As a mom and business owner, I am constantly juggling. Juggling 2 schools, one business, playdates, extracurricular activities, socializing, many religious holidays, my parents in my in-law unit, my marriage and myself. The constancy with which all of these responsibilities weigh down on me after a pandemic is very real. Weekends without kids are quite different from weekends with kids and Monday mornings are often a respite from the long weekend of parenting. On top of all of this, my body is my business card and it must look fit. Well, I want it to look fit. And it does, but not how I envision it to be.
I’ve been working in the fitness industry for over 11 years in NYC and the SF Bay Area and my body has had 2 babies since then. Nurturing my body is the greatest kindness I can do for myself, yet this becomes the last in all of the aforementioned priorities. (And mom guilt doesn’t help).
During the pandemic I decided that I needed to continue to workout (as did our members) so I took and taught 4 virtual workouts per week. These workouts kept me sane, inspired, connected to familiar faces (or names on the screen), was a chance to get away from my house and they kept me fit. However, by summer of 2021 I was burned out with the schedule. After stopping those classes and having no consistent childcare, I gained about 5 lbs because I wasn’t watching what I was eating and I was working out less. I also typically put on a few winter pounds and then focus in the springtime to lose them. So when I decided to take the next step in achieving my fitness goals by offering a Fall Nutrition series, I did it for others almost as much as for myself.
LOGGING YOUR FOOD
The program I lost weight with for my wedding, and after the labor of my two kids works well, but it isn’t easy. Logging my food on myfitnesspal used to be cumbersome. This time around it feels like a blessing.
This is the most time in years that I have spent on bettering myself in one day and it FEELS AMAZING! I forgot how calming discipline feels for me. After so much chaos for the past year and a half I crave the structure of eating healthy, checking my calories burned and consumed and hitting my daily 500 calorie deficit with eagerness. It’s the first time in YEARS that I have focused this much on myself.
I never imagined that I would enjoy logging my food because most people HATE logging their food. However, after such an unstable year and a half, don’t we all want answers that legitimately help us? This program gives me answers! I never had an eating disorder, but since it is so prevalent, I know that logging food isn’t for everyone. However, I am surprised by the order it brings to my brain. I am on a 5 week plan to lose 5 lbs. I’m 4 days in and am EXCITED! Follow my journey on Instagram @mindyblike
“In Latin, gluten literally means ‘glue’ and that’s exactly what it is: two proteins, gliadin and glutenin, stuck together.” Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, which means it is in a myriad of products, from the usual suspects like bread and bagels to those that are not nearly so obvious.” (Allergic Living).
So when I’m on day 6 and my intestines finally start to empty out (I can tell) I remember that gluten acts as glue in my digestive system, causing blockage and bloating. I FEEL better. I feel lighter, I feel happier. I’m proud of myself which helps my self-esteem. The limiting of gluten cleanses my insides so that my body is functioning on a more optimal level. Eating mostly whole foods and omitting bread products makes all the difference in clearing out the system so that the metabolism of how your body uses energy for food is uplifted.
STRESS & EXERCISE
The body will not release fat cells if it is too stressed. This can be stress from work, parenting, emotional stress, overtraining, not eating enough, overeating, being hungover, getting sick etc. I just bought a new Fitbit and started wearing it. Since I know that the body does not release fat cells during stress, I took a second look at the fact that my fitbit wanted to let me know each time that I was in the “Fat Burn Zone”. The fat burn zone is when your heart rate is up, but not too high. It is a steady, sustainable usage of energy to burn calories vs the “Cardio Zone”. I think about the cardio zone as when your heart rate is so high that you start to mentally panic. It makes sense then, that when people push themselves too hard on a cardio machine it might not produce the desired results of weight loss. If you go to an extreme of either overtraining vs no exercise, you probably won’t lose weight. Balance is often the biggest challenge.
To effectively lose weight, you need to be in it to win it. As in, 100% in. As in, ready to do whatever it takes (as long as it is healthy). Giving this goal only 85% of your effort will not get you there. You want to think about weight loss as a weekly endeavor. Each meal, each day and each pound needs to be honored and prioritized. People will often start a weight loss program and be frustrated that the weight loss is too slow. Patience of self is also a challenge. If you are on a meal plan that isn’t stressful, it should be sustainable and allow you to get to your desired weight by losing one pound per week. Being hungry is not the way to go.
Since each pound of fat contains 3500 calories, if you have a daily deficit of 500 calories per day (and since there are 7 days in a week) you will likely lose one pound that week. If you have a deficit higher than 500 your body mightl be stressed out and may not release fat cells. Again, this falls into the category of not stressing your body out because if your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it WILL NOT LET GO OF FAT CELLS. However, not all calories are created equal. You want to focus on consuming a protein, green food and a complex carb in each meal.
TOO MANY CARBS IN ONE MEAL
Your body can only deal with so many carbohydrates in one meal. Since we store glucose (carbs turn into glucose in the body) in the liver and skeletal muscles (Frontiers In Physiology, 2011) it is pertinent to weight loss that you not eat too many carbohydrate foods at once. When glucose enters into your body it is first stored as glycogen for safekeeping against starvation (survival). Your body will continue to store the glycogen as you eat carbs, but once the storage is full, your body will take any incoming carbohydrates and save them as fat. This is why eating carbs right before bedtime (when you will not burn those calories) is not conducive to weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight make sure there is only one starch on your plate such as half a baked potato or ½ cup of cooked brown rice or ½ cup cooked farro. If you go out to eat and want to drink wine, make that the carb you are consuming and omit all others such as pasta, bread, dessert. It’s a balancing act.
Balance is hard when you are juggling, but if your pursuits are based on positivity, compassion and data, you will be more likely to achieve your goals.