Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I'm halfway into my first week of clean eating and so far I am having mixed feelings about this challenge. I haven't really been tracking my food because I am eating LOTS of fruits and veggies, probably 2x what I was eating before (which is good!) but my time has been so limited that I haven't had any opportunity to sit down and count calories. Our trainers are recommending just eating until you're full, which I have been doing. I had a little bit of down time this evening so after dinner I tracked everything I ate today and the grand total is just under 1300 calories, which I am pleased with. I'm not sure how accurate my lunch was - I made a ground turkey/spaghetti squash casserole type concoction, added a bit of olive oil, oat flour and spices and to be honest I just filled my bowl today and didn't bother measuring out. However I figure I am pretty close, +/- 100 cals, so I'm not going to stress over it.
When I first started losing weight a couple years back, I went to see a nutritionist who prompted me to adjust my diet by adding lots of protein. This "clean eating" kick I am on is making that difficult. Aside from the occasional hard boiled egg I am not eating any dairy, which used to be a major source of protein for me. I can eat lean meats and fish, which I am, but after tracking my cals today I noted the percentage of carbs was wayyy higher than usual, and protein was much lower. I know a lot of the carbs I am eating come from fruit, and I am eating plenty of healthy fats that have a bit of protein along with them, but I'm still a little concerned about the lack of protein. I honestly think I am just going to do this whole clean eating thing for a month and then ease back into some of my old habits, including eating dairy and drinking coffee! While I want to continue eating plenty of fruits and veggies, and I do want to be more conscious of the ingredients in the food I buy, I don't want to avoid dairy and coffee for the rest of my life. I miss my daily cup of joe and my cheese!
I used to be a daily coffee drinker, and now I am going without it entirely. No added caffeine is a big component of this diet and I am wondering if I am experiencing withdrawal? I was hit with a major headache around 3pm this afternoon which carried on until around 8pm. My trainer suspects it could be due to the lack of caffeine, and considering my daily coffee was sometimes followed by a Diet Dr. Pepper I wouldn't be surprised if that's what is going on here. Aside from the headache, I've also had some unpleasant tummy side effects... I'll spare the details, but a friend of mine who is also following this diet plan texted me that she is having an upset stomach too. I've read that this may be the body just cleaning out all the toxins, or the added fiber, or both - I just hope this doesn't keep up!
All in all, I am glad that I am eating more fruits and veggies, and I'm proud that I haven't been tempted to cheat. I had no idea how many processed foods were hiding in my pantry and fridge until I began this diet... I used to think Kashi made the healthiest granola/snack bars, oatmeal, cookies, etc. until I looked at the ingredients and saw a looong list of additives and preservatives whose names I could barely pronounce. It's nice to know exactly what I am eating now, and if I do buy something in a package or a box I can look at the ingredients list and see what I am consuming is whole and natural.
I'll admit that so far I am exhausted, and I was hoping switching up my eating habits would give me renewed energy. It may just take some adjusting, plus I will admit I have been skimping on the sleep lately so I am sure that hasn't helped. My goal tonight is to be in bed by 10pm so I can at least get a full 7 hours sleep, maybe 7 1/2 if I fall asleep quickly. I'll try to post another blog entry after I've been doing this for a full week, and I'm hoping at that point the unpleasant side effects will be replaced with more positive benefits!
Sunday, March 02, 2014
I've been involved in an outdoors boot camp group off and on since last spring, and I really do appreciate the positive influence this group of people and the trainers have had on my life. I stopped going for a while over the fall/winter and really missed it, so I signed up with a new group in January and started going Mondays and Wednesdays after work. These workouts are no joke! They regularly kick my butt, but I've seen great results, I absolutely adore my trainer and I always have a good time with my fellow bootcampers, no matter how much we are sweating or how often we are cursing under our breath.
