Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scale Struggles

Rambling thoughts on the scale ..

I'll admit, the scale struggle is a real thing. 

I hate weighing myself. I allow the scale to dictate how I'm doing in my life. If I eat perfectly all week, exercise daily, drink all my water, have an A+ healthy week, and then weigh myself to see I've "only" maintained .. I'd get down. And frustrated. And start over-analyzing EVERYTHING. Maybe I had too much sodium one day. Maybe I accidentally underate against my activity so my body held on. Maybe my muscles are inflamed. 

That's not a fun or realistic way to go about a healthy lifestyle. 

And yet .. I can't resist. I need to weigh in weekly to see where I'm at. I love seeing those numbers drop to places they haven't been in years. Seeing that "goal" weight in those magical scale numbers was a big deal. And y'know, it is a big deal. It's a great reason to celebrate.


At the end of the day .. My muscles COULD be inflamed from a strength workout. And maybe my lady friend Red is stopping in so I'm a bit bloaty one weigh-in. But the scale won't tell me those things. It's doesn't validate all my hard work that week. And it certainly doesn't measure how AmAzInG I'm feeling with my healthy, active lifestyle.

So why do I do it?! To see a stupid number?! 

I am lifting weights. I plan to lift heavier and heavier. I never plan to stop eating right. Not gonna happen. So in reality, I could possibly never see my goal number on the scale. Who knows? Maybe my in-progress quads and triceps won't allow that. 

My focus is on fat loss and muscle gain. Cardio endurance. Stamina. HEALTH. Again, a scale won't tell me those things. Yet I'll allow it to define my mood. Huh?! I must be nutty! (Ooo peanut butter .. Haha)

I'd like to say I'm done with the scale. Part of me is. Yet part of me needs to finally achieve my goal that I initially set out to achieve when I was a teenager: to lose 100 lbs. I'm almost there .. So maybe I'll stop the nuttiness at that. Once I hit that 100 lbs lost mark, I think I'm going to hang up the scale.

I'll still weigh-in at the end of my 21-Day Fix (Monday! This will be my first weigh-in in two weeks!) .. And every Saturday, as always, until I got that goal. And then .. It's time. Because in the grand scheme of things, that number means nothing. But how I feel means EVERYTHING. How much fun I'm having now. How much energy I have. How happy I am. How in love with this life I am! That's what matters!

Health wins. Scale loses! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

21-Day Fix, Week 2!

Tidbits from the week ..

1. I truly get now why abs are made in the kitchen. I agree with that statement 90% .. The other 10% is core workouts!

2. I'm a bit addicted to zucchini. And warm salads. And eggs. And zucchini.

3. I'm completely and totally head-over-heels in love with weighted workouts. I learned this in P90 but am also learning different techniques with the Fix. I flipping LOVE muscle definition - it's such a thrill!

4. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is essential. I have incredible friends who are also in love with exercise and activities and that bond is just awesome. It also makes working out so much more fun!

5. I'm learning a LOT about proper eating for my activity level. Food is fuel. Delicious fuel ;) Protein is essential. 

6. Stepping away from the scale allows me to truly value and appreciate my body. The scale doesn't dictate if I'm doing well - but my body sure as heck will show me. And a leaner body with muscle definition filled with tons of energy speaks volumes next to some silly number!! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rough Week = Stronger Me

Hey guys! 

So I've had a harrrrd week. Allow me to explain without tremendous detail. 

The winter blues grabbed me with their thorny claws and just wasn't able to shake them off .. I was down, cranky, grumpy, and COLD. Nothing I was doing helped me. 

Then I injured myself at work (no cool story here, I fell down concrete stairs and landed straight on my knees). So. Much. Swelling. So much pain. I had to put off my workouts to give my knees a chance to heal .. And as we all know, when Laura can't workout, she gets more grumpy. 

Sadly enough, these bruises are actually a HUGE improvement compared to the first two days! And the swelling has come down significantly! 

And then this happened.

I was registered to start school here in June. To get my dream career going. To make a better life for myself and my family. To stop working retail! I was completely devastated. 

