Macro Tracking Month 1 Update and Discount for the NJ Perfect10Miler!

I’ve officially been tracking macros for over a month!  Time flies, guys.  Seriously, I am loving this new diet change.  I’ll detail it a little further in a second, but first here’s a recap of life and such.

Injury update:  Hi there, still injured.  My ankle had been feeling good and I was 100% stoked that things were seemingly moving forward, but these past couple of days have been a complete 180.  Womp womp.  New pain has started appearing higher up in my calf, so I have no idea what’s going on, but if it could stop, that’d be great.  That’s not stopping me from signing up for races though.  I’m teaming up with CGI Racing for ThePerfect10 10 Miler and I’m stoked.  I loved their Love Run and am excited to take on this more manageable challenge.  If you want a discount on your entry use my code:

PERFECT10STEPHANIEJ 

image

Life update: Things have been all kinds of go, go, go over here.  With the weather picking up, I’ve been enjoying having some friends over and taking Boo on epically long walks around the preserve.  It’s crazy how fast stuff is growing over here.  At least the rain is good for something.

Now to Macro World:

It’s no secret that I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with food.  In high school and at the beginning of college, I ate whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it and exercised occasionally, but didn’t think twice about what was going into my mouth for the most part.  By my sophomore year, I can’t say that mentality was the same.  I forwent food in favor of getting stuff done.  I can’t count the amount of times I grabbed something small for lunch in a cup and ran off to my room to practice or to work on school work.  The same could be said for dinner, which I usually had to eat at odd times because of my grueling rehearsal and class schedules.  There would even be times when I would have back to back classes that required me to eat a Velvetta instant mac and cheese while walking across campus at night.  Things were awesome and I was the epitome of health and wellness.

College ended and I ended up on my own for the first time truly in charge of my own meals.  No parents or servery to make me anything.  Just me and some shopping bags full of ingredients that I had no idea what to do with.  I lived on majority cereal for almost and entire year, I’d say.  That probably contributed heavily to some of my health issues, but who cares when you’ve got the sugary goodness of Special K Vanilla Almond (which will forever and always be my favorite cereal of all time) to keep you satiated.  I had a lot of eating disorder like tendencies at this time as well and went through some pretty extreme times at the end of college and the beginning of my adulting career.  Things just weren’t going well and I was wasting away to more or less nothing.  I started losing energy, hair, and friendships all over my lack of ability to maintain a healthy relationship with food.

Fast forward to moving up to New Jersey with my boyfriend.  My relationship with food became a lot healthier because I was forced to actually cook real meals for me and a real other person.  A person who didn’t feel like eating two bowls of cereal and calling it a meal.  He may have been on to something.  And he also starting teaching me about appropriately fueling following a workout.  I took this to heart and ate pretty much anything anytime I wanted, but I wasn’t really happy with my choices.  I felt very out of control and I never knew appropriate portions of food to eat.  I would have massive dinners and tiny breakfasts and I could never figure out why I was always so hungry by the end of the day and eating the pantry bare.

image

When I started tracking macros with a coach, a lightbulb went off in me.  There’s a happy balance between tracking too strictly and not fueling your workouts and going overboard.  I honestly don’t think I would have been able to find this balance on my own.  Here are the highlights I’ve experienced thus far:

  • Being able to go out to eat with friends and actually have fun.  I have gone out for drinks and meals a handful of times over this past month and I’m really proud of myself.  Going out to meals used to stress me out because I had no control.  Now, I make sure to try and plan out what I’m going to have the day before and leave a lot of wiggle room.  For instance, the other day I went out for my friend’s graduation dinner and I didn’t know what the plan was.  So, I tracked my normal meals a little lighter and left a lot of protein and fats for dinner, so when the menu came and it had chicken on it, I was set and good to go.  Plus, I even had macros for a couple of glasses of wine.  Win/win.
  • I am waking up feeling awesome.  I no longer feel over-stuffed or underfed when I wake up or go to sleep and it is an A+ feeling.  I feel healthy.
  • My workouts are showing off.  Finally.  I’ve been working out for years, but I have never felt as defined as I do now.  It’s nice to see your hard work paying off.
  • I no longer have “fear foods”.  If I want something, I’ll eat it and work around it later.  I used to not allow peanut butter in the house and now I eat 2+ servings on the daily.

