WW Problem: Going Out to Eat

In my second week of Weight Watchers, I’m down 1 pound.

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I knew I wasn’t going to lose another 6 pounds because that would be a lot after one week of changes. This is more consistent with what a person should aim to lose weekly. Also, I indulged in some pizza and Chinese food this weekend, not a weight loss winning combination, however delicious.

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My workouts have been consistent. I stick to a six-day plan, 3 days of strength training with harder, shorter bursts of cardio like jump roping and spinning, with 3 days of running.

I’m trying to be better about cooking at home on the weekends more often. This is difficult when it’s busy and I’m out and about. I’m pretty good at identifying what’s good to eat on menus, but I always find the healthy stuff is better when I make it myself.

Salads for instance! I went to a restaurant Friday night with my parents and because I wanted some chips and salsa, opted for a grilled shrimp salad. There were five tiny shrimps, lettuce, tomato, and a bunch of onions (blech!). It’s disappointing when you get something unsatisfying for a meal, particularly when you’re paying for it!

On Saturday, my friend and I split a small pizza with a large salad for lunch and then split some Chinese food dishes for dinner. The food itself is indulgent, but we also tried to manage the portions. Still, I want to try to stick to one indulgence on the weekends- at least in one day!

I also went out to eat on Sunday afternoon, which Weight Watchers builds into the plan, but I counted all my extra points for Saturday and didn’t want to go too crazy. I had a salad with grilled shrimp (much better this time) with a cup of soup and one roll because hey, it’s Bertucci’s and their rolls are amazing. I only had a small bite on Sunday for dinner because it was filling though.

I think the important mental note to take away when you’re trying to eat better or following something like Weight Watchers is that healthy living is something you want to be doing consistently. If you like to go out to eat, do so, but also learn to choose those indulgent favorites as a treat, rather than the norm. One meal does not a diet break, but if you view these changes as temporary, your mind will set back to old habits.

Plus, cooking at home can be fun!

Week 1 WW

I’m a week back into Weight Watchers and feeling strong! So far, I’m down 6 pounds!

I know that is a big number, but the first week or two will always jumpstart you. There were definitely some changes that needed to be made to my diet.

The biggest change I’ve undergone thus far is cutting back on the carbs. I still eat and enjoy whole wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice, but not as much and not for every meal. I grew accustomed to having two slices of toast at breakfast especially, but now I eat one piece or have a whole wheat pita or tortilla instead. I’m particularly careful to measure how much I’m eating to keep me honest. Carbs are comfort, but they are also necessary for the body to function, so I refuse to abandon them!

A specific carb I’ve cut down on using is butter. I love butter, particularly on top of carbs and inside dishes to make them taste so much better. Not using it as frequently has helped me become more creative with spices in dishes, but also helps me make better choices, for instance, peanut butter is a better alternative to butter on my toast in the morning because it has more nutrients and substance.

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The biggest benefit has been a lack of bloating. I would sometimes go to bed feeling gross or overly stuffed, not thinking that I’ve eaten too much more than I should until that point. I already eat a ton of veggies, but I’ve upped my in take, hello breakfast scrambles, and my tummy has improved overall.

My energy levels have also improved. I don’t feel as tired when the alarm rings at 4:30 in the morning and my workouts feel better fueled. I’m excited to see how much easier my running gets as I continue to shed pounds, including speed and endurance.

It’s also important for me to remember how far I’ve come from 7 years ago now when I was 100 pounds heavier to see how far I’ve come.

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Guest Perspective: Shonna

Every so often, I’m going to incorporate stories of friends and colleagues and whoever wants to be included to share on the blog. While I like to think my own 100-pound weight loss can be inspiring to many, it’s so important to hear from different voices, as everyone faces unique obstacles and challenges throughout their lives.

I met my friend Shonna working at my current gym where I do personal training. She is a group exercise instructor of several different classes- hello Zumba and strength training- a passionate exerciser, and has a great fitness backstory she agreed to share.

Thank you, Shonna, for visiting GMMCA!

