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Day to Day

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!

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.

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.

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…

Day to Day

We can do better

Cory and I celebrated our two year anniversary this past weekend and it has me thinking about goals. Both of us know we have put on weight since we started dating and neither of us are thrilled about it. We both can do better…

We went to Indianapolis on Memorial Day and we had a stranger take our photo in front of the LOVE sculpture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I didn’t look at the photos at the time, in fact, it wasn’t until the following day that I looked at them. I’m realizing I’ve been avoiding any type of full length mirror since gaining weight. I guess my justification is if I can’t see it, it didn’t happen. Boy, was I in for a shock when I saw those photos! I promised myself I’d never let myself get back to that unhappy 240 pound girl, and I’m almost back there. Granted, I’m not that unhappy, well until I saw those photos. I did let myself get back there.

I’m not really ready to publish my goals or that photo until I’ve solidified what I’ll be doing. It always seems like I have these grand plans and no follow through on them. I think I try to do too much all at once and then when it doesn’t work I give up instead of altering the plan. I do know I want to blog more. I do miss it and it was a way for me to stay on the right path. If I had a bad week, I wrote about it, and moved on. It kept me honest which is what I need.

Day to Day

Where I’ve been…

I’ve been wanting to write here for a while but I haven’t really made the time to sit down and simply start writing. I enjoy blogging a lot, but in the list of things I have to do blogging tends to fall down toward the bottom of the list. I need to change that because it does help to get the words down for myself and hopefully someone out there can relate to the things that I write.

I last updated around August about halting calorie counting indefinitely. The short version of what has happened in that time is that I finally got my thyroid levels in a normal range (for now), but also in that same day, I was put on medicine for depression and anxiety. I’ve dealt with depression since I was about 16 years old, it would come and go through the years depending on the environment I was in. The anxiety is new though. I’m not really sure when it started but it really reared its head last semester.

I was finally back to full-time at school and it was all very overwhelming. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was feeling my moods swing back and forth, I couldn’t focus, I would wake up to my heart beating rapidly, I started crying at random, and every little thing was beginning to stress me out to the max. I remember one specific time being in the cafeteria at school and I felt like everyone was staring at me and the room was closing in on me. I finally had to leave the building and get on the bus to go home despite still having classes to go to. I’ve never enjoyed crowds but it hasn’t got to the point that I had to remove myself from an environment, and so I knew something was going on with me.

I went to the doctor in November after having some blood work done for my thyroid and she told me it was finally in a normal range. I started tearing up when she told me that and she asked what was wrong when she saw the tears in my eyes. I started weeping in her office because if it wasn’t my thyroid causing this what was? Was I going crazy? In between weeping and trying to breathe, I told her about all the things I had been feeling lately. She was very comforting and understanding, as she had once been in my situation, and finally asked if I wanted some “help”. I knew what “help” meant: pills. I didn’t accept right away but the more I thought about it, it seemed like the best option. I knew I couldn’t keep feeling the way I did.


Credit: Unknown

I started taking the pills she prescribed and the first week was a night and day difference. I was actually sleeping through the night and I felt rested when I woke. I was feeling carefree; a little too carefree at times — oh, I have a test tomorrow? I don’t need to study… I’ll be ok! Not to divulge too much info but I was actually going to the bathroom like a normal person. It’s amazing what stress does to your body. For the most part, my moods have become more normal, and while I don’t feel 100%, it’s definitely an improvement from where I was.

I guess the biggest thing that has changed is my weight which I think started some of the anxiety. I have gained most of my weight back that I’ve lost. I stepped on the scale about a week ago and my heart sunk when I saw 232 lbs. It’s a bit disheartening . . . ok, a lot disheartening. I haven’t really gone around a lot of people because I know I’ll be too worried that they’re thinking “Wow, she gained all of her weight back!” I typically don’t worry what others think of me but that is one thing I fear.

