Tuesday, February 18, 2014

new year, new mindset

throughout my fitness journey, i've joined a gym, built muscle, burned fat, learned about nutrition, lost 3+ pants sizes, and made amazing friends.  but, the biggest struggle for me has been food.  and not the eating it, but the relationship i have with it.  i know food = fuel for my body, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to grow and more to learn.  it's a journey where we try to improve ourselves every day.

{image via pinterest}
for many of us that struggle to lose weight, it's because we love to eat.  we love delicious food and we have a hard time saying "no".  for me, after joining the gym and changing my eating habits, i lost weight.  then, over time, the losses were less substantial.  and it became frustrating.  i felt like i was appropriately saying "no" to things that didn't belong in my plan, but my results weren't reflecting my efforts.

i had coached myself into eating proper meals and saying "no" to cookies at work because I knew i could say "yes" to wine on Friday night, you know, since i hadn't indulged on the cookies.  i had made progress, but something hadn't clicked yet.

then i started actually planning out my meals.  what an eye opener.  when you sit down and plan out every morsel of food that will nourish your body in a day, you realize just how much food you need, and just how much you don't.  through meal planning i learned that it's extremely easy to under-estimate your calories by several hundred (or over-eat by several hundred or more calories) if you don't plan ahead.  i also learned that going through the grocery store all willy-nilly picking up yogurts here and packs of chicken there, that while those items might be healthy, contain vitamins, minerals, protein, etc., they might not fit into your plan...(you know, if you actually make one.)

making a plan has made all the difference in the world.  now, instead of having an obsessive-complusive relationship with food, where i see something i "can't have", then i spend hours or days obsessing over it, and then i finally over-indulge...i can ask myself why i want it, how much of it i want, and if i could have just a little, would that satisfy my current obsession without over-indulging? 

enter jill coleman, of jillfit physiques.  i've been following her for awhile on facebook, but let me tell you, she's my kinda girl.  jill discourages a "lack" mindset, where your compliant eating means your diet "lacks" certain things.  jill promotes a "lifestyle" change, not a "diet".  for years, she (and many of us) would eat perfectly monday through friday, then when the weekend hit, you knew it would be all pizza all the time.  or candy.  or chips.  or wine.  or whatever.  whatever it is, having this "lack" mindset, where you absolutely cannot have this item monday through friday is ludicrous.  because you've attempted to convince yourself that eating "right" during the week is the answer.

spoiler alert:  it's not.

there's got to be a balance.  there's no magic pill that's going to get you skinny.  there's no "diet" that's going to turn you into a super model.  there's no amount of "lack" that's going to help you reach your goals.  because this "all or nothing" mentality cannot be maintained. 

{image via pinterest}
one of my favorite jillfit posts is entitled:  the best "diets" are the ones that are never over.  she explains how there is a clear divide between crash dieters and fat loss lifestylers.  you should read it.  i was on my way to "getting it", and then i read that post.  it was exactly what i needed.  

i needed to change my mindset.

food = fuel

food = delicious

so, fuel = delicious.  

now, i plan my meals to be what i want to eat, while staying in the parameters of my plan.  if i want to eat a burger (bun-less of course), i'm gonna have a burger.  if i'm planning a girls night out, i'm going to indulge in a couple glasses of wine...but i'm not going to have the wine, and pasta, and dessert.  because i know that not only will that prohibit my progress, but did i really want the pasta and dessert?  or would a delicious salad with protein satisfy my nutritional needs, while the wine satisfied my girls night indulgence?  i think you know the answer. ;-)

you see, in the beginning of this meal planning and mindset change, it was like a to fit all the pieces of the puzzle in, while still feeling satisfied.  because that's the bottom line for people who struggle with food.  we love how food tastes and we want to be satisfied.  but... 

satisfaction ≠ over-indulgence.

for a couple weeks, i've followed a specific macro (macronutrient) plan.  i have goals for calories, grams of protein, grams of fat, and grams of carbs for each day.  i plan my meals and put my puzzle pieces together to try to create balanced meals that i think are delicious.  because i want my fuel to be satisfying.

{image via pinterest}
i'm looking forward to my weigh-in on saturday.  i feel lighter.  my clothes are fitting better.  but i want the proof from the in-body scale.  i want it to tell me my hard work in the kitchen has resulted in fat loss and my heavy lifting at the gym has resulted in muscle gain.

so, until then, i'll keep on keepin' on.  and, just because i'm holding myself accountable, here's my meal plan for this week:

breakfast:  ham & egg cups with peppers and cheese
lunch:  salsa verde pork with black bean salad
snack (pre-workout): protein shake and half a banana
snack (post-workout): protein shake and half a banana
dinner:  portabella mushroom pizzas (2 caps) with spinach, pepperoni, sauce, and cheese

and you'll see i have 100 calories leftover for the day.  sometimes, after dinner, i have a hankering for a little something sweet.  some days i eat a small spoonful of peanut butter or a few pecans and some days i don't have anything extra.  but i know it's okay to have a little something, because i want to be satisfied.

but i always remind myself...i'm never satisfied when i over-indulge.  and over-indulging won't help me reach my goals.  determination will.

