This past week, I noticed that some big changes are starting to take hold as a result of my training with Steve from Dragon Gym. The largest change that I’ve realized is that I am starting to enjoy working out and the energy I feel afterwards! Over the weekend, I hadn’t worked out in 2 days and I was missing my training sessions….. BADLY!
This week’s training sessions were great. I am starting to be able to handle increased repetitions of the exercises in my program and also tried a few new exercises this week as well.
In addition to my 3 training sessions per week, I also completed my first O.T.A. (“Outside of Training Assignment”) this week. Steve has prepared a series of O.T.A. routines for me to complete at Dragon Gym on non-training days. They are well documented and easy to follow since they mirror some of the work we do during training sessions. Next week I will start doing 2 O.T.A.’s per week. I am really looking forward to getting a workout in 5 days per week.
The real focus this past week, however, was on my eating habits. Since the start of this project, I’ve been keeping a Food Journal (developed specifically by Steve). When Steve and I did our first review of my Food Journal (FJ) a few weeks ago, he identified some issues that could be addressed quickly:
1. I was taking no vitamins/supplements of any kind.
Not that vitamins and/or supplements are the be-all-end-all of any health regimen, they do definitely play a PART in it. Based on all of the reading I have done in combination with Steve’s recommendations, I now am taking a Multivitamin and Fish Oil on a daily basis. I am looking into the benefits of some other vitamins, but for now, I am taking baby steps with these two.
Can you tell me what vitamins/supplements you take on a daily basis? Would you recommend them and why?
2. I was either skipping breakfast or eating breakfasts consisting entirely of carbohydrates.
Breakfast just has not been my “thing” historically. I’m not a morning person. I don’t feel hungry when I get up. And, then since the kids have been born, once I am up, it’s go time. But, as I told Steve, these are all just excuses. All of the research is well documented … Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day and not having a solid start in the morning wasn’t setting me up to win for the rest of the day.
I am now concentrating on getting nutrient-rich, healthy breakfast ideas. So far, I’ve been having alot of eggs. Hard boiled eggs on days when I am rushing around, and then fried eggs or omlettes on days when I have more time. I’ve also added some fresh fruit and I feel full for most of the morning.
What do you eat in the morning? I fear that I will grow tired of eggs every single morning and would like some other options to fall back on.
3. Fueling my body 30 – 60 minutes before a workout.
I had not been paying attention to when I was eating in relation to when I’d be working out. So, sometimes that meant I’d be working out on a completely empty stomach or else feeling way too full during a work out. Now I make sure that I have something small (and hopefully with protein) before I go to the gym so that my body has the energy it needs to get through the exercises efficiently.
As you can see, those 3 things were pretty easy targets and relatively simple to address quickly. I’ve been doing really well with those 3 goals, so it was time to delve deeper at my FJ review this past week. Although, it didn’t take a detective to see that I still was eating alot of sugar in my diet. And, because of the busy pace of the lives we lead with jobs, kids, activities, etc., I was still eating to many convenience and packaged foods.
So, here’s what Steve wanted me to work on this week:
1. Cut the Sugar!
Um… yeah. That seemed scary. I knew I was still having too much of it, but I was sort of anxious about cutting it altogether. I feel like I have done a really great job this week at eliminating MOST sugar out of my diet, but it would be a lie if I didn’t tell you that I had 2 chocolate chip cookies and 1 spoonful of pudding. Thankfully, I had stopped drinking soda about 2 weeks before I started this project (and haven’t had a drop since!). If I had to break my soda addiction along with the rest of the sugar, that would NOT have been pretty 🙂
Steve actually gave me a great tip for the sugar cravings. He told me to get dark chocolate, the darker the better, and if you have an evening sugar craving (which is when mine are), break off ONE block of dark chocolate, have it, and be done. The only issue for me is that chocolate is a migraine trigger so I’ve been avoiding that, but it may work well for some of you!
I am also using small amounts of honey to sweeten my tea and also on my plain greek yogurt. Not sure if that is considered “cheating” or not, but I do need just a little bit to make them appealing.
What tricks do you have for ditching the sugar? I know that this is SO GREAT for me in the long run and I want to be able to sustain this as a lifestyle, not just something to do to get the weight of for now.
2. Food Prep, Food Prep, Food Prep
We noticed that most of the time that I was eating danger foods was because I didn’t have healthy foods in my house, planned out ahead of time, or cooked/prepared.
This is huge for me because I have not been meal planning, I have not even been making grocery lists lately…. I’ve just been winging it because we’ve been so busy. But, if maintaining a healthy lifestyle is as important for me and my family as I say it is, I HAVE TO dedicate more time to making sure we have healthy foods readily available.
This week I am working on Meal Planning for my family. This generally just includes dinner meals that we will all eat together. In addition, I am thinking critically about ALL 21 meals that I will be eating (plus snacks) and setting myself up well with a comprehensive grocery list. I want to make sure that I have everything we need in our refrigerator to make good choices.
And, finally, Steve helped me recognize that I need to dedicate time to food prep. The dozen of eggs I got at the store won’t hardboil themselves and the chicken won’t magically be marinated if I don’t make sure it gets done. I am working on setting time aside each weekend (and I am also changing my grocery shopping day…. very important) to prepare the foods we will need throughout the week to make them as grab-and-go as possible to fit into our lifestyle.
How do you eat healthily despite all of life’s demands? What tricks do you have to set yourself up so that you are eating wholesome, real foods instead of packaged convenience foods?
I’d love to hear your feedback and get any tips/tricks you have on my food issues that I noted this week. As you can see, I need all of the help I can get! Can’t wait to read your comments!
Until next week on Shannon’s Slimdown, have a healthful week!
*Disclosure: Dragon Gym has provided personal training services and gym membership to me in order to do this project. No compensation was received for this post, and as always, all opinions are strictly my own.