Daily Things

I thought I’d give a- probably mundane- rundown of my daily routine. Three days a week, I open up at the gym, so my alarm clock blares at 4:35am. When it’s being unkind, I’ll roll over and see I only have three minutes left to sleep. There is no kind when you have to wake up before 5am, although I have gotten used to it to an extent.

On these days, I get ready very quickly, really just feeding Simba and throwing my breakfast together. I typically work until 1pm and fit in my own workout. If I time my coffee and snacks appropriately, and slept well the night before, I will be motivated to complete an intense workout. If none of the aforementioned happens, then I will go through the motions. Most days, I’m awake enough to put myself through a tough workout, even though my first thought in the morning is I will definitely nap. (I never nap).

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My workouts on MWF are strength training based, sometimes total body, other days split by muscle group- functional and heavy lifting depending on my mood. This part, core included, will take 45-50 minutes. After, I fit in 15-25 minutes of cardio- cycling, arc trainer, and/or jump roping with intervals included.

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Once I leave, it’s lunch time! I try to stick to lean proteins and veggie-heavy dishes, including salads and stir fries, but other times, I’ll have leftovers. Being back on Weight Watchers means my lunches main source of carbs are veggies and fruits.

Before I shower, I spend some quality time with Simba. He’s still only one and loves being chased, so I try to do this as often as possible. The dude loves his friskies, so he can use the exercise too. Although, half the time when I run at him, he throws himself down and demands pats.

He demands pats most of the day and will follow me around, but when I settle down at my computer for writing time, he does settle down to sit in front of the window or under my desk. Right now, he’s actually yelling at me for attention.

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The rest of the night is spent meal prepping, reading, and watching TV or the Red Sox. Of course, Fridays are a little different.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I get to sleep in a little longer. I never thought a 6:45am wake-up time would be indulging in sleep. These mornings, I hop out of bed, chug water, and hit the pavement for a run. Sometimes I’ll run straight through for about 3 miles, other times I’ll alternate between running and walking. I get to have a nice, leisurely breakfast before heading to work.

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On Tuesdays, I’m done early, so I follow a similar routine to Mondays and Wednesdays. I work a split shift on Thursdays, so in-between, I’ll meal prep, play with Simba, and write.

For Saturday and Sunday, I choose one day to run and the other to rest, depending on my schedule.

What’s your daily routine look like?

Week 1 WW

I’m a week back into Weight Watchers and feeling strong! So far, I’m down 6 pounds!

I know that is a big number, but the first week or two will always jumpstart you. There were definitely some changes that needed to be made to my diet.

The biggest change I’ve undergone thus far is cutting back on the carbs. I still eat and enjoy whole wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice, but not as much and not for every meal. I grew accustomed to having two slices of toast at breakfast especially, but now I eat one piece or have a whole wheat pita or tortilla instead. I’m particularly careful to measure how much I’m eating to keep me honest. Carbs are comfort, but they are also necessary for the body to function, so I refuse to abandon them!

A specific carb I’ve cut down on using is butter. I love butter, particularly on top of carbs and inside dishes to make them taste so much better. Not using it as frequently has helped me become more creative with spices in dishes, but also helps me make better choices, for instance, peanut butter is a better alternative to butter on my toast in the morning because it has more nutrients and substance.

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The biggest benefit has been a lack of bloating. I would sometimes go to bed feeling gross or overly stuffed, not thinking that I’ve eaten too much more than I should until that point. I already eat a ton of veggies, but I’ve upped my in take, hello breakfast scrambles, and my tummy has improved overall.

My energy levels have also improved. I don’t feel as tired when the alarm rings at 4:30 in the morning and my workouts feel better fueled. I’m excited to see how much easier my running gets as I continue to shed pounds, including speed and endurance.

It’s also important for me to remember how far I’ve come from 7 years ago now when I was 100 pounds heavier to see how far I’ve come.

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Fun Weekend Things

Welcome back from the weekend! I hope it treated you right and that Monday is doing the same.

My weekend started early Friday afternoon when I got off work and headed to a local amusement park with my mom. I’m not a huge daredevil in real life, but I do love a thrilling roller coaster!

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On Saturday, I started my day with this egg roll-up stuffed with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni for a total of 3 points.

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I spent a good chunk of the day reading a mystery I couldn’t put down! For once, I wasn’t disappointed by the ending and it was a solid page-turner. I did tear myself away to fit in a great workout I was really feeling.

Doing a lot of barbell work, I focused on heavy weights 3 sets of 10 reps and did 100 jumps on the jump rope after each exercise. 5 upper body exercises, 5 lower body, and 2 core, which totaled to 1200 jumps! I enjoyed mixing the strength and cardio because it kept things moving and didn’t feel tedious. I also worked up a good sweat.

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For lunch, I heated up some chicken and veggie potstickers with lots of veggies- bell peppers, broccoli slaw, and bok choy- with a touch of hoisin sauce. Altogether, the meal was 7 points.

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I headed down to the park to meet up with my sister and her family and spent some quality baby time. She was feeling the not-so-hot weather and promptly napped.

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By dinner time, I was hungry! I grilled up chicken and veggies and splurged with some whole wheat pasta. I mixed everything with a lighter alfredo sauce and a sprinkling of cheese for a total of 13 points!

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Since it’s the weekend and I had most of my weekly points remaining, I very much savored some ice cream, while watching a movie- Table 19- which didn’t get great reviews but was free on HBO. I actually thought it was cute.

Sunday morning started with a cheese omelette, piece of toast, and raspberries.

