Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss

Why I Became Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified

I feel like a bit of an anomaly in the fitness world. I’ve lived and worked in this space for a few years now. Even as I have worked in this space I have still been on my own journey to discover what health and fitness means in my life. As I have come into a world dominated by people who have lived in health and fitness for most of their lives I felt like an outsider. Many fitness professionals have chosen their career because it was the easy choice, because fitness has always been easy for them. I didn’t end up in this profession because it was easy for me. I ended up here because when I was starting out on my fitness journey I felt like none of the people I went to for help understood where I was at. I had to fight like hell to get here. The things I have learned aren’t just from a textbook. I’ve lived them.

5year3poseProgresse
It wasn’t that long ago I was on the other side of this industry… not the fitness professional, but the terrified fat girl walking into a gym of mostly fit people. I vividly remember what it felt like to not be able to hold myself up on a pull up bar for a millisecond. I remember how terribly difficult it felt to push my 250 pound body up off the ground, even doing a girl push up from my knees. I remember crying in the dressing room because nothing fit or getting winded climbing the stairs. But I also remember the very first time I deadlifted 100lbs and couldn’t believe I just lifted that much weight off the floor. I remember the first time I jumped on a box after months of being terrified of it. I know what it feels like to work hard and see results. I know what it feels like to work hard and see no results.
I have been where you are. 
 
It is overwhelming and confusing hearing everyone try to tell you what you should do… shouldn’t do… what to eat… what not to eat. They try to sell you shortcuts, magic powder, pills, or wraps to get you to your goal in 21 days for 10 easy payments… or whatever. I’ve tried a good amount of them and none of them worked. I was gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, whole30. I spent a long time following a strict meal plan that dictated exactly what and how much to eat. While that last one wasn’t bad in itself (it was a healthy meal plan) the overly structured format left me terrified to deviate from the plan… not wanting to attend social outings because there would be food and I’d have to be “that girl” who brought her own food or didn’t participate because it wasn’t on my meal plan.
There are no short cuts to lasting change.
[Tweet “There are no short cuts to lasting change.”]
If you aren’t seeing results some fitness professionals might tell you that you aren’t trying hard enough or you must be lying about what you’re eating or how much you’re working out. They tell you to get motivated….  To workout more, eat less. Push harder. Rest less. Eat high carb… no paleo… no try no carbs. If you slip up they tell you to work it off. Workouts should be painful. You should turn down fun life events because they don’t fit your diet. You should be starving. Society in general has told us that losing weight can’t be an enlightening experience. That we should deprive ourselves, starve ourselves, overwork ourselves. We are put down, or we put ourselves down, for not being good enough.
This process will be hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like punishment.
 
I became a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach because I want to help people reach their goals in a way that makes sense for their lifestyle. I believe the best diet is the one that works for you. I believe that food isn’t good or bad, it’s just food. IMG_7787I believe that whatever way you most enjoy moving your body is the best exercise for you. We are all different. I want to help people quiet the noises of society, the media, that old friend from high school who messages you on Facebook to tell you about this awesome opportunity they have… and discover to what works best for YOUR BODY. Not what worked for your mom, your friend down the street, or some celebrity.
There is no one size fits all prescription for health and fitness. 
 [Tweet “There is no one size fits all prescription for health and fitness. “]
I became Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified so I could help coach people to live their best life now. Not 30lbs from now. Not when they fit back in those jeans from high school. But NOW. Today. I want to help people find true health and wellness. That includes being at peace with their bodies, having a healthy relationship with food, and realizing it will be hard work… but that they are worth the hard work.
worthitIG
I spent the last year learning the both the science and psychological aspects of Nutrition Coaching through the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Program. I also have a Degree in Psychology. I’ve been a CrossFit Coach for 3 nearly years now. Helping and Inspiring others has been a passion of mine my entire life, that’s one of the major reasons I blog! Now I’m getting more personal. You’ll probably start seeing some more posts here about nutrition and wellness. Be sure to sign up for my free email newsletter to stay up to date on the upcoming launch of my online coaching program as well as get exclusive content and free resources to help you live your best life now.
What would you be looking for in a online coaching program?
How are you living your best life NOW?

