Tag: weight loss


I Think We Should Take a Break Fitness

This post is honestly mostly for me to sort out my thoughts, but I know I’m not the only one who’s going through what I’m going through so I thought I’d make it a blog post.

If you’ve been following me on my other social media accounts, you know that my weight loss isn’t exactly going well. Not from my lack of trying, either. I ate at a calorie goal and did well, then it stalled. Then I switched it up and started eating a more plant based diet. GAINED weight. Gave the plant based thing some more time since it can be a big adjustment for your body. Nope. Still a gain. The other day, I mentioned eating based on the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) method and I started logging yesterday and today. Epic failure.

I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t have possibly seen results from 2 days of IIFYM. You’re right! The reason it was an epic failure was because of how time consuming figuring all that out was. On top of being time consuming, I was started to get irritated at the lack of flexibility there was. Sure, you can eat to fit your macros, but if you don’t have a ton of calories to work with, there is very little flexibility.

That’s when I realized: why the fluff am I trying to go through all of this trouble? What is the point? What is my end-game and what is the long term plan?

To answer those fairly quickly:

  • I want to look good.
  • The point is to look good after having a baby.
  • The end game is to look good.
  • The long term plan is to look good.

 

See the problem?

I am so focused on wanting to look good that I am completely ignoring all of the OTHER things (and frankly, more important things) my body can do.

Before I get a bunch of  “I told you so’s” hear me out.

It is ingrained in us to like what we see. We want people to like what they see when they look at us. And that’s not a bad thing some times. What IS a bad thing is when the focus and the priority of your day is looking good. I will be the first to admit that, over the past few weeks, that has been my focus. I still go through my daily routine and I completed the tasks I need to complete. I’m a good wife and a good mom. Outside of those priorities, though, my brain was 100% focused on what I could do to look better. I hated my body.

In church today, I was thinking about the past couple weeks and how I’ve just been bummed out and depressed because of my lack of progress. That’s when I got hit like a ton of bricks.

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Me hating my body is telling God that I hate the body he gave me. It’s me saying the work he did to create me before I was even a thought is worthless and garbage. I am made in His image and hating my own body is like hating Him. Let that kick you in the gut for a minute.

It would be like someone painting a piece of art specifically for you just for you to focus all day on the fact that you hate it. In reality, it’s a piece of art that was wonderfully made. It’s made up of all the same things as other paintings- paint, canvas, brush strokes- but it has a different look that is totally it’s own and it is beautiful.

Truth be told, the body I have is NOT garbage. My body can do amazing things. I can run, jump, squat, press, and climb. It carried, grew, and kept a baby alive before it brought that baby into the world. It can run on no sleep efficiently and it can recharge when it needs to. Does it look the way I would like it to? No. And I don’t think it ever will. But I am learning that that’s ok. I am NOT an elite athlete or a physique or bikini competitor. I don’t model. I don’t have a job that requires me to look a certain way so I don’t need to look the way the way people who have those jobs do.

All of this being said, being happy with my body is not an excuse to not take care of it. I was given this body for a reason, so I need to take care of it the best I can. In my case, that does mean I need to lose a few pounds. Those pounds don’t have to be gone overnight, however. I don’t need to do anything crazy to lose that weight. I don’t need to spend hours at the gym or count my calories or be strict on my macros. Those things will make me look good, but how long can I actually keep that up? 1 month? 6 months? 1 year? Certainly not forever. All I need to do is find balance. Make healthy choices. Stay active. Go back to basics. Those things can be made into lifelong habits.

 

I have been counting calories/macros for 5 years. 5 YEARS. I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I know healthy habits. I just need to put them into practice. That’s why, macros and calorie counting, I think we need a break.


Fitness

 

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. A lot of times, we want to live a healthy lifestyle, but we aren’t sure where to start or how to keep that momentum up on a day to day basis. In this video, I talk about easy ways you can make healthy living a part of your day to day lifestyle!

 

Make sure to check out my Youtube channel!


