Friday, February 11, 2011

Improving on What I Already Knew

As I mentioned a couple of blogposts ago I have made some changes in my nutritional diet and my training. 5-6 days a week, I cut out grains, which wasn't that hard for me, and that also caused a chain reduction of cheese and wine! I prepare and portion most of my foods at the beginning of the week and plan a "theme" for a consistent menu of the same meals.

My motivation to make these changes came from reading the 4HB. In addition to so much good scientific information within it's pages, for me the message was more about the possibilities of changing your physical body by approaching it as more of as experiment than another desperate attempt to lose a few pounds (or alot of pounds). So that was my approach...I was simply going to conduct an experiment, remembering some of my own original, accidental, discoveries and reincorporating them back into my weekly schedule, and making, what I hoped were some improvements.

The mistake I made was that I made too many changes at once, so when I get to the part about the changes I did see, I'm not sure where the credit goes!
Here are the changes I made:

Out with the grains, replaced by mostly lentils, and rarely, beans and split pea ( a little bit of corn)
Replaced yogurt with cottage cheese for smoothies
Pre packed and portioned my foods. Stuck with the same foods 5-6 days a week
Cut back on my Bikram practice to 3 and 4 days a week, adding in Vinyasa flow 3 days a week.
Cut back slightly on kettlebell workouts...I said slightly, lol

Week 1 I informally started moving towards planning more structure, but I did not journal it.

Week 2 Wow! I planned it all out, wrote it all down and started to feel some real changes. Mostly in my mental attitudes about food, nutritional diet and eating. I started to enjoy it again! I didn't realize how much I was torturing myself over the decisions between all of the abundant choices I had to face, and what I was going to eat everyday. choice...whew! I also came face to face with the fact that I was eating too much food....seriously, I didn't need all the food I was previously eating and I haven't missed it!

Week 3 repalced pork and veg soup with bean chili and corn stew...not quite sure about beans just yet, as Mark says that beans will put weight on you. Also replaced the cabbage salad, from week 2, with a spinach salad....not as "regular" as the previous weeks...back to cabbage salads, lol! The only "problem" I had this week was that I had some leftover prepared foods from the last week, so a completely consistent menu change didn't happen the way I wanted it to.

Mark and I went to San diego for the RKC reCert and I took some foods with me on Friday but enjoyed a killer barbeque dinner meal with some great wine Sat. night.

Week 4 I was going to incorporate back a bit of some of the foods I had cut out until I saw a pretty amazing change in my body Monday morning during yoga! Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Back to cabbage salad, and I tried a lemon smoothie instead of my butternut squash version, both are killer and I look forward to my smoothie everyday.

Last Saturday, my cheat day, I killed off the rest of the guava apricot chutney I had in the fridge with cheese and crackers, and a bottle of wine! Oh, and PNB and jelly sandwiches at the end of the night. There were a ton of choices I could have made for my cheat night, but I was way too tired earlier in the day after my 5 hours of training to go to the store!

Week 5 This last week I had the best time on Sun & Mon making all of my foods for the week. I made roasted califlower soup with spinach and chicken for my soup meal. This week my focus was more on continuing to eat meals, instead of turning snacks into meals by way of calories.

OK, so now for what's happened over the past 4 weeks? I got leaner! While I was in yoga I noticed a small part of my body where I had been holding on to a little chunk of was gone! I couldn't believe it...where did it go? I was used to seeing it there, and now it had dissappeared. I showed Mark a picture taken of me this past summer to compare what I looked like now, and he identified the change right away!

Another thing that happened was a woman in yoga asked me if I had lost more weight. Really I didn't feel as if I had lost much because my clohes felt the same, I just looked different wearing them! I feel as if my mid section is significantly smaller and leaner, my abs, especially my obliques, are more pronounced. (I love having big square me crazy!) I did weigh myself a couple of days ago because I was feeling much lighter and leaner, and I was surprised I hadn't lost more weight, in fact less than 2 pounds. Even Mark was surprised I didn't weigh less.

I had a bit of a candy craving Wednesday after I weighed myself...yikes! I know alot of people can relate to not "seeing" on the scale, bigger gains and losing motivation to the point of feeling like we want to give up. I'm sure that had something to do with it.... All is not lost. I usually get a grip, and feel my way back to what I know, and what I know is to NOT self destruct....a little candy never hurt anyone.

Here I am, loving every part of my life, yet having bits and pieces of doubt. I'm only human, but I still love myself, and I still I think I'm the shit! I'm loving life these days, lucky me.


Maribel said...

You are the shit and I love that you know it.

You don't know how much I needed to read this today. I've had a week of no weight loss. I feel good, I like the way I'm looking, my clothes are falling off, I can see muscles peeking. But when you don't see the scale move its discouraging to say the least. I have to learn to measure success in other ways and not just focus on the scale.

Thanks for the reminder that it's a learning process to find tweek things and find what works best for us individually.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I was kinda feeling you fading a's the deal....

you simply got comfortable and ate too much to change your bodyweight that week. Lesson learned.

