Fit Latina in the Making: Am I Dieting?

Since I started this journey, I am constantly answering three questions:

  1. How often do you workout?
  2. What is included in your workouts?
  3. What kind of crazy diet are you on?

So I figured it was time to give you all a little insight in to my new daily life.

How often do I workout?

It blows my mind to even type this now…but the answer is every day. When I first started, there were 30 minute Skype sessions with Ray. As we’ve developed our groove, and I’ve proven trustworthy to do things on my own…I sometimes I only get 15 minutes in if I’m having a crazy day.  I try not to have to do that often, but it’s a relief to know that it isn’t the end of the world if life gets in the way a bit.

But yes…that whole recommended do 30 minutes a day minimum is sort of where I am each morning.

What is included in my workouts?

Everything! When I had my first conversation with Ray, we talked about what I did do physically and what I enjoyed (and hated). We then talked about my space and what I had available. Remember, I’m not going to a gym and doing these workouts, I’m doing these workouts at home.

So on our day one, Ray got to see my baseline and has slowly built up the workouts. He changes them up every day, and we are slowly starting to use everything I have at home. What does this include?  An elliptical, weights, stairs, my own bodyweight, a wall, my kitchen counter, a box fan, door frames, a chair, etc.

He uses anything and everything he can that will continue to push me. I sometimes look at my furniture and wonder what’s going to be used against me next. Ha!

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But let’s get serious here. I’m working with a professional who knows when to push me and when to ease up. He also knows how to modify routines so that I can feel successful yet also achieve progress.  I’m slowly realizing that this is key to why this working.

I don’t think I would have been able to get anywhere near where I am right now if he wasn’t a part of this journey. I’d probably still be doing the same few minutes on the elliptical and a workout video that is too hard for me (and then I’d quit for the 100th time).

Am I dieting?

Yes and no. One of my biggest issues for several years now has been the fact that I don’t eat enough.  Yes…you read that right. I supposedly did not eat enough. Not consuming enough energy for your day means your metabolism slows down  to burn calories slowly so you “survive.”

I think I chuckled every time someone said this to me because come on….you don’t get fat from not eating. Well apparently that can be a substantial factor.

When I did decide to finally eat, it would usually be super late and the last thing I would want to do is cook so I would make terrible choices. So the little bit I was consuming was often high fat and loaded with carbs.

That obviously needed to change.

My workouts make me hungry first thing in the morning so I’ve had to become much better at starting with a good breakfast. I then often eat what’s available at work – which often has some good choices. I’m avoiding the available daily sweets and treats which is huge for me as I used to indulge every single afternoon.

I’m also cooking more which means I’m lowering my carb intake overall. I’ve realized that for many years now, my own cooking has gravitated toward more paleo like meals. I’m a bad Latina in that respect – I’m fine not having rice or tortillas with my meals. I don’t often miss them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a great pasta or rice dish, but it’s not something I have to have every day. And since I’m cooking daily now, I avoid the hamburger buns, cookies, sliced bread that I would often have daily. I’m also just snacking better. I pack healthy options and munch when I have an itching to visit the kitchen for a snack of the baked good variety.

Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the water. Before I started working out, I was a girl who was constantly dehydrated. Add the development of adult on-set allergies, and I was a hydrating nightmare. I didn’t take it seriously before, but immediately had to when my muscles started screaming from the lack of water in my system. I now tend to average about 12-14 glasses a day.

Can I still have my Foodie Fun?

The answer is yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will a foodie night have an impact on my weightloss the next day? Of course it will. Is it the end of the world? No!

One not so healthy meal will not impact my overall progress, and that’s an amazing feeling. To know that I can still enjoy one of the things I love most (beautiful, artistic, delicious food) is amazing and encouraging. You don’t stop living because you decide to focus on your health!

Is this the hardest thing I have ever done?

Not really (and don’t hate me for it).

Maybe it’s the fact that I like to cook and enjoy healthy food or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have a spouse or kids to pull my attention from this journey. What I know is that this doesn’t feel insanely hard at all.  It’s challenging and there are days where I cave and have a bite of a cookie/donut/chocolate. But I haven’t had a terribly difficult time completing the workouts or paying more attention to what I eat.

But maybe I was just finally ready. Truly ready.

And then again…it probably has everything to do with making sure I get Ray to vote in 2016!

Fit Latina in the Making: Your Secret Confessions are Motivating Me

I wanted to first thank you for all the love and support about my last post.

It was probably the most difficult post to write, but I knew it needed to be done. I know I’m not the only person in the world with body self-esteem issues and it would be silly to assume that this whole journey would be all comedic posts about the hustle.  Because let’s be honest – this shit is hard and some days are going to be brutal.  If working out and eating healthy were easy, we’d all have perfect bodies.

