I smell… a dramatic diet comeback!

Miscellaneous

Everyone starts off their new diet or new healthy life style change with enthusiasm. We stock our shelves and fridges with fresh produce and whole wheat bread with all the ambition in the world that we will continue on this path. We set our alarm clocks and get up early to hit the gym or fit in a run and we feel empowered and proud when we accomplish the workout.

The trouble is that after some time has passed, things tend to “come up”. Motivation starts to fade little by little. Gym fees and sessions start to look more like torture. Long weekends, holidays and birthdays complete with cake happen to us all. We suddenly find ourselves feeling guilty as we reach our hand into the near empty chip bag. How did this happen when we were so sure of our new diet?

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

This past weekend I threw a Halloween costume party. I love party planning. It’s something I enjoy and I’m good at it. I guess it must be the PR side of me and all the event planning I’ve been involved with!

The party was, of course, adorable and full of Pinterest inspired crafts and food, however, it was basically hog heaven. There was beer (LOTS of Redd’s Apple Ale), chocolate, candy corn, cupcakes, bread, dips, pasta, cookies, sloppy joes, Jello shots with whip cream and bacon and cream cheese dishes galore. It was a fantastic feast with good friends and very much enjoyable. I gave myself a free diet pass and enjoyed whatever I wanted…sometimes life is just too short to waste a good time counting and cutting calories! Plus what’s the fun in planning the party if I didn’t get to enjoy all the treats I made for it?!

One of two dessert tables.

One of two dessert tables.

My free-for-all feast was fun and a nice break while it lasted…that is until Sunday morning suddenly rolled around and I felt like complete and total garbage. I wasn’t hung over because I only had about five beers in the span of six hours. It was more of an entire overall body bloat and crappy mental state. There’s a reason I try so hard to eat a clean diet and exercise five to six days a week, because if I don’t, I know how terrible I will feel afterwards. I may sound like a typical girl and my boyfriend would roll his eyes at me, but I feel so fat and bloated after a few days of eating junk or even after a larger than life cheat “day”. I hate that feeling and it makes me crabby. I ate a little better on Sunday during the day, but not by much and I went to bed that night feeling generally crappy.

Monday morning rolled around and I dragged myself to the gym at 5:30 a.m. to fit in my workout before the office. (As you can guess, I didn’t workout all weekend as I was busy preparing for the party by decorating, cooking and baking. As you can also probably guess, I kicked my little butt at the gym with 40 minutes of HIIT that morning.)

Now I’m in the midst of a dramatic diet comeback from the past week and a half free-for-all. When I make the decision to get back to my regular clean eating habits, there are a couple of key things that make a huge difference for me that I always try to include.

Four tips to help you get back on your diet:

My gallon today -- as I was writing this post actually!

My gallon today — as I was writing this post actually!

  • Drink Water Like It’s Your Job. I try to drink over a gallon of water each day at work and then about three or four water bottles before, after or during my workout. All of this water helps to remove toxins from the body. You should normally be drinking a gallon a day, but it’s especially important when you’ve slacked for a few days and ate lots of sugar or grease. Keep a gallon right next to you wherever you go. Make it a priority to drink a gallon for a minimum of five straight days in a row.
  • Meal Replacement Shakes. Some people may not agree with me on this, but this is what I’m recommending because it works for me and my body. I have a meal replacement shake for lunch everyday at work for about a week and a half when I’m getting back into the swing of things. If I head to the gym late one night, I’ll have some tuna before the workout and then another meal replacement shake after and use it as a protein recovery shake. (It’s important to take note of how your body responds to different components of your fitness journey. Some people I know can’t just eat a meal replacement bar or shake because they mentally can’t do it and find themselves distractedly hungry an hour after. Do what works for you and listen to your body. Although a healthy lifestyle requires a great deal of dedication and self-discipline, if you find that you are hallucinating from hunger pains an hour after you had a meal replacement shake, then maybe it’s not the best route for you — and there’s nothing wrong with that.)
  • Start On A Monday And Don’t Miss A Day All Week. Being in the gym is motivating. Finishing a run with a strong sprint makes you feel like a bad ass. Find that inner “pump” every single day to help build back up your motivation and inspiration. You’re not going to find inspiration by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself for falling off course. At the gym you’re surrounded by people with the same attitude that you once had. Watch them, learn from them and then inherit that attitude again.

    Chillin' in the Sauna.

    Chillin’ in the Sauna.

