Meatless Monday & Friend Makin’ Mondays: Feeling Fruity

So it’s Monday. I, like most of the world, dislike them. Luckily, I stumbled upon my friend Sarah’s post over at Losing Weight and Having Fun, where Friend Makin’ Mondays has found its new home. So I actually haven’t ever participated in it before, but I think it’s a fun idea. And yay for giving me something easy to post about! And I get to make friends!?! Sign me up! Way to make a Monday fun!

Meatless MondayAnd then I remembered it’s Meatless Monday, and I am sad to report that I have not been keeping up with that either. I intended to start posting new meatless recipes or grocery store finds, but I am not exactly prepared today. And then I thought, why not combine Meatless Monday with Friend Makin’ Mondays?!? I know, right?! A double dose of fun!

Strawberry Almond Butter Parmesan Panini recipeSo since I don’t have any new meatless things to share with you, I thought I’d remind you of an older recipe I created that keeps within the “Feeling Fruity” theme, my Strawberry, Almond Butter, and Parmesan Panini! I was seriously obsessed with these for a whole week. Delish!

Now that I’ve given you your Meatless Monday fix, on to the friend making!…

Friend Makin' Mondays

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Mondays before then you are familiar with the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog, then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to read and comment on a couple of other posts.

This week’s topic is “Feeling Fruity”

1. What is your favorite fruit?
It always changes! Right now I’m eating cherries like a crazy person! Oh and avocados are really a fruit, and I have been eating them plain with sea salt on them all too often!

2. Is there a fruit that you really really don’t like?
Grapefruit. Sort of. I don’t like to eat them. But I did make Pink Grapefruit and Thyme Belinis the other day.

3. If you could only drink one fruit juice for the rest of your life, what flavor would it be?
I don’t drink juice usually. Except when I drink Belinis and Mimosas! So I guess Orange Juice. No pulp, please.

4. Tomatoes – fruit or vegetable?
I know it’s really a fruit, but I still consider it a vegetable in my world!

5. How many portions of fruit do you eat a day?
2-3 on weekdays. My weekends are much less balanced!

6. if you were making a smoothie what fruits would you add?
Frozen bananas. Sometimes frozen berries.

7. Are you allergic to any fruits?
No.

8. Do you have a favorite fruit recipe? Feel free to share the recipe with us.
Strawberry, Almond Butter, and Parmesan Panini, duh! Oh and Roasted Plums with Trader Joe’s Fat Free Sour Cream instead of Creme Fraiche.

9. Do you have any fruits that are local to your area?
Georgia Peaches, baby! Except, they grow them in other states too! :)

10. What is your favorite fruit pie?
Banana Cream Pie. But I’ll take any of them!

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions. Don’t forget to link up!

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Weigh In Wednesday: When Life Hands You Lemons

So I’ve been absent from my blog again for a while. I thought I’d try to give an explanation of where I have been, but you know I’m not good at being concise! I kind of need to get some things off my chest, in a cathartic way, so I can move on. (Read: thank you, if you read the whole thing!)

The last time I posted, over three months ago, I was thrilled to have pulled out a 10K. It appeared things were on the up and up for me. But right after that, I was hit with more bad news. This year has already been hard enough, and I wasn’t sure I could take any more.

And while there were actually some good times during the last few months, it was mostly difficult. The majority of the time I was not focused on my health or weight loss at all. Mostly I ate and drank whatever I wanted in absurdly large quantities, and I sat on my couch. All I wanted was comfort and to zone out. I took on that mentality of “I’m already suffering enough, so I don’t want to have to suffer through work outs and not eating what I want.”

And at some point over the last few months, I even stopped weighing in on a weekly basis. I had done this religiously, even when I was “bad,” since June 2011. I didn’t want to face what I was doing to myself. And since I rarely tracked any food as well, I was once again paying Weight Watchers money to gain weight.

There were a few times I tried to get back on that wagon, but it never lasted. I said so many times the typical, “I’ll start tomorrow.” I think because I had already started gaining weight back beginning last August, I stopped believing that I could do this anymore. And as of last week’s weigh in, I had officially gained back half of the weight I originally lost.

What was I doing? What happened to healthy me? This wasn’t supposed to happen. I am ashamed. I am mortified. I feel like a failure.

I had stopped caring. I stopped trying. I was sticking my head in the sand and pretending it wasn’t happening. I had turned back into the “fat girl” I used to be. Not at the same weight, but the same mindset. The “who cares, my life sucks, I might as well do what I want, and be fat so I can hide behind it and use that as an excuse for everything” mindset. Avoiding mirrors and social events and dating. Hating clothes shopping again. Not putting on a bathing suit and going to the beach or the pool anymore again. I hate all this about myself, yet I’m the one doing it to myself.

But here’s another revelation. I still don’t love to work out or eat healthy most the time! There, I said it! See, I thought I had changed into this girl who loves to cook fresh foods and run 5Ks, but I easily lost interest. If I never had to cook or run again, I’d be A-Okay! I wish with all my heart that I turned into that girl who fell in love with running or crossfit or Zumba or whatever and can’t live without it, like I see in all these success stories and blogs. I wish I was that girl who became so excited about healthy foods that they now cook all their own meals with only fresh foods all the time. I wish I were those people that poo-pooed the Doritos Loaded when it came out because it is so unhealthy, but the first thing I thought was, get me to a 7-Eleven!

