Three Days

Three days of feeding my body.

Three days of being normal.

Three days of planning for – and deeply enjoying – my dessert without guilt.

Three days isn’t much, but it’s big in my world.

Did I mention the Chocolate Halo Top is just heavenly after a sixty minute adventure on the stairmaster? Because it’s lovely, lovely, lovely.

I woke up early today (potty break – too much water in the day) and, since I was strangely awake, I went for a run …and, sort of like Forrest Gump, I sort of kept going just because I felt like it. Almost 12 miles! Just a tiny bit short. I felt so tired, but it was a GOOD tired, and after a shower, I was motivated for work even more than normal.

Shockingly, even 16 hours later, I still feel well-rested and energized. I guess fueling your body right – not over or under feeding it – really does optimize it.

 

I feel strong. I will love myself again, and I’ll do it three days at a time. 🙂

Bon appetit, my friends.

~ Tori

Trying Something New

Well, as much as I was ENJOYING the Dine N Ditch meal plan service, they unfortunately closed up shop just a few weeks in. Not a permanent close (I hope), but they needed to relocate their kitchen, hire new staff, and take a step back from the service for a few weeks to restructure the entire business model.

I was doing exceptionally well on the meal plans, dropping almost 10 lbs in my first four weeks, but after the deliveries ended and I was left to my own devices …well, you can imagine what happened.

Today’s weight: back up to 141.2.

Yikes. It’s hard to believe that just two years ago I hit my all-time low of 123.4, and now I can barely get (and stay) in the 130s anymore.

I know it has been a combination of factors: stress, overeating, and, shockingly, overexercising.

For those of you who have followed the blog a long time, you know I’m a cardio-junkie and, as my weight started to slowly climb at the beginning of 2015, I started to seriously step up my cardio, hitting more than 3 or 4 hours on some days.

Well, as I’ve learned, you not only can’t out-exercise a bad diet (or, in my case, a healthy diet, but in MASS quantities), over-exercising can actually sabotage weight loss by making your body freak out and think you’re fighting for your life on a daily basis. Hence my weight creeping up and up, even when my diet was in check. Yeaaaaaah, that fucking sucks, if you don’t mind me being frank. Ugh.

So, with less than 5 weeks until my 32nd birthday, I am trying to switch things up and break out of my rut.

For the next 34 (well, basically 33, since it’s 11:35 pm EST as I write this) days, I am going to drastically reduce my cardio (think 10-30 minutes per day, versus my usual 90+) and look to integrate substantially more strength training, yoga, and stretching. My body has been in a perpetual state of stress for over a year as I pummeled it with intense bouts of cardio, so now I’m going to try to give those slow-twitch muscles a bit of a break and focus on building lean muscle mass.

In addition, I’m attempting to modify my diet slightly, increasing my fat in take and leaning more toward a Ketogenic plan. Not full Keto – which involves like 70% of your calories from fat – but definitely hoping that incorporating more healthy fats, like avocado and coconut oil, will help with satiety and appetite control.

Yesterday was a rough start, only because I have absolutely no will power when it comes to nuts, so my “single handful” of almonds before bed turned into half of a can, but today’s been better:

Calories: 1,611
Carbs (total, not net): 72g (about 17% of my daily calories)
Protein: 136g (about 33% of my daily calories)
Fat: 93g (about 50% of my daily calories)

I prepped all of my food for the next two days (salmon and green beans, chicken and broccoli, shrimp and sauteed cauliflower, etc), so hoping that having quick, easy to grab meals will help me stay on track. I’m aiming for 1,350 calories per day, but happy as long as I stay under 1,700, as I am exercising pretty consistently.

Fingers crossed I can reset my system and get back into the 130s before I hit 32. I feel like it’s only getting harder with age, so I need to really get control of my weight now before it becomes an impossibility, you know?

Any advice, suggestions, or feedback is always welcome.

Bon appetite, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. The photo is totally my dinner tomorrow night: shrimp sauteed with basil, garlic, coconut oil over a bed of chopped cauliflower and orange pepper. Much noms. Many yums. So delicious.

Trying to Get Back on the Wagon

Man… it has been a rough few weeks when it comes to my health/fitness.

My weight has continued to go up, week over week, and my sweets-cravings are through the roof. I am a STRESS eater and I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Candy has become my best friend …and the worst enemy of my waistline.

I’ve promised myself I won’t weigh-in until Friday, but I can tell you the scale and I did NOT have a pleasant interaction this morning. I worked out 5x last week, but I also indulged in tons of cookies and salty snacks – more than I could cancel out with even the most intense workout.

I’m hoping that one week of rigid discipline will get me back on track, so I’m going to post my calories/meal plan on here for accountability and to try to keep myself on track.