  • Sauna It Up. I absolutely love the sauna at my gym. I love being hot and a deep sweat is a great way to flush toxins out of your system. The sauna is also super relaxing and a great place to go after a tough workout to reflect on how hard you just worked. Listen to music, close your eyes and try to stay in for about 40 minutes while taking short water breaks every 10 minutes.

Apart from eating lots of fruits and veggies, preparing your meals in advance and getting lots of sleep, these are my top tips for getting back into the swing of a clean eating healthy life style.

Here are a few very other quick tips that you can incorporate when you feel like you’re getting back into a good place:

  • Drink your coffee black or only add one Truvia packet.
  • Drink green tea instead of coffee or sip on it during the day. (Green tea can aide in weight loss.)
  • Don’t eat after 7 p.m. (Again, this tip goes with the whole “listen to your body” speech that I gave earlier. It you’re on the verge of passing out, but its 8:15 p.m. then screw the rule and eat something! Never starve yourself.)
  • To help with not eating after 7 p.m., brush your teeth and floss immediately after your dinner or last meal of the day, then put on mint flavored chap stick like Burt’s Bees. I find this helps with temptation.
  • Stay out of the kitchen! Every time I find myself starting to slip it’s usually because I’m staring blankly into the fridge and fighting a mental battle with myself. “It’s cold out, I can have all that left over pasta” or “I already worked out today, I can have some of that ice cream in the freezer… I’ll only have a couple scoops…” NO. Get what you need to get, eat it and then walk away.

What are some other tips that you guys have for getting back into the swing of your diet? Have you found or heard of something that worked for your body or someone you know?

New mindset — control your mind, control your life.

Miscellaneous

Life is good!

I have never felt stronger or faster in my training. During the past two months I’ve really come into a new mind set about working out, fitness, diet and just overall being healthy.

I’m working out five to six days a week and am doing great on eating clean. May 19 (Cleveland half marathon) is looking so good in 8 days! It’s funny though, I actually have never felt like a real runner until I started training for the half marathon. I used to run around three miles each run and now I’m averaging five to six on a normal run, plus a little over 10 on my long weekend runs. I feel great!

My dad and I after kickboxing class.

My dad and I after kickboxing class.

In my new mindset I’ve made a couple of changes over the last two months, especially in the way I think about health and fitness. I used to only do cardio, which is of course important, but I was missing the bigger picture. I wasn’t lifting weights, I wasn’t switching up my workouts and I wasn’t eating clean. I was frustrated because I wasn’t seeing any results. I wasn’t trying to lose a lot of weight, but I thought I would lose some just by training for the half marathon. My mind set actually started to change when I joined Instagram and started following a lot of health and fitness users. I started to see the importance of how your entire lifestyle has to change to get results. I started to become more knowledgeable on calories, weights, workouts and foods. I have learned so much just by surrounding myself with the right people. My dad is also a personal trainer and teaches spinning and kickboxing. I’ve never went to him for help with diet and exercise until only recently. What a valuable resource I was overlooking! My dad has a vast array of knowledge about training, nutrition and supplements. Him and I actually workout three times a week together at 6 a.m. (Yes that early, but I have found that I actually love it!)

Now eating clean is a constant struggle for me. Everyday I have to fight the temptation to eat Taco Bell or a giant box of mac & cheese (what? Is that weird?) I have noticed such a difference in how I feel after eating crap and when I am eating clean. I have dropped five pounds in just changing the food I eat in my diet. Imagine what I can do if I try even harder? I am starting to understand and respect everything the body is capable of. It’s actually really incredible if you think about it. We have the choice to build our bodies exactly how we want them, it’s just how bad (or how less) we want it that
sometimes gets in the way.

Here are a few things I’ve changed in my diet:

  • I’ve found that planning my meals and snacks is key to success. There’s a reason people say “fail to plan, plan to fail.” I eat every two to three hours and I know exactly what I’m going to eat when I do.
  • I always have a banana or apple on me (at ALL times) in case I’m suddenly overcome with violent hunger. This keeps me from bingeing when I do actually sit down to eat or from stopping at Wendy’s.
  • I track all the food I eat. I use MyFitnessPal on my smartphone and I keep a notebook where I also track the food along with the time.
  • I aim to eat protein and/or a fruit or vegetable with every snack or meal.
  • I eat peanut butter and yogurt when I am craving sweets, which is daily.
  • I kept hearing “DRINK MORE WATER.” So I upped my H20 intake. I now try to drink a gallon a day. It seems like a lot some days, but it does a good job at keeping me feeling full. Try it!
A normal meal now-a-days

A normal meal now-a-days

As far as my workouts, I run outside or on the treadmill, I use the elliptical, I go to spinning class, boot camp, a cycle and sculpt class and kickboxing class. I play on two volleyball teams twice a week. I also try to do abs everyday and I recently started the 30 day squat challenge (see below, today is day 7 for me.)  Working out with my dad has also helped me immensely. Before working out with my dad, I was intimidated by the weight area of my gym. I joked that I needed him for “emotional support” at first and it really helped having him there to spot me on bench and to give me tips and tricks on the other machines. I would have never touched the squat rack before working out with him, nor a drill where you pull down on a giant rope. I love lifting weights now and I’m looking forward to being able to lift more and more and improve.

