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How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D6,D7,D8

It was my first weekend in food jail.  I travelled.  I had a messy schedule.  It was an adventure, and there is some room for improvement.

During the week at work, it seems easier to stay on a schedule for me.  My work is fairly flexible to allow for eating as needed.  It’s accommodating with microwaves, refrigerators, and spare silverware as needed.  This has made M-F fairly easy.   The weekend though, this threw me for a little loop.

My schedule was not maintained like during the week.  I was traveling on the road while single parenting a toddler.  Having to improvise is what happened.  Originally, I planned my meals and even had food prepped.  But due to not caring for it, it went bad.  There is was, a weekends worth of meals down the drain.  So what did I do?  Went to Mr. Hero of course.  But it’s not what you think.

My meal plan consists of 4 ounces of protein (chicken) and 1 cup veggies.   The Mr. Hero chicken philly triple veggies, no bun, no cheese, no toppings.  This was as close as I was getting in a pinch.   Now mind you, there is always a grocery store somewhere. The work I was doing at the time and the need to feed others in my party led us to a fast food option.  It was at that time I was faced with a challenge, fail or succeed in failing?  I chose the latter and made the best of the situation.  My subsequent failures were all out missing meals or snacks.  But I made a best effort to get back to plan as soon as possible.

Food jail is no joke.  It takes effort to stay on task.  I’m still learning what it will take to make sure I succeed in eating plans.  What I do know and can see, is just how bad my habits have been to date.  Paying attention to my food at all times weekend or weekday will be key until I have new habits that have replaced the old.

Here is to the beginning of week two in food jail!   Oh and by the way,  that scale thing told me yesterday my efforts were worth it.  All things are moving in the right direction.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D5

It’s about your army and your support system.  It’s also about selecting the right coach for you.  Ever wonder why there are a million personal trainers out there?  Ever spend a lot of money on something or a program and it did not work?

Something different drives each of us.  For me it’s about being connected with people.  Period.  This is the heart of what drives me.  If someone is depending on me, it happens.  If someone needs something, it happens.  If someone wants something, I’m there.  Being connected to others is my way of operating in this world.  It is core to what motivates me.

For almost all my life no one needed me to be anything else.  Except when I was part of a team.  Luckily I played sports most of my life, and my teammates needed me to be healthy to be at my best performance.  So I did.  When that went away, my health fell to the wayside.  So now, selecting the RIGHT coach for ME, has been key to me making it through.  Someone I trust.  Someone who is willing to understand where I am.  Someone who is willing to connect with my journey.  I’m sharing this with you today, because finding a coach to help you through your journey may be a key element that helps you make it.

Your coach can be a friend, a partner, a professional, it can be anyone.  So let me tell you more about my coach.  I’ve partnered with Heather on this part of my journey for a few reasons.  She is like me,  in a way that she has been there and done that. See more about her story below.  I trust her.  She knows when to push me and when to be an ear and listen.  And she is encouraging in a way that I need to make sure I get through this process.  Find the right coach for you!   One way to get started is to reach out and start a dialogue.  Interview your coach like you would someone you bring in to work on your house.  This someone you are bringing in to do work on your body.  They’ve got to understand your journey and be willing to roll up their sleeves as will you to make the process successful!

About Heather…

I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to pursue my passion of acting and working with kids. While in college, I gained a lot of weight and found myself standing on the scale at 265#. It took many years to get my eating and health under control, and about 10 years into gaining weight, I decided to reclaim my life. I have lost 125 pounds and found my inner athlete again. I joined a gym (as many do) and attended classes, hired a trainer, and saw the weight come off. I since then, found CrossFit, opened a gym with my business partner, and want to now help people in all aspects of being the best athlete and person possible. 

I have tried Paleo, Whole30, Atkins, and Zone. They all worked…kinda…but didn’t teach me what I really needed to know. What does my body need to function? It has taken me many months to realize what the body needs to work properly without losing what I have gained. And honestly, I’m not a professional, but I am a clear example- as are many other of my clients- that what I am doing DOES work. Portions-timing-quality of food-eating when you should be, have all been, and ARE key components. I don’t follow Macros, I don’t follow calories. I follow what FUELS the body the RIGHT way for me to have optimal body composition results. 

