Happy Thursday and Happy October guys! I hope you are all doing well.
I have a lot of things on my mind and I’m not exactly sure what’s going to come out, sooo here goes…
I’ve been in a weird little funk lately. Blah. I’ve been loving my Ultimate Oxygen Challenge so much! I have learned so much and am forever changed by this program. However, for some reason I have been struggling off and on the past month or so.
My OxyChallenge includes very specific workouts, which I have loved! They are very tough, but they aren’t overwhelming. The moves are straight forward (not complicated), a lot of them can be done at home and I’m seeing results. I have followed the exercise program of this challenge religiously.
However, the diet part of this challenge isn’t as clearly defined. It included a one week menu for each month, so I could either eat the same thing every week or create my own menu using the “example menu” as a template. I did very great the first month or so, but I’ve gone downhill the past few weeks. I know if the diet portion would have been more black and white with specific instruction, I would’ve done a lot better. I don’t do so well when I create my own plans/diets because I tend to take too much liberty! I subliminally think, “If I am the creator of this plan, then I can bend the rules a bit too!” Ha, ha!
Oh, and just so ya know, I think that eating a healthy diet consistently is a LOT harder than sticking to an exercise schedule! Workouts are clearly defined….you either do it or you don’t! Simple as that. You also only need to fit a workout in once a day (or on most days.) That is it.
However, healthy eating is an all day, every day kind of thing! You need to plan ahead, prepare and stay committed all day long….every day. Eating is also very much attached to emotions, hormones and can have addictive properties. It is not a “one and done” kind of thing. It definitely requires a lot of mental strength and will power to have success.
Soooo, with that being said, I think my healthy living is very much like juggling a bunch of balls; when I’m ON, I’m ON and it’s a beautiful thing. However, if I let an area of my life get out of whack (essentially, a ball gets dropped), than all of the other balls come crashing down in a hurry and I’m left feeling defeated and unmotivated.
More often than not, the ball that gets dropped and kills my healthy eating/living mojo quicker than anything else is SLEEP DEPRIVATION! If I’m not diligent at getting my sleep, I become sluggish, unmotivated, don’t want to workout and want to eat all the things I usually try to avoid!
It kind of reminds me of when I’m pregnant….I always start out every pregnancy thinking, “I’m going to exercise every day, eat very healthily and gain a modest amount of weight!” YAY! THEN….the fatigue and morning sickness kick in and I think, “I DO NOT EVEN CARE how big I get or how much weight I gain, I’m just going to eat whatever the heck sounds good and sit on this couch for the next three months or so.” Uuughhh. It’s the worst.
Side note: when I’m pregnant, I usually workout anyway and eat as well as I can despite my blah-ness. It’s tough.
I’m usually a very motivated person and love to eat well and exercise, but when I get lax on my sleep, I seriously become a different person! I can handle a night of two of crappy sleep, but if it goes longer than that, I faaalllll…..apppaarrttt! I’ve found that seven hours of sleep is my magic number. Yes, eight is even better, but that never ever happens! If I can consistently get seven hours, I’m golden.
Soooo, last week my poor baby did not want to sleep for some reason! It was terrible! I would put him to bed with no problem at all around 9:00 or 10:00, but then around midnight he’d start to wake up and cry off and on until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning THREE nights in a row! Thankfully, he’s sleeping better now, but I really have no idea what was wrong!? The only thing I can possibly think of was teething.
Anyway, I survived okay the first day. I actually even got a great run in! I was tired and sluggish all day and didn’t know how in the world I’d be able to run. It really felt impossible because I was so dang tired. But, I decided to hop on the treadmill and just get 2-3 miles in. Once I started running, I felt pretty darn good! I decided to just keep on going and I ended up getting 7.2 miles in! Wahoo!
I was so happy! I really hate running on the treadmill, so I decided to do some interval training (sprints mixed in with slower runs/walks) and it made it so much more enjoyable. I even took a scary, sweaty picture afterward (if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you may have already seen this gem!)
Yes, it’s pretty frightening. Ha. I’ve learned that a lot of times I DO NOT feel like working out, BUT if I just kick myself in the bum and get ‘er done, I usually feel pretty good! And, I’m ALWAYS glad I did it! I’ve never finished a run/workout and thought, “Man, I really wish I wouldn’t have done that!”
Anyway, this weird funk I’ve been in has been frustrating! It’s seriously felt like my body has had a mind of it’s own. I worked my butt off the first 6 weeks of this challenge. I saw great results.
I posted my progress pics a month or so ago, but here they are again (oh goody! Hee hee)
I seriously felt like a giant when I started this program! I was very ready to hit it hard and get my pre-pregnancy body back! After the first month, I was really happy with the progress I’d made (those pics were taken a month apart.) I lost about 6-7 pounds and couldn’t wait to keep on goin’!
Unfortunately, about a month ago, my body started to freak out a little. I was stickin’ to my workouts and mostly following the diet plan and I started bloating up and gaining weight!?!??!??! Seriously!???!??!
I told myself to “chill” and just be patient. I’ve had weird things happen to my body when I’m trying to get in shape/lose weight before. BUT, this time my body wouldn’t budge. I gained back 5 or so of the pounds I lost and felt so poofy and bloated. It didn’t feel like actual weight gain; it felt more like hormonal bloated weight gain (I’ve learned to tell the difference), but is was frustrating nonetheless.
I cut back on calories, did some carb cycling, but NOTHING seemed to help. The scale would not budge for a MONTH!! I really don’t know what the deal was, but I seriously felt defeated.