And add to all this being sick of tracking and measuring and constantly thinking about what I am putting in my mouth, and how much is a normal portion, and what is the nutrition value, and when can I fit in my next work out, and how many activity points have I earned, and… yada, yada, yada! I just wanted to spend some time not thinking about any of that… I just wanted to live. Just do what I do and eat what I eat. And I know there are people out there who believe that I don’t have to think about those things… I wish I was that person who grasped the idea of intuitive eating and was able to stop tracking everything and maintain their weight. My emotional eating did not just go away! I still don’t have a “stop, you’re full” button. And I can still eat trans fat filled french fries like it’s my job.

Clearly, my cravings and old habits aren’t just going to disappear, and that is something I have to accept and fight against. And I’ve reached goal before, so I know I am capable, and I know what works for me. Unfortunately, it’s all those things I just said I don’t want to do. But was I absolutely miserable when I was doing those things before? No. Was it super easy? No, but the benefits outweighed that, and it certainly wasn’t torture. Hey, I actually do like some vegetables, remember!?! I just used to be mentally “there,” but the past few months, I have not been.

When life handed me lemons (lots of them!),  I did not make lemonade. I made them into cakes and pasta and cocktails and ate them all! Maybe that was the only way I could cope. Maybe I wasn’t ready every time I tried to start again. Frankly, I’m scared that I’m still not. However, I know that I need to be able to face life’s challenges without it affecting my weight so much, and ultimately my health. Eating well and working out helps stress and depression, yet I turned away from it.

So looking back on all this, I know logically that I cannot continue to do this. I am sabotaging myself. I hate the way I look and feel, and I am only hurting myself both physically and emotionally. I will be over 200 pounds again soon if I continue on this path, and I’m sure my health is already suffering.

And then this past week, I was mentally “there” again. Gaining half my weight back may have scared me into it, but if I can stay mentally “there,” I won’t gain any more! Of course, I hate that I’ve gained weight and lost my way for a while, but something can always be learned from a set back. Maybe it will make me really work harder down the road to avoid this happening again. And I learned that I’m still not perfect. And I never was. I know that I was harder on myself when reached goal, which was unrealistic, and that backfired on me. I know that I am not any of those people I wish I could be, and it’s ok. I cannot compare myself to anyone. I am me. I am unique. I know what works for me.

Alexis {Diva on a Diet}'s Official Weigh In July 23, 2014And I had a pretty damn good week! And you know I wasn’t perfect! Think big ol’ burger, drinks, and dessert! But I tracked everything. I got activity in 6 days any way I could. I ate more vegetables and fruits than I have eaten in months. And I lost weight.

Now, I know I keep talking about this “goal weight.” I’ll always weigh myself because it gives me direction. My goal is set only to try to get close to it. But if I never reach it, I don’t care. Just aiming for it keeps me doing what I need to do to be healthier. I’m really trying to be more focused on doing what I can. Eating right as much as I can, and getting activity in as much as I can, while still having a life and without guilt or shame for not being what I think I or anyone else thinks I should be doing! My goal is to get back to the healthier, more in control girl that I had become. Not perfect. Persistent. I need to remember my mantras, rely on my support system (that means you guys too!), and believe in myself again. :)

(And speaking of guilt…  Work and life is actually keeping me pretty busy, so I don’t know how often I’ll be around. I used to guilt myself about that too. So let’s just say, I’ll be around when I can, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love ya and appreciate the heck outta ya! P.S. If you read all the way to the end, you are a trooper!)

~Weigh In Status: 35.4 lbs up from “goal” (you can see my entire weight loss log here.)~

Posted in My Progress | 13 Comments

It Doesn’t Matter How Fast You Run

6.2 Miles - Just Keep Going. Eventually you'll get there.

I know, I haven’t even done my “Weekly Weigh In” post from last Wednesday. And I’m trying to be better about it, but I’m sure I’ll re-cap it in my next update. I just feel that the number on my scale pales in compared to what happened today.

I have my first 8K race this coming Saturday. My training plan, as usual, got derailed. During what I thought would be an 8-week trek to maybe increasing my pace and getting to 5 miles again, in usual high-expectation-fashion, left me scared.

I got strep throat and a sinus infection for a large part of this plan. And when I don’t run every day, I get scared. Scared that I can’t live up to what I was before. I start hating running. It’s so weird.

But today, I faced that fear. I told myself that “I can do it.” That it doesn’t matter how fast I go. I believed. I was brave. Not the sun, the heat, the hills, my pace, my size, my sweat, or my pain was going to stop me today. Not even as every other runner passed me.

As the birds, butterflies, and squirrels crossed my path, I imagined that they were cheering me on. I ran at a comfortable pace, and for the first time, the first two miles were not horrible, but enjoyable. But the hills and the heat did provide moments I would have most likely given up.

But I didn’t. These mantras are always going on in my head:

Just keep going. Eventually you’ll get there.”
“If you need to slow down, it’s ok, just keep going.”
“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone else on the couch.”

I haven’t run in 2 weeks. I’ve barely completed a few 5K races in the last 6 months without hating it. I’m slower than I was two years ago. My training plan was not even a plan. But I made myself go out there. And although there was some pain, and some moments I wanted to give up, I just kept going.

It may have been the article I read from Competitor Magazine: If You Run Slow, Who Cares? It may have been that I wanted to contribute to the #118forBoston project on RunKeeper supporting the upcoming Boston Marathon and those that suffered last year. It may have been my new Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Bravelet bracelet that told me to “Be Brave” that I kept looking at. It may have been my draw to Meg and Cameron‘s running inspiration… both stories from Virginia, the state that formed the later part of my childhood and where I call home.

Most of all, it was just an abandonment of what I “should” be… at a certain pace or a certain size… and just enjoy the ride and the achievement without comparing myself to anyone else. I quit “shoulding” on myself, and I did it.

Posted in Fitness, Running | 2 Comments