Thursday, June 25, 2015

Steph Says: I have a problem.

It's no secret that I love to eat. I mean, how else would I have spent most of my teen and adult life over 200 pounds? By eating healthy and exercising? Surely, you jest.

I didn't "discover" exercise until my dear friend Katie made me wog the LSU lakes with her (she jogged ahead, I stumbled along gasping for air and mentally writing my will), then dragged me to the Rec and taught me how to do hip bridges. (What a fabulous introduction, eh?) Somehow, I got a little hooked.

Eating, on the other hand, has always been my downfall. Let's hope there's a taco in that other hand.
I know all the tricks. I've tried almost every diet in the book. I've counted calories, points, carbs, proteins, fats, and the pounds on the scale as they've gone up and down and up and down.
And up.

Lately, I've been having a bit of a mental block. And I'm seeing the results on the scale. I was so close to my goal of losing 100 pounds in two years, but I didn't quite make it. By a measly FIVE POUNDS. And that has sent me into a tailspin of unhealthy choices, one after the other.

I have this terrible tendency to let one bad choice ruin my whole day. Ate too many carbs at lunch? Oh well, guess I need to make oven s'mores at 10:00 p.m. with Triscuits because I am a sad, desperate woman.
Why can't I just say, " had way too many carbs at BEHAVE YOSELF the rest of the day"? Why must I sabotage all my hard work with a major TREAT YOSELF-style binge?

I managed to do 10 days of nearly perfect IIFYM tracking, but then on Saturday night we went to a little outdoor concert where I decided that I needed sangria and pizza. So that was naturally followed by ice cream, steak, garlic bread, toffee cookies, Chinese food, cake balls, a scone, and more unskinnified iced coffee than I'd like to admit.
(At least I didn't eat all that in one sitting. Or even in one day. I spaced out the binge over four days...yay?)

So here I sit on Thursday morning wallowing in regret and self-pity and some extra pounds. I've been here before. I didn't like it all those other times...and I don't like it now.

So WHY do I keep doing this to myself?

Will there ever be a time in my life that I can just apply all of this knowledge and continuously make healthy choices, with a few little splurges here and there? Splurges that I can just savor in the moment, and then move on. Will I ever be able to lose or maintain just by knowing and eating what's good for me (whole grains, lean meats) instead of craving and devouring what's bad (whole cakes, sugary sweets)?

I'm tired of starting why do I keep giving up?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Steph Says: Race Training

Ahhh, race training. A dedicated, set schedule that dictates when and how far one must run in order to achieve the desired results come race time.
Also known as: what I'm NOT doing right now.
Who am I? What is life?
South Louisiana goes on a bit of a race hiatus from late May to October because it is just too obnoxiously HUMID to get anything done outdoors. And I just hate the treadmill. HATE. I've tried, and I feel like a total spaz, plus I'm worrying the whole time about just how awful it will be when I trip and have to tuck and roll off the back of the belt. 
Did I mention I fell off a treadmill in 4th grade at fat camp?
Did I mention my day-long stint at fat camp?
In short, I fell off a treadmill on day one and completely skinned off (as in, no skin remained) my knees, so I couldn't return to camp because my skin had to basically regenerate itself and I couldn't exactly "perform exercises" in that state.

Good times.
Stop laughing.
It's not funny.
Stop it. 

I fell in love with outdoor running back in 2011, and no matter the weather, that's where I feel best. Which is why I get a little antsy when there's nothing to train for. The most important thing about training for me is the mental aspect. My body has proved to me time and time again that it can, and will, do whatever I tell it to do (except when it comes to the treadmill). My mind, however, is still the not-so-little little girl at fat camp who is scared. And has the knees of a burn victim.

So how does a former fat girl go from couch to marathon? This is what has worked for me.

