My Kind of Sunday

My perfect Sunday Funday does not, unlike most, include day drinking to excess. What my perfect Sunday Funday does include is coffee, shopping, cooking, and some good music/movies. All of that happened today.

I’ve written plenty here about meal prepping and how it sets me up for healthy success all week. It’s the only thing that works for me; it’s what keeps me out of my nearby Chipotle/Panera/Target candy aisle during the work week lunchtime hours. Being able to reach into my, albeit, crowded fridge and grab a few containers of ready made breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, keeps me on track with my goals. It’s definitely a time suck, but those three or four hours I spend in the kitchen, despite being helpful, are some of my favorite hours of the week.

With this Whole30 nonsense happening, I’ve had to get a bit creative with my meal prep. Last week I mostly made recipes I’ve had before: easily accessible comfort foods that were familiar. But I was hungry. Now that I’ve kind of settled into my Whole30 (Day 7, baby!), I decided to branch out a bit with my week 2 plans. Here’s what I’ve prepped for the week:
image_2imageimage_1image_3image_5IMG_20140223_194259IMG_20140223_173916IMG_20140223_194129image_4Mushrooms, spinach, and brussels sprouts, sauteed in coconut oil for omelets, a curried butternut squash soup with zucchini and coconut milk (of which I didn’t get an ‘after’ photo–oops!), roasted lemon garlic chicken for adding to my soup and topping giant bowls of leafy greens, several pans of sweet potato fries, and HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE, PEOPLE! Get out. So easy and delish. There’s also unsweetened crock-pot applesauce and kale chips for a treat. All of that, plus fish or shrimp for dinner, and raw cashews and fruit for snacks. A little work on Sunday makes for an easy, stress-free, successful week! 

Do you meal prep? What are you cooking? 

Whole30 Update 2: Blergh

Today, Day 5, has been rough stuff. I am exhausted and the cravings are so very real. So real that I’ve taken to watching a cooking show on Netflix to get my fix. Good Lord.

I did manage to put pen to paper and assemble my week 2 meal plan and shopping list. I’m planning to spend tomorrow morning at the gym (spin, cardio, yoga) and the afternoon shopping and starting my prep. If I can keep my eyes open.

You’re not supposed to weigh yourself while on Whole30 (because it’s not about that), but I cheated and peaked today: I’m down 13 pounds since last Friday. Wooo! I’m really going to resist the urge to climb back on that thing until the 30 days are up.

Now: time for bed before I raid the bag of chocolate chips currently in our freezer…

Whole30 Update 1: No Judgment Needed

They say on Day 4 of Whole30 that you will want to kill all of the things. And while I haven’t really been experiencing that today, there were two moments where I felt a little less than my usual sunshiney self:

1. I wanted to punch colleagues in their faces for daring to eat a piece of whole wheat toast–with jam!–in my presence at breakfast this morning.

2. I desperately tried to hold back my impulse to scream when asked why I’m even trying this new horrible “diet”.

The anger…well, it comes and goes, friends.

But, irrational, carb-deprived brain or no, I do want to clear something up here: Whole30 is not a diet. This is not some quick fix. It is not a cleanse. I’m not doing it to lose weight or inches. I’m not paying giant sums of money to learn common sense “diet” knowledge (Eat right! Exercise!).

I am doing Whole30, like so many other people, to reset and realign my relationship with food. I have an eating disorder. A food addiction. I can’t just walk away from that bag of tortilla chips or stack of cookies. Given the chance, I will eat. All. The. Food. So, no, this is not a diet.

In doing this challenge for 30 days, I’m hoping my trigger-food cravings will diminish. I’ve been out of control for the past two months, so I’m viewing this as a way to reign in the healthy lifestyle I’ve worked so hard on for the past two years. A way for me to remember just how important this journey is to me. A way to remember how good I can be at living healthfully. But no, this is not a diet.

After the 30 days is up, will I add back the foods I’ve eliminated? Maybe. Will I ever have toast, a vodka tonic, or artificial creamer in my coffee again? Probably. It all depends on how I feel (not look) at the end of these 30 days. And while this has been an extremely difficult week, where all I think about is this damn challenge…and fried chicken…and ice cream…I feel fricking great. I don’t care if it’s some early-phase, purely psychological thing–I feel great.