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When did you start exercising? Why? What did you do?
I remember doing tapes and television workouts when I was a little kid (Mousercise and Sweating to the Oldies were my favorites). I played sports a little and took dance lessons, but it was all pretty casual. After high school, I would join a gym and maybe walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical and machines, but I didn’t really have a plan or know what I was doing. I got way more into fitness around 2005 when I worked in the corporate world with a team that was really physically fit. We had a gym in our building and after a lot of convincing, I went to my first Spin class with my coworkers. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t scary at all! From there, I started running, worked with a trainer, and went to more classes.  In 2007, I became a Spin instructor and after being laid off from that corporate job, learned to teach more classes.
How has your routine and philosophy changed over the years?
I’ve become more comfortable with taking risks and trying new things! I really feel like you need to step out of your comfort zone because you never know how much you can do. I’ve also learned that while I love teaching, I need to set aside time for my own personal workouts and goals.
What does healthy living mean to you?
It’s an investment in my future. I have been through some health scares that were out of my control.  I want to be in control of everything I can to keep myself mobile and healthy and living a full life for as long as possible!
Are their any words of advice you’d offer to your younger self starting out on your journey?
Don’t be afraid! The gym, classes, trainers, running groups… they are not as scary as you think. You just need to find what works for you. I feel like some classes or organizations really have a bad reputation, but we are honestly here to help you. I know I try to make my classes as welcoming as possible for all levels and most instructors I know do the same. We all started somewhere!
What inspired you to become a fitness instructor? What do you love/hate most about it?
I was taking Spin twice a week in the gym at my office. They were looking for another instructor and I figured I was going anyhow, might be some good extra money.
I love seeing people achieve things they didn’t think they could. That could be anything from getting in the door in the first place to lifting a heavier weight than they thought possible.
I don’t really hate anything about it in general- but I don’t love when people come in with a closed mind or a negative attitude. It doesn’t happen that often, though!
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out?
Find something you love to do and it won’t be a chore! If you are a social person, go to a class or join a group. If you like to keep to yourself, find a trainer to design a program just for you.
What’s your favorite exercise?
Right now, I love my CrossFit class because it’s different every day. I’m really lucky to have excellent coaches and a dedicated class full of really supportive people at many levels.
You only have half an hour to exercise, what do you do?
Ah! Some HIIT training! A good mix of cardio and strength.
What are you most proud of in regards to your health journey?
I’ve been up and down in weight over the years. Right now, I’m up more than I would like, but I still get out there and work hard. Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for that.
What are some challenges you’ve faced over the years?
It’s always the “diet” for me. I got to my goal weight in 2012 and was a vegan. It worked so well for me until I suddenly started experiencing  some frustrating things like gaining back weight and feeling exhausted all of the time. The next year, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and later with thyroid cancer. After a complete thryoidectomy and radioactive iodine treatment (and a full recovery!!!) the vegan diet didn’t work for me anymore. I’m still struggling to figure out what works for me after all of this.
Any healthy eating tips you want to share?
It’s not a one size fits all situation! I feel like the one thing we can all agree on is eat whole foods as much as possible, but after that, it’s so individual!

food fridays

A Day of Meals

The selected meals this week are from various days, depending on when I remembered to take photos. Bare with me, it’s a vacation week.

Breakfast

Breakfast on vacation just tastes better. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. Simple and delicious.

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Lunch

A salad with grilled chicken earlier in the week when I was at work. Simple and refreshing on such a hot day!

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Dinner

Tacos on a Monday! 93% lean beef on corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapenos, and a dollop of sour cream. Kale caesar on the side.

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Side note: you might not be able to tell, but I’ve been practicing my coding on the blog and so far, I’m learning a lot! I’m still on the basics and will be for awhile, but it’s been a fun experience thus far!

 

it’s almost like i’m a model. almost.

My friend Michelle is a talented photographer who asked me and my client/friend Eva to participate in a fitness themed photoshoot as she tried out her new camera. How could I turn down such an opportunity?

I’ve been trying to “build my brand” with my Instagram- Stronger with Caitlin- which means lots of pictures and there were only so many un-choreographed, sweaty selfies I could stomach posting. Really, Michelle was doing me a huge favor!

Here are some of the highlights.

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We laughed because as I am showing off my strength, I’m only lifting 5 pounds here. It’s what we had for props!

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My squats are getting deeper!

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I really do have a tiny ponytail.

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Toe point on…point.

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My arms are one of my sensitive areas, but I’m learning to love them for as they are.

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I’ve never smiled doing core work, let’s be honest.

To see more from this photoshoot and to check out more of Michelle’s work, go to http://www.michellegibbonsphotography.com/blog/fitness-lifestyle-session-with-caitlin-eva.

Thanks again, Michelle!

Fridays = The Best Days

Happy Friday!

I know we shouldn’t live for the weekend, but Friday has long been my favorite day and I can’t help but feel happy when it arrives.

Let’s start it off by going back to Thursday, which wasn’t bad itself.

I woke up Thursday morning and enjoyed a classic breakfast sandwich of my own making before heading to the gym.

First, I weighed myself and realized I’m down 1.6 pounds!

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My workout included 40 minutes of arm and core exercises, as well as a treadmill run. I’m running “long” distance twice a week and once a week, I’m working on speeding up my mile. I’ll run one mile, then complete sprints.

A quick snack to refuel was this peanut butter toast and berries.

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After my morning shift, I came home and threw this delicious salad together. With a kale base, I threw in bell pepper, carrots, peanuts, tofu, and chicken with balsamic vinegar. So good!

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Dinner was leftovers during my night shift. Chicken with white sauce, spinach rice, and sautéed spinach and kale.

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And Then There’s Snow.

Still riding high on that nice weather, even though the weather app on my phone is threatening snow!

I fit in a bike ride on Wednesday afternoon and felt warm in only a sweatshirt! I’m still getting back into riding an actual bike, much of my experience in recent years has been spinning. Cycling outside makes me nervous, so I stick to side streets and bike paths for now at least! And yes, I will always wear a helmet.

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Wednesday’s breakfast was an impressive omelette consisting of an egg, two egg whites, baby spinach, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and feta. I enjoyed it with whole wheat toast.

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For lunch, I had visions of crafting a beautiful salad, but was starving by the time I got home and had leftover chicken broccoli ziti (with a piece of leftover salmon instead).

Dinner was chicken with spinach rice and a big spinach salad.

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I’m trying to be more creative with my cooking, especially as I’m back to blogging.

Stay warm, everyone. Tomorrow’s Friday!