Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time for Healthy(ier) Food Choices

I know, I know...this is craziness. It's the 7th of the month and this is pretty much my third post for the year. In all seriousness, I've got some time on my hands between days off, snow days, and having a 24 hour bug....so lucky y'all...y'all get a lot of me. Please try and keep your cheering to a minimum.

If 2013 was all about getting my exercise groove on, 2014 shall be about making healthy(ier) food choices. What brought this on, you ask? I think that it was a over dose of rich holiday foods, coupled with stress eating while preparing for my final. (I didn't go hog wild, I still managed to loose a little bit.) I just went into 2014 feeling sluggish, bloated, weighed down, a bit emotionally down, and more anxiety than normally experience.

Time to cut out some of the crap. Notice I said SOME of the crap? It goes right back into my previous post. Now not only will I be eating less, I'll be eating MORE quality. I look at it this way: I'm not making this adjustment with the PRIMARY thought of losing weight - I've already proven that I can lose weight the way I was doing things - but to be healthier; and if you look at my reasons for wanting to lose weight, not dying unnecessarily young was one of the big two. I'm going to go ahead and draw a correlation between eating healthier and not dying. Makes sense, right?

How do I plan to go about doing this? First big one: continue the moderation thing. If I try to cut out everything, I WILL BINGE AND FALL TO PIECES. Know thyself.

I have to be mindful as not to go whole hog and make all these healthy food chances. My husband should be allowed to eat what he wants to eat. Just because I'm doing this doesn't mean he has to do this. This is not how our marriage works.

Here's my plan. It's my goal to focus on two major elements: cut back on caffeine and healthy snacks (that can also be mini meals for work and class days). Thus leaving dinner time for more wiggle room. GENIUS!!!!

Caffeine, particularly cokes is my Achilles heal. I figured it was playing into three health issues I'd been having recently and was told to cut back on: 1) heartburn, 2) digestive issues as a result of having my gall bladder removed and 3) anxiety. I won't cut out all caffeine, but I will cut WAY back. Yesterday I brewed some iced green tea - I know there's still caffeine in there, but there's a lot less than what I normally drink...plus you can't ignore the health benefits - tomorrow I plan on taking a trip to David's Tea to get some nice fruity herbal options, and also reacquaint myself with the Polar Seltzers. That's my caffeine cut back plan.

As for healthy snacks, I was very inspired by this list. My plan is to go down the list from top to bottom, three a week. I'll skip anything that is too complicated to make easily and quickly, as well as those that I know I just won't like. These snacks can also double as small meals for me to eat at work or something quick and portable that I can eat right before my class. I'm taking A&P this semester, BTW.

So that's the healthy eating plan for 2014. Have any of you made changes like this, lovely readers? If so...how did it work out for you? Anyone with these changes on the horizon? If so...how can we help keep one another motivated?

Friday, January 3, 2014

There Is No Right, Only What Works

Two days off blissfully doing nothing but sleep, eat, watch TV and run (OK, maybe drink champagne), added to two days of snow days, equals quite the case of cabin fever....this particular brand of cabin fever has me feeling a bit preachy.

It's the beginning of the year, and I'd venture to guess that close to 90% of the public's New Year's Resolution is to lose-weight-get-healthier-exercise-more or something of the like. Listen to me and listen to me closely: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT, and if they insist upon it....THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP!!!!!

Find what the motivation for what makes you want to lose weight and then tailor your approach around that. For ME it was to not die unnecessarily young and fit into designer clothes. Those two things together have given me this meta game plan...well, part 1.....

For me, it really is that simple. Now...there's some other things that come into play like: find an exercise that you really love (swimming), how about tackling something that scares you (running), setting in public fitness events (5ks and Swim Across America), reward yourself (I'm super good at that! Here's what I've picked out for my 80lb. reward, come on pay day!), and make yourself accountable (I choose to use the LoseIt app and log all my food - yes, it does get exhausting and tedious, but it works for me.)

Also, there is no super food that's going to cure all your health problems...conversely, there is no one demon food that's going to kill you just for eating it (given you don't have some wicked allergies). So this I say...meta part 2...

Some days you just need to eat the steak, and the cake, and drink the champagne. Life's meant to be lived, not to be deprived. OK, my life. I can't say this will work for you, maybe it will...maybe it won't. Give it a try.  I believe this type of control can be exercises in OTHER areas of our life...and we enjoy being a bit out there, but there are consequences that will later be paid.

Let me add one more thing in there.....

Yes, I know that I have the ability to lose 5 pounds in a week, but I also know that that's a REALLY GOOD WEEK! It won't happen every week, and the more you lose...the harder it gets. That's been my truth. I spent the entire month of December yo-yoing up and down 5 pounds and then losing an addition three, but more on that later.

Realize that your way is not the only way. I would venture to guess that if someone who was my weight and height ate the same exact things I did and did the same workouts I did over a set period of time, we'd still lose different amounts of weight. Why? Simple. We're different people. Our metabolisms, our body chemistry, our jobs, our lifestyles....all different. We are all unique snowflakes.

That in mind, when talking about weight loss, be humble...be kind. You never know who is reading, and how it may being affecting them. Kindness. Totally under-rated human trait.

Don't be a door mat though, and sell yourself short. Be proud of what you've done. Be fucking proud. It's HARD work....both physically, and (what a LOT of people don't realize) mentally as well as emotionally. Shout your successes from the rooftop. Just do so mindfully.

