Its Been a Hard Days Night

1964 Beatles

I  was lucky enough to get a free night without the kids and wow, is it nice to have a night off!  I had a work function, which involved me going to a Beatles tribute band concert with my fellow employees at Red Rocks.  Not a bad way to spend the evening.  I do like the Beatles and luckily I knew most of the songs.  Their songs are actually very simple riffs and a lot of their lyrics are actually very sweet, mostly regarding love.  It is hard to believe parents thought this band was so detrimental to teenagers!  I mean, they wear suits and ties but oh my, watch out for that shaggy hair! Oh how far music has fallen!

Its been a hard days night, and I ‘ve been working like a dog

Its been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log,

But when I get home to you,

I find the things that you do, 

will make me feel alright. 

-Hard Days Night, by Paul McCartney & John Lennon, The Beatles 

Yep these lyrics are quite disturbing.  I mean, he clearly works really hard, plans on doing a lot of sleeping and is happy to come home to his love, sounds pretty rebellious to me. No surprise parents were so distraught over the Beatles.  I think they were more concerned with how much their daughters swooned over Paul, (who also looks and acts very much like trouble).

This concert is a tribute to the Beatles original concert here in Colorado at Red Rocks  in 1964.  Red Rocks never disappoints, it truly is the best venue in the country.  I have never seen a bad show there.  Your outside, the views are spectacular and the music sounds pretty amazing.  Whomever discovered this place as an amphitheater must have had quite a trek up and into the mountain, but it certainly paid off!

Not only did I get to have a night out without my kids, I got to actually SLEEP!  Like uninterrupted 8 hour sleep! And it was amazing.  When you have children, sleep is just one of many rare things you as a parent never get to do, and i never believed this until I became one.   Sleep is like the holy grail of luxuries when becoming a mom.  Along with going to the bathroom alone, eating (and finishing ) a meal, shopping by yourself (this includes just going to the grocery store) and driving.  It really is the little things….  so with my full eight hours of sleep, I felt like a new person!  Rested, and just overall good.  I  truly needed this.

There are places I will remember,

All my life though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments

With lovers and friends I still can recall

Some are dead and some are living

In my life I’ve loved them all.

-Love You More, by George Harrison, The Beatles 

 

 

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Focus More on Me

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If only I could get back to this place..mentally…

I have now finished the meditation sessions and to be honest, I am not so sure meditation is for me.  Last night, I actually fell asleep in the midst of a session.  It’s three minutes.  I fell asleep before the three minutes were up- with my ear buds still in, phone on my chest.  I woke up in a tangled mess of wire and realized that I may very well be just too exhausted at this point in my life to devote three minutes of my life to meditating.  I attribute the exhaustion to several things;

1. Baby who doesn’t enjoy sleeping at night, at least not for more than five consecutive hours at a time.

2.  A toddler who gets nightmares and wakes me up after having just fallen asleep from being woken up by baby (please see no. 1).

3. Dealing with a toddler (noted previously in no 2) now starting pre school and having major regression.

And the list goes on and on.  It is always something and my patience is running thin.   I have looked into all sorts of ways to deal with the stress, but it seems the meditation, at least after 10 sessions, has not done a thing for me.  Either I need to do it more or its just not for me.  I could just chalk it up to not being something I can fix into my daily life at the moment.  I am thinking I should focus on other means of dealing with my stress.  I mean, this site is dedicated to mental and physical well being after all, so I need to explore other options.  I do miss exercise, but I am having a difficult time squeezing in three minutes for mediation, let alone 30 minutes on a treadmill.  So what is a person like me to do?  How do parents, specifically mothers, do it?

I have come to the conclusion that we cannot do it all and we as mothers have this especially innate sense of “we must conquer!”  we must do everything and do it exceptionally well!  (Thanks Martha Stewart).  It seems pretty obvious that we can’t do it all but I seem to constantly be running up against this ideal.  So what to do?

I have to look at the overall perspective.  I need to spend more time prioritizing- whether its making time for me, (without feeling guilty), making time for my kids and making time for my husband.   This all comes down to time and what is worthy of my time.  Of course family and my children are worth my time, but most important is time for myself, just to be me.  I do think I neglect this most of all, and I think most mothers do.  Which is so easy to do when everything else comes first- the kids, the food and meals, the errands, etc. etc.  But if I neglect myself, than everyone suffers.  My family, my friends, my kids.  I need to be more of myself.  I need to feel like an individual in addition to being a part of my team.

