Tag Archive for progress pictures

Full Review: 21 Day Clutch {progress pictures}

So, much to my surprise when I woke up today, it wasn’t Friday. For whatever reason, yesterday felt like a Thursday for me and my week now feels discombobulated.

HAPPY WEDNESDAY

On another note, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out today. TERRIFIED, although I’m sure it won’t be that bad. (right? RIGHT?!) I’ll be sure to fill you all in afterwards (aka, I’ll share my chipmunk cheek photos with you for your viewing pleasure).

21 Day Clutch Review

bodybuilding.com

Photo Credit: Bodybuilding.com

I finished up the 21 Day Clutch as part of the FitLizzio Experiment! I’m soooo excited to give you all the details about this, so let’s get right to it!

The Program: 21 Day Clutch by Ashley Conrad

Program Length: 21 Days

Intensity: Hard

Workouts per Week: 5

Average Workout Length: 45-60 minutes

Overall Score (1-10): 7

Starting Weight: 152.9

Ending Weight: 149.1

THE WORKOUTS

This program had a mixture of lifting days and cardio days, with 2 rest days each week. The lifting days were full body workouts to be done circuit style. The cardio days were HIIT sessions that lasted anywhere from 15-25 minutes with an ab routine at the end.

Success rate: 99%. I stuck to all of the workouts and didn’t miss a single one. I did my own stretching and foam rolling (instead of what was prescribed), and added a barbell to the body weight squats to make it harder.

Likes:

-The workouts kicked my butt. I always left the gym a sweaty mess!

-You can day anything for 21 days. I liked that this program wasn’t something I had to commit to for a REALLY long time.

-While there was a small amount of steady state cardio that was recommended (but as an option), the cardio days were based around doing sprints on the treadmill. I agree with this philosophy and feel that it is the most effective way to improve your cardiovascular health as well as lose fat.

-I plan peppering both the lifting and HIIT workouts into my regular workout schedule about once per week.

Dislikes:

-The lifting workouts stayed the same throughout the entire program. I would have welcomed a little bit of variety.

DIET

I followed the diet to a T for 7 days, but found that it just wasn’t enough food for me. Ashley recommends 1/2 gram of Carbs per pound of body weight (for me, that’s only 75 grams per day!), 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (150g=good), and 1/2 gram of fat per pound of body weight (75g=good). While I had intended to follow this plan exactly, it just wasn’t doable for me. I am up at 5:30am and work 12-13 hour days sometimes. I workout, work, train clients, and chase a dog around throughout the day, so I’m very active. 1300 calories per day and such a low amount of carbohydrates wasn’t sufficient. Instead, I stuck to my own macro-nutrient numbers: 150g Protein, 60g Fat, 190g Carbs per day, with slightly less on rest days.

Likes:

-While the first 7 days I followed the exact foods that the 21 Day Clutch called for, by Day 8 I realized that it was also a macro-nutrient based diet, so I could swap out foods for other foods with similar macro-nutrient values: SCORE! Considering that’s also my philosophy when it comes to dieting, I went with that and made the adjustments I mentioned above.

Dislikes:

-Not enough food. I’m 5’7 and it suggested I eat 1300 calories per day. As I mentioned above, this isn’t nearly enough on a day I’m working out.

-The diet seemed like a “quick fix” type of diet, which I do understand. It’s laid out to be a 21 day turnaround, so to see big results that quickly, requires drastic measures. However, I prefer a plan that leads to a sustainable lifestyle and this didn’t seem sustainable to me. It’s also possible to see results without being too crazy about it (see below).

PROGRESS:

At some points throughout the last 21 days, I felt that my body was changing. Other times, I couldn’t tell. I have had several people tell me my upper body is leaning out a lot, so I figured something must be happening and I just continued to trust the process. I took my 2nd set of progress pictures yesterday and was surprised to see the changes:

IMG_8549

It’s funny how seeing yourself every day can skew your view of changes that are happening. I’m definitely happy with the results!

I haven’t decided what my next installment of the FitLizzio Experiment will be, but I’m going to be scouting that out over the next few days. I’ll likely go back to lifting heavy weights for a few weeks (and incorporating the 21 Day Clutch HIIT workouts, too!) before starting my next experiment.