Family / Fitness / Life

Losing baby weight is a struggle for a lot of women. We are told how to lose it and shown who lost baby weight quickly, but that isn’t reality for a lot of us! Here’s why.


18 Weight Loss Truths Fitness

weight loss truths

  1. Incorporating exercise into your routine is HARD at first.
  2. Running feels nearly impossible at the beginning.
  3. Completing a workout is extremely rewarding.
  4. You know how many calories are in pretty much anything.
  5. Calorie “sticker shock” is a real thing.
  6. Shopping for groceries is hard. (I will not buy Oreos. I will not buy Oreos.)
  7. Shopping for clothes is fun…(smaller sizes, YES)
  8. Shopping for clothes can make you cry. (goodbye, bank account)
  9. When people start to notice your weight loss? Win.
  10. You cry. Mostly at the beginning. (It’s hard to work hard and see little or no change!)
  11. You learn what determination is.
  12. You learn how to perservere.
  13. You find out more about who you are.
  14. You grow as a person.
  15. You become more confident.
  16. NSV’s become more important the longer you’re losing weight (weight loss has stalled? Well I still fit into a smaller jean size today!)
  17. Sometimes you get mad that you have to watch what you eat when everyone else seems to be able to eat whatever they want without a problem…
  18. But then you remember that everyone is different and that you are awesome!

 

What are some other weight loss truths you’ve experienced?

Carrie Signature


5 Things Losing Weight Has Taught Me Fitness

When you go through challenging things, you tend to learn a lot about your life. I have had my fair share of challenging times and I have learned so much about myself through each of them that some of them don’t seem so bad. Learning and growing from those experiences is a silver lining to the bad things.

Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have done. Not just 5-pounds-for-spring-break weight loss, but a “I’m a pre-diabetic which high cholesterol at 19 year old” type weight loss. It was medically necessary and it was hard. There were definitely times that I wanted to just give up because it was hard, I was working my ass off, and I wasn’t seeing any results. Spoiler alert: I didn’t give up and I learned a lot along the way.

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  1. Willpower can get you through anything.
    There’s a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s hilarious and you should watch it, but that’s besides the point. There’s an episode where Kimmy says that you can get through anything for 10 seconds. I think Tina Fey read my mind when writing the script for that show because I lived by that motto throughout my weight loss journey. I would tell myself I could do anything for 15 minutes and then say it again 15 minutes later. It got me through workouts, cravings, anything. I knew I could do what I needed to do for 15 minutes.As long as you can really push yourself and hold yourself accountable, your willpower can get you through anything.
  2. Fast progress isn’t always the best progress
    While it feels amazing to see weight fly off, it’s often not the best thing. At the beginning, my weight came off like crazy. I also had a lot of weight to lose. As I lost weight, it came off slower and slower until I plateaued- which is normal. What I should have done, however, is not attempted such a fast loss in the first place. While websites will tell you you can lose 2 pounds a week safely, it is much safer and more long-term if you stick to half and pound to a pound loss per week. Losing too quickly will throw your body out of whack and lead to faster plateaus. You also may gain back that weight. I did and it was so discouraging. When I regained the weight, it came back differently so I don’t look as heavy as I did when I weighed what I weigh before, but the weight came back and it can be frustrating.Learn from my mistake: slow loss is better!
  3. Negativity breeds negativity.
    When you’re going through a major life change, it’s important to evaluate your surroundings and prioritize what is important to you. On the top of that list should be getting rid of negativity in your life. You will realize that there may be people in your life that cause more stress, drama, or negativity than positivity and it’s important to minimize your interaction with them. Sometimes it can be hard because they may be family or old friends, but it’s important to realize that you deserve to have positive energy around you. You are a person, not an emotional punching bag. If you notice someone is complaining to you about their life more than they are being uplifting, have a conversation with them. You are bettering yourself and you need positivity in your life.Which brings me to my next point…
  4. A positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure
    Staying positive will always give you the push you need to finish a workout or choosing a healthy meal. Removing negative self-talk will help you view yourself in a positive way which will lead to a much more happy and healthy journey.
  5. How you look on the outside doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
    Out of all the things I learned, this was the most important. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way, but it’s important to separate looks and self-worth. You are so much more than your weight or your pant size or the number of abs that you have visible. The scale doesn’t show how strong you are or how fast you can run or how kind you are. Don’t let the scale have an impact on those things because it doesn’t indicate anything other than how much force is being exerted on your body due to gravity. You are much more than that.

