Saturday, January 31, 2015

NOT going to the Souper Fry Bowl!

It's the weekend and I'm pretty excited, I slept in this morning (till 7:30, which feels AMAZING to me! I got to wake up when the sun was up!) and will have a quiet day today. Chris took Koda hiking (a 17 mile hike.. And it's going to be something like 1° out where he's hiking, which is sort of a dealbreaker for me. I prefer to hike in at least 15 to 25° in the winter, otherwise I can't even take my gloves off to eat and it can get really uncomfortable really fast).

I plan to do yoga, catch up on a show I missed, buy some dog food and dive back into my dissertation (I took a frustration break haha).

Tomorrow we are going skiing! Cheap lift tickets PLUS it is Super Bowl Sunday, which I have less than no interest in, but a lot of people do, so the ski mountains tend to be a little quieter during the Super Bowl :) I will take advantage of open slopes and shorter lines!

Super Bowl Sunday is also a big gorge fest, which is not something I want to participate in at all. My friend is hosting a huge Super Bowl party, maybe 30 people are going at this point!, but it is called the Souper Fry Bowl Party.... Hahaha. Everyone is supposed to bring a dish that is either 1) Soup 2) Fries and assorted dipping sauces 3) Typical football food like wings.

I made the (not hard at all) decision not to go. It is a party that is more about the food and eating than about the Super Bowl, even. So even though I love all the people that are going, and would love to hang out with them, it's just not the right environment for me right now. And, I had a really, really, really social January. I did a lot of things with a lot of my favorite people in the world. I feel satiated! Time to ski :)

I struggled a lot with my food in January. And I'm weighing in at 126 right now, still, even after a week of getting completely back to normal. A party whose main focus is food (and the delighted, gluttonous consumption of it!) isn't right. I'm not confident I would make the best decisions.

Chris and I usually go either hiking or skiing on Super Bowl Sunday, anyway. It is one social event that we don't really get excited about or want to participate in. I sometimes feel weird telling my friends I'm not going to their party, but what are you going to do?

Hopefully after a week, weekend, and many more weeks and weekends in the future, of sticking to my Paleo template and other healthy behaviors, my weight will normalize. I think my body is going to take some time to heal from all the crap I put into it in January.

Hope you all have a great weekend! And for those of you that love the Super Bowl,  enjoy and don't binge on fried food!!! ;)

I'll leave you with a couple pictures:

Sunset last night-

Beautiful hawk in the parking garage at my work taking shelter from a snowstorm-

My sleepy family-


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Article - Brutal Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

So, I read GOMI on a regular basis (getoffmyinternets, for those of you who might not be familiar, where they go to complain about bloggers that they feel should get of the internet for one reason or another). It's a guilty pleasure, (and I do like to make sure my name never pops up! I like to keep things pretty off the radar. I write as an outlet and for a little community feeling, so I think I'm pretty safe, it's usually hypocritical money-making blogs that end up on that site). But, I like to read it, because I sometimes side-eye a blogger or two, but don't like to comment unless it is someone I have developed some sort of relationship with and feel I can have a conversation with (which never happens with the bigger blogs). So GOMI is a nice place to see others who might feel the same way!


I was reading the forums and someone posted this article on a thread: The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat and, though it is kind of crude (swearing, and.. yes, the author is being brutally honest with what he thinks!), I did agree with a majority of what I read and wanted to share it.

Here are things that stood out, all are direct quotes from the author, Coach Taylor:

- You are responsible for yourself.

- You have to make sacrifice to stay healthy. Deal with it. You will have to turn down the donuts. Pass over the ice cream. Skip the odd party.
Forever? No. You can add these into a healthy life for sure. Not daily. Maybe not even weekly. 95% of your diet has to be perfectly healthy. That is the reality.
Life isn’t fair. Life is hard. You will get out of it what you put into it.

-‘Treats’ are something out of the ordinary. If it happens more than once a month it is no longer out of the ordinary. Stop saying treat. You aren’t having a treat.

- If you are already planning the end then what you are doing is not for life. And if you are doing things for your health and fitness that you don’t plan on doing for life then you are destroying your own life.

- An end implies cessation of current activities. If your current activities are healthy then by default the cessation of those activities is unhealthy. They are your old habits. You know them, they are the habits and activities (or lack thereof) that got you to this point to begin with.

-It is because your attitude will determine your success. And your attitude is based on your life and the issues you deal with. And I want you to take a minute to put into perspective the majority of your problems and issues.

(And my favorite!):

- It is either a cold miserable winter day or a chance to learn to cross country ski. It is either a boring meal of roast and vegetables or a gift to spend time with loved ones over a bounty of food many people would literally kill for. It is either a workout you have to do or a celebration of the amazing gift your healthy body is.

... Okay, end of quotes :)

He wrapped up a lot of points I feel are true really succinctly. And if you don't get butt-hurt about the brashness of it, and take it to heart, you might see where you are faltering.

I know I tend to blame a lot of my diet slip-ups on outside events. But the truth is, I could always have made a different decision. Ex: not eaten cookies after my grandma passed, waited to get home for dinner or not eaten the bread at a dinner served by my cousin, just eaten the chili, etc.

