8 Weeks of Maintenance…What I’ve Learned

I’m the first to admit, maintaining fat loss after hitting a goal is the hardest thing for me.

I can hit my goals when I work towards them.

I can keep my head in the game and turn away junk food or make sure I get my butt in the gym when I need to.

But when it comes to maintaining….I fall short.

I used to think it was because I was on the “wrong” maintenance plan for nutrition and/or program. And I would try every maintenance program and nutrition out there. I was convinced it had to be that.

But I was wrong and I finally realize that.

These pics are from yesterday morning…P decided she needed to join in on the fun 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past 8 weeks I really have taken a look at ME and why I gain the weight/fat back after hitting my goals.

I have found out that I am an “All or nothing” type of person when it comes to my nutrition.

When I’m working towards my goals, I know what I can and cannot eat.

I have a plan in place.

I know when I can have those “reward” meals and when I need to pass up the cookies that I am offered.

Then after I hit my goal….I tell myself, “Good job! Now EAT!!!” And I let myself eat whatever, whenever.

I rationalize and I ruin all the hard work I put in while working towards my goal.

So this time I decided I needed a better plan.

I needed a plan that let me eat what I want, but not whenever I want.

And that’s exactly what I have been doing over the past 8 weeks and it has worked.

Since hitting my last goal 8 weeks ago, I have only gained back 3 pounds.

Now you might be saying…”But you still gained scale weight back!”

True, but only gaining 3 pounds instead of the usual 10-15 (yes…that much), is a HUGE success. Remember…baby steps.

I have “softened” up a little, but that is to be expected. I’m not training the same way as I was leading up to the photo shoot back in October. And I am not eating 100% clean, meaning I am having 2-3 reward meals a week instead of only 1 or none.

So what exactly have I learned???

  1. I have learned that it doesn’t need to be “All or Nothing” when it comes to maintenance nutrition. I can…as cliche as it sounds, have my cake and eat it too. 😉
  2. I have learned just like I need a plan for reaching a goal, I need an even better plan for maintaining that goal. I can’t just leave it to chance and let myself eat, eat and eat!
  3. Lastly, I have learned that I need to keep myself just as accountable to maintaining as I do for reaching my goals.

I have heard from a lot of clients and other women and men that this too is probably the hardest part for them when it comes to fat loss. This is one of the reasons why I like to talk about it.

Make sure you check back next week when I go over exactly what I have been doing to maintain and why I chose this way.

 

 

 

Recipe: Vegetable Soup-Pressure Cooker

As an early Christmas present, I got a new pressure cooker. I have been wanting to get one of these for awhile now and I was so excited to start using it.

I haven’t tried cooking a lot in it, but I can tell already it will become a staple in my weekly meal prepping.

Last week I posted a picture of a vegetable soup I made in the pressure cooker on my personal Instagram and I got a lot of inquiries on what the exact recipe was.

Well, if you have read any of my recipe posts, you know that I hardly follow recipes when it comes to cooking. Most of the time I use whatever we have on hand, and that is exactly what I did with this soup.

Here is the “recipe” I put together for the vegetable soup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
4-5 Carrots peeled and chopped
1/2 onion chopped
4-5 potatoes chopped (depending on how big)
1 bunch of celery chopped
1 can of Rotel **not pictured**
1 red pepper chopped **no pictured**
1 cup lentils
1 tbl of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tbl of oregano
1 bouillon cube of chicken stock
4 cups of water
salt/pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put all the chopped veggies, except the potatoes, in a pan and saute for about 5 min. (I know I can saute in my pressure cooker, but I haven’t explored that yet lol)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the veggies are cooked a little, add all ingredients to the pressure cooker. I had cooked the first batch for 20 minutes, which turned out to be too long and the lentils basically turned to mush. So yesterday I only cooked it for 18 minutes and it turned out perfectly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has become one of our favorite soups already and with the cold front coming this weekend (only reaching a high of 30!!!! ), I will probably be making it again LOL.

