The best thing you can do in your life and your family is to invest in your health. So many people are worried about their 401K yet some of us may not be able to enjoy it because of the lifestyle they are living. Invest in better food for yourselves and your family, even if that means spending more in groceries (you will save money by not eating out). Invest in a gym membership for yourself and your family, if you don't move it you will loose it. Invest in time and a less stressful career for yourself, yes you may make less money but all that money gets us is more things. Learn to live simpler, healthier and happier. Invest in your future by investing in your health!!!
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Tomorrow is my appointment with my Endocrinologist. I am up late writing this because I am so anxious that I cannot fall asleep.
Tomorrow the doctor will remove the Continuous Glucose Monitoring system that is hooked into my body right now. It will give him a measure of my blood sugars in the last week 24 hours of a day. It monitors the way my body responds to food, exercise, stress and sleep. I periodically test my blood sugar and have to input the value into the monitor to calibrate it. Alarms go off when blood glucose numbers fall too low or too high.
Over this past week I have found out many things with the CGM. First - I fall hypo. A lot. Almost the entire time I am asleep my blood sugars fall below 70, sometimes they get to 55, dangerously low. I had never know that I went into a low hypo state so this is new to me. Probably because I am sleeping and I don't test my sugars when I am in bed. But it's scary because when I get that low I could possibly fall into a coma and not wake back up. Every night this week my alarm has woken me up that I am below the minimum. In the past months I have had symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats at night when I wake up soaked. I also have a hard time getting up when my alarm goes off, I feel like someone took a bad to my head, almost as though I am dizzy and unconscious. Well now I know why. Hopefully some insight on the plan of treatment tomorrow will give me better sleep at night and with the ability to wake up easier as well.
I have also gone extremely high and that alarm has gone off several times a day this week. It mostly happens in the evening after I eat my afternoon meal or dinner. My blood sugars are elevating one day from a meal, and then the next day with the exact same meal and quantities they do nothing. So the one thing that is consistent is that I am consistently inconsistent. I do find that sweet potatoes raise my blood sugars up way to far for me and that black beans have almost no effect on my body. Fruit depends on when I take it, if it's after a workout I am fine. Steelcut oatmeal in a small amount has not effected me very much either.
So tomorrow I will find out the results and the doctors will put together a game plan.
My Continuous Glucose Monitor that they inserted last thursday will give me doctor a complete record of my blood sugar levels 24 hours of the day 7 days of the week.
While I know there will be other bits and pieces to it the main two things will be what type of Diabetes do I have and given that what type of medication will I go on?
I am ready to accept whatever God has planned for me tomorrow.
The fear I will have if I am type 1.5 LADA which is an autoimmune diabetes that is Latent autoimmune diabetics in adult that I know I will at some point will be injectable insulin dependent for the rest of my life. I will not be able to reverse this disease and will eventually be that of a full blown type I diabetic. But this will finally answer my question to my atypical pattern of diabetes.
If I am diagnosed with atypical Type II Diabetes I will still not have much more answers and will still be frighted with my diagnosis. I do know it will be up to the doctor whether or not they put me on oral insulin or inject able insulin. With this type of diabetes I can perhaps prevent myself from never having to go on inject able insulin and may even one day be able to reverse or cure this disease. The fear I will have with this diagnosis is several things. One being not many more answers why I developed this disease. Why clean eating and consistent exercise has not brought me any better numbers or under better control. And also the fear of the stigma, hatred and discrimination towards those with type II diabetes. I will accept that I have this and I will become a force or spokesperson for this disease and I will not give up helping others who are living with this same disease.
Either way my therapist feels that the more I educate others of my story and the more I encourage the less angry I will be with my diagnosis. I am determined to help, educate, and make more aware of my story and how I manage and treat my disease. Blogging about it, journaling and perhaps becoming someone in the forefront that can help make changes in food standards and labeling, healthy eating for our children, and accuracy in the information that is out there for people to get a hold on their life and health. This is only the beginning of what you will be hearing from me and I am making an oath to help others around me and to help get people informed about diabetes and that no one, not even our children are immune to this disease.
Good night, sweet dreams
In 2006 I was pregnant with my first child. I was also diagnosed with Diabetes. I knew I had gestational diabetes. I could feel it. I could feel the highs and lows with food like it was a drug. A bit of sugar on my tongue sent a sensation through my body of such energy and pleasure. I was high on sugar, I was high on carbohydrates. I could feel my body's reaction to food. And of course I was right. After failing the first 1 hour glucose test I could predict my results. The doctor told me not to worry and that a lot of people failed the first test and were normal on the second. But I knew the doctor was wrong.