So what is YOUR goal? Mine was I wanted to be leaner because I was struggling at body weight movements. In order to do that, I looked at my plan and chose foods that I knew would best fuel my body to burn fat all day long. When I saw abs, quad muscles and clothes fitting better, my back squat # wasn’t that important to me- at that moment. So that’s why I ask what is your goal? Many it is weight loss, and my plan is a GREAT tool for meal planning, and taking the thought process off of you-which is difficult for many. 

Ready to take the leap? Email me! Facebook me! Stalk me on Instagram and Facebook!

Email: hsowry@gmail.com

Facebook: Heather Sowry

Instagram: hsowry

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D4

Yesterday I had to fight hard, with me.  It was like my inner two year old self was throwing a tantrum and wanted the popsicle I wasn’t allowed to have.  A friend replied to a blog post stating we all have a special relationship with food in some way. This is so true!  I am seeing as part of my food jail journey it’s about understanding what that relationship is, and where it comes from. It’s a very personal journey.

As I’ve reached the midpoint of the first week, I realize my relationship with food is a bit like a two year old throwing a tantrum.  This is a dangerous combination being an adult and rationalizing with “I’m going to do that because its simply what I want”.   Yesterday, I wanted other food.  I wasn’t craving anything.  Well my body was not craving anything, psychologically I was craving something else because me stubborn inner self just ‘wanted to’.   It took a lot of self talk to get through ‘just wanting something because I can’.  This is something everyone in food jail should consider, build a tool kit to tackle those moments.

I’ll admit, it makes me mad right now.  Food posts on social media.  Others eating what they want around me.  Others eating during a window of time I can not.  Reading an article from Barbell Shrugged,  there was some great advice about removing temptations.  This makes me realize the food plan reaches well beyond just food prep, and timing my meals.   I’ve also got to avoid or find ways to cope with the temptations that exist around me.

Friends birthday party, work gathering, happy hour, weekends.  What we chose to do during this time contributes or detracts from our ability to stay the course.   I’ve found that avoidance in my first week of food jail is my best plan.   And finding things to occupy my time as I feel the need to stray from the path is also a good tool.   It seems silly, but yesterday I had to write myself a letter and remind me of why I am doing this.  The greater goal of losing weight, the short term goal of I don’t like me now.  Realizing these two things means habit changes are necessary if I am going be successful.  I’m not trying to change everything.  I’m only committing to food jail.  It’s within my control.

Maybe I sound like a crazy lady.  But as the days go on I’m realizing the need to have a lot of conversations with myself.  At this point convincing myself to stay the course.   Should you bump in to me, and I’m talking with no one around you will know why 🙂

Day 4 here I come! Food Jail!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D3

If I can just make it to my 1/2 an avocado at dinner, all is well in the world.   I’m now in day 3 of food jail.  I’ve been able to stay on track but it appears consistently around 2pm my alter ego, super hungry, other self finds her way in to my brain and taunts me.  What’s saved me?  My 1/2 an avocado.

One would not think an avocado could be so great.  But I simply can not wait to get my hands on it following my daily battle with hunger which haunts me for a few hours around 2pm.   Despite having a snack during that window of time, it does not fill or touch the cravings I have.  I have no explanation for it.  And to be more honest, I’m not really hungry.  My body is physically fine, its a psychological hunger.  What?  Yes, its true.  It’s a psychological hunger.

Food jail… why do it if its’ not how you will eat for all of time?  Well I say that to myself now.  But really there is a lot of how I eat in food jail that will need to continue well beyond food jail.  My habits have to change.  The psychological hunger for things that don’t fuel my body has to go through a transformation.  That’s why food jail is necessary.  It’s like an intervention.   A reset button.   There are things about food jail that I don’t like,  that I am uncertain if I ever will like.  But first, I’ve got to break the link of my old ways in order to establish new habits.

I’ll take it in small chunks, for today I’ll hold out for my 1/2 an avocado waiting for me tonight.

