Questions and Answers!!

Questions and Answers!!

Hi Everyone! So over the past couple weeks of my blogging, I have received many questions from you either via email or in class. My intent today is to answer some of your questions. However, I feel that I need to put somewhat of a disclaimer out there regarding the information that I am about to share. So ….here goes: MY eating plan may be different than YOUR eating plan. MY exercise plan may be different than YOUR exercise plan. What I eat and how much I eat is set up as a plan for me through the Ellipse Weight Loss Program!!!! I am not suggesting in anyway that you follow exactly what I eat or how much I exercise, because this may not be right for YOU!!! If you are interested in sitting down with an Ellipse Instructor and learning more about nutritional information for YOU…..please talk to us in class. OK….now that I have that out of the way….here is what you want to know about ME (again remember this is MY program).

Q: How much do you work out?

A: I participate in one class per day as an Ellipse member. I either attend the 5 AM or 6 AM class as a member to get in my workout for the day. Currently, I also instruct 3-4 resistance classes per week as well. Please understand that leading the class as an Instructor, the work-out is not as intense because we are there to make sure that you are getting the most out of your work-out and we as Instructors probably do ½ of the work-out in comparison to taking the class as a member. In addition, you will remember from one of my first blogs that my husband has embarked on this new lifestyle with me. We have found enjoyment in exercising on the weekends together and typically work-out for an hour or so on both Saturday and Sunday as well. So to sum it up, I would say that I work out about 1-1 ½ hours per day on average.

Q: How much do you eat?

A: Here is a sample of MY meal plan (again….this may not be right for YOU!).

Breakfast: Egg Beaters, 1 slice of fat free cheese, ½ of a light English Muffin, Cup of fruit, & 1 serving low sugar yogurt.

AM Snack: ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese with 1 serving of Special K crackers.

Lunch: 2 slices of Village Hearth light bread, lettuce, tomato, 3-4 oz of shredded chicken breast, and 1-1 ½ cups of raw vegetables. (I choose to skip the fatty condiments on my sandwich….I would just use a little yellow mustard if needed).

PM Snack: Supreme Protein bar

OR

Tomato Pesto Tuna (in a pouch at Woodman’s) with 1-2 Quaker Rice Cakes

Dinner: Haddock topped with seasonings and a light spray of Pam cooking spray, half of a baked potato topped with ¼ cup of cottage cheese, and a cup of steam broccoli.

Please understand that my eating plan is planned out by Ellipse!! My eating plan also changes weekly based on my results of weight loss to ensure that I am eating the right amount of food for ME and MY WORKOUT!! If you are interested in an eating plan for YOU…..you need to get professional advice from Ellipse or your Doctor! I think that you get my point.

Q: Do you “cheat eat”?

A: Very Rarely. Are there rare occasions when I go to a party and want to indulge in a special treat? Yes. Here’s an example: My niece had a birthday not to long ago and my sister-in-law was making kiwi cake, which happens to be my favorite. Now I knew that I was going to want to treat myself, so I spoke with Lisa (who is my Ellipse guru…LOL!) and she helped me figure out my meal plan for the day so that I could fit it into my life. The key is that this was 1 PIECE of cake….not 5 PIECES!! I also knew in my mind that having the piece of cake and planning into my day meant that I probably wouldn’t loose weight that day, but I would simply maintain if I followed the rest of the plan.

Now….is this real life? For me…yes it is. If there going to be a day when you didn’t plan for the kiwi cake and you have it anyway? Yup! The key is to GET OVER IT!! You had the cake…..you cheated….get back on the wagon. Don’t fall off the wagon, do a backwards summersault, and end up face first in the dirt! That is what I have come to realize…..if I make a mistake with my eating…..I have to correct it the very next day.

So what are some things that I do when I absolutely 100% have to have something to eat?? Well….for starters….eating 5 times a day doesn’t leave me with much time to be hungry. Second, if I am just miserable….I will pour myself a glass of crystal light, or have a sugar free jell-o of 10 calories, or have a few raw vegetables, or drink some water. I find that when I get to this point, it is just because I am bored, not really hungry. Most often if I just find something do to in place of eating….it curbs my thoughts of being hungry.

Q: What sacrifices did you have to make?

