2011 – The Best Year Yet | Alwyn Cosgrove

2011 – The Best Year Yet | Alwyn Cosgrove.

 

There are so many different blogs and articles floating around right now to inspire us all to achieve new heights in 2011.  Some have been generic, some have been overly wordy (or even preachy), but this guest post by Todd Durkin on Alwyn Cosgrove’s site hits the right note for me.  The majority of the post is a list of 83 action steps that you (or I) can choose to take to make 2011 your best year.

 

Since today is a super-low calorie day and I’m surrounded by temptations (cheesy bread?  Yes, please!…oh, wait – not today), I found this post particularly helpful as motivation since, as I mentioned yesterday, this cycle is definitely harder than the last one.

Some of my favorite action steps (Some of which are also prominently featured in the Impact Body Plan):

  • Be the most positive person you know.  This is always a work-in-progress for me.  It’s hard to strike a balance between processing some of the struggles of my professional and personal life and remaining positive.  I am generally able to stay positive (or at least neutral), but I have to work harder at it when I’m in a deficit.
  • Do something that scares you everyday.  I’m not sure how to do this one yet, but I want to learn.  Life’s all about adventure, right?
  • Remember – no one has ever regretted a great workout.  This one, I’ve mastered!  Whenever I’m not feeling particularly jazzed about going to the gym, I remind myself that I’m only one workout away from a good mood!
  • Be obsessed with learning.  Check!
  • Be careful with whom you surround yourself.  Just as much as the right people can pull you up, the wrong people can pull you down.
  • If you want more, GIVE more.
  • Do or do not, there is no try.  Isn’t this one from Star Wars or something?  Anyway, I think this is going to be one of my mantras this year.  I am tired of trying to lose weight.  Now, I’m just doing it. 🙂
  • Slow down in order to speed up.  This is HUGE.  When I learned to slow down and create boundaries between my personal and professional lives, my entire outlook improved!  Taking time to just “be” is so important in trying to find satisfaction and direction in life.
  • Do more of what you love to do!  So simple, so important.

There are some real gems in the list – some for personal growth, some for running a business, and some for adding some adventure into life.  There is even a recommendation for a dream vacation every year (sigh – I wish!).  I will probably revisit the list every once in awhile to see what I can add to my life.  It’s worth a look, even as food for thought!

Advertisements

Much tougher this week

I’m REALLY feeling my deficit this week – cranky, tired, and achy with all kinds of cravings.  I’m really hoping I settle into a good routine soon and am able to maintain at this level of a deficit.  I’m going to give it a couple weeks and if I still feel like this, I will adjust.  Maybe I’ll cut out a cardio workout, or maybe I’ll have a smaller deficit.  I don’t want to do that, but I also don’t want to feel so crappy that I start struggling with compliance.  The giant snowstorm (and subsequent shoveling) that we are having is probably not helping matters.  One more low day tomorrow, then I can eat again on Friday. 🙂

Maintenance vs. “Cheat Days”

Over the weekend, I had some higher calorie days, including one day of eating at maintenance.  This was REALLY tough – much more difficult than I had anticipated.  On Saturday, the maintenance day, I had done some planning and we had a delicious, healthy, and calorie dense meal early in the day with the option of leftovers later.  I was able to get within 200 calories of maintenance (I was under), but it was vastly better than my efforts yesterday.  Yesterday, I was in a small deficit, but still had to eat at a higher calorie level.  I tried to eat consistently throughout the day, but ended up still scrambling at the end of the day to get all my calories.  Because of this, my choices weren’t all nutritious foods and my protein was low.  Clearly this is poor planning on my part, and a big part of the work I need to do to meet my goal of really understanding what maintenance feels like.

 

About a year ago, I tried a nutrition plan that cycled carbs and included one cheat day every week.  On this cheat day, I had carte blanche to eat whatever I wanted, with the only restriction being that I couldn’t stuff myself.  I probably don’t have to even say this, but my results sucked because I undid my deficit on every cheat day.