I scheduled my three hour glucose test but I already forecast-ed the results. Maybe somewhat of a pessimist but I knew that the test would prove positive. I ate food like I was an animal, ravenous with hunger. I craved food all the time; breads, potatoes, pizza and cupcakes. I ate food like like it was going out of style, as though I had been starved for days. During the next glucose test I drank the sweet orange sugar drink every hour on the hour and I could feel the highs and lows in my body. I was drunk with sugar one minute and low from fatigue the next. It was just a matter of time before I could confirm what I already knew was the case.
So the phone call from the nurse practitioner didn't surprise me so much but it was still so devastating for me. Yest it was just gestational diabetes but somehow in my mind I knew it foreshadowed something much greater in my future. I dove into research like an anthropologist. My most visited web page was google and my most popular search was diabetes. The symptoms included a list that I was able to check without hesitation. Unquenchable Excessive thirst - check. Frequent Urination - check. Hunger - check.
Then the ordeal began. The blood meter to prick my finger, diabetes education classes and a Xeroxed copy of The Gestational Diabetes Diet plan - for a worry free pregnancy (as if). Following the diet is kind of like experimenting with the unknown. You think you are eating correctly and following the plan and then your blood sugars are over 300. You remove fruit before noon and eliminate milk after 10pm and try this and that just to see where you are with your numbers. You have 16 weeks left to get it right and you can't seem to get anything right. You avoid all carbohydrates and then you feel like you are going to faint. Your blood sugars read 45 one minute and over 300 the next and you know you did something wrong again. You go to your prenatal classes and you can point out the other women in your same situation. You see them ducking out of class to check their blood sugars or to eat their low carb snacks. You talk with them in the bathroom about what they eat, how high their blood sugars are, who their perinatal specialist is. You are part of the club you didn't wish to join.
You are so frustrated and so sick of pricking your finger yet the entire time you are motivated by something much greater than yourself. You are motivated because you are doing this for your child. I told myself that I didn't care about what I was going through as long as I had a healthy baby, at a healthy weight, without any problems and that I would not pass on a risk to my child of developing this disease. I cheated on my diet one time form 24 weeks pregnant until she came early at 37 weeks. I had a piece of chocolate cake at a wedding. Hallie Forst was born weighting in at 8lbs three weeks early and I know had I not followed the plan, she would have been much bigger.
I was told the diabetes would be completely gone after I delivered the placenta. This never happened. My blood sugars may have lowered somewhat but never to the point of normal. This is where my journey with Type II Diabetes began, and it's now where it ends.
Fast forward four years. I have a beautiful healthy child yet with an unhealthy mother. I suffer from a constant stream of fatigue, migraine headaches, and numerous other symptoms that I cannot fix. In July of 2011 I finally take my fitness and health measures up a notch. I am convinced that I can change the course of this disease. I begin clean eating and extensive working out. I am not overweight, not obese and not a bad eater yet the symptoms of this disease are affecting me. There were days I literally couldn't get out of bed. I forced myself during this time to go to the gym 6 times a week. Most people told me to stop working out so much but I ignored them, if I was going to be miserable I might as well be getting fit in the meantime. I was utterly convinced that I could control my blood sugars by a diet and an exercise program at this time. After a steady increase of my A1C (a measure of how your body processed blood sugars) and changes in blood sugars levels that I couldn't understand I had to move on to my next google search.
Type II Diabetes: a lifestyle disease. Lifestyle diseases, as the name suggests, refer to ailments/diseases/disorders owing to the way people live and the way they interact with their environment. Type II Diabetes is a result of a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating practices.
Everywhere Type II Diabetes popped up I would find people describing it as a disease of the obese. Key words and descriptions included Fast food, sugar, lack of exercise, laziness.
Such a horrible stigma is associated with this disease. I was embarrassed, I was sad, I was angry. How do I have this disease? I workout 6 days a week, I can't eat any food and this is what people think of me. When I tell people I have diabetes that look at me and say "well you must have type I." When I tell them they are wrong they can't believe it. "But you're so thin, in such good shape, that's impossible!" I can't believe it they say. Well believe IT.