Then, the whole “baby crying all night thing” happened and I just fell apart. I felt just like my pregnant self and gave up on healthy eating and skipped a few workouts because it just seemed so daunting. I was essentially having a little temper tantrum. Ha ha.
We also went out of town last weekend and I packed a cooler full of healthy food. Well, guess what!? I didn’t eat a dang thing in it! I also enjoyed a lot of candy on the drive to and from. It was nice and it kind of felt therapeutic in a way.
And it didn’t end there….when we got home, I decided to make a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies too!!! These cookies are the BOMB folks. I’m serious when I say that any weight gained from these cookies is probably worth it. They are seriously SO DANG GOOD!
Ha ha. I’m so mean. I’m trying to talk about healthy eating and getting out “healthy funks” and I share this. Ha ha. They are unbelievably fabulous though. I’m so serious.
Anyway, the cookies and my little rebellions were actually helpful for me! It helped me to realize that I really don’t love living that way! My body just felt so gross, tired, achy, run-down and just blah. Note to self: When you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for in regards to weight loss and health, crappy food and missed workouts don’t help.
That’s when I said to myself, “What the freak Mel???!” Even though my life (healthily speaking) was crashing down all around me and my body had essentially turned into the equivalent of a tree stump, I knew I couldn’t GIVE UP! I knew I needed to dig deep, regain my motivation, GET MY SLEEP, be accountable for my diet and exercise and SHAPE UP!
Sooo, I decided to bring out the “big guns” and follow a low-carb diet for the next two weeks. I only have two weeks until my challenge ends and I’m determined to end on a high note!!! I’m not a huge fan of low-carb diets. First of all, they suck. Second of all, they’re hard. BUT, third of all….they WORK!
I don’t think a low-carb diet is a great lifestyle, but it IS a very good short-term solution and is excellent at resetting the body when things get “funky.” I kind of like to think of low-carb diets as the equivalent of a hard reset on a computer. When your body gets all out of whack, you hit a plateau, you’ve been eating a crappy diet for an extended period of time and/or the scale doesn’t seem to budge…it’s time to bring out the “low carb guns!” It works every time!
Sooo, I’m on day four of low-carbin’ and it’s going great. I haven’t seen amazing results yet, but it usually takes me at least a week to notice anything. It DOES feel good to be back in control though and I’m happy to be showing my body who’s boss again. Ha ha.
I will mention that I’ve had a little bit of carbs before and after my runs though. Otherwise, I think I would faceplant. I had two rice cakes (yum?!) before my run last night and a Quest bar when I got home. It worked great.
I’ve also been extra diligent at getting my sleep this week and it’s helping so much!
Anyway, I’m sorry I’ve been blabbing on and on and on and on!! I told y’all I had a lot on my mind. I hope I even made sense. Sooo, if any of you are in a health funk or need a swift kick to get started with healthy living, here is my advice….
How to Get Out of A Health Rut or Make Healthy Living a Part of Your Life!
- Admit there is a problem! Ha ha. NOTHING will ever change until you admit there is actually a problem and you decide you WANT to change!
- Get your sleep! Treat it like it’s your job. Commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep most nights and don’t let anything get in your way!
- Plan out a healthy diet. Decide how far you want to take it. Do you just want to cut out dessert and fast food? Do you want to follow a specific diet plan? Do you want to do low-carb? Do you want to count calories? All of these are great things….just decide what you want to do, make a plan and then DO IT! Note: If you need a basic mainstream diet plan, I created a good one. You can access it here.
- Keep track of what you eat. Write things down or use My Fitness Pal or another app. I always, always, always eat much better and stick to my goals better when I hold myself accountable and keep track of my food/calorie intake.
- Plan out a workout plan. Do you want to go to the gym, workout from home, participate in sports, run with a friend, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it gets your heart pumping and makes you sweat….and you do it most days of the week. I would highly recommend incorporating weight training into your regimen though.
- Make very specific goals. Are you making permanent changes or are you going to identify a start and end date? Write down what you hope to accomplish. Write down your thoughts, feelings, hopes and frustrations. The more honest and open you are with yourself, the more permanent success you’ll have!
- Remove anything in the house that might cause you to “cave.” Go through your cupboards, fridge and pantry and get rid of (or hide!) all the things that will keep you from reaching your goals. That big bag on chocolate chips in the pantry?? Ya, that’s an issue for me!
- Identify any possible situations that might pose a problem. Are you going on vacation, is there a holiday or party coming up? Decide what you’re going to do. Sometimes it’s worth it to indulge and live it up a bit, but most of the time it’s not. Either way, decide how you’re going to handle these situations. When I’m going to a party or place where lots of tempting foods will be, I usually eat before I go and then I’m not as tempted!
- Before you go to bed at night, evaluate your day, identify what things helped you and what things you could improve on and then recommit to stick with it the next day!
That’s all I can think of for now!
I’m sorry to say, but there is no “magic secret” to healthy living. It just takes good old fashioned hard work and commitment. You have to decide to eat well, get your sleep and exercise regularly for life! Yes, it will obviously go in ebbs and flows, but you should always strive to get back to healthy living. If you find yourself in a “healthy funk,” don’t allow it to stay that way for too long! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get back to work! You deserve it and you are worth it!
I’m going to go to bed now so I can stick to my healthy goals! I will keep y’all posted on my “Operation Get Myself Out of My Health Rut!” I’m hopin’ for good results! “Night! xoxo