Question of the Day

1. What programs have you done that you like?

2. Checkout the programs on BodyBuilding.com. Anything in particular you’d like me to try next??

Weekend Recap + Progress Pics

lean shoulders

It’s March!! My favorite month of the year! Not only because my birthday is this month, but also because it means that spring is coming! We’ve had quite the rough winter here in Santa Monica. 😉

Weekend Recap

I had a great long weekend with my family last week. I was sad to go, but I’ll be back soon! Being able to work remotely definitely has it’s perks. I’m thankful to have a job that allows me to travel and still work.

I didn’t take many photos during my trip, but here are a few highlights:

kombucha

Kombucha on tap at LGO

arizona sunset

A perfect AZ sunset.

nephew

Progress

I’m sure some of you are wondering how my 12 week plan is going, so here’s a little update:

I’m still loving this and it will likely just be what I do from here on out. The flexibility of counting macros is great, and allows me to stay on plan pretty much anywhere. I traveled last week, which is usually a dieting nightmare, but since my plan doesn’t call for specific foods, and rather a macronutrient count, I was still able to stay on track for the most part. I did have some extras here and there, but I planned on that and it isn’t something that is going to stall my progress (at least I hope not).

It isn’t easy every day, and some days it’s tough, but compared to anything I’ve ever done in the past, it’s extremely easy. I’m getting more and more used to it each day and finding it to be easier when I’m able to plan my days ahead of time. Just need to get better about actually doing that. 😉

Here are some photos that I took over the weekend. I’m really happy with the changes I’m seeing in my body!

lean shoulders

My shoulders are definitely leaner than when I started this!

leaning outStill have a ways to go, but I’m seeing more lines. 🙂

Workouts this Week

Monday: 20 min. Conditioning (KB Cleans, KB Snatches, Barbell Complexes, Burpee Box Jumps) + Chest/Abs

Tuesday: Crossfit

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: 20 min. HIIT + Shoulders

Friday: Back

Saturday: Rest Day

Sunday: Full Body

As always, my workouts are subject to change, but this is my tentative plan for the week.

Q’s:

1. What is your dream job?

2. Which workout are you most looking forward to this week?

We did it! Final No Added Sugar/Fake Sugar Challenge Update! {DAY 30}

This is what I woke up to today:

funnyoscarHaha, good morning to you too Oscar!

Final No Added Sugar/Fake Sugar Challenge Update

We’re still going strong. Today is officially Day 30!!! We decided to extend the challenge to the day we leave for Arizona, but technically, this is the final day of the 30 day challenge and will conclude my updates for the challenge!!! (You can find the others here, here, here, here, and here)

Feelings: I feel really good. I’ve said this before, but I feel better than I have in a long time. My head is clear and I don’t feel intense hunger pangs like I used to. I’m usually pretty even keeled when it comes to hunger and I don’t need to eat being satiety.

Cravings: It’s strange, actually. I’m not necessarily craving any one thing. I look at cookies and go “meh”. Same thing with cakes, candy, etc. At the same time, I do feel like I’m missing something. Like there is something out there that I am craving, but I can’t figure out what it is. Never thought I’d say that!

Body: As you can see, I lost a lot of fluff off of my stomach through this challenge. I cut out diet soda and the Splenda I used to put in my coffee. Those were the hardest to cut out, but have made a huge impact on my body, in my opinion.

Final Thoughts

This challenge was definitely one of the most eye-opening challenges I’ve ever done. It’s amazing how much sugar is added to so many foods and sauces that you wouldn’t even imagine could have sugar. Avoiding it was tough at times, but since I eat pretty basic foods anyways, it didn’t throw me for too much of a loop. Someone that has a diet including lots of processed foods would likely have a much bigger change in what they could/couldn’t eat. The biggest change for us was that we couldn’t really go out to eat anywhere. Since we didn’t know what ingredients were in the foods, it was tough to go out. We were able to have Chipotle (certain items) and eggs/potatoes at our local breakfast joint, but other than that, we basically ate at home or brought food with us.

It was interesting to see the different stages that Charlie and I went through.

The 2nd day of the challenge, I had a huge headache. The kind of headache you get when you don’t drink caffeine for a few days. It was definitely a withdrawal from either regular sugar or fake sugars. My guess is fake sugars because of how much I was consuming.