So maybe that meditation did teach me something- time, even taking three minutes a day is necessary for my own well being.  In fact, I am pretty sure it proved to me I need way more than three minutes a day devoted to myself and that putting myself first for a few moments is something that will keep me sane, or at least make me realize although I am an individual, I am part of something bigger, an essential part of my family team, so best to take care of me, myself and I first and foremost. Guess I should focus a little more on being selfish- better get to finding time for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weekend, Reflect and Reset

First Day of SchoolSundays are really great to start and then come 5pm, we are quickly reminded of our last moments of freedom before beginning the work week and entering the daily grind.  Some of us may be lucky enough to not work a regular 8 to 5 job and I really envy those people.  I have always wanted to do my own thing, but of course, money reigns supreme and I always end up resorting to a jobby job.   I have had my own business before, contracting as a paralegal, and it was nice. I definitely took every Monday off, because really Mondays are the worst.  But then my life changed, money changed, situations changed and here I am, seven years later, still working for the man.  But the dream of working for myself has become more of a reality recently so we will see if 2018 will be the start to self employment, here’s hoping.

The nice thing about Sunday, besides being a day of rest, is that it marks a clean slate, to me it’s kind of a reset button day.  A fresh start to the week where you really can start a new project, goal, habit, whatever you like and mark Sunday (or Monday) as day 1.  I like to sit down with my planner, even if its right before bed, and go over the week.  I also like to get my fridge in order and prep my meals for the week.   But besides planning for the up coming week, I also like to reflect on the previous week.

This past week was the quintessential “life caught up with me and diet went out the window” week.  My pay day fell in the middle of the week, posting pining my usual weekend grocery trip, so my meal plans were small and incomplete as far as being completely slow carb friendly, so my last resorts were ordering pizza on Thursday and picking up last minute (pathetic) salads from the store, which were not satisfying and only led me to eat more nuts, fats and heftier dinners.  My son also started preschool, (getting so big!), so we had to celebrate Friday night, going out for Mexican food.  I definitely indulged in cheese BUT avoided the chips completely, as well as dessert.  BY Sunday, my weight showed it, not to mention my stomach hated me for it, but luckily, overall, my damage wasn’t all that bad, just a few pounds over.  Since my week was so off, I decided to forego Saturday as an entire cheat day and really just had one cheat meal.  This probably helped minimize the weight gain.  But overall, my usual slow carb diet for the week was completely thrown off.  So Sunday allowed me to start my clean eating.  I also read up on some plant based dieting and although I think going completely plant based would be difficult while slow carbing, I think I would like to try doing it for a majority of my meals, because to be honest, I am getting tired of eating so much meat.  I am not a big meat eater to begin with, so eating meat for at least two meals a day is just overkill for me.  So I think this week I may try foregoing meat for lunch (still doing eggs and tuna) and maybe just have it for dinner.  I also discovered cauliflower rice so this may help with meal variety.  It will add a nice side dish to my usual protein and veggies, and also add a nice extra serving of vegetables which can’t be bad for the waistline.

Being food and meal focused on Sunday helps me not have to focus on food and meals  during the week, leaving more time to be with family, and do other things I enjoy, like reading and writing, or even sitting and zoning out, watching You Tube videos if that’s what my head needs.

Also by reflecting on the past week I can see where I didn’t do things the way I wanted to- in this case it was my poor meal planning- and learn from those mistakes.  This week I will make it a priority to stick to my slow carb meals, stop being so hard on myself as far as when I fall off the wagon, and also be a little more focused with my meditation practice.  I am just about out of my free sessions and am debating on purchasing a package of sessions, dedicated to specific areas of focus.  I would like to focus more on patience and happiness, gratefulness, because these are things I want to work on in my every day life.  I would also like to read more.  My kindle has books downloaded ready to read but I keep putting it off.  This week, I won’t out it off.  Its a fresh start, a new week and a new month just around the corner, (how is that possible?).  A solar eclipse to look forward too tomorrow!  I want to start my week off relaxed yet motivated, organized and – how will you start your week?

