TGIF & On Setbacks

First things first – TGIF! It’s been a long week (then again, when isn’t it a long week?) and I am SO ready for the weekend. I’ve already got some fun plans – sushi and drinks with friends, a short shift at my part-time job on Saturday, and plans-free Sunday. I’m hoping to put a dent in my Christmas shopping, which I am still not ready to do! (Side note: remember when ABC used to have TGIF with Two of a Kind, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch? I miss it… Thank goodness for early-morning BMW reruns and the spinoff that’s in the works!)

Now, about setbacks…

Batman Quote

found here

It can – and does – happen to anyone working toward a goal as a matter of course. Students fail tests, athletes get injured, dieters “splurge.”

These so-called setbacks, however, are the moments when we learn most about ourselves.

We ask ourselves questions: Why did this happen? What triggered my loss of control? What will I do differently to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

Goal achievers are those who ask themselves these questions, assess their answers, and own their circumstances. They latch onto the lessons they can take away from making a mistake and move on. They don’t let a flub generate enough self-doubt to deter them from their goals.

Moral of the story: A “setback” is only a setback if you don’t learn from it. A “mistake” is only as big as your mind allows it to become.

I experienced a setback of my own this week, and failed to achieve a goal in a major way. So, what am I going to do about it?

  • I’m going to write myself a letter and read it aloud. Journaling isn’t enough – I think I need to hear a lesson/reality check out loud in order to take it to heart. Plus, self-talk is always a good thing, provided it’s not negative.
  • I’m going to seek help and support. Whether I will seek support online, from my family, from a counselor, or all of the above, I am not sure. One thing is for sure, though – we are not put on this earth to exist in isolation. I have been blessed with family, friends, and resources for love and support.
  • I’m going to choose to move on. I’ll remind myself that every day is a new day; every moment is the chance to choose happiness, to live in the present, to not dwell on past mistakes. I’ll remind myself that it’s never too late to start over.

What was the last setback you overcame? How did you do it?

If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.

It’s no secret that I’ve been lacking motivation lately. In fact, I started this blog in order to recommit myself to healthy living and be held accountable to someone/something outside of my own head. So far, I’ve set two goals in order to get back “on the wagon,” so to speak. As simple as those small goals seem, they are proving to be a big challenge for me. So far, it’s only been a few days and I’ve already been tempted to cheat on myself. I haven’t – yet, knock on wood – but it’s taken Herculean efforts to stay strong. (But the blog accountability is helping!)

It’s the same when it comes to a tough workout. I attended a boot camp class last night. After having skipped the last two weeks, it was really hard! I haven’t been blowing off my workouts (most days), but my body forgot how physically taxing that class is. More than once, I wanted to give up. More than once, I kept at it and pushed through. (Yay me!) But more than once, I gave up.

So what’s a girl (or boy, I suppose) to do?

Enter Instamotiviation.

While many “motivational” sites post pictures of unachievable and/or unrealistic fitness models covered in glimmery sweat, squatting heavy weight with an “inspirational quote” overlaid (like these, or this, or this), Instamotivation is simple. Open the link to the site, and all you see are quotes like the following:

“Happiness is pushing your limits and watching them back down.”

“The harder you work, the better you get.”

“The voice inside your head that says you can’t do this is a liar.”

These short, simple quotes are – in my opinion – the right way to go when it comes to “fit”-spiration. Pushing your own limits, rather than trying to compete with unrealistic “role models,” will prove to be much more effective long-term. Though extrinsic motivation’s fire may burn brighter, intrinsic motivation’s flame will last longer. Striving to out-perform yourself every day is a healthy goal that everyone can work toward.

You can do it!

found here

One quote that really struck a chord with me was “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.” I’m going to keep it in mind as I work toward my goals this week!

Now it’s your turn: What’s your motivational mantra? What helps you keep you on track to your goals, or push through a tough workout?

Still Not Ready

Can you believe it’s already DECEMBER FIRST?! Yeah, neither can I. Time has been flying by lately… Seems like Halloween was just yesterday! I’m not ready for it all – Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas anything… Maybe once we get some snow I’ll come around. Regardless, this happened:

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Christmas treeNow, to recap yesterday…

EATS:

Breakfast, 10-ish a.m.Breakfast 20121130

Sprouted grain toast with Greek yogurt sweetened with 2 packets of Splenda, enjoyed with an Americano. Breakfast of champions.

Pre-Lunch: 1 p.m. or so

ImageMassive kale salad topped with carrots, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, Craisins, “croutons” made from toasted sprouted grain bread. YUM! So filling. Enjoyed at my desk while distracted and working.

Lunch: 2:30 p.m.

