I’m your Bob

Hey! Happy humpday!!! I’m way excited for the holiday weekend because the pilot has Friday and Monday off work and I think we may be going to Orlando ;)

Last night was a doozy, and I ruined my dinner by snacking on two coffee cups of Envirokids peanut butter balls with hemp milk before teaching spin.

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It was a nice, sweaty spin sesh and I had a coconut water for electrolytes on the way to the other gym to train my clients.

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I also packed a macaroon-flavored Larabar, but was still full from the cereal so I didn’t eat it:

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My two appointments last night were a lot of fun. One of my clients said that I was a lot like Bob. I was like, “Who’s Bob????” and she said, “From Biggest Loser! You train a lot like he does… the only difference is that I don’t have a crush on you. He’s hot” I’m definitely more of a laid-back trainer… no Jillian, that’s for sure (even though I do like her).

When I got home, the pilot was munching his chicken in spicy peanut sauce (which he loved) and I had the famous 10 o’clock dinner.

Sweet potato rounds (I used the 1/2 sweet potato leftover from my lunch raw pasta and baked it during the day, popped them into the fridge to be waiting for me after work)

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And an esalada with romaine, a southwest Sunshine burger, red bell pepper, cilantro and salsa

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Such a fast and delicious meal!

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This morning, I slept in a little because I kept waking up from crazy nightmares and because I was FREEZING– the pilot turned the AC wayyyyyyy down!

I had a Cullen juice to start the day:

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And a little while later, an Ezek english muffin with AB and strawberry preserves and a nanner with AB:

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Musings on proper fueling (Disclaimer: If you are currently struggling with ED or are in recovery and think that reading about calorie intake/exercise levels may result in a trigger effect or is a sensitive issue, please skip this particular musing. I don’t ever want to offend or influence others, just share my experiences and what has worked for me and what hasn’t. Everyone is different and knows how certain things affect their bodies and minds—it’s up to us to use our best judgment):

On Wednesdays, I usually eat more than usual because I teach two aerobics classes (spin and Zumba) at night. For the month of July, starting today, I’ll be teaching three aerobics classes on Wednesdays (morning spin, afternoon spin and Zumba) and two classes on Mondays (spin and Zumba) instead of my usual one class— I’ll still be teaching my one spin class on Tuesday. So on Monday and Wednesday, my fuel intake is going to have to increase to maintain my weight and protect my metabolism. I have spent the past two years working to repair a metabolism that I damaged from not properly fueling my activity levels.

Two summers ago, I spent the summer after graduation with the pilot in NC. We had been doing the long distance thing for a year while I finished school in Arizona and he lived in NC, so I wanted to spend some time with him before out August wedding. He worked all day, I couldn’t get a job knowing we’d be leaving in 3 months, and I didn’t know anyone in the squadron. So I killed the time during the day by hanging out at the gym, taking aerobics classes, doing weights, lounging poolside and drinking protein smoothies from the smoothie bar. I made a LOT of gym friends (who were active duty military or wives that didn’t work) and we would take yoga and step in the morning, then spin in the afternoon. Even though I knew I was burning a mad amount of calories, I wasn’t eating enough to support the activities I was doing—it seems like common sense, but not eating enough had NEVER been one of my problems! I ate when I was hungry and still had balanced meals and snacks, but it wasn’t enough for all of the exercising I was doing. My weight stayed stable –I think my body kicked into dancer mode, because I was used to dancing for 4-5 hours every day- but after we moved to Valdosta, my metabolism was seriously screwed up.

There was NO way I could maintain my NC fitness fun since I was working a full-time 70-80 hr/week (not joking) and had 1 hour in the morning to get my workout in (which, now I know is MORE than enough time for a good workout). I did 30-45 minutes of cardio and a little bit of weights every day, but felt like my pants kept getting tighter and tighter even though I was on my feet at work all day. It was definitely frustrating and I knew that I would have to repair my metabolism to stay at a healthy, happy weight and not have to restrict calories in the process.

Since I was still keeping a food journal at the time, each month I added more calories to my daily intake. Slowly, but surely, I have improved my calorie and nutrient intake to higher level, which supports the teaching, running and weight training I do, and have been able to wear the same jeans size in the process.

So for now, I’m going to add in some food to each meal and snack on Wednesdays (and eat more on Mondays) to make sure that I don’t damage my metabolism by eating the same amount and working out more. I learned the hard way that properly fueling your activity levels is SO important, because when those activity levels decrease it can be difficult to maintain what you’ve accomplished. After losing such a significant amount of weight, I was so afraid to gain it back…. I was used to feeling energetic, confident, and HEALTHY and definitely didn’t want to go back to the way I felt before.

