I smell… a dramatic diet comeback!

Miscellaneous

Everyone starts off their new diet or new healthy life style change with enthusiasm. We stock our shelves and fridges with fresh produce and whole wheat bread with all the ambition in the world that we will continue on this path. We set our alarm clocks and get up early to hit the gym or fit in a run and we feel empowered and proud when we accomplish the workout.

The trouble is that after some time has passed, things tend to “come up”. Motivation starts to fade little by little. Gym fees and sessions start to look more like torture. Long weekends, holidays and birthdays complete with cake happen to us all. We suddenly find ourselves feeling guilty as we reach our hand into the near empty chip bag. How did this happen when we were so sure of our new diet?

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

This past weekend I threw a Halloween costume party. I love party planning. It’s something I enjoy and I’m good at it. I guess it must be the PR side of me and all the event planning I’ve been involved with!

The party was, of course, adorable and full of Pinterest inspired crafts and food, however, it was basically hog heaven. There was beer (LOTS of Redd’s Apple Ale), chocolate, candy corn, cupcakes, bread, dips, pasta, cookies, sloppy joes, Jello shots with whip cream and bacon and cream cheese dishes galore. It was a fantastic feast with good friends and very much enjoyable. I gave myself a free diet pass and enjoyed whatever I wanted…sometimes life is just too short to waste a good time counting and cutting calories! Plus what’s the fun in planning the party if I didn’t get to enjoy all the treats I made for it?!

One of two dessert tables.

One of two dessert tables.

My free-for-all feast was fun and a nice break while it lasted…that is until Sunday morning suddenly rolled around and I felt like complete and total garbage. I wasn’t hung over because I only had about five beers in the span of six hours. It was more of an entire overall body bloat and crappy mental state. There’s a reason I try so hard to eat a clean diet and exercise five to six days a week, because if I don’t, I know how terrible I will feel afterwards. I may sound like a typical girl and my boyfriend would roll his eyes at me, but I feel so fat and bloated after a few days of eating junk or even after a larger than life cheat “day”. I hate that feeling and it makes me crabby. I ate a little better on Sunday during the day, but not by much and I went to bed that night feeling generally crappy.

Monday morning rolled around and I dragged myself to the gym at 5:30 a.m. to fit in my workout before the office. (As you can guess, I didn’t workout all weekend as I was busy preparing for the party by decorating, cooking and baking. As you can also probably guess, I kicked my little butt at the gym with 40 minutes of HIIT that morning.)

Now I’m in the midst of a dramatic diet comeback from the past week and a half free-for-all. When I make the decision to get back to my regular clean eating habits, there are a couple of key things that make a huge difference for me that I always try to include.

Four tips to help you get back on your diet:

My gallon today -- as I was writing this post actually!

My gallon today — as I was writing this post actually!

  • Drink Water Like It’s Your Job. I try to drink over a gallon of water each day at work and then about three or four water bottles before, after or during my workout. All of this water helps to remove toxins from the body. You should normally be drinking a gallon a day, but it’s especially important when you’ve slacked for a few days and ate lots of sugar or grease. Keep a gallon right next to you wherever you go. Make it a priority to drink a gallon for a minimum of five straight days in a row.
  • Meal Replacement Shakes. Some people may not agree with me on this, but this is what I’m recommending because it works for me and my body. I have a meal replacement shake for lunch everyday at work for about a week and a half when I’m getting back into the swing of things. If I head to the gym late one night, I’ll have some tuna before the workout and then another meal replacement shake after and use it as a protein recovery shake. (It’s important to take note of how your body responds to different components of your fitness journey. Some people I know can’t just eat a meal replacement bar or shake because they mentally can’t do it and find themselves distractedly hungry an hour after. Do what works for you and listen to your body. Although a healthy lifestyle requires a great deal of dedication and self-discipline, if you find that you are hallucinating from hunger pains an hour after you had a meal replacement shake, then maybe it’s not the best route for you — and there’s nothing wrong with that.)
  • Start On A Monday And Don’t Miss A Day All Week. Being in the gym is motivating. Finishing a run with a strong sprint makes you feel like a bad ass. Find that inner “pump” every single day to help build back up your motivation and inspiration. You’re not going to find inspiration by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself for falling off course. At the gym you’re surrounded by people with the same attitude that you once had. Watch them, learn from them and then inherit that attitude again.