 

Health, Life, Life Lessons, Nutrition

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Oh hey there.

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It’s been faaaaaar too long. I had a moment this summer when I realized that I was trying to juggle so many different things and doing none of them exceptionally well. I wanted so desperately to be good at everything and ended up feeling like I wasn’t good at anything. And while it was something I loved and worked so hard to build… the blog was something I had to let go of updating regularly. Who knew being a wife and mom, running (and expanding!) several businesses, trying to maintain my own health and fitness, and figuring out life with a kid now in school would be too much for one person to handle… ha. It was important to me to be more present in every day life and most of my responsibilities, like running a CrossFit, weren’t ones I could give up on. So I took a break from posting regularly here. But I’ve missed it! And now that I feel like I have a little bit of a better handle on things I’m excited to try to get back into the groove with posting here.

This blog has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. It has been a place for deep reflections, a training journal for my past races, it had a short stint as an attempted crafting blog, but mostly it has been the way I have documented my weight loss and fitness journey over the past 5 years. The thing is along with realizing I couldn’t do it all I reached a major turning point in my weight loss journey this summer. I reached a point where the number on the scale wasn’t very important. I wasn’t willing to go to more extreme measures just to see that number change. I stopped stressing about it. As I continued to study for my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification I started implementing some of the principles I was learning. I kept up with my regular Crossfit workouts, which range between 1-2 hours a day 5 days a week. I made healthy choices for the most part and enjoyed some indulgences on occasion as well. I’m almost scared to admit it… but I feel like I found peace and balance. I don’t want to say I’m in maintenance mode. I do want to be more lean than I currently am. But I absolutely love my body where it is at as well.

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It’s weird, though. To be at a place I always dreamed of being. We just got back from a trip to Jamaica (I’ll write more about that in another post) where I spent 4 days in a bikini and not once felt ashamed or self conscious. And when people started posting pictures from the weekend I didn’t cringe or hate any of them. I looked at myself and think “wow, I did this” instead of thinking how I need to eat less or workout more.

This shift in mindset didn’t happen because I lost weight. This shift in my mindset happened because I worked on my mind and soul. By learning to care for my body I learned that there is so much more to being healthy than just eating right and working out. Being completely healthy means taking care of your body, mind, and soul.

Healthy concept, Spirit, Body and Mind, drawing on blackboard

Doing things you love, challenging the lies you’ve been told about yourself your whole life, speaking powerful truths in place of those lies, taking time to invest in yourself, discovering your worth, surrounding yourself with people who support and empower you… all these things lead to being completely healthy. And that is what a lot of people miss on this journey. That’s dangerous. If all you do is focus on the physical aspect it is far more likely the changes you see in your body won’t stay around for long. I’d wager to say the changes I’ve seen in my body, especially in the last few months, have been not because I was focusing on the physical changes but because I have been focusing on my mind and soul as well. Realizing (and admitting) that I can’t do it all was a huge step for me. It eliminated the stress I put on myself. Because no one expected me to be able to do it all… except for me. When I started removing stress and unrealistic expectations from my life I became happier and healthier.

bikiniprogress

Same bikini, 5 months apart. I noticed a huge difference! According to the scale I’ve lost 13lbs on the scale, PR’d several lifts, and even got a few pull ups, got toes to bar, and got my rope climbs back. I haven’t changed my eating or workouts significantly. I’ve simply focused on my mental and emotional well being and tried to manage my stress more effectively. [Tweet “Take care of your mental well being and your physical well being will follow”].

It’s been a process, It always is. But you are worth the hard work.

Do you focus on your mental and emotional health or just your physical health?
What can you do today to be healthier in mind, body, and soul?

