Hey friends, today I wanted to share with you my first health update for 2019, plus a free printable food log for you at the end if you want to start tracking your food and see if you can incorporate some healthier foods. If you are following me on Instagram, then you know I have recently stepped up my efforts to shed some excess weight. If you know me in real life, you know this has been a long time struggle of mine. For a short summary, I’ve never been a “healthy” weight, at least not since maybe elementary school. I got married (10 years ago this October!) and gained 30 lbs. I’ve lost and regained that same 30 or so pounds 3 or 4 times in the last decade, usually losing it and gaining it back during pregnancy. So, I’d really like to lose that 30 pounds, plus an additional 30-50 pounds to get myself into the “healthy” weight range category. I feel like it’s a gift to myself because, to be honest when I was younger I was never really taught how to eat healthy foods. I remember eating “diet” freezer meals as a teen, etc etc… It has been really freeing to be able to do my own research and learn about proper nutrition and how to live a healthy life as an adult, and now I just have to break through some really bad habits I’ve formed and make all of these things a part of my daily life.
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I have made a huge shift in my mindset when it comes to food and exercise over the last several months. It feels like it happened quickly, but when I think back it really was over about the last 6 months. I was able to get into the gym regularly with my husband before his work schedule changed, and we had a lot of fun with that. We’ll be trying to get back into that within the next few months. Then, to be honest, we have tried so many things. Last year I tried weight watchers, again, and we had about a 30-day stretch where we went “vegan” and I was miserable. I did lose 20 pounds because I wasn’t eating much of anything at all, and as you can imagine all that weight came right on back when we stopped eating that way. I just really more than anything have wanted to get off the diet roller coaster.
Honestly, I feel like the biggest change for me has been reading the book Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I read motivational and inspirational books all of the time, but the biggest thing she said that I took away from her book was about breaking promises to yourself and I realized I’ve got about 29 years (as of May, yikes!) of breaking promises to myself. I just don’t want to do that anymore.
So, after the holidays I started slowly trying to shift what I was doing. I started having these green smoothies. I’ve put those on hold simply because I got tired of being cold everyday drinking them, so hopefully this Summer I can bring those back, haha… but I just made small changes and eventually I have started using my fitness printables and tracking what I’m eating over in the My Fitness Pal app. I’ve been documenting some things over on my Instagram stories, and I have a whole story highlight on “Health” where I’m sharing updates and things like that, too.
To sum up what I’m doing- While my husband is on a quest to go full on Paleo, I’m somewhere between that and just working towards cutting out all heavily processed foods. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’d say I’m eating about 60-75% “clean” at this point. I still have some processed foods but we have made huge changes as far as eating things like pasta, packaged snacks, and most importantly, I think fast food. I’m also working right now towards cutting alcohol out completely. We’ve been mixing drinks with zero calorie sodas, but those are full of nasty stuff that I really don’t like consuming period, so I’m really working towards eliminating that all together.
My husband surprised me last Fall with a Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro fitness watch, so I’ve been keeping up with the lack of steps I take, my sleep, and my nonexistent right now workouts. I love it though, and I do think it is really motivating to see how active I have been, or haven’t been, right on the watch. It will come in handy even more when I do get back into workouts. My plan right now is to hold off until I can lose that first 30 or so pounds, just to save my joints a little bit of struggle.
I’ll be sharing these monthly weight updates on Instagram, but I figured I ought to share them here, too. I’ve lost even more since the beginning of February, but we’ll let the month finish out before I talk about those pounds. I also took some “before” photos back in November, but I’m going to need some really great “after” photos before I feel comfortable sharing those, haha.
Weight loss as of 2/1/19 – 7.5 lbs.
I’ve also got a few tips for you today on eating cleaner if that’s something you are looking to do. It’s really the only thing I will recommend. I don’t believe, anymore, in cutting out certain food groups. I think the key is just eating natural foods that we are meant to eat, within a calorie deficit, to lose weight. I highly recommend My Fitness Pal (it’s free!) for tracking food and getting an idea of how many calories you should eat. You have to be honest when plugging in things like your activity level (mine is sedentary y’all, I spend a whole lot of time at my computer for work), and if what they suggest doesn’t work for you, experimenting until you find that sweet spot where you are satisfied throughout the day and the scale is moving.
Okay, so here are 5 steps I’ve taken so far to get more clean foods into my diet than processed.
- Drop the liquid calories. With the exception of my coffee creamer, because my coffee helps me stay sane, I am not drinking any drinks with calories. I have ramped up my water intake just in the last two weeks, and I’m aiming for 75-100 oz. of water a day. To be honest, between drinking water, refilling my ice cube trays, filling up my water bottle, and then peeing all the time, I don’t have a lot of time to drink anything else. I also mentioned I’m working on cutting alcohol completely, too. I know I can lose weight and still enjoy alcohol occasionally but I do also think that it will slow down my progress. I’m trying to limit myself to 1 cup of coffee per day, too.
- Cut out pasta and other processed sides for dinner. To be honest, I just yesterday shared “what I eat in a day” over on Instagram, and it will be a while before I do it again because I am eating much of the same things every day. Dinner lately has consisted of chicken, steak, fish, or pork chops, roasted red potatoes or sweet potatoes, and veggies. Lunch has been a little harder for me, but I did start prepping chicken and sweet potatoes to have for lunch in the last couple of weeks, and it is working well. I really love sweet potatoes and could eat them for every meal.
- Find healthier snacks. I’ve been trying to eat more fruit, and snack on things like almonds, etc… This is where some processed foods have stuck around, but I’m trying to eat things that are “healthier” and that have minimal ingredients. I’ll probably be sharing some snack ideas on here soon as I get a rotation of things that I like.
- Add in vegetables wherever possible. I read something a long time ago that talked about how instead of cutting things out, you can add healthier things in so that they crowd out the not so healthy stuff and eventually you can eliminate it without noticing. I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables all around just to get a variety and get into the habit of relying on vegetables for snacks, sides, etc…
- Don’t restrict things. I want to end this list by saying I haven’t really restricted myself from anything. If I’m craving something like a bowl of cereal, I’ll have some, but I’ll read the label on the box and eat what is actually a serving, and then I also make sure to track it on My Fitness Pal. I’ve been enjoying chocolate each day, a couple of pieces, because Valentine’s Day just passed and I didn’t want to tell myself I couldn’t have the chocolate at all, and then drive myself crazy over it. When I tell myself I can’t have something, it will start to be all that I think about, so I try to have whatever it is I’m craving, in normal portion sizes or create a healthier alternative. This week I’m planning to make a “healthier” pizza option that I’ve seen on Instagram using flatbread, turkey pepperoni, and a healthier sauce. That way when I’m craving pizza I can have myself one of those and avoid ordering Dominos.
Okay, so there you have my 5 tips for getting cleaner/healthier foods into your diet. I hope that some of these tips, or hearing about my experience so far has been helpful. I hope to do this once a month. My goal is to lose 60-70 more pounds before my 10th anniversary in October, and I’m hoping that sharing will keep me accountable for what I’ve set out to do and to help me keep from breaking any promises to myself. If you have any questions about what I’m doing or just want to chat about weight loss, you can leave your comments below, or come find me on Instagram. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional, I just know that this is a struggle for a lot of people, and I’m an oversharer naturally anyway, so if sharing can help someone else, I’m all for it.
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