The FASTer Way to Wellness
Okay guys, so an update after the first 6 months of this year and my goal of taking better care of myself… If you recall I have nailed almost all of my personal/family/community & business goals the past 2 years but the area I was still falling short was the personal/self-care/wellness circle. Each year, I’d say I’m going to work out everyday (and I do work out a lot) and I’m going to eat healthy (and we do) but I still wasn’t seeing results. I was gaining about 5-10 pounds a year and working out and even doing stupid cleanses & detoxes occasionally. I figured it was just my age and metabolism, so I surrendered and bought bigger pants all the while feeling pretty crappy about it.
I’ve always considered myself to be in “pretty good” health. Which is to say, no major health issues since my ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2000, some occasional aches & pains, “okay” energy levels, etc. Outwardly, I’ve maintained a fairly stable weight (+/- 10 lbs over the decades) with minimal committed exercise routines. My fatigue, occasional gut discomfort, and routine insomnia – I attributed to “just being a busy working mom.” I ate whatever I wanted, took random supplements (fish oil + various herbs) sporadically. And overall, I thought I was doing “fine.”
BUT….I didn’t realize at the time that “not sick” was not the same as “HEALTHY.” Vibrant. Confident. Well-rested. Thriving. Happy with my body, inside and out.
So I decided to prioritize my health, to bring mindfulness to my eating habits, and to shift my focus from ‘getting through’ days/weeks/months…toward driving this ship in the direction of the vision I have for my health. Knowing myself, I needed structure, support, accountability and a systematic approach. I first began working with a wellness/business coach who first focuses on the health & wellness of the business owners before shifting over to systematic shifts in the business to support a healthy lifestyle. I have gained SO much out of these coaching sessions. (And yes, even coaches need coaches).
In January I also signed up for Faster Way Program (its full name is Faster Way to Fat Loss – and I’m truthfully not a fan of the name. The fast part is about intermittent fasting and not a magic fast pill but I think the name doesn’t quite make that clear). Anyhow, I follow a few bloggers who have done this program and have seen amazing results while eating real, whole foods (including carbs – listen this was key for me – I hate the concept of full elimination diets – unless medically necessary – and I love me some chips & guac occasionally – which makes whole30 and other keto/ paleo / no carb programs not ideal programs for me in the long run)…Anyway, I thought why not, I’ll give it a try.
It’s a combination of macro tracking, carb cycling, intermittent fasting and if you choose: targeted workouts. If all that sounds like another language to you – don’t worry – you will learn all you need to know and along the way and it will change the way you look at food and how you fuel your body if you decide to sign up for the program. And please know this, you are all perfect as you are. I’m not suggesting otherwise, I’m just sharing with you tools I have used that have helped me feel healthier & more confident in my body. In particular, the Faster Way program isn’t about getting “skinny” – it’s about getting STRONG and feeling your best both mentally & physically.
My first round in January I lost close to 10lbs (without working out due to an injury) and felt so much healthier. It was challenging figuring out all of the macro (macronutrients) tracking but was so eye opening. A lot of the food I was consuming prior was super loaded in carbohydrates (and not necessarily bad or unhealthy carbs) but still hundreds of grams of carbs.
I will be the first to say that yes the 6 week program (with a prep week while you learn about macro tracking) is a little pricey… but it rounds out at about $4 a day, which let’s be honest is less than most of our daily Starbucks drinks. (Speaking of which, my fav summer Starbucks drink is a Venti 1/2 green tea, 1/2 unsweetened passion fruit tea, no sweeteners, extra ice).
So this is me sharing what I have done so far this year (and not perfectly I might add). I missed most of the workouts in January as I was still recovering from a back injury (shipping related). May was a bust due to insane schedules. June has been so-so due to tons of travel. Anyway, this is what I’ve used and what I’ve spent. Feel free to give it a try or not.
Faster Way ($199 for a 6 week program). Once you do it once you have all of the tools you need so you don’t necessarily need to sign up again for it. You can just keep repeating it, although there are daily emails & facebook community support new & unique each round.
Tracking workouts, meal plans, weight loss & non-scale victories in my Commit30 Fitness Journal ($29.99).
Tracking meals (and ultimately macros – protein, fat, carbs – not calories) using My Fitness Pal App (FREE or $49.99/year for the premium version).
Working out from home using the FWTFL workouts (printable & video tutorials are part of the program) or other workout streaming programs (right now I’m loving the Centr app – $8/month) or the gym. Other online streaming programs I’ve used and recommend – Beachbody, Body by Simone, LesMils (hard), Tracy Anderson Method, LekFit and Peloton.
I’ve also been following the Faster Way intermittent fasting recommendations (eating loads of healthy food during an 8 hour fueling window and then giving my body a digestive break). What this means for me is I aim to have dinner wrapped up by 6pm and then I eat again at 10am. This is probably TMI but I’ve never been more regular or had less gut issues in my life. Also, please note – proceed with all of this with your doctors recommendations – in particular if you have blood sugar or insulin issues. While it took a week to get used to not having breakfast with the kids at 7am I’m now used to it. And during this intermittent fasting window you drink lots of water, tea (and can even have coffee in the morning – praise the Lord).
I’ve been following the carb cycling protocol recommended by Faster Way for the most part during the week (following low carb day rules and then regular & low macro days – I’ve been tracking that thru the My Fitness Pal app). But I’m not super rigid about it. Life happens, etc. I typically plan out most of my meals for the day ahead of time so I know its within the suggested macro levels.
I’ve been working out 4-5 days a week now that my back is mostly healed and following the Faster Way recommendations (low carb days are high cardio or HIIT -high intensity interval training workouts); low macro days are rest days or yoga. Sometimes I nail it and sometimes I’m working out on what should be a rest day because I missed a workout earlier in the week. I’ve been truly listening to my body and taking care of my back.
I’ve been eating healthy, whole meals with Friday Family Pizza nights. The Faster Way program gives you sample meal plans & recipes (which I use a few regularly) but for the most part most of my meals fit within the guidelines (low dairy, high protein, healthy fast, TONS of veggies). You can check out some of my fav recipes on my pinterest page here.
The Faster Way is different from what you may have tried before because it’s NOT about starving yourself, and it’s NOT about eliminating entire food groups (gluten and dairy are suggested to leave out during the 1st round of the program, but we have eaten both. There are room for treats (like beer or chips & guac – although when I started tracking macros in My Fitness Pal app I couldn’t believe how many carbs I was eating when we went out for Mexican food without really thinking about it). It’s really eye opening.
Anyway, the next round begins on July 8th. I’d love to have you join me to jumpstart or get back on track with your wellness goals this year! I’ll do another post soon with some of my favorite low carb / high protein snack ideas too!