Life after Snatched

So as I mentioned before — I am almost two weeks through the Buzzfeed Healthy Eating Challenge. Overall, I’ve REALLY enjoyed doing this. It takes the guesswork out of food and prep. It feels good and healthy. It’s fueling my body with LOTS of veggies and it isn’t that hard to maintain. It does take time to prep 3 meals and 2 snacks every day (for two people, no less) but I feel like I’ve been successful! I also feel like it’s given me more ideas of things to cook and breakfasts to have. I think Randall and I will sit down and talk about which meals we liked best and put them into our rotation. He really liked a black bean chili they had, and I’ve been into all the eggs I’m eating (I love eggs… no seriously… LOVE them).

We also had the Snatched Wrap party which was really fun and I got back my “official” before and after pictures. Even though I didn’t “win” (you can get all your money back if you have the best before/after pics), I feel like the pictures show real progress.

IMG_4354

IMG_4355

IMG_4356

What I find really interesting is how the shape of my lower half has changed! Also shoulder/deltoid definition is cool! Also — good haircut.

Doing the Buzzfeed challenge has really helped to take food out of the equation for now. I’ve been going to my Mark Fisher classes and training with the personal trainer outside of that. And somehow have dropped a few more pounds in just those few weeks. I am really into my new body and understand that it takes some time and energy to maintain but my head space is good. Saying no is easier (this is the hardest thing for me). And I’ve been playing with rewards such as huge iced unsweetened green teas after workouts. I’ve been only supplementing protein on mornings that I work out because I figure my exertion probably balances out the extra calories and PROTEIN. I know I still have a ways to go but I feel like I’m finally back in a place to focus on it.

I’m going to go back to my greek yogurt/flax seed/blackberry/almond parfait now. Thanks Buzzfeed!

And Now Week 6

Wow this Snatched journey has whizzed past. I am actually really sad for it to be ending. I’ve decided to stick with my plan and do 2 classes/week at Mark Fisher while keeping up 2 days a week at Blink. It’s slightly less than the 5 days I’m doing now but I am fairly certain it’s sustainable.

What I’m more concerned about is how nutrition factors in. We’ve been doing 2 week check-ins with Mark and he hasn’t adjusted any of my macro-nutrients even though I’m experiencing MINIMAL weight loss (I’m losing inches though!). So I’m not sure when it STOPS working what I do… Presumably if I’m still a member at Mark Fisher Fitness I can ask him for advice — he prides himself on being open/available to all his ninjas.

Last class was fun! We bought some ninja masks and all wore black and it was a silly good time. It kind of turned into a 50 Shades of Grey thing but … what doesn’t? This is our class picture and I LOVE them. I will really miss these silly people after next week. ALSO tragically — I am missing our last class due to a handbell festival. So I’m trying to figure out nice ways to say goodbye to these guys on Thursday.

Karen came over and we cooked a bunch this weekend as always. I am hoping to try and keep up some of this recipe planning for the time to come as it’s been infinitely helpful to me.

We made

IMG_4262

Everything was really tasty and I’m glad to have stuff for the week as always. This will be a busy week. I am thinking maybe I should’ve roasted a big bag of vegetable to go with lunch though as I don’t have any greens today. But so goes. Might be able to work that out tonight.

For the two weeks after snatched I was thinking about participating in Buzzfeed’s Clean Eating Challenge. I think I’d beef up the protein portions a little but it looks fun/easy enough to follow. I might see if Randall will do it with me. (Or any of you? Any takers??)

I am a little concerned I’m not going to get my 5th workout in this week because the bell festival is taking up my entire Saturday and Sunday. I may see if I can get an appointment Saturday evening because I think that’s my only shot so far.

Anyway — the end of snatched nears  my anxiety goes up. I think that’s normal. I don’t want to lose the momentum that I’ve worked really hard to maintain! There is a “Life after Snatched” workshop that I will attend so that’s good. And I’m sure Mark will have good tips on continuing to live your best life after snatched.

I’ve also really enjoyed having this blog space so thank you all for your encouragement and listening! I’ve been really moved by my friends who have popped up to say they’re reading and offer their own thoughts and feelings on my journey and theirs! Keep on doing everything in your control to live your best life! You can do it!

Week 5 — and PICTURES!

