Phase 2: Eating Healthy & Fresh Food Grocery Haul

3 months.

14 weeks.

Plus or minus 90 days.

And baby girl is going to be here!!! And no, we haven’t decided on a name yet. That probably won’t happen until we see her cute, wrinkly little face.

On that note, at my last Dr. appointment I had another reality check regarding my lack of enthusiasm in the healthy eating department. I’ve gained almost all the weight you’re supposed to when pregnant, but still have a trimester to go. And last week I decided I needed to make a change! Not only for me, but for baby girl.

I know you don’t want to hear my excuses because they are lame. The bottom line is I was so frustrated with my situation (see my last post) that I just didn’t care. And there I was buying things at the grocery store that I NEVER buy. Even my husband was wondering what was up, and he came out and told me to stop using pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I told him I wasn’t. Perhaps I was in denial.

So, today started phase two of my “deal with this situation, and make the most of it”, and that is cleaning up my eating! For those of you who have followed my blog . . . you know I’ve done meal planning & macro tracking and both of those things require you to count & track your calories, meet your daily macro goals (the amount of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber you need to eat), and to choose healthier alternatives to all the junk that is out there. THIS TIME I am not going to be tracking anything πŸ™‚ But don’t you worry, I’ve got a plan. In the rest of this post I am going to cover three things:

1. My plan

2. Execution of said plan + fresh food grocery shopping tips

3. Display of my $100 fresh food grocery haul!!!

1plan

My plan is simple. Though I’m not tracking anything, I am choosing to eat only fresh fruit & veggies, meats, complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread & other baked goods, pasta, etc.), and other staples like greek yogurt, cheese in moderation, eggs, almond milk, etc. On a daily basis I am cutting out simple carbs, and sugary foods and will reserve those for my “treat” day, in which I can eat whatever foods I want, including treats, during one meal only (not the entire day).

But, I get to eat as much as I want of all that good food, but will focus more on the practice of Intuitive Eating. Basically, I can eat whatever I want when I am hungry, but to stop when I am satisfied or full. You can check out more about this book here! I decided that for me, right now, meal tracking or hitting my macro goals isn’t the best option for a ton of reasons I won’t go into.Β  But, giving myself the option to eat whatever I want choosing from healthier options! Pretty simple, ya?

2execution

I want to start of with some tips, because really, this is how you execute a plan like this.

