06.03.15

MY HEALTH CHALLENGE / 02

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hey guys! we are trucking along on our health challenge over here and have now finished week TWO. i’ve worked out 6 of the last 7 days, and only had one day where i completely fell off the wagon. i’m still feeling really motivated and starting to see small results already! read about my progress below…

oh, and i started a hashtag on called , so i can stay motivated by your pretty healthy recipes and gym pics. i’ll be adding some of them to this column, so tag your photos so i can see them!

work
run

joanie: running is maybe the most annoying form of exercise but the endorphins after are seriously worth the pain. i was super proud of bri for facing her running fears, other then telling me she felt stranded half way through the run and asked if we could take an uber home she was a real trooper. and remember, nobody looks cool running, we’re all red faced and sweaty. i’ve noticed in recent years that i’ve really had to up my cardio in order to stay in shape. i use to be able to get by with bar method or yoga but that’s no longer the case, i guess it’s part of getting older. if you live in LA, i really love the , their mashup classes are one of the best workouts in town and they give you the sweat without the pretentious attitude.

bri: apparently i really like to make the “strong arms” pose now that i’m working out. ha. this week i have done a few different workouts. i’m still in the process of trying new things and seeing what i like the best. i decided to finally face my fears of running and just do it. i have bad knees and also just always thought it would be boring, so i haven’t run since the dance team in high school. joanie told me we were going to ease our way into it by doing 1 minute walking and 1 minute running intervals. the first 5 or so minutes in, i was very out of breath and thought there was no way i could make it around the whole reservoir (about 3.5 miles including the run to my house). but it sort of got easier as i went along. it was fun chatting with joanie during the walks and it was nice to be outside. i didn’t love it, but i also didn’t hate it. and i felt AWESOME when i got home. i’m going to give it a few more tries. (but need to get some proper running shoes first! what’s your favorite brand?)

i’ve also gone back to bar method a few times (which is still in the running for my fave class). and i tried working out at home. the stairs at my house are pretty steep so i set a 15 minute timer and just went up and down, up and down. my neighbors were probably like “what the heck?” i stopped at minute 10 because my legs were on fire and they were cleaning the deck above my house and put a bunch of water on my head. which is actually pretty funny, but it ended the stairs climb there. i went inside and did 15 minutes of abs and thighs while playing loud music. it wasn’t so bad and i was sore the next day.

my FAVORITE workout was a super fun hip hop dance class that was very upbeat, and the teacher was so cool to watch. there was some twerking to E-40 happening and i wasn’t mad about it. i have to go next week too!

and, i had my friend michael over at share one of his fun/upbeat mixed tapes that you can download and listen to on your next cardio expedition. there’s something about music that makes working out a little easier…

by on

eat
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CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THE WHOLE POST…

joanie: i gave up coffee and alcohol this past week (with the exception of saturday in which i drank a lot of alcohol, maybe enough to make up for the days i gave up). i really just did it because i wanted to see if i could. i don’t think i’ve gone more then 1 day without coffee in the last 8 years which is pretty crazy. in giving it up, i definitely realized i have some sort of emotional attachment to them both. i incentivize myself to workout for the latte after or reward myself with a cocktail at the end of my day, both aren’t bad things in moderation but it’s nice to take a step back and look at the habits i’m forming. but, i can certainly say i’m looking forward to adding them both back in on friday! also, make (without the butter) they’re so delicious. and, i tried to make homemade sauerkraut which ended up growing a lot of mold on top of the brine, is this normal? i’m a little scared to eat it.

bri: this week i have been pretty good about what i’m eating. in the morning i have been having a chocolate protein shake with some almonds. for lunch i’ve been making salads with protein and getting fancy when it comes to the herbs i put on my chicken and fish. i’ve been making green beans with thai ginger salt over brown rice with one soft boiled egg. and WATER. i’ve significantly upped my water intake this week. just forcing myself to go to the fridge every hour or so and fill up another big glass. and let’s talk about my slip up, because everybody has ’em. i’ve been staying away from alcohol and doing a pretty good job. saturday night i went to a party that had an open bar and delicious tequila cocktails. 1, 2, 3 of those later…i’m starving and eating cheesy tater tots at umami burger with a huge smile on my face. sometimes it’s just too hard to be healthy! the next day i stuck to my diet and went to bar method. we should all get a splurge day, right?

