Friday, May 31, 2013

My "Feel Good" treat for the day was an amazing 2-hour nap. I haven't napped in ages and it felt soooo good. Also, had a fun evening making a fool of myself onstage and playing games with kiddos at the camp open house!

I am struggling so much to stay motivated. It's very pathetic, but unhealthy food is, sadly, largely responsible for my happiness. I get cravings and I'm not able to give in to them and it makes me feel sad and like I'm missing out. It sssssuuuuuccccckkkkksssss driving past Arby's even though I have the world's strongest craving for mozzarella sticks and a jamocha shake. And then going home and eating a freakin chicken breast. :( And my brain is like: WHAT is the point of losing all this weight right now? If you even succeed, which doesn't even seem like a feasible reality at this point, you will gain everything back by the time you wanna wear a bikini on spring break. Just wait til December and try again then. No need to torture yourself with all this exercise and healthy eating if you're not gunna get anything to show for it.

My brain has a point. And then, my conniving brain also tries to convince me: Even if you get to your ideal weight, you will have all the same self-esteem issues you have now. You've gotta learn to love yourself, because you will always have some flaws that you can't stand about yourself and you will NEVER EVER be perfect!

Right again, brain. But the thing is, I've been telling myself for years: This is the summer. I will finally lose weight and feel good about myself. After coming this far, I would hate myself later for giving up. And if I somehow do really shed the pounds, I will look so much better and everyone will notice!

Does anyone have any words of wisdom to motivate me? Should I give in to my brain's wishes and just abandon everything? Or should I just eat whatever I want and work out like a maniac to burn it all off, hoping for results? Or should I continue down the road I'm on and suffer through healthy eating and exercising with the possibility that no weight will even come off?

In short, HELP.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hi! I'm very sleepy, so I'm just gunna write a quick post because I don't want to skip any days :)

Today, I am thankful for my family. And I don't just mean my immediate relatives. I'm thankful for my families away from home. Cathedral family, SH family, sorority family, and Josh's family, too. They are all so wonderful and it's great to have so many places where I feel at home :)

Health updates: Today was an off day. I didn't exercise and I ate red velvet cake. But I'm happy, and I had a great day, and if I gain back half a pound or something, so be it. I know I've been saying tons of crazy stuff on this blog and experimenting with exercises and diets like a madwoman, so I wanna apologize if you've been looking to me for a steady stream of reliable advice. Because I'm just a girl trying to lose a few with no knowledge or experience about fitness. Just so you know.

I started this blog anticipating that it would be a summer thing. Drop 15-20 pounds and then come back to school refreshed, then just maintain it as long as I can, probably gain everything back, and not diet again til something important like my wedding one day. But I didn't realize that weight loss is not a dependable or formulaic process. I may be one of those people who just has a hard time losing weight. Maybe I won't lose 20 pounds this summer. Maybe I'll lose, like, 6. But even if that happens, I really do want to continue being healthy until I reach my goal.

But, the way to do this is not by limiting myself so much that I feel down and bored and uninspired. So I'm not going to do anything crazy. I'm just going to live, and be active, and enjoy life, and be conscious of my health choices.

Recommended reading: If you're like me, and you're trying to eat healthy and you're exercising and drinking water, yet not dropping any pounds, read this article and it may help you out:
Why You Aren't Losing Weight

Have a tremendous Thursday :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THIS! I love it! This right here! Click!

This is, like, salvation. It's a 50-minute walking interval workout.

Walking, you may think, scoffing. Walking isn't real exercise. Walking is for losers who can't run, you may say, adjusting your monocle and sipping your Earl Grey tea. (Apparently you're a British villain who hates walking. I don't even know.)

Um, anyway. I was talking to my group text this morning about how I get up some mornings and I go down to the basement, prepared to work out and just think: I HATE this. I hate exercise. And my friend Esha said You don't have to hate exercise! Do something you like! And I thought, what do I like to do that involves moving. What about moving slowly? Like, eh, walking? I mean, I don't mind just taking a stroll. Especially compared with running, which I despise. So I saw this article with a workout that claimed to burn 400 calories in 50 minutes. And all you have to do is WALK. (Yeah!!!!)

So I did it, and it was totally fine! I just listened to some music and walked for 50 minutes. I had to adjust it because my treadmill doesn't even have a 15% incline, and the 10% makes my calves scream in pain. So I switched between 4% and 7%. Still burned 375 calories. Not bad! Then I did my usual abs+arms stuff. I highly recommend this workout if you hate running/exercise! It's like the non-exercise-exercise :) However, if you're like me, note that you will be jogging at 4mph, not really walking. For some reason it hurts my calves extremely badly if I speed walk that fast, so I jog. And the article says "If you don't want to get your heart rate up" & "If you don't want to be sweaty'' Um, wrong. Both happened to me. But for me, that's a good thing :)

Health Update: Okay, so, if you've been reading this little blog of mine (I'm gunna let it shine) you'll know that I have had some issues with protein intake and that I've experimented with protein shakes and yada yada. And after I gained back a pound, I decided to seriously rethink my eating plan. I've basically been going off of the philosophy It doesn't matter so much what you eat, as long as you take in fewer calories than you burn. This philosophy may work for some people, but I know that every metabolism is different, so I've really gotta try something new.

So, today I'm going to the store and getting a ton of meat. Turkey, chicken, salmon. And also some vegetables. Broccoli, salad stuff, cucs. And also some almond milk. Because I'm going to try very hard to go on a limited-carb-and-dairy diet. YES. I'm going to try to go without my two favorite types of food. AAHHHHHH. I don't want to. And clearly this is not going to be a permanent change. But I need a new strategy for weight loss. And I know that eating lots of carbs is bad for you, even if they come from fruit, dairy, and whole grains. Because carbs stick to your body and protein doesn't.