  1. Don’t buy it – Can’t eat it:Β Basically, don’t put those unwanted food items into your grocery cart. Don’t even putΒ  them in there if you’re indecisive about it and think you will make the best decision at check out – you’ll end up buying it. If unwanted food items don’t go into your cart, they don’t go through checkout, and they don’t end up in your cupboard, or on the counter, or in the fridge/freezer to stare you down when a craving kicks in.
  2. Don’t shop hungry: I know, I know, everyone has said this at least 3-4 times to another person or to themselves. But it is SO true. In fact, I was super hungry before my grocery trip today, and I knew in order for it to be a success and in line with my new plan, I needed to eat first. So I did, and guess what, I did not pick up a single item that was not on my list and I did not go over budget (except for that one item I actually forgot to put on my list – greek yogurt). I was not swayed by the cookie aisle, or the cracker aisle, or heaven help the ice-cream aisle.
  3. Don’t go down that aisle: Seriously! Don’t go down those aisles that contain all those unwanted foods. I avoid the ice-cream aisle because that is my weakness. Really, the only time I am ever in the frozen section is for veggies and berries. I would rather not have to look at all the rows of ice-cream and goΒ  through another debate in my head of why I did or didn’t need that treat.
  4. Make a list: Make a list, only put healthy items on there or your planned food items, and stick to that list. Period. (Unless, like me, you forget to put a healthy item on that list in the first place, like Greek Yogurt. Then that is ok.)
  5. Shop the fresh food sales: Find out what your grocery store is having a sale on for produce and only buy those things! That is how I determine what fresh fruits and veggies we will eat for the week and I go Pinterest crazy to find recipes to coincide with said fruit and veggies. But, don’t stop there! Today Albertson’s was having a sale on chicken breast at $1.59 a pound. Call me crazy, but I was only allowed to buy 10 pounds, and I bought 10 pounds. Now, that is more than we’ll eat in a week, probably even two weeks, but dang, you can’t beat chicken at that price! I may go back later this week for more!
  6. Farmer’s Market: So, I live in Southern California where Farmer’s Markets are practically year round. I checked out a local one last week, and was planning shop there this week, but didn’t due to being out-of-town over the weekend, needing to restock with limited time to do it. BUT, how can you resist all that fresh produce at a farmer’s market? Go CRAZY! Buy all that good stuff that looks fun to eat. Buy something you’ve never tried before & Pinterest a recipe for it! Great deals, great produce, healthy you!
  7. Prep: One day I am going to devote a post or two to food preparation, because it is that legit. When you get your bulk chicken home, this is the time to freeze some, cut up some, and marinate some for a future meal. I am the type of person that likes to cook a staple food (like chicken – can you tell I eat a lot of chicken?) in bulk to use throughout the week. I throw it in my crock pot with some seasoning and spice and maybe some marinade or other fun flavors, shred once cooked, and store for 2-3 days to eat during the week in various different meals. You can do this with any type of meat (can you also tell how important, I think, protein is in your diet?) and use in any type of meal. A couple weeks ago I made some crock-pot Italian chicken. Throughout the week I used that chicken to make Hawaiian haystacks, bbq pineapple chicken sandwiches, chicken quesadillas, and some type of chicken pasta dish. There was also some leftover for whatever else we wanted to eat! Fresh fruits and veggies are so easy to prep and to throw into a meal. I also like to cut up my favorite snacking veggies so they are easy to grab out of the fridge when I’m feeling the munchies.
  8. Don’t Throw Away Food: And what I mean by this is don’t throw away those unwanted food items already in your house. Some people recommend a complete purge, but I come from a family that taught me not to waste and not to throw away food. If that doesn’t bother you, then by all means, toss the junk – see #1. But, for those of you who don’t want to throw away those foods, or maybe it is your kid’s or spouse’s favorite and they would be mad at you if you did throw it away, here is what I do. I’ll be honest and tell you I have cereal, chocolate chips, some crackers, and a few other packaged goods hiding in my cupboards.Β  I don’t keep a ton of food on hand, since there are only two of us right now, and I have habits that have kept my pantries clean for the most part. So, even if I did purge my pantry, I wouldn’t be throwing out much. I am going to save those unwanted foods for my treat meal, and I also like to hide them (do it the morning of a busy day so you forget that you did hide it) because I forget quite easily (pregnancy-brain), and keep them out of plain site. If I do really want one of those treats, I mentally ask myself why I want it, if i’m really hungry, and if there is a healthier alternative that would satiate that desire. Put up reminder notes to question yourself until you can do it off-hand. Ask yourself if you can save it for your treat meal – and chances are you won’t even want it then.
  9. Enjoy: I plan on enjoying all of my food and being happy with the choices I am making. I plan on eating a variety of healthy foods and getting the most nutrition from those foods to fuel my body, and keep baby girl growing strong and healthy.

 

3thehaul

I, like most people, have a budget for groceries. Otherwise I would spend way too much $$ and a lot would probably go to waste. I often have to put back things I wanted, or decide between two items, which can be a healthy exercise for your self-discipline. Anyways, everything pictured here I got for just over $100. And I want to show you all the healthy fresh food you can get for that much! And, this will probably last Sam and I at least one to one and a half weeks.

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Ok, so maybe it doesn’t look like much, but it is! Not pictured is 5 lbs of chicken & some steak that I already put in the fridge. Here is a list of everything pictured and I have put a * next to items I don’t normally buy in a weekly shopping trip.