How the un-fit ‘fit’; Food Jail D2

Here we are DAY 2.  Happy to report I did in fact make it through day 1 of food jail.  Over all I’ll admit it was not too bad. Had one moment of extreme hunger in the afternoon, but this morning I am feeling good.  I’m through my snack and waiting on lunch which is just around the corner.

Reflecting on my first day, if I had to write a letter to myself about this journey… it would sound something like this.

Dear Friend,

There will be things in this lifetime you won’t like. It will result in frustration or anger that often is mis-directed.  To change something you don’t like, it first will take you changing.   You see, there are few things within your span of control.  Both realizing and embracing the things you have the power to control will serve you far greater than the anger or frustration you project on others or the world around you.

Weight being an example.  You can be angry that society does not offer enough good options that are readily available.  You can blame friends, family, or others for the habits developed of indulging in poor choices and bad timing of consuming meals.  But it’s simply not true.  Habits are choices, that you allow to be influenced or consciously chose.   Either way, you alone have the power to modify all of these habits.  This will positively or negatively impact your health, your well being, your self image.

It will be hard.  You will have to admit to yourself you’ve done wrong.  You’ll have to admit defeat, that something failed along the way.  Find your failure,  embrace it, and move to the next phase of correcting it.   You will have to face yourself and accept you did this.  You got you here.  But by golly,  you certainly can get yourself out.

Dear Friend… you are not on this journey alone.  In this lifetime you will find things you won’t like.  Seek those things out and make the change.

Kind regards 🙂

Day 2- I’m feeling good.  Going to add a hot beverage of tea or coffee in following the afternoon snack in attempt to curb a little of the hungry feeling.   But today it feels like I can do this. Here is to a great day 2!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail

Today marks a new journey for me.  I’ve made the choice to put me in food jail.  This sounds harsh, part of it is me just being mad.   What is food jail?   Why did I choose it? Stick around to find out more.

It’s been the better part of almost 15years now, I’ve been fighting my weight.  I’ve succeeded from time to time.  I have also put it back on from time to time.  Right now I’m in the ‘I’ve found it again’ phase.   Self imposed food jail is the next step for me.  What is it?  I’ve partnered with someone who knows nutrition.  And it’s simple.  They write a plan, I procure the food and follow the plan.   There are specific times to eat with specific amounts and types of food.   What is even better for me, is that I have found someone to make that food for me.

You see, I am a cook.  And I love to eat and be creative in the kitchen.   So food jail is a big deal.  And I am being a bit harsh about this.  Had my first meal this morning and it was not bad at all.   Over time, my habits of what I cook, how I portion, and when I eat are bad.  This contributes to my inability to lose weight.  Making the decision to enter food jail, simply translates to I am consciously choosing to re-learn how to eat well.  How to eat for me.  For me, I grew up a farmer.  Cruised high school and college as an athlete.  Then my activity level drastically changed.  And so did my weight. Mostly because my eating habits failed to change when my activity level did.

My current situation.  I’m on a project at work that demands 15hr days, and sometimes weekend.   I own a business outside of working full time.  I have a 2 year old independent toddler person who relies on me to entertain her while not at the workplace.  And just a few other small things going on in life.  We are all busy.   What I have come to realize though, is that we ALWAYS have  the ability to control our food intake.

The next few weeks will be interesting.  There is part of me that is bitter and even mad.  Probably a little because of realizing it’s not something I can do on my own.  Because I like to cook, I feel like something is being taken away.  But more than the anger or bitter parts that like to call this food jail, is the desire in me to be healthier and that means taking off the excess weight.

How did I get started.  It was a little bit of want.  And some pushing from friends and loved ones to make a permanent change in my life.  For that I am thankful.  Although I’m sure at times over the next few weeks I will also be mad at them. I found someone who will write a plan.  I found a way to make the preparation easy.  And most important I have the support needed externally and internally to give this a good go.  Internal support?   Well to start this journey I had to get on the scale.

I try to avoid the scale.  Why? Well a number is real.  It makes everything real.  I can’t explain away a number.  It’s based on some fact.  Measuring yourself to track against is a key internal support factor, I know I don’t want that number to be me or define me.  So it’s something that must change.

This step, is a necessary step for me to move forward in my journey.  Cheers to day 1!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: GOOD

It’s going to be difficult.  My response, GOOD.