Well the last Week 4 workout was really rough. I am not a sweaty person and was dripping at the end. Yesterday we had our first week 5 workout and honestly it was SO HARD. And I couldn’t tell you why. It seemed like it was still combinations of stuff we’ve been doing all along but somehow it really felt like serious work this week. At the end of the class we were foam rolling and Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back to Me came on the sound system and the entire class sang along to the ENTIRE song. It was amazing and felt so communal and hysterical and sweet. It was a highlight of Snatched this far and really made me appreciate the community aspect. I KNOW I’m a people oriented person but sitting in a room with a bunch of really tired, sweaty people belting Celine Dion was pretty epic. Loved it.

Though I’ve only been doing Blink for 4ish weeks I’m pretty attached to the trainer there. She’s a really feisty lady named Dee and fortunately for her but UNFORTUNATELY for me, she’s leaving to work at Blink Corporate. So this morning she had two of the new trainers tag-team me and it was rough. I really liked one of them but felt like he didn’t think I was strong (WHICH — I AM! — this is exciting to say). The other woman was just in to incredibly long reps and it was really hard and tedious. I like doing circuit type things and jumping around and not doing 60 knee-rubs (ow my abs).

So I forgot to post my Week 4 pictures on Monday but here they are. I’ve put them against the Week 0 photos. You can check out Week 2 update here. I see the most change in the first photo but surprisingly I feel like I saw more change in the Week 2 than I do now. I’ve lost over 4 inches of my hips but I feel like it is not showing up in pictures? My waist is definitely showing up and that’s pretty cool to see but, honestly, I thought I’d see a bigger shift at this point in the game. So goes! It’s Snatched in 6 weeks after all — not 4.

IMG_4239 IMG_4240 IMG_4241Though I have to tell you — my head space is really good. I am hoping that I’ve established some patterns (cooking on the weekend, eating whole nutritious food, working out regularly, understanding that community is important to me etc) that I can carry on throughout Snatched. Making good food choices — and especially saying NO to bad ones — has felt relatively much easier and I feel like I’m starting to get in the groove of what I was doing before when I lost weight. I feel happy and healthy and strong. I feel like maintaining this after Snatched will be key but I feel pumped and able. And hope to keep sharing that journey with you!

Week 4 is here!!

Wow! Already half done with Snatched. They keep saying weeks 3 and 4 will be the hardest and while I can’t say I’m discouraged, I am feeling tired. Last week my hip started hurting and that was a moment I was really glad to have the personal trainer at Blink. She took the time to really stretch me out and massage my hip and it’s feeling close to normal now. I even did kettle bell swings last night without it bothering me. I am also sitting on a lacrosse ball at work which is helping massage it for me. Nothing like a nice butt massage while working. #multitasking

I’ve been really busy with the workshop of the play on the weekends so our cooking parties have been abridged — but still happening. I’m realizing that when I get busy (even if it’s not an all-life-consuming kind of busy) it’s harder to stay focused on health and hotness. My teacher at Snatched last night said that at a certain point you have to stop thinking about it — like when you’re learning piano, at first your focused on every single note but after a while you can’t focus on the detail or you’ll lose the whole piece. Practice practice practice. I’m not sure if I’m communicating this well but it stuck out to me as something to work towards. Letting the workouts, the eating, become second nature to the point of really being able to see the big picture.

I am feeling vaguely discouraged based on the numbers on the scale. This entire journey I’ve fluctuated between 1 and 2 pounds lost. I feel like I’ve made some pretty massive behavioral shifts (eating much better — gym 5 days a week) and I’m not seeing that number go down. Part of this expectation is that I’ve gained a lot of weight pretty quickly and I always thought that it should be easy enough to take off and I’m not finding that to be true. I am losing inches. I emailed the Snatched team and they did not seem too concerned with the lack of weight loss as I’m losing inches (about 3 inches off my hips and 1.5 off my waist as of last week). Here’s what they said “According to these numbers, we’re not seeing tons of weight movement, but spectacular waist and hip inches movement. This likely means we’re burning fat, but also retaining some water from the training and inflammation (not a big deal, as it’s really only affecting the scale and you’re getting demonstrably smaller).”

Mark Fisher in his infinite emails says that people who have chronically dieted have messed up metabolisms and tend to see weight loss slower than the rest of people. I have literally been dieting on and off since age 11 so I’m not surprised to find myself in that category.

On the other hand, I feel strong. Like gun show strong. I still have fat around my muscles but you don’t have to push as far to get them. The Snatched classes are progressing in difficulty and I feel like I am able to keep up and run my own race. My personal trainer is pushing me harder with heavier weights and I feel like things that were hard for me when I just started are getting easier. She’s piling the weight on and I can feel my shoulders and back gaining strength. It’s cool.

