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Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

The other night after gorging on multiple plates of Chinese food, I opened up my fortune cookie…

“Release and let go. Live simply with joy in the present.”

It’s time for a fresh start. A reset. A clean slate.

The past three weeks have been crazy. In fact I’ve drafted at least 5 blog posts that I never finished. Weekend trips to Buffalo, Rhode Island, and having numerous family members and friends stay for long weekends (or random week nights). A baby shower, a wedding shower, a 5 mile race and morning workout classes before work 4 days a week. The new boss starting, and big complex projects handed my way. Quick unhealthy food options – due to letting myself get far too hungry and then choosing fast food, BBQ foods, countless cookie binges and just double the portion sizes. Seeing the Husband only in passing – literally in passing – to the point where we have had far too many fights, all about the same thing. We’re exhausted and we miss each other.

My focus on the rest of June is all about letting go, starting clean, and living in the present.

Part of that will involve clean eating for the remainder of the month. That means no processed foods but choosing to eat whole, unrefined foods. It means no alcohol, sweets, or dairy cheeses. It means a lot more fruit and vegetables. I’m actually taking part of the June clean and lean challenge to motivate and push myself through. [I will be technically cheating on one thing: caffeine. I will be having my daily coffee. ] After only a couple of days of at least 5 servings of vegetables a day, 2 serving of fruit, lean protein, unprocessed complex carbs, healthy fats and absurd amounts of water, I feel fantastic. For the first time in weeks I don’t feel bloated.

PicMonkey Collage

Part of that involves letting go of any resentments or silly battles that I have with the Husband. We had a nice long chat this past Sunday about both of us making more of an effort to have quality time together, to stop nagging each other in the moments we do get to see each other, and to be more kind and thoughtful – even if we are exhausted or busy. This month we’ll have a few quality date times together and all I want to focus on is just enjoying the present time with him.

Part of that involves fewer plans and racing around. Saying no to things that aren’t important or that I just don’t want to do. Instead I have a few nights scheduled where I can head home, cook a nice dinner, watch TV and relax by myself. Fewer plans but more quality. Like a full beach day with my best friend this weekend. Or attending my cousin’s first wedding dress fitting appointment. Or a Father’s day BBQ with the Husband’s family. Or an afternoon with the Husband for apartment hunting – we officially want to move. (FRESH start!)

I’m excited. I just feel like mentally, physically, and emotionally I’ve been carrying around a lot of extra weight and it’s time to let it all go and start clean.

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Have you ever dated or been in a relationship with a guy that you knew you shouldn’t be with? But you were addicted and for whatever reason you just kept letting the crappy behavior slide and you’d still hang out with him?

Or have you ever watched that happen with a friend? You mention multiple times to your friend that the fact that this person cancels on them 90% of the time and usually only calls them after 11pm on weekend nights is less than what your friend deserves?

I find that no matter what you say, usually it has to run its course. In the friend instance it’s painful to watch, and you talk it through over and over but somehow it keeps happening.

But then at some point (sometimes months too long) it clicks for that person. They deserve better. They aren’t happy. They have been pretending the whole “see you when I see you thing” works. But it takes that person getting to that point to be able to change it. You can’t push them there.

This post is not about crappy guys and dating. Although I have (and am) watching quite a few friends go through that exact scenario. And I want to shout over and over, YOU DESERVE BETTER, but they have to want better.

Anyway, this post is actually about fitness and health.

For the past few months I have wanted to get back into the groove. I’ve signed up for race after race and added many Google calendar appointments to work out.

But I haven’t. Aside from one 5 mile race and one triathlon I’ve fallen through on the rest. I watched as the scale crept up and I posted about my frustration, sadness and disappointment with my weight gain and outlook on health. I kept saying I was going to change, I came up with strict goals and signed up for more races.

But it didn’t change. If anything it got worse. 2 slices of cheesecake and 1 slice of blackout cake (in one night) from Cheesecake Factory finally set me off.

Maybe it’s my all or nothing personality.

Maybe I just needed a break.

But yesterday it clicked. Finally. That moment of knowing that I’ll make the effort because I really, truly, deep-down want to make the effort.

I met with my trainer yesterday who did initial measurements. My weight, my BMI, and other assorted fitness tests. He wants me to lose 4% of my body fat (which is about 8lbs). I agree. It’s not a crazy goal, in fact it puts me at a comfortable weight – one that I know I could maintain in a healthy, easy way.

I needed that slap in my face of seeing my weight written down by my trainer.
And now I need someone I am held responsible to.

