I’ve gotten a few requests from people who are following along with my fitness barter with Amanda to know about what/how I’m eating with my new health regimen. (If you’re new here or catching up, I’m trading decorating services with a personal trainer who is whipping my ass into shape. We are two and a half months in to our barter and I’ve lost 18 lbs. so far–but more than at I feel SO much better.) Even though I still have a ways to go to meet my goals, I wanted to share how my eating habits have started to change. First, I think it’s important to share a bit of back story…
I was nine years old when I decided not eat red-meat. I just never really liked it. It wasn’t the taste, per say, but if I thought about what I was eating I just couldn’t stomach it. I’ve always had this thing with meat–like I have to suspend my knowledge of what I’m eating in order to enjoy it. Anyway, I’ve been a pescetarian (fish-eating vegetarian) now for about 8 years. This sounds healthy when I say it to people, but the truth is that before I started working out with Amanda, my entire diet was based around dairy and carbs: Cheese, yogurt, pasta, ramen, lattes, chai lattes, bagels, panini…did I mention cheese? These were a few of my favorite things. And yet if you asked me, I would have told you that I was a healthy eater. I would have told you that it was primarily my portion sizes that was responsible for my weight gain in recent years–afterall, when I ate bread it was usually whole wheat, when I ate pasta I’d put broccoli or kale in the sauce, when I ate yogurt it was usually the Greek kind that everyone says is so healthy. I love vegetables and ate them a lot, but almost always smothered in salad-dressing, smooshed between bread slices or dipped into something buttery and/or creamy.
So in my first meeting with Amanda she told me very matter-of-factly to not eat dairy, fat or gluten. Honestly it sounded like a joke at first. I’m thinking–what’s left?!? But now, almost three months later I have discovered my version of these rules that I (so far) have been pretty good at sticking to. So, here are the main things that I’ve changed. Where I used regular 2% milk before, I now use almond milk. I’m so used to the taste now that I swear I can’t tell the difference. Where I used oil before, I either use avocado (like on a salad) or I use coconut oil (like for cooking). I bake a bunch of sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week to have them around as a snack. I keep dates around if I’m craving something sweet. I sub quinoa for times that I would have had rice before. I used to eat fruit whenever (often I’d eat a side of fruit WITH a meal) and now I stagger any fruit I eat so that it’s between meals. Bread was surprisingly easy to give up. I’m still eating eggs and fish, but I’m not eating carbs (hold the side of toast) when I get down on those proteins. So those are some big basic changes that really are some of the main changes I’ve made.
Some things that I’m still working on getting better at include:
1.) drinking more water. I am terrible at drinking water. It should be so simple but for some reason it feels like such a chore.
2.) asking for no oil. Amanda tells me that when I eat out I can ask for things to be cooked without oil. I haven’t brought myself to do this yet. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I hate to be that person that asks for the burrito with no tortilla, no cheese, no sour cream, no meat, and no oil. But I’m just gonna have to get over that now aren’t I.
3.) general self control. I’m pretty good about not eating bad stuff, but I do have little bites of stuff I’m not supposed to eat ( a little bit of cheese, a piece of chocolate…)–and that would probably be OK if it weren’t for the fact that once I have one bite, I inevitably want another and another…It’s much easier if I abstain from those little ‘cheats’ that tend to escalate into big cheats.
4.) making time and motivating for cardio. I’ve been working out with Amanda 3x/week–but when we work out together we do mainly weight training type stuff, not cardio–so I really have to push myself to both motivate AND find time those other four days per week to cardio.
5.) getting out of the mindset of ‘better than before.’ My eating habits have changed so dramatically that I often find myself indulging in things that I shouldn’t be eating with the excuse of, ‘well, before I wasn’t excersizing at all and now I’m working out 3X per week so I can afford to eat a little X or Y.’ On the weeks where I didn’t lose anything (and there have been a few) I think I fell into this trap.
I can improve in those five areas I will certainly feel REALLY light on my feel by my 35th birthday in March. Already I am down one jean size (which feels great) and yesterday I took Ida to the mall and carried her around for about 40 minutes without putting her down once–which 3 months ago I would not have been able to do–like AT ALL. So that feels SO, so good. Admittedly, I am really proud of myself. This is not easy. The eating is hard. The exercise is hard. I friggen hate lunges and berpies and step-ups and all of the rest of it. But both the exercise and the eating ARE getting easier, and I’m even starting to crave it. And this morning as I was doing lunges holding 20lb weights in my hands and feeling how dang heavy those weights were, I couldn’t even BELIEVE that I’d lost almost those two barbells worth of weight. It’s bananas. And awesome.
Do you have any super healthy (no fat, no gluten, no sugar) treats that you love? Sweet potatoes and avocados are saving me right now :) I’d love to hear what your go-to healthy foods are!