My AdvoCare Love Affair

Hola! Look at me blogging again! Some weeks I’m so on, and some weeks I’m so off. That’s just how it is.

I thought about doing another Treat Yourself Tuesday today, but then I decided against that. I didn’t have too many treats last week besides the weekend, so it would seem like just another regurgitation of the weekend. No need for that.

Instead, I have a couple of things on my mind. First, I shared a link on Facebook yesterday that I was excited Chick-Fil-A is coming to my town. Holy cow, did I get some negative comments to that! It really made me mad. I get that people don’t care for the Chick-Fil-A leadership, but do people really have to bring my excitement down? I was |this close| to responding with the following:

So when people post things they are excited about on Facebook, we are supposed to tell them why they shouldn’t be excited and our negative views on the subject? Seriously?

Can’t we all just be nice? Can’t we support others in their excitement? Do we always have to be negative and push our own views? Just some thoughts.

Moving on…

I told you yesterday that I wanted to talk about my relationship with AdvoCare. Well, I’m ready to do that! Just to get you caught up to speed, here is my AdvoCare timeline:

  1. Did my first AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge in November/December and LOVED it. Signed up to be a distributor – partly for the discount and partly to spread some Advo love.
  2. Continued taking Advo products and trying to eat 80% clean. Sometimes obsessing over that percentage and really not being true to myself and super judgmental.
  3. Attempted another 24 Day Challenge in February/March. Made it until about Day 12 before quitting because of issues with restriction. Started worrying about how I felt about the 24 Day Challenge.
  4. Became quiet on the Advo front, but still kept taking products.

And NOW… I did some soul searching, some deep thinking, and talked to my sponsor, Becky, about everything. I’m back in Advo love!! Here’s what changed for me:

  • I read this post from Simi at The Micro Harvest about how she is doing a Whole 30 while being intuitive. This really reopened the door for me that you can be intuitive and follow a plan, but you have to be open to the idea that you may not follow it perfectly.
  • I realized that I think there was more going on than just the restriction during my last Challenge. I suffer from black and white thinking when it comes to diets*, that really came into play with the Challenge. I felt like, if I wasn’t doing it perfectly, I might as well just not do it. And I felt it was all the Challenge’s fault for making me feel that way.
  • I realized the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge is not a diet. There are no hard and fast restrictions, although I’ve seen a lot of “rules” floating around the internet. If you read the 24 Day Challenge info site, you’ll notice this disclaimer:

    The information found in the Daily Guide is merely a guideline and not a definitive list of what can and cannot be consumed on the 24-Day Challenge™.

    As well as:

    This isn’t a fad diet that eliminates entire food groups.

  • I realized that, because I have obsessed with diets for so long and am in the healthy living blogosphere, I tend to beat myself up more than other people when it comes to following a plan perfectly or obsessing over the details of healthy and unhealthy foods. This one came from talking to Becky and totally made sense.
  • Doing a 24 Day Challenge right after a vacation is not always the best idea. It’s actually not very intuitive because you naturally want to ease back into normal eating, rather than jump headfirst.
  • Maybe a 24 Day Challenge every 90 days isn’t a realistic expectation for me. This one also came from Becky. That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself. Instead, I like the idea of the 10 day Cleanse every 90 days, with the full Challenge just once or twice a year. That helps me clean up my diet with foods I love to eat, but not put so much pressure on myself that I freak out.

*By diets here, I don’t mean the traditional definition, but rather in general what I’m eating, drinking, and how I’m exercising.

This makes me so excited! I love the AdvoCare products, and I didn’t want to feel so conflicted about the company and products any longer. Now I can keep spreading my Advo love in good conscience. Why don’t I start doing that now?! If you’re interested, here are the AdvoCare products I use on the daily (and, duh, love):

