Monday, January 30, 2012

My New Plan

In January 2011, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid. I did not seek out the diagnosis. In fact, I was really upset when the bloodwork came back, and I got the phone call that I needed a follow up. I then became hopeful, because in 2010, despite my new interest in for and running several 5ks, and cross training when I wasn't hitting the pavement or treadmill, my weight didn't change much. I was also keeping my diet in check, but getting no results. I started my medication for hypothyroid in late January and continued on with my life. At first, the only thing that really changed was taking the morning medicine and then waiting an hour to eat....I had always been a first thing in the morning breakfast eater. A couple of months later after reading more about hypothyroid I tried to cut out soy from my diet (it can interfere with the uptake of my medication)...goodbye my yummy steamed edemame. But still...there was no real change in my diet...though I did notice a change in my fatigue level. I didn't feel the need to seek out anything different. I was working out at least 5 days a week and tracking my calories...I kept thinking eventually something would happen and the scale would move.

In the fall, I caught an episode of Dr. Oz that talked about carb cycling. It sounded interesting, but I was used to counting the same time I had increased my workout time (my Tuesday Zumba class didn't start until 7 and I got off work at 5...why not get in some more time on the treadmill.) During September and October with increased exercise I lost about 3 lbs. In October I started eating soup for lunch and my weight hopped 5lbs in about 6 weeks...even though I was still killing it with the workouts. I spoke with a friend and she suggested the sodium in the canned soup might be the culprit, so I dropped the soup at lunch and lost 2lbs. But I WAS FRUSTRATED!!! I had friends in blog world that had lost 50 -100lbs, and I was struggling with 5lbs. I started to question my workouts...were they intense enough? I started questioning my diet...should I lower my calories? I spoke with my new doctor (I had recently changed) he said he could look at my body and tell I was exercising.."just keep at it." But I was tired of just "keeping at it." I wanted results...even just a consistent 1lb per week would have thrilled me...but I was struggling to lose .5 pounds in two weeks. I WAS FRUSTRATED!  In fact, I was so frustrated I honestly believe if I had not developed such a love for exercise as a way to keep stress at bay...and just the fun and friendship from my zumba class I would have said "I Quit!!!"

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I was browsing one of the hypothyroid sights I read,when I found some information about carb cycling, and remembered the segment on Dr. Oz. My curiosity was peaked. About the same time, I noticed a couple of people on the blogs talking about the 17 Day Diet.  I wanted to know more! I wanted to try something different...I wanted a new outcome! Most of early December I spent any extra time online reading about carb cycling...and then the 17 Day Diet. I found the book online for 12 dollars, and decided even if the diet wasn't for me there were recipes in the book that I might like..and it would be worth the money to be able to read more. I also started emailing with bloggers that were using the 17 Day Diet to get their opinions. The week before Christmas, I told Tommy that I wanted to try this new me the 17 Day Diet was just a structured way to carb cycle and if other hypos had had success with it, I would give it a try. The day after the day after Christmas I started to remove white sugar from my diet and then on Jan 1 I started the 17 Day Diet.
30 Days later, I have lost 8.5 lbs....more than I did during the entire year of 2011!!!

What is the 17 Day Diet? Well first of is longer than 17 is actually 4-  17 day cycles. I will complete the second cycle on Sunday and move to the third cycle on Monday. During the first 17 days you eat mostly veggies and lean meat (I was already doing that.) + 2 fruits before 2:00, and 2 probiotics( I was used to only eating one yogurt a I usually have one plain greek yogurt and one glass of acidophylus milk). Plus two serving of healthy fat.
During the second cycle you alternate cycle 1 days with  cycle 2 days...which allows beans and starchy veggies before 2 in the afternoon, and some extra meat choices (but we are mostly a chicken and ground turkey my meats haven't changed).

What has changed in my daily life???

Diet- I am still eating the same kinds of foods. And the same amounts...or maybe a bit more. The biggest change is the fruit before 2...because I often had fruit before working out in the afternoon. And no brown rice, pasta, or beans with dinner. Do I miss it? At first a bit, but not really now. And I can have those things at lunch if I really want them. I have also added a protein shake (trying to avoid a heavy soy protein powder) on some days(if I need more calories)...if I have had a harder or  planned a harder workout for the day. I am trying to avoid canned veggies as much as possible...opting for fresh or flash frozen. I am also using my myfitnesspal to track my calories (I was a pencil/paper with the occasional spark if I was unsure of something or anytime health). I never allow myself less than 1500 and usually top out at around 1800 unless I have really netted some calories with a workout. (Before I had many 1200 days).

