Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 weeks

I know it's been yet another long time since I've posted, but I 110% blame it on how busy things got with closing school at work, and getting so close to the wedding.  Now that I've fully recovered from the stress surrounding those things (but let's be clear, I've got plenty of other stresses in my life right now!) I am focusing on my next big thing: a fitness competition!

My goal is to compete on September 20th: I have some uncertainty about if I'll be ready in time and how difficult it will be to stay on my eating plan with school opening (the most chaotic time of year), but I am determined to stick with it.  It helps that I have 10 weeks to prepare.  If I follow through with my plan, I may not be able to win but I will be able to make a good showing, and I know I will be proud of myself.  Hopefully, the September competition will be a kickstart to a healthy off-season (November - February) where I can continue to build muscle and then lean out again in time for another competition next spring.  That's the plan anyway.

I think this will also give me some things to blog about; I really do like talking about the realities of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and obviously sharing some of my healthy and indulgent meals.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Body Image

I'm going to share with you part of something I wrote in my journal today because I just feel in the mood to share it.

I haven't been comfortable with my body since I was a kid.  Pretty much since I was 12, I've been trying to lose weight.  I still have some body fat to lose and muscle to gain, but I'm already in the best shape of my adult life.  I have size 4 pants that are already fitting a little loose, and I'm not used to all that.  I really have a hard time starting to see myself as this fit, sexy, confident, desirable person.  I want to be a fitness competitor and live that lifestyle, but it is different from how I've ever seen myself.

I'm the girl that loved to play volleyball in middle school and high school and played for 5 years.  But in my 6th year, senior year of high school, I didn't make the team.  Realistically I never got invited to the summer camp that the varsity and some of the JV girls (the skinny/athletic ones) went to so I wasn't all that surprised that I wasn't considered one of the better players, but seniors had to be on varsity so I was excited to finally make it that year.  I was really cheated by not being on varsity my junior year as it was.  But that year I didn't make the team because my coach was a monster.  She asked me if I would be happy sitting on the bench all season.  We both knew I wouldn't be so I didn't make the team.  A couple of girls who were total pushovers and even worse than I was made the team because they were okay with it.  And they did sit on the bench the whole season.  My monster of a coach favored mediocre freshmen with "potential" over my proven mediocre consistency.  I knew I wasn't super fit or athletic but I pushed myself hard and wanted to be a part of the team...my coach just reenforced that I wasn't super fit or athletic and so I wasn't meant to do things like play volleyball.  I was 18 years old and attended a dinky little high school with less than 500 students; it wasn't exactly the sort of place where winning mattered a whole lot anyway.  What mattered more to me would have been being a part of the team, but my coach didn't care about our development in that way.

This is just one of many stories I have about bad fitness and gym class experiences.  It's these stories that have me realizing that creating my new body isn't as simple as just do this workout and eat/don't eat this food.  It's kind of funny how the workouts are actually the easy part: the hard part is sticking to the diet in the face of feelings that I'll never be good enough, and trying to see myself as a thin, fit, and beautiful woman.  When I look at myself in the mirror, as small as I am (a size 4!!!) I still see fat, and flaws.  I don't want my body image to become unhealthy and there's part of me that knows I should be seeing myself in the fit/beautiful way, but that's a lot easier said than done.  Changing your mind is a lot harder than changing your body.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Very 1st PB&J

I am 28 years old, and 2 days ago I just had my first peanut butter & jelly sandwich (on gluten-free bread of course).  Now I know, again, not paleo but it was on my bucket list which I've been diligently trying to check things off of (hello Mt. Rushmore!) and I thought one PB&J wouldn't kill me.

Why did it take me this long to try it? As a kid I liked peanut butter, liked jelly, and was not a huge fan of bread but obviously I ate it.  I liked peanut butter on bread, liked jelly on bread, but the idea of combining the two textures completely grossed me out.  And so, I managed to avoid ever eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a child.  If you think that's weird then I'm fine with that.  Have I told you that I never put milk in my cereal (back when I ate cereal)?

