Fitness Friday: Eat to Lose Weight, and P90X2–Week 3
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.
A special thanks to Lexapro. And an honorable mention to my over-40 metabolism. What a great team, the two of you.
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.
FIVE pounds in three weeks is SO awesome!! When I started my weight loss journey I NEEDED food logs! It really helped me to understand what I was putting in my body. Now after a year I am comfortable with making wise choices!! Keep up the awesome work!!
Oh my gosh!!! I am so happy for you!!!!
It seems like both of us have finally found our magic bullet.
And my tip – a cup of hot water with lemon makes the pm hungries go away. It's weird how well it works.
How DO you know every Friday exactly what I need to read?!?!!?
Congrats on how well you are doing. And that is such great perspective on mild hunger pangs/giving into the flesh/being thankful for all the good food already eaten….I needed that tough love.
Blessings to you today…thanks again!
I totally agree with you! I think that just eating more healthy foods, cutting out sugar and knowing where your ingredients came from is important. AND exercise, of course! Keep on doing what you're doing! You are doing great!
eating healthy is definitely the way to go when trying to loose weight but exercise helps just as much, if not more…plus exercise puts anyone in a better mood. I too struggle with eating and feeling hungry all the time…so i carry snacks with me and just snack all day long. veggies, fruits, laughing cow cheeses, almonds,etc…its totally makes a difference!
anyways…sounds like your on the right track! keep it up! 🙂 have a lovely weekend!
I use the hot water with lemon trick too..it works long enough to remember I am supposed to be doing something else! Keep it up!!
Nice job figuring out what works for your body! I agree, nutrition is key to a healthy weight, and knowing what is enough. It's hard! Especially in our culture, where we have an abundance, and can snack whenever we want… I agree that it is okay to be a little hungry, but I am terrible at believing it for myself! Great tips. Visiting from fitness friday!
I love fitness Friday 🙂
I just bought my first container of Greek yogurt….I feel so hip and healthy with it in my frig. Ha 🙂
Those recipes you mentioned from
P90X2 sound awesome. Hmmm….I just might have to check into this!
Your knowledge and well-thought out words and wisdom – bless me! Thanks Sandy!
I was having a blond moment or just a over tired moment-I had to share. I was reading "what I eat" part and began to think. WOW you eat a lot at breakfast. How can you eat all of that on one day!!!!!
I had to reread to see that you listed several options. 🙂
Thanks for the helpful info as I am currently in the process of recovering from a bout of chronic fatigue (I think-waiting on blood work) and have been reading and researching healthy/clean eating and different natural things to help with my energy and stress levels.
I think you are absolutely amazing and hilarious (I just love reading your writing!). Thanks for the great food suggestions–my husband and I just started trying to lose weight today. Ugh. I'm a terrible dieter. But your suggestions were great. Thanks, Sandy!
Sandy this is awesome. Great information and your success is fabulous!
I believe there was a reason our paths have crossed. Is that weird?
wow, you are doing amazing! Thanks for the tips too!!
Heya! I understand this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask.
Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a massive amount work?
I’m completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my
personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips
for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!
Hi Sandy, great post and I love your honesty. I strongly believe that we are all unique and the worst possible mistake one can make is to give up when it gets hard. You should always stay focused on your goal and take your time, nothing good happens over night. Keep the good work!
you’re doing very well.. thanks for share!
very nice and inspiring
I agree with most of your techniques for losing weight, although I recommend you do keep a food diary. Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. People keeping a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less.
I Love your blog – always inspiring and informative,looking forward to read more articles from this blog.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Sandy. I agree all of us are created unique so what works for some, may not work for others. Loving ourselves, enjoying what we do and focusing on health instead of weight are my formula. Congratulations on your transformation, you’re such an inspiration.