It’s funny how nutrition can be such a balancing act. You definitely need to know your body, what works for you and what doesn’t. I always say that nutrition is an art and not a science, and this example fully proves that ;)

Well I’m off to teach spin class #1! I’ll be back after lunch :D

xoxo,

Gina

image  Congrats to the Summer Shape Up girls who got all three points for yesterday!  Heather K., Leslie E., Meghan N. and Erika L.!!!! AWESOME job! :D

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Comments

  1. Gina, thank you so much for this! Its so true! You have to know your own body and works for you. What works for someone else may not work for you, even if it is healthy.

    Your sweet potato rounds look delish :)

  2. healthyfitmama says:

    Great post! I too learned the hard way the importance of proper fueling. Last year I was working out in the morning and teaching 5+ Spinning classes a week (in addition to my regular full-time job. I often taught 2 classes a day – one in the morning and one at night, or sometimes back-to-back. Having lost a significant amount of weight in the past, I was scared to death of gaining it back. I wasn't compensating for the massive amount of calories I was burning, which left me exhausted. Now, I work out less, but eat the same amount of food and I feel sooo much better!

  3. VeggieGirl says:

    You're doing FABULOUSLY with taking care of yourself, and adjusting your diet accordingly to YOUR needs – you got it, girl :-)

  4. Roasted sweet potato rounds are my *favorite*. I often eat them for lunch – delicious and filling. Sometimes I add rehydrated dried apricots (sulfur dioxide-free) for the last 5 minutes of roasting. A-mazing!

  5. caronae says:

    Great post! I totally agree that nutrition is a balancing act and an art! I LOVE sweet potato rounds :)

  6. Heather says:

    I'm glad you blogged about that! I suffered from really bad metabolic damage after 6 months of dieting for figure shows. It was awful. It took me a full 6 months to recover completely. I wish more ladies were aware of what dieting can do to your body but equally be aware that it's reversable!

  7. You made some very good points! I had the same problem to a couple years ago. I was playing the cutting calories game, adding calories in, upping cardio, decreasing cardio..it took awhile to find a balance for me. It is different for everyone. Great post!

    Char

  8. carolinebee says:

    really interesting info! I'm still in a learning process about fueling, metabolism, etc….and it's funny how we sometimes think we *know* better than our bodies! Good luck with your new classes!

  9. Great post Gina, Thanks!

  10. K from ksgoodeats says:

    Sorry about the crazy nightmares – stuff like that shakes me up the next day!

    I loved hearing your musings on properly fueling yourself. I think a lot of people who are trying to lose weight don't realize that they can (and should) eat more than they probably are. Finding the balance is tricky but it's definitely worth it in the long run – I'm glad you've found your happy medium :)

  11. i love that mug!

    great post about proper fueling – I think your plan sounds perfect. It is so important to make sure we're getting enough fuel to be as active as we want to be.

  12. hahhaha a "macaroon flavored" lara- I love it. I'm totally calling the coconut flavor that from now on. mmm sweet tato rounds. I have two downstairs so I just may make that for lunch. Hope you guys get to go to Orlando this weekend!

  13. Great thoughts on fueling! It's so scary to think of how many ladies out there are working out and undereating without the right information. If only everyone had you for help. :)

  14. Awesome post!!! I'm getting my cert in Step Aerobics right now which means I'm up late into the night working on my routines. I know I'm burning more calories than normal so I think I'll add in an extra snack. THANK YOU for reminding me (and everyone) of this important information!
    -A

  15. Gena (Choosing Raw) says:

    Great post, and very sensitive disclaimer :)

  16. Hey Gina,

    Thanks for the great post. this metabolism is indeed a funny thing. One would think that with your working out a hour in the morning AND being on your feet all day would help you shed a lot of weight. Instead you felt like you were gaining weight. that is just awful.

    I am still trying to figure out my own metabolism and it is f@#$ing difficult, believe me.

  17. nicolerawawake says:

    Hey Gina, I really love what you wrote about proper fueling. It's so great that you are sharing your story to help other people through some frustrating times. I think proper fueling is so difficult to figure out!! Especially when you start exercising more. I know that for me i didn't start to see a change in my body until I started eating a ton more food! Keep up the good work!! and don't wear yourself out = )

  18. Hey Gina! I read your blog all the time and this really hit home. I think that is somewhat of an issue for me right now. i went through a major weight loss so I really fear putting it back on, with that said I am beginning to train for a marathon and run ALOT! Is there a book/site that you would reccomend to "check-in" on my eating/weight etc. Any advice would be GREATLY helpful.

