goals, Life, Random Thoughts, Weightloss

How I Meal Plan

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What I’m eating, when I’m eating, how I’m eating, where I’m eating, how much I’m eating, etc. etc. is something that is always being brought up to me and something I’m questioned about. I don’t mind talking about it with people who take it seriously, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed having the same conversation over and over with people that are just looking for a secret to success. Before I lost 135 pounds I ate like a five-year-old. I ate whatever I wanted, how much of it I wanted, when I wanted and where ever I wanted. I lost 50 pounds in the beginning by only changing my eating habits. Yes, I said 50 pounds with minimal changes. This goes to show you how much weight I had to lose and how poorly I ate. It might not work that way for you. You might not have as much weight to lose. We are all different. I went on to lose 50 more pounds this way.

For the past almost year and a half I’ve counted macros. Macronutrients are what our bodies use for energy – primarily fat, protein and carbs. It took me a good six months to get a handle on it. Maybe I’m a slow learner? Who knows, but for me, it wasn’t until I became very specific in my counting that I started to see results. What I love about counting macros is that I can eat whatever I want as long as it fits into my daily amount. This doesn’t mean I can fill my day with only chips and cakes and expect to see results. However, it does mean I can have the occasional bowl of ice cream and I’m fine. It does mean I can find a decent brownie recipe online and factor it in for dessert.

I sit in front of a computer for ten hours a day typing in numbers and answering emails so I have a lot of time to think about what I want to eat the following week. I eat a lot of the same things. I can go months eating the same thing, for every meal, Monday through Friday without getting sick of it. It makes planning and prepping a lot easier. Once I narrow down what I plan on eating I type it out with the macros for each item. I then add them up to make sure I’m not going over on my daily amount. I’ve been eating an 1800 cal meal plan every day since I started counting. My plan consists of 230g of carbs, 110g of protein and 40g of fat. Originally, I was eating 50g of fat a day, but after DNA testing I learned that my body doesn’t burn fat as well as it does carbs and protein. I take the extra 10g I took from my daily fat intake and add it to the carbs and protein.

Below is an example of one of my meal plans. I measure or weigh everything. The first line shows the meal, the time I eat it and the number of macros I’m trying to reach for that meal. I like to have a bigger meal for my fourth meal so I save fat and other things throughout the day for that meal. I list out what I’m eating for each meal and the number of macros in each item. I total them up and then subtract to find if I have any remaining carbs etc. to use or take away from the remaining meals. You’ll see at the end of this day I went over a few grams of carbs, but I have some protein and fat remaining. Some days I’ll get it spot on and other days it’ll look like this. As long as I’m not too much over or under I call it a win.

230g CHO, 110g Protein, 40g Fat

7:30-8:00 Meal One: (50g CHO, 30g Protein, 15g Fat)
2 servings Honey Nut Cheerios (44g CHO, 4g Protein, 3g Fat)
8 oz Almond Milk (1g CHO, 1g Protein, 2.5g Fat)
1 scoop Protein (0g CHO, 25g Protein, 0g Fat)
Total: 45g CHO, 30g Protein, 5.5g Fat
Remaining: +5g CHO, 0g Protein, +9.5g Fat

11:30-12:00 Meal Two: (65g CHO, 30g Protein, 10g Fat)
1 serving Loaded Baked Omelet Muffins (2.5g CHO, 14g Protein, 11g Fat)
Easy Bagel (26.5g CHO, 10g Protein, .3g Fat)
1/2 serving Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese (4g CHO, 1g Protein, 2.25g Fat)
½ cup berries (10g CHO)
Total: 43g CHO, 25g Protein, 13.55g Fat
Remaining: +27g CHO, +5g Protein, +5.95g Fat

3:00-3:30 Meal Three: (50g CHO, 25g Protein, 12g Fat)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli (6g CHO, 2g Protein)
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower (3g CHO, 1g Protein)
1/2 cup chopped celery (3g CHO, 1g Protein)
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage (5g CHO, 1g Protein)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (4g CHO, 1g Protein)
1/2 cup sliced carrots (6g CHO, 1g Protein)
3 tbsp Light Italian Dressing (3g CHO, 0g Protein, 3g Fat)
2.6 oz pouch Light Tuna in Water (0g CHO, 17g Protein, .5g Fat)
Total: 30g CHO, 24g Protein, 3.5g Fat
Remaining: +47g CHO, +6g Protein, +14.45g Fat

