I have an announcement: My skinny pants are too big.
When I started this blog, I had a gained a pretty significant amount of weight. I had been out of grad school for a year, and had gotten accustomed to sitting at a desk all day and still eating anything I wanted. My body revolted.
Basically, my fat pants became my skinny pants.
***Disclaimer: I love my job – I just love this video. And I don’t like sitting all day.***
Last week my trainer made me get on a scale for the first time in a couple of months. Post-grad school sitting-on-my-butt weight is officially GONE!!!
Fat pants, be damned!!!
I still sit at a desk all day, but I adjusted my eating habits and made exercise a part of my daily routine. Just like brushing my teeth.
How did I do it?
There were many, many habits I changed, new behaviors I learned, and – last but not least – an amazing amount of self-control. I could write pages, but here are my Top 5 Factors (after the jump).
My Top 5
1. Stop eating “junk” foods. No, I don’t just mean Oreos (though dessert after breakfast did stop). The first thing I did was drop the “100 Calorie” packs, processed sugars, french fries dipped in ranch, sugary “healthy” cereals, etc. I was never a soda drinker, but if you do drink it… STOP.
2. Break the unhealthy habits. I cut way back on the junk, but still wasn’t eating as cleanly as I wanted to. After returning from a particularly indulgent amazing vacation, I began the Standard Process Cleanse. It didn’t involve starving or drinking weird lemon-cayenne-honey concoctions.
What it did do was force me to break the sugar addiction and focus on eating pure food. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Since the cleanse, I haven’t missed my 3x/day dessert-fried-buttered-12-oz-burger unhealthy habits.
3. Eat your vegetables. Mom, this is your “I told you so” moment. I now try to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. This IS NOT for everyone, but it is how my body feels best. I do eat 2-3 servings of chicken a week; other than that I’m all about veggies. Once I began eating a plant-based diet I was shocked to discover the variety of dishes I could make.
My current favorites: roasted eggplant, sweet potatoes with rosemary and lavender, spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce or salsa, “kitchen sink” salads (get creative with veggie/fruit additions and homemade vinaigrettes), lemon-garlic bok choy, fennel (roasted, sauteed, marinated), and butternut squash soup.
4. Learn what a single serving is. How can this be hard? Anyone can eye-ball a cup or a 4 oz piece of meat… right?! That’s what I thought. I thought wrong. Try measuring food for a couple of days. I’m not advocating making it a habit to measure everything – just try it long enough to get an idea of what healthy portions look like. You will be surprised at how much cereal is a cup (MORE than I thought!) and how much of that burger is a single serving (maybe 1/3… maybe).
5. Exercise + Protein. Consume 20 g of protein within 30 mins of a workout. This helps the body recover and build muscle. It also fills you up so you don’t start mindlessly eating crap raiding the pantry after an intense workout. Whey (whey = more easily digestible) protein powder shakes are my favorite – you can put anything in them!
Try in your smoothie: frozen bananas, avocado, pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes to add nutrients and a creamy milkshake-like consistency. Spinach is another awesome addition – lots of nutrients and you cannot taste it.
I am no dietitian, nutritionist, or trainer. My degrees have nothing to do with health. What I do know is that this works for me.
I hope that you can find a lifestyle that fits you, too. If you have any questions, need support, or just want to tell me how weird I am for putting kale in a smoothie, please leave a comment or email me!
To those who have jumped on the smoothie-train: what is the strangest/most delicious thing you’ve added to a smoothie?