Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I eat. How I stay in shape.

"What do you eat? Do you eat? How do you stay so skinny? How did you get those abs? How do I get those abs?!"..........

People ask me this ALL the time. And I love those people because those people want to look better. It is probably the most messaged question to me on Facebook. That's another reason I started this blog; to address all the questions I get on Facebook from all you awesome girls on the same journey as I am:) Our journey to physical self improvement and love! I'm so cheesy it hurts.

I love Food, I know it's annoying when skinny people say that. Do I eat healthy? Kinda.
I do eat what ever I want, but I make substitutes and balance it all out somehow.
I don't have a strict diet, but a lot of it is about what I eat, how much of it I eat, and when in the day I eat it.

Everyone is different, and I'm no Dr. Nutrition/Diet, (I'm Dr. VGL -- scroll down to Stephathaurus at bottom of entry for definitions of all purple highlighted words)  I just learn from my friends at the gym, through trial and error, and other friends who are super into fitness. I have friends that only drink water with cayenne pepper and maple syrup and it works for them. I also have friends who eat Mcdonalds before the gym and rock 6 packs. A lot of how you are going to look is GENETICS. So work with what you have. You may learn that your body will react to you treating it well very quickly. Or not, either way you are getting results, its a matter of time and dedication.

So here it is...what I eat, what I do, how I 'stay so skinny!' in the words of my Facebook messages.

Let me start with what I ate today. I find this so uninteresting, you might to. If not, then I've done someone a favor. I change it up everyday, but I guess this is just an example.
Breakfast - Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, probably the yummiest thing I eat all day. It's also my favorite snack. Anyone I Skype with is very aware of my Cheerios addiction, as I am usually stuffing these in my face. Fills me up, and makes me happy! Blueberry Green tea (with honey instead of sugar), boosts metabolic weight loss, and full of antioxidants. Glutamine, multivitamins, and glucosamine. We will talk about the supplements in another entry.

Lunch: Santa Fe Chicken Salad. Perfect for after my workout. A full chicken breast, vegetables, and goat cheese (my fav). Coulda done without those chip things but what the hell, I ordered a salad. Give - take.

Dinner: Lemon chicken and pasta. Shoulda been whole wheat pasta but you can't always be perfect. So tasty and so filling.

I also ate a bag of ketchup chips and a Starbucks non fat/no whip caramel brule latte - Yummy, tastes like Christmas time!

Here are a few of my general personal principles:

1) If you are going to eat something 'bad' make it happen in the morning. That way you have the rest of the day to burn it off rather than go to sleep right after.  Don't block out your cravings. You have to give in for a couple reasons: a) it makes you happy, and b) holding off on cravings can result in a super binge later on and your body will react badly to the craving because it is now foreign to you since you held off it so long.

2) GO TO THE GYM. Why not? Seriously, why not? I refused to go to the gym my whole life because I was intimidated by everyone who 'knew what they were doing'. But 8 months ago I decided it was time to make like a Fergie and be up in the gym workin on my fitness.
Now that I go to the gym, (and I am sure alot of you gym rats out there will second me on this)....most of the people at the gym have NO clue what they are doing. And that's fine. At least they are THERE. They are already ten steps ahead of you sitting at home talking about how you are going to 'start' going to the gym.
Check out this jazzy lady I came across at LA Fitness in Boca Raton, Florida. This is a prime example of the type of person that makes you feel better about your lack of knowledge at the gym. Platform flip flops and a push up bra in 'The Testosterone Zone'. Thank god for these type of women though, because they are the perfect distraction for testosterone pumped men, while us normal girls get our 'shred' on.

How did I figure out my way out around the gym? Well lucky for me I had an enormous gym rat friend (who will remain nameless) who was happy to show me the ropes. Who wouldn't want to be seen with me working out? Even if I was completely clueless?
Turn to your already self made gym rats for advice, or me, once again, that's what I'm here for:)  along with fitness magazines and online research. One of my favorite websites is www.bodybuilding.com. Don't let the name fool you, it will not turn you into this:
Unless that's what you want! More power to you Sista!

So my first time to I went to the gym I thought everyone would just stare at me as I attempt to start up a cardio machine or change settings on the weight machines -- in fact I never thought in a million years I would ever step into what I call 'The Testosterone Zone'.

I motivated myself. Where did I find this self motivation? The fact my $400 jeans no longer fit me and my love handles made a uninvited guest appearance whenever I attempted to wear them. Even though my dad always tried to make me feel better by saying they made me more 'lovely', I wasn't feelin it. Find motivation wherever you can, that is, if overall health isn't enough (wasn't for me!). - I quit smoking when I was 20 because I didn't want wrinkles. Lung cancer didn't even cross my mind. Thats just me though, I hope you're smarter than that.