So while a lot of circumstances make it HARDER to make the right decision, it is, in the end, a decision. A choice.

And, like he points out in the article, how LUCKY we are to worry about our health and weight, when many billions of people are worrying about their health and weight because they don't have enough food or water.

It is important to be adult about this and own our choices. Whining won't get us anywhere :)

I liked reading that, it was a good reality check. I have some vanity weight I want off, but I have to make the right choices to do so, and that's all on me. End of story!

Okay, just wanted to share. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Throwing Food Out

First, wanted to ask if anyone else is having problems with blogspot's "reader"? I just go to my blogspot main page usually to see the list of updated blogs that I follow - but it has shown for weeks that I don't follow any, won't let me add any, etc. So it's just irritating and I was wondering if it is just me or if others are having that problem?

But onto my thought of the day - throwing food out. Specifically, throwing out perfectly edible "food" that isn't on plan.

I was thinking about this because it has happened several times this past month (a month where you know I have been struggling with my eating... but this goes to show you that I am still TRYING to make better decisions!).

We had several occasions (such as hosting a party or receiving gifts) that left us with junk in the house (chips, cake, fudge, etc) that we would normally never buy. If you've been reading me for a while, you know that I really like to keep my house stocked with only paleo foods, no grains, no processed stuff, etc. Since we eat the majority of our meals from the house stock, that really helps us stick to the template. Even when I am TEMPTED to eat a cookie, there is never a cookie IN the house, so I would have to get in the car and drive somewhere to get one. All that effort really derails any momentary craving I had, I get over it and eat a banana or something instead, haha.

But with the social events, gifts, and such, we kept winding up with junk in the house. But edible junk.

We found ourselves nibbling on it.

I realized what was happening and made a quick choice - in the trash it goes.

Now, I felt weird doing this. Throwing food out when there are people in this world who don't have food (but I couldn't have donated open, half eaten food to them anyway). I also felt weird because we aren't exactly rocking it out financially and free food is always tempting to reduce the grocery bill.

One item was really easy to throw out. Someone had brought over a chocolate cake they were making for their kid's birthday, but it had fallen, so it was a crumbly mess in a bowl. After everyone left, I looked at Chris, laughed and just tossed it.

Other things, mostly full bags of chips or the fudge that my cousin had given me, it was harder. I felt... guilty? Wasteful? Weird?


It WAS the right decision for me and for us. Everything I threw out had almost no nutrition, was packed with sugars or chemicals and would have hurt us in the long run. So it was worth feeling a little weird throwing out food in order to keep us just a bit healthier. We had been having a hard enough month making good choices as it was!

But it goes to show that things are usually a little grayer than black and white. I got rid of junk food and stayed really active in January, but ate socially/emotionally too much. Some months I am perfectly on track, some I falter. Usually in between, somewhere :) But, I think, with a good base of healthy habits and good choices, things even out in the end. I think that's where I find my maintenance to be (I have been in the 120s since 2012!).

And I am down to 125.7 today, so a lot of the inflammation/bloat did decrease after only two days of lots of water, good food (tons of veggies, of course), and sleep :)

Namaste, my friends, make a few good choices today ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No Surprise: Up Again

Well, January has proved to be a troublesome month for me as far as sticking to my eating template (though exercise/activity has been spot on... you cannot out-exercise bad diet choices!).

Up to 127 this morning because of my weekend out!

Nothing to do but say, of course my weight is up - staying up all night, drinking wine, nibbling on chocolate, definitely not getting my veggies in.

January has been a month of off plan, off routine days/weeks AND a month of higher weights:

Let's see what I've done this month:

- New Year's Eve in Manhattan and recovery from that party and tons of off plan food

- a weekend in a cabin/skiing, communal meals and drinking

- pretty much a week long off-plan family meals surrounding my grandmother's death and services - lots of sugar and grains

- another weekend in the city (Brooklyn this time) with meals out and social eating/drinking

So.. I had maybe two weeks (weekdays only!) of eating on my Paleo template. Definite reason why my weight has been up all month. I have not been OVEReating, though I did do some emotional eating when my grandmother passed, I haven't been out of control.

But that just goes to show you why I weighed 135 when I was eating the Standard American Diet (despite counting calories) and easily maintain around 122/123 when I eat on the Paleo template. It is food type and quality that affects my weight (and I believe a lot of that weight is inflammation and bloating, rather than pure fat, because the weight falls off within a week or so when I am back on track).

I'm not going to beat myself up or belabor the point. I know what my weight is and what my health is like when I eat on plan. And I know what it does when I veer off. The facts are clear!

This month was hard, but that's no excuse. I made some poor choices and I made them knowing the consequences. I ate for fun, I ate to quell anxiety, I ate for pleasure, I ate out of sorrow. I never binged (don't want to go back to that part of life) but I made poor choices based on emotion rather than based on what will strengthen my body.

I'm not going to get on a pedestal and say I will never make poor choices again - I am an imperfect human, I use worldly pleasures to soothe stress/depression/anxiety at times, I don't always look at the big picture, I err. But what I will say is that I recognize where I am failing and faltering, and February will be a different month than January (perhaps not perfect, but miles better!).

