The other side of healthy living

When people talk about healthy living, they quite often focus on eating right and exercizing regularly. They talk about their physical health, their progress with it, and how much it has changed their life.

However, just because you change patterns with your eating, your exercize, your lifestyle, that just doesn’t complete full healthy living. There’s a whole other side of healthy living that a lot of blogs and books don’t cover.

They’re like society, they only worry about the superficial. Do you appear healthy? Are you healthy on the outside?

Now don’t get my wrong, some of my favourite blogs are food blogs, recipe blogs, exercize blogs. I love Oh She Glows, she has some of my favourite recipes, I also read the blogs at Bodies in Motivation, where I really feel pushed to continue with my exercize schedule, even when I don’t want to. The big reason I enjoy these two sites is because they do focus on other areas of healthy living.

The inside part of it.

Healthy living isn’t just how you look, it’s how you feel, how you think, how you live.

You can train yourself to not go head down in a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (hello personal comfort food) whenever you’re hurt, tired, or depressed. But if you don’t deal with what’s making you hurt, tired or depressed, it’s just denying yourself something for the sake of denying yourself. To prove to yourself that you’re strong, you can get past these urges, and look, you fit a size 10 now.

It’s not a matter of “getting past” urges, it’s dealing with what is causing the urges. If every time you reach for the ice cream it’s because you’ve had a fight with your Mom, then you have to deal with your Mom!!! Otherwise, if you distract yourself from the ice cream by running on the treadmill, you’re just changing one obsession for another, and that’s not healthy!

You may have  a good body, but if your mental state isn’t there, you’re not getting the healthy body with the right reasons.

As part of that, I’m working towards healing some past hurts this year. My “bad feeling” obsessions are as follows:

-Youtube (I distract myself from real life by watching videos of other people’s lives)
-Romance Novels (If I felt unfufilled in my relationship with my husband, I’d find a different one in a book)
-The afore mentioned Ice Cream (When I got upset, I didn’t care about my body so I’d give up and eat my favourite dessert)
-My Imagination (When life becomes boring or to tough to handle, I escape to a story/movie that I have going in my head… it’s weird, but it’s a coping mechanism from childhood)

So, these have all become unhealthy things in my life. I’ve already taken steps to improve some of them.

Youtube

I have already started cutting back my internet time. I calculated out how many hours I spent watching youtube videos, and it was more than I care to reveal here. I was wasting my life away in front of my computer. So I’m cutting back on that, I’m trying to get myself down to maybe an hour a day. Which means I’m missing a BUNCH of videos because I just don’t have time to watch them, but it’s something I need to get past. Due to this extra time I’ve been able to hit the gym more, cook dinner, and read more… which brings us to:

Romance Novels

I checked last year through my library, journal, and memory, and I discovered that throughout the year of 2010, I did NOT read a full book other than a Romance novel at ALL. This, really saddened me. I mean come on… am I that sad of a person that the only books I read are romance? I’ve given myself a mandate. I need to read more for education and self healing. This is not to mean that I CAN’T read fiction or something, but I really want to stay away from Romance this year. (I’ve read one romance novel, but I started it at the end of December and finished it on New Years… I’m still counting it, but it’s just one, and I haven’t read any since). I’m going to put a page up top that lists the books I read this year. I’m hoping it looks a lot nicer than last years, which I’m too embarrassed to post.

Ice Cream

I should probably add Chips to this as well. I love snacky foods, and sugary ice cream. As stated above, I love Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, particularly Hagen Daaz, and I also really love chips. Now my cruddy eating usually falls around visits with family that don’t go well, fights with hubby or general feeling bad about myself. To counteract this I have placed some rules on myself. I’m not allowed to have change on my at ANY time (the vending machines at work are cheap and too easily accessed). Ice Cream is not allowed in the house (ok, so sometimes it is… we have a tub of it in the freezer right now, but when this happens, I’m not allowed to have more than a small scoop of it a day… and my hubby is very helpful with this in not eating it in front of me, or making sure he only gets a small bowl so I don’t feel like I’ve got such a piddly little amount). I’m also not allowed to eat ANYTHING after a major blow out with family. I’m notorious for gorging myself on any food I can find. So if it takes leaving the house to go for a drive with hubby or what, I just can’t have anything to eat until I’ve calmed down. Or if I NEED to eat, then it must be small and healthy, like a salad, or pita or something.

