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Rules for My Success

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hap-Hap-Happy Monday!

I wish I could tell you that I went straight to sleep last night, but I didn't. My fingers itched for “just one more play” at Candy Crush, and … well, you can imagine how *that* worked out.

So anyway, I was supposed to start waking up earlier this morning – ha ha and another ha. My fiance accomplished the feat, but me? I grumbled a bit, rolled over and crashed out again. It wasn’t just me, by the way. My dog was just as interested as sleeping in as were my two cats. I call this bonding.

emoticon emoticon emoticon Last Night’s Dinner + Dessert emoticon emoticon emoticon

If there was one bad habit I could not shake this past weekend, it’s that I kept running into situations where I am starving and willing to eat everything. And by everything, I don’t mean being indiscriminant about my food choices, I mean willing to *eat everything in sight*. Not good. Thankfully, my fiance suggested California Fish Grill, a rather healthy place to for dinner. I did order quite a bit for dinner, but at least it was all wholesome and healthy. I started with a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing:

And followed it up with Cajun-grilled barramundi over brown rice (I know it looks white, it’s definitely the lightest brown rice I’ve ever seen) with a cup of coleslaw and a plate of grilled zucchini. I ate part of the rice and saved the rest for my dog.

After dinner, I nibbled on two servings of frozen grapes and then followed it up with some good rounds of Candy Crush. Aside from sleeping a little less to accommodate my digital addiction, it was a good day and a good night. emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon Fitness emoticon emoticon emoticon

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up bright and early with a cup of flavored coffee and soy creamer.

Coffeecoffeecoffee oh how I love coffee. If it weren’t for coffee, I couldn’t catch up with this guy:

Er … that is my dog who is always looking for ways to make it to the kitchen where the kitty dishes are. As you can see, my dog is a foodie and an emotional eater like his mama. We both need boundaries and rules when it comes to food!

Speaking of this guy, today we embarked this workout:

YeeHAW! It’s been almost two months since I ran more than 1:30 at a time. My heart was pumping, sweat poured out of my pores and I kept checking my watch at the 2 min point to see how much time was left. As for the dog, I think he was a bit surprised at how long he had to run (“*Are we done yet???*“), but not only was he able to complete it, he was able to trot it out in the 9 minute miles – a massive improvement from the 11′s he used to do.

After Bruno got his post-workout ice cubes, he decided to visit me while I stretched and started licking the salt off my skin.


Unfortunately, even though I was a little wiped after the workout, Bruno still had a little left in the can. It wasn’t until his daddy played ball with him that he *finally* tired out. Where exactly does all this energy come from?

Whereever he gets it, I’d like to bottle it up and get some of that, ha.

emoticon emoticon emoticon Breakfast emoticon emoticon emoticon

Since the first half of Mondays are crazy around here, last night I made a point to put together ingredients for Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats in a bowl and stuck it in the fridge. Post-workout, all I had to do was pull out the bowl and eat. WIN.

In the mix: 1/2 an apple, 1/3 cup oatmeal, 4 oz Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, many shakes of cinnamon, 1 tsp sweetener, and 1/2 tbsp chia seeds. Stir, refrigerate and eat for breakfast. Delish!

(Sidenote: I had a HUGE craving for Pop Tarts this morning, like one brown sugar pop tart and a strawberry one. Um, where on dog’s earth did THAT come from?! Talk about a sugary breakfast. Sooo glad I don’t have that anywhere in my kitchen, because admittedly my willpower’s been running and hiding from me a lot lately.)

emoticon emoticon emoticon Lunch emoticon emoticon emoticon

After a busy morning with work, it was time for lunch. I love mealtimes – in fact, sometimes I think I live for the next meal.

A sizable salad containing spinach, shredded carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and raisins for sweetness. Add a chicken breast, top with salsa and – whoop! And easy and filling lunch for another win.

emoticon emoticon emoticon RULES FOR MY SUCCESS emoticon emoticon emoticon

I’ve thought in the last few months how I’m going to succeed in my 104th attempt to maintain healthy habits. I’ve said that I’m okay with failing as long as I get back up, but the failure part still really bugs. What did I do wrong? Why can’t I keep the weight off once I get it off? This required a lot of soul searching and complete honesty with myself.

What I think might be my problem is that because I love goals and am ambitious by nature, I can never pace myself. It is always 100 mph or nothing, which as we all know is a recipe for disaster. And while achieving the goal itself is exhilarating, there is a quick, sharp dive that always follows, because it seems that now “over,” when in fact – as most maintainers will tell you – that’s when the REAL work will begin.

So for the first time, I am forcing myself to focus on the journey instead of the end result, because what’s the point of the accomplishment when it’s just going to unravel itself, right? Further, whatever plan I think of, can’t be just about weight loss; it has to carry into maintenance mode. After all, wouldn’t the healthy habits learnt during the weight loss period actually be the practice period for the real thing that we refer to as maintenance?

After many drafts, I finally put together a list of rules to help me be successful – and stay successful! – this time around:

Annie's Rules for Success

emoticon 1. Create only workout programs that I can physically, mentally and emotionally maintain long-term.

When I get into fitness, I REALLY get into fitness. I mean, just take a look at my old blogs – they make me tired just reading them! Admittedly, my grueling workout schedule helped me to attain a pretty rockin’ body, but was it feasible for long-term? Uh, no. Do I even have the time for that now? Oh puh-leeze, I wish. In the past, that program was possible because I didn’t work nor did I have a dog that took up my time and energy. (And, um, Candy Crush did not exist for me then, but – ahem! – hopefully that is an irrelevant point) So when it comes to cardio, sessions must be 1 hr MAX (40 min ideal) unless it’s something I’m doing for fun, like bike riding, hiking, or um, training for a half! emoticon

emoticon 2. Functional exercises and routines only.

