September 26, 2013

Respect Reality


Hey there!  It's NSV Thursday and time to link up with two of my favorite ladies, Katie and Ashlee!

This week, I just want to talk about something that I think about all of the time and after reading some of my favorite blogs this past week, this might be of some help to others, as well.

If you get a chance, check out this article from US News & World Report.  It's called The Most Important Skill for Weight Management.  The article really hit home for me and the summary is that life happens and no matter what your best efforts are in healthy living, sometimes life is going to throw you a curve.  The only way to be successful in your healthy lifestyle is to Just. Keep. Going.

For instance, last weekend I PRd my running distance and ran 6.83 miles.  Then on Sunday, I biked over 15 miles.  I felt amazing; like I could move mountains.  I was a little sore but overall feeling pretty damn good about myself and my efforts.  I'm constantly amazed at what my body can do, so I'm constantly pushing the limits.  Constantly.

Then came Monday and my Crossfit session with my trainer.  My workout consisted of a warmup:  1 lap (.75 miles), 50 high knees and 20 squats.  Done.

The workout:

Run 1/2 mile
20 burpees
60 lunges
1 min plank

Run 1/2 mile
80 backslap jumping jacks
50 air squats
10 pushups
1 min each side, side planks


Cool down.  Which I didn't even get to.  Because at about lunge 35 of my first round I felt something tighten and almost snap in my left quad.  Did I stop?  Nope, I grimaced and I plowed on.  And guess what that got me?  The same feeling in my right quad.  By the time I got to the final round, I could barely walk.  But I effing did those MFing runs, squats, jumping jacks and planks. 

I finally let on how badly I was feeling and I was given the stink eye from my trainer as well as the stern instructions to take the next few days off.  I sorta gave her the "yah, as if" look and she told me about how being strong was not just about what your body could physically do and how hard you could push yourself, but that it is also about being mentally strong enough to say when enough is enough and to rest.

I have plowed through injuries before and ended up not being at my best for longer than necessary.  I'm learning that I need to know when to quit; I sure as hell don't want to be out of commission for longer than necessary.  But mentally, I'm not at the point where if that happens, I'd be okay.  In fact, I FEAR the possibility of not being able to work out and push myself physically; I have literally  become addicted to working out.  I'm not even ashamed, in fact I'm pretty damn proud of that fact, but still...

This sort of disturbs me and this article, which my trainer shared with us, really opened my eyes.  What would I do if something happened that sidelined me for a long period.  Do I have the mental strength to pick myself up and dust myself off and deal with it?  I don't know.  I'm still a little upset with myself when I overindulge for no apparent reason like on a random Thursday vs. at a special event or holiday.  The article states:

"Instead of being frustrated that your weight management 
or healthy living strategies are affected by reality, 
try to remember that your best efforts vary. 
The best you can do over the week of Passover or Easter is undoubtedly less 
healthful than the best you can do the week after. 
If your goal is your best, you'll never fall into the trap of repeatedly letting yourself down."

I have some work to do.  I am going to try to remember this and to keep this at the forefront of my healthy lifestyle.  I will continue to try my best every single day.  Whether or not I'm successful is up to me, but tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to continue with this amazing healthy life I'm not only enjoying now, but hope to enjoy for the rest of my life.

So my NSV this week was just one:  I did not stress about not working out the last two days.  In fact, I actually won't be able to work out again until Saturday.  But I'm not stressing.  

I have to feels pretty good.



September 19, 2013

No Scale September


Linking up again with KTJ and Ashlee for NSV Thursday!

So a couple of my friends and I are not weighing in September.  You know why?  We know that the scale is not the only way to gauge our healthy successes and we are refusing to let that little 12x12 box measure those successes!  That damn scale doesn’t know all of the little healthy things we choose to do during the day or week.  And it’s certainly not going to say:

“Hey Jenn, great job for driving past that parking spot close to the door and instead choosing the one at the other end of the parking lot” or “Gurrl, I saw you kicking ass on that treadmill; all running and stuff…”

Wouldn’t it be great if it did?  That scale would be my best friend; I’d pet it and tell it how much I loved it every day...

