Thursday, May 14, 2015

Because Fro-yo Isn't Low-Carb

With all of our celebrating lately, I’ve felt myself start to slip back into bad habits. The eating out, the drinking, the fun plans that started to replace workouts…it was all starting to send me way off track. I’ve been too good so far this year to let myself totally fall off the wagon, though.

My birthday was on Tuesday and I decided that would be my last day to indulge because let’s be real, I’m not crazy enough yet to skip birthday treats. Fro-yo, bread, lemon cake and wine were consumed and I didn’t allow myself to feel bad about any of it.  

To help get back on track, yesterday I started limiting myself to less than 20 carbs a day and for anyone who has done the low-carb thing, you know the first few days of this routine are pretty miserable. I’m talking zero energy and kinda feeling like you’re starving. By the end of day one yesterday, I was dragging and it was pretty pathetic. I’m not even going to lie to you, my 20 carb limit went straight to a glass of red wine and it was a godsend.

The good news is that after 3 days or so of this, I’ll be feeling pretty good and I’ll be buzzing with energy because of it. So at least there’s that to look forward to.

Normally I would be super down on myself because I got off track and lost my motivation, but I’m not. I feel in control because I didn’t let myself completely fall back into old habits just because I had a few bad days.

After just a day and a half of this, even though I’m struggling a bit, I feel better physically already. It’s good to know even after a few weeks of slacking, I can easily get back into good habits and feel great.

Now that I’m refocused on my goals and getting back on track, I’m sticking to what I know works for me to help me stay on board. I think we all have certain tips or tricks for helping us stay motivated and healthy. Here are just a few mine:

(one) Never skip a Monday workout.
It’s inevitable that even though I plan my gym schedule for the week in advance, there might still be day I can’t make it after all. It’s usually fine because I know I’ll make up for it the next day. Mondays are different, though. If I skip the gym on Monday, I feel like it sets the tone for the week and I’m already getting started on the wrong foot. I will do whatever I can to get myself there for even a short workout and I feel like it gets me in the right mindset to keep it up for the rest of the week.

(two) Prep a yummy go-to meal in bulk every week.
For a few weeks, I was on a Paleo Chicken Salad kick. I would make a huge bowl of this early in the week and kept it in the fridge as a “go to” meal in case I didn’t feel like cooking or didn’t have time to make lunch. I love this recipe, so it was something I knew I would still look forward to eating and it helped me avoid going out to eat or eating badly when I didn’t have something planned. This week, it’s a simple salad with grilled chicken which has been my jam lately. I made a HUGE bowl of this last night and it’s good to know we have several meals on hand because of it! Sure, the thought of eating the same meal multiple times a week sounds a little boring and it can get old, I guess. But for me, it’s better than eating out and beating myself up for making a bad choice.

(three) Find a new way to treat yourself.
Instead of treating myself to something like ice cream or cookies every now and then, I’ve found that there are so many other options for splurging that don’t send me spiraling totally off track. For me lately, it’s been acai bowls. This is already a pretty healthy option in general, but with all the granola I like to add to mine and all the fruit that goes into this treat, it isn’t realistic to eat these often with the low-carb focus. Making acai bowls my “sweet treat” every now and then is a much better option than what I used to choose and I still get the satisfaction out of it because if you’ve never witnessed me enjoying an acai bowl you don’t understand how much joy I find in them. Jonathan came home from the gym one night a few weeks ago to find me watching Friends and enjoying a bowl of this cool, crunchy goodness and I’m pretty sure he thought I was on drugs I was so happy.

What are your tips and tricks for staying motivated and healthy? I’d love to hear them!