(Healthy) Odds and Ends

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It’s Tuesday! It’s July! It’s finally consistently hot out!

I’ve been having a blast the last couple weeks getting my drink (and food) on watching tons of World Cup action but am finally starting to CRAVE healthy food and exercise again! All the hydration!

I’m still kind of figuring out what HEALTHY actually means to me. It’s officially been a year since I was at my lowest weight, and last I looked at the scale…. yeah.. I don’t want to share. It’s my blog. Sorry.

So if HEALTHY isn’t my weight right now, what is it? Is it eating well M-F and hitting the sangria pitcher hard on the weekend? Probably not.

Here are the odds and ends that have been feeling “healthy” to me:

Kabocha squash

This was a food trend that I never really took to until NOW. Kabocha squash all the time. I’m not going to tell you all about its calorie count and vitamin stats, because I just don’t know it, but it’s delicious! Unlike other squash, you can eat the rind so there is little prep wok involved. I cut it open, stick it on a baking tray and am DONE. To me it’s also sweeter than a sweet potato (my favorite carb) and goes with everything. I’ve paired it with greens and eggs and even with some almond butter, inspired by Kiss My Broccoli. The other best part, it’s smaller than most squash, which is perfect for my cook-for-one lifestyle.

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Not feeling guilty over not working out 

In the last two weeks I quit one job, started another, and had my bestest of best friends in NJ, which is a rare occurrence now that she’s doing her thing down in NOLA. So… I skipped CrossFit in favor of sushi dinners and shopping one week and then skipped CrossFit again last week in favor of hustling at my new job. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel guilty about not working out. I do…but I know that guilt is NOT a useful feeling. It’s not motivating, it makes me feel bad about myself, blah blah blah. So, I’m working on RECOGNIZING the guilt (instead of just feeling it and being all waaaah) and separating myself from the emotion. This is how adulthood works, right? Go away guilt.

Because HEALTHY is so undefined to me right now, i’m working my best to remove the guilt from certain foods and behaviors, because all it does is trigger my binge eating and make me want to be a shut in. AND, it takes away from my happiness when things are genuinely fun. Food is not moral. Eating m&ms does not make me a bad person. BUT – I WANT to be living consciously. I know that sugar makes me feel like poop, so in conscious, dedicated living, I don’t eat sugar and I’m happier. There’s a point in there somewhere.

A lot of times I FEEL like I should be doing one thing (not eating m&ms) when I’m doing another (eating m&ms), and that is the definition of pain and then I feel guilty and then the whole cycle starts all over again. Eradicate my guilt, live happier, Keep it Simple, Silly :)

I WANT to be moving my booty every day

How many times have I written here that I am happiest and feel the best when I exercise in some form EVERY DAY.

So…. I quit CrossFit. Basically, I’m at a job that I chose because it makes me happy, not because it makes me rich, and I can’t justify the expense when I’m barely even going three times a week. I’ve been floundering for a while with consistent exercise and I think I’m going to keep it simple (see above) and just head back to Retro Fitness. It works for me because I can walk to it and it’s open early and late and is cheap.

Listen, I don’t need to justify my choice of fitness center to anyone.

I’m a big believer that there is no ONE way to be healthy (hello, that’s the main point of this post), so if you’re not going to the box, or gym, or fitness class that everyone else is going to, it really doesn’t matter. There are a million ways to get your sweat on, and an air conditioned room where a movie is playing on a giant screen (yay Retro movie room!) seems more attractive to me than a CrossFit box right now.

Plus, gym selfies.

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Exploring the Great American Landscape

Ha, I wish! But I am going to Baltimore this weekend to celebrate the nation’s birthday and heading to Maine to eat some lobstah at the end of July.

I LOVE travel but I also happen to get very STRESSED by it because I LOVE my routine (well, I do now. yay new job!). I’ve yet to find away to embrace eating well and exercising on vacation, but I’m not giving up trying!

Note to self: Ice cream is not “special” because you’re not in New Jersey. You won’t regret not eating all the ice cream when you travel but you will regret major sugar/mood crashes.

I’m not really sure what this post is about anymore

But I’m having a great time writing it and certainly THAT is HEALTHY! I’m embracing my every desire to write words in all caps and pouring out every little thought that crosses my brain.

I’ve also now been writing this post over THREE hours because I had TWO great phone calls with my favorite ladies in Baltimore and NOLA. LDR friendships are hard but so, so, so worth the effort.

I hope this is the beginning of me again writing more spur of the moment posts that are more about life and less about free stuff I received from Influenster.