    Thanks!
    kate

  19. just me says:

    thank you so much for this post gina! i know i have had something of the same problem…being a runner and everything. but i know that in order to keep up w/ that running i gotta fuel the right way or i'll never feel good and enjoy it!

    and yay for orlando over the weekend! and actually, i realized just how far away you are when i was driving to TX from FL and up the 75…or whatever it is…goodness gracious that's a long drive you take!

  20. Veganissexy says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Gina. I'm still trying to figure out how many calories are good for my activity level. It's sooooo frikin hard to get a good balance. Most days I work out in the morning and after work since i just love taking classes and feel like I need to make up for sitting on my rear end all day in front of the computer. I never know if I am eating enough or too much….it seems like a super delicate balance for my body since I'm either sitting compeltely still all day or sweating my booty off in a spin or weight class before and after work. I lost a lot of weight for my wedding by not eating enough I'm sure…but now I've gained too much trying to get back to "normal" So frustrating! Anyhoo….I guess I could have saved you the long story and just said…Yes, Balance eating sucks :)

  21. Thank you for posting this! I don't teach any classes, or work out (what I think) is extensively, but I'm still at the gym 5 days a week for 1.5 hours, and then head home for a .5 walk with the pup! Weekends are usually biking or tennis… A lot of people say that's too much. :(
    I still struggle with how much fuel vs. how active I am! I think of myself as relatively sedentary (since I work a desk job) but then I talk to others and realize I'm WAY more active than most "desk jobbers"!

  22. heartswholefoods says:

    PB puffs + Hemp milk = sooo good! Ensalada, sunshine burger, and the sweet potatoes look sooo good.

    Thanks for that extra tid bit, Gina! I was definitely exercising too much and not fueling enough, and now that I started working I don't have time for all that exercise. Now I know it's possible to slowly add in the calories without increasing in the pant size!

  23. frenchybelle says:

    this post seriously hit home for me because I went through a period too where I seriously messed up my metabolism and am just now trying to repair it and eat better. It is HARD> You are an inspiration Gina! Thank you for sharing!!

  24. lilearthmuffin says:

    Great post!
    I love lara bars and i never knew that they made a coconut macaroon flavor – ill have to watch out for it! Your sunshine burger looked divine aswell. : )

    Michal

  25. Michelle says:

    Hi Gina,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on proper fueling–I certainly admire your healthy attitude and advise. Like others have commented, I'm still trying to figure out my balance . . . I'm currently slightly underweight and love to be active/workout . . . I'm trying to gain weight, but am afraid of overdoing it. On the other hand, I understand the importance of fueling myself well so I can continue to be as active as I like to be. So, I'm working on it slowly–it's not easy! Anyways, I have a question. What do you mean by "damaging your metabolism"? How did you know this happened?

    Thanks again for writing such a great blog!
    Michelle

  26. Melissa (fitnessnyc) says:

    great post!

    Metabolism is a very weird thing. It's hard to know why you are gaining weight sometimes, age, diet, workouts. There was a time my body was so starved that I needed 4000 calories a day to gain weight with no exercise. Now I workout all the time and the scale doesn't move. It is always a balance to eat enough, but not more than you need.

  27. Joelle (Chasing Pavements) says:

    Thank you for such honest insight on knowing one's own body and caring for your metabolism. Ps. love the sweet potato rounds!

  28. This was such a great post! And it came at a very ironic time for me. I've been training and my cardio has gone from 45-50 minutes a day to an average of 80 minutes a day.

    I know everyone is different, but I've been eating about 1800 calories (I'm 21, 5'9 1/2, small framed, 124 pounds by the way) I'm worrying I may be eating too little and damaging my metabolism, in your opinion and from your experience, do you think those calorie levels are too low for that amount of cardio? I damaged my metabolism a few years ago and am afraid of doing it again but also afraid of gaining weight. Thanks for any advice and input!

  29. Fitnessista says:

    it's so fascinating to hear that so many others have dealt with this same problem!

    michelle- i know my metabolism was damaged because even though i was still working out (just not as much) and eating well, i started to gain mass (weight and fat). it was the weirdest thing ever!

    ashley- of course i don't know you, but from what it sounds like you aren't eating enough. i'd say either take the cardio back, or add in another small meal/snack. my body actually looks much better now when i eat more, because when you're consuming too little, it holds onto fat stores. hope this helps!

  30. Runeatrepeat says:

    Thanks for the post about metabolism. So many people are afraid to eat when they are active and have to learn the hard way. You are a great example :)

  31. Thanks so much for your reply Gina! Based on your experience, how many calories do you recommend to add to up my intake without gaining weight as you did?

