The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Hypothyroidism & Weightloss

A lot has happened for our family in the last month or two, regarding fitness.  We found out we were pregnant in late May. We were so happy, didn’t tell many people at all, just a few friends and family, but we did tell the kids and tried to get them psyched up for a new baby.

Then, I miscarried 😦 which I have done once before (right before our 2nd oldest back in 2014), so I should’ve known to have waited a little longer, but the signs seemed like it was a strong pregnancy, and we just got carried away with the excitement.

Then I got bloodwork back that indicated I have Subclinical Hypothyroidism (which is also known as, “mild thyroid failure,” here’s an article that goes into more depth).  Subclinical hypothyroidism actually causes more miscarriages than normal, because of the lack of sufficient thyroid hormone to sustain a growing pregnancy.  It was honestly devastating to find out that I was the cause of not being able to give our two miscarried babies the nutrients they needed.

We got pregnant again right away, however, and I have both my primary and ob doctors helping me through this, monitoring blood levels, etc.  At our first official 6 weeks ultrasound, the baby looked fine, and we could see it’s beautiful heart beating like a butterfly!  Realistically, we could still miscarry, I’m not being medically treated as of right now to prevent miscarriage (because my blood levels started improving due to I suppose the minor changes I started making).  I feel pretty horrible physically, much worse than any of the other pregnancies (which is interesting), but at least we know what’s going on and maybe what to do long-term.

This wasn’t a surprise really, I’ve known intuitively my thyroid was slower than an average person’s just from having many of the symptoms.  This past year I’ve tweaked my exercise and eating habits toward what women with hypothyroidism are counseled to do, and it helped with weight-loss dramatically.  My mom and her mother both had/have full-blown hypothyroidism, so there’s an underlying genetic component that’s hard to beat.  My mom actually has the autoimmune disorder type, called Hashimoto’s, where your antibodies attack your thyroid, and it’s been a hard journey for her in figuring out how to keep it in check.

I found some GREAT videos online from a San Antonio woman who has Hashimoto’s and runs a popular blog on fashion/lifestyle.  She’s done a lot of good research, and has figured out a way to successfully manage this disease. ❤

 

 

 

From an expert she interviewed (this is such a great video)!

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, I trust God allows things like this in one’s life, and I’m fully surrendering to whatever His plans are for this new baby.  If He takes it again, I’m going to accept that.  I don’t have all the answers obviously, but even in grieving I know He’s good, and that He allows suffering in this world as part of how we chose a fallen nature when Eve ate that apple.  Part of the free choice He gave us involved us choosing to let evil enter in, and by it touching everything that was supposed to be good, holy, and a blessing.

Here’s to faith.  And to a God who is both good and wonderful, yet all-powerful and overwhelming in His ways.

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Fast Fat Loss that’s Actually Sustainable

This is a great video.  Love how in-depth this girl goes detailing the kinds of changes she had to make and sustain.  Of course her trainer is the star of the show, all his work and science behind it is what gave her the results she wanted.  (Side note: not a fan of her piercings and shaved hair, just her enthusiasm and success).

I’ve been wanting to write more here at this site 🙂 but with working out almost daily, homeschooling an 8 and 4 year old and taking care of my 20 month old… lol… writing just is. not. happening. anymore. 😀 !!!!

But all that said, the working out and eating in a particular way has paid off.  I’ve lost 30 pounds in two and 1/2 months :O !  I know this sounds like a lot or like I probably looked dramatically different, but with how tall I am, I didn’t look overweight, the gravatar picture I have up right now with my husband is me with this weight on (taken in January).  You can see some fat probably in my face, but for the most part it’s been hard for friends and family to even tell the difference.  But I did go from 152 pounds to 122, and still counting, and this is fat coming off.  To me, it personally feels dramatic.  I’ve been trying to get back into the low 120’s since 2015.  And even though I DID lose all the baby weight with each baby 🙂 , that didn’t account for how I was a tad overweight (10 pounds) with our middle child, and then I was 15 pounds overweight with our third.  So together that was 25 pounds to lose even WITH losing the baby weights each time 🙂 .

Mostly over these couple of months of experimenting with what was working and what wasn’t, I’ve figured out that my body needs more cardio (slow thyroid issues!!). Apparently 30 minutes doesn’t work the same as an hour does for women with thyroid problems, in fact, one credible source I read said a woman’s body doesn’t even start burning calories until about 30 minutes into cardio if she has thyroid problems!  This explains how it was so. hard. to lose weight before when I was only doing 30 minute cardio sessions.  At first I really balked at the idea of doing an hour cardio, but once I gave in and started trying it, the weight melted off at 2-4 pounds a week!  So if you’re wondering about your thyroid, you may want to try the dreaded hour of cardio.

