Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lessons from the big 2-0-1-6....

Hey, all!  Happy January from THIS side of the holidays😊  Hope you guys had as fabulous of one as you could have hoped for!

First things first:  In reference to my last post, where I said I was enjoying little treats along the way and hopefully it wouldn't lead to a 2 week binder at the end of the year.

Hmmmm...I can't say it was a TOTAL binder, but there was definitely A LOT of treats.  Too many, that's for sure.  Now that I think of it, a LOT of them were the week BEFORE Christmas.  We were running around a lot, like all the rest of you.  Between get togethers and quite a few errands, there was just a lot of eating on the go and/or 'hey, I didn't eat breakfast...but my friend is delivering cookies to my house while I'm teaching yoga, so....' 😉  Funny enough, the week AFTER Christmas (where we usually eat out a lot) we ended up cooking home A LOT and it felt REALLLLLLLLLLY nice.  There were definitely pockets of EXTRA-overindulging, but for the most part it was all held together well.  Working out also played a huge part that, aside from teaching classes, I tried to fit in at least a 2 mile walk in MOST days.  And forgave myself on the few days I just wasn't feelin it.  Because that recliner...😉

The result?

Stepped on the scale this morning as a gauge and I weighed the EXACT same weight I did back in October, which has been my post-Lily lowest so far.

I'll take it.

I'll take it.  I'll take it.  I'll take it.

With that said, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on food/mental weight loss that I feel have crystallized for me in 2016.  

Here goes:

~I like variety, but I REALLLLLLLLY don't like TOO much food at once.
  Perfect example:  We actually scaled back on Christmas Eve (where we do dips & appetizers), and yet there was STILL wayyyyyyyyy too much to sample and try.  The result?  You get full fast and then keep eating cause you want to try ALLTHETHINGS.  
Well, the one thing I LOVE (neeeeeeeeeeed!) to have on Christmas Eve is a plate of fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives...you get the picture.  I had some that night and it just blended in with ALL the rest of the things.  Everything was delicious, don't get me wrong.  But it just was A LOT.  Come December 26th, we were looking for something for lunch and I decided to whip up another cheese tray to munch on...and I enjoyed it sooooooooooooooooo much more.  Because I could just enjoy THAT ONE THING.  Still enjoyed variety with all the things to pick on, but WITHOUT needing ANYTHING else and without everything just blending into a mess of JUST CONSUMPTION and no flavor.  Good lesson for me. 

~A few bites of dessert are REALLY more than enough and all you can taste.
I forget this one WAY too easily.  But if you can't really taste it anymore, is it REALLY worth it??

~I ate full fat sour cream for the 1st time in YEARS, and guess what?  I ate WAY less and I liked it soooooooo very much.
SOOOO very much.  Cleaning up my diet and eating more real food has been an ongoing process since 2011.  My most interesting 'fact' about that time was that, after 3 years of nothing happening, I managed to get pregnant the year I quit Splenda.  May TOTALLLLLY have been a coincidence, but since then I've DEF kicked a lot of those habits.  And last year I really started to eat less "less fat/calorie" products and just savor smaller portions.  I don't HATE low-fat ice cream, but I don't think I've had/purchased it in ages (aside from one pint of a certain brand of 'protein ice cream', which may have unfortunately turned me off from even trying the highly touted Halo Top.  My stomach turns just thinking about it🙍).  
And MOST notably this year was the one I kicked my daily coffee creamer habit!  I'll have a cup, maybe once or twice a month, with a creamer...but most of the time it's 1/2 & 1/2 and honey for me now, baby.  All day, err day.  That was a huggggggggggggge one, since I felt the creamer was the most unhealthy habit I had in my DAILY diet.  (I still have the occasional diet soda, but it's usually ONLY when I'm out.  Not a daily thing.  I'll tackle that one another year😉)
I also try to buy more organic WHEN I can, without driving myself to the brink of insanity and/or the poorhouse😉  I mainly focus of the "dirty dozen" and try to filter in the rest where I can.  (Shopping at Trader Joe's, Aldi's & Amazon Fresh has been our mainstays and an easy way to keep track of organic products for cheaper) 

