Lauren is a Dear Friend of Mine- as much as we live close- we are both incredibly active stay at home moms working on raising our children, going to school and being the best house wives we can be. Lauren is a Godly Woman and I enjoy our friendship! It's been an honor and pleasure to have my lifestyle rub off on her and to help answer her questions and be an advocate for her new healthy lifestyle choices that have allowed her to lose over 32lbs but most importantly make a complete 180 in regards to her food choices and personal health. Now she can pay it forward to her children and family & friends. Luv Ya and can't wait to watch you become a Half Marathoner ♥ (p.s. this woman gave lots of razzing to anyone that ever ran more than 3 miles and could care less if she fed her kids chef b'rdee, sorry Lauren- I just HAVE to go there ;-) tehehehe, your progress is inspiring!)
*update* Lauren is Now a Half Marathoner! 3/25/2012 in a snow blizzard in Central New York!
Hi, My name is Lauren, I turned into a calorie counting running girl in a very short time- I started my journey to change the way I eat in January 2012 and I began calorie counting and viewing food differently. The people in my life are what inspired me most to be better. This would be Connie York, and Amy Sheridan. They have been the most influential people in the change and have helped me learn and grow in so many ways other than just running. Before my thinking wasn't positive, I always felt like it was to hard or that there wasn't a need. I didn't see the need to run past 1 mile or see the need to change the way I was eating. Now I think of food and running in a different way. Running isn't just running, its has become apart of my life and the motivation to push me.. Food isn't just to feed my taste buds. Food is now something that needs to fuel me and whatever that fuel is, I want it to be worth eating. Think about what that food is going to do for you. Is it going to make you feel better or worse! Eating well and exercising does a body good! Its has helped me feel physically better and mentally better.
I wrote this Note for family and friends and feel free to read what I think and have to say about taking this journey:
Decided to write this out for my friends and family who wants to lose weight.. You really have to do it the all fashioned way.. Exercise and food choice changes.. I have never calorie counted before and always thought that would be way to hard, but now I'm wondering why I was so negative and against it because it really isn't that hard and you will not starve..Initially you can lose weight without exercising but it wont last long unless you are extremely strict on your calories and eventually your body will adjust and you probably will stop losing weight.. If you exercise you will lose more weight, so I say if your going to count calories you might as well make it worth it by exercising, plus exercising can suppress your appetite.. It does for me someday and other days it doesn't.. There will be days that you will have temptations and urges to eat something, but its all about will power.. You can remove yourself from the food that is tempting you, or move it away from you.. Example, every Thursday Marissa has piano. Piano teacher leaves a bowl of candy and chocolate out.. It stares at me, the entire 30 minutes so when I walk in I take the bowl of candy and put it on his table so its not in front of me.. This also means don't buy things that you will want to eat that cant have.. so no soda, no creamer, no butter, no chips, etc... etc.. etc.. Don't go out to lunch or dinner anymore, or meet up with friends who you think will want to do lunch.., no more dunking donuts coffee unless you switch up your order.. If you plan on going out to dinner, look up their menu and see what is calorie counting friendly. Most restaurants have a light menu, so plan your day out around that meal so you are still within range. There are also going to be saboteurs.. I call them that.. This can be your husband, your best friend, anyone really.. They will say oh come on, you can eat this, or geeze your no fun now because you cant do dinner or lunch. They might even buy you a box of chocolates... My hubby usually will drink his soda in front of me, so I can smell it and say yum-mm..There are going to be days where you totally go off course, like way off. This is just one day or meal, so don't get upset about it.. Its going to happen.. The next day you just start all over again. I also think if you find yourself playing mental games like I do, with exercising or pushing yourself you need to tell yourself to shut up.. Seriously, if your having a bad day instead of deciding whether or not to go to the gym, you say nope shut up, I'm going and going to get it over with even if you are not in the spirit to do so.. Sometimes that means you might even have to run faster to get it over with faster :). You will have pity parties, but you will learn that your pity parties last so long because you are not in the gym or on track.. That is when they start. You will decide not to workout and then that leads to future plans of working out that don't happen and by the time you know it 3 weeks have gone by and the entire time you are thinking about the fact that you weren't in the gym, and throwing a pity party and in a huge