Barriers that interfere with success

First things first: Have you registered for BLEND yet?

If not, what are you waiting for?! I got my ticket the day that they went on sale, and can hardly wait for the fun to begin! If you’re not familiar with Blend (Blogger+Friend=Blend), it is a retreat that will take place in Boulder, Colorado the weekend of May 4-6th, and is being organized by Janetha, Lindsay and Katie (who have done a really amazing job of putting this whole thing together). The cost of the admission ticket is only $75, which includes a fabulous dinner Friday night, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning, and several group exercise classes with some top-notch trainers! AND- the swag bag looks to be amazing (hello! Check out the sponsors!). For an additional fee, you can also register for lodging on site.You can check out more details about what the admission ticket gets you and pricing options here. You don’t have to be a blogger to come- it’s open to all! I am so excited to meet some fellow bloggers, and spend some time in my favorite place in the world: Colorado! There will also be organized group hikes and other local events during the retreat so that you can check out all of the beauty that Boulder has to offer. Feel free to ask me any questions about it- and go get your ticket!!


Second order of business: I had a few requests for my apple vinaigrette, so here it is! (Measurements are approximate)

Apple Vinaigrette

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

2 T. Apple cider vinegar

3 T. Unsweetened almond milk

1 T. Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Fuji apple

1/3 c. roasted red onions

1 tsp. dill

1 tsp. parsley

salt + pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender until the onions and apple are liquified (about 15 seconds in a Vitamix).


Onto the topic at hand: Barriers! Anytime I begin a new eating plan, I tend to start out of the gate running. I’m great for a week or two, and then something happens, and my motivation is gone. When I started Jackie’s eating plan, it was easy to follow and I was physically feeling great. I woke up every morning feeling lighter, my stomach felt flatter, and I just felt better in my skin. I lost 2 lbs over the first 2 weeks, which is perfect for me.

Just to review the plan, here are the basics: Stick to around 1500 calories a day- this usually consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks. Meals should include adequate amounts of proteins, healthy fats and carbs- and limit fruit and whole grain servings to 2 a day. Limit carbs at night, and do not eat after dinner (drink a cup of green tea instead). No alcohol or sugary sweets during the week. You can also have two cheat meals (after 5 full days of clean eating) that can include alcohol and sugar, but can not exceed 1500 calories (crazy!)

So , yeah… there I was, rockin’ the plan. But then the inevitable barrier happened. And in this case, it was something as simple as going out to eat on week night (something I rarely ever do). Last Wednesday, Greg I went out to Firestone’s for restaurant week to meet up with my mom and stepdad. The menu was set to three courses, which include an appetizer, entree and dessert. I got a salad as an app, shrimp and grits for my entree (probably could have made a better choice, but I did only eat half of it) and ice cream for dessert. I only drank water, but also had about 3 (small) pieces of bread. So my choices were okay, but definitely did not sticking to the plan. I ate okay the next day, but not great. I didn’t log everything and got a little bit lazy about measuring things and tracking everything on My Fitness Pal. The next few days were the same. Again, I wasn’t horrible- and I didn’t really eat anything “bad,” I just ate too much and didn’t feel good about my choices.

This seems to be a pattern for me: I am really good about staying focused on my diet for a while, and then one thing happens and start to relax, and it all goes downhill from there. Luckily, I was able to pick myself right back up and get back on track yesterday, and am determined to stay there.Something that really helps me stay focused is planning out meals and snacks for the week. I know that one of the biggest factors that contributes to my mindless eating is not planning ahead, or waiting until I’m completely famished before I eat something, and then just quickly grabbing a handful of this or that without thinking (usually while I’m in the pantry trying to decide what to make for a snack). When I have everything all planned out beforehand, I know exactly what I’m going to eat, and can quickly make it or have it waiting for me. I’ve started writing out a plan for the week that looks like this:

Monday – Friday are easy. I pack breakfast, lunch and one snack to take with me to work. I have started changing my breakfasts up a bit (rotating between 3 or 4 different things), but my lunch is pretty much always a salad with about 150 calories of lean protein and an apple. I’m stuck on celery with homemade hummus for a mid-morning snack lately (I love it!) The exercise is easy for me- especially since I get paid to teach quite a few of those workouts, and genuinely look forward to exercise every single day.

