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Pam

Day to Day Getting Started

A 30 day experiment

So, how are your New Year’s resolutions going? Prior to the New Year I had been walking pretty regularly and while I wasn’t being strict with any foods I was trying to do better to get rid of the 10lbs I’ve put on since we moved in September. The New Year came and I started writing down what I ate in a planner I bought myself as a Christmas present. I wasn’t tracking calories, simply what I was eating, and it was turning into a habit.

There was one week where I was busy with work and couldn’t get away during the daylight hours to go for a walk and it snowballed from there. I tend to be an all or nothing person and it’s completely detrimental to success when it comes to weight loss. I recognize that but I really don’t know how to change that when it’s been ingrained in me for so many years.

I’ve been watching a lot of Instagram stories and a few people that I follow completed Whole30 a few days ago. The idea of Whole30 sounds appealing because while it is a strict diet for 30 days you slowly reintroduce food and you can figure out how certain foods affect your body. I’m sure I’d be shocked to know how food certain foods I eat regularly are detrimental to my progress. That being said, I know quitting soda abruptly on top of being really strict won’t work for my lifestyle right now.

I am, however, going to do a 30-day challenge that’s not as restrictive. I am going to work on my nutrition for the next 30 days and focus on getting more veggies in every day and eating out less. Ideally, I’d like to only eat out on the weekends when Cory can join me, and we can explore our new home together.

I enjoy cooking a lot so I am looking forward to what the next 30 days bring. I had Cory take a full body photo of me this weekend and some photos of my face to document if the puffiness in my face goes down. I also weighed myself this morning and I’m hoping to stay away from the scale until the end of the 30 days. It’s only 30 days so let’s do this!

Recommendations

Best Youtube Channels for Healthy Eating

Today is my birthday (!!!) and I felt like giving back. Here is a list of some of my favorite inspiring healthy eating channels. In addition, there are some general videos on kitchen skills that I’ll link to at the end. I hope you find some inspiration here as well. If you have favorites that I didn’t mention, please comment below!

Mind Over Munch


“It’s all a matter of mind over munch!”
Alyssia’s channel Mind Over Munch is one of my favorite channels; if not my favorite channel. She is consistent with her uploads, super positive, knowledgeable without being preachy, and her editing skills are on point! For those who are vegetarian and vegan, she has recipes for you too!

Alyssia created a fantastic series for Bento Box Lunches that blew me away. She made 30 short videos in 30 days and they were so creative! You can binge watch that series below.

Fit Men Cook


I randomly stumbled upon Kevin’s videos last year and I’ve been hooked ever since. Kevin encourages experimenting and being creative in the kitchen. He has a great personality and an infectious smile.

If I recall correctly, he shares the macros for all of the recipes. Lately, he’s been posting more keto-friendly recipes for those of you doing keto. There are also vegan and vegetarian recipes too. In addition, if English isn’t your first language he offers Spanish subtitles as well.

Fit Couple Cooks

I aspire to be like Stephanie and Adam! They post a lot of meal prep videos if you’re looking for more channels like that. I try to meal prep the best I can, but let’s be real; it’s typically done the night before. They showcase low-carb, vegetarian, and vegan recipes. In addition, they offer calories and macros information for all of their recipes!

Etc.

Below are random videos I’ve found that are helpful if you simply want to increase your knowledge in the kitchen.

This videos gives you information on which pans you should use and why.

Jamie Oliver demonstrates to teenagers that they can cook, and for much less than eating out, and gives them a lesson on how to chop safely.

Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen essentials — great for those starting out.

Gordon Ramsay demonstrates a few helpful tips from chopping herbs, ripening up food, how to cut difficult foods, and lots more.

COMING SOON: I’ll be sharing my recommendations for my favorite blogs and cookbooks! Let me know if you want to see anything else!

Day to Day Getting Started Races

Goal Met! + Other Updates

Hello everyone! I hope everyone’s 2017 is treating them well so far. March was busy but good, one of the highlights was completing the Anthem 5K in Louisville. I’ve completed this race before but it felt different this time. I ran more in this race than I ever did in my training sessions and it felt good and empowering. I honestly wish that I could do it again and so I’m going to keep an eye out for another one in the fall.

This morning was the first time I stepped on the scale in over a month. It didn’t seem like my weight was budging and I thought it might be a good idea to skip the scale for a bit. I stepped on the scale and I saw a number I hadn’t seen since August ’14 — the 240s. I assumed I didn’t have all my weight on the scale and stepped on it again and it gave me the exact same number.

