Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Memorial Day to Remember

Memorial Day is about remembering, especially remembering those heroes who died for our country. It has also become a holiday about food - hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, fancy cakes decorated to look like the American flag, beer, ice cream, and lots of sitting around by the pool. I can remember holidays past gaining ten pounds in the four-day weekend without breaking a sweat.
This past Memorial Day I spent in the usual way - with my husband and kids, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law down in Delaware. What was different about it was that my focus during this visit was spending time with family - laughing at "We Bought a Zoo," hanging out by the pool with my squirmy son and three water baby girls, walking the 3-mile trail with my sister-in-law while we caught up on what we had been doing over the past couple months.

I have to admit that I have employed some new habits that have made it so much easier to enjoy the holidays without overindulging. I brought Shakeology, which has become my dinner of choice, and had that for dinner each night. I started my days with a 6-mile hike. I drak tons of water. I logged my food on my iPhone using MyFitnessPal. And you know what? Despite the fact that my birthday, the start of my menstrual cycle and the Memorial Day holiday all happened in the same week, I didn't gain an ounce. I'm pretty proud of that fact.

Memorial Day is about remembering - and now I can enjoy making memories that have more to do with good times shared with the family than poor food choices I regret when I step on the scale come Tuesday morning.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Down 8 pounds in just 9 days. Amazing.

So, I am finally seeing big changes - 8 pounds in just nine days. I started kickboxing on May 8 and started Shakeology a couple days later. Thanks to my crazy workout schedule and Shakeology for dinner just about every night, I am free of cravings and eating better than I ever have. For example, here's my intake today (I am way hungrier on kickboxing days):

- Breakfast: fried egg, pumpernickel bread, whipped cream cheese
- Midday: Shrimp bao from Trader's, edamame crackers, homemade oatmeal cookie
- Lunch: Salad with guacamole, salsa, light ranch dressing and chicken
- Dinner: Shakeology with 1 T peanut butter and 1/2 banana, 2 coconut date rolls
- Snack: Arctic Zero

Less than 1500 calories and I burned almost that amount between the kickboxing and the 3.5 mile walk/run later with my 9-year old. The most amazing part is that I don't feel like I'm punishing or depriving myself, which is why I stopped Dreambodies last summer. I feel energized, and proud of myself. Most of all, I feel optimistic - I am going to get there this time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Never Give Up...Never.

When a caterpillar goes into its cocoon, to the naked eye it looks as though nothing is happening. But inside the cocoon, a miracle is occurring. The caterpillar is becoming a beautiful butterfly.

My friends, I have been in a cocoon for the past year. That doesn't mean that nothing was happening. Quite the contrary. I have been learning so much about what my body needs, reclaiming my athlete mindset, adopting a way of eating that is a lifestyle, rather than a diet, exploring new ways to exercise that feel as much like fun as they do a means to an end.

I have begun replacing my final meal with Shakeology. Not only has this done all the things it claims - reduce cravings, increase my energy, and lead to rapid weight loss, it has helped me to reduce my overall calories for the day.

The butterfly is in progress and ready to make its debut. Don't miss the miracle. It's coming soon to a blog near you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 3 - Still on FIRE!!

Hidy ho! Day 3, I suppose of the new phase of this journey. OK, I'm not just saying this because I'm a newly minted Beachbody coach (although I please assign me as your coach, if you don't already have one - my coach name is Liimu), but I am in LURV LURV LURV with Beachbody Shakeology and more optimistic than I have been since I started with Tony in 2008.

The weekend went so well. I had my Mother's Day lunch - enjoyed every single BIT of my short stack of pancakes, bacon and omelet (WITH cheese). But then, here's the difference. In the past, I would not have been able to keep from having a Wawa hoagie and chips with my family for dinner. I was not even a little bit hungry. I had homemade kale chips and a chocolate Shakeology shake. Yummy yum yum.  Amazingly, I was DOWN a half pound on Monday morning.  A holiday weekend and I indulged in a cheat meal and a rest day and was STILL down a half pound. YAY!

OK, so here's my biggest news. Many of you who know me know that I have been a runner since 2005, when I ran pretty much every event in Philly, including the Broad Street Run, Philadelphia Distance Run (1/2 marathon) and Philadelphia Marathon. I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon last November and then injured myself in January and hadn't run since...until today.

Today, I ran 3.1 miles without stopping!!! WOO HOO! I am registered for a half marathon in August and I believe I will actually be able to run it! I am amazed!! Amazed and so grateful.

