I Think I Can, I Think I Can – And I Did!

i think i can trainToday was hot. And I was tired from moving into school. And I was sleepy from it being so hot. And some other excuse. So when I went running today, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. Goes to show that you can sometimes surprise yourself.

I made it about 6 minutes into my run. Blah! I was already bummed out to be running around. I made it 3 more minutes when the heat, coupled with my sheer determination to avoid running, made me stop. Today just wasn’t my day. I didn’t even think “I think I can”. I just knew that I couldn’t.

But then I realized something revolutionary.

Just because I couldn’t run, didn’t mean that I couldn’t exercise.

I could not run today.

But I could walk today. I could go swimming today. I could hop on the elliptical today. I could hit up the weight room today.

I know that I can’t run. But I think that I can still exercise. I think that I can still sweat. I think that I can still make this day worthwhile and assure myself that I didn’t lace up for nothing.

And after a 45 minute walk around campus, I know that I can stay healthy.

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Free to Be Me

I take after my cat in terms of laziness.

I take after my cat in terms of laziness.

Summer has found me reverting back to the person that I’ve come to be while at home. Lazy, gluttonous, mellow, and satisfied. A bump on a log with the occasional bouts of movement.

But, after a brief visit to my college, I could already feel inspiring emotions and traits coursing through my veins in a way that brought new life into my worn and too well rested body.

In just one day, I felt the confidence, drive, motivation, enthusiasm, and sheer pleasure accompanied with the healthy lifestyle that I learned to lead while away at the University of Maryland.

It seems that while you’re at college, you have the potential to be whomever you want. You’re not bogged down by the mistakes of your past, but are lifted higher by the desire to determine your worth.

IMG_2070At college, I have free time to devote to the gym, all of my friends enjoy exercising, I can control what foods I eat and am no longer at the whim of my mother’s poor dietary choices, and I feel so much more confident in every decision that I make. I am free to be myself, and it turns out that myself is a pretty healthy happy person.

In fact, my freshman year of college, I lost 10 pounds (of my then-usual 150 pounds) and was at the lowest weight of my young adult life.

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This year, I’d like to get back to that weight of 140 pounds. I’m giving myself the whole school year to drop 25 pounds. And I know that if I love life along the way and take time for myself, my face will be transformed from my tremendous weight loss and constant smiling.

The Sweetest Place on Earth

Yesterday, I had a showdown at Hershey Parkwith Hershey Park.

And I won!

hershey park characters

My showdown began with my friends suggesting a visit to the park of our childhoods, progressed to me planning out how I would avoid drooling over chocolate at every corner, and ended with me being as happy and healthy as ever.

Hershey Park’s temptations:

  • Lazing around in lines
  • Chocolate
  • Riding the railroad and monorail everywhere
  • Chocolate
  • Attending the shows and sitting on my butt all day
  • Chocolate
  • So many food and candy stands
  • Chocolate

chocolate ack!

This was the first time that I made a plan to avoid temptation, and I actually followed through with it. True, I won a giant sized chocolate bar after participating in a character show (which is the highlight of my summer), but, what’s more important is how I didn’t throw away all of my hard work for the chance to break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.

I had an absolutely amazing time smelling chocolate, riding rides, and spending time with my friends in the last days of summer. And what’s even better, I did it all while staying fit and remaining healthy! Woohoo for small victories!

My triumphs:

  • Walking all around the park all day and not stopping, even with achy feet
  • My vegetarian gyro
  • Dancing around at the shows that I did attend
  • A small serving of (cheesy) popcorn
  • Running through the roller coaster lines
  • Constant visits to the water fountain
  • Not attacking the dancing bars of chocolate with a slobbery grin on my face
  • Being aware of my health and recognizing that happiness can exist without candy

The Seafood Buffet: An Adventure in Moderation

After soaking up some rays on the beach, playing mini golf to my heart’s content, and eating my way through some of the tastiest Maryland Crab soup while sitting a foot away from the bay, my thoughts turned to dinner.

It had been about 4 years since I last visited a buffet down at Ocean City, and I thought the time was right for a visit. Why pay $25 dollars for a regular plate of a limited seafood selection when $30 can give you access to an all-you-can-eat extravaganza? Where else can you feel free to try new and interesting varieties of seafood without fear of disliking what you’ve tried and wasting money on your plate? (This is how I found out that catfish is pretty tasty). How can you resist the lure of so many options all available hot, fresh, and more colorful than the sea?! And how, how, can you ignore a coupon for $5 off?

embersSo I went in.

And it was glorious.

Seafood as far as the eye could see! Mussels, clams, shrimp, oh my! Embers had it all, and it was all mine for the taking!

After getting a small serving of a few different options, I made my way back to the table and began digging in. There may have been literal digging involved, as I was so excited that I’m pretty sure I neglected my utensils for the first 5 minutes.

Despite being at a buffet, I managed to avoid most fried foods (though I couldn’t give up my fried scallops entirely), I stayed away from the dessert table (holy cannoli, I still can’t believe I passed on those brownies), and I drank water like I was one of the fishes (but not the ones on my plate).

However, I ate 10 snow crab leg clusters.

Yes, 10.

The number after 9.

Because apparently 9 just couldn’t cut it.

money fishI have this weird obsession regarding getting my money’s worth. And while it’s great for ensuring that I complete that 5K run that I’ve already paid for, it seemed to weigh me down with succulent crab meat in this instance.

I figured that if I wanted to get my money’s worth, I would have to hit the seafood pretty hard.

Enter snow crab legs.

