This is what works for me:
Cardio – Elliptical or run 4-5 days\week first thing in the morning on any empty stomach (30 – 50 minutes, depending on how much time I have that day). We purchased a SOLE elliptical for our house a few years ago. My husband was hesitant to buy gym equipment for the house, but when I factor in the number of times that we have used it, it has paid for itself. I use the elliptical on weekdays and I run on the weekends with the kids in the stroller.
For weights, I use the P90X\P90X2 workout 2-3 days a week. This workout is tough and Tony Horton can be annoying at times, but it really works. I like it because it gives me a good full body workout and I really have no idea what to do for weight lifting. If I don’t have time to do the entire P90X workout, I just do some of the moves from these workouts.
You can also go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/. Click on the body part that you want to work and lift away!
A few things that I have learned about exercise:
1. There is no magic exercise that will make you thin. What you look like is determined 80% by nutrition, 20% by exercise. Focus on getting your diet right and then a little exercise (any exercise) will just speed up the weight loss process. I have always been pretty active but I didn’t start seeing real results until I started eating clean and eating frequently. Just make sure that you have some sort of resistance training in your routine. Do what you like to do. Abs are made in the kitchen!
2. Spot reducing – doesn’t work. My bottom half has always been my problem area so I would always work on that part and not focus as much on my abs and arms. You need to work all of your muscles to get a high metabolism. Your problem areas will work themselves out when you do this.
3. Exercise vs. sleep – which is more important? I often run into this problem. It is 10 pm before I know it, and I haven’t had time to do any exercise that day. I have learned that sleep is more important. If I don’t get enough sleep, I am cranky and I have a hard time focusing at work. If you do not get enough sleep, your metabolism will not function properly, which causes weight gain. So, on my super busy weeks, I choose sleep over exercise and just make sure that I am sticking to my clean diet.
Hope that helps!
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”. – Yogi Berra
This quote really hits home for me. When I got pregnant for the first time, I had no idea where I was going. I was a ship without a captain. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a stay at home mom, open my own business, work part time, full time – SO MANY CHOICES!
So, it was time to set some goals. How did I do this? I read books, interviewed moms who have done all of the above things, attempted things outside of my comfort zone, and just did some serious soul searching. After lots of sleepless nights, this is what I came up with (in no particular order):
1- Make Partner at Deloitte
2- Be a super awesome mom and wife – My family comes first – ALWAYS. End of story.
3- Have 3-4 kids – My husband and I have always wanted a big family. 3 vs. 4 is a big debate in our house (more to come on that). If you are my boss and you are reading this, do not worry. Baby #3 will not be joining us at any time in the near future. 🙂
4- Be featured in a fitness magazine – lofty goal, but why the heck not!?!
5- Do all of the above things with style – My grandmother always said, “dress nice and wear lipstick, you will be glad you did.” I live by this rule.
Each time I must decide if I am going to do something, I revisit my goals. If it does not get me closer to one of my goals, I do not do that thing. I also try to do at least one thing each day to get me closer to each goal (small steps). You have to start somewhere, right?
Another thing that helps me is to say WHEN I reach that goal. Picture yourself doing it.
What are your goals in life? Do you have any? If not, you should make some. Tell people what they are. It will hold you more accountable.
Dream BIG! I do.
These books have helped me to become a better mom, wife, and employee over the past few years:
- Good Enough is the New Perfect
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands – every married woman should read this book
- Who’s Got Your Back (Keith Ferrazzi) – this book helped me tremendously at work
- Never Eat Alone (Keith Ferrazzi) – also helped me at work
- Happy at Work, Happy at Home – good for working moms
- Today we are Rich
- The Go Getter Girl’s Guide
- Stop Saying You’re Fine
- Take the Lead
- The Social Animal
- Just Listen: the Secret to getting through to Absolutely Anyone
- The Energy Bus
I know what you are thinking. How on earth do you find time to read? While I am exercising! I do cardio first thing in the morning (before my kids wake up). This is a great way to start the day. I am able to plan my day, read a little, and have some “me” time before for my day starts.
What gets me motivated to get out of bed and do this? Doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach (or after lifting weights) is the most effective way to burn fat.
Why is this? When you wake up, your body’s glycogen storage is depleted, allowing you to burn fat instantly. Your glycogen storage builds up as the day goes on and you eat. You must burn the glycogen before you can burn fat. This is why lifting weights before evening cardio is best for fat burning. By the time you lift for 30 min or so, you have burned the glycogen and can immediately start burning fat.
That is enough reason for me!
I am open to suggestions on blog topics, things you want to know about me, etc. I would love your feedback!
The first time I visited my nutritionist, she told me that I had to try to stay under 40 grams of sugar\day. I looked at her like she was crazy. I have always been a sweets person so I did not know how that was going to happen.
Much to my surprise, when I started eating frequent meals, my sweet tooth went away! Lesson learned – I was not a “sweets person”. I always craved sweets and carbohydrates because I was not eating enough and my blood sugar was always low. When you eat frequently, your blood sugar remains stable, which reduces cravings.
When I do have a sweet tooth, I eat the following things:
– Labrada Lean Body for Her shake with one packet of SF pudding (in the blender). Yum! I always have a shake at night after I do weights (before bed).
– Jamie Eason’s protein bars (links below). I have tried all of them and cinnamon and lemon are my favorite. All of Jamie Eason’s recipes are really good.
Both of these things can be used as one of your mid-day meals. They are low in sugar and have enough protein to keep you satisfied.
Many people have asked me if I have always been thin.
The short answer is no.
Here is my story. I was overweight as a child and in middle school\high school. I was always the biggest girl on the cheerleading team and was always on the bottom of the pyramid. My dream was to be thin. I just thought that I was born with bad genes.
When I was a senior in high school, I decided that I was tired of being the big girl, so I started working out and “yo-yo” dieting. I tried everything – Atkins, vegan, low carb, starving myself, eating one meal\day (you name it, I tried it). These things gave me short term success but I always gained the weight back, and a little more. I continued this yo-yo dieting through my 20s and developed some very strange eating habits in the process. I was what I call “skinny-fat”.
After the birth of my first child in 2010, I decided that I was tired of letting my strange eating habits control my life. I wanted to be able to eat like a normal person and I wanted to be able to teach my children to do the same. A friend of mine referred me to her nutritionist, Kim Porterfield, whom she saw in order to get ready for her wedding. After months of debate, I booked my first appointment with Kim and was blown away by the things that I learned!
To list a few:
1. Restricting calories is not the way to lose weight. I learned the hard way that you actually have to eat healthy food in moderate portions in order to lose weight. Who knew? I follow a clean meal plan which consists of 6-7 meals\day (every 2.5 – 3 hours). Each meal consists of a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a veggie when possible (details to come in another post). This is more food than I have eaten since high school! I have more energy than I have had in years. I have also become more successful at my job and at being a mom\wife.
2. Measuring food – so very important. When I first started seeing my nutritionist, I “kind of” followed her plan. I ate clean but I did not measure my food. By not measuring my food, I was actually not eating enough at meal times. This caused me to be starving when I got home in the evenings, causing me to overeat. Lesson learned – buy a food scale and use it for every meal. You will learn as you go what your portions look like and you will be able to eyeball it.
3. Weight-lifting – also extremely important. I used to be a cardio junkie. I did not lift weights very much because I was worried that it would make me bulky. I would do an hour of cardio on most days and could not figure out why this did nothing for me. Weight lifting increases your metabolism which causes you to burn more calories, even while you are resting. I promise, you will not get bulky! You don’t have to go to a gym either. I have not stepped foot in a gym since my son was born 8 months ago. Buy yourself some dumbbells. It is really easy.
4. Do not look at the scale. I used to weigh myself religiously. Body fat % is so much more important than weight because muscle weighs more than fat. As you begin to grow lean muscle, your weight may not change much at all. Right now, I weigh about the same as I did when I started seeing Kim and I have dropped 12% body fat! Throw away your scale and save yourself some worry.
I could go on for days about the things that I have learned and I promise to do so in future blog posts.
I am sharing my story with you to let you know that I am not lucky. I decided that I needed to make some changes and I made them happen.
Change is hard and it feels weird, but it is so worth it in the end. Do you need to make changes in your life? What are you waiting for? There is no better time than right now. Follow year dreams and reach for the stars! I do.