August 1, 2014

Questions, Part II

Hello there!

It's time to answer more of your questions.  One I often receive is how to stay motivated and that's what I'm going to tackle in today's post.

As I mentioned in my last post, I really thought I'd be at my goal weight by now...I knew it would take me a while but at the time I didn't realize how long it would actually take.  In truth, it's been 33 months.  That's 2 1/2 years...yah, it's not fast people.  And I'm only 2/3 of the way to my goal.  But lately I've realized that it's sort of becoming less of a worry to GET to that goal weight I set out for and more about LIVING a healthy life.  That's what I have gained  in this process...I didn't even know that was a goal, but I stumbled upon it and it was honestly, the best surprise of this whole journey.  What if I hadn't started?  It would still be 2 1/2 years later, and I'd still be unhealthy...or worse :(

Because here's the thing:  that number is really sort of unrealistic...for all of us.  Now, don't go getting all up in a bunch.  Yes, you need to set a goal.  Is that always a "number"?  No, for some people it's a range, or for others it's to eat better, still others just strive to drink more water, and others more veggies, etc.  However, we are taught by society to have a number in mind.  So, you try to get there, and then perhaps you actually do get there.  Then what?  Your healthy journey doesn't just suddenly end when you get there.  You still will want to maintain it, right?  Some days you're going to go up and some days you are going to go down.  Sometimes life might get in the way and you have a big gain.  It's called LIFE and it will get to you.

I don't even know what it feels like to get there and maintain, but I'm a planner so I know when I get there I will have some work to do.  But I'm ready for it, because I've worked so hard and there's no way I'll ever go back to 283lb Jenn again.  Ever.

And that's part of my answer to the question of how I stay motivated:  I want it badly enough.  And by "IT" I mean, my healthy life, not the random number I picked to strive for.  Oh, I'll get there; I can't stay here, I'm still not at a healthy weight for my I'll continue to make adjustments and do what I have to do...but in the end, for me, it will always come back to putting the right kinds of food into my body and working my body with fitness because I love it so much...the weight will take care of itself.  I cannot consume myself with a number.

I remember hearing the advice that losing weight was about changing your lifestyle - that's all you have to do!  Just change your life!  Well CRAP, who the heck has time for that???  That's a lot of work!!??  It IS!  But small changes make big results and I talked about that here.

I've been stalled at the same weight for 9 months.  How frustrating is that, right?  Every day I try and some days I am successful and some days I'm not...and stalling for 9 months can do some crazy things to your brain.  In that time, it wasn't that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do.  On the contrary, all I do is try.  But it's about finding what works for you.  And sometimes what worked last week, doesn't work this week and you go back to what you did the week before and it just doesn't work anymore and you're back to square one.  But square one shouldn't be that number, it has to be your healthy living.  In that time I've tried eating more, eating less, different workouts, cutting some workouts out, working out more.  And it can be is exhausting...then I went on vacation, gained 3lbs, came home and got right back into my "normal" life and boom, the 3 vacation pounds came right off without trying anything fancy, no big changes, just getting back into my life.  That's when I realized that I was less stressed about this whole process than I used to be and it felt GREAT.  It wasn't something I decided to do; I am just living my life.  I will need to continue to make adjustments to be in a deficit to lose, but I will do it as a secondary goal.   I came to the realization that eating healthy and exercising has become my main goal.  I know that doing that IS GOOD for me.  So, I will continue to just keep going.

Here's a picture of my before (283lbs) and during (195lbs).  I'm healthier now then I was then...bottom line.

You want to stay motivated?  Stop thinking of it as a temporary thing and just make the change in your mind that it's about how to live healthy.

Also, a motivation for me is that so many of my friends and family are getting healthier, too.  When I am feeling blah or need some inspiration, I read my healthy blogging friends' posts, or see their posts on Facebook and Instagram (look me up @jenns_healthymakeover) and that motivates me to keep going.  So, if you are the same way and that sort of thing helps you, just think of me, you are NOT alone - I am here, every single day, doing my thing and we are in this together.

