Mind over matter

Like the millions of other Americans starting a new year with fitness resolutions, I’ve been thinking a lot about eating healthy and exercising regularly. At 23 I’m already finding it harder to stay fit than at 21!

Eating healthy

Marcus and I at a dance event two years ago. Look at how slender and lively we were! 🙂

In an effort to actually follow through on resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight, Marcus and I are starting our third bout of the whole30. (Bout makes it sound like a disease… And although the temptation to eat forbidden foods during the month does plague us, we find it quite the opposite of disease!) It’s a 30-day program where you focus on eating whole foods: veggies, fruits, meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and unrefined oils. You cut out dairy, grains, refined sugar, refined oils, processed foods, and alcohol. I’ve felt great the last two times we did it. I no longer got a slump in the afternoon where I felt tired and drained. My body felt fueled and streamlined. Today is day 2, so wish us luck!

Something I enjoy about the program is that it helps get rid of cravings. The first time we did it, I craved bread a LOT. I had dreams about bread… I even had dreams about Marcus eating bread and then lying to me about it. Now I don’t ever crave bread. I still enjoy it when I have it, but I can control my eating habits better. Even when we’re not on the whole30, we try to eat pretty healthy. We have rice, bread, yogurt, and milk in moderation. We do have cheese, chocolate, and fruit juice not in moderation though. I’m hoping this time around to get a little more control over those things! You may think it’s silly to cut back on fruit juice. We were hoping it was silly, but it’s slowly being confirmed that fruit juice should almost be in the same category as soda because of its high sugar content. Natural sugars, yes, but without the natural pairing of the fiber in a real piece of fruit, the sugar absorbs very quickly into your body. So fruit juice portion sizes should be small, and preferably only consumed with meals. Whereas we drink fruit juice like it’s our job… But with my man at my side, a weight loss competition at work, and the whole30 we should be able to get our eating habits in line and our bodies a bit trimmer! 🙂

Exercising regularly

I feel pretty good about our plan of attack for eating healthy. We know what works for us, and we’re getting better at planning healthy meals so the fruits and veggies don’t spoil. Our plan of attack for exercising regularly does not have that same level of confidence. Over the summer we got ourselves gym memberships. We told ourselves that paying for the membership each month would ensure that we went regularly (read: 3-4 times a week). We definitely lied to ourselves; it’s just so hard to get to the gym when it’s wintery and cold!

meme

And during the week, evenings quickly get gobbled up with making dinner, social events, Netflix, cuddling the cats, etc. I’m not even a mom yet and it feels like there’s so much to pack in! It was so much easier when I had the structure of sports teams or dance teams to get me exercising. I have to keep telling myself that it’s mind over matter though, and that the laziness in my body needs to get superseded by a firm resolve to be healthy!

Reality check

It’s often easy to measure my success in a day only by these two parameters. It’s tempting to think, “Wow, I ate healthy all day and exercised! What a successful day!” But I have to add in my intellectual health and spiritual health too. Did I learn something, improve my workplace, act in environmentally conscious ways, help people out, and grow stronger in my relationship with Marcus?! So many factors to consider!! Life was much simpler when the goal was to learn to read, then take a nap like in kindergarten! Have you found any particular motivating factors that help you stay energized, sisters? Life can be exhausting, particularly in the winter!!

Well, I’m off to work. Cross your fingers for me that I find the energy to exercise soon 😉

Love,
Esther

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4 thoughts on “Mind over matter

  1. Exercising is the hardest one to fit in. I read somewhere that people who exercise first thing in the morning are the most consistent and successful with it. It’s so easy to not do after work or in the evenings because of how the day is going. I’ve always thought it would be ideal to bike or walk to work as exercise, if that’s possible someday! That way it’s built into your day. Krestia loves to ski so he tries to get out and do that weekly, if the snow and weather conditions permit. We have been talking about joining the YMCA but I think that we might have the same problem of never getting to the gym…
    I have to be careful with juice too! We used to keep orange juice around all the time but don’t now. But I do love cider, so we buy that and then I try to limit myself to a small glass every day, with pretzels. 🙂

  2. I think I would have a hard time giving up bread! I love it so much. Exercising is difficult. I never feel like I’m doing enough. I felt like I found a good groove of doing yoga at home 3-4 times a week before being pregnant, but I had the joy of a flexible schedule where I didn’t work all morning/early afternoon and could exercise then. Now that I’m pregnant I’m aiming for yoga ONCE a week, which is such a drastic difference. I can’t sustain too much body work though with all the walking and lifting I do at work. If I over do it I can barely lift my feet to get upstairs to bed. Luckily I heal as I sleep and I’m always better the next morning.

    It seems like you and Marcus are the types that dive right into challenges. I have to set myself REALLY small goals so that I can feel successful. If it feels overwhelming I’ll never get to it. Maybe try jogging up and down the stairs to your apartment in the morning a few times (as silently as possible) to work in a bit of exercise. Or splurge and get yourself a fitbit and try and outdo your steps each week!

  3. I find that group fitness classes really work for motivation, because they’re at a specific time and place, so you have to go… and then the teacher motivates you, you don’t need to motivate yourself! I also usually bike to campus but we got a coating of ice on the ground before 2-3 snowstorms, so the roads have been pretty marginal. I’m going to try it today and hope for the best!

  4. Staying energized is so hard in the winter. Right now I have the mental energy that makes it easier to do things that I don’t really want to do. That will become much harder once the semester starts and I’m using that energy on classes, practicum, and rehearsals. For me, once I’m home it is hard to leave again, especially if I’m the only one who cares. It is better for me to work exercising into my schedule so that it happens before I come home, or have someone to help keep me honest. Beth and I are going contra dancing tomorrow. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t go on my own. I have enough space here that I can do yoga and stuff at home, which I sometimes do when I don’t want to leave the house. I’ve swam twice in the past week. That was nice. I thought of you when I swam. I’d gladly swim with you if that were possible.
    P.S. I like this layout. Nice.

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