Friday, May 16, 2014

3 Weeks NO Cheats!

Are you ready to see just how amazing your body/mind is?  You are capable of SO much!  A great way to test it out is to do this 3 weeks no cheats challenge.  I'm not a "cleanse" kind of girl... And I'm not into depriving myself either. If I'm craving ice cream, I'll make vegan ice cream (frozen banana and almond milk). I have loved to lose weight by eating clean and making it a lifestyle.  But lately I have been what I like to call a "food picker".

I will eat great all day, but there are little glimpses of the day where I will pick at food here and there.  I'll have a bite of my husband's sandwich or sneak a couple Goldfish (YUCK) at snack time with my students.

Each day I've told myself "Self, stop taking little picks here and there" and yet again, I find myself taking one bite of Oreo, 3 chips, and one gulp of juice.  I didn't have a whole Oreo so it doesn't count, right? Oh it does count.  It's manifesting itself on my scale. I'm stuck.  It is so crazy what joining a "challenge" does to help the mental part of weight loss.  It's so motivating!

Are you ready to join me?

Click {here} to download the day check off list. Print it off and put it on your fridge or pantry door.  Mark off each day that you have no cheats! Try to have 21 days in a row. 

So, what is a cheat?  Well great news! It's up to you!  I want to challenge myself and see how far I can push myself. Like I said before, I'm NOT into depriving myself because it leads to binge eating, but for these 21 days...I'll be ok! We will be just fine and you will be surprised how good you feel.  Let's cheer each other on by taking a pictures and posting them on Instagram using #3weeksnocheats

This means that I'll be eating A LOT in order to get in all of my calories (I do not restrict my calories in order to lose weight). When you are eating clean, you can eat A LOT and lose A LOT of weight.  It's all about what you put into your body. Yes, I can eat a 200 calorie candy bar or I can eat 200 calories in chicken. Which do you think my body will like better? ;)

This is MY plan. You can do whatever you want! Some of my friends are just going to consider a cheat having soda. Some are going full on! It just depends on what YOU want to do! Push yourself!

To me cheating is:
*Ice Cream
*Fast Food (I'll allow myself protein style hamburger)
*Anything but water (I'll allow myself some coffee though)
*Food with artificial ingredients
*More than a portion size of almond butter
*More than one protein bar

What I'll eat:
*Bacon (Nitrate Free)
*Chicken/Turkey Sausage (Nitrate Free)
*Fish (Ughhhhh)
*Kind Granola (Gluten Free)
*Quest Protein Bars (try to eat only half a day)
*Fruit (but don't go crazy on this)
*Organic Corn Tortilla Chips
*Gluten Free Crackers (Make sure it's soy free and keep within portion size)
*Homemade Salsa
*Sweet Potatoes
*Nuts (limit to 1/4 cup a day)

Are you in???  I'm starting right now and you can do this anytime!  But... the actual challenge will start on Monday, May 19th. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Weight Loss Milestone

It happened!  I stepped on the scale, started to do the math (carry the one, borrow from the 7, etc.) and realized that I had 
lost 100 pounds!

Thank you My Fitness Pal for keeping track of my weight loss. ;) You can follow me @rachelleblake

I mean, I couldn't even grasp what that meant. And then I realized that 100 pounds is the same as...

*A 2 month old horse
*an average super model
*2 bales of hay
*197 bananas
*large goat
*12 gallons of water
*A hellfire missle

I happen to have an amazing friend (NATALIE) who is also a photographer.  We had a blast doing these "100 pounds lost" celebration photos! 

I was so lucky to have some amazing friends that celebrated with me and they sent me a goodie basket of healthy treats and TONS of gift cards so that I could buy a new wardrobe.  Which I have. Ten times over. 

I cannot even believe that I used to wear these jeans.  They are a size 20. Wow. Now I can't believe I just told y'all that.  Sometimes I put those old pants on just to remind myself of how far I've come. And then sometimes I put both legs in one of the legs and try to walk around.  This is real life, people!

It has been a crazy 18 months.  I've cried, laughed, grunted, screamed, smiled, and I've NEVER STOPPED WORKING (although I've had times where I've taken steps backwards). I've had many set backs and tons of critics. BUT, I've also had SO SO much support. My family and friends have been incredible through it all. I tear up thinking about all of the people in my life who motivate me and never criticize me (even when I get HANGRY- thank you to my husband Brian). 
There have been more than a handful of times I went to bed pouting like a child because I wanted to eat ALL THE CANDY IN THE WORLD. There have been more than a handful of times where I actually ate ALL THE CANDY IN THE WORLD. I still have food issues. I still play mental games with myself, but I'm starting to realize that food is fuel and I don't have to live to eat...I need to eat to live. 

