“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding” – Harvey MacKay

80/20. Could that really be true? 80% of weight loss is attributed to your eating and 20% to your exercise?

When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it. I was under the mindset that through all of my activity in athletics, I was entitled to eat whatever I wanted. After all, I just worked out hard…I deserved this food, right? I can’t help but look back and wonder how much better I would have been able to perform and how much better I would have felt had all those volleyball tournaments growing up been filled with quality food instead of puppy chow, walking tacos, and scotcheroos. How much better shape I could have been in had my lunch on game days not consisted of chinese food, french fries, and pizza.

I love counting calories. For me, it’s a sure-fire way to feel good, fight cravings, and balance meals. I can splurge on one meal, cut back on another. However, as I’ve become better educated I’ve realized that while keeping portions in check is always important, it’s also important to focus less on the number and more about the quality of food you’re putting in. For example, I bought a bag of popcorn the other day that only has 130 calories for 4 cups. But in those 4 cups is also 5 grams of saturated fat!! Yikes!! Or how about those low-calorie granola bars? Most of those calories are filled with sugar and processed ingredients, leaving you completely unsatisfied. You’ll be much better off having a handful of protein-packed almonds that will keep you fuller, longer. To avoid falling into these traps, be aware of those important other numbers on the nutrition label and avoid high sugar and sodium-packed foods with little nutritional benefits. Like I’ve mentioned before, an application like Fooducate on your phone can help you tremendously in this department!

So although there’s a lot more to eating well than your caloric intake, limiting and tracking your calories can be a great start and will definitely get you (and keep you) going in the right direction. It can be as simple as just keeping mental notes of the amount you’re consuming/expending, or what I would highly suggest doing is getting an application on your phone. It’s something you always have with you and is a great resource for looking things up. What I’ve used for a long time is the  LoseIt! app. LoseIt! helps you set your goals, track both food intake and exercise, and provides nutritional information for most common foods. Another good application I’ve tried is called SlimKicker. SlimKicker is a very similar application, but allows you to track other numbers besides calories if you so choose (carbs, protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, and sugar). Be warned, however, that once you enter the world of calories there is no going back! You will never look at a Starbucks drink the same. In fact, you may stop eating out entirely:) Only kidding. This brings me to my next point:

Cheat days. We all have them…just sometimes too many of them. This day is important, especially when just starting out on a new healthy diet. It’s a day when you can eat whatever you want. Not only does this help in keeping your overall eating plan on track, but it also serves as a way to keep your exercise routine motivated. Sometimes I get in a funk, or I get dragged to a pizza joint by my husband, and decide to splurge. You better believe that next morning is a serious sweat session in the gym! As hard as it is to limit your cheat days and meals I promise you it gets easier with time. The longer you stick to healthy eating, the easier it is to fight cravings. Eat less sugar, crave less sugar. You will get to a point when eating unhealthy will physically make you feel sick, and it’s a lot easier to say no to things that don’t make you feel good! So enjoy your splurging (I thoroughly enjoy my much too often froyo trips), but be encouraged when you start having less cravings…it means you’re making progress.

So, there’s my 10 cents. 80/20 is completely true. If you’re trying to decide whether to start spending more time in your kitchen or your gym, make it your kitchen…trips to the gym become a lot more enjoyable when your going to tone what you have instead of work off what you ate.

If I were to finish by saying something it would be to stay encouraged. It takes about 3 weeks to form a habit and you’re not going to meet your goals by the end of week one . Not even week two, or three. Healthy weight loss is measured in 1-2 pounds a week, but I encourage you to make your change of habits less about the number on the scale, and more about how you feel!!! I absolutely love this picture:

Comparing yourself to other people isn’t going to get you anywhere. Love what you have and take care of yourself because it makes you feel good! Confidence and strength is sexy no matter what shape or size you are!

So speaking of losing weight…I’ve lost quite a bit over the last 8 months! Enough to have to throw out a good portion of my closet. It’s obviously a great feeling to have a “Jared” moment, but now I have nothing to wear! With work starting up and winter being right around the corner…my yoga pants aren’t going to take me much further. I’ve finally plateaued with my weight and am looking forward to a mini-shopping spree within my budget this weekend:) Woo!!

To wrap up I’ll leave you with some pictures, which are much more exciting than my words anyways…

Tyler has been fly fishing in attempts to bring home dinner…nothing like waking up to a fish in your sink. alive.

I took my mom on a scenic hike while she was here…relaxing here at the top.

Not only did we hike together, she attended my fitness class on Monday and totally kicked butt. One proud daughter!!

Tyler and I are on the same schedule now that my work (training) has started. Late night trip to the gym! Couple that works out together stays together, right? 🙂

Before you leave, be sure to check out this week’s new recipes…and ALSO my new intro and workout pages under “fitness”!

While my mom was here, we enjoyed some Mexican Squash Stew (recommended by my mother-in-law) and THIS yummy dessert!

Portobello Pizza

Made my favorite 2 ingredient pumpkin-spice cookies again and tried a new version w/ devil’s food cake mix! It just isn’t a Holiday until you’ve decorated cookies:)

My new go-to snack and dessert, smudgies!

Simple Slow Cooker Chicken

Avocado Dip made with Greek Yogurt

Egg White Pizza – credit to Miss Indy Uhlenhopp!

Week 3 of rambling complete – hope I still have some followers. Also, hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! Things were pretty low-key here in Eagle. Despite my attempts at dragging Tyler into a Misty-Kerri costume, we ended up relaxing and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. All 3 of them. Which left us with a huge bowl of candy, and making it even more impressive that this was my first Halloween not having anything. I just don’t crave the things I used to. But before you label me some sort of saint, I will have you know that if that bowl had been full of ice cream or frozen yogurt – it would have been empty before it even got dark. Ohhh weaknesses….:)

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