 

 

Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss

The 5 Limiting Factors That Can Stop You From Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Happy first Monday of the New Year! I know it is just another day, but motivation and resolve seems to be at all time high on Mondays. and first Mondays are even better. The best though… the best is when the 1st falls on a Monday. I’m not alone, right? My OCDish personality loves it when that happens. I am particularly excited about today because I finally started to feel better. After about a week of battling a sore throat, cough, and congestion I’m finally starting to feel somewhat human again. Aside from feeling better, I’m also really excited to get back to a sort of normalcy. I enjoy the holidays, I really do, but I also really love the rhythm of a well created routine.

This is my life.

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

That pretty much sums it up.

As we dive into a new week… month… year… Goal setting is at its peak. I love having goals, giving me something to strive towards. Many people have set goals related to their health. It may be the first time you have resolved to change your lifestyle or maybe it is the 100th time. Either way, let’s make this time different. The best way to reach your goal is to pin point what has been stopping you from achieving that goal and remove that obstacle. When we are talking about your ability to live a healthy life there are 5 major limiting factors that stop you from reaching your fitness goals.

5limitingfactors

Genetic Makeup

This was one of my fall back excuses for a long time. I was convinced that my genetics prevented me from losing weight. A good portion of my family was overweight. After my mom lost a huge amount of weight when I was in my early twenties that excuse crumbled for me. If she could do it, I could to. The truth is most people don’t come close to realizing their genetic potential for health and fitness. No, you may not be a Rich Froning… he is a genetic freak. But your genetics typically allow for improvement in health, fat loss, and muscle gain.

Physical Activity Patterns

This is one that we often acknowledge. If you live a pretty sedentary life that could be what is holding you back from reaching your health and fitness goals. The recent influx in popularity of fitness tracking gadgets has helped many people become more active simply by making them aware of their inactivity. Even though I coach CrossFit, I still have a desk job that has me sitting for hours at a time. If I am not purposeful about my exercise and activity it doesn’t happen. Start wherever you are at. You don’t have to go from sedentary to marathoner overnight. If you want to get fitter, leaner, and healthier you are going to need to pursue an active lifestyle as well as purposeful, regular, and intense exercise.

Physiology

This is one I will preach about until I’m blue in the face. While exercise and nutrition are important, there are certain physiological imbalances that will severely impact your ability to reach your goals. This includes all kinds of things like thyroid problems (Hello, Hashimoto’s) and hormone imbalances (oh, and hey there estrogen dominance). These may not be issues with every person who struggles to lose weight or get fit. They were, and still are, very real issues with me. You know your body.  You know when it just doesn’t feel right. You could very well have some physiological limiting factors, but please please listen to me very closely here… While these may be limiting factors, they are not excuses for not trying. Yes, I’ve had to work twice as hard for half the results in some instances. Yes, I’ve felt like my body was fighting me every step of the way. But I did not let it defeat me. It may have been the medical reason why losing weight was hard…. harder for me than others…. but it did not stop me. I identified it as a limiting factor and did my best to remove it, or manage it. If you think your limiting factor may be physiological, find a team willing to help you get to the bottom of the issue. A good doctor, trainer or coach, and nutritionist. It’s worth the fight.

Mindset

Maybe I should have put this at the top. Having the courage to believe you can is the biggest part of the battle. After being overweight the majority of my life it took a lot of courage to step out and say maybe I can change this. Getting to that point is huge, but it isn’t the end all to the mental battle. Once you believe you can you must have the mental strength to stay in the battle once the feel goods fade away and all thats left is hard work. Getting up early to work out, eating healthy, and most of all staying consistent is not always easy. Your mindset is critical in determining if you will reach your goals.