  32. MarathonVal says:

    That's cereal? It looks like chickpeas, haha.

    I love your website to death but am having a hard time reading the maroon background – just wanted to let you know in case anyone else was having trouble with it!

  33. Great post! It makes me wonder if I am eating enough.. it's a scary thing to try and eat more though!

  34. That salad looks delish! I absolutely love cilantro. I really want to try those Larabars, you are always posting about them. I was curious, do you think you could do a blog about eating healthy on a budget? I am trying to eat much healthier, and more natural but am having a tough time due to, it seems like, everything better for me is that much more expensive. I really need some helpful tips, that would be amazing. I know my body could be taken to a whole new level if I could just finally afford all this food, I already work out 6 times a week but then I eat what is fast and cheap to make. :( Thank you so much Gina!

  35. Fitnessista says:

    ashley- i'm nor sure because it depends on how many calories you're burning when you work out. i'd say add in a couple hundred each day and see how your body responds??

    april – it definitely is scary (especially after you've already lost weight and don't want to gain it back). it was hard for me to do, but soooooo worth it. i can eat MORE now, maintain my weight and feel even better than i did when i was working out more and eating less.

    erica- that's a great idea. i, for one, am horrible about food budgeting (i just buy whatever!) and think it would be a great exercise for me to do to know how to spend less but still eat high quality, delicious and less expensive food. i'll be working on that post for you :D

  36. Fitnessista says:

    marathonval- are you reading it in google reader or the actual website?? i definitely want to re-do the website and make it cleaner but am having some issues since i'm a little technologically challenged. i'm afraid to mess it all up!! i do have a goal to fix it eventually though

  37. TeriLyn says:

    I've been putting on weight, despite keeping my regular workout schedule. Maybe this is my issue – I'm not eating enough! Thanks for the post.

    Also, can you tell me how you make your sweet potato rounds (oven temp, time)? I LOVE sweet potatoes and bet I would love these if I made them. Thanks!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for that post! I am currently training for a marathon and I also work at a local gym as a bootcamp instructor and trainer. I have trouble letting my self eat more when I am teaching bootcamp and running an additional seven miles a day or more. Nice to have advice on how to fuel the body to get you through training!

  39. Fitnessista says:

    terilyn- that could definitely be the problem!
    just sprayed them with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper at baked for 20 minutes at 400*; flip them over and re-season and bake for 15 more minutes :D

  40. Michelle says:

    Gina,
    Thanks for addressing my earlier question (about how you knew your metabolism was damaged). So . . . am I understanding correctly . . . you were gaining weight/fat b/c you weren't eating enough? And when you actually ate more, your weight came down to something you're more comfortable with? Seems weird . . . but I guess I have read things about your body going into a starvation mode if you don't eat enough, so it starts storing everything instead of burning it like it should.
    Thanks, Michelle

  41. Peanut Butter Swirl says:

    I love this post!! I have a question though – I have noticed I have lost some weight since I have been training for a half marathon and my doctor told me not to loose anymore weight and suggested looking up to see how many calories I need a day. How accurate are those calculators online? The calories seem to be really high!
    thanks :)

  42. heyitstay says:

    GREAT fueling post. I'm almost the same as you. I lost a bunch of weight, and was used to eating less, while also afraid to gain it all back. So when I was marathon training, I severely underfueled. Sometimes purposely not eating enough out of fear of gaining weight back, sometimes just because I didn't realize I should be eating more!

    It definitely made my metabolism go haywire, that when I recently decreased my activity, my weight skyrocketed 10 pounds in 1 month! Now, try as I might, I cannot lose this weight!! So frustrating. Especially because I'm stuck doing less activity due to an injury!

  43. Fitnessista says:

    peanut butter swirl- this is the one i like the best so far:
    http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2005/12/26/how_to_calculate_your_daily_calorie_needs.php
    it gives more realistic numbers because i agree, the calories suggested from online calculators can be a little high

  44. I really love/hate Jillian. Ughhhhh. I have no idea who Bob is, though. Come train me =P

  45. ? Dee ? says:

    What I find interesting is how you ate to satisfaction but still did not get the caloric needs met.

  46. Hey Gina! I am new to reading your blog and just love all of your information on fitness and healthy eating. Do you mind giving a few tips on how you lost your 40lbs? You look amazing and I would like to lose around 10lbs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  47. Hi Gina,

    Thank you very much for this post! But I’m still confused about the relationship between exercising and fueling. Can you maybe elaborate more, or give me some sites where I can read up on it? I don’t want to gain back the weight I lost but I don’t know what’s the “right” amount that I should be eating..

    Thank you!

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