Well first of all I am sooooo excited to tell you that I made it to 37 weeks! 4 weeks ago when I was placed on bed rest, June 4 felt like it was an eternity away, but I got my poop in a group mentally and powered through this last month. Was it easy? No, but I did it. After I changed my attitude, things changed drastically and I was able to keep myself occupied and sane. I read, watched t.v & Netflix, and of course was on my computer. One nice days, I pulled out a lounge chair and laid on the deck to soak up some sun (it’s amazing what I little bit of vitamin D can for your soul). My husband was amazing, not only did he work insanely long hours, but he took on all the household tasks, and once again I am soo thankful to have him in my life. He has been more than supportive through my entire pregnancy, and it makes me so excited that he is going to make such an amazing father.
But now I want to talk about how I got started on clean eating and living a healthy lifestyle. I have a lot of questions regarding this lately, so I thought it would be a great idea to share it with everyone. So here is how I got started and some simple steps to success.
I got started pursuing a healthy lifestyle a little under 2 years ago. I was unhappy with the image staring back at me, thought horrible things about myself and couldn’t stand to even wear a pair of shorts. I had hit my own personal rock bottom. I needed to do something, and I needed to do it for myself. The first step is the one I found the most important, and that step is I was ready. I was ready to make some drastic changes to my life mentally and physically. I needed to learn to love myself, by not what only appeared on the outside but on the inside as well. Once you decide you are ready, nobody can stand in your way!
In the very beginning, I was doing some at home workout programs prior to my wedding and began to clean up my diet, but was still allowing too many treat meals and snacks. I was not getting the drastic results I was wanting, so I realized if these were the results I wanted, I was going to have to really clean up my act. After my wedding I was on the hunt for a more regimented weight lifting program. I found myself a 90 day workout plan (I bet you can guess which one), for those of you who don’t know, I stumbled upon the Jamie Eason Livefit Trainer. Along with this program came an eating plan, which helped me learn how many calories I needed daily along with meal ideas. Note this is only my opinion, but some of the foods allowed on the meal are questionable to me, but I used common sense and ate the ones I found to be healthiest. By following the training program and eating a much more clean diet (and also a lot more food than I had been eating previously), I began seeing some amazing results. Weight lifting was my bestfriend. I began to love picking up those dumbells, getting in my zone and the best part seeing the results. When I looked in the mirror I began to like what I was seeing, someone who was strong and healthy.
Getting started isn’t always easy, so here are some tips on how I ditched the junk.
1. Guess what the first step is? Throw out ALL of the junk (don’t be saving those ketchup chips for a midnight snack). No more cookies, chips, donuts, cheese buns, croissants, bagels, muffins, cupcakes, fruit snacks, processed granola bars, Nutrigrain bars, cereal, crackers, cheese, butter, flavored yogurt, frozen dinners, or premade anything (unless it’s a veggie/fruit tray). If it isn’t in your house, you are less likely to eat (or perhaps binge) it. Don’t keep tempting foods anywhere near you.
2. PREPARE YOUR FOOD ahead of time. This is one of the most important steps. You must prepare if you want to be successful. I know this takes some time, but once it is done, you are ready to go for at least 3-4 days, or may make enough food to last for a week.
– wash and cut up your produce as soon as you get home from the grocery store. This way it is always ready to grab and go for lunches, snacks or salads.
– If breakfasts are rushed, crockpot some steel-cut oatmeal, make an oatmeal bake, frittata, breakfast muffins or granola bars ahead of time. I try to avoid all store-bought breakfast bars and cereals. It is much healthier to make your own.
– for lunches and suppers you can make up several turkey burgers and freeze what you won’t eat within the first few days and take them out as needed. Crockpot chilis are easy and make a lot of left overs. A favorite meal in my house are bean bowls. I use my rice cooker to cook enough rice to last 3-5 days and crock pot enough beans (pinto, black, kidney) to last about the same amount of time. This is such an easy meal that you can add anything you like to it. We usually add avocado, a sugar and salt free pasta sauce, coconut oil or a small bit of hot sauce. Beans are also great to add to your salad. You can also bulk cook chicken breasts, in which you can throw in a salad, with some brown rice or with some steamed veggies.
– For snacks, it is best to make everything from scratch. Most store-bought granola or breakfast bars have far too much sugar and ingredients to make it healthy (same with cereals). If I can’t pronounce the ingredients, or there are more than around 5, I usually put it back. It is incredibly easy to make your own muffins, cookies, granola bars, granola and cereals from home. If I can bake, you can bake!
3. Don’t give up! Always allow yourself 30 days to make changes. If the thought of giving up everything at once freaks you out and sends your cravings into overdrive, slowly remove these things. Take it a week at a time (this doesn’t go for everything, otherwise you would never get to where you were going). Pick your top 2-3 items that you “think” you can’t live without and each week remove one of those items and place it with something healthy, but the end of 2-3 weeks these foods will be about of your diet. But most importantly, give yourself time to adapt. If you have gone 2 weeks without your pint of Ben & Jerry’s and one day it just seems like you can’t get through that day without it, don’t fall for this non sense. Do something right away to take your mind off it, take a walk, call someone, jump on Facebook if you have to. If you only give yourself 5 minutes, sometimes that craving goes away and you won’t ever regret skipping the junk!
When those days come (which they will), where you think you just can’t do it anymore, you are missing your beloved chicken fingers and wedges (that was me), give yourself time to change. Giving into your old cravings won’t get you to where you’re going. Give yourself 30 days. It almost becomes a mental game. You really can do anything for 30 days, and by the end of those 30 days, your cravings won’t be nearly as horrendous and you will begin to feel powerful knowing that you CAN do this!
4. Get a partner in crime – whether this person be your husband, boyfriend, partner, friend, relative, sibling or children, get someone on board with you. Use each other as a support system. I am not sure if I would be where I am today without my husband as my partner in crime. He has been there through every bad recipe, every bruise I got at the gym, and well just everything! Use whomever you choose to check in with, prep meals, go to the gym together, have weekly measuring and idea sessions and most importantly just be there for each other!
5. Eating is 80% of the battle, but adding some exercise to your life is sure to help! It doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weight every day, it can mean anything physical; walking, swimming, biking, zumba, bootcamp, crossfit, yoga, canoeing, running, hiking, playing at the park with your kiddos, and I know some of you have some dogs to be walkin’ ;)). Do whatever type of exercise you love! Try something out of your comfort zone. The very first day my husband and I walked into the Crossfit box we workout at (I unfortunately had to quit a while back), we were scared out of our wits, but I am sooo thankful we did it! I began to fall in love with Crossfit. So never judge something until you have tried it, and step out of your comfort zone, you will most likely be happy you did!
I hope this tips can help and if you have any of your own PLEASE be sure to share!
I also just recently had some maternity photos taken, so below is a little sneak peek! Happy Hump Day 🙂