As if I’m any kind of expert on eating to lose weight.
I am so not.
To refresh your memory, I am the girl who in 2009 gained 12 pounds in 6-ish weeks. And then gained 6 more pounds over the next few months, while trying desperately to LOSE the weight. And then, packed on 5 MORE pounds over the course of 2010.
You do the math. Okay, I will do the math. That’s a grand total of 23 pounds in a year and a half. All this, while trying to LOSE weight.
Last week, I told you that I had lost 6 of those pounds in 2011 (which, honestly, happened so slowly, I didn’t even notice it until I saw an old journal entry with last January’s weight in it). Yes, it took me a full year of trying very, very hard to lose that weight. I also told you that since starting P90X2 on January 2, 2012, I have lost 5 MORE pounds. Which seemed almost miraculous to me.
Well, now you can make that 6 ½ pounds, 2 inches, and 2% body fat, thankyouverymuch.
That’s 12 pounds of the 23 I gained. Gone. Finally. Adios.
I’d love to tell you that I have it all figured out—that I’ve discovered the magic bullet to weight lost. I honestly haven’t the foggiest. Over much of 2010 and 2011,I tried just as hard as I am trying now, only with little (or opposite!) results.
I. don’t. know.
But here is what I have always believed and still do:
1. Diet plays a primary role in weight gain/loss—even more than exercise. Exercise is very important, but diet is even more important. And by “diet,” I don’t mean “going on a diet.” I mean, “healthy eating for life.”
2. God made each of us unique. What works for me may not work for you. There is a lot of science to support this fact. Some people thrive on extreme diets on either end of the spectrum, where other people on those exact same diets get very ill. We’re different.
3. It is so important to take your time and find the diet that makes you feel strong and energetic, and also gets you to your optimum weight for long-term health. In order to find that, you need to pay attention to how foods make you feel and continually make minor adjustments. We’re all learning together what works and what doesn’t.
That said, here is what I’m currently eating.
No, wait! First, I have to tell you a few more things:
1. I do not keep a food log. I think they are helpful and, for some people, necessary. But I am emotionally allergic to food logs. I am also emotionally allergic to counting calories. And I am emotionally allergic to following overly-structured meal plans. However, I am loosely following the P90X2 Nutrition Guide. Based on my current weight and my fitness goals, The Guide recommends I eat about 1800 calories/day and is kind enough to map out sample meals–which I am not following exactly (emotional allergies). I have not taken the time to figure out how many calories I’m eating. I am making ball-park assumptions based on the suggested meal plans.
2. I have been tweaking my diet for years, slowly making more and more adjustments toward a 100% whole foods diet. So, what I’m eating now is really just a slight variation of what I was eating in December. The major changes being the following:
a. For the duration of the 90-day program, I am treating myself like an athlete training for the biggest event of my life. I know this isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel pressure to get all nutty like me. Just realize I’ve spent a lot of time trying to maintain some level of “junk” in my diet, and it has not produced the desired results. Don’t get me wrong, I like my share of “junk.” But for a few months, I’m just not having it.
b. I am not eating any processed foods.
c. The only sugar I‘m eating is in the form of raw, local honey and fresh fruit.
d. I am not drinking any alcohol.
e. I am not taking any “free days” or “free meals.”
f. I eating less. I have cut my portion sizes back by maybe ¼ from what I was eating previously.
3. Back in October, I started replacing one meal a day with Shakeology, and continue to do so. For the record, I am not a fan of meal-replacement. I believe you should be able to get all of your daily nutrients from real, whole food. However, Beachbody (the makers of P90X) has what appears to be an outstanding and one-of-a-kind product in Shakeology. I don’t have time to explain all the reasons why, but I will say it is 70 of the most nutrient-dense ingredients on the planet and it tastes fantastic. If you want to watch the advertisement that sealed the deal for me, it’s HERE. (This is not a paid endorsement—I get no money for telling you how much I love Shakeology).