believe

Nutrition

Ah, yes. This is the one. The one that more often than not will hold people back. It could be from lack of knowledge, lack of implementation, or being inconsistent. Nutrition is almost always, if not one of many, the most important limiting factor. It can be overwhelming with so many different points of view on nutrition. There is no right or wrong answer. There is no one best diet. You have to do something that works for you! Fad diets may help you for awhile, but what you need is something you can sustain for a lifetime. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. The truth is most people who think they have a generally good diet, but are still unhappy with where they are in regards to their fitness probably aren’t eating according to their goals. Regardless of what your goals or what “diet camp” you find yourself a part of there are a few things that all types of healthy eating philosophies have in common like making you aware of what you are eating, focusing on food quality, help eliminate nutrient deficiencies, they help control appetite and food intake, and they all promote regular exercise. So regardless of what route you take to get there all the popular healthy eating philosophies will help you reach your goals in similar ways. Stay consistent. Don’t give up because you mess up. Nutrition will be the make or break piece of the puzzle on your journey to health. If you’re looking for some one on one coaching to help you figure out this nutrition stuff, check out the  Precision Nutrition Coaching Presale List. this is the company I am doing my certification through and they offer a year long coaching program to help you reach your fitness goals.

Now that you know what the top 5 Limiting Factors that stop you from reaching your fitness goals you can see which of these may be problem areas for you and start making a plan to remove them so you become an unstoppable fitness force! For me it was a combination of many of these factors. Once I identified the problem, reaching my goals became just a matter of time, hard work, and consistency.

Do you struggle with any of these limiting factors? If so, which one(s)? 

 

Nutrition

What’s this Precision Nutrition Thing all About?

The world of health and fitness can be SO overwhelming. I feel like the “diet industry” is really just out to confuse you into spending more and more money on the next big diet or fad. Every couple of years something comes along that promises to be the answer to all your health and fitness problems. And this time of year is the absolute worst. Everyone is pushing their own diets and solutions for you to buy into. They know you are getting ready to get into your resolution mindset so they promise you a solution that will make them rich and leave you more confused. They sell you a band aid for the symptoms instead of helping you get to the root of the problem.

[Tweet “They sell you a band aid for the symptoms instead of helping you get to the root of the problem.”]

For me, the hardest part of this journey has been the nutrition. I’ve talked several times about how confused I was when it came to nutrition. I got bogged down with labels and fads and restriction. I felt so alone trying to figure it out. The moment when things really changed for me was when I hired a nutrition coach. He gave me detailed meal plans, and those plans worked when I worked the plan. I did that for close to a year. I made huge progress when I followed the plans he gave me. I loved the safety of having someone tell me exactly what and when to eat. I thrived on having someone to report to for check ins/measurements. It was just what I needed at the time. But after a year I felt… stuck? I felt like I had to follow that meal plan or I wouldn’t see any progress. When I was following the meal plan strictly I did fine. It was when I had to eat “off plan” I would freeze up in fear. If I wasn’t able to eat my 4 ounces of chicken, 3 ounces of sweet potatoes, and 2 ounces of green beans than I didn’t know what to eat. And all of a sudden that safety I loved about having a nutrition coach started to feel more like restriction. I had relied too much on him and I just didn’t know how to trust myself. Hiring a nutrition coach like I had wasn’t bad, it was what I needed at the time. He did nothing wrong, I hired him to make meal plans for me and that’s what he did. And they worked. But I started wanting a little more freedom, and I wanted to learn more about the how and why behind the meal plan instead of just blindly following it.

I looked into different Nutrition certification programs but I found that many of them required lots of pre-requisites or had a nutrition philosophy I just couldn’t get behind. Then I stumbled upon Precision Nutrition. Their blog articles were all spot on with what I wanted my nutrition philosophy to look like. It was all down to earth, balanced, scientific backed information. They acknowledge the fact that everyone is different when it comes to nutrition plans and that there is no one size fit all program. I felt relieved when I read “If you want to take control of your nutrition and lead a healthy lifestyle, then there is absolutely no “best diet” that you should follow.” They weren’t trying to cram “their way” of eating down my throat. They wanted to help me learn what worked for me. They offered a nutritional progression model that helps you change your habits instead of just telling you what to eat. They also operate on a results based model. The only one way to determine whether your nutrition plan is any good is look at your results.

