First things first: Have you registered for BLEND yet?
If not, what are you waiting for?! I got my ticket the day that they went on sale, and can hardly wait for the fun to begin! If you’re not familiar with Blend (Blogger+Friend=Blend), it is a retreat that will take place in Boulder, Colorado the weekend of May 4-6th, and is being organized by Janetha, Lindsay and Katie (who have done a really amazing job of putting this whole thing together). The cost of the admission ticket is only $75, which includes a fabulous dinner Friday night, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning, and several group exercise classes with some top-notch trainers! AND- the swag bag looks to be amazing (hello! Check out the sponsors!). For an additional fee, you can also register for lodging on site.You can check out more details about what the admission ticket gets you and pricing options here. You don’t have to be a blogger to come- it’s open to all! I am so excited to meet some fellow bloggers, and spend some time in my favorite place in the world: Colorado! There will also be organized group hikes and other local events during the retreat so that you can check out all of the beauty that Boulder has to offer. Feel free to ask me any questions about it- and go get your ticket!!
Second order of business: I had a few requests for my apple vinaigrette, so here it is! (Measurements are approximate)
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
2 T. Apple cider vinegar
3 T. Unsweetened almond milk
1 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Fuji apple
1/3 c. roasted red onions
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. parsley
salt + pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in blender until the onions and apple are liquified (about 15 seconds in a Vitamix).
Onto the topic at hand: Barriers! Anytime I begin a new eating plan, I tend to start out of the gate running. I’m great for a week or two, and then something happens, and my motivation is gone. When I started Jackie’s eating plan, it was easy to follow and I was physically feeling great. I woke up every morning feeling lighter, my stomach felt flatter, and I just felt better in my skin. I lost 2 lbs over the first 2 weeks, which is perfect for me.
Just to review the plan, here are the basics: Stick to around 1500 calories a day- this usually consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks. Meals should include adequate amounts of proteins, healthy fats and carbs- and limit fruit and whole grain servings to 2 a day. Limit carbs at night, and do not eat after dinner (drink a cup of green tea instead). No alcohol or sugary sweets during the week. You can also have two cheat meals (after 5 full days of clean eating) that can include alcohol and sugar, but can not exceed 1500 calories (crazy!)
So , yeah… there I was, rockin’ the plan. But then the inevitable barrier happened. And in this case, it was something as simple as going out to eat on week night (something I rarely ever do). Last Wednesday, Greg I went out to Firestone’s for restaurant week to meet up with my mom and stepdad. The menu was set to three courses, which include an appetizer, entree and dessert. I got a salad as an app, shrimp and grits for my entree (probably could have made a better choice, but I did only eat half of it) and ice cream for dessert. I only drank water, but also had about 3 (small) pieces of bread. So my choices were okay, but definitely did not sticking to the plan. I ate okay the next day, but not great. I didn’t log everything and got a little bit lazy about measuring things and tracking everything on My Fitness Pal. The next few days were the same. Again, I wasn’t horrible- and I didn’t really eat anything “bad,” I just ate too much and didn’t feel good about my choices.
This seems to be a pattern for me: I am really good about staying focused on my diet for a while, and then one thing happens and start to relax, and it all goes downhill from there. Luckily, I was able to pick myself right back up and get back on track yesterday, and am determined to stay there.Something that really helps me stay focused is planning out meals and snacks for the week. I know that one of the biggest factors that contributes to my mindless eating is not planning ahead, or waiting until I’m completely famished before I eat something, and then just quickly grabbing a handful of this or that without thinking (usually while I’m in the pantry trying to decide what to make for a snack). When I have everything all planned out beforehand, I know exactly what I’m going to eat, and can quickly make it or have it waiting for me. I’ve started writing out a plan for the week that looks like this:
Monday – Friday are easy. I pack breakfast, lunch and one snack to take with me to work. I have started changing my breakfasts up a bit (rotating between 3 or 4 different things), but my lunch is pretty much always a salad with about 150 calories of lean protein and an apple. I’m stuck on celery with homemade hummus for a mid-morning snack lately (I love it!) The exercise is easy for me- especially since I get paid to teach quite a few of those workouts, and genuinely look forward to exercise every single day.
Weekends are the biggest challenge for staying on track. I don’t usually plan out meals (except Sunday dinner) ahead of time, because I don’t always know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be. Maybe this is part of the problem? Maybe I should stick to more of a meal plan on Saturday and Sunday too? I just hate to think that all of my good work during the week comes undone from mindless choices on the weekend. I know that Jackie’s plan allows two cheat meals during the weekend, but I’m kind of staying away from that. I don’t crave unhealthy foods, and my “cheat” will most likely be a glass of wine or some ice cream. It could also be dinner out at a restaurant, but 9 times out of 10, I lean toward something healthy like fish with vegetables (and request that my food be dry-grilled, without added oil). I just feel better when I eat that way.
I am determined to stick with this plan, no matter how slowly the pounds come off- I really know that this is what I need to get back to where I want to be. I just have to figure out how to push through those barriers and stop falling off that wagon.
I’ll leave you with one more thing. I was doing yoga in my classroom after the kids left yesterday, and was curious as to what I look like holding some of the poses (and making sure my form is correct). It’s hard to tell, because there aren’t an mirrors. I want to actually film myself practicing yoga one day, so that I can check (and correct) my form, just like I did with my Bodypump assessment filming. (It is SO helpful to do that, even if it is awkward watching yourself teach or take a class!) I have been really proud of my improved flexibility, and have gotten to the point where i can touch my forehead to the ground when I lean forward (you can’t tell in the photo, but it is touching the ground!). I wanted to see what I looked like, so I set the self-timer on my camera:
WTF?! That is not what I thought I looked like!! Why is my back so rounded? It should be flat!! How do I fix that?!
It was even rounded when I stretched to the side!
Now that I’m aware of this, I am going to work on improving it!!
What are your barriers? Do you have any tips for staying focused on your diet during the weekend?