~86% of the time, I don't like Greek yogurt.  Too much tang.  Only on specific occasions.
There, I said it.
😉  And/or I've figured out a lot of what I do AND do NOT like last year and it's just not worth the calories (or a foods promise of a lack there of) to eat it if I just DON'T LIKE IT.  So I'm not gonna.  So there.
And seriously, unless you're trying to detox a bit to get yourself back on track (we all need a little extra discipline SOME TIMES!) or trying out new ways to sample new foods, DON'T eat anything you hate!  Ya hate quinoa?  Don't do it!  Hate brussel sprouts, but like broccoli?  Eat the broccoli.  Everything is worth trying at least once or twice, but life's too short for FORCING yourself to eat things you just DO NOT like.  It's never worth it.  There are plenty of ways to make 'healthier' ingredients in a way you can enjoy them (and/or swaps for the ones you REALLY don't like).  Ya just gotta crack your own code to eating healthy AND happy😉    
(and if you're curious-the only 14% of the time I find Greek yogurt appealing is in those 2% cups mixed with fruit or honey, mixed in dips, salad dressings or mixed with a bit of lemon on tacos.  You can sleep now that you know that info😉)

~Eating what I want when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full just KILLS all that under consuming that leads to binging.  If you're hungry, EAT.  And more importantly, if you're not: DON'T.
I've struggled with binges for YEARS.  As in:  I would do realllllllly good and eat super healthy for days & weeks at a time, but always succumb to days/weeks where I just went on a tear and ate like my life depended on it.  And what I've really noticed this past year is that the times I'm NOT binging is when I'm FULL & SATISFIED.  As in, not having the teeniest, tinest meals in the name of weight loss, only to go off the rails and plow through food either that same day or coupled after weeks of teeny, tiny meals.  Keeping myself full and HAPPY with my meals is KEY.  Over the spring/summer, it was about me having a bigger breakfast to carry me through the day.  Right now, I'm enjoying the smaller meals, but snacking OFTEN and ANY time I'm hungry.  Whatever can keep me satiated and HAPPY keeps my head so much clearer and less prone to that dreaded moment of OVERdoing.
And I've written about this a lot here, but make sure you're ALLOWING yourself to have what you're REALLY craving.  Denying yourself only leads to that binging, and let's just skip that and leave it in the past this year, K?

~I'm NEVER happy when I'm stuffed.  EVERRRRRRRRR.
As soon as I crack the code of eating till I'm JUST FULL (which is an ONGOING process, to say the least), I'll have found my Narnia.

~The scale doesn't matter AT ALL.  Even if the scale # is good, you KNOW when you still feel gross from eating garbage and vice versa.
All that said and yet I'm still sooooooooo conflicted about the scale.  I banished it for most of this year, but still feel like it's a tool when you're REALLY trying to be diligent and loose weight.   This is still a tough one....but 2 things I know for sure:  1-I feel less obsessive without it & 2-I do indeed know when I feel good vs. gross.  Trust thy gut.

~I didn't beat myself up this year if I occasionally overate or didn't feel my best.
For the most part, I just moved on and started fresh at the next meal.  And all that lack of mental boxing lead to making PEACEFUL healthier choices MORE often.  I'll take it.

~I like chocolate in the afternoons and have it almost daily.  Because it makes me happy.  End of story.
Preferably milk.  And I know you're gonna tell me that dark is better.  I know, I get it.  Some days I have it, but most days it's milk all the way.  Know your happy place💖  


~My brain switching over to 'less healthy' things once Friday-Sunday rolls around.
It's almost automatic and I can't STAND it.

~we're blessed to have a LOT of times to indulge and MAYBE I don't neeeeeeed to participate in EVERY one.  Especially if it's not exactly what I want in the moment.
On two occasions in recent memory we went out to eat and I GENUINELY wanted a salad.  But I did not get the salad because 'we were out, so it's time to indulge.'  And guess what??  I felt gross after.  Funny how I'll eat kale when I'm home, 'being good' and really want pasta, but I'll RARELY everrrrr get a salad if I'm 'supposed' to be eating a burger while we're out.
Maybe in 2017, I'll learn🙏

(I'll mention again) ~Stop eating when I'm JUST full.

So yep...that's where 2016 has brought me and I'm excited to see what's next.  On the weight front, I can firmly say I'm 20+ pounds lighter than I was last year and I'll take that.  ....still about 7 pounds from my pre-Lily weight & about 18ish pounds (give or take) from my happiest weight, where I feel my best...but we're getting there.  Slow & steady.  At least I can say I'm getting there while feeling happy & satisfied vs. deprived & miserable.  I'll take what I can get😉

Me thinks I'll have lots more to share with you on the meditation front soon as well.  Plus I think I may be bringin back my 'weekly food wrap-ups.'  I always enjoyed doing them...as long as I don't feel too consumed/obsessed with food.  But a gal still likes to talk about it occasionally😉

Have you guys learned any big lessons in 2016?  If so, share with me!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Very curious...

So something very curious has been happening.  Very, very curious.  

