Hi friends! How’s your week going?! Pretty good here. Some weeks I feel buried and overwhelmed, but this week has started off on a super productive foot and I’m feeling ambitious about getting lots of stuff done! Even some of those pesky things that have been on the to-do list forever! Which ties in perfectly for today because we’re talking taking care of your body during the holidays.
You’re in for a treat because my handsome hubby is back sharing his secret for how he recently lost weight and then I’ll share my tips for keeping those extra pounds off at the end of the year! No one likes to start the new year with an additional 10 pounds to lose, we want to start off feeling fresh and invigorated!
In my last post, many of you remarked that it looks like I have lost weight. Since then, several other people have said, “you look different,” which I will assume means “looks like you’ve lost weight” instead of you look like Swamp Thing or Shrek. Well, you would be right, I have lost weight; about 15 pounds since middle of July.
A few years ago, I did a challenge for the gym we belong to and I lost almost 25 pounds in 40 days. I can tell you it was not a healthy weight loss and within about 6 months I had put all the weight back on. So, what’s different now: diet. I decided to try making the majority of my diet more vegan and vegetarian. Now before you say, “oh dear God, not another one of these whack job stories,” I will tell you that I was a huge skeptic, mostly because I have always viewed most vegans as people who were doing it for purely political purposes, realizing of course there are those who do it for religious and other reasons.
At various points in my life I have been a workout fiend (twice a day), and at other times not so much (couldn’t find the gym with a search warrant, a guide team, and a GPS device). During the times that I was working out one thing remained consistent: a heavy protein diet consisting mostly of meat, meat, more meat and protein shakes. When I was a teenager in high school this was not a problem as my metabolism burned faster than a comet across the night’s sky. As I got older though, this diet was clearly not working but I was in complete denial about it. Mostly because I love steak; and chicken; and sausage; and BBQ; and the all you can eat Brazilian joints.
However, after finally reaching the point where I just knew something had to change I decided to give the whole vegan/vegetarianism thing a try. I decided to go cold turkey and jump right into vegan. Megan thought I was crazy, hell I thought I was crazy too. I honestly did not believe I was going to make it 48 hours before going around the corner to Whataburger and ordering a double meat with cheese all the way with fries and a chocolate shake. To my surprise though, it was actually very easy. For 4 straight weeks, I ate vegan. Not only no meat, but no dairy, and no other animal products like eggs. It was crazy town around here!
The big thing I did not do was promote this on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media, I wasn’t in this for a cause and I didn’t see any need to promote it. I just wanted to see if this would make me feel better. I also did not tell people that I went out to lunches with that I was doing this. I stayed silent. Funny thing, no one said a thing to me. If I ordered a salad at lunch, or some other dish with vegan compliant ingredients nobody said, “what’s wrong with you!” I didn’t get anyone judging me or telling me that it wouldn’t last, or asking, “Are you some kind of communist?” In some ways, it was an interesting social experiment. People who have known me for years and know my carnivore consuming ways didn’t even pick up on it. But, by doing it this way, there wasn’t any pressure. If I couldn’t keep it up or I could quit, no big deal.
What I found after those 4 weeks was crazy. I had dropped about 8 pounds with limited working out and felt 1000% better. The biggest challenge was ahead though: our trip to New Orleans. Megan asked me, “what are you going to do?” I’m going to eat like I am in New Orleans, that’s what I’m going to do. It was one weekend and like I said I wasn’t in this for some political purpose I was doing it to see if I would feel better. I went to New Orleans and I ate meat and all sorts of other decadent foods, and it was delicious! When we got back to Houston, I went back to the new diet I had begun but decided I didn’t need to be militant about it. I could still have meat and dairy if I wanted, just not every day and for every meal. I have adopted that philosophy since we returned and have managed to lose another 7 pounds or so.
The term, “moderation,” really does apply to me and eating large quantities of meat at this point in my life. I am by no means advocating this and saying you need to do it. What I’m saying is find what works for you, just as I hope I have found something that might work for me. Everyone is different and what works for some of us ain’t gonna work for others. I have not forsaken meat or ice cream or anything like that, I just don’t eat them every day 3 to 4 times a day.
The holidays are of course the worst time of the year to try and control your diet and not eat and drink to excess. Between the holiday gatherings with family and the holiday parties with your co-workers and friends your liver and other vital organs curse your very name. It’s also probably not the best time to try some new crazy diet. Once the dust has settled though everyone, men and women, will make their New Year’s Resolutions and along with diet going to the gym is always in the Top 5 priorities.
So, for all the guys out there who you know will make their post-holiday return to the gym, I have spent hours (well, not really hours) scouring the Nordstrom website and found 8 workout items that you can pick up for him to help in his fitness efforts. They do actually have a pretty great selection of workout clothes there and online shopping is so much easier than venturing to the store! You read about my recent experience, right?!
That’s all I have for now, so in the words of my son: “smash that like button and leave me a comment!”
Hi! It’s Megan again! I swear I couldn’t believe my husband was going vegan, espeically since this is the same guy that always used to take me to steakhouses and order his meat still mooing! He’s a true meat lover, so for him to give it up for a straight month astounded me! But, I’m so glad he feels better now!
You might be wondering if I went vegan too. No, I did not. Although I gave up meat for a month, except for two trips to Chick-fil-A, I ate fish and shrimp and he didn’t. Although Jimmy advises not necessarily starting a new diet plan until after the New Year, I have some tips to help you still enjoy the holidays without gaining extra weight that you’re battling to lose at the beginning of the year!
5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays Without Gaining Weight
- Don’t go to a party hungry – eat your meal at home first. That way you control what’s on the menu as opposed to leaving it up to the host. Sometimes there’s really nothing ‘healthy’ at a party, so you’re at the mercy of whatever they’re serving.
- Avoid mindless snacking – those calories add up quick, sometimes you aren’t even eating to enjoy the food, but rather for something to do at a party. You aren’t even hungry! Mingle, dance, enjoy the people and company. Make a plate and move away from the food table/kitchen/serving area!
- Indulge wisely – if you do want to taste ALL the good food, eat lighter during the day to balance it out. Don’t be afraid to try the one-bite rule. You don’t have to finish the dessert, but you don’t want to offend the chef and not be able to tell him/her how great it was 🙂 I actually REALLY love dessert, so I’ll just ‘save room’ by eating less of the appetizers or meal and have a big piece of pie!
- Drink water in between cocktails – And choose cocktails with more water/sparkling water ingredients for less calories. For me, two drinks is plenty and keeps me from feeling terrible the next day. If I do overindulge, I’m more likely to eat bad the next day and forget about working out.
- Keep working out – the big thing here is that if you keep up your workouts, you’re more likely to make better food choices because you think- I didn’t just spend all that time and energy working out to blow it. OR you can also think, hey, I’ve worked out, now I can enjoy ‘guilt free’ all this good food!
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