Hip Hop Abs Day 1, Korean food, and other musings

Made it through the weekend! A piece of dark chocolate or two may have passed through my lips, but I quickly realized I was just looking to put something in my mouth so I had a cup of herbal tea right away. Thanks to my little sister for offering me tea last night when I could feel my resolve waning. BUT that same girl totally ate a slice of cherry cheesecake in front of me about two minutes later. The fact though that I didn’t want to take a sneaky bite is a sign though that the cravings are dissolving and that I can do this. I feel empowered.

I will start doing 80/20 (eating clean 80% of the time) soon, but due to this being my sixth attempt to lose weight in a short time, I can already feel my body resisting me and holding on to every little thing. Usually by now I would have lost a lb or two, but my set point is being stubborn. That’s okay. I am stubborn too.

So Saturday ended up being pretty easy but because I ate out rather than cook at home, I think I had a few more calories than I typically would. I made up for this by taking a walk before eating and a 10 minute ab video on YouTube.

This might be a good time to talk about why I am not counting calories on my personalized eating plan. I talked about it a tiny bit in my post about previous diets:

Too many dieting attempts and styles

But basically, I have now read too many scientifically based articles about why counting calories can be pretty ineffective and too difficult to do on a low carb eating plan. I am no scientist but the presented facts are pretty hard to ignore. This research is actually why Weight Watchers went through a “calorie counting” overhaul a few years back. The way calories are burned and how different peoples’ bodies work just differ too much to simplify it down to “calories in and calories out”. If you want more information on this, I found this post really helpful in thinking about how calories work.

So this is why I choose to focus on eating less carbs than I do on writing down and calculating every calorie that goes in and goes out. I completely recognize that this works for some people, but it just isn’t my thing. I lost about 5 lbs doing Weight Watchers a couple years back but it really messed up my thinking. I was eating things I KNOW are not healthy, but calling a calorie a calorie allows your brain to justify it. What I lost in weight, I gained in acne, dry skin and hair, and fatigue. However, I also recognize that while calories might not count, they do MATTER. So instead of counting calories, I watch portion sizes. I try not to eat three sweet potatoes in one sitting and I don’t eat an entire rotisserie chicken… even though I totally can. I try to follow these general rules of thumb

  1. Veggies fill half the plate whether it is a salad or a side dish like green beans, carrots, etc.
  2. Protein is about the size of a deck of cards. If I worked out that day, I do allow myself about a half portion more.
  3. Snacks between meals are low carb and low calorie: herbal tea, coffee, carrot sticks, handful of nuts.

Now, clearly I haven’t lost the weight yet so my “tips” are really just what I am trying to practice myself. I can’t say for sure that they work, but these are the tips that most people recommend and I can honestly say that I know can only help so why not right?

Hip Hop Abs

So my Hip Hop Abs set came in the mail on Saturday morning! Gotta love Amazon Prime. Instant. Gratification. Good for someone who is trying to lose weight the slow and real way. What I love even more than free 2 day shipping is having an almost brother-in-law who pays for Amazon Prime and then adds me to his account so I can get it for free… Love ya Matty! Thanks for the deals!

So far, I really like Hip Hop Abs. No doubt, it is way more fun that doing T25 or even Core Rhythms. Today was my first day and it was the Cardio Burn workout which is exactly 30 minutes. I was sweating a little, but not as out of breath as I would typically like to be after a workout. I am okay with that though, because I think that is why I actually “liked” the workout. Makes me want to do it again tomorrow. I was really happy with how much it uses arms and the directions and moves are engaging. Also, Shaun T kind of cracks me up which keeps me interested. You should see how happy he gets when the Pussycat Dolls song comes on. I wish I could experience pure joy like that at life’s little moments.

What I also liked about the $30 set I got was the nice little chart for taking my measurements and a measuring tape. I like a program that asks you to do before and after measurements and pictures. Something about that makes me think they are serious about seeing results. FullSizeRender

I woke up at 5:40 this morning to do the workout and as someone who usually doesn’t speak in full sentences until I have had a coffee, I was surprised at my own enthusiasm. I mean lets just go over how much I have changed in ONE week.

  1. My hair is super shiny and soft.
  2. Super sore from having worked out 5 days last week
  3. Woke up early to workout
  4. Am going to work out again today at a Zumba class with my sister and cousin (yeah, that’s cardio 2x in one day)
  5. Have had 7 days of really healthy meals

I mean, damn. Now it feels kind of easy. Now onto the eating because like everyone and everything says, eating is 80% and working out is only 20%.

Breakfast: I had a Shakeology shake right after my shower this morning. Blended up 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, ice, and a scoop of Shakeology and sipped it on my way to work. Way tastier blended with ice than mixed with drinking fountain water while sitting at my desk. Coffee and half a Kind bar as a snack.

Lunch: Leftover Greek salad

Dinner: Tonight, we will be having Soon Dubu Jiggae. This is soft tofu and seafood in a pretty spicy soup. It is a little higher in salt or MSG than is probably recommended, but overall is made using all very healthy and low carb ingredients. Garlic, chili powder and paste, tofu, and a random assortment of seafood like shrimp and clams.

When I am not lamenting my poor grasp of the very challenging Korean language or wondering why my older relatives feel it necessary to call me overweight WHILE insisting I eat more at Christmas lunch, I feel blessed to be Korean. I have access to some unique healthy foods I feel people might not know about. When I get tired of eating a piece of chicken and a side of salad, I go to my mommy’s house. I get fed sashimi (raw fish), roasted salmon, and soybean paste stew (fermented=probiotics=good for you). This was our Sunday night dinner. I know it sounds gross, but this is my white husband’s favorite Korean soup and sometimes he even orders it for himself at restaurants. I admit, some places make it a little too authentic for even my tastes, but he loves it.

Tonight, after Zumba, we are going to go get Korean food at a local restaurant. I grew up in Federal Way, WA which is about 30 minutes south of Seattle. Huge Korean population means a lot of restaurant and grocery store options. We can get great Korean and Chinese food inside the Korean grocery store. You might have heard of H Mart? Considering how big Korean BBQ has gotten in the past couple years, I hope people get to experience awesome Korean food and the benefits of the ingredients used. A lot of fermented food like kimchi is available and Koreans focus on steamed and sautéed vegetables as side dishes. If you are a lover of any Asian food, I really recommend you try eating Korean food if you want to eat out while low carbing! If you skip the white rice, Korean food is so good for you.

I almost hate to admit how good I feel after a week of clean eating and working out 😦 Even though I haven’t lost a weight yet, I am energetic, positive, and I might even be glowing. That might be the sweat from working out though… Today marks the start of week 2. Bring it on Week 2.





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