The first section of this blog post will both sound and feel harsh, but stick with me until the end and you will see why.

Entering the gym for the first time is going to challenge your courage.  My response, GOOD.  It’s going to be difficult to drop the weight. My response, GOOD.  You are going to struggle and not want to come back sometimes.  To that I say, GOOD.  It is going to hurt.  You are going to experience physical soreness like never before. My response, GOOD. You are going to be mentally and emotionally challenged.  You will have to face things about yourself for a long time you have ignored.  You will not like it.  My response, GOOD.  You are going to have fear consume you. You will at times think “I can’t”.  You will whisper to yourself “I am not worth it”. Self talk will fill your head with “That won’t work for me”.  To all of this I say, GOOD. There will be workouts you believe you can not conquer.  There will be days you feel like not showing up.  My response, GOOD.  You will say to yourself “I don’t like the way I look”.  You will say “I don’t like the way I feel”.  To this I say, GOOD.  There will be times when it feels like all of this is too much to manage.  My response, GOOD.

** Success goes to those who respond to change**

We have mentioned that change is hard.  And on your fitness journey the behaviors and habits of how we eat and workout all must change.  At the root of this is how we think, feel, and respond. This drives how we act.  Do we put in the effort, or do we throw in the towel.  It sounds harsh to hear the response of “good”.  So why is it good?   All of our experiences positive or negative teach us something.  It is what we take from the experience and how we apply it that matters.   Tried losing weight 20 times before, and failed?  Good.  You know more than the person who is trying it for the first time.  You know what hasn’t worked.  You know you are RESILIENT!  Keep trying.  You have a proven track record of COURAGE, STRENGTH, and the RESILIENCE to find the way that works for you.

It’s hard to walk in the gym.  For the first time.  When you have had a bad day.  When you having been staring at the scale and not a pound has moved for several weeks.  When you have a planned PR attempt in your workout.  Why? FEAR.  We fear that what is facing us at that moment is going to result in failure.  Fear keeps you from being your best in the moment.  My response, GOOD. Once I know my fear, I can face my fear. Once I know my challenge I work to meet that challenge. By doing what it is that is facing me I become the best version of me in every moment I am faced with something.

It’s training.  You are training you to be your best you!   When something happens, you need only one word to move forward.  Tell yourself GOOD.  Seconds will become minutes, minutes will become hours,  hours will become days, and days will become years.  As challenging as those first seconds are, looking back you will realize it made all the difference and that you moved mountains by seeing every moment and saying to yourself, GOOD.

GOOD, you found a new way and a new reason to try.

GOOD, you became a better version of yourself, by accomplish what before you thought not possible.

GOOD, you rallied your inner courage and strength to beat it! To beat that one thing that stands in your way.

GOOD, you are on a path to become a new better you.  A better friend.  A better partner.  A better parent.  A better self.

GOOD, you found strength through adversity.

GOOD, you found courage through fear.

GOOD, you found you by doing!

Get out there and face this day.  Find the seconds that matter, and make the decision to dive in and make a change.  You are worth it!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Defining you

So often, we beat ourselves up over an ideal that others or society puts on us.  We should be skinnier, we should be a perfect, we should be something else.  Anything else other than what we currently are?  Feel this way often? I do.   As a matter of fact most of the time I feel this way.

It’s a challenge to break it down and start to understand what is it I want for me.   Without allowing these ideas to pop in to my head of what others believe should be for me.   I want to be fit, but what does this mean to me?  Clothes to be comfortable, eat what I want when I want, have a more muscular tone?  You see there is no magic bullet to what is perfect or what is good.   Knowing what it is that you want and knowing what you are striving for is key.  Maybe it’s more important to you that you can lift 300lbs over your head,  no matter how toned your muscles are.

Our bodies and their response to nutrition, fitness, rest, are very different and individual.  That means no one solution works for everyone. As a matter of fact one solution only works for one person, and that is the person who is seeing success.   Others may take components of what works, but you will also need to modify and make adjustments that fit you as a person.   Bottom line, if it’s not working for you find something new else.