1. Pick your race.
My next big race won't be until November. I may do some 5ks if they come up, but I'm gunning for the Cajun Cup 10k. It was my first "big race" and I will always love it! Once a race has been chosen, you gotta commit. 
2. Set your goal.
Last year I finished the Cup in 1:08. This year I want to do it in less than an hour. (Oh great, now I typed it here, so it's official.)
3. Pick your plan.
There are hundreds of training plans available online, plus dozens of apps. Google around and see what fancies you. Best advice? Look for something that will work with your life. If you can't find time for a 10 miler on a Wednesday, keep looking for a 5 Tuesday/5 Thursday kind of plan. Or go with the tried and true Couch to 5k app- I will sing that app's praises until the day I die!!! 
4. Stick to your plan as much as possible.
Guess what? Life happens. So you go with the Wednesday 10 miler plan, and you have to work late one week. Or your kid gets sick. Or someone dies. (My grandpa passed away one week before my first marathon- talk about throwing a wrench into my plan!) Things will happen and runs will not happen. Don't beat yourself up. Just do better next week. 
5. Don't slack on the training runs...especially the long ones. 
When you're out there on mile 14 of a 20 mile run, it's VERY tempting to turn it into a casual stroll. Don't. Push yourself. Take it seriously so that when you reach mile 14 of the race, your body doesn't think "Oh, alrighty now, time for a relaxing little jaunt around the park! Cheerio!"
Apparently my body talks like a British chimney sweep. Or I've watched Mary Poppins a lot lately. The kid likes what the kid likes, and these days it's a spoonful of sugar. 
Good luck getting that out of your head. 
6. Get ready for race day. 
You've put in the work, so in order to make race day a good experience, plan out your clothes/shoes/fuel/gear the day before. Lay it all out so you're not scrambling at 4:30 a.m. because there are few things worse than not being able to find your headphones and being in a rush just to make it to the start line. 
7. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Run the race, collect the bling, enjoy the post-race party, and stuff your face (and then get back on the wagon)!

This post was created as part of the #sweatpink @fitapproach SPA Blogger Pros program! Click here if you wanna know more about Fit Approach!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Steph Says: A Day In The IIFYM Life

Bwahahahahah, oh that's a good one! Real cute! Oh, my abs hurt from all the laughing. Do I get to count that as my workout?

I LIVE to EAT. Food is life. I love the taste of food. I love the social aspect of it. I love going out to dinner. I love lunch dates. I love brunch dates. I just love food.
If you were to ask me if there is anything on earth I love more than food, I could only name two things: my husband and my daughter. But don't ask me that in the middle of one of her new public temper tantrums. You may receive a VERY different response.

IIFYM, or If It Fits Your Macros, has been an eye-opening challenge for me food-wise, but in a good way. I have realized just how horribly off my serving size estimations have always been. IIFYM is helping me to learn what makes my body lean(er) and my muscles strong. It's also keeping my brain active (I had to relearn 2nd grade math for this) and my tummy happy! Basically, you (or a coach) calculates exactly how many grams of protein, fat, and carbs (macronutrients) your body needs a day based on your weight loss/muscle gain goals. Then you weigh everything you eat and track the amount of macros you consume. I used Paige to calculate my numbers. Her prices are very reasonable and she gave me so much information! Thank you Paige! She figured out that I need to eat 148 grams of protein, 64 grams of fat, and 165 grams of carbs each day in order to continue losing weight. Here's the trick: I weigh and measure almost every single thing I eat. Yes, it's a hassle. No, I don't love that part of IIFYM. But it's worth it because I am seeing the results!

My eating day begins the night before. Before I fall asleep, I take a mental inventory of what needs to be eaten the next day, such as a fruit that's on the verge of going bad or certain leftovers I need to get rid of, or if I know I have lunch or dinner plans. I enter these into the My Fitness Pal app with a rough guess on the weight- I'll verify as I go. Last night I realized I needed to eat some almost-bad cherries and a frozen turkey burger that I had put in the fridge to defrost. Then comes the fun part: I start dreaming.
Ooh, turkey burger. Well, I need a bun for that, and I have a bag of frozen sweet potato fries I need to go easy on the carbs at breakfast to save room. Gotta have cheese too. Hmm...all I have is mozzarella. But I also have turkey pepperoni. And tomato sauce that I need to use. Oh my, a turkey pizza burger?! I am a genius.
Then I go to sleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head and a flexible, loose plan of my upcoming day. Things will change, things will weigh more or less than I anticipated, so I'll do some finagling all day long to get it all right.
I wonder how many carbs are in a sugar plum?
What IS a sugar plum?!
Just go to sleep, Stephanie.

When my alarm goes off, I'm actually excited to get out of bed...because it means I get to eat. Starting with my gummy vitamins- 4g carbs.

Today I stayed home most of the day, so I was able to make everything at home and didn't need any "on the go" meals such as protein shakes or quest bars (but I usually have a daily protein shake. Today I was just lucky!) I also ate things that had nutrition facts on the package or could easily be found on My Fitness Pal. If I eat out somewhere, I try to look up the nutrition facts online and overestimate the serving size. If it's something cooked by someone else, or a place that doesn't have nutrition facts online, I guess and/or try to find similar things on MFP. Sometimes I throw my hands up and say whatever, I'm eating this and I'm going to savor every untracked, unweighed bite! but I try to keep those experiences to a minimum. Key word: try. 


