Trying to eat healthy, again

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I have joined an exercise group. After almost half a year of leaving my last workout place, I have found a new place to go exercise. This place is probably just as far from my home as the old place was, but it is a bit less expensive, it has a facebook group which creates a sense of community, and it focuses a lot more on the eating healthy and staying accountable bit.

I have been going to this place for about two weeks and have realized how much I missed lifting things and pushing myself. I also realized that I enjoy exercising, but that my real issue is in the kitchen. What I mean is, I’m not great at portion control, love to bake and love chocolate a little bit too much. It’s not like I stuff myself with three Big Macs every day, but I do go through stages where I over eat things that I shouldn’t.  As I have mentioned before, I don’t want to not eat things or exercise to fit some standard of society. I want to eat healthier, because when I have eaten healthier in the past and exercised in the past, I feel great, have energy, am more productive, and do more active things.

Taking this in to account and having this new support, I have decided to give it a shot (once again) and try to eat healthier meals, that I like. I want to embrace those food that I enjoy and make them healthy. I love ice cream, so I bought Halo Top, which is a low calorie ice cream alternative (and the flavors are banging). I love breakfast, so I bought a mix of pancakes that is Paleo, which basically means its free of wheat and sugar. They were really filling and tasted pretty good.

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Paleo Pancake Mix from Birch Benders with local blueberries.

I love to bake, I have found recipes that either are lighter than their counterparts or include healthy ingredients. I made a pound cake with coconut oil instead of butter, and used a lot less oil than a 1:1 butter substitution. I made a chocolate zucchini bread, that had really little sugar and you could not tell had zucchini at all (even though I put three of those babies in there). I bought a brownie mix that was made with whole wheat and had tons of antioxidants. All things were yummy and other people tried them and enjoyed them.

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Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake, made with coconut oil

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread low in sugar.

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Another thing I have been doing is making an effort of going to the farmers market and buying at least one vegetable option for the week and one fruit option. I have bought micro greens, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, and some peas. I have also been growing some of my own veggies.

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I have some Brussels sprouts, two kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, rosemary and strawberries.

 

My next adventure will be baking with gluten free, wheat free flours. We will see how that goes.

As for the pound cake recipe and the chocolate zucchini bread recipe here are the links (I did make some adjustments to them, mostly using less sugar or fats):

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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Whenever I take fitness into my own hands, I have a lot of struggles. Mostly because I find my self wanting to maintain a balance between how I should feel about myself and what I want to look like. I want to be fit and healthy for the right reasons. Because it is not only good for your physical health, but also good mentally, and emotionally. I want to be fit and healthy, because I want to be the best version of myself. I want to be fit and healthy, because it helps with my anxiety. I don’t want it to become a comparison to fitter people. I don’t want to be fit and healthy, because society wants us to believe being overweight is awful. I want to exercise because it makes me feel good.

However, I’m not immune to insecurities, and do have episodes of feeling bad about my body, nitpicking tiny imperfections, and letting it get me down for no good reason. This is what I struggle with. I wish I was beyond all this crap. So what do I do?

I try to accept the doubts and remind myself of the real reason for me exercising. I accept that their will be low times, I’m not always going to look great, but the reason for me exercising and trying to eat healthy is not to fit into society standards. At the end of the day I have my motivations clear and this always helps keep me centered. The fact that I’m not trying to achieve perfection, but trying to be my best keeps me grounded. Reminding myself of all the other things I have going for myself, things I enjoy, and of course the people in my life, helps me stay balanced.

I did it!

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On Sunday October 9, I completed my first Tough Mudder Half. With the help of my friends I completed 5 miles of muddy terrain and 13 obstacles. It was so much fun. We each had obstacles that pushed our boundaries, but we were there for each other. After it ended we were so cold and we have so many bruises, but it was such a rewarding experience. What I liked about Tough Mudder as a whole is the camaraderie, people would help you if you didn’t know what you were doing and then you would stay and help other people. Nothing was timed and you were totally free to skip any obstacle you didn’t feel comfortable doing. Because of this, we at least tried to do every obstacle. I say try, because I wasn’t able to complete Everest; which is like the Ninja Warrior Ramp, but I did try to do it 3 times to be exact. Each time I would come far enough to touch my teammates hand, but it would slip and I would bruise my left hip area a little more, so after the third time I decided to walk across the obstacle. At that moment I felt so proud of myself, because I had completed everything else and even that obstacle I gave it my best, which is all they ask for.

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Here’s my bruised hip area, it’s looking a lot more black and blue these days

Afterwards we were starving and had a huge brunch at our nearest IHOP. That Sunday was a rainy , windy Sunday. It would have been easy to be all sucky about it and not have a good time, but that’s not the kind of attitude that we had. I’m sure it wasn’t anybodies attitude that day, everybody was ready to give it their all, to go out and try. You get pushed out o your comfort zone and it really does motivate you to go out and try new things.

Will I be doing a full Tough Mudder any time soon? Probably not. However, I can see how you would get motivated enough to start doing these things every two to three months and just keep going further and further. It’s a pretty cool community. Would I consider doing another Half? Yes, of course.

I think the thing that surprised me the most, is how I felt the days afterward. I felt like I had finished the thing that had motivated me for so long. What do I do now? I guess that’s another reason why I can understand people doing this as a hobby, traveling all over to try the different courses. Still, What do I do now? That’s been the question bugging me and I don’t have an answer.