Monday, August 31, 2015

- Big Changes -

It's been a while but big wonderful things have happened!

Tayo and I went Vegan!
Tayo is more of a vegetarian... and if I bring it up too much he threatens to eat the nearest steak.

After some research, I decided on veganism. In the beginning, it was for health reasons, but the more I investigated the more it became about my health, the health of my husband, my future children, it became about my community, my state, my country, my world. And it most certainly became about the cruelty and torture that helpless animals endure every day for our enjoyment. For my enjoyment. And I couldn't live like that a day longer. I went vegan cold tofurkey.

So, we no longer eat meat, use honey, wear leather or wool, or use products by companies that test on animals, we also are weaning ourselves off the chemicals, so no commercially made deodorant, shampoos, conditioners, makeup, sunscreen, cleaners, etc. And it has been miraculous :)

Tayo is all glowy and has lost about 20 pounds with just being vegan alone.

I have not lost any weight. I am simply maintaining. But happily maintaining! My depression is gone, my skin is clean and I am so freaking HAPPY! And calm, but also crazy energetic! I feel like I am glowing from the inside out. I am in no hurry to lose weight. I know it will come off, but I am not stressing about it (And that's a first).

Tomorrow is September first and I'm going to begin Jillian Michael's 30 day shred. HOWEVER, if I hate it, I'm not going to continue it. So, take that. (hehe)
If I hate it, I'll try something different, until I've found something I can stick with and that I love.

Tayo has been moving heavy things (we're moving) but not really working out. He also doesn't realize He's lost weight. Even though his belts don't fit anymore and his pants are all baggy.

He is in an open relationship with veganism. He says he can stop at anytime, and we are both surprised he's enjoyed it for almost a month now! It warmed my heart to watch him read labels at Trader Joe's yesterday moning :)

I will never touch meat again (Or fish). Knowing what I know now, I couldn't possibly. And I am excited that I am slowly changing my community and my world with such a small change!

If you'd like more information, I highly recommend these documentaries!

- Earthings (be careful with this one. It is highly graphic. But life changing. I sobbed and held my cat closer)


-Forks Over Knives

Monday, June 29, 2015

"It Was Me All Along" Book Review

If you guys are not familiar with this book or this author (Andie Mitchell), you seriously need to be!!
I fell in love with this book a thousand times over while reading it. I came across it on my kindle, as a recommendation, and I almost didn't read it, but the cover, a picture of Andie as a chubby little kid at the beach reminded me so very much of myself (I'm pretty sure I have an almost identical picture), I had to take a minute to dig in and see what she had to say. And I am so glad I did. 

Her story is similar to mine in that we both grew up using food to comfort every feeling we didn't know how to deal with. We had a mutual best friend in food. A mutual comforter in Dunkin Donuts. We both dealt with teasing, humiliation, bullying because of our weight. Shopped at the same stores for the same sizes as our weights went up and up. She and I grew up not far from each other in Massachusetts, and I am pretty sure our paths had crossed at some point in our lives. We have been to the same beaches as kids, and she even worked on a film that started filming in her town and then made it's way to mine where it wrapped up filming just minutes from where I was working at the time. She and my best friend went to the same university at the same time. 

Her style of writing is so honest and so open you can't help but love her for it. You can taste the foods she describes as she describes them. You can feel her pain as she tells you how she feels as she finds out her father has died. And her growing pains in losing weight and being thin for the first time in her life. I haven't read anything I loved so much in such a long time. 

I was browsing Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth (which you should also check out if you aren't familiar) last week and randomly found out that Andie had done a Ted talk! And I love love love a good Ted talk! It was just amazing. And inspiring. And then finally I visited her food blog! Also amazing. 

I know I don't know her personally, but I feel as if I do and I am so proud of all she has accomplished. It is truly inspiring and a true and honest look at how losing weight doesn't change who you are or fix all your problems, but what it can do and what it did for her.

Andie, if you happen to stumble upon this, I think I love you as much as you love Oprah.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Update!

Hello Friends!