I've been contemplating trying out "clean eating" for a while now but have been a little hesitant to do so. It seems so hard to me, to give up processed foods and added sugar + caffeine entirely. I eat pretty healthy and hardly ever have a problem staying in my recommended calorie range, but I do have a few staples in my diet that I feel will be really hard to cut out. I don't have a lot of time to devote to cooking so I do keep my fridge and freezer stocked with quick meals which may be low in calories and fat but have a lot of artificial preservatives and added sodium or sugar. I also drink coffee on a daily basis and am nearly addicted to Quest protein bars (I have probably 4-5 of these a week). Still, I keep feeling the urge to try and go without these things in an attempt to improve my health and possibly assist with my weight loss.
I just got a message from my boot camp trainer that over the next month or so, all the members of our boot camp are going to be challenged to start eating clean and go without the processed foods so many of us love and rely on. Our trainers are going to push clean eating meal plans and will encourage us to ditch the diet soda and Lean Cuisines in favor of water, more fruits and veggies and lean proteins. The good news? I literally JUST went to Trader Joe's this evening and stocked up on lots of whole, healthy, unprocessed foods. The bad news - I also bought a half a dozen bottles of wine, AND I just sucked down another Quest protein bar for my dinner. ;) Still, I am taking this invitation from my boot camp as a sign that it's time for me to give clean eating a try. Who knows? I might just like it!
This is not going to be easy. I can give up the alcohol and added sugar no problem. As for some of the other things I am going to have to cut out, I anticipate this will be a struggle. I'm going on a trip to New Orleans with the boyfriend and a group of our friends at the end of the month. I figure I can keep up clean eating over the next several weeks with that fun trip in mind. It will be my reward! With my weight loss slowing significantly (I lost less than a pound last week), I am really hopeful and feeling slightly optimistic that clean eating may help with that. Now I'm off to Pinterest to find some yummy, healthy recipes I can give a try!
Sunday, February 23, 2014
I'm noticing it's been over a year since my last blog entry... yikes! Where has all the time gone?! It's interesting to reflect back and see what all has changed and what has stayed the same.
Last time I wrote I was stressing about my new relationship, my job, and living with my parents. That new relationship is no longer new and Will and I have definitely settled into that comfortable phase with one another. We moved in together about two months ago (much to my parents' dismay) and things have been going pretty great! I love him and his family, and feel like we're in a good place right now. Thinking this may be *the one* although we both have plenty of things we need to accomplish and take care of before fully cementing that.
Job situation is pretty much still the same. My job stresses me out on a daily basis, but on the flipside I have a great group of co-workers who I get along with great. I received two job offers over the past ~8 months which I have turned down because my educational goals have changed pretty dramatically. I officially quit grad school last summer and decided to go back to school for a second bachelor's in nursing! Currently working on prerequisite courses I have to have on my transcript in order to apply to a full-time nursing program. Hoping I will be an actual nursing student this time next year.
This year I have to figure out how to 1) pay off my debt, which has grown from miniscule to substantial and 2) pay for nursing school. I don't know how I went from debt free to owing nearly $10,000 in the span of two short years, but it happened. I'm kind of stuck right now, and while I am managing to pay my bills on time I can also barely pay the minimum and the interest rates are preventing me from making much of an impact at all. I'm wondering if I should see some kind of financial adviser or debt consolidator, but I don't really know how to find someone like that who will truly help me and not try to take advantage of me. I've come to the conclusion that I will have to take out some loans for nursing school, which is a difficult realization. I paid my way through undegrad and the first part of grad school, but there is no way I can continue to work an outside job while attempting to complete an accelerated nursing program. I'm OK with taking out loans for just a year, however I am stressed that if I don't get my debt taken care of I will not get approved. Bleh!
And now there comes my weight... the good news is, I'm not too far off my last weight posted on here. The bad news is I have continued to gain and lose the same 20 lbs. over the past 12 months. What gives?! This is exhausting. There are so many factors contributing to this nasty cycle, and I'm starting to learn that no matter how well I do and how clean I eat, I will always struggle with binge eating and making poor dietary (and sedentary) choices. I have been doing really well for the past six weeks and haven't had a true binge in a while, but I have to admit for some time I was regularly binging and skipping exercise altogether. Fortunately (and unfortunately) I got way too drunk on New Year's Eve and was so sick the next day that I think my mind and my body finally joined forces as one in a quest to restore healthy habits to my lifestyle. In my 26 years on this earth I have never been so hungover or ran to the bathroom so many times, I even got a bruise on my forehead from my head hitting the toilet over and over. I was probably one drink away from a trip to the hospital, and as soon as I recovered and could keep regular food down I knew drinking and eating like crap was no longer a viable option.
