Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Change Your Life Salad is Back!

Woot! I actually remembered to weigh myself this morning and was delighted to see another two pounds gone. I'm still a ways off from fitting into my regular clothes, as was evidenced this morning when I attempted to find something to wear for a meeting, but I'll take it. I made it through Thanksgiving unscathed. I guess that one-mile jaunt at the Turkey Trot burned more calories than I thought. :)

A big part of losing baby weight is simply eating more veggies.  Specifically, eating spinach. Spinach is my own personal miracle food. I even have a Popeye t-shirt that I can't fit into anymore. :) Every bit of muscle definition I have ever had (and will have) I can attribute to spinach. So, that means that my Change Your Life Salad is back! I didn't eat much of it when I was pregnant because veggies seriously grossed me out, but now that my taste buds (and gag reflex) are a little more reasonable it is back in full force.

It's the easiest and yummiest salad to make:

2 or 3 bunches of raw spinach
1 bunch romaine 
3 ounces of baked chicken or turkey 
4 or 5 strawberries
About 15 grams of feta cheese

No dressing needed! It is that good. Sometimes I do add a little Annie's Natural Papaya Poppy Seed dressing through. I eat it almost every day for lunch and it is sooo good.

I'm getting out there and getting healthy in the name of wearing my old jeans by New Years. What's your motivation to get out there and get healthy?

Monday, November 28, 2011

No gym, no problem! (At-home workout fun.)

I'm one week out from being able to hit the weights again, thank God. I honestly think the six weeks I am spending away from the gym are harder than the 10 months I spent pregnant. Yes, pregnancy is 10 months, my friends. 40 weeks does not equal 9 months, even a History major like me can figure that one out! :)

But anyway, I put my gym membership and trainer on sabbatical to save money while I am home with my baby, and also because for some reason my sweet precious little angel hasn't yet bought into the concept of arranging his sleep around my schedule. So, no 5:00 am workouts for me unless I plan to do them at home.

Good thing that's exactly what I plan to do! Today, I wandered into my home gym to do a little inventory. Now, when I say, "home gym," I mean a random collection of stuff my husband and I have accumulated over 14 years of marriage. Honestly, I'm pretty proud that there aren't more gadgets in here. Although, I think there is an ab wheel thing in a closet somewhere and more ankle weights than I care to admit.

We have a pull-up thingy, some free weights, boxing stuff, a weight bench, yoga mat, exercise ball, and apparently, a rebel fleet trooper helmet left over from when my husband went to Dragon*Con. I also have an elliptical machine but its not in the picture because it's across the room, next to the bar, because everyone likes to stare at half-empty bottles of Kahlua when they're working out and think of the cocktails they can't drink because they're trying to lose their baby belly. :)

Anyway, it's all cool because I don't need half of that stuff. My bye-bye belly workout will consist of, duh, running and a lot of body-weight exercises like burpees, plyometrics, and fun stuff like jumping rope and maybe trying a few rounds on my hubby's boxing stuff. You can read about how to create your own body-weight workout here. 

So. Gym inventory done. Now I just need time to actually workout. :)  No worries, you know I can always find a way. That's what baby monitors are for, right?

Have a healthy day: get out there and get healthy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Talk: How to not gobble your way through Thanksgiving

Wow, Thanksgiving already? This year has been a blink of an eye. This time last year I was prepping for the Turkey Trot 15k, and now I have two kids, one of which just woke up and the other which wants a snack so this is gonna be quick.

With the radical changes going on in my life right now, stress eating would be a very easy trap to fall into, especially around the holidays! I can't workout yet, I'm surrounded by temptations at every turn, and dang it if I don't love stuffing. But I'm riding the wave of a 2-pound loss this week so there is no way I am caving to that kind of pressure.

But tomorrow, I won't be worrying that much about what I eat. Instead, I'll be focusing on three Ws: 


Check out how to avoid the gobble gobble tomorrow and any day.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am truly thankful for all of my readers, followers, and fans. You help make my illusions of grandeur possible, and I appreciate every little bit I can get! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bye-Bye Belly Update: I'm going back! (Photos don't lie)

I cannot waaaaaaait to be back at the gym. 


The lack of endorphins in my life is not good. Not good at all.  Where last week I was worried that my fuzzy memories of being in a much fitter body were a signal that I had lost some of my mojo, now I realize that was baloney. *smack* Of course I will get back into shape. I have to, because my husband will likely leave me if I keep on with this mopey attitude I've been shoving around lately. :)

It also helps that today I found this:

and this:

and this:

...while I was cleaning out some photos. Seeing pictures of myself in a fitter, stronger, unflabby and less dough-like body made me smile in a way that I haven't for a long time. For the past few weeks I've laid the groundwork with a leaner nutrition plan, and in just two weeks I'll be back to the weights.  For the record, I've still got 25 pounds and 10% body fat to lose. I've got boxes to jump, hurdles to clear, sprints to run, weights to lift, and protein to eat. For the first time since my baby was born, I feel like I can actually do those things again. 