Things in the video that I’ve been implementing as well:

  • Cutting out refined carbs for the most part (sticking to complex)
  • NO SUGAR… at all
  • Keeping my fat intake to about 30 grams a day
  • Taking BCAAs
  • Lifting weights to build muscle and burn fat
  • Cardio

Is Gym-Intimidation Real?

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There’s a word I’ve been hearing out there in the fitness community, called “gymintimidation,” where a person may feel anxiety or even afraid of going to the gym.  Is it real?  Yes, it is!

We go to a very strange gym, in my opinion.  It is just a couple of minutes away from a richer area in our city that is, “google-described” (yes, I checked) as a, “wealthy community.”  And it is for wealthy people… well known NBA basketball players live or have lived there, along with George Strait (famous country music singer for those too young to know), celebrity Pastors if you can call them that, and various other “quieter,” types of basically very rich people.  Since I lived in the town just 20 minutes further out from there, I would go to swim parties in their community sometimes.  It was different… like an oasis away from the urban city not too far away, and fairly intimidating in it’s wealth.

And the GYM, due to it’s proximity to this community, is intimidating.  Last year an extremely tall man held the door open for me when I was getting to the entrance with our toddler, who was taking his own sweet time.  I was slightly annoyed because I didn’t want this man to have to wait so long for our stubborn toddler, but he waited, and was so sweet as I apologized profusely.  A day later when my husband came, he pointed out that same man and told me he was an NBA player, who had actually won a championship with our beloved Spurs (in 1999 says my husband).  He looked him up on his phone and showed me his picture.  I almost fainted.  And I, unfortunately, stared.  THIS was the man who held the door open for me and our stubborn son for so long?!?!  I was waited on by someone who won our city a freaking championship!?!?!

Back to the gym… we do love it because it has an overall family-friendly, very safe feel to it, but when we started back up again this past January, I felt some major “Gym-Intimidation.”

I mentioned we were out of shape… that was probably an understatement.  I had slowly creeped up to about 30 pounds overweight again (I told you, if I look at a cookie I gain weight! Fitness is not easy for me… ), and we had been through a stressful season in life mostly due to busyness.  I found out I’m apparently a “stress,” or “emotional eater.”  LOL

Fast forward to now, in March, I’ve already lost 25 of those pounds through sheer, brutal hard work, and am working to lose even more, but there were many days where the gym itself felt oddly intimidating.

How does one overcome this feeling?  I say follow Nike’s advice and Just Do It!  The more you keep going, and the faster you see the results you’re after, the more confident and at ease you’ll eventually feel.

If you’re an extrovert, try talking to other people.  I find this calms me down and helps me feel more connected and less likely to feel anxious. 🙂

But if you’re an introvert, talking to random strangers at the gym would probably feel even more intimidating.  You can try it and see, but if you’d rather not talk then I’d suggest sticking ear-buds in and focusing solely on your workout and goals for the day.  Get in your own “zone,” so to speak, and you’ll feel more confident and forget about the intimidating environment. 🙂

Back to Daily Hardcore Workouts!

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Random Girl Ready for the New Year!

Well, it’s that time of year again, we usually put our gym on “hold,” over the summer, because we just don’t use it enough during those months to justify paying it (and it saves us money)!  With homeschooling in the Fall, I just couldn’t get my head around doing both the gym every morning AND classes at the same time.  Now that it’s the Spring semester and I’ve gotten better at teaching and balancing life overall, we thought we’d add the gym routine back in, too.

I love going to the gym every morning with my husband.  We’ve actually been going to the exact same gym (off and on) for over 10 years now.   It is surreal the memories I have, almost like flashbacks.  Recently, when we were playing on the basketball court with all our kids, I suddenly remembered when my husband and I were doing that back when I was 21 and it was just the two of us.  How things have changed!  And yet, we’re still playing together on the basketball court, and still so deeply in love.  Having our kids around us really does bring so much pleasure – a kind of enjoyment that’s hard to describe – but it represents almost what we’ve accomplished since then in a way.  We’ve built this family together… and we’re still loving… still playful.

