This afternoon I'm going to the gym and then I'm getting my Valentine's massage and sugar scrub at La Lumiere! Woot! Still working on this video project which has a deadline Thursday and a long ways to go.
I went to lunch with my coworker/friend K yesterday and I told her how I have been asking myself "What would K do?" because she is a healthy, slim, active, vibrant woman and I admire that! One of the things she told me is that when she feels like sitting around and watching TV or a movie, she'll go for a walk first. Then when she comes back she feels like it's ok to sit around because she did something active. She's been walking a lot lately as a way to deal with stress and said she used to like running but it's felt like she's 'running from her problems'. That makes some sense! Walking is time to clear your mind.
Christal and I were talking after Zumba on Thursday about what it takes to be focused and in the moment when working out. We had missed 4 Zumba classes and in that time Janelle introduced some new songs. So it was almost like we were new. When I started to get frustrated because I didn't know the moves or couldn't comprehend what she was doing with her feet and arms at the same time, my mind would start to wander. When I know the moves a little better but don't have them mastered, I'm more focused on the moves because I almost have them down but not quite. I wonder if there is something I can do in that interim time between learning and knowing by following.
I'm not sure what I was looking at last night, but it lead me to bento lunches. I am thinking that would be a great creative/healthy outlet for me. I could get creative with the layout of the food. The bento cookbook I was looking at had recipes for single servings which is awesome, though I'd probably want to take a day to pack my bentos for the next couple days. I'm going to do some more research while my video project is going on the side this weekend. I need to get my kitchen clean before I get into any new projects/dietary plans.
I have managed to succesfully get myself off soda. I don't even desire it anymore! It took about a full year. At first, my coworker W and I made a deal that for 6 months we wouldn't drink soda and if we did, we owed the other $200. This worked really well for the 6 months. It stopped me from having it, but didn't stop me from wanting it. All the triggers were still there (the sound of a can opening, working late, feeling stressed, mid afternoon slump) but I had to push them off because, $200! Once the 6 months was over though, he and I both totally binged on soda. Had nearly one can per workday for the next 2 months! Because I had gone without and then added it back, I was starting to be aware of how it actually made me feel, and how it made my mouth and teeth feel. I decided in December '14 that I was going to stop drinking it, like forever, no more. I'd been thinking and reading about the health effects of soda. (All this was full sugar soda btw, I really dislike the taste of diet soda so I have never been one to drink it.) So about 3 weeks later I was wanting a soda. I was thinking about it a bunch over a couple days thinking I wanted one. I decided it was ok, I was thinking "everything in moderation", if I just had one soda but didn't start on the downward spiral of relying on it as a crutch for dealing with stress, it would be ok. I went to the fridge in the back of the office and grabbed a Dr. Pepper. I took it back to my desk, cracked it open and took a couple sips and set it down. My mouth started to feel gross and I drank some water. About 30-60 minutes later I'd only drank about 2 fingers of soda and I took the rest of the can and dumped it down the sink! I didn't want it anymore! SUCCESS!
Now what I'm wondering is, can I achieve this with other things that are bad for me that I like to eat too much of when I do get them. Like... cookies for example. The main step here is to abstain for a set period of time. To know that I can allow it back into my diet later, just not now. I've done it before, I was vegan for 2 months several years ago but I wasn't feeling any different so I let dairy back in. I have noticed a change in my eating habits from trying to compromise with a meat loving boyfriend that I am now accustomed to having meat at every meal. I didn't used to do that. When I lived in NYC I would sautee a whole zucchini and that would be dinner, and I would be satisfied. That's what I want to get back to. I decided to stop buying more meat (in part because I have a lot in my freezer that needs to be used or tossed). I'm thinking bento boxes for dinners as well would be great way to portion things out.
My friend Kamielle has been reading a book French Kids Eat Everything, which sounds very similar to French Women Don't Get Fat. Some highlights that I remember from that are: no snacking, savor foods, find balance (when planning to have wine, forego the bread, or eat a light lunch when you are having a big dinner outing later).
I want to get to the point where my natural eating is healthy and balanced. I need to figure out what systems work for me. Here is a list of systems I can think of. Some will work for me, some I'll need to try to figure out if they will, and some I'm pretty sure won't work for me, at least, not right now.