  • Almond milk, eggs, cream cheese*, block of cheddar cheese, chobani yogurts* (I normally buy the plain greek yogurt, but with being pregnant, it is easier for me to have individual cups that I don’t have to add anything to when I need a quick healthy snack. Cream cheese is for a special recipe, recipe unkown as of now, and it was on sale!)
  • 10 lbs chicken breast, 1 lb ground beef, 1-2 pounds steak (love me some meat! We eat a lot of it in this household)
  • Yams, sweet potatoes, mango*, apples, lemons, oranges, cherry tomatoes, mini watermelon*, pineapple*, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, baby spinach/spring greens mix (The starred items in this list are seasonal sales I took advantage of! Love mixing up my fruits and having something new to try)
  • Rice, unsweetened applesauce, olives, canned pineapple, cornstarch* (I like to have both white and brown rice on hand, and my husband drinks applesauce, but I always get the unsweetened kind!)
  • Rotisserie chicken* (this is for when I don’t have time to cook after my grocery shopping. It is nice to have a precooked chicken and you can use rotisserie in SO many things!)

There you have it! With my water bottle hiding in the back πŸ™‚ I drink lots of water. There are no crackers, cookies, cereal, candies, and anything like that in my haul and I am SO proud of myself. There were Cadbury cream eggs at the checkout stand and I had to tell myself no!

Other healthy staples I normally have on hand include: oatmeal, cream of rice, whole wheat flour, pastas, other canned goods, etc.

 

It really isn’t that hard to make the switch to eating healthy fresh foods! You may have to do a little more prepping, cooking, and cleaning, but your body will thank you. I promise.

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I have some exciting things coming up on my blog! I am finally out of my slump and excited for making this all work for me! Next up is a post about Phase 1 – I know you guys thought pregnancy brain had me all confused, but the truth is I started phase 1 last week, continued it today, but am keeping it a surprise until later!!! Check back for that post or subscribe so you know when I have new posts! πŸ™‚

Once Upon A Time . . .

Once upon a time I could do 8 pullups . . .

Once upon a time I could run without my knees and back aching . . .

Once upon a time I could lift weights 4-5 days a week

And then this happened:

Which is totally AWESOME and I am so excited to meet this little girl! On Valentine’s day we revealed her gender to our family & friends! I really wanted a boy, and Sam wanted a girl . . . he got his wish! But, really, we are SO happy.

I am currently 6 months along and can’t believe there are only about 3 left to go! Time has flown and I feel like I still have a lot to do before she comes.

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BUT.

There have been some trade-offs. First, I’ll start off by saying that I’ve had a really easy and nice pregnancy so far. I haven’t been very sick at all and don’t have a lot of the side affects that normally come with pregnancy. I guess I got luckyΒ  in that respect! Besides the normal fatigue and ache from all the changes my body is going through (and having trouble getting out of bed – seriously, I have to roll over like a beached whale. It’s a process.) I’m still healthy and happy!

My trade-off comes in the form of a medical issue that has prevented me from doing something that I love – working out. And, this is the reason my writing has come to a halt (besides moving across the country during the holidays and getting settled into a new place). Below is a pic of the last time I was able to go to the gym back in February, I think. Super bummed, because my new gym here in California is AWESOME! Over a month ago, after we found out we are having a girl, my DR told me I had placenta previa, and to basically stop doing anything that is high impact or could cause too much stress on my body. Squats – out of the question, Deadlifts – no way, Any Lower Body Lift or Ab Work – don’t even. Running is not an option, and neither is anything that would cause too much stress on my joints (they’ve been getting soft!). Carrying heavy stuff, being too active, are all no-no’s. So basically I’m left with light upper body workouts (have to be careful about indirectly working my core), the elliptical (which I hate), and walking. Sam and I discussed my situation and decided it would probably be best to lay off going to the gym altogether since I would honestly have a huge struggle of not doing the things I wasn’t supposed to do. Seriously, I love weight-lifting, and it would be too tempting to try and justify something. But, I need to take care of this baby girl growing inside of me and do what is best for her.

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On a good note, there is a very high chance, something like 80-90% that my previa will move as the baby grows and I won’t have any issues with delivery. (Side note: Placenta previa is when the placenta is too close, or partially or fully covers the cervix. It can cause some major issues during the third trimester, and during birth if it doesn’t’ move. I have a marginal, which is the least serious, and most likely to move.) BUT, until we find out if the previa has moved or not, I’m stuck playing it safe for now and trying to keep myself busy with nursery sewing projects!