So honestly? Screw my previous September goals. I didn’t meet half of them, but I’m over it. I’m not dieting, I’m not giving up dinner with friends, and I’m most definitely not giving up alcohol or all desserts. I’m doing this the real way.

Slow changes. Getting my booty to the gym 4x a week. Making healthier eating choices. Controlling my portions.

And GO.

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I knew I had gained a bit of weight over the past year. I stopped using a scale but I could feel it. I was getting snug in my clothing, feeling more lethargic and a brutal new chaffing issue which I never had before started happening.

Yet I somehow managed to ignore it and just convince myself it was minor weight gains. Or it was the summer heat and being swollen from the humidity.

And then, I had a bit of a breakdown this morning.

I can’t get into my work pants.

PantS.

I’ve been wearing flowy summery dresses and skirts for about 3 months now and haven’t thought to pull my pants out. And then I pulled my grey pair out which were snug to get on and then, the button just wouldn’t pull shut.

On to the black pair. They were snug enough just trying to get them up my thighs that it’s uncomfortable to think about attempting to zip them.

The worst? A black & white dress that I fit into 2 years ago in what I felt was a heavier phase of mine. Stretching/pulling in the stomach now makes it look like I’m trying to get into a dress two sizes too small for me. And I am.

I can’t ignore it any more. It’s not just a gain in numbers that has become obvious on the scale but I can’t fit into my clothing. It’s taking a toll of my mood, my confidence, everything. It’s such an overwhelming and disappointing feeling. How did it happen? I’m not talking 3lbs here, I’m talking 17-19 lbs in one year.

I know how to fix this. Get to the gym, reduce the portions, eat healthier and cleaner. So why doesn’t it sound so easy?

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When the Townie had previously mentioned that he had been interested in trying out Paleo or slightly varied version to see how fit he could be by the end of the summer, I jumped at the chance.

What better way to get my butt in gear, literally, then to have a solid support system with me? Especially since previously that solid support system was my partner in fatty foods and dessert crime.

I went into the bookstore during my lunch today originally to buy Paleo for Athletes or a Paleo cookbook. While I think the program is interesting (and I can see how it works) a different book screamed out to me.

I picked up Jillian Michael’s book, Making the Cut. She is by far my favorite, and most trusted athlete and trainer (waaah, come back to the Biggest Loser and kick Anna Kournikova’s ass!). I have to say, I don’t always think trainers know their facts, especially since who can when there’s so much contradictory information out there, but I truly trust Jillian. Plus she scares the fat outta me so even though it’s just her in book form, I can see myself actually following it.

Her book is focused on people who are already in decent to good shape but are looking to cut those last (10-20) pounds and really challenge themselves into the best shape they can be in. Already I’m hooked! It’s filled with the science behind it all, workouts and recipes. The one part that I’m not sure I can follow completely is no alcohol for 30 days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge drinker but with a family mini-vacation coming up to Florida next week and a cape trip for the fourth of July, some alcohol will be consumed.

I also bought myself a personal food & fitness journal. It sounds silly but recently I’ve noticed that I actually forget or don’t even take into account the excess I eat that aren’t part of my meals or real snacks. A cookie from the kitchen at work, a handful of m&m’s, two handfuls of cereal, a few (big) bites of my leftovers while making dinner, etc. Basically I end up eating at least a full other meal during the day added on to my oversized portions.

I don’t know where the motivation is coming from, but I’m loving it. I’m ready to hit the gym after work before meeting with my friend S for dinner!

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Since my down post the other day I’m definitely feeling a little bit better. I think just acknowledging that I had been feeling that way and basically forcing myself to knock it off was a step in the right direction.

Wednesday night’s boxing class was really fun. I guess it’s not really just  a boxing class. Basically it looked like this:

  • 10 min jump rope warm-up (seriously, this is hard. It also makes me feel like I’m going to pee myself after a while. TMI? Sorry 😉 )
  • Stretching for 5 minutes
  • 1 minute at each weight station: bicep curls, chest presses, lat pulldowns, tricep pulls, lunges with weights, and crunch bench.
  • Kettle bell swings, kettlebell switches, kettlebell squats, kettlebell lunges, etc
  • Wide arm pushups against the ring, half way pushups and hold, mountain climbers, dips against the ring, burpees, and jumps. (<– this is my hell section)
  • Put on your gloves and punch at 5 different bags, then with two different instructors in the ring.
  • Ab work – bicycle crunches, lying leg raises, and scissor kicks.

All in all it’s one fast paced 90 minute class that will make you work.

