Get It, Girl

Something that keeps plaguing me is why we put so much stock into diets. Part of the reason why it took me so long to lose weight in the first place was because I didn’t want to commit to the harsh bitterness of what I believed a diet entailed. It never occurred to me that to lose weight, you need to commit to healthy eating on top of a healthy lifestyle.

 This does not mean that I limit myself, at all. In fact, I think I give into too many temptations sometimes. I’m only human and it’s called chocolate.

 After the dedication and commitment I put into these past two years, I know how to eat healthy, cook healthy, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I don’t regret any of it, and to be honest, I enjoy these foods more than the fried ones and not only because they make me feel stronger and happier.

 One thing I still need help on is the debilitating fear of going back to where I was a little more than two years ago. In some ways, with how far I’ve come physically and emotionally, those days seem so far away. Yet, when I meet new people who have no idea what I used to look like, it feels a little unsettling to a point where I can’t quite pinpoint that emotion.

 It’s not all the time and it’s usually sprung on me after weekends where I feel as though I’ve indulged too heavily, a little bloated, or I didn’t get my usual sweat going in my workout. Or because winter keeps me inside and stirring with my own mind for too long. Guilt is a terrible thing when combined with fear.

 When this sets in, I feel the panic rising in me like little bubbles exploding in my body to mind shouting, “fat, fat, FAT!” That’s the point where I start downloading a food tracking app, worrying excessively about calories and wondering if that apple I ate as a mid-morning snack will put me over the edge.

 I know.

 Back when I was on Weight Watchers and still living in a dorm, I think I had so much success because one, I was spending two hours a day at the gym because I had the time and motivation, and two, because I was eating a lot healthier. Yes, I was technically tracking but I also wasn’t so concerned about measuring every little morsel. I chose healthy foods, accepted what the servers gave me, and ate until my hunger signals said, “Enough!”

 When I left school, I got into the measuring thing a lot more. I didn’t need Weight Watchers anymore and I succeeded. But once I cut ties and relied on myself a bit more, panic and obsession infiltrated my conscious. Once again, I went back to tracking, taking the enjoyment and satisfaction out of meals and eating in general.

 This happened again. I’m a lot busier, have a lot more on mind, and feeling unsteady on my feet as I look forward to another future of change. This is an exciting time, but challenging, and that means, I start to worry more about what I can control. Food.

 After a stressful past two weeks, I deleted the apps. I put fear to the wind and am trying to get back to that happy place I was in May 2012 when I graduated and felt like the world was ready to be my playground.

 So if I could offer only one piece of advice about weight loss, it would be this: eat real, unprocessed foods that you put as much time as you can into preparing. Eat slow, enjoy, and let them nourish you. Don’t worry about calories because one serving of almonds might be more caloric and higher in fat than that 100 calorie pack of fake cookies, but deep down we all know what’s better for you.

 Diets won’t work because they’re never lasting. I can’t rely on anything but myself to be in a positive, healthy position. This is a battle and a mantra I will have to repeat to myself possibly until the day that I die. And it’s about time I trust my instincts. I lost close to 100 pounds and have maintained for almost two years. Even though it’s sometimes difficult because I’m no longer seeing those immediate results, I need to learn how to still feel them.

Sometimes, you just need a reminder.





Sorry, I Can’t, I’m Marinating Tofu

Ever since my sister uttered these words, maybe two years ago, declining dinner with my mom and me, we have been relentless with our teasing. It’s not so much the actual process of marinating tofu that is the issue, but the way she said it, with such innocence and conviction, that made it so funny. We have often used the statement as an excuse as to why we don’t want to do something. “Oh sorry, I can’t empty the dishwasher, have tofu marinating,” or “I have tofu marinating, I can’t drive you to the airport.” We can’t have it over-tenderized.

With such a response, lasting so many years, you can imagine my chagrin when I asked my sister for a recipe for marinated tofu. Though hesitant, I’ve been becoming more disenchanted with meat, so I need to differ my protein choices. I’ve never been adverse to tofu itself and have enjoyed it a few times when it has already been prepared for me, but now I had to take matters into my own kitchen.

 My sister laughed and obliged, though I still have yet to see the actual recipe. Instead, I made my own, and the result was a yummy, healthy, delightful combination of flavors.

 Add a little honey, ginger, and soy sauce to a bag with however much tofu you want. Let it marinate for a few hours. Toss some olive or coconut oil into a pan, chop up whatever veggies you want. My favorites are red peppers, carrots, zucchini, portabella mushrooms, and sugar snap peas. Add cashews or peanuts, and grain of choice, I like brown rice or quinoa, and it’s a great, filling meal!


