Blue Mountain Organics™ and Terri Turner Fitness Program Update

Susan

Gregg Carroll - Monday, October 22, 2012

Susan is a sociology professor at Ferrum College.

Four years ago, I decided I needed a change, and transformed my diet from vegetarian plus seafood (aquatarian?) to vegan and gluten-free. Things went very well, with weight dropping and energy bopping! About 6 months later, I joined the gym, and against all previous indications, fell in love with fitness. Within 18 months of the change, I had lost about 75 pounds and was fitting into a size 8 in some clothes... quite the change from the 248 pounds, 3X sizes from just a couple of years before. People still recognized my voice and passion for life, but had to get used to a new look! I did quite well keeping within 10 pounds and a size of the smallest me until recent months, when my job demands and stress levels kept me out of the gym and heading towards carbs when I needed a lift. I got dangerously close to losing focus all together and turning to food—albeit still vegan and gluten-free—for solace and emotional fill-er-ups. I wasn’t getting those endorphins from the gym workouts I missed so much, but just couldn’t make myself do in the crevices of time I might eke out here and there.

A yummy breakfast smoothie!

But as fall approaches, I have found myself yearning for the ultra-healthy days and have begun moving towards it once again, albeit slowly. I am on track again, but what I know is this girl needs a serious kickstart, and when I saw this opportunity in my e-mail, I knew it was just the thing! I have returned to the gym several times a week, but just recently told someone that I need guidance, training, and initial motivation that I can pick up and run with. And just last weekend, when I munched on a delicious raw food sweet thing I was gifted, I thought "Why haven’t I explored these options, beyond the yummy Kale Chips and Cashew Cream I discovered through Blue Mountain Organics? It has been WAY too long." Then, as the universe works, I got the e-mail and realized THIS IS THE MOMENT! Training and Treats for 8 Weeks! Oh, yeah... I gotta go for it. Trainer Terri talks about BALANCE — well, she has quite the project with me, and would never find a more eager student.

Early in the first week I was definitely making huge progress in getting back on track. I got the Blue Mountain Organics food box on Tuesday, so started adding in BMO products to my meals on Wednesday. Have been loving it — especially my vegan protein powder and hemp seeds (delicious... something I never had before).

A weeks worth of BMO brown rice.

No problems at all wanting more or different food not on the plan — I am loving this far more than I expected (thought I'd be bored with same thing every day — not so). My biggest challenge is getting through all the meals/snacks on the plan! Trying to make sure I get all the protein sources if I can't sit down and have the exact contents of each menu item.

The fitness plan is going ok except that I have to double up on days I am near the gym until Terri and I work out a home fitness plan (since the gym is at work, 45 minutes from home). I love being back at weight training and the elliptical; however, I am no a runner per se, so the treadmill is NOT my friend. Tried it twice this week and I just cannot run or jog on it — I am not sure why — not so much the lack of effort but mechanics (at the speeds suggested, I almost fall off the back!), but I am finding ways to use it the best I can to work up a really good sweat. Have always worked hard on cardio, but I cannot get up to the speeds Terri set out in the plan... that will just have to be a goal as I am doing my BEST as she suggested and getting great workouts just the same. I was the last one in the gym twice last week.

The crazy prepping scene for the week's lunches & dinners!

My biggest problem may be my perfectionism... I want to do exactly as requested, but will have to focus on spirit if not the exact letter of the law at every moment. I am the most loyal person I know, and I DON'T cheat on anything ever; for instance, you will never find me eating things not on the plan — but I might not get to everything in the order written out every day. I have to fit in what is requested to create a realistic pattern in my life as long as I work in every possible prescribed element as I can. I have been obsessive about programs before and that is not healthy for me. Therefore, reveling in the welcomed changes, patting myself on the back for valiant and serious efforts to meet the requested details, that is what will work. I am already feeling the results — especially of the intention and attention to doing what is good for me, and the great food I am putting into my body (and all that I am leaving out). I am reminding my body and soul what got me to the healthy place I have been in recent years but began to slip away from in stressful times. Lower stress about work and reducing my perfectionist approach, reveling in the height of nutrition, basking in the endorphins from those deep workouts... that is my plan for the next 7 1/2 weeks because that is what has felt so good for the last 4 days.

A squash, tomato, hemp seed & asparagus concoction...

Wow — I haven't cooked this much since I don't know when! But now I am pretty set for the week. And really looking forward to getting to the gym again tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday since 26 hours of work, food prep, and a little sleep took up all my time and energy over the weekend. Will try to find an online workout video for Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday to accompany the home weight routine Terry is preparing. The most exciting part so far is that I have lost the bloated feeling and belly extension, as well as beginning to see some more definition in my face — will find out tomorrow if that is my imagination or if the scales show any difference, at least a little bit. Really concentrating on making sure I get all the protein sources in my plan — for instance, even if I don't get a chance to make the whole salad for dinner when I get home late at night, I munch on 3 tablespoons of those yummy hemp seeds.

Next important goal: get MORE SLEEP! Especially if I plan to try to incorporate early morning workouts (got a student study session tomorrow night plus the last debate... better work out in the a.m.!!). So I won’t post workout details at the moment — I’ll do that later this week along with some of the results from the first week of the plan. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures of the delicious and nutritious food I have been eating!!

