Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Workout Idea for ya...

This morning I tried a new circuit at the gym. I just made it up and ended up really getting my heart rate up. If you have a gym membership try this out the next time you go in OR you can do this at home:

Put on some music to really get you going!!!!

1. Start with 30 jumping jacks or jump rope for 30 seconds.



(Lay on a mat)
2. 30 Crunches


3. Roll over and do 10-15 push ups



4. On your last push up drop your knees and with your right leg do 10 kickbacks, 10 side leg raises, 10 hip extensions (make sure to bring your knee all the way to your chest then back out)




5. Roll over on your back and do 20 leg raises with a stability ball.

Stand up and do it again from 1. Do this circuit at least 5 times with a 2 min rest between each sequence.
Good luck!!!!


Here's to finding your NorthStar..

Week 9 Update

I think my "reset" button from Sundays post is broken... This week has been extremely hard for me. I'm tired, grouchy, mean, and felt like a total bit**!!! I have slacked on my afternoon cardio the past few days and had every intention on doing some today but then just changed my mind... I just keep telling myself only a few more days till Saturday, ill get the whole day off from the gym. The only thing that would make it even better would be a re-feed or "cheat meal" but that ain't happening for a few more weeks I think. I'm just hoping that after Saturday ill be fully charged and ready to hit it hard again!! See, even I get run down and OVER IT from time to time. BUT I don't cheat on my diet. That's the most important part...
Joshua has been doing very well. He's stepped up his cardio and his diet is ripping him up. He's so proud that he has 4 abs showing!! This week he has really leaned out.
Starting week 6 i'll post progress pics each week so everyone can see how were doing.
I hope your week is going better than mine..
Here's to finding your NorthStar.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pressing the "reset" button

Happy Sunday everyone! This weekend was so rainy and blaaa... We pretty much stayed at the casa & chilled with the exception of the gym of course, OH and I got some new clothes. Yes, oh yes, new clothes finally! Which is a good thing for me and bad thing for Joshua, BAHAHAH!! On Thursday when I got home from the gym I decided to clean out my closet and rid myself of all my old fat clothes. I started in the downstairs closets where I keep clothes that I'm wearing that season (the bar was starting to bow some so that was another indication to clean it out). Then I went upstairs and WIPED OUT that closet. It was bare bones let me tell ya. I filled 6 garbage bags!! Needless to say I wasn't left with much. On my way back from making a donation to Goodwill I stopped by Old Navy to look for a few new pieces. I had no idea what size I was so I started with the 8's. To my delighted satisfaction they were way to big so I went back and got a 6 & a 4 (just in case). First of all let me just say here that I cant even remember a time that I was a 6 and NEVER have I slipped in a size 4. Keep that in mind my friends. So I put on the 6's first and they fit like a glove, even a bit big in the waist. So here come the 4's. The first thing I noticed was, THEY BUTTONED! However a tad to tight but that's ok because I'm still losing and that in it's self makes me feel incredible! It gave me tons of motivation to keep going, not that I was ever thinking of quitting. Sometimes though all of the strict dieting and gym time gets to you and you can easily lose focus. Which brings me to my topic of the day...

Pressing the "Reset" Button


res·o·lu·tion: a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. 


We are now 3 months into the new year. I going to assume that most of you all set new year's resolutions. I always have and for about 5 years they were pretty much always the same: Lose Weight. Bla! That resolution haunted me for years and years! Until last year when I finally did lose that weight. This year I was able to move on and make "new" New Year's resolutions. Those of you that are following my blog know that my goal this year is to compete in my first NPC Figure competition. Now that we are less than 9 weeks out it is slowing becoming a reality.

So what were your resolutions for this year? Was it to lose those 10 lbs for vacation? or maybe to read more? or to train for running a 5k? or spend more quality time with the kids?

Are you seeing your goals come to life or are you sitting around doing nothing? When you set a goal for yourself you have to have a plan of action and follow through or nothing will happen and once again you'll have the same freakin' goal for next year! How depressing is that? Trust me I know.