Again, this goes back to #1: my craziness and red-hot passion many times fuels me to doing crazy workouts that actually don’t do anything for me outside of lookin’ good. Examples of functional: run because I should be able to outrun a potential captor (paranoid much?), cycle because it strengthens my leg muscles for running, plank because it strengthens my abs to hold a baby (yes, I have plans for that!), increase upper body strength so I can easily lug cases of water into my cart/car at Costco, strengthen my lower back to prevent back pain, etc.

emoticon 3. Know and accept my enemies.

For me, my #1 enemy is the wonderfully addictive and seductive sugar. In the past year, I’ve come to accept that I am a sugar addict, meaning I cannot stop at one chocolate truffle, one scoop of ice cream, or one slice of cake. When I try to stop, I start to obsess and have been known to drive to the local chocolate store and empty my wallet on the spot, and when I stop cold turkey, I do shake and become irritable. These are signs of an addiction, folks. :( Because of this, I can *not* do sugar in moderation, as it is all-or-nothing for me. It’s hard, because sugar is socially accepted, decorated so beautifully, widely available, and let’s face it: it feels darn good to eat it. Yes, you are supposed to consume things in moderation, but I can not to this with sugar. I can’t promise that I will succeed at this all the time or that I will avoid sugar for the rest of my life, but I know that at least for now, I have to try. (Side Note: Interestingly, I do not feel the same signs with sugar substitutes. I can eat a sugar-free treat and stop at one, so I know it’s not the sweet I’m addicted to.)

emoticon 4. Stretch daily to prevent injury and eliminate lactic acid.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am made like last week’s china and I need include this routine in my life every single day.

emoticon 5. Use SparkPeople’s Nutrition Tracker not just to track intake, but to plan meals as well.

Plan, plan, plan! Not only does this help to keep me on track, it takes the pressure off of last-minute decisions on what to eat – something I’m terrible at when I’m hungry.

emoticon 6. Stock my fridge with healthy food that is prepped and ready to “grab and eat.”

This is a super method that I’ve found lots of success so far, and I know that as long as I keep prepping and planning, I can and will continue to eat healthy. This includes chopping up veggies and distributing them into eight plastic containers for future lunches and dinners, keeping pre-washed broccoli (just microwave and eat), measure out grapes into containers and freezing them, and prepping my breakfast the night before for busy mornings.

emoticon 7. CHEW my food.

I am so embarrassed to admit that until earlier this year, I ate with the most minimal chews I can get away with before swallowing. Result? I was the fastest eater at the table… always, I ate more than I needed to because I wasn’t using up all the 20 minutes it takes to feel full, and I had stomach issues. One day, I just decided to become more conscientious about chewing and suddenly I became more full on less food, I was no longer reaching for other food to eat so I wasn’t the only one not eating, and my stomach felt so much better. This is HUGE for me in eating for my 5’0 stature – now I can eat the correct amount and feel satisfied instead of angry that I had to stop eating before I was full. Simple problem to solve, really!

emoticon 8. Eat non-healthy stuff in moderation, but absolutely NO ELIMINATING.

Oh boy, have I come a long way about eating in moderation. I used to be the one who would never ever eat under two helpings of anything ooey gooey and fattening; now I can actually put a tiny bit on my plate and feel good about it. The only thing I possibly have to eliminate – at least for a few months – is sugar, and I even have mixed feelings about eliminating that (50% of the time, I’m in denial of my addiction despite comments made about it by people close to me). So yes to that bread roll, mashed potatoes with gravy, Yorkshire pudding! Just not every day and at least a week between each treat. emoticon

emoticon 9. Aim for only ONE goal a month.

This is my Type-A speaking again. Love, love, love goals! However, in the interest of focusing on the journey, I am limited myself to one health-related goal a month to put my entire focus on, instead of three or more goals that I have to think, remember and divide my energy between in the 30 short days of the month.

emoticon 10. Get support, be supportive.

Hey, I’m not going to be shy about this: I NEED support. I need to be inspired, pushed and feel camaraderie in the journey. By the blog alone, I share my journey in hopes of reaching others that can relate in my struggles and celebrate with me when achieve something even so small as to make a better food choice. By supporting others, I re-learn and appreciate the struggles I go through and have overcome. By visiting other healthy-living blogs, I immerse myself in the community that is non-existent for me in real life. Out of all the strategies I list here in my list of ten, this is possibly the most important one of all!

There you go – my rules are now in print and out in the open. Next step for me is to DO IT. And I’m gonna!

Have a great Monday. See ya tomorrow!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have to say your blog posts are making me crave fish, which is odd since I detest it. I will also have to give frozen grapes a try, never stuck grapes in the freezer. I think it's great that you are trying to pace yourself. I am trying to do the same. It seems like when I make up my mind to get healthy, at least in the past, I go overboard. Then of course I end up sick of it & go on a binge of eating & drinking all I want. Sounds like you are doing great! Keep it up! emoticon
    1728 days ago
  • ELISA322
    Oh I'm drooling over that fish, that looks great. I also love coffee and frozen grapes, they're like candy.

    Sugar is a serious problem for all of us I think. It's definitely an addiction/obsession for me too, and I can't stop at just a serving either... or turn it down when sweets are provided at work no matter how hard I try.

    You're inspiring me to do a food blog too!

    1728 days ago
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