Monday, May 30, 2011

A reflection on yesterday & today...

While reflecting on what Memorial Day means to me, I found myself giving thanks for all that I have today, due to the hardships & lives lost in years past, fighting for what we all enjoy as our Freedom as Americans.  While that should have been my only thinking today, I found myself also thinking about these last few days.  If you want to skip to where I get to the point of my rambling, skip to the blue paragraphs.

I didn't post to my blog yesterday because it was my daughter's 6th birthday.  She had a great day.  Josh took Lexi & Ashelyn to the pool in the morning, and we had some great friends over for a BBQ.  We ended the night with some cheap fireworks from the store - but the kids loved it.  Wish I had a picture of my girls and our friends' kids all lined up along the bottom of our driveway, watching the display.  It lasted all of five minutes, but they were so excited to see it.  It's the little things.

Yesterday I really was very lax on my eating.  I had pancakes with my kids in the morning, didn't really have much for lunch, had a salad with Morningstar burger for dinner.  I had angel food cake with berries and whipped cream....and had cake later in the night.  Also - beer!  I felt kind of yuck when I woke up this morning.  I was up more than half the night because I couldn't sleep.  When I got up in the morning, my back was hurting pretty badly - mainly due to being on my feet prepping food yesterday, and the poor eating, I'm sure.
Back to my reflection.  Even though I had a few indulgences yesterday, it was spread throughout the day, while I had healthier options added in.  I did not feel guilty about "cheating" or messing up my nutritional plan.

Today, however, was different.  I started my day with a Shakeology with added kale.  KK spit it out but Ashelyn loved it.  I was satisfied for a few hours, and did not eat lunch until we came home from the pool.  I made another southwest salad (from leftovers) - YUM!  however, after that, I got back into Lexi's cake.  It had melted so I ended up throwing it away, but not before I took several bites *and* had a leftover cupcake.  Totally unnecessary - and beyond the point of "all things in moderation", that's for sure.

That leads me to my whole point - following the novel I just wrote.  After I had the sugary foods this afternoon, I felt awful.  Sleepy, slow, bloated & irritable.  Also, a little queasy.  My stomach hurt (didn't help that I was out in the blazing sun for a few hours at the pool this morning) and I wanted to curl up into a ball and go to sleep.  Instead I tried to sit down and study.  That was almost a joke.  I kept falling asleep while listening to one of my fundamentals.  Now, if I had skipped the sugary, processed dessert food - and maybe have opted for a Larabar or fruit, since I clearly wanted something sweet, I'd have had much more energy to devote to my studies and to my entire afternoon without that sugar crash that I experienced.  I know that when I avoid those foods, my energy stays level.  My blood sugar levels don't spike then crash, leaving me feeling exhausted.

I am really looking forward to documenting how I feel both with and without sugar.  I would like to avoid refined sugar as much as my emotions will allow without losing control and going on a binge (which is why I still have those sweets sometimes...I am just terrified of too much restriction which will lead me to lose control of my decisions with food).  I do know that today was a very disappointing day.  Not only did I get very tired and experience that crash...but I also felt an almost immediate bloat right to my stomach.

Listening to Michael Pollan this afternoon during one of my Institute for Integrative Nutrition fundamentals, I stopped to think about some of my misconceptions and my attitudes towards things I accept as truth and commonplace from the industry leaders, media, etc in terms of dietary supplements, nutrients, and whole foods.  More to come on that later.  I think I have kept you all long enough tonight with this essay that seems to be jumping all over the place...

Thanks for reading.  Once again, I appreciate your support, your love, and the motivation you all give me to keep sharing.  I hope you will continue on this journey with me - through Summit, and through my time at IIN.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Countdown to Summit ~ 18 days

18 days...whoa!  Okay, so clearly I am not going to be a hot mama in 18 days, but hey...I'll see what I can do.  I am feeling fairly confident that I can start to workout again soon.  I may take it easy this week, see how it goes with Turbo on Thursday, and go from there.  If I feel like I can get at least one workout in prior, I will.  My back is still pretty sore and I am afraid of triggering the strain again.  Amazing how much that strain affected me.  I am really nursing it back.  I found out that trying to workout too soon just hurt it all over again.

