Weekly Summary

16 days to go until Hawaii!


Starting Weight:  144 pounds  (December 31, 2010)

Current Weight:  133 pounds 

Total Weight Loss:  11 pounds

Goal Weight:  130 pounds… almost there!



Howdy everyone.  Home on vacation today, so what to do?  Well, I woke up as usual at 5am, but laid there another couple of hours before getting up.  I can never sleep after waking up though.  Had a nice, Cinch-approved breakfast: 2 eggs, small bowl of low-fat granola with cherries, and a small cup of carrot juice.  Then I relaxed and read another few chapters of The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (excellent book).  After that, my husband I went for a 30-mile bike ride on the country roads near our home.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not that bad, and the beautiful scenery is a great distraction, although I really wish people would respect the local leash law (got chased by several dogs).  We’re in full-training mode for our 300-mile / 3-day charity ride in July. 

So now we’re headed to my parents’ for a long weekend.  I’m a little nervous because I tend to eat a lot when we visit family.  I think it must be psychological, because I notice that I tend to be really hungry whenever I visit anyone.  Probably years of good memories around food.  But it’s only 2 more weeks until we leave for Hawaii, so I can’t afford any more cheat meals!  As I discussed in Tuesday’s blog, I had a greasy, sugary cheat meal on Monday and as expected, it made me crave more all week!  I resisted, for the most part, but it was not my best week and did not lose any more weight.  (My husband is looking over my shoulder and rubbing it in that even after his french fry bonanza last weekend and several big cheeseburger meals, he’s still down 2 pounds this week… men have it much easier!!)  So I’ve prepared for the weekend by stashing some Seapoint Farms Dry-Roasted Edamame and Raisins in my purse for hunger emergencies.  I LOVE these edamame – they remind me of peanuts, but without the fat and salt!  Tasty and very good for you – it’s no wonder they call Soybeans “the wonder veggie”.

So here’s to sticking to my diet over the weekend!  Adios…

Weekly Summary – 23 days to go!

23 days to go on Bikini Body Countdown!

Wow, I almost didn’t believe the scale this morning when I weighed in at 133 pounds, 2 pounds down from last week!  I’m not sure if it’s my consistently healthy diet or intense workouts, but something is working!  I’ve not been doing anything drastic with my diet, just following the principles of Cinch and limiting my refined carbohydrates (sugar & white flour).   My workout routine, however, has taken a somewhat drastic upswing.  My husband now works at a gym and has made me his personal training guinea pig.  He’s calling my fitness plan “Body by Bill“… ha ha ha.  I used to mainly run for my workouts and do a little weight training a couple times a week.  Now I only run 2-3 days per week, do weight training 3-4 times per week (1 day per muscle group), and lots of extra cardio through cycling, jump rope, or the elliptical machine.  It’s actually been fun to mix things up, and I feel incredibly strong and lean.  I’ll have to post more about this later as I progress.

As for food, I have several things to share from the past few days.  First, I’ve been incorporate more carrot juice into my daily diet, normally having a cup each morning with my breakfast.  I’m not a huge fan of plain carrots, which are often more bitter than sweet, but the juice is actually quite good.  I’ve tried several varieties, but I think Odwalla is my favorite.  Ironically, I started doing this a couple of weeks ago and then read in a magazine this week that the Beta Carotene in orange veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes can give you a healthy glow similar to that of the sun, but without the harmful UVA / UVB ray exposure.  But be careful… too much can also give you an orange hue, a ‘la tanning bed!

Also this week, I’ve had a couple of smoothies, which I had not done in a while, but they make a great, quick breakfast that can easily incorporate all of the food groups.  I have a couple of smoothie recipes on my “Favorite Recipes” tab, but this week I just threw together some stuff I had on hand:  frozen strawberries & bananas (produce), Light ‘n Fit vanilla yogurt (dairy + protein), handful of dry oats (whole grains), no-sugar-added vanilla protein powder (protein), and some water to help it mix.  It was delicious!