sunday night i went to my friend victoria’s and she made us roasted chicken, artichokes, corn on the cob and a grapefruit avocado salad. totally healthy and so delicious! i even snuck one of those gluten free tate’s chocolate chip cookies in that i love so much. i’ve also had sushi (i like albacore sashimi, seaweed salad, and miso soup)

so except for my one splurge day i have cut out almost all gluten, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. and i have honestly noticed that with the workouts and the healthier diet (and being more full on water) that i haven’t been craving bad foods barely at all. have you noticed that? still mostly avoiding restaurants for a while because i’m still not that great at self control.

progress

joanie: i think, for me, the best part of this whole process so far has been the “team spirit” mentality behind it all. one person decides to make a positive change in their life and suddenly everyone is on board. it’s so much easier to start something and stick with it when you have people behind you, texting you to keep you accountable or going for walks together, meeting up for a hilarious dance class and working towards something positive.

bri: i knew alcohol caused bloating, but i guess i didn’t realize how much. finally after my meals i’m not feeling SO full where my pants are uncomfortable. i’ve been waking up feeling lighter and better about myself already. it’s too hard to judge your weight in the beginning my the number, so just try to go off of how you feel. i’ve also been taking weekly pictures in my underwear to see the subtle changes. last wednesday i weight 140Ibs, and now i am at 138. i’m definitely sore everywhere, which i kind of like because it means my body is changing. my hunger levels and cravings for carbs are way down, and the best part is that i feel more positive and in a great mood!

have you been joining in our health challenge? we hope you do! you can read about our journey here and see where we started!

photos: , , and from

35 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Congrats you guys I’m so proud of you! It definitely helps to have a buddy along for the ride. I’m with ya on running. I HATE IT!!!!! But I want to get back into it soon because the endorphins are totally amaze.

    Annie Reeves says:

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE SERIES EVERRRR. I love the way you’ve structured it. I made a goal for June to work out 5 days a week and start cutting out unhealthy items like sweets and majorly cutting back on alcohol. It’s so inspiring to follow along with you guys and see the changes happening already! Woooo can’t wait to keep going!

    Heidi says:

    Hi Bri! I think your calorie intake is too low (should be around 2000/day), otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and holds on to every calorie and you don’t loose weight. That’s the problem with most diets. Maybe you could add some healthy snacks inbetween meals like hummus with carrot sticks, fruit or nuts. Helps with the cravings too. Especially if you are working out 6 times a week. It’s also importantant to have one rest day a week, where you don’t work out and the body has time to recover. So don’t feel bad about the one day you skipped, that was actually a good thing for your body. This are all things I found out when I went on the journey to a healthier lifestyle, I hope this is helpful to you too. Good luck with your health goals!

    Moonlight says:

    Bravo sweetie!
    I’m not so sure about your calorie intake, it sounds a bit low to me. Please check that out with a dietician. Also, try not to only eat protain and veggies, but also carbs. Everything is good in moderation. Surely good fats like those in avocados, fish, eggs and nuts are going to be the fats that you prefer, but don’t deprive yourself of the actual fun fats.
    Also, resting is important. You need 1 resting day in the week to recover and actually get back stronger.
    If you need any meal or snack suggestions just give a shout out! 🙂

    Uli says:

    Well done girls! I totally neglected my Kayla Itsines workout for quite a while now & I need to get back on track. Your post motivates me to start again 🙂 x

    Ashlee says:

    There’s something so positive and calming about reading these posts. For someone whose weight has constantly been in flux, it feels good to read about real people making small, realistic efforts to lose weight.

    These posts lack the judgey feel of so many others out there that insist there is only one way (their way) to go about dropping lbs and feeling great. Your focus on health and how you feel instead of “being skinny” / living and dying by the number on the scale is refreshing.

    Keep it up! I’m following along and definitely rooting for you!

    bri says:

    i think you guys are right about the calories! which carbs do you think are best to bring in?
    and yes on the rest day, today is my day OFF! my legs need a break for sure.

