It's hard, no doubt about it. Exercising every day for at least 30min and eating "clean" 24 hours a day sucks. It's definitely better when you have a friend to sweat through the torture with you *Thanks Bonnie!* but only YOU can control what YOU eat. I strive to maintain as clean a diet as is possible for me, but what can I say? #ILikeToEat I love everything that is good for you of course, but I also *lurve* that which is bad. The fried, sugared, carb-ridden delicacies that leave you in such a sugar coma, gut-bomb state that you can't hardly move for 3 days; oh yes I love those too. I don't eat it near as often as I used to which is a good thing, but it still creeps its way into my pantry and calls to me at all hours of the day. Sometimes I can resist, had an apple and slice of cheese for a snack yesterday, other times I cannot *cough* ate a whole sleeve of cookies last night *cough*.
My point for this rambling is two fold. 1) I want people, women specifically and *young* girls even MORE specifically to know that you *can* have what you want with a little discipline and a whole lot of sweat (and the payoff is DEFINITELY worth it) and 2) many of my friends wonder what is is that I "do" to stay in shape, so here it is in print form.
Let me start by saying that "Skinny B!tches have body image issues too" and if you have any gag reflex going right now because I, a "Skinny B!tch" is discussing my mid-section, health, exercise, and diet then #PLEASESTOPREADING. I am wanting to help whoever out there I possibly can, as well as my girlfriends who have inquired, be the best they possibly can be and *feel* the best they possibly can feel by divulging my own issues as well as my solutions.
Are you still reading? Good.
It is possible to actually whittle your waist down to that coveted "flat stomach". With a little willpower around the kitchen and the help of Jillian Michaels' "6week 6pack" I went from my standard, TOTALLY NORMAL little stomach pooch to the smallest waist and flattest stomach I've *ever* had. Even when I was working out 2 hours a day, six days a week getting in shape for the wedding I never had a stomach this flat. SO here's something for you to see. I've never done this before and might not ever do it again, but here is a before and after shot of my midsection. This is after about a month of working out daily (mostly 30min a day with Jillian during the week and an hour a day with Bob on the weekends), doing the 6wk6pk DVD every other day, drinking lots of water, and being very conscious of what I put in my mouth.
Quite a difference isn't it? I couldn't believe it myself. I'm sure you're wondering if my midsection *still* looks like that (the after picture was last Friday morning)...sadly it does not. I gave into some indulgences when I got home from MMEA and my body readily rebounded to it's normal state, BUT THAT'S OKAY because I *know* I can get back there #IF I want to, and #WHEN I want too. I'm already on my way back because I don't stay one way for long. I'm constantly evolving in my relationship with food and exercise. It's definitely a "love-hate" relationship and thankfully we're in the "love" stage right now. That always makes it easier.
There's the big exercise "secret". Commit to YOURSELF. Not some idea, not some "man I *wish* I could look like that" notion that you have stuck in your head; commit to yourself. If you do that then it becomes much more the act of making yourself healthy rather than thin and by doing so, you'll love yourself that much more whatever state you are in because you will be the healthiest version of you there is. *THAT* my friends is the goal.
So, the next question many people have asked me is "What exactly does your daily food intake entail?" Quite frankly it's not very exciting and usually revolves around the same controlled foods. I'm a creature of habit and if I cycle through the regular recipes and allow myself treats in moderation I'm pretty happy. Here's what I eat *daily*:
During the school week I drink a protein shake comprised of whey protein powder (Jillian Michaels), a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, 2 servings of Almond Milk (more calcium and less fat than cow's milk and no growth hormones), then a good sized splash of whatever "Naked" juice I have on hand. Currently the "Berry Veggie" flavor. I drink this in my car on the way to work and take all my vitamins at the same time.
Here's the list of vitamins...I warn you it's long.
Vitamins (taken with breakfast)
Vitamin E, D, and C (E & D are two that women are severly lacking and that could be a contributor in cancer)
Calcium (also lacking in women. This is a MUST!)
Multi-Vitamin for Women
I *used* to take Borage Oil (a mix of 3 Omega Oils) but was told that *could* have been a contributor to cancer, so I took it out hence the Co-Q10 instead. Use your own judgement here.
I also have my beloved coffee and creamer in the mornings. *NEVER* miss that. :)
Lunch (I make this my largest meal by far of the day)
Lunch is either left overs from dinner before, or a turkey or chicken breast sandwich. Regardless I always make sure to include a veggie of some kind, currently in LOVE with cut up bell peppers, baby carrots, or sugar snap peas (all just raw, thrown in a baggie and eaten with no dip). I also make sure to include a fruit, right now we have honeycrip apples (the extra $$ per pound is so worth it), pears, grapefruit, grapes, and one lone banana left. Something "bad" is thrown in; i.e. couple of cookies, a lunch sized bag of chips (preferably baked but sometimes not), wheat thins, whatever I feel like. I also throw extra food in because I *have* to have a snack around 930/10am, then again around 3pm.
Snacks (I eat something about every 3 hours so I don't just blow through the pantry and grab whatever I can when I get home)
Hummus with wheat thins or veggies
Apple with a scoop of organic peanut butter
Cheezits (LOVE CHEEZITS! #CanIGetALifetimeSupply)
I also have a drawer in my filing cabinet at school that has an area dedicated to food. I keep granola bars, fruit roll ups, oatmeal bars, dried fruit, almonds, cheezits, etc, etc, in there for whenever I get hit with the #HungryStick and for those times when my students haven't been supplied with enough food for the day and are literally starving #YesItHappens.
