Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Abs are made in the kitchen (and other unfortunate truths)

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People often ask me how I got started on this journey and how I keep going. To be honest, there are days when I know it would be easy to just quit, but I keep going because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It may be a flicker/just a wee glimpse, but I am seeing myself more and more as an "After" rather than a "Before". That's incredibly exciting and keeps me motivated, but I won't say that it is easy to keep on track. I have to be focused on my goals. Below are some unfortunate truths that I'm faced with each day and how I deal with them.

Diet is the most important part of weight loss. Exercise will help you get there, but it can't do it all and it will be much more painful to exercise is you are not doing your due diligence in the kitchen. 
  • I have really started to love exercising and I wish I could exercise off every ounce of this excess body weight, but I can't. I find that if I don't stick to a clean diet, get enough protein, or eat too many sugars, my cardio/weight lifting are thrown off. I feel terrible during my workouts and then crave terrible foods afterwards. I'll go to the gym and feel ok, but then I get home and don't eat or don't it the right thing. A couple hours later, I'm wondering why I don't have gluten free cookies at my house.  It's a vicious cycle. And it's something that impacts me for multiple days. If I didn't get enough calories the day before, I pay for it the next day. I'm not able to trick diet. I have to be disciplined or I don't get the results I want. End. 
You never stop adjusting. With each tier of weight, you have to adjust your game on how to lose more. Whether it's eating less calories or changing the way/what you eat because you're bored of the same old recipes, you have to be ready to adjust (a lot).
  • I've found this to be pretty difficult for me since I am a creature of habit. I just want it to be the same the entire time. I get comfortable and can go along for months, but then I slowly start slipping back into old habits. I start making excuses as to why I can eat something that is a definite no-no. On Sunday, I spent the entire morning looking at how I could adjust my diet. After a year of paleo, I'm bored and need to figure out something new. I won't stop paleo, I'm simply adding in a few more grains (quinoa and oatmeal). I've realized as soon as I started to do more cardio that I wasn't recovering well. My body would ache after working out and I would feel so tired. My tiredness led me to craving sugars, which in turn make me crave more sugars. I realized I needed to adjust to perform. Running is something I *gasp* enjoy doing so I'm making a change to accommodate it. 
  • I'm now eating 5 small meals a day. Two of those meals are protein smoothies and the rest are small clean/paleo dishes. I have a busy schedule so I've adjusted to make this work for me. I blend up my smoothies at night and then take them to work with me in the morning. I use vanilla Sun Warrior Protein Powder and add in cocoa or other spices to change the flavor. 
This isn't a sprint, it's an effing marathon. It's about consistent changes every single day. Every single day means that you can't worry about the small stuff. You have to have the big goal in mind and not get bogged down when you have minor setbacks.
  • You have to start. You have to keep going. You have to let go. I started by changing my diet, adding in exercise, adding in more exercise, and now, changing my diet again. This is a Sisyphean journey. Every 10 lbs I lose, I feel like I'm back at the bottom starting again. It gets harder and harder.  I try cling to my routine, but that isn't helpful.  I've found that over stressing about my diet/exercise makes me less productive. Less productive leads me to be less happy and less happy makes me struggle even more. I'll have a bad week, eat a non-healthy meal, but I move on. I've let go of a lot of my stress and it's made me more productive and happy. I'm able to get more accomplished because I let go. I keep at it day in and day out and I never ever give up on myself. 
  • It's a marathon and that means it takes longer than sprinting. I see people who have faster results than me all the time, but I'm really focused on making sustainable changes in my life. My way isn't a better way than others, it's just the way I'm doing it. It's about how my life is happening (crazy/ in a blur) and I'm feeling awesome all the time so I just keep chugging along.

And with that, I'll leave you with some comparison photos from last spring to this spring. :)