I started a very regimented healthy eating plan on May 14th, and I’m loving my results so far. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, I’ve been sharing some of my meals, too!
Since I received a lot of feedback and questions, I decided to do a whole post on my plan.
Why Am I Doing This Healthy Eating Plan?
Ever since we moved to Chicago in October, I’ve been eating too much. It is easy to curse my beloved city for having so many incredible food options (hello donuts, pizza, and Italian food) but the truth is, I was just being lazy. I didn’t feel like cooking when I came home from a long day of work, and takeout was the easiest option. And when I usually only had 2-3 treats a week, that increased to a treat every single day. Regrettably, these bad habits wreaked havoc on my waistline and I gained about 10 lb.
On my short stature of 5’1″, 10 lb looks and feels like a lot. I know it isn’t all about the scale, but I noticed my clothing was getting too tight and I wasn’t feeling confident in my own skin. I know you’re probably saying “No Roxanne you’re insane” but hear me out. I’m a style girl and part of that is knowing how to dress myself in a flattering way. I teach myself how to pose, and strategically choose photos that make me look good. So, in a way, it is an illusion.
I know looks aren’t everything. I’ve been feeling less energetic and a bit down on myself because of my lack of discipline, and that’s not okay. I don’t want to finish a meal hating myself, and I don’t want to be laying in bed and trying to sleep when all I can think about is horrible tummy ache. I don’t want to look in the mirror and feel upset. No one should ever do that!
A lovely fitness coach named Ali reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to join her 80 day wellness challenge, and I seriously deliberated for months. I don’t know what took me so long, but I finally decided to say yes. I told her that I know how to lose weight and get in shape when it comes to eating and workouts, but what I lack is accountability, and she promised she would provide it.
Let’s talk about accountability for a second. How many of you guys would quickly let yourself down rather than a friend, spouse, or stranger? My hand shoots up in the air on this one! For whatever reason I just can’t bear to let someone else down. Especially if they are counting on me to reach a particular goal. Maybe it is my competitive spirit or my own personal ego. If I had just decided one day to do something, I would probably quit on myself much faster. Having someone to check in with and knowing that they are expecting something from me is what drives me to succeed.
I have accountability with my health coach Ali, but also with Dan. He agreed to do this with me and his partnership has made a huge difference in my attitude and motivation. And third, I am now accountable to all of you guys – because I decided to tell you about what I’m doing, I just can’t let you down.
They say that getting in shape is 80% what you eat and 20% workouts, and it is totally true. For 80 days I am eating REALLY clean food, all timed around my workouts. It is mostly vegetables, fruit, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats. I eat about 6 meals a day, so it really is a commitment to eat food every 2-3 hours. Here is the breakdown and general schedule I’ve been following:
- 5:30 AM wake up, eat 1/2 banana, protein powder, and almond milk smoothie.
- 6:00 work out
- 7:00 post work out protein shake with protein powder and other half of banana, and coffee with about a tablespoon of this creamer.
- 8:30 post-workout meal of veggies, protein, healthy carb, and a healthy fat. My favorite so far is broccoli, sausage, sweet potato, and a tsp of almond butter for desert.
- 12:00 lunch – this is the same as my post-work out meal in terms of composition. Green beans, ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, and a tsp of almond butter for dessert.
- 3:00 snack – veggies and a healthy fat. Pepper slices + hummus, carrots + almonds, or celery + guacamole.
- 6:30 dinner – once again, greens, protein, and about tablespoon of healthy fats such as dressing or pumpkin seeds! I’ve been enjoying chicken and mixed greens with this dressing.
In addition to the eating plan, I drink a lot of water, sparkling water, and tea.
The workouts are different each day, which keeps me from getting too bored. The program provides workouts 6 days a week with one rest day to stretch and recover. It isn’t a heavy lifting program, which I do miss from crossfit, but it is good to try something new to see how my body responds. I’m using resistance bands, floor sliders for core work (they’re amazing), and dumbbells ranging from 10-15 lb. As far as timing goes, the workouts range from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. I even completed a workout when I was in Provincetown this weekend!