A: Hmmm….where do I start? I made quite a few. This is a new lifestyle. To say that the only thing I changed was getting up earlier is not accurate. The “No Excuses” notes around my house were helpful reminders, but the notes did not make the pounds fall off….it was just a helpful reminder during the tough times. Here are a few things that I had to change:

  1. Get up at 4:20 AM vs. 6:00 AM to start my day with a work-out, because I prefer to work-out in the morning. If you’re not an early riser….the PM class is a great option as well.
  2. Grocery shop diligently once a week to make sure that the right food is in my house and that we are not forced to go out to eat because we do not have food to prepare.
  3. Pack my lunch for work every day. I was notorious for eating lunch in the “fat-food” lane or at a local establishment. My favorite thing at a local restaurant was a chicken quesadilla with a side of rice and beans, along with a basket of chips and salsa! This was 1800 calories in one meal!! My lunch now is about 300 calories!! WHAT?? Yeah…crazy!
  4. My husband and I have lots of friends and family and we like to entertain. During our entertaining, we like to have some spirits!! Instead of downing 3-4 Captain and Diet Cokes, I know limit myself to 1-2 glasses of wine. Again….this is done in moderation (only 1 time per week…if that) and I adjust my meal plan for the day to fit it in.
  5. The biggest thing that I have given up is “couch time”. I used to be a reality TV junky. I would literally sit on my couch from 7 PM to 10 PM watching every reality TV show known to man. This is no more. I have allotted myself my two favorite shows for the week and that’s it. 2 hours of TV time, instead of the 15 that I used to take in. It’s great because I am finding that my house and home are a lot more organized and happy because I am focused on things in my life vs. the TV!!

OK….I know that this was a really long blog and there are still some questions that I haven’t even got to yet. I promise to be back in action blogging again later this week and I will fill you in on more questions and answers that you have. PLEASE…..keep the questions coming…..this is why I blog…..to help inspire and motivate you to make a change in your life and get to where YOU want to be.

I am going to leave you with my favorite saying: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” Vivian Greene.

My point is that if you want to make a change…..don’t wait…..come to Ellipse and learn how you can!!

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

A few weeks ago at Ellipse on Mayflower, there was a message written on the board that said “If you think you can’t….you can’t. If you think that you can….you will!” Since that message was posted, I have often muttered those words in my head, and I believe that this is a message that you should carry with yourself as well. No matter what goal you are trying to achieve, whether it be personal or physical fitness, it is mind over matter.

If you were to come to class and tell yourself that you were going to hit every kick on every beat, I bet that you would do it if you totally set your mind to it. However, if you talked yourself into the fact that you were not capable of hitting each and every kick, then it is quite possible that you would not achieve your goal.

So what is your challenge? What is the one thing in your life that you feel is impossible? Is it getting up each and every day to come to class? Is it preparing your meals for the day? Is it planning? Is it finding an hour to help you your children with homework? Is it that big project at work that you want to land? What is YOUR challenge? What do you need to OVERCOME? Whatever it is…..mutter these words to yourself: “If you think you can….you will!!”

OK….so his is a little weird, but I have to share it. I went to a baby shower the other night and I knew driving to this baby shower that there would be tempting food and that I was going to need to make the right choices. When I arrived at the shower, it was like a kid in a candy factory!! I stood there for a moment and thought …..there is no way that I am going to be able to stay in control. There was a table filled with tons of appetizers and food that is currently not on my weight loss plan…..I am talking stuffed mushrooms, beer dip, bagel dip, meatballs, etc… This to me was like putting me on temptation island!! However, over months of learning self control…..I took a step back and told myself that I could overcome this challenge and that the food was not the reason I had come to this baby shower. For so many years, I made food the basis of occasions like this and forgot to celebrate why I really attended the party. The words “If you think you can…..you will” echoed through my brain and I stayed strong. I filled my plate with fresh vegetables, a serving of turkey bites (which I had brought), and a few crackers. Nothing on my plate touched and I was FINE….I WON!! I told myself that I could do it and I did!! Mind over matter.

So that’s my success story for the week. Mind over matter…..tell yourself that you are strong and that you can overcome the challenge. So I ask again….What’s your biggest challenge? Write it down and tell yourself that this is the week that you are going to overcome this obstacle in your life….it will make a huge difference! If you think you can’t….you can’t. If you think you can….you will!!

Getting Started!

Hi Everyone! Many of you have told me that you are reading my blog and have asked me how I got started and how I stay motivated, so that is my topic today. Getting started on a new healthy lifestyle is not an easy venture in the beginning. Your mind likes to tell you that the “old way” is good….you are happy there….you don’t need to change. Right? You’re happy sitting on your couch watching reality TV eating crap food?? You’re happy not attending the friend’s get-together because you’d rather hide in your home? You’re happy clothes shopping in a section that is less than desirable to you? You’re happy not running and playing with your children because you don’t have any real energy? I am pretty sure that we all know the real answer to these questions.