 

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Over the past week I have gotten a lot of women reach out to me and congratulate me on not only reaching my goal, but being the leanest I have ever been.

This was taken last week the morning of my shoot.

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I’ve also gotten a lot of questions from those women, as well as others, on how can they get that lean by “X” date and exactly what “diet” I did to reach my goal. And since I have gotten so many of those questions, I wanted to take the time to answer them here.

First and foremost, I want everyone to know that this might have been a 16 week goal that I was working towards, but it took over 2 years to reach this point.

Two years of ups and downs.

Two years of going through frustrations (oh, there were plenty) and celebrations.

Two years of hard work and saying “No” to some of those very much craved foods and sweets.

What I’m trying to get at here is that in a world that is all about “instant gratification”, getting to your fat loss goal/body composition goal is not something that can happen overnight or maybe even this year.

It takes time.

And something I have always told my clients, and I’m sure you have heard it as well, is that it didn’t come on overnight, it’s not going to leave overnight.

As for the question about what “diet” I did, I want to put a huge emphasis on the fact that I have not been dieting or restricting my calories the entire 2 years.

If I had been doing that, I would not have reached my goals.

What I have been doing is what we like to call “sprinting” and “jogging” when it comes to my nutrition.

Think of “sprinting” as the actual “dieting down” part of the plan.

This is where I am restricting calories, but nothing too serious, taking certain foods out, or eating less of them and having zero cheat meals.

This part of the plan can only be done for 6-8 weeks for myself. Anything more than 6-8 weeks, and my body will turn against me and the fat loss will stop.

For some, they can sprint up to 12 weeks if needed. But again, it’s not something that is long term or something you continue to do all your life.

The other phase of the plan is the “jogging”.

This can be anywhere from 4-16 weeks, possibly longer, just depending on what your goals are.

The “jogging” phase is where you are still conscience of what you are eating, sticking to a great plan, but there is more wiggle room, if you will. But this is not an “all you can eat” phase. If you are not careful, you will gain a good amount of fat back and sometimes more.

You need to raise your calories slowly and slow the pace or you’ll burn out. This can be a hard mental shift, but it’s necessary.

The scale will go up a little, but that isn’t failure. You body needs to rest and get used to its “new normal”. You can try to keep dieting, but it won’t work and you’ll do more damage than good.

I think this is the easiest way for anyone to start reaching their goals.

Breaking up the plan into “sprints” and “jogs” will not only help mentally but physically as well.

If you are interested in getting more information on how “sprinting” and “jogging”, and other ways to help reach your goals, make sure you sign up for my newsletter!!

16 Week Goal=Completed!

First, sorry I have been MIA for the past 4 weeks. A lot going on with the business and getting ready for the completion of my goal.

I am so excited to say I have reached my 16 week goal and the results are amazing! If I do say so myself 😉

The photos on the left were from 16 weeks ago and the photos on the right from yesterday morning. What you can’t see in the photo might shock you. Keep reading to find out what that is!

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If you didn’t already know, my goal was to get lean for a photo shoot.

I know what you are probably saying….”ANOTHER photo shoot?!”

Yes, but this time it wasn’t just for the fun of it, all if it is for this blog and my Train Like A Girl program (coming soon!!!).

I needed to get more “fitness related” photos and so that meant I needed to find a photographer that specialized in just that.

And that is exactly what I did.

I follow a lot of fitness models on Instagram and the one photographer I kept seeing pop up in their accounts, and the pics were/are phenomenal, was Michael Neveux.

Michael has been photographing fitness models and professionals for over two decades. You have probably seen a lot of his work on fitness magazine covers and articles inside the magazines.

I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to work with him and I jumped right on it! And I couldn’t be happier with the pictures I have seen so far!

But in order to be able to do the shoot, I needed to get my nutrition and training back on track. So I set that 16 week goal.