Weekends are the biggest challenge for staying on track. I don’t usually plan out meals (except Sunday dinner) ahead of time, because I don’t always know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be. Maybe this is part of the problem? Maybe I should stick to more of a meal plan on Saturday and Sunday too? I just hate to think that all of my good work during the week comes undone from mindless choices on the weekend. I know that Jackie’s plan allows two cheat meals during the weekend, but I’m kind of staying away from that. I don’t crave unhealthy foods, and my “cheat” will most likely be a glass of wine or some ice cream. It could also be dinner out at a restaurant, but 9 times out of 10, I lean toward something healthy like fish with vegetables (and request that my food be dry-grilled, without added oil). I just feel better when I eat that way.

I am determined to stick with this plan, no matter how slowly the pounds come off- I really know that this is what I need to get back to where I want to be. I just have to figure out how to push through those barriers and stop falling off that wagon. πŸ™‚


I’ll leave you with one more thing. I was doing yoga in my classroom after the kids left yesterday, and was curious as to what I look like holding some of the poses (and making sure my form is correct). It’s hard to tell, because there aren’t an mirrors. I want to actually film myself practicing yoga one day, so that I can check (and correct) my form, just like I did with my Bodypump assessment filming. (It is SO helpful to do that, even if it is awkward watching yourself teach or take a class!) I have been really proud of my improved flexibility, and have gotten to the point where i can touch my forehead to the ground when I lean forward (you can’t tell in the photo, but it is touching the ground!). I wanted to see what I looked like, so I set the self-timer on my camera:

WTF?! That is not what I thought I looked like!! Why is my back so rounded? It should be flat!! How do I fix that?!

It was even rounded when I stretched to the side!

Now that I’m aware of this, I am going to work on improving it!!

What are your barriers? Do you have any tips for staying focused on your diet during the weekend?


23 Comments on “Barriers that interfere with success”

  1. That’s why I miss my body pump classes cause I can see my form during the class! I bought my ticket but still not 100% sure if I’m going since it’s the weekend of my 1st year anniversary!! It depends on if my husband is working or not!

    • Lauren says:

      Celebrate your anniversary a week late, girl! I better see you at Blend! πŸ˜‰
      We’re actually going back OUT to Colorado for our 1 year anniversary in July, too!

  2. I can’t wait for Blend!!!

    Dining out is a big barrier for me. I did too much of that this weekend! Making a list of meals is a great way to stay on track. I do one every week in Excel (like a dork πŸ™‚ ).

  3. Corrie Anne says:

    Blend is so close to where I live! I probably should go. Haha. I kind of casually mentioned it to Kevin the other day. I’m just indecisive. And shy!! Lol. I think I would feel better if we brought our dogs?!?! Hahaha. I’m gonna think about it!!

    I love reading about your experience with the Jackie Warner book!! I’ve been kind of slowly adapting. I’m unsure about the tea.. Lol. So not a tea drinker. It REALLY does help to plan it out though. I did a post-it last night. And it just helps keep organized with all the hustling around we do on week days! I was curious about the total calorie count. I work out quite a bit, and I’m pretty sure I’ve slipped into starvation mode in that past. That makes me cranky so I don’t want to do it again! So I’m trying to figure out that piece.

    I bought from iHerb last night! So glad you reminded me. I also got Truvia – which was a much better deal than the grocery store. And the Click drink because I’ve been curious about it, and hey, who doesn’t want free shipping! I’m a sucker for that!!

    That’s a beautiful classroom!!! I wonder about myself when I’m doing yoga dvds with no mirror as well. Or even in the gym because I have terrible vision and workout sans glasses. Wow, I had a lot to say this morning! Lol.

    • nssweetlife says:

      I signed up for Blend… as a local, so just bought the ticket – only $75. You should totally come Corrie Anne!!!! On another note – what all do you use that PB2 for? You just mix it in various meals?

    • Lauren says:

      Corrie Anne- you MUST COME! I demand it! I don’t know anyone there either (in real life) and am flying all the way from Maryland to be there! Believe me, it will be one of the most fun weekends of your life- I predict that already! I’m pretty sure you’ll also leave the retreat with about 100 new friends. πŸ™‚ Go register!! I’d love to meet you!

      • Corrie Anne says:

        Awwa.. you guys are so nice. I have to make sure of a few things on my work calendar before I can commit, but i talked about it with Kevin and it might work!

