You Are In Control

There are few things in life that we can control. We can’t control the actions or thoughts or feelings of others. We can’t control what time our train comes in the morning or what time we get out of work on a busy day.

Life, in many ways is simply out of our control. But, I take the most comfort in knowing that I have control over myself. I have control over being the person that I want to be and making changes to become the best version of myself.

I have the power to wake up at 6am and do a circuit workout on my roof deck. I have the power to make that choice for myself and my body, and while I can’t force anyone else to do that, I have that power.

I am in control of who I am. So while I may not be able to control the weather, or the feelings of the boy I like, or the rudeness of strangers on the sidewalk, I can control myself. I get to decide the choices I make.

I am in control of what I put into my body, how I train my body, and the people I surround myself with. Think for a moment about how stunning it is that you are in control of yourself, and don’t let that feeling go, because this very moment you are shaping who you are forever.

You Are What You Eat

If you are what you eat, then I am a whole bag of trail mix.

Yesterday was a difficult day when it came to eating and it wasn’t because I wanted to nosh on the naughty stuff. It was because I just wasn’t given the opportunity to eat. While I did alright after my morning run, a glorious and much-needed 6 miles, the afternoon and night were a wreck.

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I began the day with an apple before my run and afterwards had a nice little mix of spinach, onions, and one chicken apple sausage link cooked in olive oil. It was very tasty and since breakfast is really the only meal I can cook well I was happy with it.

The problem was, was that I was still ravenous. I had torched quite a few calories on my run and my 150 calorie breakfast wasn’t cutting it. I had a granola bar before going to the grocery store just so that I didn’t eat the whole store when I got there. I wasn’t too happy with my processed food deviation but it was one of the few things I had in my kitchen.

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After a quick trip to the grocery store I had greek yogurt with berries and two eggs over easy for lunch. It was delicious and kept me full for hours. But once 7pm hit I was hungry again, and because it was busy at work my boss forgot to give me a break and so no dinner for me, even though I had made a delicious salad that I couldn’t wait to devour.

When I finally left work at 10:30pm I was ravenous. Lucky for me, or rather not so lucky for my waistline, 7-Eleven has trail mix. So I ate an entire bag of it on my way home. It wasn’t my brightest moment but it wasn’t a bag of chips either so overall I’d say not a bad day.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Life

This morning I woke up and decided to do a little bit of planning and research for my trip to the grocery store later. Since I have introduced the New Abs Diet to you I have been having second thoughts. These second thoughts, however, are not coming from a general flaw in the design of the program or my realization that it is unhealthy or too restrictive, but rather just that I am scared of it.

I have not been on a diet in a long time. After some success losing weight first semester of my sophomore year of college I went off the tracks a bit. After Christmas break and the craziness of softball season along with multiple other jobs and activities on my plate, I let my eating habits deteriorate. This was coupled with the fact that I was training for a marathon, and since I was burning so many calories, I was convinced that I could eat anything I wanted.

While that mindset might have worked out for me for a little while, it isn’t ideal, and it certainly doesn’t make for the best system to run a fit and healthy body on.

I am not necessarily scared of limiting myself to the food groups in this certain diet or not being able to eat fruits such as apples and bananas because the diet makes room for only berries, but I am scared for having to change.

I am going to be restricting myself to 1400-1600 calories per day and that is much different then what I have currently been doing. I have been eating probably 75% healthy and 25% unhealthy and not worrying too too much about what goes into my body. This is a serious problem that I need to address.

What I eat is just as important as how much I workout. My body can’t run well if I am pumping it full of junk food. So, as I approach this new diet I know that I will have to tailor it to myself and my lifestyle and that that is okay.

I know that six small meals a day will be a very difficult thing for me. Between my internship, class, and work schedule, I don’t always have appropriate times during the day to eat. So I will have to figure out what works best for me, all keeping in mind my 1600 calorie limit. I would rather stay within the 1600 calories then eat a small meal right before work only to be ravenous when I exit work at 11pm. I know that if I do that to myself I would eat everything in sight the minute I leave work.

