BY LAUREN CHASE, YPC Cattle Call co-editor
…And 30 pounds lighter, here I am!
I’ve been asked by many people how I did this so I wanted to make a blog post to explain…and to plug beef, of course.
Since I began this improvement, I can now fit into a pant size I didn’t even wear in high school, I feel a million times better and have proven how consuming a balanced diet, with beef, can be beneficial for a healthy lifestyle.
Before I begin, just for “legal” reasons, I need to state this: I am not a doctor or Julian Michaels…not even close. My credentials come from WebMD and Google. This is a weight loss strategy that worked for me and it might not for anyone else. I just hope to share some ideas.
Let’s venture back to the time before the summer of 2012.
I thought a meal was something I could conveniently buy from Taco Bell, beer had same calories as water and exercising was just too much work.
One day I had a lightbulb moment, and realized that people really do respond to appearance and everything you do dictates your ultimate health – both mental and physical. I didn’t think I was repulsive looking, but I wasn’t exactly happy with my stature. I decided to do something about it.
It was the right time of year to begin. Montana was warm, which for the past months, it had been a perpetual blizzard. So, I laced my Nike’s and went for a walk, bopping along to various upbeat tunes on my iPod. I returned home, winded…but I was in a good mood, like I had accomplished something meaningful.
After awhile, it became routine to walk everyday…and depending on the wind, some days it was longer than others. What I liked the best was that I started noticing my thighs becoming toned. This was inspiring – yes, inspiring because the “cottage cheese” as I so lovingly called cellulite was disappearing right before my eyes. One day, I decided to purge my refrigerator and cabinets of junk food and frozen meals, and bought items that can be found at the bottom of the government’s food pyramid. And you know what? I actually enjoyed eating more vegetables and didn’t crave those BBQ Pringles anymore.
Then came winter.
The harsh weather conditions posed some issues with being able to go for a walk so I had a couple of choices: either sign up for a gym membership or try to workout in my apartment. I opted for the apartment workout because I’m too cheap for a gym membership. And I’m also too cheap to buy a treadmill, therefore coming up with an exercise routine would be interesting.
All along, my thought was this: if you’re exercising because you feel like you have to and hate it, you’re doing it wrong. Exercising should be fun and with that, your food choices won’t seem so regimented and depressing.
From this moment to present day, I do just about the same thing every time I exercise…and enjoy my meals! Here’s what I do:
Breakfast consists of about 2 inches of summer sausage, 1/4 green pepper, a few slices of honey ham, 2 eggs (scrambled all together), and finally, about a cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese….not kidding.
I drink energy drinks during the morning- okay, I know these get a bad rap, and they probably are killing me slowly, but I always drink sugar free and calories under 10. The caffeine and B vitamins seem to boost metabolism…and of course, keep me seeing sounds and hearing colors.
Most days, I pass on lunch simply because I’m not hungry (that’s another rule I have implemented is to only eat when I’m hungry). If I do get the munchies, I’ll eat a handful of peanuts or almonds.
Around 2 pm, that’s when I start really pounding down the water and won’t stop my water intake until I go to bed.
When I get home from work, I change into my workout gear and put on the head phones. I’ll typically start with criss-cross jumping in my kitchen for a whole song (“Cotton Eyed Joe” is a good one to follow along with). From there, I’ll put on other songs and literally jog from my apartment door to my oven and back and forth for a couple of songs. After that, I move onto arms…push-ups on the kitchen sink. (Stand with your legs at an angle to the sink and do about 30). Now, here comes the fun one. I do high knee-ups for about a minute – these will get you breathing hard. Finally, I work the abs. I like to bring out “Waka Waka” by Shakira – partially because my hips don’t lie and partially because it has a flair about it (make sure you constrict your abs and only move from the abdominal region for the whole song). It’s fun! You can also add side-to-side bends by holding a dish towel over your head and bend far right and then far left (This move was a Pinterest find!).
After this, you can bet I’m hungry. And what better then to fuel myself with beef! I would say that about 4/7 days, I’ve got steak cooking – steak full of 10 essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and protein. (Looking for some awesome recipes? Check out Beef It’s What’s For Dinner). I can usually buy a nice size steak for $6 and it will serve as dinner for two nights. I also make asparagus or Brussel sprouts by baking them with olive oil and pepper. If I don’t have steak, I will make Shake ‘n Bake chicken or ham. Then, I won’t deny myself a treat if I want one. I might make a cake and have a piece or I might chow down on a handful of chocolate chips….okay, two handfuls.
And just so I don’t leave you without any scientific information, The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study, conducted by researchers at The Pennsylvania State University, found consuming lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol by 10 percent, which was just as effective as the DASH diet.1This research provides convincing support that nutrient-rich lean beef can be an everyday part of a heart-healthy diet.
That’s it folks! It’s pretty simple I’d say: Eat when you’re hungry, exercise daily, and stay away from unhealthy food and drinks. Make life fun and be healthy!
Want more information on the nutrition in beef? Visit Facts About Beef or talk to your state’s beef council representative.