|October 17, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
you could say i had an active childhood. my sisters and i were shuttled from swim practice to soccer games to gymnastics and spent our evenings outside, running awry with the neighborhood kids. we ate fairly healthy — each meal included a banana split 3 ways and some sort of vegetable — but were never denied our fair share of treats. fridays often included pizza, birthdays meant our favorite cake, and my mom would frequently surprise us with a homemade batch of cookies. no matter the indulgences, though, we gathered around the table as a family for a home cooked meal almost every night. add consistently active days to these wholesome eating habits and a healthy weight in my younger years came easily.
fast forward to the high school era where i was an always-on-the go, two sport varsity athlete and it’s no wonder i was “effortlessly” thin and fit. 6 months out of the year i was swimming up to 6 hours a day (before and after school). the twix + mountain dew (my favorite pre-practice snack) were nowhere to be seen in my waistline or on my hips. morning practice was often followed by two chocolate chip bagels (extra cream cheese) and when i finally had my own car, i was known to stop for a buttery grilled cheese and fries on my way home at night. due to my unbelievable activity level, though, i had the luxury of maintaining my weight with little to no regard as to my diet.
my 4 years away at college ushered in a whole new reality and forced me to closely examine my eating and exercise habits — and what it meant to be healthy. while my activity level remained high in college (i played ncaa division one water polo for four years), the nutritious eating habits that came so easily at home (thanks to my stay at home mom’s lunch packing and cooking skills), were quickly replaced by large amounts of alcohol, late night jack-in-the box runs, and delicious, but none too healthy, dining hall options. my mom’s grilled chicken, roasted potato, and broccoli dinners were traded for make-your-own waffles, buttery pasta, ranch drenched salads, and the most amazing french fries i had tasted. the easy access to sub-par food choices (thanks to the swipe of my dining points card!) were the primary culprit of my freshman 15 weight gain.
the summer after my junior year, i was ready for a change. after a ridiculously unhealthy 21st birthday weekend, i felt sluggish, bloated, and unattractive. my unhealthy habits had caught up with me and the weekends full of beer, late night fast food, and lazy saturdays, no were no longer appealing. i consciously made a decision to revamp my lifestyle choices.
my first step was purchasing a copy of the south beach diet. other family members had success losing a few pounds on the plan, and it seemed simple enough. before too long, i was hooked. bagels, rice, burgers and beer were replaced by egg whites, fresh veggies, grilled chicken breast and water. i ate as much as i wanted, but very little variety and waining nutritional value. fat was off limits, carbs were acceptable if whole grain (but only in small amounts), alcohol went out the window, and low calorie options were preferred. for months, i subsisted on plain grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies, and fat/sugar free frozen yogurt. and the results were just what i hoped for. i lost close to 15 pounds in 3 months and felt great.
it was shortly thereafter that this new “healthy” lifestyle spiraled out of control as i very quickly took this new way of eating to an unsustainable extreme. any type of fat was absolutely unacceptable as i scoured grocery shelves for sugar-free, reduced calorie products, and filled up on diet sodas and zero calorie carbonated waters. i added a running routine to the mix and soon enough lost my period. i quickly realized while i had lost the weight, i had lost my health. gone was the confident, strong and muscular athlete who used food as fuel, and here was a lanky, nutrient-deprived girl scared of the food she once loved.
it was a long road back to where i am today (a road that deserves its own post in due time), but i would not trade the difficult path or the lessons learned along the way as they have contributed to the balance, stability, and confidence i feel today in my healthy living habits. the best way i can think to end this post is with the things i know now that i wish i knew then:
- stop defining yourself by a number. it will never be good enough. if you are, as i am, blessed with a type-a, perfectionist personality, you will never be satisfied. the number on the scale, the number on the pants tag, the number of calories consumed — it can always be better, or so i thought. it took me far too long to realize that the number means nothing. i weigh more, wear bigger pants, and out eat my 24-year old self, but am exponentially more confident, happy, and content than that 24-year old self. i’ll let you decide which is more important.
- exercise for yourself, not for your scale. if i had a penny for every minute i spent on a treadmill when i would rather be doing something else, i would have a ridiculously fantastic handbag collection. and do you want to know the only reason i was on that treadmill? to burn more calories and lose more pounds. i was a slave to my exercise routine and miserable the entire time. i now workout to feel good. i enjoy morning runs, long walks with the dogs, and super sweaty power yoga classes. i try to stay consistent with my exercise routine (ideally 5 workouts a week), but that doesn’t always happen. and that’s ok.
