Seeing Results

After a week of mostly following the Whole 30 eating plan, I’ve lost 4 pounds and am back to the lowest weight I’ve been so far! I haven’t been as strict as the Whole 30 plan can be: I’ve cut out flour, legumes, sugar, and have really limited my dairy (basically just a little bit of feta with my eggs in the morning). I’ve also been logging my food and it looks like the main reason the weight is finally coming off is that I’m consistently staying under my daily calorie intake by a few hundred calories.

I’ve noticed that I feel much less bloated and am having very few digestive issues. That alone makes restricting some of these foods so worth it! I’ve decided to keep this up for a month to see what kind of results I get. I’ll then consider slowly adding back in beans and chickpeas. I miss them, but I have a feeling they were affecting my digestion in the amounts I’m used to.

It’s a great feeling to see the scale on its way down again. I’m 17 pounds away from my first big goal and I’m confident it’s within reach. I’m not sure why I stopped when I was here just a few months ago. I think it may have had to do with fear and guilt. Fear that I would reach that first goal and then either be dismayed by the realization that I still have a long way to go, or fear that I wouldn’t be able to maintain that first goal and would see the weight come back on again. And the guilt? Oh, that guilt has been a companion for so long that I hardly even notice it anymore, but it’s constantly lurking. It whispers things like, “Who are you to deserve putting yourself first? Who are you to try to get fit and look good? Why are you so special?” Yep, it’s there and it sucks and I’m still learning how to ignore it. I’m ready to shut it up again.

Progress & Plans

I’m sure everyone’s heard how the scale can be deceiving and is not necessarily the best measure of progress. Well, I can tell you that has been true for me. For the past few months the numbers on the scale have barely go down. I’ve pretty much been hanging around at the weight I’ve been for most of my adult life. While that is somewhat frustrating, I’m also wearing sizes that I last fit into about 15 years ago. I’ve also lost three more inches in my waist, one in my chest, and one in each of my arms since I last measured.

My yoga studio offers a barre fit class and I’ve attended it the past few Saturdays. I can honestly say it’s one of the most challenging classes I’ve ever taken and I love it. I took a similarly titled class at another fitness studio, but that was NOTHING compared to this class. The exercises make you sweat and your muscles shake uncontrollably at times. Apparently that’s the point. Rumor has it that this class is great for re-shaping and toning your body. I can’t wait to see what kind of results I get in another month or two.

Now that we’ve hit spring (although, it doesn’t quite feel that way temperature-wise) I’m going to get some early morning walks in a couple of times a week. It’ll be a nice addition to all the yoga, Pilates, and barre classes I’ve been taking.

With any luck (and let’s face it, some actual work), I will have some significant progress to report!

Just Veggies January

2015 is off to a pretty good start. My good eating habits had slowly slipped away during the holidays so I decided to make January a meatless month. I always feel so much better when I don’t eat any meat, poultry, or fish. My energy levels are higher and my digestion feels easier. The tricky part is finding new things to eat so I don’t get bored. Luckily, I received the Wellness Mama Cookbook for Christmas which has given me a few ideas, along with all kinds of recipes from Pinterest.

One dish that I am loving is roasted sweet potatoes and apples with cinnamon which I adapted from the cookbook. It’s really versatile. I threw in some scrambled eggs for a comforting breakfast dish. Another day I added muesli and Greek yogurt. Throwing in some feta cheese or meat would be great, too.

SweetPotatoApple

On the snack front, I’ve been obsessed with pommegranate arils. They are great by the handful or mixed with Greek yogurt as well.

Snack

 

On the exercise front, I froze my yoga membership for the month of December because I knew I would be way too busy to go regularly enough to justify the cost. I still had some Groupon classes left over for a nearby fitness studio so I returned to Zumba and tried out Piloxing and PiYo. I used to love TaeBo and Piloxing is similar, so it was great! I enjoyed PiYo, too, but it went a little too fast for my taste. There is a lot of potential for injury, in my opinion, so I think I’ll stick to my Vinyasa and Pilates classes for that.

On the accountability front, some members of my essential oils team are hosting a health and wellness challenge for January and February. I joined and will be using some of the Young Living products aimed specifically at metabolism support. I plan to post more about them after I use them for a bit. My order arrives on Wednesday and I’m super excited to try it out!

And, finally, I found a new workout buddy in my neighborhood. I’m a member of a council at work and so is she. We met at our most recent meeting, discovered we live in the same neighborhood and decided to take some classes together. This morning we tried out Burn the Barre for the first time and loved it. We’ve already agreed to go again next Sunday! This may just be a New York City thing, but it’s tough to get people to venture out of Manhattan and into the other boroughs to hang out. I’m excited to have a potential new friend in the neighborhood.

I hope your 2015 is off to a happy and healthy start!

Self Care or Selfish?

self-care-survival

 

Isn’t it interesting how so many of us put ourselves last on our list of priorities? How many times a day, a week, a month do we put off doing something that would make us feel better or help us relax? We get the message from some many different places (family, society, religion) that we should sacrifice, put others first, and ignore our own needs or else we’ll appear selfish, self-centered, greedy, etc.

But I’d like to argue that it’s not true. We can best give of ourselves, help others, and be of service only after we’ve taken care of ourselves. How can we positively contribute to anything or anyone if we’re exhausted, burnt-out, sick, or even feeling resentful of the fact that we’re sacrificing our needs? We can’t.