What we are looking for is already here…and a side of lemon

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Is it true?  Everything we are looking for is right here, right in front of us?  I suppose if I look at everything around me, my home, my kids, my husband, my life, it really is all here, everything I need and anything I could ever want, (although I would not mind winning that power ball, I mean $510 million??? Come on).  But inside all of us, sometimes, there is an amount of unhappiness, maybe when times are trying or are less than ideal.  So how do we find our way out of the funk?  In my last blog I touched on ways to just be, find ways to slow down and enjoy the moments, but what happens when those moments can’t turn your frown upside down and days turn into weeks, maybe months of unhappiness?

I think it is important to first decipher the difference between being unhappy (not pleased or not delighted) and just being unsatisfied, (not content).  Being unsatisfied is, I can only assume, in this day and age, quite common. I mean, our economy depends on it and our culture thrives on it!  We are marketed to 24/7- whether it’s seeing ads on tv, internet, and social media on how to be more beautiful, more thin, more wealthy, more stylish, more Martha Stewart, more MORE.  All of these create reasons for us as to be unsatisfied with what we have.  What I have is not enough.  What I have doesn’t solve all my problems.  What I have doesn’t make me perfect.  Marketing is designed to create a need for something you never knew you had, (Scrub Daddy sponge any one?). If our society is any indication, our greed precedes us.  We want these things because the images and ads create an unnecessary need.  It breeds insecurities by inundating us with perfect images of people, places and things.  A lifestyle that is germ free and problem free.  But if we closely examine our surroundings and place priority on what is already in our lives, we can choose to be grateful.  We can choose to be happy and we can choose to be satisfied.  We can place importance on the moments that make up life and as they say, turn lemons into lemonade.

Lemons.  I am sure at this point in time, everyone has heard of the multiple benefits in lemons.  Lemons even without the sugar, are wonderful.  I use a slice of lemon in my water pretty much every day.  It gives my water an extra dose of vitamin C, it helps with inflammation, they enhance digestion and they help boost your immunity.  In fact, my fine lines have become less noticeable.  I chalked it up to good makeup but soon realized I was actually wear less makeup on the daily, (because my skin was looking better).  After reading up on lemons, they are known to help skin tone, making you bright and glowy.  I am pretty sure increased intake of vegetables, from the slow carb diet, specifically greens has helped my skin too but out of all my food, lemons are a mainstay.  I squeeze lemon on my fish, chicken, and veggies in addition to putting it in my water.  So I definitely attribute my rejuvenated skin to my daily intake of lemon.

The littlest things can have the biggest impact.  Its just a lemon, but over the course of a month, it has changed and affected more than a couple aspects of my life.  The expensive miracle cream I have been searching for to rid my fine lines, was really just a daily dose of lemon juice.  Just a little thing, always been right there, right in front of me, and it was really all I needed. I just needed find it, use it in a different way and recognize its worth.  So if your day is going sour, (no pun intended), your daily life seems just so ordinary, find that slice of lemon, it’s already there, right in front of you.  It can make you see things in a different light, a brighter light and provide a more satisfied perspective.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”                              -Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

Just Be

IMG_2802Be present. This was the meditation theme for last night and it definitely stuck with me. We live in a time that we thrive on hustle and bustle, every day is filled with appointments, meetings, traffic, kids, and on and on.  We have a phone attached to our hands, belts and heads.  This device buzzes with texts, messages and voicemails, constantly notifying us of things we have to do, people we have to talk to and new things to read, watch and buy.  Social interaction and information is constant and it is hard to pull away from the busyness of life.  With so much to do, we seem to completely bypass and miss the little things, the moments that count, and the amazing things that are all around us, even take for granted the most mundane things we do in every day life.  So how do we be right here, right now? How do we just be?

Stop

Stop and notice your surroundings.  We are all human, we all have good days and bad, so when you think things are bad just take a break.  Stop what you’re doing and notice your self, your being, how you feel, and what is happening around you. Go for a walk outside, write in a journal or do something you enjoy to remove yourself from your current setting.

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Detach

Definitely do not pick up your phone and start scrolling the latest and greatest on the news/social media.  There is no bigger time suck than the internet and although most of us decompress by doing something on our phone, it actually does quite the opposite, because our phone is a stimulant.  It literally keeps us awake and alert, causing our brains to generate more and more activity.  So put your phone, computer, ipad, whatever tech toy you may have- put it away.  No distractions allows your brain to be quiet and really enjoy peace.

