1st Injury and Recovery

Ok. So technically I wasn’t injured doing Crossfit, but I was injured doing a HIIT class at the Crossfit box. I sprained my ankle, mildly, but it got me thinking about what is important in my life. I wasn’t able to teach my dance class on Saturday because I have pain when I put my full weight on my foot. It’s improving with each day and I will be back to 100% by next Saturday.  I fell so deep into the Crossfit and gym buddy culture and mindset, that it’s nice to get a little reprieve, a break from working out. I have been going there  3-5 times per week, and at times taking 2 classes back to back. It was bound to happen.

I got injured in a class that is taught by a coach that isn’t my favorite. Coaches have different personalities and motivation strategies, but this one seems to think that if you say you can’t do it or are struggling, you just aren’t pushing yourself enough. Which is ironic because I usually am out of breath in his class, which is 100% plyometrics, ladder drills and sprints. Plus I paid $225 per month to be there and am taking 7-8 classes per week, believe me I’m trying.

They also all assume that you are trying to get in shape for “the summer” when I’m just trying to get in shape for life. They don’t know that I’ve lost 44lbs so far, so yes I am one of the largest folks in there at a size 14, but I’ve come a distance. Some also don’t pay attention to limitations. But in the end, if you get injured, it’s your fault. Even though folks are screaming at you to go harder, you are supposed to ignore it or tell them that you are having pain. So with that realization…… I’m going to start running my own race and paying attention to what I can and can’t do. I also will only listen to the trainers that I trust. Some trainers see when you are having difficulty and tell you to modify, others tell you to push harder. I’m going to stick to the former teachers from now on.

Can we also talk about peer pressure and gym buddies for a minute? In my previous post, I said you are who you hang out with, BUT if your gym buddy wants to work out 6 days per week, you have to just say no if your body can’t handle it. I’m going back to 4 days a week (S,M,W,TH) and my gym buddies can go together on the days that I can’t.

I started the post saying that I know what is most important now and it’s not working out at the Crossfit gym, it’s my dance class. They were unable to find a substitute for my dance class on Saturday, so due to my decision to take a HIIT class, they were teacherless. The site manager sent me a pic of the ladies dancing to a video of me that one of them recorded in order to practice at home. I am making a difference in these women’s lives, I feel it, and I don’t want to spoil that trying to do suicides sprints and box jumps. This internship, which is over in maybe 3 months, is the top priority for me now and I really need to take care of my body and add more rest to the mix. So I made a new rule, no more HIIT training on Fridays at all so I can be 100% on Saturday.

If I feel OK for the rest of the day, I will return to “the box” tomorrow morning, then rest on Tuesday and then do a double on Wednesday. If my gym buddy says anything, I will just tell her to kick rocks… in the sweetest way possible.

Quick Update

  • I’m still doing Crossfit and still loving it. I haven’t been brave enough to snap a pic inside the box aka gym yet, but I will one day.
  • Since my blog is called “Getting Fit With Vic”, I’m going to start posting my stats, weighing in weekly, so people can see that I am actually losing weight. I’m also going to post more frequently and have more topic related posts.
  • This Sunday I am signed up for a Zumba certification! After that, I need to get CPR certified and then it’s on. A real side job.
  • I’ve starting having a daily juice. I saw part of the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and it really inspired me to reevaluate what I put into my body. I deal with arthritis, which is inflammation, and it would be amazing if all of my pain went away by diet change. So many foods that I eat cause inflammation, like coffee, wheat, alcohol, processed food… I don’t do as well as I could and I was watching an interview today and the guest said something interesting. She said that they want to make sure that you aren’t removing processed meat food and replacing it with processed vegan food. I NEED to focus on being more plant based and eat more veggies. And eventually focusing on organic. I know my pain will go away and my skin will clear up. But how to eliminate coffee… HOW???
  • Not health related, but I joined Match.com

I’m feeling positive, but restless. I have a lot going on, but feel like not really. I’m doing Crossfit now 5 times per week before work and I am managing it. I get enough sleep and am trying to incorporate meditation and affirmations. I am still teaching cardio dance on Saturdays and someone actually told me that they look forward to Saturdays. I love it and have to believe that everything happens for a reason in life. I need to have patience.

 

Crossfit

I gained some weight over the holidays due to excessive eating and drinking. I went back to eating better but the weight wasn’t falling like it was before. At 5’3 I have found that the best way for me to lose weight consistently is to exercise but I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I was instagram and came across this ad for a 6 week crossfit challenge at a gym that was close to my job. So I signed up.