6:30-7:00 Meal Four: (65g CHO, 25g Protein, 12g Fat)
1/2 cup Oats (28g CHO, 5g Protein, 2.5g Fat)
1 tbsp chia seeds (6g CHO, 3g Protein, 5g Fat)
Greek yogurt (6g CHO, 15g Protein, 0g Fat)
1 tbsp Honey (17g CHO)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Almond Milk (.5g CHO, .5g Protein, 1.25g Fat)
1/2 cup Strawberries (10g CHO)
2 tbsp 2 tsp Kind Granola (10g CHO, 1.5g Protein, 3.5g Fat)
Cookies ‘n Cream Brownie (22.7g CHO, 1.6g Protein, 2.9g Fat)
62g Banana (14g CHO)
Total: 114.2g CHO, 25g Protein, 12.75g Fat
Remaining: -2.2g CHO, +6 Protein, +13.7gFat

I find most of my recipes and meal ideas online. If a food blog or cookbook doesn’t have the nutrition information I skip it. There are apps and things you can use to calculate the nutrition for a recipe, but I find it to be a lot of work. Once I have the above figured out I go through my refrigerator and pantry and make a grocery list. I shop at Aldi and Giant Eagle weekly. I make a list for each in the order of how the stores are organized. I either prep as soon as I get home or first thing the next morning. Containers are key to meal prepping. I used to hate meal prepping and up until I started counting macros I didn’t cook much of anything. Now I’ll put on Netflix or a Podcast and I can be in the kitchen for hours cooking and prepping perfectly content. It’s what you make of it. Some weekends meal prepping is two hours, other weeks it’s five hours. It all depends on the meal plan. If I have a busy weekend coming up I plan a simpler meal plan that won’t involve as much cooking or prepping.

Hopefully, this answers some of the questions and helps you understand my eating habits a little more. Also, if I have plans to go out to eat I’ll research the restaurant ahead of time and plan my meal before I get there. A lot of restaurants provide the nutrition information online. I don’t drink alcohol, but I know people that do and easily count the macros for it. I only drink water. It should be noted that macros are different for every individual. You shouldn’t follow my daily intake. It all depends on your weight, age, how active you are, etc.

 

 

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goals, Life, Random Thoughts

2018

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I’ve never been interested in celebrating New Years. It’s just another day for me. I’ve never been interested in setting resolutions because I think they’re bullshit. However, I do love the idea of a fresh start. I do love the idea of making and planning new goals. I love the idea of new checklists and fresh motivation. I’ve thought a lot over the last few weeks about the things I want to work on in the new year. The things I want to finish and the things I want to start. Below is the list of things I came up with and I’m really excited to get started!

A few years ago I set a goal to finish all of the books I had been neglecting for years. I read them all, but since then I have added a pile. One of the goals for this year is to read all the unread books I currently have. I don’t allow myself to buy any new books until all the old ones are finished. The pile is a lot smaller than it was a few years ago. I’ve gotten away from reading. I want to get back into it and this goal will help with that.

Like the books, I have a few projects that I haven’t finished. Some I’ve had for a few years now. I want to get them finished. I don’t like to waste anything and seeing them sitting around seems like a waste of money to me. There are also several things I want to try making. I’ve been eyeing up a weaving kit for months and a few other things I would like to learn. However, I won’t allow myself to buy or look into any new project until the unfinished ones are completed.

Last year I set a “resolution” to stay off my phone while driving. I have failed miserably at this and I have probably gotten worse. I’m going to get the podcast I want to listen to set up and then throw my phone in the back seat. It’s not worth the risk and it’s really stupid.