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Then it was time for a muggy run! 3.1 solid miles of sweat.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent celebrating my Grandma’s birthday. It was nice to spend time with family and celebrate the day.

Happy birthday, Grandma!

Food Friday Round-up

It’s Friday (the 13th!) and I’m back with a round-up of food from the week! As I mentioned earlier, I’m back on Weight Watchers, but I’m determined not to fill my days with bland, boring foods. Here’s a look at what I’ve been eating- and enjoying- this week!

*This does not include snacks throughout the day.

Breakfasts

Scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, spinach, jalapeños, chicken sausage, and cheese in a whole wheat pita. (3 points)

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Cheese omelette with the most delicious fruit! (0 points)

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Scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy with feta in a whole wheat pita. (1 point)

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Lunches

Whole wheat tortilla with baby spinach, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli slaw, feta, and a drizzle of Italian dressing. (4 points)

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Whole wheat tortilla with shredded mozzarella, marinara, and turkey pepperoni. (7 points)

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Whole Foods plate with salmon, roasted broccoli, and a kale and brussels sprouts salad. (4 points)

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Grilled cod on top of two corn tortillas, broccoli slaw, and yellow bell peppers with a splash of teriyaki sauce and served with more of that yummy fruit. (6 points)

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Dinners

Blackened salmon with boiled cauliflower and a caesar salad. (11 points)

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Grilled shrimp, rice with veggies, and veggies stir fried in hoisin sauce. (7 points)

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Lemon chicken with brown spinach rice and spinach. (14 points)

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Return to Weight Watchers

After a week of indulgent eating, I knew it was time to get serious about getting back on track, so I signed up for Weight Watchers. It’s what worked for me a few years ago and thankfully, I don’t quite have as much weight to lose, but I still am not feeling my best.

I like the idea of the new plan- many 0 point healthy food options- while carefully selecting the items that do have points. I do best when I’m not eating many processed foods and know when to stop. Sometimes the mind can go a bit blind when it comes to instant gratification, but following a plan definitely helps me to combat that urge!

Since I workout fairly hard 6-days a week, almost every week, eating is my big road-block preventing me from hitting my ultimate goal. Now that I’m back on Weight Watchers, I took some before pictures, something I regretted not doing specifically when I started my 100-pound weight loss journey! It’s not easy showing these pictures.

 

It’s summer, so I’m still going to have an ice cream cone or a beer, but I am going to learn to enjoy the splurge once in awhile, rather than every, or every few days even.

Even though there needs to be some changes made, I’m excited to get back to holding myself accountable and listening more to my body.

One fun thing about being back on the plan is trying and including new and different healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the blog.

Sunday was the first official day, so I enjoyed a veggie-filled (0) two-egg (0) scramble stuffed with red bell peppers, baby spinach, and grape tomatoes. I sprinkled on two tablespoons of low-fat cheddar (0!) and enjoyed a slice of whole wheat bread (1) with a teaspoon worth of butter (2) for a total meal of 3 points. I think one of the hardest changes I need to make is cutting back on butter.

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For lunch, I made an english muffin (4) pizza with a tablespoon of sauce on each side (1), two tablespoons of reduced fat mozzarella (1), and 5 slices of turkey pepperoni (0), for 6 points.

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Dinner came from the grill: scallops (0), steak (4), asparagus (0), and bell pepper (0) and a little olive oil (1), with a small serving of risotto (5).  All of that goodness for 10 points! Managing sauces and all those extras will also be a big change.

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Summer is a great time to get back on track eating-wise because of the option to grill food and not feel compelled to stuff yourself because of the cold and comfort. I hope you all enjoy joining me on this journey!

Oprah, I Miss You, Girl

This post is inspired by my thinking it would be funny if I posted about how I miss Oprah. While watching one of my shows, Oprah’s new Weight Watchers commercial kept popping up, so it inspired me. I mean, we really haven’t heard from her in awhile. But as the idea formulated in my mind, something stuck. Here is Oprah, one of the wealthiest, most popular people ever, struggling to lose weight. She has been her entire life. That means that this person suffers with body issues, insecurities, cravings, not wanting to exercise, and so much more that we all do too. It’s a natural phenomenon no matter how much money, time, and power you have. Her struggle, like our struggle, is real.

That’s important.

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What does this mean for us mere mortals? We’re doing the best that we can with all that we’ve got. Sometimes that’s just enough, more than enough, or not quite enough. And that’s okay.

Remember, every day is a new day, but also, every day is an important one. As long as we keep breathing, we keep living, and so life happens. There will be tasty morsels that sometimes we will forgo to have the veggie sticks instead, but sometimes, we’ll just want to have the damn chocolate cake (or in my case bowl of ice cream). Moderation. We will kick our own asses lifting our heaviest weights or running our fastest mile, or sometimes, we won’t find it in us to move our asses off the couch because Netflix keeps playing. Moderation. Motivation, inspiration, and mindfulness will guide our every movements and creativity and effort, or sometimes, it’s just enough that we get out of bed and through the motions. Moderation.

I think we get the point.

Oprah is on Weight Watchers because she wants to lose weight for whatever reason. Right now, she’s having success, but she’s had her failures too. So you, and me, without the fame, fortune, and power at our fingertips and without the ability to make $12 million from claiming we lost weight while still eating bread (because hey! I actually lost 100 pounds doing that too and kept it off), we’re doing just fine as we are. Forgiveness and moderation is a powerful thing. Let’s keep at it by embracing this world and ourselves for all that we are.

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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.

Then:

Now: