I fell off the healthy living horse.
I fell hard and I have been avoiding getting back on again. It has been a chaotic few months prepping for the move, actually moving, and then getting settled back in with a new house and job. Those are all excuses, I know. I am sure plenty of people keeping working out and eating right through all these trials, but I was not one of those people.
When I have anxiety I go through waves of not eating and then eating too much. At 19, those waves left me too skinny. At 23, those waves are leaving me too soft.
Damn my cocky little college aged self who believed I had avoided the Freshman 15. The real life 15 has hit me with a vengeance. Bulking last summer from Crossfit and then having to quit due to injuries also didn’t help. I was left with too much muscle that wasn’t being worked on or worked off consistently, and then with a poor diet this summer it’s been a train wreck.
But I’m not posting an update because I’m STILL keeping unhealthy habits. I’m posting because when I got back home from a trip to Minnesota last week I decided enough was enough.
Healthy eating and consistent fitness are back in my life. And so are Food & Fitness Fridays!
“This Is Why I Can’t Lose Weight”
This saying started as a joke with a coworker at my last job and ended up teaching me the first steps to take to lose weight.
The two of us would eat SUPER healthy at work. Salads for lunch. Fruits and veggies for snacks. Then at nights and during the weekends? We’d eat like shit. Wine. Beer. Pizza. Ice cream. Fast food. Big dinners at nice restaurants. We’d always take pics of our food or gush to each other about what we ate and come to the conclusion – Yep, this is why.
So when I decided that I was sick of this slowly creeping weight and what I saw in the mirror, I started with the “This Is Why” culprits.
- Alcohol. Alcohol makes you fat. It’s not a question of if, but when. I found a passionate love for wine post college. I’m paying for it. My first change was to limit the alcohol consumption to a couple glasses on weekends ONLY.
- Sweets. Ugh. I love sweets. Doughnuts and s’mores and cookies and blizzards and gummy candies. I have NEVER been able to quit sugar. The few times I’ve tried I end up binging. This time around I am ridding the house of the above and only keeping dark chocolate and skinny cow treats available. I have also enlisted the husband’s help to ignore me when I say aloud, “I wish I had a blizzard right now…”
- Portions. When you gain weight, your body keeps your hungry enough to maintain that weight. To lose weight? I have to cut down portions. I am hungry enough for the whole meal every time we go out to eat, but I don’t need it. I am getting enough nutrients with half. This change is to ask for a to go box to start and split meals in half.
- Fast Food. BYE. I have all my kitchen supplies and I am not in limbo between moving out or in or living out of hotels. Fast food is unnecessary and not worth it. If I want to use calories on food going out, I want it to be at a nice restaurant. No more drive thru.
- Water. Remember when you were in Crossfit and drank liters? Try that again. I avoided water during the road trip and when commuting to job interviews so I didn’t have to pee in inconvenient places. It’s time to nix that habit. I plan to have water with me at all times. When I’m watching TV for something to do with my hands instead of putting food in my mouth. When it’s mid-morning at my new job and I think I’m hungry but really I’m just trying to distract myself from work. Water. Flavored water. Fizzy water. Whatever does the trick. Drink more water.
- Finally, be aware and forgive myself. I know going out to brunch with a new friend will cause me to eat more calories than if I was at home and just had an egg and some fruit. But if I’m aware how much I’m eating and I try my best to make good decisions, it’s OKAY. Passing up all socializing to lose weight isn’t healthy. Eating terrible isn’t healthy. Finding a balance, being aware of everything I consume, and cutting myself some slack when I mess up – that’s healthy.
And here’s just a little bit of proof that I’m serious about this!
Baked salmon & broccoli for multiple lunches this past week + no-sugar whole wheat banana and farmer’s market blueberry muffins for a light snack (about 175 calories each)
Baked egg & avocado topped with pepper & parmesan for breakfast!
I am so serious about getting my body back on track both internally and externally. I feel so vulnerable sharing posts like this with the world, but I truly believe it helps me stay on track. It is so easy to become unhealthy in the culture of consumption we live in. Sometimes just a little inspiration and encouragement is all we need.
“The key to making healthy decisions is to respect your future self. Honor him or her. Treat him or her like you would treat a friend or a loved one.”
― A.J. Jacobs,
I realized yesterday whilst unpacking groceries, planning out dinner and washing off the counter now occupied by my toaster, fruit basket, coffee maker, and various other personal items – I have finally reached a state of contentment. It is as if I had made it to the crest of chaos mountain and I have been on my way back down to routine and calm. I just hadn’t realized my strides were getting easier and more enjoyable.
Having all our personal items in our home – especially our big, comfy non air mattress bed – has been life changing. I no longer feel like I am a guest in someone’s abandon house. My house is becoming a home.
I have also had the opportunity to explore our neighborhood and I ADORE it. I am about a 10 minute walk from the most adorable downtown filled with shops and restaurants and bars and parks. I already have a cute little frozen yogurt place I frequent.
I’ve also been to Dairy Queen three times in 3 weeks but that’s unrelated.
My body and mind can definitely tell I am in a better place. My skin has cleared from the ferocious breakout the road trip and living in a hotel had caused. My weight has dropped a couple pounds since I have been able to eat GREEN THINGS and run or walk nearly every day. My chest no longer feels like it is caving in on itself from anxiety regarding money and uncertainty.
Besides big things coming together, there having been a lot of little things keeping me sane. Moving? Experiencing some other big, life-shaking change? Here’s a list of things to help you and I remain calm:
- Homemade dinners. Don’t underestimate the power of a dinner you make from scratch and consume instead of fatty, carbohydrate filled take out. This killer Riccota Stuffed Chicken was fun to make and (mostly) healthy to eat. These Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites were equally fantastic to make/eat.
- The new views. Not just the quaint little street we live on or the downtown just a short walk away, but the view right out our bedroom window. I walk over to this spot a few times a day to remind myself we finally live where we’ve been dreaming of and even the low points I should be thankful for.
- Dinner with a friend I’ve known for years and had yet to meet in person, drinks with a cousin I’d lost touch with since middle school, or even a DQ date with my husband after dinner. Even when money is tight, make time to treat yo’ self.
4. Inspiring words from Pinterest or Tumblr. I have internally recited this quote at least 100 times since leaving Fairbanks:
Getting a new routine in a new place is always hard. My freshman year of college I coped with partying, in Alaska I coped with a healthy mix of tears and humor, and this time around I have this tried and true list. Moving is messy. I’m thankful to (mostly) be on the other side of the mess today.