I thought I could do it. I cook healthful meals for my family. We pay attention to what we eat and try to make the heathier choices when it comes to nutrition such as using whole wheat flour in my pizza, pancake and muffin recipes, using olive oil instead of butter, staying well away from fried foods and making healthier, roasted versions instead. I could go on and on but you get the picture. So, when I dove into BeachBody's P90X workout program 5 weeks ago I really thought, "I've got the nutrition thing covered. I don't need to follow the specifically laid out meal plan. I'll just cook my own foods." This is an option that the program gives you, afterall.
Things were going very well with P90X. I've been faithful to my daily workouts and in 'bringing it' each time I push play (BeachBody'isms that we use meaning to push play on your dvds and give it your all when you do). I could instantly feel my body adjusting to the increased work I was asking it to do and could feel myself transforming into an even stronger woman! The thing that I kind of chuckle over lately is how I often find myself running my hands up and down my arms because it's so pleasing to actually feel the lean and beautiful muscles taking shape. No doubt about it, I'm seeing fantastic progress through P90X.
But another big part of my goal, aside from getting lean, ripped muscle tone is to lose the excess but of flabbola that I've got clinging to my 'womanly areas' (read: stomach area, bootiekins and thighs). No matter how much triathlon training and running I've done that dang fat just seems to want to cling onto me in those areas like a baby monkey to it's mama. 5 weeks into the program, I KNOW my abs are killer stronger. You can gauge this by comparing how well you did w/the exercises when you first began to how well you're able to keep up now. There were moves in the Ab RipperX workout that I had to modify or that I couldn't finish all 25 reps on when I began P90X that I'm able to hang with all the way through to the end these days (and I'm only a monkey toehair past being 1/3 the way done. Imagine me 2 months from now)! But still that excess jiggle that annoys me to no end remains, dagnabbit!
The thing is, though, you can work out as hard as you want and do killer ab moves til the cows come home but if you ignore the nutrition aspect of the equation you're missing a crucial part and you will NOT meet the goals you seek. Ignore the nutrition aspect? But I thought I was eating well! I cook healthfully and consider myself a health-minded person in general! I had to take a hard, honest look and figure out what was going on. Truth be told, those calories add up faster than you can imagine. A little 'harmless' snacky bite of this and another bite of that can throw you over your daily calorie total before you blink an eye. Those calories can be sneaky. I'd go to bed thinking I'd done so well but if I'd have actually journaled every single bite of what I'd eaten each day my guess is that I would have been coming in about 3-400 calories beyond my target calorie total daily---at least. That doesn't sound like a lot, does it. But thinking of weight loss as a specific equation where you have GOT to burn off more calories than you are taking in (it's really as simple as that....it's all of the emotional eating garbage that muddles the picture and messes us up) it's no wonder I'm not losing that excess stuff I want to lose. I wasn't OVEReating...I was maintaining the position where I'm at. But that's not my goal; my goal is two-fold: to get stronger AND to lose the extra flabbola!
My peeps, you simply CANNOT ignore the nutrition piece of a weight loss program. Exercise is the other integral part...and kudos to you (and me!) if you are doing that. The time has come to stick to an eating plan that you can live with for the rest of your life. On that note, why reinvent the wheel? Here I was, a little tenacious woman who thought I could manage it on my own but even being dedicated to healthy eating I was not hitting my target. BeachBody, through the many exercise programs that are available and the information and tools available on the website, offers a great resource to help you reach your goals. Right there on my site you will find a calorie calculator to help you figure out just how many calories you should be taking in to reach a specific weight loss goal. Many of the programs (such as my P90X, Slim in 6, ChaLEAN Extreme and others) give you a detailed nutrition guide/plan so that it takes the guesswork out of the whole thing. So, I've opened up my beautiful, glossy nutrition booklet that I received with my P90X kit and am now following the menu plan; it even gives recipes and, let me tell you, they are DEElicious!
I touched on the emotional part of overeating. Let me not discount that thorn in our side. There are many reasons why people do it but the commonality is that we all MUST find a way to STOP doing it. I have suggestions for you on that as well. First of all, you NEED support and accountability. You've got to find somebody with whom you can get honest with to tell them of your struggles and ask them for help in the encouragement department. As a BeachBody coach and a person who cares about your health, I can be that person for you. Also, eventually eating healthfully and knowing how much and when to eat will come naturally to you but, in the meantime, it is CRUCIAL that you journal what you eat (and drink) each day. Every morsel. Every bite! Some people get all kinds of detailed logging how much protein, carbs, etc (I used to be that 'some people)' but that is simply not necessary unless you want to. Just list the date, time, what you ate and the calories. Keep track of how much water you drank and notate what exercise you did (and at what time) along with notating how you felt that day, etc. This will help you see any particular patterns that you might want to be aware of (like did you notice yourself reaching for more food later in the evening out of boredom)?
A few other tips I've learned along the way: GET TO BED at night at a decent hour! Don't stay up playing around on the computer or watching tv...that's when a lot of unneccessary eating happens. We often ignore the signals from our body when it tells us it's TIRED. Get to bed at a decent hour! If you feel yourself experiencing a craving for a calorie-laden food or if you feel like eating when you know you really shouldn't be hungry, INTERRUPT yourself! You have to get in the habit of NOT making those endless trips to the fridge and pantry. Pop in one of your BeachBody workouts, go for a walk or a swim, do ANYthing that will take your mind off of it (or at least keep you from that blasted fridge)! In most cases, after about 15 minutes the feeling will pass and you can pat yourself on the back! Also, DRINK WATER! Oftentimes, when we think we are 'just soooo hungry' we are actually VERY FLIPPIN THIRSTY! There's nothin like water! Drink up!
It took a bit of time to form these less than desireable habits and to put the excess flab on. Be kind to yourself and take this step toward true happiness and good health. You'll feel better and you'll be setting a super example for others around you---young and old. To find out how to buy P90X or any other of our excellent programs and to get on the path to regular exercise and healthy eating, head over to my main site at www.beachbodycoach.com/LisaErin. Would love for you to share comments below as well.
To our health~