Preemptive vs Reconciliatory Workouts

Do you like my fancy pants words?

Did I just wreck it by saying “fancy pants”? Probably.

So let’s talk about work food. Today, my work food consisted of one serving of Progresso Hearty Tomato soup that I followed up later in the afternoon with a Clif Builder protein bar.

Are you disgusted? I certainly am. One of these days, guys. I swear. I’ll get my act together.  (Things started off well enough with a nice, filling bowl of oatmeal topped with a spoon of peanut butter. So filling and tasty! Maybe not all is lost.)

We have reached a point, my friends. I have never been one to hide my less-than-wise eating choices from my dear readers. Garbage plates have made it to the blog. Cakes have made it to the blog. Unreasonable amounts of chocolate have made it to the blog. But I am starting to notice an unsettling trend in my eating habits: I am being careless. I am ALL about splurges. I am 100% for celebrating special occasions. For giving in to those random “you-know-what-would-be-delicious-right-now?” cravings. But the one thing that is absolutely essential, is awareness of what you’re doing. What are you eating? Why are you eating it? Recently, my answers to those last two questions have been “Junk.” and “Because it’s there.” Time for some discipline! I have decided to start tracking myself again. Not to the point of “dieting,” but just to get myself back in the groove of holding myself accountable for making healthier choices! Read: BRING SOME DECENT FOOD TO WORK SO YOU DON’T STARVE ALL DAY AND EAT LIKE A PIG ONCE YOU FINALLY LAND BACK HOME.” Fortunately, I think that (overall), my relationship with food is very healthy, I enjoy eating healthfully, but I can also appreciate my treats. And come to find out, when those treats come in moderation, it makes them even more enjoyable. Time to snap back into action! 

And while we are on the note of lifestyle accountability, let’s talk gym routines.

Back in the day, when my job was just ten minutes around the corner and my workday began at 8:15, I was able to make it to the gym in the morning. And when I had days off (during the week), I was able to take a few classes here or there, or at the very least, make it in at a decent time where I would not only have the option of using the activity room for my circuits and random workouts, but also of having my choice of equipment to use. If it was feeling like a bike-to-treadmill-to-elliptical-back-to-bike kind of day, I could hop around the gym floor to my little heart’s content, but that is NOT the case anymore. Nowadays, I leave the house for work around 6:30. Even on the days when I tote the gym bag off with me, by the time I return home, it’s prime time at the gym. Good luck getting in the door! As you have probably figured out though, that is just about the only option that I’ve got, but space and machine-availability isn’t my only problem with evening gym time. 

Recently, I have come to notice that when I used to make time for the gym in the morning, it would start my whole day off on the right foot. Not only did it make me feel good about myself from a psychological standpoint and give me a clearer mind to charge through my day with, but kicking the day off with some good ‘ole physical activity would set me on the right path for my eating habits too. The physical activity would encourage me to eat a healthy breakfast. The healthy breakfast would stick with me and keep me full and keep me from making bad decisions throughout the rest of the day. Long story short, an active morning led to healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.

On the FLIP side, an evening appointment with the gym seems to be more of a “Uh oh. Where did those Oreos go!!?!? Time to run it off!” type of affair. It’s all about cleaning the slate from the rest of the day, and it’s a terrible way to go about things!

So, it’s time to make some changes. To make some scheduling accommodations, some food changes and to get back on the path that I was trucking down so happily for the better part of 2012!

As I have mentioned very briefly, next week, my company’s 8-week walking challenge begins! I think this might be the perfect time to set all of this in motion. I wonder if maybe I can some of my co-workers to join me…

So here’s my question for you, what do you do when you suddenly realize that your recent habits haven’t been the best for your long-term health and fitness goals? AND

Do you prefer early-riser workout time, or pm-punch of activity?

I hope you all had a great day and I will see you all again tomorrow!

 

Caterpillar Convictions

Hello, my friends. I hope your Tuesday was terrific!

My morning was off to a little bit of a bumpy start. About five yards before my exit from the Thruway was up, I realized that I left a couple of semi-important things at home sitting by the front door. As luck would have it, this flustering revelation came in JUST enough time to rattle my cage and I promptly zipped right past my exit! (Yes, again.) Fortunately for me, I was able to turn around pretty quickly and get right back on track. Oy vey.

So now let’s talk about food.