I also know we all wish there was a re-set button for life but that just ain't so, however we can take a step back from life so speak and analyze why were not meeting our goals. Follow these simple steps to find out if the goals you set on January 1st are realistic and if you even want to achieve them:

1. Write down the resolution(s) you made for yourself.
2. Ask yourself this question and write down the answer: How bad do I really want to achieve this goal?
3. Why do I want to achieve this goal?
4. What benefits do I think I'll get from achieving this goal?
5. Am I going to do something about it? i.e. stop cheating with food, exercise 3 times a week, run a little further each week, so forth...



If you just decided that you are definitely going to something about it then CONGRATULATIONS! Wait wait I take that back. I'll congratulate you when you achieve that goal. That will be the real celebration. You can "decide" to make positive changes in your life all day long but if you don't follow through with action then what's the point in "deciding" to make a change.....

I'm not going to sugar coat if for you and say "if you just follow all these steps and do what I say then all your dreams will come true." Please know that it's going to take a lot on your part to do the things you want to do. I may have a coach and a husband to push me in the gym but my coach is NOT preparing and eating the food for me. Joshua is NOT lifting the weight for me. I have to do all of that myself and they are there to support me. They also can't babysit me all day so I have to hold myself accountable. All day I fight temptation and make sure to get my butt to the gym in the afternoon for my second bout of cardio. Let me stress again, it's not easy but I know that pain is only temporary. In less than 9 weeks I'll be on stage strutin' my stuff and then indulging in something oh so tasty to eat and drink!!

Each week I want us to set a goal together. Tonight let's push the reset button and start the week fresh. I'll go first. This week I'm going to push myself as hard as I can in ALL of my workouts and on Saturday I'm going to take off the entire day off from the gym. It's been three weeks going 7 days a week and I need a BREAK! Physically and mentally. Now it's your turn. You can make your goal as simple as or as challenging as you want it to be, remember YOU have to do the work not anyone else. Push your button, write down your goal for the week, make a plan of action and execute it!




Here's to finding your NorthStar.....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tips for the weekend.....

TGIF right, lol. I know it's Friday and time to unwind. Just keep in mind though when it comes to your diet "you can have it your way BUT DONT GET CRAZY"- Bon Qui Qui

Here are a few tips to keep you from going though a "guilt trip Monday" because you fowled up your diet over the weekend.

Tip 1: If your going to indulge in a few adult beverages try this little cocktail:

Sugar Free Margarita's
(Makes 4-5 Drinks)
Mix together:
Juice of 3 limes
Qt. of water
10-15 Packs of Sweet & Low (Make as sweet or not as you like)
*For go the salt on the rim, it does nothing but bloat you

- Fill glass full of ice
- Pour in lime juice mix
- Add clear Tequila to taste (If you make your first drink strong (by accident of course) then maybe the second glass needs to be a little weaker. This way you have more control of how much alcohol you are consuming)
- Garnish with limes slices!!

*1 fl oz of 80 proof clear Tequila has 64 calories

Tip 2: If you happen to be going out to eat for any meal don't be afraid to tell the waitress or waiter that you are trying to watch what you eat and you would like _________ for your meal. Let's say if its breakfast order this: 4 egg whites, 1slice of whole wheat toast, and some fresh berries. Restaurants have become more and more accommodating to people's meal choices when you ASK! So speak up.....


Tip 3: Now that the weather is getting nicer (hopefully where you are) try doing some outdoor activities. Start that walking or jogging program that you talked about all winter. Now is time to heat up your core temperature and start melting that FAT! Bikini season is knocking on the door so let's make sure we give it a nice warm welcome :-).


I truly hope these 3 tips help you out no matter what your goals are. Stay motivated and inspired this weekend to want to be a healthier you.





Here's to finding your NorthStar....

Good eatin' Friday!

It's Friday ya'll and as promised here is a yummy and easy to make recipe. Right now I am eating this everyday for my 4th meal (after lunch but before dinner) and I love it! It also travels very well to. You can get super duper creative by adding veggies, salsa and a tbs of light sour cream, maybe some black beans to! Remember though when adding extras make sure to only use what you need (sometimes even a serving size is to much) and count the nutritional information (calories, fat, carbs, fiber, protein). So try it out this week end and if you like it add to your daily meal plan.