I was taking a good look at myself in the mirror the other day, taking note of problem areas that are not so problematic anymore, when I came to an unfortunate conclusion: I have loose skin on my lower abdomen. I've had a "pooch" there for a while, and was hoping when the pounds continued to come off the pooch would disappear. Now I am noticing there is skin that isn't really bloated or swollen, but it is definitely excessive and wrinkled. Honestly, I have gotten used to the idea of stretchmarks and am OK with having them. But this area on my stomach just makes me resent myself. I know it's there because of choices I made, and although I am happy with the weight I have shed and the positive progress I have made, I'll never be able to get rid of that sad looking tummy. Sure, maybe someday I can get a tummy tuck, but there's not much point in doing that before I have kids (which I hope to have with Will in the not too distant future). But by the time I am done with the baby makin', will I still care that much to go ahead with such a procedure? And will I ever be able to afford it?
I know I need to not let this get me down, and in the grand scheme of things it's just a little bit of loose skin. I can cover it up with clothes, but I wish I didn't have to. I will admit that this has caused me to want to really shape up my arms and legs - just because I have to cover my stomach doesn't mean my arms and legs will have the same nasty fate. Stressing over what I can't change won't do me any good. If only I could turn off the worry and anxiety with a switch! For now I'm just going to work on what I can change and what I can control, and more importantly I've just gotta take it day by day, one step at a time.
I pulled up a couple of pictures of myself, one taken from several years ago and one quite recently. Putting them side by side really helped turn my perspective around, so I'll end on a more positive note and give myself a pat on the back for the good work that has been done here. :)
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I forgot how much working out HARD wears me out. This is kind of a problem because for me personally, I only maintain motivation to lose weight if I have a combination of strict diet and tough exercise. If I don't incorporate intense exercise into my routine, I'm less likely to make healthy eating choices and more likely to fall off the wagon. I like exercising, especially the feeling of accomplishment I get when I'm done. I would really like it if exercise gave me energy like it is supposed to, but often times that is not the case! The past two days I have felt like a zombie at work and have had trouble focusing, partly due to the fact that I have been so sore and it's hard to move, but mainly due to my feeling like I want to go lie down in a corner and take a nap!
I've tried to figure out what else may be affecting this - I make sure to get plenty of sleep, I eat a clean diet, drink plenty of water... I even went to my doctor to have a physical and bloodwork performed to determine if there is an underlying biological cause to my tiredness. The doctor couldn't find anything and suggested my working out may be the only culprit, which sucks for me because I can't convince myself to ease up or cut back on working out at all.
I know I didn't sleep well last night so I'm going to try to get to bed early tonight and make sure I get a good 8 hours of rest. I just hope I fall asleep swiftly, I tend to lie in bed for quite some time before sleep eventually claims me. There's a lot on my plate right now and I admit I'm pretty stressed. I'm hating my job and having absolutely no luck finding a new one. I decided to take this semester off from grad school to focus on finding a job, and completing my weight loss goals - I haven't told my parents that I'm taking a break though, and I'm stressed about their reaction. I'm living at home with them again, which is stressful in itself! I have an opportunity to move in with a really awesome girl, but she is waiting on the OK from her landlord to get a roommate and it's been almost a week so I'm getting nervous that those plans will fall through. Even if I do get to move in with this girl, which would be so nice, it would be pretty pricey and I'm already anticipating financial strain. All these thoughts keep running together over and over in my mind and they are dragging me down, and I wish I could just let go and trust in myself and God's plan/destiny to lead me to the right place.