  4. What a great post!! There will ALWAYS be obstacles–but it is how we wrap our minds around ’em and what we do about them that matters most. I think it’s a GREAT idea to totally plan things out–but to plan for some flexibility too. Too rigid can lead to falling off quickly. So keep on making sure you get a treat or two per week (or whatever it is you’re doing), and it’ll help you stay with it all.

    Have a lovely day!!

  5. Thanks for the recipe Lauren. I WILL be making that this weekend πŸ™‚ I find I usually do BETTER on the weekends b/c I have more time to be thoughtful and prepare healthy foods that might take a bit more time. During the week it’s go, go, go… and sometimes it’s harder to make good choices when you just need something NOW. Or like last night – I just picked nothing. Nothing sounded good, nothing sounded healthy enough, so I just didn’t eat. Weird.

    I signed up for the Blend retreat!! I’m so excited to meet all of you… you’re all so inspiring πŸ™‚

    My goal for May 1 is to be in the HEALTHY BMI Range… so that is perfect timing to celebrate at Blend. 8 more lbs. to go…

    • Lauren says:

      Kelly, I’m so glad you signed up!! It will be so much fun!
      I was hoping to lose a few lbs. before the retreat.. using it as motivation, so we’ll see if that happens! We’re in this together. πŸ™‚

  6. I LOVE Jackie’s book. While I do the WW plan I follow her rules on making sure to get my protein, veggies and such in at the times she mentions. I thought her book was really interesting and I’m planning on checking out her new one too.

    I’m with you on meal planning for the weekend. I think I need to give up the idea that I can just do whatever I want on the weekend but still be on plan. I need to be prepared for all the days. Not just 5 of them!

    • Lauren says:

      I think you and the Scientist should fly to Colorado and you can come to Blend activities and he can go play in Boulder (that’s what Greg and I are doing!). Just sayin’.
      I didn’t know Jackie had a new book coming out! Sweet!

  7. janetha says:

    It’s so easy for me to lose focus. Writing down helps a lot. Thanks for your post and honesty and sharing your experiences! Oh and thanks for shouting out to BLEND!

  8. ahhh the apple vinaigrette sounds awesome! It reminds me of Panera bread’s apple salad, and it’s so delicious. πŸ™‚

    It’s such a good idea to film ourselves and check how we’re doing fitness-wise!~

    And I’d have to say that eating out is my barrier. Although I tend to usually order the more wholesome and healthier meals, I know that being out with friends a lot can’t always be helpful either. I try to be lenient with how I eat though, and have everything in moderation. I know myself well enough that if I set up “rules” and strict plans for myself, I won’t follow them. I guess I’m more of a go with the flow, but have guidelines while listening to my body type of eater? Haha, so weird how we’re all different eaters! πŸ˜› Great post btw!

  9. YAY for BLEND! I can’t flippin’ wait!!

  10. chimes says:

    I am so NOT flexible. I am starting to get there b/c I’ve been lifting and doing yoga instead of just running all the time. Buuut I can’t touch my toes. Never have been able to. I’m 5’2″ and am mostly leg! My fitness goal for this year is to be able to do that.

  11. Ha! Yesterday I wrote a post on the importance of meals planning…it’s really so important.
    I picked at your weekly menu and I like how you alternate foods between days.
    Good job!

  12. Jen says:

    I am the exact same way! After my weight loss, i was way too restrictive and had all these “rules”, #1 being never going out to eat unless it was a sunday! And hello, i live in NYC! I finally realized i cant live my life like that, so now i mainly stick to 1-2 dinners out per week due to saving money. For some reason its not what i order that gets me in trouble, its that i feel so snacky after and wind up getting froyo or eating at home. Its so hard to find a balance. I think you are doing great on Jackie’s plan and its meant to be a lifestyle change- of coure you will have slip ups, its more about overall lessening our bad habits. I am definitely getting her book today πŸ™‚

  13. Thanks so much for the recipe, it looks absolutely delicious. I can relate to food barriers. I do well when I stay on track but when I go off it can be like a freefall sometimes. I just need to remember that if I eat a cookie it’s fine. There’s no reason to eat 5 more.

  14. Have fun @ Blend! I will not be attending but I’m excited to read all about it πŸ™‚

    I use to have tons of diet tips but none of them are healthy! Honestly, if you can remind yourself why you are choosing to eat healthily and exercise, it might help keep you motivated during the weekends.

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