If you have gone through weight loss, what kinds of things did you learn?

Carrie Signature

 


Thinking Thin // Abandoning the “Fat” Mentality Fitness

The desire to lose weight is one that many people can relate to. For some people, the goal is maybe 10 pounds. A difficult task, but definitely doable without any other sort of necessary changes. For others (myself included), those who have to lose 20, 30, or even over 100 pounds, there is more to lose than just weight. We also have to lose our “fat” mentality. We need to think thin (or curvy or healthy or whatever your goal is!).

think thin

Losing weight is hard, but it is often the mental aspect of weight loss that is harder. Let’s use a hypothetical example to explain. Jane needs to lose 50 pounds. Jane changes her habits and starts eating better and moving more. Her clothes get loose and she has to buy smaller sizes. She notices that her tummy is flatter and her arms are getting smaller. People comment on her weight loss and it makes her feel good. She gets to her goal weight and, while she sees the loss, she still doesn’t FEEL like she’s at her goal weight. Instead of being happy that she made it, she feels like she failed because she doesn’t look the way she thought or she still needs to make some changes here or there. She still feels fat. This is much different than an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. Those diseases are exactly that, diseases. This is someone who has spent their life (or more recent life) as “fat” and now does not know how to identify as being not “fat.” That can be a tough time! I’ve been through it and it’s not fun at all!

 

It’s a tough thing to avoid, but it is possible. In order to avoid this way of thinking you have to be proactive and you have to learn how to stay positive. It is so much easier said than done, but if you put in the work to make your mind right, your body will follow and you will thank yourself later.

 

After I gained back a lot of the weight I lost initially, I worked hard to lose it again– the right way. I took it slow and didn’t over do it. I made my goals more realistic and I gave myself more wiggle room. More importantly, I adopted habits to keep me from feeling negatively about myself for gaining weight back.

 

Instead of focusing on the scale, I focused on what I was capable of. I became stronger and faster and I used that to push me to keep up my good work. I also made sure to (try) to balance out all negative thoughts with positive ones. If I thought something bad about myself, I would find one positive thing about myself so I could continue thinking positively.

 

Lately, I’ve found that yoga has really helped. Yoga is great for your muscles as exercise, but it is also great for your mind. It gives you an opportunity to just be with yourself for an hour (or however long your class is). How often do you have time to just be with yourself and focused on you for 100% of the time? It’s very rare. Meditation during shavasana (the last part of a yoga class, generally) can be a time that can really open your mind up to things that you may be too busy to realize otherwise. Use shavasana to reflect on positivity and mantras of self-worth and self-esteem. It will change the way you think!

 

Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to avoid the “fat” mentality is to set realistic goals. Don’t say “I’m going to weigh 120 pounds and have a 6 pack” because you don’t know that! Set goals like “I’m going to get stronger and I’m going to improve my blood pressure.” If you must set a goal that has to do with weight, don’t add anything. Talk with your doctor about a healthy weight. Don’t aim to be 110 pounds if you’re 6 feet tall because, for most people, that wouldn’t be healthy. Don’t put any aesthetic expectations with a weight because 120, 130, 150, 170 pounds will look different on everyone.

 

If you already are dealing with the “fat” mentality, I strongly encourage you to take some time to write out what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. When you put it all down on paper, you’ll see that that standards you set for yourself can be ridiculous. At the end of the day, what you are capable of is important and the only person who needs to love what you look like is YOU.

Carrie Signature


5 Ways to Get Comfortable in the Gym Fitness

A big part of a good workout is being comfortable at the gym. Some people  avoid exercise all together because they are uncomfortable working out around other people.

