The response I've received from Going Public Part 1 has been different than any post I've written. Some of you have emailed, called, texted, stopped me at church to thank me for my vulnerability, and share where you are in the "I deserve" journey. I've also noticed that food and exercise posts touch a nerve. In the church we often side step being honest with one another about health, finances, and sex. Interestingly enough, those three areas often ruin people.
Several of you asked me to share my eating and exercise plan, so I'm going to do that. Please remember, this is my story. Some of the principles can be true for almost anyone, but what worked for me was the conviction God brought into my life which led to desiring to change for His glory above my own. He is so gracious and giving that I, too, benefit from this change in my body.
First, exercise. Chad and I used Insanity. The name does not do the ridiculousness of the workout justice. At the end of one of the workouts, Shaun T. says, "That *beep* is bananas, yo." He ain't lying! I would never recommend someone who is just starting to exercise to use this plan. However, I've been teaching fitness classes for almost 12 years. My body was so plateaued and I had no desire to figure out a new plan on my own. Insanity seriously kicked my butt in major ways six days a week. If you are just starting, go for a walk. Meet a friend and do something active. Get moving.
Second, food. My friend repeatedly told me good eating is 90% of fitness. On some level, I agreed with what she said, but now I've experientially learned this to be true. You see, I hurt myself three weeks ago and I've only been able to do two spin classes a week. Guess what. I've still lost three pounds. That's where I want to say, "That *beep* is bananas, yo." Paying attention to calories and quality of food helps me feel good. I'm moving food out of the focus of my mouth, stomach, and mind. It does not consume me they way it has in the past.
Here are some examples of what I eat.
Almost every day I eat one cup of cooked oatmeal with 1/4 cup nonfat or rice milk with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans. No sugar. You get used to it and start to enjoy it. I promise. By the way, last week the doctor told me I had the lowest bad cholesterol levels he had ever seen. I'm convinced it's all in the oatmeal.
Every once in a while, Chad and I will make ourselves omelettes with two eggs, some turkey or chicken, tons of broccoli, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and salsa. So, so good.
I have a snack in the morning and afternoon. 12 almonds OR a piece of fruit OR a nonfat chai from Starbucks because I love it OR carrots and a couple of tablespoons of hummus OR popcorn. It doesn't matter to me what my snack is as long as it is a normal serving, real food (no processed stuff), and filling.
Chad also makes smoothies. Sometimes we drink them as snacks, but when we are in a hurry because of kid sports or meetings we use them as meals. For both of us, he adds one cup Greek yogurt, a banana, a cup of frozen berries, a huge handful of spinach or kale. He experiments with ingredients, and most of the time, it's tasty. Sometimes he adds a little peanut butter and/or honey. He adds some ice and blends it all up in our normal blender. Good stuff.
Lunch and dinner I eat 4 ounces of a lean protein and as many vegetables as I can eat. I cut out pastas and breads. In the beginning I thought I was going to die without them, but I honestly feel better now that I'm not eating it anymore. Sometimes I will have a sandwich with one piece of bread or a sandwich from Subway minus mayo. Sometimes I will overfill my plate with raw veggies and eat them with hummus or salsa. Salsa has a lot of salt, but I make my own and decided it was ok for me. If I want to eat it, I google calories and nutritional value first and then make a decision.
I only drink tea and water. Chad drinks coffee, but I haven't grown up enough yet to have acquired the taste. Like I mentioned above, I will have a my beloved Starbucks chai, but it counts as a snack, not a beverage.
Also, Chad and I have done a lot of google searches on our favorite restaurants. Did you know a Chipotle salad sans dressing with beans, fajita veggies, beef, and salsa is only 400 calories? So delicious. Did you know that Kung Pao Chicken with all those great vegetables and fresh chicken at Pei Wei has 960 calories not including the rice? Sheesh! That's crazy and way too many calories for one meal! I really do google everything I may want to eat at any given restaurant. I've found the real food places and happily skip the others.
This is important:
I'm not a food freak. If someone has us over for dinner and serves a big cheesy pasta casserole I will eat it, love it, cherish the hospitality. If our family needs a break, I will order a pizza and eat some. If I'm at a party and someone made a cake, I will have a small piece. I'm not obsessive about this. As a family, we are making conscious decisions about what we put in our mouths, but we still live with freedom.
Before you start thinking, "I could never do that" let me remind you that the first month and maybe longer, I threw temper tantrums. I hated the smoothies Chad made with Greek yogurt, spinach, and berries. They were so sour and gross. They needed sugar! One time we were out of spinach so he added cauliflower. I was so annoyed I could hardly look at him. But, my tastebuds have changed. They aren't spoiled little bumps any more. I love our smoothies. It takes time to retrain your taste buds and your brain. You can do it.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment. This isn't an inspiring blog post where you can hear Chariots of Fire playing in the background. It is practical. It is a glimpse of how Chad and I have changed our entitlement issues with food. It is a window into my weird little world.
I look forward to hearing from some of you!