I’m an 80-20 kind of girl….maybe 85-15….depending on my mood What I mean is that I eat healthy 80% of the time and the other 20% I splurge. I work out 80% of the time and the other 20% I rest. I don’t believe in dieting or saying “I can’t have that” or “I was bad today”. In my book I can have anything I want and I’m always good. My book is nice to me :-0 I believe small changes and healthy long term habits are the key to a happy, active, and healthy lifestyle. I don’t weigh myself or take my measurements, I just go based on how I feel. I like to feel strong and healthy and 80% of feeling strong and healthy is what I choose to eat.
I thought about typing up an example grocery list of what I usually buy at the store, but that’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. I think it’s way more helpful to lay out some general guidelines that helped transform what I buy and what I eat 80% of the time. Are you noticing a trend?
Stay Away from the frozen food aisle
Other than a few exceptions, most of the freezer iaisles are filled with processed, prepackaged, and not very nutritional foods like frozen pizza, hot pockets, breaded chicken sticks, freezer meals, etc. These are popular aisles due to their coneveniece, but unfortunately most of the items in the freezers hold almost no nutritional value.
If I don’t Buy, It’s a Lot Easier to Not Eat it
If I have chips, cookies, crackers, frozen pizza, etc in the house then I eat it. If I don’t buy it then it’s a lot easier to resist in a moment of weakness.
Avoid White Starches
I avoid buying things like white pasta, white rice, white bread, and crackers. I stick with brown, whole wheat, and multigrain labels
Stock up on Fruits & Vegetables
It’s a pain that most fresh items don’t stay fresh very long but having them in my fridge totally helps cooking. Adding mushrooms, peppers, onion, or tomatoes to a dish really makes dinner a lot more exciting and nutrional.
Think about Nutritional Value
I rarely look at the calories any more. When I consider what I’m about to buy I ask myself what am I going to get out of this by eating it? Iron? Calcium? Whole Grains? Protein? If I dont know…I probably shouldn’t buy it
Consider Where it Came From
Vegetables grow from the ground, fruit grows on trees, dairy comes from cows, meat comes from animals. Hot pockets and frozen pizza come from….where….????
Homemade is Best
I like cookies and cake and ice cream! So when I want it I try to make it myself. I don’t know if it’s healthier or not but at least I know where it came from, what went in it, and how long its been sitting around. Oh yeah…and it’s made with love <3
Limit Processed, Prepackaged, & Premade Foods
I like to make most of my meals from scratch. I try not to buy canned soups, freezer meals, crackers, powdered or canned cheese, etc. I try to buy things fresh and then prep and freeze for later. It takes just as long to make whole wheat pasta with melted cheese as it does to throw together a box of macaroni and it takes just a few minutes longer to throw things in a crockpot for homemade soup as it does to heat it up from a can.
Listen to Worship Music
I’m all about a good beat and sometimes a good hip-hop song is exactly what I need, but more often than not, worship music is far more powerful. When it comes to motivation, mind over body is far more effective and what’s more powerful than not only my mind being encouraged, but my very soul being uplifted? It’s kind of a “give it over to God” time and sometimes it’s just as much of a physical letting go as it is a mental and spiritual one.
Keep it short
Sometimes I have a mentality that I have to work out for a long time in order for my workout to be a “real” workout. But about 2 years ago I started working out on my lunch hour which meant I only have 20-45min total to get a workout in. The crazy thing is that I have been in the best shape ever with consistent short workouts then I ever was when I tried to workout for longer than an hour. I really enjoy working out but I don’t want to feel like I’m forced to work out or that I have to do it for longer than I want to. I have stuff to do, things to accomplish, and a family to spend time with, so I don’t want to spend all my time at the gym. I get in and get out and it works really well.
Some days I just don’t feel like working out and I’m alright with that. If I just dont feel good or if I feel like something else is more important then I don’t beat myself up about not getting a work out in. I figure if I got to the gym 3-4 days that week then I’m good with that, I don’t need to guilt myself for not working out 5 or 6 days every week. And sometimes…..get ready for this….I go a whole week without working out…omg!!! But it’s okay, because I take a break and I am that much more motivated to get back into it again. I try not to associate negative feeling with my workouts. If I think about it as a positive experience, if I don’t ridicule, judge, or guilt myself about it, then it’s pretty easy to establish healthy workout habits over the long term, and not just for sporadic periods of time. I have been consistently working out for 10 years.
Do What You Can Do
I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m not a crazy athletic gym fanatic. I like working out but there are some things I don’t like so I don’t do them. I hate running on the treadmill, so I don’t. I occasionally will go for a jog on a nice day, but that’s about the extent of it. I would rather dance I don’t squat heavy weight because it bothers my knees, so I keep it light and just do a few more reps. I do what I know how to do and while I’m always trying to learn more and broaden my horizons, there is a lot of equipment in the gym that I just don’t even know how it works, let alone how to use it, so I just save myself the humiliation. I am terrible at workout videos! It sounds great in theory but then I just find myself standing and watching instead of actually doing them.
Speaking of workout videos…I suck at working out at home. It’s just NOT motivating for me. Because I’m home and I think well I would rather burn calories by cleaning my bathroom or getting some laundry done. If I’m going to work out, I need to be in a gym. Sometimes getting there is the hardest part, but once I’m there, and I smell that familiar parfait of sweat, clorox, rubber, and body odor, I’m just all about it Being around other people working out helps me workout.
I have a fascination with other people’s lives. It sounds creepy but it’s not, I promise! I find other people so interesting! Everyone is different and unique and it just blows my mind. I like to see what people wear, what they eat, how they shop, how they drink their coffee, and even how they feel about cleaning the bathroom. I also, unfortunately, have a weakness for People.com, but only People.
Anyways, my fascination is how I got into blogging because there are blogs out there that I am mesmerized by. It’s not necessarily their technical ability or writing ability or any of that. It’s actually just their personality. People like Kate from thesmallthingsblog , Cara from Maskcara, Natalie from nataliehodson.com , and Schelli from BoltaNation. I think these women are incredibly COOL. Like big time, I just think they rock. All of their blogs are different but their personalities show through and I like to pretend that we are friends and that I know them.
So I started following their blogs and got to see them transform and become really successful. I’m not talking in monetary ways, I don’t know anything about that, but I’m talking about watching them really build a following and interact with people on their blog and create really consistent and high traffic. It’s pretty amazing. These women are just normal women making a difference by doing what they love.
So I started my blog about three years ago and I’ve been on and off with it ever since. Because most of the time I don’t think I am nearly as interesting as everyone else. I don’t think I have what it takes. And I may not. BUT, God always calls me back to this. When I take a break from it I always miss it and I guess if I had to say what my ideal dream job is it would be this…having an awesome blog that allows me to stay home with my kids but still feel like I’m “working”. This type of thing is the one thing I’m passionate about…this and my husband and family. I can’t think of a single corporate job that I would rather do than this.
And yet, I feel stuck. I still work at a corporate job 40 hours a week and I miss my husband and son like crazy. I sit at work wondering “what am I doing here?” and I hear God say “Amy, you already know what I want you to do…you need to do it” And my response is usually “but God, I’m not good enough at it”. And He says “it’s okay, I’m great at it, all I need you to do is obey and just do it, even if you don’t feel interesting enough or qualified enough”
So here I am. Back to blogging, but for real this time. Willing to be open and honest and say I don’t even know if I have what it takes, if my writing is good enough, if I am interesting enough to be “followed” but I’m willing to give it my all because deep down, this is what I really want. So, why not me?
Courtesy of some of my favorite Pinterest pins. Wanted to end the week with a few good laughs. Enjoy!