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Share Susan's Success - Down 18 Pounds and Still Going Strong!

Gregg Carroll - Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Lessons learned in November: Terri Turner’s high protein and low carb plan is delicious, nutritious, and so far has melted the pounds away as she predicted! I had worried about getting hungry, but I can’t even get through all the meals and snacks some days! Best of all, I don’t feel a need to graze in the late evenings. Instead, I just fix some decaf green tea, maybe pop in a piece of gum if I need, and look forward to a breakfast of berries, almond milk, protein powder, and my seasonal addition: nutmeg!

No problems following the food plan to the absolute letter of the law the first month. After that, I felt comfortable eating exactly the same foods, but working it into my schedule more conveniently, maybe shifting the morning snack into the afternoon, possibly heating up lunch for dinner if it was easier to carry out with me. Even brought my lentils & kale salad to the Thanksgiving table, it was a beautiful harvest on the plate! Then I added just a small spoonful of some favorites (cranberry sauce, sweet potato, etc) just to get the taste of the holiday. I even relaxed my vegan/no wheat regimen for a perennial must: I discovered that having the tiniest sliver of pumpkin pie is like the homeopathic version of enjoying the holidays — just a taste does the trick! Then, I finally decided to eat out over the holiday weekend and decided that an avocado sushi roll (with wasabi but no soy sauce — yeah, I’m tough!), a little seaweed salad, and side of raw veggies seemed a good way to approximate some of the usual food. It was a great choice!

Five weeks after starting — and just four days after Thanksgiving — scales said I was down an amazing 18.5 pounds! Much more importantly, my body remembers what healthy food and a healthy constitution means for me, and apparently loves going right to it! My ultimate goal is getting nearer. Fitting into my “next to smallest” clothes felt wonderful this week. Belly and back bulges have flattened nicely, now time to tone the tush and thighs (where the weight landed last time)! Definitely getting rid of the fat cells, but gotta build the muscle...

Speaking of muscle tone, a BIG discovery: having the gym 45 minutes from home, at my workplace, and only able to go either in the early morning (with no showers right there) or late evening after a 12 hour day — well, it DOES NOT WORK to say the least! Don’t want to steal back the membership I gave to my daughter when I thought the free Y at work was the ticket, so I am asking for local gym membership for Christmas! Thought I’d love getting into home workouts that Terri put together for me, but exercising in front of my own teens is more intimidating than grunting and sweating in front of college students or strangers! Who knew?

What have I especially loved from my Blue Mountain Organics stash? Never had hemp seeds before, and they are SO tasty as a protein addition to salads and spaghetti squash! And I feel so special that the folks at BMO formulated vegan protein powder for me, some from hemp seeds, some from brown rice powder. I make cocoa with their organic cocao powder and brown rice powder, then add stevia and nutmeg to taste. The whole, raw, organic almond butter on rice cakes is the best treat of the day (nothing really new there for me, but I do like the substitute of almond for peanut butter). However, in terms of real decadence, there was that one day when I was stir-frying with the coconut oil BMO sent, and I found myself licking my fingers more than once — yum! And of course, on the more practical side, I couldn’t do without the staples of organic brown rice and quinoa they provided to add to all the greens, veggies, and beans that I love.

A few more interesting tidbits: One surprise — it has been a little strange to not be eating fruit like I used to, except for the berry medley for my smoothie in the morning. But I consider this a big lesson learned about how dependent I had become on the sugars of the apples and bananas and gluten-free fruit bars I ate every day. Now I’ll throw a whole sweet red pepper into my bag to eat just like an apple if I need.

One thing I haven’t gotten used to — the occasional substitution of edamame to my spaghetti squash instead of asparagus. Those little things LOOK like baby limas, so they should be just as good, right? I have heard folks rave, but I don’t think I have them perfected yet. Got to cook them more than the instructions say, I guess. I am a southern woman, so I should know to keep them over the heat until they smush beyond recognition (just like I did that with red lentils recently, and I was so excited to pretend that I was eating mashed potatoes!). Ah, so much to learn. I explained to Terri that I spend more time in the kitchen than I ever have before — one long evening every couple of weeks prepping for the freezer stash plus about 30 minutes in the mornings blending, measuring and packing for the day. More time in the kitchen, fewer pounds; an interesting correlation which isn’t really surprising if you think about all the junk even health conscious people put into themselves when on the run. And goodness knows I do run on high speed all the time!

Two and a half weeks to go, so let’s see if I can reclaim the gym for myself. I need it for so many reasons. And, we’ll see where the scales and the sizes end up after a couple of more weeks, although I realize I will likely plateau on that score in the weeks, and that is fine. This isn’t a race, it is a lifestyle shift. The most important thing is that I have reminded myself of is what is possible with focus and intention — what feels good, especially when I wake up in the morning after a yesterday of good food — and what I DON’T want to do to when I get stressed (carbs, carbs, carbs)! I have great new info, tools, and attitude as I head into the craziness of exam week and the holidays! Lots to be thankful for this year!

Date
10/9/12 12/2/12
Weight 172.5 lbs 153.6 lbs
Waist 33.5 in. 31 in.
Midsection 40 in. 39.75
Hips 43 in. 41 in.
Thigh 25.5 in. 23.5 in.
Chest 41 in. 39.25 in.


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