Once again I dive into the research on how to be as healthy as possible and how to reverse this disease. I read every book out there on healthy eating and diabetes; The Paleo Solution, Protein Power, Clean Eating, and Dr. Berenstein's Diabetes Solution. I read every article on exercise, every fitness magazine, and every issue I can of Clean Eating, Oxygen, and Prevention Magazine. I look at the bodies and faces of fitness models in these magazines and think to myself: these people do not have diabetes, they do not have diseases, look at how healthy they look! I am determined to be like them.
I was fortunate enough at this point to be working out with a trainer who guided me through my fitness journey. He also inspired me to eat as clean as possible. I had lost 9.5 percent body fat and had banished all symptoms of fatigue and illness. I got out of bed every day with a spring to my step. My headaches were gone, all my clothes were too big and my mood was amazing! All I needed now was blood work to prove the actions of all my good deeds were making a difference.
After 8 months of clean eating and rigorous 6 days a week workout I was ecstatic to get my blood results back. I would rejoice at that moment. I would call all my friends and family and post it on facebook on how I beat Type II Diabetes. I could see it now; my doctor would ask me what my "secret" was and my picture would be posted on a plaque on his wall with a story on how his patient beat Diabetes. It would read "One woman't story of triumph and success and disease free." I would consult others with this disease and like the winners in the Biggest Loser be the success that proves that I reached my goal.
That did not happen. After 6 months of everything I could do, 1 year of diet and exercise, that A1C did not move, not one level improved. I felt defeated. I had failed. I had cried and screamed and blamed myself for that extra carbohydrate I had eaten that first week on my plan. I ran over and over in my head what I had done wrong. If only I worked out 7 days a week instead of 6, If I ran harder or faster, or lifted more weight that I had managed, or slept less or slept more. I could change the plan, I could figure out a different equation, a different way of beating this. Looking at the mirror and my newly toned physique I hated who I was. If I couldn't beat this and couldn't do all I was doing to fight this then what was the point? Hadn't all this hard work just become a vanity/appearance issue instead of a health/disease preventing issue?
My doctor had sympathized with me calling me the "Mystery Woman." He explained to me that I was doing everything right but that it whatever I was doing my body was not recognizing the insulin I was making. I was directed to an endocrinologist to see what they could do to make more sense of it and to help me manage it better. That night I went home beyond defeated. I could feel the insulin boil up in my body. I imagined the sugars floating through my body damaging organs and nerves along it's path, aging me, making me sick.
I spoke with my trainer Julio about my results. He was taken back but determined to convince me that I still had to fight on. I spoke with my best friend, a health coach, about everything that upset me and asked her why should I continue all this hard work if it's not working. The question she posed to me at the end of the conversation was "but you feel better don't you?" And she was right, I did. I felt like a fighter, like and an athlete and like a healthy person even though I wasn't showing numbers that proved otherwise. I could keep up at the gym with the best of them, lift heavier that I ever could before. I felt amazing, energized, and confident. If there was a reason why I continued to fight it was determined at that moment.
In December of 2011 Dr. Oz confronted Paula Deen with her diagnosis of Type II diabetes. I had not known she had this disease but the confrontation was enough to draw major controversy and attention to the issue. Facebook postings were all over the place on what did people think of Paula Deen living her life as she does with Diabetes and continuing to cook the kind of food she has been know for. Of course everyone wanted to give their two cents..
The comments people made when Paula Deen was diagnosed hit me like a brick. I still can not read them without walking away in anger, tears and disbelief. Comments that were of the norm were like this:
People like Paula disgust me. Maybe because I've always taken care of my body and have been a lifelong athlete I can't understand what would make people want to pollute their bodies like Paula. Greedy, gluttonous, lazy over-eaters make my skin crawl.
Although I never posted a comment I wanted to. I wanted so badly to respond to everyone telling them to stop discriminating.
"So you wanna start throwing stones? Then aim them at me. You want to start judging other people? Then take a look at me. I am that disease. That is me. That is my life. That diseased person you are judging, let me take the hit. I have never been overweight or underactive in my entire life and I am diabetic. We are all people and we have to be all together on this. We all grew up with our moms making us mac and cheese and having birthdays at McDonalds and we are all subject to the evils of this world. Who knew back then about the hidden sugars and trans fats, the gluten, the corn syrup? Now that we do know, we can do something about it. But we need to stop pointing fingers, stop blaming others, and STOP the discrimination. Motivation, understanding and Education. That is the only way to put an end to this disease. We can't solve problems with hate, we have to solve them with love and patience. We cannot SHAME people into loosing weight and eating healthier. To the lady who wrote the comment above - people who are bigots like you make my skin crawl."