Eat a bit, or alot less. Change one of your meals, or exchange a certain food type for another. Remeber carbs hold 4 times their weight in water. Have a bit of fun with it.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in the blogpost...I wasn't looking for instantaneous results, in fact I didn't even have big expectations. See a bigger picture and relax.

The worst thing you are doing is changing your life in a healthy way, so at the end of the day you are still left with a strong, more fit and healthy you! How bad is that?

(eat less!)

Jen said...

(eat less) Amen to that!

and the loving yourself part is HUGE! I love how you're so positive in your life and you make it work so well (geeze, look at the results you've achieved!!)

*Loving yourself
*Consistency in eating and training

Those 2 or 3 things are so easy, but so hard at the same time.

thanks again Tracy for a great post

xoxo Jen

guy said...

I love the 4HB too Ma'am! I had been going by "The Primal Blueprint" from Mark Sisson, and well, yes I kind of miss having a peice of fruit daily, instead I save fruit for saturday.
I was also worried about the beans adding fat back on, what does Mr.Rif say about it exactly? My 44th Bday is in June and I am tring to really lean down.
I really see the difference in the photo Bosslady, cool! When exactly will the new dvd be ready? Any news on the cook book? lol.

Granite Gourmet said...

Tracy, thank you thank you for the diet help. I have LOVED your recipes and emphasis on glorious, fresh, healthy food. Me, I could train all day it's the diet I struggle with (that and not letting my cardio take over but it's just SO FUN).

I tried the slow carb with beans method and didn't get good results. I tried his last mile diet as well and DID get good results, but I'm not sure I love the idea of living off of protein and vegs and whey shakes indefinitely... I'm still trying to find my "tweak" that I can keep up indefinitely.

Question... are you saving your wine only for a cheat day?

Mark Reifkind said...


to me beans are the same as grains, but that's just my opinion and experience. every one has a different to everything. oatmeal has been a bodybuilding staple, as is brown rice, forever. and has proven to work for many( including tracy).

one needs enough carbs to fuel their activity and no more if the goal is using stored fat for fuel.

we need far less carbs than most think but they can come from many sources, IF, they have proven to work for you.

even with cheat foods. I know I react much better to ice cream( body fat wise) than I do to cake( given the same caloric intake).

it's all about how YOU react.

For instance I do very well on dairy and high fats and always have. that's just me and I know it and don't question it.

We are all just an experiment of one.

Jim Hansen said...

I got your DVD yesterday. I have been doung the 4hour slow carb for about 7 weeks to cut off the weight I gained from not running since September (injured). I have had kettlebells for a few years, but just did little bits of work with them. I had a 35 pound bell and started trying to do only the swing a few days a week. I was doing them in sets of 75-100 and thought it would be cool to get to 1000, but I never got over 500. I got a 50 pound bell a couple weeks ago, and hadn't gone over 100 with it yet. After seeing only a short portion of your video I did the smaller intervals, started with 10, then did 20 or 25 between short rests. Still don't know if I am programming it right, but last night I hit 1000 stotal swings. It was much easier this way and I am not a strength guy, but a weakling endurance guy. I really enjoyed the workout last night. My wife is now starting the kettlebells too.

Mark Reifkind said...


as a runner I'm sure you can appreciate Tracy's interval approach;you can do more work at a higher level of intensity than steady state.

Congrats on hitting your 1000 reps!

Tracy Reifkind said...


quit saying that anything is hard!

Tracy Reifkind said...


As I've mentioned before, I won't cut fruit or sugar out. I never had to, or thought I had to, and it's proven to work for me...although I could cut back, but not becuase it's fruit or sugar, I still eat more than I probably "need" to.

I'm not sure which changes I made made the biggest difference, but I may be ready to add oatmeal back in, but no other grains (don't miss them).

I'm kinda on a roll and I am cautious to change, but as I find myself training later in the day sometimes, it's just not possible to wait to eat until after 2:00pm. Oatmeal is a decent pre work out meal, but I'm going to try a smaller smoothie first this next week.

The new DVD is ready for the final step, which is finishing the cover graphics, and duplication! The cookbook? Hmnn...

Tracy Reifkind said...


The key is to find foods you love that fit withing your caloric, nutritional and dietary needs. Not foods you can deal with, foods you love and look forward to preparing and eating.

Do I save my wine only for cheat day? Only the good wine! Just's all good wine, lol!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I teach and demonstrate my methods in Programming the Swing so you can do the same for yourself, and keep it interesting challenging and fun for the long haul.

1000 swings is a 1000 swings. It won't be the last time you do it and next time it'll be a bit's all good!
(congrats by the way)

As far as being a "weakling endurance guy", now you'll be a strong endurance guy! It will change you in ways you never thought possible, and quickly. Just keep it up!

Very exciting about your wife learning too. You better keep it up now, or she'll pass you!