Eventually, after years of this lifestyle, I was sick of those questions haunting me and made a distinct decision to kick the “old way” to the curb. I was told that if I did something (uh…like work-out) for 3-4 weeks it would become a habit. So, in early January when I posted myself notes all over my house that said “No Excuses”, I also told myself that if I just kept pushing forward it would continually get easier. And….it did!! Every day I got out of bed at 5:00 AM and headed off to the gym. After a few weeks of this routine, it wasn’t painful anymore! It is now more of a sense of self-satisfaction to know that I have not compromised my health and happiness and have set my day out on the right path. The pounds started dropping on the scale and again it became easier and easier to keep going!

Well….it’s great to work out, but we all know that if you work out and then eat crappy….you simply cannot “out-run” the bad eating. So, my eating habits had to change as well. In the beginning, I started simple by removing my ol’ rituals from the menu (i.e. fast-food, pizza, two plates of spaghetti in one sitting….you get the idea). Instead, I opted for light bread on my homemade sandwich, made homemade dinners with light ingredients, and skipped after dinner snacking. Without any professional guidance at this point, I was able to loose a few pounds on my own. However, I had hit a plateau and could not lose anymore weight. The bottom line was that I needed help setting myself up with a nutrient balanced eating plan that I could live with the rest of my life. That’s when I found Ellipse. Thank goodness….I could only wish that I would have found Ellipse earlier! Lisa has been a blessing to me and has really helped me wrap my brain around the idea that the future I want is possible with a little work and planning. Something the “old way” didn’t put in place.

So….a little work and planning. That is what I do. That is what keeps me focused. Here’s my schedule:

4:30 AM – Out of bed

5:00 AM – Ellipse

6:00 AM – Get home and plan out full meal plan for day

6:15 AM – Eat Breakfast

8:00 AM – Off to work

I think you get the picture…..but please notice that my planning takes me 15 minutes. ONLY 15 MINUTES!! By 6:15 AM, I know what I am going to eat for the rest of the day and by 6:20 it is packed in a lunch bag and ready for me to head off for the day with “NO EXCUSES”!! This keeps me focused….this keeps me motivated….this keeps me on track!

Each person is different and each person needs to set a schedule, but the key is to actually set the schedule. A wise person once told me “Nothing is impossible. Just close your eyes, reach for the stars, and you will achieve your goals”. She was right! Gosh….I should listen to my Mom more often!

Achieve your goals! Close your eyes and reach for the stars!! You can live a happy AND healthy life with just a little bit of effort and planning!

Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta by Ellipse Fitness

8 oz. penne, organic

16 oz. shrimp, cleaned and peeled

1 red pepper, sliced

1 lb. asparagus, cut in one inch pieces

1 TBS olive oil

½ tsp red pepper

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 clove garlic

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add garlic and cook for one minute.

Add asparagus and saute’ asparagus for 3 minutes.

Add shrimp, red pepper, oregano and basil.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and vegetables are tender-crisp; stirring occasionally.

Cook and drain pasta.

Add shrimp & vegetables.

*Remember to count exchanges according to your plan.

Herb Pork and Mushrooms by Ellipse Fitness

Herb Pork and Mushrooms

4 (4 oz) lean pork chops 1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

cooking spray 1 ½ tsp steak seasoning

3 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps 2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp dried thyme

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan.

Rub steak seasoning and thyme over pork. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Combine broth and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Add mushrooms and broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Walleye Fish Fry….YUM!!

Hi Everyone ~ This past week, I decided to take a package of Walleye out of the freezer that my husband had caught on one of his recent fishing excursions. The only problem….the only way that I had ever eaten Walleye was deep fried and knuckle deep in tarter sauce!! LOL!!

Well, times have changed and I will not be eating greasy fish with mayo and pickle relish, so I decided to call Shana and ask for a recipe. Shana, being a creative chef, whipped out this recipe while filling her car up with gas I might add:

5-6 Walleye Fillets

¼ cup of crushed gold fish or Italian bread crumbs

A few dashes of Cajun Seasoning

A few dashes of Salt & Pepper

Pam cooking spray

Mix together the crushed gold fish crumbs or bread crumbs with your seasonings. Lay the Walleye fillets on a cookie sheet, then evenly spread the bread crumb mixture over the top of the fish. Give each fillet a quick and gentle spray of Pam cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees until flaky.

WOW….It was sooooo good!! I actually took out a second package and made it again for dinner the next night. The bread crumb that I used was 5 grams of carbs per fillet, so I just deducted that from the rest of my carb for my meal. It worked beautifully….loved it….and so did my husband!

Make a good choice when eating your dinner tonight. Plan your meal out on paper ahead of time so that you know exactly what you are going to eat. Weigh your food, so that you know exactly what you are eating!! If you plan ahead and stick to the plan, you will have better results!!

Final Prep for the Half Marathon!

