healthy

Being a Better “Me”

I do this every year. I claim that I will work out, and be healthier, but it never happens. Do we every truly commit and complete our resolutions? I know I never did. Sure, the month of January would go smoothly with me eating right, but I would soon give up and go back to my bad habits. I think this year it will be different. I decided I truly will be a healthier person. But let me blab to you about my life story, so you really will get the feel of why I want to make a change.

I had a good childhood. I was always the smallest kid in my class, and the most petite. I did have stick-like legs and arms, and rarely gained weight. My friends parents would call me a garbage disposal, and they would always plop extra helpings of food on my plate, trying to “fatten” me up, so to speak.

Then of course, puberty took its toll, and I realized I no longer had that awesome metabolism like I once did. Sure, I could still eat as much as I wanted of all the delicious foods my friends were wary about, but I had noticed I was developing a pudgy tummy. I still was the smallest of my friends though, so I never thought anything of my growing pouch of flubber.

I ran a lot my with my family when I was younger, and we always played a ton of sports that involved getting too sweaty. Both my mother and father were extremely fit back then, and are to this day, even if they are creeping into their mid 50’s. My mother is in better shape than I am, and my father has enough muscle that scared any of my potential boyfriends away.

I joined track in high school, and with all the working out I was actually hungrier than if I wouldn’t have been working out. The good thing was I got toned, and I felt a lot more in shape, even if I did have the appetite as a hungry-hungry-hippo.

Unfortunately, once high school ended, I certainly wasn’t driven towards exercising and eating healthy. I (embarrassingly) consumed too much fast food the year before freshman year. Obviously, this is a huge cause of weight gain, and add on the fact I wasn’t very active (I worked all summer) you can bet I packed on the freshman 15 before school had even started.

Thankfully, college changed my eating habits. I lost the 10-15 lbs just by cutting out fast food altogether (and swearing off the garbage). Since I commuted, I was forced to pack a healthy lunch, or I would be forced to spend $10 on a salad from my school’s pub.

Since I am still a commuter, I spend a good portion of my day running to and from either the train or my house. It takes up time that could be spent napping, relaxing, or you guessed it, exercising. My courses were hard freshman year because I had a lot of classes that had nothing to do with my major, so I often spent most of my free time keeping my grades up. I would go straight home and change for work, or sometimes, go straight from school to work. I always work until 9 p.m. so I don’t have much free time when I get back home. It’s quick eat dinner, get ready for tomorrow, and do my homework or study. As you may guess, exercising was not on my to-do list.

Now, this year, I had a hard time managing my time. I have another job working at my school in the marketing and communications

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. " Thomas A. Edision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ” Thomas A. Edision

department. It’s not a grueling, physical job, but I do have to be in the office for it to count as work. It takes up time that I would probably spend doing homework (or maybe exercising?) but I love the job, and I love the experience I am getting. So, it’s been hard to work in eating right and exercising, on top of going to school full-time, working two part time jobs, and having a social life.

Some people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it, working and going to school.” Sure I love the money, but to be honest, I love the jobs just as much. I always wondered how other people stay active even with a busy life. How do they get up at 4 a.m. and go for a 5 mile run before heading off onto their commute for work? How do they squeeze in working out at the gym after an eight hour day at the office? How do they find time to pack a healthy lunch, when it’s easier to just pick up lunch at convenient store?

Well, they love it. I’d also say motivation. If you think positively, you can pretty much do anything.  I also like to think you need a support group, an entourage, cheerleaders; you name it. Just someone who will be there for you no matter what.

One of my challenges has been finding my motivation. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who only want what is best for me. But, a flaw I have is comparing myself to all my close friends and family, which gives me nothing but doubt.

It’s hard having two extremely fit parents because it seems like everything they do works for them. It’s hard having a naturally in-shape boyfriend, and friends. I look at them and think, why can’t it be that simple?

Every time I have tried to get back into my healthy habits, I have been surrounded by discouragement. Not by everyone, just some people don’t understand. They see me eating carrot sticks and a yogurt and complain, “You don’t need to eat like that, here, have a cookie.” And so I eat that cookie, because they make me feel like I don’t need to eat the healthy food. People are always telling me, “Oh stop. You don’t need to cut back, you’re skinny” or “You’re tiny what are you talking about??”