Workouts- This has been the biggest change for me. I still workout at least 5 days a week, but I try to limit most of my workouts to 30 minutes (in the book he suggests 17 minutes, but I think that is mostly for beginner exercisers). I do still attend 2 zumba classes a week that are 1 hr each...and on those days I make sure to add some extra calories. I am still strength training a couple of days a week...and last week I added running back to my weekly plan. In the next few weeks I plan to bring my exercise up from 30 minutes to 45. I use my HR watch to track my calories during my workout.

Do I think the 17 Day Diet is for everyone?...probably not! Most of you are already working a plan that works for you.And that is awesome...why change what works?  But if you know you are giving it your all...and not seeing any change, don't be afraid to change things up a bit. Don't be scared to try something new! I was very open minded when it came to exercise, but I was terrified to change my diet.  I went into this with the mindset long as it works...I will keep working it. Honestly, I didn't expect to see the result that I have. 8.5 lbs in a month is HUGE for me! (even though for some of you guys this would be a small loss in one month). And as long as I see consistent change in the downward direction I will stay with this program!

I will be honest in saying that I was scared to post about using the 17 Day Diet, because I didn't want a lecture about fad diets. Is this a Fad Diet...YEP! Look at the name. But for me the nutritional principals behind it make sense. It is a way of eating that I can be proud of....I am eating healthy, clean, food! I am eating food that is my fuel and keeping my tank full. I am still working out and drinking lots of water. Do I freak out if I need to eat my piece of fruit at 3? No, but I do try to get it in before 2...because that has been working for me.  Did I believe I would lose 20 pounds in a month? NO WAY...I didn't even think I would lose 5!! Do I believe I could continue this way of eating for the next month...three months...year? YES And the fourth cycle is a maintenance cycle.

I am in no way an expert about the 17 Day Diet. And if you are interested, you should read the book! But if you have questions I would be glad to give you my opinion.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. Last night was supposed to be spin class, but was changed to a cardio dance class. It was fun, but I was excited about getting back into a regular Wednesday Spin routine. Tonight is Zumba. I haven't been to a Zumba class with Derrick since before Christmas because of holidays, him being sick, icy roads, and last week I had to work late. I am excited about tonight's class, but I know he is going to work us HARD!

2. I am proud to say that I have incorporated 2 runs into my workouts this week (and planning one more tomorrow). I am trying to focus a bit on speed in hopes that my spring races will yield some new PRs.

3. In March, Tommy and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary. I can't believe it will be five years! I asked him a couple of months ago where he would like to go for our anniversary. (I was secretly hoping for a beach somewhere...) He wants to go to Mammoth Cave Kentucky. He said they used to pass it when he was a kid traveling between Alabama and Chicago, and he always wanted to go. At first, I wasn't very excited...but it has definitely grown on me. We are going to stay outside of Cave City in Glascow. There are several antique stores in Glascow and I found a cute little B&B. Have any of you been to Mammoth Cave? And tours that are a must? At least I know it will be a very active weekend :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

New 2 You Cross Training - January Challenge

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls offered up a great challenge a couple of week ago. She challenged her readers to try 12 different types of cross training that were new to you (one each month in 2012). I thought this was a great idea because it is so easy to get in a rut with exercise, and sometimes trying something new once can bring on a new exercise love (remember when I tried Zumba for the first time in I can't imagine a week without at least once class!).
For January, I decided to try out the Wii Game- Just Dance 3! I have enjoyed playing the Wii Sports and Plus games when I needed to get in a workout, but couldn't leave the house. And so many of my bloggy friends have talked about how much they enjoyed playing this game and that it was an amazing calorie burner. I didn't want to buy the game because I wasn't sure if I would like it, so I rented it for $2 from Redbox so that I could give it a try. Overall it was a fun game and I did work up a sweat. I wish I would have worn my heart rate monitor so that I would have an accurate account of the calorie burn, but I was dripping sweat at the end of my 45 minute session. I have never played any of the Just Dance games, so figuring out how to change songs was a bit confusing at first. I thought the playlist was pretty fun with songs that are top radio hits today...and some from the 80s.
Will I purchase this game? Probably not. It was fun, but I think I would get bored with it pretty quick. I think it would be great if you had friends over (I would rent it again.) Tommy is not much of a dancer, so he had no interest in playing with me. But with multiple people I can see this game being a blast!
I also think this would be a great thing for Moms to play with their kids! Shannon...has Carson ever played?
Looking forward to trying something new in February! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Week in Review

Last week was a great week! Overall, food was great.  I had a slip with some chicken vegetable soup on Thursday. I made a huge pot for work and brought home the leftovers for our dinner. I had too many servings. Calorie wise it was an okay dinner, but it was WAY to much sodium for one meal.

