Taking Weekends Two At a Time for Weight Loss Success

If I had waited to lose weight until I had a full 12 weeks without birthdays, parties, family get togethers, or work lunches I never would have started. In fact, I started getting serious about my weight loss in October, right before all the  major holidays. I discovered a few tricks to help. 

First, I always know if I am trying to lose weight or trying to maintain my weight. There is a difference. There is no judgement.

If I am trying to lose weight:

I say no to any food NOT on plan for two weekends at a time. After those two weekends, I can re evaluate my lose weight or maintain weight status. There is no wiggle room here. If I am trying to seriously lose weight than I must stay on plan. This means no alcohol, rich desserts.

How do I do it? I tell everyone there that I am using the 21 Day Fix to lose weight. It helps to stay away from things not on plan if I think people are watching me. 

I bring my own food. Yep, I pack what I would have eaten normally. Then, I either eat it right before I walk into the event or right after the event. Depending on the event, I might just bring it with me. My family knows that I may bring my own food and they don't care. If we are eating out,  I order Diet Coke and a salad that fits on my food plan. 

If it is a brunch or large potluck, I bring more than one dish that I can eat without breaking program. I make sure to take only the food I bring and eat it in portioned amounts.

I always have a Shakeology packet in my purse. I am not afraid to pull it out if I get stuck somewhere.

This is not deprivation, This is discipline and it is only two weeks. I literally tell myself, "Suck it up Buttercup".

Yes it is hard and yes it does suck, but at the end of two weeks when I have lost the weight and feel empowered because I was able to say  no, it pushes me towards more weight loss. 

You can do anything for two weeks.

James' Go To Meals for a Weekday

I pack my food each morning for breakfast, work, and sometimes dinner. Why? I get up at 4:00 am to work out with Kirsten, shower, and head out the door by 5:15 and it is just too early for me to eat.

Before heading to the gym, I use Beach Body's Energy and Endurance Formula. I will be switching to their new Beach Body Supplement formula that is coming out soon.

The rest of my meals are portioned using the Portion Fix program.

Morning Shakeology: (1 red) This  gets me going after my workout. Quick and easy. One scoop of Vanilla Shakeology and one squirt of Mio Orange flavor. It ends up tasting like an orange creamsicle.

Breakfast Sandwich: (2 red, 1 yellow)Two eggs, a dash of Spicy Mrs. Dash seasoning, Jennie Turkey Breakfast Patties, an English muffin and cilantro. I spray a small plastic container with cooking spray, then add two eggs, chopped cilantro, and Mrs. Dash. I close and shake. Then, in a ziplock bag I put an English Muffin and two cooked sausage patties. At work, I microwave the eggs for 1 1/2 minutes and toast the English muffin. Assemble after heating.

Taco Salad Lunch: Two green containers of lettuce, 1/2 green container of shredded carrots,1/2 green container of chopped tomato, one yellow container of pinto beans, one red container of cooked chicken, chopped cilantro, Mrs Dash, one charred pepper,  and some Taco Bell Hot Sauce!

In one container I put the lettuce. Everything else goes in a second container. This container gets heated at work and poured over the lettuce. Between the tomato and Taco Bell sauce no dressing is needed.

Dinner: (1 red, 2-3 green, 1 yellow) By the time I get home, I am starving. Luckily, we keep barbecued chicken in the refrigerator. I start with a salad. Then, heat up a scoop of chicken with sugar free BBQ sauce on it and mix with one yellow scoop of rice or quinoa. Finally, I might add in a Green of Broccoli.

Dinner on the go is not as nice. But, every Monday night I pick up Robert and take him out to Lincoln for the Junior Shooting Club. On those nights, I pack myself a simple sandwich, baby carrots and an apple. (1yellow, 1 red, 1 green) I use spicy mustard and avocado to replace mayonnaise.

Two full purple containers of fruit and half a banana or pear get me through the day and my fruit taken care of. I also pack plenty of baby carrots. These snacks replaced my bags of chips and cookies. Fruit seems super expensive at the grocery store, but considering what we used to spend on chips, cookies, and protein bars for my snacks, I don't question the value.

At night I might have a second chocolate Shakeology , unsweeted Almond Milk, and peanut butter in it for a chocolate peanut shake.

Prepping for the Week: So how do I pack all of my food every day? We do a ton of prep on Sundays. It starts on Saturday night when Kirsten uses the crock pot to soak and cook dried pinto beans. They are much cheaper and have no salt in them.