I think a lot of the guilt and stress and such really relate to the emotional roller coasters of losing weight and it feels so good to share and get it off my chest.

This week for my job I got to interview Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my all time favorite authors, and she talked all about how shame lives in the shadows and can’t exist when you bring it out into the light.

It’s something I never felt good about doing, but the more I talk about how I’m eating m&ms instead of working out (or something) the more I’m able to release myself from the GUILT that I feel. Things are just things. They are not good or bad, but I’m happiest when I’m dedicated to living my best life (SUP OPRAH) and sometimes that means sacrifices and courage and punching fear and guilt in the face. Hello new motto. Anyway, in random conclusion, that’s where my relationship is right now with HEALTHY.

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Go VoxBox Review

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I’m back with another Influenster review.

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I received my Go Vox Box about a month ago and like usual couldn’t wait to tear it open.

This box included:

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance

Vitamin Shoppe Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake

Blue Diamond Blueberry Flavored Almonds

Profoot Triad Orthodic AND Profoot Pedi Rock

Aqua Spa Body Creme 

1 Voucher for a FREE Muller Yogurt Product

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I’ll cut right to the chase: the only thing I really liked were the Blue Diamond Blueberry Flavored Almonds. I’ve been a big fan of Blue Diamond products for a while and knew these would be great. They were sweet, crunchy, and surprisingly blueberry-y.

photo 1I’m not going to review Playtex. They’re tampons. They do what tampons do. Let’s move on.

The Vitamin Shoppe shakes were the most disappointing. I only tried the berry flavor and honestly couldn’t stomach the thought of another one. I’ve tried many, many different protein shakes and have loved most of them. This was the first time I almost considered tossing my smoothie out completely. It was sickly sweet and reminded me of cough syrup. Nothing I would ever want after a workout. The protein powder also came with a shaker cup, but I’ve been using the Blender Bottle for a while and love it and have no plans of switching anytime soon.

With the Profoot Pedi Rock… it’s okay. They say you don’t have to use it in the shower…but I tried out of the shower and then your skin just kind of gets everywhere. Because you’re exfoliating. Plus, pedicures might be my only consistent indulgence.

The Aqua Spa Body Creme.. I really wanted to like this. The creme was thick, always a good start, and not greasy, even better, and LAVENDER. I love lavender. But this lavender just kind of smelled like old lady. And don’t get me wrong, I love strong lavender smells. I always toss lavender essential oils in at bath time, but this was so perfume-y. I wouldn’t use it for everyday wear… but I do find myself slathering it on now and then when I know I’m not going to see people right away and the smell has a chance to dilute.

Last, Muller yogurt. To be fair to the yogurt, when I got to the store most flavors were sold out. I tried two kids: vanilla with granola and plain greek with strawberry. The vanilla with granola was too sweet. I’m a fan of Fage 2% plain yogurt and don’t like the sugary flavors. I wasn’t impressed with the greek/strawberry combo either. The strawberry was too sugary and the greek yogurt wasn’t very tart or thick. Overall, no.

But, it’s so, so, so fun trying tons of new products. Thank you Influenster! These products were all given to me for free, but this subpar opinions are 100% my own. 

#PinterestFail

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It’s Friday and I want to have some fun.

In April my best friend Amanda got married which meant for months and months I got to indulge in hours and hours of guilt-free pinning.

Bachelorette party inspiration? Yes.

Wedding shower gifts? All of them.

Bridesmaid hair? PIN ALL THE THINGS.

This brings me to my epic Pinterest fail.

I had seen on Brenna’s blog someone make shortbread tea bag cookies.

Amanda and Felix love tea so I thought, why not?

Except I wanted to go above and beyond, so these would be chai-spiced shortbread teabag cookies dipped in chocolate. With little notes attached with quotes about marriage.

Let me preface: I am NOT a baker. I’m not very patient which usually leads to improper measuring, dough that isn’t chilled, clumsy hands etc. I also don’t own a rolling pin (a bottle of Merlot works just fine, thanks) or any kind of cookie cutters, or a double boiler, yet through all of this I remained optimistic.

I mishmashed a few different recipes together for shortbread cookies and got to work.

This is what they were supposed to look like:

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And this is how they turned out….

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A couple of notes in my defense:

  • Felix and Amanda said they were still delicious.
  • The speckled look is from the chai tea, and if you were ever wondering whether chai tea cookies are a good idea, the answer is YES.
  • Dipping things in chocolate is harder than it seems IMHO.
  • That notes says, “Marriage is a relationship in which one is always right and the other is the husband.”

