Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Things I've learned with weight loss...

I know it's been awhile, but here I am! I sort of broke up with the 21 Day Fix. In true Redhead fashion, I found ways to "cheat" while still staying on the plan. I hired a friend of mine who was sort of doing nutritional counseling. Basically I started tracking my food, eating super clean, focusing on the glycemic index, and on gut health.

Combined with my efforts starting in January, I've now lost around 46 pounds.




I know. I KNOW. I can't believe it. Until tonight when Timehop showed me a picture from 2 years ago, I didn't see the weight loss. I saw that my face looks thinner, but I didn't see everything else shrinking.

I can't believe I'm about to put this on the Internet, buuuut here goes:

I was determined to not be a "fat AND sad" person in my "before" pics. :) 
So here are some things I've learned while losing weight:

1. I physically take up less space. Sounds like a "duh" statement, but if you don't notice you're shrinking, why would you know that you take up less space? I was at a nail salon a few weeks go that had particularly cramped stations. I saw the technician was guiding me towards an inner station where I would have to walk in between 2 clients' chairs. I cringed inside. I wasn't looking forward to the inevitable bump of my posterior and stomach against the chairs. I held my breath, slid between the chairs, and... nothing. There was no bump. I didn't nudge anyone, and I sat down feeling relieved and kind of proud. I. Take. Up. Less. Space. 

2. It's really exciting when you can fit into a store you haven't shopped in since high school. I was shopping with my bestie last week and we went to NY&Co. I haven't shopped there in years.. But as I gazed at the gorgeous colored pants, and admired the beautiful dresses, I thought "What if...?". I found a pair of cropped kelly green pants, grabbed what I thought might be my size, and nervously entered the fitting room. They fit. I'll be darned, these kelly green crops that were 2 sizes smaller fit. I danced in the fitting room and did a victory high-five with the bestie. It was awesome.



3. I have a lap. Ok well technically everyone has a lap, so maybe I should say I have a functional lap. As in, I can set things on my lap: plates, trays, computers, children.... Before, I'd set things on my lap and it would start to slide off, or it would rest on my stomach instead of my actual lap. But now I have a bona fide lap for things to rest upon. THAT was a pretty cool realization.

4. Compliments can get borderline awkward. People mean well. If they've known you any length of time, they're SUPER excited for you. Sometimes in their excitement they just take the compliments too far. "You look GREAT! No seriously, like amazing. Like I can't believe how much weight you've lost." Uhhh, so how did you think I looked before? A friend of mine was complimenting me on the weight loss and said something to the affect of "You're seriously crushing it. I mean, I was there the night you got engaged, so, you know..." Yeah. Thanks. This friend truly didn't mean anything rude, but it still hurt a little. Can you make sure not to belittle my former appearance by complimenting my current?

This before pic I was joking pretending to be a super sad fat kid. :) 
5. It's way more emotional than you think it'll be. When I saw the before and after progress pics up there, I cried. I literally sat at my dining room table and cried. I didn't realize how big I'd gotten after our wedding, and I also didn't realize how much my body had shrunk this year. I was heartbroken for myself 2 years ago, but so proud and happy with myself today. It's a lot to take in. Years of having a certain mindset have to change. Years of thinking that you'll "always look like this" have to change. Weight loss is such a personal, intimate thing.

6. It truly takes time. People aren't lying to you when they say it takes time. They're not trying to belittle or discourage you. I've lost 46 lbs since January, which is on average ~4.6 lbs a month. As in just over a pound a week. That's slow. But you know what, I didn't get this big overnight (though sometimes it feels like it). But that's OK. I'd rather lose it slowly than not at all.

(Edited to add!) 7. It doesn't always feel worth it. It just doesn't. Sometimes you eat squeaky clean for the day, you drank all the water, you even worked out, and... you still gained weight. Or nothing happened. Some days it's really, really hard to say no to the cookies or the pizza or the gigantic burrito. Social events can be a drag because you can't go or you have to eat before you go, then watch everyone else partaking. But then that day comes when it feels like it's all been worth it and hasn't been a total drag. I think it's different for everyone, because it's gotta be something that's special to you. For me it was the day I tried on the kelly green crops from NY&Co. in 2 sizes smaller. That was when I knew for sure that I was going to keep doing this and keep moving forward.

