Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The ME Resolution for 2014

I am home today because Atlanta has been hit with a second winter storm that has simply paralyzed the city.  Southern snows and ice are a much bigger deal than northern snow and ice.  We put a nice layer of southern drama and umph on our weather systems.  So I am home with the kids, buckled down, prepared for the worst with blankets, extra batteries, candles, water, bread and milk waiting for the world to end for the next two days...and am looking forward to a sunny 50 degree forecast on Friday and this weekend.  Again, it's a southern bi-polar weather pattern thing.  It's the way it's done in the south!!

In going back and reading previous posts from previous New Year's declarations and resolutions, it is clear that I am really good at setting goals.  I am awesome at declaring what it is that I want to do...the execution part is the part that seems to always fall to the wayside.  It's human nature.  I get caught up in my day-to-day responsibilities that I end up putting off what I really want and need to do to make the overall quality of my life and my family's life a little better.

Well, as usual, I declared change for my family in 2014.  My first post in 2014 was about getting ready for our big change when Andie graduates.  On purpose however, I didn't go into any personal "me" goals as I didn't want to start declaring changes for me and not following through with them, only to feel like I had failed yet again at a New Years Resolution.  So I didn't publicly declare anything about what I personally wanted to do.  But I did have plans brewing.  When I told my family what my plans were, eyes rolled...there were a bunch of "yeah okay's" and "good luck with that".  I don't mean to make my family sound mean as they are not at all.  They are the most wonderful and supportive people you could ever want on your side.  It's just that my kids and Mr. Handy have heard for years the things I am "going" to do that just never really materialize.  This year is different.  I couldn't be more excited about what I am about to share.

This is officially the year that I turn 40.  I will be 40 in August and I wanted to make sure that I don't hit the next decade without knowing that I can be the very best ME I can be.  Thirty one days ago I had an ah-ha moment about my diet, my fitness routine and the time I didn't spend moving. I purchased a book called "The Abs Diet for Women" by David Zinczenko.  In this book he talks about how strong core muscles are really the strength that your body needs to maintain an overall healthy and strong physical being. Health starts and ends with a strong core.  He also talks about "power foods" and how the combination of these foods in each meal will increase your metabolism, which of course leads to weight loss.  The book provides different exercise combinations you can do on a daily basis that helps with strength and muscle growth.  I am now five weeks into this program and I truly feel awesome.  I have also added two additional factors into my regime that have really assisted me in my motivation and progress.  Mr. Handy bought me the Zumba Core XBox game (yes a video game) for Christmas.  And there are two apps that I have incorporated into my process that I highly recommend.  My Fitness Pal and RunKeeper.

My routine includes:

EARLY WORKOUT SESSION.  I get up at 5:00 am anyway for work so this was an easy process for me.  I don't get up any earlier, I am just more efficient in the morning so I can work 30-45 mins of weight training into my schedule.  I do the suggested workout that are listed in the book during the mornings.

I PACK MY FOOD FOR THE ENTIRE DAY.  This is a big one. My Fitness Pal app is a food log that you keep on your SmartPhone.   I log every single thing that I put in my mouth.  This app has a caloric count along with nutritional values for just about everything you eat.  It also has a function where you can scan the item code on food packaging and it will load in the nutritional information.  It allows you to track your calories, set weight goals and know where you are during the day for each meal and snack for how many calories are used and what is left for the day.  You also log in your exercise and the calories you burned and it off-sets those burned calories against what you have eaten for the day.  With all of that said, I monitor what I am eating through this app.  You learn quickly what a fast food meal adds up to.  One milkshake from McDonald's could absorb your entire calorie allotment for the entire day.  It teaches you how to eat, couple that with the foods in the book and I realized quickly that I needed to pack my food in advance for the whole day.  I don't go out to eat.  Period.  I control what goes in my mouth, and I have really learned the power of saying no!  And folks, I FEEL GREAT!  I eat six times a day.  I eat a lot of food. And I am losing weight doing that!  I leave my house with a lovely Thirty One Thermal Tote, full of the foods that I will be eating for the day.  I am never hungry either.  The book provides a shopping list for items that you will want to keep in your pantry.  I didn't buy everything on the list, but I did buy most of what is recommended and I incorporate these foods into each meal.

I DO CARDIO SIX DAYS A  WEEK.  This is an imperative piece to weight loss.  I am not a weight loss expert so I am not 100% sure why this works, but Cardio is a key factor in the entire process.  If you miss anything, you don't want to miss your Cardio workout.  This is where Zumba Core comes into my mix.  What a fun game - you can get it on Xbox or for Wii.  It is an interactive cardio/core game that tracks calories (that you later log into your My Fitness Pal app) in single songs, short, medium or full-length classes.  A full length class is about 60 minutes and equals about 900 calories burned.  AND IT'S FUN!  My daughter and I do it almost every single night.  My first week of doing these classes, I could hardly even breath much less keep up with the routines.  Five weeks later, I am dancing away my calories.  I am doing things that I never thought my old knees could do! Two nights a week, I walk at a local park where my son practices LaCrosse.  I use the RunKeeper app for these nights.  This app is a GPS system that will log where you go, how far you go and the amount of calories burned during that walk/run.  I do this the entire duration of his practice which is an hour in a half.  I average five miles during this time and burn on average 460-500 calories depending on my speed.