For all the hardships that come with my husband’s kind of afternoon to late-evening schedule, having that time in the morning with him to be able to go to the gym together, is a treasure.  Our son loves it so much more now, too, with not being in normal school.  It’s also great for newborn care, as he lets me sleep in 3-4 or even 5 HOURS to make up for the lack of sleep at night (as I’m the only one who does the night care).  This makes having a newborn almost a breeze… I wake up feeling like a new person! 😀

It’s a good set-up in that way (bad in other ways of course, but you know), however changes are on the wind, and we’ll see what’s to come.

For now as far as workouts go, we’re both heavily into HIIT training routines, mostly cardio with intervals of sprinting at an incline and heavy resistance.  It is not for the faint of heart!  Working out can and should be fun, and it is when you’re in shape LOL, but we really aren’t right now, at least not where we want to be.  These workouts are gruesome and painful, but since it’s only in short intervals of 2 min “climbing/sprinting” 2 min “running with wide strides (which feels like a relief!),” 30 minutes goes by extremely fast and it’s over before you know it.  Then we weight train each day.

It. Is. Intense!

Why do we love interval training?

I remember doing intervals in sports, and I just loved them!  I felt so much faster when I had been interval training, and it actually does build up speed overtime.  But the reason why we do these kinds of workouts is mostly because High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been proven over and over again to be the best workout for burning the most calories, and for fastest fat loss.  It’s just not the same as 30 minutes of cardio going at the same speed.  Interval training burns through calories faster, and the bonus is that I swear it makes the time go by quicker.  Remember though, for dietary needs, my research last year found out that the Keto Diet was NOT recommended for HIIT workouts, sprinting, or heavy strength training.  You just don’t have enough ATP reserved for explosive energy when on the Keto Diet in order to perform well doing these kinds of exercises.

It’s almost 10pm here, going to sleep in order to repair muscles and lose fat 😀  Good night and hope you make this year a great year for your fit life!

Stephanie

Keto Expert Explains Why Women Can’t Really Eat “Keto Diet” All Month

I thought this was an interesting find.  So apparently, even the Keto experts are claiming now that for women, the keto diet falls short of supporting our feminine hormones.

In the video, Leann Vogel, whose written a best selling book on the Keto diet, claims that for most women we just cannot eat a true keto diet the entire month long.  Instead, it’s more like 7 days, or a little more if you’re lucky.

Yes, you read that right… this is an expert on keto claiming that women can only really eat a true keto diet staying below 20 grams of carbohydrates and eating excessive amounts of fat (above 100 grams), for about 1 week out of the month.

For the other weeks she recommends a more “paleo-style” plate with paleo carbs such as sweet potatoes and such, and even on the more “ketogenic” days, adding up to 100 carbs and lowering the fat intake.

This is pretty much what I found out about a year ago when I started really researching this new fad diet, which models closely the Atkin’s diet (although with a ton more fat consumption, and more veggies and fiber).

Unfortunately for Keto Advocates, women need carbs to support our hormones, this puts the fad-dieters into a dilemma.  This is the problem Leann Vogel claims to have “solved,” for women, except ironically (or hilariously) the solution is a completely different diet (Paleo)!

Check out one of her older videos where she reveals all the problems women can have while on this diet (that can be remedied by going more Paleo and breaking from the Keto-fad):

In this last video, she even at one point says that sometimes there’s a problem with the program you’re following.

So again… to recap 😀  This is a Keto Expert admitting there is a problem with the base amount of carbs women should have in a keto diet, and is advocating for women to follow a completely different diet for about 3 weeks out of the month!

Am I the only one who thinks this is hilarious?  😀

3 Healthy Carbs You Should Be Eating in Your Diet to Lose Fat

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I love knowing that the world of food and nutrition provides us so many healthy options.  Like I’ve said on this site before, I’m all about balance in your nutrition.  I believe cutting out entire food groups just because you feel it helps you “lose fat,” isn’t productive or very sustainable longterm.  I know that humans can eat a balanced diet of healthy carbs, proteins and fat and still stay healthy.

If you’ve been hooked by the low carb – high fat crowd though, you’re likely not going to believe what I’m going to tell you in this post.  The sad thing is that your low-carb gurus are literally banking on you not being aware of things I’ll tell you in this post.  It defeats a Keto-diet guru’s purpose (and financial future) for you to be aware of how eating carbs can actually help you also lose fat without having to subscribe to their extreme diet plan.  They really want you to believe carbs are your enemy, because they “prevent” you from losing fat.

Here are 3 kinds of carbs you should be eating in your balanced diet not only because they help you burn fat, but they’re also nutritious for your body’s overall health longterm.

