Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a fabulous week. Before we get started with our topic, I have a little story for you. I ran my first 5K of the year on Saturday. I’ve only run a hand-full of times this whole year, but I have done very well with shaving tiny bits off my time with each run. I have never really considered myself a “runner” per se. In fact, I have this intense love/hate relationship with it. I love the post-run feeling and seeing my time improve because it is such a rush (and because I am always in one HUGE competition with myself). The problem, though, is actually running the 3.1 it takes to get to that post-run feeling. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can buy in a bottle at the store and drink (trust me, I looked). So, while I am waiting for that feeling to happen my mind usually has a conversation like this:
“Okay sister, here we go. Just a little warm-up first. Walk a lap or two. This is boring… just start running already. Running now. Why am I going so slow? Quit looking at the sidewalk and watch where you are going. I better look back at the road so I don’t trip. I wonder how much time it would cost me if I did fall? I wish my butt didn’t feel like it was slapping the back of my legs when I start this whole running thing… so much for spandex. Have I not reached a mile yet?! Here comes the hill… don’t stop. My lungs already burn, you gotta do better than that. HOLY CRAP that was my fastest mile ever! Dog. Squirrel. Try to smile at that person you are about to pass, and don’t spit until you pass them. That was more of a grimace. *spits* IIIIIIIIIIII’MMMM GONNA SWIIIIIIIIIING FROM THE CHANDELIERRRRR FROM THE CHANDELIEEEEERRRRRRR. *blows nose* Geez you’re disgusting. Do other people do that? OMG I have .75 left to go. I’m not gonna make it.”
And it goes on and on and on. Anyway, going into my race I knew that I would have a decent chance at getting close to the top of my age category and I started an affirmation. I kept telling myself, “I am going to medal”. I made up my mind that by golly I was going to be in the top 3 for women in my age group. Race day arrived and it was FREEZING. I was starting to feel unsure about the race since my lungs spasm in really cold temps. The race started. I prayed, and then I repeated my affirmation for the first .25. Guess what happened? I ran my fastest time ever. I shaved half a minute off my time from just a few days prior, and I was second for women in my age group. AFFIRMATIONS BABY!
Have y’all been working on your affirmations? I would LOVE to read them if you are willing to share! Please comment below or use the contact me page to reach me… I would love to see some interaction goin’ on.
Today we are going to continue with last week’s post on how to burn fat, which you can link back to here. Last time we talked about steps 1 and 2, and I have included the steps again below.
- You have to REALLY decide you want to make a change.
- Set realistic goals
- Determine how in-depth you want to go
- Figure out what you are currently eating and why
- Determine your BMR/TDEE/Calorie Deficit/Macros
- Meal Plan
- Meal Prep
- Do it!
Steps 3-5 tend to be the ones that get muddy the fastest, so I will try to keep it brief enough to prevent a book from being written but concise enough for you to understand. Losing fat or weight in general is all about creating a negative energy balance, or caloric deficit. Everyone has a baseline number of calories to eat to keep them alive for their daily activities. If you eat more than that, you gain fat. If you eat less than that you lose weight. If you eat close to that, you stay the same. We will discuss this more in step 5, but for now you must know the bare minimum for step 3 to be important.
Most people want a solution that is easy to follow, and if it becomes too complicated they just give up. The unfortunate fact of the matter is gaining weight is what is easy… losing isn’t so easy. This is why step 1 and 2 are very important – you must make a decision and set goals that will keep you in check when you want to give up because it is perceived as “hard”. I highly suggest you take this time to also figure out if this is something you want to maintain or if you are looking for a crash diet. If it is the latter, forget it. That’s not what this is about.
At this point a decision must be made. Do you want to immediately start by counting calories, or do you want to make small changes to just clean up your diet first? How do you know which one to do?
**Keep in mind I am not a physician and this is NOT considered to be medical advice. Information is based off industry practice and as a result of my training background. Any changes in eating or exercise should be discussed with your physician first**
- You have no clue how to even go about counting calories, and it stresses you out
- You have a bad history with food (i.e. eating disorders)
- You tend to have a lot of illness (colds, upper respiratory infections, digestive upset)
- You primarily eat processed foods and/or takeout
- You don’t really know how to count them, but you are ready to dive on in
- You don’t have obsessive tendencies (i.e. bad history with food)
- You are relatively healthy person
- You may eat some processed foods/takeout, but you eat a lot of whole foods as well
- You are already familiar with it, but just haven’t done it
If you identify with any bullets under “cleaning up” that could be the best place to start. That section is about training the mind to make better decisions when it comes to food selection. When swapping to a cleaner diet, there is a wealth of information at your fingertips. Simply eat more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and clean meats. Don’t worry so much about counting the calories at this point because your body will be getting more nutrients that are void from processed foods, and people tend to lose some fat anyway because the nutrient density is different (veggies are high in nutrients and low in calories, vs. processed foods that are low in nutrients and high in calories). Swapping for natural, whole foods also decreases the amount of preservatives consumed, and the immune system isn’t as taxed (I can attest to this). The body will begin to heal and repair better than it could with the other foods.
If you identify more with the bullets in the “calorie counting” section, go ahead and make a spreadsheet, create an account with myfitnesspal, or any other calorie counting method you choose. Before making any changes to your diet, try keeping up with what you would typically eat on a standard day for up to two weeks. This will give you an idea of how many calories you are eating, and it will help you visualize the type of foods you are eating. This will help you determine if you are eating too much, eating the wrong things, or emotionally eating… which brings us to:
Find out what you are eating and why (step 4). Sometimes people find the reason they are eating what they are eating is because of convenience. Sometimes people find the reason the are eating is because of boredom, or sadness. Sometimes people find they are eating a lot of a particular type of food because it is addicting (i.e. sugar), and sometimes people find they are eating a lot of a particular food group or macronutrient and just aren’t aware of it. Regardless on whether you identify with calorie counting or cleaning up, you should keep a record of what you are eating each day, how you feel when you are eating it, and roughly how much you are eating. This is NOT counting calories… just simply visualizing what is going on. When you can see it you can determine a reason behind what you are doing and tackle it. If you are eating it because of convenience, then meal planning and prepping is probably going to help tremendously (but you have to pick a day to do it). If you are eating because of boredom or sadness, deal with those emotions head on by journaling, exercising, sitting in a warm bath, or meditating. If you find that you are possibly addicted to sugar, start to wean off of it. If you just aren’t aware of it, congratulations! You now know and can eat something else instead.
Next week we will tackle step 5 alone because it is so tedious. I challenge you this week to keep a journal like we talked about. Again, feel free to contact me with questions about steps 3 and 4. I would love to help!
Your biggest supporter,