If you haven’t read part 1 of this series where I talk about my mental and emotional health journey, you can feel free to click here. Otherwise, thanks for reading! I appreciate all of the support I’ve been receiving from my blog, so thank you very much!
My physical health journey really didn’t take any turns until fairly recently. I’ve already expressed to you all my love of Tone it Up, and I really credit their program for helping me change my body. I’ve had a slender frame for my entire life, plus being on the taller side gives the appearance of being lean, so that was a really great crutch for me to fall on to trick myself into thinking that I didn’t need to work out or watch what I ate. Of course, life happens, I had kids, turned 30, and the whole pretending that I’m healthy just because of my frame thing blew up in my face. I was not only completely out of shape and couldn’t even run 1/4 of a mile, but I didn’t look or feel strong at all. And that’s something that has been annoying me for years, being “skinny” makes people assume that you can’t lift anything heavier than 10lbs without breaking your body, and not only is that demoralizing but it’s a terrible reality. So I wanted to tone up. Tone it up. It being me. Moving on.
When the 8 week bikini series was starting, I used that as an opportunity to jump into a program that is pre-set with meals and workouts that will really keep me to a schedule. I’m the kind of person who will make loads of excuses to not do something, and so having my day mapped out for me is really helpful. Today marks 7 weeks and 4 days, and I’m happy to say that I’m able to do more of the routines and eat what I’ve been eating without complaining (too much.) The first day I braced myself for being miserable, but I was surprisingly satisfied with the food, and the workouts only reinforced the idea of not eating crap.
Before I go into what a typical day looks like for me, I need to talk about how weird it is that I’m doing this in the first place. I’m not one of those people who posts inspirational fitness memes on their facebook, though I think those can be really motivating sometimes, nor am I usually the kind of person who does an extra workout just because. It’s so strange to me that I actually crave my workouts. But once I pushed myself to actually do this, it became part of my day, and something that I will now push other things aside to make room for. The time I spend on my mat or outside running is my time, nobody needs anything from me, it is just me and whatever routine I’m working on.
So a typical day looks something like this:
Breakfast: a protein pancake, eggs on corn tortillas, or a smoothie.
On a “normal” day, I’ll do my workout mid-morning. I’m doing Couch to 5K, so 3 days a week I run. On those days, I might do a stretching or foam rolling routine, or a shorter toning routine. On my non-running days, I’ll do whatever is on the TIU workout schedule. Today, for example, was 3 different routines totaling about 50 minutes.
Post workout: a protein smoothie.
Lunch: a salad, turkey sandwich with avocado, or a rice/veggie bowl.
Snack: this one is rough. Midday snacks can totally get me, so I tend to try and take the kids for a walk or go outside so that I’m not just sitting and thinking about food. I’ll have some trail mix, a kind bar, dried fruit, or greek yogurt to tide me over until dinner.
Dinner: I try to make whatever is on the plan, as long as I have the ingredients. It usually boils down to a protein with veggies on top of greens.
Post dinner: I’ll make air popped popcorn or have some dark chocolate, maybe a wine spritzer…or two… 😉
My day usually adds up to between 1,600-1,800 calories. I’m not cutting out any food groups, and I’m allowing myself indulgences. I think this is why it’s easier to maintain for me personally than other eating plans, because I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself too much. I do wish I could just eat pizza every night and lose weight, but until they invent the magic no-calorie pizza option that actually tastes like real pizza, it’s not going to happen.
This is also what works best for me, but everyone is different. I just thought I’d share what I’ve been doing for nearly 2 months, especially since I feel better than I have in a really long time. The combination of eating well, working out, and taking the right vitamins has made a huge difference in not only my energy levels, but I am starting to actually feel strong for the first time in my life. I didn’t think I’d actually get to the point where I feel like I can go up on my weights, or that when the trainers tell me “5 more” I can actually do 5 more without passing out. I’m also happy to do this at a pace that works for me. I’m not going to suddenly look like a bodybuilder, nor do I want to, but the subtle differences are really starting to make a big difference and that’s all I can really ask for.