Five Steps to Prepping!

Here is where we will start friends!

For me, the first step in suffering (and finding freedom) is knowing the truth and nothing but the truth. That being said, without knowing these Five Steps to Prepping it’s pretty hard to track your progress. You end up relying on the scale and how many pounds you’ve gone up or down. But for me, this isn’t about pounds as much as it is increasing tone, increasing strength, and liking how my clothes fit. Can I get an AMEN! :)

So here’s the homework assignment! Let’s make it due by next Monday! That means you’ve got seven days to face the music and take the first step.

1. Find or buy a journal.

You’ll decide how much “keeping track” you want to do, but it’s good to have it all in one place.

2. Let’s get #2 done and over with.

Pick a scale you can use on a consistent basis and write down in your journal what your current weight and the date. Make sure you step on the scale at the same time every day with the same amount of clothing. I prefer in the morning when I wake up.

3. Measure your inches.

This 3rd step is so important b/c you may not see pounds come off the scale, but if you’re tracking your inches you could be seeing loss in inches which means more toneness. That’s a great thing! With a simple tape measure, get measurements for these body parts and write them down in your journal along with the date:

a. Upper Right Arm_______ / Upper Left Arm________ (relax your bicep at your side, and have someone help you by wrapping the measure right around your bicep, don’t squeeze to tight but make sure it’s tight enough to not be slipping around)

b. Chest _________________ (wrap the measure across the middle of your breasts)

c. Stomach_______________(go right over the middle of your belly button)

d. Hips__________________(go right over the middle of your rear and wrap around to the front)

e. Right Thigh_________ / Left Thigh __________________ (relax your leg and wrap the measure right around the middle of your thigh)

*record even 1/8 of an inch if that’s what you’re seeing b/c every little 1/8 or 1/4 adds up when you start losing :)

4. Get the Body Comp. This may take some research to find who offers Body Comps. I go to our Nateuropath and they hook up my toe and right hand and then run a current through me (can’t feel a thing) which measure my Muscle Mass, Body Fat and Water Retention. It’s only $18, and I’m going to start doing it every 30 days as we get closer to race season. Why is a Body Comp helpful? For me,it let’s me know if I’m eating enough protein to be gaining muscle instead of body fat. Since I can’t eat eggs or dairy, I struggle with getting protein and this keeps a Body Comp can help keep me on track. It also let’s me know where my Body Fat percentages is in comparison to Muscle. This isn’t necessary, but it can be encouraging when you see your Body Fat go down in percentages. :)

5. If #4 doesn’t seem possible right now, DON’T SKIP #5. Purchase a Heart Rate Monitor. It’s tough, actually almost impossible to know if you’re working hard enough without knowing what your heart rate is doing. The heart rate monitor below is the one Diego and I use. Click here for the specs on it. On the right of their website page, you’ll see the Dealer Directory tab. That’s where you can find out where to purchase one. Why this one over others? Most heart rate monitors force you to buy new ones when the battery dies, but with this one you can switch out the battery and save a ton of money in the long run. And it has great features on it for every level of fitness.


Start thinking of your short and long term goals. What do you want to accomplish? Why are you going to start suffering with me? :) If you’ve never done a Sprint Triathlon, that’s a fantastic goal b/c you can go at your own pace. It’s all about finishing, and triathlon people are one of the nicest and most encouraging crowds to hang out with.

Or how about a pair of jeans you fit into before kids or before the wedding day? :)

Maybe it’s a certain amount of body fat that you’d like to exchange for lean muscle?

Maybe it’s about having endurance and energy for shooting a 12 hour wedding and then keeping up with the kids the next day?

They can be as wild and crazy as you want, but make sure you have a few. We can even share them on the blog if you’d like to cheer each other on!

One of my short term goals is to suffer four times a week for the next month. That means I need to boost up my intensity level and just give this a freaking shot. Funny little story…Saturday I went to work out and decided to SUFFER. I got on the elliptical and did what Diego and my chiropractor said. I tried to do intervals of going 210 Strides/Per Minute for 4 minutes and then 2 minute recoveries. I honestly didn’t know my legs could move this fast. It was like this major mental block. But when I focused on fifteen seconds at a time, I totally I did this for 45 minutes! Mind you, I almost puked when I was done, but I did it! Instead of burning my normal 380 calories, I burned 900 (including the weight training)!!