The next weird thing happened about 2 weeks into the challenge and was something that both Charlie and I experienced: insatiable stomachs. No matter how much we ate, it always seemed that we were still hungry. There was a day that both of us ate almost constantly throughout the day and by the evening, were still not full. It was very odd. We aren’t sure exactly what that was, but likely a result of sugar cravings that weren’t being satiated.

The last week of the challenge has been the easiest. I actually don’t feel like I miss sugar all that much. The thought of sweet treats and desserts kind of hurts my teeth. I have no interest in diet soda (and am glad to rid that habit), and Splenda is a thing of the past. I’ll be sticking with stevia.

Thanksgiving will be an interesting day. I have a feeling that when we do ingest food with sugar, we’re going to feel it pretty quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got sick from it. I’ll definitely make sure to report back about that.

We both plan to stick to this as much as we can going forward. We aren’t going to completely cut sugar out of our lives, but we are going to avoid it much of the time. We definitely aren’t going to go back to our old habits. The impact this has had on both of us is much greater than we expected and they are habits that we’d like to try to keep a majority of the time.

Favorite Things We Had to Cut Out

Lizzy:

-Splenda in my coffee

-Diet Soda

-Coconut Ice Cream

-Candy

Charlie:

-Reese’s PB Cups

-Haagen Daaz Ice Cream

-Starbucks Egg Sandwiches

Both:

-La Victoria Hot Sauce

-Weekly frozen yogurt date

-Ketchup

-Most breads

Progress

progressI need to take a final photo, but I didn’t have time this morning. I’ll post that this week as well.

Question of the Day

1. If I hosted a 30 Day No Sugar Challenge, would you want to be a part of it?

2. What is your favorite dessert? Maybe this will spark my cravings a bit! LOL

Exciting News + No Sugar Challenge Update – Day 24

Hey!!

If you haven’t entered my giveaway of a free race entry to a SoCal Reebok Spartan Race, you can do so here! Ends tonight at midnight!

It’s been a few days since I’ve blogged….sorry about that! Work and life got a little busy this past week…..

Remember the exciting news I couldn’t tell you yet?

Here it is….

Say hi to my boy!!!!!Meet Oscar!!!!!

He is our little pride and joy. Oscar is 8 months old and was a rescue pup from Boxer Rescue L.A.

I’m a totally obnoxious dog mom…..so get ready to see lots of pictures of our sweet guy. 😀

Giveaway

Have you guys entered my Reebok Spartan Race Entry give away???

It ends tonight at midnight and I have to say….not many entries (so better chances of winning!)

Workouts

My workouts have been great lately….and now that I’ve got Oscar…we’re walking and/or running several times a day. He’s a VERY energetic dog (like his momma), so we play a LOT. He’s keeping my cardiovascular health in check, that’s for sure!

Here are my workouts for this week and what I plan to do into the weekend:

Sunday: Back/Biceps (done)

Monday: 20 min. HIIT + lots of walking/running w/ Oscar (done)

Tuesday: Shoulders + walking/running w/ Oscar (done)

Wednesday: Legs + Boxing

Thursday: Chest/Tris/Abs

Friday: Boxing

Saturday: Active Rest

Sunday: Full Body

No Sugar Challenge Update

It’s officially Day 24 of the challenge! We’re extending it about a week, so we’ll end up at about 37 days total.

Cravings: I don’t even think or crave diet soda any more. This is a habit that I’d like to keep dormant after this challenge ends. It’s terrible for me, but I never wanted to quit. Now that I have, I might as well stick with good old water and Kombucha (OBSESSED w/ Trilogy flavor)

kombucha

Feeling: I definitely want some sugar LOL. Fruit is just not doing the trick. I want a cookie. There, I said it. 😀 They have these cookie’s at the coffee shop I go to and for now, all I get to do is stare at them and drool…

redVelvetV2I actually highly recommend checking out this company (Cookie Good) if you’re looking for gifts. They are TONS of fun flavors like Oreo Butterfinger, Bacon & Maple Syrup, Peanut Butter Pretzel, Birthday Cake, and soooo many more. They taste like heaven.

In all reality, this isn’t all that hard, but I do like to enjoy a treat every now and then. Not being able to do that has been kind of sucky, but it’s also fun to challenge myself like this.