I apologize for neglecting the blog for weeks!!

There have been some changes, some weight lost, some health gained and a mountain climbed so far this week (Our weigh ins are on Wednesday, so this is around the middle of the week for us :)!

The changes first! We are three and a half weeks in and I have switched to Tayo's eating plan (minus the grains, which I cannot have anyway). And I am instituting a relaxed eating day (probably Wednesdays after weigh in)! I stuck to a ketogenic diet for three weeks and it was good. I highly recommend it! But I missed veggies! And fruit! and the occasional sweet potato! I've decided that Keto was not a lifestyle I could maintain for the long term and this really is just that. A lifestyle change. Keto helped me maintain my weight (after the first week) with bacon and sour cream and full fat everything, but for the long term I want to be able to eat a variety of delicious food and indulge from time to time without worrying about falling out of ketosis and gaining 12 pounds on the spot.

I also started exercising regularly in the morning this past week! I found a mountain (a smallish mountain) and I climbed it! I thought my head was going to burst when I got to the top (It was very very very hot and the middle of the day and I am pretty out of shape), but I am really proud of myself for that workout!
I've been waking up earlier and walking every day (for now. Running later) for 25-45 minutes. It has given me sooooo much energy!! I feel happier, peppier, and slimmer ( I didn't realize it could make you feel thinner, but it does and I like it!)

I bought a heart rate monitor at Aldi this week (so I can track these morning workouts) while I was grocery shopping and I wore it for the first time this morning! It connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth and records your heart rate, calories burned, how far you've walked and because it is also a GPS it tracks exactly where you walked. I love it! And it was only $25! It's not top of the line but it works for now and it's motivating to see your progress!

One last thing is our missing weigh in!
We decided this past week (Week 4) not to weigh in. The reason for this is we had become slightly scale obsessed.  I HAD gotten a little scale crazy...weighing every day and letting that weight set the tone for the day, good or bad. I let it take over and let other important things like how my clothes fit and my overall health become less important.
We will be weighing in again soon! And there will be progress pictures coming as well!

Have a Wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello Friends!

I wanted to share some super fun workouts I tried this week! I've been using Fitness Blender videos on and off for a little while, but with limited time this week for workouts I found they were perfect. They are very challenging and they have many videos in varying times, so there is always one you can fit into your day!

One thing I absolutely love about these videos is that there is no background music! Nothing at all! At first I was confused...and then I realized, I can play my own obnoxious workout music!!! So that is a real bonus to these. Play things that inspire you!

I've been mainly working out 3-4 times a week, in the morning before work (around 5;30 a.m. to 6 a.m.). And I usually only have 20-30 minutes to spend working out.

If you have never tried a HIIT workout, YOU MUST! ASAP!!! They're awesome. You move so quickly that your brain doesn't have time to register what you're doing. And you're done before you know it!
Be warned though! Start small. When I first started HIIT, my heart rate would get super high super quick and I would feel nauseous all morning. I quickly learned to modify some of the moves to bring my heart rate down a bit between intervals. It will be a while before I can keep up to the instructors' level with no modifications. But it's totally okay. It's okay not to be able to finish a workout, or finish, but at your own pace. As long as you push yourself to to better each time, you have succeeded!

I modify these workouts by marching if I can't handle a boxer shuffle or jogging in place, by doing as many plyometric moves as I can handle and then doing the rest (if I can) in non-jumping form (i.e. jumping lunges become regular lunges). Jumping jacks or squats in place of burpees or mountain climbers (after I've done as many as I can) and even pausing the video to take a minute walk around the apartment.

It can all be modified! Check out these videos and do them with me! You'll be surprised (and delighted, if you're like me) at how sore you'll be after 20 minutes!