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I had eaten around 5 when I got it into my head that it’d be fun to eat into the double digits.

What the heck is my definition of fun?!

I got to 8 and I was so full that I was basically cracking open the shell, taking a little nibble, and moving on to the next one. But I made it to 10.

I don’t even know how to feel about this action.

On one hand: I ate something healthy

On the other hand: I ate A LOT of something healthy

On one hand: I got my money’s worth

On the other hand: I got MORE than my money’s worth

On one hand: I had a good time enjoying something that I rarely get to eat

On the other hand: I was so full that I realized why I rarely eat at buffets

I suppose that all in all, I’m happy with how I did at the buffet. Should I have been there in the first place? Probably not. But, I’m proud of myself for sticking to food that was good for me, even if I ended up eating it in such large quantities that I drew stares from those seated around me and the waitstaff was probably in the back betting on how long I could keep stuffing food into my mouth.

Here We Go Again

One more trip to Ocean City for the summer.

One more chance to make healthy goals for vacation.

One more chance to not eat everything in sight and to try and spend my days actively having fun and working off the little indulgences I’ve allowed myself.

Considering I had a bit too much Chex Mix last night, I’m not expecting too much out of myself. But I have stuck to exercising regularly even if my eating habits aren’t too stellar. Sound familiar?

eating status

I’m starting to recognize these same patterns no matter the time or location of my weight loss journey.

I go great, I get fed up, I eat one bad thing, I get fed up, I go bad, I get fed up, I go great, I get fed up, I eat one bad thing and on and on and on until the fat lady is so tired of singing that she’s had to call in a replacement and is now enjoying her retirement down in Boca Raton while eating ice cream and occasionally checking my blog to see that yes, my weight loss still ain’t over.

now for something completely different

But here is something completely new. Since I’ve become a pescetarian, I’ve made an oath with my significant other. As long as I stay healthy, I am allowed to not eat meat.

I know it sounds a bit strange, but it goes a little somethin’ like this. He is a bit upset by the fact that I will no longer be eating meat (justifiably so, as it changes his life as well), though he is very supportive of my efforts to try and achieve and retain a healthy lifestyle. He’s agreed that as long as I am living healthily, he will go along with this whole pass on the pork thing. In return, I get some support of my new lifestyle and encouragement to eat better and exercise.

Finally, I’m mixing it up and liking how things are shaking out!

Pictures? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Pictures! …Or Do I?

Many a time, when someone begins their weight loss journey, they take a “before picture” which they use to judge their future progress. These pictures involve revealing clothes, frowning faces, and shoulders hunched over from carrying the burden of excess weight and cultural expectations.

I have no such picture.

I take pictures of moments where I find myself immersed in life. I take pictures of cruising along the boardwalk at Ocean City. I’ve accumulated hundreds of photos of my cat (with and without her sitting in a box). And the pictures I have of myself find me enjoying life at school, hanging around with friends, and enjoying trips to the zoo. Never once have I had the desire to take a picture of my body.

I exercise and try to remain fit and healthy. I do this for my future and the knowledge that I’ll need to keep healthy for my family. I’ve worked out because I legitimately have a blast making a fool out of myself in Zumba class with friends following suit on all sides. And the steps I take towards health include ignoring the junk food perched seductively in our kitchen cabinet, taking a few extra steps before sitting at a desk all the livelong day, and drinking 8 glasses of water each day with a religious fervor. Never once Rarely, have I had the desire to stay fit to improve upon my looks.

I take pictures to celebrate my love of life.

I exercise to celebrate my love of life.

Wait, is that what I meant to say? Are both of those activities means to the same end? Are both done to love life?

All this time I’ve shunned before pictures as something photographers take when they’ve run out of subjects and as something people striving to lose weight take when their goals are more focused on body image than on health.

Though before pictures have the chance to pump physical and inspirational energy into a faded life, I’ve shunned the camera.

Though before pictures can provide a source of motivation towards movement, I’ve not witnessed the telltale flash.

Though before pictures provide an emotional, inspiring, invigorating, remarkable, tear-inducing look at the toughest journey you will ever complete in your life; though before pictures mark your successes for all the world to see; though before pictures have the potential to build your whole world anew from one moment in time when you happened to have a camera in your hand and a goal in your mind; my photograph remains wholly undeveloped.

All this time, I’ve looked at weight loss pictures as a mistake undertaken by fools. They were a way to cast the happiness that fitness inspires onto body image, a resolute and often negatively unchanging perception of oneself.

But now, I understand. It is possible for before pictures to come from a place of love and understanding.

When the joy of photography meets the joy of fitness (and any thoughts of body image are left by the wayside), you’ve found not only the recipe for beauty, but also the courage for success.

Today is the day I realized the true powerful and potential of the before picture.

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And even though you can’t see my face, I hope you know that my smile was just as wide as my tummy 🙂

Things are Happening!

things are happening

This week has found me a newly proclaimed pescetarian, a world class chef and bucket list completer, and a lover of all things summer. And all of this makes for one happy and healthy Katy.

Since deciding that I would no longer eat meat, I have a renewed enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables.

Since I’ve began cooking to cross the item off of my bucket list, I’ve found myself opting for healthier choices.

Since summer has been coming to an end, I’m appreciating both the free time and the weather by being actively involved outdoors.

I may not be exactly where I’d like to be right now. This summer may not have gone just how I planned it.  But, over this past week I’ve really come to remember exactly what I’m striving for, and by creating new goals for myself, I’ve really refocused my original aims.