    Danielle says:

    I just love that you started this column. Keep at it with the running! I was awful when I first started. Last September was my first try on a treadmill and literally I ended up out of breath laying on the floor of the gym convinced I was dying. Oh, and that was only after like half a mile. For some reason though I’ve always wanted to be the kind of woman that runs, ha! So I kept at it and by March of this year I could run 5 miles! I still can’t believe it. Somewhere along the line I had started telling myself “you’re fine! you’re body can handle it!” during my workouts whenever I felt the urge to stop and it really changed things for me. Once you work up to a decent fitness level, you’re body truly can endure a lot more than you think. It’s our minds that need convincing, ha!

    Steph says:

    Hi There! Congrats on the healthy lifestyle changes. I have to agree with some of the other commenters, though. The calorie intake is far too low. The scale will move in the “right” direction but you will be burning muscle instead of getting leaner. If you have anyway to do a dunk tank body fat analysis down there, I have found that it gets me way more motivated to make sure I am actually getting leaner instead of just lighter. At a minimum get 1800-1900 good calories in so you can stay in that fat burning range! Good work!

    Eat (healthy) fats and lift heavy things!!

    bri says:

    good to know, steph! thanks for the advice 🙂

    Heidi says:

    As carbs go I love quinoa and spelt, tastes great with veggies but also mixed into a salad. Also as a big pasta lover I just switched to whole grain (and not eating it 5 times a week), you may have to try different brands until you find the one that doesn’t taste like cardboard. I love the whole grain spelt pasta, don’t know if you have that in the US.
    Oatmeal for breakfast is also a favourite of mine, keeps me satisfied for a long time, wereas after a smoothy or bread I would get hungry like an hour or two later.

    Jackie says:

    Hi Bri!

    I usually don’t comment on the blogs I read, but I just wanted to say how great I think it is that you’ve started this column! I also have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so it’s really encouraging to read your updates regarding health and fitness 🙂 I’ve been going to the gym consistently since January and I’m finally seeing results! I’ve been trying really hard to stick to a diet of mainly whole foods and nothing processed (which is SO difficult sometimes!) But I feel so much better when I eat healthy that it’s worth sacrificing how good junk food tastes, right? Oh, and about which running shoes to get….I highly recommend Mizuno running shoes. I have the Wave Creation 15’s and they feel like I’m running on clouds! I didn’t even feel like I had to break them in!

    Tatiana says:

    This is great, and congrats on your first run! My favorite running shoes are Wave Rider 18s by Mizuno: — but I’d recommend finding your local running store and having them assess how you run, and what kind of shoe you’ll need. When I started running I was wearing Nikes that were apparently meant for the gym and not running outside, and I didn’t know that! But, keep it up! You’re doing great!

    Lynne says:

    You definitely need some carbs for your brain and energy. Fruit is a great carb and also whole grains. You smoothy in the morning most likely has some carbs, but you could add a spoonful of flaxseed to it. It will slow down the sugar entering your bloodstream if you have that whole grain in it. Protein helps with that too. Always eat your carbs with a little bit of protein, not by itself. That helps your blood sugar stay level. I have diabetes so I know a little about blood sugar and even with diabetes you need to have some carbs in your diet. You even need a little bit of fat. Keep up the good work! The running is going to be so great for your mind and mood!

    lisa c says:

    I like Nike’s Free running shoes, although I use them more for walking than running because I also have bad knees. They are very lightweight/not bulky which has always been my issue with most sport shoes and very comfortable, I can definitely tell the difference between a day spent on my feet in these and my old converse.
    This is a great column btw, very cool of you to share your in progress rather than the final results as most people do.

    Kristin Dee says:

    Hello!

    Love this new series of healthy posts. Bri, I love your motivation – you are really making me want to try Bar Method and that hip hop class sounds awesome. I’m a big hot yoga gal myself but this is encouraging me to branch out. Also you ran? So scary. Hats off! 🙂

    Joanie – so funny that you mentioned your sauerkraut grew a bunch of mold on top. I just happened to read about this (literally yesterday) in this book Skin Cleanse (link below) and the author said mold is completely normal and totally fine! I guess you just scrape it off the top and eat away? Seems a little odd but I trust her advice. Haha you will have to tell us how it goes next week.