[Tweet “The only one way to determine whether your nutrition plan is any good is look at your results.”]

I spent hours reading articles on their blog. Then I came across the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Presale List. I signed up to be on the pre-sale list for the next session of the Certification course. They only offer it twice a year! The next course begins in March 2015. You can sign up for the pre-sale list like I did to be sure to get into the next session and receive a discount. In the meantime you can sign up for this Free Starter Kit for for Fitness Pros to get some tips and tools you can use now.

 

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

 

A few months ago I started the Certification program. It is a go at your own pace study program, which is great for this busy mama/wife/business owner. The Certification program is broken into 2 sections: The Nutritional Science and The Nutritional Practice. I’m taking my time going through the science section. It is all about Food Intake, Absorption, Macronutrients, Micronutrients and all that fun stuff. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken any kind of science so I’m taking my time making sure I understand it all. The second part is going to be about how to help clients learn this information, providing a nutritional plan, setting goals and monitoring behavior. Once I take my test and become Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified I will be able to coach clients into better health habits they can use long term.

If you don’t want to wait a few months for me to be certified and start offering coaching services you can sign up for the Precision Nutrition Coaching Presale List! This isn’t just a “meal planning” program. It is a year long mentoring program. It’s not just about telling you what to eat and what not to eat, but about teaching you about your body. I have known several people who have gone through this program and seen amazing results not just physically, but mentally as well.

PNcoaching

They only open 2 sessions of coaching a year and they sell out pretty quick so be sure to sign up for the pre-sale list (plus you get a discount!) If you can’t wait until January to dive in you can get their Free Starter Kit for Women or Free Starter Kit for Men with actionable steps you can start with today.

If you don’t want to commit to a year long coaching program but are interested in learning more you can order the stand alone Precision Nutrition System. This is the self guided version of their coaching program.

Overall, I’ve been extremely satisfied with everything I’ve seen from PN so far. If you are struggling with your nutrition, want to lose fat, gain muscle, or become a certified Nutrition coach… check them out. Do your research, does it line up with what your nutrition philosophy? If nothing else, spend some time on their blog, they have lots of great articles and infographics to get you thinking.

What is your nutrition philosophy? Have you ever done any kind of nutrition coaching? Would you be interested in nutrition coaching?

 

Disclaimer: No, I’m not getting paid to write this. I’m actually paying out of my own pocket for this certification. I am just really excited about it! Some of these links may be affiliate links meaning if you make a purchase I receive a small commission. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Nutrition, Weight Loss

3 Tips to Beating Diet Boredom

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Progresso™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Progresso™, all opinions are my own.

 

dietboredom

When you tell someone that you are trying to eat healthier the last thing they probably think of is flavorful foods. The stereotypical “healthy diet” usually consists of bland chicken breasts, steamed green beans, and rice or potatoes. My biggest pitfall when it comes to sticking with a diet or eating plan is that I default to those same safe, boring foods. Then I get bored and I want to eat all the unhealthy things. That can turn into a full on train wreck, derailing all the progress I’ve made. All because I was bored with chicken, green beans, and potatoes. Sticking to a diet or eating plan doesn’t have to be torture. Here are my 3 tips for beating diet boredom

 

  1. Experiment with Flavor and Spices

When I first got married spices scared me. As I got more adventurous I would add salt and pepper… Crazy, right?! The more I learned the less scared I was of trying new things. Chili Powder, Paprika, Turmeric, Cumin…. Heck, even a dash or two of a pre-mixed seasoning blend makes all the difference! I eat a lot of chicken breast but by using different seasoning blends creates a whole new Flavor Experience! Speaking of flavors, did you know Progresso™ soup has 40 delicious flavors at 100 calories or less per serving?

