So my AWESOME gym started this Nutritional Challenge which will happen every month, and provide us with ways to improve our diet and eat healthy. This month, our challenge is to eat 3 servings of vegetables per day.
I am not a big fan of vegetables. The only vegetables that I can think of that I actually like and eat, are brocoli and asparagus. I never venture into the world of squash, artichoke, brussel sprout, and these weird named vegetables. Let me start by saying I don't even know the names in English of half of these vegetables. When I was in Brazil, my mom was doing all of the cooking and groceries, so if you ask me what they are called in Portuguese, I might not even know that! Plus, I would not even know how to start eating some of these vegetables. For instance, artichokes just look scary. Looks like something someone would feed you while you were being tortured. And don't even get me started on sweet potatoes.. Ew. I'm not a very picky eater, but sweet potatoes don't have a place in my heart.
So I decided to stick to the basics, and made a menu including the vegetables I do like and am familiar with. Since I was working today and am working the next two days, I created a menu just for tonight's dinner and the next 2 days. Here's what I came up with:
- Dinner: corn, asparagus + steak
-Breakfast: Omelet (incl. onion, mushroom, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach)
-Lunch: Asparagus, lettuce w/ carrots and red peppers, 1/2 steak
-Dinner: Green beans, broccoli + chicken pasta
-Breakfast: Omelet (incl. onion, mushroom, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach)
-Lunch: broccoli, lettuce w/ carrots and red peppers, 1 chicken
-Dinner: broccoli + sausage (pasta)
In order to organize myself with the prepping, I also wrote a To Do list so that I knew exactly what to make and prepare each night. So basically, I knew I had to prep the salad and the ingredients for the omelet for the next two days, as well as the amount and what to cook each night, in order to have left overs for the next day.
Once I did that, I knew what I needed to buy. So I made a grocery list based on my menu and went shopping.
After leaving work at 8pm, doing groceries and getting home, I didn't start getting dinner ready until 9:30pm as well as prepping for the next day. We ended up eating at 10pm, but I was able to pack my lunch and breakfast ingredients for the next 2 days.
Prepping is definitely not easy. This whole planning, prepping and storing takes a lot of time, not to mention the extra containers of food I need to take to work. But at the end, you save more money this way and stick to your diet, because you will have your food ready, waiting for you. You won't be going out to buy junk food, or grabbing too much or too little out of the fridge when leaving from your house in a hurry.
My plan is to write a menu Wednesday night for the rest of the week until Sunday, and then on Sunday write another menu for the whole next week, do groceries, buy extra tupperware because I will need it, and do all the prepping for the 3 days I will be working. This way, on Monday, all I have to do is grab the containers from the fridge, put in my lunch bag, and go.
I have a good feeling about this challenge and I am excited to stick with it and see how this will improve my body's energy and performance.
And who knows, I might even venture into eating an artichoke!
Monday, January 7, 2013
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
When I think of the first 3 months of 2012, I remember feeling very unhappy with myself, the way I looked, but I was not doing anything about it. I would stay home and not go out, simply because I didn't feel like wearing going out clothes, or clothes simply didn't fit me. I was focusing my time on feeling sorry for myself. It affected me in ways it shouldn't, because I shouldn't have let my physical appearance affect the way I feel inside. But the truth is it did. Some of the wrong choices I was making was eating out a lot, eating snacks and unhealthy foods all day, not watching my calorie intake, not drinking water, and not exercizing on my days off. I reached 160lbs.
I found out I was 160lbs on the same day my brother ran 60 miles in one day. We were measuring his blood pressure and weighing him to ensure he was healthy, and while he was out in one of his runs, I decided to weigh myself. The shock of having reached that weight, and seeing my brother achieve such an amazing goal, all at the same day, made me realize I should start doing something for myself. One week later, I had signed up for a GFit intro class, started doing a c25k program and started eating healthy. So I have my brother to thank for inspiring me to make this change in my life.