Progress: I feel like I lost some fluff at the beginning, but have stayed pretty much the same since. I’m not doing this to lose weight and haven’t changed my eating habits aside from cutting out the added sugar/fake sugar. I am definitely welcoming the almost-abs, and have plans to kick things into gear with a NEW challenge in December. (I love challenges!!)

Day 1

day1

Day 20

DAY20

Hope your hump day is a happy one!! See ya tomorrow!

What’s a Pummelo?! + No Sugar Challenge Update: Day 14

Today is busy, busy, busy. Mondays always are, aren’t they? Let’s get right to it.

I was walking through the grocery store Saturday afternoon, and something caught my eye that I had never seen before. It was a pummelo. I’m guessing I’m about 1,000 years late to the party, but I had seriously never seen this before!!! And of course, I needed to get one and see what it was all about.

pummelo1It looks and feels like a grapefruit, but I’ll be honest, I had my doubts…..

pummelo2The closer I got, the more it did seem like a grapefruit. As I peeled it apart, I actually was thinking about how upset I’d be if it ended up tasting just like a grapefruit…

pummelo3The verdict? OMG, It’s delicious!!! Why did nobody ever tell me about these before? It tastes like a grapefruit without the bitterness. It also has a lemony taste to it as well. I’m officially in love and want to eat #allthepummelos. Thanks mom & dad for keeping me in the dark all these years. -_-

No Added Sugar/Fake Sugar Update: Day 14

Almost at the halfway point! I’d love to say it’s getting easier, but it seems much harder lately! Maybe it’s just because there is halloween candy and desserts everywhere I look, but I definitely eyed the shit out of these babies for an ungodly amount of time over the weekend.

cupcakesDon’t worry, I resisted. Not without shedding tears, though.

Feeling: I am hungry ALL the time, all day long. I eat and then I’m hungry again. And the cycle repeats. It’s kinda wild, actually. I think my metabolism is working much better without all the fake sugar I was consuming. I still feel clear-headed too!

Cravings: I don’t actually have any cravings, I just feel like I want a little something more. I for sure wouldn’t mind a donut right about now. 😀

Body: I’m feeling tighter and still, no bloating. It’s actually sad how much time I spent feeling bloated when I was taking in fake sugar and eating foods with added sugar. I truly think giving up the fake sugar has had the biggest impact, but taking both of those away has been truly wonderful in terms of how I feel.

Progress: I’m definitely seeing changes. They are small changes and hard to see on a daily basis, but looking over the past 2 weeks, it’s pretty obvious something is working!

progress13I think Charlie and I are actually going to extend the challenge a few days (we leave for AZ about 5 days after our original end date), so we (okay, really I made this decision) decided to just wait a few more days and then enjoy the holidays right! 😉

That’s all I’ve got today! Have a fabulous afternoon and I’ll see ya tomorrow!

Day 9: No Sugar Challenge Update {w/ Progress Pictures!} + Funny Dog Costumes

Hey guys!

Happy *almost* Halloween!! I’m probably not dressing up this year (I haven’t in a few years), but I always love seeing all of the funny costumes people come up with (especially for their dogs and babies)! These are some of my favorites:

Dogs-Carrying-Box Top-Paw-Basketball-Player-Costume-for-VznIvT-DogsS2 Khloe-Kardashian-Dog-Costumes 100-silliest-pet-halloween-costumes-large-msg-134764278367 animalhlwn1Haha!!!! There are SO many more…but I’ll stop there.

Workouts: Week of Oct. 27th

Monday: Sprints + 20 min. HIIT on Stairmill + Legs

Tuesday: Shoulders + Abs

Wednesday: Chest/Triceps + Sprints

Thursday: Boxing (or possibly a rest day)

Friday: Sprints + Legs

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Hike?

As you can see, I’ve recently started doing sprints at the track a few days a week! I started doing it to support my friend who’s competing, but I’ve been loving it and plan to keep it up. We keep it short and sweet while we’re there. We sprint the straightaways (100 yds) and walk the curves. We have been doing about 3 laps each time, which equates to 6 sprints.

