No Weigh May

I apologize for being MIA. However, I come to you today with a very good lesson 🙂

I work at a clinic, and they offer a free wellness fair for employees and their families–height, weight, fasting blood work–the works. A few years ago when I did it I had high blood pressure (which I ended up going on meds), my cholesterol was 261, and my glucose was teetering on the edge of a real problem. I worked really hard to get those numbers in check, and before I got pregnant with my son in 2013, I had gotten my cholesterol down to normal, got off the high blood pressure meds, and my glucose was within normal.

My weight was and still is something that hasn’t gone down. I am still considered obese, and even when I was at my lowest weight of 165, I was still considered obese for my height. But I was healthy, and I am still healthy.

My mental health has always teetered. I am a high anxiety and stress person, and with this journey to lose weight I have struggled to find balance with the scale. I still do measurements, but I rely on the scale to tell me everything about myself. So I decided to participate in “No Weigh May” to give my mental health a break from negativity. Basically, you put the scale away for the whole month of May and rely on measuring and progress pictures, and I learned a lesson nobody could ever put a measurement on.

The Con

I’m going to start with the con just to get it out of the way. I have been at this for just over two weeks, and looking back I have realized that the scale helped keep my eating in check. When I’d weigh myself every few days if I saw the scale go up a little, it would prompt me to make healthier choices or at least to really think about what I took out of the fridge or pantry. “Am I eating too much sugar? Sodium? I should lay off the chocolate covered almonds.” The last few weeks I have found myself taking a few chips here or a candy there and not really thinking about it. I’ve worked too hard at trying to eat clean and get down to a more manageable weight to let some candy and chips that I don’t really need get the best of me. It comes to me being strong enough and explaining to myself that I don’t really need it and prioritizing what I want most. Wanting to lose weight and be healthy doesn’t mean that I can’t have something, but it means I need to eat in moderation to succeed, and I have to find a way to get that through to myself.

The Pros

I have more body confidence, which outweighs the cons any day of the week. The last few weeks I have focused on lifting, and I love seeing my arm muscles get more defined. I flex for everyone and everything. I’ll even flex for the cat. No joke! Even when I flex my belly, I can see definition of abs. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Typically when I’d step on the scale and see I’ve gained a pound, I’d instantly see it on my body. It would screw my whole day, even if I had a great lifting day and my arms were looking fly. My brain would seriously tell me, “You definitely look fatter now that you’ve stepped on the scale and saw it go up. See it? It’s right there on your belly.” Every flaw would be identified because my confidence was deflated. Not stepping on the scale has made me more aware of my body, and I often stand in the mirror in the morning admiring the parts of my I like rather than looking for the things I don’t AND not letting a number tell me my body isn’t good enough. On Saturday morning after my shower as I am listening to “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor, I even found myself looking at my curvy booty in my jeans and saying, “Daaayyuumm” instead of “damnit.”

The experience has made me want to find a bold lipstick (and I don’t wear lipstick except maybe once a year for pictures) and go try on clothes that I normally wouldn’t pick out because society might laugh at me or say it wasn’t acceptable for someone my size to wear it. And the age-old comment “Don’t glorify fat. It’s unhealthy” makes me roll my eyes now. People come in all shapes and sizes. I just happen to be built bigger and have more fat on my body. While I am labeled, clinically, as obese, my doctor says nothing because I am healthy in every other way, and my weight does not prohibit me from doing things. My lack of confidence does, and unfortunately there is no way to measure that except to look inside yourself and make the choice to love yourself instead of hating.

I am still on a mission to eat clean because healthy is what I strive for. Whether the result means I’m still fat or perhaps I look lean, I’ll take it. I know I’ll struggle at some point with my body confidence as I think everyone does, but I am making a promise to myself to put more effort into seeing the positive than the negative.

If you like TED Talks and are interested, click HERE. I don’t know a lot about Lillian Bustle, but this TED Talk was really enjoyable and explained a lot about body image. I am starting to look up to her for her confidence and self-respect.