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What is surprising me most about this journey is the many secret confessions from all of you. I get bombarded with Facebook messages, emails, and text messages from friends (and even strangers) who share their struggles, their successes and their fitness secrets. Many of these are things you tell me in confidence because you share that similar embarrassment I feel about where I am right now.

It blows my mind.

Here I am thinking that my current weight is the most embarrassing thing ever and here you are telling me that your more normal sized body gives you the exact same insecurities. What does this tell me?  It’s all about our self-perception!

Now don’t get me wrong, there are obviously health risk factors you have to account for, but the way we beat ourselves down is all about what we perceive as the reality about what constitutes a healthy or beautiful body.

I have plenty of weight to lose.  Lots. If I were to look up my suggested weight for my height, I’d probably get super discouraged.  I’m not entirely focusing on that. I just want to be healthier.  Yes that includes a target number for weight loss, but I may decide I’m happy and strong enough at a weight higher than the suggested medical point.  Who knows!  All I know is that I’m trying my best, and I’m working harder than I ever have at this game called fitness.

What I do know is that I’m not a coach.

I’m really touched that so many of you are reaching out to me to find out my workouts and plan because you are seeing my results and want to have them happen for you.  However, my plan is focused on me…where I’m at…how I live…and what I like to eat. So while it may benefit you to share a similar path, it may not be the perfect path for you.

And believe me, I get it.  Hiring a personal trainer is expensive.  It truly is, and it is one of the reasons why I probably hadn’t ever considered doing it in the past.  However, it really does make a difference when you find someone that matches you and listens to you (and who knows what they are doing). Because then it’s magical.  I have found my fitness unicorn in Ray.  (Hmmmm….I think that’s officially my Halloween costume recommendation for you, Ray. Please make it happen.)

So feel free to pester me with questions about why this is finally sticking and what changes I have made and just start.

Start and start and start again.

It’s taken me over 20 years to finally focus on me, and it didn’t happen over night. There were multiple attempts at getting healthier and multiple fails but this one seems to finally be sticking.

And no, I’m not enjoying one minute of the workouts.  I enjoy the interaction with the Boston strongboy and his accent, but the working out still sucks and the staying away from all the sweets is no fun.  But it’s getting easier and it’s becoming a part of my daily routine AND I’m getting healthier day by day.

Case in point: Today is our one-month anniversary and I’m officially down 15.7 pounds and my stamina is higher which makes me feel good after each workout.  That’s progress!

Fit Latina in the Making: Why I Never Opted for Gastric Bypass Surgery

Today I thought I would talk about a decision on a route I have purposely chosen not to take to help my growing weight.

Gastric Bypass is not for me.

Do I think my current weight would qualify me for it?  Absolutely.  I’ve got quite a large amount of weight to shed, so I do believe a doctor would let me consider this option if I wanted to pursue it.

However, I always felt that this was a cop out.

Why? I’ve never truly taken any serious steps to lose weight.  I’ve tried all sorts of diets and have attempted to work out, but it’s always been with half the true effort. This small effort didn’t yield results or change my behavior.

Please note that I’m not saying Gastric Bypass is an easy decision to make or undergo. I know that it is a very difficult decision, and that there are a lot of items a person has to complete medically before approved for the surgery.  You don’t just get the clear for surgery because you want it.

I refused to even consider that as a viable option for me because I felt it would be like all other fad diets I’ve tried.  I’d convince myself that I didn’t need to eat better or work out, and then I’d pile on the weight again. I felt I would fail at surgery.

So it isn’t for me…and I honestly don’t think it ever will be.

The steps I’ve taken in these last three weeks are building up a routine for me. I’m starting to get used to working out each day.

Is it fun? – Hell no!

Do I feel weird when I don’t workout? – Yup.

I needed to take this journey seriously before I even dared consider a surgical procedure. I’m now at the point where my pride will be hurt too much if I don’t make this finally stick.  My pride alone is going to make this happen….but it helps to have an army of my friends, family and followers pushing me to stay honest and stay on track.