No Added Sugar Challenge Update

Today is officially Day 10! We’re 1/3 of the way there! Here’s how it’s going:

Feel: I feel good. I’m a bit more tired lately, but I think that has more to do with my workouts than with the challenge. I definitely feel more clear-headed.

Cravings: At first, the cravings for diet soda were really strong in the evenings, which is when I would usually drink it. I think it had more to do with the habit than anything else. That has gone away for the most part and I don’t really miss diet soda. I’ve definitely been wanting “something” lately and can’t pinpoint what it is. I guess just being able to have a bite of something sweet or having Maple Almond Butter instead of plain is something I didn’t realize I would miss, but totally do! Overall, I’m handling it fine. I’m eating better than I have in a long time, and fruit is tiding me over when I’m craving something extra.

Body: I’m wayyyy less bloated and less hungry. I didn’t realize how much fake sugars were affecting me, but as I said in my last update, the extremes of hunger and fullness aren’t as extreme. Sure, I get super hungry, but it’s different. I also don’t get as full because I think my body is better able to tell when I’m truly full as opposed to just craving more.

Progress: (I’m taking photos as I go through this challenge to see what happens. I’m not changing my diet at all aside from cutting out added sugar and fake sugars, so I wanted to see what effect that would have on me.)

I can definitely see the changes between Day 1 and Day 9. I’m excited to see what I look like on Day 30!

day1 day9Well, that’s all I’ve got for now! I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! Eat some candy for me please!!!!!! :'(

Questions of the Day:

1. Do you incorporate sprints into your workouts?

2. Do you take in fake sugars? If so, in what form?

 

 

No Sugar Challenge Update + Leg Workout!

Holy mackerel. That’s about all I can say about yesterday!

Yesterday was one of those days that I call an Unintentional Fast. Basically I was completely unprepared for the busy-ness of the day, that I didn’t eat anything for most of the day. For the record, I am NOT pleasant to be around when I haven’t eaten!

The day started innocently enough. I knew I had a bunch of things to do, but thought for sure I’d have time in between to get some eggs or something at my favorite coffee shop. Umm, no. I grabbed a coffee and a banana at around 8am and that was the last thing I ate until about 3:30pm. Can I tell you what happened in between those hours? NO. Because it was mostly a blur. I remember packaging things up, getting signatures for a boatload of documents, and hitting up a FedEx store to ship off said documents, but I’m not sure what else happened.

Lesson of the Day: FEED LIZZY.

hangry_grande

(This shirt seems appropriate)

Wednesday Glute/Ham Workout

Charlie met me at the gym on Wednesday and did a leg workout with me. We focused a lot on glutes and hamstrings in this workout. I list my weights for reference, but you know your body and strength, so choose the appropriate weights for YOU.

3 Supersets: Barbell Squats (95×12, 115×10, 11510) & DB Reverse Lunges (3 sets using 20’s x 12 per leg)

3 Supersets: Leg Extensions (drop sets: 10 reps @ 70, drop weight to 50, do 10 more reps) & Supinated  Hamstring Curls (50 x 15)

3 Sets: Thick Banded Hip Thrusts (used thick green band)

3 Sets: 45 Degree Hypers w/ 25lb plate

As always, check with a doctor before starting a new exercise program. You know yourself better than anybody, so always remember to honor your body.

Update on No Sugar for 30 Days

So Charlie and I are officially on Day 5 of 30. So far, it’s going well. I definitely miss diet soda, but it’s getting easier each day and I’m drinking way more water (score!). I also haven’t been just grabbing a protein bar on the go as a sad excuse for a meal (see above), so I’ve had to definitely plan a bit more. It’s definitely for the better, as I’m eating much more REAL food. I ate really well before with the occasional treats, but now I’m eating REALLY, REALLY freaking well. I definitely feel better overall.

How I Feel: I woke up Day 2 with a headache that reminded me of a caffeine headache. I attribute it to the fact that I hadn’t had any artificial sweeteners. Seriously, that’s crazy. I didn’t realize that my body had built up such an addiction to it, but I guess two coffees (with 2 splendas each) and 1-2 diet sodas per day will do that.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping, but I’ve been EXHAUSTED this week. That could partially be from a busy work schedule and a jam-packed weekend, but I also think there could be some withdrawals happening for me with the artificial sweeteners. As I said, I didn’t realize how much this was affecting me, but it’s becoming clear that maybe it has. I’m definitely feeling better on Day 5 than I was on Day 2!

