First off let me say that I'm sorry for taking so long to write a new post. It feels like forever since I completed my Get Lean, Get Mean program and shared my progress.
Maybe, because it was forever ago. I mean, the progress I made in one month could be completely lost by now. I could be sitting in a McDonald's parking lot eating a Number 2, washing it down with a McFlurry while contemplating how many consecutive hours it would take to sit and watch the entire series of Breaking Bad.
I could be, but you know that I'm not (though I did watch the entire two seasons of Revenge, OHMYGOD). I didn't totally fall off the wagon. I just hit a few bumps where I was up in the air longer than expected.
As my Facebook and Instagram followers may know, I spent a week in Ireland recently visiting family. There were moments when I was faced with glistening fried foods; snack boxes (think KFC), fish and chips and chips (french fries) in general. No training happened while we were away aside from dancing all night at a cousins wedding and a weird walk through the fields escaping the likes of cow poop and barbed wire fences.
When I returned back home the store shelves were lined with candy corn and harvest mix, two kryptonite candies for me. The weather was cooling and in turn, I didn't feel quite like myself. Over the last few weeks I really took some time off from my routine to reflect on what is most important to me. I think that I lost my why over the last few months and I was just going through the fitness motions. Instead of training to release stress and feel good, it just wasn't doing that for me. It was taking up time that I could be doing important things with. Spending time with family or even going shopping!
The monotony of packing every meal and snack had taken its toll as well. I wanted to wing it for a bit. I didn't want to get up a half an hour early just to make sure all of my containers were safely packed for travel to the office.
After about a week and a half off from the whole routine that had been all I knew for the last few years I returned to the gym for two sessions a few days apart. Neither of the visits felt right. I was still mentally one foot in and one foot out of the gym doors. I started to realize that this was a case of my all or nothing mentality/personality. That meant, I needed a plan to get back to the weights, but a plan for less. Fewer visits, less rigourous, less restrictive. The plan also has to deliver more in the way of stress relief, stamina and overall well-being. I don't need to train like I'm going to be an American Gladiator. I know that isn't happening anytime in this lifetime.
I do feel that I was living a balanced life and I know that all of my training was beneficial. It's more like after three years of being on top of my game, I think I just wanted a moment to fall back. I wanted a gym-fit-cation.
So, after a gym-fit-cation of about three weeks, today I kicked off a new plan without a set plan.
Planning for Less and Hoping to Gain More
I'd like to make it to the gym 3 times a week.
Two upper body focused days and one lower body day.
Right now I'm referencing a training plan from an older FitnessRx Magazine. Today I trained Back & Biceps modifying the training plan only slightly.
This is the most important part of the whole no planning "plan" of attack. I need to be sure that I have options that won't spoil quickly or that freeze well. For example I cooked a cup of dry quinoa and now it looks like I have quinoa for days. It freezes well, so whatever I don't eat by the end of the day tomorrow will get poritoned out into freezer bags for quick carb sides.
Snacks have to be kept simple. If I have too many options around, I get cravings for all of them. This doesn't help me to keep on track, so snacks will be:
- Fruit (Small Apples in Season, Pears and Berries)
- Rice Cakes
- Protein Muffins
- Quest Bars
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Laughing Cow Wedges and Crispbread Crackers
That is it. Take the Halloween Candy bowl we have at home for example. We only had ONE trick or treater. ONE. We did however have over $50 worth of candy. This was in addition to two smaller gourmet bags of candy I had just bought for my husband. His two bags wouldn't entice me in the slightest, they were a gift for him, but when I'm faced with variety?! Almond Joy! Malted Balls?! Milky Way DARK?! COME ON.
I went to town. Well, not to crazy town, but to have someone say you're eating a lot of candy for you ... Something weird about that to me! Probably because it had been an every night candy-fest since Halloween. Less is more. I packed that candy up and shipped it to the office. Sorry, I'm not sorry.
Water and greens. More is more here and I have to really try to be sure to drink more water. To help give me an extra boost of energy this morning I prepared a green juice of kale, green apple and English cucumber. It really hit the spot and gave me just the burst of energy I needed to get through my workout.
I hadn't made a protein muffin in months. I LOVE protein muffins and I missed them. Especially warm and toasted and floating in Greek yogurt. I baked these yesterday and packed them up into the freezer along with individual english muffins and Ezekiel bread. I always have oats handy as well for super cold mornings. Now I have just a few options that are all easy to grab on the way out the door.
At one point last week I flat out said that I was sick of turkey muffins and packing food. The truth is, I hadn't made turkey muffins in months either. I was packing food based on what I had on hand. Then during the time off over the last few weeks it was rather depressing and sporadic as far as lunch went. Although, the few fro-yo days that I had were pretty damn yummy. I wasn't eating to support training seeing as I wasn't training. I was actually eating way less than usual. I sucked it up and made the muffins with some kale and bell pepper, garlic and spices. For what took all of an extra five minutes I have four lunches ready to go. If I want something different one day he can have them heated up on slider buns with cheese or I can freeze them.
I know many of you are wondering how much damage did these few weeks off do as far as my progress? Well, to be honest, I hadn't weighed myself or taken measurements or any of that during this time. I measured my weight and body fat this morning and surprisingly, it's all the same. When I was in the gym today, my weight loads and training went fine for a first "official" day back. The point here and lesson learned is that if you do the right thing day in and day out, taking a little time off while still being aware and conscious of your decisions (I wasn't going wild at the drive through and I didn't lay on the couch every day) won't kill you. I feel a little soft in the abs, but that is to be expected and I'm okay with it.
Part of eating smaller meals is that weird late-day hunger strike. Today I went with a Quest Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar because they are little bars from heaven. I have been sticking with this flavor since it doesn't have artificial sweeteners, but I have to admit Chocolate Brownie is still my fave flave. White Chocolate Raspberry with a coffee is incredible and when I'm feeling salty/sweet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough hits the spot. These are my candy, my sweet tooth killers. Yes, berries and nut butters help, but sometimes, only these can shut and satisfy my candy hole.
So that's that. I'm on a new kick, a new plan to plan less or not really plan at all. Yet, I'm dedicated to keeping my butt in the gym and eating healthfully. It's time to spend more time with my family, my dog and with all of you who read this website. I will keep sharing recipes and pictures of my meals over the weeks to come as the holidays approach. As always, I love to hear from you all, so please feel free to comment, email or facebook me!