Pushing Past the Wins

The hardest part about making huge life changes is taking the first step; in other words, starting to make a big change in your life is being dissatisfied enough with one aspect to be willing to change it up and get uncomfortable. I am less than five (5!!!!) pounds away from reaching my initial healthy weight goal (I have a few vanity pounds on top of that, but the healthy weight is the important part) right now, and let me tell you, the hardest part is continuing to be diligent enough with tracking what I eat in my food diary. Laziness is part of it, I admit; I have been so happy with the progress I have made so far, that it is easy to get complacent and just be satisfied with my initial accomplishments.

To make matters worse, I am just now back on my running program after my half marathon recovery and respiratory crud. It feels great to hit the pavement again; I did a pretty fast (for me) 2-miler yesterday morning. The hubs and I have decided to run a 15K in January. Partly, it's to keep me on track through the holiday insanity that is going to ensue, and partly it's for the swag. Seriously, check this out:

2013 HC this is your goodie bag_WITH sizing chart

Plus you get hot chocolate and chocolate fondue at the end. If you are in Atlanta in January and want to check it out : http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/atlanta/.

I guess the best way to keep on track is to constantly add new goals and allow yourself to completely celebrate the wins. By the way, to embrace a win, here is an image of me and the hubs showing off our completion medals from the Silver Comet Half last month:

Menu Planning: Great for Everyone

Hey Everyone!
I'm continuing on with posts about my lifestyle changes with an approach to menu planning. One of the big contributors to my success so far has been cooking the majority of  meals at home.Whether you are trying to stick to a budget or are trying to change your eating habits; planning out your meals and cooking them at home is a great way of finding success with your goals. 

The process usually starts with sitting down once every two weeks and planning out meals. I usually repeat the first weeks' meals the second week to cut down on groceries, expenses and some work. There are some meals that are repeats every week, while others are rotated in and out depending on what is seasonal. One hint though, if you are repeating one week's recipes and there is an untried recipe, make sure you plan for a back up. Otherwise, you will end up with extra ingredients for a recipe you don't like.

Also, make sure you sketch out your meals with regard to how accomplished you are cooking (ie, if you can barely toast bread you might be better off learning how to cook, say a warm grain salad, as opposed to an elaborate 12 page dish from a new cookbook). Keep it simple and delicious and you will set yourself up for success, not failure.

To help you out with all this cooking, you might want to enlist the help of a spouse, roommate, partner, or another family member to help you out with the cooking a few days a week. It helps a ton, trust me!

Anyway, without further ado, here is an example of a week's worth of menu planning ( keep in mind I am a vegetarian)...

Vegetarian Chili Night

Stirfry ( Spelt Udon Noodles, Tempeh, Frozen Stir Fry Veggies)

Tempeh and Poblano Tacos with
Sprouted Grain Tortilla

New Recipe Night!
Panang Curry with

Spiced Eggplant and Peppers with

Homemade Pizza

Roasted Carrot Soup
Grilled cheese Sandwich

Fruit & 100 calories of Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios)
Hard Boiled Egg & Snackable Veggies (Celery/Carrot sticks, Cherry Tomatoes, etc)
1/8 c dried Fruit & 100 Calories of Nuts ( My usual Pre Workout)

Lowfat/Fat free Cottage Cheese
Coffee with Almond Milk
Cooked Grains with cinnamon, honey, almond milk
Coffee with Almond Milk
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies
Coffee with Almond Milk

With an apple and an orange
Cheese sandwich
With an apple and an orange
Baked potato with cheese and frozen veggies
With an apple and an orange

I then base my grocery list off my menu plan and go from there. I usually, however, also grab a few quick and easy substitutions that don't require much cooking in case a day is super crazy.

Oh, and just in case you were interested...the obligatory before and now shot (I know, I know)....
Photo: A cute couple at GCSS' "A Night To Remember."  How do we look?