I got asked recently what was my “secret” to my success, and as I started to recount my routine I realized it’s not one secret but rather a series of common sense suggestions I apparently forgot for the majority of my twenties! 😉
So here’s what I recommend to everyone starting out:
1. Measure and track everything you put in your body. I have done this for almost 11 months and any time I have an inexplicable gain, I usually wasn’t doing my best to track.
2. Keep up on your water. I get a gallon of water or unflavored seltzer (with fresh citrus) in every day, and more in gym days.
3. If you are exercising more than you did before and not eating any weekly or activity points, try eating some. Sounds counterproductive to eat more but you need to fuel your body’s extra activity.
4. Not all points are created equal. I cannot eat carbs in the evening and lose consistently. Try avoiding processed foods, frozen meals, and add more lean proteins, fruits and veggies. It requires more cooking but is totally worth it.
5. Be kind to yourself! This is an incredibly personal and vulnerable journey and you deserve the same kindness and patience yourself that you show to others.
- 1/2 c egg whites
- Sautéed kale, mushroom, onion & herbs
- English muffin
- Double espresso
- 4-6 ounces of protein
- 2-3 sautéed veggies
- Maybe a salad with 1 tsp olive oil
- 4-5 ounces of pork, chicken or beef OR 6-8 ounces of fish or seafood
- 2 cooked veggies
- Maybe a salad with 1 tsp olive oil
- 2, 8-ounce iced coffee
- Apple or peach or plum
- Grapes or cherries
- Banana (on gym days)
Balancing the Busy Weekends:
I weigh in on Friday mornings, so I only use my activity and weekly points on the weekend. This gives me the points to eat a steak, share some pasta, have several cocktails, whatever our busy social life calls for.
Here’s my balancing act for busy weekends:
1. I make sure I get a good cardio workout in, both days.
2. I eat lighter for breakfast and lunch, eliminating carbs and sticking to a few ounces of lean proteins with fruits and veggies.
3. I choose cocktails that are low in PP, like vodka & seltzer and I offer to be the designated driver at least one night! 😎
4. I don’t eat every course, only the ones I really wanted. One night I might have the salad and entree courses and skipped the pasta and dessert, and the next night I skip the soup but enjoy the entree and dessert.
Menu Planning and Meal Prep:
I plan on Sunday’s for what I’m going to eat through Friday, according to my work schedule. And then I prep some of my lunches, snacks, etc so they’re ready to go.
I pick one protein, then cook it with a different sauce or spice: teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, herbs & pepper, lemon and chives, etc. Then I make up 3-4 veggies like roasted mushrooms, sautéed kale, grilled zucchini, sautéed peppers and onions, and mix and match them for each meal. Each meal is a little different, so I don’t get bored!
This type of planning enables to me to make sure I’m going to stay OP no matter what my schedule, that I’m eating my GHG and getting lots of variety so I don’t get bored.
I use Pinterest, I love the Foodily.com app and sometimes I just google for low-fat or low-carb meals to find my recipes for the week. I also rely on what’s in season and on sale so I don’t break my bank account!
Work It, Honey
I work hard for my body, and so this workout routine may sound a little nuts if you’re just starting out.
I do five hours of cardio a week, usually split amongst the elliptical and the stationary bike. I do interval training, which is sprinting or pedaling fast for thirty seconds or a minute, and then resting for fifteen-thirty seconds.
I try to do the half hour circuit training 2-3 times per week, as well, and admittedly I need to do more of this to tone my body!
Lastly, I try to get at least one 90-minute bikram yoga class in during the week, which is great for stretching and sweating out the toxins!
*This is A LOT. When I started out, I would do a half hour on the bike, and just work to pedal a little farther or a little faster each day. Every couple days I would add a little more time, and then I slowly added 5 minutes on the elliptical, then 10, etc.
My best exercise advice is to do enough to sweat and push yourself a little further every day, but don’t go out and try to run a marathon or bench-press a Buick. It might be slower to start, but you are guaranteed not to hurt yourself and give up!
So here’s the weight loss tip that’s probably more important mentally than any other, and no one EVER says it.
Which is why you need to be willing to put the same time, effort and energy into I out body and your weight loss that you put into anything you want to be successful at.
As women we take care of everyone around us first, and often short ourselves on the effort, patience and love we show others. And that’s got to stop.
The 1-2 hours shopping and meal prepping takes up time every Sunday, but it’s giving you the tools for success at your finger tips. And when you eat better, you feel better – you know this!
The 5-7 hours spent in the gym or walking the road, doing an exercise video or a class are absolutely time you could be home with your family, but they are giving you a stronger, healthier body to spend better time and years with your family. And one of my favorite quotes to remember:
This is time for YOU and you alone. This is your affirmation yourself that you are worth your own time and efforts. And I’ve been amazed at the people who will invest their time, friendship and support in me when I demonstrated that I thought I was worth it.
I am not a medical doctor. I am not an expert. But I am living proof that the plan works when you work it, and when you invest the time and love in yourself! You CAN do this!