My rolls *rolled* away. BA DUM CHHH! Get it? No? Moving on...
This is a constant fight meal by meal, day by day. Every choice I make will affect my weight loss journey. Sometimes I don't care and I eat something junky. But that's OK as long as I get back on the horse and focus.

I think the biggest thing I didn't expect with weight loss was... That I can do it. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I've really proven to myself this year that I don't always "have to look like this", and I don't have to settle with feeling awful all the time from carrying so much excess weight, and that I can lose the weight without some crazy surgery (trust me, I've thought about it).

I'll keep you guys posted more than once every 4-ish months. Pinky promise. :)

xo
A Redhead
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Fat Kid's Honest Review About the 3 Day Refresh: Day 3!!

IT.
IS.
FINISHED!

I know, I survived. I lived to tell the tale. You know guys, it's really not that bad. I had a headache last night (presumably from the lack of caffeine) and a brief headache this morning (which was quickly quelled by a black cup of iced coffee), but overall... It really wasn't that bad. In fact, I told the Bearded Wonder already that I'd totally do this again. I generally wasn't hungry unless I missed a snack time waited too long to eat. Everything was really filling.

Though funny story, the last 2 days, every time I drank my Vanilla Refresh shake, I tasted corn. So weird. This afternoon at lunch I was looking at the ingredient list, and what's the 3rd ingredient? MAIZE. It's apparently for protein.

Gross.

Don't get me wrong, I love corn. I have nothing against creamed corn. But my shake with fresh pineapple and coconut extract in it still tasting like corn? Not a fan. It was so weird.

Imagine a shake made out of this. Yum.
As always, here's today's rundown:

8am: ~10 oz. water
9am: Chocolate shakeo with 1/2 banana, cinnamon, 1.25 c. water
10am: Iced black coffee. WITH A SPLASH OF MAPLE SYRUP!! 

I have no regrets. #YoloOrSomething
12pm: Fiber Sweep. Yum.
1:30pm: Vanilla Fresh shake with 1.25 c. of water, 1/2 banana, a LOT of vanilla extract [to mask the corn], spinach salad with strawberry and avocado and this awesome Italian vinaigrette I made. So mad I didn't find it sooner. 
4:30pm: Apple chips from Starbucks. I was hungry and they were literally just dried apples. #WhenInDC
6pm: 1 c. veggie broth with herbs, coconut steamed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans), and a Corn Vanilla Fresh shake with pineapple and coconut extract.

I had a tiny headache this morning, but the coffee kicked it's butt. Oh and guess what??

I lost 2.8 lbs yesterday. 

That brings my total loss up to 4.8, and my overall weight to 25 lbs lost!! Unfortunately I've been waffling with the same ~4 lbs for the last month or so, so I'm only down 25 instead of 30. It's ok though- it's a crawl not a sprint. Or something. :) 

The 3 Day Refresh has also made me realize that big bowls of vegetables are actually pretty nice for a meal. I haven't felt bloated in 3 days, I haven't actually craved junk food like I was before. This really has seemed to reset my body & my mentality. I'm ready for round 4 of the 21 Day Fix to start tomorrow!

Interested in trying the 3 Day Refresh?? Click HERE to get your own kit!
(Listen, I know it's a bit pricy for 3 days. I am the CHEAPEST of the skates. But it's for your health, it's a one-time investment, and it's a great way to jumpstart your lifestyle journey.)

xo
A Redhead

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Fat Kid's Honest Review About the 3 Day Refresh: Day 2

Day 2 is just about done. Suffice it to say... It was a bit more rough than day 1. I felt pretty good after yesterday so I figured today would be just as easy.

Eeeehhhhhhh..... 

Don't get me wrong- I was super chipper before I drank the Fiber Sweep this morning. See? I took a picture for you guys!