And of course it involves food.  And Christmas.  So here ya go:

I've always been an 'out of sight/out of mind' person when it comes to food.  Honestly, if it's not in front of me, 97.6% of the time I won't go seek it out.  As long as I have the snack foods hidden for when I NEEEEED them, I rarely think about them.  HOWEVER, if there just happens to be a Reese's peanut butter cup laying on the counter...than OBVIOUSLY it's the only thing I'VEEVERNEEDEDTOEATINMYWHOLE LIFE and I HAVE to have it.  I'm wired like that. 

So going back to the curious happenings, Trader Joe's just so happens to make their Christmas treats RIDICULOUSLY adorable and I have made said treats a part of my Christmas decor around here and they've been hanging out on my counter all month long.

The curious part??  (may I repeat...ahem...) THEY'VE BEEN HANGING OUT ON MY COUNTER ALL MONTH LONG!

Like, as in NO OVER compulsion to polish them up all the live long day.  NO NEED for a 'little piece of this & that throughout the day.  They're just THERE.  And looking oh-so-pretty I might add.

Now let me back up a second here.  It's not like I'm not eating things from my Christmas stash AT ALL.  Quite the contrary...and here's where some 'mental weight loss magic' may be working.

So when December started, I knew I wanted to do a few things.... 

  1. Get my 2-3 mile Walk Away the Pounds in every day (or at least most days)
  2. Enjoy Christmas treats and all the fun things the month brings.
  3. Not deprive myself all month long and then STUFFMYFACE like a lunatic the last 2 weeks of December.
That last one has yet to be decided, BUT I HAVE been enjoying a treat a day.  The key to this seems to be the fact that instead of waiting to have 'dessert' at the end of the day as I usually do (all while trying to distract myself ALL day from not diving face first into that stash), instead I usually CRAVE chocolate around 1-2 o'clock every day...so guess what?  I have it.  And I don't wait.

Revolutionary, I know.

But hear me out.  For whatever reason (and reading into Ayurvedic medicine, this seems to make more sense) my hardest time to make it through the day, snack wise, is 12-4p,.  Mornings I don't care.  Nights (FOR THE MOST PART) I don't care.  But those afternoons are a BEAR and where I have to distract my mind the most, but it definitely WANTS.  So instead of trying to distract myself, I just started giving into it and enjoying whatever the hell I wanted in the afternoons.  (and on that .04% chance I don't want to snack that day, I *GASP* don't).  And guess what?  My mind has been SO much clearer and I've been able to sort through my cravings easier.  Choosing what I REALLY want every single day, having it and just moving.  And here's the REALLY important part: with having no interest in having MORE.  I can't overstate that non-desire to keep eating & eating enough.  I can't even TELL you how many times I've ignored my cravings (be it for a day or days) and eventually ending up in that sweet/salty snack cycle, all the while nothing seems satisfying.  Here, I have what I want.  It satisfies me.  End of story.

It's really so crazy that this needs to be a THOUGHT PROCESS, while I'm sure for others this just comes so naturally.  It feels sorta crazy...but ya know what?  It is what it is and I'm better off acknowledging that it's a process for me (and I'm sure for some of you out there) then to pretend that it's not and only end up going off the rails (again, and again and again).

I know nothing of that.


The daily exercise has definitely been another key in helping keep my mind clear on rational food choices (although I'm currently on hiatus with a cold...grrrr!) and really satisfying each craving WHEN THEY HAPPEN (more on that soon!).   That has been my huge "accomplishment" this month.  

Hahahahaha...and by accomplishment, rest assure this also means I was making a pan of salted pretzel bark last night (right alongside our healthy dinner of Farro, white bean and kale;) because I knew I DID NOT want to wait until closer to Christmas to enjoy it.  I wanted it NOW and that was that.

And the kicker?  I feel GOOD, both in body and SOUL.  Not deprived, enjoying all the Christmatreats all month IN PEACE (vs. in a crazy binge) and if I wanna go back to swapping the chocolate treats for apples come January?  Well, we'll just cross that bridge when 2017 ushers in;)

We'll see how this rolls on through the next couple weeks, with the MOUNTAINS of treats being thrown at us left & right for the rest of the month.  (Not to mention my love of cooking with all those little *special* ingredients this time of year aka-puff pastry, Brie cheese, etc.)  My goal is to ENJOY WITHOUT that overindulgence that not only leaves the guilt, but also the GROSS feelings.  Even if I've been working on not associating guilt with food these past few months, ya still can't deny the GROSS factor.  So AVOIDING THAT will be my new goal.

There.  I said it.

It's gonna happen.

How do you guys work out those cravings??  Especially around the holidays??  

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Monday, November 7, 2016

A dose of perspective...