Oooh I can't wait. I'm getting out there and getting healthy, and I CAN'T WAIT!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Can't workout? Imagine you can!

I'm still a few weeks away from being able to really workout. And let's be honest, after three months of pretty much nothing, my first stab at retro-fitting myself isn't likely to be really working out. But hey, I'll take it.

One thing has creeped into my mind lately and it's a little freaky: just how normal not exercising has become. Just as we get accustomed to any change, like sleeping through the night or getting to eat at regular intervals or remembering to look in the mirror before leaving the house (all of which have made swift exits from my life in the past month); I've become accustomed to not exercising. Scary. I hate it. I really really don't like it one stinking bit.

I used to ache for the gym, and now it's a distant memory. Muscle soreness?  Please. My eyelids and boobs are the only thing getting a workout these days. It's all for a good cause (cause my baby is WAY cute and super sweet) but still, I don't like how not working out has become my new normal.

Visualization helps. By imagining myself working out, remembering myself in a fitter body, and visualizing what I will do and how I will feel when I am able to be more active, I can remind my brain that this is not the new normal, that I will get back to the old normal, and that it better not forget it for one single second.

I've been unhealthy and I've been healthy. Healthy is better. Here's how I am on the way to getting back there!

Now come on, enough babbling. Get out there and get healthy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bye-Bye Belly Update (and healthy food swaps)

Day seven of my Bye-Bye Belly plan is good news!  Down 3.5 lbs to 151.5. Now, of course I didn't actually lose 3.5 pounds in a week. That would mean a calorie deficit of 12,250 calories! Um, no, I've been sitting on the couch watching HGTV and feeding my baby every day. So I'm chalking it up to water weight, which means that soon my weight loss will revert back to it's usual habits, which generally net me about 2 ounces lost each month.

Insert good-natured eye-roll here

But, that doesn't mean I am not still making healthier swaps. My day has become a lot more colorful as I've been eating less grains and more veggies and fruit. Here's today's healthier food switcharoo: 

Bye-bye cereal for breakfast. It was fun, but I have a better bowl now.

Helloooo oatmeal! Those are cranberries, by the way. Not Craisins, not sugar-soaked dried cranberries, they're actual natural cranberries. You can get them in the frozen food section and when added with walnuts, oats, and cinnamon they are a power-packed antioxidant rich breakfast that's perfect before a walk in the beautiful fall weather. Read here about the health benefits of cranberries.

Just FYI, the cranberry sauce in the can does not have health benefits, no matter what my husband tells you.

Okay, back to baby feeding and couch-sitting. What are you doing to get out there and get healthy today?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Secret of 100+ Weight Losers (and how to use them)

Since I've been home, watching TV, I've reconnected with the Today Show and the Joy Fit Club. If you're not a breastfeeding couch potato like me, Nutritionist Joy Bauer features people who have lost a ton of weight, usually 100 pounds or more, and shares their story on the show. You know what I've noticed about all of them?  Pretty much everyone who tells their story of losing so much weight have these things in common:

1. It took a long time, sometimes even up to two years, to lose the weight.
2. They had tried a ton of diets and gimmicks in the past, but...
3. They finally abandoned them in favor of, wait for it, better nutrition and exercise.

It's the time of year when commercials are going to start convincing you that the perfect body of your dreams is just one mini-brownie a day away. But please, take a note from these weight loss winners and skip the gimmicks. Set realistic expectations (one or two pounds a week, or a deficit of about 500-1000 calories a day through exercised and reduced portions), focus on nutrition (eat unprocessed foods and get most of them from veggies and lean protein), and get some exercise!  Seriously, that kind of success doesn't lie. Follow these tips to bring the promises of weight-loss programs into reality in a way that won't backfire on you later.

Get out there and get healthy - the right way!  And if you have a weight loss victory to share, tell Joy about it here!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nursing Mothers Burn More Calories? Plus body image info :)

New moms everywhere have always been comforted by the knowledge that nursing mothers burn more calories, which helps take off the weight gained during pregnancy. Well, now that I am in that category of people I've been wondering how true that really is.  So I did a little experiment: I put my GoWearFit armband on and for the past five days have compared my sedentary calorie burn to my burn on rest days before I was pregnant.  On average, I'm burning about 2,100 calories just sitting around on the couch watching daytime television.  On my rest days of Thursdays and Sundays this time last year, I burned about 2,000 calories a day. So, technically I am burning more but nowhere near the 500 calories I've read about! But hey, I'll take it. Calories are calories! 

A few of you have jumped on my 10-pounds-gone-by-New Years bandwagon and to you I say, "climb aboard!" I expect my weight loss will be mostly related to those whopping 100 extra calories I am burning each day, since I am not going to be lowering my calorie intake for a while or adding lots of exercise. Nope, I still have three weeks to go before I can start working out again, and since nursing my baby is priority one, I won't be dieting for a while either. But as I have said over and over, wellness is 80% nutrition, and so much can be done for greater health just based on what and how you eat. I've started making some healthier swaps already and eating more vegetables, which I couldn't stand when I was pregnant. I already feel so much better and have way more energy. Yay!