And last but not least, this is my goal video this week!! It's longer than I've done in the past and it's definitely going to get some modifications, but I want to seriously challenge myself this week!
....I already bought some lovely muscle recovery epsom salt for the day after.... :)

Have a fabulous Monday!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

To be absolutely honest, I lost a bit of hope yesterday (June 5th). I ate more than I really wanted to and came home, tired and a little sad and ate nearly an entire Lily's chocolate bar (which is stevia sweetened, so only one gram of sugar per serving and very very low carbs). I gave Tayo maybe three little squares so I wouldn't have to admit I ate the whole thing :) 

Compared to other times I've gotten a bit depressed and eaten a whole bunch of chocolate, this was not bad. I used to be able to eat a whole cheesecake by myself. Or half a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Maybe both in the same day.
 Lily's chocolate has two grams of sugar per bar (In the Creamy Milk bar) and 20 net carbs per bar. And it is mind blowingly amazing. Especially for my sugar free friends and LCHF peeps. AAAAH- mazing. Just don't eat the whole thing in one sitting (Or if you do, don't beat yourself up over it).
        here is the sweet little culprit... (you should go buy some)

For the first time since starting the Keto diet, I had CRAVINGS! I wanted donuts and pastry and sugar and gummy bears and that sort of nonsense. I think maybe the cravings were the result of the night before though. That night we had gone out to eat at a really great Mediterranean place in Chapel Hill, NC and I'd picked what I thought would be an okay little splurge. Chicken salad and a roasted cabbage salad with dried cranberries. Pretty sure it was too low in fat and too high in sugar and protein (high protein isn't a bad thing, but I'm seriously watching my macros and that isn't totally acceptable). Looking back, I should have gone with the Tilapia and just a bit of the roasted cabbage.

But I learned! And I don't consider it a fail. I also don't consider our week two weigh in a failure. I've accepted that I didn't do everything I could, or put everything I had into my workouts and meal planning. That was just me learning to be more careful with my food, and more passionate about my workouts, to have more fun, and keep my goals in mind every day! I love these quotes...

(Henry must have made a bunch of mistakes...he's certainly got a ton of quotes about them.)

Today I have my hope back. I wrote out my goals this morning, like I try to do every morning (more on this in a future post), and I'm excited that my mistakes may (and probably will) be the things necessary to a worthwhile achievement!

Stay Hopeful and Excited!


Week Two (And A Half) Update

Hey friends!

So it is week two ( and a few days) for Tayo and I! Life was a bit crazy this past week and I didn't get to do a week one post, so I'm going to squish it into this post if you don't mind :) It was a really good good week, lots of motivation and then an awesome weigh-in!

Our Results!

-Tayo... lost 8 pounds, which is 1.9 percent oh his body weight!

_G... lost 6 pounds, which is 2.8 of her body weight! (So, I win this one :) )

What We Did-

-Tayo ate a low calorie diet. Lots of chicken, whole grains, veggies and fruit. He exercised whenever he had a few minutes to spare, at varying times throughout the day.

-G ate a ketogenic diet and logged everything she ate into My Fitness Pal making sure she was eating 75-80% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. She worked out out 3 times in week one for 30 minutes per workout and always early in the morning (strength and cardio, usually a HIIT workout). She had crazy energy on the days she worked out (excess energy even!).

Week Two-

Our Results-

-Tayo... Gained 1 pound

G...Stayed the same

What We Did-

Tayo did the same exact thing, but didn't workout quite as much as week 1. And G got a little lazy with the carbs (I'm sorry. I really am). More on this later. Everything else was pretty much the same. G worked out twice this week (30- 35 minutes each).

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Our Official Before Pictures

Welcome to our before pictures! These were taken on the most beautiful day of my life, March 27th 2015. We were at the heaviest we have ever been, but it was still the best day ever and I have never felt more beautiful. I married the best husband in the world, and wore the most beautiful dress (with the best Spanx!). And when we got these pictures I didn't even care that I was overweight. I still felt beautiful. And decided they would make the best "before" pictures ever! 

One of our goals is to have another photo shoot on March 27th 2016 (with our awesome photographer Abi) in new Nigerian outfits (Tayo is Nigerian, and part of his culture is outfits made of matching fabrics to distinguish a family.) that are much smaller than the ones we wore on our wedding day!

So, here they are, our official before pictures.