So today, I need to say a special THANK YOU to a few key people:

  1. Josephine – I’ve known you for more than half of my life, and you’ve always been a source of fun and genuine kindness. You’re crazy in the best of ways and you are a beast when it comes to your planning, your discipline and your fitness. You’ve honored me by sharing your 5 kiddos as their godmother and it’s amazing. Your friendship/your love is ridiculous and I’m so lucky to have you in my life  Thank you for this very important push in my life and for connecting me to another nut (Ray). You have helped change my life in the best way possible.
  2. Ray – I haven’t even officially met you in person yet, but I think it’s clear we’re stuck with each other for awhile now. I was surprised to like you as much as I do because there was no way I would ever bond with someone whose life is in the gym.  This sedentary gal thought this whole thing was nuts but you have managed to get me to do shit that no one else ever has with humor, expertise and humility. I look forward to introducing you to my true sass, the rest of my crew, and the healthy me 🙂
  3. The Crew – There are too many of you to list separately, but you know who you are. This incredible group of friends (both old and new) who check in on me, invite me to do crazy things, offer to help me on this journey and just simply love me.  I love you crazy fools and thank you for all of your support. Your lack of judgment on my health choices to date show that it was more important to support me in my trying than to scold me for my failures and that’s HUGE.  As someone one said, “I’ve got people and they’re awesome.” TRUTH.
  4. My Family – If you’ve had the honor of meeting my mama and daddy, then you already know they are the best parents ever. They have always pushed me in their loving way (even if it means nagging or scolding) about all sorts of things. With weight – of course my Latina mom has tried everything to “help me.” Some of her methods were well received and others were not…but that’s what parents do. They don’t give up on you. When I started sharing this journey, I got the funniest text from my mom ever: “You keep working out. I’ll come deep clean your house for you.”  And then she did. My mom is also an incredible cook who doesn’t always make the healthiest of things, so I was super nervous about spending the day with them. Imagine my surprise when I’m sent home with a mess of grilled chicken and pre-cut veggies to stock pile my fridge. They are just the cutest.

THANK YOU!

 

 

Fit Latina in the Making: When Can I Cheat?

Today…today is the day I wanted to cheat on my workout.

I’ve had an exhausting week so far and my personal gas tank is running on fumes, but I promised I would complete my assigned workout assignments despite not having the chance to connect via Skype.

So at 9:30p.m. this evening, I put on my workout gear and started pumping through the routine that Ray had sent me.

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And then I got to rep 5 of 7….

I could barely breathe and I started to feel sorry for myself because I was SOOOO tired. I literally starting taking a guess at how much time I would need to pad to my stopwatch to convince Ray that I had finished all 7 reps he assigned.

But I caught myself.

Cheating? What would I gain from cheating?  Nothing. Either Ray would think I was a speed demon and make my next workout even harder, or he’d know I was lying. Neither one had favorable outcomes.

I promised myself that I would be honest about this whole journey.

So I had two choices: 1) Stop and tell him I couldn’t continue finish the reps, or 2) Take longer to do each of the items in the one complete set.

I opted for number 2…and it was brutal. My whole body is going to hurt but my pride is not. I finished the entire damn thing when I thought I thought I couldn’t take one more step.

I have a goal to reach, and I can only reach it by building up my stamina and strength. I almost jedi-mind tricked myself out of my 17th straight workout.

I’m getting this done…painfully and slowly, but it’s happening.

Fit Latina in the Making: The Day My Trainer Forgot About Me

I hope Ray is ready for the roasting that is about to follow from this post.

You see, today is the day that he forgot about me!

Ray is off in LA doing official Rayfit business, but that also means he’s hanging out with my BFF and her family.  This equals dangerous fun and many late nights.  Because he’s two hours behind me and my schedule is so wonky this week, he has had to give me homework assignments to complete since Sunday.

Well today is only day THREE and he already forgot I existed!

I knew my day was going to be nutty, so I got up extra early to try and get my workout in before I had to leave for work.  I’ve realized that evening workouts are not my preference. I simply have more energy during the morning. Everything is much harder at night.

Well, I emailed him last night to remind him to send me my plan. I trusted he would leave me a message this morning and went to bed without shooting him a text reminder. Imagine my utter and complete shock to be dressed at 5am and to then realize I didn’t have a plan in my inbox.

Who voluntarily wakes up at 5am?!  I don’t!

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Ain’t nobody got time to get up at 5am just for fun!

I have to admit, I thought about just grabbing one of the workouts he’s already sent me or walked me through, but I didn’t want to mess up his flow. I’ve realized that there is a method to this torture so I decided to wait until I got home to do my workout (that I got as I was driving to work).

Now don’t give Ray too hard of a time!  I know there is going to be that one day where I oversleep or cancel on him. I just thought it was too funny that I was ready to go, and he was off sleeping the morning away (well, to be fair, it was 3am his time).  Ha!

Fit Latina in the Making: The True Test

My schedule is going to be pretty wonky this week, and Ray is traveling as I literally type this post.  What does this mean?  Well, it means the time zone difference with my limited morning availability is not going to let us train together.  He’ll be sending me homework.

This week will be the ultimate test.