Training, staying healthy, and eating clean is doing something for me. While not understanding my inability to reverse this disease I am still making strides for my health. Number one it's preserving my body from over producing insulin so that I won't wear crucial pancreatic beta cells out. I may never have to be insulin dependent. Clean eating and exercising and keeping on my plan will help to contribute to that. The longer I can push off the effects of the diabetes, the longer it will be until I have to deal with the complications. I may have diabetes but it's not stopping me from living a healthy lifestyle. Number two it's provided me with energy, determination and confidence that make me so much more of a complete individual. I can now live my life without the effects of fatigue. And number three I don't look too bad either!
SO....when I get a little vocal about taking care of yourself, about processed foods and the lack of exercise in your life, I am doing this because it's an issue close to my heart. It hurts me to see you not take care of yourself. It angers me to not see proper education of food standards. It puzzles me to that women think that the treadmill is the only way to loose weight. It bothers me that there is so much incorrect information out there on how to loose weight and be healthy. It frustrates me that people are still looking for that magic pill, the "easy way out." It angers me that there are fat free labels on licorice yet ignores the effects of sugar contained in its product. It baffles me why a granola bar with high fructose corn syrup can be labeled "healthy" just because it has granola in it. It angers me that the lays potato chip commercial features a thin model eating an entire bag of chips, when we all know that model can't be eating potato chips if she is that thin. It drives me crazy that McDonalds and other fast food establishments give toys out with their meals so that kids will want to come back to eat their empty calorie meals. It also hurts because I am still accepting this, I would love to be able to reverse this disease and I am angry that I can't. It angers me that I have to fight this disease yet so many others are not doing as near as much as I am and are not diabetic.
That I have to fight this is why I am living my life as I am now. So yes I am fighting for my life. I am not fighting for my skinny jeans, my summer bikini, or a size 0 life. I am fighting for my longevity, a life minus health complications, to see my future grandchildren.
If you or a loved one have the ability to prevent this disease then do it. If you can make those changes in your life so that you never have to go through this then that is what you need to do. I may not have been able to overcome this disease but the good news is that most people can and I can MANAGE this. Most people can PREVENT this disease and most people can REVERSE this disease at an early stage. Healthy eating, staying active, and keeping a healthy body weight are your main weapons to fight this disease. Motivation, educating, and patience will work the best we are encouraging others to make positive changes in their lives.
It was very hard for me to write this; mostly because I know how judgmental people are. I can still hear people asking in their heads " how healthy is she really" and "it's her fault she got this to point." I know that if I have this disease and I am fighting it that I have to also fight my fear of others being aware of it. That just maybe my story and my journey will lead others to examine their current lifestyles and to see what they can do to be the healthiest individual they can me. I feel that my personal experience and understanding of this disease helps me to see the frustration of others who are also Type II diabetic. I understand. I know just how hard it is. I am the face of diabetes too and I am with you every step of the way.
I am so exhausted after leg day, usually I fit in legs about twice a week depending on where it fits in my rotation. I also like to do it on Saturdays so that when I wear myself completely out I don't have to worry about other obligations when I want to come home and crash on the couch.
Yes, at 33, a mom, and a wife I don't get much time for Saturday night fun.
What I love so much about working out my legs is that it's the one day I feel like I can lift like a guy. I mean with my petite frame and being a women I can't curl dumbbells like the rest of them, but when I get to legs I am lifting at least my body weight to twice my body weight and it makes me feel like I am holding my own. There is something about the feeling I get that makes me feel so accomplished when I am lifting heavy, and legs gives me that ability. Usually after my first round of leg exercises such as squats or leg presses my legs already feel like jello. My former life as a ballerina dancer loves sumo squats and the look of my legs when I am performing these. I am 10 years old again, back at the ballet barre, with my teacher telling me to plie.
Below is the lovely leg routine I performed today:
- Warm up lunges up and down the gym 3 times
Leg press on the hammer strength leg press 3 sets of 16, 13 and 10
- Reverse lunge with dumbbells so that my back leg slightly grazes the floor 3 sets of 10,12, and 15
- Smith machine squat with slow deep movement 4 sets of 15, 15, 12 and 12
- Superset Leg Extensions with Hamstring curl 3 sets of 15
- Superset Kettle Bell Front Squats 3 sets of 15 with Bosu Ball squat hold 3 sets of 40 seconds
Those bosu ball squats at the end were impossible. I had fatigued my muscles so that I could barely go for 10 seconds at a time. But I did it of course It's warmed up here already in Arizona and I am ready for shorts.