So . . .Β  my pregnancy has been difficult for me in the sense that I’ve had this mental battle going on and a real struggle with having to put my fitness goals on hold. I don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes anymore (apparently that is a side-affect of pregnancy πŸ™‚ ), and I’m watching my body slowly get soft, and bigger, and less like I want it to be. Eating healthy has also been a real struggle. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and since working out was kicked-to-the-curb, so was my motivation for eating right. Though it has been a struggle, the only thing keeping me from going off the deep end and eating pizza and ice-cream every night is that I need to make healthy food choices for baby girl. (Ok, so maybe I do have ice-cream almost every night, but not pizza!)

It is so hard for me to look back at pictures of me when I was working out so much, and so lean, and was starting to get some nice muscle definition.

photo 2

Pre-Prego & Fit

Because now I look like this:

5 Months & Getting Soft

I know it is normal, and it is part of pregnancy, but I was going to be that super fit prego lady at the gym and still do dead-lifts and squats and anything else I felt like doing (besides the obvious no-no’s when you are pregnant.) I’m a little jealous when I see pregnant ladies still able to stay a lot more active than myself. I know I shouldn’t be, and that every situation is different, but that is how I feel. I try to get a walk in a few times a week, and move around a lot during the day. I got a part-time job coaching elementary kids basketball and tennis after school a few times a week. I have enjoyed working with those kids so much, but even that is proving to be too difficult at this stage in my pregnancy and today is my last day coaching for FitkidsAmerica until further notice.

I still try to read up on fitness stuff, avidly peruse my fitness Instagram account to try and stay motivated (though sometimes it makes me sad), and was able to attend a 360 You Workshop hosted by JazzyThings, Jenny Groethe, and Lindsey Matthews (my trainer from Moxie). I couldn’t do the workout portion of the weekend workshop in Salt Lake, but I was able to participate in everything else, go for a walk in one of my favorite cities, and came away with a new determination to focus on what I CAN do, instead of what I can’t. (I was SO excited to meet Jazzy! Even thought she lives less than an hour north of me, I decided to go to her workshop in SLC, so I could also see my family and friends!).

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On a positive note: one interesting thing I’ve noticed since being pregnant is how much MORE appreciative I am now of the shape my body was in pre-preg. Not going to lie, even though I was working out 4-5 days a week and eating really healthy, I still would look in the mirror and see so many flaws, and so many areas that needed improvement. Back then I wasn’t fit enough for where I wanted to be and didn’t appreciate all the hard work and how far I had gone to get there. Looking back at those pictures now, when I can see and feel how much my body has changed, I am so happy with where I was at. I’m like, dang girl, you were looking good! So, I have this new-found appreciation to not take that progress for granted. And after baby is born, when I get back to my pre-preg shape, then I KNOW I will appreciate myself so much more. So, what it comes down to is this. Fmfitgirl is back in the game! My goal is to try and capture my current fitness journey, as altered as it may be, and document what I am able to do until this baby girl comes! And then when she does come, you can watch my transformation and follow me as I drop those post-prego pounds and get back into shape and back to where I want to be!

In the meantime, I’ve been given an awesome opportunity to be an online Coach with Moxie Full Body Fitness! Though I haven’t advertised it much, some of you know I am a certified personal trainer! I have been working as a client with Moxie for almost 2 years now and have LOVED the progress I have been able to make and want to help others make healthy and attainable lifestyle changes. Moxie was able to customize my plan to fit my needs, goals, and preferences. I wasn’t forced to do anything I didn’t want to do, though I had so many opportunities to try new things! Go check out my bio and if you are interested in coaching, feel free to reach out to me with questions, or sign up and request me as your coach!

pregofit

Looking Back

I believe that anytime you are on a journey to a better you, to reach goals, to pass milestones . . . it is important to look back and see how far you’ve come. Two summers ago my family backpacked 60 miles to the top of Mt. Whitney and back. Every day we would climb to the top of a peak and I would always stop and take the opportunity to look back and I was amazed that my two feet got me from there to here. The journey was rough and trying at times. But, as long as I continued to put one foot in front of the other I would make it.