Things I've learned:

*The scale doesn't own me
*I can run one mile without crying, but refuse to do more
*I love Jazzercise
*Flexing in the mirror is fun
*Food is fuel
*Healthy food is yummy
*I don't have to feel deprived to live healthy
*I can lift heavy things
*I can make a Jazzercise routine to any song
*Medium is now in my vocabulary
*I hardly ever poop #help #sorrynotsorry
*This journey is my life and I'm never stopping
*If I can do it, ANYONE CAN!

My weight does not define my happiness. But let me tell you... when I was overweight I was also exhausted, depressed, and lazy.  Now I'm happy, have so much energy, WANT to workout everyday, and I think about what I eat instead of shoving cookies down my throat at a moment's notice.
I take each day at a time and I look back and think.... DAMN, I did it!

*You can read more about how I lost 100 pounds {here}

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to Not Gain Weight on a Vacation

*Let me just say... what worked for me on my vacation, may not work for you!  These are just TIPS and are certainly not a "cure-all". :)

After a long Utah winter, my husband and I decided that we needed a vacation and a Caribbean cruise would be the perfect selection. As I prepared for my cruise, I knew that I wanted to let go a little and relax.  This included my food choices.  BUT, I did not want to go on a binge and then feel like crap.  I had to be careful and I had to have a PLAN.  

I weighed myself the day we left for our vacation.  That was my "stick with it" number.  We cruised for 7 nights.  After we got home, I waited 4 days to weigh myself (water retention).  Guess what? I did not gain one pound!  I was the same weight as the day I left for my cruise.

How did I do it?  Here's what you need to know (hint- it's not much different from my every day life).

1.  Have a plan

My plan was to have a mostly healthy breakfast AND lunch each day.  If there was something new I wanted to try, I just had a tiny portion.  For dinner, I would splurge and have whatever I wanted as long as I didn't get "sick full".  Once I started to feel full, I put my napkin on my plate and had the waiter take it away.  It worked like a charm.  My husband and I got our own starters, plus we got an extra one to share (we wanted to try it all).  For the main entree, I just had what looked good.  On our last day, I had 3 cheese macaroni and cheese with grilled chicken and bacon. YUM.  For desert, we both ordered our own and then split another desert.  

Breakfast: Egg omelet, bacon, and fruit
Lunch: Salad, grilled chicken, potato salad, small desert
Dinner: Starter (1.5), main course, desert (1.5)

I definitely never felt deprived!

I decided that I would pack my workout clothes just in case I wanted to burn some extra calories.  I didn't put any pressure on myself to workout.  I actually woke up 4 out of the 7 mornings on our vacation and WANTED to workout. I headed to the cruise gym and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes and lifted weights for 20 minutes. On the other days, we had early morning excursions planned and I wasn't about to wake up before the sun. Now, I get it...not all of you want to go to the gym on your vacation. That's ok!  Just move more.  Go on a walk on the beach, lap swim in the pool, or choose an excursion that requires some walking.  We did the Mayan Ruins and it was amazing.  We walked and walked and in 100 degree weather in Belize, but it was worth it.  Plus, we burned calories and learned a little history at the same time. 

*One tip on a cruise is to always take the stairs.  We were on the 9th deck and we took the stairs up and down to the different decks.  The only time we took the elevator was when I was wearing heels. ;)

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize

This is PROOF I worked out on the cruise. It's a flex break in our tiny stateroom cabin. 

3. HYDRATE with Water (and avoid soda)
I drank 150 ounces of water every day. It was very hot out and I knew that if I didn't drink enough, I would feel miserable, get bloated, and retain a lot of water.  This is one of my best decisions!  I drank only water (and coffee) on the cruise and I didn't even care.  If I would have wanted to have a lemonade, I would have had one. But, I didn't even want those calories... I wanted my calories in the form of chocolate pie. I didn't drink soda or alcohol while on my cruise, but if you choose to do so... just make sure you limit yourself. Those empty calories can leave you feeling like crap and how can you dress up on "formal night" feeling like that!  

4.  Be Prepared
I wanted to make sure that we brought some extra snacks in case we got the "midnight munchies".  We brought Kind bars with us just in case.  I'm so glad we did! There were times that we were out on the beach and I got hangry (hungry+angry).  I was so glad to grab a Kind bar and feel satisfied until it was time for lunch.  I would also take an extra banana at breakfast to snack on while I was lounging by the pool.  It's the little things that make the biggest difference.  

We did a Carnival Cruise and we loved it (it's our second one).  
Sunday: Port of Galveston
Monday: Day at Sea
Tuesday: Day at Sea
Wednesday: Roatan, Honduras
Thursday: Belize 
Friday: Cozumel, Mexico
Saturday: Day at Sea
Sunday: Port of Galveston