Category Archives: weight loss

this type A goes overboard

I would consider myself a Type-A personality.

Type A

The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

That’s a lot of words.

Let’s just say I’m obsessed with structure.

I like to plan my day in time increments.  I like to organize things.  I like to make lists.  I like to count … anything (especially money).

So when I experimented with diets that involved counting my macronutrients (things like protein, carbs, fats, etc.), I instantly latched on to that sense of structure and …

became completely and utterly OBSESSED.

I’d like to go ahead and add in that, not only was I counting my macros, this diet also included a time structure for when I would eat.  I won’t get into the details.  That would probably bore you to death.

Regardless of the plan I was on, I find that counting your macros has a huge place in the health and fitness community.  Everywhere I turn for information, I see the same things.

Count your calories

Pay attention to your macronutrient ratios

blah blah blah more counting

Frankly, all this counting made me absolutely obsessive over my diet.  And don’t get me wrong.  I love to obsess about things.  I’m obsessed with flossing my teeth, for example (but that is probably a good thing).  I am also obsessed with anything Justin Bieber comes out with.  Also not harmful in any way.  (HE’S OVER 18 NOW, OK?!)

hey you! don’t even deny singing ‘boyfriend’ in the car.

But it was all I thought about during the day.  I was so worried that my carb/protein/fat ratios were going to be skewed for some reason and I would dive head-first into a metabolic meltdown toward the muffin-top abyss.  Every day was spent weighing and measuring my food followed by logging it into a program to determine my exact macronutrient counts.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I don’t know how those health and fitness people live like that.  It’s exhausting.  No wonder people hate the idea of dieting or getting healthy.  No one wants to look at their meal and feel anxious not knowing if it will blow their calorie count for the day.  The entire situation made eating a stressful event and it wasn’t even worth it.  The results I was getting were so slow and practically unnoticeable.

Anyways, I just wrote a ton of nonsense just to tell you that I am back to my paleo ways.  I enjoy the intuitive eating style that I seem to fall into when I eat this way.  I am able to be more productive during my day because I am not constantly thinking about the next meal.  It just works for my lifestyle and my body and I seem to get great results from it.  And anyways, I have plenty of other things in my life to obsess over.  I don’t need to take the enjoyment out of my favorite pastimes – cooking and eating.

Sorry for the anticlimactic ending to this extremely late blog post.  Just thought you should know what I’ve been up to.

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Your Best Body: Part 4 – Diet

I can almost guarantee that if I were to approach you on the street and say

HEY! I am doing this series on my website about how you can achieve your best body!  You should read it!

You’d probably think I was a lunatic.

Who approaches random people in the street and tells them about their blog?

Freaks, that’s who.

But let’s assume you don’t instinctively punch me across the face and you actually give it a second thought.  Furthermore, let’s imagine that you actually want to achieve your best body.  I can almost guarantee the first thing you’ll say to me is

OMG! What foods do I have to cut out?  Because I will die without chocolate – absolutely die.  Is bread OK? Because I can’t live without sandwiches either.  I eat one everyday for lunch.  Oh, what about pasta?  Can I eat pasta?  Because my Great Grandmother was Italian and so pasta just a staple in my house.  And do I have to cook every night?  Because I don’t have much time to cook.  I mean, I have kids.  And a husband.  And a job.  And I just don’t have time to do all that.

Whoa, buddy.  Calm the hell down.  Who’s the freak now?

If this sounds like something you would say, then you miiiight want to lay off the coffee. 

I’m hoping some of you have noticed that I am putting the posts for this series in order of importance.  Acceptance of your body, finding your motivation, and building a support group are like foundations of a house.  Without those, the house won’t withstand even the smallest gust of wind.

Your diet is what will turn that pile of cement and 2×4’s into something that actually resembles a livable space.  The bricks, if you will.  This piece of the puzzle is absolutely crucial to your overall health and well-being.  I am no nutritionist, but I can guarantee that you won’t be able to reach your fullest potential if you are eating shit all day long.  You can take that piece of advice to the bank.

So, here is the secret…..EAT REAL FOOD.

Put a stamp on it with a fancy diet name, I don’t care.  It doesn’t matter that I am not a nutritionist or an expert.  I’m pretty sure anyone will agree that eating unprocessed, real and natural foods are optimal choices for your health.  But what does this include?

Nuts & Seeds

That’s a TON of options right there!  There are literally millions of combinations you can make for dinner with that list of foods.  The most important thing to note about that list though, however, is that I must stress the importance of those foods being unprocessed.  That means saying no to hot dogs as a protein source.  Or fat-free cheese.  Or little flavored yogurts in convenient little packages.  Or fruit snacks.  These are not real foods, people.

We are starting from square one here.  I am not going to tell you what ratios of proteins to carbohydrates to fats you need.  I am not certified to do that and every person is different.  What I want you to focus on is choosing real sources of food over all else.

But you forgot to list whole grains! We all need whole grains in our diet.

