There’s No Goal Without a Plan

Wow, its been a hot minute since we’ve last talked, huh? Its just been crazy over here in the world of Mia Bella Lotta, speaking to my personal life. We finally made the big move that Kevin and I had aways talked about doing. We sold our place in the Dogpatch, San Francisco and headed as far west as we could. We are officially residents of Half Moon Bay, CA. I’ve gotta say, its quite lovely. Words like “lovely” are words I use now that I am part of the “Coast People.” I traded walks dodging needles and homeless people for views of the ocean! Movin’ on up!

I want to apologize for leaving you hanging the last month or so, but now you know what I’ve been up to. As much as I’d rather have been sitting around eating cupcakes and losing weight from using my TV remote hand too much, that was not the case. If you still require a visual for a clear picture of me from the last month or so, and I don’t want to leave anyone behind, I’ve been behind a mountain of boxes trying to figure out which one has all my sports bras. Literally just running around in circles building forts out of boxes.

So where did we leave off? Oh yeah, I was pretty much a Stage 7 Vegetarian, meaning I could not and would not eat anything that casts a shadow. OK, maybe that was dramatic, but its how I felt inside and feelings are important to recognize. In reality, I was coming down from the world’s worst food hangover after having completed my first round of the Whole30 followed by a long weekend in NOLA. No, you don’t have to re-read that sentence. I did say first which implies that I completed multiple rounds of the Whole30. I did. I completed the Whole30 TWICE. The first time I lost about 10LBs. The second time, after NOLA and a little bit of a relapse, I lost about 4LBs. This brought my grand total down just under 12LBs. Don’t worry about my math, and lets not focus on what I did in between. Nothing to see there.

That is what has lead me to today, because as the ol’ saying goes, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” I can say, with all honesty, that the Whole30 was a huge success and a great foundation laid for me, but I still have a little under 6 months until the big day. Now its time to figure out how to live a life as close to the Whole30 without burning out. Lets get real… its not a sustainable lifestyle, and remember I am looking for a LIFESTYLE and not a DIET. So how can I turn what I’ve learned from the Whole30 into something sustainable? This is where trial and error comes in.

First, I want to point out a few thing I liked about the Whole30. I guess we can so say the most important thing is that I actually saw and felt weight loss. That was the big win. Another big win, and most people may not know this, but I have had eczema since I was a baby. Its something that plagues my family. Through the years I have learned that a cause of my eczema may be a side effect of the foods I eat (like dairy). I always brushed that fact aside because “mine is hereditary” (real quote from me to anyone who mentioned my diet being a cause). As a result, I have been using a steroid cream where my eczema was the worst, around my eyes. Yep, I’ve put a steroid around my eyes every day since I was in 6th grade. I worshipped this cream like it was my Windex. It could fix anything. Random rash? Try my cream. Burn? Try my cream. Blemish? Try my cream. Broken tail pipe? Try my cream. You get the picture. You know what a steroid in the eye can cause? Glaucoma. Yep. So while its healing that rash, its slowly *maybe* causing me to go blind or, if not blind, make me look like my 15 year old dog, Audrey, with cloudy eyes. As you may have guessed I am a little vain, so that is not a choice I’m willing to make. I also realized that as I grow up my eczema traveled to different places on my body, never actually finding a permanent home. So there was a good chance that my body’s need for the cream around my eyes could be because of an addiction to the steroid on the skin around my eyes. Steroids can do a number on your body, including making mine a good candidate to hang out in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. I knew if I had any chance of getting my skin to kick this steroid habit it would be when my body was running at its cleanest. I can happily say that I am now FOUR WEEKS sans steroid cream. In the past, I’ve never been able to make it a week without it. Amen.

Last, and I will deny it if you tell people this at public functions, I liked not waking up hungover. Not that I drank that much before, but even taking that one more day a week off of the table made me feel like a million bucks. I walked into work on Monday with less of the Monday Blues. It felt dang good. Of course, as I said in the past, I missed a good dirty martini so this feeling was short lived, but at least I can sustain from over-drinking easier.