  • Spark – Every single morning starts with Spark! I currently have tubs of Fruit Punch and Mandarin Orange that I choose from each morning. I love this stuff, and wish that I wasn’t caffeine sensitive so I could drink more of it daily! It gives me energy, but not in the shaky, buzzed way that coffee or soda would. There is no crash later either! Right now I drink ½ to ¾ of a serving with 16-20 ounces of water. I have one right when I wake up and then another one later. Lately it’s been in the morning on my way to work in order to get myself to sleep a little better at night. Darn sensitivities.
  • Catalyst – I also have Catalyst every morning, and sometimes later in the day as well. I’ve been experimenting with having just three caplets a day or more. I don’t really see much of a difference, but I know others who swear it firms them up. As a matter of fact, one girl wrote in one of my Facebook groups today that she had been skipping her Catalyst for the last couple of days and felt “fluffy” today. Interesting, right? I do think Catalyst helps me in my morning exercise. It gives me a little zip when I’m half asleep to get my legs moving on the treadmill.
  • MNS 3 – I swear this stuff keeps me healthy! Until I quit taking it to do the Cleanse phase of the Challenge, I hadn’t had any sniffles all winter. Then, BAM, I started to feel like a cold was coming on. Since I’ve been back on it, I haven’t had a single cold. That is amazing! I usually get hit with a few bad colds every winter, so to only have one is crazy to me. I also like the little zip I get from the Thermogenics included in the pill packets. Oh and (TMI?), I swear by the probiotic included in the morning packet. The probiotic, plus morning exercise, have kept me regular. I have never been regular in my entire life!
  • Rehydrate – Whenever I’m dehydrated or just need something other than plain water to drink, this is what I reach for. I’m drinking the Red Raspberry flavor right now! This stuff makes my day so much better, and I look forward to the sweet treat.

These are the main products that I use on the daily, but I have even more that I use and love. I’ll share those with you another day since this post has gotten long. I have just so much to share!! Obviously, if you are at all curious about any AdvoCare products, just ask me! I’ll chat your ear off!

Have a wonderful day!

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Why I Eat

Hello and happy Monday! Did you have a wonderful weekend? Mine was so nice! My husband went up to Fargo for the weekend for a Marilyn Manson concert on Friday night, and I stayed home since I’m not a Manson fan. I had a little me weekend! Friday evening I made homemade pineapple pizza on the grill, using a fresh pineapple, and watched both of the Bridget Jones’ Diary movies. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen them before! I absolutely loved them.

Saturday I ran in the morning then slowly got ready before heading to my parents’ lake house. There I went for a walk with my parents and eight year old nephew, then sat on the patio all the rest of the day. It was a rare day where my mom wasn’t working on something (she never sits still), so it was so nice just to hang out with her. We also did her leg exercises that she has to do after surgery in January – they’re tough! She’s going to be so buff! I told her we’re going to get her a “buff Grandma” shirt.

I just stayed for the day and was pretty tired by 8pm from all of the sun and exercise. I rallied a little when I got home to watch The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I thought I had read the book a while back, but maybe not since the movie was so different from what I was expecting. I only thought it was okay, even though I balled my eyes out. I blame being so tired.

Yesterday was even sunnier and warmer, although windy. Luckily my deck is in an area where some of the wind was blocked. I hung out there pretty much all day. It was glorious! I read a book and attempted to clean my grill. Holy crap, it’s hard to clean grills! I scrubbed and scrubbed with a wire brush, but I still didn’t get most of the gunk off. At least I got the ash cleaned out. I’m going to run it on high for a while tonight to burn off some of the cleaning stuff and maybe some of the gunk.

DirtyGrill

Later in the day on Sunday I went for a walk with friends Kim and Julie. We walked a little over 3 miles at Kim’s pace (fast!). That helped me continue my streak of getting at least 10,000 steps in a day. I’ve been doing that since last Wednesday. I’m proud of myself. And sore.

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Yep, it was definitely a great weekend. This week looks awesome as well. I’m hitting up two longtime clients, where I don’t expect to have any issues. That’s always nice. The weather is also supposed to be great this week. I need that bad. I can really tell that I had some serious Seasonal Affective Disorder this year. Now that it’s sunny and getting warmer outside, I can just feel my spirits soar, and it is even more clear how tired and down I felt before. I’m going to remember this going into winter next year, and I might think about medicating. I’ll do anything to not have a depressed month or two.

Switching gears… I’m in a couple of intuitive/mindful eating programs right now. In one of them, we focused on why we eat over the last week. Most of the time I eat for fuel or because I’m hungry, but I’ve really been noticing when I eat for other reasons or want to keep on eating past full. It’s usually when (1) I’m bored, (2) habit, (3) the food tastes so good, or (4) I’m distracted. (3) and (4) are why I have been eating past full. (1) and (2) are why I’m eating when I’m not hungry in the first place, and these are HUGE realizations. I actually already knew about them, but didn’t feel like delving deeper. I have over the last few days. My husband even laughed at me this morning because he found the fun list I made over the weekend. It’s a list of all kinds of fun things that I like to do and can do when I’m bored. The habit one is a little harder to tackle. Here are a couple of examples of habits where I reach for food:

  • When I get home from work and read – I actually found a way to “fix” this one last week. Instead of flopping down on the couch with my book, I can grab my book and hit up the treadmill. A nice slow walk while reading. A perfect way to unwind after work!
  • When watching a movie or reading in the evening – I think this one is partly about boredom too. I’m so used to multi-tasking, that it’s hard for me to do just one thing at a time. I often play games on my tablet while watching TV, but that eventually gives me migraines or I get bored, so I reach for food again. I’m thinking this is one area where I will just have to fight the urge to eat to retrain my habits, or I can find something else to do.