It will need to fit your lifestyle, your body type, your systems response, to put it simple it has to fit you.  Be bold this week, be daring.  Find your inner strength to focus on what success means to you and only you!  Take action to make that happen.


How the un-fit ‘fit’: challenges/scaling

How is your journey going?  Are you hitting your goals?  Are your goals fighting against you, without giving in?   One of my workout buddies this week tossed out a challenge.   After making the comment,  I fail to finish things,  the challenge was tossed out there to become a ‘finisher’.

This, not being a finisher thing, is something new for me.  It use to be, I didn’t know when to stop.  Have I lost all my competitiveness?  Have I not found something to inspire me?  What is going on, that makes me stop just when I get started?

Really there are more questions than answers. But for this session, I’m going to discuss the application of scaling.  You see each athlete is very different.  And what your body allows you to make it through, will differ from day to day, week to week, movement to movement.  You’ve got to listen to your body while finding that delicate balance of pushing yourself to hit goals you could not previously reach.  When getting started and for the length of your journey you must set your finish line for each task you take on.

Last week one of our prescribed workouts included thrusters.   A lots of thrusters for someone like me.   So much that I failed to return to the gym for an entire week because I was so sore.  This in large part because I pushed myself to finish what was on the board, not simply finish what I knew my body was capable of.  Now that should never be the outcome of exercise, not returning to the gym for long period of time.  When getting started returning to the gym on a very regular basis is key.  So scaling to allow that to happen is key.

Scaling can come in multiple ways.  It’s important to speak with your coach to work through what’s right for you.  This week we again had thrusters in the workout.  It was suppose to be 10 rounds of work.  Knowing what I had previously gone through,  I calculated the reps and decided it would be best for me to do only 5 rounds of work.   I got in a great workout.   And with continued progress I will make it to 10 rounds,  that day was simply not today.   Other ways to scale include the modification of movements or reduction of weight being lifted.   Key is,  keeping with a consistent workout schedule and sticking to it.  The volume, weight, speed at which you execute will only improve over time.

Scaling is your friend!   Especially if you are just getting started.   Arrive a few minutes early to class if you have concerns or want to talk through specific scaling options with you coach.

Back to my friends comments about becoming a finisher:)  It’s a good challenge for me to push and this is the balance needed in my workouts.  Sometimes I scale too much.  Finding someone who knows yo well enough to know when to push you vs when to allow your scaled finish line to be the finish is key.  Find workout partners and coaches who support this, and who will support you in what you need to become your best self.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: What we believe is true

Weightloss has been a crazy journey.   I envy those who say “I’m going to lose 10lbs”.  Three weeks later they look amazing, and have hit their goal.   For some of us setting and hitting goals are not so easy.   They don’t just magically appear or happen like it does for some of my friends. Today, I am going to talk about what I believe… and how this is holding me back.

I’ve had a hard long look inside this week, asking myself what do I really believe about me.  What I realized in a short time, is that I truly believe I am suppose to be a large person.  Because much of my family are larger people.   What I believe is that is also the image I fit.   It’s taken a LONG time to peel back the onion on this.  And come face to face with what I really believe.

You see, I want to be healthier, smaller, more fit.  I often make decent efforts towards that.  But something keeps holding me back.  I’ve met with medical professionals.  They have solved the surface issues of imbalanced hormones, changing my eating habits, and developing regular exercise habits.   But in the end, I always give up on myself.   I quit.  Why?  Because I don’t honestly believe I should be healthier, smaller, or more fit.  I want it but I have not yet embraced it.  I do not yet believe that is me.

Several of my posts have talked about sticking with it, and keep re-starting.  I still believe in this.  And I also believe that I will soon turn the corner and allow myself to truly believe I deserve these things I am working towards.  It’s not easy.  It’s not simple.  It takes some soul searching.   A true fitness journey and change in life is not an overnight solution.  And its hard, but stick with it.

Remember all things are components of a successful journey…

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness/ activity level
  • Emotional
  • Mental

Right now, I am working the emotional and mental components.   Trying to find the inner me, and turn the key to truly believe in my end point.  I believe in my journey.   But the minute things start going well, I need to stick with it rather than running away from the fact, some good changes may actually start to happen.

You can do it too!   Believe in you!