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I was one of those people. I wouldn’t even sit in the parking lot of a gym, never mind go in one and workout. When I finally did decided to join a gym, there were some things I did consciously to make myself more comfortable.

 

  1. Find the right gym
    Finding the right gym is really important to being comfortable there. There are somethings that can narrow down your options like price and location, but make sure you’re comfortable in a gym that you pay for. You are paying for a service. There are different cultures at every gym. Don’t be afraid to ask around for trial periods. Most gyms will give you a free trial that lasts anywhere from a day to a week (In my opinion, if they DON’T let you try it for free, they just want your money and will probably be a pain to deal with anyway). Finding a gym that fits your needs is the first way to really be at home at the gym.
  2. Find the right clothes
    When I say “right” clothes, I mean clothes that fit you and that are comfortable. If you are comfortable in a t-shirt and running shorts, stock up! Don’t wear something that is cute but not functional. For me, I find some shirts I have are a little too tight. I wear them anyways, but I notice that I either spend too much time finding pants that will hold me in the right places so I can wear the shirts or I’m really uncomfortable when I’m working out. That’s not something that should be on my mind at the gym! Make sure you’re wearing things that you are physically and mentally comfortable in.
  3. Learn the machines
    Whether you learn them through personal training sessions or just by doing some research online, learn what they do. It’s hard to workout when you’re not sure what everything does, but if you get a chance to walk around the weight room and see each machine, you can look up how to use them online. If you forget, there’s always a little sticker on the machine that will remind you how to use it! One thing I do: I’ll look up exercises on bodybuilding.com as I workout. If I forget proper form or I want to find a different variation of an exercise, I just pull it up on my phone!
  4. Go in with a plan
    Walk around with intention and you’ll look like you own the place. Write down the exercises in a notepad or on your phone so you can go from one exercise to the next without any wandering. You can pick a plan from the internet or make one up depending on what you want to work that day. If you are a beginner, I would recommend always getting some sort of insight when you’re creating a workout.
  5. Be confident
    Most importantly, be confident. While it may feel like everyone is watching you, 99% of the time, they aren’t. The other 1% of the time it’s probably by accident. Everyone started somewhere and you are there to better yourself. Get in there, put your headphones in, turn your music up, and rock your workout! You are there and you are awesome for being there!

 

Even though it can be hard to gain confidence in a new gym- whether you’re experienced or not- it is worth the effort!

 


Eating Light at a Sunday Beach Brunch Fitness / Life

After a Saturday filled with yard work and house chores, Mike and I decided to head to the beach for brunch on this morning. We live about 30 minutes from Tybee Island, though we don’t go there as often as we probably should. I want to make a point to go the beach more often this year. It was 70 degrees and it was the perfect weather for a beach front brunch.

The drive there was great. No traffic and just warm enough to let the windows down.

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We went to a little restaurant called North Beach Bar and Grill. It’s a small place (with surprisingly adequate seating) in a more residential area of the island and it is walking distance to a public dock that goes right to the beach. Usually they serve burgers and seafood, but on Sunday mornings they serve brunch. The menu was small but everything looked amazing.

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Eating light at brunch isn’t always easy, but I made it a priority to find a wholesome meal. I ordered the Smoked Salmon benedict. It came with smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, bacon, poached eggs, chive hollandaise, and home fries (a hash). Mike ordered the Jamaican French Toast which was two HUGE pieces of  Challah bread made like french toast. Mike and I also split an order of their gorgonzola grits. The smoked salmon benedict was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It was perfect. The salmon brought the perfect amount of savory to the whole dish and I also liked that there wasn’t an overload of hollandaise.

When looking at the menu and trying to get something lighter, I made sure to stay away from things with bread. Bread is delicious and  I DO eat bread, but I will avoid it if I can. I picked this dish because of the insane amount of protein in it. Eggs and salmon and bacon? That is a LOT of protein. It definitely kept me full during the day.