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The “L” Word

This morning as I walked out the door to go to work I told my mom, who takes care of our son during the day, “I never thought I’d ever be the person who would take a hard boiled egg with sriracha and a piece of cheese to work for a snack.” It’s the honest truth too. Hard boiled eggs growing up, unless they were deviled, were THE devil. You couldn’t pay me enough to eat one, and yet, here I am eating them and actually enjoying my snack. I still like my other snacks, but I’ve since modified the kinds of snacks I take. Gone are the days of just a few Cheez-its or candy bar. I buy organic snacks low in sugar, or I take an apple with peanut butter. When you make good choices, you start feeling better and because you start feeling better you love the healthy choices you make.

Speaking of better choices, I started the dreaded “l” word in the exercising world–Lifting. On MFP it seems to be the most menacing form of exercise, especially if you’re a cardio junkie like me. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be lifting, I’d have laughed at you. While I’m starting to see a change by doing cardio, I’m really serious this time and wanted to add more to my workout. I talked to our fitness instructor about personal training, and she was so excited I approached her because she needs a partner to lift with, so she is doing it for free. I am very blessed and fortunate that she is donating her time and talents.

We didn’t add any weight to the bar yesterday, but I was able to do eight squats with the 45lb bar. I felt really good about that, especially since I’ve never lifted before! Lifting was a lot less intimidating that I first thought, and my instructor has assured me that I’ll only get stronger and more confident and eventually I’ll be lifting way more than a 45lb bar. We also did tricep dips, diagonals, chest flies, one-legged squats, and some ab exercises. We did one ab exercise that requires to to lay on your back, heels as close to your butt and reach behind your butt for the opposite foot. I told her this kind of resembled how I put on my pants in the morning, haha!

I have a feeling lifting is going to become my new health obsession, and I can’t wait to see my body and attitude change even more. What healthy changes are you making today?

 

Going Strong

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. Things have been slowing down here, which is nice because I always feel busy, as everyone is I’m sure. It is something that I’ve been trying to improve in my life. A couple Christmases ago my husband and I were so exhausted we got sick a lot. Even last fall/winter was busy, so I made a commitment for 2016 to cut down on that busyness. Cutting down on the commitments we make to others has helped us reconnect and rest up on the weekends and get our own work done at home.There is nothing like napping with a toddler ❤

I learned something new at the gym last night! Our instructor asked if I wanted to do some pull-ups. I honestly haven’t done any of those since I was a kid screwing around on the monkey bars. The gym has these resistance bands that you put the arch of your feet in, and it helps you do the pull-up, so I managed four of them. It was fun to learn some new equipment because I feel when I work out by myself at the end of the week I am always on the bike because that is where my comfort zone is, and I need to break away from that, especially if I want to build up strength and muscle.

I even made the effort to pull out something for dinner tonight. Typically when my husband is gone it’s mac and cheese night because it is quick and easy. I reminded myself to take out some ground turkey so I can make some meat balls tonight and stick with my clean eating.

Recipe Time

Speaking of clean eating, recipe time! The other night we made Thai Chicken Bites, and it was the best clean meal we have made to date. You can find the recipe at iFoodreal by clicking here. It required a little effort, but it was so worth it in the end. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have a fantastic day and stay positive! You’re doing the best you can.

Spring Has Sprung

Perhaps I am putting the cart before the horse by saying that spring is here, especially since our last snow storm of the year usually hits us in May, but after seeing some fresh baby calves, it is hard to argue that spring hasn’t sprung at least a little bit.

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Baby moo moos are so cute, aren’t they? I could have spent all day smelling manure and petting babies, and I’m about as city slicker as it gets.

I have already been plotting my spring/summer marathons. My bestie and I already signed up for a 5K at the beginning of May, and my husband and I are going to tackle the Insane Inflatable 5K at the beginning of June.