- eat to live and live to enjoy. food is in our every day lives to fuel us. what we put in our body dictates what we get out of our body and this is my most important consideration in choosing my normal eats. however, i love cupcakes, potato chips, and ice cream far too dearly to bypass them based on their lack of nutritional value. you see, in addition to our pursuit of good health, there is another just as important part of life and that is our pursuit of enjoyment of each day. for you, that may mean a manicure, a new pair of shoes, or a mountain hike. for me it’s a carrot cake cupcake.
- consider the future. you are building the body that will grow your children. i get it. i do. for a 21 year old college student, the furthest thing from her mind is the children she hopes to have in 5 to 10 years. far more important is the fraternity party starting in one hour and how quickly she can chug that beer. the furthest thing from her mind is regular periods and consistent ovulation. far more important are the fit of those skinny jeans and how many miles she logged on the treadmill. do me a favor, though, be good to your body. in the near future you may be asking it to do extraordinary things, and it will thank you for your care.
- love yourself so that others can love you. this is my last, but possibly most important, piece of advice. had i not taken the long and difficult road to self acceptance and contentment, i may possibly have missed the greatest love of my life. it is hard to see in the moment, but if my experience counts for anything, you can rest assured you must love yourself before you can let someone else fully love you.
|October 12, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
so often we think we have all the answers. when things do not go as planned, there must be a reason, there must be a solution. when life veers of the path we laid, there must be shortcut back to our route and a mistake that led us astray. we spend so much time perfecting our plans, solidifying our road, and staying the course. but do we then forget that perhaps the best plans are not yet laid? perhaps the happy ending we have ahead must still be built.
adaptation is not a strength of mine. i make a plan and follow that plan. it’s no wonder the most difficult times in my life have been those where those plans have been interrupted. my freshman year of college, for example, did not begin as i had imagined, and i fell to pieces. a summer job did not pan out and i was a wreck. most recently, my timeline of: fall in love — get married — have a baby has fallen off track and each day is a struggle. something feels broken.
maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better. when i read this quote, i immediately felt a sense of calm. maybe the instability i am feeling is due to my reluctance to accept that perhaps, just maybe, my plan is not the right one. maybe i am not privy at this very moment to the reasons behind the twist and turns in life and quit possibly, everything is happening just as it should.
so, on this wednesday morning, i challenge you to let go of something in your life that you can’t control. turn the future over to whatever other-worldly being you may believe in and breathe. the release of pressure, the pressure to know the answers, to fix what is broken, is a beautiful thing.
be back this evening with a post. have a great day.
|October 11, 2011||Posted by kathleen under lunch + dinner, musings|
as i walked out of my hot yoga class around 5:50 this evening, something was off. it was getting dark!
i am absolutely not ready for this change in daylight, and it is only going to get worse when daylight savings rolls around. ay yay yay. i can take the cold, can take the snow, even the disappearance of my beautiful flowers is tolerable, but darkness at 4:30 p.m., someone help!
at least today’s eats were yummy, and highlighted by an array of leftovers from last night’s dinner.
- sauteed kale
- leftover salmon
- roasted brussel sprouts
- hummus + feta
somewhat of a mish-mosh plate, but i got in some veggies and enjoyed round II of last night’s delectable salmon.
as i was getting ready to pop a sweet potato in the oven to accompany my veggie + protein plate, my sister showed up with a surprise afternoon treat!
she was out running errands, one of which involved a stop at our local bakery/bread shop and noticed the fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpkin muffins. aware that her older sister is a pumpkin freak, she so graciously purchased and dropped one off!
make no mistake, this was not a healthy muffin, but rather made with butter, sugar + flour. and i enjoyed every.single.bite! it’s the little things in life.
tonight’s was a good one!
i had an acorn squash chillin’ in the kitchen and a tupperware of leftover risotto. bingo! risotto stuffed acorn squash! i simply split and roasted the squash at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. stuffed it with warmed risotto, topped with a sprinkle of goat cheese, and baked for 10 more minutes.
i promptly returned to the kitchen after finishing this plate for the other half. it was that good. this was my first time stuffing squash and my mind is racing with possibilities:
- cranberry + almond quinoa
- raisin + walnut brown rice
- melted kale farro
- cinnamon sugar wheat berries
a side of brussels rounded out the meal!
in light of the fact that the dreadful, dark winter is just around the corner, i figured i’d list a few things i’m looking forward to in the coming (chilly) months:
- christmas vacation in naples, florida
- homemade holiday cookies
- secret santa
- winnie’s first snow
- warm beverages + cozy blankets
- late afternoon fires
what are you looking forward to?
i’m off to find a brownie…
|October 8, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings, travel|
- still time to enter the daily crumb’s favorite things giveaway!
