Summer arrived on my doorstep regardless of how ready my body was to receive it. I suppose I'm being hard on myself but this transformation bit is taking far too long. I'm not defeated, I'm not giving up, just a moment of frustration is all. I have to concentrate on the achievements-- I have gone down more than a size and I did lose 10+ pounds and gained some pretty solid muscle in the process. The best part? People have noticed and they've told me so. All in all, I should be proud of myself, right? Well it's not good enough. There's still a bit too much junk in my trunk. I said I'd lose 20 pounds and I'll lose that last 10 if it's the last thing I do! I've got to stay focused. Eye on the prize!!
Staying on plan with the diet isn't so hard, per se, it's weaving the meals in every three hours that's tough. The kids are home, we are out and about and Mom's Taxi is in full swing. It's that kind of lifestyle that causes people (me) to grab the wrong kind of food to eat. I have to tell myself that preparation is everything. I have to have meals planned out in my head before I hit the grocery store. I'll be honest, I migrate toward the same 4-5 meals all the time. I know I like them so it's easy. I also know from experience that you have to be careful about doing that or you will essentially "OD" on the diet and give up. You will get sick of the food, pure and simple. Stick to the basics of the plan but get creative-- 5 meals a day that consist of a protein, a carb and a fat. Drink 3 litres (more if you can do it) of water a day. Stay true to portion control. If you do that then you will not be hungry, you will not crave sugar and you will not crave bread. Sometimes I forget the fat--don't--you need it. Don't forget to take a meal off a week and a WHOLE DAY OFF every week. I got frustrated with the weight coming off too slowly and started to go full steam ahead without a break. I had a conversation with the gal that introduced me to GAME ON and she said -No! Stick to the plan she said, your metabolism is already working, if you throw a naughty day into the mix your body will say "Cool! A challenge!" and work that much harder to use up the extra fuel. Makes sense. She was right.
Photography by Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro
The workouts are getting harder but they are supposed to get harder, I can handle it better than I did when I started. I'd like to be in the gym 7 days a week, I really think that would speed things up, but I can't find the time. I can commit to 4 days, 5 if I'm lucky. I workout with Chris Engel of Engel Fitness twice a week for one on one training. The rest of the time I'm on my own. I try to mix it up--cardio some days, weights other days and a mix of classes too. TRX, Tabata, Barre, Boot Camp, Butts & Guts-- they are all lead by Chris and they are all awesome. I need the variety so I don't get bored or plateau physically.
I just added the Boot Camp regimen to my weekly routine. I've seen similar classes advertised in this area over the summer but I'd never tried one. They usually take place outside somewhere and it's not uncommon to find them going on at the local beaches. Boot Camp Engel Fitness-style took place on the soccer field and running track of Rockport High School. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pretty impressed. There were more than 20 people!! The class was really energizing and there were a variety of "stations" to keep things interesting. Boot Camp is a keeper and I plan on keeping that one on the list for sure! Won't you join me? I need someone to tell me if my butt still looks fat!
xo Michelle +Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro +My Baked Stuffed Life
I was out for an early evening walk with my beloved pooch. It had just stopped raining and the sun had resumed shining. I glanced up and saw the most beautiful rainbow!!! The dog and I ran home to get the kids and we were off chasing rainbows..................
+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro +My Baked Stuffed Life
When I gave up the 9-5 grind in favor of a better quality of life, I promised myself that I would thoroughly enjoy my children, my family and my community. It's important to take the time to slow down, breath and notice the beauty that surrounds us. I'm fortunate to live in a destination town. Rockport has allure to vacationers and day-trippers alike. The quaint town center, beaches and the breathtaking rocky coastline are the obvious draw for tourists but there are parts of Rockport that only the residents see. We see it because we live it. It's a lifestyle that tourists can only wonder about and newcomers must have had a hunch about or they wouldn't have chosen to make this New England fishing village their home.
My days at home are surprisingly full as I catch up on all the projects that were left unattended during my professional years. In the spirit of the promise I had made to myself I decided that today was a day that I needed to take a few moments to breath, to walk slowly in my neighborhood and find the peace it had to offer. I wish you could walk with me and see what I see.
The day was overcast and a bit cool. The clouds looked full and I wondered if it would rain. The air was heavy with the scent of wild roses. I breathed deeply, it was intoxicating.
