Friday, June 13, 2014

My South Beach Diet Journey - Phase 1 Day 5

Results Are In

Sound the trumpets! Ring the alarms! I have successfully completed 5 full days of South Beach, and I have some really exciting news.  **drumroll please** I have lost 5 lbs in 5 days! ::gasp::  ::faint::  I have never lost that much in less than a week.  And I don't feel like I'm starving myself. After the first day of my body being shocked from the new eating pattern, I got used to it.

What I've Learned

I think the most important thing with this diet (and any other diet to be honest) is planning.  The day before I started, I planned out meal plans for the full week - including snacks.  I then went to the grocery store and got everything all at once.  Once I planned ahead, I always had something to eat.  I eat every 2 hours! I just make sure to follow the guideliness of what foods are allowed, and I continue to count calories as well. 

I have to be honest, I haven't been perfect. One day during the week, at an office party, I indulged in a glass of ginger ale.  I also allow myself to sometimes eat lowfat popcorn, which I believe I shouldnt be having until phase 2.  But the most important thing is that 90% of my eating is exactly where it should be, so the other 10% does not have much of an effect on my results.

The 2nd most important thing with this diet is portion control.  When I first did South Beach many years ago, I didn't count calories.  I just thought, as long as I stay away from bad carbs I'll lose weight.   I would eat 2 steaks, or have 2 eggs and 3 sausage links and bacon... um.. NO.  While they do have a low amount of carbs, they're high in calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.  So this time around, not only did I avoid bad carbs, I also counted calories and measured everything.  I know this may seem daunting but if you want results, you have to sacrifice.  For example, I will only have 39 pieces of dry roasted peanuts because that is exactly the 1 ounce serving. 

Improvements Needed

1) Exercise: I have not exercised at all.  Even though I'm not as hungry, and cravings have reduced, I don't have as much energy as I normally have when I have more carbs in my system.  I think I will save the Exercise regime for phase 2. 

2) Water Intake: I only have approximately 4 glasses of water per day.  I know that I should be having 8-10 glasses, but I don't seem to remember drinking unless I'm eating.  I think I will add water by drinking one glass automatically upon waking, and one glass right before bed.

Here is today's meal plan!

Phase 1 Day 5


Boiled Egg

1 TBS mayo

1/2 cup stewed codfish

Midmorning Snack

1 serving SMARTFOOD popcorn

1 ounce pepperjack cheese


sliced sweet italian sausage on a bed of lettuce w/ chopped onions and shredded cheddar cheese

Midafternoon snack

39 pieces dry roasted peanuts


Shrimp and Broccoli in garlic Sauce


Sugar Free Jello

Monday, June 9, 2014

My South Beach Diet Journey - Phase 1 Day 1

So I haven't posted in awhile. In fact, it's been almost exactly a year this month. What have I been up to? Hmm.. a divorce, a promotion, a loss of a total of 35 lbs... um ya, I said divorce. That in itself could be a whole other post filled with betrayal, disappointment, frustration, emotion, and new beginnings. And I promise to share as much as I can at some point, but for now, let's stick to the health stuff.

If you remember my last post, I had completed Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. That was a huge accomplishment for me! Prior to that, I never consistently exercised since my high school cheerleading days. So after my 30 Day Shred victory, I continued on to exercise and eat well. I also became a vegetarian, which was tough at first, but after watching documentaries on the treatment of animals, as well as the hormones injected into animals that are thought to lead to the development of human cancer, I knew I had to turn away from meat. Unfortunately, during the winter I got extremely busy (and lazy) and stopped my 6 day a week workout regimen. I also found out that I am gluten sensitive. So there I was, a vegetarian, thinking that I was treating my body well by avoiding meats, when all of a sudden my skin became horrible. I was breaking out terribly on my face, chest, and back. My eczema was out with a vengeance. And a skin disorder that I have, Hidradenitis Supportiva, was worse than ever.

Needless to say I was extremely confused. I started to do research and found out that many people who were Gluten Free saw improvement in their skin issues. That's when I had my Eureka moment. I realized that the moment I stopped eating meat, I naturally increased my Gluten intake through breads and pastas. So my body was now getting overloaded with the thing that was harming it. I then had to choose - Vegetarian or Gluten Free. Since Gluten appeared to be making me ill, I had to go back to my carnivore ways in order to have somewhat of a normal eating pattern (ideally hormone-free and grass-fed of course). I know, I know. Some of you out there in bloggyland are shouting at your computer screens, "You can be both a Vegetarian and Gluten Free!" And yes, while I know that I "can", it doesn't mean that I am willing to devote my whole entire life to eating primarly lettuce leaves.

In any event, here I am - 35 lbs down, but still have another 25 to go. That's why I decided to do South Beach. I did it in the past many years ago with minimal success, but it was minimal only because I gave up after a week. This time around, I'm older and wiser, and realize that it's more for health than it is for weight loss. I actually gained a couple of pounds when I began eating meat again. Why? Because I was supplementing all of my Gluten-filled favorites with their Gluten-free counterparts which mostly is equally unhealthy. Studies show that most people gain weight while being Gluten Free because the Gluten Free substitutes have more sugar and other fillers to supplement the Gluten. Finding that out was a total bummer.