30 days. No carbs, grains, alcohol, added sugars, dairy. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Try new recipes, new foods, new creations. Grab ahold of my life again.

So not a diet.

Whole30: Week 1

So, remember all those grandiose plans I had for this weekend–you know, to reboot my year? Well. Instead, my weekend consisted of what I think was a stomach flu bug and Netflix binging with the roommate. It sucked, but I did love the excuse to do nothing for 48 hours.

Thankfully, I did feel well enough Saturday afternoon to get my Whole30 stuff all ready to go: recipe research, meal plan, shopping list, shopping and all meal prep.
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I’ll definitely be sharing more of my favorite Whole30 resources as we go–I’m finding some great new recipes and really trying to push past my typical food comfort levels. Here’s a peek at what I prepped this week:
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Creamy tomato soup (with coconut milk!), ground turkey for “spaghetti” and taco salads, zucchini noodles (my loves), sauteed mushrooms and spinach, pot roast, and white balsamic salad dressing. Yum! I also be doing lots of eggs for breakfast, fruit for snacks…and I did splurge on some legit natural almond butter for those moments on weekends where I find myself tempted by the lure of the peanut butter jar.

I’m both anxious and excited for the next 30 days. I’ll definitely be faced with challenges, so I’m looking forward  to seeing just how well I handle them. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram and Twitter to get the daily blow-by-blow, and stay tuned right here–this could get very, very interesting, my friends…

Reboot

The first few weeks of 2014 have been…bumpy? Nothing’s really gone according to plan, but surprisingly, I haven’t been sucked into the usually funk I experience when things don’t go accordingly to masterfully designed plan. So that’s something, I guess. Workouts, proper eating, water intake, sleep—all have been sporadic at best. I blame moving, a busy schedule, increased expectations at work…and my own laziness, of course.

I was originally supposed to be out of town this weekend to engage in some bachelorette shenanigans, but I’ve made a conscious decision to tap the brakes a bit here and—for lack of a better way of phrasing this—get my shit together. I need to be the good kind of selfish and practice a little self-love this Valentine’s weekend. So here is my full-proof, two-day plan to Get Your Shit Back Together:

1. Sleep, Hydrate, Move
This seems pretty self-explanatory, but I’m going to spend some serious time sleeping in my oh-so-cozy, newly furnished bedroom, drinking my weight in water instead of alcohol, and finally enjoying this awful winter we’ve been having—I’ve got plans to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing! And then, let’s be real, I’ll probably spend the rest of the weekend immobile, since I’ll be so sore from the wintery workouts.

2. Eat All The (Good) Food
A few days (or maybe weeks?) ago, I mentioned on my Instagram that I was going to attempt Whole30: 30 days of eating “whole” foods—veggies, certain fruits, lean proteins…and that’s really it. I’ll be sharing more about my experiences with the program, obviously, but this means none of my beloved peanut butter, no bread, no creamer in my coffee for a whole month. Sounds awful, right? I was originally putting it off until March, since I had the aforementioned bachelorette party this weekend and a wedding in early March. But it has become increasingly obvious that I need to reign in my eating ASAP—it’s becoming somewhat of a problem again (oh, hello eating disorder! Nice to see your ugly face again! Not! Hahaha). 

So Whole 30. Starting this weekend. Send spinach and pray for me. Or, rather, pray for my family, friends, and co-workers having to deal with me in this state for a whole month.

3. Loving Love
Earlier this week, my roommate and I stayed up way past our bed times (read: past 9:00pm!) discussing what we’re going to put in our online dating profiles when we join up. Boys like Disney movie marathons, discussions about the Universe, and dissecting Beyonce’s Instagram feed, right?

This is the weekend I bite the so-called bullet, though. I’m going to do it: I’m going to actively put myself out there and try to wipe the perma-bitch look from my face, and I’m signing up for online dating. Again, send spinach (what?!) and pray for me.