If you have been reading my blog, you know I’ve had some ups and some downs during the 16 weeks.

I’ll be honest…I’m not that surprised.

No matter how great the nutrition and training program is, you will ALWAYS have at least 1 day where you want to give up because you are that frustrated.

But the key to success…is pushing through those frustrations and keep on going.

I think the one thing I think you will be EXTREMELY surprised at, because honestly…I was, is that I only lost 5 pounds of scale weight from start to finish during the 16 weeks.

Yes! ONLY 5 POUNDS!!!

But as you can see from the pics above, the difference between the two is huge.

Once again this just shows how false a scale can be.

It doesn’t track your true results.

I want to thank you for keeping up with my posts about getting to my goal. Whether you know it or not, you are the ones keeping me accountable…and I thank you and appreciate you for it.

Make sure to check back later this week to see what I am doing next and another little tidbit about my journey so far!

4 Weeks Out….And A Little Frustration

I’m 4 weeks out from my goal and here is my pic from last week (on the left) and from this morning (on the right).

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As you can see…I’m going a bit backwards, and it’s frustrating the hell out of me. These past 2 weeks things haven’t been going the way I need them too.

I judge most of my progress by the side view.

I can see how much my lower stomach is going down or not, which is the hardest place for me with fat loss.

As you can see…it is a little bigger than it was 2 weeks ago.

This is very frustrating, but it happens, even though you may be doing everything right.

And as much as I am frustrated, I think this is a great thing for people to see.

I know I have clients that are working towards a goal, they either hit a plateau or possibly a step back, like me.

When this happens, I explain to them that you can do 1 of 2 things.

  1. You can get so frustrated you give up and stop working towards that goal.
  2. You can change a couple of things up and keep going.

I have decided to change things up. I’m going to take some things out of my daily nutrition I think might be contributing to this and after about 1 weeks, maybe even sooner, I will see a difference in the right direction.

Check back in 2 weeks to see if changing a couple things up helps.

 

Video/Recipe: Mocha Smoothie

Believe it or not, breakfast is the most challenging meal for me to get in.

I’m just not hungry when I wake up.

But after going for so long not eating while I’m sleeping, and needing to make sure I get all my macros/calories in for the day, I NEED to make sure I eat.

So…I came up with a great way to get my breakfast in and not feel like I am forcing myself to just eat.

Watch the video to see just how I get my breakfast in!

Hope you enjoy the great recipe as much as I do and let me know if you come up with some other great recipes!!

Exercise of the Week!: Barbell Good Mornings

Here is a great exercise for the glutes and hamstrings.

Believe me when I say, you don’t need a lot of weight to feel these. And you will be feeling these for a couple days after 😉

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!! 🙂

6 Weeks Out!!! But Still A Lot of Work to Do!

Today I am 6 weeks out from my goal. And I’ll admit…I have a lot of work to do still.

Not much change from 2 weeks ago 🙁

(The pic on the left is from 2 weeks ago and the pic on the right is from this morning.)

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Why?

Well, last week I caught a nasty stomach bug that put me down for basically the whole week. I only trained once, last Monday, and I barely ate anything until this past Saturday and Sunday.

I am pretty upset about it, since I feel I lost a whole week in which I could have made some really great strides in reaching my goal.

But I know this happens.

It’s life and there was nothing I could do to stop stuff like this happening.

I thought about fighting through and trying to train, but I knew that if I could barely stand for more than 5 minutes without feeling dizzy or sick, there was no way I could go and train.

Now what to do?

Do I give up?

Heck no!

I have 6 weeks and I’m going to make them count.

I HAVE to make them count.

The next 6 weeks are going to be hard, but I’m ready for the challenge!!!

 

 

 

3 Ways to Keep Your Cheat Meal(s) from Sabotaging Your Goals

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I’m a big advocate when it comes to having “cheat” or “reward” meals while you are training for your goals.