Spicy Turkey Wraps

5 oz Jennie-O Ground Turkey
1 tbs Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning (or to taste, I's likes mine HOTT!)

2 Romaine Lettuce Leaves


Directions:
- Weigh out exactly 5 oz of ground turkey
- Place turkey in a bowel and add spices
- Brown spicy turkey in a non stick pan (make sure to cook thoroughly)
- Place 2 Romaine lettuce leaves on a plate and transfer turkey on each one of the leaves
- Roll up and ENJOY!!!

Calories: 160
Fat: 1.9
Carbs: 2
Fiber: 2
Protein: 32.5

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Workout Challenge of the Week

 This kicked my you know what on Monday morning! Im going to try it again on Wednesday. Let me know how you do.

The 500 Calorie Treadmill Challenge


MinutesPace
0:00–10:00Warm-up jog; 5.0 mph
10:00–10:20Sprint at 7.5 mph
10:20–11:20Jog at 5.0 mph
11:20–14:00Repeat minutes 10:00–11:20 twice
14:00–17:00Jog at 5.0 mph
17:00–27:00Run at 6.5 mph
27:00–31:00 Jog at 5.0 mph
31:00–35:00Run at 6.5 mph
35:00–39:00Jog at 5.0 mph
39:00–55:00Repeat minutes 31:00–39:00 twice
55:00–60:00Gradually slow pace to cool down at jog/walk

Originally published in Fitness magazine, January 2006.

Here's to finding your NorthStar....



Week 10 Update

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all are getting to enjoy some of this beautiful Spring weather. I know i'm definitely loving it! We're having a little cookout tonight with Joshua's work partners at our house. We try to do this when the weather is nice.


So its been a week since I last updated you guys on our progress. Things are coming along better than expected. Joshua & I are feeling very confident and STRONG! Friday we had our 1st posing session with our coach. He really knows his stuff. When we got to his office Friday morning we went right into it. Of course I made Joshua go first, ha ha ha. He had to wear these tiny little speed o's and show our coach how much of his 8 mandatory poses he knows. Which wasn't to much seeing as how this is our first competition.

This is one of the harder poses for Joshua, he has to squeeze his thighs, abs, and arms while blowing air out to show all of the abdominals.. WHAT!!! I know!
There's only so much you can pick up on from watching you tube videos and reading articles. So much is involved from breathing just the right way so that you can hold the pose to show the right muscles to building your pose from the ground up. You have to start with your legs then move up to your upper body. Really intense! It was so funny because as Joshua & coach are going through each pose i'm paying close attention, so much so that i'm practically doing the poses with them! LOL By the time we finished with Joshua I was sweating and out of breath.

Then it was my turn. I had to wear our coaches wife's tiny competition suit (see image of the one i'm buying). These suits are so small and hard to get on and off with-out leaving scabs on your thighs..... However I felt smoking hott in it! Just the fact that I could squeeze my butt into it was a small victory in its self. So here I am being critiqued by our coach in the tiny suit and 5" platform stiletto's (compliments of my husband) and feeling sort of bare, I then remind myself there's only 2 other people in the room and I better get over what nerves I have because in 10 weeks this will be about 300 people or more looking and judging me. I  have to learn 4 mandatory poses and show different aspects of my body. Here is a short video of what i'll be doing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEV0ATLGaBI
These poses are equally as hard because i'm supposed to look "relaxed" but keep my muscles very tight. Really? There is nothing relaxing about that. However the more I practice the better I feel about it. Our coach has made some arrangements for us to meet with 2 pro's and really get us on the right path so he can continue to help us make progress week by week.

I know some of you might be reading this and looking at the videos and pictures saying to yourself or anyone willing to listen, "Why is she doing this? Why would she want to sacrifice food, time with friends & family all to look like a sparkley, tan, skinny "semi" bodybuilder? I mean I can see why Joshua is doing it, lots of guys are into bodybuilding..."

To those folks I say: I'm doing this because when I look at those women I see athletes. I see women who make sacrifices to get to their bodies in top condition. It takes hard work, dedication, and a strong desire to want to look your absolute best for 5-10 mins on stage. The money spent, the pain in the gym, and the clean diet are all just challenges and obstacles. I haven't been challenged like this in a long time. What I love most about it is that I choose this. I choose to challenge myself and with the support of my husband, family, and friends it's all slowly becoming a reality.