 Lesson Learned: Don’t mock it till you try it. Or, at the very least, listen to your wise older sister, even if she doesn’t know it.

Procrastination In Moderation

Procrastination can be a bad, bad thing, especially when all that you’re delaying is bedtime. I know that if I don’t get my eight+ hours of sleep, I’m going to be feeling miserable waking up in the still dark mornings. True, I’ll be miserable regardless of how much sleep I get because waking up to an alarm blaring in your ear is cruel, the blankets are always more soft and warm and comfortable when you know you have to leave them, and sleep is precious.

 I know all of this. I relish sleep and my bed and do not like to leave it for long periods of time. Still, there are too many nights I find myself trolling Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook, watching CNN to see if they finally figured anything out about the plane when we all know they haven’t, or taking another one of those Buzzfeed quizzes because I refuse to admit that I am Marshmallow from Frozen. Who’s Marshmallow, you ask? The gigantic, unkind snowman Elsa creates to kick everyone out of her castle. Yes, I have taken this quiz four times, mixing up answers, and four times I have been classified as this hideous character. No, I am not not offended by this at all…

 When it comes to work, my procrastination leads me to even more Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook and Buzzfeed. To be honest, no one is that interesting or has much to say in the five minutes I’m not on a site, and I know this while I’m still doing it. I make up for it in those random fits of adrenaline where I power through a bunch of stuff and feel accomplished for all of five minutes before I realize I have more to do the next day. I’m procrastinating studying for a huge midterm right now.

 While I value those spare, sweet, free moments when I can just browse the internet and not be expected to do anything else for anyone else, I think I, and I know a lot of other people out there, need to get a grip. I am obsessed with my phone and tweeting and looking at pictures of Chris Evans promoting the new Captain America movie with his new beard (okay this I can’t be blamed for and I won’t stop). If I spent half the time in the evenings writing, playing my keyboard, or reading for fun, I would be so much more accomplished and fulfilled in my life.

 Part of me blames the winter, but we all know that’s a lame excuse.

 So, I ask, why does this keep happening to me? Why am I more likely to search for good looking recipes than actually making them? Why can’t I drop my phone and curl into my bed when I know it’s what I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I rolled out of it? And why can’t they find this plane!?!

I swear I’m not masochistic.

 Maybe, I need to start listening to Buzzfeed. Perhaps it’s time I embrace my status as Marshmallow, or a cheeseburger without the bread aka without the fun, and be more active, healthier, and assertive in my life. Marshmallow’s not just sitting there and letting all those people get up in his business. He’s taking them out and embracing this winter freeze.

That Awkward Moment

When it comes to exercise, I am one of those people who gets so caught up in my own mind and workout that I rarely notice other people around me. That’s not to say that I’m rude and will walk on top of someone lying on the mat doing their girl crunches (HAPPENED TO ME AND MY HAIR WILL NEVER BE THE SAME). Or that I take dumbbells straight out of someone’s hand- also happened to me and I took them right back thank you very much. I’m also not above being a little bit of a show-off when I see some hot shot walk over, grab a pair of dumbbells, and start making the loudest, unnecessary sounds possible. Yes, hi, you’re interrupting my Britney jam-time and you’re not lifting that much.  I then choose ten to twenty pounds heavier than they have and perform the exercise with ease and keep my feelings to myself. My point is, that when I’m working out, I don’t care what people think of me. I hope I look like a hot sweaty mess because that means I’m doing a good job.

Sorry, my hair is tied into a wet knot on top of my head and my eyes have goggle imprints. It’s because I just got out of the pool. My make-up is smudged, face beet-red, and I look like I might pass out at any moment because I just ran on a treadmill in this heat-infested hellhole because the snow and cold kept me inside all winter long. This is in no way a means to brag, it’s just a fact. I rarely even notice any of this unless I happen to pass by a mirror and have a look at myself. 

The real kicker is when I might have been walking uphill backwards after a long run and the one neighbor you don’t really know at all walks by me and now thinks I might be crazy. This is all speculation based on the look he gave me and the fact that I almost walked into a tree, after I faced forward again. To be fair, that also could have been because I was mumbling screaming Let It Go under my breath very loudly. Regardless of what this person’s impression of me is, I don’t care. I’m just happy warm weather is approaching and it’s possible to step outside for more than thirty seconds. I’d rather dodge cars and squirrels than be stuck working out in a gym six days a week where I have to keep from hitting someone with a kettle bell or be hit.