Snack time!

Snack time!

I continue to do research on nutrition, foods and workouts to help keep me motivated. I would suggest to anymore looking for motivation to actually start on social media. There is a large gathering of fitness experts out there posting things every hour. It not only keeps you motivated, but it gives you more ideas and boasts your spirit that there are other people out there working just as hard as you, if not harder — and that’s why you continue!

What motivates you? What tricks or tips do you have to stay motivated? What changes have you made recently to transform your health and fitness routine?

Try this 30 day challenge

Try this 30 day challenge

The other important thing about working out…eating.

Miscellaneous

“Abs are made in the kitchen.”


I don’t know who said that, but damn they were right. I have no problem with getting myself to the gym and making it through a two hour workout – it’s the afterwards that gets me every time. As I get get older, I am starting to realize I don’t have the metabolism of an 18-year-old anymore. Sure 23 isn’t old, but I’m well aware that even though I workout often, I’m not going to continue to be skinny if I am eating junk food all the time.

I’ve been reading a lot on nutrition. Not diets, because I don’t believe in diets. Diets don’t work. The word diet triggers every single person on this planet to become an angry, deprived stress monster. Diet’s don’t work. What does work is clean eating. We must learn to not give food an outrageous power over us. Instead we must understand that food is here to fuel our bodies.

Yes, food is delicious, and sometimes I love nothing more than pasta and pies and gummy bears (judge me.) But I’ve also been reading about the affects that food has on us. I try to remind myself about this when I am thinking of eating something bad. I feel guilty, terrible and bloated when I eat, say a cheeseburger, rather than a salad or sandwich on whole wheat bread. It hangs over you and the sugar makes you crave more sugar. There’s been studies out there that compare quitting junk food to quitting drug addiction.

Choosing to eat clean is an important step that I have been  focused on these past two weeks. I’ve tried incorporating it into my life little by little.

I’m also always on the go, so I’ve been researching green smoothies. I found a few recipes and combined the ones I liked into one of my own. Although my smoothie didn’t come out this bright green, pretty color, it still had all the same fruits and veggies in it, and it still tasted delicious. I made one every day this week.

Not-so-green smoothie

  • Two hand fulls of spinach
  • Two pieces of celery, chopped as little and thin as possible
  • One cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • One banana
  • Six strawberries
  • One orange
  • One apple
  • Hand full of black berries
  • A few slices of cucumber, chopped as little and thin as possible
  • Four or five ice cubes (demands how icy you like your drink)

Breakfast and lunch on Tuesday.
Monday
-Breakfast: smoothie
-Lunch: salad, lemon as dressing, apple
-Dinner: organic soup, mango
-Snacks: carrots, celery, pomegranate, Greek yogurt

Tuesday
-Breakfast: egg white omelet with veggies, avocado, smoothie
-Lunch: smoothie
-Dinner: organic soup, blackberries
-Snacks: orange, two cups of green tea, pistachios, carrots

Wednesday
-Breakfast: Greek yogurt
-Lunch: salad, lemon as dressing, smoothie
-Dinner: organic soup, hard-boiled organic egg, tomatoes
-Snacks: smoothie, pomegranate, blackberries, celery, green tea

Thursday
-Breakfast: whole wheat toast
-Post workout breakfast: egg white omelet with veggies, avocado, smoothie
-Lunch: smoothie
-Dinner: salmon (2 pieces), veggies, whole wheat rice, pistachios
-Snacks: two cups of green tea, apple, celery

Thursday big dinner (2.5 hour workout)

Thursday big dinner (2.5 hour workout)

Friday (today)
-Breakfast: smoothie
-Lunch: salad, small amount of dressing
-Dinner: egg while omelet with veggies, avocado, salsa
-Snacks: celery, carrots, Greek yogurt, orange, green tea

My goal is to modify by a little this weekend, since we’ll probably go out to dinner and have a few drinks with friends, but still keep the concept.

What are you guys doing to eat clean? What are your thoughts and ideas on how to make it work for you?