Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Dreaded: Diet.

The name says it all: Diet. That word has totally programmed our brain to automatically think of starvation, sacrifice, & ultimate unhappiness. So, when I decided I was going to get healthy, I refused to tell myself I was going to diet to do it. I set my plan up that I would start Crossfit again, & start drinking at least 100 oz of water everyday. That was it. I needed to get my body moving more than it was, & I needed to stay hydrated.
Now, if any of you have done Crossfit, one thing is for sure, you feel pretty much everything that you put in your body. That drink you had the night before will be seeping out of your pores in your sweat, & make it feel like you are wearing a 30 lb vest on your chest. You will literally start to be able to taste what you had for dinner. So, when I set my goals on Crossfit 3-4 times a week, I knew ahead of time that it would keep me more aware & make me think twice about what I was taking in. But, I also knew I needed to eat. Your body cannot sustain working out as hard as I wanting to, with no calories to burn. So, I watched numerous documentaries, & reached out to my friends & learned one very helpful insight into eating healthier. Don't take away food. Add MORE food to your diet, especially when starting out. Now, when I say food, I mean actual food. Doritos & hot pockets do not qualify as food. I mean natural, organic, delicious fresh food. I don't know why this was an "aha!" moment to me, because really, it's common sense. When you start to add more, actual food, to your diet, & fill up on the good stuff, it eventually just pushes the imitation stuff out!!  So, here are my tricks & treats. I haven't set any definite limits on my "diet" & yet, I am eating healthier than I have in a REALLY long time!

 Grocery Shopping:
Ask Dan... I HATE grocery shopping. I just kinda, suck at it. I go in for specific things, leave spending too much money, & forget the items I went in for. Send me armed with a recipe, & I guarantee I will forget the most important ingredient! Drives me crazy! So... I enlisted the help of friends, & got some awesome staples to have on hand... & I had the best shopping trip I've ever had! My friend Mayra shared this shopping list that she's used, & it really helped me to think of things that I knew I could make meals out of!
 Shopping List
& most importantly, I needed to stock up on healthy things to curb the cravings that I knew were to come. I had a tendency, later in the evening than healthy, to binge on the sweets. I loved hunkering down for a movie & munchin' on something delicious, & gummy. Two weeks ago, the day before I went shopping,  I was craving something unhealthy so bad, every commercial on TV would make my stomach growl at me louder. (You know it's bad when a fish filet from McDonald's makes you crave for a half a dozen of them... ew!) So, I needed to have my defenses on back up! I also turned to friends & got a lot of really great ideas, & decided to go with two main treats: Frozen spoonfuls of Almond butter sometimes with a little honey, & a bag of Dark Chocolate covered Acai berries. DELICIOUS, & within reason, a much better alternative to gummies.

 Potatoes: a fat girl's BEST friend. I love my mama's cookin', & mashed potatoes were a staple in my house all growing up. One of the realizations you have as an adult though, is that your white potatoes don't necessarily belong in the vegetable group. Especially when you can have them in so many ways... usually fried, and/or drenched in salt, butter & sour cream. I don't consider myself a master in the kitchen either, so I had the tendency to resort to easy meals, ie; chicken breast, broccolli, mashed/baked potato.  Sure, that meal isn't necessarily BAD for you, but this easy tweak has increased my options in cooking, & my vegetable intake! & it's much easier than any potato: no peeling, so boiling for 20 min, it's literally, cut, steam, & chop in your food processor! I eat it as a side on a regular basis, & I never feel like I'm missing out on the comfort food from growing up! My cousin Becky at referred me to a Turkey Sriracha meatball & cauliflower rice recipe that was probably my favorite so far (& I cooked it all by myself!!!! If you know me, you know that's few & far between!)
H 2 the izz-O
Water. Simple, Easy, basic. Water. We are one of the few countries in the world that can drink out of our tap without fear, & yet over 80% of Americans are dehydrated!!! Having visited a third world country, I was appalled at the amount of money a ziplock back size of water cost, & that's if they were even able to find somewhere to buy it! Our bodies can survive longer without food than without water... We desperately need to step up as a country, & take advantage of the life giving source around us!! When I set the goal to drink more than 100 oz of water a day, I didn't even consider what it would do for my diet everyday. It keep my stomach more full, my digestive system more regular, & I can more easily identify when I'm genuinely hungry, or just bored & craving. It's probably my biggest help with eating a more healthy, balanced diet. 
One good decision leads to another. One day at a time. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Why

