About Me

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I'm a busy mom, working professional, and lover of all things fitness. I've lost 20 lbs in and kept it off for the past 2 years without stepping foot in a gym. I'm all about learning to be a better ME and paying it forward. Contact me at http://fb.me/tamaragomez18 or tamara.gomez18@gmail.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vegetarian Kids in a Carnivorous Home

I'm a meat eater. Always have been. About a year ago I read the book Skinny Bitch and Syed read the counter part, Skinny Bastard (yes there's a version for the guys). It really opened our eyes to the implications of eating animal products. For a little while Syed attempted a vegan lifestyle. I, on the other hand, while I felt more educated, it wasn't enough to make me want to change my ways. Right or wrong, it's just how I felt. And probably because of that, Syed's efforts tapered off.

Now a week ago, Novali has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian, for ethical reasons. I support her, but want to make sure that she's healthy and getting the proper nutrition. She's very picky and I've made it clear that this doesn't mean she has free reign to eat cheese pizza exclusively for the rest of her years.

We've been experimenting with foods and vegetables the past 2 days, and we're headed to the bookstore to look at some cookbooks. She's also getting her blood checked today just to make sure she's not anemic.

Anyone out there with vegetarian kids? I'd love to hear your experiences and tips!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Motivation Has Nothing To Do With It...

“Motion creates emotion”
As usual I came home tonight and worked out.  But it wasn’t just a regular workout.  For the first time I did the Strength workout from Insanity The Asylum, all the way through, no breaks.  I did every single rep, even when I thought I couldn’t keep going I pushed through and got it done.  I love the sense of accomplishment when I can beat my own record, when I can achieve what my body tells me is impossible.  Always in competition with myself!  
Do you think I was motivated to workout when I got home from work?  Heck no!  All I wanted to do was sit on the couch, stuff my face, and watch The Walking Dead (which rocks by the way)!  I was drained from another long day at work.  If I had let myself be led by emotions, I would not have accomplished what was one of the best workouts I’ve ever completed.  
A lot of people ask me how I stay so motivated.  They tell me that they WANT to lose weight, they WANT more energy, they WANT to feel better.  They’ve bought workout programs, joined gyms.  They’re just not motivated to do the work.
What I do has nothing to do with motivation in my opinion.  I’m rarely motivated to exercise.  It’s about commitment.  I have a full time job and I own my own business, I’m a mom and a wife.  I’m busy and tired, all the time!  I come home drained, exhausted from work thinking about all the other things I could be doing.  I don’t really WANT Shaun T to make me want to cry or Chalene Johnson to make me want to puke.  But I’ve made a commitment to myself to be as healthy as I can be.  To be a healthy mom and wife.  It makes me feel good about myself, confident and strong.  I treat my workouts like a business appointment.  As soon as I get home from work I put my workout clothes on and press play no matter how tired I might be, and I ALWAYS feel 100x better and accomplished when I’m done!
Here’s what I’ve learned about motivation...  if you sit around and wait for it to slap you upside your head, it’s never going to happen!  Motivation does not come before action, action comes before motivation.  Once I get moving I feel better, the adrenaline kicks in, and THAT’S when motivation strikes.  Not the other way around.  As my hubby Syed likes to say, “motion creates emotion.”  The only workouts I’ve ever regretted are the ones I DIDN’T do.  
So the next time you think to yourself “I just don’t feel like it”, “I’m too tired”, “too busy”...  “I’m not motivated today”... cut the excuse and just do it already.  You’ll feel better when you’re done, I promise.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 13

So I’m catching up here, I forgot to post all last week! Shame on me! Quick recap, day 6-8 were awful for me. I felt drained, crabby, exhausted, and my cravings were out of control. Syed was even worried about me and thought that maybe I should quit the reset. But I held on, and on day 9 I woke up feeling fabulous again! I got past the hump! My energy was back and I have felt great ever since.

I admit the one thing I’ve continued to struggle with is my cravings. I’ve been craving meat (I’m still dreaming of a burrito bowl from Chipotle). So I have to confess I was weak this weekend. On Saturday I took my mom to the movies where she ordered a burger and fries and I stole a few fries off of her plate. Then, since I was at the movies during the time that I would normally have had dinner, I was starving and Syed made hearty miso soup, our dinner for the day. While it tasted good it was not satisfying. We were both itching to press speed dial on our phones for our favorite pizza place. But we decided to just sleep through the craving.