Top of Mt. Whitney

Top of Mt. Whitney

These past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was 2 years, 3 years, even 5 years ago. A lot has changed about me: physically, mentally, and spiritually. About 6-7 years ago I was unhappy with myself, my image, and lack of drive to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle. I even had a boyfriend who “lovingly” and in other words told me I was too fat and not marriage material until I slimmed down. Anger aside, I turned to my mom who had been a years-long example to me of what it meant to live a healthy life through every triathlon or half-marathon finish line she crossed, miles logged on the bike, hours spent in the gym, laps completed in the pool . . . my whole life she has been involved in keeping herself healthy and fit. I thank my mom for her example as she is the one who gave me the fuel I needed to light the fire to start my own journey (and the boyfriend just dumped on the gasoline).

Mom & I at the finish line of my first triathlon

Mom & I at the finish line of my first triathlon

My journey has been a slow one and I have learned SO much over the past few years. While some people transform their bodies from fat to fit in 6 to 9 months, mine has taken years and years. I was never interested in that and so I never pushed myself to those extremes. I remember one afternoon I was sitting in the mall with my sister-in-law across from Victoria’s Secret. We both looked at those models and one of us commented how great they looked but that it would take so much time and dedication and hard work for either of us to look like that and right now where we were in our lives, that was not a desire we had. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.

Finish of my second triathlon

Finish of my second triathlon

There is so much craze in the fitness industry right now to look a certain way, to live a specific lifestyle, or to restrict yourself to certain foods. At different phases in my life I have fallen for each one of these. A few years ago I decided to run a marathon without ever running more than 5, maybe 6 miles at a time in my life. Part of me thought what the heck, why not? And the biggest part of me decided this would be a great way to drop a few pounds. Little did I know that steady state endurance cardio is NOT the best way to lose fat. Little did I know that without proper nutrition and hydration I could seriously harm my body. Little did I know that running is NOT a beginner’s sport.

During my marathon training I hired a trainer because I wasn’t losing any weight for the first two months of training despite how much I was running. He put me on a meal plan of eggs & oatmeal, meat sandwiches, chicken & veggies, and protein shakes. I ate the same stuff day after day, week after week with little variation. I couldn’t have things like white rice, white breads, white pastas, sugary treats and cereal, etc. I thought in order to get results you had to eat like that all the time. I didn’t realize then, all it came down to was matching your macro-nutrient intake to your goals and hitting those targets without going over. I currently eat foods like pizza, popcorn, cereal, ice cream, and pretty much whatever else I feel like – but I do it in moderation (I also eat a lot of healthy foods most of the time). And as long as I am getting my target protein, fat, and carbs, I’m good to go. I used to think that I had to look shredded and have abs to finally feel happy about myself. Over time, and with a lot of hard work, I’ve found my happy place and I don’t look like the aforementioned.

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Last year, about this time, I was registered for a marathon in Mississippi. I trained for months for that race, yet I didn’t run. I got injured while we were vacationing in St. George and got sick the right before the race. This would have been my second marathon. I signed up to race it because I was disappointed in my performance of the first marathon I completed. I signed up because I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape (and it was, coupled with weight lifting). I signed up because I wanted to prove to myself that I could perform better and because one day I wanted to complete an Iron-man triathlon and I had to start racking up marathons under my belt to get ready for one of those. Looking back now I am SO glad I decided not to race in that second marathon. First, I wouldn’t have been able to finish due to being sick and injured. Second, I realized I didn’t even like endurance racing. Yes, crossing the finish line is amazing. But running for miles and miles was miserable to me and I just didn’t like doing it. I kept pushing myself to do something I didn’t enjoy. And so I stopped.