It’s absolutely insane to me that I’ve gotten into such bad habits with food. I mean, I’ve known that I had these bad habits, but it was so easy to ignore them and blame weight gain on other issues. Like I’m not eating the right foods, or I’m drinking too much. Sure, those can also contribute, but it’s really the mindless non-hungry eating and overeating that have gotten me to where I am, and now I’m fully prepared to realize this and change.

I think that’s enough of my crazy thoughts for a Monday. I have so much more to tell you though! Be prepared for a huge AdvoCare discussion in an upcoming post. Spoiler alert: We’re BFFs again. :)

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Treat Yourself Tuesday–Key West

Good morning! I hardly ever do morning posts that I wrote the night before, but I am really consistently rocking my inconsistency over here! Since I’ve been gone for a bit, I wanted to come back in time for Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday. That’s always a great time to come back to my blog! Show off, make you all jealous, and then peace out. :) Totally kidding. Anyway, here is how I treated myself in the last week or so. Spoiler alert: they almost all have to do with Key West. ;)

Coffee Drinks

This one might sound weird, but hear me out. I don’t often get fun coffee drinks since (a) I’m a Spark girl and (b) I’d rather not drink my calories on a daily basis. Last week I totally indulged by getting a Starbucks Decaf Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte at the Charlotte airport during my layover to Key West and then Dunkin iced coffees the first couple of mornings in Key West.

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I totally found how to order at Dunkin so I like it too! They are tricky because they can put sooooo much milk or cream in your drink. I like a good dark iced coffee with just a splash of skim. Yum!

Laid Out in the Sun

I laid out by the pool as soon as I got to Key West on Monday, and then on Tuesday and Wednesday after work. I also laid out on the beach on Thursday before I left. It.was.glorious!!!

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Running and Walking in Key West

Besides soaking up the sun by the pool, this is one of the other big treats for me when I travel someplace scenic and warm. I love, love, love exploring on foot! Especially when there are views like these!

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And when I see cool things in the water!

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Okay, you have to look pretty closely at that, but if you go up from the original “pretty” in this sentence, there’s a crab!

Took Myself Out

When I travel I usually don’t get out and about much. Sure, I might go for a run, but I usually don’t eat out in restaurants or grab a drink somewhere. I feel like it can be so awkward doing that. This time I was determined to take myself out of my comfort zone, so I took myself out on a date in downtown Key West. I walked around and looked at things, I checked out the sunset celebration in Mallory Square (totally enjoyed The Red Trouser Show!), I grabbed a beer at a sidewalk table where I could people watch, and I enjoyed a burger and a rum drink on a second floor patio with live music. It was so fun! I’m now determined to take myself out more often.

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Had a Quiet Weekend

Once I finally got home on Friday morning, I was beat! So much sun will do that! I went out with friends on Friday evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday and because other friends were visiting, but then we were very quiet for the rest of the weekend. I caught up on some TV shows, read my book, enjoyed the Easter service at church, went out for pizza, and just plain enjoyed myself. Sometimes I feel like weekends where you don’t do anything are kind of a waste, but then I think about how refreshing they are to my spirit. I need that time with my husband and time to myself (even after all of the time to myself I already get by working alone!). While I missed out on my family Easter on Saturday, it was still a treat to have such a quiet weekend. I’m actually thinking about changing my plans for the upcoming weekend and having another quiet one! Cheers to that!

Have a great Tuesday! Go treat yourself!

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Five Things Friday

TGIF friends! Who else is trying to keep motivated at work today? Just push through! I took yesterday off, which makes it even more difficult to be motivated today. Ugh.

I feel like I like other bloggers’ Five Things Friday, but I’m not sure that I even have five to discuss today. Let’s find out.

1. Why did I take yesterday off of work? I was HURTING. I kind of felt gross on Wednesday afternoon. I was just so tired and kept nodding off for a few minutes at a time. I drank Spark and rallied for my book club meeting though. Fun fact: we didn’t have a book for this book club meeting. So it was just a wine meeting! And we went through 5.5 bottles of wine between the 6 of us girls. So yeah… a few of us were hurting yesterday. Wine hangover + slight cold = nap… all day. Not my greatest moment in adult life, but it is what it is. We all make mistakes, but I am one of the few who tell the world about them. It’s a good thing work is slower, and I have a lot of vacation days.