Workouts: I’ve been kicking ass. I haven’t noticed a difference here, other than I feel more determined.

Progress: Not a huge difference here, but I feel like my stomach seems flatter. I definitely feel less bloated.

photo(18)

Why I Train & What I Ate Yesterday

All I have to say today is….I’M SORE. Holy crap….

It’s crazy. Those who have been working out for a long time can understand. You go through time periods where you’re just REALLY on your game. Killing your workouts, pushing harder than ever, and really “digging in”. I feel like I’m in one of those phases and I’m loving it! I’m super sore and have been feeling muscles I didn’t know existed lately. That says a lot for someone who’s been training for 7 years (can’t believe it’s been that long!).

I did a back workout on Saturday that I’m STILL sore from and a leg workout last WEDNESDAY that left me sore clear through Monday. I’ll take it! I feel on, I feel good, my head’s in the game. (The results are showing, too!)

photo 1(7)

I still get people that ask me all the time “what are you training for?” I’m not entirely sure how to respond. It’s hard to explain the competitions that I compete in, in my head. (Haha, yes I’m crazy!) I try to explain it, but most people don’t get it. I train like I’m training for something, but the only something I’m training for is myself. I train to get better every day. I train to prove to myself that I can do it. I train to see progress. I also want to show the rest of the world the impact of training. Maybe MY form of training isn’t right for you, but SOME form probably is. Whether that’s hiking, biking, rock climbing, running, or whatever it might be….there’s something for everyone. It builds mental strength in ways nothing else can. I know that the reason I push so hard and am so efficient, goal-oriented, and well-rounded with my work is because of the training I do at the gym. I treat my work, like I treat my workouts: I’m there to kick ass. I’m not there to putz around. Working out is the one thing in life that nobody can do for you. You can get help with just about anything these days…..but nobody can workout for you. If you take that attitude with you to work, I think you’ll be amazed at how your productivity and success comes to fruition. I am a more confident, go-getting person than I was before I started working out and I am thankful that I fell into Lifts Studio back in 2007 and started this whole “working out” thing.

I’ll step off my soap box now. I get going and just can’t stop!

What I Ate Yesterday

People love to see what other people eat. I’m guilty too. Sweet potatoes are always sweeter on someone else’s plate, right?! 😀

Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: Quest Bar + Coffee + Apple (had a late start and was out of eggs :-()

questbar

Lunch: 3/4 cup cooked Brown Rice + 1/2 Avocado + Ground Turkey Burger Patty (about 4 oz.)

Snack: 2 Apples + Kombucha

Jonagold-Handappel4

(I definitely had a 2nd coffee too, but I don’t remember when it was?? LOL)

Dinner: Chicken Breast w/ Wing Sauce (umm…I may or may not have eaten this for dinner every night for the last 2 weeks! OBSESSED) + Green Beans

2014-09-10 20.13.18

After-Dinner Snack: 1 Peach & some grapes!! (I LOVE GRAPES)

Kind of a weird day of eating, but then again I’m kind of a weird girl. I am super busy during the day and sometimes it catches up to me and I realize I haven’t eaten enough. I usually end up making up for it over the weekend though (frozen yogurt? YES PLEASE).

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday! It’s Leg day for me…..wish me luck!

Questions of the Day:

1. Do you get into food ruts and eat the

#samethingeveryday?

2. When did you find your place in fitness? What is

your weapon of choice?

Monday Food Diary + Abs Pic

Another Monday in the books. Glad I got that one out of the way! It was a good, but busy one! (aren’t they always?)

Workouts

On the workout front, I got my 20 minutes of HIIT on the stairmill in + a bouldering session at Rockreation. I got WORKED at Rockreation. I didn’t take many breaks and was completely sweaty by the end….and I was only there for about 35 minutes! Such a fun sport. I’m so glad I was introduced to it years ago and re-introduced since I’ve been back here in LA.

 

Food Diary Monday, 6/24/14

On the food front, I journaled what I ate yesterday for you guys. I’ll be honest, my breakfast isn’t anything to be proud of. I forgot to make breakfast and this was my best option with the time I had.