ImageDoesn’t look too appetizing, but I promise it’s delicious! Sprouted cinnamon raisin bread with raisins, covered with sliced banana and peanut fluff. Enjoyed while working. (Seems to be a pattern…)

Workout: 4:30-6 p.m. (or so)

Put in a solid hour on an elliptical with an adjustable incline and resistance. Warmed up for 5 minutes, then I did sprint intervals during the chorus of every song that played. A friend joined me there for the last 20 minutes, which helped the time go faster. The two of us then topped it off with 30 minutes on the “moon bounce” elliptical to spend some more time together and for me to attempt to blunt the caloric damage done the day before. Did some vanity lifting, as well, to make myself feel better about wearing a short-sleeved dress. It felt GREAT to sweat it out, and the 90 minutes flew by! The lifting was pretty pointless, though. Quality strength training has been lacking lately. Might incorporate a strength circuit in my workout this afternoon. Julie always has such great ideas for strength and cardio circuits… I might have to borrow one of her workouts!

Dinner: 8ish p.m.

Made one of Tina’s two-ingredient pancakes with extra egg whites, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla extract in the mix, and topped it with peanut fluff and copious amounts of sugar-free maple syrup. Enjoyed with lots of water in front of the TV while talking to my mom.

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After dinner, I met up with a friend at her house before we headed out to one of my/our favorite local places for a glass of wine. 6 glasses of wine and a (safe, I promise you) drive home later, pretzels covered with peanut fluff, Golden Grahams, and chocolate chips sounded like a great idea. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Obviously, they were not. I was up eating until 5 a.m., and woke up to this:

Image

Not.cool. Last time I weighed myself (a month ago), I weighed in at 151. This is disappointing, to say the least.

It’s making me wonder whether I’m ready to begin this revolution… But I’m telling myself that it’s a new month, new day, and a new chance to make progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

In that spirit, here’s today’s brunch, which took place from 11:30-12:25, while typing this post:ImagePile of kale leaves topped with a salad my mom threw together (iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, and bacon bits that I tried to get out of there since I’m a freak and don’t care for bacon), 1T sunflower seeds, 3T of nutritional yeast, lots of fat free Italian dressing, and an egg with some extra whites that I cooked in a mug in the microwave. Who knew I was only 1 minute away from a delicious cooked egg this whole time? It was DELICIOUS. Enjoyed while typing this (super-long) blog post with a reheated Americano left over from yesterday. Also had a cup of grapes while trying to figure out what to eat. I was still full from my late-night pretzel/cereal/peanut fluff/chocolate chips binge. Not a great feeling.

Looking at my recap of yesterday (and this morning!), I’m often eating while working or otherwise distracted. New goal: to eat one meal a day without any distractions. Hopefully some mindfulness will lead me to me make better choices late at night! I’ll keep you posted on my progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Off to run errands to a few of my favorite stores before I go into work! Hopefully I’ll be checking in later with a workout summary and recap of the day.

Have a great Saturday, folks!

Paying It Forward & Good Karma

After oversleeping (more on that later), my day got off to a great start! While in line at the drive thru line at Starbucks this morning, I decided to share the great favor that was bestowed on me yesterday – I got two coupons for free items since they were slow yesterday. Blame it on the infectious holiday spirit, or my good mood due to the awesome weather, but I decided to #payitforward by picking up the tab for the customer behind me. It’s happened to me before, and it always makes my day. Hopefully I brightened their day! Putting out some good karma this early in the week definitely got my week off to a great start. ๐Ÿ™‚

WORKOUT

So I intended on starting the workweek with an early morning workout since I had plans to meet a friend for dinner at Stir Crazy (love the market bar!), and I didn’t want to eat dinner super-late. Since I was up so late last night, there was no way I was going to make it up early enough to get a quality workout in and still have time to get cleaned up enough for work. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

It turned out to be fine though, because I took off work a bit early to head to the gym. I had a GREAT workout that looked something like this…

I completed this bad boy between 26 minutes on the stairmaster (random time, I know – but my Type A-ness won’t allow me to step off on a random number of calories burned. Weird, but true!) and 25 minutes on the moon bounce elliptical. Legs = fried, and I was SUPER-sweaty. As in, still actively sweating when I left the gym. (Overshare? Sorry.) And about those 20 ___________s. Can’t remember for the life of me what they were. They definitely weren’t burpees! They kill me every time.

EATS

I did a terrible job of snapping pics of my meals today, but since they’re largely the same as on Friday, I don’t feel so bad.

Breakfast, consumed several hours post-Americano, was Greek yogurt + 2 packets of Splenda + sprouted wheat toast.

Lunch was sprouted honey wheat with cinnamon + peanut fluff + sliced banana. Always delicious!

Late afternoon snack was more Greek yogurt + Splenda + toast, along with some pretzels to scoop up the yogurt that didn’t fit on the toast. Sweet + salty = win!

