I was an avid athlete as a child, adolescent, and teenager. Soccer, swimming, diving, and tonsil hockey were among my favorite extracurricular activities. I was really frigging good at diving and tonsil hockey. Things have definitely changed in the fitness and metabolism departments since then. I used to be able to eat absolutely anything I wanted and not be affected by it because, well, I was young and I was an athlete. Nope. Not anymore. Metabolisms can be fickle when the years add up. Bodies change. The way we process our caloric intake now vs. even 5 years ago is effed up. We can no longer maintain the same diet we once had and we now have to work way harder to achieve our physical ideals. It’s some bullshit but it is reality so we have to accept it and do what needs to be done to look good and feel good. I have def had to battle some bulge in my life. Three major times. We are talking significant weight loss here. In my mid twenties I chose to indulge and the bulge I battled was 35 excess pounds of booze and eating whatever I wanted. I lost that shit by eating clean and working out. 35 pounds in 6 months. The second time I had to prepare for battle like a true warrior. I had to put on my armor and go to battle. This was 6 years ago and this, my friends, was a battle I was not too sure I could win. I was 119 pounds when I got pregnant with my son. Many would say I was too thin at the time. I like how skinny feels so I try to fight them but they are probably right. I am 5’4, big boneded, and I have a significant amount of muscle mass, therefore I weigh much more than I look. My sister, Andrea, told me I needed to gain the first 20 pounds that came on. Not so much the next 50 or so. The last time I looked at the scale while pregnant with my son, it read 186 pounds. I birthed by son, Max, via C-section and began my long battle with Postpartum Depression and my fat ass. I lost 50 pounds with healthy eating and exercise and then got pregnant with my daughter less than 2 years later. With Margot’s pregnancy I gained 40 pounds. I delivered her via C-section, developed postpartum depression again, and lost all 40 pounds gained during her pregnancy in addition to 15 pounds I never lost from my first pregnancy. I mention postpartum because it was a very poignant time in my life. Being able to get my mind and body in a better physical state was not what my mind and body wanted to do. I had to beat my own ass and mind. In less than a decade I have gained and lost somewhere around 135 pounds. That is an entire me. My point is, I know how to lose weight. I also must add I am not the girl who’s body wants to be thin. I am the girl who has to work really hard to maintain health and fitness because my body wants to be thick. I also have this really awesome condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I developed this recently, about a year and a half ago, right as I reached my physical ideal. Weight gain is one of the many side effects of POS. That and a God damn beard. My recent struggles involve 10 pounds I want to lose and mad cellulite developed, probably, from my hormonal treatments for POS.
50% of why I work out is mental. It is my medicine. The other 50% is for health and appearance purposes. Now. I can share all of my secrets with you and motivate you up the wazoo, but if your mind is weak and your heart isn’t in it, you aren’t going to battle your bulge. You’re just not. There is no such thing as a diet. Sorry, girls. Diets are a myth. You have to 100% change your entire life. In order to achieve a healthy mind and physical body you must make serious and committed life style changes.
Here are some of my basic food rules and a few things I had to change to achieve the loss and body I desire.
Tonic is bad. I used to drink Gin and Tonics like a jerk. Um, hello calories and sugar! Did you know one serving of tonic, one cocktail, is 124 calories and a mind blowing 32 grams of sugar?! A Snickers bar has 18 grams of sugar. So basically, one drink with tonic is equivalent to eating almost 2 full size Snickers. I used to drink 5 when I was out. No wonder I gained 35 pounds in my 20’s! What did I change? I started drinking Gin and sodas with 3 limes. Huge difference. Huge.
If it’s white, don’t eat it. This is my rule. We are talking white bread, white rice, white sugar, white pasta, white potatoes. I am not a die hard no carber. I eat some carbs, just not white ones. I do also have a pretty intense gluten intolerance so it’s kind of easy to stay away from most of these. My advice to those of you who love carbs? Eat whole grains and wheat substitutes for your whites. I am Italian, so I do not believe in brown rice pasta or wheat pasta and all that shit. If you are going to eat pasta because you are craving it, have it for an early dinner and go for a killer run in the morning.
Stop sucking back on Grandpa’s old cough medicine. Listen. I like to throw back a few every once in a while. EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. That does not mean every night. That does not mean every other night. Maybe once a week I have a couple drinks. And I opt to drink low caloric alcoholic beverages. Red wine and gin and soda’s are my thing. Once in a while, I have a couple quality beers or some proseco and St. Germaine drinks. That is my “fancy, I am treating myself drink” because it isn’t good for my ass. Consuming beverages with tons of sugar is, in my opinion, the dumbest frigging thing a girl with some unwanted junk in her trunk can do. Empty frigging sugar calories. And not to mention, you will feel like complete and utter ass in the morning and will have zero will to work out. Don’t be dumb. If you want to lose weight or maintain weight loss, one thing you need to change in that lifestyle of yours? Drinking.
