850. 850. 850....
That's the number that has been filling my head for the past couple of days. Last year, I competed in a bikini competition. For 8 weeks, I dieted according to a plan my trainer gave me, lifted 3 times per week, and did cardio at least once per day for an hour each session, 6 days per week, until the last 2 weeks where I doubled up on cardio.
What is 850? It's the amount of calories I was eating on a daily basis. Why did I do that to myself? You'd think I would have known better, being a personal trainer and all. I guess I was blinded by ambition. I wanted to do a competition just to say I did it. I totally trusted my trainer who is very good at what he does. He trains people for bodybuilding competitions all the time, and his competitors always do very well. I don't know squat about competitions, and all that goes along with it such as posing, specificity of muscular striation goals and what not.
I've learned so much in the time since I did that competition. Not only was I only eating 850 calories, which is awful even without the consideration of the amount of physical activity I was involved in, but about 600 of those calories were from protein alone... animal protein at that. What happens when you eat that much animal protein and not enough carbohydrates from green vegetables to alkalize your system? Your body suffers from uric acid, and you can ultimately end up with kidney failure after awhile. Right after the competition, I went to the doctor because my kidneys were killing me, not really thinking about my major idiot move in following the diet, and my kidneys were in fact, in the beginning stages of failure.
I am going on 5 months postpartum, and I keep pushing myself to lose the weight like I did last time so that by the time I hit 8 months postpartum, I am at the same level I was at 8 months postpartum last year. Then I remember my 850 calorie diet that put me where I was last year, and I remember how exhausted, scatter-brained, and overall spread-thin I was last year. I may not, or will most likely not hit the 114 lbs I was at 8 months postpartum last year, but I will be stronger and much more physically fit. I am already moving way more weight than I was while training for that competition, and that excites me. I have two kids, am still breastfeeding, and eating a minimum of 1500 calories per day- on most days I hit around 2200 calories, and I feel great and am at my pre pregnancy weight.
The other day, I was discussing bodybuilding with a friend of mine. We were going over reasons why one would want to go through with competing. I think competing is a great thing, as long as you have a great coach who cares about your health, who can diet you properly, allowing for a great deal of vegetables and enough calories to sustain your physical activity. There is no reason to starve yourself for any goal. You may reach your goal more slowly, but you will be able to maintain and enjoy the end result much more.
I went over and over in my head whether or not to publish this. I didn't and don't want to offend anyone who I competed with, who dieted similarly, and still have the same coach. However, I think it is more important for people who don't compete to realize what some people do to reach that "goal body" in such a short amount of time, and that they shouldn't beat themselves up for not matching that so quickly. It's also important for people who would like to compete, to know that there are many competitors out there who eat a great diet (some eat way more than they would like to) and get incredible results. There are more than a couple ways to get results, go with what works for you. But 850 calories? That shouldn't work for anyone.
Feed your muscles, brain, and heart.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
This is one of my favorite staples. We have this in our house every week, because it is super easy and it leaves no excuse to not eat healthy. You can serve it with veggies or whatever you want, but I like it over quinoa. This is so delicious and simple, you'll want it every other day.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
4 cloves garlic, minced
Throw chicken in the crockpot, and salt and pepper them. Stir up the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Set the pot to low for 4 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Separate with forks and serve it with your choice of sides!
Recipe adapted from sixsisterstuff.com
A very smart client/friend once asked me why people eat cauliflower pizza crust thinking it's healthy, when anyone knows that with ALL THAT CHEESE there's no way that junk is "healthy". Well, she's a smart cookie and here is a truly healthy pizza crust, and it's yummy!
3 heads cauliflower florets
1.5 cup almond meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T italian seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Stick the florets into a food processor until it's totally "riced". Pour the cauliflower rice into a large pot, cover with water, boil, the cover and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, and if you'd like, freeze to cool it off. Otherwise, just use a cheesecloth to strain out all the liquid so that the cauliflower is totally dry. Pour that mixture into big mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix. Press into 2 pizza dishes in whatever shape you'd like, but not thinner than 1/4 inch. Cook for 30 minutes, then top, and cook just to heat the ingredients of your choice, and serve!
Recently, I have discovered ground turkey. Everyone always talks about it, but the idea of substituting anything with turkey other than in a sandwich horrified me. Until this past week, when I experienced some great turkey recipes not once, but twice! This was my favorite, and it was a success with the family as well.
2.5 lbs lean ground turkey
2 cups steamed spinach
1 onion, diced
2 T garlic powder
1 T italian seasoning
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, minus the tomato sauce. In a casserole dish, spread out the tomato sauce in an even layer. Ball the turkey mixture into the dish- I made big ones so there were 18 total. Bake for about 45 minutes total, turning the meatballs halfway through.
Per meatball (if you make 18), there are 145 calories, with a whopping 18.8 g protein and only 2.5 g carbs! Woot woot!
Monday, November 17, 2014
That's 10 reps at 200 lbs (going on 300 hopefully soon!) on the
decline leg press... I'm finally (slowly) getting back my wheels.
decline leg press... I'm finally (slowly) getting back my wheels.
I walked into the gym this morning in tears. Why? Because I just left my 4 month old for the first time ever, in childcare. Sure, he would only be there for less than 2 hours, but I had just dropped him off and for no other reason than to have some "me time". I don't know how all the do-it-all moms out there drop their kids off in daycare, but bravo to all the women who must, and can, do that.
Mid-workout, I was once again, in tears. However, I was crying for a totally different reason. My tears this time, was the reason I dropped my kids off and went to the gym. I was crying because I was having a high... the kind I get only when I am not worried about rushing home in time to feed my hungry baby or when I'm not worried that I am not spending enough time with my oldest little man. I was pushing some serious weight, and that makes me feel good.
A little over a week ago, I was at my breaking point. Kai wouldn't stop whining, and Luca wouldn't sleep. Kai wouldn't listen to me, and Luca was insanely tired. I couldn't go do the one thing that was my release, which is lifting weights. Luca was up at all hours of the night nursing, but he wasn't even hungry. I finally decided to sleep train him, even though it was 2 months before I actually wanted to do so. After a few minutes of letting him cry, he passed out, and continued to do so (minus the crying) at every nap time and bedtime. That's 45 minutes TOTAL of crying with the whole process in exchange for sanity, more quality time spent with Kai, happiness in our marriage, quality sleep for Luca, and all around this household is just so much more joyful.
Last night, the stars aligned. Everyone slept fairly well, I went to the gym for a whole 1.5 hours, Luca had a great time at childcare (I found him passed out on the tummy time mat) and Kai had some fun time with kids his age. I could think clearly again. I looked at Luca and saw that he had somehow changed overnight- he is suddenly in his big brother's all-in-one cloth diapers as he had grown out of his newborns, holding a ball with some serious coordination, Kai is helping me with his little brother and has around 3 or 4 new words everyday. Life is just an amazing thing when you're "awake" enough to experience it. I may not be a working mom who needs to drop my kids off in order to make money, but I am a mom who is working on my M.S. at night while the children sleep, taking a break from work so that I can focus on the babies, and I need the time alone to regroup and be the version of me who makes not only myself happy, but keeps my family healthy and happy.