Now lets talk about the things I didn’t like about the diet. First and foremost, how strict it is. There are no small “cheats” and it turned me into the person I hate to be at restaurants, “excuse me but what ingredients are in this steak tartar?” or “do you add sugar to your mayonnaise?” It took us what seemed like hours to order a simple salad with all my questions. I hate being that person. I make fun of those people. Besides that there wasn’t really anything else I didn’t like about it- besides not being able to eat ice cream cake, or ice cream, or cake.

So that leads me to my plan, or my “working” plan. How can I use the elements I liked and fix the ones I hate in order to get me through at least the next 6 months?

Rule #1: On School Nights, Paleo. What is Paleo? Its Whole30 without being so strict. So no alcohol, sugar, dairy, carbs, or legumes on school nights. If I happen to have a bunless burger with ketchup with added sugar, so be it. If thats the worst thing on my plate I’d say I’m winning.

Rule #2: Weekends 80/20. This is where my trial and error comes in. I need to figure out what 80/20 looks like to me. I can’t count past 10 with my shoes on, so making me do actual math between meals and ratios would be a pure disaster. For now, I am walking the fine line between the right amount of carbs and balls deep in carbs like a tightrope artist. I’ll let you know when I come to a solution.

Rule #3: Workouts *at least* 4 days a week. This rule will not be hard for me to follow. I am addicted to getting a workout in. Our new community has a pool, and I can’t wait to jump in and start swimming laps again!

Rule #4: Lots of water! My body has come to the point that if I don’t have at least 60Oz of water by 3pm my lips get dry. Chalk this up to another rule I’ll ace.

Rule #5: Intermittent Fasting. Before, one week I would fast for 12 hours between my dinner and next meal, then the next week I would make it 14 hours. This is another aspect of my plan I need to experiment with. It was a successful cycle during the Whole30, but that may have been because of the clean eating. Since being off, it seems my best weeks for weight loss are the ones where I stick to 14 hours. I may just stick to 14 hours for a couple weeks and see how it goes, so stay tuned. This may seem easy to some of you, but remember that coffee is considered a meal if you don’t take it black.

Goal: My goal moving forward is to lose at least 2 LBs each month starting in June. This may seem easy, but for May I started at 151.6 and ended at 150.2. Thats -1.4. Note that I ended my second round of the Whole30 on 5/10, so that is a couple weeks of me with my trial and error experiment. So at the end of June I want to be at 148.2. Just as I had a hard time with breaking through the 160 into the 150s, I know that its going to be just as hard breaking out of the 150s into the 140s, but man do I have the motivation.

Here are my stats for June. I am going to keep my stats to monthly moving forward to see if I hit my goal.

WEIGH IN/MEASUREMENTS: 150.2, Chest 36, Under Boob 30, Belly Button 32, Below Hips 37, Largest Part of Butt 40.5.

SONG OF THE WEEK: “What I cannot change” by LeAnn Rimes

I know what makes me comfortable
And I know what makes me tick
And I when I need to get my way
I know how to pour it on thick

Cream and sugar in my coffee
Right away when I wake
I face a day, and pray to God
I won’t make the same mistakes

All the rest is out of my hands
I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, yeah I will change
Whatever I, whatever I can

On the Road Again

Initially I started writing this blog last week, but it got sidelined because things got nutty in my personal life. This is just a little caveat because this week’s post may feel a little disjointed since I have been living this for the last 2 weeks. So, in the spirit of lent, please forgive me.

Good news! I have been given the green light. I am locked and loaded. I take off in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. BLAST OFF. Diet time.

As I I have discussed at length, since Thanksgiving I have been working with my doctor to fix some internal hormone issue with various natural supplements. Just after the new year my doctor suggested that we test again to see how my body is reacting to all the new supplements. She explained that this test will give us a good indication as to whether we are on the right track or if we need to adjust anything.

Man, was I nervous. On one hand I wanted to be ready to move to the weight loss portion of my program, but on the other hand I knew that once the excuse of my internal body was taken away from me, I had no other excuse to lean on as to why I had been failing so miserably at dieting. At that point, it would just be me and my efforts. Talk about pressure. I sulked into my doctor’s office. I felt like a kid that was called into their principal’s office not knowing if they did something horribly wrong or if I was there to win “Best Student in the History of the School” award. Who doesn’t want to have the west wing of their grade school named after them?