 

dietboredomprogresso

 

 

  1. Create a Sampler

One of my favorite new ways of escaping boredom is to create a sampler or snack plate. By using several different types of food you can stay interested in what you’re eating, experience different flavors and textures, and when you portion them out and it saves calories too! One thing I did this week was created a sampler of deli meat, pickles, tomatoes, cheese, and Progresso™ Light Savory Beef Barley Soup. My meal clocked in at 355 calories, had a good mixture of protein, carbs and fat, and kept me full for hours. And it fits in with tip number 1, because it was full of flavor!

 

dietboredomsampler

 

 

  1. Make It Pretty

The more colors, the better! I know I tend to take more pleasure in my food when it is aesthetically pleasing. I used to not care what food looked like and would scarf it down without thinking. No, just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s going to taste better. But if you take the time to create a beautiful meal you will be more likely to want to take your time eating it, enjoying the entire process and you’ll be likely to eat less. So go buy a pretty new bowl. Get a colorful mixed salad. Use your fancy china.

 

 

When you defeat diet boredom and trim up you might just need some new clothes, right? Well Progresso™ wants to help you out!

 

Oh yes you can enter for a chance to win a wardrobe makeover for you and three of your friends, courtesy of Progresso™! Enter the ProgressOh! wardrobe makeover contest at Progresso.com/ProgressOh. Four deserving Progresso™ fans and three of their friends will each win a $1,000 cash card and a year-long subscription to the POPSUGAR “Must Have Box”

 

Your Turn: Tell me how you defeat diet boredom!

 

EAT, Nutrition

Weekend Recap & Menu Planning Monday 10/6

Another week has come and gone already. Worse yet, the weekend came and went even faster! We seem to be on this trend of having one busy weekend followed by a not busy weekend. When we have a busy weekend it is stupid busy. When we have a not so busy weekend it is such a breath of fresh air. The hubs’ family wanted to spend some time with Payton so we were on our own Friday night. So we had a random date night. An early Happy Hour dinner at Bar Louie in St Charles followed by coffee at Picasos. It was fun and spontaneous!

Saturday we had a great morning workout and brunch with friends. Then we met up with the family to pick up Payton. We got to relax at home for a few hours before going to meet up with friends for dinner. While Saturdays are usually go go go, I try to take Sundays to get stuff done. That is when I normally do my meal planning.

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I looked at this week’s eMeals Clean Eating Slow Cooker Plan and decided that 3 of the dishes looked really good, so I added them into our weekly plan. I super duper puffy heart love my crock pot.

Sunday- Smoked Meat and Dip
Monday- Chili
Tuesday- Chipotle Pork and Garlic Potatoes (eMeals)
Wednesday- Cuban Sandwiches & Artichoke Dip (eMeals)
Thursday- Gingered Broccoli & Beef with Glazed Carrots (eMeals)
Friday- OUT

Saturday- Leftovers

I love planning ahead, it makes it so much easier! For example, the Chipotle Pork on Tuesday doubles as the meat for the Cuban sandwiches on Wednesday. Cook once, eat twice. Also with the eMeals app on my phone I can skip the meals I wasn’t planning on making and it automatically updates the shopping list for me. I’m all about working smarter, not harder.

After putting together the menu I headed to the grocery store. I usually shop for 80% of my groceries at Target and get the 20% of specialty items, meat, and produce from Dierburgs (a local grocery store). Target has an awesome app for your phone called Cartwheel, I use that with Coupons, sales, and the Red Card and end up saving a good amount of money. I love saving money.

What are you eating this week? Did you have a good weekend?

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie for more Menu planning tips and inspiration! 

 

Nutrition, parenting, Weight Loss, Whole30

Confused

Well hello there friends. How was your weekend? I hope you moms had a great mothers day! I sure did. It’s always a good day when I get to spend it with this cutie

mothersdaylunch

I actually got to sleep in, then we laid in bed cuddling for a bit. The hubs made breakfast while I took a long shower and took my time getting ready. After doing some housework I took Little P shopping for some new shoes. Girlfriend is quite the shopper. She found some shoes she loved right away and wouldn’t change her mind, no matter how hard I tried. Love her. We looked at clothes too. She walked around the girls section exclaiming “This is SO cute. Mom, can I buy this?” And holding things up asking me if it looked good. Hilarious.  We went to lunch with the hubs family at Cheesecake Factory. This would be our fourth night in a row eating out. Whoops.