I woke up at 4 am and I swear my stomach was eating itself. OMG I was so hungry! And then I didn’t even sleep in with it being Mother’s Day because I had to eat. I’d had it, I wanted comfort food! I used the Mother’s Day excuse, I admit it, and I just lost all willpower. So we went to brunch. I had French toast and a little coffee and a bite of grilled cheese and a slice of bacon. Ugh. Then dinner time came and I did not want roasted beets! So we ordered that pizza. Was it good? It was ok. Was it satisfying? YES. Was it worth it? NO.

I have IBS and one thing this process has taught me is that my symptoms are food related. I have not had any stomach issues, cramps, nothing, since day 1 of the cleanse. This morning I was in SO MUCH ridiculous pain. What was the trigger? Hard to pinpoint, maybe it was the grease, the spiciness (I love everything extra spicy), the sodium, the dairy??? Who knows, but I did not feel good. Lesson learned.

Have I set myself back? I don’t know, but I will not dwell on it, I will continue on and finish this out. As of Saturday I’d lost 6.4 lb. I gained 2 back which I completely expected. We will see what the next 8 days brings. I’m recommitted cause as much as I like my food, I like feeling good that much more. The ultimate lesson that I want to learn from this process is that yes I CAN eat healthy the majority of the time, cooking fresh foods and enjoying them, and that I can allow myself a cheat meal once a week (maybe not pizza anymore). I tend to not do well with all or nothing, as this has shown.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I’m a slave, for you…

A slave to my kitchen that is! Its day 7 of the Ultimate Reset. I’m almost done with phase one which was the reclaim phase. Its only noon so there are a lot of hours left but I am confident I will make it through. At the moment I’m having lunch… micro green salad and zucchini cashew soup (which is making me gag actually)…

So first things first, I feel like I’m living in the kitchen these days. It’s kind of cool that all of our meals have to be freshly prepared; we’re definitely learning new things and bonding over the food prep process! The downside is that it takes A LOT of time! And a LOT of cleanup! We’re definitely getting our money’s worth out of the dishwasher. Sunday I spent a full 2 hours standing in the kitchen making dinner, prepping Monday’s breakfast and making Monday’s lunch. I know it was 2 hours cause we watched a movie from start to finish at the same time.

Yesterday, day 6 I felt like crap! It was warned that day 3-5 or so would be difficult. So I was fully prepared to have the weekend to get over that slump but since I felt great on those days I was hoping I skipped that part all together and was in the clear. Not the case! I woke up yesterday, Monday of all days, feeling incredibly exhausted and crabby. Mostly exhausted. I was drained and miserable the whole day at work. And I was very, VERY angry at my micro green salad. See the salad, which is very good, is on the menu for lunch just about every day, and I’m already SICK of it. Yesterday all I wanted was to toss it and run to Chipotle for a steak burrito bowl, extra steak! I was a bit over emotional. My job passed out chocolates to all the employees and I just about cried because I wanted to eat them! All I wanted to do was get home and sleep. After work I went to whole foods and treated myself to a snack, a handful of almonds with coconut and sweetened with organic pure maple syrup. All allowable ingredients this week so I thought why not? It was just a handful and it felt like a small cheat, had those with some fresh strawberries and it made me smile.

Today, day 7, I woke up very drained again but I’m in a better mood overall. I just need to get past the slump; I know I will feel great again very soon. And back to today’s lunch, the DREADED micro green salad which I am making myself eat, and soup, which we had for dinner and it was good but today I’m just not feeling it.

I’m holding steady at 4.2 lbs lost. I actually was at a little over 5 lbs but I gained 1 back and it’s been the same for 2 days. We’ll see what happens when I start the next phase, phase 2 is the colon cleanse… eek… As long as we are on that topic, I haven’t had any stomach cramps since day 1 which makes me VERY happy and shows me that my IBS is really diet related! For someone who’s dealt with IBS and almost DAILY painful cramping for 9 years, this is very eye-opening.

Still craving steak… Till next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 4

Ok so lots of people said that day 3-5 are the hardest and to be prepared to feel like crap, tired, sore, crabby, etc.  I will say that aside from the headaches on day 1 and 2 I feel amazing!  I'm following the meal plan just as it's laid out and I'm down 5.4 lbs in 3 days.  I've lost more than Syed at this point which is a little weird cause I way a lot less than he does.  We're thinking it might be the fact that I've accidentally been drinking almost 2x as much water as it calls for.  Oops, but it seems to be working!