2. Did you see this pull apart bread that I made for my book club?

Pull Apart Bread

So good! Here is the recipe. Now go make that.

3. The other day I was feeling sort of down about things. Actually this was Wednesday. This might also be half of the reason why I drank more wine than I should have. I whined, then I wined, then I… went to bed. Anyway, I decided to make a list about why I’m unhappy. What’s going on in my life that I’m not happy about. Can you guess how many things were on my list? 3. Just 3. It turns out that I don’t have that many things to be unhappy about! And the last one was that I’m bored and need new hobbies. I kind of felt more happy after making that list. My life is pretty good (okay, I have a great life), but sometimes I need to make dumb lists to remind myself of that fact. Since I’m bossy, I’m going to tell you to go make such a list next time you’re feeling down.

Open

4. I might make it to 5 after all! I have a party tomorrow where I need to bring food. I can’t decide what I want to make. You will find me scouring Pinterest today and digging in my closet to see what Tastefully Simple stuff I have left that needs to be used. Because it’s like 4 years old. I am THE WORST at hoarding things. I’ll be sure to share whatever I decide to make on Sunday.

Somewhat related – I wish I was crafty enough in the kitchen to come up with my own recipes. Not so much. I guess I like it when people do all of the crafting for me, and I just have to follow along with what they made up. I love cooking and (mostly) following recipes, so I’m not too bummed about this fact. I’m beginning to find out that I am happiest in the kitchen these days. Who knew? (Actually, I should have known this because I was always in the kitchen as a kid. Plus my mom and I bake almost every time we are together.)

5. Yes, it’s Friday, but I find myself counting down till Monday. Weird, right? I’m counting down until Monday because bright and early Monday morning I head to Key West. OMG, I just want warm weather! I want to go outside!! We had this beautiful week where the weather was in the 50s, but then it got cold again. My face hurts when the weather changes. No joke. I get a tickle in my throat, my sinuses start hurting, and I cough at night. Every.single.time. I’ll be in Key West on Monday through Thursday. I was hoping to work way ahead and only have to actually work down there on Monday. While I’m still working ahead and hoping to be done Tuesday, I realized my flight doesn’t land in Key West until 3:30pm. I booked myself a 3 hour layover in Charlotte. Why?! So I won’t even go to my client on Monday. You better believe I have huge plans of running, walking, and sunbathing next week. 3 more days!!

Keys

I made it to 5! Have a great weekend!!

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Serious Realizations

Hey friends! I have seriously been working on this post since Monday. Seriously. It started pretty light, then got deep. Now I’m just hoping it’s coherent since it is three days’ worth of thoughts. Hold on to your hats!

More on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, IE, and Restriction

I wanted to come back to this topic once more. Oh, I likely will keep coming back to it! I’ve had so many conflicting feelings! I LOVED my first AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, but then I had so many issues when I attempted my second. WTF?! It was really hard for me to articulate just what the problem was, but I just knew I had to quit. Now I’m beginning to understand. You see, as someone who has been on (and off) every single diet under the sun, I have issues with disordered thinking and eating. I’m seeing now that the restriction from the challenge was bringing up a lot of those feelings. I can now even see how my thinking was becoming disordered all the way back to my first challenge! Sad. Here’s the thing – since I’ve been on so many diets, I tend to have very all or nothing thinking. I was catching myself labeling clean foods as “good” and not-clean foods as “bad”. I was “good” if I ate those foods and “bad” if I didn’t. I wasn’t using the challenge as it’s meant to be used – to help you clean up your diet once a quarter and flood your body with nutritious foods. Instead, I was using it as a whole new set of rules, that I was “bad” if I didn’t follow. In between my challenges, I totally struggled with this thinking. I felt like I was constantly needing to “start over”, to “tighten things up”, like I’d “fallen off the wagon”. I kept proclaiming that “this will be a clean eating week!” where I wouldn’t eat anything unclean. This, my friends, is diet thinking all the way!