Tommy and I don't eat out often (maybe 3 times per month, unless we are traveling), but yesterday we spontaneously stopped at Chili's for lunch. I feel I made a great choice with the Cobb salad. I traded the avocado ranch for a low fat honey mustard and asked for it to be prepared without bacon. When I got home I was able to check the calories which totaled 560...definitely a successful lunch out!

On the exercise front things are going well. I am still scaling back on the workouts as I concentrate on diet. Exercise this week included: Strength class, Spin Class, and Zumba.

Exercise Goal for this week: I want to add some running back into my weekly routine, while keeping my workouts under 45 minutes except for my 1 hour zumba classes.

And I lost another pound this week!! WOOHOO! I plan on writing up what I am doing with my diet at the end of the month.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I have to miss Zumba tonight because I am working late. BOO! My original plan was to get up early and get a workout in. Not only did I not get up early, Tommy and I both overslept this morning!!! Oh well, I will use today as a Rest Day and workout tomorrow instead. Depending on how work goes tomorrow, I may even skip out early so that I can hit the afternoon Zumba class. It is not my favorite...the instructor seems to make it us as she goes...I prefer a set routine that follows the music.

2. I missed Zumba last Thursday, too! We had snow and ice in Bama last Thursday night. They had been predicting snow flurries with little to no accumulation the night before but I didn't really think much of it. It literally snowed in flurries all day...and by Thursday night, the road were ROUGH! I had invited a coworker to go to Zumba with me, but she came over and said she had decided not to go because of the weather. I left work at 5...class doesn't start until 6:15. As I was driving to the gym I realized there was no way I could stay in town if I wanted to be able to get home. I live about 40 minutes from the library...and visibility was an issue during the first ten or so the time I got to the 5 mile stretch that I drive on my road I was terrified. The highway was a solid sheet of ice!! As I approached my house, I knew there was no trying to turn into my driveway safely. The car behind me was literally I kept driving until I got to my MIL's house a little more than a quarter mile from my house. I figured if I couldn't turn into her driveway, there was a church across the road that I could get into and leave my car. I was able to make it to my MIL's house. I got out and told her what was going on. She said she had been watching the cars sliding around. She said I could stay at her house for a bit, but I decided to throw on my gym shoes and walk home. I was FREEZING!!! I was too scared to walk on the main highway because of all the sliding cars, so I took the back roads back home. My MIL had told me to call as soon as I got home...that she would give me 30 minutes, but then she was going to call Tommy. I made it home in about 20 minutes...and was exhausted LOL. I have a whole new respect for you guys that run in snow, ice, and super frigid temps!!!

3. There is a 15k relay coming up in my area in March. I think this would be so much fun! How many of you have taken part in a relay race?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spin Baby Spin

Guess what I will be doing in exactly 2 hours!!!! SPINNING! I am super excited about having a spin class again! It is always a tough workout, but I feel AWESOME when it is over!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baked Green Bean Fries

I wish I could give credit where credit is due for this recipe, but I have no idea whose blog I got the idea from...but I think I saw it sometime last fall. If it is yours please claim it!! :)  I am terrible at following a recipe and usually see something online and then prepare it the way I remember it. LOL But this is how I make my baked green bean fries!!! And they are YUMMY!

About 2 or 3 handfuls of fresh green beans  ( it usually runs me less than $1.50)
1tbs of EVOO
a couple of shakes of coarse garlic salt...or sea salt whatever you have...
a bit of grinded black pepper.

Wash your green beans and cut off the ends (I just cut a tiny bit off, and you could probably get away with not cutting off the ends at all, but I like to chop veggies and pretend I am on a cooking show LOL)

Throw your green beans, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl with a lid and shake it up for about 30 seconds

Spread them across a foil lined cookie sheet...

Cook in oven on 425 for about 25 minutes...flipping midway...

I like mine a bit burned so sometimes a watch them for a couple more minutes until I notice the edges looking crispy.

YUMMY!!! What a delicious way to get in some veggies and a healthy fat!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Great Monday

Today was a great day. It is always nice having a Monday off, especially when I have nothing pressing and can do what I want rather than completing a list of "to-dos." I slept in until 8, then got up did a few chores around the house and made a yummy smoothie! Then I headed to the gym to get in a strength class. I was really surprised by how busy the gym was this morning, but I guess several people were off work and getting in their workout early. Then I spent the rest of the day with my Neene. We did some sewing, made baked green bean fries (have you guys tried these? YUM!), and then met up with Tommy this afternoon for some antiquing. Now I am lounging on the couch catching up on blog. Perfect Day!