Next up, my husband and I have done evening bicycle rides several nights this week, and although I have a snack beforehand (usually fruit & pretzels), I am left famished and too tired to cook afterwards.  What to do?  A quick build-a-bowl meal works great.  This time I layered lettuce, black beans, chicken, tomato, and avocado, topped with a little salsa.  Only about 5 minutes to prep and delicious!  I eat it cold, but you could also heat the beans and chicken with a little cheese before adding the cold ingredients. 



So that wraps up the weekend.  Here’s my food & exercise journal for today:

Meal Plan Time
Granola with milk.  1/2 cup carrot juice. 7am
Stawberries, pretzels, pistachios 11am
1/2 salmon with spinach carrots, & brown rice 3pm
Probably eating out, but will eat healthy! 7pm
Workout– Rest; 20 minute walk yes
Vitamins yes

Bikini Body Countdown!


I’m officially on BIKINI BODY COUNTDOWN!  34 days until Hawaii!

Time to get serious, cut the sugar, and increase the workouts.  I’ve done pretty well since starting Cinch in January, although have indulged in one too many sugar binges.  My clothes fit better and I feel good, but I’m disappointed that the scale has not budged much.   I’m still the same weight I was in January after finishing detox (138), although that’s still 6 pounds less than where I started.  My husband has reminded me that some of that might be muscle weight that I’ve put on to replace fat (since muscle weighs more than fat), but seeing the scale was still a bit deflating.  And thus, that’s why I’ve been avoiding it for a month!

OK, so here’s the plan.  Stick to the basics of Cinch for my diet, zero sugar and very limited refined carbohydrates.  Increase workouts to 5-6 days per week, including running, cycling, weight training, and plyometric intervals.  I’ll post my food journal and exercise plan as often as I can in case anyone else wants to join in!  I also see some great articles about bikini-body-prep from time to time, and will link those as well. 

Monday’s Menu:

Meal Plan Time
Cereal with skim milk; orange juice 7am
Greek yogurt with berries and granola 11am
Salad w/ lt ranch, almonds, 1/2 pear 3pm
Whole wheat pasta w/ veggies, olive oil 7pm

Workout:  Weights (chest & back), cardio intervals (10m treadmill, 10m elliptical, 10m jump rope), 10-mile bike.

My husband forwarded me a cool blog link today.  I had to laugh because I love that feeling of beating a guy at something sports related and seeing their reaction to “getting chicked”…  http://www.rev3tri.com/!/blog/2011-3-21-gettingChicked.htm.  And yes, I have “chicked” my husband on many ocassions, although he won’t admit it!

Ruby TUESDAY (Cinch Core, day 4)

Today’s Menu: Same as yesterday

Today’s Workout:  Tri-weekly marathon training run (6 miles) + Power Yoga! 


Happy Tuesday!  I feel amazing and have been on a high for about 4 days now, overflowing with energy, and feeling smaller in my clothes.  Even my skin has cleared up, and that’s even more exciting for me than losing weight!  I am on the same menu today as yesterday, although I worked out early, so how do you handle breakfast when you work out at 6am?  Thankfully, Cynthia addresses this question on her website.  Basically, you split up the breakfast, having the carb & produce beforehand, and the fat & protein afterwards.  So today, I had the toast with almond butter and blackberries at 5:30 am, then the cottage cheese at 8 am.  I wasn’t sure how to save the almond butter for afterwards, so I went ahead and had it early with the toast, and thankfully it did not upset my stomach during my run.  Then I’ll resume my normal eating schedule with my 11 am snack, and etcetera. 