I’m currently working on getting myself mentally healthy and making changes here and there to get myself ready for shedding these pounds off + more. I know once it warms up and the sun is out more often I’ll perk up and have no problems getting outdoors to get this weight off. But one step at a time…

Day to Day

Calorie Counting

I feel as though I should preface this post. I don’t mean to offend anyone; these are just my thoughts on calorie counting, why it’s not working for me, and why I won’t be doing it anymore. If you enjoy it or it works for you, I envy you very much.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about calorie counting and have briefly read some articles on people who have lost weight without having to count a single calorie. I know you can lose weight without counting calories. I can honestly say, when I originally dropped 30lbs I didn’t count a damn calorie. Not one. I’d say 80% of the time I was good. I won’t lie, I did treat myself, but I ate less of the bad stuff. I felt differently about food for once in my life. I didn’t use it to console or reward myself. I was finally in the frame of mind to use it as fuel. I trusted myself.

I’ve been half-ass calorie counting the past few months and I think I’ve finally decided it’s time to stop. The only things I plan to log from now are exercises for my own records. Before you think that’s the dumbest decision ever, hear me out…

My reasoning behind not counting calories is based on the experiences I’ve had in the past and things I am experiencing now. Calorie counting isn’t a fun task for anyone but it causes me unnecessary stress. Like a lot of stress. I’m the type, if I go in; I go all the way in. In which case, I need to know every single calorie that passes my lips. Calorie counting discourages me from making anything from scratch because I’d have to input every single ingredient into that damn calculator. How do I determine what is serving? I’m inherently lazy (and crippled by anything math related) so some times I’d opt for something from a box that has a barcode that I could easily scan into Myfitnesspal.

I’d have good days and even a few good days in a row at times. Then like clockwork, I’d have several days of binging where I’d eat all of those calories back plus more. I’d eat food I wouldn’t normally crave or want on a somewhat regular basis like McDonalds. A prime example of this is last week. I had a couple good days early in the week and then came Friday. I logged every bit of what I ate that day; I went ~2000 calories over what I was supposed to. I began to wonder if this was worth it. It sure didn’t feel worth it after all those extra calories I just ate.

Another thing about my calorie counting experience, I was meeting my calorie goal on those good days but was I really eating the right things? I actually measured out salad in a measuring cup. Salad is good for me, why am I treating it like it isn’t? I’d feel bad about eating an avocado because a whole avocado is ~200 calories – by the way, how can anyone eat just ½ an avocado? Instead of eating the avocado, I’d substitute it for baked chips or some sort of low calorie/low fat item. Those baked chips and other items I’d eat in place of an avocado wouldn’t keep me full and then I’d eat something else. In the end, I should’ve just eaten the damn avocado. Not to mention, when you trade lower calories and/or fat you get extra sugar and lots of other things. Why did I sacrifice that avocado that is perfectly good for me? All of this to meet some sort of dumb quota at the end of the day.

Calorie counting makes me think about food all the time. When I’m eating, I don’t actually enjoy what I’m eating. Instead, I think about how much this meal is and what I will need to sacrifice later in the day. This does not seem like a healthy way to treat myself or my body. When I think of the opportunity costs, I’d rather it take me forever to get down to where I need to be and be happy and have less stress than always feeling as though I’m restricting myself. Restricting myself results in me binging. I know this.

I think about the short-term and my time is limited. I work. I currently go to school full-time; 4 days a week with a two hour commute round trip. This is my first time full-time in a long time so I have the added stress of an extra class along with the stress of keeping a certain GPA for the business school. I have homework that is expected of me outside of class along with other responsibilities. Which makes me wonder, how do people with kids manage??

I need peace somewhere in my life and one of the places I find that is going to the gym. I go to the gym because I never regret it when I’m done. I truly believe you’ll only succeed with a lifestyle change when you enjoy what you’re doing and not doing it because you have to. Counting calories is not something I enjoy, and I know how I am and it’s always going to be this battle.

In the long-term, even if I were to “suck it up”, I don’t want to be counting calories 10, 20, 30 years from now. That doesn’t seem sustainable. You only live once. When I say, “you only live once”, I don’t mean I’m going to go out and eat fast food for every meal. I mean that life is too short not to enjoy it every now and then.

I need to get back mentally to that place where I was at one time. Back to where I was eating well a good portion of the time and treating myself as needed. I need to trust myself with food again and not be pressured to hit some sort of quota, which may or may not be an accurate depiction of how healthy I’m being.

