Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I Hate the Scale

I absolutely hate stepping on the scale.
Not because I think I am fat and am afraid of the number it might show me, but because the scale does not show the whole picture and can be very discouraging.

Here are some examples:
Between these two pictures I only lost 3 pounds, however I lost almost 10% body fat going from 31.6% to 21.8%. Only 3 pounds!! If I went based only on the scale, I would be very discouraged, and at times when I made the mistake of weighing myself I was.
Between these two pictures there is a difference of ZERO pounds. None. Nada. Zilch. Hard to believe right?
This right here is why I hate the scale and why I say that it lies. Sure, it may tell you how much you weigh total, and that is the truth, but that doesn’t show the whole picture. It doesn’t tell you how many pounds of fat you are losing and how many pounds of muscle you are gaining, or how many inches you are losing.
So many people just starting on the road to fitness can become quickly discouraged by the scale. I know people who weigh themselves daily, or even multiple times a day, who have become almost obsessed with weighing themselves, and become extremely discouraged any time their weight fluctuates.
My advice to anyone starting on a fitness journey is this:
1 – Take pictures. Lots of them. You may not want to show them to anyone right now, or even look at them yourself. But when you start reaching your goals and are happy to take pictures of yourself, you will be very disappointed if you have nothing to compare them to in order to show yourself and others just how far you have come.
2 – Take your measurements and get  your body fat % tested. These two things will be such a better measurement of your success than the scale and will give you a better picture of where you truly are.
3 – Have someone hide the scale from you. I try to weigh in no more often than 1-2 times a month, but this takes some serious self control. I used to be someone who weighed multiple times a week and I would become so down and want to give up when I saw that my weight either hadn’t changed or had gone up, but now I simply use it to make sure I am staying in the same range and if it happens to have dropped at all, well that is a nice surprise too.
So, stay positive and remember, the scale is only a tool for guidance, it does NOT show the whole picture.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Elli's Mexican Quinoa - Recipe

6 oz bonless skinless chicken breast shredded
4-5 oz cooked quinoa (i used fresh and easy's precooked bowl - much easier)
1 can no salt added corn
1 can reduced sodium black beans
2/3 cup salsa
1/2 T lime juice
2 T zesty italian fat free salad dressing
2 T fresh cilantro
1/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice
salt/pepper to taste

Cook and shred chicken breast
Mix all ingredients except for cheese together
Divide into servings
Sprinkle cheese on top

(for better results chill for 2+ hours before serving for flavors to mix together)

Nutritional Info - Serves 3
Per Serving:
386 calories
55 g carbs
6 g fat
34 g protein

Sorry - I forgot to take a picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

100 Days

100 days ago I started my fitness journey. Well, I REstarted my journey.
I have always lived a very active life, playing sports all throughout my childhood and until I graduated high school, so I never had any problem with my weight. That all changed when I went to college. When I graduated high school, I weighed 148 pounds, by the end of my Freshman year of college I weighed 170 pounds. Yikes!

The next couple years my weight went up and down and I was not happy with how I looked, but never unhappy enough to do something about it. A year ago in January 2010, with my weight at a peak of 175 lbs, I decided something needed to change, through diet and light exercise I was able to drop 15 lbs in 3 months and by the end of March I was down to 160 lbs and 31% body fat. Then life happened again and I got off of my fitness track. Luckily because of the fast pace of my job I was able to keep my weight at 160 lbs, but I still wasn’t happy.

This brings me to 100 days ago. Something changed in me and I was finally unhappy enough with myself to make something different. So I started moving. And I started eating healthier.

Over the last 100 days I  have gone from walking 2-3 miles 4-5 times a week to taking 2-3 body pump classes, 3 core conditioning classes, walking 3-5 miles 5 times, and hiking 2 times every week. Is it a LOT? Yes. There is no denying that. However, I did not try to jump into that type of a schedule from the start. I started out doing what I felt comfortable with and each time I needed a new push, I added something. I listened to my body.

I have also changed what I eat. Fast food and eating out used to be the norm and now if I eat out it is at most once a week and I never eat fast food. I try to eat as clean and natural as possible. And I net around 1600 calories each day, high in protein and low in fat. (calories net means that I track my exercise calories as well so if I were to exercise for 400 calories one day I would actually eat about 2000 calories that day). The only supplements I used was protein powder to add protein to my diet. No diet pills, no thermogenics, no caffeine pills. Not saying these are all bad, just not for me. 

I am now down to 157 lbs and 21% body fat.

The last 100 days have been quite the journey and I look forward to the next 100 and beyond. Although I weigh more than I did when I graduated high school, I am in the best shape of my life and I am extremely happy with how my body is starting to look.

This is the change my body has gone through from 175 lbs to 157 lbs.