So here is a toast (with coffee!) to recognizing our mistakes and ACTIVELY working to improve upon them.

Namaste, friends <3

Monday, January 26, 2015

Air BnB, Brooklyn, Fish Shack and JRAD

The weekend went well for the most part! We stayed at an apartment in Williamsburg that we rented for the weekend through Have you heard of this cool service? This was our first time using it and we really liked it. Instead of getting a hotel room, for about the same price (or cheaper!) you can stay in someone's apartment (or room, or couch, haha) when they aren't using it. This particular place belongs to a someone who travels most of the year and rents their place out. It is a great location in a really fun neighborhood and just a few blocks away from the venue where the concert we were seeing was being held.

You get a lot more privacy than a normal hotel! And it is a lot more comfortable, kind of like staying a friend's place. This apartment was off-street, so it was also really quiet for being in Brooklyn, which is a big plus to me :)

It was a two bedroom apartment and we rented it with friends. Really cute:

We went out to a late lunch with our friends at Rosarito's Fish Shack, which was on the same block as our apartment. We know lots of people who rave about the place and it has really good reviews. I've been dying for fish tacos, so it was perfect. Really great, fresh food, and the corn tortillas aren't the worst off-paleo food for me (I don't react to corn like I do to wheat!).

We went back to the apartment to hang out, and got to host a party for about 10 people right before the show! It was maybe my favorite part of the weekend, just sitting around, laughing and telling stories with people I really feel comfortable with. I drank wine, like I said I was going to before the weekend, not too much, though, as I said before the weekend started! We hosted because we were so close to the venue, the Brooklyn Bowl, and everyone could walk there.

We were seeing Joe Russo's Almost Dead (JRAD), which is basically a tribute band to the Grateful Dead. The music was REALLY great, but the show was oversold and way too crowded. I got really hot and uncomfortable, didn't drink at the show, tried to drink a ton of water, but never really got comfortable. I couldn't dance much because it was so tight. The way the building is set up creates a bottleneck of people, so there is no place you can really stand where people aren't constantly moving back and forth to the bar and back to the stage. It was hard to fully enjoy the music. But I got over it, enjoyed that part of the night as much as I could, tried to stick with my friends.

The night was saved, though, because after the show, everyone came BACK to our apartment to hang out for a few more hours. When everyone was getting ready to leave, Chris got a call from his childhood friend (who was the opening DJ for the band that night) and wanted to stop by. He brought his friend/DJ partner over and stayed till almost 4 in the morning - they were hysterical and made me laugh for hours :D It was terrific getting to know someone who was friends with my husband for more than 20 years (I've never really hung out with him for an extended period before) and hearing stories and how much they affected the type of men they would grow into.

Once they left, I knew I was in for a tough Sunday - we had to drive back to Albany to get Koda from boarding before noon, so we left Brooklyn just before eight. I didn't get much sleep (I started cleaning up the apartment before 7 AM). I got an omelet at a deli around the corner and settled in for the 2.5ish hour drive. Once back in Albany, I went to my Grandma's house to help my family start cleaning out her house. Long day. I crashed for a nap around 3 PM, woke up, ate some sweet potatoes, fell back asleep till the morning!

I actually did not eat enough on Sunday. I feel very off, in general, due to the lack of sleep. I didn't weigh in this morning - I was too exhausted and didn't care enough to see if wine and eating off plan on Saturday put me up a few pounds. I'll check tomorrow :)

Working overtime every day this week. I am going to have to prep some food tonight to make sure I am all set and don't make any tired/overworked/bad decisions this week!

I had a great weekend... but am sort of glad we do NOT have any more concerts/parties on the calendar. I'm getting older and do not recover from late night parties like I used to in my early/mid 20s. I had three weekends like that in January, too much! Lack of sleep always contributes to a slight decline in my health, so I am looking forward to catching up on and STAYING caught up on my sleep for the next few months!

Hope everyone had a good weekend <3

Friday, January 23, 2015

In and Out of Routine

Today is my only day of work this week - Monday was a holiday and I took three days off for bereavement (actually paid for by my job, which is amazingly nice... I had initially thought I wouldn't need the three days, but I was pretty emotionally exhausted by Wednesday, and Thursday was a nice recuperation day. I actually feel like a normal human being today!)

So a short week, for a not-good reason, but all is well now. Back to life, back to my routine, back to normal. Well, as normal as it gets, anyway.

Several days of great eating under my belt - the house is absolutely stocked with fresh produce, meat/eggs, and all the other little bits (nuts, seeds, etc). I feel so GOOD after a couple days of not eating processed foods/grains... it still shocks me that I fall back into it, when my body reacts so strongly against it! Work in progress. I will get better at this :)

I really do thrive in a routine. I know I need to work on my behavior when I get thrown off that routine. But knowing my faults is important - I don't turn a blind eye to them anymore.

