The “Right Time”

Do Something

Once when I was complaining about my weight and my body to a friend back in my early 20’s that friend said something that struck a chord in me. She responded “If you really wanted to do something about it you would. It’s not impossible.” She meant it as a “shut up or do something” statement I’m sure. How annoying would it be to listen to a friend always make self-deprecating comments about their body?

At first I was hurt “She doesn’t understand it’s not as easy for me!” And, “but I do really want to do something about it…” But then it really got me thinking. For a smart girl I feel really silly that it had never really occurred to me that I could LEARN how to get fit. I only knew vaguely about calories and really knew nothing about how much fat, calories, etc. were appropriate for my body and activity level. I grew up in a healthy foods type of home. We didn’t eat a ton of sugary processed foods. I got Eden soy milk boxes in my lunches and we had vegetables and whole grains in abundance, but I didn’t learn about healthy portions or nutritional balance.

I had always felt like an active, athletic person stuck in the wrong body. Like something went wrong along the way and I wasn’t supposed to be so out of shape. So, the idea that I could do something about how my body felt was inspiring, though incredibly obvious looking back now. It wasn’t about blaming me for how I got to where I was, it was about empowering me to feel a sense of control over my situation. I really could do something about it, it might not be easy, but it is/was possible. It’s taken a number of years, stops and starts to finally get a handle on the “how,” but knowing I can has helped me stay on the journey.

Making now the “Right time”

I’ve had a number of friends contact me who are interested in the Beachbody programs. Some are totally ready to go and jump right in with the 21 day fix, but there are many who decide they aren’t ready or “it isn’t a good time right now.” That’s legitimate. You really do have to be ready to do the work for these programs, or any programs to really be effective. But, I also have to ask “When will it be a good time? Can you define what will be different in the future that would make that the right time, rather than now? Perhaps the reason right now isn’t a good time is still going to be an issue a month from now, or a year.”

Waiting for the right time may end up an endless cycle of wishing you’d already started. I watched a Beachbody coach on social media for over a year before I jumped in, and you know what? I wish I hadn’t waited. I have LESS time now than I did when I first found the programs. I am MORE exhausted than I was before I had Ziva. If I was using my old system of judgment, now wouldn’t look at all like the “right time”. The thing is, I decided to make it the right time. I decided this journey is my priority right now, along with my job and family responsibilities.

Caring for myself and working towards my goals doesn’t need a magical start date in some elusive future when life is easier. It needs to start now, so that I feel good, have energy and stamina for all that life throws my way. Now is the right time, because I’m making it so.

So, perhaps right now really is too hectic and stress filled to dive in to a lifestyle program like the 21 day fix. Or, maybe it’s the perfect time. Exercise helps to relieve stress, it releases endorphins that can boost your mood and leave you feeling more energized.

If you really want to see change happen in your life starting NOW;

If you can carve 30 minutes a day out of your schedule (maybe drop a TV show, or shave 15 minutes off of a few other activities each day);

If you can commit to being thoughtful about your eating habits and spending as little as 3 hours a week pre-prepping your meals (not mandatory, but super helpful- especially later when you can grab prepared meals all week and gain back extra time in the evenings. Perfect for leaving extra time to workout!);

If you want to stop lamenting the state you’re in and start taking action;

Than now is the perfect time to start.

How can you get started?

The 21 Day Fix is on sale until the end of November! Don’t miss this opportunity to get started with all the tools you need for success: an easy to learn meal plan, 30 minute daily workouts, 30 day supply of Shakeology (the super-food nutrient packed protein powder), 30 day access to streaming tons of workouts on Beachbody onDemand, and a motivational coach and private online accountability group.

I can work with you to track your time management to find time for your workouts. I can help you strategize your meals so that you can stick with the plan. I want to see you succeed.

Send me a message or comment below with a way to get in touch so we can get you started right away.

 

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Making a commitment to health

ProgressionPics

I have a long history as what you would call a yo-yo dieter. Since my early twenties I’ve bounced back and forth, using diets and different fitness classes (Cardio kickboxing, Bikram, Pure Barre). I would lose a lot of weight, sometimes nearly reaching my goals! But, of course, overtime I’d fall right back into bad habits and I’d inevitably gain it all back (plus some). I’d move away from my gym, change schedules, start having a few too many “cheat days”… and just like that I’d be back at square one.

I eat pretty healthy. Throughout most of my life I’ve avoided junk foods and empty calories. I grew up eating clean, I just didn’t grow up eating carefully. I know what portions SHOULD look like meal to meal, but I enacting that discipline every day and at every meal just didn’t come naturally. You really CAN have too much avocado, brown rice, and nuts.