I started working on this one late in 2017, but I really want to keep working on it in the new year. I’ve had a hard time saying no to things in the past. I just feel bad about it. However, I’m no longer feeling bad. If I don’t want to do something I’m saying no. If I don’t want to go somewhere I’m not going. If I make plans and suddenly the anxiety and regret are too overwhelming I’m rescheduling. It is what it is. The people who know me and care about me will understand and the people that don’t can get over it.

I recently sat down with one of my coworkers and took a look at my finances. I set some pretty manageable goals with him. Goals that should *fingers crossed* have my school loans paid off in 14 months. 14 months!! I can’t even imagine the feeling, but I’m so excited to get started this month. Watching that loan chip away is a going to feel amazing. School loans are a beast. Because of this 14 month goal, I decided to really start paying attention to how I spend my money. I’m not careless with my money, but I’d like to tighten things up until this loan is paid off. I unsubscribed to all of the stores that send me emails. I have no interest in careless spending, but it helps to not see the daily emails.

Something I really plan on paying attention to is mindful eating. I have always been a fast eater. This has to do with the fact that I don’t drink while I’m eating and I don’t talk. I don’t carelessly eat so when I take the time to sit down for my meal I’m hungry. I’ve found myself eating faster though. Faster than usual. I need to slow down. I need to savor smaller bites and chew thoroughly. I want to pay attention to the smells, textures, and flavors. Paying closer attention to these things will slow my eating down. I’m going to put a lot of effort into this. It’s going to be really hard, but I’m committed.

I don’t have any set goals where my weight, body, fitness, running, etc are concerned. That will probably change Wednesday night after an appointment I have after work. I’m really looking forward to staying focused and working hard this year. It’ll be my first solid year with a really good handle on my macros. It’ll be a solid year of Crossfit. It’ll be a solid year of pushing myself in terms of running. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish this year. I really want to focus on form and getting better at certain things (push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, etc). The plan is to get my own barbell to work on technique at home. I recently went to a 5 a.m. class at the gym and loved it. It allowed for my evening to be open. Going to a few 5 a.m. classes during the week will allow me to work on some of the above goals. It will allow for me to have more of a social life. It will open up so much time. What will I do with all of this time?

I’d be lying if I said I was feeling extra excited about this next year. The years feel the same to me anymore and putting an expectation on them isn’t need. The year will be what it wants to be. I’m looking forward to working on the above. I’m looking forward to working on myself. I’m looking forward to this next year of life.

The last few months have had me in a funk. It’s been hard for me to write. My head feels messy and empty and full all at the same time. I want to use the space to express my gratitude more. I want to pay attention to the things I have in life that are important to me and stop worrying about the things I don’t have. I have so much to be thankful for and I want to recognize that. Happy New Year, friends.

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Life, Weightloss

The Facebook Comment

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I received an uneducated and judgmental comment on my post last night. The person that posted it deleted it minutes later. I’m assuming she posted before she actually read what I wrote. I was told “enough is enough” and “please don’t lose more weight” and that “it is possible to go overboard with working out.”

First, she’s right. It is possible to go overboard with working out. However, what she doesn’t realize is how much you actually have to workout to reach that point and the signs of overdoing it. I don’t feel exhausted. I’m not constantly aching. My immune system isn’t low. My sleeping habits are normal and consistent. I’m not gaining fat. I certainly don’t have a loss of appetite. Etc. etc. I’m not perfect. I have a hard time listening to my body at times, but I’ve gotten better and know when to take an extra rest day. I’m constantly learning and listening to my body. It takes time and it’s always changing. I do NOT push myself further than what is recommended. If I was pushing myself too hard my coaches would be the first ones to say something.

Second, I surround myself with professionals (doctors, dietitians, coaches, athletes) who are WELL educated on the recommended weight for my body, my height, my age, etc. I don’t just lose weight for fun. Yes, I have a few more pounds I’m working towards dropping and then that’s it. It’s all about maintenance. It’s all about building muscle. It’s all about lowering my body fat percentage. Losing weight is damn hard. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It’s the hardest commitment and longest I’ve ever made. I don’t just make random goals to lose 6 pounds there and 2 pounds here for a good time. It’s about my health and my future.

