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New Year, New Resolutions + A Power Breakfast

Monday, September 24th, 2012

I’m not one of those mother’s who stands at their son’s bris, just 8 days after giving birth, looking like they’ve just run a marathon (I mean that in the skinny sense, not in the just-been-through-labor sense). I squeezed myself into control top pantyhose, and my feet were so swollen, I could not fit them into a single pair of shoes. I still remember sending my brother to Macy’s the night before the bris to get me a pair in the next size. Alas, they did not fit on my feet either, and there I stood, dressed in my finest, with Crocs on my feet. Thankfully, I decided to make a last ditch effort and try on a pair of short boots that I had, and with a little nudging, they made it.

My son is now nearly 2 years old, and the swelling has by far subsided. But I put on a lot of weight. Unfortunately, I belong to that small percentage of women who actually gain weight while nursing, and gain weight, I did. It also didn’t help that I started my blog sometime around then, so the pounds just piled on. Yet here I am, coming on my 2 year blogoversary, and I’m proud to say that I’ve lost it – 35 lbs. and counting! I am half of the dress size I once was, and I’ve never felt better!

It wasn’t easy, let me tell you. I’ve done this a few times before. In fact, I’ve done it after every baby. But as I get older, it gets harder, and the pounds become more and more stubborn. I may not be as thin as I was before I had my kids, but I’m more fit than ever, thanks to a strict exercise regimen. When I started out my weight loss journey (if you follow my blog, you may recall this post) I was so out of shape that I started physical therapy for the pain in my knees and ankles. I tried to start walking but I could barely get through one block before my knees buckled. All that extra weight on my petite frame was just too much for my body to take. I started off going to a personal trainer, who began our sessions with low impact exercise to minimize the strain on my knees and ankles. As time went on, she upped the ante, pushing me to my limit, and not allowing me to give up when the going got tough. I hated going to those sessions, I really did. I dreaded them like a high schooler dreads a math test, but I persevered and boy am I thankful to Esther (my trainer) for pushing me.

After a few months of personal training and dieting, I wanted to change up my routine so I began taking Pilates. The Pilates instructer actually taught me french for 3 years in high school. I had met her a few months before, but she could not seem to place me. I reminded her my maiden name, and some of the classmates I was with, but she just did not remember me. When I stepped into her Pilates class, quite a number of pounds less, she immediately realized who I was. I could not believe that I had gained so much weight that it rendered me unrecognizable. Of course it became our little joke, as she teased me for being the one to kickstart my weight loss.

Pilates was, and is, a lifeline for me. It’s low impact, so I can do it even after a long day, yet it’s rewards are so much greater than the effort it requires. Pilates has helped me strengthen my core, improve my posture, and gives me a sense of overall confidence. But being a low impact exercise, it wasn’t enough to keep up with my weight loss, so I joined a running group. My running instructor, Shaina Sara, uses the pose running method, which is extremely difficult at first. That first month of running was practically torture for me and I wanted nothing more than to back out of the group. But I’m no quitter, so I pushed myself and kept going at it. I’m still a work in progress, but I have come to enjoy every run, even while it taxes my body. Running makes me feel powerful and strong, and the endorphins it releases put me in the best mood.

Following my weight loss journey, my husband finally decided to join the diet bandwagon with his facebook “run for likes” campaign. The same husband who could not wake up for anything short of a fire, is now jumping out of bed at 6 AM to pound the pavement. His determination has inspired me to keep going, even as I get tired and lazy to go for my runs.

I am sharing my journey with you because I want all of you to know that it’s never too late to get healthy and fit. I’m a food blogger, no-one loves good food more than me. If I did it, you can to! Exercising has breathed new life into me. I used to feel tired and lethargic, unable to keep up with my kids. But now I’m full of energy and I feel so strong. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, or what size you are, you can always bump up your fitness routine and get on track to a healthier you. With the New Year upon us, I’m renewing my commitment to stay healthy and not fall back into my old ways. It’s so easy to revert back to our bad habits, but I’m going to push myself to continue to stay healthy and strong, and I hope you will too!

1 year ago: couscous with thyme & honey roasted carrots, parsnips and beets

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My Diet Journey

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

With the chagim behind us, and a few extra pounds later, it’s time for me to face the music. All that honey-sweetened food was as satisfying as it was delicious, but it wasn’t as friendly to my figure. Not to mention the extra pregnancy weight I’ve been carrying around (did I mention my baby is almost 1?)…And so the time has come for me to take the diet plunge.

I’ve been dieting ever since I can remember. Weight watchers, Somersizing, Atkins, The Blood Type Diet…I’ve tried them all. The good news is that I’ve learnt which diets work for me and my body type and I pretty much have it down to a science.

To jump start my weight loss, I do PHASE 1 of the South Beach Diet. This is no easy feat. For two whole weeks, one cannot eat any bread, oatmeal, pasta, rice, cereal, fruit, certain veggies, and some dairy. This phase of the diet is a sort of cleanse, where you eliminate cravings and stabilize your blood sugar.

After completing PHASE 1, where I typically lose about 10 pounds, I move onto a low glycemic diet (which is more or less Phase 2 of the South Beach diet, but I don’t follow it by the book). Without getting into too much detail, I basically only eat foods that have a low GI value (this is a value assigned to all foods that contain carbs to indicate how fast and how high that food can raise your blood sugar level). On this phase, I typically lose about 2 pounds per week. The last time I did this, I lost 40 lbs. This time, I have my sights set on 50.

If I hit a plateau and I don’t seem to be losing any more weight, I just do Phase 1 of the South Beach diet again to jumpstart my weight loss.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is my diet plan in a nutshell.

So. Being the generous spirit that I am (jk!), I thought I’d make you guys an offer to follow along with me. If you’ve got weight to lose and you’ve been pushing it off, join me on my diet journey! I’ll lay down the rules and provide the meal plans and recipes. All you have to do is follow along! Don’t worry, non-dieters, my blog will continue to feature delicious recipes that you can use too!

I’ve created the following pages to help guide you. There are also handy shortcuts under the BIB Diet Tips (just below the categories).

Getting Started
Phase 1 Rules
Phase 1 Menu
Phase 2 Rules

If you have any additional dieting tips or recipes that you’d like to share, feel free to post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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