Tire Flipping

Tire Flipping

I have found something I enjoy doing. I really do enjoy weight lifting and building my functional strength. I enjoy see the results that come from this mode of exercise. I enjoy having the freedom to eat the foods I like and am STILL reachingΒ  the goals I have for myself. I have learned so much about lift, fitness, myself, who I am, and who I can become, and so much more. Despite all the bumps, ups & downs, and unexpected turns in my life I wouldn’t trade any part of my journey. Each phase, moment, experience all adds up to this very point in time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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360 Days . . . Counting Up Instead of Down

The other day I had this wonderful idea to put a counter on my blog for how many days left I have in my challenge .Β  .Β  .Β  then I thought to myself that didn’t sound right. I should have a counter tracking how many days I’ve been going strong!

I realized that my mentality about this goal is so important and that I need to have a positively structured mentality not a negative one. If I started counting down the days it would lead me to fantasizing about all the treats I will get to have or to think thoughts like, “When this is finally over . . . ” or ” I can’t wait until next June toΒ  . . . ” or “I’ve gone through __ days I might as well get through __ more.” All of these thoughts are not conducive to my overall goal within this challenge. To help myself live a healthier LASTING lifestyle. The point isn’t to just go 360 days without sugar . . . the point is to get myself to a mentality and way of living in which I can continue after the 360 days are over.

Because what is the point in completing a challenge only to GO BACK to the way you were living before? There needsΒ  to be improvement, and progression.

A few years ago when I was training for my first marathon I hired a personal trainer to help me train and also because I wanted to lose 15-20 pounds. He was the first person to help me realize that my eating habits were keeping me from realizing my goals. For the first month of running 10-20 miles per week my weight didn’t budge at all. Once I hired him I started to drop the weight, and was able to stay strong and have tons of energy for my runs. He created a meal plan, which I stuck to, to the T! Getting to the point .Β  .Β  . At the time I also started to date this guy who was/is a food fanatic. A foodie. He could cook like no other, spoke Italian, and prided himself on knowing all the best restaurants in Salt Lake (and surrounding areas). He also loved taking me out to eat. And this was a problem. I love food and eating at amazing restaurants, but I also needed to stick to my plan 100%. So . . . every time we went out to eat, or he’d cook dinner, I was always the pickiest eater and had to limit my portions. I felt bad because I didn’t want to be that type of girl. But I was (and still am). I think that made it hard because he would want to take me to this new restaurant and I would be like . . . I can’t eat that food. The catcher is . . . he would ALWAYS ask me when this phase was going to be over? When was I going to be done with the meal plan training thing? When could I eat whatever I wanted? And my response: after the marathon.

I trained for my marathon for 4 months. I worked with my personal trainer for 3 months. And guess what was my prize dessert for finishing the race? CHEESECAKE (from the best cheesecake maker in the world). Guess what I did as soon as my marathon was over? Go get that cheesecake (pretty sure I got 2 slices). And guess what happened in the weeks following . . . I fell off the wagon. Seriously, I couldn’t stick to my meal plan even though I tried. For those 3 months of training I had the mentality of “When this is over . . .” and that was the WRONG mentality to have and that pretty much messed things up for me.

I still struggle with that mentality. I really do. And that is why I am working so hard to change it. I don’t want to do something amazing and great for a set amount of time and go back to what I was doing before. I want to be a different, better, and stronger me. I combat this by always having something to look forward to. A year is a long time and so I have also set some short term goals for myself to keep me motivated.

And so . . . one of my sub goals is to work on counting up instead of counting down.

And guess what. I’ve been going 19 days strong.

 

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Me at the Finish Line of the Ogden Marathon

360 Days . . . Setting Up For Success

7 down and 353 days to go! I’d say my no sugar streak is going pretty well! This week wasn’t too difficult for me to say no to sugar. Yes, there were some treats leftover from Sam’s birthday, but I actually didn’t like them too much so it wasn’t hard to stay away. I did stay out of the ice cream aisle when I went grocery shopping yesterday, just to help steer my thoughts in the right direction!

Though I’m only a week down it is time to start preparing myself for success later on down the road. The first couple of weeks will be easy because I am super motivated. But with Disneyland in July, and a family reunion in August . . . I better have my guard up and strong!

Here are some tips to help you (and me) stay on track and reach the end of your goal with success!