It’s time to settle in and get serious again. So, let’s regroup and hit restart on this year. It’s going to be a big one: earth-shattering, core-shaking, life-changing. I can feel it!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I’m so insanely excited and hopeful about life these days. I find myself wanting to be around people, being unabashedly joyful and positive…it’s all very, very odd. But incredibly good.

I have this inexplicable feeling deep down inside me that there is so much good lying ahead for me in 2014. Call it what you will, chalk it up to the new year, if you must, but this feels like more than that. This isn’t just hope, this is a feeling of inevitability, of belief.

Instead of being bogged down in the day-in-day-out of life, I’m actively looking forward to fully living each day, embracing the ups and downs, seeking out the good in all situations (and people), looking for new ways to grow, change, be happy, live love, say ‘yes’ to it all.

What a new, strange, beautiful thing…

It’s The Journey

Here is what I know to be true: weight loss is mental journey, not a physical destination.

I have long desired a boyfriend. A partner, a significant other, my soulmate, the dude I would grow old and have babies with. But as much as I wanted that presence in my life, I never allowed myself to pursue it or even entertain the thought of its possibility.

I literally have not had any sort of confidence or self-esteem to speak of for years and years. I didn’t want to be noticeably and embarrassingly bigger than my man. I wouldn’t be comfortable with him touching me—the thought of someone wrapping their arms around me brought forth nothing but thoughts of how unattractive, unappealing, unsexy I perceived the action (and myself) to be. And the looks and whispers we would get from others? Plus, side note, the kind of man that found me attractive at my heavier weight was not someone I wanted to be associated with: I have impossibly high standards that I’m not willing to compromise, and, being totally honest, my experience at that weight with men boiled down to being wanted for one thing and one thing only. And let’s get this straight right now: I am no one’s guilty pleasure; I am no one’s secret.

Even now, though, as I receive more and more positive feedback, smiles, and compliments from men, as I’m coming into myself, holding my head high, and contemplating really putting myself out there to seriously pursue this love thing…it’s hard to shake that mindset. That idea that I’m not worthy, that I’m disgusting, that no one would want to touch me, hold me, be with me, love me. I’m still bigger than the great, great majority of people; I’m still, by society’s standards, unattractive and unacceptable.

But do you put off living your life, pursuing your greatest hopes and ambitions because you’re not yet at some magical number? Do you continue to wait for your life to begin while you toil away after some elusive number?

Or do you gather up all the bits and pieces of confidence, courage, boldness, and bravery you’ve slowly been collecting on this journey and take the damn leap anyway? Once you (mostly) stop caring about the opinions and judgments of others, once you (mostly) make peace with your body as is…shouldn’t that be enough?
The answer, as I’m slowly coming to find out after a long 29 years, is a resounding yes.

Everyone else be dammed, you’re here to live your life. You are worthy. You are attractive. And if someone else doesn’t see life that way, if they’re too wrapped up in the numbers, the goal weights, the physicality of it all…then screw them. Move on.

Life in general is a mental journey, not a physical destination.

And I know the purpose for this part of my journey. I’m here to live love. To risk and dare. To share my happy. To find my lifelong sidekick. And look damn good doing it all.

A Year Of Love

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore–hence, the lack of the obligatory blogger resolution post. No, this December I spent time reflecting on the failures and successes of my 2013: the goals I accomplished and the ones I didn’t. The pounds I didn’t lose and the massive mental baggage I did. And then I spent some time thinking about how I wanted my 2014 to unfold. What did I want to see and do? Who do I want to be? What will I achieve?

This is what all of that looks like, as words and ideas I want to populate my still new year:
IMG_20140119_161821The thing that struck me most in my reflecting and goal-setting was how the idea of love permeated everything: from self-respect and confidence and strengthening relationships with families and friends, to time spent creating and experiencing natural beauty…and if it happens to be in the cards, working on that whole boyfriend/soulmate/person-to-be-with-so-I-don’t-become-an-old-spinster-cat-lady 🙂 It’s an odd thing, since love, in all its forms, is the one thing I’ve run from my entire life. But no more. Now I want to live, breathe, be love.

That’s what I want my 2014 to look like: positivity, light, happiness, strength, smiles…lots and lots of love, love, love.

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