So since I decided to stop weighing myself, I've been 1000% less COMPLETELYOBSESSED with the numbers on the scale and more focused on how I feel and trying to make good choices.  The only 'problem' is that during my once-a-month weigh-ins, I've been fairly consistent on the scale...which is GREAT, but I also would like to loose a bit more before I get to that maintenance phase.  And with that said, I decided to start trying to be EXTRA consistent with my work-outs and more diligent about food choices/loosing weight.  And since my brain had some 'free time,' given it wasn't obsessed with that scale...what would any moderately rational person do instead?  OF COURSE focus on how RESENTFUL I felt about needing to loose THE SAME weight for the 4th time (the 1st time around, the 2nd time after I gained some back + 2 pregnancies).  

About 3 weeks ago, I had went back to my 'home base' of workouts and started back with my good ole "Walk away the pounds" videos and trying to do them at least daily.  The only problem was that even when I was waking up and getting the 3-mile version done first thing in the morning, I didn't feel proud of myself.  I just felt MAD that I STILL had to do these things, even ALLLLLL these years later.  Now, don't get me wrong, I have written AT LENGTH on this blog about how I've never really been inconsistent with working out because I've always done what I'd like...which is all true.  HELL, I never really even forget how lucky I am that I CAN move my legs enough to workout, ya know.  And I'll be the FIRST to admit you never really can stop working, BUT...this resentment coupled with TRYING to get EXTRA consistent to loose THESAMEPOUNDS left me pretty pissed off.

And then, much like any other time in my life, the perfect answer came to me at just the right moment.  I was in the midst of having a pity party and getting angry about working up the motivation to do the 7 zillionth walk in 10+ years, and in the back of my mind came the words I needed to hear clear as a bell...
But what's the alternate?

Talk about a wake up call.   Because what's the alternate of blowing off workouts because you're mad and you just don't want to do them anymore?  What's the alternate for eating junk food that you know makes you feel like trash, but you're just hoping THIS ONE time you sit on the couch and overindulge on chips and eat yourself into oblivion will not make you FEEL like trash for days?  And what if you just did both of these for days, weeks, months on end....where is that going to lead?

You know where I'm going with this.

It was just the bit of perspective I needed to clear my mind and get myself moving HAPPILY again.  And not just moving, but feeling 100% mentally lighter after shedding all of that weight of resentment.  My current 'routine' is to tackle one of these 2 mile walks at least 4 days of the week, while I try to sweat it out a little extra with the 3 miles atleast twice a week.  And 98% of the time, I play one on my phone/computer while watching TV.  (Fun fact: a 3 mile walk is the same length of time as a Real Housewives of NJ episode, sans commercials...heyyyyyyy!;)  And, as I've learned about 8 zillion times before, as soon as I get a consistent burst of cardio going, my brain clears SOOOOOOOOO much better to make wiser, calmer food choice.  Making it MUCH easier to decipher true cravings from the times I really don't mind calling a green monster or cauliflower with hummus my breakfast or lunch.  And/or being able to REALLY enjoy those indulging times and helping you just move onto your next meal without an ounce of guilt or second thought. (because, ummmm...I already have melted brown butter cooling on the stove for Katie & I to make these cupcakes later today;)

Just thought I'd share if you needed that bout of perspective this morning.  It definitely helped me pull it all together and hope it will for you as well.  Enjoy your day!

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Friday, October 28, 2016

A peek in the lunchbox...

Hey, everyone!  I'm so sorry I don't get to post on here as much as I'd like...but I had a fun reason to pop on here today.  

Speaking of POP, Skinnypop was interested in my take on gluten-free lunch ideas.  And since I heart me some Skinnypop (especially the, swooon, white cheddar!), I thought I'd share what I pack for my Pre-K daughter for lunch.  And while my house is not gluten-free, after photoing a near- week's worth of lunches, I realized they were pretty much all naturally gluten-free.  So I thought I'd pop (there I go again;) on here today to give you the lay of the land for a week's worth of lunchboxes.  As always, I like to keep it quick and simple.  Momma's got NO TIME for fancy at this moment in life;)

MONDAY:  Chickpeas + grapes + a cheese stick...
...plus, um, an ice pack because it's 2016 and HOWDIDWESURVIVE our school days without ice packs back in the day?? ;)

TUESDAY:  Cucumbers + Laughing Cow cheese + yogurt

WEDNESDAY:  Cucumber & carrots + hummus + yogurt 

THURSDAY:  Yogurt + Pear + cheese stick 

I'm trying to jog my brain to think of anything different that she's eaten so far this school year and the only items that I can think of was when she was having a pepperoni & cheese moment.  Beyond that, she pretty much sticks to these few things every week.  What can I say?  My girl's a creature of habit (the apple don't fall far, folks;)  And of course Skinnypop would round out these lunch perfectly for a great snack or for a nice treat waiting afterschool.

Hope you guys liked this little peek and have a great weekend!

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