I also want to be very clear, this is not a weight loss method for me.  I am already a small girl, I just want two things: to be happy with the body that I work so hard for and to have a healthy relationship with food.  So far, I am moving very nicely towards these goals and I couldn’t be happier.

image

I’m sure you’re wondering if there have been any downsides thus far?  The answer: Of course.  Starting out was really hard.  I had a hard time grasping that balance.  There were somedays when I didn’t space out my meals appropriately and I was starving by the time I went to bed.  There were other times where I just snacked incessantly on top of my macros for no reason at all.  And there have even been a couple days when I’ve just said, Nope, not today and declared a cheat meal.  But I know that when I get back on track the next day, I’m solid.  I’ve got a good foundation and I’m seeing progress that I’ve wanted for so long.  I’ll continue to provide macro updates as this journey continues, but so far I’m pretty proud of myself and actually happy with my nutrition for the first time in a long time.

-sj

the sweatiest full-body circuit I’ve ever done and some exciting news!

Wow.  What hasn’t happened since my last post?  It hasn’t even been a week and I’ve been all over the place and then some.  So let’s start it off with some awesome news.  As of Wednesday, I’m officially a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!!

This is something I really wanted to do for myself.  I have loved working out for years, but I knew if I wanted to get serious, I needed to get smart about it.  People had been coming to me time and time again for advice and I decided if I wanted to give advice, I needed to give smart, well-informed advice.  So I did some research and found the NASM program which is one of the most accredited in the biz.  (You can read more about my decision to do the NASM exam here)  The test was not as easy as I expected to be honest (I mean there was 700 pages of material to cover), but I am elated that I passed.  Almost as elated as this nugget who tried to eat the paper that said I passed:

image6

So what’s the first thing I did when I got my certification?  Hop on the plane and head down to Houston.  I went to college there and lived there for over 5 years, so it has a special place in my heart.  There was an alumni event this weekend and, as always, it was the perfect time getting together with some of my favorite people.

I took Friday off from work and enjoyed some girl time which included hitting the gym with one of my friends who dared to try one of my circuit workouts.  This one left us absolutely drenched in sweat.  45 seconds doing the moves and then we spent 15 seconds doing either jumping jacks, high knees, or resting.  Believe me, by the second time through of the last circuit we were resting more than I care to admit, but boy was my heart rate up there.  Try this one out:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 9.43.00 AM

The workout was a perfect way to prep for the next day which was full of fun, food, drinks, and a lot of walking around.  The Houston sun was a perfect accompaniment to good times with friends.  Good thing it was my rest day though because my legs were shot from an almost 30 mile running week and some pretty killer extra workouts.image3

Want to know the best way to recover from hanging out with friends and eating and drinking all day?  Hop on a plane and head home for some sports.  My parents had let me know that they had tickets to the Blackhawks game on Sunday night and the Bulls game on Monday and that was just something I couldn’t pass up.  I’m a huge Chicago sports fan and wasn’t missing this.

image1
So happy to be able to spend some time with my awesome parents.  Please note that is not the face my dad had when we ran before the game.
image2
just a picture of my future husband/one true love Jonathon Toews

The only issue with all this traveling and friend time?  It was hard to schedule my workouts in.  But, you know what, I got them all done.  Whether it was awesome friends offering to workout with me or my dad getting a kick out of the workout plan I wrote for him, I did it.

Pre-hockey game was a 6 mile run and some weights.  I took over 27,000 steps on Sunday between walking around the airport, working out, and stepping around the United Center.  I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my workout schedule and sweating it out.  For anyone who thinks that they don’t have time to workout, you do have time if you make time.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to workout and odd hours just to make sure I got it done.  It could be 5am.  It could be my lunch break.  It could even be after dinner.  I do it because it makes me feel good and I NEVER regret a workout.  If you make it a priority, you’ll get it schedule.  If you don’t, it won’t.  It’s that simple.

-sj