I wallowed. Between the blues, my injury and the school closure, I couldn't just keep going with a smile on my face. Old Laura's comforting solution here would have been to stuff my face with ice creams and pizza to put a bandaid over my broken heart. Today's Laura didn't have that to fall back on. I knew better. Eating comfort foods would take me fourteen steps backwards and create the snowball effect that is weight gain and depression. And I refuse to go back there. 

So I had no choice but to FEEL my sadness and DEAL with it. It was hard. But it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I cried big ugly cries, talked things out with my husband (I'm so incredibly lucky to have his unconditional support), let myself feel the sadness and frustration .. And then I let it go.

You had to know I'd go there. 
But it's the best thing .. To face something head on, deal with the emotions it brings up, and then let it go. It's so freeing. And I don't have to deal with the physical and mental repercussions of a binge cycle coming out of it.

And so ..

My knees are healing and I'm going to start working out again today (modified as needed so as not to injure myself!). I have a stomach bug today so I'll ease in with yoga. 

I'm shifting my mindset from winter negativity to gratitude (yes it snowed but it's not -30 today, yes it took me twice as long to get to work yesterday but at least I got there safely). Seriously, do that. Focus on what you have to be grateful for. It absolutely helps to pull you out of the blues. Well, at least it's working for me. I'm also reflecting on happy memories and that helps to lift my spirits. And knowing that Spring is coming helps!

And l called a college to make an appointment to discuss my options there. The program I want to take is there too .. It will take me a lot longer to finish the program and get working in my dream career. The commute is a LOT longer .. But I'll get there. My dreams are worth it! And at least I still have options! My first school of choice may have closed their doors, but when one door closes, another one opens, right? I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 

So this week wasn't stellar for me. But I'm stronger now because of it. And I am so beyond proud that I didn't fall back on my old, bad habits. I AM strong. And I will get my dream career. And Spring is coming!! 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hemp Hearts Review and Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to get a bag of Manitoba Harvest's hemp hearts to review (thank you, Sweat Pink team!). I've been having fun adding them to different meals and snacks, like my workout recovery shakes and more:

I loved sprinkling them on top of my peanut-buttery pancakes!

But my most favorite thing to add them to was my addiction: warm salads ..

They have a delicious, nutty-like flavor and a really nice, soft texture. 

Here are some nutrition facts about hemp hearts vs super foods chia and flax:


I was also REALLY happy to see how much iron there is in them!! I fight to get enough iron in my diet so having these babies on hand made that super easy. They've quickly become a staple in my pantry that I can't go without.

Want to try some?! 

I'll be giving away one bag to a lucky winner .. To enter, all you have to do is comment below and tell me one food / meal / snack you'd love to have them with! I'll be picking a name old school style - out of a hat, on March 10, 9pm est. Don't miss out on a chance to try these nutritious goodies! 

Also, be sure to check out their website: 

Monday, February 9, 2015

21-Day Fix, Week One

So my first week of the 21-Day Fix is in the books! I've been enjoying the program so far. It's a big change compared to what I was doing before - kind of? I'm still eating the same healthy foods (with a few changes for the better) but the meals are smaller and there are more of them!

I've opted to follow the "fat blaster" program for nutrition, which is six small meals per day. And even though the containers are quite tiny, it comes out to be a LOT of food! Like, wow!! 

As I mentioned before, I'm still eating the same kinds of healthy foods - lots of vegetables and lean meats, but more of them, and healthy carbohydrates, just a bit less. And I definitely needed help there - winter is tough for me because I tend to lean heavily on carbs so I'm grateful for this program to keep me in check! I actually had to increase my fruit intake too. I normally would have one or two fruits a day, and now I need three. 

A huge discovery I made was with my coffee. I'm a big-time coffee lover .. But I found I have formed a bit of an addiction to my Coffeemate flavored non-dairy creamers (read: sugar and chemical shit storm!). So that part has been a bit of a struggle - was I ready to kick it out of my diet like I did diet coke? No. But I am committed to getting myself off of that stuff. So I'm down to 2 teaspoons in my coffee (plus milk!) and that's HUGE for me because I used to take 1.5 tablespoons!! Progress! 