1. Make visual reminders – One goal I have this week is to create a vision board. Basically a poster with a countdown, some inspirational quotes, some nice pictures, and a list of my goals. Having a visual reminder can help you stay on track. The key is to create it when you are super motivated and don’t hesitate to change things up a few weeks down the road to keep it fresh and exciting to see every day!

2. Write down WHY you are doing your challenge and put it somewhere you can read daily or weekly – This is something I will add to my vision board. It is so important to remember why you started something especially when you are having a rough day. Then you can read your own thoughts during a mindset of when you were motivated. Remember to make this detailed and not vague!

3. Look to others & apps for motivation – I have several fitness people I follow on Instagram, and I also peruse the Health & Fitness section of Pinterest, and visit sites like Bodybuilding.com’s forum and Fitboard. Seeing others successes and inspirational posts help me stay on track especially on days I don’t feel like going to the gym or sticking to my plan.

4. Avoid things that play to your weakness – For me it is the ice cream aisle. So, when I’m at the grocery store I just don’t go down it. I also don’t buy things I can’t eat. If it isn’t in my house, then it won’t get eaten. This principle applies to other things as well besides just avoiding food. If your goal is to DO something a certain amount of times during the week or daily, then get that thing done FIRST! Don’t wait until later in the day to get something done . . . otherwise it may not get done. (If I don’t get to the gym before 1pm, my chances of going decrease drastically. That is why I always try and get it done asap!)

5. Practice the power of discipline – See something you really want now? Set it aside and tell yourself you can have it later. This is for those that choose to have 1 treat a week, or something like that. Setting foods you really want now, aside, to your “treat bowl” will help you make a better decision when it comes time to gorge on those goodies. Perhaps you really don’t want that cookie because the brownie is so much better and you end up eating less overall! Check out this awesome article on will-power!

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself – If you happen to mess up . . . don’t be too hard on yourself. We are our own worst critic and this is something that has taken me a long time to understand. If I messed up with my health/fitness I would go through these downward spirals that would leave me far behind where I was when I started. And then I would have to find motivation to get up and going again. I learned that I am not perfect, but it is better to keep your head up and continue on doing your best and get back on track as soon as you can. Because really in the grand scheme of things you are OK!

7. Enjoy this moment – I will have to remind myself of this periodically. To just enjoy this entire year of no sugar and view it as an opportunity to increase my mind-body connection. An opportunity to really challenge my mental capacity when I REALLY WANT that treat. Instead of viewing this with a negative perspective and thinking about all the things I can’t have .Β  .Β  . I will instead strive to enjoy all the healthy things I am putting into my body and have a happy positive perspective about it! Take this time to try new things, for me that will be recipes using fruit to sweeten them instead of sugar and to try fruits and other foods i’ve never tried before.

 

I have so many things I can do this week to help me on my journey! I cannot stress how important it is to set perimeters to help you be successful!

360 Days . . . BEGINS!

Ok, I’m not going to lie. I’ve been using this last week or so to eat a few select foods that I won’t be able to eat for a long while.

3 weeks ago when I was planning this challenge for myself I had all these ideas of the meals I would consume just because I could and just because I knew I was going to be in a “gorge” mentality. I know, not healthy.

But, I really didn’t eat as much “bad” stuff as I thought I would. In fact, this past week I have worked out exactly ZERO times. Several weeks ago I hurt my back and decided to take about a week and a half off just to let it heal. Which it turns out was the right thing to do since my back is finally feeling better and i’ll be ready to hit up the gym hard core tomorrow! (SO EXCITED)

Anyways . . . because I wasn’t working out I wasn’t expending as much energy and my body got full from eating less than I normally do, which was a good thing because I didn’t eat as much as my fantasies wanted to.

Yes, I had my last Chic-Fil-A cookies and cream milkshake, pancakes with sugar syrup for breakfast (I rarely eat pancakes for breakfast . . . unless they are egg white oatmeal pancakes!), a Ritter Sport Milk almond bar, and a Godiva milk almond bar . . . and tonight for my husband’s birthday I made BBQ ribs, french bread rolls, grilled asparagus, spinach & artichoke dip with chips, fresh pineapple and lemon blueberry cheesecake bars for dessert!!!

