The “Cheat Meal”

Another week, another 2 pounds down. Feeling strong!

One thing to keep in mind about Weight Watchers or healthy eating in general, is that it’s not so much a temporary fix. I know people like quick fixes to lose weight fast, but sustainable weight loss requires a lifetime of choices.

This weekend, I went to the beach with family and had an indulgent meal followed by an ice cream. I don’t eat that way every day, but once a week makes a big difference in my perspective.

Eating real food with few fake or shady ingredients is important, but if you enjoy something, it should never be off limits. You just have to learn how to eat them in moderation. Easier said then done, but do something long enough, it does become habit.

Just like I need a rest day once a week, I also need a meal or two where I’m not counting calories or points, or wondering the ratio between carbs, proteins, and fats. Sometimes that meal turns into a week of meals, but know it’s never too late to return to healthier ways. Being super restrictive leads to resentment, which blocks success.

I don’t know if we should label anything the “cheat meal” because ice cream for me is just as important to my diet as baby spinach. I eat a lot more baby spinach per week, but it keeps me determined and successful. Referring to something as cheating provides further negative connotation to food, which our society does not need. We need to stop shaming people based on their habits, but try to promote better habits. Eating, for me at least, is an enjoyable part of life, whether it’s breakfast in the middle of a hectic morning or Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy it now more than I did when I was obese and eating a lot more. Part of that is I’ve come to like cooking, but another part of it is coming to accept the fact that we need food to live.

I’m not a proponent of many diets, fasts, or cleanses (although different things work for different people). Learning to eat real food most of the time just has better lasting effects and makes you feel better inside, which is most important.

Keep being you!


Well, good morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a food pic, so here’s one of this morning’s breakfast. Scrambled eggs, a whole grain English muffin topped with butter, and a big berry bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. An excellent start it the day and fuel for a soon-to-be strong workout!

There are soon to be a lot of changes over here at the blog- just posting for one thing. I know I’ve been slagging when it comes to updating the blog, but the past few weeks have been busy. I’m making an effort at making it a priority now, especially that I have some big news to share. Some might call it stupid and I would never day courageous, but I am calling it my own. After a lot of reflecting and discussion, I’ve realized the time is now to go after my personal training certification and make a career out of it.

Fitness, health, and well-being are what I am so passionate about. It changed my life three/four years ago now and I am leading a happier, more fulfilled, stronger life now because of it. As I’ve said before, the weight loss was a positive result from dedicating my life to eating healthier, exercising my body, and listening to my mind. Making those things into habits that I enjoy have helped me be successful. I can’t imagine eating as poorly as I did all those years ago because it makes me feel sick, tired, and disgusting. I do indulge in foods I love, ice cream, but I do so in healthy moderation. Oddly enough, eating right has helped me to enjoy eating. Before, I held a negative and guilty connotation for it. Now I eat without embarrassment, knowing that whatever I put into my mouth, I am doing with purpose, for nourishment, and yes, for enjoyment. This is important. Food is not the enemy, it is a life source. Unfortunately, the fast-paced and short-on-time environment in which we live does not leave much time for cooking. There are ways around it, which I hope we will explore on this blog, but it does need to be made a priority.

As for exercise, I am lucky because 5 out of the 6 days I workout, I want to be there. There are those days, especially on the dark end of 5am, where it would be so much easier to roll over and fall back asleep for a few more hours, but I find that it is so much better to wake up and go. Getting to the gym or taking that first step outside is the most difficult part. Once the adrenaline kicks in and all that strong and powerful energy takes over your body, you often feel like it’s not so bad. It actually feels really really good. And spoiler alert, the more you exercise, the more you like it. You just have to find the exercises that work best for your body and mind. Exercise has been a release and a savior to me when battling the stresses of school and work. I know that this is one place that I can return, just for me, every day, and connect with the thumping of my heart, the strain of my muscles, and the strength of my motivation. It has gotten me through some times where I thought things were too overwhelming and showed me that I am stronger than I seem. It’s always a good choice and it’s always my choice.

As for the mind thing, there are definitely improvements that can be made- as well as in anything I do of course- but these lives that we live are hectic. We eat in front of the tv because it’s the only time we get to watch that show we love. We eat at our desks in front of the computer because we can’t miss that email that might come or because we actually want to get out at five that day. We go through the motions because some days that’s what’s easiest. We don’t listen to our aches and pains of our bodies or minds because there is no time to be sick or to rest. We don’t listen to the things that we want to do because it doesn’t feel like the right time or we are too scared to go after it. One thing I want to do more is meditate. I’m not someone, at least right now, who can sit for long periods of time reflecting, but I can give five minutes of my morning or right before bed. I run on high anxiety, oftentimes knowing it is okay and that I need to relax, but not knowing how. In many ways, strategies can be taught, but you have to allow yourself to follow them. It’s just like with the first step of my weight loss journey. Strategies and guidelines were set, but it wasn’t time until I knew it was time.

I am not an expert. I just began studying for my personal training certificate and all I know is what worked for me. There are a ton of factors that led me to this moment in my life, big and small, those that stand out and those I may never recognize. I left my job because it wasn’t right for me and because I knew if I didn’t do this now, it would never get done. I dedicated my life to my health and well-being. I want to dedicate my life to helping others find that too. One thing I can say absolutely is the largest secret to my success is staying positive.

It started, officially, with a moment standing in front of a mirror and finally realizing that this was not how I wanted to live my life. I was afraid that day, rather than excited, to be going to an amusement park because I wasn’t sure that I would fit in the rides. I hated myself and my body, but that was nothing new. What was new was the realization that I could change that. I told myself that I was going to start making little choices that felt good and right. That day, I chose to walk back to the hotel rather than take a cab. Back at home, I hopped on the elliptical for a few minutes each day. I swam laps in the pool and walked the dog with my mom. I ate veggies and fruits and paid attention to everything I ate and listened to how it made my body feel. I started to lift weights and got so excited about trying new exercises and recipes. I lost weight and I loved the satisfaction of physical success. I found a passion and release in writing. I found that for the first time, in a long time, I was happy and proud of being me. I never saw my routine as a diet or temporary. I saw it as my life. I made it my life. It saved my life. 

There wasn’t ever a time in there that I felt like I couldn’t do it or that I wanted to give up. I do know how that feels because it had happened in the past. I couldn’t fail because my mindset had changed. When you want to live a healthy life, there is no easy fix. There is no secret evil formula that allows you to just cut something from your diet or workout for twenty minutes a day. Not anything that is long-lasting. You have to do it all. It has to become a part of your life. You need to be willing. 

I’ve already gone on for too long, but these words have been swimming around in my brain for so long now that when I finally sat down to write, they flowed onto the screen. I guess long story short is, life is about finding and doing things that you are passionate about. Four years ago, I never would have guessed where my life would be right now, but I wouldn’t have known a year ago, six months, or yesterday, not really. 

I’ve realized what makes me happy, fulfilled. I’m making my life about it.

How about you?