I wanted to be somewhere for 6 weeks in order to get back into the exercise schedule. Even though I want to lose weight, I lack discipline and I often make excuses so this felt like a good solution. And boy was it a solution. Crossfit is the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered in regards to exercise. Has anyone tried it? They focus on functional exercises where you are lifting your body weight, kettlebells and barbells. It’s tough. Mondays workout involved 4 rounds of running 400 km, 10 deadlifts and burpees until time. And it was 30 degrees outside. Studies show that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. But all the muscle in the world can’t counter a bad diet. I like crossfit because of the community aspect. I already made a friend and everyone that is a newbie like me is always in shock of the next f*ed up thing they are going to have us do. My goal is to make 1-2 more friends and exchange numbers.

After this challenge is done I think I might actually buy some classes from this gym. I like being challenged and I need to lose more weight. I’m going to set up an appointment to see a nutritionist again because if I’m going to be exercising, I want to make sure that I’m eating as clean as possible and getting proper nutrients on this plant based meal plan. I know that I will lose weight quickly if I:

  • exercise consistently
  • drink 8+cups of water per day
  • sleep 7+hours per night
  • limit processed foods and sugar
  • cut off alcohol

If I plan on reaching my goal weight in 6 months, I need to follow these steps. I plan to do a post on discipline in the near future. A lot of the advice is usually “just do it”, use the 5 second rule, or live like the person that you want to be.

 

Vegan Weight Loss and Smoothie Recipe

I’m back with a food prep blog. I went to the gym this morning and went hard. A little too hard and have some tightness in my back, either from a deadlift or clean/press. I work for a back doctor, so I know what is going on and tomorrow will be a rest day for sure. Which is great because I need to start goal setting for next year and figuring out what is next in life. Here is the gym pic…

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Too many weights…

Now I am not a perfect person, but one thing I have perfected, is my breakfast. It is easy to get overwhelmed by choices (and  sugar) so I try to have the same thing everyday. I really do and people think it’s weird, but SO many specialists recommend automating 1-2 meals per day for weight loss because it makes life a little easier. For breakfast, I make a simple smoothie.  Since I am in the process of losing weight, I try to intuitively keep my calories down, without actually counting calories.

For instance, my morning smoothie could easily become a calorie bomb. When I started plant-based eating, I would have 2-3 bananas, 4-6 dates and a cup of berries in my smoothie and believe me, it was DELICIOUS. As someone who loves sweets, dates and bananas are a godsend and as someone that loves caffeine, I was bouncing off the walls from the sugar rush. However, after I met with a nutritionist, I realized it was too much sugar and too many unnecessary calories. When you are trying to lose weight, every calorie counts, even as a vegan.

There is a great article in this month’s Women’s Health magazine titled, “Losing Their Veganity”. Many women become vegan to lose weight yet they end up gaining weight so return to eating meat. One nutritionist quoted in the article said that one of her clients was consuming a smoothie bowl for breakfast that was 700 calories after the calculations. Some of us, myself included, follow these folks that are eating 4-5 bananas in a smoothie, but we go to sedentary jobs while they run and bike all over the city. It doesn’t matter if you are eating meat or not, calories count and do not let anyone fool you. If you are gaining weight, you might want to count for a few days or see a nutritionist. And here is my breakfast smoothie!

Vee’s Breakfast Smoothie -~300 cals*

  • 1.5 cups lemon water (3-10 calories depending on where you look. I just juice a lemon and put it in a mason jar and keep adding filtered water so it maintains its lemony goodness. Discard the lemon at the end of the week.)
  • 1 large banana (120 cals, less if smaller)
  • 2 cups kale (66 cals)
  • ~1 cup mixed berries (70+ cals)

*The lemon water cuts the kale’s bitterness and makes it so I don’t need almond milk, peanut butter or any other calorie additive. I usually have an apple as a snack mid morning and am ready to go for lunch at 12pm. My lunch and dinners are usually substantial (rice bowls or pasta) so saving 200 cals in breakfast helps a lot because I sit most of the day. If your job is more active, you could add chia seeds, peanut butter, or even omit the lemon water and use a milk substitute.

I prepare the bags on the weekend. I take one out the night before and put it in the fridge that way it defrosts a little. (I find if I blend straight from freezing, the kale doesn’t blend all the way through). You can change up the berries or the fruit for variety (I added peaches and nectarines in the summer). You can even change up the greens. When I get bored of this, I have some oatmeal for a few days and return to this. Try it!

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Lemon Water
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Packing the bags
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Storing it in the freezer

Lunch Food Prep

I try to keep my food prep as simple as possible. I used to do intricate meals for lunch and dinner and automate my breakfast, but now I just focus on making dinner delicious. According to THE Dr Oz, we should automate as many meals as possible if we are trying to lose weight. That is the entire point of food prep, however so many people that I meet can’t imagine eating the same meal 2 days in a row. I was never like that thankfully, but the quality of my meals have improved from blueberry muffins and bagels daily to kale smoothies.