H2O, yo. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed, the only thing I drink is water. Day in and day out. No soda. That shit is the devil. No juice. No milk. Nothing but tons and tons of water. Oh, and green tea. I drink green tea, too.
Peanut Butter ain’t no friend of mine. Hello. My name is Nicole and I am addicted to Peanut Butter. I crave it. I love it. I want to smear it all over my face and dance naked in my bedroom. I eat apples with peanut butter everyday. I put peanut butter in my nutritional shakes. I put peanut butter on multigrain toast. I have been caught standing in a dark kitchen eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. I have a problem. Well, had, rather. I still eat it but I have modified my intake. I allow myself 2 tablespoons of real peanut butter a day. I need that fix. The rest of the times I would normally eat the real deal, I instead eat PB2. It is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy.
Eat at night? Good luck with that. Bad bad bad habit, eating at night. Hey, you. You want the easiest and fastest way to become unhappy with your physical appearance and you want to feel like a piece of shit when you wake up in the morning? Eat at night! Ugh. Stop it. Stop it right frigging now. Control yourself, dammit. Starting today, no eating after dinner. And make dinner a reasonable hour like before 7:30. Eat a balanced dinner. When your fat ass starts trying to take control of your brain, bitch slap her and chug some water. This is a bad habit and it needs to be broken. Commit to it, do it, and in about a few weeks, eating at night will be a thing of the past. You will also lose some weight.
Puffy as hell. I believe salt is essential. Food has no taste without it. However, too much salt is no good for you and your waistline. When I cook, I use a moderate amount of salt and I do not add salt to my food once it has been prepared. Lower your sodium intake and you will notice a huge difference in your bloat. Cutting salt and drinking a lot of water will help you keep some of that water weight off.
Sugar’s motherland is Hell. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and get fit you have to cut out sugar. No chocolate. No cake. No ice cream. No cookies. No Swedish fish. No gummy bears. No delicious chocolate Cadbury eggs. No sugar. You want to rid yourself of cellulite and a fat ass? No sugar. Sugar is evil and sugar will ruin your life and your waistline. It has also been shown to work really well with cancer cells. They are like BFF’s. Yep. From what I have read, sugar feeds cancer. What in the? Listen. I am not a freak. I cannot maintain absolutely no sugar every single day, day in and day out. There is something to be said for balance. But unfortunately, balance and sugar don’t coexist well because sugar acts like a drug to our brains. Seriously. So, when it comes to sugar, the only exceptions I make are on special occasions. And even then, I try to enjoy just a taste.
Read that shit, girl. Check and read your labels! I am trying hard to eat clean and only consume whole foods. I think it’s the best way to live. However, I do purchase some stuff with labels and I def learned something the hard way. Make sure to check the serving sizes of what you are eating. Sure. From first glance it doesn’t look so bad. Say, 250 calories, 13 grams of sugar for that 1 serving nutritional bar you’re eating. PSYCH! That bitch is two servings. That’s 500 calories and 26 grams of sugar. READ YOUR LABELS. You will be shocked.
Rise and shine. Breakfast is major and it sets the tone for the rest of your metabolic day. Eating a substantial, balanced breakfast allows your body to maintain sustenance and gets your brain where it needs to be in order to continue a healthy day. If you start your day off with nothing, you will be starving in no time and you will be scurrying around for anything to shove in your face. If you start your day with McDonald’s breakfast what’s the point of eating healthy the rest of the day… so your mind tells you. Start your day off right and end it right.
Mooooo=Nooooo. Dairy makes me sick so this one is easy for me. However, prior to removing dairy from my diet I used to LOVE cheese. Super high in fat and calories. It may seem like an impossible thing to do for some of you but it is worth a try. If you have a problem over indulging then maybe you should give it a shot and see. You may also be surprised to see how much better your gut feels.
Push that cart. It is so super important to be prepared. Having the right foods available when you are hungry is crucial to weight loss and maintenance. We are members of a society where convenience has become a serious problem. We are literally crippling ourselves. You hungry? Forget having to make that healthy balanced lunch and packing it up for work! Instead grab some Popeye’s chicken. Barf. I go grocery shopping every Monday morning. I try to prepare foods to have readily available for me during the week. For example, I buy a few heads of romaine, I wash it and chop it, and put it in serving sized baggies. This way it is accessible and convenient. I also sauté a couple of chicken breasts and have them all chopped up and ready to go. Things like this help me in my clean and whole eating adventure and keep me from getting suckered into America’s utter hellish convenient lifestyle.