Can we talk about food for second? Because lately I’ve just been really confused by it. You see – I did the Whole30 last month and I had great results. But I struggled. The idea of being SO restrictive made me miserable. I wanted stuff I haven’t had in so long, and normally wouldn’t want, just because I “couldn’t” have it. And if we’re being honest here… The last 2 weeks have been a continuous “cheat” because I wanted to relish in the fact that I “could” have whatever I wanted. We traveled to Pittsburgh and I ran a half marathon, which I used as an excuse to eat an ungodly amount of processed carbs. I’ve tried to find the balance in the last week or so but I just don’t know what to do.

My problem is I want/need to lose more weight. But I also want/need to get stronger. So how do I balance that? For the past year I have been eating mostly grain-free. I still have some dairy and legumes, so not totally paleo. And I often indulge in desserts and meals that are less than healthy. The reason I did the Whole30 was because I had hit a plateau and was tired of gaining and losing the same 5 pounds. I made great progress, but it really did mess with me mentally. Now I’m afraid of “restricting” myself too much because I don’t want to end up coming off something and eating everything in sight….

So I guess what I’m saying is I just don’t know how to balance it all. I need to do more research on what to eat to gain muscle while losing fat, but mostly I want to find something that clicks with me mentally as well.

All that to say I’m just confused.

Any advice?
How was your mothers day?

Nutrition, Whole30, workouts

Whole30 Results & Afterthoughts

It.Is.Finished.

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I learned a lot about myself over these past 30 days. I faced temptation and stood strong.

When I started this I didn’t imagine it would be as hard as it was. I thought I ate “pretty clean” and that making adjustments to my eating wouldn’t be that difficult. I don’t eat bread/pasta/tortilla/rice all that much and I honestly don’t miss it, so that wasn’t a big deal. The things I struggled with the most was not “paleo-fying” or recreating favorite old foods. I can deal with no grains, even no dairy or legumes… but no paleo pancakes? no paleo pizza? no paleo cookies? ugh. that was tough. Towards the end of week 4 I started to go a little crazy – wanting things I don’t normally even want just because I couldn’t have them. I got tired of having to analyze every little thing I put in my mouth. It was eye opening how much mindlessly goes in my mouth, but at the same time thinking about it non stop for 30 days kinda made me crazy.

I generally felt good, not bloated or gassy. I did sometimes feel tired, but I think I just didn’t eat enough some days. I slept a ton better, for sure.

it was hard, but it was worth it though.

Now onto my Whole30 Results…

When I weighed in I was at 195.4
Today I was at 187.
Total Loss – 8.4lbs

whole30beforeafterclose

The left is the start. The right is the finish. 30 days in between.
(please ignore that ugly bruise. 180lb back squat #fail)

whole30beforeafter

I’m very pleased with the results. I knew my stomach was getting smaller but I was surprised at the growth in my arms/shoulders! I actually look like I have muscles!

And lets not forget where I came from… This is my CrossFit Before and After:

crossfitbeforeafterapril2013

I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I feel really good about it. I’ve worked hard for this. My plan going out is to continue to make healthy food choices. I don’t need dessert every night. I don’t need to splurge every time we go out to eat. We ate out quite a bit these 30 days and I made healthy choices every time. It is doable. I just have to find the balance that works for my body.

Nutrition, Whole30

Whole30 April: Week 4 Recap

Week 1 Recap
Week 2 Recap
Week 3 Recap

Glory Hallelujah it is the end of week 4. I seriously thought this day would never come. I’ll post my full results and afterthoughts on Wednesday for Weigh In Wednesday. Today you get a little recap of this past week. And man was it a doozy.

