Hey guys!! Lately, my blog has been a lot about traveling and my crazy life! I’m wanting to get back to health, fitness, weight loss, motivation and all that fun stuff!
I’m in a really good spot right now. As you know, (if you read my blog) I started counting macros a couple months ago and I love it. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s been so liberating to me!! It helps keep me motivated and committed to healthy living. Also, about a month or so ago I decided to just get to work and be 100% all in until I reach my goals! It’s been awesome.
I did some deep thinking and realized that I was living a “mostly” healthy lifestyle; I exercised fairly regularly and ate well most of the time. However, because I wasn’t in the “hardcore, git ‘r done” mindset, I too often skipped workouts, indulged in a little too much and just ate too much in general. It was essentially a perfect “maintenance lifestyle.” It was also a frustrating lifestyle because although I was working hard and being somewhat disciplined in my diet, I was getting nowhere with my goals. I was pretty much just spinning my wheels.
Sooo, about a month or so ago I decided to cut out most sugar from my diet (cookies, treats, chocolate, candy, etc.) I defined a goal weight for myself and decided I WOULD NOT eat sugary treats until I reached that goal weight! I’ve also been committed to staying within my macros for the most part. Sometimes my fat and carb numbers are a little off, but I’m eating a lot more protein than I normally do and I’ve done very well at staying within my calories most days. FYI, I’ve been eating right around 1450 calories most days. If I do a particularly intense workout, I may eat a couple hundred more calories. There have also been a few days when I’ve gone out to dinner and just thought, “You know what?? I’m going to eat a dang burger and fries and I’m not going to sweat it!” Ha ha.
It’s actually a perfect balance for me right now and I’m loving it! I’m seein’ results and I’m feelin’ great! I’ve lost about 5 pounds and have 4 pounds left until I reach my first goal weight. Once I reach that weight, I’m going to take a weekend “off,” allow myself 2-3 of my favorite treats and then I think I’m going to set another 5 pound weight loss goal. Once I get there, I’ll evaluate things and see if I want to lose a little more. I really don’t know what my goal weight is, I think I’ll just know when I get there. My “goal” is to feel lean, strong, energetic and just good!
Anyway, I thought I’d share a bunch of random things that help to keep me motivated and help me to reach my goals! Here goes!….
- Write Things Down and Be Specific: I’m a BIG believer in actually writing down specific goals, keeping track of progress and writing down thoughts. It helps me sooo much!
I always keep a notebook by my bed and love to identify specific goals and write them down. I try to be very specific because I’ve learned that goals like “Eat healthier foods,” “Eat less,” or “Exercise more” just don’t fly.
I identify start dates, end dates, create meal plans, exercise schedules, etc. I also love to pick up my notebook each night and quickly jot down thoughts and feelings about my progress for the day. I usually write down how I did with my eating, exercise, sleep and if I’d lost any weight. It’s really fun to go back and look at when I need extra motivation.
This is the notebook I kept of my progress when I did Whole 30 last year…
- Keep It Simple!!! When I first started getting into healthy eating (about 7-8 years ago), I felt like I needed to follow ALL the rules! I tried to eat 5-6 small meals a day (spaced 3 hours apart), ate TONS of fruits and veggies, drank tons and tons of water, never missed breakfast, tried not to eat after 7-8 o’clock at night and felt like I could never splurge.
Um, ya. I’ve since learned to chill out. I don’t really follow a whole lotta rules anymore, except for trying to count my macros. I just try to be mindful and pay attention to my body. I stick to the goals I make for myself. I eat when I’m hungry. I drink water when I’m thirsty. I don’t eat a lot of fruit, but I do try to eat a lot of veggies. However, there are a lot of days I just don’t eat a lot of veggies. I skip breakfast quite often. I eat late at night quite often. Oh, and I definitely splurge once in a while.
“Rules” can be helpful (especially when you’re first getting into healthy living), but they can also be frustrating and make things more stressful than they need to be! Since I’ve started counting macros, it really seems to simplify all the “rules.”
- Only Splurge on Your Favorite Things: Food, especially yummy junk food, is everywhere! There’s always a special occasion, party, get together, holiday, etc., etc., etc. If you go to the store, especially when you’re hungry, it seems like yummy food is lurking around every corner.
I’ve just accepted the fact that tempting, yummy food is never going to go away! I just need to learn how to live with it….constantly around me…..begging me to eat it. Auuuugh.
Over the years, I’ve slowly cut out junk food from my diet that I don’t absolutely love.
In all seriousness, I “enjoy” every junk food out there! However, I’ve learned that there are some things that I absolutely love and somethings that I just “enjoy.” I save my splurges for the things that are a 9 or 10 on my list!
We’re all different and some things that tempt me might not tempt someone else and vice versa. It’s important to identify what your favorite things are and then cut out all the other crap. For example, my favorite junk foods are homemade treats (cookies, brownies, etc), donuts, chocolate, pizza, burgers and fries. That pretty much sums it up! I’ve learned that I can live without soda, ice cream, most candy, most breads, store bought cookies and treats, lots of cheese, pies, fruity desserts and Mexican food.
Soooo, when a tempting food tries to tempt me to eat it, I ask myself….”How much do I really love that?” Then I try to make a conscious decision.
- Don’t Make Dinner Super Complicated: I used to try to make uber healthy dinners for my kids every night. I always struggled to find things that would fit into my goals and that my kids would still eat. Now, I keep it simple! We make a lot of the same things. Sometimes our dinners are quite healthy, sometimes they’re just “meh,” but they’re always realistic.