My sister (hi!) reminded me of my great Pinterest fail the other day and I thought it was about time to submit it to the Pinterst Fail blog and and at least get some traction from this beautiful mess.

I’m sorry I hadn’t shared this with you sooner. Happy Friday.

Dirty Girl Mud Run Recap

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I have so much I want to say! But isn’t that always the case?

I keep saying I plan to post more regularly and then half a month goes between posts…and here we are again. Blarg.

But, I’m starting a new job (well, old..new..job… it’s complicated) in a week and I’ll have a freer schedule which hopefully means more blogging and more stuff that inspires blogging, like working out and cooking.

Anyway, you’re all here today for the run recap, so let’s get to it.

This weekend I was a blog ambassador (fancy, right?!) in the Dirty Girl Mud Run! The folks over at Dirty Girl contacted me a few months ago to see if I would be interested in doing the run and writing about my experience – of course I said yes – but I was still nervous. I like running well and good enough, but obstacles……climbing on ladders, nets, walls….super scary to me.

What won me over was the philosophy of the Dirty Girl Run:

I am not in the best of shape, can I still participate?

Absolutely. Dirty Girl Obstacle Run is non-competitive and will not be timed, so there is no need to hustle to get through the course. We do recommend some light cardio a couple times per week paired with some upper body strengthening to help you get up and over the obstacles. However, you’ll have the option to bypass any obstacle you’re not comfortable tackling.

Sign me up!

I roped two girls onto the run with me (one agreed to do it the night before after a few drinks and seriously KICKED butt at the run!) and we had a blast!

We left about 8:30 a.m. to make it to Trenton a few hours later for our 11:30 a.m. start time. We showed up late and without wavers but Dirty Girl was prepared and we were able to fill out electronic wavers. It also wasn’t a big deal at all that we were late to our start time.

We got our bibs, swag t-shirts, and free beer tickets and headed over to the bag check.

The race was held at a paint ball course and it made for a fun 3.1 miles. Before going out onto the course a Dirty Girl dancer pumped us up with music and dancing. I was surprised how few people were in each wave, but I think it made for a better experience overall because some of the obstacles were shaky and I think I would have been more nervous if there were a bunch of people all doing it at once.

Within a half mile of the run we came upon our first obstacle and all scampered up a big inflatable bouncy wall and bumped our way down on our butts. Next we dived right into a mud pit to crawl under ropes.race_309_photo_3638228

The obstacle I was most nervous about – the wall climb – came early in the course and I was able to get up and over the 8-foot wall with only a little bit of protesting and whining. Thanks friends!

The course wound through fields and woods and we alternated running and walking the whole way. Turns out, running with sneakers (and undies..gross…) full of mud isn’t all that hard or uncomfortable.

We passed big teams along the way dressed up with tutus and hair bows – I would definitely put more thought into my outfit if I were to do it again.

We climbed up rope ladders, hopped through tires, went through tunnels of love mud, climbed down and out of a few different mud pits all leading up to a giant slide that landed you butt-first in a pool of mud.

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Overall I thought the race was really well organized and the course route was never boring. There were mini bridges and little mazes that broke up the stretches without obstacles. There were water stops at mile 1 and 2 but honestly we could have used more because it was so hot out.

Now… for the cons.

We finished the race running through a final mud pit and I immediately went in search of water only to find that there was nothing but warm Sparkling Fruit2O.

HUGE fail. I don’t drink anything carbonated to begin with (unless of course its tonic… with gin…) and this was sticky sweet and warm and the complete opposite of what you want when you finish a race.

There were places that you could buy water, but at that point we were still covered in mud and would have to wash off before getting in our bags to dig out some money. What were they thinking?! Ugh.

With dry mouths, we got our stuff from the bag check and then waited about 45 minutes on the line to hose off. No one seemed to care much about modesty at that point so I stripped off my muddy clothes for shorts and a new t-shirt after a quick rinse in some freezing cold water.

After getting as clean as possible, we went in search of food. There were a few food vendors but honestly I was unimpressed. Usually after races there’s some healthy stuff – bananas, granola bars, yogurt, bagels – this was stuff you would find at a carnival like zeppolis and corn dogs and the food was super expensive! I ended up getting some sausage and peppers and splitting a huge plate of fresh potato chips (those were wellll worth the money..mmmm…) and relaxing a bit with our free beers before heading back to North Jersey.

All in all I would say the race was a huge success. I conquered some fears (looking at you 8-foot wall) and had a great time with my friends in the course. The dirty girl staff was friendly and and the other runners looked like they were having a great time, but the lack of post-race amenities was disappointing. Dirty Girl seemed to really think through all the details, I’m surprised that they would provide warm, sweet Fruit20 and no water after 3.1 miles of sun and mud.

