Shredding for the wedding // Meal Prep

post about my shoes, favorite leggings of all time

I recently did a poll on Instagram to see if there would be any interest in these posts, and the results were overwhelmingly a yes! I’ve mentioned before that originally when I decided to start this blog wayyyy back, it was going to be a mostly fitness-related blog. That quickly changed, but as I’m getting back into my fitness for 2018 and to walk down the aisle in July, I thought it would keep me accountable if I shared my progress out loud to the entire internet. And hopefully it will help someone else who’s looking for motivation, workouts, tips, or just wants to follow along!

Our wedding is July 22, so I have 6 months (AHHH!) until our big day. I know that it will be here before I know it. People have lots of opinions about this kind of stuff, but my number one priority is my health and the way I feel about myself. A million people can tell you that you look fine the way you are, but you have to feel it yourself or it won’t matter. I don’t think that someone should lose weight just to get married, but this is a great source of motivation for me personally because I want to feel and look my best on the most important day of my life. My weight has gone up and down my whole adult life, and right now it is up! I need to find a balance between the extremes. I have high blood pressure and need to lose weight just in general for my health, so this is not a crash diet or an unhealthy approach. Secondly, Andrew loves me exactly the way I am and my weight goals are not fueled by him in the slightest, other than having his support for whatever I want to do. This is not about him, this is about me. Thirdly, I 100% believe that whoever you are, wherever you are in your health, it is 100% between you and yourself, and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. So you do you.

So let’s get started! I’ve been going to  the gym with my sister, doing workouts at my apartment gym, and I want to add yoga back in to my weekly routine as well (I’ve let it get away from me). I’m following my Weight Watchers plan and tracking my meals, but I’m also planning out my meals every week and prepping food with my sister to keep us both on track (I’ve mentioned about her fitness competitions here).   It has made my weeks so much easier. I know that diet is the huge majority of changing your body. I also know that if my food is already paid for and prepared, it’s harder to justify going out to eat or stopping for something at the drive-through. Meal prepping also makes it easy for me to just grab a lunch for the work day and not worry about what I’m going to eat. My sister and I have a membership to Costco, so we bought a lot of things in bulk and were able to freeze some for the next week.

We just make our plan and decide what needs to be cooked first and how we can start putting together some meals! We use a food scale to weigh things out, as well as a rice cooker to make our rice/quinoa much more quickly and easily! It takes about 3 hours from start to finish, but then you don’t have to cook again the entire week. Kind of nice and makes it easier during a busy week!

allllll the tupperware containers

weighing it out

our batches of broccoli and brussel sprouts for the week

Here are my meals:

Coffee:  I saw a meme this week that said something like “I love myself so I use cream in my coffee.” For a long time, I tried drinking mine black to save calories and fat or to drink it with almond milk, which just does not cut it for me. I have to start my day out with coffee and creamer. Just have to. So that’s my daily treat. I like french vanilla creamer, and I do buy sugar free – 1 point on Weight Watchers every morning. I use Truvia or a sugar-free, calorie-free caramel syrup to sweeten it a little.

Breakfast:  Either a protein shake or overnight oats. I LOVE overnight oats. So easy and so delicious! I make mine with 1/2 cup oats, a sliced banana, JIF powdered peanut butter (so much better for you), 1 scoop of protein powder, and cover it with cashew milk overnight. This is 7 points on Weight Watchers and fills me up totally until lunch. I wake up at 5 and don’t eat lunch at school until 12, so that’s saying something! If I do a protein shake, I make it in the morning and use it when I know I’ll be going out to eat for dinner or may eat more food that day for whatever reason. It’s only 3 points with 1 scoop of protein, 1 scoop of the same peanut butter powder, and cashew milk. I sometimes add frozen blueberries and cinnamon to the mix!

Lunch:  Baked flounder and tri-color quinoa with a tomato/spinach blend on top. This was kind of bland at first, so I started putting a little bit of hot sauce on top with garlic, and even a little parmesan cheese. So good after fixing up the flavor! The second week we prepped (this week), we are doing the same type of quinoa but as a cold Mediterranean side with turkey loin or tuna salad and asparagus (canned asparagus; WAY cheaper and already pre-cut).  These meals range from 5-8 Weight Watchers points.

Dinner:  Week 1 was either crock pot buffalo chicken tenders or turkey loin cooked in taco sauce and seasonings, jasmine rice, and either broccoli or brussel sprouts. This week we are doing Asian flavored beef bowls with broccoli or brussel sprouts and rice. So good. These meals range from 5-10 points on Weight Watchers.