However, it is nice to just relax into my routine right now. Like muscle memory, it makes the day so much easier! Big glass of water and lemon juice in the morning, more water and breakfast at work, coffee :D, walks at breaks, lovely packed lunch, home to my husband and animals for family time, walks, cooking dinner together, bad TV, etc. I do like it!

My routine is going to be a little thrown off again this weekend. Many months ago we bought tickets to see Joe Russo's Almost Dead in Brooklyn this weekend and got a rental place with friends. Tomorrow morning, we are going to head down to the city (hope the weather isn't AWFUL!), have lunch somewhere, hang with our friends, see the show and sleep over. We will probably get breakfast in the city before heading home on Sunday.

I have plans to drink a couple glasses of wine with friends before the show (but nothing at the show, part because of money, part because I don't want to get drunk in the slightest! Even though I know I am not pregnant, just knowing I am trying make me hesitant to put anything potentially harmful into my body) and to enjoy a nice late lunch/early dinner with Chris, but to choose a quality restaurant where I can make great choices. No junk! My body wants good, clean food... I'm craving it right now. I'm exhausted from feeling physically out of sorts!

We are going to walk the dog before we leave to get our steps in on Saturday, too :) And we'll do the same when we pick him up on Sunday.

So that's what's going on with me. Things haven lightened up a little in my world <3 Thanks for all your words of support, comfort and kindness over the past week. I am grateful for you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's all done..

The family plots at the cemetery are filled... My grandpa first, then my mom, my dad, and now my grandma. I'm glad they are all together again, spiritually. Each successive loss hurt those left behind worse and worse. My grandmother was so tired. 

The day of her funeral was sunshiny bright, though quite cold. But a lovely day.

I feel a sense of closure after all the services. The priest was so kind when he spoke of her - he knew her, her beautiful humor, her subtle strength, her class, her love. I'll miss her for the rest of my life, but I'm at peace. 

I spent the rest of the day with Chris, as he took the day off. We ran errands, took a long walk, watched TV in bed, and just took our time to rest.

Lots of animal snuggles, too (there is a black cat in this cuddle pic, I swear!):

At the getogether after the funeral, there was salad, two types of pasta, and chicken parm. So not great for not choosing grains! I had a huge plate of salad and a small piece of chicken, breading and all. I was starving after the long hours at the funeral home, the church and the cemetery. One last off plan meal kept small.

I ate eggs and sautéed veggies for dinner, drank a lot of water.

Weighed in at 124.4 this morning! I feel so relieved. I know I was surrounded by grains for the past week and there was a stark lack of veggies available, but I never gave myself permission to go off the rails and overeat. Like many pointed out, and as I have learned, food will not heal the hurts of my spirit.

I used exercise to help calm myself this week, which has been overall really beneficial (less anxiety, a feeling of pride, better sleep, etc). Lots of walks, serious yoga time, and some at-home cardio/strength workouts. 

I ate moderate portions this past week, and often tried to pick the slightly-less harmful food (for example, at the dinner at my uncles after the wake, the only food was sandwiches, but I didn't eat the roll, just the meat and cheese) that helped mitigate off-plan food choices.

I am still recovering from the grains, processed sugars and other junk.. I'm itchy all over and pretty broken out.

I feel am extreme sense of relief to be back to normal today. No intense emotional rituals, no forced social engagements after hours of not eating, no limited food choices.

I almost fell down the rabbit hole of grief and emotional eating during this time. But I pulled myself out before I fell through.

And, as suggested, I will return to dedicating time each day to working through my anxiety (I have a work book that was recommended by my therapist last year, but I haven't taken the time to go through yet).

Progress is my goal... I'm not perfect, but I do want to do better, and know I can <3

Monday, January 19, 2015

Stress weight

Well, I'm still at 125, like I was last week - the morning before my grandmother passed. Since then, I have eaten off plan every day...

Thursday (the day she passed): ate cookies in the hospital

Friday: ate dinner at my cousin's house (which was actually on plan: turkey, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower... But I also ate the side of bread and butter)

Saturday: Chris' birthday party... I ate the chips I provided for the guacamole as well as a delicious Asian style veggie sandwich full of fermented veggies and some pumpkin pie a friend brought over >.<

Yesterday: ate cheese and crackers provided by my cousin when everyone got together to make picture boards for my Grandma's wake

Lots of not-great decisions. But I've tried not to OVER eat, even when I've eaten off plan. Trying to stay in my normal calorie budget (I don't count, but know what normal, moderate food amounts look like for my needs).

I'm stressed.. More about family interactions than about my grief. My family all suffers my anxiety, so it gets my own anxiety levels pretty high.

I'm sad, too, though. Looking through old photos, seeing my mom and dad so happy, so beautiful, so full of life. I miss them :( I came across the eulogy my dad wrote for my mom's funeral while looking for pics of my grandma. Lots of powerful emotions.


Just writing about it brings tears.

But I spoke with Chris this morning (he is struggling with eating emotionally and off plan as well)... We have the wake tonight (which will be fraught with emotion, especially because the whole family will be together). And we have to go to my uncle's after for dinner. We made an agreement that we will not eat ANY wheat or dairy products... Just meat and veggies/fruit/nuts. 

It has to stop now!

