Like many, I usually set out into a new year with lofty goals of what I hope to accomplish. I will be self aware enough to say that I often fall flat on my face and give up as soon as I can. I have the best of intentions but will find the easy way out every time. It is not if but when it will happen. Each year I say ” this is the year when I get skinny” or “this is the year when I lose all of the weight”. I have never looked at a new year and thought “this is the year I will practice self discipline and create a healthy attainable lifestyle”… though I should. I focus on this goal because I tie so much to this idealistic body image as if it will be the answer to everything in my life. “If I lose the weight, then x, y and z”. Thankfully, over the past year I have spent a lot of time with myself to know that I have more important things to focus on and they were not just tied to the physical portion of myself. I’ve learned that being in my own skin is actually a nice place to live and be.
I have always struggled with body image and self esteem issues my entire life. Though many of them started when I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in the 7th grade, I ultimately need to be honest that lack of will power and self discipline play a big role in this too. For years, I wondered if I was lacking the knowledge or if there was something internally wrong with my body that made me hold onto the weight. I tried every diet and system I could in hopes that something would work- Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, the Lost It! app- just to name a few. I tried cutting down and cutting out food groups all together but nothing seemed to work. At one point I thought that the absence of snacks would lead to success, but instead it just lead to binge eating once I gained access to them. It was an absolute mess.
As a disclaimer- I am not saying that the above mentioned programs do not work. Frankly, I didn’t follow them or use them properly because I knew early on in my trials that they would not lead to personal success. The tracking, scanning, counting- it isn’t for me. I hate logging everything and I want to be able to eat real food and not feel restricted forever. I am often asked ” why don’t you do keto” or ” just cut out sugar, dairy, corn… live off water and air” to which I say- no thank you ma’am. When it comes to dieting I think of what the long term will look like. If that future does not include the occasional pizza or cupcake- it just isn’t for me… Try explaining this to people who take these other restrictive diets/lifestyles seriously- they can’t appreciate my logic.
When it comes to … life in general, I like to feel in control. I like to lead and be an expert but sometimes- I just don’t want to. When it comes to health and fitness- I wanted someone to tell me what to do, what to eat and when to do it. I needed a plan that would allow me the flexibility, choices and overall long term success I was looking for. Through all of my trials and failures, there was only one plan that worked. In the spring of 2014, I was ready to try another “diet plan” and I partnered with my parents to get in shape for my brother’s upcoming wedding. My mom had heard of “The Shred Diet” by Dr Ian Smith and she encouraged us to do it together. She meal planned, prepped and did all of the research and for the first time- I saw real success. The plan is set for 6 weeks of meal planning and activity options to lose 2 pant sizes. From start to finish I lost 15 pounds I weighed the least number of pounds in my adult life and I was noticeably smaller. I remember my district manager at work even complimented me on my new change. After the program ended, I had gained the weight back within months. The missing piece was that I knew deep down that there was more work to be done within me than just losing the pounds. I went on to yoyo diet for the past 6 years.
I have worked on my exercise habits over the past year or so but I knew I was missing the nutrition piece. With little thought, I decided to give the Shred another go. I recently found that there was an accelerated program that offers the same results in 2 less weeks so I quickly ordered the book just in time for the new year.
I am excited to say that I am currently 2 weeks into the program and these are my initial thoughts.
If you are like me and you need someone to tell you what to eat: this is for you. Each week I would plan out what each meal and snack would be comprised of. I was able to mix up my foods enough to create a sustainable meal plan. There is nothing worse than eating the same thing day in and out. The prepping and planning ahead of time helped me to keep the variety while still have standard healthy options to chose from. Below are the past two weeks of scheduling and the new week ahead. I usually plan the new week midway through the current week i am in so i can plan grocery shopping and review what i already have on hand.
If you are like me and can’t be bothered to figure out when to eat: this is for you. I know what is deemed “healthy” but in a world full of intermittent fasting and diets that require 7 meals- I needed structure around when to eat. This book provides a different schedule each week with a grocery list of foods to choose from. The changing schedules help your metabolism stay sharpe and active. Because I work from home and have a flexible schedule I was able to accommodate the random times I needed to eat.
If you have tried everything and it hasn’t worked: give this a try. Like all diets and meal plans, you should do your research first. What works for me might not work for you or be possible with your lifestyle. The great thing about Super Shred is that it can be used to lose those last 15 pounds or to help jumpstart your weight loss journey. the original Shred can be used as a lifestyle so there are special plans no matter what your goals are. I am currently trying to lose a few pounds before a big family vacation so I opted for quicker results.
A few of my go to foods:
Breakfast: Strawberry Banana Smoothie
1 half serving of Vanilla Bean Protein Powder
5 Frozen Strawberries
1 Frozen banana
8-12 oz of water
Lunch: Large Salad
3 cups of leaf lettuce
5 grape tomatoes
2 shredded baby carrots
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Dinner: Soup and Veggies
I cup of soup
1 serving of veggies- in this case i did roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts.
1 serving of brown rice- I opted for sweet potatoes instead
When it comes to soup, I found that Progresso had great options. I needed the soup to contain under 400mg of salt and found that I could a) get two meals from 1 can b) be within my caloric intake and c0 not have to sacrifice taste. Here I am sharing 2 types I picked up.
I have a few more weeks to go before I will have a full understanding of how this program really benefited me. I have lost 2 pounds in the first week and 2 pounds the second week. I am not seeing the results I thought I would be seeing but I am half way through and I have a big week ahead. I will say- that no matter what the scale says, I am feeling better in my clothing and that’s just as important.
I will be sure to check in when I finish out this program. Until then, please share in the comments below what meal plans work for you? Which ones have you tried and abandoned in the past?
until next time,