Focus on breath

In meditation there is a lot of focus on breath and being still.  It’s hard to push all thoughts away so the best way to not think about daily stresses is to replace it with thinking about your breath.  Sounds simple but its not.  To concentrate on this basic bodily function is hard.  My mind wanders and wanders until finally the thought of “go back to the breath” saunters in and I have to pull myself back into the thought of breathing.  Do this for two minutes and I can guarantee your mood will change.

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Step outside

I am quite happy sipping a glass of wine in my back yard, looking at the amazing Colorado sky with a mountain backdrop.  But not every day is a glass of wine or a pink and orange sunset.  In fact some days will be rainy, cloudy and down right trying, (cue teething baby and a 2 year old crying…just because).   But being outside brings a whole new perspective.  For me, stepping outside and breathing fresh air, admiring our flowers and getting some natural vitamin D is just enough to bring some calm and quiet to your head space.

Exercise

If I have time and the weather is cooperating, there is nothing more satisfying than going for a jog alone or with the kids in the jogger stroller.  I wish I could do this more often because I am most happy after a run.  My head feels the most clear and I feel most accomplished and appreciative when I have had a good run.  It is what I miss most about living next to Wash Park-running it every week.  There was something about having all those other people running or doing some sort of physical activity there, that gave me so much motivation.  When I am running I don’t think of anything but the act of running so it’s the best stress relief I have ever practiced.

Be in the present

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As cliché as it sounds, we need to be able to stop and smell the roses.  Because time is fleeting and it is something we can’t get back.  So invest in your time, your moments, because these make a life, your life.

And so I tried today, to just enjoy the moment. To just be, while cleaning the bathroom, while cooking breakfast in the kitchen, or helping my son get his shoes off. Today, Sunday, was a “just be” day and it was lovely. We all should probably “just be” more often, including me.

 

 

 

 

 

First, The Soapbox

Allergy Walk 1Saturday.  I always look forward to this day, a day of different food- but now, instead of having a cheat list, its just nice to go about the day and be able to eat whatever comes my way.  Saturday is the day I don’t have to second guess my choices, and even indulge if I choose.  But on this particular Saturday, I definitely had a different perspective on food and the food choices I make.  I am lucky enough to be able to choose my food and have no restrictions when it comes to eating food.

First thing this morning, we had the allergy walk in Wash Park.  We attend this every year because my niece has severe food allergies.  In fact, I wouldn’t even call it allergies, that’s putting it too mildly, these foods are like poison to her.  She is anaphylactic, which means certain foods cause her body to go into shock and can kill her. These foods are basic foods and included in most peoples’ every day lives.  But for my niece, eating an egg can cause deadly reactions,  drinking milk can make her vomit, and even so much as touching a piece of garlic can break her out in hives.  She has reactions to so many things, even carrots and avocado, things most all of us consider healthy and safe.  The allergy walk is a way for these kids, their friends and family, to get together and realize how widespread our food allergy problem has become.  Growing up, I had only known one girl who was allergic to certain foods and now I realize she was lactose intolerant.  Intolerance and an allergy are quite different.  Food allergies, such as my niece’s, which are life threatening, were simply unheard of up until a couple decades ago.  But now, food allergies are prevalent and its pretty clear why.  Our food is tampered with and treated with all sorts of pesticides and chemicals, and most of our food is genetically engineered, (aka created).  And unfortunately not all children, or humans for that matter, can process these foods.

If you look at the Asian culture, many asians are lactose intolerant.  This is because their diets rarely include dairy, therefore, their bodies and their immune systems can’t tolerate or digest lactose.  But with people who are lactose intolerant, there is some treatment and in most cases, the most severe side effect is uncomfortable or upset stomach.  These side effects won’t kill you.  Also, dairy is a naturally occurring ingredient – I’m sure there is nothing natural about latex and pesticides in our food. So how does a country create or grow such foods that will actually cause such extensive amount of harm to so many people?  Well I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that our food is not the healthiest or the purest.  Those of us born without these allergies (in addition to a healthy dose of luck) just so happen to be able tolerate the pesticides, chemicals and genetically engineered food.  I may not know of many food allergy children but I certainly know most every body at one time or another has suffered from a bout of food poisoning. Food poisoning is never pleasant, but chances are whatever you ate was probably not clean, whether it was mixed or grown with something not clean or could have even just touched something not clean.  Once consumed, your body rejected it, while leaving you reeling and praying to the porcelain gods.  Now, think if your child ate a cookie and had an even more severe reaction than food poisoning.  A reaction to the point their body went into shock, and every time your child ate this cookie, they were taking a chance they would be put into the hospital or stuck with an epi pen to save their life?  For 4-6% of the population, and one in 13 children, this is a reality.

