Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lifting and Clean Eating, Part II: My Initial Weight Loss Diet

Missed Part I: How It All Began?

Lifting and Clean Eating Part II: My initial weight loss diet

I've decided to split my diet and workouts into "initially" and “currently” because how I started my journey to becoming healthier and what I maintain are quite a bit different. The further along I got, the more I moved into “real” foods rather than the more “artificial” ingredient foods that I started out with. So without further ado, here is how the change in my diet began.

*Disclaimer: this is what worked for me and I'm not suggesting it's the very best way or only way to go about anything, it's just simply what I went through to get to where I'm at today in my diet and workouts.

Before: When switching my diet from "I eat whatever I want whenever I want" to "clean and healthy", I didn't just all of a sudden go cold turkey and start eating clean, unprocessed, real foods. It wasn't ever that easy for me. I had to take little steps, a couple things at a time. I was in this for the long run. It wasn't just going to be a diet to loose weight, but it was about finding how to eat better in a way that worked for me at the time.

At least for me, it would have been nearly impossible to just all of a sudden not eat sugar-
filled, salt-filled, and fat-filled foods. I had to wean myself off of them. Here are some things I did to really start on my road to healthier eating:
  • I began eating 5-6 times a day. This one is what really helped me the very most. It wasn't that hard when I got to eat something every 2-3 hours. It kept me full and satisfied and I didn't crave bad food because I literally felt like I was eating all the time. (A little more info on benefits of doing this.)
  • I started out by using a lot of sugar free/fat free products. While I knew artificial sweeteners really weren't good for me either, I felt that were better than regular full fledged fat and sugar products and also helped wean me off of so much of the real stuff. I pretty much bought everything I could sugar free/fat free.
  • I researched ways to boost my metabolism and therefore faithfully did these things: 
    *started drinking a lot of hot green tea and other hot teas (I used Splenda to sweeten)

    * drank only water, tea, and artificially sweetened zero calorie drinks (aka Crystal Light, vitamin water, etc ... I had an occasional diet pop, but kept it as a “treat”)
    * tried to drink water right upon waking up
    * started to always eat breakfast (very important)
  • Read a lot about healthy eating online and in my husband's old nutrition textbooks. Becoming more knowledgeable on what those greasy, fatty foods I used to not mind eating actually did to my body and what healthy foods would do for my body was an eye opener.
  • Started taking a multivitamin every day.
  • Despite my best efforts when all I wanted to do was eat more, sugar free gum, water and flavored artificially sweetened drinks became my friend.
A sample day of what I used to eat in a day:
- Breakfast: a serving of Original FiberOne cereal with skim milk (or almond milk), some frozen berries and some hot tea (I used Splenda to sweeten at the time) with 1 egg and 1 egg white
- A.M. snack: a 90 calorie or a less sugar Quaker granola bar
- Lunch: A sandwich on 45 calorie per slice bread with cut up chicken breast, piece of fat free cheese and mustard with a serving of fat free, sugar free pudding
- Afternoon snack: A serving of fruit with a couple almonds or another granola bar; mini bag of kettle corn microwaveable popcorn (or no butter popcorn) with some tea
- Dinner: A servings of lean meat (chicken breast, salmon, tuna, lean ground turkey, etc) with veggies and a small amount of brown rice or some low calorie soup with a piece of toasted 45 calorie bread with a piece of fat free cheese
- Before bed: A serving of almonds

I was pretty strict on myself at the beginning of all this because I really did want to see results and I knew the more I followed my guidelines, the faster I would see results. My husband was a GREAT motivator at this time, though I often got frustrated and mad at him when he gave me disapproving eyes when I wanted to eat something I shouldn't, or gave me advice I didn't feel like following but that I knew was true. (I needed someone in my life to do that though, or I would have had too much "cheating").

After: It was really tough at times and these changes were not always easy … I understand what it's like to struggle and get mad and disappointed with yourself. And at times I would think, why am I making myself do this?? I don't have to! Buuuuut, I stuck with it! And with a mix of working out/staying active, it did produce results! It became easier and easier to pick less calorie, less fattening foods and I became more and more interested in healthy eating. Once I lost all the weight I wanted to loose and as my knowledge increased, I began making even more healthy changes and far as "real" foods vs. processed and artificial sweeteners vs. "real" sweeteners.
"We are what we believe we are."
-CS Lewis-


  1. You've come a long way and have looked fabulous from beginning to now! :-)

  2. Hey girl,

    I think its totally commendable of you to be so honest about your journey. As I was reading your strategies, it reminded me a lot of myself when I was living in total restriction and disorderd eating. Now IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY WHAT SO EVER am I complying that you had any kind of unhealthy approach, I just know that these things didn't work best for me and I actually took them way way way too far and made myself sick.
    I know now that I can not limit myself to such a stick regime or else I will fail miserabely. I'm so happy to see that you have such a great approach to your healthy lifestyle but the only thing I wanted to comment on is that you only eat 1200-1300 calories a day. Was that currently or before? I remember you saying that you workout everyday and consuming only 1200 caloires seems a little low. But, I am in no position to judge, if this works for you, I totally support you hun!