As I said at the start of this post, I don’t want anyone to feel offended. I was a bit on the fence about posting this because I know some will think I’m stupid. Maybe you disagree with me and that’s ok. I’m not condoning anything anyone else is doing, calorie counting works for some but I know it doesn’t work for me.

Photo via Pexels.

Day to Day WOTD

Where I workout : Bernheim

A couple weeks ago my gym was closed due to renovations so I had to find ways to stay active that didn’t require gym equipment. I typically do a lot of my cardio outside, and I almost prefer it that way so long as it’s not too hot out. If you follow me on Instagram a lot of my outdoor photos are on our farm. For a change of scenery, I decided to go to Bernheim Forest in Clermont, Kentucky; about 1/2 hour from Louisville.

As I was walking around I started thinking about blog ideas and I thought it might be fun to show off some of the places I workout that isn’t at a gym. Bernheim has paved trails that are easy and won’t get you a huge calorie burn but sometimes it’s nice to take your time and explore. That being said, they have plenty of trails through the woods that are no joke! I hope you enjoy the photos!

Day to Day

Happy & Proud

This afternoon I met with my trainer and she kicked my butt as she always does. But today was different. I don’t intentionally phone it in when I workout but I know there are times when I could push myself harder. Today I didn’t think any further than what needed to be done with the kettlebells and punching. I felt like this was one of the more memorable workouts where I gave it everything I had. I don’t know why today felt different.

I think back to anything significant that might’ve happened recently… Saturday evening Cory and I were out on a date and he commented he needed to take a picture of me. I see why now. I’m happy. Maybe seeing that photo was motivation. Two years ago, I rarely took photos of myself, and if I did, they were in the most flattering angles possible, which makes it difficult when I want to go back and see how far I’ve come. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have been comfortable wearing the strapless dress I wore this weekend without a cardigan over it. Even if it was 90-degrees out I would’ve worn that cardigan and been miserable.

happy

While my weight isn’t moving as quickly as I want, the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle are better than any number on the scale. I didn’t get to my highest weight overnight, so naturally, it will take a while to get to a “healthy” weight. All of this hard work will be worth it in the end and I will be a better person for it. I am worth it.

I hope all of you know your worth and continue on your journey no matter what obstacles come across your path. You’re worth it!

Day to Day

Comfort Zones : Part 2

On Tuesday I went to the gym with the intention of meeting with my trainer but somewhere our lines got crossed and she didn’t have me down. She invited me to join the kickboxing class that was about to start, and despite never attempting kickboxing outside of my Taebo dvds, I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. One of the ladies who is also in my sculpting class assured me it wasn’t as bad as our Thursday class. It was as if our trainer heard this because it wasn’t an easy class at all. It was physically demanding but it wasn’t until the very last cool down exercise that I started feeling that familiar lightheaded/nauseous feeling again. I powered through and then took a bit of a breather to cool down. I left sooner than I should’ve and finally had to pull over. I lied there in the car so frustrated. My sister was in town and I finally accepted she would have to take me home. At that moment I wasn’t even feeling sad; I was mad as hell! Why did this keep happening? What was I doing wrong? Anger typically fuels me more than feeling sorry for myself. So that night I ate something light for dinner and went out for a jog near sunset. I burned well over 800 calories from those two activities. Those two experiences were enough to light a fire under me. I need to get my upper body stronger and the only way to do that is to continue on my journey.

Thursday was my last sculpting class and I was a little disappointed when it was over because I wondered what I would do now. This class (and attending that kickboxing class) has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve used equipment in the gym I was too scared to use before — specifically exercise balls. For some reason I had it in my head that I would sit on it and it would burst. I learned that using those balls to do crunches actually feels better on my back than lying on the floor and it’s much easier to remember to breathe on those balls as well. Also, using those training ropes are so much harder than they appear.

I have come so far in the past year and a half. I’ve never stuck with any fitness routine this long. I have been knocked down quite a few times but I keep getting back up and I know there’s a reason for that. I would’ve given up last year if I didn’t truly want this. It may take me years to get my BMI to what is considered a “healthy” range but I will get there.

What sort of positive things happened to you this week or recently that helped you push on through?