Friday, January 11, 2013
I've been having a healthy week so far. I've done a lot of walking and my daily 10 minutes of strength training like promised. Actually, I've been doing more like 20 minutes every day except for Wednesday when I had the worst headache all day and I just did the 10 minutes. On Wednesday I skipped yoga as well, but other than that I've been doing 40-60 minutes every day.
As far as food goes, I've been eating really healthy this week. For the past few weeks, I've been trying this thing called "The No S Diet" (you can read more about it here: http://www.nosdiet.com/ ) and I have to say that I'm in love with it. It's not a diet. Really, it's not. (The name in itself is a pun, No Es Diet). It's a lifestyle, a way of eating that targets the habit of overeating itself instead of focusing on certain foods you can or cannot eat like a lot of diets out there do. Basically, it's a lot like the SparkDiet but there's no calorie counting involved. For someone who has been dealing with binge eating disorders and compulsive overeating, this approach REALLY works! I was going to wait to write about my experiences about it until the end of the month just so I could tell you how I feel about it and if it's been working for me, but I can't wait. I'll give a better update on it at the end of the month though, but for now, I just have to say I think I have found something I'm really comfortable with.
There are three rules and one exception: No Snacks, No Sweets, and No Seconds - except (sometimes) on days that start with S (Saturday, Sunday, Special days such as Christmas, Valentine's Day, or your birthday). At first, I was a little worried because there is no calorie counting involved and there is no way of knowing exactly how much your eating, but it turns out I'm actually eating A LOT LESS now than before! I'm more in tune with myself and my hunger. I did not expect this! I tracked a couple of days this week just to see how much I'm eating and it turns out my intake is consistently 1200-1300 calories a day, whereas it used to be about 1500-1600 calories a day. How weird is that? I think that before I just kept on eating until my calories were used up for the day even if I wasn't that hungry. Now I just stop eating when I'm full.
Another thing I was a little worried about was whether or not I'd go crazy and overindulge on the "S Days" (the weekends) but it turns out, that's not a problem! I find that with freedom there comes a strong sense of responsibility, at least for me. I'm the one in control. I'm the one responsible for how my weekend turns out. I'm responsible for my health and my weight loss. I can choose what to eat and what not to eat, and that choice will have consequences. I still follow my eating plan on the weekends and add treats in moderation (like an ice cream on Saturday night or a slice of cake on Sunday afternoon). It feels so amazing to be in control of my eating this way without having to worry about it too much! I'm not much of a snack eater anyway and I very rarely go for seconds, so the "no sweets" is the only challenge for me. And so far, it hasn't been a challenge at all since I know I can have my sweets on the weekend, with moderation.
Now, I'm aware it's not for everybody. For someone who had gotten very used to counting my calories it felt a little scary at first, but now I'm loving it. This feels like a real lifestyle, not a diet. I'm planning my meals in advance, I stick to my eating plan, I enjoy three wonderful, delicious and healthy meals a day and on the weekends (and on Special days) I can indulge in my favorite treats without guilt or overeating. The No S Diet was designed to help people get rid of overeating, and like I said, it's been a problem for me for a very long time. This approach to food really works for me. I'm not saying it works for everyone, but to me it's just so straightforward, so simple and so common sense that I love it.
Granted, the weight might come off a little more slowly with this eating plan but frankly, I don't mind. I just want to make healthy eating a lifelong habit that I won't break. I want to learn to listen to my body, to only eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full, love and respect the food I am eating and learn that I'm the one in control of what I eat and don't eat. The weight will come off along the way, I'm sure :)
Have a great weekend, friends! I have my S Day treats all planned out :) I can't wait!
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I've been feeling really tired for the past few days. Even though I get enough sleep during the night, I still feel sleepy in the afternoon. I know the weather plays a huge part. It's been rainy and cloudy for about a week now, all the snow has melted and the days are just really dark. No wonder you just want to sleep all day!