I'm glad I've maintained so far (due to staying active and keeping portions moderate), but that won't last. I need to give my body a break and to let it heal. I'm holding on to the weight I gained from the holidays and I'm inflamed (breaking out like crazy).

I have to be a mature adult and shake off damaging family dynamics. I cannot turn to food to avoid uncomfortable social situations.

I have to face it head on and deal with it.

I will do that tonight, with Chris by my side <3

Namaste, my friends.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wanted to share this...

One of my favorite photos in the world:

My grandparents on their wedding day - gorgeous, classy, timeless :)

Finding joy and beauty in this sad time <3

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Celebrating a Birthday

It's my husband's (Chris) birthday today!! I'm beyond lucky to have him in my life. He supports me in all things and is the best partner I could ask for. We see eye-to-eye on so many big and small things. We are best friends :) he is my heart!

He is hiking today to celebrate, his #1 favorite thing to do- but had to leave the dog home because, with the windchill, the temps are going to be dangerously low for a dog. I'm staying behind because.. 1- I don't like being out in those low temps! 2- my grandma did just pass, and I wanted to be in town for my family 3- I'm getting the house ready for a party tonight!!

I'm cleaning and went shopping for drinks and food (also running several other errands that didn't get taken care of during the week!). Between errands and my dog walk, I've already hit 12,000 steps by 2 PM!

I'm doing a veggie spread (tomatoes, mushies, snap peas, carrots and broccoli) with several hummus choices. I'm making a fresh guacamole (and providing chips, because the 25 people coming are NOT paleo... But I bought really nice corn tortilla chips without added junk). I have paleo macaroons for dessert! Also, as a treat, I'm making Chris oatmeal cookies (his favorite). I want to provide people with snacks at a party, but try not to provide any crazy, junky, preservative/chemical-laden fat bombs!! I go for tasty, but fresh and simple.

So I'm off to finish doing all that, just took a break for lunch, blogging and kitty snuggles!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Another loss......

Well, though expected that I would lose my Grandma this year, it still was a rough thing to go through.

She passed last night, and we all must have sensed something in the air because all the family that was in the area (her sons, their wives, their children) all gathered to be with her last night. Chris was luckily in town and went with me after work. We all hung out in her room at the hospital, chatting amongst each other, telling her we loved her, etc. She left us about 3 hours after everyone had first gathered. I think she was happy that we were all there. It was peaceful, and we got to hold her hands and let her know how loved she was the moment she passed.

She was 99 and was sharp and alert her whole life, lived in her own 2 story home right up until Christmas when she went to the hospital. She was witty and loving and incredibly strong. She was the epitome of a grandma! Sweet, generous, and really adorable :) I am her namesake - Jeanette.

I'm so sad. Probably more sad for me and for those she left behind. She was tired. She had lost her siblings, her friends, and also her son (my dad). She was ready to go.

I just...

I had her in my life longer than I had my parents.

She was the last bit of my immediate, older family. It's just me and my brother now.

I went to her house for all the holidays. It's where the family gathered.

I'm not heartbroken, soul wrenched destroyed like I was when my father passed. I'm just sad. I'm going to miss her. A lot. She was awesome and it sucks that she's not here anymore, though it just was normal and natural.

So, yeah. I guess I'll be busy with that stuff for a while... wake, funeral, dealing with her house and things and stuff...

I'm tired :(

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Positively Balmy!

I feel like it is positively balmy outside! Do you see that my coat is even open as I walk on my lunch break?

I must have gotten really acclimated to the super cold weather, especially since I spend so much of my time outside. 21°, no wind, bright and sunshiny out. I am loving it.

I am going to crush my step goal for the day, took Koda on a long walk this morning, plus the nice weather on all of my walk breaks.

My weight is down yet another pound this morning. Back to 125. Going to keep up the good work, get back into my goal range, and stay healthy from there on out :-)

I was reading an article this morning as I drank my coffee. It said that lack of exercise was actually more dangerous to your health then being obese! Though both of those factors contributed to heart disease and early death, lack of exercise was actually the bigger contributor. They recommended a simple 20 minutes a day of something as simple as a brisk walk to add years to your life.

Not too much to ask, is it?

Your life and your time here on earth is worth it.

Have a beautiful day my friends <3

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All Clear!

I got the all clear from the radiologist today :)

It's nice to just completely erase that scary possibility from my mind for a little while! I know I will have to continue to do self exams and to do my yearly exam, but for now, I am just enjoying knowing I am cancer free :)

I am also down about a pound from yesterday. Body healing up nicely as I continue to treat it well. It really is a simple formula - just strangely hard to follow, at times! But the process is well ingrained in my brain and I always come back to it easily. I think that is why I spent so many years being so strict with myself... to make this all just second nature.

I am on my own tonight. Chris is traveling, just until tomorrow, though. Easy enough for me - I'll make eggs for dinner, dirty just the one pan and plate, and have a really easy clean up. All of our messy food prep was already done for the week, I went on a house cleaning spree last night, so it leaves no chores for me tonight. Just dog and cat cuddles. Perfect.