Food:

This morning, I had breakfast waiting for me in the refrigerator. Overnight/ Refrigerator oats have been a BIG deal in the blog world in recent times. I tried it on a couple of different occasions over the summer, but could never really get into it. The texture is a little bizarre and the flavor is… well, complex, but recently, I gave it one more shot and I am hooked. While I’m still not exactly crazy about the oats, I cannot BELIEVE how filling this breakfast is. And on the plus side, you make it ahead (the night before) and leave it in the refrigerator to set up. By the time you’re ready for breakfast in the morning, the consistency is just right and you have yourself the World’s Most Filling Breakfast. Additionally, it’s kind of fun to play with the yogurt flavor/ fruit combinations. Best of all, there are only three ingredients: Greek yogurt, chia seeds (<— remember my obsession with these over the summer? It has returned with a vengeance!), and oats. Easy as pie. You can top ’em off with any of your favorite fruits which will really help the texture factor and also adds some sweetness!

ONOATS

On a slightly related note, I cannot tell you how wonderful these little split plates are. I found them 2 for $1.50 at the grocery store and they have  revolutionized my life. In this instance, I prepared the DELICIOUS-LOOKING (not.) oats on the larger side and sectioned out some frozen strawberries to thaw in the smaller portion. It works terrifically.

For lunch, I had pretty much the same deal as yesterday: shredded chicken on a sandwich thin:

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It doesn’t look like much, but it packs a flavor punch and once again, is so, so filling. I discovered this chicken “recipe” on a blog a while back and will occasionally return to it. My favorite part is that it’s a make-ahead meal. You can get a few days out of a couple of chicken cutlets and have it ready to go for lunches. We all know that satisfying, simple lunches are my new schtick and this one certainly fits the bill. The next time I make the chicken, I will be sure to post the whole process. It is so, so simple which makes it twenty times better!

I also temporarily reverted to my old habits and finished lunch with dessert:

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I will always and forever love my greek yogurt + banana combo deal.

Dinner tonight came in the form of a sweet potato that I cooked in the microwave. I know you’re jealous.

Also, in the 5ks & Coffee Beans spirit of COFFEE ADDICTION, allow me to introduce you to the bag ‘o beans that has been making my world go ’round for the past couple of weeks each and every morning:

Dunkin_Donuts_Pumpkin_Spi

Source.

Of course, I didn’t discover this coffee until it was on sale at Target, but I was hooked at my first sip. It is a wonderfully bold, spicy coffee that I could drink by the gallon. My travel mug full of this stuff is the only reason I am able to maintain my sanity on the drive to work. This weekend, I returned to Target to stock up and there was only ONE BAG LEFT. And as you may see, it is a LIMITED TIME ONLY flavor. So. Sad. Good old Dunkin’ is already on to their Mixed Berry, Coconut and Strawberry Shortcake flavors! Nonsense.

Let’s skip right along to my workout before we get on to the caterpillar business and namesake for this post!

Workout: 

For sanity’s sake, I decided to come home after work for a bit before heading to the gym. I figured that by pushing it back by a little while, maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to actually procure a treadmill. Or an elliptical. Or a bike. Or a locker. I did! It was, however, incredibly hot. So hot, in fact, that the windows were steamed. Who knows what is going on with that place.

I was feeling pretty tired by the time I finally made my way out tonight, but I committed to two miles on the treadmill and my beloved leg press machine. I zipped through an incredibly mixed up two-mile run/ incline power-walk and then made my way to the leg press. (The man on the treadmill next to me was shooting me mad weird looks as I constantly switched up my incline and speed on the second mile of that run. I think he thought I just didn’t have any idea what I was doing. We won’t tell him that he may have been right! 😛 ) Anyway, I was in and out within half an hour and boy, did I work up a sweat! Despite the fact that, once again, there wasn’t a single woman in the WHOLE facility (25:1), it felt great to get in and out of there without waiting in an awkward treadmill line or being in the midst of 2,000 other people.

And now for some desk drawer wisdom.

When I realized that I was going to have my very own desk and office at this new job, I decided that I wanted to make those spaces as motivating and positive as possible. It may sound silly, but a couple of encouraging words in the midst of a stressful day can actually work wonders on the old psyche.

One of my very favorite proverbs of all time is this guy right here:

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Naturally, I couldn’t pass it by when I found it printed on a magnet a while ago. Over the years, it’s sat in many different places (perhaps most prominently, it was proudly displayed on a couple of my dorm room fridges). And now, it sits on my desk drawer and reminds me that just when things are looking bleaker than bleak, there is something beautiful waiting. I know, I know, it’s a little cheesy, but it is a phrase that has given me hope and insight through some choppy waters and it makes me smile every time I see it.

It’s my very own little Pinterest “inspiration” board right on my desk drawer!

So here’s my question for YOU. What is your favorite proverb/ motivational quote or quip? I have a zillion and one, but I think the caterpillar one will always be one of my very favorites!

Have a fantastic Wednesday and I will talk to you again tomorrow night!