So many of you have said that you enjoy reading my sporadic fitness updates to keep you motivated (or to try and get you motivated), that I decided to make it a monthly feature. This helps me as well to remember what in the world we did for the previous month. It helps keep me on track and realize when we need to step it up a little more or be more proactive about our goals.
For the month of February, we jumped into the second phase of P90X2, which is far more strength training than the first round. My husband and I have been working out together since the beginning of January and it has been going well. We struggled at first to find a time for him to work out, as he goes to work so early in the morning. We finally bit the bullet and decided he would exercise immediately after he got home and that seems to be working pretty well. I honestly thought that the “Witching Hour” would turn our house upside down, but the kids have totally adapted. For the most part.
For myself, I have totally noticed that I don’t push myself enough when it comes to weight limits. I have been trying to add a little extra weight to each workout and I have always been able to manage more than I thought I could. I have a friend who does Crossfit and she and I talk about how empowering it is to see what our bodies are capable of. I was terrified of weight training before I started P90X, but now it is one of my favorite parts of the workout.
Since I have been doing P90X for about 8 months and lost the majority of my weight, my journey right now is more about maintenance. My husband, on the other hand, just started in January and looks like a completely different person. He has worked so hard and has lost about 16 pounds and countless inches. We finally bought him new jeans to wear to work a few days ago. When I saw the new jeans on him in the correct size, I realized how much his old jeans looked like clown pants. Poor guy.
My husband said he didn’t mind me sharing his amazing pictures with you. Be warned, he doesn’t have a shirt on in these pictures if that is offensive to anyone. Click here to check them out.
It’s official. We did it. Before you scoff at the term cleanse, let me tell you 2 things.
- I am the skeptic of all skeptics. Even though Emilie recommended it and I trust her just about more than I trust myself, I was skeptical through the entire process. For me to do something like this, it’s saying something.
- This cleanse is not some gimmick-y “Only Eat Brown Rice and Jelly Beans for 10 Days and You’ll Lose 30 Pounds” type of program. You eat real things in real proportions. This is the ONLY reason we chose to do it.
My husband was involved in a weight-loss challenge for work and we’d been tossing around the idea of doing this cleanse, so we decided there wasn’t going to be a better time. Basically, the idea is to get rid of toxins in your body by cutting out dairy, sugar, most carbs, most fats. Nothing processed at all. We ate a lot of brown rice, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, a few healthy fats and TONS of water.
Everything was really well spelled out for us, including portion control based on your weight. By eating the specified foods and specified amounts, the idea was to get our metabolism up to peak level.
Day 1? Pretty hard. Grumpy and tired? Absolutely. About Day 3 or 4, both my husband and I started feeling pretty good. It was really wonderful to go through the day and never feel like we overate or ate the wrong things or regretted our food choices. I felt like I was able to focus on the other important things in our life. Food was basically a non-issue. In the end, both my husband and I lost about 5 pounds in 10 days. This was huge for me as I haven’t lost any weight in about 6 months. This definitely told me that some of my eating habits had been hindering how I feel.
A few things I learned in those 10 days:
- I snack WAY too much at night. During the cleanse, I was rarely hungry at night, so obviously I just snack out of boredom.
- We need to eat more for breakfast. Yikes. I thought I was doing well with a bowl of Kashi in the morning, but I was often hungry again by 9 AM. We need to add in some more complex calories in the morning to sustain us throughout the day.
- For both my husband and I, we have been trying to pack healthy snacks when we are going to be out and about. We’re trying not to wait until we get too hungry and then just eating whatever is near us (read: Goldfish crackers from my kid’s snack cups).
- I have far more willpower to cut out sugar than I ever possibly thought. The cravings were pretty tough the first few days, but seemed to go away after Day 3 or 4.
- I have a serious relationship with food. We did this over Valentine’s Day and I literally could not wrap my head around how to celebrate. I can’t make cupcakes or fun food? What? I honestly started to feel depressed towards the end of the cleanse. One of the ways I express my love for my family is by making them fun and delicious food and this felt a little stifling.
- Processed foods really do have some magical ingredients. I’ve always read that there is something in them that makes you continue to feel hungry and want more. During the cleanse, we were very rarely hungry and rarely did we want to sit down and gorge on raw almonds. After the cleanse and reintroducing a few not-so-fantastic foods, we feel hungry all the time no matter how much we eat.
I’m not going to speak to the supplements used in the cleanse or what they do or how they work. If you’re interested in any of that information, you can contact Emilie. I’m just telling you that we were extremely happy with not only our results, but the knowledge that has come with it.
If you want to see my before/after pictures, click here. Again, warning. I am in a sports bra.
Last month, we started swapping out coconut oil for vegetable/canola oil and have really enjoyed it. The only downfall I can find is that I can’t seem to figure out how to liquify it in the microwave without making it explode. At least it smells good.
We also started swapping out whole wheat flour for all-purpose. In most recipes, we do half and half and it has worked pretty well. I did find that a few baking recipes were a little dry with whole wheat, so we tried whole wheat pastry flour instead. WAY better. Less dense and still seemed to retain the moisture, which was the problem we ran into before. One of our new favorite recipes are these Whole Wheat Waffles, we subbed in coconut oil and almond milk and used whole wheat pastry flour like the recipe calls for. My kids request them for every meal.
For the month of March, our big change is switching to organic milk. It is a pricey one, but we don’t drink a ton of milk around here. My two toddlers drink some in the morning and before bed and my husband and I have started using a little almond milk in our cereal. We have found that the best price for organic milk is at Fred Meyer, even beats Costco!
You can read all about our fitness/health goals for 2012 here.
I’d love to hear how you are doing with your goals this month! If you are just starting out on your journey, let us know what is keeping you motivated. I definitely think it’s hardest in the beginning to create and stick with a routine. Share with us your success stories! Or your not so successful stories, we’re here to motivate.