I came home and told Brian I was thinking of us having another more baby. Our window was getting smaller, maybe we should think about it. He looked at me and didn’t say any thing. Then he gave me this little half smile and said, “You are so looking for a way out of suffering this month. If you got pregnant you wouldn’t have to try this suffering thing for at least NINE months. ” (ouch! He knows me so well :))

Okay, here’s another question! What would be good reward incentives to reaching our short term goals? They can be personal, or something everyone can have access too, small and big, ideas, ideas, ideas!!! :)

As you get your Five Steps to Prepping done, post it up on the blog to encourage others to get it done too!!

21 Comments: “Five Steps to Prepping!”

  1. sharon says:

    Okay… I’m in! You get a big AMEN from me about the toning, strength and the clothes fitting!

    And FYI…
    I’m reading this eating the left over Whoppers from my son’s party. This is going to be hard! But, I’m putting them away! I’m going to suffer and have fun doing it!!!

  2. Lauren says:

    Those numbers are scary, LOL!

    I also looked up the watch – they don’t sell it anywhere near me so the cheapest one I’ve found online is here: I thought I would post it for anyone else who can’t find a dealer locally.

    I’m excited to join you all in this – here’s another good reason for you to get a forum up for us, Me Ra!

    One of my goals? Be one HOT MAMA this summer in my bathing suit.

  3. Amie says:

    Mera – you rock… Honestly… This is what I need. Im going to spend this week working on the 5 steps and I am going to give this my all!! thanks so much!

  4. Jen MacNiven says:

    Sorry that I was the one making it sound like I was complaining about you complaining ;). I’ll give you a big AMEN! Regardless if anyone every looks at me and says ‘you don’t need to lose weight’ and regardless that I’m about to TRY to run a marathon in a couple weeks…I too feel ‘flabby’ and would love to tone up and feel better about my body. I travel waaaaaaayyyy too much for work and eat on the road…so this will help me commit to being more toned and having my clothes fit better…and in turn feeling happier about me. ;)

  5. Denise says:

    Right after I read “im thinking we should have another baby”, I instantly forgot everything that I read before that, so I had to go back over it again… another baby would be so cool!

    Ok, I think my long term goal IS fitting into my old clothes. They are So. CUTE. and I hate that I can’t wear cute clothes right now.

    Short term: I’d like to work out more – right now I’m only doing 2x/week, I’d like to double it.

    This is going to be so fantastic suffering with all of you!!! :P

  6. Christiana says:

    I have a question about the heart rate – I’ve been told that if your heart rate is really high (aka SUFFERING!) then your just burning calories and not fat. You have to bring it down to loose fat. Maybe Diego could address this? He could have a little weekly spot on your blog! Our training Guru!

  7. Jessica N says:

    #1 Done. I have plenty of empty journals since I can’t find the time and dedication to write. :-(
    #2 Done.
    #3 Hmmm… I’ll have to find a flexible measuring tape. I just have the metal construction type ones. :-O
    #4 When asked about body comp at my gym, got suckered into a “one hour fitness consultation”. Still working on this one. ;-)
    #5 On its way. I don’t know why I haven’t got one of these sooner!

    I tried to “suffer” some at the gym this morning. My half-marathon is coming up so I’ll get another dose of “suffering” tomorrow morning when I have a longer run.

    Kudos to everyone!!!

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m a long time lurker, but first time poster – I’m Me Ra’s neighbor!
    I also have to travel for work, and would love suggestions on how to do this without blowing your fitness progress. I find that not only am I not working out while on the road (who wants to pack all that extra stuff, and haul it all back home!), but the eating out for every meal kills me! How do other people handle this?

  9. Three out of five done! Great steps toward the new and improved, stronger, healthier me! Let’s Go Girls! So fun that your inviting us to do this together where ever we are on the fitness scale. Also, glad to know it’s more about busting through plateau’s…cause there is NO self loathing allowed, Right! There is strength in numbers and misery loves company! So let’s get to SUFFERING!

    Short Term: Elliptical 2x a wk minimum 30min/ Swimming 1 hour class-2x wk/minumum @ 6am (now that is suffering to this non morning person)..also giving up my late afternoon coffee and eating past 7:00pm.