So now I’m resetting. I’m re-reading Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works as I follow along in an IE program. I’m still not completely ready to share about this program. I want to keep this one close to the vest for a while. However, I must tell you that things are clicking for me. I’m seeing where I had made previous judgments about food, where I went wrong the last time with IE, how I thought the challenge was helping me eat intuitively (it was but wasn’t), and what I want my relationship with food to look like. A few realizations I’ve made:

  • It’s very easy for me to use IE as an excuse to overeat (“I don’t want to restrict myself” <– one of my issues going through this the last time around!). Really, I’m just eating because I’m bored or for another emotional reason. Stop, drop that food, and feel.
  • It’s really hard for me to get rid of judgments and not feel guilty about eating something that I don’t deem “healthy” or now “clean”. I’m trying to catch myself and change my thinking every time, but I don’t always believe myself when I say that it’s okay to eat that, and I don’t need to feel guilty.
  • Also related to guilt – I find myself feeling guilty or internally saying “I’ll be better tomorrow” if I know I ate something when I wasn’t hungry. I have to reassure myself over and over that it is okay, that I’m still “good”. Do you see how I could get caught in this spiral between this bullet point and the first one?! This is why I never truly learned IE.
  • I know now that I have to ignore all of the health, exercise, and diet advice out there. I can’t even read it. It sticks in my head, I get guilty feelings, and it’s just not beneficial to me. I just want to eat and move in a way that works for ME. That is beneficial to ME. Not according to some study, or this group, or that group, etc. They don’t know me! They don’t know how my body reacts to foods or how it feels after certain exercises! My body knows what’s best, and I just need to listen to it.
  • I just want to live like a “normal” person who hasn’t heard all of these diet tips, health tips, exercise tips, etc. and just lives. I don’t want to log, and I don’t want to obsess anymore. I don’t want to talk and think about food, health, diet, exercise, and my body constantly. That’s a huge change for me. Every blog I follow is a food, healthy living, running, or intuitive eating blog. My own blog is a blog about dieting! My Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all follow along these lines as well. My Gmail account is full of healthy living newsletters. Almost all of the podcasts I listen to are about body love or healthy living. I’ve gotten myself in a bad way here. This hobby turned into an obsession that has taken over my life! I need a new hobby. What did I think and talk about before this?!

Those last two bullet points are what I have been thinking about for the last few days. I try to remember what I thought about in high school and college before I became so obsessed with the healthy living world. I had disordered eating and thinking back then too, but it didn’t take over my life. I seem to remember hanging out with friends a lot… we had to have talked about something! I need to make a list of how to fill all of the time during the day that was previously spent reading and thinking about healthy living. Any thoughts? I even searched Pinterest for “hobbies”! There was a lot of knitting and crocheting. Not me. I’m not a long project kind of gal. I have plenty of long projects sitting in closets at my house that I’ve never finished. I need something besides just reading and watching TV.

I think I was able to bring this together pretty coherently after all. As I work on adjusting my thinking and free time, I’m not sure what that will mean for this old blog. Probably a lot more ramblings like this one! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. For now, just know what I’m working on and why I might not be here.

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Things From the Week

Happy Saturday my lovelies! I actually wrote most of this post yesterday, but then didn’t finish it. I guess today works!

This week has flown by for me, which makes me a little sad. I’ve really enjoyed being at home, working on my daily to-do list, and getting ish done all week. I guess I can continue to do that in the following weeks as well, just with more work work and less house work thrown in. Something to think about!

Today is going to be kind of all over the place. This might be my new normal. :)

1. I’m trying to move away from journaling food and exercise, but I still want to log my exercise somewhere. It’s very conflicting. The reason I want to move away from journaling or logging is so that I’m eating and moving in ways that honor my body’s needs rather than just checking boxes off of a to-do list. If you’re all like, “what the heck are you talking about?”, go read this blog post by Michelle May, M.D. I’ve totally been exercising to “bump up the numbers rather than to experience my body moving”. I’ve also been trying to decide if I’ve been exercising because I know my body likes it or because I think I should. Decision made! I’ve been doing my morning run or walk because I know my body likes it (and I like it most days), but I’ve been pushing myself to strength train because I think (and have been told) that I should. I’m not going to push so hard to strength train for a while and see what happens.

Just a little self discovery happening above. Now, I’m going to log my exercise here since I’m most likely to not judge myself in this space. Since last weekend…

  • Saturday – 2.33 mile run/walk outside
  • Sunday – rest
  • Monday – 30 min interval walk
  • Tuesday – 30 min run/walk
  • Wednesday – 30 min interval walk
  • Thursday – 30 min run/walk
  • Friday – 20 min morning yoga

2. I made the best dinner Thursday night! You might have already seen it on Instagram, but it was Chicken Pesto Caprese Pasta from jo cooks. Even my picky husband, who doesn’t normally like my “different” meals, liked this one!

I used the original recipe, but sort of read things wrong when I went grocery shopping for it. I’d never heard of bocconcini before and read it as broccolini. So I bought broccolini and then realized that was not what was listed. I Googled subs for bocconcini and just used shredded mozzarella. I still used the broccolini as well.

3. I found a new daily devotional I’m trying out. Mostly because it comes with fun illustrations.

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It’s called Rhetorical Jesus, and I just hope I love it. Yesterday was the first day I got the email, but I haven’t delved into it much yet. I really want to get out of my own head, think about others more often, and seek the wisdom of God. Is that too much to ask?

4. What are you up to this weekend? I’ve been taking it easy today after not great sleep last night due to too many adult beverages. I’m not so impressed with myself for drinking said beverages yesterday. I’m trying hard to be gentle and kind to myself, but I also know I need to delve deeper into why I keep drinking more than I want to. It might be time to make another appointment with my therapist. That would be my first one this year. Oops.

5. I just finished the best book today! It’s called It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell.

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I have every intention of emailing Andie because the book resonated with me so well! It’s all about Andie’s life, history of disordered eating, and her story of losing weight and overcoming her disorder. Just reading about how Andie would shovel food into her mouth because she was lonely as a child, how she obsessively counted calories to lose weight, and how paranoid she was about gaining back the weight and calories when she did lose just reminded me so much of myself. I’ve done all of those things! Seriously, I loved this book so, so much!

With that, I’m out of here. I’m promising myself I’ll go take a cold walk yet today. It’s cold and cloudy outside, but it would be nice to get some fresh air. I know I’m not leaving the house tomorrow since it’s supposed to snow 3-5 inches. Gross! I thought spring was here!

Have a great rest of your weekend!

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Spring Cleaning

Happy hump day friends! Or world hangover day? Or is that the 1st of the year? It’s definitely Irish hangover day though! In case you’re curious, I just Googled, and it appears New Years Day is world hangover day. Good to know!

I’m not hungover today, but I did enjoy a few Guinnesses last night. They were tasty and really what I was craving. In hindsight, I wish I had savored them more. I’m going to remember that the next time I go out.

I’m having just the best week! I’m working from home all week, and my actual work is quite slow. Instead of wasting this time scrambling to find work, I’m embracing it. (I did look for more work before I got to this point, but nobody responded.) I made a list of everything work and home related that I want to get done/feasibly can get done this week. Each day has a big project along with some smaller tasks. All of the big projects are house related since I don’t really have any big work projects this week. Monday’s big project was straightening our 2nd bedroom upstairs, yesterday’s was organizing our shoe closet in our entryway, today’s is organizing all of my clothes, tomorrow’s is cleaning out a junk drawer and vacuuming the upstairs, and Friday’s is scrubbing the kitchen and sorting the overflowing mail pile.

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I’m feeling so accomplished and fulfilled by getting these things done this week! Usually when work is slow I’ll spend the time on worthless projects or just take time off to read all day. This feels so much better!

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Note to self: fix bed-skirt so it’s not all under the mattress. :)

Something else I’ve been working on this week? Intuitive eating! I really never thought I’d find myself back to IE, but here we are. I’m taking a new program to lead me on this journey. I’m very excited about this program, but not quite ready to share. What I want to chat about today is an IE misconception. I’ve even fallen trap to this!

Intuitive eating – that’s that program where you eat whatever you want, right? How could anyone believe that can be healthy or help you lose weight?!

I’ve heard this before. I’ve thought this before. Here’s the misconception, and where I realized I did this all wrong before – IE is about it being okay to eat whatever you want, but it is also, most importantly, about fueling and moving your body in ways that feel the best. So if you think IE is all about eating junk all of the time because that’s what you want to eat and not working out, you’re wrong. And I was wrong! That’s what I was doing before! Instead, IE really ends up to be sort of like the 80/20 rule. For me, eating clean and healthy 80% of the time makes my body feel good. That’s how I would strive to eat while following IE. The rest of IE then is eating when you’re hungry, mindfully, and stopping when you’re satisfied. You have to be mindful to know when you’re satisfied. That’s the hardest part for me!

Are you kind of taking this all in and then thinking that this really doesn’t sound like much of a plan? So what’s the difference in what you were doing? It’s really not much of a plan! And it’s not really much different than what I was doing in between my last AdvoCare 24 day challenge and now. It’s normal eating people. No obsessing, no tracking, no guilt… just eating and feeling amazing. What a relief!

So what am I really working on this week? Well, noticing my diet thoughts and nipping them in the bud. It’s been so fun! All of those moments where I think something like, “I shouldn’t eat that” or “my stomach feels so poochy”, I have been stopping myself and saying, “everything in moderation, girlfrien’” or “you are beautiful just the way you are”. It’s really made a difference! Like a complete shift in mindset. I’m loving it!