Get Your Z’s. Sleep is a major contributor to a healthy mind and body. It is a cycle. Sleep good. Eat good. Feel good. It can also be a vicious cycle. Sleep bad. Eat bad. Feel bad. Let’s pretend you all have the ability to sleep well and have no conditions preventing you from maintaining or getting enough sleep. If you stay up late constantly and wake up early, not getting the appropriate amount of sleep, you are really effing your shit up. Sleep is major. 8 hours. Try and get 8 hours of sleep. It will really jump start your workouts and mental clarity.
Vitamins. Having a healthy mind and body needs assistance. I make sure to take my supplements and vitamins everyday to ensure balance and health. Check this out and swallow some healthy stuff everyday. I feel like a million frigging bucks.
Now. When it comes to my workouts. I do not belong to a gym. It just doesn’t jive with my insane schedule and lifestyle these days. I opt to workout at home. Everyone is different. I def struggle with motivation at times. It can be REALLY hard to get my mind where it needs to be but not getting fit and healthy is not a choice. In order for me to feel good, I need to look good. When I am not fit, I am not happy and I like being happy so the minute I start feeling like kaka, I check myself. Usually when I check myself, I notice I have let go of my workouts and clean eating and I get my fat ass back on track fast. This is where I am right now. Getting back on track and it’s feeling really, really good.
Here are my “must have, can’t get fit without” things.
Vega pre workout energy. Oh how I love this. I mix this magical vegan powder with some water and chug it about 15 minutes prior to my workouts. This stuff gives me energy and the mental boost I need to sweat!
Blender bottle. I love this thing. I put my Vega powder in here and add some water and shake the shit out of it. This thing is great for protein shakes, lemon water, nutritional shakes, and anything else you need to shake the shit out of.
Water Bottle. Everywhere I go you will find a water bottle with me. I recently bought this new bottle and I LOVE it. It has a straw. I love straws. I try not to put straws in my cocktails because I will suck that thing up in seconds. I also love this water bottle, too. I use this one when I am on the go running around and I don’t have anywhere to put it but my purse. I also love it because you can not only remove the cap to drink water but can also unscrew the entire top half of the bottle to easily put lemon slices or other big shit in there.
Headphones for running. Ain’t nothing worse than going for a long, hard run listening to killer music while using crap ass ear buds that slip out from sweating. These are my must have headphones. They stay put, they have a microphone, and the volume is adjustable. Love.
Favorite sneakers. I am addicted to Asics sneakers. They are so frigging comfortable and really frigging cute. I run about 3 miles a day about 4 times a week and these bitches rock it with me.
Armband. This cheap little thing does the trick for me. It’s comfortable and reliable.
NTC app. This right here is my favorite, most valuable, can’t live without, can’t get fit without app. The Nike Training Club app is all sorts of brilliant. My dear friend, Carmen who is fit as hell and busy as hell, turned me onto this and I am forever grateful because it has literally changed my life. It has changed my body. It allows me to get ass kicking workouts from my bedroom. I am talking sweat pouring, muscles shaking, collapse to the ground when completed workouts. There are four categories within NTC. Get Lean. Get Toned. Get Strong. Get Focused. Within each individual category are 3 levels. Beginner. Intermediate. Advanced. You get to pick what best suits you at the moment and go from there. Within each level are about 10 interchangeable workouts ranging from 30-45 minutes. I encourage you all to download this FREE life changing app and investigate it. Play with it. See what it is about and get comfortable with the workouts. Then, put on your Asic sneakers and work your ass out! You will hug me and maybe tongue kiss me the next time you see me. Promise.
I feel the need to mention I am really comfortable in my skin. I haven’t always been. I am appreciative and grateful to have the beautiful body I was given and I try to get it to it’s greatest potential for me and only me. I like to look good naked. And as a girl in her mid-thirties, I like to be naked. A lot. Sex is important and it is super duper normal and healthy to want and to have a healthy sex life. When I am in a happy physical place, my sex life is frigging rock star. I think it is really important for us, women, to feel comfortable when our dresses hit the floor. We need to feel beautiful and look beautiful and we need to be beautiful on the inside, as well, because that is the greatest beauty of all. Inner beauty. And regardless of what you think, your inner beauty, your spirit, will not shine if you do not see something beautiful when you look in the mirror. This means, you are the beholder of your beauty. If you see beauty with junk in your trunk, fill that trunk up and rock it, girl! If you feel beautiful with a few less dimples on your ass, well, get up off it then! Do no let society, celebrities, some jerk face guy, particular parents, friends, anyone alter your self love and your perception of your beauty. We are all different and God dammit we are all beautiful. When I look good, I feel good. Let’s all just learn to love the skin we are in!
Love it. Live it. Share it.