Y’all don’t even realize how happy that made me. When I first began “doing better” last spring it was a really dark time for me. I was nearing 300lbs, I had constant back pain and was developing sciatic pain. I was severely depressed and disappointed in myself. What I’m feeling today is a complete 180 from that time. I have back pain from time to time but it’s not as debilitating as before, and I find I only experience it when I’m not active or do something stupid. Along with medication and exercise I haven’t experienced depression like before — thank god.

My big weight goal is to hit 240 and I’m close. 240 is where I first began in 2011 when I lost weight initially. It’s not going to be a walk in the park but I feel like when I hit 240 it’s going to be easier to keep the motivation. For now, here’s a super addicting song to workout to! Enjoy and feel free to share anything you’re digging at the moment.

Getting Started Playlists

5K Motivation: Spotify Playlist

I signed up for the Anthem 5K next month and I have been attempting to train for it. I use the term train loosely… I have been exercising but I haven’t been following a strict training schedule. I’ve done this race before, and it was my first 5K then, and so I’m not worried.

I’ve been working on a playlist to keep me going, and I have been listening to it non-stop even when I’m not working out. I’ve made a number of workout playlists over the years and this is my favorite one. Now that I’m done editing it completely, I thought I should make it public and share it with YOU! The playlist is embedded down below and can be accessed here if you’re having issues accessing it on a mobile device.

I’ve also dedicated a page to spotify playlists and you can access it through the menu. I have 10 shared at the moment and I’m already working on a new one.

5K Motivationa super energizing playlist to keep you going.

You don’t need a premium account to use these playlists, just keep in mind you’ll hear ads from time to time with a free account. Enjoy!

Transparency Thursday

Transparency Thursday

This week has mostly been good aside from some physical pain from my neck and back. I haven’t been to the chiropractor in months so I was way overdue for an adjustment. I tried a new chiropractor that’s close to my work and he was far too rough. I couldn’t turn my head the following day, needless to say, the hunt for a chiropractor near my work is still on. One of the many reasons I want to get this weight off is to experience pain-free days. While my back doesn’t cause me excruciatingly pain everyday, my lower back is almost always tender to the touch, and I know it’s weight related.

Thankfully, the physical pain only made me emotionally eat once this week. It was a trigger food (spaghetti) and I forgave myself immediately after, and ate well the next day. Typically when I’ve emotionally eaten in the past, it takes me a while to bounce back, especially when it’s with something like spaghetti. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a couple months into my journey and I know one day won’t break me. The same goes with eating well, one day isn’t going to make me fit either, it’s the culmination of good days and moderation. I have to say that since counting my calories, I’ve craved spaghetti significantly less. I didn’t go back to confirm but this might’ve been the only time I’ve had spaghetti since starting. Before I would eat spaghetti 1-2x/week and I was eating close to 3-4 servings at a time. Not good.

Cory and I took advantage of YMCA’s free guest passes and visited the two gyms closest to our house this past week. The Y is expensive in comparison to what we’re paying at Planet Fitness, and we actually experienced better customer service at PF. Cory has the Black Card and so I can go for free so long as he’s with me. He’s fine with PF because it fits his needs but I feel uninspired when we go. The biggest lure to the Y for me is the indoor track and indoor pools. Something you may or may not know about me: I can’t swim. I love being in the pool, and over the years I’ve been telling myself “it would be really nice to learn how to swim.” I’m now to the point where I want to learn to swim, especially after watching the Olympic Swimming Trials last night. We’ll see if we can swing the Y in our budget.

I hope you all are having a fantastic week and are reaching your goals. Let me know what you’ve been doing this week in terms of health!


Transparency Thursday is a weekly series about how things are really going whether positive or negative. I want to keep things honest because this is going to be a lifestyle for me, and I do hope I can help someone.

Transparency Thursday

Transparency Thursday

I’m beginning a new series here called Transparency Thursday. I’m going to attempt to blog weekly about how things are really going whether positive or negative. I want to keep things honest because this is going to be a lifestyle for me, and I do hope I can help someone. First bit of transparency: it’s now Friday when I’m posting this! ;P

Summer has definitely hit here and it’s zapped any motivation I’ve had toward exercising the last couple of weeks. While my wallet is happy I’m not spending extra money on a gym membership, it does suck when the weather is miserable. One of the (many) problems with not exercising is I’ve been used to eating a certain amount of calories because I’ve been exercising, and so I’ve found myself going over my calorie allotment for the day. This in turn, discourages me, which leads me to treating myself more than I need, and with unhealthy food. Thankfully, I’ve only gained about 3 lbs as a result but I want to curb this habit.