This is why I decided to try South Beach again. South Beach has 3 phases. Phase 1 is when you avoid all bad carbs and sugar for 14 days. This phase is supposed to reprogram my system, reduce cravings, and lower blood sugar. It also will help me to eat more along the lines of what a true Gluten Free person is supposed to eat like. Today was the first day and... I. AM. HUNGRY. I don't believe it's because of the diet itself because the diet has me on 1600 calories per day (and more if I exercise). I believe it's just my body going through porition size withdrawal. Today I actually ate the appropriate serving size at every meal, and was satisfied but not full. Supposedly that's the RIGHT way to feel after eating. Go figure. My body just has to get used to it because I would get hungry 2 hours after the meal as opposed to 4.  
What's my analysis? Overall Day 1 went okay.  One issue is that I snacked a bit too much in the evening while preparing dinner.  Though the snacks were things allowable on the diet, I ended up going over my calorie limit by 260 calories. The other issue is that I ended up eating dinner at 10:00pm, which isn't healthy in itself.  But I found a solution for that one: I will be cooking the next day's dinner the night before.  So tonight I have chili in the slowcooker for tomorrow. The apartment will smell AMAZING in the morning!  
Due to my hectic schedule, I won't be able to blog every day, but I'll blog every week to give updates. So without further ado, here is my Meal Plan for Day 1:

 Phase 1 Day 1


1 hard boiled egg

1 tsp mayo

1 cup of coffee w/ 2 TBS evaporated milk, 1 truvia packet

 Midmorning Snack

 1 slice of bologna and 1 slice of cheese wrapped up


 Tuna on a bed of lettuce, 3 slices of ham, 1 slice of cheese

 Midafternoon Snack

 2 ozs peanuts

1 hard boiled egg
Evening Snack (this is a no-no!)
1 slice of bologna and 1 slice of cheese wrapped up
polly-o string cheese


4 oz boneless chicken breast

mixed vegetables


Saturday, June 22, 2013

30 Day Shred Complete! Before and After..

I did it folks!  I successfully completed the 30 Day Shred!  I did 6 days a week, and took Saturdays off, since that's the day I do the most activities with my little guy.  It definitely wasn't easy.  There were times when I had to work out at 11:00pm after a full day of work (plus all my mama duties), and I'm tellin you I wanted to quit.  But I didn't, and I'm so proud of myself.  I haven't worked out this much since I was in high school! 

The one thing I learned is that the most important thing is to have a good support system.  I had a workout buddy who always reminded me to workout - like an accountability partner of sorts.  If I said that I was too tired to work out, he'd give me the firm, yet encouraging push that I needed to keep going.  When I began moaning and groaning about how unfair it was that I wasn't seeing results quickly enough, or how much I wanted a burger and fries, he brought me back to reality and reminded me why I was doing all of this in the first place.  I was definitely stubborn at times and needed some tough love.  Thank God for special friends!

It was also very helpful that I took before pics and measurements, because I would often get discouraged from what I saw on the scale, but once I retook pics and took out the measuring tape, I felt so much better!  So now, without further ado - here are my results:

Measurements Before
Each Arm: 13.5 in
Bust: 44 in
Waist: 42 in
Hips: 46
Each Thigh: 25.5

Measurements After
Each Arm: 13
Bust: 41
Waist: 39
Hips: 45
Each Thigh: 25

Total inches lost: 9 inches
Total pounds lost: 4 lbs


Uh, did I just really post those pics??  Eeeee!!!  *cringe* That took a lot of guts, friends.  I know, I know, I still have a lot of work to do, but I do see a difference in my biggest problem area (the baby bump that my little one left behind as a parting gift O_o)  The hardest thing for me ended up being the healthy eating.  I would do well for 5 days, but then tank on the weekends, which would undo the work I did.  It's still a struggle for me, but I'm improving day by day. 

The amazing thing about this journey is that I have now developed a healthy habit of exercise.  I actually feel uncomfortable if If I don't work out now.  Have you heard that age old pop culture factoid that it takes 30 days to make or break a habit?  Well actually, research shows that it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, so I'm halfway there.  In any event, I've decided to do another round of Jillian's 30 Days, then either do one of her other Biggest Loser workout dvds or the dreaded "Insanity" workout by Shaun T that people have been raving about.  (Although I hear that it's the toughest workout known to man at this time...eeek!)  Anyway, I'll keep you posted!  How have you all been doing with your fitness goals?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Some Tips For Your 30 Day Shred Journey

So I've been doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred for two weeks now.  Friends, it has been the hardest workout that I've ever done, but I'm so proud of myself for sticking with it thus far.  In an effort to make it easier for those of you who may decide to join the shred family, I put together a few tips: 

  •  Take Your Measurements and a Before Pic - I'm so glad that I decided to do this and not just rely on the scale.  For me (and for most shredders out there), I'm seeing more change in inches as opposed to pounds.  I've actually gained a pound since beginning, but I've lost 5 inches throughout my body in just two weeks.  And mamas, those of you who are still battling the post pregnancy bulge, you'll be excited to know that the biggest change so far has been in my waist line *squeal!*

  •  Take One Day Off - Jillian recommends doing the work out 7 days a week since it's only 25 minutes, but as a beginner, I felt that if I didn't get one day to relax and prepare for the next week of exercising, I'd give up.  So a rest day was imperative for me. I've seen results already, even with the rest day, so rest away!

