Hello There...

Welcome to my blog. I'm a full-time mommy of a 4-year-old & a 0-year-old, part-time waitress and a rookie blogger. Living on a farm with my son, daughter and husband among dogs, chickens, ducks and other various wildlife keeps life interesting and anything but normal!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Inside Out: My Transformation, Part 2

Well, as promised, here is Part 2 of my transformation. It's funny because I had wanted to blog about this whole thing real-time, as it was happening (like, as in the past 2 years) but I just didn't know enough to feel confident to give advice to other people....I just knew what was working for me (and quite honestly, I still don't know enough to be considered "qualified" to give advice on this matter). But I'm glad I waited until now, because rather than have broken pieces that at first seemed to be mismatched, I can stand back now and see the whole picture and it all came together, and it makes sense.

After a solid 6 months of reforming the way I ate by cutting out processed foods, sugar (natural and artificial) and focusing on eating clean, nutrient-dense foods, I was feeling great. But I wasn't getting where I wanted with my weight and so I added regular exercise. That was helping a little bit, but slowly I was starting to realize that it wasn't only what I ate, but also how much I ate. Up until last summer (2015) I had it in my head that I didn't need to count calories and I didn't need to keep track of how much I was eating, so long as the food I was eating was whole and clean. To a certain extent, I still feel that way and I will never restrict myself food if I am hungry and "out of calories" - if I am hungry, I eat. I have not wanted, nor do I ever want to have that kind of unhealthy relationship with food. That being said, I try very hard not to emotionally eat, because that is just as unhealthy as restricting caloric intake. But, I digress - unhealthy relationships with food is seriously at least one post on it's own, and I'm sure the blogosphere is full of them. So anyways...

I have a couple friends and family members who have had wild success using a program called 21-day Fix, and it had me intrigued. However, my whole point in this endeavor was to do it myself without the programs and the expensive gadgets and gizmos and workout plans, etc. So I started reading. I used Pinterest and Google and all the informations available on the internets everywhere and learned as much as I could about 21-day Fix without actually buying the program.

And I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here: I have nothing against the 21-day Fix program, in fact, of all the MLM companies out there, I personally think Beachbody is the only one I could actually get behind. I won't, because I do not support MLM anything (again, another post for another day) but I just want to make it clear that I am not here to bash any programs or discount them, because as I mentioned before, I have seen the results in friends and family first hand. If you are dedicated and stick to their plans, IT DOES WORK! But, I am also here to tell you that I am living, breathing proof that you don't need to invest hundreds of dollars into a program to get the same type of results.

You can absolutely do it yourself. You need a little bit of time to plan your meals and a little bit of research to find workouts that will work for you. But, I read and pinned and printed and planned and I geared up for what I simply called, "21-days". Listen, I personally know 4 Beachbody coaches and I didn't even want to insult them by asking them questions and expecting answers for free. I have more respect for business people than that, I don't let customers wash their clothes for free at my laundromat, so I would never expect them to give me advice about a program that I had no intention of buying for free, either.

The general idea here is that for 21 days I dedicated myself to perfectly clean eating (no cheat meals, processed foods or sugars at all) in certain portion sizes and to complete at least a 30 minute workout once a day. So  that is what I did. I did not keep stats, other than my weight. In hindsight, I wished I had taken measurements, but oh well...ya live, ya learn (well, not really because I still don't take measurements). I lost 7 lbs in 21 days and about a week after completing my first round, I started another. This, for me, and I think for anyone is such a great way to get your foot in the door. Who can't commit to something for a mere 3 weeks? If you just sit down and think it through and have it all planned out, you really can't go wrong!

In all my research and studying about the 21 day fix (which, btw, Pinterest has TONS of 21DF recipes, tips and tricks - I even have a board dedicated to stuff I used for my 21 days, check it out here: 21 Days) I kept seeing/hearing this term "MACROS". And I was all like, what the....?? I tried reading more about macros and my brain would just get confused. I'm really not a smart sciencey person, so anytime people try to explain things using science, I get completely overwhelmed and my brain basically turns to mush. So, I took a break from trying to figure out macros and I just kind of put it in the back of my brain for later. I did use an app to help me keep track of calories, though...which eventually kind of helped me figure out macros. I started using an app called Lose It! - it's free and worked pretty well. Turns out, though that I should have listened to my bro-in-law all along and just started with My Fitness Pal, it's pretty much the bees knees.