    You are such an amazing girl and I love you to death!!!

  3. I think its great that you took your moves towards clean eating in managable steps! I think people do have a tendency to get overwhelmed when they think of making 1 giant leap.

    Onto Hungry Girl...so I loved the idea of Hungry Girl and I do get her emails. I think she has some great tips but....a big BUT....she uses too many fake ingredients for me. Now I'm not saying I'm anti all fake ingredients... I think its MORE than ok to use some...but a few of her recipes are out of control with the fake ingredients. Just my opinon ;)

    You are a gorgeous lady btw! Love all the pics!

  4. Laren: Ha, heck no, I eat a lot more now because I workout hard and twice a day (trust me, I eat a lot! I wouldn't be able to build muscle if I didn't). That was simply in my weight loss stage. I gain weight easily and I was getting used to no longer eating all I wanted and restricting my diet was necessary for me to change my eating habits and get "in control" of how much I allowed myself to eat.

    After I mentioned that in my post I included a link to how I figured that amount. Multiplying your body weight times 10 is a good way to figure out an estimate to go by when trying to loose weight. (And of course that fluctuates depending on your amount of activity).

  5. Erica: I agree! However, I think her concept is a wonderful one when beginning to eat healthier, especially for someone who might be very overweight. It's one little step at a time, and she provides a very practical stepping stone.

  6. I loved reading about your journey! It reminds me a lot of myself. During my weight loss phase, I ate a lot like you did during yours. And like you I have since learned so much more about healthy and whole foods. I totally agree with you that for people who are very unknowledgeable about healthy eating/losing weight...their beginning steps look a lot different than how they may ultimately need/want to eat. I sometimes forget that it has taken me a lot of time and research to get to the point that I am today. It's all about the journey, though, right?! Thanks for sharing...and your beautiful!!

  7. I agree with Erica. I love Hungry Girl and I read her emails every day but she DOES use too many fake ingredients and processed foods. It's a great way to start off and it's the way I started off but now I kind of regret buying one of her cookbooks because half of her ingredients gross me out!!

    This is a great post though! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  8. thanks for such a great and thorough post - it was such a great source of motivation for me =)

    you are beautiful!

  9. Very informative!! I need to work on eating cleaner. It really is something I strive for. I just fail often...

  10. Interesting post--I really enjoyed reading about your diet changes. I'll be interested to read the second part about other changes you've made!

  11. A couple years ago I started my weightloss journey, weighing a whopping 214lbs. I lost 40lbs in 4 months doing the GI Diet and then another 20lbs slowly the following 8 months. Then we started TTC, I stopped taking my asthma medication, stopped running...thinking these things would be harmful to a baby. 10 months later, 25lbs heavier, no baby...I decided to see the Doctor. He said, the asthma medication wouldn't harm the baby. He said you need to breathe! Do all the things you were doing. Forget about the baby. You can't harm it!! lol

    I guess I'm back to losing those 25lbs again plus the 50 more I want to lose yet!! YAY!!

    And I agree you are are on the right track. Doing the right things. How much weight did you lose? You honestly didn't look that bad when you started out.

    I'm 5 feet tall, so weighing 214lbs was MAJOR heavy. I feel much better but KNOW I'll feel even better after the next 75, 40 minimum are off!

    I gained the wait since being married...I've always been in shape! so yeah.

    GFY!! Keep it up.

  12. I am excited to keep reading!!

  13. ahh what an honest, insightful post...it was such a joy to read and it really speaks to my heart too!! THank you for sharing your journey...and for being so truthful and thoughtful too!! :) You're a fabulous writer you know??? And a TON of dedication to getting results. heheheh :)

  14. A lot of us start our journeys with a lot of "fake foods". It looks like you have really done a tremendous job at educating yourself on nutrition! You look fantastic!

  15. When I started "dieting" my foods were heavily processed and ladled with artificial things. It took time to ween myself off, but during that period I learned to appreciate clean food more.
    Great post - you made a lot of good points.

  16. I work at a weight loss clinic and I wish my patients were as good at making changes as you are! I'm so impressed with your list of what you did to loose weight, and that you stuck to your goals. You look awesome, and I can't wait to hear more!

  17. Sounds like you were very dedicated to becoming more healthy and are still making positive changes. Love reading about your journey! :-)

  18. That was such a great post--thank you so much for sharing!

  19. this has definitely worked for you, you look great! i'm trying to incorporate some of these ideas right now too, like eating several times throughout the day and drinking lots of green tea. thanks for sharing!!

  20. wow this is a great post!
    I feel like a lot of people often times turn to the artificial sweetners to help them loose weight too.
    can't wait until the currently post!

  21. i am so excited to have found you blogg! i need to cut down on my veg intake as well. i have never found anyone who also had that problem. i look forward to reading more


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