Third, enough is NOT enough. This is my life. This is how I choose to live it. This is what I choose to talk about and share. This is what is important to me. This is who I am. This is what I read about and study and practice. This is second nature to me. I share because I am proud. I share to inspire. I share to motivate. I share to encourage. If for even a second you are bothered by me or my story or feel the need to share your insecure and uneducated comments let me introduce you to the unfollow button. It’s this magical button we all have at the top of our profile that will in-fact make my posts disappear from your feed. I’d also like to point out that the unfriend button is located right before it and you are more than welcome to push it.

Lastly, for the first time in my life, I look in the mirror at myself and I love what I see. Yes, I see imperfections, but they aren’t screaming back at me. I see an hourglass figure I’ve never seen before. I see a waist I love. I see toned shoulders that bring me joy. I see a girl who doesn’t think twice about posting a post-workout selfie that includes a blotchy face, no makeup and gym hair. I see legs I’m planning on putting in shorts next summer for the first time since I was 12 years old. I see the confidence and hard work. I see HEALTH. I see LOVE.

I have many hobbies and interests in life. I have so many things I love and things I surround myself with. My weight is the LEAST interesting thing about me. I am more than just this journey, but this journey is also a huge part of who I am. If you truly believe this is all I have to offer and all I am interested in than you are very ignorant of who I am and are not needed in my life.

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family, friends, Life, Uncategorized, Weightloss

The Facebook Post

“Are you still watching what you eat?” “What did she eat for Thanksgiving?” “You don’t want to gain any of that weight back, huh?”

Those are just some of the comments I get on the regular. Listen to me when I say I eat what I want when I want. I don’t restrict myself, but there are also many things I don’t want to eat and it’s not because they’re unhealthy. I just find myself preferring healthier options and not being as satisfied with a piece of cake. I find myself preferring to eat at home and not at restaurants. I just eat differently now and choose to fuel my body in a better way. Friday I stopped to eat my lunch at 230. My mom said, “You’re eating again? Didn’t you just eat? What was that if it wasn’t lunch?” It had been three hours since I ate and what she was referring to was my first snack. I eat five meals a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner) and trust me if I don’t eat you probably don’t want to be around me. I’ve worked and I continue to work extremely hard. Some days are easier than others and honestly the last 6 months have been the easiest and it’s getting easier. What I’m eating and when I’m eating is constantly observed and talked about. It’s something that makes me uncomfortable, but it’s also something I understand. We all know what we need to do to reach our goals. It’s a matter of putting what we know into our daily routine. It’s about forming habits. You’re either ready to start or you’re not. Either way, it’s okay. That girl in the first photo knew one day she was going to change her life. She honestly knew it. But she knew that day wasn’t THE day. Next time you judge someone by what they’re eating and how much of it (healthy or not) take note and maybe stop and think about why you’re making judgments or making comments. I can guarantee it has nothing to do with that person and everything to do with your own insecurities. I honestly pay zero attention to what the people around me are eating. I don’t care. I care about what I’m fueling my body with and my body alone. Ps. I didn’t mean to mean mug in that picture. 😂 I just finished a hard Thanksgiving Day workout and my face was still half frozen. Haha

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Depression, family, friends, Life, Weekend, Weightloss

My Two-Year 100-Pound Weight Loss Anniversary

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Saturday was my two-year 100-pound weight loss anniversary. Two years ago I stood on the scale and was finally under 200 pounds and I’ve been under ever since. 100 pounds was my long-term goal. I knew after I reached it I would have new goals, but 100 pounds is a huge deal. It’s a goal I reached in ten short months. It’s a goal that takes most people years. It’s a huge accomplishment and I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t proud. I wasn’t happy. I was numb. I’m going to paint you a picture of a Rachel a lot of you don’t know and some of you know too well.