Anyway, now that I'm an adult, the thought of the sweet and salt combination of PB&J intrigued me, so I decided to hit the dining hall for dinner on Tuesday when I was exhausted and Geoff was hungry enough to go for all-you-can-eat, and we both liked the idea of it not costing us anything.  Behold my first PB&J!



Nothing fancy, but definitely something I'd eat again.  I wanted them to put it in the panini press for me so it'd be melty and gooey, but Geoff told me to take it slow, lol.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Food and Control

I think sometimes following a healthy lifestyle can be hard, really hard. The thing is though, once you do it enough even if you're not perfect at it, it becomes habit.  I eat for comfort, and I am a stress eater.  I find that sometimes when I'm stressed I turn to food to feel good for a bit, but I usually end up feeling worse for eating something I didn't plan.  Sometimes though, I notice that stress just makes me want to do better and follow my eating and exercise regime.  I think it sort of follows the same principle; I eat junk to feel in control of something, and I eat clean to feel in control of something, and that control gives me comfort.  I really wish I could feel more in control of the stress in my life right now, but I suppose I will have to settle for the things I an control positively.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Clean Eating

As I mentioned, I wanted to share a little more about fitness...well actually about food!  I've been working hard this week at losing fat and building muscle by doing cardio intervals, strength training, Bikram of course, and eating clean.  Granted, my eating was already pretty on point, but I can tell you to eat like a fitness competitor to be able to build the muscles you want and then see them you need to eat a certain way, and so I still did have to clean it up a bit and adjust.  I like the way I'm eating; it's similar to paleo in a way, but please understand that it is not paleo. I know that, and I'm okay with that.  I've been eating 5-6 meals/snacks a day, and the way my meal plan is written out you'd think there wasn't a lot of room for creativity, but I'm really enjoying what I'm eating so far and I wanted to share that.

Some of my meals & snacks:

A little Meditteranean lunch with quinoa (it's under all that), tuna, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and onions.
Body Statement Gym Muffins (mostly quick oats, eggs, chocolate whey protein) with PB2 on top.
Egg & egg whites with low sugar oatmeal made with almond milk.  This combination reminds me of a McGriddle btw.  The egg mixed with maple & brown sugar; YUM! And yes, I'm not afraid to admit I know what those taste like.  Been a while though.
Taco salad with ground turkey and nonfat plain greek yogurt 'sour cream.
Kinda stereotypical clean meal here but I still love it!
Non fat plain greek yogurt with cinnamon & berries.

And yes, I know the backgrounds are kind of lackluster; my coffee table, desk at work, kitchen counter...but I do not claim to be a food stylist!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mount Rushmore!

Okay, I've got some great ideas for some upcoming fitness posts, but in the meantime I have to share about our recent weekend road trip to Mount Rushmore!

Things have been really stressful lately, and my fiance and keep tossing around ideas of things we'd like to do together as quick weekend trips; go to the Grand Canyon, go camping etc... and so it gave me the idea of going to Mt. Rushmore.  It's something I have been wanting to do since I was a little kid.  Growing up in Minnesota, you feel like it's so close and so it's something you've got to see! When I realized that it's almost 9 hours driving from the Twin Cities, but only 6 hours from Denver, I knew we had to go see Mt. Rushmore while we're still living in Denver.  I used to do 6 hour road trips all the time driving between Chicago and St. Paul, so I knew it was totally doable.  It'd be a great first road trip for the new car, and with it's great gas mileage, most of our meals packed in a cooler, and only one night at a hotel in the off-season, I knew it would be pretty affordable too.

And so we went! It was absolutely horrible driving up through the winter storm on Saturday, but it was a sunny and clear day for Sunday when we actually went to see the monument.  It was super cold too, but we were prepared!

I highly recommend a visit.  I have a feeling that even if you don't see yourself as much of a history buff, you'll be in awe of how beautiful and special the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore are.  It was such a cool thing to see and we kept saying how it was a great way to spend the weekend and totally worth the trip!