I've really missed blogging about something that I'm so passionate about for so long, but we really had a lot going on and not a lot of time to really focus on some fun "extracurricular" activities.
This past week was my one year "anniversary" since I had my husband take some beginning pictures on April 20, 2016 so that I could look back in a year to see how much I'd progressed since making some various adjustments in our life style. I'm very pleased with the results and wanted to share my progress photos as well as a quick hit list of what I think made such a difference this time around.
April 20, 2016 vs. April 22, 2017:
The secrets to my success this time around:
- Consistency - I stuck to working out on a regular basis.
- Intensity - I don't just workout to say I did some activity, I workout to get my sweat on. Throughout my workout I can really feel the sweat running down my body and by the end of it my clothes are damp. (This is where finding something you ENJOY doing is a huge necessity, once you find something you LOVE then you can really push yourself to that next level!)
- Variety - While I found the exercises I enjoy doing, I make sure to switch it up. I change the stepping routines that I do and the types of weight exercises that I do each day. The more I keep my body guessing the more it changes.
- Healthier Eating Habits - We stopped eating canned beans and instant rice and started cooking ours from scratch. We also stopped eating sandwich meat and started cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot. Our breakfasts and lunches have consisted of some combination of rice, beans, chicken and eggs with fresh spinach.
- Balanced Hormones - I'd been overweight prior to having my daughter over 4.5 years ago. Once I had her in Fall 2012 I'd lost a lot of weight, but once I got on the depo shot I gained it all back. It felt like no matter what I did, the weight would not go away even after getting off the depo shot. Having my son sort of reset my hormones and as long as my health allows, I will not be getting back on any sort of hormone controlled birth control!
- Lifting Weights - The more I've lifted on a regular basis the healthier and stronger I feel. Lifting weights also helps you burn more calories, because even after you stop lifting you will continue burning calories. I'm continuing to increase my weight and will soon start working on more lifts that are done in crossfit.
- Support - Having Tony's support has been key. Between changing the way our family eats to working out on a regular basis...I just wouldn't have had the drive to do this without him doing it right along with me.
- Cut out Snacking - I use to let myself have a 100 - 200 calorie snack between lunch and dinner, now I've cut that out completely. I eat nutritious and filling food that holds me over until each meal. I do believe this is different for everyone. Some people have huge success eating several small meals a day, while others (like me) can eat three main meals a day and see great results. The key to this has been making sure my meals are well rounded and filling.
- 99% of my liquids is Water - Aside from my one to two cups of coffee in the morning, an occasional alcoholic beverage and occasional Gatorade I only drink water. I make sure to drink at least 64 oz. a day, but will drink more on days that we do extra activities. We also stopped using flavor packets since they utilize sweeteners...but that is a subject for a different day.
- Less Eating Out - We use to eat out at least once during the work week and several times on the weekends. Everything from ordering in pizza to picking up donuts. Now we really stick to our meal plan throughout the month and eat out on a rare occasion. Making our own food means we actually know what we are putting in our bodies.
I'm still adjusting things as I go and am looking forward to what changes occur between now and next year. One major thing that Tony and I have decided is that we really need to do a better job at not eating as much sugar as we have been. Sugar is in EVERYTHING and if you don't read labels, you'll over look it. I will be expanding on this subject another time and will be sure to keep you updated on our journey to less sugar eating. :-) ;-)
If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to start slow. Think of one goal you want to set for yourself and work at that until it becomes a habit, then move to the next thing. For us we started with the beans and rice...after several weeks we moved to cooking the chicken then we branched out to changing another area. Success comes from taking small steps to get to the bigger picture, if you try to do too much at one time you will fail because it will overwhelm you and you'll default to old habits.
I hope this post shows you that a normal, ever day, mother of two can change and will serve to inspire you to keep working towards your goals.
Until next time,