funk.. Its hard to get out of those, but you must break free.. Have someone hold you accountable which will help you get out of that funk..1. The best part about jump starting your progress is motivation.. The best kinda of motivation is actually seeing a change. A change in the scale, in your body, in your attitude.. If you don't see a change after a week or two, its because something is off.. Either your calories are not correct, not working out hard enough, both, or you think your not changing but you are but don't see it.. To be motivated this way, will take commitment.. That means being committed to your exercise and committed to your calories.. If you build it, he will come.. Or better yet if you do it, you will lose weight.. :)2. Attitude changes your motivation.. So you need to decide on something for a goal that will motivate you.. This can be planning on running a 5k, learning all the moves to Zumba, doing an entire workout video fully in it without the wimpy movements, building up the lbs on the weights.. That kind of stuff.. So when you start this, you need to have a plan in place that will motivate you to work to it.. Register for a 5k in 4 months.. Fill it out and send in the check.. You will be motivated to learn to run, because you already paid for it. There is no going back.. If you don't run the race at all, then well you deserve to lose the money you spent.. but if you decide to run it but don't run the entire race, it doesn't matter, you crossed the finish line and this will change your attitude which will change your motivation level.. You will want to run another one..3. Where to work out.. Humm.. I think working out at home is the hardest place.. Its so comforting, and well boring.. You are in the same place, staring at the same people, same walls, that you always stare at.. If you have no choice but to work out at home you are a rock star because that will take more commitment and planning. You will have to plan your workouts at home just like if you were at the gym. You also can work out outside. Some ways are to run, walk, bike ride, swim, in your community. These ways are all for free which is awesome and you can intertwine these two places.. Another way is by doing it at the gym. I have a love hate with the gym, I would rather do my running with a friend outside but I'm a wimp in the winter, so I did a 3 month membership because I know that I wont commit to running outside in the winter and wont commit to running on the treadmill in my own house..Suck it up and pay the money.. Happiness is better than money..4. Working out.. Make a schedule of your workout days and rest days.. So if Zumba is M,W,F, well then duh.. That is when you will do Zumba. If you need to rest in between than do so, but you can also add some running, or strength training in other days of the week.. If you plan on doing a 5k, make a running schedule.. So run M,W,F,S, or T, Thu, Sat. I say if you are going to run, run at least 3 times a week, but if you run 4 times a week that extra day does something. It makes it easier and you will get stronger faster.. I like to rest in between runs.. So I do M,T, Thu, Sat.. I rest W, F, Sun.. When you work up to a 5k, you will run short, short, short, long.. So Monday is a short recovering run.. Tuesday is a short run, Thursday is a shorter run, and Sat is the long run.. If you cant run like this there are great app to help you ease into a 5k.. Like C25k program.. Google it.. If you miss a workout, your body will be able to tell the next time you work out.. Sometimes extra rest days will do a body good, but sometimes you will feel like crap.. Tired, and just blah.. Push through that because the next time you will be good.. You have to hold yourself accountable to that schedule.. If you say I'm going to workout, M, W, F then do it.. No excuses... I had a ton of excuses, and honestly they get you no where but where you are now..5. Food... Food is awesome.. But now I'm in a place where I don't think all food is awesome.. I think a lot of food is gross.. The start of my calorie counting led to me to a point where I'm like what in the heck is in my food.. Man Made Food Is Bad For You!! I believe that GOD put the food on the earth that we were meant to eat, like untouched Fruit, veggies, Grains, nuts, animals.. We are not meant to eat chicken by products ground then covered in bread crumbs that have been bleached and "enriched", added sodium, trans fats, preservatives, with high fructose corn syrup, then deep fried in oil, with trans fats or "trans fats free", then froze and then deep fried once again to heat up for consumption..This is NOT FOOD!! This is called cancer! Honestly!!! My opinion.. but seriously! Some foods we consume but don't have control over are foods like fruits, that have been sprayed with pesticides. It sucks and doesn't make sense so if you can buy organic do so, but most of the time I cant.. If you want chicken nuggets, make them yourself.. Chicken breast, with oatmeal crumbs and cooked in EVOO or olive oil spray..Don't fry them in the EVOO just cook them in it, or bake them(even better).. :) Or read the back of the packaging to find out what is in the chicken nugget you want to eat.. My point is try to eat what you can closest to how it is naturally.. Veggies in veggies form not covered in butter, or sugar.. Fruit