Now, I’m not saying that we should all drop everything and only focus on ourselves, everyone and everything else be damned. And I’m well aware that there are people out there who are currently over-extended and have so many responsibilities, and people to care for that the thought of self care is laughable. Sadly, that is reality for a whole lot of people because we’ve all bought into the ideas mentioned above. But what if even those folks found a way to take five or ten minutes for themselves to relax or recharge in whatever way they pleased? Maybe that would mean sitting down with a cup of tea, or reading a chapter in a book, or just really paying attention to breath for a few minutes. The little bit of pleasure we can get in those five minutes can lead to finding a few more five minute breaks throughout the day, which might lead to ten, which might lead to twenty. You see where I’m going here.

I see too many people who have spent their entire lives putting others before themselves (consciously or unconsciously) and now, when their health is compromised and they need to be taking care of themselves, they don’t. They don’t know to make themselves a priority and they’re uncomfortable with it because it goes against the way they lived their lives up until this point. It’s heartbreaking, frustrating, and unnecessary.

I encourage all of you to take some time for yourself EVERY DAY and do something to help you relax or make you happy. It’s such a simple act and can have such a profound affect!

Today, I took a nice little tea break and sat in the afternoon sun for twenty minutes. It was a wonderful way to relax and recharge. I returned to my office with renewed focus and a desire to get things done.

How are you going to care for yourself today?

 

Changing Focus

Hello friends,

Sorry I’ve been gone so long! A lot has changed over the past few months and I’ve decided to shift the focus of this blog to match what’s been going on in my life. My weight loss and health goals haven’t changed, but they are not the only things I’ve been focused on lately. I realized that I have so much trouble posting here because there are so many other things I want to be writing about and sharing with you!

I’ve started a new journey that is truly focused on self-care and healing physically and emotionally. I’m currently growing my essential oils business as an independent distributor for Young Living. I’m completing a Second Degree Reiki training this month. And my love for yoga and meditation hasn’t waned one bit. I hope that all of this will grow into a new path where I can teach people how to care for themselves and easily support their own health and wellness.

My goal is to share many of the things I learn along the way with you. I also want to share the “curves and swerves” of life with you on a regular basis. There will probably still be posts about weight loss and goals, but I hope that these other topics will make this a more interesting and fun place to visit.

Happy November, everyone! Expect to be hearing from me more often!

Saying Goodbye to Summer, Looking forward to Fall

So I know we technically still have a few weeks left of summer, but I like taking this time of year to reflect on the past few months and to look ahead to the new season to come. 

But first, I’d like to share the verification of a non-scale victory that I mentioned in my last post!

NSV

Over the weekend, R and I decided to take advantage of the Labor Day sales. I desperately needed some new jeans so we headed over to Macy’s. I was hoping to get the same brand and style of the jeans I currently have. We found them. I grabbed a pair in a size smaller than what I’ve been wearing lately. I was a little bit worried that the smaller size wouldn’t fit yet. My current jeans are baggy, but I thought it might be due to all the washing and wearing since the scale hasn’t budged much over the past month and a half. But no! The next size down fit like a glove! On top of that excitement, they were hugely discounted so I bought two pairs. I’m now three pant sizes down from where I started in January. Now if only the scale would follow the lead…

I feel like I didn’t really take advantage of the summer as much as I could have this year. I only made it to the beach twice. I didn’t see any fireworks or go on any picnics. I did get to attend an impromptu barbecue at my aunt’s house in July, but overall it was a pretty laid back summer. I definitely enjoyed all of the relaxation and quiet time with my husband, but I’d like autumn to be a bit more active. 

I’ve got my brother’s wedding coming up at the end of September, but other than that there are no big plans on the horizon. I’d really like to go apple picking, visit Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, and go for a hike when the leaves start to change. I love so much about autumn: crisp, cool days; cozy sweaters, and warm drinks. I’m sad to see summer go, but am happy to welcome in a new season. What are you most looking forward to?

 

 

Zumba, Non-Scale Victories (NSVs), and other Fun Stuff

It’s super busy around here these days! I’ve got lots on the agenda, but wanted to come here and jot down a few things I’ve been proud of lately.

  • My new Zumba class is going well. So far I’ve only been able to make it on Saturdays, but it’s been a lot of fun and really kicks my butt! (See my Twitter feed for a post-class picture from Saturday). They are also affiliated with a spinning studio. I’m thinking I’ll give that a try one of these days as well.
  • R and I always sit in the front of our Pilates classes. On Sunday, we were the only two in the front and our teacher basically stood behind us to check on the rest of class as if she didn’t have to worry about our form! She even used us to demonstrate a few of the exercises.  I’ve definitely seen a huge difference in my core strength, so it was nice to have that progress more or less confirmed. On a side-note: I was secretly relieved that she wasn’t watching us so much, because my hamstrings and glutes were so sore from Zumba that I could barely do the bridge exercises! Phew.
  • Sunday afternoon I baked up some delicious chocolate peppermint cookies, using real peppermint oil, as a practice batch for a Great Big Oil Gathering that my friend and I are hosting on Friday. They turned out really well. The part to be proud of, though, was the part where I managed to not eat any batter and only have one cookie (one!). The best part was that I wasn’t even craving them or thinking about them once they were put away. I brought them in to work today and my office-mates have dutifully devoured them.
  • My “skinny” jeans refuse to stay around my waist and are too big in the thighs.
  • I’ve found a new allergy remedy using my oils! A drop each of lemon, peppermint, and lavender oil in a spoonful of honey gave me allergy relief for hours. It was pretty incredible. How nice to not have to deal with that hazy, tired feeling I get from my regular allergy medicine.