I want to purpose a challenge to all of you who want to take your health serious. What is one physical activity that you have always wanted to do but felt like you just couldn't commit your self to it? Is it a figure or bodybuilding competition, a triathlon, a marathon, a 5k, a long hike up and down the Appalachian...ect.. Whatever it is write it down. Make it a goal with a "due date". Research what it would take to train and get into shape for it. Take it serious but have fun! My first challenge was a 5k in 2009. After I finished I felt great. It was hard but VERY rewarding. You can do it to no matter what you tell yourself! Don't let that "warped self-perception" get in the way of your dreams and goals!!!!

Duh, WINNING!!! 

Here's to finding your NorthStar....


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

11 Weeks Out....

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm not sure about you but I know this time change is kicking my butt! I am physically and mentally exhausted..... The past few days waking up at my "normal" time of 4:30 am seems to be getting harder instead of easier, lol. Yes you heard me right, 4:30 am!!

Saturday and Sunday are the only days that I get to sleep past 7am and that's only because the gym doesn't open till 8 am. If you know me at all then you know it took me a long time to be able to do this without snapping someone's head off. I have NEVER been a morning person but amazingly now I am (I still have days though).

I wanted to share with you all what a typical day is like for me. Since the new year we have been training for our competition but now that we are 11 weeks from the BIG day it's crunch time. From what I understand 12 weeks out is when most competitors start training and according our trainer we are right on schedule.

Today is a weight training day so it will go like this:

4:30 am: Wake up and get dressed for gym, take supplements
5:30 am: 30 mins cardio on a empty stomach (*I was supposed to do 45 mins however I didn't get to gym early enough for that so i'll have to make up for it in my afternoon cardio)
Protein Shake
6-7:30 am: Upper body workout
- Let me just include here that this morning I was extremely tired and really didn't want to workout however on days like this I push myself harder because I do not want to walk out of that gym thinking I slacked on myself at all. If i'm going to be there i'm going to make the most of it. Its not easy doing this and that's why not everyone does it, but I just keep telling myself that puts me one step ahead of my competition and I when I stand on stage in May i'll know I did my absolute best on days I felt my worst. 
8 am: 1st Meal (Vitamins & supplements, egg whites & oatmeal)
10: 30 am: Protein shake & almonds
1 pm: Chicken with mixed green salad, balsamic vinaigrette, 1/4 cup of lentils ( Vitamins & supplements)
2 pm: 1 hour of cardio & 30 mins of abs1
3:30 pm: Blueberries and Greek yogurt
6 pm: White fish with spinach ( Vitamins & supplements)
(Bedtime) 8:30-9 pm: Blueberries and Greek yogurt

Tomorrow will look about the same expect i'll do cardio most of the day, 30-45 mins of yoga and then legs on Thursday morning. I follow this schedule 7 days a week with slight variations. Sometimes it's all I can do to get out of bed and at the end of the day i'm totally spent but when I feel like I just wanna crash on the sofa with whatever book i'm reading at the moment I think about my husband who also follows the same schedule but add in a 10 hour work day..... I then don't feel so sorry for myself. We workout opposite days of each so that he can train me in the gym on his non weight training days. I can tell you that this has done wonders for my workouts and the past few weeks I have seen some great changes in my body. He pushes me to stay on track and to get those last few reps when i'm about to fall in the floor. When I am about to give up he encourages me to add a little more weight, to go a little farther. I know that working out alone can be challenging sometimes. If you can find a partner (someone you know will push you and not just give in when your tired) then you will also start to see your workouts improve not to mention it kind of holds you accountable. When you know you have a set time to meet your workout partner your less likely to miss a gym session. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-benefits

So ask a friend, family member or someone that works out at your gym already if they wouldn't mind helping you reach your goals! You would be surprised of how supportive the people that love you the most are.

Here's to finding your NorthStar...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Warped Self-Perception....

So they other day Joshua and I were riding in the car talking about what else.... the infamous St. Patties Day party picture from 2008 I do believe. We reference this photo often along with a few others. This picture blows his mind for the sheer fact that he thought he "looked good".
Joshua: "Can you believe I actually thought I looked good?! I mean I was working out like crazy and remember we went shopping for that shirt and I thought I was ROCKING that outfit. Geezz isn't that warped up?"

Me: "Yea I just don't ever remember you looking like that..... then again I also don't remember your hand straining to stretch out across my gut in that Christmas photo."

As we both look back on photos from the past few years we cant help but laugh. When I thought I was eating healthy I was way off track, when Joshua thought he was getting loads of protein from his 16 oz prime rib for his growing muscles he was actually getting gobs of saturated fat. No one needs a 16 oz prime rib!

As I was gaining the weight I never thought that I was getting that big. I would tell myself  that the 10 lbs I gained over the past 2 months was nothing I couldn't lose in a few weeks. But then I would try on my old "skinny jeans" from high school and I couldn't even get them past my thighs. I could remember a time when those "skinny jeans" would be my fat day jeans.

Once I started losing the weight it took me awhile to toss out those old size 12's that no longer fit. I still kept seeing myself as heavy.I wouldn't congratulate myself for losing 10 or 12 lbs. I would instead beat myself up and think I wasn't doing enough and that I would never look like I once did in high school. Now when I try on a size 6 and its a bit tight I think "in a month these will fit" and so I buy them. I buy them because I know I still haven't met my goal, however I will get into those pants if I have to wait till the day of my contest!

So when seeing yourself in a warped perception take a step back, analyze what it is that your seeing. Are you trying to rationalize why you needed that extra slice of lasagna at dinner or why your shirt doesn't fit like it used to? Don't beat yourself up, just make a plan and start making changes. Being honest with yourself is the only way your "right decision" piggy bank will start filling up....



So here's to finding your NorthStar....

Monday, March 7, 2011

How I got started....


I'm so glad that so many of you have called me or read my blog and are motivated to start making some healthy changes. Please keep in mind that I am by no means a professional dietitian it's just  after so many years of diet pills and starving, I'm so glad that I was introduced to this plan because for me carb’s were my downfall. Like with any weight loss plan it will be hard to get started and stick to, however I feel carb cycling is different and a much more reasonable plan to stick to because for one: you are not totally depriving yourself of carb’s and two: you are allowed a “cheat or re-feed” meal. The hardest thing about dieting is feeling deprived and confined to the diet. Joshua & I hate the word “diet” because well a diet is something you do for a while and lose some weight but then what? You go right back to your old way of eating and feel like you’ve failed the diet!! You have to change your lifestyle if you want to be healthy and STAY healthy. With carb cycling it teaches you to stick to a plan and then you will be rewarded with your favorite meal but after that meal get right back on track! After awhile your favorite meals will change. I remember the first time we were allowed to have a cheat meal. Where did we go you might wonder… McDonald's! I had a DBL cheeseburger, Joshua had his favorite fillet of fish sandwich and we shared a small fry, LOL. What’s funny now is that McDonald's or any other fast food establishment wouldn’t be my cheat meal. It would be a very expensive dinner at a fabulous restaurant with yummy decadent dessert!!! MMMMM

The first 2 weeks were so hard. The constant eating, planning, boring food, and confusion of what cycle day is was could be mentally frustrating at times. But I always felt full, I started seeing results immediately and the best part of all I was able to stick to it. I wanted to lose the weight so bad so I  followed the plan!! I carb cycled from April to Aug and lost 20 lbs. By the time the wedding had rolled around I was used to eating 4-6 times a day and making good food choices without going overboard. I started eating the things I liked and stayed conscious of what I was eating. A week after the wedding I got right on my plan but this time I changed my high carb days to med carb days and low carb to no carb. I really stepped it up in the gym to and the weight once again started coming off. I was super motivated from the results I had before and I knew I wanted to keep going to meet my goal. At Thanksgiving I ate what I wanted that day and then right back to my plan. At Christmas I ate what I wanted and then right back to my plan. At this point when I cheated or ate something bad it made me feel bad physically and mentally. I realized I didn't need those foods anymore and my cravings seemed less and less.

Now when I do get food off my plan I really think about what that food is doing for me nutritionally and if that food is worth the set back or not. I also expect higher quality foods now. I used to be the Queen of fast food. I never thought I would be able to give it up but NOW, I wouldn't even touch that stuff. It makes me so mad to think about how much of it I was eating. Instead of comforting me it was making FAT and DEPRESSED... It should be outlawed but so should cigarettes and heroin, lol. You have to make the choice to eat crap or not.....

The best thing that I've gotten out all the weight loss, all the pain in the gym, all the times I just wanted to sleep a little longer or eat what I wanted, is empowerment. I am in total control of my body and what goes in it. I don't let food or stress control me. I have read that statement so many times in magazines and heard it on TV thinking "yea right", but its so true and now I have it.

I have listed what I like to call an "essentials kit". It will be everything you will need day to day to get started and make life easier.

- a food scale (you will be weighing all your meats)
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup
- a printed copy of clean foods and your meal plan (we put ours right on the fridge so we knew exactly what we should be eating next)
- The only time i worry about calories is when I'm not following my plan and then i try to stick to under 2000.
- a blender bottle if you will be consuming protein shakes (ask me about this if your interested)

Carb Rotation
Monday: Med
Tuesday: Med
Wednesday: Low
Thursday: Med
Friday: Low
Saturday: High
Sunday: Low

Low Carb Days- 50 grams or less
Meal 1: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 2: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 3: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ NO CARBS/ Veggies
Meal 4: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ NO CARBS/ Veggies
Meal 5: 30 grams of lean protein/ NO CARBS/ Veggies

 Med Carb Day- 50-90 grams
Meal 1: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 2: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 3: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 4: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ NO CARBS/  Veggies
Meal 5: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ NO CARBS/  Veggies

 High Carb Day- 90-100 grams
Meal 1: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 2: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 3: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 4: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ 25 grams of complex carbs
Meal 5: 4-6 oz of lean protein/ NO CARBS/ Veggies
*Cheat days will be on High Carb days.

- Eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to keep your blood sugar level
- Don't be afraid to be creative. Add spices and rubs to meat but try to limit sauces for now. If you must, a tablespoon is plenty
- Measure and weigh everything!
- Try to limit fruits for now because they are loaded in sugar which spikes your insulin. Even if its natural sugar it’s still SUGAR!

Example Day:

Low Carb Day: 
7am Meal 1: 4 Egg whites/ 1 whole egg with 1 tablespoon of salsa if you like/ 1/2 cup of plain oatmeal with cinnamon and sweet and low
10am Meal 2: 1/2 cup of cottage chz with 1/2 cup of blueberries
1pm Meal 3: 4-6 oz of grilled chx with 1/2 a sweet potato
4pm Meal 4: 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (make sure to add some sweet & low because it will taste like sour cream other wise) 
7pm Meal 5: 4-6 oz of fish with 1 cup of green beans or a salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Recommended Supplements:
Multi Vitamin
Vit C
Fish Oil


Clean Foods: Print & put on your fridge!!! & one in your purse!

PROTEINS 

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast 
Tuna (water packed) 
Fish (salmon, seabass, halibut, swai) 
Shrimp 
Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%) 
Venison 
Buffalo 
Ostrich 
Protein Powder ( Whey or egg white) 
Egg Whites or Eggs 
Ribeye Steaks or Roast 
Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry) 
Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt) 
Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon) 
Top Loin (NY Strip Steak) 
Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita) 
Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round , 96% LeandGround Round) 
Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)
Low-fat cottage cheese 
Eggs 
Low or Non-Fat Milk 

COMPLEX CARBS 

Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats) 
Sweet Potatoes 
Yams 
Beans (pinto, black, kidney) 
Oat Bran Cereal 
Rye Cereal 
Brown Rice / mulit gain rice 
Farina (Cream of Wheat) 
Multigrain Hot Cereal 
Whole wheat or Spinach Pasta 
Rice (white, jasmine, basmati, Arborio, wild) 
Potatoes (red, baking, new) 

FIBROUS CARBS (not canned) 

Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine) 
Broccoli 
Asparagus 
String Beans 
Spinach 
Bell Peppers 
Brussels Sprouts 
Cauliflower 
Cabbage 
Celery 
Cucumber 
Eggplant 
Green or Red Pepper 
Green beans 
Onions 
Pumpkin 
Garlic 
Tomatoes 
Zucchini 

