Monday, May 21, 2012

Clean Eating and Exercise

After the situations I mentioned in my previous post, I was really motivated to loose the extra fat that had accumulated over the past year!  I did a lot of research on health and fitness through various fitness sites, and found that 'Clean' eating, lifting heavy, and cardio was a proven and healthy plan. I spent about a year loosing the 33 lbs, in a slow and healthy way. After loosing the weight, people that hadn't seen me in a while asked me "What did you do?!"  It's really a simple strategy, eating healthy and exercising, and yet it is easier said than done!  It takes discipline and consistency.  There isn't a magic pill or fad diet that will work.  It takes consistency and hard work, but it definitely isn't complicated.  Exercise is important, but diet is 80% of the equation! I spent several weeks working out very hard without focusing on my diet, and I didn't loose any weight!  As soon as I cleaned up my diet, the weight started coming off. You can work out for hours a day, but if you are putting garbage into your body, you won't get the results you're looking for.

Let me explain what the 'clean' eating diet is, as many people haven't heard of that term before.

Clean eating basics:

- First of all, clean eating isn't a diet, but rather a lifestyle.  You can't look at it as something you'll do for a month or two, and then go back to your old ways.  Adopting the clean eating lifestyle will ensure lasting results!

-Cut out unhealthy fats, and incorporate good ones (essential fatty acids). Good fats are found in fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

- Eat 5-6 small meals a day, and eat every 2-3 hours.
Eating clean actually involves consuming smaller meals throughout the day rather than three bigger meals. This means you don’t go hungry throughout the day and your metabolism stays strong. Skipping meals signals your brain to slow down your metabolism and hold on to these calories. By skipping meals, you actually ensure weight grain rather than weight loss.

-Each meal should include a lean protein (baked, grilled or broiled fish, Chicken breast, ground sirloin, etc), complex carbohydrate (brown rice, Oats, wheat or grain bread, sweet potato) and simple carb (fruits or vegetables)

-Avoid over-processed, refined foods - especially white flour and sugar.
If it comes in a box, chances are, it's processed and has very little nutritional value.  Also, don't use 'splenda' and other fake sugars!  People think diet soda is a healthy option, but it can hurt their results and their body.  It is a chemical that is hard on your body, and increases sugar cravings.  Use natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey, maple syrup, etc. (in moderation)  Example: Instead of buying 'diet' yogurt, with fake sugar, or regular yogurt with a ton of sugar, buy plain, unsweetened yogurt, and sweeten lightly with honey or stevia.

-  Avoid calorie dense foods that have no nutritional value like french fries, chips, and pastries.

-Stick to proper portion sizes - Eat until hunger stops, not until you feel full.

- Drink lots of water! Throw out the sodas and sugary juice drinks!  Regular soda contains an average of 4 Tbsp of sugar and is sure to derail any healthy lifestyle. Drinking your calories is an easy way to put on extra weight.  I used to drink tons of grape juice, thinking it was a healthy drink.  It is LOADED with sugar and it is easy to drink a lot of it.  Don't drink your calories.  Stick to water...

You cannot get healthy without eating healthy!
Creating a clean eating lifestyle has allowed me to loose the excess weight I had gained, and then some. I am weigh less now than I did as a teenager.  It is an easy lifestyle to maintain, and both Dan and I feel so much better living this way!  Having eaten this for a few years now, I've come to learn how to cook healthy, clean meals as well as what to buy (and not buy) at the store.   Also, being part of an organic produce club and bulk health food club have saved us a lot of money.  I get the majority of our food from these places.  Check to see if you can be a part of these food clubs, or ones like them, in your area to help you save $$!  ( and

I'll cover the fitness portion in a later post, as this is already getting long!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Changing Things Up... A Series on Health

Well, as things are remaining quiet on the adoption end of this blog, I thought I'd start a series of posts on a topic near and dear to my heart.  Nutrition and fitness!  I've also been encouraged by my parents recent weight loss success and new-found desire to lead healthier lives.