Told you it looks disgusting. Thankfully it doesn't taste like it looks
Here is today's lowdown:
  • 8am: ~10 oz. water
  • 9am: Cafe latte shakeo with 1/2 banana, cinnamon, 1.25 c. water, ice
  • 10am: Fiber Sweep
  • 11:30am: Green tea (I ended up sipping this over the next couple of hours just because of my schedule)
  • 12:30pm: Vanilla Fresh shake with vanilla extract, cinnamon, 1.25 c. water, and ice, 1/2 banana, spinach/strawberry/avocado salad with vinaigrette. (My shake was so gross today, you guys. So gross.)
  • 4:45pm: 1 c. veggie broth with chopped up herbs (I was desperate for food and made this really quick. More on that below)
  • 6pm: Vanilla Fresh shake blended with ice, 1.25 c. water, coconut extract (GOD ALMIGHTY WHY DID TODAY'S SHAKES TASTE LIKE CORN?!), coconut steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, smidgen of coconut oil). 
So today was different from yesterday in that my schedule was a bit "off." I went to a LuLaRoe show today which took up a good chunk of my afternoon, so I didn't drink enough water during the day. By the time I was heading home, I had a massive headache and was starving.

Important life tip: make sure to space out your food during the day! I didn't eat an afternoon snack like yesterday, and I didn't drink enough water, so combine the 2 and it was baaaaddd. I feel fine now since I've been drinking more water and had a proper dinner.

Though, I'm not sure what's going on, but my Vanilla Refresh shakes have tasted like corn today. They were awful. Yesterday was fine, nothing special, but today's were just bad. They seriously had a weird corn after taste. 

I promised you an honest review, and you're getting an honest review. =P 

Tomorrow's my last day, so fingers crossed it goes well. I lost 2 lbs yesterday, so that's pretty sweet! 

OH! Here's my dinner from last night. I took a picture and forgot to show you all yesterday. :D 

Wish me luck for tomorrow!

xo
A Redhead

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Fat Kid's Honest Review About the 3 Day Refresh: Day 1

Heeeyyyy friends. It's been awhile. :) We've been off The Fix for about a month now, and suffice it to say I have been in Hog Heaven.

Are you guys familiar with the phrase "Hog Heaven"? It's a very Southern term, and it looks something like this...


Yep. I saw it. I ate it. It's just that simple. OK if I'm totally honest, it wasn't that dramatic. I mean I still tried to not eat EVERYTHING I got my hands on, but overall I had little to no self-control. I think it was because I totally OD'd on brown rice and shredded chicken. I just couldn't do it anymore. The end of the last round of the Fix was really hard for me, because I stopped being able to eat the staples we'd come to rely on.

Enter the 3 Day Refresh. It was a safe but dramatic enough option for me to kick my butt in to gear. It's a bit drastic, but it's also only 3 days, and frankly- I need to undo some of my edible sins before the next round of the fix starting Monday.

SO! Here we go.

I did a lot of researching on this before I started, and everyone could at least agree on one thing: it does work. Whether they liked it or not, everyone lost some weight (I saw anywhere between 3 and 10 lbs!). That appealed to me. I've done some crazy things diet-wise, and 3 days is cake.

Well, not literally. That's counterproductive. 

Anywho. I got my 3 Day Refresh box on Thursday, and once I opened it and started reading... I was terrified. Genuinely terrified.

It seemed almost too drastic for what I thought it'd be, and only ~900 calories a day? And no dairy? WHERE MY CHEESE AT?!


I bought a crap ton of veggies and some fruit at the store (no canned or frozen, per the booklet!), and I started to prep for the scariest looking cleanse I'd ever attempted.

Here's what today looked like:

  • 6:45am: Water. You're supposed to start err'day with 8-10 oz. of water. 
  • 7:50am: Vanilla shakeology with 1 serving blueberries, 1.25 c. water, cinnamon, and ice. (This was a terrible concoction, btw. Don't do it.)
  • 9:30am: Green tea (Which, hallelujah, doesn't taste like green tea. I loathe green tea.)
  • 10:40am: Fiber Sweep Drink* (yes, it's supposed to do exactly what you're giggling about)
  • 12pm: Vanilla Fresh Shake**, 1/2 banana, 2 c. of spinach with 6 big strawberries cut up, 1/4 avocado, and a lemon vinaigrette I made with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, s&p. 
  • 3pm: I wasn't terribly hungry but I felt a bit peckish, so I ate my green pepper and hummus anyway. (I figured I'd be hungry before dinner, so might as well.)
  • 6pm: MASSIVE DINNER. Ok, the booklet says you can have an optional cup of veggie broth with herbs in addition to your vanilla fresh shake and veggie dinner. So I did. Because I'm a big girl that likes food. I had the cup of broth, huge plate of veggie stir-fry, and my last Vanilla Refresh Shake.
I'm stuffed y'all. I made the stir-fry with green peppers, shredded carrots, and fresh green beans. Toss in some minced garlic and freshly grated ginger and himalayan pink salt, and it was pretty good!! Thankfully the booklet gives you detailed recipes you can do for dinner. 


