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“Diet” Confusion & Weekly weigh-in

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I’ve been struggling lately with the concept of what “diet” or way of eating is the best for me. You hear a lot these days about gluten-free, Paleo, and even vegetarian – and they’re all so different! How is it possible that one camp says you’ll have the best health if you stick to all things “primal” like meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and another camp says to avoid the animal products and stick to beans, grains, fruits and vegetables? (I guess we can see the common denominator here).

I talked to my trainer Karen (click her name to see her blog – and her amazing bod – talk about inspiration!) about this, and her response was, “do what’s best for YOUR body.” Not everyone responds to food the same way, and it’s actually much more complicated than the old adage, “calories in, calories out.” No doctor, nutritionist or trainer would recommend living on a couple of snickers bars and a coke every day as long as you’re exercising, which I get.

My struggle is this: when I’m eating Paleo, I feel good. But I miss things that are supposed to be healthy, like chickpeas and milk. I added quinoa and edamame back into my diet this week, and honestly, I feel kind of crappy. Like – diarrhea and nausea crappy. In fact I’m about to throw out a big salad that I made for the week because it has not agreed with me at all.

Sad to see this beautiful salad go, but my body says, "No!"

Sad to see this beautiful salad go, but my body says, “No!”

So does this mean I am meant to be eating Paleo? Or am I allowed to make up my own version of these diets, where I get to have my milk and chickpeas, but avoid the other stuff?

Have any of you found a way of eating that just works for you body, allowing you to feel good, lose weight and still actually enjoy food? What have you tried? What’s your motto when it comes to food?

And this just in – I weighed in at 221 pounds this week. Down four pounds in 11 days, not bad. I’m going to have to crank it into high gear though, to hit my goal of 210 by Feb. 1. I think the treadmill will have a big impact on this.

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This is me today at Push. Wow that muffin top looks gross. Something to work for, I guess. Get ready for it, because next week, Karen is going to come do training at my house, and we’re putting it on YouTube so you can work out with her at home, too.

Fast break: What am I eating?

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Each Sunday, I will post a blog to help you prepare for the week, set some goals, and feel inspired. The whole reason for this blog was to get back a time in my life where it was possible for a couple of friends and I to physically get together weekly for “Fit Club.” We met on Monday nights and did a workout (usually Jillian Michaels  DVD’s in my basement), I cooked a healthy meal, we reviewed a “strategy” for the week, and physically wrote down and shared our goals. During this time, I lost a significant amount of weight – I think I was down to about 180 pounds and a size 12. I felt great, accepted responsibility and had accountability for my choices. When we stopped meeting regularly, I slowly but surely put all of the weight back on, plus an additional ten pounds.

This is a different time in my life and in those people who are physically close to me. Work schedules, kid schedules, proximity and a need for down-time have imposed themselves, and it’s no longer possible to commit to physically being together weekly. So after about a year of hemming and hawing, the idea for the blog came to me. If anyone actually reads this and finds it helpful, I hope we can become a supportive community for each other. Your feedback will help me remain accountable and feel inspired to connect with others this way.

So enough of the back story. This week, I am launching a 17-week initiative based on The Spark Diet. This is the basic structure that I followed and learned from in the past, so I’m revisiting in. Each week, I will link you to the basic concept that I’m focusing on, and give you some thoughts and resources surrounding it. So here goes nothing.

The first six weeks of this program are called the “Fast Break.” Each week focuses on a simple, attainable change to apply to your lifestyle. The goals of this timeframe are to build confidence, gain momentum, and get used to the idea of this new lifestyle.

STRATEGY: Our bite-sized nugget of knowledge this week poses the question, “Do you know what you’re eating?” The whole point of this week is to actually become accountable for the food you’re consuming by recording it. I have made the commitment to myself that I will track all of my food using My Fitness Pal. If you prefer to use pen and paper, use it (although in this day and age, it’s so easy to plug things in using aps on your phone or computer, it seems like a lot of work to figure it out on paper – PLUS you might give yourself a little more wiggle-room than the counter will!). Here are some of the most well known trackers out there – click on one and use it, okay?

my calorie counter                    myfitnesspal                    sparkpeople

As I mentioned, although I respond well to the articles and resources on Spark People, I prefer My Fitness Pal for my tracking. I was able to sync my FitBit with My Fitness Pal, so now it automatically updates my calories burned, which I love. I also find the My Fitness Pal food catalog to be easier to use/find the foods I’m eating. All of this is up for debate, the main thing is JUST USE ONE OF THEM!

MOVE YOUR BODY CHALLENGE: I challenge you to do these mini-workouts six out of the seven days this week. Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes each, and if you’re living the the frozen tundra of Wisconsin like me, you can do all of them indoors!  

morning workouts

WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT? I challenge you to start thinking about things that you already like in a different way. For a while, I was hooked on Starbucks stops. A great choice at Starbucks is their Protein Box, but even better, you can make it yourself! Check out my instructions for this homemade Protein Box!

protein box

MOTIVATION: I suspect you don’t even need a Monday – any day will do! Make this week about knowing what you’re eating so you can be ready for more positive change next week!  

new year