New goals, old inspiration

I’m finishing up my forth full week of eating clean and I’m down 1.5 pounds!  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve never been one to drop 5 pounds in one month nevermind one week, so I’m happy!  When I was hiking 20 miles a week and eating clean (a year and a half ago) I was averaging 1/4 pound a week; I’m already ahead of the game!

Getting the portions and ratios right has been this week’s focus and I feel like I’m finally getting there.  I was still eating too many carbs (even if they were all good ones) and once I cut back I’ve seen the weight come off.  Some people may enjoy ice cream or chocolate as comfort foods…I love a good slice of toast with butter!  

I’m surprised that I haven’t had any urges to eat sweets, but I suppose eliminating sugar as helped.  They say once you eat a bite of something with sugar you crave more and more.  I’m just glad I’ve been able to walk away from all the temptations.

I’m also back to hiking each morning weather permitting–ice and rain this morning keeps me inside but I’ll do the elliptical or treadmill tonight instead.   This weekend is going to be nice so I plan on a good, long hike of at least 1 1/2 hours.  Due to the lack of snow (I’m in NH…what is up with no snow???) I can’t go snowshoeing like I love to do.  I was hoping to head out on the local lake and do the perimeter like I did last year…I’ll have to wait for a while.  But, I can head out easier on the trails.  And the dogs can use the exercise too…my pug is getting chunky! I’ll be doing Mt. Washington in July so a goal to shoot towards!  I love goals with substance and DATES.  Having count-downs to events helps me keep focused on the outcome and I work harder.  Who doesn’t I suppose? 

Sheryl Crow
She is my inspiration. Look at those pipes! I already have the curl...

My second tangible goal is that I’ll be making a trip to Atlanta in August so I want my arms looking good in tanks and sleeveless dresses!!   I have to add weight training but I’m at a loss on how to approach it.  I have plenty of weights and I know what to do…BUT I never seem to stick to it.  I have a pilates DVD that incorporates weights but I know I need more. I can carry weights when I walk too. I know that helps, but I need to just go down and use the damned weight bench like a big girl! 🙂  I need to stick that picture of the incredibly fit Sheryl Crow back on my phone as a screen saver and post it all over everywhere so I can remember what I want to look like!  After all, who doesn’t want to look like Sheryl Crow?  

Another of my battles has been finding good protein sources that I enjoy.  I found egg beaters 100% natural egg whites and I love them in the morning in addition to my oatmeal.  Cottage cheese is becoming a staple too.  I am not vegetarian but I don’t always want meat in my meals so finding other ideas has been great.  Replacing nuts with the others has helped the weight come down too.  As good as they are, they are calorie rich!

I’m also glad to see I’m almost caught up on stocking my pantry with all the right foods. The past month has cost me a small fortune on groceries but I’m finally to the point where I only have a few things I need to pick up this week.  A nice balsamic (I’m using it all the time now for dressing with a bit of flaxseed oil) and some more honey.  Now it’s just the basic fresh produce and stuff for lunches (my family hunts and we have a freezer full of venison) and I’m pretty much good to go!  Now the ease and fun of eating clean begins anew!!

Get out and enjoy life.  It’s what you make of it so make it count.  

 

A bit of a struggle…

I’ll admit, this was a tough week. While I still ate clean and actually got a lot more exercise in, I found myself losing a bit of the excitement. Perhaps it’s the third week of paying so much for groceries.  Maybe it’s the third week of three bean salad.  I’m not sure, but it was a lot harder to stay clean this week.

Sunday prep was a lot shorter and I made fewer meals making the week tougher.  Lunches have been a struggle as I am sick of the same thing and I can’t find anything that appeals to me.  Still, despite being a bit on the bored side, I easily turned down cake and ice cream not once, but THREE times at work this week.  It was an insane week for birthdays!  It’s not the sugar or the desire to eat whatever is at hand that is hard,  it’s making myself eat.  Remembering to eat every few hours has suddenly been harder as I’m not constantly thinking about food and eating clean has just become habit.  I came home with snacks still in my cooler bag, not bothering to eat them.

So, this week I need to find more appealing recipes; new, exciting recipes that I’ll look forward to eating.  No more three bean for a while 🙂  I plan on scouring the web for some fun, new ideas and branch out.  I’ve never been a recipe kinda gal, but I’ve found I’m using spices and ingredients I would never have thought of.  It’s fun!

And the cleaning up has lost it’s full glory too; it seems like there is always a slew of dishes to wash all the time–despite trying to keep up as I go.  I still do it.  But it’s not as exciting.  I have to make myself stay in the kitchen in the mornings and not go back to my routine of getting a cup of coffee and checking my email and twitter.  Like I said, I still do it, but I’m grumbling to myself as I do.  Luckily it’s Friday and I’ll have a few days to get recharged and caught up on my sleep.  I’ll find some fun, new recipes, organize my kitchen and head to the closest (1 hour away) health food bulk store to stock up on grains, cereals, spices and nut butter.  Some honey too!  I’ll make a new batch of jump start granola that my husband RAVES about and experiment with some power protein bars to rival Luna.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Like everything else in life, the newness has worn off and it’s not as exciting and fun anymore.  But the important thing is that I’m still making the small, important choices everyday.  Plain yogurt with granola and fruit over chocolate cake and ice cream.  Whole wheat pita pizza with fresh mozz and spinach over burrito bake.  Ezekiel bread over biscuits.  Each small choice is one step closer to making eating clean a lifestyle change.  Sure, it’s glossy greatness has diminished a bit, but that’s okay.  Like a long marriage (of which I enjoy!) every day is not wine and roses.  Sometimes it’s routine. Sometimes it’s grand.  But the majority of time it’s just a part of life that runs in the background among chaos.  It makes you strong, makes you happy, but you just don’t think about it all the time–it’s for a lifetime.  So is eating clean.  Whether I think about it or not, it runs in the background of my thoughts helping me make good decisions.  I don’t focus on it and there will be times I find it tedious to eat every few hours, but I will get in the routine and make it happen.