Friday, June 17, 2011

4 Hour Body Check In-Skinny for NYC Final Week PROS & CONS

Well I've been on this plan for about 3 months. I've had some successes and I feel good about the effort I made to lose some of my winter fluff. My stats haven't changed much since last week, and I'm still miffed about the extra inches around the bust line (argh), but I did manage to lose 1 inch off that area this week so I think it's because of my hormones/thyroid issues, not the plan. So now that the three months are up I am going to list the Pros and Cons of this plan.

*no counting calories
*wine allowed
*cheat day
*energy levels up

*expensive due to meat consumption
*miss my fruit
*a lot of cooking
*not easy to implement during travel or sickness

I had three hurdles to jump while on the plan: the tornadoes forcing us to leave our home and take refuge at a friend's house in Nashville, my seriously icky sinus infection, and travel. These three events did not make it easy to stick to the plan. Frankly, when one is driving 400 miles in a day, a burger IN A BUN is necessary. Also easier to eat!! And when one is sick, soup is nice, not beans. And when one is on the run from tornado fallout/debris, a friend's home cooking is a comfort and a blessing.

Despite the hurdles, I did manage to maintain my precious inch losses, but I feel that the diet didn't give me the results I wanted despite adding exercise into my lifestyle. That could be a function of the hurdles and my thyroid being pesky again.

Speaking of exercise. I did ZUMBA twice a week, worked out with Jillian Michaels Shred program, and I walked on a regular basis. I also tried some other BOOT CAMP classes, but to be honest, the instructor was a drill sergeant and when she had us do crab crawls across the Y's gym floor, I quit. I hated gym class when I was in high school. I don't have to do it as an adult.  ZUMBA is amazing. I love the workout and the people in my class. Jillian Michaels Shred workout is great, but I hurt my shoulder doing it so I quit that one. Yesterday, I went to the Y and got set up on the Link system of weight machines. I have a program set up and I am excited to incorporate it into my routine. The best part is that I can input all my workouts at the kiosk or online so I can incorporate stuff I do right when I am traveling. Woohoo!

My biggest problem right now is I'm sluggish and tired, feel frustrated about the bust line issue, and I have some other pesky thyroid symptoms which have me wondering if I am battling the bulge with a boulder on my back (the thyroid going whacko). Yesterday I went to the doctor's office and had my blood drawn so she can check my thyroid numbers, my B12 and Vitamin D numbers before I go to Nationals. I just want to be my best when I am there. I have a doctor appointment scheduled for July 21, but this thyroid thing is so sensitive to any changes that I felt it was important to troubleshoot it before I hit the road next week. I'm certain I need to adjust my medication.

I've had decent results with the 4 Hour Body and I think it is good for me in general, but I am modifying this diet in two ways:

1) Adding fruit and low fat Greek yogurt
2) I'm counting calories/being more flexible with carbs when I travel

I need fruit. I need to count calories because I think the nuts I can eat on this diet are too easy to eat and super fattening. I'm basically tweaking the diet and modifying it to be a mini-weight watcher's/high protein/calorie counting diet. Basically fresh fruits and veggies are 0 cals/points just like WW's plan. I'm emphasizing protein like meat, but I'm counting calories to hold myself accountable. I'm continuing with my workouts, whenever I am in town, and I'm double checking my hormones to make sure I'm not fighting an uphill battle. I'd like the score to be even.

One thing that I have learned is that my mindset is important. Yes, my body is changing and I don't have total control over the changes, but I can dress nicely and use healthy self-talk to encourage myself to continue doing my best to be my best. No. I'm not perfect and I don't have the body I lived in when I was in my twenties. But I feel good about myself at this age. There is a lot to be said for a healthy attitude. The goal here is to be strong and fit at any size. I can't change the effects of gravity and aging (unless I go under the knife which is NOT an option) completely, but I can be my best at this age and any age if I incorporate healthy habits.

So this is the end of the 4 Hour Body journey. Now I embark on a new way of living, eating, and being healthy. Next week I'll be traveling north to the DC/VA area with my Darling Teen. We're visiting with friends before I take the VAMOOSE bus line to NYC for the RWA National Conference. I can't wait to see everyone and to celebrate the wonderful successes of my friends. 

I'll blog sporadically, and I'll try to keep you all posted on my adventures. Meanwhile, I'd love to learn about your diet journey, what has worked and what hasn't and how you have adjusted your diets. Here's to a job well-done to all of us who have tried to make positive, healthy changes in our lifestyles!!



Paula said...

Weight Watchers recently shifted their plan to be more carb conscious and encourage more fruit, vegetable and protein intake.

I like it better like this, I think. Even though I do love my carbs...

Christine said...

Hi Paula: I have a friend who is doing the WW plan with the lower carbs. She is having success with the plan. I'm just doing my own thing based on what I already know about diets (I've been on so many that I've lost count!).

The biggest problem I have with a no/low carb diet is the COST. It's expensive to eat a lot of protein--I'm allergic to shellfish, too, which wipes out all canned fish products for me (a cheaper alternative). Plus, pasta isn't bad if eaten in moderation. It's also easy to prepare :-)

Callie James said...

Hey, Christine! Happy Friday!

I've done so many diets in the past I can't remember them all. The best one I've found is WW because it allows you to eat anything (you can actually work in a hot fudge sundae and stay within your points). Wine, too! But everything has to be reasonable. I think any time you deny yourself certain foods, you immediately change your mindset to "gotta have that." It's almost setting yourself up for failure. At least that's been my experience.

My latest discovery that both my husband and I love is a healthy smoothie each morning. A 16 oz. glass comes to 3.5 points for each of us (I counted the points). And it's wonderful and nutritious! Keep in mind, I don't like soy milk but you can't taste it in this drink and it's full of protein. Well worth it! Just blend the following in a blender for a minute.

1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup 100% orange juice
1/2 cup lowfat plain/vanilla yogurt
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries (whatever is on sale)
1-2 cups of cantaloupe (or other melon such as mango, honeydew, etc.)
4-5 ice cubes

Delish and keeps you full until lunch!

As for exercise, I'm on a strict guideline from my doctor right now to do no more than yoga. I'm all about the treadmill and can't wait to get back to it though!

Christine said...

Yum! Callie that smoothie recipe sounds awesome. I will try it!!

Thanks for sharing your journey with me. I think it's good to have the balance.


Gwen Hernandez said...

I'm glad you're finding what works for you. Fresh fruits are good for you, even with the carbs and extra calories.

I'm not a fan of high protein diets, but I am trying to increase my protein intake to 20-25%. I've found on the days I reach at least 20%, I'm a lot less hungry and less prone to pigging out. My biggest struggle is that I don't eat a lot of meat. I'm not vegetarian, I just don't regularly incorporate it into meals during the day, and have it with dinner only about half the time.

I often have something with chickpeas or beans for lunch, but switching to eggs in the morning has made a huge difference for me in terms of hunger control. And I always leave room for a small treat at the end of the day so I don't feel deprived. :-)

Kiru Taye said...

Hi Christine, it's always tough to get the right balance with some 'diets'. But I applaud your efforts. It'll be worth it.

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: I like eggs for breakfast. They keep me full for a very long time--even through a workout. I don't need a lot of carbs, but I enjoy the full grains and wild rice/dark carbs a lot. They fill me up. I love meat, but not as much as darling hubby. We're tweaking the system and seeing what will work for the summer!


Christine said...

Hi Kiru Taye: Thanks for your supportive and kind words. I am doing the best I can and that's all I can hope for right now.

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Susan May

Christine said...

Thanks Susan! I'm heading there now :-)