Lunch

My kitchen is small. Did I say small. It’s tiny, but I will take it since it’s my first solo space. To start my prep, I separate a large can of beans into 5 small containers. Then I divide a tomato, avocado, cucumber and red pepper, I add 1 Tsp of balsamic vinegar and 2 TBSP of Hummus. In the evening, or morning if I am too lazy the night before, I clean about 3 cups of lettuce and throw one of these bowls on top. That is it!

It is a super easy way to stay healthy during the week, you can change the ingredients to whatever you prefer or is local to you, and you can save a lot of money from not ordering takeout at lunch because salads can be really expensive . To make it special, you can throw a TBSP of dried cranberries or candied walnuts and be in salad heaven. I used to add half an avocado to my salads, but now that it’s $3 for one, I just divide it up. I might add some olives next week for some added healthy fat.

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is safe and is in good spirits. It’s hard to stay positive all the time with the state of the world and with challenges, but all we ever really have is this moment. Stay healthy!

Instagram Food Pics?

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I think this is a great idea for weight loss, lifestyle changes and diet improvements. I’m just not sure how my current followers would feel about seeing my food pics all the time. My sister started a second Instagram which has a lot of followers, but some of them are from her main Instagram. When you create a second Instagram account using the same app, your new account is suggested to the followers of your old account. But thinking about it now, I guess there really isn’t anything wrong with it. My weight loss and fitness instructor journey is kind of a side project. I have been a secretive person in regards to my goals and what I do in my spare time, and no I’m not a drug dealer. I’m finding that even as I discuss my veganism with coworkers, I am becoming more articulate and my soundbites are becoming clear and have actual facts. In addition, discussing my goals will give me more accountability because people might ask  how things are going.

Speaking of which… My gym membership is $69.99 per month. I am setting a goal of 4 times per week or else I am cancelling the membership. I have another membership that I had to sign up for (6 months for $75!) in order to do my instructor training, so if I’m unable to follow my schedule, I’m canceling the pricey by the end of October.

Diving in

Hello and welcome to my blog!!! My name is Vic and I am an aspiring health coach and wellness blogger. I am “Transitioning to Wellness” and a wellness career and I plan to chronicle the journey with this blog!!

Why do this? After years of thinking, planning, starting and stopping, I decided to jump in. I am a 33 year old medical office manager with no background in wellness other than an extreme desire to reach my goal weight and have a career in fitness and health promotion. There may be others out there that also are in the process of losing weight, have lost weight or want to lose weight and see themselves going into the health and wellness industry. Perhaps reading this blog will inspire them to do so. I will post all of the successes and trials. Once my health career becomes established I plan to transfer to a coaching blog. I want to help as many people as possible lose weight! That is my mission in life and it has already started.

I’ve lost 20 pounds this year, so far, by switching to a plant based diet and by going to the gym. My coworkers have definitely noticed and I’m starting to share my health and wellness tips. We are actually going to start a vegan Monday initiative in the office in order to move people away from meat. Once people start seeing success, they want to know what you are doing and they will follow. So one of the greatest tools to help me become a successful health coach in the future will be my before and after pics.

Who am I? As I previously mentioned, I work in an office and it’s a sedentary job. I have been overweight/obese for most of my life. Those are just the facts and I have never hid from it, although sometimes it’s hard to actually see the weight gain until I catch my reflection in a glass or see a picture and I’m unrecognizable. I have been flirting with veganism for awhile and in January 2017, I decided to go cold turkey.  I started the Starch Solution which is a high carb, low fat eating plan. That was going well but I still saw a nutritionist and she has been lowering my sugar intake. (You should have seen her face when I told her about my breakfast smoothie which included 2 bananas and 3 dates)! If you ever have the opportunity to see a nutritionist, you should definitely do so. Since I have been basically dieting since I started reading Self magazine at 12 years old, I am an encyclopedia of dieting info, which often conflicts. At my first visit, she looked at me and said nicely “it seems like you are simultaneously following multiple plans”. Shady, but she got me in check. 

What do I plan to do career wise? That is still in the development phase. I work full time so I am devoting my spare time to this. I am in school part-time getting a public health certificate and the program ends in December. My city’s parks department runs a fitness instructor training and my application was accepted so by spring I will be a certified instructor once I successfully complete the program and six month internship. From there we shall see what organically forms. I know I will be busy in the upcoming months doing research on health coaching, school, this blog and continuing to lose weight but this is what I want to do and it’s what I’m truly passionate about. I know that I want to motivate people to lose weight and reach optimum health by switching to veganism. And I plan to be Exhibit A.

So that is it for now! Follow this blog if you want to see my weight loss , my vegan meals and my career progress.

PEACE!

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