I do have to share this beautiful message from my 12-year old nephew.  Could there be any better advice for any of us????

June 5, 2014

NSV Thursday

Well hello there!!

It's been awhile since I shared on the NSV Linkup but not because I haven't wanted to!  I think I just get worried that no one wants to read that I'm still just plugging along.

Certainly, when I started this blog and journey, I thought I'd be at my goal weight by now but I have come to realize that what I want and what will happen are two different things.  You sort of know how hard it's going to be but no one tells you that there are going to be MANY moments throughout this journey when you are going to have to dig deep within your soul to find the strength to continue on.  But you do...if you want it badly enough...and I do.  So, I'm over half way there, and that's okay - because that's the thing...I made it PAST the halfway point...and I'm still going.  In fact, right now, I've been at a plateau for 7 months.  If you had told me when I began that I would have a 7-month plateau, I may not have even started.  But again, throughout this whole process you sort of start to learn how strong you really are.  That's an NSV right there, wouldn't you agree?


More recently, I completed a month-long bootcamp with my trainer and I was pretty happy with the results.  I posted this pic on Instagram last week - I improved a lot!  It was cool to see a starting point and an end result.  In the beginning I could do 12 rounds of the workout and by the last day I could do 17 - whoop!

Follow Me on Instagram!
Also, this week I decided that I'd do a smoothie cleanse...I'm not at all a fan of fad things, I have to tell you.  Like I will plug along doing my thing counting calories and working out for the rest of my works for me and it fits into my life.  I'm not about to start crazy redonkulous diet schemes to see what happens.  This however, was something I could do.  Basically, you drink a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast and lunch and eat a lean protein dinner with veggies while eating some proteins and veggies throughout the day.  Uh...not much different than what I do now except I usually have a salad for lunch.  See what I mean, it has to fit into my life.  I decided to do this particular cleanse because I came off a few weekends of kind of eating whatever I wanted so I thought this might shake things up (see said 7-month plateau) and who doesn't think fruits veggies and lean proteins are good for you?  I feel pretty great, it's only 5 days, and I guess we'll see.  I think if the results work for me, I will probably do something like this to reboot perhaps after vacation.  I'll keep you posted!

On a separate note, if you're looking for a great, healthy salad that screams SUMMER to take along to picnics and gatherings this season, check this Tomato Cannellini Salad out - it's DELISH!

A Healthy Makeover:  Recipes

Hope you all had some fabulous NSV's this week and thanks to KTJ and Samantha for hosting this great linkup!