I feel very much alert, not hungry, if anything I can't even eat all the food that the plan calls for.  It's so much food!!!  I woke up today at 7 am (exactly the 8 hour mark) wide awake and wanting to get out of bed.  But I thought, who am I?  I love to sleep and I don't have to be anywhere so why not take advantage of this.  I made myself go back to sleep until 10:30 when Novali came and got me.

Syed and I did some stretching with Insanity Asylum's Relief dvd, that felt great.  Afterwards and for the rest of the day my legs were very achy so that was a little uncomfortable.  We spent all day relaxing, watching movies, cooking, and just feeling very content.

That's the one thing, there's so much cooking involved!  All meals need to be prepared fresh, so our kitchen and dishwasher have been getting A LOT of use.  The hard part will be continuing with this AFTER the 21 days are up!  I'm feeling so good I've had NO cravings and when I even think about the things I usually eat as take out, it doesn't even sound appealing.  No Cinco de Mayo indulgences for us!

Here's to good health!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 3

So I must say, for the first time since I can remember, I don't have the Friday afternoon drained "just want to get home and lay on the couch" feeling. And we have a standing joke in the office that come 3 pm I start yawning quite loudly. 3 pm came and went and I said to myself, "guess what self? I'm wide awake!"

I feel great today. Woke up clear headed (although I'm not jumping out bed quite yet in the morning). I feel energized, full, happy, alert. No headache today.

I did have some thoughts about wanting a burrito bowl and chocolate, but they passed. And there was a spread of Cinco De Mayo chips, guacamole, and salsa at work that I bravely ignored. Chips and salsa are my biggest addiction so I was proud of myself. :)

Lunch was a microgreen salad and an interesting lentil salad. I'm not a fan of beans but I sucked it up and ate it anyway (with a little fresh salsa I snuck, hey it's allowed, it's veggies).

Oh and I'm down 3.4 lbs in 2 days which I'm sure is water weight but I'll take it! Also no stomach cramps for 2 days woohoo!

I'm all smiles! Time to go home and attempt to make veggie Maki rolls. We'll see how that turns out.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Headaches and Day 2

They say the first 5 days of the reset can be rough, with the biggest complaints being headaches. Especially for caffeine drinkers. I am a coffee drinker but I usually only have 1 cup in the mornings. I stopped drinking coffee as of this past Sunday. After yesterday’s lunch I almost immediately developed a ginormous headache, and it lasted pretty much until I went to sleep. At times it was pounding! But I know it’s a part of the process and I expected it, so I sucked it up and tried to keep a smile on my face as best as I could. I tried hard to keep my patience and not take it out on any innocent bystanders ;)

Went home and made dinner, well Syed made dinner, I kind of putzed around trying to pretend I was being useful (he had a headache too). Novali made herself the most amazing smelling burger, temptation central.

Dinner was really good, salmon, asparagus, potatoes (side note: why does the smallest bit of asparagus make your pee stink within minutes?) But I couldn’t really enjoy it; all I was thinking about was getting to bed. We managed to get to sleep about an hour earlier than usual.

I slept well, almost 8 hours and when I got up I had a mild headache and was slightly nauseous. Breakfast was oatmeal, blueberries, and yogurt. Except I don’t like oatmeal, and I’m not used to eating so much solid food so early o_O (although had it been a Starbucks morning bun I may not have complained). I managed to get down about a quarter of it all, brought it to work, force fed myself a few more bites… Come to think of it, I don’t think I’m a big fan of blueberries either.

Now I have a huge report due at work and the numbers are sort of floating around.

Miss my coffee…

Must… focus…

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 1

It's day 1 and so far so good! Syed and I got up a little extra early, well I got up a little extra early, I usually sleep in longer than him and have to be dragged kicking and screaming from bed. But I did, because I knew we had to take our supplements, Oxygenize, Mineralize, and Optimize with an ungodly amount of water, which has now replaced our coffee. Then we had to actually cook breakfast. I'm not really a breakfast eater, and since I'm usually running around late like a chicken with my head cut off, I just make a quick Shakeology and drink it on my way to work. Today we cooked and actually sat down, watched each other eat, and GASP, talked!!! This is helping our relationship already. ;)

Breakfast was scrambled eggs, steamed kale (which I've never had before) and a slice of dry whole wheat toast. I don't like whole wheat bread in general but this one was actually good, it was a Whole Foods brand that I picked using the eenie-meenie-miney-moe method. Pat on the back for me. And I ate it without choking on it, oh because we're not allowed to drink water while we eat. Did you know it messes with digestion? I didn't, learned something new today.

