Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Unveils a Diet Challenge-7 lbs in 7 weeks

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Queens and consider myself a native New Yorker at heart.  When I moved to Maryland twenty-two years ago, (I still can’t believe it has been that long) there were a few things I had to get used too.   First off, I walked like the roadrunner on speed. I was like the person who races down the people mover at the airport while everyone is casually standing on the belt.  My speed was a testament to my NYC roots until my roommate told me to slow down. 
Second, nobody…and I mean nobody, wore their purse strapped across their chest.  Harkening back to my subway days where you always had a purse around your chest and one hand resting by the zipper or opening.  Third, everything closed really early (especially in the burbs) and opened later than I was accustomed too.  What do you mean I can’t buy a gift for the teacher 10 minutes before I’m supposed to present it to her because the mall doesn’t open until 10:00?  Clearly, I needed to plan better.
The last thing I had to get used too was Spring's quick turnaround.  Now, I admit, the last few winters have been rather mild, and I’m not complaining by any means, but the thing about Spring here is that it’s all or nothing. There’s no in between.  For example,  this year, it snowed the last week of March and the entire spring break was cloaked in coldness, rain squalls, and 40 degree temps, and then, BOOM, blistering 90 degree temps where I actually had to turn the air conditioning on.  It’s crazy! The buds on the trees don’t know what to do with themselves.   The cherry blossoms decided they weren’t ready during “peak” season and refused to blossom on time.  My cabbage plants can’t really decide whether to die or not. 
The worst part for me however (aside from the allergies), is that I have gone from jeans and boots to summer clothes overnight.  Didn’t even have time to pull out the Capri’s and short sleeve shirt, no siree, I had to go straight to shorts and a tank top…and it wasn’t pretty.  The shorts were a wee bit tight, and the tank was too short to cover where the shorts were too tight.  UGH! Same dilemma; different spring. 
Now, I could lament that I recently had the flu, which knocked me out for 6 days with an additional week just to be able to breathe again.  I could also confess that prior to my illness; I neglected the basic tenets of good eating and exercise. The kids were sick, the hubby was away, and I was just exhausted. However, I choose to make myself accountable, rather than lament (eventhough I just did). Yes, I am rolling out my spring plan and I hope I inspire you all to create a plan as well.  Here are the basic  rules of your plan.
1.       It has to be realistic
2.       It has to be do-able
3.       You have to try to stick with it
4.       You have to re-set your mental attitude.
My Plan
7 lbs in 7 weeks.  That’s right, I am on board, ready to fight the fat fight, just in time for Memorial Day where G-d help me, I will have to put on a bathing suit (or maybe just hope for another snowstorm, it could happen, right)?
Basically, it’s one pound per week.  It’s realistic, totally do-able, not too extreme, and if you want to join me, you can.  Now, I realize I am not going to emerge a bikini model (probably as likely as a snow storm in May) but, at this age, bikini model really isn’t the goal anymore.  The goal is to be comfortable in my own skin, to feel good and to be the best I can be.   

The plan begins with the dreaded weigh in…check (and in the spirit of accountability, it was 137.5).  Yes, I did it on an empty stomach, yes, I took off every stitch of clothing, and yes, I took my hair out of its piled up bun.  Hey, hair on top your head adds weight.  No judging.
Below are some sample meal and workout plans.  I will be writing on what works and what doesn’t. Remember, just because it works for me, doesn't mean it works exactly the way for you. The point is to get an idea of what a clean diet consists of and a realistic workout schedule.
Workout Plan
Monday-Weights, Biceps and Triceps (Three- mile walk)
Tuesday- Cardio /Cage class/Shoulders Weights
Wednesday- Weights-Back and Chest
Thursday-Cage (We use bands on this day…KILLER)
Friday- Active Rest (possibly three- mile walk)
Sat. –Rest (or a walk)Sunday- Leg workout (We will see how sore I am from Thursday's bands)
Meal Plan
Nothing drastic….It's clean eating, but I like my carbs, and I need them. I just cut them down a bit, and focus on eating them closer to the morning hours…Here is a sample day.
Breakfast- Most days
Green tea with Lemon-before I eat anything, I start with this brew.
Oatmeal ½ cup
½ TBSP coconut oil ( yes, it’s a healthy fat and it fills you up)
1-2 TBSP wheat germ
¼ cup blueberries (or whatever berry I have on hand)
½ TBSP shredded unsweetened coconut/1 tsp. agave nectar 
On days where I know I can’t sneak a snack, breakfast looks like this, it's a little bigger
2 whole-wheat waffles
½ TBSP coconut oil as a spread
1 tsp. agave
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. wheat germ
Handful of berries

Handful of almonds (around 10)
1 piece of 80% chocolate (gotta have the chocolate)
1-2 TBSP dried tart cherries or half an apple
Coffee with cinnamon and ¼-cup 1% milk

Lunch (this is my latest favorite)
½ cup black beans
2 TBSP corn
1 tsp. olive oil
¼ piece of avocado
Serving of protein (chicken, tuna, or 2 veggie nuggets)
1 corn taco shell
I usually mix the beans, corn, parsley and avocado together and place the protein on top, or put it in a taco shell.
Small Clementine, or a few strawberries
Water-about three cups (24 oz)

Snack-Mid Afternoon 
1cup Greek Yogurt1/2 banana or berries
1 TBSP flaxseed
Water or green tea (24 oz)
Dinner- Always changes depending on what I make the kids or if the hubby is home.  Last night I ate another bean/corn serving with some leftover chicken and a few Brussels sprouts.

Late night snack- When I work out with weights at night, I still have to eat something afterward.  Here is my latest fave.  I only ate half of the recipe.  The rest is for today’s snack.
1-cup Greek yogurt
1 serving Whey protein powder Vanilla
1 tsp. cocoa powder
Mix it all together, cover with foil, and leave in fridge for at least an hour.  It has the consistency of pudding, and a whopping 22 grams of protein.  I ate half of it with a tsp. of raw pumpkin seeds and a smattering of chocolate chips. YUM.
Water for workout

Cheat Days:
I have dedicated Fridays as a cheat day.  I know, I just started and I’m already cheating.  Well, I need to cheat, I live to cheat, and cheating is the only way I can do it.  Therefore, I cheat responsibly.  I usually bake cookies for the kids on Friday for the week.  I love to indulge in cookie dough and a few cookies.  I do it in the earlier part of the day, so there is still time to burn the calories off just by being active. I will blog more on the cheat, and if it works. 
Week One
This week has been okay, and since I only weighed myself this a.m., I can’t tell you if I lost anything, so my plan is to do it once a week, probably on Tuesdays, as that gives me some time to regain footing from any weekend indiscretions.  From a psychological and physical perspective, I feel pretty good.  I am very sore, as I haven't worked out in a month and attended my cardio/cage class this past Tuesday.  I wasn't even up to snuff in terms of intensity, and I had to use my inhaler as my breathing capacity wasn't fully there. I didn't slack, I just didn't ramp it up, and I'm still sore!
My little clothes shopping expedition wasn't great.  Probably shouldn't do these sabotage type activities until I have seen some results, but I really needed some spring couture.  Let's just say, I bought one item out of the five thousand things I tried on.  It was further motivation to stay on track, eventhough I wanted to plunge into a pool of ice cream.  
So, there it is, my Spring plan.  Tell me what you think, give me suggestions. Ask me a question.  I am sure this will be seven weeks of success, frustration and soul searching.  I promise to be accountable, I plan to be realistic, I hope to be inspiring. 
Stay tuned! 





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