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Eating out doesn’t have to be a bummer! Pick something high in protein and enjoy yourself. If you really want to try something that you can’t find anywhere else (like the gorgonzola grits) get an order of it and share!

After brunch, Mike and I took a walk on the beach and enjoyed the weather.

tybee island

 

 

 

Do you like the beach? What’s your favorite beach activity?

 

Carrie Signature


The Skinny on Counting Calories (and Why I Stopped Counting Them) Fitness / Life

Counting calories. So many people who are losing weight or getting fit count calories and/or macros. While calorie counting apps are incredibly useful, it is so easy to end up a hostage to counting calories. I know for me, personally, a lot of my day was spent figuring out what fit into my day and what didn’t. Another part of my day was spent worrying about whether or not my goal was set correctly. It is emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.

 

I lost a lot of weight counting calories. I won’t deny that. But then I gained a lot. And then I had trouble losing it again.

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I learned a lot about counting calories throughout the years.

  1. Calorie counting can be useful
    Calorie counting is a great tool to use when you are first starting your weight loss or fitness journey. Calorie counting for a month can really teach you a lot about what foods are worth snacking on and what foods are best left for “every-so-often” snacks. Calorie counting can open your eyes to how many calories are in some of your favorite foods and it can show you what you may need to moderate.
  2. Calorie counting can cause problems
    Calorie counting opens your eyes to how many calories are in food which can, for some, make eating more stressful than helpful. It also is very hard to do long term. Are you going to log into an app every day of your life? If you find yourself in a position like I was, spending a lot of time obsessing over what would fit and what wouldn’t fit, counting calories may not be the best thing for you long-term. Many people I know have become obsessed with counting calories. So much that a day they go “over” can ruin their day. Even if it’s only 50-100 calories over! That’s not a healthy way to live your life. The extra stress isn’t any less healthy for you than an extra couple of pounds.
  3. Calorie counting is confusing
    The more weight you lose, the more your calorie goals change. You may be told to eat more or less than you currently were. Either change can make weight loss confusing. Calories in vs. calories out, they say, but it is much easier said than done. Once you lose a certain amount of weight after eating at a certain deficit, your progress stalls and your calorie goals must chance and that can cause a lot of anxiety for people. I was progressing and now the scale isn’t moving or even creeping back up: I must be a failure. Not an uncommon thought. But you are NOT a failure.

 

 

 

That’s great, Carrie, but how did you STOP? Quitting calorie counting is hard. Especially when it is something you’ve done for a long time. In my case, I was quitting a 4 year habit. You think you’re going to end up where you started. You may feel like you’re not in control of anything anymore. It easy, but, let me tell you something: it was SO worth it! It may seem daunting at first, but here are the 4 things that really helped me stop counting calories.

  1. Delete (or modify) your app
    I relied heavily on a calorie counting app and, while I didn’t delete it, I use it for the community support and for the recipe builder (so I can share nutrition content with others). If you find that you can’t go into the app without logging, just delete it.
  2. Use common sense with your food choices
    Go back to the basics! The food pyramid is a great resource. Fill your plate mostly with veggies, then protein, then starch. If you can choose between and apple and chips, choose the apple. If you really want the chips, eat the chips but choose an apple for the rest of the week. It sounds super simple because it is! Eat nutritious food all the time and junk food in moderation.
  3. Eat mindfully
    This can take some practice after using calories to tell you when to stop, but rely on your body to tell you when you’re full and when you’re not. Before you snack, think about what you’re craving and think about why. Could you eat some carrots and be satiated? If not, you’re probably not really as hungry as you think. Make sure your snacking isn’t mindless.
  4. Enjoy yourself
    It is 100% ok to go out and enjoy yourself every once in awhile. You don’t always have to get salads or chicken when you go out to eat and you don’t have to only hit up the veggie trays at Superbowl parties. Every once in awhile, it’s ok to indulge and you shouldn’t feel bad about it!

