In January 2021 I decided to take back control of my life both physically and mentally. Unlike other failed attempts, I took the time to research sustainable ways to improve both my mind and my body. If I was going to do this again, I was going to do it right and I was going to do it in a way that worked with MY body and MY lifestyle. I was NOT going to do another Fad Diet! I started by consulting with two trainers, reading books (IF, Intuitive Eating, Gut to Abs, and Live Like a Monk (honestly, a life changing book by Jay Shetty), and searching different avenues online. I documented a plan, precisely, then I researched apps and bought a scale that would work with my app. I chose the YAZIO App and I will discuss the app further in a bit, but I needed one that monitored everything I did and put in my body as well as other things. I set a date, shopped for necessities, meal prepped, and prayed. On January 4, 2021 I started what I call my “#172 Day Journey” to total body and mind transformation.
January 4, 2021 ~ Day 1 of #172dayjourney
First let me explain why #172dayjourney. I marked the time between start date and the day I leave for Maui… It was 172 days. I wanted to be as healthy as I could be before I step foot off the plane in Maui. It is what motivated me to start and still work hard and therefore it was named. You pick whatever name you want for your journey, it is yours to choose. So, I was ready. In fact, I was more than ready! I had started my 16:8 Fast the night before at 8pm. I got up, got on the scale, took “Before” pictures (front, side, and back), took inches (breast, hips, thighs, arms, and waist), and headed downstairs to make my french press coffee. My fast lasts until 12p (noon). Lucky for me I love the taste of coffee so drinking it black is easy. That is all I have besides water until noon when I break my fast. Day 1 (of anything) is always the hardest… ask anyone, but I was determined.
Fasting isn’t for everyone. I get that. For me, the research I did, and having fasted prior, was a no brainer. I knew in order for me to feel my best, to reduce going over in my calories, and to be able to eat what I wanted, I needed to do the 16 hour fast. It actually becomes easier the longer you do it. I break my fast at noon with some protein: Turkey breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, and a high protein yogurt. I make homemade corn tortilla chips in the Airfryer and dip them in salsa or scoop up raw avocado for a snack, made homemade vegetable soup for dinner, and have a veggie tray always handy in the fridge for a snack as well as hummus and yogurt dip. I also keep fresh fruit on hand (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, mandarin oranges, grapes, and apples) in the event I need something sweet. I cut out Alcohol and sugar (artificial) for the first 60 days, more to come on that. I also keep pepperoni sticks and Quest protein cookies in my car in case of an emergency. The only sugar I have is in the Quest protein cookies I keep on hand and the Energy Balls that I made weekly (Ok, sometimes I have a couple jelly beans (my weakness), but I document those too). The energy balls consist of peanut butter, raisins, oats, ground flax seed, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla, and chocolate chips. You roll them into small balls and keep them in a container in the fridge. 100 calories each and great for the road or a sweet fix plus loaded with protein and fiber. I also drink a gallon of water a day! Super important and vital to weight loss and overall health and wellness. I will talk more about foods in a bit as well. Now for exercise.
Exercise: Cardio, Strength Training, Core Work
This I also researched based on my body type, activity level, disabilities, and how much I wanted to lose and how fast. I knew that I had 6 months to goal date so I was ok with losing slowly because I know that slow is better when wanting to keep it off. I also have a double knee replacement in my right knee that has been a struggle for the last few years, but I was not going to let that become an issue. If you want something bad enough there shouldn’t be an excuse. I am very active so doing the work wasn’t going to be a problem. I started rowing, playing softball, hiking, snowshoeing, sno-hiking, kayaking, speed rope workouts, walking, joined the gym to use cardio machines, subscribe to 2 dance fitness plateaus on YouTube (DanceMas and The Fitness Marshall), and have my own core and strength training workout at home that I do EVERY night without fail. I have an Apple Watch that tracks all my workouts and is linked to my wellness App. I do cardio dance 2-4 nights a week, walk at least a mile outside multiple times per week, row or play softball one day a week, and do all the other workouts each night a week. Staying active in some capacity is vital for weight loss, not just eating a healthy balanced diet. Speaking of which let’s move on to foods.