I hope this blog entry serves some good to you if you're on a weight loss journey, just thinking about starting one or simply observing/cheering on someone who is. More than anything, I needed to write this entry for myself. As I said before, December was HARD. Between the EXTREME stress of a final exam in FOREVER (yes, the extreme needed to be in all caps - if you know me, know me...you knew how stressed I was), working retail at Christmastime, and holiday food...swimming 5 times and running I think 3....I somehow, SOME WAY ended up with a net loss. It was my smallest net loss since November 2012, but it was a net loss nonetheless.

I'm 20 pounds from losing 100 pounds (already got a great celebratory bauble picked out) and 40 pounds from reaching my initial weight loss goal. I'm feeling a great bit of not disbelief, more like awe that I'm a mere 20 pounds away from losing 100. I want to make a list of 100 things that happened/didn't happen because I was so over weight and post them on the day I loose 100 pounds, and then have a list of 100 new opportunities that I have FROM losing the weight the next day.

Each pound isn't simply a pound, they MEAN something.

New year = new goals. (I hate resolutions.) Here are my new goals....
1) Swim two miles continually
2) Compete in a 10k
3) Compete in some sort of Triathlon (indoors counts)
4) Curb my anxiety

So, lovely readers, what weight loss adages have worked for you? What are your health/life goals for the new year? Share for me in the comments..

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Pictures

What a year 2013 was in my life! It was a year of great personal growth and change, yet was not without its dark times and trials. I'm not feeling very verbal today, and since a picture - they say - it worth 1,000 words...here's about 80,000! Enjoy my 2013 in pictures! You may just find yourself included.

Started the year off right with my favorite champagne
Early year trip to the Berkshires
I completed a cleanse to kick-start my weight loss, and rewarded myself with this Alex & Ani Path of Life bangle
Decided to reward myself every 5 & 10 lbs. lost, these Kendra Scott earrings are an example
Winter storm Nemo. BTW - I think naming winter storms is LAME
For awhile, my favorite morning OJ gave me positive affirmations
Al and I perfected the art of at home margaritas
Joined a gym and got to working out
Started to see a real transformation in my body and documenting it
Much smaller size leggings, MUCH bigger victory
I enjoyed a lot of oysters
A LOT of oysters!!!!
Started swimming pretty seriously
Started to see real changes in my face. (This is my FAVORITE picture of me up close from the past year.)
Enjoyed many lovely girls night with my other Other Half
The tradition of pay day sushi lunches
Started Couch 2 5k...on a treadmill
Spring finally sprung
Fit into my first non plus sized dress
The Boston Marathon Bombings hit really close to home, even closer to work
But we stayed Boston Strong...
...and breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was over
Amy had the best recital ever! THERE WERE BAG PIPES!!!!!!
Add caption
In the bombing aftermath there were Therapy Dogs AND Cats
Ventured into the world of running shorts
Al and I enjoyed some classy date nights; and some not so classy ones
I started to dress outside my comfort zone, perfect the art of selfies and refuse to clean my bedroom
Further transformation
Hair & face shape transformation
Lunchtime sunshine on the Comm Ave. mall
My other Other Half graduated from Law School and I couldn't be more proud
Finally fit into things from Betty Paige Clothing
First of many trips to Cafeteria
Amy and I ran our first 5k together....
....on Spectacle Island
All while being on a quest for the perfect red lipstick
Jumped, pulled, and tugged my way into a wet suit for the first time
It was time for new specs
Quality brew time with Amy before she moved to LA
And the transformation continued
Celebrated the 4th on the Esplanade with friends
Swimming at Walden Pond - this my FAVORITE picture of the year
Ready to go Swim Across America and raise some funds for local cancer research
It was THE hardest but THE most fufilling thing I have EVER done
Got brave and posted a picture of myself in a swimsuit on the intertet
Mom and Allison came to visit and a fun time was had by all
My favorite new to me song of the year
Best anniversary gift EVER
"Zoe! Come look!! There's a giant chickpea walking down the street!!!"
Anniversary dinner date time
5k #2: Chestnut Hill Reservoir
Took the art of relaxing baths to a new level
Swam my first continuous mile
Back to school to get my RN starting with Human Biology
Took Ezra to a staff meeting
Celebrated my birthday in style, with elegant shot taking.....
showing a little leg...
& kayaking on the Charles.
A grand time was had by all
Watched Olympic medal winning swimmer Alex Mayer swim in Boston Harbor
Best caption ever: "All you need is love...and Ben & Jerry's!....and good sex, lipstick, tequila and kitties. Oh, and a swimming pool. THAT'S all I need!
Almost the same size and when I was 19/20
Ezra continued to be adorable
I cut my hair - for me - all off and added bangs
Walked for the Humane League with Roxy and Zoe
5k #3: and Al's first, the Blacklight Run
Back home for 5k #4: Compassion Hospice's Color Run
Harley continued to be adorable as well
Learned how to run in 19 degree weather
Bobby and I looked killer on  Thanksgiving
Started 5k to 10k
5k #5: Jolly Jaunt to benefit Special Olympics
Celebrated the Mr.'s birthday in style
Celebrated the end of my first semester back to school AND making an A
Cafeteria time with my LUSH Puppies
Ezra and I admiring the pretty Christmas lights
We found a Currier and Ives setting in Sutton
Christmas 2012  / Christmas 21013
Finished the year with a hotel staycation and a FANTASTIC view of the city