I want to check in again with a fitness update and what I’ve been doing. This is kind of a way for me to look back on what I’ve done, liked and thought during a certain phase of (hopefully) ongoing physical fitness and healthy eating.
My T25 program ended at the end of June. Just in time for the 4th of July. I was happy to relax and have a great time with my family and eat all the good picnic food, have drinks and still get a few workouts in.
Enjoying some Boones Farm (classy) on the patio for the 4th of July.
Current fitness routine:
- I’m repeating T25, doing 9 weeks instead of 10. I do double videos every M, W & F.
- Run my dog at least 1 mile Monday-Friday.
- Tues, Thur & Sat are a mix of running, biking and swimming depending on the weather.
- Most my workouts are 1 hour – never more than 2 hours. This is a very small snippet of my day but a mental game changer for me.
It’s hard to say no to swimming when the biggest lake in ND is minutes from your house. This is Walleye Bay on Sakakawea.
- Sundays are almost always my rest day doing very little other than stretching for 30 minutes. That is a long time to stretch but it has made such a difference in the way I feel and my flexibility, especially in my hips. My mind and body are very happy after my stretching. I also try to keep active around the house on Sundays by cooking and cleaning. Yes, that is active work to me.
Me on a Sunday, lol.
As far as food I am aiming for about 40% protein and 40% carbs and 20% (healthy) fat. I’m not super strict with what I eat but during my initial T25 program I played around and these ratios seem to work for ME and make me feel the best. On weekends I am more relaxed but try not to go hog wild. I definitely need carbs to fuel my workouts. I get most my carbs from fruit, veggies and whole wheat bread/pitas. For my protein I try to eat a lot of lean meat, lean ground beef and a sprinkle of cottage cheese or yogurt/dairy.
A few reasons why this way of eating works for me/why I do it/recent changes:
- Flexibility. I allow myself treats but try to keep it in moderation. (<<<This is an ongoing struggle for me finding balance and moderation. I am definitely an all or nothing type of person.)
- I love (most) vegetables. Veggies are a great source of energy and carbs depending on what you eat.
- More fruit. I’m not a huge fruit fan. I have come to love cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, grapes and sometimes apples. Obviously, being summer these fruits taste even better since they are in season.
- Cost of protein. The cost of chicken is comparatively low to pork or beef. We buy a lot of chicken breasts at Sam’s Club where it is $2 a pound and freeze them individually for later use. Luckily, we do also have beef in our freezer so I don’t have to buy that and it is lean.
- I drink alcohol now. In the first phase of T25 I cut out booze for 6 weeks. I think this was a game changer for me as far as what I eat. It helped me clean up my diet and not nursing a hangover was a nice change on Saturday mornings. But, that isn’t really a long term solution for me as I love drinks. I definitely drink less now and try to say no to random nights of drinking. But I certainly indulge on a weekend here or there.
- Nothing is off limits. If I want something, I eat it. Or drink it! But only if it is “worth it” to me.
I eat a LOT of food. As in quantity. I work with mostly men and they are always commenting on how much I eat. I am a volume eater so by eating healthy items, you can fill your plate up without going wild in terms of fat, calories, processed food, etc.
Right now here are my “go-to” items:
- Breakfast: protein pancakes made with banana, scrambled eggs with onions and pepper, PB&J toast, yogurt, fruit
- Lunch: Huge salads with lean meat, tomato, cucumber, pepperoncini’s, mustard, onion, cilantro, pickles, feta cheese and hummus. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, green beans
Roasted broccoli & cabbage, sweet potato, grilled chicken, onions and topped with sriracha and mustard.
- Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meatballs, taco salads/wraps, stir fry, salads, grilled protein and vegetables, pita pizzas, stuffed potatoes, slushburgers
- Snacks: Rice cakes with peanut butter or lean meat and hummus, yogurt, PB&J caramel rice cake, fruit, veggies with hummus
Cantaloupe, high protein yogurt with sugar free strawberry jelly, peanut butter and a caramel rice cake crumbled on top.