in fruit form, not fruit juice, or fruit snacks, but a real live banana that you peel!! Whole grains minus corn syrup, chicken breast, lean ground beef, milk without hormones.. I don't drink milk because of my own opinions on it but I do eat cheese, Greek yogurts, etc, etc, etc..And look at the sugar and sodium on the label... Always look at ingredients.. If you are buying juice for your child, and it says water, corn syrup as the first ingredients.. Its not juice.. Its basically sugared water that they have manipulated to taste like juice or there is a very small percent of actual juice in it. Feel guilty when you let your kids drink and eat these things.. I do, so now I am changing what they are aloud to eat and drink as well.. I've boycotted Mcdonalds since its basically a cancer building with a play pen..Oh and if you are not worried about my little thought on foods, you still can calorie count with the foods you buy.. Just read the label with the serving size..6. Calorie Counting.. Its really not that hard.. I think the best way to fuel your body is to consume natural foods.. like veggies.. You can eat a ton of veggies and they don't have very many calories, so guess why you wont starve.. Because you can a lot of them, and you wont go over calories or feel bad eating them.. Eat veggies in every meal.. I eat fruits for snacks.. Mostly a banana in the am and an apple in the pm.. Condiments are your enemy.. Seriously if you were like me, saying well I really don't eat bad. I don't eat crazy, I try to eat lean, then take a look at your condiments.. like creamer, sugar, butter, dressing, ketchup, sauce, etc, etc.. A typical cup of coffee for any person probably is at least 100 calories, but how? Well coffee is like 5 calories, and then when you add 2 tablespoons or more of sugar and 2 tablespoons or more of full fat, half and half, whole milk.. There is about 100 calories of just those two items to make a 100 calorie cup. and then when you have 2 cups,,, THATS 200 Calories.. See holy smokes.. Your breakfast is already 200 calories and that isn't even including the food you eat.. You must substitute items for items to make it worth consuming.. So you make a 50 calorie cup of coffee instead.. 1 tablespoon of sugar measured and yes I mean get a tablespoon and measure it.. Then take skim milk, soy milk, or coconut milk and measure 2-3 tablespoons.. Then you take one or two eggs with one slice of low calorie bread or bread that is low calories.. Your breakfast would be around 300 calories.. And you will feel full. Protein will help with that..The other enemy is beverages.. There are so many useless calories consumed through beverages.. Like SODA, juice, and milk.. Soda is something I no longer partake in because its really really bad for you and it has a ton of calories in it.. Well can I drink diet soda?? NOPE.. That is even worse for you because of the fake sugars they use.. If you cant live without soda dink gingerale or sierra mist natural and guess what?? Measure it out. Those two sodas have the lowest amount of calories. My favorite beverage is water.. Yep.. It zero calories and it needs to be consumed especially if you are exercising.. You will dehydrate without it and it will throw you off track.. The other beverages I drink are coffee, tea and a tiny bit of soy milk.. I still will measure my soy milk.. One day you will no longer have to measure and you will be able to tell by looking at it, but measuring is a must in the beginning... If you are having a hard time with choosing foods, I say stick to what you know.. Make the same things over and over again until you are confident enough or strong enough to step outside the box and venture with recipes.. The most important thing I think with calorie counting is Substitutions... You will need to substitute this for that... So no more mayonnaise, instead your nonfat sour cream or Greek yogurt.. Swear they will do the same job and you wont even notice.. Link to a good sub list..http://www.greatist.com/health/healthy-recipe-substitutions/You also need to track your food, beverages, condiments daily in the beginning to make sure you are on track.. You can use sparkspeople.com and write everything you eat down..Examples of 300-400 meals..Everything measured by servings of course..Breakfast-2cups of 50 cal coffee2eggs in olive oil spray, with 1 piece of low calorie toast, with tsp of smart butter Lunch- 2 slices of low calorie bread, tsp of jam, tsp peanut butter, Dinner- half of chicken breast baked and cut up.. Saute onions and peppers in olive oil spray, tomatoes, non-fat sour cream, and sprinkle of low fat cheese, 2 small tortillas..Snacks, fruit, veggies..Sweet tooth.. Cup of popcorn, with tbs of dark chocolate Hersey, and 10 almonds.. The mix of all these is really good and will get rid of that sweet tooth..If you still feel hungry drink water, if that doesn't go away eat an apple, banana, etc.. This is really all you need to know.. Count calories and exercise.. That is basically it.. I think staying between 1000 and 1200 calories will give you a huge jump start because you will see the loss in the beginning and will keep you motivated.. If you need help with making a meal try sparkspeople.com or email me for options..oh and btw, im not a professional calorie exerciser.. Just started this and it has worked..