*So the Fiber Sweep. It's not too bad, actually. Definitely drink it in FRIGID cold water, but don't use ice because it clumps. Just chug it back really quick; don't sit and savor it. It has a nice citrus flavor, but I won't lie to you- it looks nasty. Like a bunch of wheat germ you threw in water. It's strange. But again, it tastes just fine!

** The Vanilla Fresh shake isn't too shabby, either. I added vanilla extract and cinnamon at lunch, per some other folks' recommendations. I love them for it. It thickened up nicely even with just water and ice (I couldn't blend it at work). I did blend it for dinner, though I added almond extract and cinnamon just to see what would happen. I think tomorrow I'll try 1/2 banana and some coconut extract.

Overall I feel fine! I'm pleasantly surprised that other than this morning I haven't really felt hungry. I do think it's funny that they warn you about "extra" gas while on this (thank you, Fiber Sweep!), but that's because I've got the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.

I do feel less bloated, which is a definite perk. I ate with reckless abandon last night (see: Hog Heaven) so I felt kind of gross when I woke up. But now I'm feeling pretty good! I can have another optional cup of tea tonight, and of course more water. Hopefully this keeps up for the next 2 days. And hopefully I lose 3-5 lbs. ;)

I'll keep you all posted!

xo
A Redhead

Saturday, April 16, 2016

When you have a setback in your fitness journey.

As an almost life-long dieter, it was about time I had a setback in my newish fitness journey.
This blog has always been my glass box to stand in and be honest about my weight loss adventures, and today is especially painful as I admit a few things.

First, I haven't worked out in 5 6 weeks.
Second, I've gained 1.5 lbs this week since we're off the Fix right now and I've eaten with all kinds of reckless abandon.
Are we still friends even though I just told you I really suck at this sometimes?
I have legitimate excuses for some of the time I didn't work out- hubbies had the flu and I was taking care of him, I had a nasty cold, I threw my back out, I hurt my knee... But if I'm completely honest, there's still a solid 3 weeks where I didn't have excuses. I just didn't work out. Sometimes I was busy, sometimes it was pure laziness. I'm not proud of it, and I can't go back and change it, but I can start again.
Which I did today!

Thanks Ron! 
I worked out today and it hurt. I felt weak, and winded, and completely lost some of the progress I'd made (like having to go back to my lighter weights!). It felt like I completely started over. But at least I started over instead of wallowing in my workout failure. I've really learned through everything that I can't make changes by just talking about it. I've got to do something.

About the weight gain... It sucks. It really does. It's only a pound and a half, so in the long run it's not much, but it sucks that it only took a week to bring it back. I like to think that after being on this journey since January, and since I'm a Beachbody coach, that I've got it all down. I know everything, I'm amazing at it, and weight will just continue to fall off my frame!

Who are you kidding?!
Unfortunately that's not the case. 

It's still a journey. It's still a process. I'm going to eat ice cream, I'm going to occasionally have hiccups, but I'll continue to be open and honest about my struggles. I love food. But I'm also an emotional eater. I didn't get my bodacious curves by eating salads when I was going through something! ;)

So that's where I am right now. I had some amazing chocolate cherry shakeo after my workout, and it was kind of like rewarding myself with a milkshake. =P

My next 21 day fix challenge group is starting on May 15th. Let me know if you're interested in a fun, but honest start on your weight loss journey! I don't ask for your weight/measurements (you keep those to yourself), but the group provides some fantastic accountability. I promise fun giveaways, an imperfectly honest coach, some new friends, and if you put the work into it- results. Even if it's not a perfect 21 days, it's a start. That's all that matters- that you start.

xo
A Redhead

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's happened.... It's here...