Then she marinates skinless, boneless chicken breasts three different ways. The first is with garlic, Mrs Dash, and balsamic vinegar. The second, is with salsa and Spicy Mrs Dash. The final flavor is new, Sugar Free BBQ sauce.

Sunday morning,  we wash and cut the fruit and lettuce. Fruit like grapes stay on their vines. Strawberries only get their tops cut off. All tupperware gets a piece of paper towel in the bottom to absorb any extra moisture.

Then, we bbq the chicken and throw some small peppers on the grill to char. We slightly under cook the chicken. YES, we know about salmonella.  By the time the chicken completely cools and then after we reheat it at work, it is fully cooked. We hate dry chicken! Once fully cooled, all chicken gets cut up into little squares so that they are easier to measure with the containers.

This makes my daily breakfast, lunch and dinner prep extremely easy. When I get home from work, I clean out my lunch bag and prep for the next day in under ten minutes.

Cooking dinner takes just as long because everything is ready to go, it just has to be combined and reheated.

With a fridge full of prepped, healthy food it is easier to grab something good for us than cook something that will not help us reach out goals.

This Morning I Decided to Give Up (caution bad language!)

Last week, James and I started P90X3 and from the first second I hated it.

While I complained through the whole workout about Horton's comments to the women about their outfits, his annoying personality, and bad jokes....I worked out right alongside James. James said I would get used to him. I did.

 After the workouts, I was tired and sore so I kept up my commitment to do it for 90 days. "Trust the process", I told myself. It will work.

This morning I got up and we followed our normal routine. James turned on the iPad and we started. Tuesday is AgilityX....working on agility. I went through the warm up robotically, half assing it. When he started jumping around on one foot my legs wouldn't move and my knees hurt.  The lateral movements were not happening. Nine minutes in, James was breathing hard and sweating. I was barely breaking a sweat.

I threw a tantrum. "Fuck. I am done". I stomped to the other side of the room, grabbed my sweater and keys and left.

On the way home, I thought about a lot. The time I gave up on high school volleyball because I was tired of Varsity players talking smack about my weight and lack of endurance during practice. My Senior year when I decided against Track because I knew the new throwing Coach was going to make us run more than a lap during practice. The best? Being cornered by several girls in the Junior High locker room. That was super fun.

Anyway, I got home and knew that if I didn't do something that I would be more pissed at myself. I needed the release that I usually get with weight lifting,but I was too defeated to walk back to the gym.

Instead, I turned on Beach Body on Demand and chose Insanity Max cardio workout. It wasn't magical, I didn't suddenly "get it". I had to fight with myself the first ten minutes. "Just do it". I repeated several times n my head. But my knees didn't hurt and the warm up warmed me up enough to get going.

I am now out of the shower, glad that I quit. If I had stayed and done Agility, I likely would have hated it, fought it, and regretted sticking to it. My knees and body were not cooperating. Next week, I am going to do a longer warm up. I am hoping that warming up longer will prepare my knees and legs to complete the agility training.

Plus, I got a great cardio workout.

Weekly Grocery Store List

Prep is essential for success and it starts in the grocery store. My next challenge group starts in eleven days. Next weekend, my friends will be facing the challenge of grocery shopping for fuel instead of food. We eat to live. What we put into our bodies matters!

Weekly Grocery List
boneless, skinless chicken breast, ground turkey,avocadoes, lettuce, shredded carrots, baby carrots
seasonal fruit,frozen broccoli*, baby bell peppers chickpeas*,Tahini,garlic ,almond milk*eggs, lots of eggs*,whole wheat bread,whole grain rice or quinoa*, english muffins, turkey sausage patties
lean lunch meat, and Mio Orange Vanilla water flavoring*

Must Haves:
Shakeology,sugar free bbq sauce*,Mrs Dash Flavoring (salt free)*,olive oil*,virgin coconut oil,natural peanut butter*,dried pinto beans*,coffee,sunflower seeds
** these items will last a long time in your pantry or are cheaper in bulk.

What I don't buy
Buying pinto beans this way allows
 me to lower my cost to pennies
Chips, candy, baked goods, ice cream, protein bars, or anything else that isn't a real food. Yes, it sucked for my son and husband at first. There were some cranky days at my house. However, they don't need that crap either. Now that I have better self control, I do keep Goldfish in the house. However, Robert has also lot weight and is healthier. James and I now do the Portion Fix together and he has lost 16 pounds.