 

When I went to bed last night, I felt like I had on those cheat days – bloated, sluggish, etc.  I had eaten carb-rich junk foods late in the day and I definitely paid for it.  So, how do I make the distinction?  I get full fairly quickly (a blessing on a “low” day), so it’s hard for me to eat large quantities of “healthy” food to make my calories.  Maybe I need to eat more cashews or something?  Calorie dense, but with nutritional value?

 

This is really important for me to sort out, since someday I hope to live in maintenance and not worry constantly about what I’m eating!

First Cycle Done!

It was successful.  I only felt like I was “dieting” for two days – the rest of the time just felt like I was making healthy food choices.  Progress on goals:  (Overall Goals)

  • Lost 7.4 pounds.  Of course, some of that is water/bloat, but I’m happy nonetheless.
  • I’m better about my sleeping, but still could use more.  I was good about going to bed when I felt like I needed to, but didn’t do a great job settling and actually sleeping.
  • I’m starting to recognize times when I want to eat because I’m stressed or bored, rather than hungry.  In those moments, I’m eating a couple pieces of bell pepper and drinking a glass of water.  It seems to be helping with compliance.
  • I’m not doing great with the self-care (though I think my workouts are part of that).  I did play with our new Kinect a couple days this week which was definitely great for my mental health! 🙂

 

Did I meet my objectives?

  • Following cycling program accurately and with compliance?  YES
  • 100% compliance with training?  YES
  • Identify and prepare at least one healthy recipe and blog about it?  YES.  This is a great recipe.  Without the rice, it even fits into a lower calorie day, and has a “sticks to your ribs” quality that makes it not feel like diet food!
  • Identify one fun activity to do with Jeb this weekend?  Working on it.  Will definitely play Kinect and maybe go to the movies.  Plus, the NFL playoffs start today, so we might watch a game.  SO, I guess that is a YES!

So far, so good!  Now, onto Cycle 2!

Another good day

I won’t post specifics now, but suffice to say that I am making progress.  My workout was good, and I’m finding that the healthful choices I am making with my food are making the deficit easier.  Today was my first test of compliance, I think – I had a bunch of meetings and to teach a CPR re-cert so I wasn’t able to eat at my usual times.  I work in a quiet building, essentially alone, so I have a lot of flexibility with meals.  Today, though, I was at our main campus, where staff are offered a yummy hot lunch.  I got hungry, and the food smelled great – but I stuck to the plan. 🙂

 

Plugging along…

New Recipe

Keeping with one of my action steps for my goals, I made a new recipe last night.  It is Garlicky Chicken Satay from one of my favorite food blogs – Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.  The seasoning paste for the chicken is flavorful, but not overpowering, and the peanut sauce is a nice balance of sweet, salty, and fresh.  Plus, since most of the calories from the sauce come from unsweetened coconut milk and peanut butter, I feel like I’m getting some good nutrition for my calories.

Delicious and Nutritious!

This will definitely make it’s way into the regular rotation.  Served with Wild and Brown rice and some green beans, the meal breaks down like this (assuming 4 ounces of chicken and 1 serving of rice):

Calories:  520

Carbohydrates:  50g

Protein:  43g

Fat:  17g

The bulk of the carbs come from the rice, which I will likely cut down in future meals.  It was a good, satisfying dinner for a higher calorie day, though.

 

I did much better hitting my calories and macros over the last two days.  I think I will need to do some careful planning to be sure to hit my maintenance calories accurately, but I’m up for the challenge.  I’m really grateful that Jeb is so invested in this – it helps to not feel like I’m “cramping his style” when I make certain decisions.  He’ s also being AWESOME about going to the store and buying ingredients every.single.day.  Poor guy.  But, at least he’s eating well! 🙂

 

Workouts continue to go well – still at 100% compliance. 🙂

I Resisted!

image

Boston Cream donuts are one of my favorite treats. One of my staff brought some in just when I was trying to figure out how to fit in all my calories today. I remembered, though, to keep moving toward my goals and have resisted the temptation!  I will eat something wholesome for 200 calories instead.  Food is fuel, not an outlet for a stressful day, right? (I think I can, I think I can…)