So instead of busting my arse and jumping on the scale every day only to be kicked in the gut when it doesn’t acknowledge my hard work, I have been increasing the amount of time between weigh-ins.  I started slowly:  Twice a week…then once a week…then once every two weeks…and now, I’m up to only weighing once a month.  EEEKKSSS, scary right?
YES, I know because my name is Jenn, and I’m a scale-aholic. Believe me, I used to put all my efforts into that stupid little box.  I broke up with the scale a long time ago, but I still use my Wii Fit to weigh in periodically.  Still, years ago, this used to be my weigh-in schedule:

Wake up:  Weigh
Get ready for work:  Weigh
Get home from work:  Weigh
Get ready for bed:  Weigh

The problem with weighing that much is that your weight fluctuates SO often during one 24 hour period.  I knew this and YET, I would still let it defeat all of my efforts. It would make or break my day by that stupid number.  Hubby got so frustrated with me that he decided to hide the scale one day…and then I found it…but I didn’t tell him.  I would wake up in the middle of the night to weigh.  How CRAY is that??

Not anymore.  I have decided to celebrate ALL of the things that I do on a daily basis that are healthy.  Each and every one of these adds up! 

Don’t give that stupid scale any more power than it should have.  It cannot measure the feeling of walking or running an extra mile, PR’ing your clean and press, biking 16 miles (yes, that one’s mine from Tuesday night!), turning down a piece of cake, getting small instead of extra-large fries, or ordering water instead of soda.  Those are just as celebratory as a number on the scale!  PLUS, it's way more fun to get on and see a bigger number...when you weigh every day, sometimes all you are seeing is point something here, point something there.  I'm excited to see what a month of healthy choices will get me!

If you place your healthy motivation at the foot of that scale, you are also giving it the power to take it away.  Don’t let the scale define your efforts.  Make a commitment to yourself that every day is another opportunity to make healthy decisions.  The power you will feel is an amazing one.

September 10, 2013

Take Charge!

Good morning!

So today, I stopped at Panera to pick up breakfast for a meeting we have at work.  I’m not a big fan of Panera because I don’t think that their menu is altogether that healthy.  Are there healthier options than McDonald’s or Wendy’s?  Of course, but if you don’t research what you are eating, you’d be surprised at how many calories and fat are in say, Panera’s Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich (790 calories & 28g of fat), or how about the seemingly even healthier option, the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich (590 calories and 13g of fat).  Did you know that the McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 750 calories and 43g of fat?  There are less calories in the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese than the Bacon Turkey Bravo.  You HAVE to research these kinds of things because no one is going to tell you!  Well, except me…

I'm here for you...

So while I was at Panera, I asked them if they had any low carb options…and guess what?  They actually do.  It’s called the Hidden Menu…I had no idea.  And let me tell you, if anyone would know, it would be me…I can tell you the healthy options of most fast-food restaurants and there aren’t that many, so if you can’t make the healthiest choices, stay at home, ha!  So on this Hidden Menu they have a breakfast bowl and I took a picture of it for you:

Egg whites, ham, spinach, roasted red pepper and pesto:  190 calories and 7g of fat.

Why do you think Panera calls this the “Hidden Menu?”  Why aren’t they telling everyone about it??  It’s a conspiracy to make us fat, I tell you!  Just kidding…sorta.

My point today is that you have to take charge of your OWN healthy life.  Ask questions, create your own meal with choices that they have on their menu; I’ve done that a ton of times.  It’s a pain in the butt, but who cares?  It’s your money and it’s your life.  Speak up and ask questions.

Unfortunately, the Universe is not going to shower you with healthy choices just because you up and decide that today is the day.  This little journey you are embarking on is going to be hard.  Like every-day-uphill-both-ways-against-the-wind kind of hard.  You’re going to have to plan, work harder, think faster, plan, evaluate, bust your ass, and plan…did I mention that you have to plan?

I spend 85% of my day planning for what is coming up.  And by that I mean, I know before the day even begins what I am going to eat that day, and when I’m going to work out.  I usually know days in advance, actually.  Those are the first priorities I make for myself.  If I am going to go out to lunch with friends, I always ask which restaurant we'll be going to and then I go online and figure out what I'm going to have.  OR, I will save calories if we're going someplace that has something really worth splurging on.  You know why?  Because I’m obsessed; I’m obsessed with becoming a healthier person.  You have to be if you want to be successful.  And I do.  I don't have a choice.

Make yourself a priority.  YOU are worth the hard work.  Your family and your friends need and want you to be the healthiest you YOU can be.  So, do it…you CAN do it.