This may sound a little out there, but it’s what I need to do to curb my eating. I’m also not allowed to substitute the elliptical, jogging, or walking for the food. I must just STOP and deal with my emotions before I can continue. I have an addictive personality, and thankfully I never got into drugs, smoking, or to deep in alcohol, but I get addicted to other things very easily so I have to place limits.

My Imagination

This one I really will have problems with. It’s something I’ve had as long as I can remember. And if I could get the stories I’ve written in my head out on paper I’d probably be a famous author or screenwriter right now. But I’m not, and I can’t, and these different lives I’ve lived in my head are not exactly healthy and are really just a way for me to not live in the real world when things get too tough. My hubby always knows something’s not right when my eyes glazing over increases, because I’m not really there with him. I’m not sure exactly what I can do to stop this escape, like I said, it’s something I’ve done since I was a wee child. I had a difficult childhood and this made it livable, when things were too rough, I had a better life to live in my head, and it always had a happy ending. It’s hard to type this out, but as I’m typing for me, and not for anyone else, I need to get it out there.

Having it on the page makes it real, brings it to the forefront and makes me realize I need to work on it.

The only other thing I can think of the escape the spiral of my imagination is to enter counselling. That’s a big step and a somewhat frightening one for me.

It may just be the only way to get my inside healthy…

It amazes me sometimes how my writing goes. This post isn’t anything like I originally planned it. The good thing though is that I’m not trying to write for someone else, this is an open journal yes, where people can see what I write, but it’s a journal for me, to look back on and see how I’ve changed. And this post is truly just me, typing and letting my thoughts take over.

Sorry if I bore you 🙂

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Status Update

Went to the gym last night, and I’m working on making healthier meals at home which include more beans and legumes and rice.

Last night we had chicken with seasoning salt, oregano and lemon juice squeezed over top, then roasted in the oven till just done. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make the rice, so I made instant mashed potatoes (not that healthy, but better than just chicken and peas….) Tonight I’m making a hamburger meal with salsa, carrots, onions and navy beans mixed together, served over rice.

Trying very hard to not snack… snacking is my bane!!! I love chips and chocolate and the snack machines at work are $0.50 for ANYTHING!!! So I’ve stopped having change on me and started bringing berries with me to work to snack on.

The good thing is that I’m not putting on any weight, the bad thing is, I’m not losing any weight. I’m hoping to go to the gym later this week to do some cardio on the treadmill (and get my weekly tv watching in… I love TV but we don’t have cable at home, so I go to the gym to watch it… especially the food network… mmmmmm).

Probably my biggest issue with food though is my LOVE of processed foods… I was raised on Mac & Cheese, Hotdogs, frozen dinners and such, or the cheapest real food my mom could buy (a normal dinner would be dry hamburger, peas and instant rice… not the healthiest or yummiest meals out there). I have been hankering for Kraft Dinner SO MUCH lately, especially the white cheddar kind… ugh. It’s so hard…

Maybe I’ll try and make a healthier version.. I found a recipe for home made vegan mac and cheese that uses nutritional yeast and butternut squash in the sauce…

To top it all off, I’m trying to cut back my gluten intake, not cut it out entirely (not sure I could do that) but at least not eat white pasta, white bread, things like that. I’ll have pitas, or eat things with wheat sometimes, but I’m trying to really cut back on all the breads I’ve been eating. Working on filling that part of my diet with healthier grains like quinoa, red rice, and spelt. We’ll see how well I do.

