Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My ultimate comfort food

During my nutrition consultation yesterday, Kurt at Fitness Together Brookfield challenged me to create my master food list and a meal plan. I have been stuck in a rut when it comes to my meal planning, eating the same meals at the same times, day after day. Some of the monotony is due to convenience and ease in preparation (not to mention my pitiful culinary skills), but the lack of diversity in my meals is beginning to weigh heavily on me.

At Kurt's suggestion, I've tweaked my master food list (originally broken down by protein, complex starchy carbs, and fiberous carbs) and took it a step further by breaking down fiberous carbs into fruits and vegetables, and also including "cheat meals". The cheat meals scare me as I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love to eat it, but hate what it does to my waistline! I mentioned this previously in my video, but I am simply too strict with myself, and fear all I've done is set myself up for a big fall. With Kurt's help, I look forward to creating more balance in my nutrition, and a great deal more variety!

I'm also planning my first cheat meal - spaghetti, my ultimate comfort food. My love for spaghetti goes back to my childhood - my mom was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to the US after she married my dad (who was an officer in the Navy at the time). Mom's family still lives in Taiwan, and she would go back to visit them every year, for 2 - 3 months at a time. After we'd drop her off at the airport, I'd start bawling because I missed her, and my dad would take me to Zippy's, a restaurant similar to Kopp's or Heinemann's, where I'd order spaghetti, every single time. It came to be such a tradition, that the waitresses would automatically order spaghetti for me when they'd see my family enter the restaurant. In fact, it wasn't until my senior year in high school that I actually ordered something other than spaghetti at Zippy's - chili spaghetti! Wow, that was an awesome day! ;)

I'm planning my cheat meal to take place at dinner on Saturday and am uncomfortably excited at the thought of having spaghetti ... I've tried to break my habit of turning to food for comfort, and also try not to much too much importance on food as a reward. Finding the balance of allowing myself a cheat meal and allowing myself to feel some pleasure in the cheat meal is difficult, especially as I've always been an "all or nothing" kind of person. But I know I can't live the rest of my life with such strict boundaries, and am anxiously looking forward to taking this first step.

Any suggestions or recommendations on a healthy spaghetti recipe will be greatly appreciated!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week Two

This week Michelle has proven that proper exercise prescription promotes steady physical adaptation. Her coordination and development of proper exercise technique is quickly moving along. She has made steady progress in becoming more comfortable with the same exercises that were very challenging in her first week or two of training. She will be ready for a new challenge in a week or two, meaning we will change her routine completely. This will keep her from getting bored, as crazy as this would sound to Michelle. She would say that the workouts never get easier, even though we can see the progress she makes every day. The change in programming will also create the physiological response her body needs to shock her system again and force her body to adapt. This can be another mental challenge and Michelle has been tough so far. Our job is to make it challenging but fun, and before she knows it, exercise will be a habit!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meal Plan: Week One

Up to this point, Michelle has made changes in her nutrition that have helped her lose weight, but has only made simple changes. She still has some adjustments to make in order to switch from “diet mode” to a permanent and impactful lifestyle change. She has made the typical changes that many people make when they decide to lose weight. Most people know what foods are healthy choices and what foods to stay away from, and she has done that. She has not “cheated,” or in other words, allowed herself any unhealthy choices for some time now. Our fear with this type of dramatic change in eating habits is that it is less likely to be a permanent positive change because one can become frustrated with never allowing themselves a reward like a piece of chocolate or a nice steak dinner. We are starting to work with Michelle on the idea that she doesn’t have to eat 100% healthy all of the time. This type of approach will keep her sane and allow her to indulge in some of the foods she enjoys every once in a while.

We are working with Michelle on creating a basic balance of macronutrients within each of her four to five meals per day. Prior to our coaching, Michelle was really limiting her food choices and pretty much eating the same foods for every meal, every day. This also eventually leads boredom and frustration, and the idea of long-lasting weight loss seems less attractive. Therefore, we will be creating an ongoing list of foods so Michelle can learn to build menus and grocery lists, eventually with as little mental work as possible.

It's what you can't see that's important

Imagine a tiny flower seed. It's so tiny and insignificant. It isn't much to look at; in fact, it's rather plain and indistinguishable. You plant it in the earth with good intentions, you water it, give it sunlight, keep it from the chill, and then you wait.

Sometimes waiting seems to take forever, but eventually, the seed sprouts out of the ground, then blossoms and flowers. It's a thing of beauty.

But it's what you can't see that's important: The growth deep beneath the soil, the myriad of roots that branch out, seeking out all that's important to its growth and life.

A very good friend of mine helped to plant a seed of belief inside of me a long, long time ago. It took several years of trying and failing for it to finally root and grow, as it had to crowd out the seed of self-doubt that I had carefully cultivated and nurtured for many years.

It hasn't been easy, and sometimes self-doubt would try to crowd out that tiny seed of belief.

Of course, the seed of belief has won because when I look in the mirror these days, I see love, hope, and strength. I see a flash of the future strength and victory in my stance.

With previous weight lost, I know that this time is different. I know this with every fiber of my being.

But more important and meaningful than any physical change in the world, I've changed on the inside. I've finally found my voice. I know my self-worth and I've gained self-confidence.

I'm very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity of participating in the Fitness Together Transformation Challenge, and look forward to blogging my successes with you here. Be sure to stop by again soon for my first vlog!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week One

So far in Michelle’s first week of training, she has shown that attitude is everything. Dedication and a positive outlook have gotten her off to a good start. This, combined with the appropriate starting point and proper exercise progression, is the key to success. So many times, people begin an exercise program too hard and too fast, and the result is pain and suffering, mentally and physically. Unfortunately, we at FT have heard this from clients when they share their previous experiences with exercise and even with personal trainers. We’ve started Michelle with a good base group of exercises mostly consisting of single-joint movements, core stabilization, and overall physical adaptation to exercise. This week, she will complete three strength-training workouts, followed by moderate cardio. Also, she will have a cardiovascular workout under the coaching of her trainer. We also have done one nutrition consultation this week.

We are extremely excited for Michelle and her endeavor with us here at FT. She’s reaching out of her comfort zone and is displaying great courage. Many thanks go out to her support group outside of FT, her children, family, and friends. You’ve done great so far Michelle, keep it up!

Meet Michelle Uhrle

Congratulations! Michelle Uhrle
Fitness Together Brookfield Contestant

Current Weight: 165 pounds

Goal Weight: 130 - 135lbs

Michelle Uhrle is a convention sales assistant at VISIT Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau and is already registered for the Trek Women’s Triathlon this July! Michelle is ready to break through the plateau that she can’t seem to move past and run around and play with her 2 children. Michelle is originally from Pearl City, Hawaii and currently resides in Brookfield Wisconsin. Continue to watch for blogs and videos of Michelle’s Transformation.
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