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We couldn’t eat it all . . . so Sam is going to have to finish some of it tomorrow(since the only thing I can have is the pineapple and asparagus!) and we’ll have to give some away!

And, today my husband decided to lay down some new rules . . . Apparently we’re not having sugar forever (I told him I’d guarantee only a year). I love that he is supporting me 100% in my journey and is going to join me! We both want to be healthy and fit and what better way to do it than together!

I have to say that I’m pretty excited to get started and with all the extra sweets this week my body is ready to cut it out! I’m ready to make this change and this week I plan to make some visual reminders to put up to help motivate me to stay strong when things get tough down the road.

Visual reminders are so helpful . . . especially writing down the reason why you are doing what you are doing. If you are having a rough day sticking to your plan it is nice to be able to remind yourself of your mind-set when you started!

Well, here we go!!! Day 1 begins tomorrow!

 

 

360 Days . . . The Countdown Begins!!!

I’ve had many people tell me this goal I have is quite a lofty one . . . and it is.

BUT,

snap

and

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And so in one week my journey begins. Am I a little apprehensive? Yes. Having second thoughts? Sometimes. Am I a little afraid I am in over my head? Yes, but I do take comfort from Elliot’s words that this experience will only help me!

The past 6 weeks I have been participating in a Bootcamp from Moxie Full Body and while I had so much fun doing it, and did pretty well, I know I could have done better and dedicated myself more and probably ate a little less junk food. But, I want to show my before and after pictures mostly as a visual reminder of what I accomplished in 6 weeks at about 80-85% effort over-all (I was 95% food compliant). This will help motivate me to see what I can accomplish at 100% for more than 6 weeks! Because let’s face it, one of the reasons I was not 100 had to do with sugar and too much of it. I think visual reminders are so important because without them how do we gauge where we have been and where we need to go?

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AllΒ  I know is I have so much more progress to make and I am not going to get where I want to be without hard work!

I’ve had a few people ask me what my 360 Days of No Sugar entails. And while I’ve detailed a little of what it means in my original post, I’m going to break it down here.

My biggest goal is to stay away from treats and sweets, but if a packaged good has over 5-7 grams of sugar in it, it is a no go (I don’t eat a ton of packaged goods, but am setting this parameter just in case.

Foods that are a NO!

  • Candy
  • Candy Canes
  • Candy Corns
  • Syrup

HAHAHA I just had to πŸ™‚

Continuing On .Β  .Β  .

  • Ice cream
  • Baked treats (cake, brownies, cookies, etc.)
  • Packaged treats (Oreos, Thin Mints, Little Debbie Brownies, etc.)
  • Candy & Candy Bars
  • Adding sugar to foods
  • Syrups
  • Sodas & other sugary drinks
  • Chic Fil A shakes
  • Chocolate of any kind
  • Decadent desserts like cheesecake
  • Jam
  • Sugar Cereals

I am not going to dictate an all-inclusive list because that would get too long, but basically it if falls in one of the categories above it is off-limits except on my special days!

Special Days on which I can have a treat!

  • My birthday (August)
  • Thanksgiving
  • Anniversary/Christmas (One day, not both)
  • Valentine’s
  • Easter

Below are the items that contain sugar that I can have because I need them for my fitness goals. As much as I’d love to survive off of tons of eggs, chicken, cottage cheese, and greek yogurtΒ  for my protein sources having a fast, easy and delicious option like protein powder is going to be necessary to make it through this year.

  • Fresh fruit (or packaged fruits with NO added sugar. Like applesauce. But I don’t eat much fruit besides fresh anyway)
  • Protein powder (the powders I use technically have like 1 gram of sugar, but they do use zero calorie sweeteners to sweeten
  • Stevia in moderation

 

This week is going to be a break week for me. Mostly because I am waiting for my back to heal (pretty sure I pulled a muscle 2 weeks ago) and because, being honest here, I am going to get in a few of my favorite treats, hopefully in moderation of course. I don’t want to negate all my hard work these last 6 weeks.

So there you go! 1 week until this crazy adventure begins!