I just make nice, healthy-ish, simple homemade dinners for my kids and if it doesn’t fit my goals, then I tweak it a little bit for me (or I eat leftovers!) I’ve learned it’s easier to change up my dinner a bit then to try to accommodate all the kids tastes.
For example, whenever I make homemade pizza for the kids, I always make myself one on a Flatout.
My “pizza” looks a little weird, I know, but it’s good! I just topped it with a little marinara, cheese, red peppers, rotisserie chicken and nutritional yeast.
We do tacos a lot and I’ll either make a taco salad for me or make me a taco on a Flatout!
I also utilize leftovers a lot too! There are plenty of crazy nights when I just make my kids quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches. On those nights, I pull out leftovers for me!
Simple, easy and efficient. Yay.
- Utilize Your Freezer! My freezer is my friend, lol. I’m a crazy, busy mama so I usually don’t do a lot of food prep. Actually, let me rephrase that….I “food prep” all the freaking time for my family!!!! Ha. I just don’t do the traditional food prep for ME too often! Soooo, my freezer is kind of like my way of “food prepping!” I love to freeze soups, leftover meat, homemade protein bars, healthy treats, protein balls, almost dead bananas, protein pancakes…pretty much anything that’s freezable!
It definitely makes healthy eating so much easier! I love when I can just pull something healthy outta my freezer!
My little sister recently told me that she freezes all of her spinach, kale and others greens that she puts in her shakes. When she told me that, I was like, “Now, why in the world didn’t I think of that!???! I used to buy a big tub of spinach or a big bag of various greens and I’d be so bummed out when I couldn’t get through it all before it went bad.
Now, I’m like BOOM….
I loooooove these Power Greens (kale, spinach, chard) that I buy at Costco!!! They used to only last about a week in my fridge, but now I always have them whenever the heck I want them! I put two big handfuls in all my shakes. Yum!!!
- Learn How to Identify and Control cravings!!!! Mmmmkay, can I just say that cravings suck? It seems like I can have all the discipline in the world, be eating well for weeks and have a really good thing going and then out of nowhere I want to eat everything bad in the world! It is very discouraging! However, over the years I’ve learned a lot of things that help me to control them…
- Most of my cravings hit when I’m hungry!!! Sooo, whenever I have a craving, I try to chill, breathe and then eat something healthy. I’ll tell myself that after I eat something healthy, if I still want whatever I was craving, I can have it. However, 99% of the time after I get something in my tummy, my craving chills and I can easily resist the craving.
- Whenever I’ve be in a “health rut” for a while and then I try to get back to eating healthy, cravings seem to come on full force! It seems like days 4-7 are the worst. If I can get a good solid week of healthy eating under my belt, my cravings subside significantly.
- When I eat sugary things, my hunger and cravings always increase!! It makes healthy eating a lot harder. That’s why I do crazy things like cutting out sugary treats for months at a time! I know a lot of people don’t have the same “sugar issues” that I do, so I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to cut out sugar for long stretches of time. However, I think it’s very helpful to identify your own “trigger foods” and then maybe make goals to cut them out for a while.
- I’ve learned that there are 2-3 days every month when I’m just hungry and want to eat ALL THE CARBS all day long! When I realize it’s one of those days, I cut myself some slack….but just a little bit! I might allow myself a few more carbs than I usually do, but I still try to keep things under control. I actually used to keep track on a calendar of the days when I felt this crazy hunger. It helped me to see the pattern so I could remind myself that I’m not going crazy!
- I wrote a blog several years ago titled How to Resist Cravings. You can read it here if you so desire!
- Oh, and one more thing that helps me when I’m having one of those “endless pit, always hungry” days….I like to drink my warm lemon/baking soda water (glass of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and juice from half of a lemon!) It seems to calm my tummy and gives me kind of a full feeling. It’s very soothing and I love it!
- Create an Exercise Plan that Works for You…and then Stick to It! This is when the good ol’ notebook comes in handy! Every week I like to look at my schedule, plan out my workouts and then stick to them!
My workout schedule seems to change as the circumstances in my life change. When I have little babies, I seem to workout from home more. Sometimes I’m a mega runner and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I’m able to workout 5-6 days a week, sometimes it’s 2-3. Sometimes I just have to squeeze in 15-20 minute workouts whenever I can. I just try to be realistic with my schedule and do what works for me!
I much prefer to go to classes at the gym. I love having a set time that I exercise and I love having someone else push me! I’m also energized when I exercise with other people around me. However, lately I haven’t been going to the gym a lot. I’ve missed it so dang much! The circumstances in my life have just been a little complicated. But guuuuys guess what???!?! I think I’m going to be able to start going again!!! Yay yay yay yay yay! There are 2 classes at the gym that I want to start going to regularly, but sadly I have conflicts next week during both of the classes! Sooo, I’m going to start going in 2 weeks. Yeehaw! I’m keep y’all posted.
Oh, I also want to mention that just because someone else does their workout at 5:00 AM, is a mega marathon runner, is a body builder type person, yada, yada, yada…you don’t have to do that! Just do what you like, do what challenges you and do what you can stick to….and fit it in wherever it fits in your life. The only thing I will say is that I think everyone should do regular strength training. It benefits everyone and is so good for your body!! I won’t go on and on about that though…I’ll save it for another post!
Okay, I think that’s enough blabbing for today! I hope some of these things can help some of y’all out there! Healthy living is challenging, but it’s also FUN and sooooo rewarding! It’s also all about learning….so just keep trying new things, changing things that don’t work, cutting the crap out and eventually you’ll find a nice little healthy balance for your life!
G’ Night. Love you all!