Here’s my food plan for the day:

2am: Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar (180 calories)

5:30am: Two OIKOS Plain, Fat Free Greek Yogurt Cups (160 calories)

9am: 100 Calorie BetterOats Oatmeal and 1 cup Blueberries (170 calories)

12pm: 2 cups raw spinach, 3 oz Oscar Mayer Rotisserie Chicken, 1 cup sliced carrot chips, Spicy Guacamole (224 calories)

3pm: Sugar Free Chocolate Muscle Milk (100 calories)

5:30pm: Natural Almonds Snack Pack (100 calories)

8pm: Grilled Chicken Breast and Stir-Fried Veggies (approx 280 calories)

By eating every few hours, I anticipate never feeling “out of control” with my hunger and I’m hoping to quell sweets cravings by snacking on fruit (blueberries) and chocolate protein shakes.

If I can stick to this diet all day (I’m good so far — as of my 9am meal), I will allow myself a 90-calorie Chocolate Pear Squeeze Treat (sooooo good). If I hit the gym (as planned) and do at least 30 minutes of cardio, I’ll swap out the Chocolate Pear Squeeze Treat for one of the 150-calorie Paleo Brownies I made last week. 🙂

It’s all about compromise, preparation, and holding myself accountable this week. Wish me luck!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

 

Weigh-In Wednesday!

OK, with 52 days left until my 30th birthday and the clock counting down, here’s my very first weigh-in/measurement on my DIRTY THIRTY CRUNCH plan:

Weight: 129.6 (down from Monday’s 130.2)

Right Thigh: 21″

Left Thigh: 20.5″

Right Arm: 9.75″

Left Arm: 10.25″

Waist: 26.75″

Hips: 34.5″

I’m not sure what my ideal measurements are at this time (perhaps measuring my arms is pointless, but it seemed important), but I do know I want to be solidly in a size two by my 30th birthday. And under 119 pounds. I’m 5’3″, so that’s a HEALTHY number and very attainable.

52 days to go.

Wish me luck!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Monday Manifesto

As of today, I’m officially 54 days from my birthday.

This is the big one, the birthday I’ve been dreading for years: THIRTY.

This is the birthday that officially says goodbye to the naivete and excuses of youth and slams me smack-dab into the center of adulthood. I’m old enough to know better and yet young enough (at heart) to recognize what I’m missing out on.

I envisioned my life to be very different by 30. When I was a teenager, I imagined that with my 30th birthday came children, a minivan stocked with soccer equipment, and the body of a fitness model.

(For some reason, I always thought a minivan was cool – perhaps because I was the only one of my friends that didn’t have siblings and I found the conveniences of a minivan to be luxurious beyond measure. Broaching 30, I’m kind of excited I don’t have a minivan.)

While 54 days isn’t enough time to pop out a football team (hallelujah!), it is enough time to recommit to my fitness goals and see tangible results. Since my fitness/nutrition/health is the one thing I am in control of in this crazy, hectic world, I’m dedicating myself to it for the next two months.

Today’s starting weight: 131.2

Goal weight (by July 11th): 119 or less.

Current jean size: 26/27 (between sizes 4-6, depending on brand)

Goal jean size: 24/25 (size 2)

Diet plan: Mostly Paleo, but allowing dairy.

Calorie goal: Under 1,300/daily.

Fitness plan: 60 minutes elliptical/5 days per week. Walk 60 minutes per day. Strength training 3/week.

Accountability plan: doubling my bets on GymPact and taking weekly measurements/photos/weigh-in to post here.
(Look for the infamous “Weigh-in Wednesday” posts to return!)

So, there it is. Here’s my Monday Manifesto, my public declaration of goals in the hopes that all of you can help me stay focused, stay centered, and stay motivated.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

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Down Day

I don’t like what I see in the mirror today.

I’m frustrated. Frustrated with my body, frustrated with my will power, frustrated with me (on every level).

I kill myself at the gym only to come home and eat junk food. I know better. I understand good nutrition and I eat healthy 90% of the time, but I find myself in a self-sabotaging mood almost every evening.

In the span of minutes, I undo all the work of my day. A bite here, a bite there, and I’ve cancelled out an intensive sweat session.

I’m angry. Angry at myself, angry at genetics. My mother is tiny. My father was tiny. I never once saw either enter a gym. I never once saw either count a calorie. They just were.

For the majority of my adult life, I’ve been aware. Aware of what I eat, aware of what I do (or don’t do), and aware of how I look. I’ve never just existed. I’ve been hyper-aware of food, of my body, and of the world’s perception of me for as long as I can remember.

I’m tired of being jealous of other people. Tired of being jealous watching someone eat something I deny myself, put on a pant size I can never hope to squeeze into. I’m tired of not being satisfied of where I am of, of where I’ve come from.

Will I ever love my body? Will I ever hit my “goal” if my goal is never static? Will I ever stop being jealous and start appreciating what I have?

