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30 Days to a Cleaner Diet

I can’t stick to diets. I’ve tried. If I approach anything with the mentality of “this is a diet”, I will ultimately lose willpower and fail. So I did some soul-searching. I need to think in terms of changing my eating habits. I need to work slowly and gradually to make the changes permanent. I need to  focus on one goal at a time to improve my diet to a point where I will start to see results. I decided to write my own 30 Day Challenge.

30 Days to a Cleaner DietI came up with a list of 30 goals and rules, and I will follow a new one every day for the entire month of June. I planned it so that Rules will stack. Every new rule goes into effect that day and remains in effect until the end of the month. Goals apply only to the day that they are scheduled. Many of them could easily be turned into rules if you want to give yourself an added challenge, but I’m trying to be flexible.

This is not an attempt to subscribe to any established diet plan. It’s not 30 days to Atkins, or South Beach diet, or vegetarianism. It’s just taking you today and improving your eating habits. Everybody has to start somewhere, and this is where I’m going to start. If we can make these minor changes, it will be a great start to reaching our fitness goals.

So who’s in? I’ll be posting each new rule/goal daily, so follow on facebook or twitter to be sure you see them if you can’t visit the site. Or, you can download the PDF chart here for printing.

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Balancing Different Diets in the Same House

My husband is home! 🙂 He just got back from a seven month deployment, and my son and I are absolutely thrilled to have him finally home. However, this introduces a new challenge to my weight loss journey.

I am overweight. We know this. Ideally, I would like to drop about 40 pounds to reach a goal weight of 130. My husband, on the other hand, has struggled to bulk up his entire life. When we met, he was 120 pounds soaking wet, which is very skinny when you’re a 5’7″ man. It has taken me almost 10 years to put 20 pounds of meat on him. He currently weighs about 140, but his goal weight is 160. How on earth are we supposed to meet our fitness goals while eating from the same kitchen? Take a look at breakfast from this morning:

his and hers breakfast plate

The short answer is portion control. His plate has 4 whole eggs, while mine only has about 3 egg whites. I took only half each of an apple and a bagel, while he ate each one whole. All told, my plate amounted to about 400 calories, while his was well over 700. For lunch and dinner his plate is often loaded up with extra protein and carbs, while mine is half-filled with veggies. We both make it a point to stay very well-hydrated.

We have decided to start planning our daily meals ahead to better track our intake and grocery needs. I’m now cooking enough for 4 people, even though I’m only feeding 2 adults and a toddler. The most important thing is choosing healthy and whole foods. So, if you’re trying to figure out how to balance several people with different dietary goals on only 1 grocery budget, rest assured that it CAN be done. I’ll be revisiting this topics in a few weeks to let you know how each of us are progressing. Wish us luck!

Thanks for reading!

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The Struggle is Real! My 5lb Roadblock

It’s been a while since I last updated you on my weight loss progress, and there’s a reason for that. Quite frankly, there hasn’t been any progress in quite some time. My husband returns from his deployment THIS WEEKEND! YAYYYYYY!! Of course, this means that 7 months have gone by, which is the deadline I originally set to achieve my goal.

Apr 2014 weight check 2And I have done no. Such. Thing. I had plans, realistic plans, to lose 40 pounds in the past 7 months. To date, I have only officially lost 10. Some days, the scale says I have lost 14, but that is the limit to my weight loss. I am very disappointed in myself, because I know that this is my own fault.

I have been struggling within the same 5-pound range for the last 3 months or so. Despite all the self-shaming and tears (yes, I have cried over it), I cannot seem to find the self-discipline I need to push past this point. I have fabulous outfits waiting in my closet for when I get down to that size 9 I dream about, and I still can’t make this happen. I eat at home much more often, yet I still let my portions get out of control. I have an assortment of workouts to choose from, and I still tell myself I don’t have the time (even when I do). See? It’s 100% my own fault, I’m well aware. That doesn’t seem to be changing the situation for me.

Apr 2014 weight checkWho else has been where I am in this struggle? What did you do to persevere? Or perhaps the question is, DID you persevere? I want to get past this. I suspect that having my husband home will help me, since he’s MUCH better about sticking to healthy habits than I am. I suppose I need to set a new deadline as well. My birthday is roughly 8 weeks away. In that time, I want to reach my 20-pound milestone. That should be enough time to drop 6-10 pounds if I get back on the wagon and STAY ON. Baby steps are key. If I can do a little, I can do a little more. How do you get through a roadblock? I can’t be the only one whose been there.

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Hire Me As a Virtual Assistant!

Hungry Coqui Virtual Assistant logoLadies and gentlemen, I am starting a new business venture! I have decided to start working from home as a virtual assistant. This is a great way for me to generate income and still stay home with my son. If you are a business professional of ANY kind and could use an extra set of hands (or eyes, or brain cells), please head over to my VA page for more information. There, you’ll find my resume, as well as available services, hours, and pricing guidelines. I am currently offering discounted rates in an effort to build my clientele, so let me know what I can do for you!