I used to weigh myself every Saturday morning, but this story is going to start the night before. I went out with a friend to a local bar. We met up with a friend of hers and an acquaintance of mine (who would later become my boss). I remember the bar was busy. We had to share a table with two random middle-aged men. They were very nice and we all made small talk. It wasn’t long into the evening before shots were being bought. Someone bought a round of Jager. I took my shot, but the other girl that was with us wouldn’t drink Jager. So, in typical Rachel fashion, I took hers for her (the last time I had Jager and the last time I’ll ever have it). I didn’t realize that while I was finishing her shot she was buying a round of bourbon for us. In no time I had a few beers in me, two shots of Jager and a shot of bourbon. When I say no time I mean in less than an hour. To say things get hazy after that would be an understatement. I remember a handful of things from the rest of that night.

What I do remember is making a full of myself in front of the guy I liked at the time. In my defense, I’m not sure when the people I was with thought it would be a good idea to show up at the bar he was at (crazy much?). I remember flashes from that trip. There’s a clip of us in my head walking in, there’s a flash of me putting my legs up on the table (apparently I have this thing where I like to be relaxed while blacked out) and him taking them off. I have a flash of us walking out and I have a bit of the conversation on the drive to the third bar. That conversation involved my future boss telling me to forget about that guy because he was going to break my heart. Literally the exact words I remember her saying. She was right. He did. I should have listened.

I have almost no memory of the next bar we ended up at. I don’t even know if I had anything to drink there, but things ended quickly. I was told I had to leave. In short, I was kicked out of that bar. When you can barely stand on your own you should probably just go home.

We had to go back to the bar we started at to close out our tab. I fell out of the vehicle after we parked. Literally just opened the door and fell to the pavement. I should note she didn’t drive a car so it was a decent fall and one I don’t remember. It wasn’t until I stood up the next day and mentioned how sore I was that I was told I had fallen. After that things are pretty black. I vaguely remember being on my friend’s couch puking in a bucket. I might have puked in the bathroom before the bucket. I’m not entirely sure. We were home, tucked in on the couch and I was puking all before midnight. This was a common occurrence that year.

The next morning I woke up before 5 in a panic because my parents were flying out of Pittsburgh very early and I never made it home the night before. My phone was dead. I found my friend’s phone and called my dad. I scared him because he thought something happened. I just needed to tell them I was okay, where I was and say goodbye before they boarded. This was a low moment for me. This was irresponsible. This wasn’t who I was. This felt wrong. This was wrong.

Eventually, the house woke up and I stood on the scale. I told my friend I hit the 100-pound mark. I texted my future roommate. I texted my cousin. I still felt nothing. I didn’t feel celebratory. I didn’t feel accomplished. It was nothing. We went to Eat n Park for breakfast. I had oatmeal. The service was terrible. I went home and got ready for a Christmas party that night. All the while feeling nothing. I drank that night too. Less than the night before, but it still involved drinking Crown Royal from the bottle. I was a mess. I was hurting. I was sad. I was angry. I was alone. I was unhappy. I didn’t know who I was. That night ended with me crying on the bathroom floor to my cousins. The first of many nights to come that month where I would be crying. Where I would be drunk. Where I would be a mess. Where I would feel like I was suffocating.

I achieved something in that day that many people never achieve. None of it mattered to me. Luckily, I can look back on it now and realize what an accomplishment that was. Now I can congratulate myself and celebrate this anniversary. I know who I am now. I know what I accomplished. I love this anniversary and I love taking a moment to be proud of myself. I am no longer that lost, messy girl crying on the bathroom floor. I still have things I’m working on, but you wouldn’t believe how far I am from the girl I was that weekend.

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Depression, Life, Random Thoughts, Weekend

Weekend 45: Currently

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thinking that it bums me out it’s been a week since I last posted.

feeling full from the the pigs in the blanket my mom made for dinner. They were so good!

looking forward to only having to work a four day week

wondering why I’ve had so many (mild) headaches lately. I never get headaches.

loving how blonde my hair is and excited to see what we can do with the blonde at my next appointment.

wondering if I should go dark once I’m over the blonde… hehe

wanting my hair to be long again and to be healthy. so long are the days of straightening over and over and over and ahhhhh

wishing my sister a happy 26th birthday this Wednesday.

excited to go out Saturday and celebrate with her and friends

wearing everything and anything that will keep me warm. I don’t know when this started, but being cold is almost painful.

feeling really tired lately.

realizing my depression might be more seasonal than we thought or realized.

wanting to start reading all of the books I have that are unread.

deciding on goals for the new year. Did I mention that last Sunday? It’s on my mind a lot lately.

working on myself always.

appreciating my parents and my siblings. they’re the four most important people in my life.