FRUIT 

(limited: apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, lemons or limes 

HEALTHY FATS 

Natural Style Peanut Butter 
Olive Oil or Safflower Oil 
Nuts (peanuts, almonds 
Flaxseed Oil 
Fish oil 


CONDIMENTS & SPICES 

Water
Sugar Free Juice Mix (Wal-Mart)
Crystal Light 
Fat Free Mayonnaise 
Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce 
Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce 
Balsamic Vinegar 
Salsa 
Hot Peppers and Hot Sauce 
Chili powder 
Mrs. Dash 
Steak Sauce 
Sugar Free Maple Syrup 
Chili Paste 
Mustard 
Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc ) 
Low Sodium beef or chicken broth 
Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste) 


Its all about looking at the list, choosing your options for that meal and being creative. If you can follow this plan for 2 weeks i promise you the scale won’t lie. Then on Saturday of week 2 treat yourself to whatever you want for anyone of the meals. We would go out to eat because we never could any other time or cook greasy cheeseburgers and fries at home, lol. Homemade pizza is good to! 

Follow the plan for at least 12 weeks by then you'll have a grip on what your doing and how to meal plan. 

For the kids

We still buy things that Taylor likes to eat but that he has to prepare himself (easy things) and that are fairly healthy. Whole wheat spaghetti & sauce, turkey hot dogs on whole wheat buns, hamburgers or sloppy joes, tacos. Some snack idea's for them could be apples and peanut butter, wheat thins and low fat cheese or cream cheese, fruit. Celery and peanut butter. Carrots and light ranch. I would just really limit processed foods and encourage whole foods. That might be your biggest challenge though, lol. Kids like what they like. If they really resist you try to really make your point about why it’s important to eat healthy and what processed foods do to your body. Joshua always likes to use cavemen as an example. He says back in the day, lol, cavemen didn’t eat slim jim’s and fruit roll ups. They hunted for their meats and foraged for fruits, grains and veggies. Now it’s just handed to us through a window and we don’t even have to think about what were eating. 


On the go!

If you know your going to be running the roads all day and won’t be at home much or you work, prepare your meals the night before. I always look at my plan and try to make and package all the meals I know I will need. Turkey sandwiches on wheat bread are always an easy on the go meal. 

Exercise

Try to commit to 3 days a week of anything. Walking, tennis, at home DVD, yoga classes, or whatever interest you, for about 30-45 mins. I had already been going to the gym so I found a 4 week workout plan online and started doing that. Each 4 weeks change it up and challenge yourself more. I can also help with a weight lifting/ cardio plan if you need some help getting started.



I encourage you to do some online research about carb cycling, keeping your blood sugar levels consistent and what proteins and carb’s do for the body. It all works together for a purpose.

I will also post some recipes that we like and some informative website's to check out. Email me anytime you have a question or need help. There's nothing on this plan I haven't done myself so you can do it to!!!


Here's to finding your NorthStar

Saturday, March 5, 2011

And here I am....

Wow, I truly cant believe that me Britney, will be posting my first blog post tonight!! Many times I considered it... Different topics came to mind but never turned into a post. However today is a different story. Why you might ask? Well as of today my husband (Joshua) and I are in our final 12 weeks to our first figure/bodybuilding competition!!! It will be May 28th in Columbia, SC for The Palmetto Cup.

As I read that statement i can feel my stomach get tight, lol. I'm so nervous I can hardly stand it but also ubber EXCITED!!! For so many years I have struggled with my weight as most people have. Losing and gaining pound after pound but one year ago on Easter 2010 we were given a diet that changed our lives. My Mom had been telling me about my cousin and how she had gotten into amazing shape. I hadn't seen her in quite a while and well she was already beautiful to begin with so I thought how much could she have really changed? When I actually saw her that Easter I couldn't believe it. She had put on muscle in places I didn't know you could. Tone arms, tight abs, a butt you could bounce a dime off of and legs, oh the legs. I immediately said what are you doing and how can I get some?! Come to find out it was no special diet pill or "get slim quick" gimmick. She literally had to make a lifestyle change and on April 4th Joshua and I made that same change.

