SUMMER SHRED

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Happy Tuesday! How are you guys feeling? No really, how do you feel? I’m feeling pretty dang good, not to brag or anything. :) Since the first of the month, unofficially since last Monday, I’ve been participating in my friend Bobbi‘s Summer Shred 2013. It’s a month-long challenge to eat clean and workout. So far I’m absolutely loving it and while I don’t typically write about health or fitness here — heck, my about me page lists wine, ice cream and cheese puffs as favorite things — I wanted to let you guys know about it and track my progress in the beginning, middle and end of it.

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Why did I participate?

To examine my diet: I know that my friends and coworkers say things to the effect of “but you’re already thin, you don’t have to worry about dieting.” (Sidenote: isn’t it interesting how polarizing food choices can be?) First, yes I am thin and eat fairly well. I also have genes to thank for that. While there’s the whole idea of “skinny fat” (basically, over indexing on body fat vs. muscle despite total weight), I really just have to wonder: Am I really being healthy? I have always been the person to tout “everything in moderation” and claim to maintain a fairly healthy diet. While my diet has improved over the last few years, I never actually thought let alone kept track of my diet to know if it was “moderate” or not. These last few months I found myself feeling especially sluggish and tired all the time, plus my skin has been revolting against me in the worst way out of nowhere. The Summer Shred is an experiment to see if refining my diet would help, but also to see if I enjoyed eating this way enough to sustain a lifestyle change. Outside of diet, I’m also trying to get more than six hours of sleep. I hear that might help. ;)

To get fit … again: Besides a couple random seasons of soccer as a child and a brief stint in 8th grade volleyball, I ran cross country and track competitively from high school through my first two years of college. While I wasn’t particularly great and didn’t exactly enjoy it, I was clocking in at least 50 miles per week. No one that I ran with really tracked their heart rate or really even timed their runs. Or at least I sure as heck didn’t. I was always thinking “is this run over yet?” And the thing with running is, there really isn’t an “off season” so it felt like training ruled my life, even down to showers and meal times. My diet was bad (“I can eat whatever I want!”) and I never tracked my intake or output. Yet, I loved being in shape, feeling strong and having an outlet for my competitive nature.

I then dabbled in ultimate frisbee, with pickup up games once or twice a week and some weekend tournaments here and there. My first serious season was in 2010 where our workouts and training were intense and I was in good shape. Funnily enough, I didn’t realize how good of shape I was in until the season was over and I completely stopped exercising. Jillian and I would hike once a week for the first half of 2012, but then we discovered Downton Abbey. :)

Now here we are, it’s been a little over two years of no exercise. I miss how good it feels to be in shape, how well my clothes fit and how strong my lungs were. My asthmatic self now huffs, puffs and wheezes going up and down stairs. It’s pitiful, really.

So am I trying to lose weight? Not really, but like anyone else, I wouldn’t mind going back to my “feel good weight.” I want to add strength to my muscles and my lungs. I want to have energy and challenge myself.

So how has it been going? I’ve eliminated refined sugars and only eat natural sugars (from fruit or honey) in limited amounts. I’ve eliminated white flour and limiting my whole grain intake. Another change would be having something for breakfast and smart snacking. I’m tracking my diet and fitness goals with My Fitness Pal and that has been an eye opening experience. I’ve always understood food to be fuel and have paid attention to labels, but it never clicked until I tracked it all in one place. The best part is the Shred Facebook group of girls who are encouraging and sharing a bunch of tips. It’s also fun to see Bobbi doing what’s she loves – she’s a great trainer and motivator!

I’ll report back in a little while to track my progress and maybe share some tried and true recipes. If you think you would want to join in for the next Shred, Bobbi just announced she’s doing one in June as well!

Wish me luck!

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8 Thoughts on “SUMMER SHRED

  1. Sounds awesome!

    I recently started using My Fitness Pal – apparently, being a happy newlywed is not always so kind to the thighs. I totally relate with you on how eye-opening it is… I always claim that I don’t have a sweet tooth, but it’s been so interesting to see how much sugar I consume via sauces or dressings, etc.

    Keep up the good work! And please share any tips you have – these literal love handles have got to go!

    • LOL you crack me up. Sugar is in everything! Bobbi has us doing some circuit workouts and weights. The workouts are tough, but they can be as short as 20 minutes if you want and can be done from home. It’s only $30 and comes with meal plans, daily workouts and support. She also has a bunch of workouts on her website that you can try. For recipes, right now I’m digging tacos with lettuce for shells, yogurt with protein powder mixed in topped with berries and a touch of granola, and tonight I’m trying vegan chili over baked sweet potatoes topped with avocado.

  2. Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet on May 7, 2013 at 9:07 am said:

    Good for you! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    Also, we should probably restart those Saturday morning hikes. I need the exercise and I’m finally getting back to my “normal” energy level. Unless of course we find another show to obsess over ;-)

  3. HeatherHomefaker on May 7, 2013 at 10:20 am said:

    Sometimes I think about cutting out refined sugars but then my brain is all LATTES COOKIES ICE CREAM CHOCOLATE and then I don’t. I do try to use honey or agave nectar instead of white sugar when I’m baking, though.

  4. Great work! I switched over to a clean eating lifestyle last year and haven’t looked back. Of course, there’s the occasional deviation and I still like wine, but a lot junk I was putting into my body on a regular basis are completely cut out. No more sandwiches at lunch, more salads and roasted veggies. Happy to hear that you’re loving the program. I recently got all up into running (http://leanerbythelake.com/pounding-the-pavement/) and have been so loving the combo of clean eating + exercising. It’s a power combo!

  5. Megan on May 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm said:

    Yay! I’m doing it for better eating habits and feeling better as well. I also miss feeling “good” and fit. I think this will give us a better appreciation for sweets as treats, not staples. And I find myself craving the good stuff. What??

    Also, try making cashew cookie butter. http://running-upward.blogspot.com/2012/03/cake-batter-cashew-butter.html Sooo good on celery and apples!

  6. TryingToHeal on May 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm said:

    I’m so glad to hear the Shred is going well for you! I wish I could have done it with all of you great ladies but the move and starting my new job was too much all at once! Maybe I’ll do the one she is going to start in June! Congrats on starting the Shred and I can’t wait to hear about your results!

I love hearing from you!

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