Y'all have no idea how hard it was to hit publish. I have dreaded this day for weeks. I knew if I didn't tell you I would post them I might chicken out, so in a moment of stupidity I blurted it out on the interwebs. As proud as I am of the afters, I'm not finished yet and I hate looking at the Befores. It's embarrassing to know I looked like that almost a year after Sophie was born.
A few of you asked about my eating/exercise plan, so I thought I would run you through a typical day in the life. I would love to say that I'm eating exclusively Paleo, but I'm not there yet. I have incorporated a lot of Paleo principles into my diet over the last month, but I still eat some low fat dairy and I do have at least one splurge meal a week. I'm not really counting calories anymore, because when you are eating all of the right foods, it's pretty hard to surpass your calorie goal.
Breakfast (between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m.) - During the week I usually eat fruit for breakfast, maybe a bowl of watermelon or a large banana. On days when I'm not running, I'll eat a protein bar with my fruit (I like South Beach Whipped Almond Chocolate). I also drink Simply Orange juice to add some natural sugar so I'm not shaky; the extra calories help me feel full until snack time! On the weekends, Josh usually makes us an omelet. I like mine with bacon or ham, lowfat cheese and lots of veggies. Bell peppers & onions are my favorite. Josh prefers chicken and tomatoes. If I splurge, I might grab a banana mini muffin from a local bakery or eat plain oatmeal.
Snack (about 10:30 a.m.) - I usually head to the gym around 11 o'clock for my lunch break, so I like to be nice and fueled when I get there. Sometimes snack is a little later if I get busy at work, but I try to eat it about 30 minutes before I run. On running days, I eat my protein bar here. If I had it for breakfast, I'll just have another serving of fruit (maybe a Granny Smith Apple or some strawberries) and a handfull of almonds.
Gym (11 a.m.) - During lunch I spend between 30 and 45 minutes on the treadmill depending on how busy I am work. I don't run on Ella's dance day and sometimes have to skip one other day during the week. I usually do a 5 minute brisk walk (4 mph) to warm up and then run the remainder of the time at 6 mph. I could probably increase my speed a little, but I try not to be a sweaty mess when I get back to work! If I'm sore, sometimes I'll walk on an incline instead. I do 5 minutes at each incline interval and then reverse back down. Walking on the incline usually burns a similar amount of calories as my run. A typical lunchtime workout burns about 350 calories.
Lunch (between 12:30 and 1 p.m.) - Since I've already burned my lunch hour at the gym, I have to eat at my desk while I'm working or take my afternoon break to grab something close by. We have some great salad options so I'll get a garden salad or a southwestern salad in the food court. Another great bakery has a wonderful blackened chicken sandwich with arugula and lemon aioli and it's served with homemade veggie chips. I throw the bread away and eat the chicken and greens instead. If I pack my lunch, I'll take a lettuce wrap instead of a sandwich, bring leftovers or make a salad. My typical salad is romaine hearts, grilled chicken, lowfat cheese and homemade pico de gallo. Pico is a wonderful substitute for dressing. It has barely any calories and the lime juice keeps your salad from being too dry.
Snack (around 2:30 or 3 p.m.) - My afternoon snack depends largely on what I've had throughout the day. Sometimes I'm not hungry and will wait for dinner. Snacks include veggie chips (I love Terra's Sweets & Beets), almonds, banana chips, fruit or salami/lowfat cheese. Some days I'll splurge on a smoothie on my way home or if I didn't finish my lunch I might eat the rest of it for snack.
Dinner (about 6:30 p.m.) - Pre-Paleo, we would have fajitas with whole wheat tortillas, chicken and brown rice, steaks and veggies and other very typical evening meals. We cut out pasta except for a once weekly spaghetti dinner and we rarely cook bread or potatoes. For the last month, we've eaten mostly salads or grilled chicken and had an assortment of veggies and fruits. I like to fix a plate with lots of variety, so some nights I'll have chicken, squash/zucchini, strawberries, a banana and a few slices of cheese. Eating a small portion of several different foods really helps me avoid boredom with eating the same kinds of things over and over. We've also made paleo pot roast with celery and carrots instead of potatoes. We make taco seasoning from scratch now and will have taco salad without the chips. That is probably my favorite dinner these days. I will sometimes grab salads from Chipotle on the way home from work if we don't have a dinner plan. A grilled chicken salad with cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo is only 315 calories! You can add their dressing, but it adds almost 300 calories on it's own. I skip it and get extra pico instead.
Insanity (an hour after dinner) - Unfortunately, we are usually working out pretty late. Fortunately, the girls enjoy watching and sometimes participating, so it's a family affair. The workouts usually last between 45 and 60 minutes and vary from day to day. I estimate (based on how I burn calories running) that I burn around 100 calores for every 10 minutes I exercise, totalling somewhere in the neighborhood of 500+ per workout.
Post Workout Snack (15 minutes after the workout) - 8 full ounces of TruMoo lowfat chocolate milk and sometimes a piece of fruit if I'm hungry again. The milk really fills me up and it is the perfect recovery drink. At only 150 calories per serving, I'll save it as one of my dairy splurges for the day.
This is the part of the post where I redirect you to the pictures. I couldn't bear to post them here because I didn't want them popping up in my Facebook mini feed. Vain much? Cover your faces, the befores are pretty rough. Thanks again for all of your encouragement. You have no idea how helpful it is to read the comments, emails, My Fitness Pal and Facebook/Instagram comments. You've held me accountable and helped me keep going, even when I was frustrated and on a plateau. I couldn't have done it by myself.
Click HERE and then be sure to comment. Just don't comment on the befores ;).