Dinner was a stir fry with chicken, zucchini, grated carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, pineapple, and a few peanuts, topped with a ginger-garlic sauce and served with a side of brown rice, a glass of Riesling, and great company. YUM. Wish I would’ve snapped a pic of this one… It was delicious!

Now I’m dealing with some abdominal cramps… Trying to figure out if it’s due to something I ate (this happened to me last time I went to Stir Crazy), but I’m thinking it’s probably due to the skinny jeans I was wearing. They’re off and I’m feeling much better, thank goodness. Note to self: don’t wear jeggings when going out to eat!

CHALLENGE CHECK-INS

Mindful-meal-a-day challenge: I thoroughly enjoyed my delicious dinner while listening to my internal cues. On a related note, I’m going to read Eating Mindfully, which I discovered via Angela’s blog. (Ever checked out Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat? It’s a great resource for workouts, great recipes, and inspiration for healthy living. I always look forward to her posts!) Hopefully I’ll have a review up in a week or two, and I’ll be able to give you my take on it. Can’t wait to dig in!

Post-dinner no-snack challenge: It’s only been a day, but I’m giving myself an A+! I’m typing this post and enjoying a cup of Trader Joe’s Sleepytime tea.

Now, off to bed! Have to rest up for the workday and one of my favorite group fitness classes tomorrow night. More on that tomorrow!

Cheers to a week started off right. ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day: What’s the most recent thing you’ve done to #payitforward?

Global Warming FTW

weather

#howisitdecemberrightnow

I’m chalking up my lack of Christmas spirit to the weather. A high of 65 in December in the Midwest?! And they said that global warming was a bad thing…

The weather made for a great weekend, even though I didn’t spend much time out enjoying it. It was nice not to be freezing while bar-hopping on Friday night, but I had to work yesterday night and today late in the afternoon. Driving from my uncle’s to the mall, from the mall to the gym, and the gym to Target with the windows down was fabulous. I should’ve gone for an outdoor run, but I’m a total wimp when it comes to outdoor running. It’s hard, I’m too lazy to gear up, and I tend to get bored. I used to be all about distance running and epic cardio workouts, but these days I’m all about short-and-sweet cardio/strength circuit workouts and interval training.

Weekend recap time!

THE GOOD

Lots of massive salads – three to be exact. Here’s a beaut’:

kale salad

kale, Craisins, sunflower seeds, homemade croutons, and (my favorite) nutritional yeast, topped with fat free Italian dressing.

A mindfully-enjoyed meal (goal check-in day 1, doin’ alright!):

Image

organic mixed baby greens, romaine, snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, Craisins, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, topped with fat free Italian dressing. Again, delicious, although it was dripping with dressing.

A massive sweet potato, nuked…

sweet potato

topped with garlic salt, probably enough to make a cardiologist (and not to mention anyone within a 10-foot radius of my breath) cringe. delicious regardless.

Starbucks was a little slow as I was going through the drive thru pre-work this morning. They forgot to put this baby in the oven:

prize inside

there’s a (yummy) prize inside!

spinach wrap

It’s a spinach & feta wrap!! Best chewable thing on their menu by far.

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I may have had to pull around through the drive thru (ironically) and wait for them to bring it to me. It was worth it though – got two free menu items just for being patient and nice! You definitely get more bees (and free drinks) with honey than with vinegar. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also had three great workouts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My legs are feeling quite fatigued right about now from all the lower body work. Not a bad thing at all – means I’m getting stronger, right?

THE BAD:

Post-dinner snacks:

post-dinner snacks of champions

Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop Kettle Korn, sliced white mushrooms, and light Archer Farms traditional hummus.

I should really know better – any post-dinner snacking ends up turning into a binge/extended graze. Another goal for the next week – to ix-nay post-dinner snacking. I know I can give it up for just a week! Let’s do this.

THE UGLY

Okay, this may not be the prettiest thing in the world…

ugly PF&J

Peanut fluff and sugar-free raspberry jelly on sprouted wheat bread.

…but it was damn delicious.

IN OTHER NEWS…

In other non-food-related recaps, I spent a lot of time working, running errands, doing laundry, and generally spinning my wheels this weekend. One of the “chores” I had to do was clean out my personal email inbox this weekend. I came across this post by Janetha at Meals & Moves through Tina’s Saturday Shares post. Gave me a lot to think about, and I definitely pinned two the images she had (the ones with quotes). My mantra for the next week will be “YOU ARE ENOUGH,” and I’m going to print this one…

this week's thoughts to remember

…and carry it with me and/or hang it up in my office. It’s a nice reminder to be true to yourself – very important for me, since I tend to feed off of others and listen to external cues (rather than my own internal ones) in general. Time to start trusting and believing in myself more.

On that note, I’m off to get some sleep. Can’t wait to get the new week started. I’ve got some fun, exciting plans to look forward to, and a few goals to achieve! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers to a new week. Good night, all!