I obviously haven't made a blog post in a while, and am way behind on photo sessions that I would like to showcase. But I wanted to write this one while it is still true.
I haven't missed a workout since I started T25 on January 3rd.
Holy wah. 5 days a week - at least - of 25-50 minutes per day. That's 17 weeks done. And the thing is, I just started losing weight the last 2 weeks. I know why, too, and I could pretty much kick myself for it. First off - here's my calendar.
In March I went really hardcore. I was getting frustrated - all that working out, and I still hadn't lost a single pound, and barely had any change in my measurements. I only wanted to lose 4-6 lbs - the weight I had gained over the winter ( mostly through massive amounts of eggnog consumption) but I couldn't even manage to get back to my normal weight. I felt stronger, sure, but couldn't really see any changes. So I doubled up the workouts, doing doubles almost every day.
Finally, over Easter, I was visiting my parents and my mom started showing me her MyFitnessPal app. I'd read about the importance of keeping a food diary, but I always figured that couldn't possibly be my problem - I eat generally healthy. A smoothie for breakfast. A Greek yogurt, a baked zucchini, and some cottage cheese for lunch. And so on. Plus, keeping a food diary seemed extremely tedious. But seeing her app I decided to give it a try - and I ended up being completely floored by the calories I was taking in.
It turned out that my breakfast alone was generally about 500 calories. I was regularly taking in much more than 2000 calories per day. I know that calories aren't all that is important - it's the quality of the food you eat, where those calories are coming from. Unfortunately, a large proportion of my calories were coming from sugar. It was all those little things that I kept figuring wouldn't matter. My coffee creamer. I only drink 2 cups of coffee a day, that can't hurt much, right?. My picking at foods here and there. I allow myself 2 dark chocolate hershey kisses after lunch and after dinner - but I wasn't letting that be enough. I was also snacking all afternoon. My afternoon snack was graham crackers, peanut butter, and just a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. It all sounds harmless, but added up through the day, all those little choices were keeping me from my goals.
I started making different choices - changed a few ingredients in my morning smoothie, changed my coffee creamer, really started paying attention to what I was taking in. And I started losing weight. Finally, this week, I am below my normal weight, below where I was before all that unfortunate eggnog (but delicious) over the winter. And I really could kick myself. If I hadn't been so stubborn, if I'd admitted that my diet could be part of the problem, my results from all that exercise could have been so much better. I feel stronger, I can see a hint of abs for the first time in my life (funny story about that - I lifted up my shirt to show my husband and he said, "What is that??" I said, all excited, "Abs!!" And he replied, "Oh my God, I thought it was a tumor!!!" thanks, babe . . . ) and I'm overall very happy with the changes that are starting to happen. I wish I hadn't been so stubborn. I kept saying, How can you work out THIS much, and not see any results?? The answer was in front of me but I refused to see it.
I don't feel deprived at all by my diet changes. I still allow my 4 hershey kisses per day - but now I let that be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I actually think that seeing that I'm taking in my goal amount of calories helps me to realize that I am eating enough, so I am less hungry. And really, it's just easier to eat healthy now that it's spring - veggies are fresh and full of flavor, and you don't need those warm comfort foods like you do in the winter. My workouts are starting to decrease - a few times this last month I had to skip a workout during the week and make it up on a weekend. My double days are almost nonexistent. I know that I'm going to start missing days, because spring and summer are so short up here I've got to get outside and enjoy it while I can. But at least now I am aware of the impact my diet has. I'm sure that I can maintain these changes through the summer and make smarter choices next winter.
I wanted to write this so that if anyone else out there is struggling, take a close look at the choices you're making. Seriously - keep a food diary. Even for a week. The MyFitnessPal app makes it incredibly easy - you can barcode scan almost any food and it will pull the nutrition facts right in for you (this is just the one I happen to use, I'm sure there are more out there that do the same thing). You might be surprised at what you find.