{image via pinterest}


Thursday, February 6, 2014

new year, new you {2014 edition}

once again, i'm embarking on a new year, new you journey at kdr fitness.  (you can read about last year's journey here, here, and here.  and if you want to read more about my fitness journey, including joining the gym, progress posts, and recipes, click any of the applicable key words in the right sidebar.)

i love participating in contests at the gym because it provides extra motivation for me to succeed.  and this contest has a potential $3,000 prize, with each member from the winning team taking home $1,000!!!!  

and this time, i'm going to win.  (seriously...bring it on!!!)

you see, i've got goals, yo.  and not your run of the mill i-want-to-lose-weight or i-want-to-be-healthier goals...but real ones.  with numbers.  and dates. 

i'm a procrastinator by nature, so it's no wonder why i haven't reached my goals's because i didn't set specific enough goals.  and now, with an exciting date marked on the calendar, i've got deadlines.  before mike and i got engaged, i did a lot of hard work.  i lifted heavy shit.  i sweat gallons and gallons.  and i ate a lot of protein and produce.  i was committed to my program...but i wasn't working for anything specific.

{image via}

today, i'm presenting you with my goals because that's the only way i can hold myself accountable.  some goals are a little more broad and some are very specific.  and please, please know that typing these words to go out on the internet is not an easy task.  and when you read my goals, you'll know the *one* that makes me cringe the most.  but if i want to get it done, this is what i need to do.

i've broken down my goals into five categories:  workouts, food, nyny contest, clothes, and lifting.


i will workout 4-5 times per week.  this consists of 2 strength training classes and 2-3 cardio/bootcamps.  (this is the easiest part, believe it or not.)


maintain food journal.  every. single. day.  (this one has been hard for me. i *know* my choices are generally compliant with my nutrition plan, but i also *know* that if i forget to write down a single tablespoon of peanut butter, that's 100 calories not counted for, which can quickly add up if you don't keep track on paper.  so...c'mon, andrea...write it down, will ya?!)

new year, new you contest:

1.  lose 25 pounds of fat.

2.  gain 10 pounds of lean body mass.

3.  by the end, my weight will start with a 1.


1.  comfortably fit into a size 10 by april 1st.  (i currently wear a size 14 jeans and have a 'goal' rehearsal dinner dress that's a size 10.  i want to be comfortably maintaining a size 10 until the wedding.  if i lose more....*bonus*!!)

2.  buy at least one new swimsuit and a couple new outfits for a cruise in april.

3.  get rid of too big clothes.  (this one might sound weird, but it's really easy to hold onto clothes that are too big because you can hide in them.  there are a few things i've continued to wear that are too big, partially because i don't have similar items that fit properly.  can't i just win the lottery to buy a new wardrobe?!)


embrace it.  (sometimes i fight increasing my weights or trying something i haven't done before.  i cannot let fear control me.  i control me.)

always try to do the maximum reps.  (if there's a range of doing 12-15 deadlifts, i often find myself stopping at 12.  do the 15.  you can do it.)

increase weights.  (if you can max out your reps, it's time to increase weights.  you've done it before, you'll do it again.  you may even surprise yourself.)    


so, those are my goals for the next 2+ months.  things to work on every day.

and i feel really confident i can achieve my goals.  especially with my team for the contest...i've got one of last year's winners partnering with her boyfriend (as our non-member) and myself.  i couldn't be more excited.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

fresh air

it's been a minute since i last blogged.  and it's been amazing.  don't get me wrong, i've missed sharing recipes and adventures alike (i've got an arsenal of posts planned), but there's something about unplugging and actually living that feels like a breath of fresh air.

you know that moment when you're sitting next to your significant other/spouse/best friend/co-worker/whoever and you realize you've spent approximately .08 seconds actually enjoying each others' company?  you realize that after a day spent in front of the computer at work, you've just spent 32 minutes updating facebook or checking instagram while the other person simultaneously does the exact. same. thing.

i find it maddening.  and yes, i'm guilty of it too.

i've spent the majority of my life in front of the computer.  my dad built me one when i was just a small kid.  i had fun math games on floppy disks (the actual big floppy ones) and it ran on a dos operating system.  when the internet became a thing, we got it (and it's unbelievably amazing and fast slow dial-up speed).  i had a yahoo email.  i aol instant messaged.  i typed papers and learned how to pretty-up a presentation.  in college i learned excel and had a lan connection (which felt like the speed of light compared to dial up).  and then i graduated and got a job where i sit at a desk in front of a computer.

now, here we are...and computers are everywhere.  work, cars, phones, tv...everywhere.

and i've just needed a break.  

(don't get me wrong, i think computers are a very important tool and the technological advancements that have occurred directly because of computer science are amazing...but i still needed a break.)

part of my break has been just to see/feel/hear what's going on around me, and really know i'm paying attention.  and part of it has been because i'm busy and exhausted and sometimes things just aren't blog-worthy, even if they are.  it takes so much time to download and edit photos, write content, edit, and publish a post.  let alone 10 posts a week like some blogs do.

since starting this blog, i have done some pretty amazing things, including starting this blog.  i have: worked, traveled, joined a gym, had some fun adventures with amazing friends, eaten some delicious food, made new friends, gotten engaged, and now i'm planning our wedding.

it's been an amazing journey.  and i love sharing it with you.

so, i want you to know that i'm still here.  i'm still cooking up a storm...i'm still crafting and painting...i'm still thinking and brainstorming for this little blog.  

but you know what else i'm doing?  enjoying life just for the sake of enjoying it.

there have been recipes i've made that after it's all gone i think, oh man, i should've taken pictures for the blog!  and then i realize that it's okay...the meal was enjoyed, it provided nourishment, and it was a success just because i made it...not because i shared it on the blog or my dear readers have pinned it on pinterest.

so, i'm sorry for not sharing more...but again, i'm not sorry.  because really, i hope that after reading this little post, you realize that maybe unplugging a little more often is a good thing.  maybe it's only an hour a week on 'date night'...maybe it's only the hour a day you're at the gym (guilty!)...whenever those unplugged moments happen for you -- enjoy them.  soak them in like the sunshine.  breathe them in like fresh air.

{image via}

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