Sunday, April 29, 2012

Small Wins = Big Victories

Last week I told you about how I avoided "free" french fries.  This week I went out to dinner with friends again.  I've become very good at planning and prepping for day-to-day meals.  But, when I get off of my routine, this is when my mind gets weaker.  I begin reading a menu or give myself permission to eat off plan just this once because I deserve it!

Since I'm focusing on clean eating, it was really difficult for me to find anything on the menu that was completely clean.  So, I decided to ask the server if I could make my own meal instead - and it was a success!  I ordered a grilled chicken breast with a side of grilled asparagus.  It was inexpensive, delicious and healthy.

When everyone around you is eating off the menu, it can be difficult to do something different - either due to pressure or lack of wanting to think outside the box.  This is a mental game - just keep you goals in mind, focus on the fun with your friends and remember that food is fuel.  You will be successful!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free French Fries

Last night I went out to happy hour with my girlfriends.  I have been doing SO GREAT with my clean eating, that I didn't want to mess it up.  I planned, which is key as you know!  I ate a healthy snack just before I met my friends and planned to eat dinner when I got home.

As luck would have it, the restaurant offered a Foursquare special if you checked in - free french fries. And, not just any french fries.  You could get:

AMERICAN FRIES: straight up with Heinz
PARMESAN FRIES: with a trio of sauces
TRUCKSTOP FRIES:  covered in chipotle cheese sauce
PICKLE FRIES: with horseradish and honey mustard sauces

And, let's not forget:
DISCO FRIES: Canadian 'poutine' style with melty mozzarella, slow cooked pot roast and gravy

Everyone ordered fries - they were free, right, so why not!?!  And, if I hadn't already eaten my cheat meal for the week, I probably would've, too.  But....I didn't!  I came home and ate a healthy dinner.  It was tough sitting there with everyone eating, but mainly because people kept offering me food.  I hate to make a big deal about my clean eating, especially when others are indulging.  I really don't want to come off as being too good for something, but it's not worth giving up my goals.

Just because something is free, doesn't mean it's a good deal.  When I got home, I was SO happy that I planned and stuck to my guns.  I ate a healthy, satisfying dinner and did not miss the fries.  I also missed out on a lot of calories!

Good gravy - literally!  In case you're curious, here's what I passed up! 

Calories 524
Fat 24g (12g saturated)
Carbs 44g
Fiber 4g
Protein 17g
Sodium 852mg

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eat Clean, Train Mean, Live Lean

I'm about to share (again) the most valuable information I've learned during my 'journey'. If you truly want to transform your body, you must strength train! I'm so passionate about strength training and lifting free weights because it will help shape your body and burns calories around the clock.

Does muscle weigh more than fat?

This is a constant debate, but a pound is a pound is a pound. If you are only using the scale as your gauge for progress, I hope to change your mind - measurements are more important!

A pound is a pound. But, what you do with that pound makes a difference:

Take your measurements!

The scale does not tell your whole story. This is not me, but is a perfect example of why you should take your measurements, pay attention to how your clothes feel and look in the mirror to get your feedback. It's not all about the scale!

When I first reached my goal weight of 140 in 2006, I was thrilled to be a size 6. (Right??!!!)  But, I knew I could bite off even more. I started lifting weights and my weight didn't change at all, but I eventually moved into a size 4. Not only that, my body had more shape, curves and I felt STRONG!

Don’t be a cardio queen

Now, ladies, when I say lift weights, I mean LIFT. I was in the weight room a few weeks ago and saw a woman in her 20's doing bicep curls with three pound weights. It took all of my strength to bite my tongue! She was doing absolutely nothing for her body with those “curls”.  Three pounds - five pounds - eight pounds...these weights are not for you! You have to lift more to promote change and muscle development. Make it difficult and change things up.

I recommend lifting weights three times per week, not consecutively.  One to two cardio workouts in addition to this will be sufficient.  The cardio queens who workout on the elliptical every day have patience, but they are not STRONG!

This is a great article about what lifting can do for you. Start now and you won't be sorry!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's always time to set goals

I was feeling really overwhelmed this week. I've started training for my (first!) half marathon, which requires three days of running per week. Last year when I trained, I dropped by weightlifting days down to 2...then 1...then zero days per week. I love lifting and I don't want to fall behind again, plus it will help me keep my weight down. So, I've also scheduled lifting three days each week, which leaves one rest day. I am doing my best not to double up workouts, so I can dedicate my energy appropriately, but that doesn't always work.

With six workouts per week, a full-time job, our cleaning business, etc. etc. etc., I wasn't sure how I was going to fit everything in. Plus, I always have other non-fitness goals going on in my head because I can't sit still :) I have a lot I want to accomplish yet this year and I had to get organized.

I went to my favorite coffee place and sat down with my GTD binder:
  • First, I scheduled all of my workouts on my personal calendar. These are appointments I cannot miss - especially if I want to be prepared for my half.
  • Then, I wrote down two other things I wanted to accomplish this year, but I had to break these goals down further: 1) What is the first step I need to take to get started? 2) What is the next step after that? 3) Schedule time on my calendar to take these steps.
  • Finally, I wrote down where I wanted to be at the end of the year and another item to start planning for in 2013.

I have everything organized and know the small steps I need to take every day to achieve them. I keep the plan with my personal calendar so I can look at it every day as a reminder of where I'm heading.

Also, I read a great article this morning on goal planning and this guy suggests the GTD system as well. I highly recommend it!