Breakfast:

Americano w/ Nonfat Milk

Nugo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Snack:

Americano w/ Nonfat Milk

Lunch:

Paleo Beef Burger (Ground beef, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, ketchup)

Side of fresh fruit

Snack:

Quest Cookies n Cream Bar

Dinner:

Salmon, Avocado, & Brown Rice Sushi (the perfect ratio of protein, fat, carbs)

Mango Slices

Grapes

I realize that I’m a really weird eater, by the way. I eat a lot of fruit. And could easily eat a bag of grapes in one sitting (and often do). I need to be better about my breakfast and morning snack options (Coffee really doesn’t count! Just a busy morning). It’s helpful to look back at a day and see what I’m missing. I could definitely use some veggies, hello! I’ll double up today at lunch. 😉 (Maybe I’ll even take photos of my food one of these days! Haha…i’ll try…)

Here’s what my abs looked like after dinner last night. I’m going to try to take a few each week to see the changes. I’ll also try to take one in the morning before I’ve eaten or drank anything. The difference is quite large…

photo(2)

I’ll be heading down to ABA this evening for a Boxing class. I love boxing and ABA is definitely is the best sweat in Los Angeles. You don’t leave ANYTHING when you take those classes. It’s awesome.

Trying to get a bunch of work done early in the week so that I can jet out early on Friday and head home to hang with my family. I don’t like the 6 hour drive, but I miss them and want to hang with my cute little nephew, sister, brother, dad, and some friends.

Seriously?! Look at him!!!

Seriously?! Look at him!!!

Questions for the Day:

1. What meal is the hardest for you to stay on track with?

(Mine is breakfast just because I’m always rushing out the door. )

2. Have you ever journaled your food? Did it help you?

 

 

It’s Hard, But Not THAT Hard

…that’s what she said?

It’s an age old saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. 

They will tell you that if you don’t prep all of your food on Sunday, then you won’t succeed.

They will tell you that if you eat carbs at dinner, then you won’t succeed.

Eating after 8pm? You might as well have done nothing all day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to dispel some of these MYTHS and give you some tried and true advice that will help.

If you picked out 10 different fitness/health professionals and asked them how to lose weight, you would likely get 10 different responses. Honestly, maybe even 11. The debate is ongoing, but I highly advise that you take the pieces that work for YOU and piece together what is in YOUR best interest. There is no “one way” and it doesn’t have to be insanely hard. (Yes, that means I’m telling you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m not you and you’re not me, and Dr. Seuss would be proud of me.)

When I was preparing to compete in the NPC, I looked like this:

Oh hello there.

Oh hello there.

I sometimes ate 8-10 apples a day (not joking, fruit all hours of the day), oatmeal for dinner was quite frequent (sometimes even at 9 or 10pm!!!), and I rarely prepped all of my food on Sunday. I was lean as f*&^. I got even more shredded than the picture above.

Now I look more like this:

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

…but I’m fine with that and still like my body!

The point of the first picture is to prove to you that it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world to lose weight or even get super lean, if that’s your goal. (Clearly my goals are different now than they were in 2009. I want to be leaner, but not as lean as the first picture. I had my fun having the chest of a 6 year old boy, but I appreciate that I’ve stopped confusing my chest size with a very popular automobile club ahemAAAahem).

It DOES take dedication, and I won’t discount that. I was a really clean eater and didn’t eat any processed foods (except for my cheat day once a week).

What I AM here to do, is to give you some helpful tips that will help you get through the parts that are made to seem so difficult. I truly believe that with a little discipline, anyone can make a good change in their life. It doesn’t have to derail your life, and you can still enjoy food. In fact, I think depriving yourself is only a quick fix and can backfire on you over time. Somehow people started getting the vibe that food should be fuel and nothing more. I disagree. While food should primarily be fuel, food is to be enjoyed! There’s a reason that you feel happy when you take a bite of that chocolate chip cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. It’s not an accident.

With that said, here are my tried and true suggestions for anyone looking to get started on the journey to a healthier body (this includes losing weight or just becoming a healthier person)

-Eat a few times per day

This will help to keep your hunger levels in a comfortable place so that you don’t get so ravenous that you start devouring food without even knowing what hit you. No, you don’t have to eat 6 times per day, but try to get at least 3 meal times in. In the end, do what’s comfortable. I don’t necessarily think you should eat 1 meal a day, but if that’s what works for YOU, then who am I to change that? It comes down to….