What May Surprise You
I still buy and drink Diet Pepsi. I know, I know. It is horrible for my teeth and my body. It is the one thing I keep in my diet from my previous diet!

Ways to Stay Frugal

Shakeology: There are lots of protein shakes out there. Shakeology makes me feel more energetic and has high quality ingredients. I have gotten the price down to about $4.00. Seem expensive? I used to spend over $5.00 on a latte coffee drink or $10.00 on lunch out. Since I use Shakeology as a meal, I don't have to feel guilty.

Don't Let Food Go Bad: I clean and fully dry fruit/veges. I also place a paper towel in the tupperware container with them to collect excess moisture. I never cut strawberries until needed and I  keep grapes on the stem until the night before I plan to eat them. When my bananas start to go bad or I can't get through all of the strawberries, I freeze them to use in shakes.

$2.50 for this package
which will become four meals
for me.
Beans: We used to buy canned beans. Now, I buy them dry and cook up a batch in my crockpot overnight. I throw in some Mrs Dash and garlic. It keeps me on control of the salt content and they are SUPER SUPER cheap. They stay good all week. I throw an egg in them for breakfast. James uses them in his lunches. Robert likes bean and cheese burritos.

Hummus: This is part of my daily snack. I don't care for vegetables, but if I can dip the veges in hummus I like it. Hummus is expensive so I started making my own on Sundays. It doesn't take long and it is much cheaper than buying it. It lasts all week in the fridge. It is also a lot cheaper at Costco.

Deals on Meat: Friday mornings seems to be the day that Safeway puts its mean on sale. After speaking to the butcher, I discovered that the ground turkey and chicken breasts can be frozen for several months even after they are on discount. This week I picked up a ton of chicken for 1.50 a pound and packages of ground turkey for 50% off. I know we will eat it, so when I see it I stock up and freeze immediately.

If Your Primary Focus is Food

When I started my weight loss journey, I could not focus on food, working out, work, and my family all at once. I had to focus on reducing my caloric intake, first.

I suggest the following Beach Body products if you are going to start with weight loss and build from there.

a. Shakeology: Packed full of nutrition and a no brainer. It is one meal of a day that is all nutrition, no prep work, and tastes good.  Order the subscription so that it is automatically delivered to your door. Remember, keep it easy and simple!

b. Portion Fix: This system comes with simple portion control containers. Each container corresponds to a food group and is designed to deliver just the right amount of food. The nutrition guide lays out how much you eat each day. You spend time on Saturday or Sunday prepping your food and then use the containers as "scoops" during the week. No foods are off limits. However, to get the best and fastest results choose from the provided food lists.

These two products are simple. They are effective. However, they are not magic.

That is why I insist that all of my clients also join my Challenge Group. Challenge groups are like minded people who are all working on different fitness and weight goals, but keep each other motivated and accountable.

I  lead my groups with SMART skills in mind.  These skills are specific ways that you can set up your life for success.

I look forward to help you reach your goals!

Fitting It All In! How I Manage To Home School, Work, and Take Care of Myself

It is 4:52 pm by this time of day I  have worked out, home schooled my 8 year old son, solved a testing nightmare at my part time job as a school administrator, and got some laundry done. I still need to prep for tomorrow and take the dog to the dog park. I get a lot done in my day. Here is a quick look at how I do it.

Sunday Funday? Sunday is the day that I set myself up for success. I get up and work out. Notice, I did not say get dressed. I sleep with my workout clothes on. Yeah, real sexy...huh? This is one part of my day that never changes. In fact, I don't let myself shower until I have worked out.

30 minutes of intensity makes me sweaty. Lifting weights pushes out the stress of the day before. Shower and Safeway are my next two tasks.

BBQ Prep

I shop on the outside of the story. Eating real food makes grocery shopping easy. If it comes in a box, probably not going to need it.

Later that day, my husband and I prep everything and prepare all of our  snacks, lunches, and dinners for the next three days. Three days seems to be that magical number when things are still fresh and taste good. We pack our breakfasts and lunch for the next day.

Vege Prep
I  also prep my son's work for the week. I use some purchased curriculum, but I mostly create it on my own. .I put my lesson plans on a Google Doc so that I can easily share it with his Educational Advisor every two weeks. I can also use it to link to videos, documents, and assignments.It is my way of keeping us on track and making sure that my son's education doesn't lose out to my busy schedule.