    Chillin' in the Sauna.

    Chillin’ in the Sauna.

  • Sauna It Up. I absolutely love the sauna at my gym. I love being hot and a deep sweat is a great way to flush toxins out of your system. The sauna is also super relaxing and a great place to go after a tough workout to reflect on how hard you just worked. Listen to music, close your eyes and try to stay in for about 40 minutes while taking short water breaks every 10 minutes.

Apart from eating lots of fruits and veggies, preparing your meals in advance and getting lots of sleep, these are my top tips for getting back into the swing of a clean eating healthy life style.

Here are a few very other quick tips that you can incorporate when you feel like you’re getting back into a good place:

  • Drink your coffee black or only add one Truvia packet.
  • Drink green tea instead of coffee or sip on it during the day. (Green tea can aide in weight loss.)
  • Don’t eat after 7 p.m. (Again, this tip goes with the whole “listen to your body” speech that I gave earlier. It you’re on the verge of passing out, but its 8:15 p.m. then screw the rule and eat something! Never starve yourself.)
  • To help with not eating after 7 p.m., brush your teeth and floss immediately after your dinner or last meal of the day, then put on mint flavored chap stick like Burt’s Bees. I find this helps with temptation.
  • Stay out of the kitchen! Every time I find myself starting to slip it’s usually because I’m staring blankly into the fridge and fighting a mental battle with myself. “It’s cold out, I can have all that left over pasta” or “I already worked out today, I can have some of that ice cream in the freezer… I’ll only have a couple scoops…” NO. Get what you need to get, eat it and then walk away.

What are some other tips that you guys have for getting back into the swing of your diet? Have you found or heard of something that worked for your body or someone you know?

Summer Goodness

Miscellaneous

I’m being a typical girl when I say this, but where has the time gone!? I can’t believe it’s mid July already! Two seconds ago it was May 19 and I was running the Cleveland Half Marathon with an entire summer before me. Now I’m sitting here on July 16 with a full calendar of events every single weekend between now and Labor Day.

This summer has been awesome — even as I started my big kid job this past month and was officially welcomed into the 40+ hour work week. (P.S. What did I do with myself before I started working full time?!) So since I’ve been feeling like a real adult lately (although I could do without the car payment) my mom and I decided to throw a wine tasting party last Saturday. Pinterest was a huge source of inspiration – check out my Wine Tasting Party Board.

We sent out super cute party invites to guest (which I had a few pictures of, but two weeks ago I ran over my cell phone with my own car — and no, alcohol was not even involved surprisingly). We ended up having around 30 guest Saturday night, and the theme quickly changed from a wine tasting to more of a wine social. By the peak of the night, we probably had 40+ bottles of wine at the “tasting” area.

Beginning of the night.

– Beginning of the night

The party was a blast though. We had grape vine lights strung up as decorations, along with cute wine quotes in pretty frames, plus the weather was gorgeous. The week of the tasting Chardon was actually going on 16 straight days of rain. It was miserable. But the wine gods were shining on us Saturday and the sun was out.

1 of 5 outside tables

– 1 of 5 outside tables

We ended up with a ton of food, even though we supplied a majority of it. Red velvet cup cakes with little frosted grapes on them (they took forever to make), veggie cups, homemade pepperoni roll, a giant platter of sushi, cheese and crackers and of course enough wine to fill a pond. Nothing was better than sitting out on a deck sipping wine with my best friends, gossiping and chatting about everything under the sun. My girlfriends and I all vowed to host a wine or BBQ event once a week from now on. Stay tuned as to how that one plays out.

