Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 months and 18 lbs later...

Back in January I took a look at myself and didn't like what I saw.  I was overweight, out of shape and most importantly just unhappy.  It all started May 31, 2008.  Logan and I were on our honeymoon and we were sitting down to order lunch.  I was torn between two items.  One which was healthy and light, the other very fattening.  Logan reminded me that I had worked really hard for the months leading up to the wedding to look great in my dress and I deserved not to think about calories.  Order what you want.  So I did.... for that meal and every meal for the next 4 years.  Well, the honeymoon was over and at my peak I was 20 lbs heavier.  Time to make a change.  So I added to my list, 'spend 3 months dedicating to getting in the best shape of your life and take photos to remember it.'

One of the things I wanted to do for Logan before we got married was something many brides want to do for their grooms to be.  I wanted to give him a couple of photos of me looking my absolute best.  That way, years later when my body has been abused from childbirth, I have ketchup stains on my shirt and cheerios in my hair, he can look back and remember what I once looked like.  But then as it always does, life happened.  I got wrapped up with planning a wedding as well as our conference for work (which happened to be on the day after my wedding) that I never got around to a photo shoot.

There I was, 20 lbs heavier without the 'baby weight' excuse, dreaming of a body I once had.  So, what was I going to do about it?  I spent the first month on an extreme diet to drop the extra weight, then I spent  the following 3 month weight training with P90X and training for a 1/2 marathon.  Once complete, I finally looked and felt like me again.

Heaviest Weight tipping the scale at 148 yikes!

January 1 Official Start Weight:  146.2
May 1 Finished: 128

Down a total of 18.2 lbs, 19 total inches (6.5 inches off my waist and 6 of my hips)  Down 12.45%

Not only was I able to drop the extra weight that I wanted to lose, but I also gained confidence I haven't had in a long time, feel healthier and stronger then I ever have and now have a routine that will stick with me for life.  I plan on continuing my healthy lifestyle so I can keep my weight under 135 lbs. (I'd like to say I will keep it at 130 but the truth is I love food way too much.  I will just try to eat a couple veggies in a non-fried form more often.)

April 22nd - Completed a 1/2 Marathon!

I also wanted to share a little advice for anyone who is trying to lose weight or try to get healthy based on my experience.

1.  Set realistic goals and a realistic timeline.  Otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.
2.  Use a tool to see how many calories you should consume each day to get to your goal weight.  My average was 1200 per day.
3.  Find healthy foods that you love - if you don't like what you are eating, then you wont stick to it.  I found that I LOVE apples, Brussels and smoothies (recipe below) so I had a lot of them.
4.  Keep variety in your diet!  If you are eating chicken and broccoli every day for 12 days straight you are going to train yourself to HATE chicken and broccoli.
5.  Give yourself a cheat day each week.  ONE day where you don't eat healthy or work out and be okay with it.  (In moderation.  No reason to house a full pizza at lunch, 20 wings and a basket of fries for dinner and a sundae for dessert.)  Also - be able to get right back into eating healthy the next day.
6.  If you really want to lose weight, say bye bye beer.  (Alcohol in general)  Empty calories.  My first month I cut out alcohol and probably lost 5 lbs of beer weight alone.
7.  Strength training is just as important as cardio which is just as important as your diet.  You can't just do one.  You have to do all 3.
8.  There are no tricks or miracles.  Those girls you see in magazines with perfect bodies have probably never eaten a cheeseburger and are in the gym 7 days a week.  Not to mention, a crazy amount of retouch done!  There are no short cuts - you have to just work hard.  It sucks.  If one of you did find a miracle drug that allows you to eat what you want when you want, never work out and still look like a Victoria Secret's model please let me know.  I want to get in on that.  And if you are reading this saying, I eat whatever I want and I just can't gain weight - I'll always be a size 0 no matter what I do.  Then I hope you choke on a cheeseburger. 

Casey's Favorite Smoothie Recipe: (AKA the Green Monster)
In a blender combine:
1 single serving sized container of vanilla Greek yogurt
1 banana
1 large scoop of peanut butter
1 cup of vanilla Almond Milk
1 cup of ice
As much fresh baby spinach as you can pack into the blender (at least 2 cups full)

Makes about 2 smoothies - I would either make one for Logan and me or I would put the other one in the freezer for the next morning.  This is full of protein and perfect to drink after a hard work out or a long run.  It replenishes your body of the good things it needs after a work out.  Should be used in replace of your meal - so if you work out at night, this would be your dinner substitute.

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