We are battling negative temperatures in NY right now - meaning I simply am not getting my 10k steps in. I still walk (usually outside!) on my work breaks, but sometimes have to cut them short due to absolute below freezing temps. Also, no extra walks with the dog, no walking to friends' houses, etc. But the weather won't stay like this forever, so just a week or two of 6-8k steps rather than 10k won't kill me! I am trying to make up for it by doing some extra at-home, body-weight workouts while I watch evening shows.

That's about it for me :) Have a great day <3

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Just When You Think You've Got This Whole Thing Figured Out....

Well, I don't have this whole thing (maintenance) figured out :)

I maintained between 120-124 all last year (with a blip up to 127/128 for about a week or so in February). And here I am, second week in January, at 127! Up about 4 pounds from my "comfortable" higher weight of 123.

And I can do nothing but own it. I made several choices in the last few months to eat off plan and to drink alcohol (alcohol is really a big contributor to my weight gain... I can eat off plan and not gain, but once I add alcohol to the mix, my weight shoots up. I don't react well to it and it lowers my inhibitions, causing me to eat more than normal).

Strangely enough, I actually have a pretty positive view of my body right now - if you've been reading for a while, you know I struggle with body image a lot. But I think because of all the working out I've been doing lately (walking at least 4 miles a day, weekend bootcamp class, lots of at home yoga and strength 20 minute workouts) I'm standing taller, looking tighter, and feeling better about myself in general.

So that's a good thing!

But, despite having a generally positive feeling towards my body, I do know this extra few pounds came from alcohol and grains. So I will still work towards getting that off. When I am eating my cleanest and fueling my body totally properly, I weigh closer to 122/123, so I know I will get lose a few pounds if I treat my body right.


No more alcohol this month, at all.

Continue to workout at the pace I have been.

No more social grain/dairy indulgences for the foreseeable future!

Back to at-home eating for the foreseeable future, as well.

We've done a lot of food prep at home, so we are all set up with paleo meals and snacks for the week. And THANK GOODNESS, we have no plans this weekend, and it is a LONG weekend :D so we can spend a lot of time focusing on our health and happiness. It is also Chris' birthday this weekend, and of course, my outdoorsy guy wants to go hiking for his birthday (which is way more beneficial to us than going out to eat or something!).

So there we have it - weight gain from not following Paleo strictly. It is a conscious decision I make and so I can't be too upset about the consequences!

But it's definitely a wake up call to get back on track.

I used to have these "blips" of weight gain during maintenance every couple of months before I went Paleo. Now, I seem to have them about once or twice a year. Ideally, I will get to a place where I don't really have them anymore. Getting back to weight loss mode isn't really my idea of a fun time. Though I don't calorie count anymore, I know I need to drop my daily caloric intake when I want to lose some weight - and I calorie counted for long enough, I know what that looks like (it means skipping a snack or reducing meal portions, etc).

But I told you all I would weight in today, and I did. It is important to check in on my weight, even when I know I won't like the number. If I just put blinders on and didn't look at the scale, I might give myself permission to be a little more lax with food. But I got the data and I have to act to correct what went wrong.

I definitely don't want to KEEP gaining. I'm still at a really healthy weight at 127, so that's a plus. But I'd like to get back to where I was.

Hope everyone has a good week. I'm still a little tired from the weekend, as I didn't sleep much in order to stay up late around the fire with friends both nights! Sleep deprivation definitely doesn't help my health, either, so getting back to a normal schedule will be lovely :)

Namaste, friends <3

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Away

My weekend getaway to a cabin in the Adirondacks with about 25 friends was great  for my stress levels! I got to relax and have fun for a couple days and forget about all that real life stuff that's weighing me down. A nice reset.

I went skiing on Saturday - The first time I've been skiing since February 2013! I was afraid I'd forgotten how to do it, ha ha. But even on my first run, it's all completely natural and I had a blast. I didn't even take a tumble! I also skied many black diamond runs, so I got to really test out my skills again :-)

Here are some pictures, I am the one in the bright neon yellow jacket:

The cabin that we stayed at is only about a 20 minute drive from the ski mountain, so it made everything really easy. Usually we have to drive anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours to get to a ski mountain.

The cabin:

And here are some shots from inside the cabin. It was a two night long party, many of our friends have birthdays in January so we celebrate them all at the same time on this weekend, so that's why you'll see birthday cakes and fun lights inside:

I didn't weigh in this morning, I don't really care to know what my weight is today, I will check in tomorrow :-) I drank wine over the weekend and ate off plan for dinner both nights (communal meals) but tried to make better decisions than I did on New Year's Eve and day.

Wanted to let everyone know how my weekend went, I was completely off the grid for 2 1/2 dates, so I have a lot of blogs to catch up on!

Namaste <3

Friday, January 9, 2015

Women's Health, Anxiety Issues

So - if you've read here for any length of time, you'll probably know that I struggle big time with anxiety. I've done a lot of good work through the years, getting the majority of the problem under control, to the point that I can live a full and pretty life, despite the anxiety problems. I have a lot of healthy coping mechanisms (ones I had to find after I had to give up food as a fix-all!).