The last two weeks I’ve felt like a failure. I’m only on day 62 so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Being “off the wagon” for about two weeks has made me more aware that I’m not a happy person when I’m not exercising, or eating well, or reaching my goals. I’ve definitely experienced a number of mood swings in this short amount of time, which has left me depressed or angry. I’ve been irritable AF. Just ask Cory.

Thankfully, a couple days ago, I got tired of being negative and started counting calories again. I made time to go to the grocery and pick up food that isn’t so calorie heavy to have for breakfast and lunch this week. Just the act of going to the grocery made me feel better. I’ve been trying to make a little time to walk here and there even if I’m miserable in the heat.

I think the thing that really has my mind in the right place is the program I attended at work today. Our theme for Summer Reading this year is exercising your mind and body. The program today featured one of the owners of a local gym I used to attend, whom I really look up to. The discussion today was the power of exercise, both chemically and emotionally, and how it can stave off diseases. I left feeling motivated and ready to jump back into things. If you’re reading this, Lisa: thank you!

How is everyone doing this week? See you all next week!

Day to Day Getting Started Playlists

Things I’m (re)learning + Spotify playlist

This week was pretty good and it certainly helped to hit this goal. I don’t feel like I can notice a difference in my body or how things are fitting, and I certainly don’t expect anyone else to notice. I have noticed my mental health is better since I’ve started exercising and watching what I ate a few weeks back. I’m not saying those two things cure depression and anxiety because I know they’ve never worked for me by themselves. They help for a while but the underlying issues always come out. While I am still on anti-depressants, I am only taking them when I start to feel anxious. Typically it’s once a week but I was able to go about two days longer than normal this week, which I am happy about. Taking it once seems to curb the feeling without making me feel numb. The end game is to get off of them so long as things continue to improve.

Things I’m (re)learning:

What’s working for me:
I haven’t been utilizing a gym because the weather has been cool enough to walk and I have TRX for strength training. Typically, I prefer to be outside rather than in a gym anyway. I also prefer to take multiple leisurely walks (15-30 minutes) as opposed to one really hard walk.

Fitness professionals: is this wrong? I’m trying to figure out the way I can keep up with this long-term and this seems to work best for my schedule. Doing it this way gives me energy and keeps me motivated throughout the day.

Sometimes you have to listen to your body and rest
I typically stay the night with my parents one night a week to break up my commute during the week and visit my family. I went down with the intention of walking on the farm for a bit and instead I napped on the couch for 3 hours. I felt guilty because I didn’t walk but I clearly needed the rest.


In case you’ve been living under a rock during the past week, you have to listen to ^^ this ^^ new single from Justin Timberlake! It’s a super fun song and makes you dance, dance, dance when you listen to it, and this week is worth celebrating!

I also put together a short playlist (~30 minutes) if you’re interested in using the next time you’re working out.

**If you can’t view this on your mobile device, click here.

WOTD

WotD: Charlestown State Park

For the past couple of months I’ve been wanting to visit Charlestown State Park, and this weekend seemed like the perfect time to visit. The park is about 30 minutes from our apartment so it kinda felt like a mini-trip which was nice.

Both of us aren’t in the best of shape and so we opted for the easiest trail, which was Trail 7. However, to get to trail 7, you also have to do about 1/2 mile of Trail 3. Trail 3 was labeled as a moderate trail. I never know what that really means because it seems subjective. It didn’t look that bad on the map, it’s just 1/2 mile. It’ll be fine.

 

Charlestown State Park Map

Off we go!See? This isn’t so bad!

We were happily surprised that this trail was paved especially given the rain we’ve had recently. We were also beginning to notice this trail is downhill, and all we can see ahead of us is downhill. This is fine for now but we jokingly said it was going to suck coming back. I personally didn’t think much more about it because I was too busy snapping photos. Trail 7 was definitely worth the trip because there are so many pretty things once we got there. These are just a couple photos:


^^ This was my favorite picture from the hike!

As we came back around to where we began Trail 7, we could either finish Trail 3, or go back the way we came. We were already feeling the results of going down hill for about 1/2 mile and so we opted for less mileage and go back up that damn hill.

That photo was only one part of the hill and really doesn’t do it justice for the ridiculousness that it was. We had to stop multiple times because it was *intense*. It turns out that that short 1/2 mile, that I didn’t think would be that bad, was equivalent to 25 flights of stairs. This was literally me:

It was super challenging but we did it! I think we might even try to do it once a month. What are you doing to treat yourself well?