I have been harnessing the power of the law of attraction, visualizing my perfect body, and the Universe has just been sending me so much to assist in my journey, including:

  1. My meditative hike
  2. Kickboxing
  3. Shakeology
  4. Chrissy, my trainer
  5. Arctic Zero

I am already seeing huge changes, including increased energy, reduced cravings, reduced bloat. My size 18 pants were loose today and I was able to put the belt on the second hole, rather than the first, which is what it's been on for the past couple months. SO exciting!! I am going to be at my goal by the end of the summer - I am so excited for you guys to see my transformation!!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm ba-a-a-ack! (Again...)

Big things happening over here in LiimuLand.  Huge.

I was working out with the world's greatest online trainer, Tony DiCostanzo of Dreambodies, again beginning last October. That's what got me to my all time best post-baby body and I will always believe that he has an excellent program that gets huge results. The problem for me is that I just couldn't get my mind in it again. It's one thing when you don't know where you're going. It's another thing all together when you do know what you're getting yourself into and you're not able to get your mind to come along for the ride. So, I quit. I know, I know...that's what Tony said, too.

Of course, I quit leading into the holidays, which I can't say has been one of my best decisions to date, but I went through the holidays with an in-person trainer who began taking me on a very gentle journey out of the realm of dieting and punitive exercise. See, the thing is that I've been dieting since I was about 8 years old. And as much as Tony wanted me to see his program as a lifestyle, I could never really see it as anything other than a diet. Even the "cheat" days fed into my idea of it as something I would go "off" when I was rewarding myself. It's an ass-backwards way of thinking if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. But that's the way I thought most of my life, and as a result I was usually either dieting or bingeing.

After working with my new trainer, Chrissy of HealthyFitGirl, I have begun to learn how to ADD good foods into my diet, rather than take foods I like out. There are only so many calories in the day, so as a result many of the less healthy foods have been eliminated.  I'm quite amazed at my progress, when I think about it. I juice green vegetables regularly, if not daily since the beginning of the year. My family cupboards are no high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil free. I bake kale chips and healthy cookies made with things like chia seeds and ground flax to have for a snack when I'm hungry. I have smoothies with glutamine and wheatgrass!

But here's the thing - I wasn't losing weight. Because I'm carrying around quite a bit more than I need (about 50 pounds more than I need), my joints started to really suffer and honestly, that scared me more than anything. So a few weeks ago, I decided to do what all the magazines said - I started walking. Four and a half miles at first, including some pretty steep trails, and just about every day. This was more of a meditative thing than anything else, but as I kept doing it, I started getting really into it and even started adding some jogging intervals.  My joints still hurt, but the pain wasn't getting any worse. I still wasn't losing weight, but I was getting tighter and I was definitely starting to have a more positive attitude about it all.

I also began a couple months ago (at my trainer's suggestion) logging my food in MyFitnessPal. I have used a lot of websites and apps for logging my food and of all of them, MyFitnessPal is definitely the best. It gives an accurate count of exercise calories burned along with the extensive database of foods for calories consumed. You can even scan in foods using a barcode! And it has this cute thing at the end of the day where when you're finished logging it will tell you how much you would weigh if you ate that same way every day. Best of all, perhaps, is the extensive nutritional breakdown it gives you, including not only the basics of fiber, protein, fat, and carbs, but also sugars, trans fats, sodium, etc. I learned that my sugars and bad fats were inordinately high. Also, I was eating back a lot of the calories I was burning.

So, this week I tried something new. First, I upped my activity - I started kickboxing twice a week (which I LURVLURVLURV!!!) and even went spinning on Friday. Second, I ordered Shakeology and reintroduced smoothies into my plan. Third, I finally got on the bandwagon of slowing down my eating come the afternoon.  I realized that I was getting a lot of my calories from 2 to 7 and sabotaging my efforts. So, I really start to slow down now around 2 pm and it seems to really be helping.

That's where we are as of today. I'm going to be very diligent about posting my results here, especially because I definitely plan to weave P90X and INSANITY into this, along with Shakeology, and I'm determined to have one of those amazingly successful before/after stories that they use on their site or goes viral or something.

If you have suggestions or questions along the way, please comment. I fully intend to have one of those bodies that makes people ask - how do you have a body like that with four kids? What do you do to workout? And then when I tell them, say to themselves "Oh, hell, no...I couldn't do that." But here's the's been a gradual journey for me to get to where I am and become an athlete. I'm there already and my body is simply catching up with me. But anyone can get their mind. And once your mind gets there, the body is bound to follow.

Until next time!!