Christmas 2009


Our Amazing Wedding Sept. 4, 2010


She sent me a copy of the diet the following day which was a carb cycling schedule. It was 6 meals a day consisting of clean foods. Protein, complex (slow digesting) carbs, healthy fats and green veggies. We ate the same things everyday and each day had a different amount of carbs we ate and at different time of the day. Like if we worked out we had a post workout meal that consisted of a certain amount of protein and carb's. Let me tell you this was not easy to follow at first. Everyday we had to weigh out and measure all of our meals. If it wasn't on the list we didn't eat it. For two weeks we followed the diet and started seeing immediate results. I think I lost 6-8 lbs those first few weeks.The real amazement was that I was committed to this plan and I followed it religiously. Not to mention we also were allowed "cheat or re-feed" meal every few weeks (but for a certain reason which ill get into in later blog post). Also we followed a workout plan that we found on http://www.bodybuilding.com/. That is probably one of our top "go to" sites when we needed a workout or nutrition info. I still use it along with others now.

I continued on this plan from April to right before our wedding in September. I had went from 188 lbs to 167 lbs.  The week of the wedding and during I really didn't follow the plan at all, however I did notice that I found myself eating every two to the three hours like I was supposed to. For one: I was hungry at those times and just reacted to my body which I had never done in the past. Interesting.... Secondly: it was kind of engraved in my head that I needed to eat regardless of what I was doing because through lots of research we had found that the major component to losing weight or being healthy for that matter is regulating your blood sugar ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_sugar_regulation ). Now for a long time I didn't know exactly how it worked I just knew that if I didn't eat and I let my blood sugar spike that I would gain weight, and that was just not an option at this point. I had worked to hard and come so far but I wasn't finished I had more to lose! My goal at first was 150 lbs and so that meant I had 17 more pounds to lose. After the wedding I got right back on my plan and really stepped it up in the gym. The scale once again started moving. By Christmas I had lost another 10 lbs and was feeling so great! Now during this time from the wedding to I guess right before Thanksgiving Joshua had decided that he was going to do a bodybuilding competition. Crazy right? AND he asked me to do it with him. I quickly said "I don't think so. I am not depriving myself of all the foods I MIGHT want just for some contest I'm not gonna win." Being the amazing husband he is and always telling how I can do anything I want he really encouraged me and told me that there's no reason why I couldn't win a show eventually. For as long as I can remember I also set goals for myself. Always striving to be better tomorrow than I am today and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it. I'm 26 years old, I don't have to work and I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. I can recall many times sitting in an office by myself feeling worthless eating my cheese burger and thinking if I didn't have to work I would be in the best shape of my life. Well here was my opportunity, so I decided I was going to go for gold and do a figure competition........

After finding the right show and finding the right trainer Joshua and I got started the 2nd week of January really trying to lose as much body fat as possible. From January to today I have lost another 12 lbs coming in at 5'6 146 lbs. My contest goal weight is 135. From what I've learned about competing in figure it's not so much about the weight that I'm concerned about but as to how tone and lean I can get for the show. I will say that our trainer is nothing but great and very encouraging. He has made Joshua and I really feel like we are going to have the look and courage to stand on stage next to people that have been doing this much longer than we have. He and his wife also compete so it's safe to say they know what the heck they are doing, lol!
                                                Before                After
 Nov. 2009 @ 188Feb. 2011 @ 148 lbs
For the next 12 weeks I will consistly post here about our journey. I also want to offer any support and help that I can for anyone looking for help on getting in shape. Weather its just losing a few lbs or a lot of lbs I truly feel like since I've got the "been there done that" t-shirt I can offer some real life tips to losing the weight and keeping it off. For those of you reading this and truly wanting to change something in your life just know it can be done. You truly can have it all and find your own NorthStar. I have never been happier in my whole life and when you make the right decisions on a daily basis weather it be to eat the cheesecake or not, skip the workout or not, pay $2 more for the chicken breast instead of the fatty thigh's cause there on sale, it all adds up. And when your "right decision piggy bank" starts getting full great things start happening....

So heres to finding your NorthStar.