Sweet Potatoes

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These are one of the super foods everyone should technically be trying to add into their diet – just because it’s so much health in every single bite!!  Here are the nutrients inside your magical sweet potato:

  • Vitamin A – for good vision, clear skin, anti-aging, and boosts your immunity
  • Vitamin B6 – the energy vitamin that also helps maintain a good metabolism
  • Vitamin C – boosts your immunity
  • Carotenoids – anti-oxidants that prevent your food from being turned into fat by stabilizing your blood-glucose levels and lowering any insulin resistance

Beans

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Since we live in Texas, it’s hard for me to picture going for more than a week without adding beans into our weekly diet.  And no wonder, they are SO beneficial to your body’s longterm health by lowering your LDL’s (bad cholesterol) and improving your systolic blood pressure (the number that is best at showing your risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke)!

They also help you burn fat because they are a resistant starch (which is the next on the list!).

 

Resistant Starches (Cooked & Cooled Method)

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Have you ever wondered why things like spaghetti noodles, mashed potatoes, or any kind of pasta in general, never seem to taste the same after they’ve cooled in the fridge and become leftovers?  Because I’m nerdy, this used to bother me a lot.

Well… if you’re like me and you’ve wondered why these kinds of carbs taste like they have a completely different texture after being refrigerated, you were right to wonder!

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Carbs like pastas, potatoes, even rice and beans, actually physically and chemically change in texture and composition when they are cooked and then refrigerated.  They become what is known as a “Resistant Starch,” in the cooling process.

Resistant starches resist digestion, which actually promotes fat oxidation and burns that very stubborn and difficult to lose belly fat!

Resistant Starches to try:

  • Potatoes (try Yukon Gold or the small red potatoes)
  • Cooled spaghetti pasta
  • Cooled rice

But do you absolutely have to eat them cold to keep them fat-burning?

No, you don’t actually!  Here’s a great article on how even reheating resistant starches seems to increase their positive effects on blood-glucose levels ❤

So go ahead, and eat some cooked-then-cooled/reheated spaghetti, totally guilt free. 😉

Stephanie

Jillian Michaels Slams Diet Fads & Instagram “Booty”

I love Jillian Michaels.  She was the first workout I did after I had our first baby that helped me to lose all the weight.  I do credit Tracy Anderson’s workouts for getting me back to being muscular and tiny (they are ballet based muscular structure/dance cardio), but I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for the motivation and inspiration Jillian gave me when I had 45 pounds of baby weight to lose.

So in this short clip she talks briefly about diet fads and how Keto is the exact same thing as the Atkins diet that was popular in the 80’s (yes, my mom did it, too… she remembers peeing on those sticks to see if she was in ketosis yet).  It’s unhealthy longterm *unless you have a serious medical condition and actually NEED this diet, otherwise, it’s just another fad that hopefully finds it way on out the door like the “Booty Instagrams” lol.

 

Great Grocery Items for Healthy Meal Ideas

Try, Fail, Try Again – Don’t Give Up at Weightloss

If you’re trying to get fit and lose weight, it can be SO extremely depressing and difficult.  As someone whose body clings to fat as though I’m in a concentration camp (or will be lol), I feel like I can understand the frustration that comes with seeing slower results than people with faster metabolisms.

Fitness, or losing fat and gaining muscle, always depends largely on your diet – not BEING on a certain kind of new, flashy, popular diet, but literally the things you’re eating day in and day out.  The reason why I post so much of our food preps and recipe ideas I’ve created over the years, is because fitness truly is about 80% what you eat, and 20% exercise.

We go to a gym almost daily during the week to lift and do some cardio (sometimes), and there are all types of fit people we see.  Unfortunately, there are also a couple of women we see and have seen since 2015, who have actually gained weight over the 3 years we’ve been there.  While it could be a combination of things (not working out hard or long enough – smart exercise in other words, or bad eating habits or even hormones out of whack, as in hypothyroidism), you always have to look at your diet if this is happening to you.  Even hormonal problems with weight can usually be controlled when you stick to a very strict and proper diet that is tailored to only YOUR specific biological needs.  Sometimes it takes just a visit to the doctor to get tested, but there is usually a solution out there somewhere.

The most important thing though that trainers don’t usually say, probably because they figure you’ll find this to be common sense, is to just simply not give up!

I’m serious!  All of the women that I know who have lost lots and lots of weight through the fitness groups I’m active in, the ones who have been the most successful were the ones who just NEVER GAVE UP.

You will fail!  Fitness, for women whose bodies biologically hold on to fat, is VERY hard.  Even for models who are “naturally thin,” if they stop their very strict eating habits and rigorous exercise routines, they gain weight fairly fast, too.