While summer is definitely upon us, it's not yet high season for tourists so the streets were quiet and only the occasional car passed. Just steps from my front door is Seaview Farm. I make a mental note to stop in soon to sample some of their grass fed beef and some locally grown produce.
Flowers of every variety are in full bloom, fragrances are thick and the grass is green and lush. I turn left onto Marmion Way. Marmion is home to many seaside inns and is one of the most sought after areas in Rockport.
The homes along this tree lined street are spectacular and the views are absolutely enviable! I've often wondered who lives in them? Are they year round residents or do they just summer here? I'm sure it's a bit of both.
One of the best parts of living in this neighborhood is that the "gift of the sea" is shared by all of us. The Old Garden Path runs along the Atlantic and it's always special to spend time here.....
My walk, while short, was all that I'd hoped it would be. It was a walk for the senses-- sites, sounds, smells-- all beautiful and all so comforting. It was just what I needed, a little bit of peace. xo Michelle
It was Wednesday morning and week 5 started before the crack of dawn. The alarm went off and I was up and engaged in the daily ritual. I was on that scale.... I had to know. I made my goal weight again this week (it's the little things....)! What a great way to start another week of Game On!
Things are getting tougher. I've been faithful to the diet and training but I've had some really tough moments, moments where I've given in and had the damned ice cream (I've got a chocolate-peanut butter thing going on....). I tell myself that giving in is not giving up. I have the weak moment, cry uncle and move on. I'll lose a few battles but I'll come out on top. I've got this, this war is mine. I have to keep telling myself that. I have to keep going. It's about focus and determination. It's about perseverance. Yes, the perseverance is easier when it's laced with the occasional chocolate ice cream, but it's perseverance nonetheless. Joseph M. Marshall III wrote a great book called Keep Going, The Art of Perseverance.It's one of my favorites and I often give it as a gift to friends. It suits everyone at one time or another. Its a book of basic common sense and it's perfect for the battle I'm currently fighting. I'll have to pick it up again.... soon.
I've got to keep it in perspective. There is no other choice. I win or I lose. I want to win so I just keep forging ahead. Just jump in. Push it to the limit. Thankfully I have Chris Engel as my trainer. She gives one heck of a pep talk. She focuses on what I can do and not what I haven't done yet. I'll get there she says. She reminds me of what I was capable of on day one and what I've accomplished so far.
The good news is that I've lost weight every week. That alone should be encouraging but it really isn't. Somewhere in my mind I keep thinking that I should have lost the whole 20 pounds by now. I haven't factored in my age and that as I get older it gets harder and harder to lose any weight at all much less 20 pounds! 7.4 so far. 7.4 is good, I'll take it for now but I will lose the remaining 12.6 if its the last thing I do.
I meet with Chris twice a week, the other five days I'm on my own in the gym. Workouts include cardio of every description and weights. We use free weights and machines, and some days it's TRX using just my own body weight. We've done Barre workouts and Tabata. It's like boot camp. I can honestly say that she hasn't put me thru the same workout twice. I love that about her, it's never boring! She puts time into this. She plans for this and puts thought into what my goals are and the workouts she designs for me have those goals in mind. It's hard work but it's worth it.
The hardest thing about the diet has been getting all the meals in. I'm busy so it's not easy for me to eat 5 meals. Planning is the key, the food has to be cooked or prepared in some fashion and ready to go. Before I made this commitment I hardly ate anything. I'd have a bagel for breakfast, a little lunch but never dinner. That was my problem, the lack of food put my body into starvation mode and it essentially shut down my metabolism. I eat so much more now and I'm consistently losing weight. Go figure, right? Crazy but true.
This is one of my go-to breakfasts. A fried egg sandwich with lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat sandwich thin.
I make great use of the whey protein powder for shakes. Because of my schedule, oftentimes it's easier to drink my food. Shakes are very portable. When I'm home, and have the time, I make a meal. I love fish and it tastes good naturally so it's not difficult to make it work for dinner. Add a salad and I'm good to go. I like all types of fish and seafood but for this recipe I used Hake, added some fresh herbs and a chopped orange and baked it in some foil. De-lish.
I've got four weeks and 7.4 pounds under my belt and I'm definitely going to keep going! Stay with me... better yet, join me, I can hook you up with an awesome coach!!!
+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro +My Baked Stuffed Life