All goes according to plan! This scramble is my low-carb breakfast go-to, and it has a lot of flavor. Plus it's EASY.
Turkey Scramble
1 egg (53g, 5.3f/0.4c/6.7p)
6 tbs egg whites (from the carton- 0f/0c/10p )
Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles (57g, 5f/2c/10p)

Pitted cherries (155g, .3f/25c/1.6p)

Iced Coffee
4oz Fair Life Skim Milk (0f/3c/6.5p)
1 tbs half & half (1.5f/.5c/.5p)
2 packets Splenda (0f/2/c/0p)
Fill glass with ice, then pour in iced coffee! Black coffee doesn't have enough macros to bother tracking. Yesssss!

Crisis time. I realize that my turkey burger (which is supposed to stay frozen until the day you cook it) has been sitting in the fridge a lot longer than I thought. So scratch that, but I need something with protein, and I am still hung up on my pizza burger idea. But wait! I HAVE SOME DELI TURKEY! Crisis averted!
Broil it, baby. Look at that melty cheese!

Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Seven-Grain Hamburger Bun (58g, 2.5f/22.4c/6p)
Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast (107g, 1.9f/1.9c/19.1p)
Turkey Pepperoni (19g, 2.5f/0c/5.7p)
2% Mozzarella Cheese (19g, 3.1f/0c/4.8p)
Pasta Sauce (30g, .7f/2.2c/.5p)
Alexia Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries (138g, 11.5f/34.4c/3.3p)

I had originally planned to eat a little more of this apple, but I ate a few more fries than I was supposed to. There weren't enough fries left in the bag to justify another serving so I just finished it off and adjusted some of my carbs. I weighed out my portion and shared the rest with Rascal. She loves apples, and I feel like a half-decent mom. Aww look, she's eating healthy! *shamefully scrapes Rascal's uneaten bits of corn dog and ketchup into the trash* 

Honeycrisp Apple

I had to do some thinking here because I ate less protein at lunchtime than I had originally planned due to the turkey burger issue. So where I had planned for some kind of mixed veggie, I subbed in some edamame because it has more protein than say, peas and carrots.
It got a little complicated here. The serving size on the bag was 28g of UNSHELLED pods. Last time I checked, the pods were not exactly edible. You ever tried eating one of those? My husband has. He doesn't recommend it. I had to do some searching on My Fitness Pal and some Googling to figure out the correct macros, and to be completely honest I'm still not sure if I got them correct. Life goes on.
Okay. Disclaimer. I am a terrible cook, especially at night. It's like something just goes horribly wrong when I try to experiment in the kitchen, and if it's dinner time, something's getting burned or it's gonna be just plain BAD.  Exhibit A- my Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice Fiasco.
The chicken alone is delicious. 

Delicious. I don't even like chicken, and I look forward to eating this.
But I had some leftover brown rice and I still needed some fats and protein, so I thought I'd make Chinese! Easy, fun, and yummy, right?

So wrong.
The egg didn't do what I imagined it would. The edamame should just be eaten alone. The rice makes this look like dog food. And the chicken, the delicious chicken, didn't taste like saucy teriyaki goodness. It tasted like chicken. But since I went through the trouble of weighing all this, you bet your sweet bippy I ate it all.
Just in case you like looking at train wrecks up-close. 
Teriyaki Chicken (132 g, 9.4f/6.3c/26.7p)
Edamame (105 g, who knows if this is 100% accurate- 3.8f/12c/12p)
Brown Rice (68g, .5f/15.5c/2p)
Egg (50g, 4.7f/.9c/5.6p)

Dessert/Snack 2:
After that awful dinner, this saved me. I always try to save macros for an after-dinner treat because I am a firm believer in the whole "treat yoself" movement. P28 to the rescue!

P28 Whole Wheat High Protein Bread (53g, 4f/13.6c/15.8p)
P28 Signature Blend Peanut Butter (33g, 13f/7c/14p)

All of that totals up to 151 grams of protein, 70 grams of fat, and 167 grams of carbs. I went over on my protein by 3 grams, fat by 6 grams, and carbs by 2 grams. IIFYM allows you a little bit of wiggle room +/-5 grams on either side of your goals, so while it was not a perfect day, it was close.

And there you have it- my day in macros. Does your brain hurt? Well, it's worth it for me because I get to eat a LOT of food while losing weight- I call that a win!
Two months of IIFYM.
My stomach is tighter, my shoulders are more defined, and my angry face is on point.

I can't believe I just shared this picture. I'm hoping this post was so long that none of you scrolled this far... I'm not where I want to be, but I am on the right path.
I am worth every ounce of trouble.

Thanks for coming along on this ride.