    Keep it up ladies! Love the posts!!

    xo

    The Levelheaded Bohemian ie. Kristin 🙂

    Kendra says:

    Great job getting motivated 🙂 I did notice that a lot of your workouts seem to be cardio-based or with some body weight work thrown in. I just want to emphasize that women should not shy away from heavy weight training! After years of trying to lose weight by only doing cardio and light strength training, I finally quit the vegan diet, upped my protein, cycled calories (ate at full TDEE on workout days and cut TDEE calories 20% on rest days) and started exclusively weightlifting HEAVY 3-4 days a week, 45 minutes each. If you can work with someone who can teach you proper lifting form, you will be able to maintain muscle mass while drastically cutting body fat, all while eating at an appropriate level of calories that fuels your workout and keeps you full.

    Michal says:

    I love reading your blog!! its rea, honest, and motivating. I was doing the Fast Metabolism diet for 3 months and lost 10 lbs but I needed to be less restrictive. I have still cut out gluten, most added sugar, and diary but I am allowing it once in awhile. I need to work more on the exercise piece. I just finished my masters and was working crazy 7 days a week so now I’m back to Monday-Friday 9-5 type of work, so I need to create a realistic workout schedule. I can workout outside, I have a gym 5 minutes from my home and I have a treadmill at home so there really are no excuses 🙂 I’m hoping to get a routine going right now I’m only working out about 3 days a week and its mostly walking which is not vigorous enough. Any tips on creating a routine will be much appreciated!!

    Lindsay says:

    I’m one of those weird people who absolutely loves running, and I go through a pair shoes about every two months or so, so I’ve sampled a bunch. I was pretty loyal to Asics for a while, then I moved to Saucony, and now I’m pretty into Brooks. I find that all three brands have a pretty similar fit and support/cushion my feet really well. Nike makes super cute shoes but they provide zero support and will destroy your knees (in my experience at least). But I also echo the other comment above and recommend that you go to a running store to get fitted because they’ll be able to steer you in the direction of a shoe that works best for your stride, how your foot hits the pavement, etc. Also, I’ve found that more expensive shoes (in the $100-130 range) do actually tend to be better. Which sucks I know, but they’ll usually be made with better materials, better support, and you’ll get a bit more use out of them. Once I find a brand/pair/fit I like, I usually try to see if I can find them at Nordstrom Rack for a better deal. Overall, just make sure you’re diligent about replacing your shoes about every 200-300 miles — they’re the only thing protecting your body from the ground below you, and you’ll definitely start to notice aches and pains if you aren’t wearing shoes that are in good shape.

    Hi Bri – Really enjoying this series so far! I feel like you would like the book the Conscious Cleanse. Check it out .

    Kim says:

    love these new posts! I’m in the same boat after a bad breakup, it’s motivating to have other women getting back in shape too. Definitely am going to miss that nightly wine though haha

    emmy says:

    This is very motivating. I am LOVING this new series of posts!

    Gili says:

    Hi Bri! I’m new here, and I really enjoyed reading your post on your exercise and clean-eating efforts. This is a topic very near and dear to me as a former dancer and gym rat, but has for the last very many years been fairly sedentary due to my career (I’m also a graphic designer) and chronic injuries. I’ve been up one side and down the other when it comes to food and movement. If you’re a fan of the Bar Method, you might also like Barre3. It’s a combo yoga/Pilates/ballet workout. There are studios around, and I’m sure there’s got to be one in L.A., or you can stream their workouts online at . They’ve also got great high-nutrient, clean recipes that are easy to make, but really delicious. If you want to feel muscles you didn’t even know you had and get strong in unexpected ways, check out . And last, but not least, a couple of my favorite food-related books: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and as someone else mentioned, The Conscious Cleanse. And with that, go you!

    Emily says:

    This is really just so inspiring and motivating, thank you!

    Angi Pauly says:

    Hey Bri! Awesome , I just went back to the gym last week. I also have bad knees. Please avoid running, not only is it highly (seriously there are more effective and less painful workouts) ineffective to burn fat and increase metabolism, its terrible on your joints. Why do you have bad knees? If you don’t have any diagnosed condition, keep in mind sitting for too long shrinks your hip flexors and this creates more friction between the joints, so this could be the cause of your knee pain. Recommended workouts for people with bad knees are biking, and swimming. Swimming is amazing for flexibility and it counts 2x than running, its also great for that hip flexor thing.
    What I like to do is I bike from my house to the gym and back (8 km combined) and sometimes I do a couple of laps in the pool, or do some HIIT to really blast the fat. 🙂

    Mol says:

    Where was your amazing hip hop class??