I'll admit that I am also really struggling with eating well right now. I've been doing great so far but the cravings and temptations I keep coming across are almost unbearable! I used to be able to look past sweets and junk food and automatically go for healthier options, but over the past several days it has been a battle and I have had to constantly remind myself to keep the eye on the prize. This mental struggle is also exhausting and I am optimistic that after I stick to these good habits for a couple more weeks I'll start to feel better.
Time to finish some laundry and then wind down before bed. Goodnight all!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
This is my third night of being back on track and so far I'm feeling pretty good! I started Insanity yesterday, did the fit test which was hard in itself and added on a quick 20-minute upper body strength training workout when I was finished. I woke up this morning feeling SORE and wondering how on earth I was going to complete the first legit Insanity workout, which is twice as long as the fit test.
Luckily I was off work today so I woke up, took my time in eating breakfast and getting ready, took some ibuprofen to help with my soreness and settled into a nice routine before I worked out. The actual workout was so tough, way tougher than anything I am used to. I have been a pretty big Jillian Michaels devotee, and while I do still like her workouts and credit those for helping me lose over 80 lbs., Insanity definitely kicks it up a notch. The problem with Jillian's workouts is that the majority of them are quick so my endurance is not where it should be. I'm hoping Insanity will take care of that.
I was hoping to get in a run today but when I was done my legs were spent and my body was really hurting so I decided to hold off until tomorrow. I'm going to do my best to wake up and get a run in before work tomorrow morning. I am feeling so motivated right now, I've recently discovered Pinterest and have spent the last two days pinning new workout ideas, healthy recipes, and motivational quotes/pictures! It has been a huge help in keeping me focused!
My boyfriend is sick and is having a tough time at work so I decided to bake him some muffins that I'll probably take over to his place sometime tomorrow. One reason we click so well is that we've both lost a lot of weight and are pretty health conscious, so I found a semi-healthy pumpkin spice muffin recipe and subbed the spice cake mix for carrot cake (his favorite - which also happens to be mine!). I also added some walnuts and raisins to the mix, which I'm hoping made it better and not worse. I had ONE muffin, just to test the batch out, and they're okay... not quite as moist or sweet as the pumpkin spice muffins I made in the past but that's probably because this time I used pure pumpkin and last time I used pumpkin pie filling. I made a second batch and slightly changed it up by adding applesauce and pumpkin spice, which made them more moist but for whatever reason the first batch just tasted better. I had just a bite of a muffin from the second batch and was going to give the remainder to my mom but she didn't want it. I went to the kitchen with my muffin and was telling myself to throw it out and not eat it when I dropped it on the floor - problem solved with that temptation! :)
I actually wasn't really tempted by anything bad all day. I ate well, even logged my calories and was just under my daily goal by the end. I had a couple of really yummy english muffin pizzas for dinner! Those + a hearty serving of green beans came out to just under 350 cals and they were really delicious. Had a Quest protein bar after dinner because I was craving chocolate and I figure my body needs some extra protein to recover. I need to be careful with eating too many of those, while they are pretty good for you they are also pretty pricey and I can't necessarily afford to keep buying them.
I'm feeling pretty great right now, am very focused and feeling excited about the weeks to come. I'm praying that this feeling sticks with me. I have decided that by March/April, when it will be pretty warm in this area, I want my body to be ready for a swimsuit! I expect there will be plenty of opportunities to go tubing and swimming with my boyfriend and his group of friends and I'm tired of feeling self conscious about going to places where I have to bare so much skin. I've spent so many years turning down fun times at the beach because I've felt bad about the way I look and I'm done with that, I'm ready to start living and enjoying my youth while I still have it. While I don't think I'll ever be comfortable wearing a bikini (stretch marks, ugh) I think I can tone the rest of my body and reach a healthy level of fitness and be able to wear a cute one-piece that does me justice! If Insanity doesn't get my body ripped, I really don't know WHAT will.
I'm off to bed, looking forward to a new day tomorrow. Loving this cold weather but hoping it will not be so cold I can't get out and run!
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