The workouts? I've been absolutely loving them. All the workouts are only 30 minutes per day, and there is a different one every day to keep your body guessing and to maximize weight loss and toning. I love it. I haven't felt bored (which is where I was going with P90 - and I'm still going to finish it after the fix!). Every workout WORKS me. I can follow the leader perfectly and modify when necessary. They're tough but doable and I just know I'm going to see great results with them! And I SO love working with weights!!!

Some days are harder than others ;)

So that has been my fix so far! I'm a happy camper. The first couple of days were a bit hard - learning to plan out all the meals a day ahead to ensure I get all my containers in was an adjustment, but I'm good now. I can't wait to see my results come day 22! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Beat The Winter Blues!

I'm not a fan of winter. I think it goes without saying that many people share my feelings (and those that like winter: I wish I did! Honest!)

December is nice because the first few snowfalls are beautiful and not dark and yucky slush, and we have the beautiful twinkling Christmas light displays and the excitement of the approaching holidays to pull us through. 

January isn't as magical but hey, we started a new year and we've got goals and resolutions that we are excitedly working on! January, we GOT this!! 

Then February kicks in. And the snow keeps piling up and the windchill keeps dropping and our faces hurt when we are outside for ten seconds. Then the stores stock up on Valentine's chocolates (read: comfort food!) and we are all too tempted to eat ALL THE FOOD and sleep February away .. 

And before you know it, March and spring come along and holy wow, did we ever waste an entire month feeling bad about ourselves. And then the "bathing suit fear" sets in and we get to work again. 

That was my pattern for the past three years. Although My fear wasn't of the bathing suit, it was the shorts. Don't ask.

This year, while the winter blues have tried their best, the haven't managed to win me over. And they won't. I will NOT go on for a fourth year, gaining back a LOT of the weight I'd worked so hard to lose and having to start all over again come the summer time. 

I've learned from my mistakes. And I'm in a totally different place now. I don't want to pig out on those comfort foods because I understand that it'll make my body feel gross. I understand that if I drop off my workouts, I'll feel sluggish and lethargic. I get how my body functions and I love how I feel when I'm eating well and exercising. And I love it! I want to live healthy! It's not about the weight loss - it's about how incredible living healthy makes me feel! (Even though yeah, I do celebrate my weight loss too!)

So I've got some tips on how to beat the winter blues. I want to help you come out of winter still on track. I want you to be able to face summer without worrying about winter weight! 

1. STOP wishing for winter to be over. Guys, I get it .. I want to go outside without 6 layers of fleece on, too. But  dwelling on the "winter go away" will make it seem like it's lasting forever. Try to think of other things and not on your hatred of shoveling the driveway. 

2. Try something new. Take a new workout class, or an art or pottery class. Visit one of those places where you can make your own wine. Go to a museum! But whatever you do, make sure it's something that'll get you up off the couch. Having a marathon session on Netflix is not going to help you beat the blues. 

3. Finding it hard to get your workouts in? Buy yourself a new workout shirt. Or headband. Or pants. It'll help motivate you to do it! 

4. Wanting to indulge on carbohydrates? Especially hot ones? Keep a big pot of soup in your fridge. Grab a bowl, heat it up, and watch your cravings disappear. Have a cup of coffee in the afternoon instead of freshly baked goods. 

5. Keep a written list of your goals in an area that you will see it constantly. Refer back to them any time you are struggling. Seeing your goals in your own writing will REALLY make a difference when you're tempted to veg on the couch. 

So those tips I just listed? They are my personal list. As in, I do them personally and they are what's helping me with my blues. I also refer back to my "before" pictures .. Remembering how bad I felt both physically and emotionally at that size really helps me when I'm tempted to skip a workout or eat bad things. 

Are there things that help you beat the winter blues? Feel free to share them .. You never know who you'll be helping!