May 15, 2014

Questions, Part I

A lot of people ask me about my fitness schedule and about my eating plan.  I am absolutely open to sharing all of this with you so thanks for asking!!
When I started writing this post, I realized I have a lot of information I’m going to share, so I am going to make this a two-part post.
Part I:
First, let’s back up.  The absolute first thing you have to know if you are just starting out is this…
Start off slowly.
Whoa – what? read that correctly.  Now, listen to me…I know what you’re thinking, my friend, because I’ve thought, done, said it all…like about a gazillion times. Hear me out.
Does this scenario sound familiar?  It’s Sunday…you're tired of feeling this way.  You're unhappy with the way you feel and with the way you look.  You're done.  You're gonna make huge changes around here!  You've decided to stop this cycle so you’re starting your new DIET - tomorrow…because it’s Monday, and that’s the day that everyone starts, right?  So, it’s Sunday and you’re doing this; this is it!  You are so enthusiastic and you just KNOW you’ll be in a size 6 by Summertime!  You head to the grocery store and buy every single vegetable, fruit and healthy item you can find there and you spend a bunch of money and then get home and cram it all into the fridge and pantry (which you have previously emptied of all of the cookies, chips, soda, & Little Debbie snacks) and you’re so stinking proud of yourself.  Whew, you need a nap!  But you're hungry because you haven't eaten since lunch and you just spent 2 hours at the grocery store and that shit's exhausting and hunger-producing.  You decide to send this day out with a BANG since it’s your last day to eat what you want and starting tomorrow, no more crap!  For real.  Let’s order Chinese and finish up this ice cream, shall we?
Monday arrives and you are amazing.  You get up early to workout, make yourself a great breakfast, pack your healthy lunch, head off to work, stay away from the community candy jar, head home and tonight you’re trying a new dinner recipe and everyone in your household is getting healthy – we’re all doing this!
Tuesday arrives and you have another really great day, you’re a little sore from yesterday’s workout but you feel pretty proud of yourself.  Maybe you have just ONE candy from the jar since you did so well yesterday and really, just one is no big deal (it really isn’t), and you think to yourself, “This isn’t so hard! I've got this!”  Then you get home and nobody in your house wants to eat the mashed cauliflower you were going to make and so you decide to just have grilled cheese sandwiches.
Then Wednesday arrives and your morning gets away from you, you overslept or your kids overslept, you don’t get your workout in, you don’t have time to make a delicious egg white omelet, so you decide you’ll just hit the drive thru and try that egg white thingy they’ve been advertising on TV.  Then you get to the drive-thru and you don’t want the egg white thingy they’ve been advertising on TV, you want the sausage burrito.  You think to yourself, "I’ve been really great for the last two days, I’m just going to reward myself and get them."  And you do…and they are delicious…you get to work, then remember you forgot to pack your healthy lunch because of your crazy morning and you realize you have to go out for lunch now, too.  You think to yourself, “I’ll get a salad.”  But you don’t…then it’s 2:00pm and you’re mad at yourself for the double burger and fries you decided on instead and womp womp…you’re done.  You think, “Well, I’ve screwed this day up enough, might as well just get pizza for dinner.”  You fall off the wagon for the rest of the week and you watch your fresh veggies and fruit go bad.
Goodbye enthusiasm, hello self-defeat and anger.
Want to avoid this horrible cycle?  You absolutely can if you Start Off SLOWLY.  This is a marathon people, not a sprint.  It's cliché but it's true.
Do you need enthusiasm to do this?  Hell yes!  Do you need to buy healthy food at the grocery store?  Yessss.  Do you need to EAT that healthy food?  Do I really need to answer that?  And, do you need to PLAN??  YES, YES, YES!
But if you want to be successful, this healthy life HAS to fit into the life you are already living.  So, try some new recipes.  Plan your grocery store trips.  Plan your menus.  Pack your lunch.  You just don’t have to do it all at once.  Listen to this advice.
I’m challenging you to try to make just ONE change this coming week.  Yes, you can start on Monday, if you insist ;-).  Pick one thing and make that your goal for next week.  If that thing is to try a new recipe or two.  Do it.  Go to the store, get your regular old groceries and buy the few things you will need for those new recipes.  If that thing is to try a new class at the gym or to walk after dinner, do it.  Plan to get those workouts in.  If that means getting up early, do that.  If it means heading out after dinner, do that.
Then the following week, try doing something else.  Maybe plan to drink a certain amount of water each day.
My point:  You cannot just jump in and expect that everything is going to fall into place.  If it was that easy, you wouldn’t be trying this for the thousandth time.  Trust me.
Once you get used to trying new things and incorporating those things into your life, it will get easier.  These things will become habit.  And guess what?  You’ll still get to eat sausage burritos, pizza, Chinese, ice cream, double burgers and fries.  I promise.
I started this journey attempting to create healthy makeovers (hence the name of the blog ;-)) on recipes.  Not every day, not every meal, just a few times a week, and I started walking.  I knew from past experiences that I had to do something that I could sustain over the long haul.  My hope was that by incorporating small changes into my routine, someday I too would have a healthy makeover.  Gradually, I started to learn different ways to make a lot of meals healthier and I started trying things that I hadn’t had tried before.  I didn’t try to change my life, but my life began to change.  I am over 80lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest.  The change is working.  Am I perfect?  NOPE.  But do I try every single day?  YUP.
Check back soon for Part II!