The Final Fifty











{March 5, 2013}   “This is the part where you get better.”

Today, on Facebook, my friend Kristine posted the following:

I went for a run at the gym this morning, and there was this point where I was tired and wanted to quit. I thought to myself, “Knock if off, K; this is the part where you get stronger.”

Last year, when I was working out in the gym every day for months, I hit that wall pretty early, and I’ve hit it again with dance. But Kristine is so, so right about this. That wall is the edge of your comfort zone. It’s you butting up against the best you can do. And if you retreat from it, then the best you can do doesn’t get any better. Last time I pushed through it, and the wall never physically went away. I felt tired and pushed to my limit every time I went to the gym. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, my physical limit got farther and farther, but I kept pushing it every time. You have to if you want to improve. So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a good thing, a constructive thing.

It’s been a few days now since I started keeping lots and lots of tea on hand, and I think that was definitely a wise move. I drank 4 large mugs of tea yesterday, which was a huge step towards finally drinking enough water, and I can also confirm that staying well-hydrated helps with hunger. I think my stomach is adjusting to the calorie limit, because I haven’t really felt hungry in ages, but it was even easier not to eat too much when consuming all that water. Also, drinking green tea, or teas with ginger, cinnamon, and other herbs, can have benefits as well. I mentioned cinnamon before, but ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, which is good, because aside from pain relief, inflammation can wreak havoc in the body.

The thing that’s different for me this time around is that I’m starting to think really critically and carefully about what I put into my body. I’ve thought about it in terms of weight loss before, but this is different. What the app is teaching me to do is really budget calories, if that makes any sense. So I’ve learned to think of how much activity I’m doing in a given day, and what that means for my caloric intake, but also to think in terms of trade off. One serving of thin mints, for example, is 160 calories. For that amount of calories, I can have more than 2 cups of green beans or squash. Not only can I consume a much more satisfying volume of food, but I get waaaaay more fiber and nutrients out of it, which is better for my body. I also get none of the processed sugar, which means it’s better for my diet, and it’s one day closer to the end of the sugar cravings.

Also, I feel like a whole world of food has opened up to me now that I’m eating vegetables. At first, I was skeptical about the whole thing. Let’s be honest, a 33 year old who doesn’t eat vegetables is not very open-minded about food. But now that I’ve established a handful of different veggies I actually like, I’m getting really excited about it. This week, once I make it to the grocery store, I want to try broccoli, cauliflower and avocados (yes, I know, a fruit, but still… green.)

So now, instead of looking at recipes and thinking “eh, I’ll have to leave the veggies out” or straight up ditching the recipe, I think “hmm, I wonder if I like that?” It’s progress!!

Also, FYI for anyone who hasn’t tried this? Roasted veggies are awesome. Just put them in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and whatever other stuff you like, and then bake at 350 until they get to the texture you like (usually 30-45 minutes.) Easy and delicious.

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