For me, I personally feel that “fad” diets are not long-term solution. Take low-carb, for example. I have tried this before. You WILL see results. But guess what? This way of life isn’t sustainable (to me). If I didn’t have carbs there is no way I could push myself in my workouts. Low-carb left me feeling light-headed and like a space cadet. No sugar diet? Eh – it depends on how far you take it. No added sugar might be a better option. Guess what – all fruit has sugar. Honey, fructose, sucralose, etc. It’s all sugar. It comes down to the same thing. I know some people freak out because Sriracha hot sauce (one of my faves) has sugar in it. But then they will go an eat cake or candy bars as a treat? But you are concerned about a little added sugar in a sauce you use sparingly?? Seems odd to me. I put that stuff on everything anyway, sugar or not.
White potatoes are not the devil. I eat them. You can eat anything you want, but find out what makes you feel good. If you are eating to loose weight, you just have to create a calorie deficit. You could eat only donuts and do that. I prefer to eat food that makes me feel good including cheese. Mmmm, feta.
To each their own. I do believe in doing what works for you. HOWEVER, if you are looking to change your eating habits, I strongly encourage you to try more real food, food that isn’t processed and has no added ingredients. Change takes time. I haven’t always loved fruit or cabbage or whatever, but I found ways to prepare it that I like and your taste buds DO change over time. I promise! How your body reacts to food also changes. I still love fried food (OMG LOVE) but when I eat it now, especially if it is extra greasy, I pay for it. I feel icky the next day and it (TMI) messes with my digestion. I feel amazing when I am eating mostly all real foods and getting my workouts in. I love to sweat and I love to workout. I don’t always love it during my workout, but afterwards, I feel so accomplished. Next weekend I hope to have a post with some tips that worked for me on tips to eating healthier as I truly believe it is a progression.
After a run with my dog friend, Winston.
Still using my heart rate monitor. Love this Polar FT7.
I was recently asked by someone what my final goal was. That kind of stumped me. I want to continue adding muscle to my frame. I want to be fit, in shape and athletic. I’m not sure if I will maintain this pace of working out though? I am thinking of taking a bit of time off soon just to let my body rest and recover before I go on my next venture later this fall? I know you can quickly lose fitness though, so I don’t want to break too long.
In that same vein, I was recently told by someone I casually know that I was “too skinny” and didn’t look good. Well. Thank you kindly. I wonder if you would have said that I was “too fat” 80 pounds ago? As a woman, I am appalled that we just “can’t win”. People will always criticize you – whether out loud or internally. I try to be happy and support everyone. I believe if you send out good vibes, they are returned. I think that is called karma. As long as you are happy with yourself, I am happy for you no matter your size, shape, color, etc.
I will say though, if I had one wish for everyone – it is for them to feel healthy. I feel fit, clear minded and so capable. Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t been easy. I’ve been going at this and learning what works for me for over a year! I’m still dialing in on what my body tells me and fueling properly. If you are looking to make a change in your life though, the only thing standing in your way is you and time. YOU need to commit to change because time is a sonofabitch and certainly won’t stop for you. Don’t keep putting off tomorrow. Start today! I’m so thankful off all the women(!) along the way who have helped me in my fitness. Generally, if you ask a friend, they will help you or give advice. (Except that one time I asked how to run faster and I was told to run with faster people. OK, thanks.) I am motivated by other people fighting hard in fitness classes, posting on Instagram their workouts and the struggle to improve.
I sound like a cheerleader, right? But truly – it is worth it if you want it. I like this I saw on Instagram (by the way – I post mostly food/fitness and animal stuff on Instagram at feistyeats, follow me.)
Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist
While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!
Sincerely, The Opportunist
See you next weekend for some tips on healthy eating tips that worked for me to gradually eat healthier. Have a great weekend! I am off to the ND State Fair with my Mom to indulge in some goodies (moderation!) and see Brad Paisley in concert.