reset eating

If you are a fan of eating, like I am, then following a balanced diet can be difficult. Fall starts us out with tons of tempting treats, which is followed up with winter (when we’re covered up) and we greet the holidays with abandon. Spring might make us feel as though we should rein in the eating a bit, but the days get warmer and ice cream (although a valid year-long treat) seems that much more appealing.

I think the stress of my move has revealed itself most in my eating, and unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who “just can’t eat” when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I’ve not gone completely off the wagon, but there are definitely things I need to cut back on.

Here’s how I hit refresh.

No, I’m not a fan of the juice cleanse or other crash diets, although I will up my water and tea intake (exnay on the honey). I don’t love the idea of tracking every calorie for the rest of my life, but I when I feel as though I’ve been consistently overeating for too long, I’ll download a free app and force myself to pay more attention to what I’m putting into my mouth because, much like at Target, the little things add up.

While I do not believe in completely cutting things out, such as essential nutrients found in fats and carbs, I do try to make a solid return to eating as clean and fresh as possible. I’m good about eating my fruits and veggies, but I’ll include even more in the form of soups, salads, or stir frys for lunches. I’ll make sure that my snacks are planned and packed in advance: hard-boiled eggs with a piece of fruit, trail mixes, peanut butter toast, hummus or almond butter with carrots and celery sticks, yogurt and berries with walnuts are all go to faves.

But mostly, it means not dipping a hand into the candy bowl at work or giving into every craving for chocolate. The more you eat sugar, the more you want sugar. I do indulge my voracious sweet tooth on the regular, but I try to make a real effort to eat a treat mindfully, slowly, and with a lot of appreciation so I can enjoy it and not feel as though I need more.

In the beginning of my weight loss journey- FIVE years ago, FIVE – I got a lot of leeway on the eating front because I hadn’t been working out and the addition of exercise to my life was astronomical. Obviously I changed my eating habits for the better, but exercise will only get me so far with weight loss these days and as I grow older, my metabolism will also be less forgiving.

Although, of note, I believe my exercise routine helped kick my cold in three days while others around me suffered for weeks. Just sayin’.

Eating can be stressful, especially if you aren’t feeling healthy or strong, but it’s also an enjoyable experience that should always be enjoyed. I find that when I’m overeating, I’m enjoying what I’m eating far less. It becomes a dirty little secret, makes me feel guilty and sick, which detracts from my confidence. Food and eating is not the enemy, but a return to moderation is always important and always possible.

The most important part of hitting the refresh button for me is finding a positive mindset. My body and mind are strongest together. If I feel bad about myself or have negative feelings towards my body, I tend to be crankier, more anxious, and unhappy. But by treating my body well even in the smallest ways, like wearing a ridiculous face mask, working through a particularly challenging workout routine, getting a pedicure, doing yoga, going for a walk, or just standing in the mirror and offering myself a genuine smile, I find I can face the day in a brighter way.

I got this reminder for a reason.

 

 

Weekend Update With Caitlin

I’ll just let that title be my audition for SNL!

I intended to do another Weekend Recap of pictures for you this morning, but I only came away with two pictures to share. Whoops. I fell out of the habit of snapping my food and whereabouts and it makes for a sad blog post.

Before we go into the weekend, I should take this time to shoutout a Happy Birthday message to my dog Mac! We usually have about 80 birthday celebrations for him in the month of March, but today is the actual day. If I didn’t include this, my mom would have been furious.

This weekend included some quality friend time. Starting with Friday night when I met up with some work friends for dinner, drinks, and fro yo. Life is not complete without a little sweetness to end the day!* (*Too much sweetness lately, but I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post!)

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After work and a run on Saturday, it was time to catch up with a few friends from college. We made chicken with peppers, zucchini, and lots of chips and salsa to go with our fancy pants margaritas. To make the drinks, we chopped off a ton of fresh strawberries and limes and blended it all together. Yum!

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After a night out, we woke up hungry! Scrambled eggs, english muffins, and bacon were on the menu! A little later, we were all curled up on the couches and watching Harry Potter Weekend. Those movies (but especially the books) never get old! They are…wait for it…MAGICAL!!!! We also ended up getting some pizza for lunch and I have no regrets!

I did manage to make myself workout on Sunday. Since it was so nice, I started things off with a brisk two mile walk with my mom and the dog. At the gym, it was biceps and shoulders day, so I did six moves, four sets, and 12 reps for each muscle group. To top things off, I also did a circuit of core exercises, which I try to incorporate into every workout.

The core is so important and not just to work that six/eight pack! I for one have what’s equivalent to a one pack, but I’m proud of that bad boy because I’ve been working HARD at it these past few months. Ever since I started studying, I realized how important the core is to the success of the entire body and so I pay it special attention. When I first started, I pulled something in my abdominals using the roller, so I stopped using it and decided to build up those muscles another way. A few months later and I’m finding the roller to be too easy. Hard work leads to success, there are no shortcuts (that will make worthwhile progress!)

The rest of the night, I spent doing laundry and taking a bath to try out my first Lush bath bomb. LOVED it! I think I’ll have to make it more routine in my life.

This morning, I started my day with scrambled egg whites, french toast, and the sweetest berries! Again, I forgot to take a picture, but I will be better about it! Now I’m listening to Adele and getting some work done.

Happy Monday!

Confessions of a Chocaholic

I have a problem, two actually, and neither include that supposed apocalypse that was hyped. Well, so far, we’re safe.

First problem, my sweet tooth is out of control. Sugar is addictive and I am not strong against it. We’ve discussed my want for ice cream at length. I don’t just mean during the warm summer months. The need is hard even during the frigid winter. A day without ice cream is a wasted day, not worth living something in which I have to grow accustomed.

When it comes to sweets, I’m not big on the fruity candy or fancy desserts. I love ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate. On occasion, I’ll enjoy some cake so long as there’s ice cream on the side (don’t even think about putting it on top!).

Here’s what I have become.

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Yes, that is a candy wrapper (one of the Hershey miniatures) stuck in my STEERING WHEEL. In my defense, except there is no defense, the wind picked it up from one of my cup dispensers when I was driving with my windows down and it must have lodged into the wheel. I had to snap a pic and share in the embarrassment. If we can’t laugh, then I’m just a little bit pathetic.

I think we’ve all learned to pick up after ourselves and maybe to better combat cravings.

That second problem I mentioned: flies! I am being hunted down by what I’m pretty sure is the same pack of flies, whether I’m at work, running, sitting in my backyard, and even in my bedroom! Okay, that last one was an exaggeration as they were not in my bedroom, but the others were true. Usually it’s mosquitoes that are all up in my business, but they’ve been blessedly absent this summer. Back off, bugs!

Maybe if I stopped eating so much sugar, I wouldn’t seem as sweet…

Let’s move onto food. Last night’s dinner was veggie heavy. I enjoyed a piece of grilled swordfish with brown spinach rice, squash, broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper. Yum!

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This morning’s breakfast included an egg, chicken sausage, and pepper jack cheese sandwich with a banana and scoop of chocolate peanut butter.

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The goodness fueled me through my morning run before work. I ran two miles and ended with a couple of sprints that left me breathless in the best way! I need to be better about including intervals into my training, but they knock you out! I have some Yoga on the menu for later to top things off.

After work, I had lunch with a friend at Whole Foods. I was good and stacked my plate with lots of yummy vegetables, like fresh bell peppers, grilled artichokes and zucchini, and marinated mushrooms. I then added a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a chicken finger, but we all need our indulgences once in awhile.

Now’s the time for studying in my backyard with the beautiful breeze and warm sun shining down. God, do I love fall!