What Got Me Moving: I Tried Carrie Underwood's Fitness Routine
After doing a little research, I realized Carrie and I actually have a lot in common. Not only are we both vegetarians and a little bit country, but we also share an intense craving for after-meal sweets and a tendency to bulk up around the thigh and tummy area when we slack off in the exercise department -- which I was definitely guilty of before I took on this challenge.
So for one week, I was determined to try things Carrie's way. And in the process, I lost a whopping four pounds.
How did I do it? First off, I had to alter my diet, which had started to consist of a lot of cheese sandwiches, PB&J, steamed veggies and the inevitable donut (or two) that just begged to be devoured on a weekly basis. Of course, there were also the indulgent restaurant-centric weekends with my husband where all rules basically went out the window.
But for that week, I was strong, taking Carrie's advice culled from multiple magazine articles. I ate a steady stream of meatless burgers by Boca, faux "Quorn" chicken nuggets (made from mycoprotein, a member of the fungi family), Kashi's Heart to Heart cereal with skim milk, English muffins spritzed with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray, bottle after bottle of Vitamin Water and pickles, baby carrots and almonds for snacks. If I had to find something quick to eat on the road, I headed to Subway for a veggie sandwich.
What I quickly found was that this diet was extremely low-carb and virtually bread-free (save for the English muffins, which I didn't indulge in daily), a switch that started paying off immediately. After changing to more of a protein-based diet, I found that the cravings in between meals didn't come nearly as quickly.
My typical meal schedule looked something like this:
10:00: Three baby pickles
12:30 p.m.: One Boca Burger with ketchup, steamed broccoli with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray
1:45: Tapioca pudding cup (um, my own diet addition!)
4:45: Three baby pickles
5:15: Kashi cereal
9:15: Four Quorn chicken nuggets with ketchup, steamed broccoli with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray
This, of course, was on a "good day." There were definitely hiccups along the way, once in the form of a gnocchi-filled night out with a girlfriend. But I can definitely see myself incorporating Carrie's diet staples into my everyday meals. Especially the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray, which I just can't believe has no calories, and the Quorn, which I had no idea even existed!
What might not be so easy to mix into my routine post-trial-period are the 90-minute workouts that Carrie does multiple times a week with a trainer. First of all, I don't have a trainer. Problem no. 2: Who has 90 extra minutes in her day to work out? To be honest, I was only able to scrape together the required hour-and-a-half twice. Both times, the workout went a little something like this:
• stretching on the mat and with a foam roller
• pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, jump squats and other crazy, sweat-inducing moves in quick 20-second bursts, repeated 10 times each
• step-ups on a bench with weights, leg extensions on a machine
• 10 to 15 minutes of treadmill and jump rope work
• crunches of all varieties
• more stretching ... followed by very heavy sleeping
Preferable to the gym workout was the Krav Maga class I attempted twice thanks to Carrie's advice. The official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces, Krav Maga was completely new to me. But after two introductory classes, I learned how to throw several kinds of punches and kicks plus break a chokehold, which made me feel especially badass. I also learned how not to cry in public after being accidentally (yet unapologetically) kicked in the hand, hit in the chin and kicked repeatedly in the stomach (the latter with a thick pad between my abdomen and my classmates' feet).
After a week of trying to live in Carrie Underwood's shoes, I was exhausted, yes, but also completely invigorated. The Krav Maga reminded me how much I enjoy working out in groups and trying new things, the 90-minute workouts made me feel as though doing 30 minutes a few times a week was no big deal, and the protein-focused diet gave me a newfound energy to attempt all of the above for at least another week or two.
Oh, and the four pounds I said goodbye to? They were just the icing on the cake!
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