Friday, May 27, 2011

4 Hour Body: Skinny for NYC Check In

I'm in a holding pattern this week. No change. But I'm relieved because I expected the waist size to go up due to hormonal shifts. Yay! At least I'm holding steady. I wasn't able to work out as much as I would have liked either. I overused my shoulder during a Jillian Michaels Shred workout so I decided to give it a break for a week. I also had my teenager home more often than not due to her ear infection and her mono knocking her off her feet. Sure, she can fend for herself, but it's not fun being sick and alone. Despite all the interruptions, I did manage to walk twice and I went to Zumba class yesterday.

I called up a friend who is also following the 4 Hour Body plan with her hubby. She said she cheats a bit during the hormonal shifts, but I have held on and stayed true to the diet. Her hubby has lost 30 pounds since January. Mighty impressive numbers. My hubby has not lost more than 5 pounds, but his belly is shrinking so something is going right. Hopefully we'll see a continuing downward trend.

My friend and I talked about some of the challenges we faced on this diet. For one thing, there is NO fruit. I'm fine with the no fruit part except there are times when I just want a blueberry or a grape. And with summer here it's nice to have fresh fruit on a regular basis. However, I'm bound and determined to see it through till NYC. I'll let up on the diet a bit during that time -- and the first thing I'm adding back is fruit in small quantities.

The other challenge we face is more cooking. This isn't the kind of diet that allows you to call in for pizza after a long day of dealing with kids, schools, cleaning, working, writing, whatevers. Nope. And let me tell you, I've had days where I have wanted to throw in the towel. But I haven't yet. I try to get a lot of leftovers going so that I can serve them up in a pinch. To be honest, I usually make extra and stick it into the freezer, but ever since the tornadoes knocked out our power for 5 days I have been reluctant to store extra food.

Fridays. Fridays are tough. Why? Because we aren't officially on CHEAT DAY mode. We still have to follow the plan and it's like we're sick of being good and if we see one more bean we will choke. But the only way I know how to cope with Fridays is to make it a cute picnic day, a fancy meat day, or better yet, go out and let someone else cook it for you. So far we've only gone out on two Fridays. The restaurants just get too crowded here and it's not worth the wait. Somehow we muddle through the day and it works out.

We've gotten smarter about Cheat Day. I wanted to go for breakfast two weeks ago, but I think everyone in town and in the surrounding county had the same idea. We ended up having an early lunch where there was no wait. So now I bring in the cheat foods from the grocery story and make a big country breakfast. I also plan a good Cheat Day at home. This weekend it is Memorial Day so we're doing burgers, hot dogs, brats and all the trimmings. I'm talking potato salad, deviled eggs, Texas sheet cake, chips, dips, the works. I'm really looking forward to it.

But here's the funny part: we try to cheat but we cheat less and less because our bellies fill up too quickly. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. This is why Cheat Day works cause you think you're going to get crazy with eating, but your body simply won't let you.

Another thing I've incorporated is Lemon Juice. I do a shot of pure lemon juice in the morning to jump start my metabolism. It's tart. Not going to lie. It's kind of gross. But it does wake me up. I'm going to add more lemon into my day by squeezing half a lemon into my water two more times. I'll see if that makes a difference. Maybe adding the lemon juice to my diet is why I didn't gain around my middle this week--which is a total relief!

So my friend and I shared some ideas and recipe tricks. Things we're doing that make our diet more interesting and fun. She is a great cook and we used to cook together all the time when I lived in Virginia, so I'm glad we exchanged recipes and coping mechanisms.

As I've been writing this, I've realized that I'm cresting over the mid-part of my goal for the diet. I think this is where a lot of people give up. They start plateauing and give up. Not me. I refuse. I'm hunkering down and working even harder now because I can see the end. The new skinny me who will look fabulous in New York when she attends the RWA National Conference.

So how do you cope with the diet plateaus and letdowns? Do you give yourself permission to cheat? Do you hunker down and push through the plateau? Or do you quit?


Jerrie Alexander said...

Christine, you've entered the hardest phase or it is for me. I just gritted my teeth and pushed through. Sounds like you're committed and will do the same thing. You're doing the Shred work out? I've heard it's tough! Yea you.

You'll make it!

Christine said...

Thanks Jerrie. It is the hardest phase for me, but I must get through it. I am not even where I was weight wise a year ago and I thought I was "fluffy" then! So I am determined to lose this bulge.

The Shred workout is tough. Maybe too tough on the shoulders. But I'm going to hit it again next week. I'm also going to sign up for an orientation on the machines at the YMCA and get started on their Links system.

Zumba is my favorite exercise!

Ellen Brickley said...

I hate that phase! I tend to tell myself I'm doing it to be healthy, not to lose weight, and that helps. Plateaus are horrible, though, so hang in there :)

Christine said...

Thanks Ellen! I am hanging on and continuing to press forward. I hope that once the hormones realign that I am back on the losing track!

Keep eating healthily!


Talli Roland said...

Wow - I'm so impressed with your willpower, Christine. That's something I really struggle with!

Christine said...

Thanks Talli--this has been something I needed to do for a while. I let myself go a bit and now I'm reeling in my bad habits.

Thanks for the encouragement!


Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Something I love in summer which might work for you is to keep a pitcher of ice water in the fridge with lemon and orange slices in it. If you don't want the sugar from the orange, use lime. SO refreshing!

Hubby and I did the Body for Life plan some years ago and we experienced the same thing with the cheat day - eating less than we thought we would because the cheat items were just too rich and our portions had shrunk. It's amazing how big our portions get without us realizing.

Keep going - you can do it!

Anne Gallagher said...

I keep telling myself I need to get with a program, any kind of program, but I am just not motivated enough. When I lived at the beach I was a little overweight but toned. I had muscle mass. Now I'm just NOT. (Being sick for 18 mos. does that to a body.) I'm seriously thinking of a pool. A deep one I can swim in every day. I hate feeling flabby.

I admire your determination. I wish I had it.

Kieran Kramer said...

I don't know anything about your particular diet, but I do know on the 17 Day Diet, he says drink hot water with lemon every morning. I wonder if drinking straight lemon juice would be very harsh on the lining of your stomach as the juice is pure citrus and thus really acidic? Maybe dilute with the hot water? The 17 Day Diet man also drinks it to kickstart metabolism.

Good luck! Sounds really interesting. Now I'm going to look up your diet. :>)

Christine said...

Carol, I love that idea. I will do it with lime and lemon slices. Great suggestion. I'm trying to beat past the hormones right now. Tomorrow is cheat day--burgers here I come!

Christine said...

Hi Anne: I experienced a similar problem when I first moved here from VA. I just didn't have the same things to keep me naturally active--sidewalks being the biggest missing item. I gained weight just by crossing the border LOL. I have been struggling to find my inner motivation for the diet/exercise because I had a health setback a couple of years ago that made my weight balloon. But I think I've got a handle on it. Now my goal is to get smaller, be toned, and to be healthy.

A pool might be just the thing for you!! I love the low impact exercise and the water is perfect for burning fat!!

You can do this--I'm cheering for you!


Christine said...

Hey Kieran, that is a great idea! I think I will mix the lemon with hot water. Another diet said to do that as well (not Atkins, but a similar one). And that's great that you're looking up the diet. I'm just following the basic diet plan. Some of his ideas are bit too wild for me.


Katherine Bone said...

Oh! I must use Kieran's idea of hot lemon water in the morning. Hope it works...

Christine, you're a beautiful woman, inside and out. What you've accomplished so far has given you a healthier lifestyle and a motivated spirit. Keep up the good work. Sometimes it's the changes inside that count the most. ;)