A week ago I publicly declared I was embarking on a journey to become the best version of me. Within the span of seven days, I have made changes – both big and small – that I feel are worth celebrating and sharing. Because as I promised myself, this time around I’m not judging my success on how quickly I can drop 50 pounds, but rather the everyday decisions I am making that will ultimately allow me to live a healthier and happier life.
You read last week about my “first trip” through the produce aisle. Thanks to Trader Joe’s and a big dose of “my pants don’t fit” reality, I have been adding fruit and vegetables to my daily meal plan. This past week I enjoyed making meals of marinated grilled chicken breast with haricot verts and snow peas. I threw out the ice cream and instead enjoyed fresh fruit for an after dinner snack to hit my sweet spot, or treated myself to the occasional fat free Italian water ice. Anytime I was tempted to grab a handful of greasy chips, I enjoyed a few baked tortilla chips with salsa.
I quickly realized one of my biggest problems was my constant snacking at work. You see, I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day and I hardly have a chance to move around. My first week at work I just ended up skipping lunch altogether and would go home and binge eat for dinner because I was starving. Then, I started going out for lunch instead, quickly grabbing a burrito bowl from Chipotle or a bowl of tomato soup from Panera.
Once I saw my bank account dwindling, I realized I couldn’t afford to continue going out to lunch. Because I was too lazy to take the time to pack something, instead I’d grab a bucket of cookies or a bag of goldfish and store them in my drawer near my desk. Whenever I began feeling a little hungry, I’d reach over and munch on a snack. What I wasn’t realizing was that eventually I stopped reaching over out of hunger, but instead out of boredom and before I knew it, I had nonchalantly eaten six servings of goldfish in one sitting.
Since last week’s post, I have begun packing several small healthy snacks for myself throughout the day. This includes a handful of almonds, or a cup of raspberries, a few slices of apple or a low fat yogurt. I’m still eating throughout the day like I used to, but I’m putting healthier foods into my body that make me feel more energized as the day goes on, as opposed to feeling bloated and drowsy.
I have also started to work out three times a week. While diets may be a sprint, lifestyle changes are a marathon and I don’t want to burn myself out too quickly. I can’t expect myself to go from not having worked out in months to working out five days a week, so instead I’m taking baby steps. What I’m really excited about is that I have finally found my workout groove.
For the past few years I always crammed workouts in late at night, after I was exhausted from days full of classes, meetings and work, resulting in me putting in minimal effort at the gym. It turns out I wasn’t listening to my body clock, as I get a much better workout in the morning! So every day, at 6 a.m., my alarm goes off and for the next 45 minutes I get my sweat on. So far I’ve tried jazz cardio, hip-hop funk, kickboxing, and Pilates (confession… I now know that I HATE pilates.) The different workouts keep me from getting bored of my past dull routine of hopping on the elliptical for 45 minutes. And as a result, I don’t even feel like I’m working out… I actually find that I’m having fun.
I’m also proud because I didn’t restrict myself while visiting friends and family this weekend. I was able to go out to dinner with friends and enjoy a homemade meal with my family without hating myself or feeling guilty afterwards. Instead I was more conscious of my portion size – something I failed terribly at before.
I’m currently debating about signing up for Weight Watchers and would love any advice or input to help me make this decision (because it’s not cheap!) The reason I’m thinking it might be worth trying is because this whole eating healthy thing is new to me… I’ve only ever known binge eating and starving myself. With Weight Watchers, I can take a lot of the guess work and the fear I have out of whether or not I’m eating properly, and can teach myself a system that will allow me to live both a happy and healthy lifestyle where I can still find ways to enjoy my favorite foods. I work really well off of structure and after seeing the success of other friends who have tried it – it seems like it could be a really great fit for me while I am getting started.
As always, I appreciate any recipes, workout tips or advice that you’d like to share! This is certainly a learning experience and it only becomes easier with the help and support of a community.