I’ll share more about what I’m doing each week as I move through this new program. I can just tell there is going to be a ton of awesome things happening in the next weeks and months!

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Can We Still Be Friends?

Hello again friends! I have not been ignoring you, I swear! Okay, I have. I’m a bad friend. Please forgive me. How about I catch you up to where I’ve been for the last week, and we call it square? Deal.

I’m even going to go outside of my bullet love and just bold things. Once in a while you need to switch things up.

I’ve had the plague.

Okay, not the real plague, but I’ve been exhausted lately. Just dragging. The biggest thing I was looking forward to about the weekend was getting to sleep in. I had been feeling like I can’t get enough sleep even though I’ve been sleeping 7-9 hours per night. My doctor reminded me at my appointment on Wednesday that I was low on vitamin D last year, so I started taking some vitamin D again. I’m hoping that will help with the exhaustion. I didn’t get retested for my vitamin D levels, since I didn’t want to sit at the doctor’s office longer, but D is one of those you can take even if you’re not too low, and you’ll be fine. Fingers crossed that I get more energy.

The weather has been gorgeous, so I’ve been grilling every night.

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And I haven’t even blown myself up again! We’ve had steaks, chicken, and brats. I think burgers need to happen this week. Yum

I made zoodles!

My friends were making fun of me last weekend because I was so excited about the spiralizer and mondoline I bought on Amazon. I used both of them this week! I used the spiralizer to make this zoodle recipe. (If you don’t know, zoodles = zucchini noodles.)

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It was only okay, but I have even more plans for spiralizing. Like I recently saw a spiralized beet recipe, and I just happen to have 2 beets in my fridge that need used. Boom.

With the mandoline I made sweet potato chips and roasted potatoes. I just might love the mandoline more than the spiralizer. Crazy, I know.

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I got together with high school friends.

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I’m not very good and staying caught up with friends. A lot of time (years) can go by without seeing people. It always catches me by surprise! Anyway, it was so nice seeing these ladies yesterday. I hadn’t seen one in at least a year, and the other in longer than that until recently. I’m adding “see friends more often” to my to-do list.

I got together with blogging friends.

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Amanda, Me, Katie, Kim, and Emily

Why did I think I should stand in the back? It’s always a great idea for the shortest person to stand in the back, right?

I actually wrote most of this post when I was with them! We met up in Maple Grove for a little Which Wich action (love that place!), then blogging at Caribou, and then my first ever Costco experience. I got pesto! According to Emily, it is the best pesto ever, so we all had to get some.

I quit my AdvoCare 24 day challenge.

This is the biggest one from last week, so I saved it for last. As I mentioned in my last post, I just wasn’t feeling the challenge this time around. Then I started feeling all sorts of negative feelings regarding food restriction. It’s really hard to explain. A big part of it was that I was starting to think of foods as “good” and “bad” again. Anything that isn’t clean is “bad”, and I would feel guilty if I wanted to eat those things. I started envying anyone I saw eating or drinking because I couldn’t. It just didn’t feel good anymore. So I quit the challenge. I’m still so in love with AdvoCare supplements and products, but just not the challenge right now. I don’t want negative thoughts and feelings – I just want to keep on feeling awesome! I think quitting the challenge was the right decision for me right now to ditch the negative. You have to do what’s right for you!

On that note, I’m out of here. Have a lovely day!

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Weekend and Challenge

Happy Monday! I changed my plans for the day today, so I’m going to have such a great day! I was supposed to drive up to Superior, WI today and stay through tomorrow, but I realized I could work offsite today and just drive up there for the day tomorrow to finish things up. Hooray for a night at home instead of a hotel!

Did you have a fabulous weekend? Mine was so, so good. Since I was still feeling not-so-great on Friday, I skipped out on game night with friends to try to rest up. Well, I didn’t go to bed early as planned. I started watching How to Get Away with Murder on my DVR and ended up staying up until 1:30am so that I could finish it. Oops. Saturday we drove down to visit my roommates from college, their spouses, and their kids. Between the two of them, they have 5.5 kids! It’s still kind of hard to believe. It seems like everyone is growing up around me, but I don’t feel there yet. I think I’m scared? A conversation for another day. Anyway, we stayed up until 2am chatting with them, but it was really 3am because of daylight savings. That meant I was really dragging yesterday. Not dragging enough to skip out on a walk with a friend or grilling though! It was a gorgeous day yesterday, and I’m really hoping that we’re done with winter now. One thing I need to do before grilling again – fix the igniter on our grill. It wasn’t working yesterday, so I had to manually light it with a long lighter. I’m not the brightest and started the gas with the lid closed before lighting. Woof! There was a huge fireball, and I singed my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. I’m so lucky I didn’t burn anything worse! I tried to take a picture, but you can’t really see anything, so I’ll spare you one of my mug. :)

My head is stinging a little today, so I might have burned my skin a little. Oops.