How many of us don’t think  twice of our child sitting down in a movie theatre or in their desk in a class room.  How about forgetting to wash our kid’s hands after eating a meal or a snack,  or getting onto an airplane for a 2 hour flight, even hunting for eggs on Easter?   To an allergy kid, these are activities that are well thought out and planned, maybe even avoided.  Washing hands is not just a must but a necessity.  Just a spoonful of peanut butter can be straight poison, causing not just hives or vomiting, but restricted breathing, even cardiac arrest.  Doesn’t that statement sound ridiculous?  Why in this day and age is something as simple as a peanut or an egg even a concern?

So what can we do?  Well I am not suggesting everybody stop buying peanut butter.  I am suggesting people be educated, get educated and share the knowledge.  We need more research on our food and what is causing our children to reject these foods.  We need more funding to make sure we understand what and how we treat and grow our food sources. We need to prevent more children from having these so called allergies.  In this case, knowledge really is power.  If you are so inclined, check out these articles and organizations devoted to understanding food allergies:

FARE – Food Allergy Org.

ACAAI

webmd

Clearly this is an issue near and dear to my heart but it deserves a chance to be understood by the greater population because there are quite a few kids’ lives that depend on it.  Now I will proceed to step off my soap box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditating Effects (or lack thereof)

I started doing some mediation via this Head Space app and even though I have only done 5 sessions, I am not sure its doing anything for me.  Granted the sessions are only 3 minute sessions, and they are nice while I am doing them, as well as for a short period of time after the session, but it seems to be difficult to carry on this feeling of calm as the day goes on.  It kind of disappears and I am not sure if I am supposed to think back to the session to initiate that feeling or if it should be hitting me because its ingrained in my head, or maybe the session itself is just meant to give me a moment of “zen”?  Who knows, but I guess I will continue meditating this month and see where it leads.

I find writing/journaling much more therapeutic.  I have been binging on bullet journaling videos on You Tube and I have to say, I am pretty intrigued. I have been using a passion planner for the past two years, which I love.  Its a planner but it has lots of monthly questions, quotes and game plans to achieve short and long term goals.  So in some ways, it is similar to a journal but combined with a weekly and monthly calendar.  Now with the bullet journal, you create your own calendar and can draw or write as much as you like, in addition to plan your days, weeks, months any way you like.  For instance, you can create / draw / design a cover page for each month. You can create a daily log or set up a vertical calendar versus the standard monthly calendar.  Here are some vloggers on youtube that I love to watch for inspiration:

My Life in a Bullet

Anne Le (Anne or Shine)

Miss Louie

AmandaRachLee

If you are interested in bullet journaling and want to learn the basics:

Bullet Journal

After watching quite a few videos on the bullet journaling (aka bujo) I think I may give it a try.  I am thinking I will make a final decision in September and get my supplies in October. That’s usually when I order my planner- yes I like to plan months ahead, which may seem stressful for some, but for me its fun.  I love to organize and plan, and the thought of being able to write and draw in a journal / planner seems like a perfect hybrid of planner for me, although it does seem to be pretty time consuming but maybe my baby will miraculously start sleeping through the night and I will have more energy to create in all my newly found spare time – haha.  I currently carry a notebook in addition to my planner in my bag so it would be nice to be able to combine the two and cut down one less thing to carry.  I also like the idea that I can create the style in which I can and will use a calendar in addition to add what ever features i find helpful in planning and staying organized.

I also love to do this thing called a brain dump. This is usually just a page or pages of everything and anything that is clogging up my mind, (kind of like word vomit in visual form).  Sometimes I have a lot on my mind, whether its the kids, meal planning, work, or future ideas on travel, business and just personal stuff and its nice to get it all down on paper, then go through these thoughts and see what is really important.  What should be prioritized is much easier to see and pick out when everything is laid out in front of me. It also allows me to organize the to do’s from the random thoughts that really don’t need attention at the time being.  Currently I like to journal and brain dump before going to sleep to help me wind down and empty my head.  Makes room for my dreams.

