Friday, December 19, 2008

Year Three of Living Lean

Three years ago today I officially hit my size 10 goal…And now three years later I am still at my goal size!!

In the past year, I have gone through even more changes and have learned a lot about how to stay a size 10 and still enjoy life. I actually gained a few pounds and inches even though I was still eating clean and exercising regularly. How could this happen? Well, what I learned was that my body finally had had enough of me ‘starving’ it of what it needed and wasn’t going to take it anymore. What was missing you may ask? Healthy fats and not enough clean calories to support my workouts.

After extensive research and a complete physical, which I passed with flying colors, I realized that eating ‘perfectly on plan’ 100% of the time was not going to work for me long term. I was burning too many calories and not eating enough to support my activity level which included cardio workouts 5-6 days per week and also weights on 2-3 days per week. Even though I was eating clean, I wasn’t eating enough of them or of the right kind. I also learned that healthy fats ARE NECESSARY for cell health and that eating practically fat free is NOT HEALTHY longterm… So I added heathy fats in controlled portions back into my daily meals. These include almonds, peanut butter from 100% peanuts, olive oil, fish oil, and flaxseed. Since adding them back into my meals, I feel better, sleep better and look better too! And eating these did not make me fat either! The key here is controlled portions. I learned to control these just like I did all the other things I eat and that has cut my urge to binge on these things. Since I know it is good for me to eat them, I do and feel no guilt.

I also learned a lot about the exercise program I was doing and how it was affecting my body…some of which was not good. I learned about the value of strength training and lifting heavy. You need to do this to maintain your lean body mass and keep the fat off. Too much cardio, if done in a severe caloric deficit and by people who don’t have that much fat to lose is NOT GOOD. It can be a huge muscle wasting activity and that is NOT what I needed….Variety is what was required as well.

I added more strength training with heavier weight and scaled back on my cardio a bit. I still love riding my bike, so I just changed the intensity of my rides. I also added intervals and long, slow rides as well. I also started power walking again on days when biking was out of the question. I added small intervals of jogging in my walks too, but only as my knee allows. Love my walk/jogs almost as much as my bike rides! I like the results too!

My original reward to myself for maintaining my size for 3 years was going to be another trip to the Jeff Gordon Driving School. But I decided to save that for 5 years at goal instead…gives me 2 more years to save up for a whole day there! I don’t have any extra money to buy myself anything, so my reward for year 3 is just that I am healthier and happier than I have been in my life. And I am also feeling better about the changes I have made in my life in the past 4 years. I am still learning more about burning off fat instead of starving it off so it stays gone for good and enjoying life at the same time (and a few of my Killer Peanut Butter cookies too!)

Other Year 3 highlights:
Got contacts that I wear occasionally…more so recently though…

Finally got my leather jacket…actually got 2 of them… one on sale and one at a consignment store for only $35!!

Completed 24 laps (60 miles) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Tour de Cure in June. Next year I am thinking about trying for the metric century, 100 KM which is about 28 laps….

Had my first ever massage on my birthday!!! May do that again next year!

Got a trainer for my bike so I can ride year round. Really helpful with all the ice we have had this winter which makes outdoor walking/jogging rather tricky! Plus it did wonders for lifting my butt!!!

Got my Bare Essentials makeup too!! I wear that for special occasions or just when I feel like glamming up!!!

Not nearly as many exciting events this year as last…but I learned some very valuable lessons that will help me maintain and improve the new me! And for that I am very grateful!

New pictures will be posted when I take them!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Just received a great link to a blog entry by Tom Venuto that is definitely a must read for everyone who is worried about getting through the holidays without adding a few pounds!!!

Staying Trim through the Holidays

My third year of successfully keeping my weight off is coming up on the December 19th and after reading Tom's Challenge I think I am up for it too! I have learned how to travel and enjoy the holidays without making major sacrifices to my new lifestyle. It does take planning, but staying thin is more important than fretting about not having lots of food that I don't need and have learned that I really don't want anymore. A few bites here and there seem to satisfy, but even those are becoming fewer and further between.

My body is FINALLY ready to lose fat again and I am NOT GOING TO REVERSE THIS at this workouts and close attention to food are continuing...I still plan on having a few treats, but healthier choices for 95% of the time will keep me on track!!

There are no excuses to not maintain a healthy lifestyle....even during the holidays!!!

Updated recipes will hopefully get posted in the next week or so .... and Year 3 of Living Lean is coming up as well....and a few pictures.....

Here is the updated Peanut Butter Muffin Recipe I promised..... [I linked it!]