Three Things for Thursday

On the off chance you haven’t noticed, my posting lately has been sporadic. I blame a hectic schedule, travel, and the fact that I have been downright lazy. In an effort to get back on track with posting 1-2 times a week, I am going to start doing a post every Thursday: Three Things for Thursday.

In these posts, I will talk about three things. It can be food, exercise, weight watchers, or healthy tips. Anything goes. My hope is that this will keep me posting more frequently as well as sharing new things that I love. Currently I am stuck inside at the beach (more on that later) and thought it would be a good time to start the weekly posts. Here are my three things for Thursday!

1. Aylio Resistance Bands.

 

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If you have never tried them; try them. Basically, it’s a giant rubber band that you use to exercise. One of my coworkers brought them to work, so on a quiet Friday afternoon three of us walked the hallway with those on our legs. It just so happened that the hallway had a lot of foot traffic that day and we received more than our share of weird looks as we stumbled up the hallway. I will say, my hips and glutes were sore the next day! If you are looking for a way to mix up your workout, can’t get to the gym, or just want to have fun working out with friends, try these out! I’m going to order some on Amazon. Here are some cool exercises you can do:

http://www.aylio.com/resistance-band-exercises/

2. Running at the beach. Basically this is a touchy subject at the moment because I love running on the beach. It is one of the only times I can tolerate running without headphones and between the waves and the breeze, I find it very relaxing. Every year for my birthday, I head down to the beach and spend a long weekend. This year is no exception so I have taken my first day off work since December (I’m stockpiling PTO for the wedding) and have been looking forward to morning runs. I need to learn that nothing goes as I have planned. I am currently trapped in the condo with a tropical storm raging outside. I’m barely braving the weather for food yet alone running. All I’m saying is it better clear up by my birthday tomorrow!

3. Our Weight Loss Journey.This beach trip marks a year of healthy living for Kevin and I. Following my birthday last year, we joined weight watchers and changed our lifestyle. When I look at numbers, I wish I would have lost more weight than I did, but this year was about more than what I see on the scale. We learned how to eat. When people used to say that, I would laugh. Duh – fruit and vegetables are better than cake and cookies. How hard is it to figure that out? But learning how to eat, how to portion, how to tell the difference between hunger and boredom, and how to listen to when your body is telling you to ‘Stop!’ is a learning curve. It wasn’t something that came easily. Now that it has become habit, I don’t know how I ever lived without listening to my body. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

So that’s all I have for this Thursday. I won’t be posting for the rest of the week – hopefully the weather will be clearing up and I’ll spend the rest of the weekend with my butt in the sand. I hope you all have a great fourth of July!

Striving to be Better

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire – Arnold H. Glasow

With the exception of my birthday, which everyone else calls the 4th of July, New Years is my favorite holiday. There is something about the idea of fresh beginnings and starting over. There is no significant difference between December 31st and January 1st. I realize this. But it isn’t just another day, it’s the beginning of a new year. A time when everyone starts making resolutions.

I’m not a fan of resolutions in terms of the unattainable ones people set for themselves: the generic lose weight, become a better person, stop eating badly. Those will never be reached. I believe in the smaller goals. The ones that help you achieve something bigger. The ones that you stick to even after January 2nd rolls around.

I wake up every morning with a set of goals. To be honest, a lot of time’s it’s actually a “To-Do list”, but calling it one isn’t nearly as exciting.

Goals make me better. They make me push harder, work longer, and ultimately become better. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized I never set goals for my fitness. Because of this, I set a weekend goal of writing a goals post. How cliche, right? Anyways, here are the goals I have come up with thus far:

1. As of this morning, I have lost 40 pounds. I want to lose at least 20 more pounds.

2. I will buy a bike.

3. If you read my post last week, you know I want to sign up for a fun race. I will run a 5k or a similar type of race. This will be done before 2015.

4. I will go vegetarian at least one day a week. Before I started losing weight, my cholesterol was high. Not high enough to need medication, but high enough for my doctor to warn me about what I eat. I am sure in the past few months, my cholesterol has lowered, but I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to not only be skinny, but healthy.

