Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday weigh-in: Ready, Set...

So, a couple of posts ago, I talked about how my weight has creeped up in the last year or so, and how I think it has negatively affected my performance. I made a plan to work on getting leaner and stronger, and that begins today. My goal is to check in every Wednesday and see how it is going. My plan is going to have 4 components: diet, exercise, supplements and sleep.

1. Diet: Research consistently shows that (duh) diet is the #1 thing that affects weight, much more than exercise does. You simply can't outrun a poor diet, as my gradually increasing weight shows. So for the next little while, I'm really going to focus on the quality of my diet, and be very careful about what goes in my mouth.

About 3 years ago now, I lost about 45 pounds using Take Shape For Life. I was so impressed with the results and how easy it was once I got started, that I became a health coach for their program so that I could help other people lose weight. (Disclaimer here: I am still an independent health coach for Take Shape For Life.) Anyway, its worked for me in the past, I know the program, and I like the food, so that is going to be the basic plan I am following. The typical TSFL plan calls for a person to eat 5 of their meal replacements (using Medifast or the new, premium Optavia meal replacements), one optional snack, and one "Lean and Green" meal that you prepare yourself every day. There are over 90 different meal replacements, including your typical shakes and bars, soups, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, crunchy things like pretzel sticks, and several different baked things, like a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, blueberry muffin, or a cheddar cheese and rosemary biscuit (that one is one of the new premium Optavia meals, and it is to die for).  Besides the fact that the food actually tastes good to me, I like it because all of the meals are quick and easy to prepare, which is super important for me because with my hectic job, I am always on the go. I can stash a bar in my purse, and completely avoid the drive-throughs (totally my downfall) when I don't have time for a real meal. OK, unintentional infomercial over.

The typical 5&1 plan is intended for people that don’t really get a lot of exercise. It can support about 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise, but if you are regularly doing more than that you are likely to find things going badly, because you are simply not taking in enough calories to support the increased effort. Because of this, I am going to be eating more than what the plan calls for. Depending on the day, I will simply be adding extra protein, eating an extra meal replacement or two, or adding an extra Lean and Green meal. On days where I am doing long runs, anything over an hour, I will be supplementing with running fuel in the form of Tailwind and/or chews, Honey Stinger waffles, etc, during my run. I also plan on drinking a high protein shake right after those runs when I can. This is a low carb / low fat / high protein meal plan. While I am on this plan, there will be no sugar, no bread, no potatoes, no pasta, no rice, yada, yada. This is a pretty restrictive plan, but I know I can follow it, because I've done it before, for a much longer period of time. I don't do as well with less restrictive plans, because I'm not all that great at moderation. If I'm going to do something, I'm all in. If I'm going to run a race, it might as well be a marathon or a 50 miler. If I'm going to eat pizza, I'm having 2 or 3 slices. I'm not good at "a little bit". I'm an all or nothing kind of girl.

2. Exercise: Right now, I run. Every once in a blue moon I will pull out my yoga mat and do yoga, but mostly, I run. I need to do more stuff.

I am still running at least one mile every day. Once a week I try to get a long run in, and I try to do 3 to 6 miles or so a few times a week. Now, I need to add strength training and flexibility. For flexibility, I love yoga, and so I plan to add yoga 3 times a week. I will be doing strength training 2 to 3 times per week. I have a little bit of time, about 45 minutes total, that I can use for working out after my 13 year old gets on the bus, before I go to work. I plan to use that time every day before work, except on days where I have to go in early. Sometimes I will have court early in the morning, or like tomorrow, I have to be there a few minutes early for a meeting that starts right at 9 am.

3. Supplements: With Take Shape For Life, each meal replacement is fortified with vitamins and minerals, so that if I am eating 5 meals a day, I don't need to take a multivitamin. But I do take specific supplements. I have low bone density, so I take calcium and garlic (which contains manganese). I take Vitamin D because pretty much everyone in Alaska has a Vitamin D deficiency, a Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, magnesium, glucosamine for my joints, and fish oil for my connective tissue. I don't remember to take them terribly regularly, and I want to get better at that. Most people's diets, including mine, don't include enough of these things, especially for athletes that are placing high stresses on their bodies, and I think that if you give your body the things it needs to maintain itself, you are less injury prone.

4. Sleep. I am a night owl. I tend to stay up late, but then I am always super tired in the morning, because I have no choice but to get up early. I know good, sufficient sleep is critical both for recovery, and for weight loss. When I am too tired, my body (or maybe my brain, lol) really craves carbs as a source of quick energy, when what I really need is sleep. My goal is to get 8 hours of sleep each night, which means I need to be lights out by 11 pm.

SO... with all of that said, how am I doing today? Well, I went back to bed today after putting my son on the bus, instead of working out. But yesterday I did yoga, and the day before that I did a 30 minute strength training routine (Insanity Max:30 Tabata Power).  Tonight I ran 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym, in 19:23.

Because I overslept, I didn't weigh myself this morning, but based on my weights the last few mornings, I would guess I am right around 145, so I am going to use that. We will see how this week goes. I plan on posting an update every Wednesday, and I will call it the Wednesday Weigh-in. Wish me luck!

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