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Update

Today is day 13 of my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. Ugh. For some reason, I’m already totally over this challenge. I don’t even know why! I’ve tried to stop thinking about it as a challenge now. It’s just eating clean, which I like doing, and taking the Advo supplements that I normally take anyway. Hopefully thinking that way will get me into the game again? I hope so.

Besides my lack of enthusiasm, I also have a couple of updates for you:

  • I only weighed myself at the end of the cleanse portion (first 10 days) of the challenge. I lost the 5 vacation pounds I had gained plus an additional pound. I’m happy with that and now so totally over weighing myself. I’m not going to weigh again until this challenge is over. Then I’m taking a long vacation from the scale. I’m just over waking up, feeling awesome, and then being slightly saddened by the scale. It’s so not worth it. I also don’t want to be a slave to the tape measure. I didn’t even measure myself at the beginning of the challenge or after the cleanse portion. I just want to go by how I feel, how I think I look, and how my clothes fit. That works for me.
  • I cheated a little. This totally has to do with being less than enthusiastic about the challenge right now. I had a few sips of my husband’s wine, tasted friends’ drinks, and ate something with added sugar in it this weekend. The drink tastes were all deliberate, but the added sugar was an accident. I got a brown rice sushi roll at the grocery store yesterday. I was so excited because it was brown rice, so I thought I was good to go. Not so much. After I ate it, I took a look at the ingredients. Wouldn’t you know that the rice had brown sugar added to it. There was also some corn syrup. Freaking lovely. It was an accident, so I just shrugged it off and moved on.

Hopefully I’ll get my groove back with this challenge. Fingers crossed!

On that note, I need to plan another afternoon break to take a walk. It’s 51* outside right now! Gorgeous.

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AdvoCare and Intuitive Eating

I feel icky, oh so icky, I feel icky. I was singing that in my head to I Feel Pretty. I told you yesterday that I was hoping I wasn’t getting sick. Well, I’m sick. My lymph nodes in my neck started hurting yesterday and are swollen. I took today off from work to rest up in hopes of getting better fast. I also started an ibuprofen regimen to reduce my swollen nodes. I’m still super fatigued, but otherwise feeling fine. Isn’t that weird?

Since I have the time, I might as well blog, right? I even have a topic I want to chat about!

AdvoCare and Intuitive Eating

I’ve been brushing up on my intuitive/mindful eating lately. It still fascinates me. It’s also the weirdest thing, but I think starting AdvoCare has actually helped everything I have read and was taught about intuitive eating really click. Now, during this second 24 day challenge, I have come to a huge realization – eating whole, real foods helps me eat more intuitively. I’m bolding that to help it sink in.

Now let me explain what I mean. I did my first AdvoCare 24 day challenge and learned the joys of cooking and eating healthy meals again. I wasn’t super intuitive on that challenge, and I wouldn’t say I am now either, but I really didn’t have many emotional eating issues. Then the challenge ended, work got crazy stressful, and I was falling back into some old, bad habits. There was definitely a bunch of emotional eating and drinking going on. Now I’m in my second challenge. I find myself listening to hunger and satiety cues again. Last night I even took more meatloaf, only to leave half of it on my plate at dinner. I haven’t done it every single time, but I’ve started questioning when I crave a snack. Am I really hungry or do I need something else? Sometimes I just want to mindlessly munch because it’s an old habit. I did this on Sunday. But sometimes I’ve stopped and waited it out. This is HUGE for me.

So why are things starting to click now? As I stated above, I think a big part of this has to do wth the food I’m eating. I’m eating whole, real foods without any added sugars. That means my body doesn’t have all of these sugar spikes and crashes to contend with. I’m more able to feel real hunger – not just a sugar crash. I think another big part is that I’m excited about what has been going on with my body. Although I didn’t lose much in between challenges, the changes I have seen still excite me. I can actually stand in front of the mirror naked and like what I see. Or at least not hate it if it’s a bad day. I’m insanely happy with this area of my life right now.

I’m going to keep exploring this area for the next 15 days and beyond. Expect more topics on this in the future! Also, since it’s kind of related and I keep thinking about it, go read this post by Lauren Fowler. I just love it. (Okay, maybe I’m still sicker than I thought because I think I’m coming off as kind of delirious. Meh.)

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