I believe they are essential for keeping a person sane while they are working towards those goals.

I’ve seen too many times, and have been there myself, where people refuse to have those cheat meals thinking they can get by without them and their goals will be reached quicker.  Then it happens, they snap and sit down to an all you can eat buffet for a week.

Everyone needs, at least every 2 weeks, some sort of cheat/reward meal.

But….!

(There is always a but.)

Sometimes people can take the cheat meals to extremes, myself included.

Extremes such as sitting down to an all-you-can-eat buffet and eating to the point where you can’t move.

Or what I have done in the past, eating a whole pizza and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. And I’m not going to lie…I could have eaten more.

But what then happens to my body?

Does it just get back on track?

Do I lean out more?

Am I getting closer to my goals?

I have seen many times people use cheat meals, as a way to gorge themselves because they rationalize that it is “allowed” and in the end they are screwing up everything they worked for during that week.

You have to remember, just because you know you need this cheat meal, it doesn’t mean the calories don’t count.

They do!

And if you’re not careful, you can put yourself right back to where you started and have to begin again each week.

So how do you get your cheat meals in, but not sabotage yourself?

Simple…

  1. First and foremost, DO NOT give yourself permission to eat anything and everything in your sight. Your goal is not to get as much food in your mouth during that hour, or so, but to give yourself a reprieve from the stricter nutrition you are eating throughout the week. Eat until you are satisfied, but not busting at the seams.
  2. PLAN!!! I always plan what I’m going to have as my cheat meal. I know what I’m going to have, how much of it I’m going to have and when I’m going to have it, meaning what day of the week. This way I don’t get off track and in the end eat more than I should have or have more cheat meals than I am allowing myself to have during the week.
  3. Don’t let liquid calories be your cheat meal. What I mean here is, don’t let alcoholic drinks be your cheat meal. Alcoholic drinks can have a lot of calories in one drink, than most people think. And normally, when people use alcoholic drinks as their cheat meal, they have way more than they expected. As well as any food they might be consuming. By the end of the cheat meal, you will have consumed twice, maybe three times more calories than if you would have just eaten. Also, usually when you drink, you eat…and I’m not talking about a salad, especially if you are out at a restaurant or bar. When you do this, you are only adding more calories to your cheat meal, but you are also probably extending the cheat meal to a couple hours or more.

I think the best thing you can do for your cheat meal, and to make sure it doesn’t get to be a “cheat sit down and gorge yourself” meal, is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!!

Once you have a plan in place, stick with it. Remember, you don’t need to eat everything in sight, you do get another cheat meal next week.

I hope this helps when it comes to you choosing your cheat meals, as it has helped me over the past 8 weeks. My results are coming quicker and I’m much happier when I don’t feel like I’m going to bust at the seams. 🙂

 

 

8 Week To Go…Half-Way There!!!

Today marks half-way point for my goal.

When I started working towards my goal, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one, but so far I am so happy with my results!!

Here are some progress pics…

The one on the left is when I started this journey, 8 weeks ago, and the one on the left is from this morning. Very excited you can start to see my baby abs from the pic this morning! 🙂

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Here is a side view…again I’m very happy!

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So now I’m sure you’re wondering…how much “scale weight” have I lost?

Honestly….only about 6 pounds.

Am I mad?

Hell NO!

I’m building muscle while I’m leaning out, this is the best case scenario out there!

Will my weight start to go down more during the next 8 weeks?

Probably, but I’m not expecting 15-20 pounds. I know that the goal is, and always has been, to lose fat while I keep and build muscle.

So far my nutrition has been on point, even getting one cheat meal a week, and my training has been great. I don’t plan on making any new adjustments over the next 2 weeks, so we will see how that works. I’m happy with everything, so why fix what’s not broke…right?

I will also be showing you what I am doing to get these results.

How I’m eating, how I’m training, etc.

I hope that you continue to keep up with my journey and possibly start one of your own!