I was also smart enough to buy some non-maternity clothes in larger sizes before the baby was born, knowing that I would want to wear something normal but would instantly get depressed if I tried to squeeze into my old stuff.  And let me just say now that I would like to retroactively kick myself for all the times I thought I was fat because these days I am feeling amazing about my body and how much it has transformed in the past two weeks but it is still WAYYYYYY too big for my pre-pregnancy clothes. So yeah, a little perspective there. :)

Speaking of perspective and body image, the biggest thing I am doing for my wellness this week is channeling positive energy. Read here about the valuable impact that I healthy body image can make on your weight loss and how you can start creating one today. :)

It's a wonderful day to get out there and get healthy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bye-Bye Belly Day 1: Time to lose weight AGAIN

Okay. My GoWearFit is on my arm and I am ready to track, burn, and lose! I've got 25 pounds to lose and am starting today.

I tried to start yesterday but then I had a piece of leftover pizza and a fun-size Three Muskateers for lunch so I am calling today Day 1. :)

I'm no weight loss newbie. I've lost about 200 pounds over the course of my life (thanks to yo-yo dieting that never worked) and during the past few years have gone from baby flab to fitness fab, losing a total of 75 pounds and keeping them off through clean eating and lots of fun workouts. And now, after my second pregnancy, it's time to put the armor on again and battle those pounds.

My starting point: 155 pounds and according to my body fat scale that I had to dig out from its place of exile under my dresser, 32.5% body fat. Hey, lay off! I've been pregnant for ten months!  

My goal: 25 pounds and 10% body fat gone by April 30, 2012.  Totally doable.

My strategy: no more pizza and candy bars at lunch for starters! Eat clean, the way I have for years, and once I am recovered from my c-section, start walking and then running. I've already registered for two half marathons in the spring and have a 5k on the books for December!  Shameless plug: you can read about my pregnancy-to-half marathon training on Fridays at GetFitPod. 

I have a mini-goal to lose the first ten pounds by the end of the year. That's eight weeks, a little over a pound a week, about 700 calories shaved off each day. During the holidays. LOL To help me (and you, if you're game), there are a few things I can do each week to make the adjustments I'll need to stay healthy through the most wonderful time of the year.

Okay, enough babbling on.  I have to go figure out what these calories are going to look like today.  Are you in? Join me and make your own weight loss goal for the holidays. All it takes is you getting out there and getting healthy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hello baby, goodbye baby weight!

It's no secret that I've been obsessing on how to lose the baby weight since, oh, the day I found out I was pregnant. No, I'm not one of those girls who can embrace the weight gain and splurging on food while pregnant. I've been scheming and planning all along, and already registered for the Mardi Gras Half Marathon in March. Heck, I'm even blogging about it all at GetFitPod! So yeah, I'm ready at the gate to launch into post-baby fitness.

So that means it's almost time to put on my GoWearFit! You may remember my lusting over this handy little enabler, I mean health tool, a couple of years ago when I first bought it. I haven't been wearing it since I got pregnant and all freaked out about every little thing I did, but soon it will be back on my arm and giving me the data I need to get back into my running clothes.  The ones I didn't stretch out by all of that pregnant running, that is. :)

Gadgets and gizmos can be a huge help to losing weight, when they are paired with your own actions to change your behavior. Remember, real change requires real change, so no gadget, no matter how technical or slick, will do it for you. But, they can be a huge help. Check out these three tools for weight loss and health education, (and then share the article with someone you love!) and start thinking about how you can get out there and get healthy today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New mom = bring on the coffee (plus 4 reasons to drink up)

Some people try to wean themselves off of coffee, I am trying to wean myself back ON! I love coffee, and while two cups a day is more than enough for me, it was definitely a morning ritual (and sometimes sanity-saver) before I got pregnant. But, once with child, coffee upset my stomach something fierce so I put it aside. Ten months later, I'm ready to give it another shot. So today, I brewed myself a little pot in my 4-cup percolator and tested the waters. So far, no jitters and I am already feeling the calming, soothing effects of caffeine addiction. I mean, health benefits. Yeah, health benefits! That's what I meant! :)

Coffee, as bad a rep as it gets, can actually be healthy for you. It's what we put in our coffee that makes it unhealthy. Stop at Starbucks for a sugar latte or add artificially flavored creamer and you'll not only get yourself on the fast-track to sugar cravings the rest of the day, you'll also rack up the calories faster than you can say, "venti frap no whip." My coffee is good old-fashioned cafe au lait. Just reduced fat milk and coffee, straight up.  Good for the soul, good for the mommying!

Check out these 4 great reasons to drink coffee and then keep it simple while you sip. Remember, it's a pretty safe bet no matter what the menu item that the more ingredients are listed, the more calories and sugar you're taking in. It's a great day for coffee! Now get out there and get healthy!