I’m in the middle of week three of this 10 week journey I'm doing with Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping and I’m already starting to feel a little bit better about things in my life.
When I did the Friends and Family classes a few weeks prior to starting, after I came home from the 45 minute workout, I plopped on the couch and writhed in agony and soreness and didn’t want to move the rest of the night.
But now, I’m working much harder in the classes, but I come home and still feel energized. I feel like I accomplished something for the day and that is a satisfying feeling that just carries over into my at-home mentality. I used to think just working eight to 10 hours a day was a hard day’s work, but now adding the workout has gotten me reenergized at home. I even went over to my parents house on our off day on Sunday and helped rake and mulch the leaves from the garden. That alone would’ve typically left me sore and worn out for the rest of the day, but after hours of raking, I felt as good as when the day started.
I think a big part of that feeling so far has been the nutrition aspect of the program. Early on, I called it a diet and owner Jeff Friedrichs quickly corrected me in saying it wasn’t a diet, it was proper nutrition. At the time, I didn’t quite get the difference, but I’m starting to get an idea.
It doesn’t feel like I’m on a diet. Aly and I eat six smaller meals a day, but it’s still food that’s tasty, yet good for you. I always kind of thought if I did this type of program, I’d go to bed hungry and wake up starving, but that hasn’t happened. Every time I start to get really hungry, I look at the clock and it’s usually time for one of my meals.
Here are my meals from a day earlier in the week:
Breakfast Steel Cut Fruit N’ Berries Oatmeal, an orange and a low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
Morning Snack Seven whole grain crackers with seven cubes of low fat pepper jack cheese
Lunch Roasted turkey on sandwich thins with spinach, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and light honey mustard, 1/2 serving of strawberries, 1/2 serving of grapes and carrots. (I didn’t think a sandwich would be any good without cheese, but you wouldn’t even know it wasn’t on there with the other flavors you get)
Afternoon snack Beef jerky, hard boiled egg, and an apple
We also have a chocolate chip protein bar after our workout that helps rebuild your muscles and satisfies those with a pesky sweet tooth.
Dinner Shrimp stir fry with green beans, onions, carrots and jasmine rice
Night Snack Piece of whole grain toast with natural chunky peanut butter and a light string cheese
The above is just a sample too, as there are plenty of other foods that are available. I’m finding out there’s things I like more than the regular version, such as spaghetti squash. Aly has made a killer meal with the spaghetti squash shredded up like noodles with turkey sausage and a spicy red sauce. I’m a big pasta guy, and it’s just as good as any noodle and Italian sausage pasta I’ve had previously.
I’m also finding out some of the things I don’t like and won’t be adding to my nutrition plan... I’m looking your way cottage cheese.
Overall, it’s been a drastic change for someone like me. I ate out constantly. Arby’s, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Brink’s Deli, Subway. Most people don’t eat out as much as I was, so it hasn’t been easy. I crave some of those things often, but I have just started telling myself that the taste is temporary and the after effects have a lot more ramifications. It’s not that the food I’m eating now tastes bad, quite the opposite actually, but to go from eating out at those places three or four times a week (sometimes more) to none is very different.
Although I shouldn’t say I have cut them out completely. I did use my second cheat day to grab some Taco Bell, which worked well because it filled the fast food craving that I had been fighting.
A lot of people have asked too if it’s expensive to eat “cleaner.” The answer is yes and no. We had to make some drastic changes in our pantry and fridge to get some of the right food. We didn’t throw everything out since we do have the cheat days, but we also realized how much bad stuff we had in the house.
In these first few weeks, it has taken me and Aly about $100-$125 per week to keep up our meal prep with the right foods that we enjoy. That number can obviously be different for everyone. And although it may seem like a lot, keep in mind we are shopping for two people. We also have mapped out how much we were spending on groceries previously, plus our fast food and eating out costs and it’s actually saving us money.
I can certainly say it has not been easy making the change in my nutrition habits, but I’m coming from a pretty extreme end of the spectrum. And just like the physical aspect of this program, I didn’t expect it to be easy and knew it wouldn’t be. I have cravings. I have days where I just want to chomp into a big slice of greasy pizza. But then I weigh the short term benefits against the long term results and it helps me to put things into perspective. Plus, I always have my Sundays to get that slice of pizza in!