I feel pretty much fine with my body all things considered, but I’ve had my fat % checked at the gym and I’m sitting at around 37 % which is almost double where I’m supposed to be, so that’s what I’m working on now more than losing weight.

So I need to hit the gym more, do some more cardio, work off these fat stores that I’ve built up and just keep on keeping on.

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The Issue With Time

Over the last 5 years I have had an interesting relationship with my weight. Prior to those 5 years I absolutely hated my body. I didn’t know at the time, but I was struggling with a hormone imbalance, accompanied by my body having difficulties absorbing a number of nutrients and minerals. The result of this was that I was 95 lbs, had yet to fully hit puberty, and was continuously hit with a string of colds and the flu. I was 23 years old, and I looked like a 12 year old boy, peach fuzz included.

My (not yet) hubby was my best friend at this point, he was my supervisor at work, and my ride to and from. At that point in my life, he saw more of me than my family, and it was he who pointed out that certain things about me were not normal. Even more detrimental, my health was very nearly costing me my job, what with the amount of sick days I was taking.

After a couple months of prodding (and nearly a full month of being on my period, complete with cramps so bad I was passing out, while running a chop saw) I finally agreed to go to the doctor. He took a quick look at his charts which had my complaints and said I should have come to see him about this 10 years prior. He did some testing, put me on the pill, advised that I change my diet and add suppliments to help my body absorb everything it needed, and sent me on my way.

In the first 6 months I went through 4 years of puberty… It was a bad 6 months. However, I came out the back end with a woman’s body, less peach fuzz and a frame that was 30 lbs heavier. For the first time in my adult life I looked at my body and I was pleased. I had some not so good outside influences who were “concerned” about how fast I put on the weight, and advised that I should diet as I was “perfect” the way I was before and if I wasn’t careful I would be “fat” and “ugly”.

I was 125 lbs, I was 5’6″ tall, I was at the low scale for my healthy weight and really had no reason to be concerned. I attempted to ignore these comments, but they were persistent and eventually they crept into my thoughts. Over the next two years, I slowly put on another 20 lbs, the main part of this was that I had stopped my dance classes due to lack of funds. With the lack of activity, I gained weight.

Now at 150 lbs, I was staring down the finish line to my wedding, having “helpful advisors” giving me tips on how to look my best, and ordering my dress one size smaller than I was when I tried it on as incentive. The last 4 months coming up to my wedding I lived on Subway salads and that was pretty much it. I dropped to about 145 lbs, but my dress was still a little tight.

On the honeymoon I stopped caring. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t let the voices in my head natter too loudly. I had a doctor’s appointment shortly after my return home, to find I was now 159 lbs, this is where my struggle really began.

It’s been nearly a year since that weigh in and I’m still sitting at around 160 lbs. I’m trying to make changes that will drop me back to about 150 lbs, but it’s hard. I look at my body and to me it doesn’t look bad. Then those “concerned voices” start up again in my head, pointing out the flaws, screaming that I’m getting ugly and fat. Telling me my husband won’t want me. I try to push them away, but they’re still audible.

Time heals all wounds… But it can create some too.

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Dessert for breakfast – the healthy way

One of my favourite food blogs to haunt is Oh She Glows. Ange makes some of the most delicious looking recipes ever!!! Every post is something new, something droolworthy, and to top it off, she’s showing me new blogs to watch with her Vegan Recipe Link Love, I don’t know if my poor blog reader can handel the strain!

Not long ago, Ange tried to make a recipe with kasha, that flopped. I have had similar experiences with kasha, and when I wrote to Ange, asking her if she had any kasha recipes, she replied that this was her first time trying it.

Today, while I was pondering breakfast, I was (not surprisingly) flitting through Oh She Glows, drooling over the sweet potato oatmeal she made. Using these two meals as inspiration, I decided to see what I could come up with that involved Kasha, and could have dark chocolate chips on it. An added plus, before I put milk on it, it’s completely vegan, which doesn’t happen often with my breakfasts.

The results were delicious!!