I was down another 1.5lbs this week! WOOHOO

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I am back from my little business trip and EXHAUSTED. I did not want to go to work this morning. The only thing that got me out of bed was thinking of the sweet faces in my Thursday two-year-old class. The meeting went well. Traveling there and back was horrific because of storms, but we made it safe and sound. I was able to workout both days and I avoided all of the snacky food that was available. Overall, I think my food was pretty on point.

2. I hate when I have written a comment and it doesn't take!!! Drives me nuts and I do it all the time. Maybe I forget about the verification word...and sometimes I just simply click out when I finish typing the comment instead of publishing the comment. Drives me NUTS! Sometimes I go back and repost a shorter comment...but most of the time I just move on to the next blog. (This just happened to me...and I am aggravated! lol)

3. I am so ready for Zumba tonight. I am holding some tension in my back (I think it's from being tense while driving in the storms.) I am ready to let loose with some dancing. One of my coworkers is going with me tonight. She is a retired school librarian that works part time at the library in a different department. I was so surprised and excited when she took my up on my offer to go! I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On the Road...

I am heading out of town today for a business trip. My plan is to get in today and tomorrow's workouts either in the hotel fitness room or at my gym's sister location. (One of the things I LOVE about Anytime Fitness is that you can go in 24 hrs a day at ANY location across the country. Perfect for travel!)
Because I cook most of my meals at home, I always get a bit nervous about eating on the road...but I know how to make smart choices.
AND Tommy is going with me. He will hang out at the hotel while I am at my meeting :) And hopefully we can get in a bit of shopping.

See you guys for Three Things Thursday! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Workout Schedule

I am trying something new with my diet/workouts for the next two months. Just switching it up a bit...I will tell you guys more later. But as a result, I am limiting my time in the gym. Most of my daily workouts will only be 30 minutes, except Zumba days which are an hour. Here is this week's schedule.

Monday- 10 minutes Treadmill/25 minutes Strength Class       Total 35 minutes
Tuesday- Traveling will workout in hotel                                          30 minutes
Wednesday- Traveling                                                                    30 minutes
Thurday- Zumba                                                                            60 minutes
Friday- Treadmill (walking)                                                             30 minutes
Saturday- Zumba                                                                            60 minutes
Sunday- REST

On Sunday, I will update with my actual workouts.

I worked this plan last week and it was SO nice being home earlier. AND I LOST WEIGHT! Of course, I was coming off the holidays, so I am really interested in this week's WI on Sunday.

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. Annalee is home from Vandy! I am so happy my sweet little niece is well enough to come home. I know Mom and Dad were very happy to bring their little girl home earlier this week. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and emails of support. This blog community is very special when "strangers" are so caring and thoughtful...strangers are definitely counted as friends!!!

2. Whew....this has been a LONG WEEK!  I was already wishing for Friday on Monday...and now it is supposed to rain all weekend BOO! It has been so pretty all week, and the forcast shows for rain both days this weekend.

3. I am super excited about (Just) Trying is for Little Girls' Cross Training Challenge. If you are looking for a fun reason to try out new forms of cross training, head over to her blog and check this challenge out!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How do you like your Brussels Sprouts?

Last week I bought a huge bag of Brussels Sprouts. They were a good deal, and I knew it would give me an opportunity to play in the kitchen. Last night I experiments with Ina Garten's recipe for roasted Brussels Sprouts. I only used half of the olive oil that was recommended...(but they still seemed a bit too oily for me). They turned out decent, but not as yummy as I had hoped. In the past, I have only steamed my sprouts and thought they were tasty, but I want more options. How do you prepare your Brussels Sprouts? Or do you like them at all?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower

I am a broccoli girl. It is my go to veggie side and I eat it several times a week. I almost always buy it frozen and zap it in the microwave. But this month, I really want to experiment with other veggies and get out of my dinner rut (we basically eat the same 5 meals every week).
Last night was my experiment with Cauliflower. I like steamed cauliflower (usually frozen and zapped in the micro) but I very rarely buy it. Occasionally I will get one of the Cauliflower with cheese single serving sides and have it in place of my broccoli. I have read several different recipies for creamy cauliflower (sometimes called mashed cauliflower or faux potatoes), but had never tried it myself. Last night I dug out some frozen cauliflower from the bottom of my deep freeze and gave the recipe a try. It was delicious and I couldn't believe how much it tasted like creamed potatoes. The recipe is super easy. Just boil your cauliflower until very tender. Throw it in the blender or mini chopper (LOVING my new Ninja!) with about 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (you could also use sour cream) and add salt and pepper to taste. SO YUMMY! Super Quick! And definitely something that I will be adding to my side dish arsenal! :)

Hope everyone's New Year is off to a great start! Annalee is still at Vandy, but she is feeling better. Hope that sweet little girl gets to come home soon! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and concern!