Hi, friends. I haven’t posted in a week. I’ve been dealing with a little bit of brain fog when it comes to writing. I think about it constantly, but when I go to put words to paper it’s all a mess. The last few weeks I’ve noticed I’ve had more down days than I’ve had in a long time. I think it could have a lot to do with the season changing, the shorter days, the lack of sunshine, the cold, the weather. It’s something my doctor and I are keeping an eye on, but it’s also something I recognize. Something I’m aware of and something I take note of. Last year at this time I started slipping into my darkest months, but I wasn’t educated then. I wasn’t aware of the signs and how to reroute my mind and my thoughts. I have the tools now to take control, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have hard days. Right now it’s just wearing me down. I think about this space every day and already have plans for my second reoccurring weekly post. This one will go up Thursday of every week and I’m exited for it. It’s something I’ll have to work on thought the week. Looking forward to sharing it with you this Thursday. I hope you all have a motivating Monday. xoxo

 

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family, friends, Life, Weekend

Kuss Wedding Photos

One month ago, exactly I got to witness my friend and cousin marry her best friend. It was such a special day for both and one I’m so happy to have been a part of. She received the link to all her photos and of course I went through every single one of them. I love photos and wedding photos are the best! I can sit and look at total strangers wedding photos online over and over without shame. I grabbed some of the ones I really liked and figured I’d throw them into a post to share.

The below pics are some of my favorites of the girls getting ready.

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I always love seeing the behind the scenes photos of the girls getting ready. This is the first wedding I’ve ever been in and I would have to admit that the photos always look way calmer and more glamorous than what is going on. I just remember rushing around, borrowing makeup, touching up my makeup, putting lipstick on myself and my sister, touching up other bridesmaid’s makeup, trying not to get any makeup on myself or others, spraying all the hair spray and deodorant, putting Kaitlin’s veil on, putting Adeline’s tiara back in, making sure everyone’s bags were packed for when we were ready to leave, fixing my cousins curls, fixing my friends hair, getting dressed, having the photographer walk in when I was basically naked (that’s fun) and trying to stay calm while keeping an eye on the clock. I think we all thought two hours was going to be a lot of time, but we quickly realized it in fact was not. Rushing, rushing, rushing, but I must admit it was fun and exciting. I definitely lean towards the girly side of things when it comes to getting ready. The best part about going out IS getting ready. However, I forgot to put perfume on this day and it’s something I still think about.

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That’s just me running down the aisle. Literally. We had just gone over what speed to walk and then nope I just booked it. However, I like that you can still see my Dad’s smirk. I almost walked TO him and my mom. Let’s just say being in a room full of people that are looking at only me even if it’s for less than a minute is my idea of hell. I’m pretty sure my dad could see that written all over my face.

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Addie peaking around the bridesmaids is the cutest! She did such a good job. The below photo of John is my favorite of him. John just looks happy. I can’t explain why, but this one is the best of him. I love the one of the guys goofing off while we waited for pictures to wrap up at the church. You can dress them up… haha

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This next photo is just a picture of me hugging the crap out of my friend, cousin, coach, etc who I used to see almost every day and no longer do. I miss(ed) her and love this photo of us. And one of my sister looking extra cute.

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I love this one of Kaitlin. You see relief and happiness all over her face.

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Group shots!

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Beautiful women! I love these photos and will cherish them forever.

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I wish I knew what was so funny here and what the hell was causing me to make that face. I love that Kaitlin is still perfectly posed for photos though. Now for the fun ones!

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I look crazy in that photo, but that literally sums up mine and John’s relationship. haha Laughing at all things.

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This photo KILLS me hahahahaha we went from hugging to busting a SERIOUS move.

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Safe to say… we all had a blast. One month down for you two 2343984309284930 more to go.

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