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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.

 

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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!

What is your food vice?

skippyhell

I thought I could go back to keeping peanut butter in my house, but I was dead wrong.  My boyfriend is an enabler, albeit an adorable and loving enabler, who gave me his peanut butter since it was not “easily spreadable”.  Good thing (?) I just eat it with a spoon.  I can simply eat an entire 16 oz. container of Skippy Reduced Fat peanut butter with an orgasmic smile on my face.  That’s about 2400 calories right there.  DOUBLE my daily allotted calories for my fitness plan!  This week I attempted to only eat about half in a seating, but in the past I could house that entire container like a pint of ice cream while watching “Hoarders.”  Sure, moments after I’m done I’ll have a feeling of nausea and regret followed by extra miles at the gym, but I felt it was worth it in the past.  Today I don’t feel the same way.  I don’t want to give up peanut butter, but I think switching to individual packets will be the best way for me to manage portion control.   I also found some Reduced Fat JIF To Go packs in case I find myself wanting to dip something besides my mouth into the creamy deliciousness.  I do have to make sure not to keep to many in the house or they will all be gone in one day!  Don’t worry, I’m working on my discipline in therapy, but it’s been an ongoing battle.  This may not be the most cost effective plan, but it will aid me in resisting my unhealthy urges.  Ultimately that is most important to me.

I also found these individual Nutella packets online!  This can help many Nutella addicts out there, myself included!

200 Calories.

I am a visual person, so this collection via wiseGEEK depicting what 200 calories look like is very helpful for me when it comes to visualizing portion control.   Hopefully it will help you too! Click through the image below to get a closer look at each pictured portion on the wiseGEEK website.  

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200calories2 200calories3 200calories4 200calories5

Alternative Sweets for your ‘Sweet’

Holidays and sweets go hand in hand.  Valentine’s day is one of the many holidays pushing sweet treats and candies and chocolates in excess.  The biggest chocolate heart is supposed to show your loved one how much you love them.  That irks me.  It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality!  While at the grocery store last night I was surrounded by sweet temptations because of today’s holiday.  Do I love all of those things?  Heck yes!  But, in order to support this healthy lifestyle of mine, I came up with two options to battle the Valentine expectation of sweets for your ‘sweet’.  One is obviously healthier than the other, while the other one deals with making the right choice as far as portion size while at the grocery store.

1. Heart Shaped Fruits

01-fruit-heart-624x362

If you happen to have just 15-20 minutes to prepare something sweet and healthy this Valentines day evening, then I’d recommend the simple act of cutting up fruit like honeydew,  melon, apple, etc. into heart shapes (using a heart shaped cookie cutter is recommended if you aren’t confident in your carving skills) and piercing them with a BBQ skewers as pictured above.  It’s not only delicious and healthy, it’s simple and adorable!  Or get creative with it, make it your own Valentine presentation!  There are so many healthy alternative ideas  for holiday treats thanks to the wonderful internet that houses blogs like Sincerely, Paula where I first saw this recipe and where she lists a plethora of other healthy Valentine food options including both sweet and savory.  Obviously, the best choice health wise would be if you chose fruit instead of chocolates as your Valentine sweet.  I’d rather take a little extra time to create something unique on a holiday where store bought chocolates and cards are the norm, but I know that is not always possible when life gets in the way.  If you do not have the time to make something simple and unique for your loved one, it’s understandable for those who have very busy lifestyles.  This brings me to option #2.

2. Freshly Baked Mini Cupcakes

Cupcakes

I squeal with delight whenever I see mini cupcakes.  Most mini cupcakes are around 100 calories each.  Most larger cupcakes are around 300 calories, give or take depending on ingredients and freshly baked or packaged.  This means you can have just one mini cupcake for 100 calories if that’s all you can afford in your calorie count, or 3 mini cupcakes for the same calories as one larger one.  Besides the fact that you can easily pick up the better choice of mini cupcakes in most any grocery store on your way home tonight, mini cupcakes are just cute!  If you are someone who cannot have the box of 9 or 12 mini cupcakes in your house tempting you, opting for one larger cupcake from a bakery instead of a prepackaged 6 may be better.  Purchasing one large cupcake instead of an entire ice cream cake or a box of chocolates can mean so much more on a holiday like today.  To me, sharing something small and sweet with someone you love is extremely special and meaningful and intimate.  It shows you care about their health but you don’t want to miss out on the small joys in life, and you want to enjoy these things together.   Who wouldn’t love receiving just one adorable mini cupcake along with a lovely personal written note or spoken word of affection from your sweetheart?  Someone without a soul, that’s who! 🙂

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