 

 

 

 

8 Tips for Slow Carbing

I plan on doing some blogging on meditation and other forms of mental health exercises but I wanted to first put my main tips out there for those of you wanting to try the slow carb diet.

The gist of this “diet” is not really so much a diet but more of a food change.  Once you start seeing results and figure out what works for you, it becomes pretty easy to maintain and adapt when eating out or traveling.  Here is just a quick summary of the “diet”.

A protein (preferably meat), a vegetable (preferably green) and a bean / legume, every meal.  You should avoid sugars and carbs- this includes dairy, potatoes, fruit and juices. Soy is not the best choice either so for vegetarians, this is a tough diet but can be done if you can load up on LOTS of vegetables and beans. Nuts are also allowed but only in moderation.  You should try and eat every four hours so as not to get hungry and that is about it. No exercise needed.

After slow carbing for a month, here are 8 tips to help stick to slow carbing:

  1. Organize your fridge – Yes making the fridge look nice and clean, also stocked with all slow carb friendly foods really help make it not only nice to look at but easy to find food you can eat, and if things are easily accessible, the more you are willing to cook/eat your food.  Yes, this is my actual fridge!  And no that is not my apple juice or apple sauce- no fruits while slow carbing friends!  Fridge
  2. Food presentation counts / make your plate pretty – Along the same lines as making the fridge look nice is making your plate of food look nice.  Presentation really counts for a lot with food.  In Japan, food is presented very artfully, (sushi).  It is colorful and minimal.  If your food looks attractive, we will appreciate it and enjoy it more. Dinner
  3. Enjoy your food – If you enjoy your food usually, it only goes without saying you should take time to eat, savor and enjoy your food.  The book recommends taking 30 minutes per meal but as working full time and being a busy mom of two, I try and get 15-20 minutes per meal for my enjoyment.
  4. Be mindful – before choosing foods, be mindful of what is going into your body and be mindful of how it makes you feel during and after your consumption.  I have learned that I did a lot of mindless snacking and eating prior to this diet.  Grabbing a handful of candy from one of the many candy jars around the office was a habit I had, and I did it several times throughout the day, easily tacking on hundreds of unnecessary empty calories and really providing me no value.  Yes it takes good for a very short time and yes the sugar does provide a burst of energy, but more times than not, that spike leads to a drop in energy and lethargy kicks in and you just end up eating even more to sustain some sort of empty energy- in slow carbing, these energy levels don’t really dip and if you do feel a bit tired at that 3 in the afternoon lull, eat some nuts.
  5. Don’t go by the scale (only) – it is best to have several methods of testing your weight- yes, you should use a scale, but also go by water weight increases and decreases, a tape measure to track inches and your body changes, and last but not least, the fit of your clothes.
  6. Stick to a plan – setting up a plan as to how you will approach the diet is a great way to stay on track.  For instance, planning your meals, having some go to meals and setting aside time to prep your meals can not only cut time but it allowed you to not have to think about it and grab and go.  For me, I like making enough for dinner that I have leftovers to use as lunches for the following day.  I have a set breakfast during the week before work so I always know how much time it will take me and I don’t have to fuss or rush through my morning.  I also like to stock up on dry beans and frozen veggies so there is always a back up in case something doesn’t work out, and marinating my meats during the week, make for easy dinner preparation after a long day at work.
  7. Set short term and long goals – I like to have a few goals- short term is losing another 8 lbs within a month, long term-being a size 4. But I have lots of goals outside of my weight.  For instance, physically I want to be able to do more than a few pushups so increase my arm strength and get leaner more toned arms.  I want to improve my mental awareness and health by reading more and meditating and overall I want to spend more quality time with my kids like keeping up with them outside.
  8. Stay motivated! Planning is essential to my success but also staying motivated is a requirement.   Whatever works for you, do it- I like to journal my thoughts, ideas and results every day. But you can motivate by measuring your results every day, by reading other blogs and forums for support, inspiration and ideas and also reading books on not just weight loss but self help / inspiration books, as well as exercising your mind.