As it turns out, if I wanted to really shed the pounds, I needed to watch what foods I was eating, and how much I was eating, exercise regularly and drink lots of water. That's the non-secret secret, friends. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat well, exercise, drink water and repeat, for eternity. Haha, that sounds so simple, doesn't it!? But when you start to see and feel results, you will not want to stop. I promise. Getting started is the hardest part!

And so that brings us to 2016. I had wanted so much more for myself in 2015, but what is most important is that I got started. And now I feel unstoppable. This whole thing started with a non-new-years-resolution-resolution. I make changes on December 15th each year. My birthday is December 14th and I always give myself a good 2-week "it's my birthday" celebration where I eat and drink and buy anything I want, and on December 15th I generally create my "resolutions" for the coming year. This year, was different in-that I had already come so far, but not different because I still resolved to be a better version of myself. I resolved to keep going on this journey and to not stop.

A big one was increasing my water intake this year. I started by just carrying around a gallon jug with me and drinking it whenever and wherever. That way I knew how much I was drinking. These days, I just carry a 20 oz refillable bottle around with me and be sure to get 5-6 of them in a day. I also started BBG in February. Bikini Body Guide is an eBook or an app by Kayla Itsines. Now, I know what you're thinking..."but you said you didn't do this with any fancy programs or buying anything, blah blah blah"  and yes, you're correct. But I was able to get my hands on a copy of Kayla's first eBook for free. And I mean, if you've ever seen the before and after photos of the girls who do her program, you would do it too if you got it for free. And if you're not already following @kayla_itsines on Instagram, you need to...like 10 minutes ago. I'll wait......are you following her yet?

Kayla's workouts are hard, but totally do-able. You can modify if you need to and they were the perfect bridge to get me into a higher intensity workout. There is very little equipment needed to do the BBG workouts and I did a lot of improvising. I don't own a weight bench, so I used coffee tables or chairs. I don't have a medicine ball, but I have a kettle bell so I used that. I joined a Facebook BBG accountability group which was awesome for support or ideas on how to modify exercises when having limited equipment. I completed all 12 weeks of BBG by May of this year and I have started and re-started a few times, but haven't been able to finish my second round yet.

February 2016 >> July 2016

I took the photo on the left on my first day of BBG. It's hard to see because the lighting sucks in my house, but I have way more muscle definition everywhere. BBG helped me gain so much strength and helped me finally do things like a proper push up. I cannot say enough good things about BBG, Kayla is an  awesome role model and I'm thankful that the world of Instagram introduced me to all the wonderful that is BBG and the BBG Community. 

Well, that about wraps it up - I am currently working on completing a program called body beast (also by beach body) that I borrowed from a dear friend and brotha-from-anotha-motha. I am almost done with week 4  of 12 and y'all, Sagi Kalev is not joking around. I still do Kayla workouts here and there, but I have been focusing on training with heavier weights and building more lean muscle mass. 

I have finally figured out how macros work for me, but again, the sciencey stuff. I don't think I could explain them well enough, but if you want me to try, you can email me at spielman6125@gmail.com and I for reals would love to tell you what I think I know. And I'll just close with a couple quick words about what kind of "equipment" I use. 

There it is, in all it's glory. My "equipment"

I haven't really had to invest much into this kind of stuff because Sworkit and BBG didn't really require a whole lot and the things it did require, I could improvise with things I had on hand. I asked for a kettle bell for Christmas, I found the little purple 3 lb weights at T J Maxx on clearance for like $4.99. The two rusty adjustable ones were in my basement...the farmer helped me clean them up. The silver 5 Lb dumbbells I found at a rummage sale for $2!! That was pretty exciting, because as I have come to find out, used weights go for like $1/pound. If you can find them for $0.50/pound then you have found a great deal! Finally, I just added the black and blue ones to my collection yesterday. I picked them up off craigslist for $18 (a set of 10 lb and a set of 8 lb) and I have arranged to pick up a 12 lb set on Sunday for $12. If you include the 12 lb set that I don't have yet, my total investment for these is roughly $37. Did it require patience and a little bit of savvy shopping? Yes, of course. But it all depends how bad you want it.

Well friends, this transformation has been 7 years in the making. Thanks for sticking around...if you take nothing else away from this post, please know that I honestly never thought I was capable of a transformation like this. You might feel like it's too hard, or you just can't. It's going to be hard, and there will be days when you want to quit. But I promise, if I can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS. ANYONE  can do this. You just need to start. Stop making excuses, stop putting it off. Make your health a priority and give yourself the chance you deserve to be great!

{End motivational speech}

Good luck and good night, from the farm,
The Farmer's Fit Wife

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