No sugar
  • Eat every 2.5 to 3.5 hours
  • 1 gallon of water a day

Do I follow these rules 100%?  No, but 90% of the day I do!  That is a big improvement of my old habits.  Now, I’m working on new and healthy habits.

This weekend I went food shopping and bought everything I need for the week.  This helps me stay on track without seeking the bad stuff.  I bought things like chicken, turkey sausage, chicken sausage, spring mix, veggies for my salads, bananas, strawberries, eggs and egg whites.  Below is a sample of what I’ll be eating today:

  • Breakfast:  1 egg with 3 egg whites, turkey sausage patty, Ezekiel bread
  • Snack: Strawberries
  • Lunch: Salad (spring mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and balsamic vinaigrette) with grilled chicken
  • Snack 2 hours before gym: Grilled chicken and sweet potato
  • Snack after gym: Banana
  • Dinner: Turkey sausage with green peppers and onions
  • I drink as much water as I can during the day but if I want something with flavor I make my own brewed ice tea

I also have a large collection of plastic containers to help me prep my meals so I can grab ‘n go each day:

dishwasher

Here is also a sample of my turkey sausage with veggie prep:

sausage dinners This is a lot of work compared to how I was but it’s helping me get to my end goal so it is worth it.  A good prep day is Sunday and I’ve also started writing out my meals for each day so I know what to throw in my bag.

Do I Have the Strength To Go On?

First let me update you on my progress.  Yesterday was day 1 of week 2 and made a huge accomplishment.  I got through the entire class without stopping.  If you recall from my first day, I had to stop for about 10 minutes to catch my breath.  I also have dropped 9 pounds!  Not too shabby!

Secondly, I do my best thinking while I’m blowing out my hair which I was doing today.  I had so many thoughts of what I wanted to say and how to put it all in my blog.  My honesty to you and myself is a big part of this process.

I often look back on my life and wonder how I got to this day.  I reflect on my career, my relationships with friends and family but more importantly who I am on this Earth.  What have I contributed, am I a good person but more recently what has brought me to where I am today?  (Don’t worry I’m not going to get philosophical ‘n sh*t.)

The more obvious answer to this question regarding my  weight is food and lack of exercise, but why haven’t I taken care of myself before?  The answer is a bit more complicated but please bare with me because it contains and important message: mental health.

My life has been riddled with mental illness.  My brother, Sean, took his life when I when I was 16 and he was just shy of his 20th birthday.  He had suffered with depression (most likely bipolar disorder) for most of his life.  I had spent a lot of my childhood with psychologists/psychiatrists to help him get better but unfortunately his second attempt was successful.  For years I was so ashamed of the taboo term “suicide” but it’s more common than it should be.  I would not even tell people I had an older brother because of fear of having to explain why he’s not here.

My father, who passed in 2010, was also mentally ill with schizophrenia.  I can’t recall experiencing any of his illness because my parents separated when I was about a year old.

Why am I telling you all this?  This is very cathartic for me but also because this is a big part of me getting healthy.  For a long time I have feared being mentally ill because it tends to be genetic.  Sure, I’ve had my moments of being depressed like anyone else over work, relationships or just feeling bad about myself.  Those moments are normal but I’ve also been in that dark place and I don’t want to be there again….ever.  (and no, I am not on medication)

I have also become a people pleaser through all of this.  My mom and step-father have been through too much to have to deal with another child rocking the boat.  I just wanted to go under the radar and make them proud of me and not live in fear of this happening again.  They have been through too much.  But, being a people pleaser has caused me to put myself second.

I miss my brother every day because I won’t be able to share life’s accomplishments with him especially this one.  However, I have learned so much from these bad times: I’m so much stronger because of it.  I think this strength will get me through the days and weeks ahead.

Here is a photo of me and Sean with the creepy Easter bunny from Seaview Square Mall for you all to enjoy 🙂

seanlizeaster**Please know that this is a lot of sharing for me (and my family) so please be kind**

What’s Your Motivation?

motivate

Motivation is a huge factor in starting to change your life.  I’ve been motivated before to go to the gym and get on the elliptical but lost motivation quickly because my brain wasn’t set with a goal.  I am mentally prepared to get healthy through diet and exercise.  I’ve shared my moments of when I want to give up but what saves me is the way I felt before and my goal.  I want to hit my goal and not feel like a fat sh*t everyday like I did.

I came across some motivators that continue to push me:

Stephanie Meyer, Twilight author

Danni from The Biggest Loser