The nice thing about doing this for ME and not for AN EVENT is that the pressure is a little off. It’s not like Oh I really hope I fit into THAT DRESS. Or how will my back look with people STARING at it. Instead I really truly feel like I’m able to run my own race and to do this for me. I want to do my best but there is no reason to put pressure on the process. I am going to try really hard and not weigh myself for the time being and focus instead on just doing a good job.

I am still planning on taking my Week 4 progress pictures to see if there are larger shifts visible in comparison to the beginning. I read some blog about annoying things people trying to get fit do and one of the items was take before/after pictures before there’s significant change. SORRY (not sorry) IF THAT IS ANNOYING!

Week 4! Let’s DO THIS!

MORE COOKING!

Today I finished my last workout of the week. I went to Blink for my training and this time Karen tagged along. It was fun having a workout buddy. Karen also made me walk home from the gym — which is about a mile walk. I usually take the subway. She treated me to a venti (unsweetend, of course) iced green tea for the trek. Then we came back to my apartment and started COOKING. I am a little tired of the egg muffins so we looked for a new recipe and found this Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata. Though when picking the recipe we didn’t realize that it needed to sit overnight! So I still need to bake it. But here it is in all it’s glory!

IMG_4174Look at Karen making sure those bread crumbs are COATED! She takes it seriously.

IMG_4173

Then we made a Lobster Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe I got from one of the trainers at Mark Fisher Fitness. I thought we followed the instructions perfectly but it ended up really watery and not that creamy. I did have it for dinner tonight and it was TASTY but didn’t really feel that mac-and-cheese-y. But I would try it again I think. My guess is something went wrong with the roux and we actually needed more flour. So goes. I will still eat it.

                IMG_4175              IMG_4176

I made those turkey meatballs again that I had Week 1. Got a picture of them this time!

IMG_4178

We also made these Chocolate Peanut Butter balls. I added 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. They are pretty good but I think may have  been better if they were used with two bananas instead of just one. I was happy to have those little oatmeal cookies this week that I’m glad we added another low calorie dessert for me to not worry about over consuming. They are not beautiful but you get the idea.

IMG_4177This weekend I started directing a workshop of a new play I hope to bring to the NYFringe Festival this summer so this weekend is really booked but I’m glad even with all that activity going on I made the time to go to the gym and cook meals for the week. Tomorrow is another busy day (bells at church, rehearsals in the afternoon, and then my sisters-in-law are coming over for dinner) but at least my body can take a break. I drank all my water and I plan to soak in some Epsom Salts. My new best friend. I need to go to bed early because I need to be at rehearsal at 8:30am. Wah wah.

IMG_4169This is also the first check-in for Mark Fisher Fitness and Snatched and so I’ll be weighing myself/taking measurements for the next three days in a row. I do feel like I have been nailing all the things. The only splurge I had was last night when one of my friend’s mom took me and Randall out to dinner. I made good menu choices (steamed halibut) but then she asked to split a chocolate mousse with me and I made the choice to say yes. I didn’t feel like I over did it and knowing I was going out, I tried to manage my calories and choices earlier in the day. I hope this doesn’t set me back in my check in.

I do owe you some Week 2 pictures. I am planning on having Randall take them Monday morning so stay tuned.

Week 2 check-in!

I am trying to get ahead of the crazy weekend ahead. I am work-shopping a new play for three weekends in a row which will slightly alter my routine. I already have time set aside this weekend to cook (Saturday!!) but I know it will be a less relaxing weekend than I’ve gotten used to. I am also playing handbells at church (like any good Jewish girl) so that crams up my Sunday and made me reschedule Snatched for tomorrow morning. Sigh. And in two weeks it’s Passover! I don’t think my day-to-day cooking will have to change that much besides me using some matzo meal instead of breadcrumbs but we’ll see.

Exercise: Well I’d say that Sunday’s Snatched class really got things started. We had what felt like a real workout complete with sets and reps. This Tuesday I upped the kettle bell I was using to 20kg (~44lbs) and I was pretty successful so I felt good/strong about that. I also had another training at Blink yesterday and am FEELING IT in my armpits today. She had me doing  chest presses and work on this torture exercise machine. (It looks something like this picture but not exactly…)

I didn’t exactly nail my scheduling this week so Tuesday – Saturday are going to be my five work-out days without much rest/recovery in between. It should be okay as Snatched is not terribly intense yet but I’ll let you know how I’m feeling this weekend.