A lot of you have commented that I work out a lot, and yes, that’s true, but don’t feel that you need to do the same for this to be successful.  I truly enjoy my daily workouts, although Cinch’ is primarily designed for light workouts – preferably 30 minutes walking per day.  I am blessed to work for a company (Ruby Tuesday) that encourages us to stay fit and allows for a 1.5-hour lunch break in order to workout, plus we have an on-sight gym and are right next to 20-miles or scenic running trails.  I personally don’t understand people that don’t take advantage of this blessing!!  My husband is also very passionate about exercise and it’s often something we do together, mostly P90X videos or Cycling.  Just do what you feel works best for you!  I usually add a little more calories in the form of whole grains or healthy-fat a couple meals a day to offset my calorie deficit, so if you workout a lot like me, you should do the same to prevent starvation mode.

Maryville Greenbelt, "The Duck Pond"

... Now who wouldn't want to enjoy this every day!?

I read an article once that said they didn’t know anybody that lost weight from exercise alone.  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been a dedicated gym-rat for about 5 years now, but it’s your diet that truly makes the difference.  Your body is like a machine and you have to feed it right for it to operate at maximum efficiency.  Cinch is working wonders for me in this regard, and I’m eager to see how much better I perform in my upcoming physical challenges – including another haf-marathon in April, a 300-mile charity bike ride in July, and possibly my first triathlon this Fall.  Off to a good start so far!

Cinch Day 6 & 7

Today’s Meal Plan:

Meal Plan Time
Fruity waffle sundae 7am
Avocado dip with crackers  11am
Salmon ginger rice bowl  3pm
* Office party * 7pm

Today’s Workout:  20 minutes on the indoor trainer (picture below!), strength-training, 3-mile jog.

Riding the indoor trainer in my husband's "Tennessee Room"

The next phase of Cinch is 25-days long and similar to the first phase, it involves 4 meals spaced 3 to 5 hours apart, starting within an hour of getting up in the morning.  The book offers 100 recipes to mix and match for the daily meals, all of which look amazing and are pretty easy to make, but you can also substitute your own meals as long as they match up nutritionally.  As Sass puts it, its just like putting together a puzzle, and the goal of this next 25 days is to learn how to put together the puzzle yourself so you can keep up your healthy eating habits.  Although not a nutritionist, fitness and nutrition have long been a passion of mine and I’ve gone through quite a few courses on the subject.  Now I just have to master the art of practicing what I preach!  

On that subject, I had my first slip-up last night.  I had been doing so well, even getting through several major temptations throughout the day, but when I get home, it’s habit to immediately seek out food and dinner was going to take some preparation.  Thankfully, I do not keep any junk around the house, but suddenly everything in the pantry looked wonderful.  I started with my daily dose of dark-chocolate, and then I rationalized that I could have a second one since we’re allowed to have up to 100-calories of dark chocolate per day and the ones I bought are only 50.  But I ended up having 4 before moving on to a slice of bread, spoonful of peanut butter, 5 baked black-bean chips, and a 1/2 cup of milk.  But I stopped there and realized I’d already eaten enough calories to account for dinner.  Hey, I saved myself the cooking time!  Yes, I slipped up, but all is not lost.  Once again I feel like this is a learning experience for me.  Unlike past occasions when I’d give up and go back to my old habits, it’s not realistic to think we can all live by a strict routine all the time, so I’ll just consider it a splurge and move on. 

I posted today’s meal plan and workout schedule above.  Although this diet does not require working out to achieve success, it’s recommended.  I actually enjoy staying active, so maybe sharing my daily workouts will give you some ideas.  I like to try and get a short workout in first thing in the morning (typically cycling or yoga), then my primary workout at lunch (usually weights and jogging or a class).  I’m fortunate that my employer has an on-site gym with personal trainers on-staff and is also located on a large park with running trails, plus they give us an extra half hour for lunch if we use it to work out.  And yet a lot of my co-workers still don’t take advantage of it and I just don’t understand! 

