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Perfectly Imperfect

This past year has not been without it’s challenges.  I went through a heart-wrenching breakup and my dietary self-discipline was touch and go.  The thing that kept me moving towards a positive goal was finally focusing on myself.  What did I need?  What did I want?  Health, yes.  Happiness, of course.  But overall, I wanted to accept myself as I was: perfectly imperfect.

I admire those who lead a strict disciplined life of impeccable health and physique, but I know that is not in my DNA, and that’s ok.  Recently learning from my physician that my metabolic blood tests were within a healthy range despite my being “obese” makes me want to share that it’s possible to reach that healthy balance without being perceived as perfect.  You can lead a healthy lifestyle without making the right choices all the time.

The Smart Ones© message of wiping the slate clean has been a running theme on my blog and it’s one that resonates strongly with me.     Giving in to unhealthy food choices at events, family gatherings, and any sort of environment you find yourself within reach of food temptations doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you human.  If you are able to say no to the extra slice of cake, that’s great!  But in my experience, deprivation of certain foods can lead me down a slippery slope of gluttony.  I’ve learned to take desserts home if I am full, wrap up half of my plate of excessively portioned restaurant food before I start eating, and most importantly I listen to my stomach.

Occasional food slip ups are part of your journey to wellness, and it may be difficult but not impossible to keep from starting at square one.  Schedules get busy and unhealthy food makes it past our lips.  As much as I wish I had the money for a personal trainer and private chef, that’s just not the case.  Try not to let momentary set backs become permanent by realizing that it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t making the best food choices for a day or even weeks.  It may seem impossible if you are in a viscous unhealthy food cycle, but with a little help and inspiration you can get back on track.

Time is not always on my side.

Time is not always on my side.

 

The Importance of Support

I make the healthiest food choices every day.

Wouldn’t that be nice if that statement was 100% accurate!?

I am guilty of having a “fake it until you make it” approach to life.  I am constantly at battle with myself over food and image and I try my best not to show it.  Since I started working with Smart Ones®  by appearing in the “Clean Slate” video filmed last November, I’ve felt empowered.  Learning that I was not alone in my food struggles and that there are a number of women who share similar stories was comforting.  I was honored to be a part of the Smart Ones® video and I proudly support the “Clean Slate” project. The project’s simple yet powerful message helps women lead a realistic healthy lifestyle.   I truly feel that Smart Ones®  cares about our wants & needs as women.

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Behind the Scenes of the Clean Slate Project video

Recently my struggles with food have been less thanks to the support of the “Clean Slate” community.  Connecting with other women about their healthy set backs has been reassuring and has kept me from going back to square one.  This non-judgmental community gets it.  I will never underestimate the power of support and how it’s OK to ask for help and share your struggles with those who get it.

The “Clean Slate” mentality is one I’ve talked about for years but found it difficult to actually practice until I discovered the Smart Ones® project.  Accept your dietary set backs as temporary, be kind to yourself, and focus on the big picture.  You are human.  You will make mistakes as we all have our moments of weakness.  Wipe the slate clean and move on.  You have a long, happy and healthy life ahead of you!

 

 

Get Up and Go!

We all have our own unique ups and downs while paving our path to wellness.  It could be a setback because you are momentarily unwell or other time vortexes (work, family, travel) may derail you from your typical health regiment.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been sick with an Upper Respiratory Infection and unable to get to the gym. After a week of rest and drinking enough water to cause a drought in my state, I finally got my appetite back but my energy was still missing. I realized I was overindulging in food with the awakening of my taste buds where EVERYTHING TASTED DELICIOUS and I had no energy to burn off the extra calories.  I’ve been tracking my calories regularly and finally after a few days of reassessing my meal choices I was able to stay within my daily weight loss goal of 1400 calories thanks to the decision of choosing Smart Ones® as one of my daily meal choices.

If you’re unable to balance life and your calories on a daily basis, it’s empowering to know that you can start fresh with a clean slate the next day, or next week, and not feel you have to go all the way back to square one.  Occasional slip ups are part of any health journey, whether it be overindulging in calories or physical set backs, and tomorrow you can choose to get up and go!  Move forward from the crappy day or weeks you’ve been having and start fresh! Just be sure you are not overdoing it with physical activity after being sick and try not to limit your calorie intake in the extreme in order to to make up for a recent overindulgence in food. My advice would be to try and choose the right foods next time.  Life is all about finding that healthy balance, and some days the scale may be tipped against you but there is always a way to even the scale over time.

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Out for a short brisk walk after being sick for 2 weeks!

 

You Are Not Alone

elliptical

I have been on an amazing roll as far as portion control and exercise, I can honestly say I am very proud of myself!  I’ve tried all the crazy machines at the gym to try and switch things up, but I will always end up on the elliptical.  The elliptical runner burns major calories and it’s heaven on your joints while feeling natural to my running gate. If I can’t get to the gym, I do yoga or Pilates at home or if it’s above 30 degrees out I’ll go for a walk outside.  I am in the beast zone!  If I don’t get at least 30 minutes of cardio, I feel off.  Naturally I am worried about my addictive behavior and exercise becoming an obsession as I attain the endorphin “high”.  I also fear falling off the wagon as my social and work schedule pick up.

The thing that keeps me hanging on is that I am not alone.   Knowing that there are others out there who don’t have time to spend hours working out at home or at the gym puts my mind at ease.  It’s been refreshing to learn about others who may fall off the wagon with their portion control as well, but are encouraged and supported to get back on.  I am one of many who struggles with knowing when enough is enough.  Having a clean slate mindset has helped me stop beating myself up for losing control once in a while, and start fresh the next day.  When others confess to me that they overindulged, I’m the first one to not make a big deal out of it.  No judgement zone here!  You are not a horrible person for losing control.  Knowing you overdid it is the first step to getting back on track, but you must want to get on that healthy track or it can just become a vicious unhealthy cycle.  But always know, you are not alone and tomorrow is a new day!

It’s A Veg Head Life

Being a (picky) vegetarian, having options while grocery shopping will always be a plus.  When I first became meat free in 1996, the easy and cheap food options for my very selective personality were also not the healthiest. I lived on pizza and pasta.  Over the years I have noticed that grocery stores and food companies have embraced vegetarian culture and provided more well rounded nutritious meatless meal options.  Today, if I realize I haven’t been eating the best by going back to my old ways of carbohydrate overindulgence, I know I can always get back on track and wipe the slate clean with the help of portion controlled vegetarian frozen meals like Smart Ones®.

If you read my blog post earlier this week about couponing to save money, you know I try to shop for healthy items that also provide coupons.   Just the other week the Smart Ones® meals were on sale at ShopRite for $1.77 each.  After printing two $2 off 7  Smart Ones® frozen meals, I was able to get 14 Frozen meals for $1.48 each!  The best thing is that they weren’t 14 of the same meal!  Smart Ones® provides variety not only for carnivores, but for those who prefer meatless options.  They also often have coupons available on their website which is music to my penny pinching ears.  My freezer is consistently packed with their signature red boxes:

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As you can see from my hoard of frozen meals, I am a big fan of practically all Smart Ones® vegetarian dinner options.   Italian, Asian, Mexican, I will take it!   After popping one of these in the microwave after a day of caloric overindulgence, I can mentally prepare to get back on the road to wellness the following day.  I have learned to not waste time lambasting myself for making poor food choices and instead aiming to make better choices next time around.

All in all, I am definitely someone who appreciates a second chance as well as any financial assistance when trying to eat well while on a budget.  Bonus points to Smart Ones® for including such affordable and delicious selections of healthy vegetarian meals for the picky veg heads like myself.

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