Now it's lunchtime and I'm considering moving my computer into the bathroom cause I'm peeing every 10 minutes. 54 oz. of water and my second round of supplements down. I feel good and ready for lunch, a very colorful salad with jicama, something else I've never had before.

So it's only 12:30 and I've learned new things, expanded my palate, drank more water than I usually do in a day, got Novali to school with time to spare, and had a conversation with Syed that didn't involve passing each other in the hall. I'm feeling pretty accomplished! More to come...

Oh so what is this I'm doing anyway? It's called the Beachbody Ultimate Reset and it's a 21 day gentle cleanse, detox where we wean ourselves off animal products, eat vegan for 2 weeks, turn into fish drinking lots of water, and take a special blend of supplements to remove toxins from our body. I'm really excited about the next 3 weeks cause lately I've been slipping into some old habits, eating out too much, feeling sluggish and my IBS is flaring up. So my goals are to refocus, reenergize, sooth my angry tummy, and lower my body fat % to a reasonable level (see last post).

Here's to a healthier lifestyle. Gotta go pee again!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Body Fat % is WHAT???

For 2 years now I have worked really hard at getting myself healthy, fit, I’ve lost 20 lb and kept it off with regular exercise. My diet is moderate, like many people that’s where I admittedly struggle. I have good days and not so good days. I try to make the good days be much more frequent than the bad. I try to make more good choices than bad choices. I’m not super strict but I think I’m pretty well balanced. I’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of that! I’m just aiming to be healthy, happy, and well balanced, not super restrictive.

So here’s what's bothering me. I really don’t weigh myself often, I go by how I feel and how my clothes fit. I don’t put too much importance on the # on the scale. Where I DO want to focus however is my body fat %. It seems no matter what I do, that toned physique tends to elude me. I know it’s my diet. Maybe I’m not eating enough protein, maybe I indulge a little TOO often. I haven’t gotten it down to a science yet.

I went to get a body fat caliper test yesterday at the UIC Human Performance Lab. Now I take this with a grain of salt because caliper testing is only as good as the person performing the test and it has a 4-5% error ratio. I really wanted to do the hydrostatic body fat testing which is the most accurate, UIC is the only location in Chicago that offers it to my knowledge, but they were having issues with their equipment. Anyway, the guy said he’s been doing this for 6 years, yadda yadda, he seemed to know what he was doing… And the result… 28% body fat. Say what? When the printer spit out that piece of paper and I saw the result, I wanted to puke. On paper, that’s borderline unhealthy. The healthy range for my height and age is 21-29%. I wear a size 0 for goodness sakes (and yes at 5’0” that is a perfectly healthy size). Size 0 and 28% body fat shouldn’t even go together in the same sentence. I guess this is what my friend Eva so appropriately calls “skinny fat”. Thin but yet not enough lean muscle. I know where it is too, mostly in my stomach. The scale at home gives me a BF% of 25.6. This is more consistent with a measurement that was done at work last month using some bioelectrical contraption that they have.

Regardless, I have some work to do. That little sheet of paper said I need to aim for 21% and lose about 6-10 lb. Really I’d like to be closer to 18%. Right now I’m comfortable, but I’m not at my best physically as I have been at certain points in the past 2 years. Comfortable isn’t good enough, if I ever want to achieve those 6 pack abs, and I will get there, I’ve gotta step outside of my comfort zone. I’ve gotta buckle down and be more disciplined with my diet. But I don’t even want to call it a diet, it has to be a lifestyle. And that doesn’t mean restrictive either. I can eat well and often, I just have to more consistently make good choices and not give in so much to cravings and temptation. They say you are what you eat and I want to be broccoli, not a walking slice of pizza ;) Good thing I’m starting the 21 Day Ultimate Reset tomorrow to cleanse my body of toxins and junk and reset it to an optimal level. They say it takes 21 days to learn a new habit and I have some habits I need to break and new ones to put in their place.