    Mai says:

    Hi Bri,

    Just a comment about running shoes. I would recommend getting fitted at a local running store. Everyone’s feet is shaped differently, and the best way to avoid injury is to get the best fitting shoe for your feet. 🙂

    meliss says:

    Hi Bri! I live in LA as well. I’ve been attending water aerobics classes at the west hollywood pool @10am for the last year. I’ve lost 40 pounds. In addition to water aerobic I do yoga. The pool is closed for pride for two weeks but you should come after, it’s a blast! I’m a six year breast cancer survivor which added more pounds on to my already not so skinny figure. I’m ready to add walking and change my food. Still have another 60 pounds to lose. Here’s a link to an amazing soup and healthy food choices. Super helpful.. Bravo to us!

    Stephanie says:

    I like going to a running store to have them help me pick out the best shoes for my needs… Runner’s Village in Los Feliz was so helpful for me and they let you go for a quick run down the street in the shoes you try on, to see how they feel in action. Makes a big difference!!

    Also want to echo the suggestion to check out weight lifting. It was a game changer for me, that’s for sure! Helps me maintain a flat belly and be more independent, as a physically stronger person. Some resources I really like are New Rules of Lifting for Women, and exrx.net. I would definitely recommend checking both out if you’re interested in weight lifting.

    Great series on your blog!! Thank you for sharing your journey and keep on kicking butt.

    avital says:

    you go girl!

    Holly says:

    Hey there! I’ve been following along and enjoying your posts; I even discovered some new people to follow in Instagram! Thanks for creating a hash tag where we can all share.

    I just wanted to leave a comment about the advice you’re getting here: Some of it is great and some of it isn’t. I’d say you should listen to your body, speak to a professional and not be overly concerned with metrics (although I guess that’s also advice! haha). I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to figure out what’s right for me and I’ve found that some things work for me and some just don’t! Even if they work for other people.

    I have seen a couple of comments about adding some weightlifting into your routine, and I’m a big fan of that approach, even if it’s just one or two days a week. I would schedule some sessions with a trainer (or someone who is certified to teach basic weightlifting movements) and learn how to perform some basic movements with great form that you can do on your own. If you’re going for a toned look it’s a great option.

    That being said, you have mentioned you have some issues (problem knees, formerly broken bones, etc.) so I would also encourage you to see a massage therapist that specializes in sports injuries to see if they can help you correct some of the compensations (corrections your body makes to make injured areas feel more ‘normal’) you might be doing. That will help your overall ability to perform more types of exercise and movements.

    But, as you should with any advice, take mine with a grain of salt. Again, this is just what has worked for me! I’m glad Joanie is guiding you through this process; it’s always great to have a friend who has been at it for a while! But never hesitate to get professional advice from someone who know way more about all of these things than any of us probably do. Even when it comes to your calorie intake and nutrition breakdown — your body might need something different than other bodies do. Keep listening to it, keep moving forward and keep having fun!

    Lily says:

    Bri – try the Nike Air Pegasus 31. It’s a running shoe that’s been around forever, kind of a cult favorite. I just keep replacing the same pair. And, I mean, how about these colors?

    clara a. says:

    Running has been an enemy of mine too!
    A couple of things that have helped me are:
    +the nike running app
    +buying my shoes at sport chalet (they will work with you to find the right shoe for you. You also have the option of testing comfort by running on a treadmill in store.)
    +(sport chalet) also sells these amazing inserts called Super Feet that feel so good!

    Hope this helps! good luck, your journey (& all you do) is inspiring!

    Jane B says:

    Bri – I love keeping up with your progress and strategies. I am also using the buddy system to keep active and focused on being healthier in general. Thanks for documenting your journey to pull together this reader community. I’m thoroughly digging it!

    Ally says:

    Hi Bri!
    I LOVE THIS SERIES I have been sifting through the comments on like every post because I am wondering what brand your black leggings are, I like that they’re high waisted and you’re wearing them in a lot of posts so I was thinking they’re probably durable? Thanks!
    Ally

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