My main focus of my transformation program outside of the kitchen is what I do in the gym. I work with a trainer to make sure that I am fully developing all the muscle I have (and don't have) on my body. My main focus is lifting heavy. I am lifting much heavier than I have ever before. Before this competition my trainer was focusing on getting me in better shape with both endurance and strength but we did more of a circuit workout to burn calories so that I could get in and out of the gym as quick as possible. Now that my goal is to put on lean muscle before I lean out, I absolutely need to concentrate on lifting hard and heavy. I am supporting my muscle building with appropriate food intake and I am still seeing my body loose a lot of the fat I am holding on to. What's different is that while I am loosing fat, I am also building muscle. My body fat is lowering with my weight being the same so I know that it is working.
Lifting heavy weights has never scared me, I have always loved watching fitness models in magazines and I know that heavy weights = hard bodies. I have friends constantly asking me what to do in the gym and the minute I tell them to lift weights they say "Oh, I can't lift weights, I bulk up too easy." While I love to go in to a detailed debate on why that is impossible for women, I understand what they are feeling. Bulking up for women can "feel" possible if one does not clean up their diet. There are women in my intensity class who lift very heavy but I have not seen a difference in their bodies in the last 6 months. They are also the same women who talk about going to get a pizza or hamburger after the class, a "reward" for all their hard work.
SO I will break it down this way:
- Women have much less testosterone then men, they cannot get that muscular steroid look without taking steroids.
- Lifting weights will sculpt your body to give it the curves you are looking for, skinny fat is not the look most women want.
- Having more lean muscle on your body increases your metabolic rate, thus resulting in burning more calories then without the muscle.
- The feeling of "bulking up" can be created if you add lean muscle underneath the layer of fat on your body. If you do not clean up your diet, and take in more calories then you burn, you can add muscle while not burning fat. The trick is to gain muscle while burning fat to create a smaller, leaner, and tighter body. Do not reward your effort at the gym with a poor diet.
- If you are eating more than you are burning you will gain weight.
- Muscle takes up less room per pound then fat, you can weight the same but if more of your body's composition is lean muscle, you will appear "smaller". Think of the image above as a visual. 5 pounds of muscle takes up about as much space as 3 tangerines. 5 pounds of fat takes up about as much as 3 grapefruit.
I needed to change my breakfast up a bit, I was getting tired of plain egg whites scrambled and a small serving of oatmeal. So I came up with this concoction and I was very pleased. It's my power breakfast because the combination of chicken and eggs seems to keep me so well fueled in the morning until my next "feeding." It also contains 34 grams of protein!
I use 3 oz of left over chicken breast that I made earlier in the week, 1 whole egg, 2 additional egg whites, green pepper and homemade pico de gallo. I am weary about using store bought salsa because of the preservatives and sugar content in some of them. I scramble the above items together and serve on top of a bed of field greens. Delish!
I wanted to share with everyone an experience I had yesterday on facebook. I follow one of my favorite fitness models here who's name is Zoe Daly. She is this uber cute australian girl who is has the most amazing figure. I love following her because she is close to my size (petite) yet she has managed to create the ideal shape for herself. Well yesterday she posted on her facebook page that a women posted a negative comment about her, I have posted it below and my response:
Zoe Daly Fitness Model Champion:
Hey peeps! Just had to ban a woman from my page as she commented on the photo below saying "Gross". I also sent her a PM and told her to stay off my page~ her response: "nothing personal, muscles like yours belong on a bloke, it's not very feminine" HOW DARE SHE! The funny thing is~ I am pretty sure I look extremely feminine! I am not afraid to block>ban>delete ANYONE who writes anything rude on any of my photos/posts~ this is MY page and if you don't like anything you see then stay off it! Please Like this status if you like looking at my pix! Thanx boyz & girlz xox ♥
You look extremely feminine and I am sure super super tiny at the same time with those lean muscles of yours. I see this a lot on pinterest where I pin fit models or athletes. Conceptions of the women body need to change, how the hell do people think that the Olsen twins and their skinny bodies or skinny fat models are the ideal feminine physique? So mad how media and images have portrayed this look in the female mind as attractive. Women need to start looking past this ideal perfection that has been shoved down their throat and truly see what healthy looks like. Also put your body next to one of the skinny Hollywood types and 99% of men would pick your body as the ideal female forum. How rude of her to be on your site and be negative, I am glad you blocked her.
