Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How I got started - for real

When I was in my mid-20's I was in cycle of lean and what I refer to as "soft". Not too heavy, but not toned up either. I'd hit the gym super hard, hit my goal and then quit. A few months later my jeans would feel too tight so I'd hit the gym super hard, hit my goal, then quit. Rinse, repeat. My diet was sketchy.

An old high school friend of mine sent me an email the other day asking me how I got started and looking for a little advice. Specifically they were asking about the Whole 30 and my thoughts/experiences.

Instead of researching and giving them platitudes I decided to be real. I mean, this is someone I've know over 20 years, what did I have to lose? 

And then, I thought, why not be real here, too. So here is my response, raw and unedited:
So - my diet pretty much sucked until I was 30 and actually left southwestern pa. Let's face it - I grew up near Pittsburgh, the land of pierogies, hot sausage sandwiches and beer. I just really got into the veggies in the past couple of years.
I started small & I don't know if any vegetables were really involved in the first few years now that I look back on it. They took me a long time to get used to....I had a protein shake for breakfast every morning, yogurt and fruit or a peanut butter and egg sandwich mid morning for a snack (it's good, don't knock it) and a pretty "normal" dinner like rice or potatoes with pork roast, chicken or fish, tacos with lean (90/10) ground meat.  I probably also ate too much processed stuff - like protein powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars but that is what worked for me and it was a good start. 
For lunch I had leftovers from the night before or would eat something like a protein bar and yogurt or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a can of tuna & brown rice mixed together with salt and pepper. I ate nothing fried, drank absolutely nothing but water and had absolutely no fast food for about a year with the exception of pizza almost every Friday night and a 6-pack of beer. It was a major cheat night. (some of the never eating out had to do with the fact that I couldn't afford it at that point in my life but it helped tremendously)
I worked out 4-5 mornings a week and I leaned out pretty significantly. It took about 6 months to see a significant change in my body shape and to get used to always feeling at least a little hungry. I used gum and water a lot to keep myself from reaching for snacks. My weight didn't change but I went down 3 sizes in my clothes. (From a 10/12 to a 6, which might not mean anything to a man).
The Whole30 wouldn't have worked for me back then AT ALL. It took me 7 years of eating well to be able to do that successfully. Even now I struggle with veggies. I eat A LOT of eggs. A couple a day, sometimes more. I usually have one salad so it takes care of it all.
I relied heavily on EAS products. You can get them on Amazon or at Target. Or Walmart. Or you don't have to go with them at all; I just happen to like them!  I did a post on protein powders on the blog a while back that you might have seen - but if not it's here: http://kristenlippencott.blogspot.com/2015/12/are-you-getting-enough-protein.html
To sum it all up in menu form, this was my life for about a year. I took comfort in the monotony of it; it made it easy for me to stay in control. This is really just an example to give you an idea of how I cut out calories and unnecessary evils and leaned up. I can try to give you more options if you'd like.
Breakfast (5 a.m. - pre-workout): protein shake - 2 servings of protein powder, 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries, 8 oz 2% milk.Snack (9 a.m.): sandwich - 1 scrambled egg, 2 pieces whole grain toast, 2 TB peanut butter OR ready-to-drink shake + fruit OR yogurt + fruit Lunch (1 p.m.): leftovers OR 1 can tuna + 1 cup brown rice with salt & pepper OR peanut butter & jelly on whole grain bread OR a protein bar + fruit or yogurt Dinner (6 p.m.): white or sweet potatoes with chicken, fish or pork OR pasta with lean ground meat and minimal pasta sauce OR rice with chicken, fish or pork
I feel like this is no where near specific enough in regards to lunch and especially dinner but I hope it helps a little.
And like I told him, if you have more questions or need some advice, let me know. You can always reach me at KristenLippencott@gmail.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kmlippencott

My diet now looks very different than it did when I buckled down in 2009. But it's grown as I have and balanced out as I understand the importance of flexibility when it comes to nutrition, exercise and specific goals as related to those. 

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