I decided to take these baby steps:

a) Go out and find something I am going to feel super comfortable and confident wearing at the gym. I chose shorts (because genetically my legs are off the chain), and a big baggy shirt, to cover what I was there for in the first place!
Perfect fit!

b) Music, get motivational music ready so I can zone out and focus on shedding and shredding.

c) My first step was to make it through the intimidating testosterone zone and up the stairs onto 'The Estrogen Level'. The way my gym (In my mind, I owned it - self motivation!!) was designed was all the cardio was upstairs and the weights were downstairs.

d) Once I finally made it up the stairs, my goal of the day was to see how long I could last on an elliptical. I figured it was kinda like a fun ride because the motion is easy and it's not running (I don't run unless I am being chased). I lasted 12 minutes, on level 4 (out of 14 levels). I had to take a picture because I was slightly embarrassed and knew I would get to laugh at myself in the future. I also looked at it as the beginning of my own personal challenge. If I could get 12 minutes today, could I get 13 tomorrow? This is how it all began.
 Day 1 - I pushed myself and thought I was going to faint when I got off. 
 Day 2 - by day 2 it was less about being intimidated by people around me and more about pushing myself past 12 minutes. When I hit 13 minutes, I could have stopped happy, but I felt like I could keep going, so I did, and when I hit 30 minutes I loved myself so much I wanted to feel that way all the time.
Day 3 - I blew my own mind. As you can see my picture taking was blurred by the fact I was still in motion (It reads 59:52). I was trying to be discreet about photographing my time, and when the machine stops moving, your time goes away. I couldn't let this time get away without a photo. SO PROUD! Now I knew I could bang out a full hour of cardio. I continued this for a couple of weeks before growing the balls to head down to the 'Testosterone Zone'

I promise you, whoever you are...when you go to the gym you will find people there that make you feel better about yourself, and look at those who are in better shape than you as inspiration. Ask questions too. People do not mind if you ask them advice on how to use a machine or certain exercises. If your normal about it and not a weirdo just trying to make conversation because your life is so lonely and sad then people will be happy to help you. Also watch out for these talkers in the gym. They pretend to inquire, when really they just want someone to talk to. You will learn the ropes once you get into the groove. I used to have to dodge this guy named Tony. Tiny little strong man, as soon as you made eye contact you knew your workout was destroyed, and that all you were going to hear was this small juiced out old Italian man talk about nothing interesting while disturbing your workout. Learn from your mistakes. Don't be too friendly in the gym!

3) After the gym eat right!
Proteinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!! Is what you want :) Your body will absorb more protein from the food you eat within 30 minutes after your workout. Your body is going to use this protein to repair the muscles you just worked out. I usually consume a shake with 25 grams of protein immediately after my workout. Then eat something with chicken breast/tuna/beef, or anything else proteiny. No that's not a word.
Yep, that's my fridge.

4) Eat what you want to fill you up. Just try and substitute the bad stuff for good stuff. Instead of white anything, choose brown. Example: White rice - brown rice, white bread - brown bread, pasta - whole wheat pasta, potato - sweet potato (well that's not really white, but you get it).

5) Get lots and lots of beauty sleep. As much as you can. This is so important.
...well maybe not AT the gym. 

6) Drink a ton of water. Like, lots.
A big tip: **Don't drink alcohol or do drugs.
This helps. Alot. Stop drinking completely, for like 3 months. Watch yourself shrink. Make it a habit.
Drugs, don't even get me started. I don't do that dance, but if you do, you shouldn't. You're better than that. Just do yourself that favor for a million reasons. Use the gym, it can help you. You'll notice the stronger you become physically, what it can do for your mental strength also.





 ** STEPHATHAURUS **
(No, not a VGL dinosaur, my version of a thesaurus)

*VGL - Very Good Looking. Can be extended to VVGL, or VVVGL, or VVVVGL etc, depending on the situation. I keep it humble describing myself with just one 'V'. Therefore, I am VGL. 

*'The Testosterone Zone' -  The section of the gym where men are the majority. This area is filled with groans and moans as men lift their weights, followed by dropping their weights after their sets to let everyone know they are done and how bad-ass they are for challenging themselves. This is both annoying and inspiring to me. For the guys who are genuinely lifting such heavy weight that they can't control the sounds that come out of them, makes me want to lift heavier. But everyone knows that annoying guy at the gym that's doing flyes with 15 pounds and drops the weights when he's done...annoying + dangerous. He's usually the guy who doesn't wear deodorant too, and spends his time talking to people who are actually trying to work out between his sets. You see a lot of characters at the gym, it's a fun part of working out.

* Shed and Shred - Shedding and shredding is my way of describing how you should look at your workout. You do your cardio to shed the unwanted fat, and then you weight train to get shredded (more defined)


* The Estrogen Level -  The female equivalent to 'The Testosterone Zone'. This is the section of the gym with all the cardio machines and equipment. Mainly populated with women banging it out on the treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, stair climbers and other cardio machines. They are working on shedding before they shred.


*Juice/Juiced Out - Juice is steroids. Juiced out is someone who is on steroids.


* Bang out/Banging it out - Get er' Done. Nike says Just do it. I say bang it out. No excuses, no questions, just bang it out. Bara bing, bara boom. Then love yourself for it.
That's me being VGL, about to bang it out and shred it in the Testosterone Zone. Who said you can't have pink on your weight lifting gloves?

I will elaborate on my workouts and supplements etc in another post. This was just to answer my most asked question on Facebook. I hope I have motivated you to make some positive changes, but don't forget what I said about genetics. Work with what you have, and create your own little baby steps with goals and always challenge yourself. There is always room for improvement in anything in life, including our physiques!

To the left here, I have posted a photo I took. It's just an inspiring little quote I picked up from the LA Fitness in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Thought I'd share it with you. You're welcome.

If you guys have any questions feel free to leave a comment (anonymously if you like) and I will answer you to the best of my ability. Hope you guys have an awesome night. It's lounge and laundry time for me.

Until next time, keep fit and have fun! Just kidding! Anyone remember where that's from?