Cut the crap. No refined sugar for 2 weeks (or more).

Dear blog,

I haven’t posted in a long while. Again. It seems I would most often find my way back to you in times of trouble rather than in times of joy. Because as you may know by now, weight loss is not as easy as pie.

A few weeks before Christmas I reached one of my long time goals: weigh less than 70 kg once again. Hitting that goal I felt only joy. Then Christmas came along and with it a lot of food. And I allowed myself that food consciously, knowing that what I would gain, I could, no, I WOULD lose again once the new year would knock at my door. But unfortunately this is not so as of today. And this is not because I got lazy, at least not with my workouts. I have been working out at least three days a week, using my all time favorite vids by Fitness Blender, getting engaged in their fourth installment of a workout plan. But I still don’t see the longed for changes.

Reading myself through a load of MyFitnessPal threads, I now am sure that there can only be one reason why the scale won’t budge. It’s my nutrition. Although I was making an effort there, too. At least that is what it felt like. The solution to my problem must then lie in my food intake. And as I don’t want to count calories, I will do what helped me get the weight loss started initially. And that was cutting the crap from my diet.

I decided to go cold turkey on refined sugar again for the next two weeks, tracking what I eat (not counting the calories of what I eat) to see if that can make the difference again. The only times I will allow myself some sugar is in fruits and vegetables where it is contained naturally and otherwise in dark chocolate and a spoonful of the sweet condensed milk that goes into my morning coffee (which all in all yielded good results last time, too).

I will cut:

  • sweetened beverages, especially cocoa milk and chai latte fresh India (Krüger)
  • birthday cake (I had a lot of that last week, due to my BF’s B day)
  • chocolate cookies and gummi bears (sweets in general)
  • jam and other sweet bread toppings

First step in this venture already was carried out today. I took all the sweets I had left from Christmas to work, giving them away to my co-workers.

As this is a really challenging thing to do for me, I will use this blog to come back and report how it goes, what the pitfalls are and whether it gets me the results I want.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Sincerely,

Bri

P.S.: Did you ever go cold turkey on refined sugar?

Second Weigh-In after April Calendar and getting used to clean eating (5-2-13).

I already pointed out that for me leading a healthier and fitter life is also about weight-loss. This is because I am overweight. I started this journey at 83 kg (that is only a few kg short of obese for my height).  On April 1st (after only two weeks of workout and eating clean) I already noticed a drop of about 2.2 kg.

So my new goal for April was to lose another 3 kg. Did I meet my goal? Well, not quite but I still managed to lose some weight. I am now at 78.6 kg. That means I lost another 2.2 kg. I am happy about that, although I did not make my goal. It is already a big deal for me to finally weigh under 80 kg again. And a 4.4 kg total in only 6 weeks is a lot (9.7 lbs for everybody who is not as familiar with kg).

weigh-in 2So I promised some pictures. And this time I’ll give them to you, although I am a bit uneasy about them. This is of course because I am ashamed of how I looked like November last year, when I was in South East Asia. I would have preferred pictures like the one from today as souvenirs. I pulled out the same clothes as I wore in Laos. And no doubt one can see the difference. The trousers do fit better and my belly does not bulge over like last year. There is still so much fat to lose but I am proud about the change and all the beautiful muscles I have beneath the fat. I look taller, too. But maybe this is because I am taller in the right picture. 😉

So how did I do this? People who have read my past posts know that I follow Cassey’s workout calendar. And the one for April was REALLY challenging. You don’t know Cassey? Well, she is the most inspirational and bubbly person I know, she is a certified Pilates instructor and shares workout videos on you tube, she is my personal workout buddy, she is a motivator and health advocate. She is doing Pop Pilates at Blogilates.

About the workout calendar. Cassey posts one for each month on her page. You can then follow along her workout routine. It’s about 5 workouts per day that usually take me 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete. And afterwards I feel so pumped. It’s just great. In April Cassey challenged us (the Popster community) to do all of her 127 workout vids. Well I did about half of them. Again I did not meet my set goal but nonetheless I feel great about what I accomplished. You can see the change, can’t you?

I also wanted to get to know the fitness and health community out there. I did so reading other people’s blogs and commenting there. I follow people with the same interests in Twitter and tweet about my progress. I think I accomplished something here this past month.

Have you got a blog I might be interested in? Let me know in the comments.