Last night the Townie and I headed to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  (Ironically, this is where I decided to have my, “can we start eating a little healthier conversation”.) I ate less than half my plate of stuffed chicken tortillas (ok maybe a fried macaroni cheeseball made it in there) and I made him split cheesecake with me. (We didn’t finish the piece.) This may have been the first time I walked out of that place not feeling like I was going to die from a food baby. I mean, I am the girl who used to have to have her own slice of cheesecake after dinner and bring another home for late night snacking. Baby steps folks.

Today I made the awesome decision to get myself to the gym during lunch. I can’t do this too regularly but once a week in-between meetings, it’s a great break in the day. I knew tonight I’d be heading straight from work to meet my girlfriends for dinner and watching the Bruins, so the gym had to fit in somewhere. 🙂

My workout wasn’t anything too crazy since I was short on time, but here’s what I did:

What I loved about this workout is that I ended up breaking much more of a sweat than I expected. I was also excited each time my 90 seconds @9:31 mile pace came back. Ending the run with the 30 seconds @ 6:31 felt fantastic.

I’m back in the office and eating a healthy tuna sandwich for lunch that I brought from home. I might just want to attack the person who left bags of M&M’s in the kitchen though. They’re my favorite.

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For months now, I’ve hinted at my unhappiness with my weight gain since last summer (13lbs to be exact). But more than a number on a scale, these past few months I’ve felt, down.

Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t been happy in a lot of different ways. For one, my family, friends, and the Townie have made me incredibly happy and we’ve all had some wonderful quality time and trips together.

But more so I’ve noticed that as I dropped exercise from my routine (which happened all to easily), my mood started to change. My positive, easy going attitude has turned irritable, and with the drop of a hat it snaps into cranky-complaining-mode.

My food intake has turned from healthy (with treats) to eating just to eat. Eating as a reward (for a good day or a bad day), eating my emotions and feelings, and definitely eating out of boredom. It doesn’t help that since Townie came along my portion sizes have doubled. 

And my energy is at an all time low. I used to have trouble falling asleep I was so wired. For the past few weeks – all I want to do is sleep. 😦 I’m sleeping in later and later and going to bed earlier and earlier. Add on that I’m also feeling tired all the time during the day too, so much that I could hardly keep my eyes open at points with the Townie in the Cape and sometimes all I can think about at work to get me through the day is getting home and getting back in bed.

My night-time habits have spiraled to an all time low too. Sure once a week I see some of the girls, and a few times I see the Townie, but on the nights off? I’m plopping down on my couch and watching hours of tv while mindlessly eating. I’m talking 4+ hours a night.

I’ve been embarrassed to even admit this, to anyone, to myself, and especially to the blog world.

But I think by admitting it here, I’m in a way forcing myself to change. I need to break the cycle.

Because I want to change. I know the biggest challenge is just doing it. Starting. In any little way possible. Stop the excuses, the complaining, the weak efforts and just friggan do it.

So here it is. I’m not overloading myself with unrealistic goals for the first 10 days (yeah 5:30am workouts would just be a setup for failure right now) but I just want to get back into a routine, back to feeling like myself – an athlete. Most importantly exercise needs to get back to being a priority, not the first thing to go in a day.

Rather than write a whole bunch of overwhelming goals I’m thinking I’m going to take this one day at a time. Each day my goal is to incorporate at minimum, 25 minutes of exercise. [This doesn’t count my walking to and from work.]

Tonight I’m headed back to this boxing class with my college roomie.

Day one of OUT OF THE RUT  begins!

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Okay remember this post about how it had been an entire year since I had any sort of cold?

And then weeks later I had this cold?

Well guess what? For a little over a week now I’ve been fighting a cold . I felt the chest cough coming, the heavy head feeling and the sluggishness.

This morning I woke up achy. The kind where if you touch my skin I just want to cry because it’s sensitive. My head is pounding, my throat is burning and my chest hurts when taking deep breaths.

I have a 5 mile race this weekend. I will run it.

Therefore tonight I’m headed home after work and drinking a gallon of water and getting into bed early. I will not be sick anymore.

But it’s bothering me that every few weeks I’m being hit with this cold. What is causing it to resurface?

Lack of sleep? But while I was finishing grad school and with B, I was getting up at all hours of the night to finish so it can’t be any worse now.

Eating unhealthy? Could be part of it, although I think the unhealthiest I’ve ever eaten was the two years with B and I stayed so healthy during our two years plus the year after we broke up.

Less exercise? Maybe this is it. What had been at minimum 3 days a week has become 1-2 days a week.

New building? My office moved into a new building where I now share an office (I used to have a very private cube). Our office is open to a hallways of cubicles and other offices. A lot of people on the floor keep getting sick (lots of coughing going on right now).

I need to stop getting sick!

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