Food table with a gorgeous rainbow fruit salad

– Food table with a gorgeous rainbow fruit salad

Up next on the summer list looks like Painesville’s Party in the Park event this Saturday, followed by a 5-miler called The Johnny Cake Jog. The weekend after that looks like a

An overview of the decor

An overview of the decor

trip to Put-N-Bay, then Vintage Ohio Wine Festival and a Miranda Lambert concert. Oh plus I think I’m convinced the boyfriend to do a Biathlon with me on August 25. The Biathlon includes a three mile run and a 12 mile bike ride. Check out the 2013 Bellefaire JCB Biathlon & Walk.

Hope everyone’s summer is going just as awesome as mine. If you’re in Northeast Ohio like me — enjoy it now, because we don’t get to 85 percent of the year because of the snow.

Keep Running!

An Inspiring Month.

Miscellaneous

Well Christmas is here! I must say that this season has been one of my favorite. I feel like I am truly in the Christmas spirit and have celebrated the season. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I cannot wait to see my family, give out my gifts and carry my 13-month nephew around the entire day. The next day I will spit my Christmas Day between mine and my boyfriend’s family for the second year in a row. I feel like a kid when I say and mean that I cannot wait!

The season started out with Thanksgiving, which was a fabulous 60 degrees for Chardon, Ohio. These little candy turkey and acorn off Pinterest were a hit!

turkeysThen the Christmas Pinterest creations began…

xmas cookiespeguinsOn December 8 the boyfriend and I ran the Jingle Bell 5K at Legacy Village. This race was great! The course was a little challenging with a few tough hills, and the holiday themed costumes were hilarious. Plus there was tons of activities, food and music post race. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a good workout and a fun festive time.

jingle bell 5kjingle bell 5k runThis past year, as many of you know, I started a new job. My coworkers at work are very passionate about animals. Now I’ve always been an average animal lover. I can appreciate an adorable cat or dog, but I never gave much thought past that. I never thought about animals without homes, abused animals or those living in shelters. During the past few months I’ve listened to my coworkers talk about donating to pet shelters and stopping to pick up dogs without collars on the side of the road. I got inspired to donate to our local pet shelter this Christmas because of their passion. I never thought I would be collecting pet food and treats for Christmas, but it was a very meaningful experience. I hope someone’s passion inspires me again in the future or visa versa for another person.

doggie bagI also work at a local grocery store, as well as in the marketing department for a local hospital. A few days ago I was at the very end of my shift at the store. I had been a cashier, ringing people out for hours and I was exhausted and tired of getting yelled at by crabby, mean customers. My very last customer came through my line. He was an older guy with gray hair. He asked me how I was and we had typical small talk while I rang him out. He paid with a $20 bill and I handed him back his change. He took the money and then handed me back the $5 bill. “Merry Christmas,” he said. “Hang in there.” I stood there, dumbfounded as he turned to walk away. I mumbled a thanks and then just stood there with the money still in my hand. I couldn’t believe how nice that was and how it ironically happened to be my very last customer of the day. It truly made my day. I know anyone who works in retail probably can relate to that. I put the $5 in the Salvation Army kettle on my way out of the store that night. I hope that guy knows how much that little act of kindness meant to a tired cashier. So of course being inspired again, my mom and I bought little Christmas candy, tied a Christmas tag to the box and wrote a thank you note on each one. Yesterday we stopped at the bank, the coffee shop, and the grocery store and gave them to the people who waited on us. Retail is terrible during the year normally, it’s even worse during the holidays, remember that during the next few days!

I want to extend a very happy and blessed Merry Christmas to you all. I hope everyone spends the next two days surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the wonder and joy that this season brings and that inspiration to do good finds its way into your life!

Keep running, keep laughing, Merry Christmas!