I started this blog at that same time, and looking back, despite a few set back (which I will discuss later) I see how far I have come.
I started the c25k program not being able to run for 2 minutes straight. But then, 8 weeks later, I ran my first full 5k. I kept running and the most I have dones was 4 miles straight. I did a couple of 5ks while in Brazil in November, and those were the last ones I did. December came and after I arrived back from Brazil and I haven't gone running since. But I have gone running during a couple Gfit classes and my speed has definitely improved.
I started using 10lb dumbells, 15lb kettlebells and 10lb wall balls. I now use 20lb dumbells, 25lb kettlebells and 15lb wall malls (depending on the exercises and intensity I might go lower or higher). I also went from jumping on and off the lower box at the gym to the highest (20 inches I believe). Those are the visible changes I have taken notes of, but I know I have gone up on weights in bench press, deadlift, as well as used thinner bands for assisted pull ups.
Overall, I lost 25lbs and reached my goal weight, but I have fluctuated, and gained 5lbs over the Holidays, which I will talk about more later. I also went from being a size 12/14 to a size 6, which despite the weight fluctuation, I still am a 6 :)
The biggest change I made was drink more water. I try to drink at least 2 liters a day. I rarely drink juice, soda or milk. This also changed a bit over the Holidays and when I was in Brazil. I track my calories and before travelling to Brazil end of October, I had started to only eat organic food and little carbs, but then the trip to Brazil came and my eating got a bit out of track..
The best part of this journey for me has been inspiring people. Since I started GFit and this journey, 8 people have come to tell me they decided to join because they had seen my progress. Two of them have stuck with it, and two will begin the intro this month. I can't express how great it makes me feel that my choices to become healthier also inpired others to do the same, in the same way my brother's choice inspired me to become better. It's definitely a very humbling, amazing feeling
So here's what happened, and here's what life and reality will bring:
I was doing really well with my eating and exercizing. I had lost 22 lbs by the end of October, which was when an opportunity to travel to Brazil for 5 weeks for work came, and I took it. Travelling to Brazil caused a few set backs for me, since I didn't have my usual intense GFit work outs, and easy access to the foods I had already implemented in my diet. Being from Brazil, I also really love the Brazilian food, and for that month I didn't restrict myself so much. So although I did go for a couple of runs, did a few at home work outs and tried to watch what I was eating, it wasn't as efficient as when I was home. Luckily, I only gained 4 lbs from when I had left.
So I come back to the US beginning of December, and had to get back on track. It was really difficult going back to GFit, my body felt as it did in the first week I had ever started. But soon I had lost the pounds I had gained, plus a couple more, which was when I reached my goal weight: 135lbs.
But then came the Holidays and a wedding I was in. Needless to say, I had little time to work out and lots to eat. I am now back at 140lbs, which means I gained 5lbs over the holidays.
I am excited to get back on track now, back to my healthy eating and exercizing more often. I'm sure these 5lbs will come off soon. Even before I went to Brazil, the weight fluctuated, and I had days where I kicked butt at the gym versus days where I did terrible. There were days I ate too much, and there were weeks I did amazing. But I have kept going, and after almost 9 months, I am happy to say I am still strongly motivated and goal oriented. The bigger picture shows improvement, and progress, and a happier self that I used to be.
I can't wait for what this year will bring. I can't wait to see what much more my body is capable of. I can't wait to come back here and write about all of the progress I will have made. And I can't wait to keep inspiring others to do the same!
Of course, we can't talk about a New Year and not talk about resolutions, especially when it comes to fitness, right??
New Year Resolutions:
- Run a half-marathon, and possibly a marathon by the end of the year
- Go up to 35lbs kettlebells when doing KB Swings or Goblet Squats
- Go up to 25lb dumbells for thrusters, push press, etc
- Do at least one unassisted pull up
- Eat healthy 100% of the time, minimizing processed foods as well cutting sugar
- Lose another 10 pounds or go to a size 4, no less than that.
That sounds doable right??