When I gave birth to my daughter in February of this year, I’d reached my absolute biggest. Sure, I was pregnant, but only a bit of it would be considered baby weight. I was shocked and disappointed my body had gotten out of control so quickly. How could I have gone from goal weight to my biggest in just a year and a half? I knew I needed to take charge of my health.

See, the thing is that I have always focused on just one side of my fitness at a time. I’d have the exercise routine down but not the eating, or the other way around.

Now that I’m a mom, how was I going to get the exercise and nutrition I needed for success now that I had EVEN LESS time? I can’t get to a gym when I only have a few hours each evening with Ziva! I already know as soon as it’s cold out I’ll stop heading to even the gym in our complex right here at home…

I knew it would have to be something simple, easy to follow, CONSISTENT, and that I could do at home.

I knew it had to be Beachbody.

I’ve seen this program change people’s lives, and I wanted in on that magic.

Sure, I might be late to the party, but I’ve been watching women I admire take charge of their lives both physically and financially over the last few years. I’m inspired by people like my Cousin Jen, and Amy Silverman (top beachbody coach and adventurer).

I started following the meal plan a couple of weeks ago and found it really manageable, and I’m in my first cycle of the 21 day fix and I’m loving it. Sure, I’ve done online workouts with the Tone It Up! girls and Blogilates in the past and I loved them, but being part of a private challenge group, having a team of people to be accountable to, and a structure to follow motivates me.

I lost the first 30 lbs of baby weight on my own, but in the last few weeks with beachbody I’ve lost 9 1/2 pounds. I was able to break through my plateau. It’s Not a lot, I know, but this is just the beginning. 

Pounds aren’t what it’s all about. I’ve regained confidence in my body and my abilities. Sure, I pushed out a 7 lb baby sans medication, I know my body is some legit warrior material, but I had lost mobility, comfort, and confidence in movement. I’ve only been doing the workouts consistently for a week, but I’ve already regained some of my strength and mobility. I feel free. Free to move, dance, climb, free to move like I have ownership of the body I had let get out of control.

This isn’t about weight, I think there’s beauty in every size.

This isn’t about being “beachbody ready”. This is about living my life free from limitations, with strength, mobility, and energy. 

Fitness may not have always come naturally to me, but MOTIVATION and DEDICATION always have. With a path to follow, I can get where I want to go.

Want to join me in making a commitment to health? I can help you find your path on your fitness journey, help keep you on that path (even when there seems to be NO TIME and NO MOTIVATION). Let’s get on this road together!

Leave me a comment here, send me a facebook message, or go to my page here if you are interested in learning more. I’d love to see some of the people I love join me on this journey.

Recipe Review Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge Part 1

I’m falling in love with eating this way. Even just 5 days in I’m starting to worry what am I gonna do when the meal plan runs out!

Challenge Tip: If you need to pack your lunches and snacks as well as make dinner, at first be prepared to spend about 2 hours prepping food at night… make this a week you don’t have plans! It get’s faster but unless you are already a pro at this be prepared to spend time on it. You can find the Challenge details here, and here is a link to the printable version of the full challenge instructions and recipes (I found it helpful to print it out and put in a binder. You can read more here about my prep). Links to each day’s menu and recipe are included in the title, “Day #” below.

*Review Key: Eat it= Delicious. Skip it= you guessed it, I don’t prefer this item.

Day 1:
Other than the morning shake, all of the meals seemed more bland than I would have hoped. I could definitely feel myself detoxing from sugar and coffee. The Asparagus salad tasted a bit gross after being in the fridge overnight (Skip it). Perhaps my lemon was too big and made it too “lemony”. Since this is supposed to be a Sunday meal I’m guessing it’s not meant to be made in advance. Dinner wasn’t bad, just nothing to write home about. I think this is really the “cleanse” day… if you know what I mean. I felt great the next day and was all cleared out. I definitely recommend starting Day 1 on Sunday not Monday to see if these meals are better fresh.

Kale Smoothie, Day 1

Kale Smoothie, Day 1

Day 2:

  • Overnight oats with blueberries and chia seeds– Eat it. This is a huge breakfast portion! I kept double checking that I hadn’t over done the ingredients (when I usually make it it’s about half as much). After the light meals of yesterday this seemed like a TON. It was good too. I would absolutely make all three meals again. So satisfying.
  • Kale, Chickpea, and fennel salad with orange Vinaigrette– Eat it. hearty and tasty. I was totally satisfied.
  • Sliced tomato with basil, feta, and balsamic– Eat it. Who doesn’t like a caprese type salad? With just 1 ounce of feta, this is still a filling and yummy snack.
  • Napa Cabbage wraps with chicken, mango, and avocado and lime-basil vinaigrette– Eat it. I was skeptical about dinner, lettuce wraps can be bland, but this was DELICIOUS! The basil and mango and avocado were a great mix of flavors and balanced well with the crisp napa cabbage wrap.
Kale, Chickpea and Fennel Salad, Day 2

Kale, Chickpea and Fennel Salad, Day 2

Day 3: 
Lunch was easy to prep in advance. I was worried about not prepping breakfast in advance since I can be slow in the mornings… I managed to get it all prepped in time, though the traffic still made me late :-(.

  • Blackberry-Yogurt Parfait-Skip it. The parfait was alright. Only alright. The ground flax seed flavor was a bit over powering and I decided to “cheat” and add  a pack of Stevia sweetener. After that cheat and a long drive to work, I found we were out of green tea at the office, so I cheated again with a mug of decaff coffee. It didn’t taste very good though, so it wasn’t worth the cheat.

Both lunch and dinner on day 3 are SO GOOD.

  • Asian Chicken Salad with Tamari-Lime Vinaigrette Eat it. I would absolutely make this salad again. The Napa cabbage from Whole Foods was flavorful and crisp and the dressing was perfect.

Last night we went to a free, preview showing of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie Blended. They are always a cute pair and the film was funnier than I had expected. We got home really late but I was determined to stick to the challenge! I whipped up the Big Batch Cooked Lentils and Cauliflower steaks as swiftly as I could

  • Cauliflower Steaks with LentilsEat it. The lentils. OMG, the lentils. I have made lentil soup before, but other than that I don’t usually work much with lentils. THIS RECIPE is AMAZING. I used red lentils (that’s what I had in the house already), and the paprika and Tamari seasoning are a perfect combo with the shallots and garlic. I can’t wait to eat this again. The cauliflower steak is good, but I could have skipped it for more lentils (I didn’t). I was so full from the lentils and cauliflower that I wasn’t even hungry for the night time snack (and I figured chocolate that close to bedtime was a bad plan). My cauliflower head must be bigger than theirs though, cause there was enough left over for 3 omelets, not just the 1 we make on day 5.
Asian Chicken Salad, Day 3

Asian Chicken Salad, Day 3

Day 4

  • Scallion, Feta Omelette Eat it. It’s worth it. Again, super flavorful and filling. I’m definitely liking this meal plan despite the work. I wouldn’t have known to cook the white part of the scallion first and then add the green part. This method cooked it up perfectly and the salty creamy feta just topped it off.
  • Greek Salad with Lentils and Lime VinaigretteEat it. It’s very good. I’m adding this salad to my lunch repertoire. I don’t prefer red bell peppers so I swapped it out for an orange one, it still worked with the flavors and the lentils. I could see making a big batch of these lentils regularly to eat with many meals. I was skeptical about adding it to the salad, but it really works with the other flavors.
  • Mango-Banana Smoothie with Chia SeedsEat it. This is a really great combination for a smoothie. I will definitely make it again. The chia seeds completely break down and make it a thick smoothie full of flavor. I’d use a more-ripe banana though. Mine were pretty greenish-yellow when I put the smoothie mix in the freezer and I think that effected the flavor. I had to add a little bit of Stevia to sweeten it up.
  • Roasted Chicken Breast with Fennel and Spinach– Eat it. Fennel is my new favorite vegetable. I am going to be cooking with fennel regularly from now on. Seriously, roasted fennel is absolutely incredible. It almost didn’t mater what was in the salad with it, the fennel stole my heart and tummy. I can’t wait to eat the rest on day 5.
Roasted Chicken Salad with Fennel and Spinach, Day 4

Roasted Chicken Salad with Fennel and Spinach, Day 4

Challenge Tip: If you need to eat dinner later like I do (because of my commute I can’t start prepping dinners until about 7pm most nights), you might want to consider taking your night time snack as an afternoon snack for between lunch and dinner. I’ve found that I’m really hungry around 3-4pm and need something to hold me over so I’m eating my morning snack

 

What I learned from my Up Band by Jawbone

It would be hard to miss the fact that I am parked on my bum a lot. I mean, a lot.

Lack of physical activity is inevitable with long work days as a desk jockey, a long daily commute, and computer based hobbies. Add in the fact that it’s too cold and/or snowy, or suffocatingly humid many months of the year here in Michigan, and that activity level starts running pretty close to nil.

I’ve always loved physically active hobbies: hiking, swimming, turbo kick, riding my bike around town, etc. And, for a while there before graduate school, before moving to a state with only a few short months of what I consider “quality outdoor activity weather,” I actually did these things on a pretty regular basis. It sounds like a bucket of excuses (it is), but in my present life, these things are just a bit more challenging to fit in, or aren’t readily available options most of the year.