Results are in. It’s go time. At first I was excited, but then I realized that this meant that at that very moment my worst nightmare was coming true and the only reason I wasn’t losing any weight was because I had taken my “status quo/ laizzez-faire” attitude to just plain laziness. I used the excuse of traveling and wedding planning as why I had regressed in my daily routine In reality, I was having a hard time reprograming myself back to healthy Laura, instead of the “Eataly A Day” dream.

So here we are, hitchhiking to get back Dieting Drive. I know I said that I wasn’t looking into dieting, but rather a healthy lifestyle, but maybe it takes something like a diet to reprogram the ol’ computer that is my body in order to get to the healthy lifestyle destination. Whenever something in my office breaks, my partner, to my complete annoyance, always asks me if I turned “it off and back on again?” Although I will never admit it to his face, he may be right this time around. I needed to turn my body off of dieting and monitoring what I was eating, then turn it back on again to work more efficiently and effectively.

At the direction of my doctor and her nutritionist I started the Whole30 AND intermittent fasting diet that week. Here I thought walking into my appointment with the idea of giving up dairy for lent was going to impress the socks off of my doctor. Talk about amateur hour! Like I said, full reset was needed.

A little background on the Whole30 for those of you that haven’t had a friend ask you to join them in the Whole30 Challenge (misery does love company)…. The Whole30 Diet consists of NO dairy, NO grains, NO sugar, NO legumes, NO alcohol, basically NO fun for 30 days. I am not exaggerating. Any form of fun is strictly prohibited. Smiling? Nope, you’ll gain weight from the muscle movement. Watching TV? Don’t work out those thumbs! OK, kidding, but thats what it feels like.

Now a little background on Intermittent Fast, for those of you that constantly see if promoted on some sort of social media application. There are many different types of Intermittent Fasting. The program I am following is not eating for X hours between dinner and your next meal, including coffee if you take it any other way but black. I like my coffee like I like my men- creamy? Sure, thats a word I’d use when describing Kevin. He’s creamy. At first I was told to not eat for 16 hours between meals. For someone that doesn’t actually get to eat dinner until anywhere between 6:30-8pm, the mornings are rough. This week we changed that to anywhere between 12-14 hours. This is a little more realistic.

In a nut shell, my life has become so restricted when it comes to my food and meals. I am restricted as to what I eat and what time I can eat. Prison for a foodie! As a result of the Whole30 program, I have turned to putting mustard on everything. Its pretty much the only condiment I can eat. Last night I made dinner for Kevin and my Dad, chicken “tortilla” soup. Really, I had a bowl of tortilla-less soup with chicken and avocado while they had a pile of tortilla chips and cheese with a soup bottom. I wanted to cave so bad. Tonight we are going out to dinner to one of our favorite steakhouses by my parents’ house. Its going to take every ounce of my body to not order a dirty martini with any type of cheese stuffed olives. EVERY. SINGLE. OUNCE.

I am about 1 day away from being 2 weeks in. The 1stt week, the LBs literally fell off. This 2nd week I’ve been stuck, slowly creeping up .1 of a LB at a time. I am hoping that this is just a part of the process. I am working my best to not become discouraged because its become a challenge for me to make it through the entire 30 days Again, I will not give up. This has become quite a theme here. This fight has no idea what kind of challenger it has in its opposing corner.

MIA BELLA LOTTA’S CALL TO ACTION: Did you give up or add anything into your life this Lent(al) Season? Last year was the first year I added something instead. In the spirit of positivity when I wasn’t feeling very great about myself, I challenged myself to reach out to a new friend every week that I had lost touch with or had not talked to in awhile. Just wanted them to know I was thinking of them and was still there for them. So don’t think you need to deprive yourself of something, because I believe the spirit is to do something in order to better you life. So go out there and better your life.

MEASUREMENTS; In the spirit of this process I will not be disclosing my weekly measurements and weight, but rather waiting until the last day to post my beginning and ending results- no matter the actual numbers.

SONG OF THE DAY: “Hard” by Rihanna

They can say whatever, I’ma do whatever
No pain is forever, yup, you know this
Tougher than a lion, ain’t no need in tryin’
I live where the sky ends, yup, you know this