 

Mon

Tuesday

Wednesay

Thursday

Friday

Sat/Sun

Aug 16th

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+4.5 miles

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+4.5 miles

Ellipse

1 day rest/1 day 7 miles

Aug 23rd

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+4.5 miles

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+4.5 miles

Ellipse

1 day rest/1 day 8 miles

August 30th

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5 miles

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5 miles

Ellipse

1 day rest/1 day 9 miles

Sept 6th

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5 miles

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5 miles

Ellipse

1 day rest/1 day 10 miles

Sept 13th

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5.5

miles

Ellipse

Ellipse Strength+5.5

miles

rest

1 day rest/1 day 11 miles

Sept 20th

Ellipse

4 mile run only

rest

2 mile run only

rest

½ Marathon!

Diet VS. Lifestyle

Ok….so I must admit that I have tried every “diet” that I thought might work. I think that I even tried one where all I ate was cabbage soup??? WHAT?? Yeah, so obviously eating cabbage soup is not something that you can do every day.  So is it really a “diet”? I think that the word “diet” has taken on a negative meaning to a lot of people. How many times don’t you hear “Oh yeah….she’s on a “diet” and she’s lost 25 pounds”?  Many people think of a “diet” as an eating plan that is followed short term to obtain weight loss results, but not a plan that is followed long term.

In January when I started taking care of myself, my mom would call me and ask me how my “diet” was going. I have since convinced her that it is not a “diet”, but it is my new lifestyle. I think that she became so used to me shoving junk food in my mouth that to see me eat raw vegetables with cottage cheese was a “diet” to her. Yes, eating raw vegetables and cottage cheese is part of my diet, but it’s not the only thing that I eat for weeks on end. Now when my mom calls, she asks how our new active lifestyle is going. This is the biggest compliment that someone can give me because not only is it my “diet” that encourages weight loss, it is the activity that I maintain throughout my daily life!

Something that I neglected to tell you in my last blog is that not only have I lost 95 pounds (yes….it’s now 95!); my husband has also lost 80 pounds! This doesn’t just happen by chance. This happens because we have decided to make good choices. So here are a few things that we have changed and incorporated into our new lifestyle:

  1. We used to go out to dinner at least 4 nights per week. We now limit ourselves to 1 out to eat meal (something we don’t prepare ourselves) once per week.

  1. We work out every day. Period….no questions asked….every day.

  1. At night, we find enjoyment in walking or running to the park with our dog, which gives us a chance to catch up on each other’s day. Plus….we burn about 300 calories!

  1. We grocery shop together once per week. When we’re in the store, we each try to find a couple new products to compare labels and see if we find a new item to add to our meal plans. This can be really fun because you never know what you’ll find…..like turkey bites…YUM!!

  1. When we go out boating, we pack a lunch in a cooler instead of eating a burger at a local bar and grill.

  1. We take our own meat to throw on the grill at cookouts. We choose to eat lean meats, so we bring chicken brats or turkey burgers to throw on the grill at family picnics or at the neighborhood BBQ. This way we are not tempted by a less than healthy option.

My point in this blog is that living a healthy lifestyle is not about eating cabbage soup for 3 weeks and then binging on unhealthy choices for the next week, only to find yourself feeling frustrated at the end of this 4 week cycle. A healthy lifestyle is about making good eating choices 98% of the time, controlling your “cheats”, and exercising your body regularly. It’s not 3 weeks on, then 1 week off……it’s choosing to take control of your life all the time.

Grab control of your life. Plan your meals out wisely to incorporate a healthy range of foods. Exercise your body. This truly is the best plan to not only losing weight, but maintaining a healthy weight!

Remember….it’s not “a diet”! Your diet is just a part of your new lifestyle! Embrace it….you’ll be amazed how good it can feel!

Rosemary-Lemon Halibut Packets by Ellipse Fitness

8 Rosemary sprigs

1 lemon, cut into 8 thin slices

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 halibut fillets, about 4 oz.

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450°F.

Cut 4 big squares of tin foil.

Evenly divide rosemary, lemon and garlic among the four foils.

Top with halibut fillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Wrap up halibut. Roll edges together.

Place each packet on baking sheet; Bake 10 minutes.

Spice-Rub Turkey Tenderloin by Ellipse Fitness

1 lb. turkey or pork tenderloin

4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 tsp ground cumin

4 tsp garlic salt

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Mix all Spice Rub ingredients. Place tenderloin in heavy-duty resealable food-storage plastic bag. Sprinkle with Spice Rub. Turn bag several times to coat meat. Seal bag; refrigerate 15 minutes.

Remove meat from bag. Cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently, until meat has slight blush of pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F. Serve with grilled veggies.

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