Everything that comes with the Jawbone Up Band. The charging cord plugs into the iPhone charger base. (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

Everything that comes with the Jawbone Up Band. The charging cord plugs into the iPhone charger base. (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

Combining my love of gadgets, lifestyle iPhone Apps, and health maintenance tools, the idea of using a wearable activity tracker like the Up Band was a natural step. I’m a little late on the bandwagon, and believe me, despite my desire to be an early adopter I have a budget to mind so it took me a little while to convince myself it was worth the splurge. At about $129 retail it wasn’t going to be an impulse buy.*

*The new Up Band 3.0 (Up24) retails at $149 and has bluetooth synching unlike my older model which requires plugging in to the iPhone jack.

I started looking seriously in the summer of 2013 after seeing a coworker wearing the super snazzy mint colored band. She told me about how much her whole family enjoyed using their bands to encourage and hold each other accountable (they are all able to connect and see each others activities on the App), and about what she liked and didn’t like about her band, and after reading a few reviews online about the alternatives, I decided I would go with the Jawbone Up Band as well.

The Up Band (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

The Up Band (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

What I learned.

  • I have an impossibly sedentary lifestyle. No wonder even when I’m eating right I can’t lose weight! Unless I intentionally tack on a few bursts of activity (like walking for 30 minutes at lunch, or going to the gym after work), it’s nearly impossible for me to reach the 10,000/daily recommended steps for healthy living! On work days when I have  many meetings, miss the lunch walk, and have board meetings after work, I can get as low as 3,000-4,000 steps! THAT’S LESS THAN HALF THE RECOMMENDED STEPS. Damn. Wake up call. If I’m going to be active and healthy, it’s going to have to be intentional, planned and in addition to my daily activities, cause they just aren’t cutting it. Seeing a low little 4k at the end of the day is just the wake up call I need to get back up and out the door to the gym to try to at least reach 8k!
  • My effort level in exercise is low. I typically select exercise that involves pretty low impact, and I’ve now learned, low effort. I guess part of it is stamina, the other part is laziness. I definitely need some sort of external push to make me move my booty… if left to my own devices, I just don’t push that hard. I don’t know how accurate the effort rating is on the Up Band, and an “easy” effort level for the Up Band may not feel that way to me. It’s good to know though, so that I know I need to push myself harder.
  • I need to go to bed earlier. Though I’ve heard that the sleep monitoring in the Up Band has questionable usefulness when it comes to analyzing quality of sleep (there are four stages in sleep and the band only reports deep and light sleep), it is interesting to see what my sleep looks like. From what I can tell, I have longer and more periods of deep sleep in the hours before midnight than I do in the hours between midnight and rising. So, I decided this means I should be heading to bed a little earlier if I want to get some high quality sleep in before the alarm.
  • In-put vs. Out-put. The iPhone app for the Up Band syncs with MyFitnessPal, the app that I was already using to track my diet and exercise manually. Linking these two together gave me a clearer picture of what my caloric in-put and out-put really looks like on a daily basis.

What bugs me.

  • The band is a bit bulky, and gets caught in my sleeves.
  • Seems like all of the good colors sold out.
  • The light grey band I ordered is the color of old school computer equipment (tan-ish grey dullness), not a pretty white-ish grey that it appears on-screen.
  • Part of the fun of wearable technology is comparing your data to your friends through the apps. If you don’t know enough people with the device to compare, encourage and compete with, and the initial intrigue of the data itself starts to ware off, the device starts to lose its appeal.
  • The Up Band doesn’t have an adjustable strap. Sure, it isn’t a set closure with a set width, but during that time of the month when I’m bloated and retaining water the band can start to dig in, leaving an imprint in my puffy arm. Maybe I should have gone with a bigger size to allow for the expansion, but it would be nice if it could just adjust.
  • Sharp edge on the button side. I’ve scratched myself on the corner of the square button end of the band a few times, and scratched my husband at least once. I would love it if future models rounded the corners out just a little bit.
The sharp button edge on the Up Band. (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

The sharp button edge on the Up Band. (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

Ultimately, did I need a device to tell me I need to get a move on? Probably not. But, having  external data helps me determine exactly what I need to be doing to change my outcomes. Why am I not losing weight? Why am I so darn sleepy? Now I know, and I can figure out the different small ways I can change my behavior to get the outcomes I want. Plus, I get to geek out on the data about myself. Definitely worth the money in my eyes.

What about the FitBit?

My job is now offering a deal with FitBit, and I’m thinking I might give the Force or Flex a try for comparison. I’ll let you know if I do it. The up side with the FitBit products are that they are a tiny bit less bulky (I tried one on), and they have an adjustable strap. I haven’t heard much about the app that goes with it, but I have heard of skin irritations from the Force, and that concerns me a bit since I have sensitive skin. I do like the idea of the LED display on the Force. I always look down at my Up Band expecting to see the time displayed, so that is a definite perk of the Force! Plus it comes in some pretty snazzy colors.