If you’ve followed me, you know I’m a health and fitness coach for Beachbody and a self-employed graphic designer. This crazy opportunity to be a part of a test group for a high-fat low-carb diet plan came up, and I decided to go all-in.
‘Cuz that’s how I roll. My exuberance for jumping into things is probably the reason I’m no stranger to divorce. 😉
But I digress.
What I’m Doing
In a nutshell, I’m in a group of almost 700 people, mostly women, who are eating high-fat, low-carb (low-carb, not no-carb) and intermittent fasting (choosing an eating window of 6, 8 or 10 hours every day). I chose 8 hours. We’re following meal plans, counting our portions with Portion Fix, and following a workout plan using (of course) Beachbody programs.
I’ve always known deep down that I would feel really good if I could just get my act together and eat super clean for a more extended period of time. I just couldn’t do it on my own. Now I don’t have to.
This gig is 12 weeks long. Not for the faint of heart.
I am ready for something new to challenge me.
Accountability to the Max
Since starting with Beachbody last year, I’ve lost 14” and gone from a tight size 8 with muffin top to a size 4. This program has made it simpler and more efficient for me to lose my post-baby weight — at home — and it’s all because of the accountability and support of my coach, and my team.
Well, this newest group is taking it to the next level. And I know it’s going to bring my health and fitness to the next level.
Again, because of accountability.
“Accountability? Like what?”, you may be wondering.
Short of having someone show up at my door and see if I’m following the plan, this is the best accountability I can imagine:
- We had to have a cholesterol panel done, along with glucose (A1c).
- We had to submit our before photos.
- We submitted our before measurements.
- We will re-measure every 3 weeks.
- There are meal plans, food lists, and support.
- We have a leader who’s a top 10 Beachbody coach, one who is a medical doctor, and a super trainer coach, Chris Downing (who also happens to be an incredibly motivational speaker)
- There’s also a huge Facebook group where the leaders post live videos daily, educating us on what we’re doing, how we should be feeling, why we’re doing what we’re doing
- Our super trainer coach, Chris Downing has hosted custom HIIT workouts for us twice per week.
And to give ourselves a bit more accountability, my sponsor coach and I created another small Facebook group for us and our team members.
Why High-Fat, Low-Carb?
I grew up in the ‘80s when fat was bad. Eggs were evil. Margarine was cool. Then the 90’s when SnackWell’s cookies came out, and fat-free products were everywhere.
Since the 2000’s, research has shown that all of that was bunk. Fat is good. Eggs are a wonderful, complete food. Margarine is not cool. (Butter is!) Sugar is making us sick. Diet foods are total crap.
Our bodies need a lot more good fat.
They need moderate protein. And they don’t need as much carbohydrates as we wish they did (I love pasta, bread and donuts, too…).
I could write a novel. Or you could read more about it from people who really know their stuff.
My path out of the conventional way of American eating was reading It Starts With Food and doing the Whole30.
Pick any of these books if you’re curious. I promise, they will make you think about what you’re eating, and very likely make you so curious about how you would feel if you tried to change your diet.
Why Intermittent Fasting?
When I first heard about fasting my initial reaction was of horror. ‘Why would anybody choose to feel hungry? Wouldn’t that crash your metabolism?’ My skeptical mind was not into it.
I grew up with “3 square meals” drilled into my brain. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” And “Eat six small meals per day, including a snack before bed!”
It’s hard to beat those messages (i.e. brainwashing).
But over the past couple of years I kept hearing about fasting. Eventually, I opened my mind to learning more.
I look back at how my ancestors likely ate — up early to do chores (milk cows, plow a field) and then eat breakfast, lunch if they were lucky, and dinner before crashing for the night — not snacking all evening on a couch with a remote control in hand.
Or looking even further back, when people would go longer periods of time between meals because they were working and moving, hunting and foraging for food.
And now I look at society so differently.
I see people who have been programmed to eat regularly (thanks, Big Agriculture) when they aren’t even hungry. I see fast food everywhere and convenience foods taking over the grocery stores.
Intermittent fasting has great potential to heal. It allows your digestive system time to rest, can cure Type 2 Diabetes, it can reset your hormones and slow or stop progression of autoimmune disease.
Want to learn more? Check out The Compete Guide to Fasting.
My Personal Fears
As instructed by my bossy leaders (who I love), I started a journal specifically for these 12 weeks. In this journal I wrote my vision (how I want to feel) and what I fear.
I didn’t go into this without fear. I am human.
Some of my fears were:
- What if I crave “yummy” foods and feel sad and deprived?
- What if I’m at an event or social situation that tempts me and I fail?
- What if I feel hungry all the time?
- What if I get bored with my food?
- How will I eat out?
- What if I get lazy about tracking my food portions and macros?
My Personal Vision
The Liina in my vision feels even stronger, has even energy, and is free of sugar cravings and due to that, free from moodiness.
I imagine having ab definition and better overall muscle definition, which will fuel my desire to keep working on my health. It will also fuel my coaching business, as an example of what is possible.
I want to give myself the chance to completely change my diet for an extended period.
This is an act of self love. Have you ever wondered, “How good could I possibly feel?”
I want to feel what it’s like to be totally, 100% my best.
I want this to be a lifestyle.
Follow My Journey
I’m going to blog over the course of these next (now 11) weeks. Week 1 is in the books, and I am over the sugar cravings and starting to feel some very interesting physical and mental changes.