    Long Term:
    1) Being a healthier stronger wife and mom who can really play and have fun with her kids without pain.

    2) Be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong, disciplined and balanced to make and reach goals in my life, especially in terms of pursuing a photography career and building my business.

    “The Secret to Success is focus and purpose.” Just a little ditty I wrote in my journal from Tommy Edison

  10. Mary says:

    Ok….I’m in too! I’ve been looking for a supportive group of women to help hold me to my goals and to work together as a group to build healthy mind, body and spirit with a workout
    regimen. I’m so glad I happened upon this blog at the beginning of the road.
    Looking forward to renewed spirits!


  11. Dorian says:

    Thanks for this.
    I’ve stopped eating after 8:00pm.
    I haven’t had a soda since Sunday and I love soda.
    I’ve done 3 out of five so far.
    I’ve also been out in my garden with my kids every day so far. Rain or shine.
    It may not sound like much to some but for me it’s big.

  12. Amy P. says:

    i’m in too! i’ve got 3/5 of the planning tools. i am excited, and nervous and scared i’ll let myself down, but i’ve already pushed myself into the gym and ran for 20 mins even when i sooooo didn’t want to. and i came back and ate a healthy dinner. so i feel good!

    my long term goal is to live a healthy lifestyle and feel comfortable in my own skin again. i dont feel like i have a lot of actual weight to lose, but i don’t feel like i am the best version of myself, know what i mean? i blame this on being lazy and a newlywed, haha. thanks to everyone out there for reminding me to stick with it!

  13. I adore your blog and technique :))

  14. Jessica N says:

    Alright ladies….
    **Thanks to Kimberlyn’s inspiration, I too have given up my afternoon coffee. It didn’t really make me feel that good anyway. Along with it, my favorite Trader Joes ABC cookies by the handful (the perfect compliment to the coffee).
    **Used the HR monitor for the first time this morning and it is so cool! The treadmill even picked up the signal so I didn’t have to look at the watch too much!
    **”Suffering” in intervals made the time go by faster!!! Although while I was “suffering” I was thinking “suffering sucks” but I knew I’d feel good afterwards, and I did :-)
    **Still working on goal setting. One things I’ve done lately is eat a bunch more raw veggies and whole grains. So I know that’s one of them because I feel so much better than when I eat a ton of carbs. Did you know you can eat a sweet potato just like a carrot (peel, raw)? Also, for smoothie lovers you can toss in carrots, sweet potato, cabbage, yellow squash, zucchini, and even SPINACH and you can’t taste it!

    Thanks you all for the inspiration!! It’s good to know others are suffering too :-), especially those that do so in the wee hours of the morning before they have to start the real day of caring for children, working a day job or BOTH!

  15. Elena says:

    Me Ra, and the rest of your ladies out there, good luck with reaching your goals. Try to incorporate better dietary plan into your daily life to help along. I just recently started a blog about better nutrition that might be helpful (and this is not a shameless self promo, I turly believe it can help). You might find it helpful, check it out here:

    Again, good luck to all of you!!!

  16. Emily says:

    1,2&3 done 4&5 in process so let’s bring on the suffering!!
    I also wanted to tell you all that women are like flowers. We are all different sizes shapes and colors but we are all beautiful and we all have our purpose and our place! So lets think of our suffering as water and see how we bloom!!
    Good luck everyone! Thanks Me Ra for getting us all in this with you!
    My first goal is to be healthier. Next goal to wear the cute jeans from before my 3 kids (Yes I still have them) and go buy a new pair (or 2 or 3)of jeans the same size! Yes shopping for new cute clothes would be a good reward for me! Thanks for all the good tips everyone!!

  17. Ciaran says:

    Hey Me Ra!You inspired me when I saw you working out after dinner at the hotel. Seriously, you were so good! I just got the post c section go ahead from my doctor to start exercising again. I was on bedrest for almost my entire pregnancy with Leo and my core has been seriously compromised. Scary. Just got this system (which I will combine with cardio work) and it was waiting for me when I got home. Maybe if I stick with some suffering of my own, I will be less Cringey McCringerson about having people take *my* pic. Although if anyone could get a decent shot of me this chubby, it’d be you!

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