Why? Why do we do the things that we do everyday? We all have different things that motivate us to make our day to day decisions... & When you are on a journey of weightloss & exercise, sometimes it's really hard to remember why we got started, & why we are putting ourselves through such "torture" day after day.  For me, I have quite a few why's. I figure I should document them, so that in a few months when I really don't want to keep going, I will have something to reference of Why I need to. 
My most important why is definitely my health. Although, I should go into more detail than that... My health reasons might be completely different from yours, but I'm hoping to connect with those of my friends & family that I know struggle with the same condition I do. When I was in my teens, my menstrual cycle wasn't as normal as it should be, & I had all the systems of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrom. I carry most of my weight in my midsection (most dangerous place to have extra weight), I am testosterone sensitive (Especially when it comes to facial hair... Me & Dan could probably have a legit competition) & my body doesn't know how to regulate the insulin my body needs to break down the sugars I consume.  These are day to day symptoms that I have to deal with, & are no fun at all... but my concern is when the time comes to try having children, it's probably not going to be easy. PCOS can affect your ability to conceive, & can raise other issues while you are pregnant, including gestational diabetes.    
I'm not at a place in my life where I am trying to have children... but it's definitely creeping up on me. & I am scared to death of the heartache that fertility treatments can bring, as well as the cost that those treatments & adoption can have. I will have an adopted child, it's always been a life long dream, but I would love nothing more than to be able to have a child that has mine & Dan's genes. & even though it's years out... my body is not going to change overnight, & getting my body to regulate all the hormones that are so out of whack, is going to take years. I have been to the doctors, & have tried out many different insulin pills, or birth controls to try & help me regulate my body... & I've hated them all! I'm not good at taking pills, & the hormones make me feel like a crazy person! But when I was doing crossfit before, my body was more regular than it had ever been... ALL ON ITS OWN. Not to mention, I was losing my belly fat, not craving sweets as often, & I had to shave my face noticeably less! Which greatly improved my day to day attitude about my body, & made me feel more confident & comfortable in my own skin... & I've heard when it comes time to conceive, that is obviously very important! 
So that is my #1 why. I want to be able to conceive & carry healthy, beautiful babies with the body that I was given. It has it's issues, but I can take a lot of responsibility & action, & change the cards that I was dealt. A lot of the diseases & conditions our bodies are diagnosed with now a days, can be solved by our day to day decisions. If we are willing to take the responsibility, & change those decisions, we can save ourselves a lot of heartache & potential medical bills in the future! 
Now, I definitely have other why's. There was a reason I was crying when posting my before photos... I would love for my body to reflect the life & energy I feel inside & right now, it doesn't. I would love to be able to fit into that green dress I was wearing in my favorite picture of Dan & I. I would LOVE to have more of a variety when it comes to choosing a wedding dress, rather than having size be a deciding factor. I would love to be able to actually walk back up sledding hills, & hike to the summit of Timpanogas Mountain this summer.  I want to live to an old age, because it is a privilege denied to many. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Checks & Balances

My life mantra has always been: every experience can be an awesome adventure, or one hell of a story to tell later!! & let me tell you, I've had more than my fair share of great stories! I like to jump into things head first (& usually eyes closed) & I've practically perfected the ability to go with the flow in any situation. 

 With this being said, in life, everything has checks & balances... & it's up to us to be able to self-check, & keep ourselves relatively in the center of the half-pipe we call life. We have to be able to call ourselves out on our weaknesses, & make decisions that keep us centered. This is by FAR one of the most difficult things we need to do in life, & unfortunately, no one is perfect. Not a single one of us. Some of us are really good at managing time, others exercise & eat healthy every day of their lives, & some people are always optimistic, & some of us (me more often than not) feel like you are constantly juggling a bunch of balls in front of your face with a blindfold on! I want you to know, it's ok. It's not only "normal" but it is exactly what we are here to do with our lives!! 

 I have had some struggles in life. I'm pretty much an open book about that. I was raised in a religion that checks & balances your entire life out for you (in my opinion) & when I started to make decisions that were outside of those boundaries, it was like I was on a skateboard for the first time, in the biggest half pipe of my life. I was young, & had no idea what it was like to be out on my own, & be able to make any choice I wanted! Thankfully, I was raised by amazing parents that raised me to be a strong woman, with a good head on my shoulders, & to know when I was getting myself into trouble. Don't get me wrong, it was a LONG time before I was really able to get some balance in my life, & I still struggle with a lot of my past demons. I want to say that I was incredibly lucky that I came out alive (or out of jail/rehab)- but I have to give myself more credit than that. I knew when I was putting myself into sketchy situations, & I am proud to say, that I had the balls to stop, realize what I was doing, & make the appropriate changes to put myself in a better place. Like I said, it took a LOT of time, but it was each small check & balance that put me where I am today, & I am overwhelmingly grateful for that. 

Now that I am 26 (with my golden birthday on the 27!!!) I have a completely different life. I have the best man that I know, to call my own. I have a beautiful house that most people my age would die for, dogs that greet me with love everyday, a job that I have security in, & an amazing group of motivating friends that continue to help me grow, & get better everyday. But again, just because life is better than ever, doesn't mean I don't have an exponential amount of growing to do! 

This last year has been an interesting one. I think I'm one of those people that kind of had a fairytale view of life. I would fall in love, get married, & live happily ever after. For those of you that are married, try to stifle your laughter... But even though I was blessed with an amazing man, & a great relationship, I still struggled a lot, inwardly. I had quit the Crossfit gym I was going to, changed my birth control, was hearing nothing but my biological clock tick so loud it was causing a head ache, not getting enough social time & ultimately, was forgetting to enjoy the ride. 

So, I've checked myself. I joined Crossfit again, jumped on board to a company that is filled with fun, positive people, & have told myself to sloooow down, & enjoy the day to day. It's literally a choice I have to make every day, but every day, I become happier, & a better person for it. I've learned sometimes you have to break down your life to the smallest choices, then check to see if that's what you really want, & get your life back into balance.