Bedtime at my house is about 7:00. Wait, 7:00 you say? Yes. At 7:00 all electronics go off and all three of us snuggle in our bed to watch out favorite TV shows. I doze off about 8:00. At that point, my son goes to his room to quietly play Legos, draw, or read. He puts himself to bed at 9:00

Or at least we thought he did. Then, one night I woke up to pee at 11:45 and discovered his light was still on and he was in the middle of an epic Lego battle. Since that time, we are working on setting an alarm to remind him to go to bed.

After Day 1 P90X3
I wake up at 3:30...I mean James wakes me up at 3:30. We drink a pre workout supplement and then take the dog to the park. After that we hit the gym. Right now we are doing P90X3 together. After that, shower, dress and breakfast. My favorite right now is Peanut Butter Chocolate Shakeology!

After James leaves for work, I sit down and put on my coaching hat. I contact potential members, update my Challenge Facebook pages, check on the progress of my members and  read about new products and offers.

Robert wakes up about 7:00 am, and wanders down for breakfast. After breakfast we start with his journals. He journals, I blog. No TV or electronics until his work is done! Most days are pretty smooth, we have hit our groove by this time of year.  He likes to get his work out of the way before I leave for work. That way he can have fun with Grandpa or Grandma. while I am gone.

I work  as a charter school administrator. My program supports homeschooling families with on site classes and Educational Advisors. When I am there I am "on". Think of it as one part Vice Principal, one part janitor, and one part noon duty aide. Since I pack  my food, I don't have to go out to lunch or fall prey to Teacher Room Goodies.

Robert takes several classes at my site, so often by the end of the day we are both there, tired, hungry and a little bit cranky. When we get home, I am thankful for the prepped meals we have. It is easy to pull out of the refrigerator. If I get stuck at work, I will have another Shakeology to tide me over.

Once or twice a week, I drive Robert to an evening activity. I try to keep these to a minimum. Right now he is in a Shooting Club and Boy Scouts. Keeping a balance between his activities, our work, and our activities is something we pay close attention to.

Friday Night and Saturday
By the end of the week, I am physically and emotionally tired. The workout remains and I am still eating real foods that I prep and pack.
James and Robert Spent
Saturday Playing Inverness

Friday, Robert's work tends to be lighter and we finish up whatever has not gotten done. I put all of the homeschooling things away before I leave for work and pick up anything that is out of place. James starts laundry before going to work and we slowly get through it by Saturday night.

I try to keep Saturday empty of plans. In the morning we clean the house. If we need to relax, we relax. If James and I need alone time, we get a sitter and go out. Saturday is about doing what we feel like doing not what we have to do.

It might seem busy, but we made the decision to home school, work, be fit, and spend time as a couple. The only way we have found to make it work and be happy is to use every minute. 

Life Changes and So Must We...Even if it Pisses Her Off

This is the second blog post that James and I are co writing. IF you missed "Getting Fit When Your Partner is Getting Pissed" Check that out first. I was a reluctant workout wife. James has always kept moving silently and slowly forward, despite my attitudes and griping. His own journey has become a model for my own.

K:Life was good and we bought a great house. It was big enough for James to have his own home gym.

J: I was so excited. My own room, no more dark, cold  garage in the morning. I was surprised that she agreed. I guessed that Kirsten now understand the importance of working out and fitness. Her only caviate was to keep it clean. 

K:It makes my laugh that James thought I had an epiphany about how important fitness is. Really, I saw the home gym as a way of getting him to stay at home and work out so that I could go to California Fitness, go to Target, and have time away from home. What he doesn't seem to remember was that I didn't want him to spend money on new equipment or programs.

J:I installed a pull up bar in the ceiling and flat screen in the corner.For Christmas I asked for and received The Beast program, a bench and a curl bar from my parents.

K:Fast forward two years. Robert just finished what we like to call, "The year of Kindergarten Hell". I quit my full time job to homeschool our son and started working part time as a school administrator. I quickly packed on 15 pounds. The next year, we decided to continue homeschooling and had to sell our house and home gym to move into a much smaller apartment. James, ever my consistent strength, invited me to work out with him the first morning we woke up in our apartment.

J:She surprised me. She came with me before the crack of dawn and got all hot and sweaty with me at the community gym it was awesome! It has become our little routine, to get up and work out, before the world wakes up and makes demands on us.  
K:Today we started P90X3. I complained and found every reason why I couldn't do it. James didn't criticize or argue. He did wake up at 3:30, take the dog to the dog park, wake me up, carry the band to the gym for me, set up the band so that I could do it the program with modifications, and started the dvd.