Everyone fails at times.  Even the most successful, beautiful women I’ve talked to personally who have done bikini competitions (and placed!!!!), even THEY feel like a failure at times in their own personal journeys.  There are ups and downs in life, there are periods of time where you won’t be able to stick to something that works because a major life event happened that you weren’t prepared for (child death, parental death… anything!).  I’ve seen things like this happen, and I’ve seen the women who get back up and keep on going eventually find success.

You’re going to backslide at some point.  It’s just the honest truth.  You need to accept that it will happen so that when it happens, you aren’t mentally derailed and depressed about it.  There was once a woman in a church group I was in who got fairly angry at me when I tried to tell her this and warn her about not expecting success right away.  Her retort was that she was completely backed up with Scriptures and the Holy Spirit and that it was for sure going to work this time.  Even years later when I saw her again, she was still overweight.  But that kind of mentality she insisted upon is a recipe for disaster!  Again, it’s better to humble yourself, realize that you’re only human, and maybe a woman with a propensity to hold onto fat like you’re a dying person lol, and roll with the ups and downs.

What truly matters is persistence and the resolve that you’re not going to let failure make you stop.

I’ve talked to a few trainers now 🙂 they are the most awesome people in  my mind ❤  So encouraging, optimistic and sweet!  But I don’t think they tell people this when they first start out on a journey to try to be fit or lose weight.

You have to be really patient and kind to yourself.  I’ve known quite a few women who came to their journey through hating their bodies as they were – seeing a photo on facebook where it suddenly hits them how far they’ve let themselves go is a big one.  And maybe that is enough motivation to get them through to the end.

But I’ve also seen that it’s good to look at this journey as loving yourself and finally taking care of your body the way you should have been.  Self-hatred may not be the best way longterm, as I know it drives other eating disorders like anorexia as well as over-eating.  Changing the way you think about your body can be so empowering in getting in shape.

And truly loving yourself and valuing yourself shows up by taking care of the only body you have.  If you’re Christian, there’s even a deeper spiritual element to why you need to take good care of your body:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

1 Corinthians 6:19

So keep going.  No matter where you are in your journey… if you have over 100 pounds to lose, or just 10, DO NOT GIVE UP.

Stephanie

White Chicken Chili Soup

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For some strange reason, around this time of year, I seem to get a urge to have soups again.  Just one really giant crockpot soup seems to hit the spot, and then I’m finally done with “Winter Foods” and can move on LOL 😀

So… this was my fulfillment of that craving.  A beautifully white, healthier version of the full fat and cream White Chili, this version has more protein and less fat, and is packed full of veggies to round out the meal as a “complete” meal for nutrition.

It. Is. SO. Delicious!  And it’s just beautiful!

Even though this version has a lot less fat than the usual one, my husband remarked that it still tasted as though it should be extremely fattening 😀  YES!  Goal met!!!  You know you’ve made a good recipe when it tastes like it should be “bad for you” food 😉

Anyway, here is the recipe below.  And you literally just chop everything, put the raw chicken (sliced/pounded/prepped) at the bottom of your crockpot, add the water and chicken bouillon (or chicken broth), and all the chopped ingredients, spices, give it a stir, and then cook on High for 4 hours, or on Low for 8 hours.

Easy as pie … er… soup!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken breasts
  • 24 oz chicken broth (or water mixed with 2 tbs chicken bouillon)
  • Two 15 oz cans (large) of Great Northern Beans, drained
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 stalk of cilantro, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 very large can of diced tomatoes and chili peppers
  • 2 jalapenos diced
  • 1 very large can of creamed corn (makes it extra creamy since we’re not using real cream)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (OR half and half – usually this is where people add heavy whipping cream, but the yogurt is MUCH healthier and gives it a creamy taste and texture)
  • 1 tbs Cumin
  • 1 tbs Oregano
  • 1 tbs Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

So again, you just literally chop everything, open the canned foods, lay the chicken in strips or pieces on the bottom of your crockpot, fill it up with the water or chicken broth, add the spices and you’re set!

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You DO need to take the chicken out at the end, quickly shred it with two forks in a bowl (super easy because it’s SO tender), and add it back in.

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Add the greek yogurt when you add the chicken back in, whisking it into the chili (or add your half and half).  Then cook on High for 15 minutes more, and you’re done!

It basically cooks itself.

And there you have it.  A much healthier version of the scrumptious White Chicken Chili!

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Stephanie