For me, this diet challenge is about me finding a way to make things work in a healthy way that fuels my body well. While I would like to lose some weight, the most important thing is not weight but rather working towards a healthy body that is fueled with things that make it run to the best of its abilities.

Diets: The Ins, The Outs, The In-Betweens

I would say that I have conquered many aspects of my life. After twenty years of wandering around and figuring things out I have a pretty good grasp on a few things. I know the ins and outs of a classroom, how to write a paper, class participation, and group projects are all things I’ve mastered over the years.

I’ve also mastered a love for running and breaking a sweat. I know the benefits of running around and getting sweaty in an attempt to make my heart stronger and also my mind happier. But, one thing that I have yet to conquer in my life is diet.

I have spent countless years in and out of diets. Some months my eating is seamless and I couldn’t feel better or fitter or trimmer and well, some months I eat everything in sight, junk food or not, and you could say that I feel significantly less happy with my body and how I feel.

Since I have struggled with weight my entire life I have discovered one key thing about myself that explains all my dieting ups and downs; I am a boredom eater.

If I am bored I will snack, because some where in my mind I have convinced myself that eating is fun and also apparently a great way to pass time. Turns out that this isn’t true and that all my boredom eating has cost me is countless dollars on loaves of bread that I tend to devour, because a few slices of toast can’t be that bad anyway, right?

Well I have been in a bit of a diet rut for awhile and I am less than pleased with how I have been feeling and how my body looks. I know where I would like to be with my weight and ideally, I would like to get there this summer.

So I did some research. If you have ever simply googled the word “diets” then you know how overwhelmed I immediately became. There is a diet for everything. I stumbled upon a blood type diet, a raw foods diet, an abs diet, and many more diets that ranged between fascinating and crazy.

Now honestly, I wouldn’t mind a little crazy in my life. Sometimes I think the best way to kickstart a change is to do something wild in an attempt to shock your system. I want to break my old binge, boredom eating habits so I need something to snap me out of it and get me started on a new plan.

After scouring the web I can honestly say that I am tempted to try a few diets. Some of them are so enticing with their claims that even though I know not to trust anything that says I’ll lose five pounds in five days I can’t help but investigate.

The Abs Diet for Women

After reading a lot about this diet all over the web I checked out a review of it on WebMD and decided that maybe it could work. While I don’t think following the plan will actually allow me to lose 12 pounds of belly fat in two weeks I do think that it could help me lose weight.

The concept behind it is that you eat six small meals a day that focus on protein and a list of “power foods.” Two power foods need to be included in every meal and your calorie count should run between 1400-1600 calories daily. This, partnered with strength training will reportedly give me the abs I have been longing for. While I am not expecting a miraculous abs transformation, I can understand how the healthful super foods could promote weight loss, they include; almonds and other nuts eaten with skins intact, beans and other legumes, spinach and other green vegetables, dairy: fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, instant oatmeal, eggs, turkey and other lean meats, lean steak, chicken, fish, peanut butter – all-natural, sugar-free, olive oil, whole-grain breads and cereals, extra- protein powder(Whey), and raspberries and other berries.

The list is pretty long and the foods seem pretty good so I don’t think it is a bad idea. I think people would end up with flatter stomachs and better results if whole grain breads and cereals were tossed from the equation.

For me, right now, I think that this diet seems like the most manageable. It already contains many of the foods I already eat and just simply limits them. I am going to incorporate this diet as part of my lifestyle and report back on what it is like. Now, I won’t be starting today because I work a double shift and only get two breaks which does not add up to enough time for six meals so I will be starting this diet soon.

I will also be talking about other diets that have caught my eye and what I think they say about society and about dieters.

Be Better

One morning you wake up and it has just happened. You open your eyes and twist amongst your sheets and as your dream state recedes away from you you realize it has happened. You realize that you are different, that you are better, and that you like it here, you like it here in the next step of your life.

You don’t remember when it happened, when the first step you took in this direction became the path that you wanted to take. You don’t remember the first time you picked a run over a Netflix marathon. You don’t remember the first time hill drills sounded like something that you wanted to do, but here you are, doing them.