I'VE LOST 20 POUNDS!!! 



I was going to go for a girl power vibe here, but this was just too good to pass up....

You guys.

YOU. GUYS. 

I'm so pumped. So freaking pumped. I've lost 2.5 lbs since Monday on round 3 of The Fix, which is about what I lost during my entire last round. Granted, I didn't have my whole heart in it that time- I know I didn't. I cheated with my food, I found excuses not to work out... The program's not going to work if I don't work the program, you know? I started to feel sorry for myself, but I'm the one who made the choices to eat junk and not work out. That's unfortunately how this works. 

My dream of eating a bread basket with no calories will never be realized.

Le sigh.

ANYWAY. I've been trying really hard with my food this week, though it's still been tough. The Bearded Wonder was diagnosed with the flu last Thursday, and I developed a nasty cold on Monday. We still ate fix-friendly though! I didn't work out, but I also wasn't eating as many calories as I would if I were working out. So it all balanced out in that regard.

My challenge group also started on Monday, and I have to say that I LOVE it. The folks in the group are funny and honest, and we've gotten great accountability and recipes out of this. I'm doing a giveaway of Autumn Calabrese's FIXATE cookbook on Monday to the most active participant, and at the end of the 3 weeks I'll be doing a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway to whoever loses the highest percentage of body fat. I'm pretty excited. =) 

I love doing this though. I love seeing people support each other, and I love being part of their success story. On a selfish note, I love having even more people around me doing this- there's some serious transparency going on.

Interested in joining us for the next round? Want to just get started on your own in the meantime? You can purchase the 21 day fix set here along with some taaaaaasty Shakeology (cafe latte is my favorite. YUM). Please ask me questions! I've drank the kool-aid Shakeology and love talking about this program! =))) 

OK kids. Everyone have a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful Easter! I'm still not sure why we celebrate Christ's resurrection with a rabbit that brings easter eggs and tons of diabeetus, buuuuut I love Jesus and chocolate so whatevs. 

xo
A Redhead

Monday, March 7, 2016

Round 2 of the Fix is over!

Well we've ended our 2nd round of the 21 day fix! Now, I started this blog with the intent of being honest and accountable with my weight loss journey. So it's in that mindset that I have to tell you my whole heart wasn't in it this last time. I don't know why- maybe I got arrogant from my first round and thought I was all of a sudden a weight losing goddess? Maybe I figured I'd just keep losing weight after such a great round?

I have no clue.

Regardless, I'm the only one that suffered from my empathetic attitude. In 3 weeks I lost 2 pounds, though I did still manage to lose 6 inches from my body.

That brings my final weight loss total in 2 rounds (though technically a round and a half, if we count my laziness =P) to 17 lbs and 16 inches!




Not too shabby, huh!? I mean really, 2 lbs in 3 weeks is still great. 6 inches in 3 weeks is still great. But I constantly found excuses to not work out, or eat "treats" when Heaven knows I don't need them.

Clean eating or not, a treat is still a treat.

SO. In the interest of meeting my 30th birthday goal (you know, to look like I'm wearing Spanx without actually wearing them), I'm starting a challenge group on March 21st!

Oh yeah, I also signed up as a Beachbody coach. Did I tell you guys that?? I seriously love the 21 day fix though and I want other people to do it with me! =) 

Now, back to the challenge group. It's going to run March 21st-April 10th and I basically want everyone to do it with me. =P There'll be giveaways (word on the street is there's a $25 Amazon gift card at stake. I don't know- it's a rumor!), silly inspirational sayings, far too much optimism for any 1 person to handle, tons of recipes, and more importantly- a lifestyle change.

If you're interested in signing up, purchase your challenge pack HERE* and drop me a note so I can add you to the private facebook group! It's completely private, and there will be a "cone of silence" placed on it so everyone has privacy and can speak freely. =)

xo
A Redhead

*Note: I know, $140 is a bit steep. Buuuuut you get a month of Shakeology which in itself is normally $130/month. So you're basically buying a month of Shakeology & getting the 21 day fix program for FREEEEEEE! =) I'm crazy cheap as you all know, so I'm trying to offer perspective. =)