How The Heck Do You Have Time For This?
It is rough, man. With work and blogging and having a social life, healthy eating and working out can seriously get challenging. I love boozy brunches and carbs and drinking wine every night, but I know that isn’t helping me reach my goals. I think the most frequent question/comment I get is “how do you have time to do this?” When I started, I asked Dan to do it with me because having a buddy makes it so much easier. Plus, he wouldn’t be tempting me with bad foods and we can cheer each other on.
A HUGE part of our success is attributed to meal prepping. We decide what we feel like having, and go shopping. Our shopping list includes 3-4 proteins, 2-4 fruits, 2-3 vegetables, 2 carbohydrates, and some nuts and seeds that we want to eat. We get home and start cooking, washing, and chopping, then separate everything into to-go containers (we really like these so far) and plastic baggies. That way when we get hungry or are rushing to work, all we have to do it grab a prepared meal. It takes about 2-3 hours to tackle all the cooking at once, but it is so nice to have something healthy to eat on hand. Eliminate the excuses by knowing your weaknesses, such as laziness and impulsive eating, and build that in to your lifestyle.
That 5:30 AM Wake Up
And the really hard part: the 5:30 am wake up. I know it sucks to get up early. I’ve been studying this topic for years and have been desperate to be a morning person, but I have only recently achieved it. I still struggle at getting 8 hours of sleep, but I try to be in bed with my eyes closed by 10:30pm. I wake up and wash my face/brush my teeth, put on the workout clothes I set out the night before, drink my protein shake, and hit “play” on my workout. By 7:00 am I am done working out, and that feeling is the best in the WORLD. The benefits of getting your workouts over with are endless: I can stay longer at work, I’m available for spontaneous plans with friends, I can work on my blog in the evenings, or catch up on some shows. I know it is super unpopular but once you get the hang of it, you will never look back.
What About Cheats?
I don’t like the word “cheat” because it is kind of a sneaky word that suggests letting yourself down. I prefer the word “treat” instead. This program is super tough and modeled after the diet a competitor would use in a bikini fitness competition, so there are absolutely no “treats” built into the 80 days. However, I will be allowing myself a glass of wine once a week. I’m also attending a lot of weddings this summer, so I may have a bite of wedding cake. But, you guys, I want this SO BADLY for myself that I am feeling super motivated to stick to the plan 99%.
In exchange for rewarding myself with food treats, I’m going to try and only use other kinds of treats, such as objects and experiences. I was thinking that once I reach a particular goal (say 5 lb) I will get myself a massage or a fancy pedicure. A treat that doesn’t involve sabotaging my goals, but something I will still really love and enjoy, perhaps even more!
How About Eating Out and Travel?
I travel a lot, which makes it a little more difficult to stay on target, but it is totally doable. For instance, I went to Cape Cod this weekend for a bachelorette party, and was able to stick to the plan about 80%. I ordered a lot of grilled fish with veggies, and took a little lunch box with fruit, veggies, nuts, and turkey slices so I could have healthy eating options to munch on. It was tough when everyone was eating pizza after we went out on Saturday night, but I strategically chose my indulgences. I had a few glasses of wine and got a lobster roll with bread and ate about half the bread. That was the extent of my treats. All of the girls were super nice and supportive. They didn’t give me crap for doing what I wanted to do. That’s the sign of true friendship right there! I’m really proud that I stuck to the plan for over a week, and seeing my progress is motivating enough to keep me from lapsing.
It has only been about a week and a half since I started, but I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
If you loved this post you don’t want to miss:
- Easy healthy food swaps
- My favorite paleo/grain free foods
- Dry January: not a month of enlightenment and rainbows
- How to de-bloat and reset
- How to live the active lifestyle you always wanted