Today flew by.  We all went to Lexi's lacrosse game this morning which was fun...but I had to leave early for work.  I love working for Brad's.  It's so fun to talk to so many different and diverse people while I am giving out samples.  I met some really great people today.  I love working at Wegmans because I can go shopping when I am through working.  I got cupcakes and a small cake for Lexi's birthday tomorrow (Oh my gosh my girl is turning 6!!!) and some awesome dinner (garlic parmesan tilapia).  Tomorrow will be all about eating (a lot) and beer.  Fun, friends & cupcakes!

I've been thinking a lot about some of the friends that I have either met recently, reconnected with, or have grown closer with though Beachbody and working out.  It's pretty amazing how many people are changing their lives with Beachbody programs.  I know people all over the country...all over the world, really...are pushing play every day.  But just in my circle of friends, the people I am growing closer with, I am so excited to see how they are changing, seeing their enthusiasm, and seeing how they, in turn, are inspiring & motivating others.  I really love being a Beachbody coach!!

Onto the journal for the day...

~ Breakfast: Shakeology w/8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk & 6 oz water
~ Lunch: none (I was at work)
~ Dinner: garlic parmesan tilapia, corn on the cob & salad w/garlic parmesan pita chips
~ Snack: Kind bar & pistachios (I was pretty hungry at night after not eating lunch)
~ Water: about 100 oz
~ No workout

Breakfast ~ Shakeology (only half shaken) and water

Dinner ~ tilapia, corn & salad with water

And just for some cuteness, the soon-to-be birthday girl in her lacrosse tee

Friday, May 27, 2011

Countdown to Summit ~ 19 Days

19 days and counting!

Okay, so today was about indulgence.  I definitely went overboard on the food, but hey, it's all good.  I figure I'll be pretty good tomorrow since I have to work...and Sunday is Lexi's party (OMG 6?  Really???) so I know I'll be having some indulgences then as well.  If I can keep it to a minimum, I will be happy!

I felt pretty tired again today.  Kind of off.  My back was bothering me for about half of the day, from when I woke up until this afternoon so I needed to take 2 of my Motrin.  I ended up resting a few times and just trying to kind of take it easy.  Lexi had a birthday party this evening, so we went to the park for a few hours - that was fun.  And, I went out with a few friends tonight - and it was really great to get out for some *me* time.  Other than that, nothing else to report.

Food journal...

~ Breakfast: Shakeology with 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~ Snack: 2 handfuls kettle corn (I couldn't resist when I was giving it to my girls.  Oops!)
~ Lunch: big bowl of fruit - small banana, 1/2 apple, blueberries & strawberries with 1/4 cup granola
~ Dinner: Shakeology with 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ice, water, 2T PB2 and 2 medium kale leaves - blended
~ Bar: 2 Bud Light Lime, bruschetta, crab dip w/bread (hello bloat tomorrow AM!)
~ Water: 75 oz or so
~ No workout


Breakfast ~ Shakeology

Snack ~ Kettle corn

Lunch ~ mixed fruit & granola

Dinner ~ Shakeology w/kale

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Countdown to Summit ~ 20 days!

Here's day 2 of my countdown to Summit blog posts.  Countdown: 20 days!

I'll keep it to a minimum tonight.  I am sore - my back is hurting (although not acute, thankfully) after practicing Turbo yesterday.  I took my Motrin 2x today, and slathered on the Tiger Balm.  I tried to add an Icy Hot patch before TurboKick class tonight but it wouldn't stick because of the Tiger Balm.  Oops!  That was a waste.

I also felt some cravings today.  Mainly it was when I was giving my girls their snack & dinner.  Kettle corn for snack, and cinnamon toast for dinner.  Also, I have been thinking about cake all day.  Must be because I need to make one for this weekend for Lexi's 6th birthday...(or just because I love cake and I want some!!)  Also, I have felt a little more tired today.  I was yawning early in the day.  I think that rough night of sleep a few nights ago caught up with me.  I laid down today when my girls were napping and it felt great to rest.  I tried not to worry about the fact that there were other things I should have been doing instead of nothing at all.

Regardless, I had a decent day, although not very balanced (hello, chocolate!).