See that picture at the top? I was counting calories in all of those photos, except for 2- the first one and the last one. The first one was before I decided to change my life and the last one was a month ago.  The photo in 2011- I weighed 115 pounds. I was following my calorie plan. But I quickly gained back a lot of that weight because it wasn’t sustainable for me. After I gained back weight in 2012, there doesn’t look like much of a difference in weight for the rest of the photos. Even when I stopped counting calories, I didn’t back track. You don’t have to be scared of what might happen if you stop counting calories.

What will happen, however, is you will feel less stressed and more confident about yourself. You don’t need to rely on an app to help you lose weight. You can use what you learned from those apps to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but you do not need to rely on them to continue that lifestyle. That part is something you can do on your own!

 


10 Things Healthy People Do Fitness

Sometimes, we look at people who are fit and think “I will never be able to live like they do!” There are a lot of misconceptions about fitness lifestyles as well. Eat clean. Do Crossfit. Do cardio. Ever wonder what the keys to staying healthy and on track are? They’re simpler than you think!

10. Plan ahead

Food prep, out-of-town gym trips, weekend hikes- planning ahead is crucial when sticking to a fitness regimen. Even the most basic healthy concepts involve planning ahead. If you know you’re going out on the weekend, don’t over indulge during the week. Balance is key!

9. Make time

Lie doesn’t always give us an hour a day at the perfect time for exercise. We don’t always have enough time to prep a weeks worth of dinners at one time. When you make health a priority, you make time to do these things. Do people love waking up before dark to exercise or cook their food for the day? Most people would say no. But it has such a great return that it’s worth it! You have to MAKE time, sometimes.

8. Sleep more

Good rest is crucial to good health. Your body cannot run on 5 hours of sleep a night. Over time, it will tire. You need to fuel your body properly and part of that is sleeping enough. Don’t skip out on the Zzz’s!

7. Exercise

This is a given. Healthy people exercise. Whether it’s walks in the park or marathons, exercise is key to good health.

6. Stay focused

It’s easy to get off track. Sometimes it’s even a little bit necessary. But living a healthy lifestyle is easier when you have a goal and stay focused on it. You owe it to yourself and to your body to be and stay healthy!

5. Make wise food choices

Notice I didn’t say “eat clean” or “eat healthy food?” I said make WISE choices. A burger and fries is not going to be the bane of your healthy existence. Every day burger and fries will. Be smart. If you can sub chicken for ground beef, go for it! But if you’re really craving a burger, then get one. Just make sure you have something wholesome at your next meal. You don’t have to restrict yourself to “clean” foods. Just be strategic and smart about it. For example: you have a party to go to. You know there will be pizza and beer and wings and everything that is good in the world. Instead of stressing about what you can/cant have, have nutritious and wholesome food for breakfast and lunch and enjoy yourself at the party. Eat until you’re not hungry and move along.

4.Stay active

“Isn’t this the same as exercise?” No. Staying active involves incorporating activity into daily life. Park at the back of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. All the things you hear a thousand times? You hear them because it’s true. A healthy lifestyle is a lifestyle. Not an hour a day in the gym and meals.

3. Drink water

Sodas and juices taste great, but water is the king of all drinks. Not only does it keep you hydrated, drinking water can often help regulate water weight gain. A good rule of thumb: drink half your body weight in ounces each day (ie. a 150 lb person would drink 75 oz of water a day).

2. Don’t compare

You are different than everyone else. And that is a good thing. You cannot compare yourself to anyone but yourself. You are only trying to be better than who you were last week, last month, last year. Other people’s progress has no impact on the progress you can make. Like I said before, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

1. Stay positive

Some days are most definitely better than others. Want to know how to stay in a healthy mindset? Start over fresh every day. Yesterdays workout, lack of workout, bad diet, whatever it is, happened yesterday and has nothing to do with today. The sooner you realize that each day is a fresh start, the easier it will be to stay focused and healthy. Everyday won’t be perfect, but being able to see a silver lining or make something good out of the bad days will improve your mental health dramatically. Believe it or not, mental health can have an impact on physical health. Be positive and your body will thank you for it.

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