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal with Kasha

1/2 c Kasha
1/2 c Oatmeal
2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 banana
handful of dark chocolate chips

Bring water and salt to a boil. Rinse kasha well, then add with oatmeal, chia seeds and cinnamon to water. Turn heat to medium. Allow to simmer until thickened. Slice banana on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

I ate it with some milk on top and a side of green tea, it was delicious!

 

I also decided to play around with flavours as I had a can of cranberry sauce in the cupboard. I added about 1/4 c of cranberry sauce to the recipe, and left out the bananas and chocolate chips. It wasn’t as sweet but it was still good… I might try adding a touch of ginger with the cranberry sauce next time.

I think the main problem for me with the kasha is the texture, and by adding the oatmeal in with it, it made it less mushy. The flavour was still a bit different, but I think that’s more about getting used to something new than anything else. I’m working at trying new foods lately, different veggies, grains, and beans. I’m hoping to widen my pallet, because otherwise, I’d be eating a lot of tomato pasta, pizza, steak and potatoes and chili… and not much else.

I’ve got a taste for quinoa, I really like beans and chick peas, and I’m starting to try different fruits (dragon fruit is amazing!! but expensive…). I’m hoping by getting a wider range of foods I enjoy eating, I’ll be less bored with food and more open to making healthy choices.

Even if it takes longer to cook.

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A Dilemma

Yes I’m still here, and yes I’m still working on my health and I am still following Shay and trying to remember “Time and Pressure”. I have been writing stuff out but it’s on a personal blog that I keep all posts private on. It’s a place where I write things to me, for me and I don’t worry about putting myself down or saying things that may be taken wrong because no one else can see what I write.

I was going through some of my old posts, as I am wont to do so that I can see how I’ve changed, and I noticed this little list that I made up back in September. I figured I would do an update on that list to see how I’ve been at keeping up with it.

– go to bed at 10 pm

I’ve been…. so-so at keeping up with going to bed at 10… I get to bed somewhere between 10 and 11, and for the most part, it’s closer to the 10 mark. This has helped me be able to get up in the morning better, though I still feel like I need more sleep, I’m not missing the alarm as often as I used to.

– eat breakfast at home

This one is a complete success. I have been eating breakfast at home for about 95% of all mornings. Weekends are a little touch and go as to WHEN I eat my breakfast, but I have greatly decreased my “grab on the run” breakfasts, or worse, “forget to eat at all” breakfasts.

– make special lunces on the weekend

I will admit, I have not done this. This is something I hope to get into the habit of doing more often. Having something that’s in the fridge or freezer that I can just put into a bag and head off to work with is something that I really need to have. I usually eat leftovers for lunch, and my hubby is very good at making enough food for me to have at least one meal, however, there are days when we don’t have leftovers. On those days, I’m left scrambling and I usually take either an unhealthy lunch, or no lunch at all requiring me to run across to the gas station to grab something quick, cheap, and even more unhealthy.

– increase her fruit/veggie intake

This is touch and go too. I’ll do REALLY good for a month, then… it… falls off. Right now I’m doing good, I’ve been trying to eat a salad a day (whether big or small, lots of ingredients or just spinach and blackberries with sesame dressing… just something), and we have fruits and veggies in the house. This has also bumped up Hubby’s veggie intake which is always a good thing.

– do 50 crunches when she gets home from work

*Falls on the floor laughing* Did I really list that I would do this… whoops… well I think maybe that went well for 1 day, though I have been hitting the gym/wii fit more than I used to, so there is some bit that’s better there. I completely failed on the crunches part though.

– make real food snacks for everyone

Still working on this one. Basically, this is saying “I need to bake good munchies that aren’t so processed/filled with crud/at least a little healthy” because I live in a house with 2 boys who ALWAYS have the munchies, they’re growing boys, what can I say. Hubby and Roommate go through a box of cookies in 1/2 a day on the weekends if I don’t watch them and comment on it… I’ve been good at keeping fruit, yogurt, veggies, and granola in the house, but I still have to fight the cookie/chip monsters, and will continue to do so.