Well, then go out into the field and get you some whole grains, baby!  Because what you see in the stores is not natural and unprocessed so I suggest you stay away from it.  Yep, you heard me.  That whole grain bread and oatmeal is a processed food.  It doesn’t grow out of the earth in that form.  Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just pour boiling water into a field of avena sativa and have yourself a Guiness World Record size bowl of oatmeal.  In it’s natural, unprocessed form, oats look a little something like this…

So if you want to eat it like that, by all means go for it.  And honestly, who likes oatmeal anyways without adding all kinds of sugary shit to it?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Just start there my friends.  As I always say, your health is a process that will last a lifetime.  Don’t get too crazy.  Just make better choices.  Yes, you will have to cook.  And yes, this will be very different from what you are accustomed to right now.  It might seem hard.  I totally understand.  Driving next to a little window where a smiling teen hands you a bag of food is definitely much easier than cooking up a well-balanced dinner.  But it will become part of your daily routine, just like flossing your teeth (which you should all be doing if you aren’t).  Make small changes that will stick with you forever.  Overloading yourself with new patterns and habits will most likely bring you back to where you are right now.  Trust me, I still struggle with that concept in other areas of my life.

One of these days I’ll give you a breakdown of what I think should be filling your plate.  For now, I want you to focus your choices on natural and unprocessed foods.  Your body will thank you for it!

For your viewing pleasure, I have put a slideshow of random pictures from different meals I’ve had.  I love to take pictures of my food.  It doesn’t actually look very pretty most of the time, but it tastes delicious.  Follow me on Instagram for more food photos: @saadatch

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Your Best Body: Part 1 – Acceptance

Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist/personal trainer/health coach/cave woman/chef/morning-person/camel…it doesn’t matter what I write here because I lost all credibility within the first five words.  If you haven’t left yet and made it to this part of the disclaimer, remember to speak with a professional for your personal dietary or fitness recommendations.

I get asked quite frequently, “Sarah, how can I lose weight?  Apparently the Muffin-Top was never in style…”

First of all, you’re right.  The Muffin-Top was never in style.  You know what is always in style though?  Being healthy.

Let me set something straight first before I give you my non-medical, unapproved advice on how to trim down that tire around your six-pack.  This might be some of the best advice I will ever give you and yet I know most people will choose to ignore it.  For those of you who really want help being healthy, I suggest you pay close attention to the information in this particular post.  But only for those of you who are serious about being healthy.

Here it is: The body you have is the only one you’ve got.  No one else has your body.  Something that works for one person might not work for you.  There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness.  I know, I know, that’s really fucking annoying!  I totally understand.  I wish there were a rule book on how to be ripped and all we needed to do was just follow it step by step.  I mean, people try.  They’re called “diet books”.  Your local book store probably has a few shelves full of them.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t – it just depends on the person, right?  Right.  That’s because everyone is different.

For some reason, people seem to push that piece of information to the side like it’s not important.  I still find myself doing it sometimes.  I’ll spend hours looking at blogs and websites trying to find the perfect meal plan to trim down.  But there you go!  There’s a reason why I spend hours looking.  Because there isn’t just one way of doing things!  Everyone has their opinion.  Listen, I would love to be able to eat whatever I want and not gain weight.  We all know people like that – people who can eat a cheeseburger, milkshake, and fries and not gain an ounce.  And we hate those people so stop being friends with them.  Just kidding (sort of).  But my body is not built like them.  If I order a milkshake, I gain weight before it even arrives at the table.  And I just have to accept it.  That being said, my first and most important piece of advice for losing weight is to embrace the body you have.

Now, there is a big distinction between accepting the body you have and accepting the condition your body is in.  Don’t go out there telling yourself, “Oh, I am overweight and I will always be overweight so I’m just going to continue eating like shit.” No.  The condition your body is in is a result of your habits.  Bad habits = bad body.  Good habits = good body.  Accepting your body type is a completely different thing.

I’ve told you before that my mom is a smart lady.  She is the reason I am even slightly concerned about my health.  She’s not just healthy for her age, she is healthier than many of my 25 year old friends.  She also has these massive weapons attached to her body that she worked really hard to attain.  Here is a candid shot of them.  I can only imagine what they’d look like flexed.

So naturally, people (especially women) would always comment on her arms whenever she allowed those pythons to show.  They would always ask her how to lose weight or get in shape, and she would always have the same response.

“I just realized that I will never be one of those skinny girls so I just decided to start lifting weights and work with what I had.”

I never really paid much attention to this growing up (among other things), but I realize now how relevant that statement is when I look at the overall health of a person.  As I’ve gotten older, and because I am the spawn of this beast, I’ve recognized that my body is very similar.  I will never be one of those naturally skinny girls.  I have muscle (a lot of it).  I am definitely heavier than I look and I will always weigh more than most girls.  I have a big ass and I love it.  I will never be smaller than a size 4/6.  I will always have to watch what I eat if I want to stay trim.  I gain weight really easily.  There will never be a gap between my thighs, but I will always have strong legs.

I could go on for days comparing myself to other people.  The main thing I want you to work on before we move to part 2 of this series is accepting your body.  Recognize the things you will never be able to change and just get over it.  Hell, make a list if you have to.  Write down every single thing that you can’t change and post that sucker up on the wall.  Then get over it!  Accept your body for what it is.  Only until you have done this will you be able to find a lifetime’s worth of success in being healthy.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series toward your best body!

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