In 9 hours I will be on my way to the airport to enjoy the sun and sand in St. Lucia. But, of coarse, not without a little bit of planning! 

Aside from planning what to bring, and ensuring I have all of my gym accessories and clothes, there was one other important plan I had to do - my meal plan for the week I return. 

Think about it, when you go on vacation and you come home, what is one of the first things you do? Go grocery shopping! So, instead of relying on myself, when I'm in a lazy state, to try and quickly compile a plan, I decided to put it together ahead of time. This way, I'm ready and prepared for when I come home!

Now, if you are wondering why I am still putting together meal plans while I'm building (a.k.a. bulking), it's because I want to ensure that I am:

       a) not over-indulging in junk food and turning this build into a 'dirty bulk' - I want to keep it    
       clean so that I make lean gains as opposed to fat gains. 
       b) strategically placing my carbs and fats throughout the day so that I minimize the risk of 
       these extra calories being stored in my body as opposed to utilized for muscle 

So, in order to do these things above, I continue to design meal plans! Plus it just makes shopping and packing my meals a heck of a lot easier - I don't have to think later :). 

One of the other reasons why this next plan is so important is because when I return I will officially be entering into the building phase. Currently, I've been working on slowly increasing my numbers, but it won't be until I am back from vacay that I will officially be above my maintenance caloric intake and putting on muscle - so this plan deserved a lot of focus and attention.

Well, anyways, I thought I would let you guys know what I'm up to. If you want to see my meal plan for when I am back from my vacation, check it out below! I tried to incorporate foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbs that are less likely to contain lots of gluten (with the exception of oats pre-wrkout) as I think I am having a reaction to it (I'm testing this theory). So rather than rice, pastas, WW breads etc., I will primarily be eating fruits, veggies and sweet potato for m

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Hey Guys!

Thought you might be interested in seeing how I come prepared for work.

I've got my handy little lunch box and ice pack and then I fill it with all of my preportioned goodies... YUM! This keeps me away from the food court, and my diet in check.

Remember, planning is the key! Send me a picture of your lunchbox!
Sometimes, in order to stay focused I like to do crunches! Nope, I’m not talking about abdominal crunches…I’m talking about number crunches! Here is what I mean:

Today, just for fun, I decided to figure out how many days I’ve been ‘melting’ for. Can you believe that on Saturday May 15th, I will have been training and eating clean for 121 days?  

Let’s put that into perspective, that’s:
·          4 months
·          17.2 weeks
·          2904 hours
·          174,270 minutes

And in that time frame, I have managed to lose 20lbs (hopefully more by Saturday – but I’ll let you know)!

That’s equivalent to:
·          5lbs/month
·          1.2lbs/week
·          0.0068lbs/hour
·          0.00011lbs/minute 

So, in theory, if I keep losing at this rate I will have lost another 20lbs by September 12th!!! Wow, 8 months and a 40 lb loss…that would be incredible! Who knew I would find a use for math! (That I’m actually finding quite fun!) 

Now, let’s say I managed to bump that 1.2lb/week loss to 2lb/week (still a healthy rate to lose). That means, by September 12th, I will have lost 34lbs! Wow. That would make me 131lbs (a 54lb loss in total). J

It’s so fun to look ahead at these kinds of things. It helps keep me focused and it helps me set new goals for myself – like aiming for a 2lb loss per week! If I can do that, it will only take me 10 weeks to drop 20lbs, which means I will weight 145lbs by July 24th. Sweet.

So, why am I doing this? 

Well first of all, it’s kind of like giving yourself a HUGE pat on the back. Seeing how far you’ve come, and comparing it to different timeframes, really does change your outlook on the whole process.  

Second of all – like I said above, it helps me set realistic goals that I know I can achieve. And that’s important when you are on a long journey to health, happiness and, oh yeah – sexy abs! 

Give it a try!
If you are contemplating a weight loss transformation of your own, as many of my site visitors are, there is something important you must learn before you embark on this journey...

The difference between successful weight loss and unsuccessful weight loss is planning.

What I've come to realize over the past couple of months is that the primary reason I have made it so far this time (compared to my other, not so successful,  weight-loss attempts) has been the fact that I have planned for everything! 

Internal Conversations
So, what do I mean by planned for everything? Well, I mean I have literally sat down and had a conversation with myself that went something like this:

My thoughts: So, what are you going to do if you go out with your friends for dinner? Are you going to eat out, or bring food? What will you do!?

My other thoughts: Well, first I will contemplate if I really need to go out for dinner…can I meet up with them after? Can I just go and not eat? If I do decide to go, and I know where we are eating, I will research the meals available at the restaurant and incorporate something healthy from the menu into my meal plan for the day. I will also ensure that my selections are nutritious - for instance a salad with a vinaigrette dressing on the side and a grilled chicken breast (hold the skin). 

My thoughts: Ok, so what about if your alarm doesn’t go off in the morning and you are already running late? You won’t have time to pack your lunch!

My other thoughts: That won’t be a problem! I am pre-packing my lunch the night before so that I don’t have to worry about it in the morning. 

Creating the plan
Notice the type of situations I have planned for?

It is important that we contemplate these types of scenarios because they are bound to happen in life. But if you don’t plan for them, and instead say to yourself, “oh, you’ve done a great job, you can cheat just this once”, that “once” will turn into a twice, a three times, a four times and sure enough, a whopping 10lbs on your hips.  

So, instead of ending up on another yo-yo diet, take some time to really think about the type of “bumps” you will face along the way. Remember, the difference between successful weight loss and unsuccessful weight loss is planning - so write it down!

Here are some of the scenarios that I suggest you plan for before you embark on your transformation:

-          Going out for dinner
-          Being late for work
-          Having no food in the fridge
-          Forgetting your lunch bag at home
-          Being pressured to enjoy a “night out with the girls”
-          Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Your birthday – all the holidays!
-          The scale not budging (at times it won’t, and you need to plan for how you will react)

If you’ve got any other suggestions for others on what type of situations to plan for, let me know in the comments!