Nutrition: I am still doing well. I had really my first non-home cooked meal yesterday and I went out to Bareburger which is an all-natural, mostly-organic burger joint. I got the Bison (leaner than beef but PROTEIN!!) and had it in a collard green wrap with a bunch of veggies in it. The wrap was okay — a bun would have been better — but it’s just as well. My dad got onion rings for the table (I did not budget for those), but I made the choice to have one and logged it (a shocking 125 calories…). I was actually still within my goals for calorie/fat/carbs so I was glad to have that onion ring! I even passed on beer and had a diet coke for another treat.

I made a batch of this Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime on Monday and still have some leftover for dinner tonight. I altered it slightly and made it with two chicken breasts — I split them long ways so they’d cook faster and baked it at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. This gives me four breasts at about 34 grams of protein per serving. Not bad! And the recipe is delicious too. At some point I’ll try it with dark meat but the white meat was really tasty. No complaints and it was nice to have that around the house for a quick dinner to reheat since Randall’s been in tech this week so not home so much to help me cook!

Sleep: I’ve been making a stronger attempt to go to bed earlier especially since I’m not taking too many days off between workouts. RECOVERY FTW!!!! I had a few days where I was inexplicably waking up at 4:30am but I don’t think that happened last night so … not too worried about it. Could be any number of things — seasons changing, daylight savings, lots of water, exercise, protein. YOU NAME IT.

Water: I had a panic attack (exaggeration) yesterday over whether I had 2 or 3 servings of water (32oz = 1 bottle of my Contigo!). I had been keeping track in my Plant Nanny app (which said I’d finished the second serving) but in my MIND I already had 3. And then I remembered I drank a whole bottle at the gym that morning so it was 3. Isn’t my life the most exciting? But yes, drinking my 96 ounces. It’s getting easier and easier and I no longer feel as water logged as I once did. And, in fact, sometimes I’m still thirsty after 96oz. Who’d have thought? The trick is to stop drinking at like … 8pm otherwise I’ll be PEEING ALL NIGHT! And that’s not great for sleeping…

WHY: I’m realizing I want to develop my WHY a little more. So much of what I’m doing deals with the fact that I was only moderately successful at Snatched last time and want to do better this time. But that is a 6-week why and not something that’s going to carry me through after Snatched ends. I’ve traditionally had motivation issues. I guess I want to be my healthiest/hottest self. In a way, it actually helps that I’m not chugging toward a really stressful goal (I WANT TO BE HOT AT MY WEDDING) and instead just taking the time and space to transform my body for me. But WHY? I am going to mull on it. Do any of you have a good WHY you’re working towards?

Before Snatched

As promised — my before photos! I had a hectic day yesterday so didn’t end up taking these until today. Not super happy to be posting these but am excited to start seeing results. The problem with NOT taking befores is you don’t get to see how far you’ve come. So here goes. This also helps with my WHY. I can look at this and want to see improvement. I am thinking I will do a check in every two weeks. So my next one will be after completing Week 2 (then 4, then Snatched as a whole). I know it won’t be the same picture every time (right? RIGHT?).

IMG_4133

IMG_4134

IMG_4135 Nutrition: I’ve been messing around on MyFitnessPal to get all the nutrition in and think I have a plan. Some friends are coming over to watch the Bachelor finale tonight. (ItsgonnabeWhitneybutstillsoexcited) I have some chicken in the crockpot ready for my ladies and some asparagus READY TO BE ROASTED. No room for wine — or dessert but so goes. Today is my first day of really trying to nail the nutrition. I have some meatballs for lunch today with a side of Ricotta (part skim) and had those broccoli muffins with some added melted cheddar on top for breakfast. Deeeeelish.

My lunch: not exactly a triumph in food photography but it is tasty (these are the slow cooker turkey meatballs — definitely a keeper).

Water: I also forgot my 32oz water bottle at home so am stuck with a tiny glass (all that’s left in the kitchen here). I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the 8-10oz range so going to be running back and forth to the kitchen a bunch.

Sleep: Last night we had an opening at work and so we had a late start today and I slept like a BABY and didn’t have to bother with an alarm. Excellent.

Work outs: Today I guess will be an OFF day meaning I need to do something on Wednesday or Friday. Saturday will definitely be a day that happens. I need to call Blink to follow up about this. Thanks for reminding me.