Now as this post is already pretty long, stay tuned for my May goals and another Health Bite where I share how I get along with eating clean and what to do to stay on track. Also check out my first Health Bite, where I talk about how to stick to your healthy resolutions.

Have you accomplished your goals in April? Let me know.

Eat Clean Recipe: Avocado & Egg Salad

If you are wondering what you should do with the remaining colored Easter eggs, why not make an egg salad with avocado. I came up with this recipe using only ingredients that I had at home and of course because I had left over eggs in my fridge.

Image

You’ll need (serves 4):

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs (using egg whites only from 2 eggs), peeled
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • the juice of 1/2 a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Chop the eggs and the avocado into little chunks and add into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix it all up with a fork.

Tip: You can add some chopped green or other onion. As I don’t like raw onions, I didn’t use them.

I like my egg salad with a sandwich using a whole-wheat sunflower seed bread. You can also dip rinsed and cut vegetables.

What are you doing with your remaining Easter eggs?

Goals for April.

ImageMarch is gone. For me it was all about a makeover of myself. I changed the way I eat by adopting to clean eating. And I started to exercise regularly which I didn’t do at all before. My exercises include to take all the stairs that cross my path in daily life and to do Pop Pilates powered by Cassey Ho at blogilates. I improved myself and already was able to see some results.

In April I want to set more detailed goals than just saying I wanted to live a healthier life. Don’t get me wrong, this has been successful. But now that the stone is rolling I feel like I could use more of a plan. I thought about what I want to achieve this month and feel like I should go with five explicit goals for April.

1. I want to keep the good habits I picked up in March. That means I will keep clean eating, exercising regularly and walking all stairs I come across.

2. I want to follow Cassey’s April Calendar closely. Cassey dares the Popsters to do all of her workouts available on you-tube. I say closely follow as not every single video is available in my country because of the Gema, which is Germany’s state-authorized performing rights organization. I can’t watch every video because of some music that is played in the videos.

3. I want to lose at least 3 more kilograms this month. There is a wedding at the 31st of May me and my BF are going to attend. I want to look gorgeous, as healthy and as lean as possible.

4. I want to keep blogging. I’m going to write about exercising, healthy recipes and other tidbits I think worth sharing. I also want to work on the blog, making navigation easier and giving it a still more personal touch.

5. I want to get involved in the fitness community out there. I want to read your blogs and comment on them. I want to get to know you and why you are all into healthy living and fitness.

So my question for you is: Have you committed to some specific goals in April? And what are you doing to actually achieve them?

First Weigh-In after two weeks of exercise and clean eating (4-1-13).

In my first blog post I wrote about how I would like to obtain a healthier life style to help myself to a healthier body and a healthier mind. Weight-loss was also a topic as I brought 83 kg on the scale two weeks ago. So weight-loss became my primary goal for now. So before I tell you what I achieved the past two weeks let me describe what I did first.

First of all I started exercising. I wanted to do something effective that I could do at home and thus save the money for a gym. I found Cassey and her blog Blogilates, which is all about exercising hard to achieve the body of your dreams while doing Pilates. I started this and although it was really tough at the beginning I can keep up with Cassey while working out watching one of her many work out vids on you tube  Also Cassey introduced me to clean eating which I since try to incorporate into my life. I think it’s a success so far although I don’t deny me everything. I will still have my daily dose of caffeine with sugared condense milk or a piece of chocolate here or there. I just follow the rules of clean eating as best as I can. The main differences so far are that I started to eat breakfast ever day (no skipping!), drink a lot more water or unsweetened tea than before and banned white flour as well as sugar from my diet.

As for the results. I lost 2.2 kilograms in the past two weeks, which is 4.4 lbs. I am impressed. Because usually losing weight was difficult, because I did exercises I didn’t enjoy or tried diets where I had to deny myself from things I love, which made me feel frustrated, especially when I was not able to keep away from them. I also measured the circumferences of my belly, butt and thigh. I lost 6 cm around the belly, which is my problem zone since forever. I also lost 2 cm around my butt and one cm around my thighs.

For now I love to do my exercises with Cassey, she is such a great inspiration. And sticking to my healthy eating is also easy, because it tastes great and I eat a lot of fresh produce, which kind of makes my skin glow. I love it. I also already have a new favorite dish Clean Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Exotic Chicken.

I think I will give you some before and after pics next time, which will either be in two or four weeks. I haven’t decided yet how often I’m gonna do the weigh-ins.

Other than that I will keep you updated on the workouts I do and the healthy food I’m cooking.