HOWEVER, despite being sleepy, I did get in my 10 minutes of strength training, walked for an hour and did my yoga workout in the evening! I'm so glad I did it even though I wasn't feeling like it because it made me feel really energized and amazing afterwards.
It's small victories like these that eventually lead to great success!
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I am now done with Week 1 of the Stress Busting Challenge and I thought it would be a good idea to review what I've learned this week and set goals for the rest of the challenge.
This week, I have been keeping a stress journal. As I said even before I started this challenge, I have no "real" or obvious reason to be so stressed out. I think most of it comes just from not being very organized and also from procrastinating which is a problem for me. Poor time management is also an issue. So it didn't surprise me when I found myself writing down things in my journal like: "Today I've been stressing out about the fact that I haven't worked on my novel for a few days and I should have." or: "I'm stressed out because I should email my professor and ask about this course / order new books for the poetry course / I'm not sure when and where a certain lecture takes place etc."
So it's obvious I needed to find ways to become more organized, establish some routines and STOP PROCRASTINATING. And I have to say, I haven't been stressed at all this week after I started doing this!! I can't believe how little it took! I just started writing down daily (realistic) to-do lists and making a daily schedule for myself (except for the weekends when I just want to relax and not follow a schedule). Poor time management has always been my problem and I'm now finding ways and tools to deal with that. I also sorted out all my lecture notes and school stuff, wrote down a weekly schedule (what lectures to attend, where they're held and at what time). I started using the calendar my mom gave me as a Christmas present and now all the deadlines and dates to remember are no longer floating around in my head but are actually right there, in black and white. What a relief!
I'm now realizing it doesn't take a lot to get rid of "pointless stress" which is what I call this type of stress I'm mostly dealing with. It's self-inflicted and easy to fix. It's just my mind telling me I need to stop slacking and procrastinating, and start to plan my days more carefully so I have enough time to do the things I need to do in order to feel happy and content with my life (exercising, writing, reading, relaxing).
I hope that with this challenge I'll be able to recognize my stressors, eliminate them effectively by doing the things I mentioned earlier and learning new ways to deal with stress whenever it occurs. I feel really good about this challenge! :) It's helping me a lot already.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
I was going through the pictures we took in Greece last summer and I started to miss summer so much! Not the scorching heat but the warm, beautiful days when it's not too hot or too chilly. We took so many pictures while we were there (about 1500 pictures to be more exact) and it's been a long process going through them. I've already shared some of my favorites with you but I wish I could share many more! Here are a few more pictures from Parga, Greece:
(I weighed about 158.5 lbs in these pictures, about 4.5 lbs more than I weigh now. I remember feeling so good, healthy and beautiful while we were there. I think it shows in the pictures as well! I used to be so camera shy but now I actually enjoyed being photographed.)
Haha, that last picture! Apparently the water was a bit too cold for me, judging by my facial expression ;)
There are so many beautiful pictures I wish I could show you. I tried uploading a few really beautiful landscape pictures but it said the file was too large to save. Oh well. These will have to do!
Pretty soon it will be summer again and by then, I will be thinner, healthier and even more confident! Until then pictures will have to do! :)
Monday, January 07, 2013
This quote rings true to me.
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."
(The Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)
I've seen that quote all over the internet lately and it really hit home with me. There are things about myself that I do not necessarily like but that are beyond my control (my nose is an appearance related example that comes to mind; I've always had a bit of a nose complex but I should just let it go because there's nothing I can do about it unless I get plastic surgery which I do not plan to do). Most of us can name examples like these. When I was a teenager, I used to hate being so short and I didn't like my curvy figure. I would dream of somehow magically growing taller and becoming more model-esque. What a waste of time and energy!
And then there are things I don't like about me but that are something I can work on, like my health, my well-being or my happiness. I think we often waste too much energy worrying about the things that are beyond our control. Instead, we should be focusing on the things we can work on, little by little, and to eventually have the courage to change.
I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!
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