Here's my journal:

~ Breakfast: Shakeology with 6 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 frozen banana, 2 kale leaves, 1T PB2 (powdered peanut butter), chocolate Shakeology, ice & water - blended.
~ Lunch: mixed greens with cucumber, crunchy sprouts, mock-tuna salad & raw sunflower seeds w/Bragg's healthy vinaigrette and sliced tomatoes w/red onions & Bragg's.
~ Dinner: Shakeology with 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~ Snack: Larabar
~ Water: over 100 oz.
~ Workout: TurboKick class - 1 hour - 602 calories.  That was a SWEAT fest tonight!!  So much fun!

Breakfast ~ Shakeology #1 of the day

Lunch ~ mock-tuna salad w/greens; tomato & red onion salad

Dinner ~ Shakeology #2 of the day (prior to Turbo)

Snack ~ Larabar...YUM!

Post-TurboKick picture, an hour after class ended

My shirt was soaked!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Countdown to Summit

The Countdown to Summit...

I figure one way to keep myself accountable between now & Summit, especially since I can't complete those 30 days of Asylum due to my strained back (which I am hoping like heck is now on the mend), is to blog daily between now & then.

I really want to look and *feel* my best for that amazing weekend.  I'll be with my incredible husband for 4 days without kids.  I will be seeing friends that I have never seen in person before, but have only *met* on my dear friend Jaime.  I'll be completing crazy workouts with some of Beachbody's phenomenal trainers.  I need to be healthy & energetic...and have some serious stamina.

Since I have been pretty much laid up for the past three weeks, it's going to take some serious work and willpower to get back on track and stay there for the next few weeks.

The countdown starts now... 21 days and counting... That's 3 weeks.  3 weeks of eating cleanly and working out comfortably as my body (and my back) will allow.  Can I do this?  Are you ready to help keep me accountable?  If you don't see a blog post from me on any given day - call me out on Facebook and ask me why I didn't post.  Ask me about my meals that day.  Please help me to be honest and forthcoming each day for the next 3 weeks.  I need your help!

There's so much more I want to write about on the heels of my post from the other day.  So many things I left out in my haste to post before I lost my nerve.  All in due time, I guess.  I hope you will walk with me and join me on this new journey of self discovery and emotional healing.

As always, thank you so much for your continued support.  Now, onto my food journal and diary for today!

Diary:I feel AWESOME today.  Well, a little bloated, but otherwise, awesome.  My energy has been high all day.  I yawned one time - at 7:30 PM - and that's really because I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night.  I never felt tired, sluggish or antsy, agitated, or hyper today.  Do you want to guess why?  VERY limited refined sugar.  It really is amazing how I feel when I am not loading my body with processed foods and sugars.  I took some time to slow down my thinking and be more in the moment instead of constantly thinking of the next thing I have to do.  It's really interesting how much more calm it made me.  I also connected with a good friend today and it felt great to talk with her.

Food Journal:
~ Breakfast: Shakeology with 8 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, ice, 1/2 frozen banana and 2 large kale leaves.
~ Lunch: Mixed greens with Missy Costello's mock-tuna (chiackpea) salad, crunchy sprouts & raw sunflower seeds
~ Snack: 1/2 apple, sliced and 1.5T natural peanut butter
~ Dinner: strawberry salad with dried unsweetened cherries, pecans & red onion, Trader Joe's cranberry gorgonzola dressing
~ Snack: Kind bar
~ Water: about 100 oz
~ Workout: I was able to workout today!  ::HAPPY DANCE::  my back pain was subtle when I woke up this morning but for most of the day, it was nearly non-existent.  I did a modified round of TurboKick practice and felt great during & after.  I am ELATED...and I hope this means that I am at the end of this cycle of pain.


Breakfast ~ Shakeology (I was running out the door)

Lunch ~ mixed greens w/mock tuna salad, sunflower seeds, sprouts

Snack ~ apple slices with peanut butter

Dinner ~ strawberry salad w/pecans, dried cherries, TJ's dressing

Snack ~ KIND bar (my favorite!!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Accountability...and an apology

Thank you for visiting my blog - to new viewers and returning friends - I appreciate all of your support!