Looking at myself in the mirror today, I think the answer is no.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow,

~ Tori

 

Don’t Freak Out

I’m trying to keep myself calm. I’m trying NOT to freak out. I got on the scale this morning and it’s WAAAAY up.

Five pounds up.

I’ve done a lot of exercise lately (I ran for 2 hours, 45 minutes on Friday alone) and a lot of strength training, so I know most of the weight is the result of muscle fatigue and lactic acid back-up.

I’ve also consumed a lot of salt lately, polishing off a gigantic bowl of Vietnamese Pho on Saturday like it was my job:

 

This was a picture taken HALFWAY through the bowl. Yeaaaaah, I finished it.

This was a picture taken HALFWAY through the bowl. Yeaaaaah, I finished it.

I’m trying not to believe that these five pounds are real, but the numbers terrified the snot out of me this morning.

I admit, I’ve been eating a TON of candy lately.

I haven’t limited myself to one Cadbury egg this week; I’ve had 2-3 daily most of this week. I believed my extra workouts entitled me to it (which they did, I guess, if my goal was to cancel out my exercise with food) and now I’m trying to assure myself that I haven’t gained five pounds from chocolate.

Right?

Don’t freak out. Don’t purge. Don’t lose control.

I’m guzzling water and coffee today. I’m avoiding salt. I’m praying for a miracle tomorrow.

~ Tori

RunKeeper: Fitness App Review

Like many of you, I own an iPhone. It is practically always in hand (literally in my hand, versus my purse or pocket) and I’m on it basically 24/7. You are too – don’t lie.

As I bemoaned a weight plateau last year, I struggled to come up with creative ideas to boost my weight loss and keep myself on track.

Then it dawned on me: I’m on my iPhone all day – why not use it to help me?

I’ve talked about some of the apps I use on here before (MyFitnessPal and GymPact), but a relatively new one I started using (with great success) is RunKeeper.

 

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Don’t be fooled by the name – it’s not just for running!

As you can see, I’ve only been using the app since November 2013 and I’ve already logged over 70 activities. I have a personal goal to do at least 15 miles per week – but this can consist of walking, running, biking, skating, or a plethora of other activities.

 

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Seriously, check out those options!

The application is VERY simple to use – just pick your activity, make sure you have good GPS (outdoors is always best), and click start!

I’ve always been pretty good about hitting the gym 3-4 days per week, but RunKeeper helps me sneak in additional calorie-burn throughout the day. My office is situated on a beautiful lake and, using RunKeeper to track it, I try to take two or three 10-minute walks around the lake every day. It doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up to be about 1.5 miles I do on TOP of the other stuff in my day. Add to that my thrice-daily puppy walks and I average almost 3 miles per day without really trying!

I love using RunKeeper on my bike rides, as it helps me keep a pace, track my distance on long trails, and gauge the appropriate time to turn back around.

If you’ve stalled out lately with your weight loss or just want to get an idea for how much you’re actually walking/running/biking per week, I strongly suggest downloading the RunKeeper app. It’s free, easy to use, and really motivating!

Proof is in the pudding: my weight is down to 129.8 and the ONLY difference is that I’m aiming to hit 15 miles per week on RunKeeper on top of my 4 workouts per week in the gym. You burn roughly 100 calories for every 1 mile you walk/run, so it’s not a surprise to see that adding this goal to my workout regimen has helped to push my weight down with very little attention on my part. Yay!

On that note… it’s time for a walk!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

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NEW ADDICTION: Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice Creamer!

NEW ADDICTION: Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice Creamer!

OK, OK. I know it’s not Paleo. The ingredients list contains more words I don’t recognize than I do, but this creamer is my new addiction.

While picking up my organic almond milk (good girl, I know), I spotted a display of this creamer from the corner of my eye.

As with nearly everyone in the U.S. this time of year, I’m obsessed with pumpkin. I find myself seduced by any dessert, beverage, spice, or condiment that claims to be infused with that beautiful orange squash that is rarely eaten in its natural form.

My weight has been hovering between 131.4 and 132.8 for the past week, a sustained all-time low.

Yeah, I know. I’m doing well right now!

I stood in the grocery store for several minutes, ogling this creamer, trying to determine if it was really a good choice to introduce yet another cheat into my Paleo-diet.

As you can tell, I succumbed to the peer pressure of my eyes, taste buds, and stomach – and I’m now sipping a steaming mug of French-pressed coffee with two tablespoons of this decadent creamer (just 15 calories per serving!), a splash of sugar free salted caramel syrup (also pure chemicals, I’m sure), and a sprinkling of organic pumpkin spice seasoning.

WORTH IT.

I’ll make sure to have a green smoothie to flush out as many chemicals as possible… after I have a second mug of this crack.

Bon appetit, my friends!

 

~ Tori