DrinksWater needs to become your new best friend. Please invest in a reusable bottle that has a carbon filter built into it or a Brita pitcher that you can keep in your fridge and refill your reusable bottle with. Put an end to disposable plastic bottles to help the planet. I also enjoy soda water. It's not everyone's taste, I acknowledge that, but sometimes I need something bubbly and POP is a bad bad BAD choice. Don't drink your calories. The only other liquid I'll drink throughout the day is tea. Preferably Green Tea (love Arizona's tall cans of it) but I'll take a glass of plain ol' iced tea over a pop any day. NOT SWEET TEA PEOPLE, un-sweet with lemon.
Dinner (I make this the smallest meal of my day and try to not eat anything past 7pm)
I rotate through the same standard recipes for the most part. Spaghetti, Chinese Chicken, Stir Fry's of varying sorts, Spicy dumpling soup, Killer chicken noodle soup, Chicken with veggies and baked potato, Chili, Tacos, Sloppy Joes & Mac'nCheese (this is a husband dinner), Black Beans and rice with veggies, Beef noodle soup, Turkey Sage Meatloaf, Gluten free Lasagna with some experimenting along the way as well as some evenings where "We're having cereal" or "Breakfast for dinner".
The main points I can stress on dinner are this.
1) (Second smallest portion) LEAN PROTEIN. Ground turkey, ground chicken, ground LEAN beef, lean cuts of beef, FISH (love salmon and tilapia), bison/buffalo (found it at Target and it's very tasty), lean pork. We also eat a lot of venison which is naturally lean and good for you but unless your hubby is a hunter like mine, you might be out of luck there.
2) (Smallest portion) WHOLE GRAINS. When I make spaghetti I use whole grain OR gluten free spaghetti. I don't notice a difference and neither does Tim. It's better for you and in the long run doesn't turn to black "tar" in your stomach. I heard that's what enriched white products does and whether it's true or not it's an image that has stuck with me.
3) (Largest portion) VEGGIES VEGGIES VEGGIES. Dark, leafy, and green are your best bet but if all you can handle is an iceberg salad with carrots and red cabbage that's better than nothing just make sure you don't coat it in dressing. DIP into your dressing. You'll use a LOT less and it's friendlier to your waist line. Truth be told olive oil and vinegar is the best but if you insist on using a creamy dressing *please* put it on the side and just dip the ends of a forkful into the dressing. You'll thank yourself later.
4) INDULGE in something you love. Whether it's sweet or salty or a combo of the two, go ahead and have what you want but try this trick. Let's say it's chocolate cookie dough ice cream you're after. Scoop yourself that bowl of ice cream like normal, then take HALF of what you scooped out and put it back IN the carton. You'll find that what you wind up is more than satisfying and you'll feel less guilt later.
Here's another trick I use for indulgences. I *love* cheezits and peanut m&m's. Neither are particularly good for you, but sometimes during my mad dash through the day I gotta have one or the other. I'll zip to the vending machine, drop my money in and punch the buttons for my beloved treat. I'll eat HALF the bag then either crunch up the rest and throw it away or give it away to someone in the hallways. Not only am I cutting out unnecessary calories but not depriving myself at the same time but I'm also brightening someone's day when I hand them the rest of the bag of M&M's with a smile and walk off.
Such a tricky place to eat. Here are a few tips and tricks from someone who has worked in the industry for half my life and likes to eat out.
Fast food places. #JustStayAway. If this is your *only* option either commit to working out extra hard, OR getting the least damaging thing on the menu. Use your common sense. You know what's relatively good for you and what's absolutely horrible for you at fast food joints so make the right decision.
Sit down restaurants. #ChooseWisely. Don't be fooled by the pronouncement "We only use fresh ingredients in our dishes" or the servers advice that everything's "Good for You" because it's not. Follow this rule of thumb. Ask for your side of vegetables to be STEAMED otherwise they'll toss them in the skillet with "butter product", unwanted fat that you don't need. When you receive your entree ask for a box and put HALF of what you've ordered into the box to take home. Most restaurants portions, of even the "healthy" items, are too large and so even if you are eating a "healthy" meal if you eat all of it you're still taking in too many calories. Always, always, ALWAYS start with a dinner salad. Dressing on the side and DIP, don't coat. Try the balsamic vinagrette (most all restaurants have one), I bet you'll like it. #STAYOUTOFTHEBREADBASKET. It'll just fill you up and you would rather fill up on veggies than carbs. Don't fall victim to the "upsell", i.e. loaded mashed potatos, waffle fries, extra cheese, etc. While it pads the restaurants pockets and admittedly those options are quite tasty, they're definitely not good for your waistline.
Last thing I'm going to mention about eating out. Desserts. Oh they are so delicious but evil and wicked. Either SHARE a dessert (preferably with more than one person), OR when it arrives, cut it in half and send the other half back without even blinking. Not only will your server love you (because they will undoubtedly scarf the untouched half in the back with their friends and they can afford to eat it because they're working their tushie off walking that restaurant), but your waistline will too.
I don't want to ruin your eating out experience anymore than I possibly already have so I leave it with this. Sometimes you just gotta say #ToHellWithIt and have what you want when you're out. Don't feel guilty when you do that...enjoy it. Just don't do it every day.
So that, my friends, is what I do on a daily basis. I make sure I do at least 30minutes of a sweat inducing workout at least 5 days a week, and incorporate yoga whenever I can. I drink lots of water, focus on lean protein and whole grains, and indulge without over doing it (most times ;). I love my body and how far it has brought me in life; I want to make sure we make it quite a bit longer.
I must go do my yoga now. Namaste.
**Please note I am NOT a doctor of health expert in any way shape or form. These are just things that work for ME. Please consult your doctor when making any exercise and/or nutrition changes**