No. I’m not tiny. I’m not just some insecure girl who wants to be like the girls she sees in magazines and movies. I just want to be a healthier person. It’s not weird to like yogurt, nuts, protein bars, salads, vegetables, or fruits. I sure do love my sweets, my carbs, and my sodium. But I can’t consume it all the time. That’s not me.

I’ve started this “New Madi” thing Monday. It’s only been about a week, but I’m keeping it up. I haven’t gone crazy and eaten a whole cake. I downloaded this app on my iPod called My Fitness Pal, which helps you keep track of exercising, diet, and calories.

It sounds like every other calorie counting app out there, but so far, I have nothing bad to say. When I look down at my iPod and it tells me I ate cookies and cake as my snacks, it’s a slap in the face. It’s right there in front of me, and it gives me the motivation to do something good for myself. So, when I look down and see all these healthy things I have eaten for the day, it makes me smile, and gives me the strength to keep going.

I’m trying to add more cardio, strength exercises, and yoga into my life. Hopefully I can work out at least three times a week for the rest of the semester. I hope to hear from others about their motivation for working out, or maybe if you have a story of how you changed and became healthier!

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

 

Advertisements

The Detox Diaries: A Belated Final Entry

Although I have been bad about blogging everyday, I am attempting to redeem myself with one final entry (about the detox).  This past Saturday had it’s ups and downs.  I have to admit, Saturday morning I semi-broke my good streak.  I am so sorry fellow readers, I hope you all are not too upset with me.

I broke it with a cup of coffee.

My famous smoothies

However, I felt no guilt  I’ll get into that in a bit.  After my cup of sins, I headed to my boyfriends house for the day.  It was a beautiful day, and I decided I should make us some delicious smoothies.  It contained a mango, strawberries, oranges, and of course, spinach leaves for nutrients.  What’s even better, we enjoyed them in a hammock!

Stir-fry, sweet potato french fries, brown rice

For dinner, I decided to make us a heaping amount of vegetable stir-fry.  I cut up carrots, colorful peppers, water chestnuts, broccoli, and onion.  I also cut up some sweet potatoes, mixed them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and made french fries.

I made a “sauce” for the stir-fry, which I found to be the secret into making perfect stir-fry.  When you are making a huge amount of stir-fry, I either like a decent amount of oil, or a sauce.  The sauce really isn’t a sauce.  All I used was a little bit of water, little bit of soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper.  I added this sauce when the stir fry was about two-thirds done, and it simmered along with the vegetables, flavoring them all.

I also made brown rice to go alongside of the stir-fry.  Brown rice is very tricky to make, in my opinion.  It cooks differently than white rice, probably because it is healthier for you.  I seasoned the rice with some basil, and served with the fries, and stir-fry.

Needless to say, there were no leftovers.

As for Sunday, technically I should have kept the detox going all day.  However, my family had a big dinner planned that I really wanted to be a part of.  I did make sure I ate some fruit during Sunday, so I did maintain a healthy day.  We also had a salad with dinner, so that made me feel better.

While some may look at me with disappointment, and say how could I not stick with it, I must say several things.  I am content with everything I accomplished during this 5-6 day period.  If you know me, I am not the kind of person to diet, or be overly concerned with eating habits.  I am also not the kind of person to give up the foods I love, because I treat my food like friends.  I respect the way food tastes, looks, and smells.  I appreciate good food.  I am also not the kind of person to give up coffee.  Especially not for that long of a time span (I know it’s only a week….but still).  I have friends whose parents always invite me over for dinner because they know I can devour a huge amount of food.  As a tween, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound.

As I get older, I realize not only can I not eat whatever I want, but it is not healthy to eat whatever I want.  Yes, a slice of cake and ice cream is wonderful, but not everyday.  Yes, sometimes vegetables and fruits are not as tasty as a burger and fries, but they are good for your body.

For all the skeptical folks out there, the detox was not a bunch of “hooey.”  I felt more energized, awake, and experienced no ongoing severe headaches (except the one towards the beginning).  I also felt no pains in my back.  I found getting a decent amount of sleep and exercise greatly added to the effects of the detox.

Overall I can say, this experience may not be for everyone.  It is hard not to fall back into your old habits after the detox.  I thought, “Well I haven’t had cake in four days….one slice won’t hurt.”  This is true, maybe one slice of cake won’t hurt.  But if I say that every time I want something “naughty,” I will fall right back into my old habits.

