all things may

We are almost halfway through this year.  I hate that my mom was right, that time really does go faster the older you get.  So yeah, May is over (one more day anyway.)  Let’s see how this month broke down for me:

HEALTH: I’m happy to report I was 100% on my macros everyday.  I was never over, although there were a few days that I was under.  I didn’t miss a single mandatory workout (lifting), and only missed one barre class from my bonus workouts.  Win! And it paid off: since the end of January I’m down 21 pounds and 23 inches.  I haven’t starved myself and I don’t workout hours and hours everyday.  The actual scale number is slowing down in it’s decreases, but I’m getting muscle and it looks so much better.  I’m happy with it.

For grins, I almost 100% cut out gluten during the month.  (I still maintained eating my Ezekiel bread every morning.  Not giving that up.)  Other than that, I was gluten free.  I really wanted to see if it made any difference in my belly bloat.  It taught me a couple of things. First, I really don’t eat that much gluten to begin with.  It wasn’t hard to not eat it.  Second, I had very thin crust pizza last night (yes, I considered May over for the most part starting yesterday), and it made my food belly (that I’ve affectionately named Ethel) go CRAZY.  Hello bloat city.  All that said, I think I’m going to try to maintain little gluten/wheat when I have other options available.   Because it did prove to me that it does make me puff up like a fish.

I did get the best compliment this morning.  Two girls who are not regulars at the gym came up to me as I was lifting.  They told me they hadn’t been in in a while and it’s been a bit since they’d seen me.  And they said I looked amazing!  Asked me how much I’d lost and said they could really tell I was working hard.  Anyway, it was so great to hear!  Onward to June.  🙂

RANDOM:  Let’s see…I got my hair done.  Only a trim off the ends, but went another step towards my blonde goal.  To all of you naysayers out there, it really is lighter!  I can prove it.  My hair is so dark it takes a long time to get to blonde.   As far as other beauty stuff, I’ve watched way too many makeup tutorials because now I keep wanting to dip my toe in these strange eye combinations.  Today I’m wearing navy and gold.  Yep.  It is disappointing to report that my eyebrows are still hopeless.  I’m not giving up.

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Ok, so my hair isn’t fixed in either photo (ignore that).  And also ignore the fact that in the second photo I’m getting ready for bed and have no make up and my glasses on.  Hey, real life folks.  You can’t ALWAYS be a beauty queen.  🙂 

I’m totally and completely obsessed with blackberries right now. The fruit, not the phone.  Cannot. Get. Enough.

I’ve read 3 books and am currently diving back into the Tudor dynasty as written by the awesome Philippa Gregory.  I think there are 8-9 books total.  It’s going to take me a while.

I finished season 3 of How to Get Away with Murder.  HOLY SMOKES.  That show is on fire.  I very rarely guess how it is going to end.

Work has been crazy nut-job busy.

I think that’s enough for now.  All in all, May wasn’t so bad on me.  I didn’t go crazy.  I didn’t blow up at anyone.  I think I maybe only cried 3 times or so.  That’s a win, folks.

How was your May?

TODAY I LOVE: the song “Every Monday” by Marvelous 3 (an oldie but goodie.  Takes me back to college.)

you count what?

I’m going to preface this entire post with I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST.  Honestly, if it weren’t for the instruction from some very smart individuals I’d be flying by the seat of my pants.  I do what I’m told.  So any of what I say you attempt to make your own, I’d encourage you to research a great coach/trainer/source to figure out what is right for YOUR body.   Deal?  Deal.

Several of you have asked me via various social platforms what I’ve been up to lately as far as my new health and fitness lifestyle.  I’ll talk about the diet part of it today.  Last year I dabbled here and there with switching to counting macronutrients rather than calories.  At the beginning of this year I made the hard shift to doing so all the time.  After years and years and years of low calorie diets, where ALL I did was calculate calories, this was quite an adjustment.  When I used to think the calorie was all that mattered, to now realizing it doesn’t matter as much as the CONTENT of the calories ..well, mental struggle.

For those of you that do not know, macronutrients are the parts and pieces that make up our food.  Carbohydrates, protein, fat, potassium, magnesium, etc….all these things are macronutrients (or commonly called macros for short.) I track the big 3: carbs, protein, and fat.

I had kinda destroyed my metabolism over time from all the low calorie diets, which is fairly common when doing that type of thing long term.  Yes, you temporarily lose weight but your body will adjust, you might be eating calories that really don’t work for the structure of your body, and it’s just not maintainable.

Going into this whole endeavor for me was quite honestly just to lose body fat.  I’ve enough body fat to float a barge and it needs to go away.  I was at my heaviest in my life.  And yes, I realize now more than ever that the number on the scale is really just a number, but even that being said I had/have quite a significant amount of body fat to drop.  Your coach/trainer/source will look at your weight/measurements/body fat and determine a starting point for your macros.  As I said, I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t explain this fully, but making some levels higher than others will help you gain muscle, while lowering some and raising others increases fat loss, etc.  It’s a bit of a puzzle at first because everyone is different and all of our bodies respond differently.  My coach understood that I not only wanted to lose fat, but also needed to repair my junky metabolism.  So she set my macros and off I went.