– harrass Hubby the night before for what tomorrow’s meal will be

Hmm not too successful on this either, but we’ve been trying to make a meal plan and stick with it. Partly because our budget can’t tolerate us eating out all the time, and partly because that way grocery shopping is much simpler. However me not reminding hubby about food for the next day has resulted in us not having meat ready and having to deviate from our plan, but we’re working on it.

– clean the kitchen right after dinner

Hmm not so successful on this one either… I’ve been trying to keep the kitchen clean more, and hubby has been very helpful with running the dishwasher, but I have been falling behind. I’m hoping to get a good amount of the dishes done tonight, and I’m pretty good at catching up mostly on the weekends. The problem is, if hubby has no room to cook, hubby doesn’t really cook… so that’s why having the kitchen clean is so very important.

Looking over that list, I think I’ve done pretty good on it all things considered… It’s been about 6 months since I wrote it and I have made some improvements in my life, even just by writing it down and working on it.

Now I have the Dilemma mentioned in my post title, and it’s this. I could never, ever be Vegan, I’m sorry, I just can’t. I love meat, cheese, yogurt and such way too much, however I do not ever claim that the obvious health benefits aren’t there.

I would love to cut down on my animal product eating, if not cut it out entirely, however the problem is the two wonderful men who live with me, one being Hubby, the other Roommate. Both of these guys do not worry about their weight (for the most part…) Hubby is a bit watchful of his, but last summer he had health issues that dropped him WAY too low in weight and is now working on getting back up to a healthy level. Roommate just doesn’t really care. This means that when one member of the household is trying to eat healthily, it is very difficult. Especially when that one person is not the main cook in the house as she is the last person to get home after work.

Now I am not belittling, or speaking against Hubby making dinner. I am HUGELY greatful that he’s willing to have dinner ready, or at least in the process of being made by the time I get home at 6:30 pm. The alternative would be to eat at 7:30-8 pm and go to bed around 10… so this way we are eating at 7 and have a bit more time after dinner. However, this does also mean that I am at the whim of the cook. I try to make meals healthier, this last Monday we had Spaghetti, and I was able to add onions and red peppers to the sauce. I also made  a salad. However, there are other meals that aren’t so healthy, that I can’t really change (Breakfast for dinner being one, eggs, steak, hashbrowns… I try to add fruit, but if I don’t have any in the house I’m kind of stuck).

Now there’s another issue as well, price. I know that right now, it’s not financially feasible for me to go Vegan. At least not while keeping a fully balanced diet. You have to admit that a lot of the alternative stuff out there (almond/soy milk, earth balance butter substitute, wheat grass) is all pretty expensive. So I know that if I was willing to give up meat, milk, eggs and such entirely, I would either go further into debt, or be missing a lot as far as getting all my nutrients and vitamins.

That being said, I have been massively drooling over the recipe posts that Ange over at Oh She Glows has been putting up. I think I’m going to need to make sure that my kitchen is clean so that I can go through those recipes and get my freezer stocked.

At the top of my list is:

Super Veggie Lentil Taco Meat by Ordinary Vegetarian (I’m a huge fan of Taco Salads)
Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes by Eating Bird Food (Travel Sized!!)
Baked Sweet Potato Falafel by Bran Appetit (Falafel Pita’s are my favourite!!)
Quinoa Pizza Balls by Newlywed, Newly Veg (SERIOUSLY must make these!!!)

I’m going to add one thing to my list that I did in September, and maybe in 6 months or so I’ll come back and see how I’m doing again.

I’m going to try and make at least half of my lunches every week Vegetarian/Vegan, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it is. I eat a lot of very processed foods, though I am better than I used to be, and I need to work on cutting that out.

I know there’s probably no one who reads this, but if you have any favourite Vegetarian/Vegan recipes that freeze well, please let me know in the comments, and until next time, I’m going to be stalking Oh She Glows for more delicious recipes!

