I have done the seemingly impossible. I have removed wheat from my diet. Why, you ask? Because it is time to get serious about returning my body to it's pre-baby status (or something very similar to it...). And, I needed a plan. The plan is this:
1) Follow a diet plan that can become a lifestyle plan. I'm not yet sure if this could be that, but I am giving it my all. My diet/lifestyle plan is from "Eat Right For Your Type" by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo. For my blood type, wheat is supposed to be very, very bad. Since it is also the bulk of my daily calories and the evil temptress in my life (read: chips, tortillas, bread, crackers and all things carbo-goodness that I crave), it makes perfect sense that cutting it out will probably help me drop the last few baby pounds and get my flat stomach back. Well, at least I hope it makes perfect sense, because it is step one of my plan.
2) Exercise daily- aiming for only 1 day off. My attendance in yoga class was non-existent for almost 2 months due to a knee injury. Luckily, my knees seem to be back to normal. (A new hip muscle pull is making walking and running painful, so I have to hold back on those, but strangely enough yoga isn't aggravating it at all.) So, I am back to yoga, aiming for at least 3 days a week. I'm still teaching ballet 2 days a week, so that just leaves 1 day a week to throw in something fun to change it all up.
3) The formerly 5-minutes-of-abs-a-day (that I wrote about last week), has been bumped to 8-minutes-of-abs-a-day in addition to whatever other exercise I do. I'm getting stronger, finding some good playlists to put on my ipod and buckling down, because Holly Perkins says spot training can work! (More about Holly in a moment...) My goal is to get strong enough to do 15-minutes-of-abs-a-day.
4) Drink less. I'll admit, I love a glass of wine with dinner...or two or three, if dinner is with family or friends. But, the reality is that it is empty calories and on me, they go straight to my belly. So, I'm limiting myself to wine 2x's a week. For me that's limiting, yet possible. :)
5) Whenever I feel unmotivated or ready to crack, look at the "Before" pictures I took of myself in a bikini this week. Sobering. Perhaps I'll consider posting them once the "After" photos are so blindingly gorgeous that it won't matter. Perhaps not. We'll see...
6) Follow my friend, Holly Perkins, on her Facebook page "Holly Perkins Fitness". Holly has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from Penn State University, is an Exercise TV Celebrity Trainer, and is the official Fitness Ambassador to New Balance. Plus, she has started the "Holly 40 Body Project" in which she takes her already fit body and disciplines herself to get into the best shape of her life by her 40th birthday in December. Holly has given more useful tips than I can count! She is inspiring and is helping to keep me motivated. If you're on FB, click "like" to follow her progress and get tips you can use to help motivate yourself.
Now, for those of you who know me and are wondering why I am going to all of the trouble, because you think I look great? I say, Thank you. (Really- some have asked, Why the trouble?) The answer is: I have goals for myself and I don't like being limited by what I can wear. I have always had the philosophy that it is easier to try to lose 5 pounds, than 40. Because before kids I looked great, and I know what it takes and how far I am from that.
My week without wheat was great. I still had many, many choices among delicious things to eat. I used Ezekiel bread when I needed a bread fix (since Ezekiel bread is sprouted wheat, the bad part of the wheat is supposedly killed in the sprouting process...) I ate more fresh fruits and vegetables than I have...maybe even in my lifetime. I had salmon and sole and ahi tuna, I made delicious greek salads, spinach salads, and even though I was very limited if we were out to eat, I didn't feel completely restricted either. I'm feeling a change happening, and even though I don't weigh myself, or even own a scale (old ballet neurosis come up), I can feel things changing in my body.
I also have one additional motivation...my kids. More specifically, Elijah. Elijah has therapies three times a week to help combat some of the effects of his extra chromosome, largely the low muscle tone that he has. Elijah will always have to work harder and longer to get what comes naturally, and even easily, to others. I don't have the kind of limitations he does. That makes me feel like I could be and should be taking full advantage of this strong and capable body I was given. That it isn't just about being good enough, it's about treating it right and working it hard. My hope is that because my boys will grow up with an active and fit Mother, that they will always strive for that themselves. That it will be normal to have exercise be a part of daily life. That it takes work to get our bodies to do what we want - regardless of our strengths or limitations.
Now, every time I finish a yoga class- after I have been challenged beyond what I thought was possible- I close my eyes and I thank God for my strength, for my ability, and for the ease with which I am able to move. I never really thought about that before Elijah. It was more, That felt great. Glad it is over. How peaceful I feel now. The depth of gratitude I feel for the simple ability to be able to walk into a yoga class and try every pose is humbling. Because now I know, first hand, that it is just not like that for everyone.
"I choose to be GRATEFUL, not HURTFUL.
I choose to be BETTER, not BITTER.
I choose to be CONTENT, not CRITICAL.
I choose to be ATTENTIVE, not INDIFFERENT.
I choose to live WELL, not just LIVE." ~ Author Unknown