Foods ~ Plain and Simple, yet Sustainable
My foods vary but not too much. I switch it up so I don’t get bored, but I have also trained my mindset that I eat for nutrition not for taste. Fueling my body in a healthy way helps me not only lose weight, but keeps my body running through my workouts and keeps my mind clear. What a lot of people don’t understand is that not only is our physical health affected by the foods we eat, but our mental health is also affected. Think of your brain/body like a new car, you need to put premium fuel in it to give it the best care, help it run more efficiently, and make it last longer. If you put less than premium fuel in, you are more prone to problems and less efficiency. The same holds true for your brain, the better nutrition you put into your body the better your brain functions. Here is a list of the foods I eat:
- Chicken – Turkey – Steak – Hamburger – Shrimp – Fish
- Eggs (hardboiled and scrambled)
- Yogurt (High Protein)
- Corn Tortillas or Carb Balance Flour (on occasion)
- Fruits (All) *Mandarins are my favorite go to
- All Veggies (keep a veggie tray on hand)
- Spinach salad (go easy on dressings) Cobb Salad (Yum! Load it with proteins)
- Peanut Butter Energy Bites (Pinterest)
- Premier Protein Shakes (Caffe Latte fave)
- Avocados, salsa, and homemade airfried tortilla chips
- Sheet pan: Green beans, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts all with fresh garlic
- Pepperoni sticks
- Quest Protein Cookies
- Pho’ and Spring Rolls
- Sweet Potatoes with honey on a sheet pan
- Cauliflower Pizza
- Street Tacos ala cart
- Shrimp Tacos or Fish tacos with Cabbage & lime cilantro yogurt dressing
- Sugar free pudding with sugar free whip (treat)
- Rice cakes with nutzo peanut butter
I didn’t list everything, just the majority of things I enjoy. This gives you a pretty good idea of what I eat daily. I like to mix and match foods as well, to add some variety, so I don’t get bored. I stay away from Fast Food and I try to stay away from too many carbohydrates, unless I am really working out. I drink water (LOTS) and stay away from soda completely and did no alcohol for the first 60 days. I will now have a cider here and there, but the calories add up so best not to do it daily! I love my french press coffee and my black tea so that is something I look forward to as well, especially during my fast. Mid-afternoon is a great time to throw a couple shots of espresso over ice and add a container of coffee latte premier protein to it. 160 calories and a ton of protein for your body and it tastes amazing, honest!! The other fun option I do is a Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso at Starbucks ~ HEAVEN!!!! At 120 Calories worth every sip! Everything in moderation is key and logging everything is also mandatory. Which brings me to my “Monitoring App” ~ YAZIO.
YAZIO App ~Monitor Everything
I researched several apps and this one has been the best app I have ever used. It is very user friendly and only $22 a year. It monitors everything. You can input your weight, measurements, food, drinks, custom meals, etc and it monitors your calories, protein, carbs, fat, fasting hours, and activity minutes then calculates how many you have eaten, burned, and have left for the day. This way you can see if you are in a calorie deficit. It also has a coach to help you, menus, meal ideas, and recipes. It is amazing and on top of it all it even has a Facebook page that you can join to talk and share progress photo’s, or just see what other are doing while using the app. I use it a lot and it keeps me accountable, especially when I post progress pictures of myself, which you will want to take weekly the first month and then monthly thereafter. You can upload them to the app and save them too. You will have to try it to believe it. It truly is awesome! I am 4 months in and love it still. I have lost -19.6 pounds and 28″ overall with 2 months left to goal weight… Still need to lose another 15 pounds, and am certain I will. My body transformation is uncanny with the core and strength building as well. This plan works great for me and may work great for you as well, even if you need to tweak it here and there to fit your lifestyle. The main point in me sharing my journey to health and wellness with you is to show you that there are other ways besides expensive fad diets and surgeries to lose weight and keep it off. This way of eating, I am rarely hungry and have more energy and clarity than I have ever had. Creating a sustainable meal plan, documenting everything, staying in a calorie deficit, and getting some exercise will prove successful. It is honestly the easiest thing I have ever done.
Remember, this isn’t about being “Skinny” , this is all about being healthy. Be gentle with yourself and it’s ok to make a mistake, just do better the next day. The healthier we treat our bodies the longer our bodies will live. The more nutrition we give our bodies the better our brains will be, too. Living your best life is about aligning everything you desire and living it out. For me, walking around in a bikini in Maui is motivating. I am 50, why not me? Maybe it will motivate someone else. I want to feel and look good in my skin and radiate health as well. I also love getting up and putting on anything I want and having it look and feel good on me. I am over the days of coming home to piles of clothes on the floor that I tried on before work and they didn’t fit! You find your “why?” … I have shared mine. I want everyone to love their bodies no matter what, but I also want your bodies to love you and live a long time for you, which is why I push nutrition and water! I want YOU to LIVE your best life! Find your journey and share it with me here, I would love to know it. Good Luck!! and..