That, paired with all the wonderful weather really got me in the mood to take a run yesterday evening. It’s not every day we see 70 degree weather in March.

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Not too shabby for my first run since last fall! I was surprised I went as long and as far as I did (and we have a killer hill before you get to our house, so when you already want to quit and die just a block from the house, that hill just mocks you). And now with all those marathons scheduled, I have motivation to continue to work hard on those nice days. My goal is to run a half marathon this fall, so I am on my way.

Recipe Time

I love oranges, but unfortunately the last bag I bought were terrible. They were sweet enough, but I like my oranges pretty supple, and these were just a bit too soft for my taste. Rather than lament over a bag of oranges I spent a bunch of money on, I decided instead to be proactive and figure out a way to make these oranges work. I came up with my own smoothie recipe yesterday morning, and it was so good that my husband, who NEVER makes smoothies (or eats breakfast), whipped one up for himself this morning for work.

1 whole orange, peeled and parted into sections
1 cup milk (I used Silk original soy milk)
A handful of frozen fruit–any frozen fruit will do. You could probably just use ice cubes too, but I liked the added fruity flavor

Throw everything in the blender and mix it up!

I’m very spoiled and have a Ninja, and it is SO easy to shove everything in the cup, slap on the blade, and blend right into the cup. I blend until the consistency is what I want. If it is too thick, add a bit of water. If it isn’t thick enough, add two ice cubes at a time until you’re happy with the thickness.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and wherever you are, if you have a bit of sunshine today, get out there and enjoy it! It’s a beautiful, brand new day to start again.

Temptations

Temptations are everywhere, and they’re going to be everywhere no matter what you do. It isn’t feasible to avoid all situations that have temptations, so you just have to make the best of it.

Work is one of those places with temptations. I can pack my own lunch, but I need to have the will power to resist chocolate covered donuts, which is EXACTLY what I did this morning. I instead opted for a cup of fruit (it paired nicely with a delicious, clean waffle I made this morning– click here to get it, courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny).

Work isn’t even the worst place for temptations for me though. Enter: my parent’s house. I have terrific parents who care for and love us a lot, but I never grew up eating healthy. My mom always said, “If it doesn’t come from a box, I don’t make it.” And that is seriously how I grew up. Rice-a-roni, Schwans, and Hamburger Helper, just to name a few. My brother and I always tease our mom about the time we finally got cable TV, and my mom watched Food Network all day. After that she made one week of healthy meals and then it was over. My brother and I were back to eating cereal for dinner (my husband is flabbergasted we were allowed to do that). And when I say we ate cereal, I don’t mean we had bran flakes in a small bowl. We had Fruity Pebbles or Cookie Crisp in huge bowls, kind of like in the beginning of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” when Peter is eating cereal out of the mixing bowl on the couch. Pretty much us growing up:

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While I think this did/does contribute to my expanding waistline, I can’t blame it all on how I grew up. When I lived by myself I had the choice to make a salad or turkey burger but instead chose the lazy route of take out and pizza, and I didn’t exercise.

Tonight is the first true test on resisting temptations as we are heading over to my parent’s to watch a hockey game. Mom asked if we’d be interested in Subway, and honestly I am VERY interested in Subway. I chose to go with a healthier sandwich loaded with veggies and no sauce so I can still have a treat, but not completely compromise my mission. I am also bringing my own snack of apples and dip, reducing the likelihood that I will go there and eat chocolate everything.

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A much healthier choice than chocolate everything and still super delicious.

2oz plain non-fat yogurt (I chose Chobani Greek yogurt)
1 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter (I’d be curious to try this with PB2)
Cinnamon to taste

I’m not saying I’ll never enjoy a chocolate covered donut again, and when I do, I am not going to beat myself up over it, but I am, however, convincing my body that it can be perfectly content with something that fuels me and keeps me on track. It’s a satisfying thought, and I am happy with my choices.

Enjoy this beautiful day wherever you are!