Saturday, March 12, 2016

How do you like your eggs?

What did you have for breakfast today?  I had an egg white frittata with spinach and tomatoes and some Kashi oatmeal with almond milk.  It was delicious and satisfying!  I love eggs!
This morning's frittata was spinach and tomato.  This is one has steamed broccoli.
When I first started dieting in the 1980s, I remember eggs were "bad for you." They are high in fat and cholesterol.  I liked them well enough, all kinds of ways: egg salad, hard-boiled eggs, scrambled, soft boiled, poached, fried, deviled eggs, and omelettes.  Whether I was trying to lose weight, I've always thought of them as fattening, so I avoided them.

Since I've been on this journey, I realize that they are actually quite healthy:  full of nutrients and protein. Contrary to what we once believed, the cholesterol in eggs does not affect the blood cholesterol of most people*.  Eating two-three eggs a few times a week is definitely reasonable. 

So, how do you like your eggs? Me? I like them over easy and I don't really mind if the yolks crack. I kinda even like them broken sometimes.  If I want to be truthful, it doesn't even bother me if they're a little overcooked.

Anything at all but sunny side up.

Look at sunny side up eggs, they are too pretty to eat.   I know people like them, but they are too neat and clean for me.

You probably are thinking that this post is all about eggs, don't you?

The truth is, it's more about being real. It's hard to trust people who always serve their eggs sunny side up. I want someone who's going to be honest, who will serve things the hard way sometimes (albeit with love).   Over-easy or over-medium...sometimes they come out perfectly and sometimes they're messy.

I really have a hard time with people who always serve their eggs sunny side up.

If we are really friends, then you're going to be honest with me.

From time to time we might even hurt each other's feelings, but we always makeup and share the love after.  We don't just mask over things and pretend nothing ever happened.

I'm going to share your hardships and you're going to share mine.

That's what friendship really is.

Thanks for being my matter how you serve your eggs, especially if they come out messy sometimes.

*Studies are not conclusive about how eggs effect the cholesterol levels of diabetics.  It's the yolk that contains the cholesterol, so whites are fine.

Questions for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
What did you have for breakfast today? How do you like your eggs?  

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Dark Side of the Moon

Have you ever studied the phases of the moon?  Doesn't it seem like the full moon lasts for just a day or two?  Yet the new moon, when the dark side of the moon faces the earth, seems to last forever?  This week we are in the new phase, when there is very little light to brighten the evening skies.

With a new puppy in the house, I spend a lot of time outside with her, training and playing with her and Koby.  This week, I couldn't help but think about how the darkness of the night compares with my emotional state.

Leia LOVES all of Koby's toys.  She takes every single one of them out, throws them around his bed and lays on top of it, like she's the Queen Bee.  He doesn't mind too much, she's growing on him.
Since I've lost the weight, I can't help but look inward, so I can identify what contributed to  my obesity (and being stuck there for so long).  I know I struggle with anxiety, which grips me at times. There is a feeling like a vice grip is wrapped around my chest.  It wakes me up in the middle of the night, not being able to turn my brain off.  It's horrible.  I spoke to my doctor about it last fall and he gave me some medication to help deal with it.  It took about a month for me to feel better.  Now the vice grip is gone and I am able to sleep much better now.  I still struggle with it.  I can't turn my brain off sometimes.

Now I can see more clearly that my anxiety is like the phases of the moon.  I am currently in the New Moon phase, the dark side of the moon.  For the past several weeks, maybe months even, I have had a hard time seeing any light.  I feel down.  I lack energy and motivation.  My inspiration is zapped.  There is a name for this and it's not anxiety.  It's depression.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my annual checkup.  Before I saw him, the medical assistant asked me, "In the past two weeks, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?"

Ummmm...every day.  

"Has it prevented you from doing things you normally do."

Ummmmm...yes, most definitely.

The doctor increased the dose of my medication.  I go back to see him in a month.

This got me to thinking about not only my journey these past two+ years, but my life's journey.

The dark side of the moon, my depression, has affected me just as much as my anxiety.  Losing weight has helped me overcome it to a point, but when life kicks in, you cannot change your chemical makeup.  I used food as a coping mechanism.  This only backfired, leaving me feeling guilty after.

I have to be honest with you, I feel like this is a tremendous breakthrough for me.  I am embracing it, embracing the depression.  It's me.  It's who I am and I am okay with it.  The change in my medication will help.  But now I have the skills I need to turn on a few internal candles, instead of allowing food to be my source of comfort.

Last night it was difficult.  I wanted a Friendly's Peanut Butter Sundae Cup.  If there had been any in the house, I would surely have eaten all 450 calories of one and snuck in a second one for good measure.  Instead, I had a Skinny Cow, an orange and some peanut butter.  Still was probably 450 calories, but it was controlled.  The Skinny Cow satisfied my need for ice cream, the orange satisfied my need for sugar and the peanut butter staved off any additional cravings and hunger I might have for the rest of the the night.

