Reno Moms Blog is starting a new series of posts featuring two local nutrition coaches and NPC bikini fitness competitors, Gwen Sedler and Jen Boscovich. We have five RMB contributors that have signed up to make a lifestyle change through the consultation of these nutrition and fitness experts. Follow along as our contributors share their trials, tribulations and triumphs through the process.
We asked the participating contributors to tell us what the first two weeks of this challenge were like for them. Here are their responses.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Clean eating is really popular and works well so I figured that Gwen and Jen’s meal plan would essentially be a clean eating regime. I was right. The meal plan does have us eating clean, but for the first two weeks it was without fruit, gluten, dairy, sugar or alcohol, including wine. We were eating a ton of protein each day – just shy of 200 calories. It was hard, and way too much for my system to digest. During the first week, I actually gained 4 pounds so I talked to Jen and she adjusted my plan reducing the protein intake and making it more manageable overall. Even with the adjustments, the meal plan excluded fruit, gluten, dairy, sugar or alcohol. Because it was still so limited I had a difficult time sticking to it and have had a couple of days where I’ve veered away from it completely.
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve had some really frustrating days because with the meal plans, eating is a discipline and cannot ever be an afterthought. The most difficult things for me have been meal planning, cooking ahead, and eating enough food during the day so I’m not starving when I get home from work. So with this in mind, I’ve decided to place my focus on planning ‘real food’ meals, cooking them in advance, and eating though out the day. I’d like to lose some weight but losing weight wasn’t my original goal. Feeling better overall and having more energy to keep up with my rambunctious boys is far more important than weight loss. But, don’t get me wrong, shedding a few pounds – when I get there – will be a nice bonus!
I knew going into this that it’d be hard. I had mentally prepared myself to push aside my love for all things sweet, and had embraced the idea of eating a hard-boiled egg for breakfast every morning. But, I didn’t realize just how hard it would be until one week in. As a vegetarian, it’s very hard to get the required protein into my diet. Coupled with the fact that turkey and chicken was listed on my meal plan, I was at a complete loss, and only eating ~700 calories max per day. This led to dizziness, grumpiness, and exhaustion.
After a week, I knew I couldn’t keep this pace up, and reached out to Gwen and Jen for some guidance. Though reluctantly, they gave me a vegetarian plan that I could actually follow (though tofu is probably something I’ll never enjoy!), and things are MUCH better. I’ve had enough energy to go for a run most nights of the week, and feel much more alert and rested. Plus, I’ve lost about 12 lbs. so far. In two weeks.
I’m excited to make this a true lifestyle change, and airing my difficulties with Gwen and Jen has been immensely helpful. They truly want to see us succeed and not have this be a crash diet. For that, I’m extremely grateful. I’ve always been the one who crash diets then gains everything back, so for Gwen and Jen to modify the plan to make it work for my own individual quirks is really comforting. I feel a lot of support from them and the other RMB ladies participating in the challenge.
I’d done a clean eating challenge for a week a month ago, so I sort of had an idea of what I was in for. Until I heard we couldn’t have fruit. That surprised me, but I was ready and eager to give this a try.
I did really well the first week. I even attended a friend’s wedding and literally only put chicken breast on my plate. I declined the ravioli, the mashed potatoes, the wedding cake. I found that if I ate everything on my list, I wasn’t even hungry and was proud of my will power to say no to temptations.
It got harder – like “I kinda want to cry” harder the second week. We went out to dinner at Chili’s to celebrate an accomplishment my daughter achieved. I ordered a chicken breast and salad. No dressing, no beer, nothing else. It was hard because this was *not* what I’d normally order and I was craving something with carbs and CHEESE. By the middle of the second week, I started to think of Gwen and Jen’s plan as “Death by Turkey”. I admit, I was being lazy and not creative. I couldn’t/wouldn’t try to make substitutions or changes based on the amount of protein/carbs/fats/calories I was allowed…so I stuck with the exact same menu Jen gave us on the first day. Every. Single. Day. The worst part is, I didn’t know there was light at the end of the tunnel. I thought this plan was what we’d be on until the end – in January – and I knew there was no way I was up for the challenge for that long of a duration.
At the end of the second week, Jen showed us the light. She said the first two weeks were to reset our metabolisms and balance our hormones. The best news was that we could start adding fruit (HOORAY!) and Greek yogurt and cottage cheese back into our diets. This felt like I’d won the lottery and I literally made yummy noises while I ate my breakfast and morning snack. I also spent some time figuring out what things I could substitute in and out to shake things up a bit. My Fitness Pal has been an amazing – and free – resource for doing just that.
Jen and Gwen are super helpful and I wouldn’t want to be doing this without the Reno Moms Blog team. Their support and inspiration are incredible. I’m excited and doing better…but I have to be honest: I’m really looking forward to that glass of wine that’s supposed to come around week 6!
For over a year now I’ve been working to whittle down my “excess” through diet and exercise. I have done several versions of clean eating, and I was really looking for a good coach and group that created accountability. So I charged into this full steam! But I quickly hit a wall. No fruit and one zillion egg whites gave me the blues.
What I can say about the first few days is: don’t give up. Change it up if necessary to make it work for your body. It is better to be 90% successful than 0%. I had found myself not wanting to work out anymore which is a must for me. When I started eating some berries or bit of banana before a work out I felt so much better. I need to shoot for the A, but can’t quit because I had a B- day. For Petesake it was Halloween!! But if this diet is going to be a lifestyle, then everyday is a new day.
What I know for sure is sticking with the program Jen and Gwen set out with absolutely give results. I also know that I’ll never get it right every time. But if I plan ahead, make meals for the week, eat before I’m hungry (and before I’m around large unmonitored bowls of candy), then I’ll be far more successful.