I weigh every day.  I thought I would obsess over this, but really it isn’t that big of a thing.  It’s not really the number that matters.  It’s simply a gauge to judge, pretty readily, how my body is responding to adjustments.

Tracking my macros is pretty simple thanks to all the apps these days.  I use My Net Diary, which has a website and apps for both iPhone and iPad.   I set my current macro targets, and then daily just input my food.  Instead of calories, I’m watching my carbs/protein/fat totals.  Just like calorie counting you do have to plan a bit.  All in all, thanks to the apps, I’m not finding it difficult at all.  It only gets tricky when you’re near the end of your day and you have x-number grams of carbs to stuff in.  When you have to get just ONE macronutrient, without affecting the others, it can be tricky.  You quickly learn some go-to foods to fill the gaps.

I’m in my fourth month of macro tracking, and I’ve had my macros adjusted 3 times.  The most recent was just this week.  We ADDED more food.  We added more food the last time as well.   Yes, I’m eating more food, with less exercise, and still losing pounds and inches.  No pills, no supplements, no voodoo.  Just science.  It’s quite fascinating.

If you have any questions that I can legitimately answer, let me know!

We’ll talk about the exercise portion of things another day.  🙂

TODAY I LOVE: really soft t-shirts.  It’s like wearing a hug.

 

Month 3 Update

If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you’ve already read these results, but it’s worth elaborating.  April was a challenge for me.

This past Saturday marked exactly 3 months to the day I began this new fitness journey.  In those 3 months I’ve lost 16.5 pounds and a total (whole body cumulative) of 21 inches. It’s un-freaking-believable.  If you’re just looking at total number of pounds, it’s really not that much over this length of time.  Back in the day when I would calorie restrict and go nutso on cardio I’d drop weight a lot faster.  But, as I’ve said all along, I’m trying to do it right this time.  Long term.  Lifestyle change.  No more yo-yo.

I really can’t get over the inches.  Yes, even that has slowed down this last month, but it’s still changing.  Muscle is my new drug.  And it is very addicting.

Admittedly, April was hard for me.  I had some traveling and I kinda put myself in cruise control far too many days.  I’ve set some attainable goals for May and I’m kind of excited to see what changes they bring in my 4-month update.  I’m ready to push myself again and be one step closer to that sexy summer confident body.

I’m ready to get stronger physically, mentally, and most of all emotionally.  Even as I write these great numbers I’m really struggling emotionally with some nasties right now.  I’m ready to work those things out too.

Work in progress is a good thing, on all fronts.  Who knows what the finished product will be?!

TODAY I LOVE: 80’s movie ballads (yep, singing at the top of my lungs)

let’s talk about muscle

I had the most eye-opening realization this past week and I have to share.  I’ll be honest – the whole concept of “muscle” has really been quite foreign to me most of my life.  And what I mean by muscle is actually TRYING to attain any kind of muscle growth/definition that was outside of the typical girl “I’m just toning up” mentality.

For the last 9 weeks I’ve been marching to the beat of a different drum, attempting to get my body to repair and change in a healthy and long-term sustainable manner.  I’ll talk about exactly what I’m doing in a different post at a later time.

Periodically over the last 3 years I’ve kept weight logs and measurement logs and stored them in my journal app on my phone.  Since I’ve begun this new way of life (and stuck with it), I take my weight every day.  That’s been something I’ve had to get used to, but honestly it doesn’t freak me out or depress me as once as it once did.  And the reason why is in my “eye-opening realization.”  🙂

In addition to weighing every day, I take new measurements every month.  Last week I took my two-month measurements.  Since beginning this journey I’ve dropped 11 pounds and 16 inches (total  full body.)  The number on the scale is still awful; I’ve got loads of weight to drop, but I’m losing FAT.  I was bored this past weekend so I was reading through my journal app for old entries and such and stumbled upon one of my measurement entries.  It was when I was at my lowest weight in a while, July 2015.  I was 20lbs lighter than what I am right now.  But get this – in the measurements I was only 4 INCHES different (total).  And yes, it was all in the butt and thighs (this girl has a ghetto booty.)  Can you believe that?!  Only 4 inches.

Inconceivable!  All that stuff people tell you about muscle being heavier BUT “slimmer” is so true.  I wouldn’t have believed it if the measurements hadn’t been my own.   If nothing else this whole exercise is teaching me that the number on the scale really truly isn’t the whole picture. (Some days it’s harder to remember that than others, like when it goes up, but hey, baby steps.)

Muscle for the win!

TODAY I LOVE: the sound of the rain on the roof.  We need the rain!