This post has been brewing in me for a LONG time.  It's about time I put it out there. The apology is because I have only posted once in almost 4 months.  I felt like I let people down - the people who were following my blog when I was doing my vegan cleanse in January.  It all ended abruptly after day 24.  Once I felt like I could start talking about what happened, I was really just too embarrassed to post.  I felt guilty and confused.

So, here we are.  Nearing the end of May.  And finally, an explanation.

Towards the end of January I found myself slipping with my nutrition.  After 24 days of no sugar, I had something (I don't even remember what it was) with sugar in it and it took on a snowball effect.  I went into a month-long frenzy.  I could not figure out why I was eating out of control and what was going on.  I was trying to rationalize it.  I thought whatever was going on with me, that I could just force it away...that I could deal with it.  It took me awhile to realize that I could not "fix it" on my own.  I sought help - I talked to friends, shared my overwhelming feelings...looked for support in other Beachbody coaches and close friends.  I pulled motivation from wherever I could.  I also sought professional help.  With medication and therapy, I came to understand that what I thought might be a binge eating disorder was really more of an emotional eating disorder.  I was letting my emotions control me, and to fight that, to redirect my anger and my sadness, I was turning towards food.  Why let outside factors control my emotions when I could create anger and bitterness towards MYSELF.  After all, I was the one controlling the food that went in my mouth.  I'm grateful that my therapy sessions have helped me make great strides in working through specific emotional issues and have allowed me to work on healing, forgiving, and letting go of things that I cannot control.

Fast forward...I felt this starting to happen again over the past couple of weeks.  It felt like I was being hit with emotional triggers from all sides - family drama, an injury that has kept me from being able to workout for nearly three weeks now, my husband traveling a lot for work which has left me home without much *me* time.  Writing it out, it seems like it's really not anything we can;t all handle appropriately, but to me - someone who clearly has trouble dealing with emotions - it's been a rough few weeks.  This time, though, even though it took a few days, I was able to see the pattern repeating and I pulled myself out of it.  I leaned on friends and a wonderful support group that I am part of on Facebook and it's helped me to regain control of my emotions and my eating before I slipped into "the trenches" as I call it.

I have found that I cannot just eat as cleanly as I want to.  At least not yet.  Restricting certain foods (sugar, dairy, chocolate, etc) is not something I can do comfortably without a fear of binge eating on those foods when I crave them.  So, instead of removing those foods from my diet, I have been following more of a "crowding out" method.  I work on adding more things into my diet - like more veggies, more water, more greens.  When I add in more of those things, I find that I don't gravitate to the sugary foods as often.  I still have them - but I don't binge on them.  I don't sneak them.  I have a little bit, then I move on.  It's what seems to work for me (when I try, that is).

That leads me to the accountability portion of this novel of a post.  I am going to work at posting daily again - or at least more often.  I'm going to post my meals, my daily activities and my thoughts/feelings/emotions.  I think that by sharing with anyone who reads my blog, it will keep me accountable to someone out there.

I'll admit, I wanted to eat pizza tonight.  I was talking myself into it.  "It's okay.  You've eaten so well today.  What's one slice?"  But then I thought about my pictures.  I would have rather posted a healthier dinner picture than pizza.  I'm not saying that I will never choose pizza over a healthier option.  Just not today.

Green protein smoothie - 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup crushed ice, 1tsp chia seeds, 2T vanilla hemp protein powder, 1/2 frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries, a handful of baby spinach.  Blended it all together - and it not only filled me up all morning, but it gave me quite a bit of energy too.

Chopped veggies (carrots, celery, purple cabbage, radishes, etc) with 1T Vegenaise, a few shakes of Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, 1.5T raw sunflower seeds, 1T feta and some sprouts

Homemade snack bar (dates, raw almonds & cashews, chia seeds, dried cherries, non-dairy mini chocolate chips)

Salad w/mixed greens, purple cabbage, red onion, corn, sprouts, Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette and chopped Morningstar black bean burger.

About 100 oz water today; and no workouts (due to strained back)

Breakfast ~ Green Smoothie

Lunch ~ Chopped veggie salad

Snack ~ Homemade snack bar

Dinner ~ Salad w/Morningstar black bean burger

KK pushed her pizza away, took my salad and said "This is mine."
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