- check out my guest post on (thanks, jamie!) about fitting it all in
scenes from the weekend:
regular blogging and healthy living habits to return tomorrow.
|October 5, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
when things go wrong, as they sometimes will.
when the road your trudging seems uphill.
when funds are low and the debts are high.
and you want to smile but you have to sigh.
when care is pressing you down a bit
rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
life is queer with its twists and turns.
as everyone of us sometimes learns.
and many a failure turns about.
when he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
don’t give up, though the pace seems slow.
you may succeed with another blow.
often the goal is nearer than
it seems to a faint and faltering man.
often the straggler has given up.
when he might have captured the victor’s cup.
and he learned too late, when the night slipped down.
how close he was to the golden crown.
success is failure turned inside out.
the silver tint of the clouds of count.
and you never can tell how close you are.
it may be near when it seems afar.
so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
it’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
love, mocha + winnie
- author unknown ()
|October 1, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
just like the rest of y’all i’m sure, i cannot believe it is october 1. it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating with a memorial day bbq, watching 4th of july fireworks, and enjoying poolside afternoons. as we trade those days of summer for chunky sweaters, crock pot meals, and a countdown to thanksgiving, i thought i would lay out a few goals for the upcoming month.
return to the mat.
|September 29, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
as usual, the end of the month has crept up on me and i cannot believe we are about to enter october. despite the flying time, there is so much to look forward to in these upcoming weeks:
|September 28, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
name any indulgent food or drink out there and i can guarantee there is a “guilt-free”, “sinless” alternative in the market place.
craving ice cream? pick the low fat, sugar free fro yo instead.
eyeballing the cheese plate? roll with the fat free varieties.
|September 28, 2011||Posted by kathleen under dining out, musings|
twas a long day ’round here.
i arrived home late from a work function and dirtying up the kitchen with a nighttime meal did not sound appealing. i gave in the my chinese craving and ordered up my favorite: chicken + shrimp lettuce wraps with brown rice. 30 minutes later, dinner was at my front doorstep love how that happens.
|September 27, 2011||Posted by kathleen under musings|
so happy y’all like this morning’s of the moment post. i can.not.wait. to try that sweet potato gnocchi.
moving right along, it’s a dreary morning here (again!), but it did force me to hunker down and tackle my to-do list with a vengeance. i enjoyed an early morning pumpkin spice tea steeped in almond milk while working through my inbox.
breakfast was basic pumpkin pie oatmeal to which i added 2 egg whites (mixed with the pumpkin and stirred in at the end) for an extra dose of protein.
i worked through the next couple of hours, breaking around 10:00 a.m. for a wet 4 mile walk with the pups. lunch was early, but delicious!
in denial that the warm weather is on its way out, i threw together one of my favorite summer salads. fresh spinach tossed in balsamic dressing and topped with tomatoes, avocado, goat cheese, and warm grilled chicken.
served with leftover butternut squash fries.
i have about 30 minutes to get all gussied up before i head downtown for a work event, but first, some food for thought…
how he eats
ever wonder what your man’s eating habits say about it? well, according to fab fit fun, here’s the scoop:
the guy who sends everything back because it’s too cold, too hot, too overdone, etc.: this guy is too picky and he’ll find some reason to pick you apart — move on to a different table because nothing is ever good enough for him.
the guy who finishes one type of food (e.g., his potatoes) before he moves on to the next type (e.g., his fish): this is a guy who is very orderly. if you move in with him, you better have your own bathroom. on the plus side, when you’re making love, he’ll make sure he’s finished with one part of your body before moving on to the next.
the guy who always wants what everyone else has: red flag. this guy is a commitment-phobe who will never really be happy with what or who he has.
the guy who wants to share everything: this is a guy who’s open to new things and values your opinion — a keeper. however, if he quickly scarfs down all his food without letting you try a bite, you may want to send him back.
the guy who wants you to order for him: A clear indication of mommy issues — stay away from him, especially if he asks you to cut his meat.
let’s see, according to this analysis, matt is not picky, not orderly, a little bit of a commitment-phobe, open to new things, but free of mommy issues pretty accurate if you ask me!
in your experience, are these correlations accurate?