Remember ladies - it's up to us to change what the ideal female forum is, it's up to us to start supporting strong and healthy women instead of promoting companies that use skinny models and celebrities as their endorsers.
When Oxygen Magazine had Elizabeth Hasselback on the cover of their issue a few months ago there was a lot of controversy. Many women complained that they didn't want to see a celebrity on the cover of this particular magazine, that she has a trainer, cook, etc. While I understand their point of view I also come from the side that says it's about time we start putting fit and healthy celebrity women on the front of magazines instead of thin and skinny fat celebrities. I would rather have young women and old just the same seeing fit Hollywood stars as their role models instead of what we see now. Maybe then at that time we can reverse the stereotypical image that our society has in their heads.
This is my first day I have to take a detour from my normal workout plan for the week. I am resting my back today and will adjust my workout to work out on sunday instead, my usual day of rest.
Well Holy Moly my back is in agony!!! I can honestly say for the first time in my life that I have never worked my back out so hard as I did yesterday. My trainer Julio had me complete 7 different sets of back exercises. My soreness is a fault of my own, although I have always trained hard with other body parts, including my legs, I have never attempted to lift as hard and heavy in my back. The reason being is that I don't think I have been familiar with enough exercises to really hit my back. That is where a trainer is important! It's not like I sit around the lunch table with my girlfriends and we all discuss ways to hit the traps.
So that will be my research goal for this week; to find and execute various exercises to work areas of my back so that I can rotate my group of sets or supersets each week. The body does adapt, and I want to make sure I am mixing it up enough to constantly challenge myself in the gym. This will be a building block for me to add to my overall body composition, I desperately want balance in my physique and I do not want to have strong legs with a under-defined back.
So while I am familiar with Wide grip cable pulls and cable seated low row I will be trying to add pull-ups and renegade rows to my mix.
The positive outcome for my soreness is I know where my strengths and weaknesses are and I will take it up a level for developing my so long awaited back.
My new purchase today is embarrassing.
This is the Bubba 52oz drink jug. My husband immediately saw it on our kitchen counter and question my purchase. "You use to make fun of people who had those things." "I know" I replied, "but that is because they were filled with 52oz of diet soda and mind is nothing but water with lemon." After the hypocritical remarks I told him that it was equipped with a bottle opener but I don't know when I will ever have use for that.
It keeps my water ice cold just how I like it and I have already challenged myself to drink three of these a day; one at the gym, one after lunch, and one after dinner. With Bubba by my side I've already accomplished a goal for 2012 to drink more water and increase my energy. I feel like a college kid again waiting by the keg with this thing.
See you at the kegger,
I am 11 days into the contest and one of the questions I am asking myself is Am I Hungry?
Strict nutrition is an essential component of my plan. I read a lot of questions on the contest forum about changing their diet and switching to paleo, or keto or whatever. The one thing I am pretty sure of is my nutritional component of the plan. Why? Because it's consistent. It follows a solid foundation of almost every successful fitness blog I see on here.
I see questions like "should I reduce my calories, maybe I am eating too much, maybe I should cut back on a meal." Here I would like to say "the proof is in the pudding dear." You are not even 2 weeks into your transformation and you are already wanting to switch the plan. I am not saying that it doesn't need to evolve, or even get better or stricter towards the end, but consistency is key.
Let's take Felicia Romero's plan that has been posted on bodybuilding.com supersite. She has a great muscle building nutrition plan and a cutting nutrition plan. Why would I follow this over something I came up with and threw together that let me eat this and that instead. WHY? Have you looked at that woman's physique, that is WHY.
So during the muscle building stage I should be eating 5-6 meals a day, definitively 6 on leg days for me.
Meal one is 5 egg whites with 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal.
2-3 hours later is a protein shake with 20 almonds. I can have fruit with this shake if it was post workout.
2 hours later I have 5oz chicken, 3oz sweet potato and 2 cups of spinach.
3 hours later I have a protein shake with a scoop of almond butter.
2 hours later I have dinner which consists of 6 oz salmon, tilapia, or orange roughy, 3 oz of butternut squash, and 2 cups of spinach.
If I did legs that day then I have an extra protein shake at night or a few egg whites.
There it is - simple. It will change by contest end but this is the "secret" formula now. I strarted the contest on a thursday and decided to take my reward meals on saturdays. I didn't want to eat clean for just 2 days, so I went from 9 days in between a reward meal. Gosh that was tough. It will be much easier for me to go 1 week in between. So except for longing for that reward meal my other obstacle is cravings, and I don't know many people who do not get these. I am going to share with you a few of my tips on how to prevent or deal with cravings.
