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Sunday, April 12, 2015

How I Got Bikini Confidence in Three Weeks...

I began studying health and nutrition for over ten years ago-- mostly through trial and error, lots of research, and then of course my Certification Program through the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. You would think I knew all the answers to losing weight… but I found myself 10 pounds over weight even though I was eating a mostly vegan diet, and doing intense P90X3 exercises daily. For years I was cycling through my P90X workouts, which I adore, and long runs. But I needed a change because I was no longer seeing results. At this point I was eating close to nothing in my failed attempts to lose the weight.  

In 2012, at the age of 25 with acne and belly weight I could not shed, I was told that I was infertile because my ovaries were "fully loaded" with cysts. This is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  With PCOS, my blood sugar is often elevated, and I am constantly bloated… It was the reason my skin was mess and my weight was out of control. Anyone with hormonal imbalances knows how difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight, let alone lose weight.

That was until about a month ago when I started the 21 Day Fix Extreme along with my Shakeology.

V.Day Dinner was amazing, and worth every bite!

Here we are, all smiles after that sushi, wine, and chocolate :)
I began the program shortly after a gluttonous Valentine’s Day weekend- where my hubby and I munched on chocolate and sushi by the boatloads, and washed it all down with really good Chardonnay. On February 22nd I weighed in at my highest weight of 131.8, my waist was 32 inches, my hips were 42 inches, and each thigh was 24.5 and 23.8 inches. My clothes were tight, I was extremely bloated, and when I put on a bathing suit, I almost cried and refused to take before pictures in it (hence the workout clothes picture below). I know 131.8 pounds is not necesarily a lot of weight, but I am 5’2” and I have a small frame. So for me, this is a lot of unhealthy weight mostly in my stomach which was making me feel awful both emotionally and physically.

The first week of doing the 21-Day Fix Extreme, I felt I was eating SO much more food than before, and I was. But after just one week I lost 8 pounds, two inches in my waist, one in my hips, and a little less than one in each leg. I was amazed how quickly the weight came off! My clothes were so much looser, I felt more toned, and I wasn’t starving (like I was in the past). 

The best part about the diet was that I was able to eat pretty much anything that wasn’t processed:

Here is an example of a typical day minus my snack:
Shakeology with banana and Flaxseed, Kale Scrambled Eggs
with Avocado and Sprouted Grain Bread for lunch, Then Salmon over a
Kale salad with Asparagus and Sweet Potatoes. 
-Breakfast was easy, I would have my Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (1 red) with half a frozen banana (1 purple) and two tablespoons of ground flaxseed (1 orange). Since it tastes like a treat, I didn’t have too many cravings for sweets.

-For lunch I would put a protein over a salad with a ¼ of avocado. Most days I would use tempeh, others I would use eggs ( 1-2 green, 1 red, 1 blue) topped with balsamic vinegar, lemon, and seasonings.

-My typical snack was an apple with almond butter (1 purple, 2 teaspoons).

One of my favorite things to do was to make Tacos for dinner (minus 
the shells, instead I eat as a salad), and then bring leftovers for lunch. 

-Finally for dinner I made variations of chicken breast, ground turkey, fish, and vegetables. Some days I made turkey meatballs over zucchini spaghetti, others I made tacos, or grilled chicken in hot sauce or a homemade barbeque sauce. My favorite was baking Sole or Salmon in a lemon sauce.  

The options are endless. I fell in love with asparagus; it is a wonderful food for detoxifying the body. My favorite food was making sweet potato fries in place of my carbs. So dinner was typically 2 reds, 1-2 greens, 1-2 yellows.

I made everything I normally would cook, just tweaked it a bit to make it healthier. 

Grilled chicken is always an easy meal with my beloved asparagus and
sweet potato fries. I also switched up my protein a few days to tempeh,
which is a vegan protein. Pan seared in coconut oil
and over a salad, it is delicious! 

On nights I made my husband Chicken Parm or meatballs,
I would nix the cheese and eat it over Spaghetti Squash. This helped
take care of those Italian genes craving I often get!

By the end of the 21 days I had gained two pounds since my first week weigh in, BUT the amazing thing was that I lost 3 more inches in my waist (total of 5 inches), a total of 4.5 inches in my hips, and 1 inch on each thigh. I could not believe that I had GAINED two pounds but lost so many inches! Of course I knew this was possible, but I never quite experienced it, so I did not really believe it, until now.

On April 2nd I completed my second round of the 21-Day Fix Extreme, right in time for my vacation down to the Virgin Islands with my Hubby and our friends.... I was so ready! I had not lost any more weight, but my waist was so much more toned, and I felt amazing.

The three things I learned in the first three weeks:
1.) The scale does not tell the whole story! 
2.) It is not so much about how much you eat, than what you eat. Eating more protein and less carbs, although more calories have proven to help me lose weight. 
3.) Squats + weights are amazing at slimming and toning the WHOLE body and there a lot of them in the program! Amen to that!

Next week I plan to tell you all about my vacation-- balancing health and fitness with reckless fun. Lets just say I ordered the 3-Day Refresh to clean out my system post vacation and have already begun a third round of the Fix Extreme! (Is there any such thing as too much fun?)

As always, please, please, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions! In addition, I would to LOVE to connect and help you reach your health and fitness goals so comment below, or contact me:

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Healthy & Happiness (& some reckless fun!),