Throughout this detox, I realized that our bodies should be treated like a fine piece of china.  We are all beautiful and unique in our own ways, but we are not as strong as we think.  If we keep putting processed foods, artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugar and sodium, and fast food into our bodies, we will break.

Cheers to a healthy life!

So, try a body detox if you wish, but just remember a detox will not solve all of your problems.  The body detox can help you realize what you need to do for yourself in the future, and that is all that matters.  Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is truly the key to success.

The Detox Diaries: Surviving Day One

Day one is essentially complete for my body detox.  My friends that have done a body detox have told me the first day is difficult, but I would say I passed with flying colors!

Once I eliminated most of the foods I normally ate (everything but fruits and vegetables) I began to see how hard it is to eat healthy.  It is much easier to open up a box of cereal than preparing a grapefruit.  During this first day I wanted to eat pretty much anything that crossed my path.  Food is like an addiction to some people, and for me, being raised in a family where both of my parents are excellent cooks, it is very difficult giving up a majority of them.

Here is what I consumed today:

Breakfast: One banana, half of a grapefruit, glass of water, Salada Green Tea (with purple antioxidants)

Snack: Handful of almonds, kiwi

Lunch: Detox fruit smoothie

Snack: Handful of almonds

Dinner: Stir fry vegetables and one sweet potato

I was disappointed at my choice in lunch.  I should have eaten more vegetables in the mid-afternoon.  I have found that it is hard to figure out proportions when eating vegetables and fruits.  It’s hard to figure out what fills me up.  The real challenge of today was having an outing with my friend. We went to the mall, and sure enough the store we wanted to go in was right across from the food court.  I watched my friend eat General Tso’s chicken, as I pretended my fruit smoothie was a plate of fried rice.  I also took note at everything that people were eating.  It was like I was Eddie from the movie Limitless, and I had just taken the drug NZT.  I zeroed in on everything that people were eating.

I completed my first day, and I am quite proud of myself.  I have always loved fruits and vegetables, so luckily this detox isn’t too hard for me.  Thinking about recipes is the difficult part.  I lucked out with my dinner consisting of sugar peas, broccoli, green peppers, carrots, and onions.  I added some basil for flavor, and I have to say it was very simple, filling, and tasted delicious.  I hope that I can create more meals like this throughout the week.

The Detox Diaries: A Preamble

Well, finals are finally done, and I have officially survived my freshman year of college (hallelujah!).  However, I can say my body has not survived the long nights of studying, excess amounts of caffeine, and poor choices in what to eat.  Towards the end of the semester I was experiencing headaches, aches and pains, and I was exhausted for no reason.  My theory is that it was the drinks and foods I was consuming.  The foods we eat play a big role in how we feel both mentally and physically.  Most of the food we consume now are processed and contain little nutrients that are beneficial to our body.  That’s when I came to the conclusion; it is time for a body detox.

This is my first body detox, and I am both excited and nervous.  My biggest worry is that I will break down and not be able to complete the detox.  Especially because I am am a huge coffee drinker, and I rarely go a day without it (hint: coffee is on the do not consume list when doing a body detox).  I must have faith in myself!  However, I have done my research so I am fully aware as to what I am getting myself into.  I have spoken to some friends who have done the body detox in the past.  They both had great things to say!

The whole point of a body detox is to cleanse yourself, and get rid of all of the toxins that have built up in your system.  By eliminating saturated fats, processed foods, and drinks like alcohol and coffee, you are essentially “recharging your batteries.”

During the detox, studies suggest that you exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, meditate and practice yoga.  All of this is a way to relieve yourself of stress, and to feel your very best.  There are several ways to detox your body.  There is the all juice detox which helps give your digestive system a break, or stick with the seven day schedule like me.  It all depends on who you are, and what your body is like.  Some should ask a doctor or nutritionist first before proceeding with a body detox.

I think that this will be a great experience, challenge, and life-changing event for me.  I hope that after this detox and I can choose a healthier way to live, and to regularly keep up with exercise and yoga.  Stay tuned as to how my week goes.  I plan to concoct some interesting detox meals!

Also, if you are interested in more information I found Whole Living  to be extremely helpful!  Thanks for reading.