This morning, I don't feel guilty.

I realize that I am in the New Moon Phase.  Food will no longer rule my world.

Even though the gym is the last place I want to be ...
"Has it prevented you from doing things you normally do?"
I will go, I will work through this.

Now that the weather is warmer, I will ride my bike more often, which will kick my adrenaline back up.  Feeling the sunshine on my skin will boost my energy.
I went out twice this week.  My first ride was a quick 13 mile ride to make sure the bike was working and that everything checked out okay.  Wednesday it was 80 degrees out and I went for a 30+ mile ride with ladies from the Competitive Edge Cycling club.  It was amazing.  No pictures from that ride, though.
Do you struggle with anxiety or depression?  How do you manage it?  Or does it manage you?  Do you use food to comfort you?  If you can relate to this, my prayer is for you to see there is hope, even in the darkness.  You can learn strategies to help you work through the dark times so that food, alcohol or drugs don't rule your life.  Even when you are feeling down and hopeless, there is always hope.  The sun will come out.  The moon will start to shine again.  The light will fill you.

Happy Friday!

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 3:18 NIV

Questions for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
What plans to you have this weekend?  Are you excited about spring?

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

I want to look like THAT

Happy Sunday!  Another week gone by and what a week it was... On two separate occasions, my colleagues said to  me, "I want to look like that."  They both made my day.  Seriously, this was a real morale booster for me.

This is what I was wearing on new green leggings with a navy blue top.
I have been feeling overwhelmed and blue lately.  TimeHop recently told me it's been a year since I posted, Mike Made Me Do It.  (I have a love / hate relationship with TimeHop.)  This brought back a lot of emotions, "I still miss him, I do.  I still can't believe he's gone.  It's just not right.  What I would give to have him back.  It's just not right."

I came home one day not feeling well, which turned into a migraine, knocking me off my feet. 
Me and Princess Leia after my nap the other day.
All of this has been affecting my motivation.  It's everything all together.  Fighting the blues has zapped my inspiration.  I'll tell you, feeling down and stressed makes motivation hard to come by, but I keep on keeping on.  Add crazy weather to the picture and ...   

Is it spring yet???

So let me ask you this, what is your motivation? What inspires you? 

For me, it's riding my bike.
Our friend Joe, me and my hubby Brian
I am so looking forward to the warmer weather so I can get out and ride.  It's been so long and I feel out of shape, but I know it will be good for my bones.  It promises to be close to 70 degrees on Wednesday.  I am going to clean up my bike, get my gear together and take her out.  The anticipation is almost more than I can handle.
My friend, Vicky & I
Until last March I never really even rode a bike and now it's my source of motivation. I want to challenge you to find that thing that pushes you, whatever it may be, and use it to drive you.  If you are in a rut, it may be difficult to find inspiration.  So go out and grab something.  Seek it out, reach for it.  You will find it.

If you are dissatisfied with the results you are seeing with your fitness goals, here is a three step recipe for you.

Step One:  Be patient.  Don't give up.  Trust the process.

Step Two:  Examine your nutrition.  Take a hard look at what you are eating.  Are your macronutrients balanced?  Are you eating enough protein?  Enough carbohydrates?  Enough fat?  Too many saturated fats?  Too many carbohydrates and not enough protein?  Too many simple carbs and too much sugar?  Are you eating too much food?  Are you not eating enough?  (That could truly be the bottom line.)
The only way you can honestly examine your nutrition is if you are keeping track of everything you eat.  I use MyFitnessPal.  Check it out!
Step Three:  Change your exercise routine.  Are you doing cardio every day?  Is it the same thing day in and day out?  Your body gets used to the excess demands and after a while, you won't see the same results.  Add weight training to your routine.  If you already do weight training, switch things up.  Make it more challenging.  For the people who say, "I want to look like that," this means you need to both watch your nutrition AND lift weights.

Lifting weights helps to build muscle, burn fat, improve your metabolism and strengthen your bones.  Just to name a few benefits!
Take some time to strategize your meal plan, seek a new hobby or activity.  I so enjoy riding my bike because I get to move my body and clear my mind at the same time.  There is an addictive renewal that takes place.  It's hard to explain.

One more thing...I got this in the mail this week.  Apparently I have a secret admirer.
This little note really made me feel blessed.
Question for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
What do you do to fight the blues?

Now:  Subscribe to new posts!  When a new post is added, you will receive an email notice so you can check it out.  I promise:  no SPAM and I won't share your email address with anyone.  Look at the top right side of the page to subscribe.  

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Twitter:  @TraceyFit99
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