Yesterday and today’s breakfast was the Fruity Waffle Sundae (1 waffle with 1/4 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup cherries, 1 kiwi, pumpkin seeds) and it was awesome!  Mine didn’t look as pretty as the magazine picture, but oh well.  I subbed fresh cherries instead of the dried cranberries, and I think next time I’ll sub flax seeds for the pumpkin seeds.  They just tasted a little odd with the other ingredients.  Overall, I’d give it an A- recipe with quick and easy prep!

For lunch (yesterday), I subbed my own meal because I didn’t have time to prep a recipe from the book.  So I chose a 1/2 Almond Butter Sandwich with Grapes.  By the way, the Maranatha Raw Natural Almond Butter is the best I’ve ever had!  Not only does it taste great, but if kept in the fridge, it doesn’t require stirring.

Yesterday & today’s snack is the Avocado Dip (1/4 avocado, 1 egg, dash pepper & cayenne), plus Baked Black Bean Chips (in place of whole grain crackers), and a Tangerine.  I wasn’t sure about the combo of avocado and egg, but actually it was pretty good.  I guess the egg works as a filler since using more avocado would add a significant amount of calories and fat.   Have you guys ever tried the Guiltless Gourmet Black Bean chips?  They are so good and you get 18 chips in a serving for only 120 calories and 3 grams of fat!  And did I mention that they are delicious!?  For more info, click on the picture below.


There’s an office party tonight, so no cooking required, but I hope they have some healthy options!  How is everyone doing?

Cinch Day 4

Wow, I’m a bit stunned  at how many people are suddenly tuning in to my blog.  As a fairly new blogger that was averaging 3-5 hits per day before Cinch, 400 in one day is so cool!  I hope I can help all of you stay motivated on your diets, just like you do for me! 

It is now Day 4 and I woke up feeling fabulous!  My average days starts at 5am, so I was a little worried how that would go after a very sluggish late start on Days 2 and 3, but I seem to have turned a corner and my body is adjusting to my new diet.  Our bodies are really amazing!  I even had the energy for a quick 15-minutes on my indoor trainer bicycle (I’m training for a 300-mile bike ride in July) before heading to work.  I’ll have to take a picture of that later for those that aren’t familiar with riding your bike indoors during the winter.

My cravings have all but disappeared, and that’s great because I’m surrounded by junk food now that I’m back at the office.  Between food shows (I work at Ruby Tuesday’s corporate office), supplier food gifts, and the various goodies everyone has brought in to clean out their kitchens, it’s a bit overwhelming!  I don’t want any of the junk, but I’m really ready for some grains!  I made some toast for my husband last night and was salivating.  I didn’t crave it at all until I was making it and reeeeeeaaally wanted a bite!  Wednesday’s waffle breakfast, the first meal post-detox, is going to taste amazing!  Oh, and I did run into a couple of new challenges at the grocery store.  I was supposed to buy dried cranberries that are naturally sweetened with fruit juice and non-fat ricotta cheese.  Neither of which is apparently carried at my super-Kroger , not even in the huge Organic section.  I’m going to sub fresh cherries for the cranberries and low-fat ricotta.

I’m going to attempt my normal Monday workout today without bonking: a weight-training circuit and 3-mile jog outside.  We’ll see how it goes . . .

Like my running shirt?  I love these shirts with funny little slogans.  They’re very motivating because I never want anyone to catch me walking when I wear them!  I picked up several different versions at the Disney Marathon.  You can click on the picture to see the store – One More Mile.  Anyway, today did involve some walking.  I’m not sure if it was the lack of calories / carbs or my new Reebok RunTone shoes, but it kicked my butt!  I ended up doing intervals of running / walking for 2.5 miles… still a decent workout.  I’ll have to give a RunTone shoes review later after I’ve used them a little longer.  Today was only my second workout with them and I did seem to be using muscles that I don’t normally feel. 

I’m off to have my 4th meal now while I watch my husband do P90x.  My turn to torture him by playing P90x referee; payback for eating all of my Cadbury eggs while I suffered through another plate of eggs and spinach!