Eat balanced meals 

For your main meals of the day, I truly believe in eating balanced proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is not only good for your body (as it needs all three of these), but also keeps you much more satisfied than you would feel if you left something out. Try to include a portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into each meal.

For example: If you order a baked potato(carbs) and butter(fat) and call it a meal, you’re missing out on the protein. Pair that with chicken, tofu, steak, eggs, or whatever protein choice you’d like. (You can even add plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I bet you won’t know the difference!)

-Watch your portion sizes

…but LOAD UP on fruits and veggies. For example: A medium container of strawberries like this is about 65-75 calories.

strawberries Eat the entire thing and tell me if you don’t look 6 months pregnant after that. I’ll likely tell you to eat another and report back. You’re only 150 calories into the hole at this point, so I don’t even feel bad. I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, but I’m telling you it’s one of my tricks. Giant bag of broccoli, a bunch of baby carrots, a container of strawberries, 1-2 apples. While they taste really good (and the fruit options double as a sweet-tooth queller), they also help fill you up so that you don’t feel unsatisfied after a meal and start digging into junk foods. This is definitely one of my best kept (okay, it’s not that well kept) secrets. I usually use the vegetables as my “appetizer” before a balanced meal and the fruit serves as my “dessert” when I’m feeling a hankering for something sweet.

For your main meals, you don’t have to go around measuring all of your food, but a good rule of thumb for each meal is this:

-make the protein part of your meal about the size of your fist

-the starchy carbohydrates portion of your meal should fit in the palm of your hand

-vegetables should be abundant and eat as many as you want (see above.if you start getting fat from eating too many vegetables, write me a letter and send it via pigeon. and P.S. let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the veggies’ fault…)

-fats should be around 1-2 TBSP

-fruit should be about 1-2 fist sizes, ideally

This is only a starting guide, and can vary from person to person depending on SO many things. Start with this and see how you feel.

Watch ingredients

One of the biggest and healthiest changes I’ve made over the years is watching my ingredient list. My boyfriend and I have become a bit obsessed with checking to make sure that we aren’t being fed random, awful ingredients that aren’t necessary. Thank you, but I don’t need any BUTANE in my food. Yes, they put butane (or as they like to call it BTHQ) in many packaged foods. For “freshness”. And maybe spontaneous combustion. The added high fructose corn syrup and hydrolized palm kernel oil that is put into practically EVERYTHING is also unnecessary. Find brands that choose to use REAL ingredients. Eat fresher foods. Eat local foods (that don’t require so many preservatives). I guarantee you will feel better and healthier by making these simple changes only.

Snack Well

(Not SnackWells!!!)

If you choose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, greek yogurt, minimal ingredient snack bars, chicken sausages, etc. you will be good to go! Snacking on empty calories does nothing more than keep your mouth busy. If that’s your goal, you might as well just make out with someone and save the calories! Eat a snack and make it COUNT. Some ideas: almonds and fruit, carrots and hummus, almond butter and celery, hard boiled eggs, Larabar or QuestBar, protein shakes and more!

-Eat the damn cookie

If you NEED a chocolate chip cookie (although you don’t really NEED it, but you catch my drift), eat the damn cookie. Just don’t eat 5 damn cookies.

In the end, it all comes down to having some discipline and a level head while wanting the best for yourself. You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to stop enjoying food. You have to decide that you want to be healthier, first and foremost. While you should enjoy your foods, the majority of them need to also be fuel to you. You will start to notice the difference in how you feel during your workouts (and in life!) as you slowly make these changes. In time, you will find that the foods that fuel you will also satisfy you, and will become the foods you crave. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to eat a plate of nachos again, but I do believe that over time, the desire will become less and less. The constant desire for junk will become just an occurrence here and there.

I hope these tips serve you well. I could probably go on for pages with all of the tips I have, so trust me, more blog posts on this subject will be coming!

I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I am not a magical wizard (although sometimes I like to think I am), so please check with one of those before making any dietary changes or starting a new eating regimen. Listen to your body and go with your gut. 

What is the best dietary change that you’ve made?

What do you struggle most with when it comes to eating?

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