But, sometimes, it still gets to me.

I would say I had a decently intense anxiety attack last night (nothing compared to what they used to be, but still, jarring since it hasn't happened in a while).

I went to the gynecologist, and have to have yet another ultrasound/mammogram. I've had too many of these for being only 32. And I will speak openly about this, even though it might seem like TMI, because women's health is an important issue and should never be taboo. But I have really dense breast tissue that makes it really hard to tell if anything is wrong. At my yearly exam, the doctor became concerned about something she felt (like happened last year) and ordered more testing. I know the chances are SMALL that it is anything at all, but I just really hate the whole process (though, I will obviously do it, because I am not about to risk brushing it off and have it actually BE something). They have a hard time even seeing my results once they do they tests because of the tissue. It stresses me out.

I hate even having the thought of cancer in my mind. But, this is why I do preventative care - to take care of things (that would be wrong, even if I delayed knowing about it!) as soon as possible.

It was just one more stress on top of other life stress (mainly finances and my job that makes it hard for me to even GO to a doctor's appointment). And I just went home and panicked. It's a strange thing that happens to me - I go almost numb while my mind races. It feels really bad, kind of like nausea. Then it gets to be too much and I just cry, really full-body cry. Ugh.

So, maybe this might clue you in to why I used to use food as medicine? To soothe? Yeah, I'd try to prevent this at all costs. As I've grown, as I've gotten healthier, I no long use food to soothe and have found other methods that actually do my body and soul some good (dog walks, bubble baths, seeking out friends, etc).

Anyway, I got through it last night, but it leaves after effects - mostly fatigue, poor sleep, a general feeling of stress. No surprise my weight is still up around 125, right? I did not use food to soothe - I just ate a normal dinner of a turkey burger, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. But I am holding myself very tense lately, and I know that is not good for my overall health.

I know part of it is just my chemistry - my whole family struggles with anxiety issues. But I know part of it is environmental, too - I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop (my issues started after the death of my mother, but mere awareness of that doesn't make the problems disappear). I thought I had really gotten control of my anxiety, and not too soon after, my father passed. Money, career, school, everything seems to be a problem I can't seem to fix, no matter how long I work at it. I feel rather helpless.

But environmental stress will never go away, right? That's just life.

It might be time to do some more in depth work, to see someone or look for a larger solution. I don't really like living like this - tense and poised, expecting the worst. I also feel like I should devote more time to reading Buddhist works, like I began to do in 2013, the tenets of that philosophy really help me come to terms with things.

Alright - just wanted to update you all. To urge you to do your yearly check-ups! Even if it is scary if they find something wrong, it is better to know.

I will probably be MIA this weekend. I am going skiing with Chris and friends and staying in a cabin overnight (Christmas present from Chris' parents!). I hope to relax a little :)

Namaste <3

Thursday, January 8, 2015

No Grains, No Gains January Topic: Paleo Maintenance in 2014

No Grains, No Gains December Topic: 2014 Maintenance - what changed, what stayed the same!

No Grains, No Gains: A group of paleo/primal/grain free women who blog about their experience/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse acute/chronic health trends and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding!

It is interesting to look back at 2014 as a whole! The year ended with me still very dedicated to this lifestyle and way of eating - I did the Whole30 in April of 2012 and have stayed primarily Paleo ever since!

A few things changed with my eating template this past year, however.

1. I got really, really sick in January and had to be put on a Low Residue Diet for a couple of weeks (which meant my beautiful veggie addiction had to be tempered in favor of low roughage foods). I couldn't even really eat much meat. So I started to eat lactose-free cottage cheese in this time period in order to keep my protein up.

And I fell in love!

I've literally had this cottage cheese for breakfast (with sunflower seed butter and blueberries) for breakfast more than 95% of my mornings since I got sick. It's the absolute perfect breakfast for me - keeps me full of energy all morning and is so freaking tasty. Also very easy to get ready in the morning!

2. I also went to see a therapist for the first time in March, because although I was eating a really healthy, well-rounded diet, I was getting more obsessive with calorie counting every year. It was taking up a large portion of my day, thinking about and recording calories. I stopped cold-turkey in the spring and haven't looked back since.

This big change in my maintenance behaviors really altered my outlook - all of a sudden, everything felt less oppressive and easier. A weight off of my shoulders.

And it reaffirmed what I had always believed - that a mostly paleo/primal, grain-free way of life was the best way to maintain my weight. It didn't have anything to do with calorie counting. I've maintained my weight in about a 3 pound range all year. Easily.

3. I do have about 5% of my diet that I don't keep Paleo - when I go out to eat (which is VERY rare) or when friends/family make me dinner (also not the most common situation). It is a 5% leeway that allows me to never feel like any food is "off-limits" to me, rather it is MY choice not to eat it. However, this year, I learned that this 5% can quickly spiral into 10, 15, 20, 25% if I didn't keep tabs on it.

This led to me conducting little experiments - like No Chip 2014 (which I will admit, we faltered in November and ate some chips at a party! But almost 11 months with no social eating of chips is a win in my book) and No Chocolate November (which also failed slightly as I ate some M&Ms in a moment of stress on Thanksgiving Eve... but over 20 days without my oh so craved chocolate is also a win to me. I definitely broke my habit!).

