Bikini Competition Week 4: Progress Photos, Diet Changes, and Workouts

Here I am folks at exactly 7 weeks into my training with Ray at Built Tuff Fitness. I love every second of it… now. It definitely feels more routine and much easier than when I started out but I guess that’s the beauty of sticking with something: It has to get easier eventually, right?

Well it has gotten easier, and I’m incredibly happy with the results I’m seeing and feeling. Not only that, but I’ve learned a lot about myself and overall fitness and health from this experience (even in this short amount of time).

Without really realizing it, I’ve been 100% Paleo, too! And when I say Paleo, I mean, PALEO.

Alcohol, sugar, processed foods, dairy, grains, legumes FREE.

And I feel great!

Results…?

1 Week vs. 4.5 Weeks

week 5

Taken only 4.5 weeks apart.

I truly think the biggest factor in my progress has been the no alcohol and absolutely no processed sugar. Minus a cup of berries a day, my sugar intake has been zero. (Note: I am NOT counting fibrous veggies and sweet potatoes in this equation, because I NEED those to live… and be sane.)

I have energy, I feel happy and upbeat, and I can think much more clearly than I have in a while. Brain fog is gone….

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With this huge shift in diet, I actually do not feel deprived one bit, which surprises me because I have always had a sweet tooth. For years, every single day I would have some sort of sweet. Whether it be a healthy baked good I made, a handful of dark chocolate chips, or over-the-top serving of fruit. Day 1 of this personal challenge I cut it all out. And I haven’t wavered yet. Not once.

With the lack of sugars and alcohol in my diet I feel as though I think better! A problem I feel I’ve had for a while now, brain fog is now gone. Energy is high and attitude is upbeat… except when I’ve missed my feeding time. That’s when all bets are off and someone needs to feed Lori NOW. 😉

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Meal Plan Weeks 4-7+:

Sample menu for weeks 4 through today… week 6.75 (almost 7 weeks).

Meal 1: 4-6 egg whites, 4 oz butternut squash, sweet potato, or yam, 1 Tbsp almond butter, coffee + almond milk

Meal 2: 6 oz chicken breast, lettuce, variety of veggies, apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar, 1 Tbsp almond butter, and 4 oz sweet potato (or 1/2 cup berries)

Meal 3: 6 oz lean steak (red meat), veggies, 4 oz sweet potato, 1 Tbsp almond butter or 1/2 avocado

Meal 4: 6 oz chicken breast, or calamari steak, veggies

Meal 5: 4-5 oz chicken, turkey breast, or calamari steak, veggies

(Lori’s sneak meal- I can’t resist!: 3 oz sweet potato, 1 Tbsp almond butter, cinnamon)

Pretty much the gist of this plan is 6 oz protein at each meal, 4 oz carbohydrates during first 3 meals, 6 oz steak/red meat at meal 3, veggies, veggies, veggies.

As you can see, I’m eating pretty plain and extremely basic, which is hard because I LOVE to cook and create in the kitchen. This simple way of eating has been a challenge in that aspect, along with the salt-free way of life. Things really do taste so much for robust with salt!

But like with any repetition, I’ve adjusted, my body and taste buds have adjusted, and I’m enjoying more and more simple, whole-food meals.

That’s not to say I’m not changing up my veggies a ton, trying new combinations of salt-free seasonings, eating a huge amount of roasted garlic (mmmmmmm! sorry fellow gym-goers and co-workers!), and trying to vary my lean protein.

But that’s it. No magic pill, no wonder drug, just pure and simple eating and exercise is helping me achieve my once-thought impossible dream. 🙂