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I found a Zumba class!

dancingTwo years ago I went to my local gym and tried a few sessions of Zumba. It was super cheap and I had always been interested, but that particular class just wasn’t a good fit. I was the youngest person in the class by a minimum of 10 years. It was a small, extremely crowded room; and I just wasn’t comfortable. The instructor was lively and easy to follow, but she was catering to her older, slower crowd. Therefore, I did not get much of a challenge or workout. (I’m not hating on older women trying to stay fit and have fun, I’m just saying I needed a faster pace to break a sweat.) Then, I had a baby; and you can’t take babies to crowded Zumba classes…

Until last week. I recently made some new friends by attending my local Enlisted Spouses Club meeting, and one lady just happens to teach free Zumba classes twice a week. She also has quite a few stay-at-home-moms in her classes and has 2 small children herself, so she was highly sympathetic to my current situation. She allows moms to bring their kids provided they do not disrupt the class. So last Thursday, I went to Zumba. And it was AWESOME!!

I had so much fun! The instructor was high energy and took the time to check in with each of us to make sure we were picking up the moves. The small class was polite and welcoming, and my son took to them quickly. He’s a fast judge of character, so him liking people is key to the experience we’re going to have anywhere we go. After the hour, I was sweating and hungry and had drank most of my liter bottle of water. This is the kind of workout I think I needed. An added boost to help me try and keep up with how much I ultimately end up eating every day. My diet discipline is terrible, but I can always workout more.

My first thought when the class was over was that I should look for a Zumba workout video so that I can do it at home on a daily basis. But then I realized, a lot of the reason I had fun was  because I was there with other people who were sweating just as hard as I was. I think Zumba is much better as a social workout experience, so I will not be purchasing a video. I will keep going to this class twice a week and enjoy my time there. I’d like to drop 5 more pounds or so before my husband come’s home next month.

If you’re a San Antonio local, here is the link to my instructor’s page and class info. Please join us!

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5 Ways You Can Burn Extra Calories Today

dancing-queenEveryone knows it’s easier to take in calories than it is to get rid of them. Whether you want an extra bonus on top of your workout or you’re trying to ease into the whole exercising thing, here are some routines that you can start today to burn extra calories.:

  1. Dance- I keep a charger in my kitchen just so I can plug up my phone and turn on Pandora without killing the battery. I dance and sing while I cook meals and load dishwasher. May not sound like much, but how much time do you spend cooking each day? An hour of dancing can burn 336 calories! And it’s fun!
  2. Park further back- I used to be the parking lot shark who would drive around Wal-Mart for 15 minutes looking for a close spot. Now that I work out, I’ve stopped being so picky. I’m not saying you can’t take the good spot if it’s open, but if it’s not, walking from the middle of the lot won’t kill you.
  3. Check the mail- Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but base housing here has apartment-style mailboxes. That is to say, all of the boxes are located in one central location rather than on the front of your house. I used to just drive by and stop on my way back from the grocery store. Now, I walk there and back, 15 minutes every day. Maybe yours isn’t that far, but the calorie burn is still worth it. Jog for an extra boost. I can burn 62 calories a day just checking the mail. That’s about 3 tootsie rolls, or just one of those caramel-filled chocolates you got for Valentine’s day.
  4. Clean a room- You probably already have a chore or two that needs to be done around the house anyway. Put some elbow grease into it! Scrub out your bathtub. Vacuum the carpets. Pick one room in the house and go at it! If you’re like me, you’ve got 3 baskets of clean laundry right now that are still waiting to be folded, so get to it!
  5. Get laid- Ok, so this might be easier for some of you than others, but grab a partner and get busy! You can burn upwards of 300 calories in an hour long love session. It’s a win-win situation, so just remember that the next time you “have a headache”. (The release of endorphins during sex can also alleviate headaches, by the way.)

What everyday activities do you do that could be modified to burn extra calories? Let’s make this a long list!

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How to Choose a Goal Outfit

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to have an end goal. Like me, for instance. I want to weigh 130 pounds again. But weight loss is not easy for most of us, so it’s important to stay motivated. This is why you need a goal outfit. So how do you choose?

  1. Be realistic- I started my weight loss journey at a snug size 14. I’m not going to buy a size 2 outfit and expect to ever fit into it. I may be petite, but hips and booty like mine don’t come in a size 2. So whether you’ve always had a lanky body or a curvy one, choose your goal outfit accordingly.
  2. Only go a few sizes down- If you’ve got more than 20 pounds to lose, it could take a while. So don’t pick an outfit in the final size you’re shooting for. You’ll only get frustrated at how long it’s taking you to get there. Choose a transitional outfit a few sizes down from where you are. I chose a pair of jeans in a size 9. That’s not my end goal, but if I can get back into single digits that’s a huge accomplishment! And when I get there, I’ll buy another outfit a few more sizes down.
  3. Go cheap- DO NOT pay top dollar for a goal outfit. You don’t know exactly how your weight loss is going to happen. You may not be the shape you thought you would be, and that can drastically affect how your outfit fits. I’d be mad if I spent $50 on those size 9 jeans and then when I get into them they just don’t sit on my hips right. So hit the thrift store, or the discount/closeout, or the outlet stores.
  4. goal-outfit-bikiniShop for next season- Not only is it cheaper, it gives you a nice time cushion to get down to that size. Take, for instance, my bikini here. I spent $8 on it, and swim suit season is still about 3 months away. That’s plenty of time for me to get down into a size medium.

And after you’ve chosen a goal outfit or 2, keep them out where they will be constant reminders of your goal. That bikini is hanging in my kitchen right now. That way, every time I reach for a snack I see it and remember that I need to choose apple chips rather than Tootsie rolls. So where are you going to look for your goal outfit? My jeans came from a thrift store and the bikini from a Rugged Wearhouse. I also love stores like Ross and DD’s Discounts. Tell me where you find the best deals on goal outfits!