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I’ll be totally honest, this week my heart was not in it. I’m just ready to be done. I didn’t do a ton of food prep and have just been skating by on what I had. I’ve probably eaten out more than I should. I always make generally “compliant” choices – but don’t worry about prep methods or sourcing. I’m not really even burnt out or craving certain foods… but the thought of not being “allowed” to have them makes me want them. I want the freedom to be able to make my own choices… which is funny because I CHOSE to do this. They talk about getting into the swing of things and starting to feel the “tiger blood” of extra energy and such. I really didn’t feel that. I haven’t felt bad, actually I’ve felt pretty normal. I’ve experienced less bloating/gas. It is just mentally starting to wear on me. I’ve kept mostly on course except for yesterday… I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But here are some of my favorite meals/snacks from the week:

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Top Left: Jimmy Johns Unwich – Turkey, veggies, guac in a lettuce wrap.
Top Right: GTs Kombucha, with a boiled egg and dates
Bottom Left: Probably my favorite quick bite – Dates topped with Sunbutter. Amazeballs.
Bottom Right: Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Pico and Avocado. Delicious.

Now about yesterday… We went to a BBQ place for lunch. I was hungry, cranky, and totally done with overanalyzing my food choices every freaking time I eat. So I had pulled chicken, tasted the BBQ sauce, had applesauce and white potato french fries. And they were good.

But that wasn’t the worst of it… Then we went to Six Flags. We walked around and rode rides (Payt rode her first “big kid” roller coaster! It was too cute!) Then this happened….

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I ate maybe 1/4 of it. It was so good. In the most artificial way possible. Like I could taste the fakeness. I then had a headache. and proceeded to be in a sugar induced nap coma for 3 hours. It was awful. So good. But so not worth it. Ah well- live and learn.

I think I got to the point where my body has adapted pretty well to this eating style and stopped giving me the same results. This always happens when I try something new or drastic. I’ll see awesome results the first few weeks and then it just stops. I just have to keep switching it up.

Technically we have another day on Whole30 April. I’m just trying to readjust my mind to “letting” myself entertain the idea of off limit foods in moderation. I don’t want to binge. That obviously leads to nothing good. I don’t want to undo what I’ve done these past 4 weeks. I just want to take what I’ve learned and apply it to a more balanced lifestyle. Something I want to remember as we head to Pittsburgh this weekend! Can’t wait to meet up with the rest of the #runfor crew at the Dicks Sporting Goods Half Marathon!

How was your week? Link it up!


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Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole30

Weigh In Wednesday: Whole30 Week 3 Results

We are half way through the week! Yes! That means we are that much closer to the end of my Whole30. Not that I’m counting down… ahem. Anyway… It’s Weigh In Wednesday! Time to check in on our progress this week!

Weigh In Wednesday

I’m in the middle of week 4 of my Whole30… and it hasn’t been easy. Read my recap of week 3 and it’s clear to see that I’ve had my struggles. But you can also see I’ve had some HUGE changes in my body. Check out this halfway point picture (it’s been overused – I know. But the results are still shocking!) I can’t wait to see my final progress pictures on Tuesday. I have a lot to say about the program as a whole, but I can say that I am pleased with the results.

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I had thought about doing a Whole30 for some time. It just never seemed to be “good timing” – And I don’t know that any time is better than another. I knew that I needed to make some sacrifices and changes and get a little strict to see the results I want. I kept thinking about it but just never did it until now. Thanks to my good friend Walt for reminding me what it takes to get started!

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And because I just decided not to over think it and just do it, I am seeing awesome results! So I encourage you whatever it is you are wanting to do: Start a blog, eat healthier, start exercising… quit talking about it… quit thinking about it… just do it! It doesn’t have to be as drastic as Whole30 – but start somewhere!

Here are this weeks measurements:

whole30week3results

What what!!! A total of 10.5 inches?! UNREAL. It has been hard, but these results don’t lie!

How’d You Do This Week? What are you going to start doing this week that you’ve been talking about doing?

Linking Up with Erin and Alex