Here's the thing. I've been working out every day, and I've been limiting my calorie intake. That isn't working. And I'm desperate here, people. I was talking yesterday about the Right Size diet with the two meal replacement smoothies. How stupid. (I did it yesterday by the way.) That stuff has more carbs than protein. It's also packed with sugar. I read articles saying it's just a dumb scam. The only plus is that it forces you to eat way fewer calories in a day (which, like I said, isn't even a good strategy for me.) I'm not going to avoid carbs completely! Here are some good carbs:

 Leave me a comment if you have any experiences/opinions about the low carb/dairy diet! Also, I'd love recommendations for proteiny foods to try. Like, does anyone know of a non-meat/eggs-food that has more protein than carbs? PLEASE clue me in if you do.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Adventures in Juicing

My mom is very into "juicing". She has a juicer and she insisted on me trying some of the green stuff she was concocting, so I though eh, why not. And honestly, it wasn't that bad! I think the ingredients were: kale, cucumber, lemon, and green apple. Luckily the apple flavor came out the most and the juice ended up tasting fairly sweet. If you're going to try juicing, I recommend buying a ton of produce (because it takes a lot of veggies to make a little juice). Also, if you don't have a juicer, I bet a blender would work, too. I don't know. I'm no juice expert. But give it a whirl and comment if you have any fun juice recipes/stories to share :)

Mom peeling the cucumber for juice!

Health Updates: I gained back a pound and I'm majorly POed. How did this happen? Every single day I burned more calories than I ate. What's going on? Water weight?! I have no idea. So today I'm replacing two meals with protein shakes. (Is that bad?) A bit of good news though: even though my appearance isn't really different at all (I mean it's just four--I mean...three...:(--pounds lighter so far) I am down two belt holes! And belt holes don't lie, my friends.
Belt buckled into the smallest hole. Small victories :)

I'll let you know how my protein shake experiment goes. I'm pretty sure they contain a ton of carbs, which also makes me POed, because, like, I'm obviously drinking it to INCREASE my protein and DECREASE my carbs!! But some people online swear by the Right Size diet (2 protein shakes a day, 1 meal, two 100-calorie snacks). Definitely not something I would wanna do long-term, but I'm very desperate to get the first 5 pounds gone. And I really want to go shopping! (See Goal Setting)

Have a tasty Tuesday :) And wish me luck.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mindful Monday: It's Great to be Pale.

First of all, Happy Memorial Day! Sending love and prayers to the families of those who've served our country.

Now I'm going to talk about being pale.

Brace yourselves, because you're going to hear a statement that you haven't heard many times, if ever: I LOVE being pale.

Shock and awe? Disbelief? Now, ask yourself why. Why is this simple statement so surprising to hear? Would you equate it to someone saying "I love being flawed" or even "I love having an undesirable skin color"? A lot of people would. But.....why?

If you've ever had a conversation with me about the pale taboo as I call it, I've probably cited the fact that porcelain white skin used to be the ideal, until Coco Chanel's accidental sunburn turned to tan in the 1920s and everyone thought it looked tres chic. Then, women began worrying about their skin tone. Soon to follow came the need to worry about every speck of visible hair on the body, then the height of their hairdos, and today, the gap between their thighs. (Seriously, have you heard about this stupid trend?!)

It seriously makes me cringe every time I hear someone say "Ugh, I am sooo pale." Not because I'm personally offended that they think pale skin is ugly, but because society has made that person feel like their complexion is unacceptable. Why do you need to be more tan than you naturally are? Why is that attractive? (I'm honestly curious. Why does tan skin make someone more attractive? Does it make them seem beachy and exotic? Really, somebody clue me in.)

I know this is the ultimate cliche, but I just think it needs to be said: There is not one image of beauty. And even though the media likes to tell us that unless you're thin, tan, and busty, you're ugly as sin, that clearly isn't the case. A ton of people look amazing tan, and they are totally beautiful the way they are! Others look great at a medium-bronze level. Others look great ghostly white.

I will rock my freckles. I will rock my lightest-shade-of-makeup-available. Because I can't change how pale I am, but I can be confident and show the world that pale ≠ undesirable/bad/ugly/lame :)

That's me, bein' pale.

To end, here are five reasons why I love my paleness:
  1. My pale, reddish, freckly skin shows my Irish heritage
  2. I constantly have to wear sunscreen, so I'll probably never get skin cancer
  3. I don't look painted orange
  4. Earth tones look great on pale people
  5. I don't have to worry about "maintaining" my pale 
Have a great Memorial Day and think about something you LOVE about yourself!
-Ellen ♥ 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Unfortunately most of my Fun in the Sun day was spent indoors because I had a five page paper to write and it was also rainy for most of the day.

But! I was able to spend most of the evening outside! Josh and I took a short walk around the neighborhood and then, after dinner, played around with his little siblings and some of their friends at the basketball court. I'm not the best "knockout" player in the world, but I still had a good time :)

I decided to have one rest day from exercise every week so I don't get too tired out, and chose to sit out Sundays. So I didn't do any formal exercise, but I did get some physical activity in.

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, Memorial Day weekend at my house is all about food. It's been tough to avoid it. I managed to have a healthy dinner last night, but today I didn't eat super well. I still stayed within my calorie range, but my margin of error wasn't very huge, which makes me nervous. And the quality of foods I ate wasn't so good. I gave myself too many treats today because I didn't eat my first meal until 3:00, thinking I couldn't possibly eat too many calories during the day. (Foolish.)

Ah, well. Tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up, work out, and get back on track.

Enjoy your day off tomorrow :)