I HAVE ONE CHEAT MEAL EACH WEEK.  Once a week I can go a little crazy.  One meal only.  I thought initially this would be my girl gone wild meal and I would be gorging myself.  But it turns out, I am working so hard, I usually still stay pretty conservative.  Now I did enjoy a huge crab leg dinner for my daughter's birthday and Valentine's Day is Friday and Mr. Handy and I have a hot date so I will be indulging there.  But overall, I find myself still wanting to stay true to my mission and I don't go crazy.  BUT YOU CAN ONCE A WEEK!!

I TAKE ONE DAY OFF A WEEK FOR MY MUSCLES TO REST.  This is imperative.  According to the book, you have to let your body rest and recoup from the physical activity you did during the week.  My rest day is Friday.  That way if we have a family night at the movies or Mr. Handy and I have a date, I am not thinking about my work out.  It's a free night to enjoy my hard work for the week.

I INVESTED IN SOME GOOD WORK OUT CLOTHES THAT I LIKE TO WEAR.  I'm not going to lie, at first they really didn't fit.  I still felt fat.  But over the last five weeks, I have watched my body begin to change and I feel like I look great in these clothes.  I change into my work out gear right when I get home from work so as to not get distracting and miss my evening cardio routine.  I think Mr. Handy likes them too. I feel sexy when I wear them as I know he notices the muscle tones that are hiding underneath the fabric.

My results are really incredible for me.  Everyone will be different.  So here are my stats of where I started - I am 5'8 1/2 - weighed in at 142.6 lbs.  I had a flabby stomach.  I had flabby arms.  I had no definition in my legs.  None of my clothes fit me.  I had pant marks around my belly each night when I got home from work because my pants were too tight.  I didn't go "number two" regularly and I was bloated.  My stomach just hurt overall.  I had terrible headaches, I felt sleepy all the time.  My skin looked drab.  My energy was low. I couldn't even do five sit-ups in a row.  I was out of breath going up my flight of stairs.  I craved sugar - craved sweet tea, craved sweetened coffee.  I had no energy and felt like I was 39 going on 60.  My joints hurt, my knees stayed swollen almost all the time.  It was time for a change.

Five weeks later I weigh 135 lbs (as of this morning).  I have defined muscles in my stomach.  I am starting to get a six pack!  I don't have a gut.  I am very, very regular with my bowel movements.  My legs are strong.  I have calf muscles that I have never had before.  Oh and my butt is a lot smaller and firm! I am not tired.  My joints are not sore.  I haven't had a sweet tea in a month.  I weaned myself off of coffee all together.  I drink 8-10 cups of water every day and my skin looks great.  I have energy.  I feel great.  My clothes fit and as a matter of fact, are a little too big for me.  I am not 100% where I want to be.  I want to build a little more definition and muscle.  And I am aiming for some Carrie Underwood legs, But I am astounded by how much my body has changed in such a short period of time.  I am so glad I did this and I have surprised even myself with how disciplined and focused I have been.  I have discovered that I am worth it.  I deserved to love how I look and not feel ashamed to be naked in front of my husband.  He has never, ever said anything other than I am beautiful.  My shame is totally self inflicted.  I feel healthy.  I can't say I have ever felt this healthy as an adult.

Whew - that's a lot for one blog post!  But I wanted to share with you all.  I am proud of myself.  I still have a ways to go.  But this is a lifestyle change and one that I won't regret long-term.  Please share with me what you have going on for fitness success in the New Year.  I would love to know and support and celebrate your WINS as well!!

Until next time...



Ouiser said...

GO!!!! Amanda!! That's incredible. I'm so excited for you. Sharing my wins: Since October 12, I have tracked every single bite of food that has crossed my lips in the Lost It app. I've not always hit the calorie mark, but I've hit it enough to have lost 20 pounds since starting. Now, the bad thing is that I'm not working out. So, I'm super flabby. lol But, like you, I believe the core is foundational to fitness! I have a membership to a Pilates studio and a yoga studio and I have Pilates videos at home—I just need to get back into the habit. Oh, and the snow days have not helped my calorie count. lol I'm gonna have to rein it in HARD next week. Thanks for your post! Keep up the great work on all fronts!

Jules from bles-id said...

Hey Sunshine!
I've just spent time catching up on your blog! I am so proud of you for getting fit; you will not regret it!
You are making sure that 2014 shapes itself into a wonderful year. Way to take the bull by the horns ... life really is what you make it! xoxo jules