Oh, and another thing that makes things difficult for me to change my diet… I’m a very picky eater. I’m finally getting to the point where I’ll eat black olives, but it’s taken a while… maybe I can eventually get myself to like avocados in something more than guacamole….

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Doing things the right way

So I’ve been trying to get back on track for over a year, back when my wedding was coming up and I wanted to fit my wedding dress (which my mom had got a size smaller than I was… but those issues are for another blog), and I was worried about being fat in my wedding pictures.

However, after the wedding, I stopped everything, I figured I was past my date, I was good, I didn’t have to worry so much.

And I gained 10 pounds in a month…

Which technically isn’t much, but when you’ve been 95 pounds for the majority of your life and are now pushing 160, it’s a big deal.

So this time, after watching the Shayloss vlogs, I decided that if I’m doing this, I’m doing this. I’m going to do it the right way, eating healthy, working hard, and changing my habits.

Now I used to be a HUGE fan of The Biggest Loser, I thought it was great, I loved Jillian Michaels and was sure that if I just listened to what they said and did it, I’d be perfectly fine.

I stopped watching that show for a number of reasons.

First, the show gives unrealistic, and unhealthy expectations for weight loss. Yes they’re working hard to get to where they’re going, but the last season I watched at least one person passed out during the show due to lack of nutrition/water and over exercize, WHILE SHE WAS ON A TREADMILL!!! She could have been seriously injured, and rather than telling her to slow down, take it easy, it’s not THAT big of an issue to lose weight, they joked with her about what does a Southern woman do when she gets mad.

They also push “low fat”, “low salt” foods, which really shows how our society is now. What a lot of the dietary issues with us right now is that we eat too much sugar (which turns into fat), we have white bread, pasta, so many foods that have corn in them (which is basically sugar… pretty much anything that says Fructose… comes from corn), processed foods that have lost a lot of their nutrients.

What we need to do to lose weight is not buy “Low fat” foods, it’s to buy whole grain, real food that’s not been processed. Things like beans, lentils, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and stop eating things that are quick and easy, because the quicker and easier it is to just heat up the foods, the more salt, preservatives and chemicals there are in it.

I’m not saying it’s easy, it takes a LOT of work to eat healthy, but the reward is worth it. I have a long way to go to get my food to where I want it. I also have a husband and a roommate that I have to convince to get on the same path, luckily, the roommate’s girlfriend is also a friend of Hubby and me, and she a nutritionist, or rather, studying to become a nutritionist.

She also lost over 70 lbs, just by changing her diet.

So for me, rather than starving myself, cutting back on fat, or just exercizing more, I’m trying to eat less processed stuff.

Things like… Butter instead of Margerine, making Spelt bread on the weekends instead of buying loaves of white bread, making more side dishes that use beans and lentils, and having fresh fruits and veggies to munch on when I need a snack.

These are little things, but they can make a big difference. We’ll see how well I do.

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Hello and Welcome

Hey guys, so I’m Saff. I’m trying, ONCE AGAIN, to get my weight and life under control, and this is the place where I’m going to blog about it.

I make Youtube videos, and watch a bunch, and one person who I watch a lot is Shay Carl. Now Shay is working to lose some weight over the next little bit, and he’s got a very inspiring channel called Shayloss.

He’s set a goal to lose weight over the next month and be down 40 lbs by March 5th. I’ve decided that I need to have a goal for taking my life back and I’ve made March 5th my goal date as well. For that day I want to be down at least 5 lbs and have maintained that weight or lost more.

No more bungie cord where I bounce back up to 160, no more going back to old habits. I’m bound and determined to getting back into shape, eating healthy, working on my mental state and overall getting my life back.

I’ll go further into what this means for me in future blogs. Until then, I am keeping a food journal, reading Boundaries, and 48 Days to the Work you Love, and going to the gym regularly.

It’s baby steps but every step is a step closer.

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