You don’t remember how you got here but you know it feels good. You know that you like the world much better from here. You like the world better when breathing through healthy lungs and a strong, beating heart. You like life better when you fuel your body with foods that make you feel good and that taste good.

Life just happens. We make choices and suddenly we find ourselves racing through life, becoming the people that we desire to be, and it happens so effortlessly. We become the people that we want to be seemingly overnight. While that is never true, we never lose the weight we want to in one week or shave down our running pace to the desired speed in one day, we do change ourselves in an effort to be better.

Every day do something that will make you better. Run another mile, buy a stranger a cup of coffee, take a friend to lunch. Do something that will alter who you once were into someone that you want to be.

Running has changed me. I am not the weight that I desire to be and my body does not look how I dream for it to look, but I am different. I am better because I know how it feels to lose yourself on a run, to forget that the pavement is beneath you and the skies above you and that there is a world swirling around you. I am better because I know how it feels for my lungs to ache and my knees to throb and my heart to race. I know how it feels to be a runner and that has changed me.

I am glad to be changed. I am glad to have broken free from the person I used to be. I used to be afraid to try new things, to take new steps, to challenge myself. But not since running. Running makes me fearless and free and full of life and love and happiness.

Take the first step. Take the first step towards change, because overnight, before you know it, you will be better than you ever thought you could be.

Breaking Free From the Rut

I’m definitely one of those people who gets bored pretty easily. It takes about ten minutes for me to lose interest in a TV show unless I give it my full attention and even when it comes to things like hydration, I can’t be bothered to drink boring old water all day.

My dislike of boring things, however, was challenged when I became dehydrated during a long training run and developed colitis. Now, my doctors have informed me, that I need to be hydrated all the time and to make sure I am well hydrated before I workout.

So I have taken a different approach to hydration that I think will be better for me in the long run and for my easily bored taste buds as well. I know that this is by no means a revolutionary idea, but iced tea is the trick to my happiness.

I started today by using my Keurig to brew up some of my favorite teas. I made some mint tea and some pomegranate white tea that I LOVE! I brewed them up and threw them in the freezer for a few minutes before putting them in the fridge for a bit.

Once the teas had cooled I threw them in a cup with ice (separately of course) and enjoyed them. The tea makes staying hydrated so much easier and tastier too!

Plus I know that the tea is a great detoxifier so my body is really benefiting from it! I also am making it a habit to drink green tea after my workouts every day in the hopes that it will help rev up my metabolism.

The Paleo Diet

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I’ve recently become infatuated with the Paleo Diet. There is just something about it that has really captured me. The rawness of it is was really got me. The ideal that you are only putting into your body what cavemen did is pretty brilliant actually.

Our bodies were not originally made to digest all of the processed foods that are now staples in the American diet. We lived hundreds of years without eating bread and pasta so why do we suddenly find it so needed in our current diets? This question nagged at me as I followed countless Paleo Instagram accounts and looked at photos of foods that seemed absolutely delicious.

The only thing missing from all these pictures was processed foods. You weren’t going to find a loaf of bread within any of these accounts and the idea of pasta was just ridiculous. While I love pasta and bread and cereal and oatmeal and well a slew of processed foods, I couldn’t help but think that they had it right.

Our bodies don’t need bread to survive, it is an extra. Our bodies don’t need pasta either, another extra. This is so stunning to me. It is stunning to me that in my 20 years of life I have been taught that you need a grain to go with your meal when in reality you need no such thing. You don’t need pasta or rice or bread to have a well rounded meal. You need vegetables and protein and fruit, and all these things occur naturally.

So I just had a delicious meal that I’m pretty sure qualifies as Paleo and it filled me up. It was delicious and nutritious and the perfect thing for me post-run. I’m not quite ready to give up my cereal, my oatmeal, my bread, or my cheese, and even my occasional pasta, but I am willing to incorporate more Paleo into my life.

I want to give this caveman thing a try. If the cavemen could do it within their simple lifestyles then I can certainly do it as well.