Snacks: I love cheese, so I usually do a string cheese or a little snack pack cheese square. I like the Cabot Lite 50 calorie cheese snacks (2 points on Weight Watchers). Fruit/veggies are also great for snacks because on Weight Watchers they’re free points. Pickles, an apple, banana, grapes, etc. I also usually do a protein shake after a heavy workout. My sister and I love this kind in cake batter (and we have tried our share of protein powders!). Expensive, but not when you break it down and see how many servings you get – or if you compare the cost to all of the coffees or french fries you might be stopping for here and there! I also like to do 2 boiled eggs for a snack since they’re free now on Weight Watchers, too!

Honestly, I don’t usually get hungry between meals because I am eating a lot of food! It’s just good-for-me food vs. junk. I definitely believe in moderation, and one of my favorite things about Weight Watchers is that it accounts for that. You get a bank of extra points for the week that you can blow on whatever you want, because life happens. You can roll over 4 points a day to save up towards your cheat points, and fitness points get tracked by my Fitbit so I can add those in if I want, too! I plan for one big cheat meal a week and when events come up, like our wedding catering tasting last night, I try to be even smarter throughout the day and make sure I get in a workout that day. It’s not going to be perfect, but the point is that you don’t stop trying!

It’s time // 6 week shred

I went to the doctor recently and had the dreaded weigh-in. I hadn’t weighed myself in a really long time, because I hate focusing so much on the scale and I honestly was trying to ignore the fact that I have not been very healthy lately. And if I’m really, really being honest, it has been a lot longer than just “lately.”

So I stepped on the scale and tried to ignore it, but then I couldn’t help myself – I glanced down and saw the number. And YIKES. Before my doctor even had the chance to mention anything to me, I went ahead and let her know that I knew it was time to get a grip. And instead of saying, “Noooo, you’re fine,” she said, “Well, at least you know it’s time.”

That’s when I knew. I knew this wasn’t something I could sweep aside anymore.

My big sister has been on the fitness train forever, and for a long phase of my life, I was too. It’s not a new lifestyle to me, but it’s one I’ve been far away from for a while. She, my mom, and I decided to do a six week shred program through Gauge Girl Training. My sister did another program of hers and really saw fantastic results. She is an engineer and food scientist, which makes me feel a little more comfortable paying for a meal plan. I know I could do all of this myself, but I felt like I needed a good kick in the rear to jump start my metabolism and get me back on track.

So Mom, Emily, and I all purchased our meal plans and started a group text to help each other, keep each other accountable, and give lots of support! Andrew is on board with me 100% and supporting me through the next 6 weeks of not going out to eat or having any alcohol (nerdy date nights in our future!). My meal plan is strict, specific, and designed to cut body fat quickly while maintaining lean muscle. I’m putting this all out here because I need to be accountable. And maybe this post might reach someone and give them the lift they need to know that anyone can do what I’m doing. I am nervous about it, but I know I can do it. I’ll be checking in over the next 6 weeks to let you know how things are going!

I went to three stores to get everything I needed to get started, and then got to work rinsing, chopping, cooking, and storing my food for the week. It takes a lot of work up front, but then you get to sit back and relax the rest of the week because you know exactly what you’re eating (plus, you don’t waste money on going out to eat because you know you are wasting money on the food you have at home if you do that). My first day was yesterday, and it went so well! I ate all of my food, drank a ton of water, and already my mindset just feels so much more positive.

6 week shred, week 1

Alllll the groceries. It’s hard to believe I’ll eat that much by myself in a week, but I did my math carefully. I also know from experience that each week will be easier to plan for, prep for, and stick with. It takes a little while to form a habit, but then eating well and exercising regularly just become routine.

This isn’t about being thin. It’s about being in a healthy range for my personal body. It is about feeling strong and fit, having a healthy heart and lungs, and helping myself live a longer and fuller life. After 6 weeks is up, I’ll continue to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, but I will also be able to live a little, because life happens and you have to enjoy the chocolate and the wine and cheese here and there, too.

I have thought about that doctor’s comments several times, and instead of being angry, I’m so thankful that she gave me that honesty that I needed. And you know what?  It is time.  It’s time to really hold myself accountable, it’s time to do something instead of complaining about something.

And it’s also time to practice being nice to myself more often. It’s a fine line between telling yourself you can improve and telling yourself you’re not good enough. I’ve come to a place where I’m trying to just accept myself where I am. I can only do my best from wherever it is that I am standing. So this is me, right now, and this is the body that I am in right now. Hating myself won’t gain results. I just have to plan it out, stick with it, and cheer on my mom and sister as we complete this 6 week challenge together.

Wish me luck!