  • Low Carb It on Your Day Off - In order to stay on track on my off day, I decided to consume tons of protein, and only about 50 grams of carbs.  That way, I can boost my weight loss potential on the day that I'm not burning the extra calories.  The 50 grams of carbs should be from fruits/vegetables and/or whole wheat bread.  (For the rest of the week, it makes complete sense to take in a regular amount of carbs because that is what gives you energy to work out.)   

  •  Switch Levels Every 10 Days - The workout comes with 3 levels.  I didn't know when I was supposed to change to the next level, but after researching what other shredders do, it seems to be the general concensus that changing levels every 10 days is the best idea. It gives you enough time to master the level you're on before moving up.  Of course if you're still not ready to move up after the 10 days, then stick with the level you're on. 

  •  You May Gain Weight Initially - Let me tell you, I was extremely upset after seeing that I gained a pound after all my hard work over the past two weeks.  Yes, I may have had some minor set backs with my eating here and there, but for the most part I stuck to my 1500 calories per day and 6 day a week workouts.  After boo hoo-ing about it for an hour or two (or five), I decided to research a bit. I found that many shredders gain a little weight during the first 2 levels, and start to see the pounds melt away during level 3.  This weight gain phenomena actually happens to most people who begin a new workout regimen.  When working out, you retain water a lot more than if you were sedentary.  This is because the water is being sent directly to your muscles to protect them while they're growing and changing.  Your body regulates after 2-3 weeks of consistent exercise.  That's when your weight starts to drop.  So don't pay attention to the scale for the first few weeks.  Focus on inches and the mirror.

  • Use Heavier Weights Next Time Around - Jillian's 30 Day Shred is awesome, but it's..well.. it's just 30 days.  And if you have a ton of weight to shred off *raises hand*, then you might want to redo the cycle.  So after my first 30 days, I plan on taking a two day rest, then going right into the second cycle, but this time using 5 lb weights instead of my current 3 lbs. 
So stay tuned, folks!  In about two weeks, I'll be done with my first cycle of 30 Day Shred, and as promised, I will post my Before and After pics for ALL TO SEE! *shriek!* *passes out* See you then!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred - Day 1

Friends, it's that time of year again.  Summer is on it's way. The heat will be rising, the clothes will be shrinking, and my body will be out for all to see.  And let me tell you, that scares me half to death. I am so not in the type of shape required to wear shorts, tank tops, and - dare I say - bathing suits.. *shriek*

It's been 3 years since I've packed on the dreaded baby-weight, and the weight seems to be stuck to me like glue!  Don't get me wrong, I've done pretty well since I seriously began my weight loss journey on July 1st of last year. Since then, I've lost 17 lbs.  I'm nowhere near my goal weight, but this has definitely been a year of becoming more aware of health and fitness.

My biggest accomplishment has been improving my eating patterns.  Most days I stay within 1500 calories, and try my hardest to keep the carbs at a minimum.  But the reality is, the major thing that has kept me from dropping large amounts of weight has been my aversion to exercise.  Yes, that's right - I hate sweating, I hate achy muscles, I hate pain.  Pretty much all that exercise encompasses.  But at this point, I think I've come to the realization that I can't reach my goal unless I add the working out piece.

This is why I've decided to complete *drum-roll please* Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred!  I've tried it in the past, for a day or two, and quit as soon as I felt a muscle ache. But this time I believe I can stick with it.  I have a few close friends that are super supportive, and are doing amazing things with their own fitness regimens.  I've also been going through some difficult times (a different post for a different day), and rather than drown myself in junk food binges, I feel more motivated then ever before to focus on my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I want to be able to take care of ME for once. 

And guess what?  I'm actually going to post my BEFORE and AFTER pics on Day 30!  Eeeeeekkk!!  I'm seriously nervous about that guys, but I figure that is one more motivating factor for me to really give my all to the next 30 days of exercise.  Stay tuned because after each week of completion, I will blog about my experience.  Wanna see another mama's awesome results from the 30 Day Shred?  Check out Sara's experience over at her blog: Nurse Loves Farmer.  She looks amaze-balls!  She has definitely given me the push needed to really put my all into my new exercise routine.  I'm pumped!   So what are you doing to get into Summertime shape?