But my husband and I had to get real about our adherence to Paleo. We were veering off course and suffering from it (bloat, digestive issues, skin issues). Having bread at a restaurant once a month or beers with friends once a month never hurt us before... but it hurt us when it started to become too common.

So overall? Most things have stayed the same. I remain committed to this way of eating. As a flawed human, I sometimes veer off course and don't always pick the healthiest options - sometimes opting for easy or fun. But I never stay away long (um, like a day? Digestive issues are enough to push me right back to Paleo!).

As for 2014 as a whole, non-diet-wise??

Well, if you read my blog, you've certainly gotten an ear-full over the year about what has changed for me, what my struggles were, what I've learned. It's a novel in and of itself!

I haven't necessarily changed much this past year, but rather, have grown more confident and dedicated to the things I know are important: living in the now, not taking this beautiful life for granted, being loving, and taking REALLY good care of my body, mind, and spirit.

I hope that my learning can continue in the coming year, that taking care of myself means a full life, where I can help those I love and make this world a little sweeter sometimes :)

 Namaste <3

Follow the other members of No Grains, No Gains:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fat but Fit Debunked?

Firstly- my body continues to heal from the New Year's festivities - down to 124.8 today. Almost back to normal (I see the extra pounds as evidence that I am still bloated/inflamed and therefore NOT completely normal).  Been drinking lots of water, walking at least 10k steps a day, eating some great food.

You know my usual food: cottage cheese with sunflower seed butter and blueberries for breakfast, leftovers with salad for lunch, and dinners have been especially tasty lately (garlic shrimp and broccoli one night, chili another, taco salads last night, etc).

Behaving like I always do gets my body back to it's set, happy point :)

Have you guys seen this study that has been reported on by various news agencies lately: You Can't Be Fit and Fat ?

I have always felt conflicted by the Health At Every Size movement.

One on hand, I don't truly believe that body weights in the obese category CAN be healthy forever (those who are young enough might not have many problems, but most won't stay that way for long).

On the other hand, I DO believe that the message of loving the body you have RIGHT NOW is a great one. I spent too long mired in self-hatred because of my body and it caused a spiral that kept me unhealthy, physically and mentally.

I've come to the conclusion that it is possible to love your body, no matter the size, to appreciate it for keeping you in this world, for letting you be here, laugh with friends, hug your family, etc AND to work to change it, at the same time. In fact, it is downright important to love your body in this way, no matter your weight. It wasn't until I started to gain a gratefulness for my physical body that I started to truly care for it - to make sure it was strong and would be around for as long as possible.

It's a tough subject for me, because the line is so very thin - the line between being a proponent for a healthy body and being a proponent for a skinny body. I don't believe anyone has to be "skinny," or even "thin." There are so many body types out there, and they are all beautiful! But there is sort of an ephemeral line that gets crossed somewhere along the way - where it is not just body type anymore, but a result of unhealthy behaviors.

I have erased and rewritten this post several times and finally decided to just give up and post what I had... this is because I am slightly uncomfortable talking about this subject. I don't want to offend anyone or be misunderstood. But that discomfort with the topic is a sign that I SHOULD post it - if only to spark discussion or thought.

I want my message to be that taking care of your body in all ways (food, water, exercise, sleep, etc) is important because we are physical beings that NEED to be taken care of. If we are sick, in spirit or body, we cannot live fully. And we might cut our time here short. And nothing is more sad to me. This life is too precious.

Namaste, my friends. Take care of yourself and those you love <3

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inflammation, Winter walk

So, I am still struggling with my weight. Like Karen said in the comments on a previous post, I'll be dealing with the consequences of eating off plan so much for a few weeks. There is definitely some digestive issues, inflammation and bloating, even though I've been eating really well since last Friday. I am young enough, and will bounce back, but I do notice that every year, it takes a little bit longer.

I will probably get to a point in my life when the little indulgences aren't worth it anymore. As it is, silly day to day or purposeless indulgences aren't worth it anymore (Like sharing a bowl of chips with friends during the week, having a beer just because I had a hard day, stuff like that) Big celebrations, like New Year's Eve, still are worth it to me. We all have to make those type of decisions for ourselves. And it all depends on our own bodies, our own reactions to certain foods, certain situations, our age, our overall health, etc.

But, for now I am just going to keep on keeping on. Going to do what I know is right for my body and myself.

I am currently outside on my break at work, walking, even though it is cold and snowing outside! (I can post a blog while I do this, because of my voice to text feature on my phone :D)

Obviously, I am the only one at work outside walking right now. I just can walk so much faster and so much farther when I'm outside, rather than in the parking garage or in the office building, so I decided to brave the elements. It actually isn't so bad. Not too much snow on the ground, just a dusting. And, as you can see by my photo, I am all bundled up :)

Just wanted to check in for the day, let you all know that there are, in fact, consequences to our actions, Ha ha ha. But that I am dealing with them, and still, overall, I am leading a really healthy and active life!

Namaste <3