5. I will add variety to my workouts. Right now, the majority of my workouts are 30 minutes of cardio at the gym and then strength training. I want to keep my body guessing, as well as keep the workouts exciting. I will:

  • Go on a bike ride
  • Swim
  • Go for a run
  • Do a fitness class

6. I will be able to do a 2 minute plank. I have had some serious back problems for the past 3 years and my chiropractor has told me the way to strengthen my back is through certain exercises (planks included). Since I have started planking, I have seen a difference in my back. It feels stronger and I can do more than I could even a month ago. I can’t imagine how strong it will be by the time I able to do a 2 minute plank.

7. Make at least one new healthy recipe every two weeks (and blog about it). I have a tendency to eat the same things every week. Mixing it up will keep me eating healthy, as well as help me find some new favorites.

8. I will work out for 30 minutes at least five days a week. (I’m undecided whether or not walks on my lunch hour will count on my busy weeks.)

I have a dozen more goals in mind but they are all subjective. Until I find ways to accurately measure my progress, I won’t add them. Hopefully, having a list easily accessible will inspire me over the next few weeks. After all, it is easier to work towards something when you know exactly what you’re working toward.

Thinspiration

Last week, Kevin and I were talking about before and after pictures. When we started losing weight, we didn’t realize we were going to undergo a complete lifestyle change. Not knowing how dedicated we would be to becoming healthy, we never bothered with a “before” picture. I fully regret this. There are days I feel huge and want to quit. Seeing how I used to look would be an encouragement; so I began my search for pictures.

Kevin wound up asking his mom and it turns out she had a couple of us at our largest. As much as I don’t want to remember myself this way (or put it on the internet for all to see), it helps to know that I don’t look this way anymore. Maybe it can give inspiration to others. Here we are back in May and June of 2013:

Me with Kevin and my adorable Sister to be!

With Kevin and my adorable Sister to be!

Kevin and I at dinner last May

Kevin and I at dinner last May

They aren’t full body pictures, but I can definitely still tell a difference compared to the picture we took today. Looks like I have my motivation to go hit the gym!

Kevin and I now...down a collective 100 pounds!

Kevin and I now…down a collective 100 pounds!

One or two…or sixty…pounds

Since high school, my weight has been a yo-yo. Down 10, up 20, down 15, up 10. I’ve tried everything. Fad diets. Crazy exercise routines. They’d always end when I’d find myself inhaling a box of Oreos and hating myself.

I blame my love to cook. And to be perfectly honest, my love of chocolate. And beer. And any other food imaginable. But last July, I started to realize how my health was declining. It was my birthday and I wanted to spend it lounging in sweats and binge-watching Netflix. That couldn’t be healthy, could it? I started to worry. As much as I tried to ignore the issue, I was significantly overweight. I didn’t have any energy. All I did was eat or drink. None of my clothes fit. I avoided mirrors for fear of what I’d see popping over the sides of my jeans. It was time for a change.

That was when I decided to go on Weight Watchers. Some coworkers of mine had tried it and I only heard great things. “It was so easy!” “It doesn’t feel like a diet!” “It’s changed my life!” I decided to sign up. I was actually excited about losing weight!

Until I realized I had to weigh myself.

I was more than 60 pounds overweight.

That couldn’t be right. I stepped off the scale and back on. Sixty Pounds. I had to lose sixty pounds. That was just enough to make me want to crawl back into a container of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Which I did…for the next two weeks.

It was around that time my fiancé jumped on board. We were both going to change our lives. We started going to the gym, but more importantly, I began to look up recipes. If I couldn’t enjoy food, I wasn’t interested. I was skeptical. But what amazed me was how much I enjoyed making unhealthy dishes healthy.

I was making the food I’d always loved but finding creative ways to squeeze it into my daily points allowance. Slowly but surely the weight was coming off. My food choices became easier. I found a way to make pizza without dipping into my weekly points. Fish taco Friday now occurs weekly. I was feeling healthy and had energy. These past few months on Weight Watchers, I’ve learned how to love food and myself.

Time to start hunting for recipes to help me lose my last 30 pounds.