- First I ask myself Am I hungry or is this just a craving. Listening to your body and getting more tuned with it you should know the difference. Real hunger is stomach growling, fingers shaking a little, a decrease in concentration, moodiness, etc. I actually contribute it to physical side effects.
- Cravings are just wanting something for an emotional need, not a physical one. So I take a minute to think and then immediately have a glass of water. Am I just thirsty? Dehydration can mimic as being hungry or fatigued. I drink up and ask myself again If I am still hungry and if the answer is no and I know it's a craving then I wait it out for about 15 mins because it will soon go away.
- Now if I am actually hungry, which can happen, especially if I had an intense day plus an intense workout days I will eat an extra protein shake or eggwhites and some almonds. If I don't really want to eat these foods then I am probably craving and not hungry. Eggwhites make me feel full and the fat in the almonds makes me feel satisfied.
I have become so in tuned with my stomach that my body will tell me when it's hungry or not. Those are the signs I listen for each day. They are not the cravings that says I smell pizza - eat me. My body in the morning tells me I am hungry and I eat. 3 hours later my body says hey when did you eat last, I think its time for a snack and I eat. And I make sure I eat spot on my plan so that I do not miss a single meal.
After these hunger episodes or craving urges I always go back and look at my day. Did I miss a meal? Did I eat enough today? Did I go to long between meals? And that usually provides me with the answer for why I am craving. Consistency with your meals and meal times should not create a state of hunger.
So tonight as I am writing this and I am staring into my fridge I notice there is a piece of leftover pizza in there from my husband. The glands immediately begin to salivate. I ask my self Am I thirsty, I drink a 32 oz glass of water. I go back to the fridge and ask myself Am I hungry and the answer is NO. So I close up the door and don't return for the rest of the night.
Good luck to anyone who reads my blog with the ability to close that fridge up at night. Remember cravings do go away.
My trainer has me on a HIIT cardio program to supplement my weight training 3 times a week. I am happy about this because HIIT is so much less time consuming than traditional cardio and I have never been a Cardio Bunny. My preferred cardio in the past has been with an insanity type workout class, my love hate relationship with the stairmaster and spinning. I am not the best runner; it hurts my feet but I try to work at it. My doctor once told me not to run unless I was being chased by a bear. I can perform HIIT running though because I am not running for long periods of time.
I have dipped into HIIT training before - I dread it and love it at the same time. I am preserving my muscle while spending the least amount of time doing it. It's intense and I know it works. I compare it a little to a marathon runner and a sprinter. Marathon runners are often skinnier and lack my desired muscle composition. Sprinters usually have the bodies and legs that I desire - a well rounded and balanced look to them that is a result of the intense intervals they perform on a regular basis.
Last week, my first week in the contest, I performed HIIT on the stairmaster. Yes I almost lost my lunch from it. I sprinted up stairs at the highest level for 30 seconds and almost fell off several times. It was hell. The only thing good about it is that when performing HIIT on the treadmill this week I seemed much more aerobically conditioned to do so. My sprints felt easier and I could run faster and harder. This I am convincing myself is because of my sprints last week on the stairmaster. I also think it's because of my general cardio I have worked on developing through my intensity circuit class. I feel my breath calming down quicker between rests and while I would have to rest for a full 90 seconds before (even that was tough) I find myself ready to go in 30-60 seconds.
I never do HIIT on leg day, I would not have the stamina to do so and my body would not be happy. I perform it on other days that I am not focusing on a large muscle group such as shoulders and ab day. I perform it immediately after my workout or later in my day if I can't get to it at that time. It has definitely become my necessary evil in my training.
Sorry Emily, I hate to break the news to you, but apparently water is my new best friend
Part of my nutrition plan is consuming a gallon and a half of water a day. Most people probably do not drink close to this. It's not as hard as it seems, I live in Arizona and during the summer I am dying of thirst. I have been told by my doctor that 100 oz should be the minimum amount of water anyone drinks in the state of Arizona.
To me water is my "detox". I get up in the morning with at least 24 oz of water and lemon immediately. My body craves it. It's often so dry here that I am moody if I don't have my water. It's the only beverage I drink besides iced green tea. I drink my water all day with mint, cucumbers, lemon, or just plain water.
The benefits of water are amazing and it's something so easy to do and a lot less expensive than your starbucks fix. Here are some of the benefits of water:
- Being dehydrated causes skin to be dry - so drinking water helps to moisturize it. The poor man's moisturizer.
- It has been proven to improve the condition of nails.
- Lubricates joints
- Lessens the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products
- Water improves your metabolism which is why it helps you with weight loss. There are other foods that helps boost your metabolism, but water is easily available and costs nothing.
Today I received my email welcome from the bodybuilding.com crew. There was a short video of Tobias Young giving me some great tips through my "journey." Most of them I have already implemented but I did take note of his tip on finding one person that you trust that can hold you accountable.
Accountability: Actions toward or involving others that reflect the integrity of the person you want to be.
That person you pick can hold you accountable through your transformation and keep you on track. Many people in my life have held me accountable for my actions but my initial thought of selecting someone was my Dad. My father has held me accountable my whole life through the choices I make. Whether it's school, grades, a job, or just getting my damn act together, he has always held very high standards for me. I remember him getting furious at me a week before my 21st birthday when I had to be driven home by my brother for drinking too much. A week away from being 21 and he was still holding me accountable for my actions. He was also the dad that moved me to Chicago after college for my first job, he had pushed me through school and it ultimately got me to where I wanted to be.
Of course when I texted him if he would be my accountability person he was very excited. He thinks this contest is "cool", really neat he says. Where my mom thinks its a little obsessive, my dad has listened to my side of the story, sees why I want to do it, and is highly interested in the whole thing. I hope it will be a greater bond into my relationship with him and that he feels that he is adding something important to my life.
I also hope that it will encourage my dad to continue to make positive changes on his health. My dad was diagnosed with Type II diabetes 6 months ago. I remember the phone call I got from him asking me about the results of his A1C and that his doctor wanted to follow up immediately the next day with metformin (an oral form of insulin). My first reaction to him was dad just wait, this is something you can do with diet, what was your A1C anyways???
"11.1" he responds.
"What the hell have you been eating the last few months!" I scream.
I know a little (or a lot) about diabetes because I was diagnosed with Gestiational Diabetes when I was pregnant with my daughter Hallie. I was devastated at first, I just wanted to eat a piece of a cake so badly, and the only thing I could do was follow a uber-strict diet and test my blood sugars all day. But doing this was something I needed to do for my baby, I wasn't just doing this for me but for her risk and the risk of the complications we could potentially face. From the beginning of the diagnosis to the birth, 16 weeks in all, I only cheated on my diet one time.
When my father called me that day he needed my help for a change. No questions like can you change the oil in my car, or loan me some money questions that I have asked him for a lifetime. I came over immediately, helped him with his glucose reader, showed him how to test his blood sugar, and raided his pantry. I went through everything and showed him how much sugar was in that Pepsi can he liked to drink, how red licorice may be fat free but can be detrimental to his health, and how white bread may be the reason he was now dealing with this. And you know what? He got it! He started reading food labels, stopped eating so many carbohydrates, and lost several inches in his waist line.
So my dad is going to help keep me on tract. When I come over for dinner at night he is going to prepare fresh tilapia and asparagus. He is going to remind me why I am doing this and support me all the way. Who's better to take care of you than your dad anyway?
It's really not my favorite fish or protein for that matter. How am I going to enjoy eating this in my diet. I am going to try some orange roughy or tilapia tomorrow to see if that helps. My mom told me to just throw some salsa on it. I can get pretty sick of chicken from time to time, and I usually enjoy salmon chopped up in salads, but this is going to be hard for me to stomach.
Seriously this was probably the worst day to start it, after everything that happened lost camera (need for pics), alarm not going off, my daughter refusing to wear the outfit that was laid out, a vendor screaming at me, I probably could of postponed until tomorrow. But not every day is going to be perfect and if we only worked out on Good days then we would probably rarely work out.
So I had a great training day in the gym surrounded by a few high school kids playing around and pushing each other and calling me MAM. I did get through the workout that I posted today for chest and biceps in 1 hr and 10 mins.
I also managed to eat on plan today which consisted of the following:
5egg, 1 whole egg, 3 oz butternut squash
protein shake, 20 almonds
5 oz chicken, 3 oz sweet potato, 1 cup spinach
protein shake, tbs of almond butter
6 oz salmon, 3 oz sweet potato, 1 cup spinach
My workout outfit consisted of (if you care) a long sleeve compression vneck in green from under armour and a pair of lucy training shorts. I also wore my blue and yellow new balance running shoes. Now that you know what I wore
Not a great start, but an honest start, and proving that there will be obstacles along the way.