My Story

It’s been a while…

It’s been almost two years since I’ve written here, and to say I’ve been off the wagon would be an understatement. Life happens as it does, and unfortunately I didn’t make eating well and exercising a priority. As a result, I’ve put on about 80 lbs from my lightest, which is a new highest for me. 80lbs extra isn’t good for anyone, especially someone with a 5’3 frame. I know it’s going to be a long road for me because I didn’t put this on overnight but I’ve got to do this now.

I’ve been thinking about the topic of health for a few months now. It began when I started weaning myself off of anti-depressants — with my doctor’s approval of course. I felt that my depression and anxiety was situational and due to college, and I didn’t like the zombie it was turning me into. I’m to the point now where I’m only taking medication once a week. It’s been 3 months and it has been hell getting to this point. When times are bad they get really dark, and I find myself wondering if this was a dumb experiment. Then there are the good days when I feel alive and happy once again.

This week started out with me weighing myself, because I didn’t feel like a sad piece of shit enough. LOL. I had my cry and reached out to a therapist who focuses on depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Cory and I ended up going out for a walk once I felt better. I am so thankful I have a partner I can talk to, and isn’t like Oh, she’s in one of her moods… I’ll let her be until she’s in a better mood.

This week has been a really good week as far as food and exercising. I’m trying my hardest not to jump in completely and become obsessed. I spent Monday putting the food I ate into MyFitnessPal just to see if I still felt anxiety when it came to calorie counting. I set it up so that my goal was to lose .5lb this week. It’s not much but I didn’t want to cut my calories drastically and set myself up for failure. My intent was just to do a couple days this week just to see how it went. One day turned into two, two days turned into the whole week without me realizing it! I was under all but one day this week and I lost a little over 7lbs as of today. I felt full this week and I didn’t feel like I was giving up anything I really wanted. Last night I even had ice cream as a treat. I don’t expect a huge number next week, I may even gain, but I’ve got to continue to try. This week I’ve felt pretty motivated and energetic. The latter is something I’ve not felt in a very long time and definitely motivation to keep going.

Flooded Trail
Thankfully there were paved trails!

I leave you with some inspiration… A few years ago, my friend Tim shared the following video and it has always stuck with me. Ben’s story reminds me of myself and how I first began working on my fitness and it makes me cry every damn time. What you don’t see in this video is he eventually gains 150 lbs back. He has since lost weight, and he’s currently walking across America (L.A. to Boston) and documenting it online. He’s my inspiration!

To find out more about Ben, visit his blog and Instagram: @bendoeslife

Day to Day

The inspiration of tight pants

It’s no secret that I’ve been off the wagon for about a year now. The weight has slowly crept up, and at the time I was dealing with a lot of other emotions, such as anxiety and depression. Needless to say, working out and eating healthy was far from my first priority with school and everything else.

Today as I was getting ready for work, I realized my usual pair of khakis was in the wash and I had to face the truth. I put on a pair of Dickies’ that are a size 18, they weren’t exactly loose when I bought them, and they have zero stretch to them. As I pulled them up to my hips, I realized just how much weight I’ve put back on. I inhaled and sucked in long enough to get them zipped and reluctantly buttoned. I found a loose blouse I could wear so no one could see my body protruding over my pants. At least I hope they couldn’t.

I’ve made a point to not weigh myself recently and I know it’s not good to avoid the scale when you’re not exercising and eating poorly. I know. I should’ve weighed myself when we got back from Europe, because we walked anywhere from 15-23K steps a day even on days we spent the airport. I know I lost some weight on vacation. Even as we were coming back, my thought was: I’ve got a good start, focus on getting over 10-12K steps a day. If I lived in Europe, that wouldn’t be a problem. Living in Kentucky, I can’t get that just by commuting. I actually have to do some work if I want to get the recommended 10K steps.

Sure, I could make more excuses as to why I’ve put on weight or how hard it is to get start over again. It is hard as hell to start over yet again. Unfortunately, my excuses don’t burn any calories. Even if it’s hot out, I have a gym membership that I’m paying for every month; I have workout videos if I don’t feel like driving. I need to own this weight I’ve put on and quit talking about the fact it’s there and do something about it.

I’m not going to make some sort of sweeping declaration like I’m going to do x, y, and z, because I will set myself up for disappointment changing too many things at once. I’m just going to try moving more at the moment to get my body back in the habit. Typically when I exercise, I tend to eat better and eat less bad stuff without even trying. We shall see how this goes…