You see, Ray pegged me right away at our first conversation. He knew that I needed to be accountable to someone to make me workout. This is why we have our morning Skype sessions. Let’s face it, I’ve had a lifetime of saying I’m going to workout, but then make the decision to sleep in or do other things.  Knowing that I have to meet someone on Skype has made me prioritize my mornings differently.

I’ve now officially had TWO WEEKS of training, and I have successfully completed 14 workouts in that time. This is a HUGE victory for me and I am pretty proud of myself.

But now….now I have to stay on track.  Ray is trusting me to do my homework.

So I started this morning.

I slept in a little more than I normally do, and then got up and dressed in my workout gear. I’m not going to lie…I then started to stall.  The thought of completing the workout that included two of my least favorite items was daunting. I was dragging my feet for about an hour.

First, I put up post its to take down as I completed reps. I knew I would eventually lose count. (Who knew one of my planner goodies would be useful during my workouts). Thank goodness my Fitbit could also remind me of how many flights of stairs I had completed. I thought I had forgotten to take down a post it, but one look at my fitbit and I saw that I did in fact have one more round to go.

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Then I waited.

For what?  The nerves to go away?  The fear to go away? I don’t know what it was exactly, so I did what I knew would work for me. I posted on social media that I was stalling, and I immediately got the encouragement I needed to get moving. Ray even made a special appearance on my post from the airport which made me crack up. There was no hiding, and I just needed to make it happen.

So off I went to climb my flight of stairs and complete the never-ending burpee reps. It took me a total of 19 minutes to accomplish. I was out of breath, sweaty and exhausted, but immediately came to the realization that I stalled longer than it actually took to finish the workout. Ridiculous.

Lesson learned and I’m ready for my next assignment.

For now, let me finish catching my breath.

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All I Want is a Cookie

I somehow managed to roll out of bed to work out this morning. After yesterday’s wedding in what felt like the Sahara Desert, I was convinced that the dehydrated state of my body (despite chugging water all day yesterday) would make today’s workout with Ray incredibly difficult.

The workout was difficult, but not any more than any other day.  So I’ll take that.  The extreme soreness from last week seems to have dissipated but that just might mean that we’ve concentrated on muscles I do currently use so they are stronger.  Only time will tell but I’ll keep praying to whatever God that will answer if we can eliminate extreme soreness.

What I will confess is that today….today all I wanted was a Cookie.

I have a about 3 different packs of those specialty Oreos sitting on top of my fridge. I bought them when I was expecting friends for a craft day as a munchie, but we had so much food that day that most were left.  Today, they were taunting me as I grabbed healthier options throughout the day.

I’m not a HUGE snacker at home because I normally don’t have that kind of stuff in my house.  Purposely?  No not at all.  I work at a place where snacks are readily available so I often get my fulfillment there and just grocery shop for essentials at home. I spend so much time at work, that stocking up my fridge and pantry is not something I focus on. I shop when I need stuff.

Well today…today I really wanted a cookie.

I had some wedding cake last night, so I’m trying to understand why my brain is in serious craving mode.  I’m not hungry…so this is clearly my brain trying to convince me it’s okay to have an Oreo tonight. I even went so far as to read the calories in a suggested serving size. OMG! I don’t think I’ve ever looked at that and realized how much of a waste of calories there were in a serving, let alone how much people normally eat.  It’s a bit insane.

But why tonight?  It’s been a week, and I’ve done pretty well. I like food and I am a pretty damn good cook, so I can make anything taste good without adding many calories. But why is my body screaming for the sugar?

Well, I think my body is trying to tell me that it’s missing it’s source of comfort.  This has to be a psychological response because I’m not hungry but yet I want it. When I’m stressed or exhausted, I guess I do sometimes eat my feelings (or drink them – ha!).

I’m really exhausted today and still actively trying to re-hydrate from yesterday. I even took a 3 hour nap today – which I never do!  Maybe this myth of I get enough sleep is just that – a myth. Or maybe this upswing in activity is expending more energy, and I’m not fueling my body correctly with proper nourishment or sleep.

So rather than grab a cookie, I decided to focus on documenting my first week in my fitness planner. I decided to focus on the artsy side of my brain because that often helps me kill time. Laying out the week helped me see that I really need to plan some better snack options. I’ll have to do some research on quick and easy snacks to help me curb these unnecessary cravings.

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I’m also going to be better about taking my vitamins.  I’m a girl who has low vit D, b12 and iron (slightly anemic). Iron levels also obviously take a big dip once a month if you’re a gal of a certain age, so maybe this exhaustion is primarily nutrition based.

So it’s time to focus on some recharging of the body nutrient wise and maybe also increasing my normal 5-6 hours of sleep.

I don’t have time to be tired!  I’ve got things to do damnit!