NOW, here is a list of different things I’m eating at each meal:
Before Breakfast: 2 large cups of coffee each made with a tbsp raw honey and some half and half (I don’t measure—but I like my coffee creamy)
Breakfasts : 2 eggs and a piece of fruit or a slice of Ezekiel toast; ½ cup oatmeal made with water and topped with a cup of blueberries; ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt topped with a drizzle of raw honey and ½ cup frozen berries; Shakeology mix with 1 cup almond milk, ½ banana, a cup of frozen berries and a giant handful of raw spinach (you cannot taste the spinach at all—it’s only 20 calories and it’s packed with nutrients!)
Lunches : Leftover dinner (see below); soup (left-over or Amy’s canned); turkey breast slices wrapped around carrot sticks and dipped in mustard; fresh veggies and hummus; giant salad with a small can of tuna and balsamic vinaigrette or Shakeology (made the same as above).
Snacks: an apple and a few almonds (like 6); a cheese stick and some fresh veggies; a cup of plain green tea; a very small portion of left-overs. My snacks are small—like snacks should be.
Dinners: I have made several of the recipes from the P90X2 Nutrition Guide. They are easy to prepare and very delicious. So far, we’ve had Chicken and White Bean Soup; Chicken Enchilada Soup (YUM!!!); Chicken, Broccoli and Brown Rice; and Southwest Turkey Burgers on Whole Grain Buns (Double YUM!). I am making P90X2 Fish Tacos this weekend. I have also made old Fitness Friday Girl Standby Meals like whole grain spaghetti with meat balls, barbeque chicken in the crock pot with sweet potatoes or salmon and roasted veggies. Sometimes—like on Pizza night—I make myself a giant salad and skip the pizza. I add fresh fruit, salad or fresh veggies to every meal. I try to load up on veggies as much as possible. Once a week, we eat out. I stick with the same principles whether I’m eating out or in—whole foods, lots of veggies, smaller portions, no junk.
You may be asking yourself, “Is Fitness Friday Girl hungry during the day?”
Answer: Yes, sometimes. Especially around 4 pm and between about 8 pm and bed.
But here is my little rant about hunger:
I don’t think “avoiding hunger” is a noble goal. I’m talking mainly to North Americans here—where about 2/3 of us are overweight or obese. Constantly filling our mouths so that we feel nary a hunger pang is a recipe for over-indulgence and obesity.
Most Americans (me included) have absolutely no idea what it means to feel real hunger to the point of malnutrition or starvation. We say we want to get to a healthy weight, but as soon as we feel the slightest bit of discomfort, we decide we could never do this for the long-term, chuck our healthy diet and fall back to our old eating habits.
Please hear me. I am not advocating that we deprive our bodies of the nutrients and calories they need for optimal health (Does my food list look to you like I’m starving?) Don’t starve yourself. It’s dangerous, and could be deadly over the long-term.
But, neither do I believe that feeling a little hungry an hour before dinner or just before bed warrants putting more food in my mouth. Mild hunger pangs are not a bad thing, to be avoided at all cost.
Honestly, if I’m hungry and it isn’t time to eat, I just think through all the delicious, nutritious food I have already eaten that day. Then I consider all the people in other parts of the world who have never felt the satisfaction of a full belly (the full belly I felt 2 hours prior—not to mention, every day of my life!).
And then, I tell myself the same thing I tell my children when they come to me an hour before dinner complaining they are starving: Dinner will be ready in an hour. Drink a glass of water. Go play.
In other words, I suck it up and ignore it until it’s time for me to eat again—which sometimes is the next day. And that’s okay. Because I am so very, very blessed with an abundance of food. And I am NOT starving. Besides, it’s not good for me to give into my flesh every single time it whines. And, have I mentioned, I’m on a mission to lose the rest of this stinkin’ Lexapro weight?
I’m not yelling at you. I love you. Feel free to speak your mind about my rant or my dietary choices in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think.
Linking up with Jill at Fitness Friday this week! Go check out a few of the other fitness blogs for more inspiration and less ranting.