In one of my my original posts, I had mentioned that I had lost over 30 lbs.  I never really posted before and after pictures, or what I did to loose the weight, so I thought I'd share.  I love encouraging and motivating people who are hoping to loose fat and lead a healthy life. I would really enjoy being a personal trainer!  I also plan on sharing some healthy recipes that Dan and I enjoy!  I am not a medical professional, but I have done a lot of research on the topics of nutrition and fitness.
September 2007

We were married in the fall of 2007.  I was heavier than I wanted to be at my wedding, but I wasn't considered "overweight."  Over the course of our first year of marriage, through laziness and over-eating, I gained 15-20lbs.  I was so unhappy with myself and so uncomfortable in my own skin.  My clothes weren't fitting, and I was embarrassed to have to purchase larger jeans at the thrift store.  I vividly remember two turning points for me that set me on the course to a healthier life.  One being my sisters wedding...

  I was the maid of honor.  We picked out our bridesmaids dresses and got measured.  A couple months later, the dresses arrived and we had to try them on to make sure they fit.  I was MORTIFIED when the dress didn't zip up.  I had to open the door, knowing everyone was waiting to see it on, and announce that I couldn't get the dress zipped up, while trying to not go into an "ugly cry."  My mom had to let the dress out so I could wear it to the wedding. This was one of my most embarrassing moments, and the point I knew that I needed to change. 

Second situation.  I was packing up some old clothes to give to the thrift store.  I was putting some of my nice jeans in there, that were WAY to small for me at the time.  Dan asked why I was getting rid of them, to which I respond, "They don't fit me anymore."  He said, "You know if you get rid of those, that means you've given up."  It may sound harsh, but I really needed that!  He told me to hang on to them for motivation and set a goal to fit into them again one day.  So I listened and kept them, and I'm happy to say that the jeans don't fit now... because they're too BIG!  (Thanks Hun!)  I was at the point where I had given up on trying, and just accepted that this was my new size.  Dan gave me the motivation to not accept it, but to change into where I wanted to be.

Those were a few scenarios that lit a fire under me.  Another big motivator for me was to please my husband.  1 Cor. 7:34 says, " She that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." So, seeking to please and submit to my husband was a big motivator for me on my weight loss journey.  I love making my husband happy! 

I tried scrounging up some pictures of me at my heaviest.  (I did take some before pictures, but I won't be sharing those ones with anyone!) :)  But I found a few of me from around that time.  It wasn't easy because I avoided the camera like the plague!

I wanted a picture in my wedding dress for our 1 year anniversary... Don't I look thrilled??
1 Year Anniversary "Before" Picture

(My wedding dress is actually too big for me now.)

Up next...
What I did to loose the weight and how I've kept it off.
After Pictures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I was asked a few weeks ago by a friend how I have been doing during this "waiting phase" in our adoption process.  Praise the Lord, I have been doing well, and time has seemed to go very quickly!  Looking back, it's been over 1 year now since we decided to start the adoption process.  Wow, that went fast!  I had pictured adopted within 1 year.  :) Ever since we went into the book, 1 1/2 weeks ago, I've felt really impatient all of a sudden.  As if going into the book means we should get a call the next day!  My mom called me last week and was just reminding me that God's timing is not our timing, and that He has a SPECIFIC baby for us, and we need to wait until he/she is ready.  I am thankful for reminders like this!  God does have a plan, and His ways are so much better than mine (well, actually they're perfect!!)  How silly of me to want it to go according to my imperfect schedule!  Please pray that the Lord would continue to grant me patience during this waiting phase. 

I have never been so excited to check my phone and email messages in my life, knowing that it could be the agency!  It feels very much like a dream to me.  We've been planning on this for over a year now, and I've read so many wonderful adoption stories, but is it actually going to happen to us?  Are we actually going to be given a baby?  Sometimes it is really hard for me to imagine it actually happening, and I'm sure when it does, it will still feel like a wonderful dream! 

In the meantime, while our waiting continues, we are trying to get some house projects done!  We've had our basement bathroom unfinished since we bought our house.  We've been wanting to finish it before the baby comes, considering our bedroom and the baby's room are in the basement.  We're halfway through the project, and it is turning out great!  We've had a lot of help from my brother-in-law, so that was a huge blessing!  Now we're to the tiling, which neither of us have done before....  Hopefully soon it will be finished so I can post some before/after pictures!