 

 

 

 

I think I over did it

I planned on only having one cheat meal come Saturday but instead I went completely off the rails! I am not sure what happened.  Maybe it was the celebration of my 13 pound weight loss, maybe it was the carb cravings finally kicking in or maybe it was just me wanting to be a pig!  All in all, I wayyy over did it Saturday. I started out with an egg and egg whites, then wanted to go get a bagel but these chocolate frosted Entemman donuts were just sitting on the counter, staring at me, and I just couldn’t stop. I had 4 of them, seriously.  And I didn’t stop there- I ended eating several slices of toast with butter, I mean I REALLY missed bread, then had 2 cups of black coffee to try and compensate for this carb overload.  I am pretty sure it didn’t help.

Flea market finds IMG_2777

We headed to a local flea market to be outside for a bit and do a little local shopping and what is outside shopping without a bag of kettle corn, (I blame my son for that one).  I chomped away on the sweet and salty goodness with my son with no regrets.  Flea markets are fun and also pretty competitive.  I had no idea people were so aggressive when it comes to shopping, except for Black Friday of course.  It was no where near THAT competitive, but there was definitely some calling out first dibs on items, (I plead the fifth).

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Lunch was Mexican food!  I had a tad more self control at lunch, indulging in a crispy chili relleno but refraining from the chips and salsa, rice and limiting my intake of the refried beans.  By the way, doesn’t that relleno look like the gooiest, yummiest, cheesiest piece of deep fried goodness ever? After eating the chili relleno, I realized that my previous last chosen meal of “if I ever had to choose my last meal of life” of filet mignon, baked potato and wine may be replaced with this chili relleno. It was just that good.  After lunch, we had walked Home Depot I thought I needed a pick me up so a Starbucks stop was in order!  A small iced chai tea latte, then a few golden Oreos and  then some Cheetos- like what. am. I. doing?  I truly just could not stop!  I did try reasoning with myself- I mean I did just lose 13 pounds, I should be allowed to eat whatever I want!  (Rule #1, don’t try and justify your poor choices, it doesn’t help anything).  Now, I know I said on this diet, you are allowed to eat whatever you want on your cheat day and you really can, go ahead, eat whatever, but I really wanted to dial it back this Saturday so I could try and maintain a decent weight for Monday and not have to get back down as much of the week. I wanted a net a loss  in weight instead of staying the same weight. But maybe even after all of this binging I will still maintain my weight loss.  I suppose, if so, this will be a good test and maybe a bad outcome because if it doesn’t effect my weight, then I may over indulge every Saturday!  Something I would prefer not to do since I always end up feeling so lousy.  This Saturday was no exception.  The lousiness kicked in around dinner and I couldn’t even muster enough appetite to really eat much dinner, which maybe is a good thing.

At the end of my cheat day, I realized how much mindless eating takes place.  When you are not paying attention to your eating habits you really do eat anything that comes up.  It’s just so easy.  Today it was the cookies in the cabinet, the kettle corn at the flea market, and the leftover Cheetos from my son’s lunch on Friday.  But if you are diligent and actually paying attention to your food intake, it really keeps your calorie intake so much lower and the scale numbers so much nicer.

At work, there are candy jars every where. My boss likes candy so much he has a candy rep come in every couple weeks to our office to entice us with sweet goodies.  Now before this diet, I always bought at least one bag of candy.  I also would grab a handful of candy, sometimes several times a day when passing a candy jar or every candy jar in the office.  But now that I pay attention, I catch myself thinking about it before putting my hand in that jar or pulling out my wallet to buy candy. Lesson – even in food choices, BE MINDFUL.

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Sunday is a new day, a mindful day, and I decided I really had to get back on track so first thing I did was avoid the scale and move into the kitchen to eat my usual high protein breakfast.  After finishing my eggs, mushrooms and spinach, I was drinking black coffee and realized I really don’t like coffee, at least not without sugar and cream, so I think this will be the last of my coffee intake.  Its strange because I love coffee flavored ice cream and candy, even the smell of coffee, but black coffee is just not good at all and I think I will start drinking more green tea if I need a pick me up.  Mindfulness note taken.

Overall, Sunday ended on a high note- I stuck to my regular slow carb meals – (Lunch was a BLTA minus the bread, dinner was marinated chicken with squash and zucchini) and didn’t feel nearly as lousy as I did last night.  But speaking of trying to better myself physically, and being mindful, how about taking some time this month to improve my myself mentally, working on the mind.