- Make lunches at home
- Cook dinner at home
- As long as you made it from scratch, you can eat it
- Go to gym M-Th, take Howland to park at lunch on Fridays
- Go for a walk around the block when stressed
- Go for at least a 15 minute walk before sitting down at a computer/TV
- Drive to work, walk home for lunch
- Walk to work, bike home for lunch
- Bike to work, bike home for lunch
- Dinner at a restaurant
- Trip to Portland
- Abstain from alcohol except for pre-determined celebrations (someone else is paying is not a celebration)
- Reward successes
- Beach house weekend
- Walk for 30 minutes daily minimum
- When returning from grocery store, immediately separate things into single serving packages
- Eat small meal every 3-4 hours to keep satiated
- No snacking eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert
(rewards for: passing an exam, accomplishing a short term or long term goal, reaching a weight loss goal)
- Go to a movie
- Go for a hike
- Take Howland to the dog park
- Buy new workout clothes
- Buy new shoes
- Buy new underwear
- Buy new leggings
- Buy new tank tops
- Trip to the outlet mall
- Buy new Bento box/tools for making them cute
- New tattoo
- Massage (15 minute shoulder, or 60 minute full body)
- New toy for Howland
- Buy a new cookbook
- Fresh flowers
- Lazy Sunday
- Girls night out/in
- Book store
- Buy a sassy workout tank/Tee
- Hawaii! (This is Matt's and my plan for next year to celebrate achieving our goals)
If I rack my brain for times that I was feeling good, and eating well and maintaining or even losing weight, I can probably figure out what might work for me without feeling the need to try every single method.
Study 1. Italy
When I was in Rome and then traveling Europe, I ate when I was hungry, I walked all day every day. I think when I came back I had lost only 5 pounds, but I didn't have measurements, I was probably more muscular then as well. I went to the grocery store every 1-3 days. I was sharing a fridge with 5 other people, we didn't have a pantry and we cooked meals together some days and other days we all just fended for ourselves. I ate a lot of pizza, and indulged in gelato but not every day. I bought the food that I needed for the next couple days, there was no stocking up. Just a few staples like salt and olive oil.
Study 2. New York, a blur
I went to the salad bar for lunch pretty much every day. I walked to the farmer's market every Saturday. Erin and I used to play tennis early in the morning before going to the market. When I lived in NYC I walked everywhere, and took public transportation. I had a bike for a period and would bike sometimes but it was never my favorite because while it was faster than walking, I always felt unsafe. When I worked at JHA, I went to the gym almost everyday. For a time I was going to the boxing class which I really enjoyed. Then there was the 5K I got Allie to sign up for with me and she and I went to the gym together. Our workouts weren't the same (I was also doing weight lifting) but having someone accountable for going made a huge difference.
Study 3. Yestermorrow/Cornell
When I was at Cornell, I was living at the bottom of the hill and climbing the hill to school for classes. I was cooking meals at home and very rarely (really only with visitors) going out to eat. I'd made frequent trips to the grocery store (because Wegman's is the SHIT!). I made healthy choices for what I was going to make, I don't recall wasting a lot of food or keeping a big pantry.
So between these two examples, common themes are:
- Having a buddy
- Christal is my gym buddy, check!
- Walking everywhere
- I need to make this happen. Even if it means my work days are a little longer to make up for walking home at lunch.
- Eating less meat
- In Italy, I didn't buy meat, I only ate it when I went out to eat. In NYC, in college sometimes I'd cook up chicken breast but a lot of the time I'd just eat some veggies with some cheese.
- Empty pantry/fridge
- I think this one (and #3) could be the biggest impact changes for me. If I use up what's in my fridge/freezer and then plan to hit the grocery store 1-2 times a week. It will also help if I only buy food that I know I can eat in the next coming days. It will also be better to need to go to the store MORE rather than attempt to have a store in my kitchen. Things go bad, they get pushed to the back and forgotten.
Just got back from a workout, I love how the weight lifting workouts only take about 20 minutes! The benefits of having a trainer design the workout :) And now I'm going to do some house cleaning before my Valentine's present massage from my love.