8 Week Mini Slim-Down: Week 1

July 1, 2018

After several straight weeks of traveling, I have decided to start an 8 Week Mini Slim-Down. It's not that I gained a bunch of weight while traveling. In fact, because I have really built a healthy lifestyle for myself, I stayed very balanced and active on all my trips (read about that here).  


So why am I doing this? For a few reasons:

- I have 5 weddings that I am going to in the next few months, one of which I am in, and I want to be able to walk into them feeling strong and confident.

- Getting back to an eating routine helps my digestion a ton, and will reduce the water/bloating I am holding on to from vacation

- I have taken about 6 months off from a specific nutrition program, and have passed my personal test to keep my health-and-wellness-focused habits, which has maintained my weight pretty steadily and my over all fitness growing.  

- After the time off, I like coming back to a routine, especially as the school year is getting ready to start in a little over a month. Having this program under way will help my transition back to normal work hours. 


What am I doing? 

Basically, I am going to put myself through my own coaching program for 8 weeks. My program is the culmination of all of the health and wellness knowledge and practices that I have learned over the past several years. I know that it works because it is what I use for myself and for the success of my clients. Why wouldn't I use my own toolbox to work on myself?


Here's what it loos like:


I started my program a week ago by taking all of the same data I would have asked from a client, including weight, measurements, and starting photos. For a client, I would have also had myself fill out a questionnaire and had the 1 hour consult/start-up Skype call to get things started... That would have been silly for me to do with myself, so I just made mental notes. 

 (Please ignore my first-thing-in-the-morning face)

As I would tell a client, I told myself, "Rach, you really don't have a lot of fat to lose". And, it's true, I really don't expect to lose much actual weight on the scale. I hope to just tighten up those spots where most women tend to hold fat (love handles, thighs, lower belly). I also know from experience with my own body that getting to a routine will help balance my body out (hormones, digestion, etc) and allow for a little bit of body recomposition. So, the scale won't go down much, but I hope to see some fat loss. 


Week 1 Nutrition Programming

Just as I would have for a client, I set myself a calorie range and protein, my "Numbers" to hit each day. These are individual to me, and are based on my age (28), height (5'4"), weight (starting at 137.8 lbs), dietary preferences (vegan), and activity level. I am not going to share my specifics because they really are individual

         *In this article, I mentioned that 1600-1800 cals is a good place to start for most women, especially if you've never tracked your calories before. Try this amount for 30 days worth of consistency and see how it feels/ how much progress you make before going any lower. For more personalized recommendations, contact me about coaching*


Then I got started tracking my food on the MyFitnessPal app (be my friend! username: rachelstewart76). The first week, just like for a client's program, was about getting used to hitting those Numbers each day. Even for me, who has tracked food for over 5 years, it takes a few days to get back into the flow of eating to a specific range. Here are some shots of what I ate and tracked:

 These days of eating put me in a manageable caloric deficit, meaning I was eating just under the amount of calories I was burning, to get me started on my Mini-Slim Down. I also made sure to fit in a few glass of wine on date night, and nightly dessert. As long as it fits in my Numbers, it fits in my plan. The best part about dieting like this is that there are no "off-limits" foods or "bad" foods. As long as everything is accounted for in the day, I am good to go. 


Week 1 Fitness Programming

Now that I have a few weeks in a row where I am in town my fitness program looks like this:

     - 4 days of strength training (2 upper body, 2 lower body)

     - 2-3 days or cardio (I've been loving high intensity circuits and trail running)

     - 1 active rest day (the dog will still get her 3 mile walk, maybe a yoga class)

And, anything else I feel like doing fitness-wise. I do believe in daily intentional movement, so there will be some sort of activity in all of my days, I'm sure. 


How'd I do for the first week?

Just as a client would, I took my weight every morning, at the same time, on an empty stomach, after my morning poop, totally naked. Just trying to gather consistent data!


I also took pictures of all of my meals (I do that anyway) and "sent them to my coach" (aka myself) so she should evaluate how accurately I am tracking my food. I gave myself an A... having a food scale really helps with this. 


In total, I lost a whopping 0.5 lbs this week! That's not even sarcastic, I am really pleased with this. A loss of half a pound is actually right on par with a healthy rate of loss (0.5-1 lb loss). Like I mentioned earlier, I don't have a ton to lose so I shouldn't see more than that, especially in only 1 week. 


What's next:

I will continue tracking and weighing in for week 2. After the completion of this week, I will take my measurements again, and maybe some progress pics if I'm feeling sassy (I only ask for pics every 4 weeks for clients). The point is to encourage the consistency, and to keep gathering data as I go throughout my program. I won't make any changes to my Numbers until at least week 4, because it takes at least 30 days to really find a groove and see progress, let alone decide to change the game (the Numbers I am aiming for) before I've really started it. 


The whole process is a lot of fun for me. It's what I am passionate about, and it's really an act of love creating programs for people, helping them along the way, and seeing their progress. The same should go for myself, right? It's all an act of self-love- to live a healthy lifestyle and to push myself toward my goals. It's all coming together. This next month is going to be a big one, I can feel it. This program is just the first step to where I am going. It can be for you too! Contact me about coaching today. 


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