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WOULD I DO ANOTHER MUD RUN? Eh. I enjoy being pushed past some of my physical fears, but I get more out of it in a setting like CrossFit where I know I’m being supported. Also, the price tag is quite hefty for these events. I was provided a free entry and my team members received 50 percent off their entry, so it would have to be something special to make me shell out the whole ticket price.

 

Feel good weight

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Hello, hello.

I don’t mean to go so long between posts, ack!

Things are going great here in Fat or Not land. My blog for the Dirty Girl Mud Run went live on May 13 (there’s still time to sign up!) and you can read that here. It’s a good introduction to what I’m all about and why I started running.

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I’ve been going to Crossfit three times a week…and…I LOVE IT. I did NOT expect to enjoy crossfit. To be fair, a lot of the time I am terrified of the workouts. I don’t know if it’s just my box (heh) but everyone is so nice and that’s what keeps me coming back. We did a really hard WOD (ugh, I’m now that person) on Tuesday (4 Rounds: 400 m run; 15 box jumps *I do step ups*; and 15 burpees) and I finished at least 10 minutes after everyone else but the whole time people were counting my reps and cheering me on. There is so much support, quitting is not an option.

On top of crossfit I’m trying to run as much as possible with couch to 5K to prepare for the mud run and just to up my overall stamina. I also finally bought a foam roller and it has been a game changer. Hurts so good.

Basically, fitness is back in my life in a BIG way and I couldn’t be happier! I have more energy and I’m so excited to be out and about doing active things again like hiking and running. This year when winter comes around again I’m going to need to have a more substantial fitness plan in place so Netflix doesn’t take over my life. Frealzies.

Overall, I’m doing a better job at balance (I think), which has always been a huge issue for me. Since the start of losing weight, I never really grasped how to be healthy and have a social life. Although I’m not losing weight right now, it’s also not my focus. I’m enjoying eating out with friends and family and not stressing about it while working out 6 days a week. I still feel like I’m recovering from a year-long backslide into disordered eating with an extreme pattern of binge eating/restricting so losing weight is NOT what I need to be focusing on right now. I’m happy, I’m moving, I’m enjoying life.

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A few weeks ago I took a long weekend to drive to Ohio to visit my dear friend Louis. While there we ate out a ton (Have you been to Jeni’s Ice Cream? Go. Eat. Rest. Eat again.) but I also went on a run and did a lot of walking. When I got back, my weight was up a few pounds, but it was nothing like the huge fluctuations I experienced when I was binging/restricting and that’s a huge success to me.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my mindset two years ago when I was still losing weight pretty steadily. There were times I would get frustrated and want to try a fad diet or something, but then I would ask myself: “If you never lost another pound, would you still be doing what you were doing?”The answer was always YES. I’m cooking for myself (hello self love!), I’m exercising in enjoyable ways that I look forward to, I’m not letting my weight/body image get in the way of trying new things or enjoying life, I’m putting myself out there to new experiences, people, situations, etc. When I think of what I wanted to accomplish from losing weight, it’s those things, and I’m doing them, so why does the scale matter?! It doesn’t.

When I was in the thick of my depression/binge eating last summer I remember being so scared that I would just disappear into a numb state of drive-throughs and chocolate and my friend Tracey (eternal soul mate/best friend/lifesaver) reminded me that it was not possible to go back to the same place. Even though I didn’t feel it at the time, I really had changed in a permanent way, and she believed that I would find my way to the other side somehow.

I hear a lot of bloggers talk about their feel-good weight. It’s something that’s supposedly easy to maintain and a place where their clothes fit well, blah blah blah, and I honestly don’t ever know what that will look like for me. But, right now, I feel good, and my weight is what it is, so I’m going to go ahead and declare a feel good weight.

Actively choosing to NOT believe in the fantasy that losing weight will change my life has brought me to where I am now and it’s what I think of as my secret to success.

A few days ago mega-blogger Carla Birnberg posted this quote on Instagram:

“Be stubborn about your goals, and be flexible about your methods.”

It made me think about what my goals are (happiness, movement, love) and also made me realize that since I’m constantly evolving, so should be my approach to these goals. I think I had been stuck in a place of trying to replicate what I first did to get healthy and that’s just not realistic, in the same way that I could never go back to who I was before getting healthy at all, despite feeling like I was for those few months.

Anyway, this is a long, rambling post just to say that I feel good, and right now that matters more to me then my jeans being a little tight. Happy Friday.