I decided to start meditation practice this month to not only help me cope with stress (aka my children), but to establish a (somewhat) new blogging theme for the month.  Still focusing on wellness but this month, take a more mental wellness approach- meditation.  I had seen a You Tube vlog that mentioned the app Headspace for guided meditation sessions.  I then watched more videos and read some information online about Headspace.  This app is used by over 18 million people- that is unbelievable.  It also means there are a lot of stressed people out there!  This app is an audible app that allows you to listen through guided mediation sessions in daily increments.  I have tried other ways to practice meditation in the past, even one other app, but i find meditating one of the most difficult things to do.  My mind is always on the go, constantly working, so its hard to stop.  So far, Headspace is very easy to follow.  It starts at just 3 minutes a session which is short and sweet, but I’m not sure it accomplishes much.  I’m going to try it for the rest of the month and see if it provides anything of substance to my life- after all I am working towards a better me because there is always room for improvement.  So here I go along the path of meditation.  I will keep you all updated as to my thoughts, ideas and progress, (if any)! Breath in, breath out, be mindful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Month Recap

The green dress aka the green tent.  Yes, this is the picture I looked at almost daily to motivate me, (see first entries of my blog)! And wow, what a difference a month can make!  Granted this first picture taken while I was on vacation just over a month ago is a horrible picture, angle and all, but it’s pretty obvious I lost weight in my face and the dress is an overall better fit, at least it doesn’t resemble a tent any more!  I would have posted my before and after in my workout gear but I am not quite ready to share those just yet!

 

RESULTS 

Overall weight loss – 13lbs

Inches lost: – 4.5″ waist, -2.5″ hips, -1″ arm, -2″ thigh – TOTAL: 10″

Fat percentage: 31% body fat down to 28.6%

BMI: I started out at 26.3 BMI down to 24.5 BMI

So I would say seeing a 10″ loss all around my body and a 13 lb weight loss in one month is a pretty good indicator that this slow carbing works for me!

Was it worth the effort? 

I definitely think it was worth the diet change.  It does take more planning but if you  plan your meals out for the week, it actually makes the days easier and more time efficient.  Plus, I have not seen those numbers on a scale in a couple of years so I am happy with the results after just one month!

After losing 13 lbs in just a month with no exercise, I’m also pretty skeptical of anyone that says you HAVE TO work out to lose weight- now I do understand that if you already have low body fat to begin with and want to become more lean, working out would be required as well as a much stricter diet, but in my case, just losing that extra baby weight was ALL diet.

This “diet” has been pretty easy to deal with overall. I think the first week is not bad because you are motivated and should see results pretty quickly, but into the start of the third week, I definitely had withdrawal like symptoms- headaches, strong cravings, and slight grumpiness due to wanting some sugar.  But once I got past those couple days, the cravings became less and less and now, I don’t even have a single item on my crave list for cheat day! Probably because, although it’s nice to have different food on my Saturday cheat day, I never feel great at the end of the day and the following day is usually difficult, at least on my stomach!

Will I continue the same slow carb routine?

Yes! I plan on sticking to this “diet” since its pretty easy to maintain, its adaptable to traveling and going out to eat, and its effective!  Now that I am exploring more recipes, the food is good, satisfying and keeps me energized.

Although my BMI and body fat did not change significantly, I think continuing the slow carbing and checking in after another month would put me in a category I could be happy with. I think a (short term) goal of 25% body fat is not too hard to attain.  I would say my overall goal would be to get down to 18-20% but that is thinking more long term- maybe by the end of 2017???

I have now hit my pre baby weight and anything I lose on top of this as I continue the diet, is icing on the cake.  I would love to get back down to my pre-marriage weight so another 10 lbs would be fantastic but I keep thinking at some point, my body will stabilize and keep myself at a certain weight.  I am sure there is a max amount I can go before my body just stops shedding the pounds.  Has anyone out there done this for longer than a month and noticed any plateau of weight loss???

This week has been especially effective and I am not sure why- I haven’t really changed my meals (maybe a decrease in my bean intake) but in two days, I lost 5 lbs!  Maybe because I have included a bit more nut intake (cashews) and haven’t had any peanut butter.  I also added more egg whites to my breakfast and I think in doing so, my hunger has completely disappeared.  I do wake up a bit hungry in the morning, but this is a good thing since you really should eat a large breakfast, heavy in protein and vegetables.  Maybe the added mushrooms helped too.

So now that I went above and beyond my goal of 10lbs, I should take myself shopping, but I think I may hold off and lose a little more weight before committing to another green dress.