My Best Friend & My Worst Enemy: #4 FOOD

A little over a week ago, I told you about 2014 being MY Year of the “F” Word. A day later, I dove into “F” Word #1, and the meaning of it’s placement in my life in 2014. Next, I explained why I included The BIGGEST “F” Word of them ALL: FAMILY (because they are kind of a big deal). #3 on my list to hash out was Finances (the hashing out that will last for all of eternity). And now, we are down to the final “F” Word (besides fun and future, which are both considered in my thoughts and progress towards the other “F” Words). What next?

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my first post on the subject, my “F” Words are not listed in terms of relevance to me, and neither will they be explained in any particular order.

#4: Food

I need to change my views on food, and 2014 is a great place to start! I have had little glimpses of this insight before…right before chowing down on a really good burger, or licking my fingers clean of barbeque sauce. What? There are 3 desserts? One of each please!

I’ve gone through bouts of counting calories, of attempting to cut entire food groups out of my diet, I’ve thought about dieting and cleansing, and all that jazz. More and more I have heard that food intake has the biggest affect on a person’s weight. 

Well, that is not all.

In figuring out how I want each “F” Word to apply in my life, I have not only been experimenting and trying new things in all areas, but also reading up on all of them: devouring as much information as possible to make informed decisions. I follow numerous health professionals via Twitter, Facebook, and email chains. I read their articles, their mantras, their “guaranteed-to-lose-weight” fitness routines and eating plans. If I could share with you the overarching lesson it would be this:

Every body is different, therefore, not every body is the same.

“Running makes you lose weight fast.” “No, cutting calories does! But you can eat what you want within those calorie limits!” “An apple a day…” “Do you even life, Bra?”

ENOUGH!

Every person is so unique in personality, in physical traits, in how their bodies react to different foods and exercises, that, truly, each person needs to experiment with both to see what works for them.

Over the years I have cut some foods out of my every day life. Doing so has had no effect on my weight…not even soda! For some people, cutting soda alone would make them lose 20 pounds. More recently, I have been cutting down on even fruits, cottage cheese, milk, and whole grain bread. In fact, once I run out of each of these things in my home, I am going to stop buying them for a bit. Maybe these seemingly healthy items have been keeping me at a heavier weight my entire life. That doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy, that just might mean they aren’t right for me on a regular basis. I will continue my experimentation and research until I find something that works for me.

But keep in mind: this isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime experiment. As we grow and change, so too do our taste buds. So why wouldn’t food problems, allergies, etc. do the same? This experiment is really something I will be doing my whole entire life. And just because I pinpoint that sugar isn’t good for me (it really isn’t good for ANYBODY), doesn’t mean I will never have it. I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth, and am trying to wean myself from that tendency now. But I would be fine with a piece of dark chocolate or anything my mom bakes every once in awhile (and ice cream, ice cream, ice cream! Even though I realized it wreaks havoc on my stomach when I eat it a few times a week).

I also will no longer be looking at food as a reward. I will leave food rewards for my dog to earn. There is no reason for me to go to the gym and sweat my butt off for 1-2 hours a day, only to say “I’ve earned a sweet treat!” and undo everything. Oh, and portion control? Now a practice instead of just an idea. No need to over-indulge on every meal, I know when to stop, I have that control. Calorie counting? No reason when I know the majority of things entering my body are being put there for nourishment instead of just “I wants”. 

Because food makes my body run. Bad food makes it run poorly (fatigue, poor sleep quality, illness, punky moods, etc.), while clean, simple foods make it a well-oiled machine. This well-oiled machine gets me to the gym nearly every morning AND evening, as well as staying alert and active throughout the day. Being alert and active throughout the day keeps me in tune to my finances (in making plans, following through on plans, and thinking things up that I wouldn’t be able to on a regular basis). Being alert for the rest of the day keeps me in tune with my relationships (family), and being healthy will keep me around for them for a very long time.

2014 is THE Year of the “F” Word: Family, Finances, Fitness, & Food. They all come together to guarantee a Fun & Fruitful Future.

What is 2014 going to be for you? Have you already set out on the path to betterment? Join me!

Happy Thursday, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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Long Road to a Little House: “F” Word #1

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my last post, my “F” Words are not listed in terms of relevance to me, and neither will they be explained in any particular order.

So, I know that for the past 24 hours or so, you all have been sitting at the edge of your seats, awaiting the first of my deeper explanations of my Year of the “F” Word. This year, I will focus on: fitness, family, finances, and food (and maybe fun!).

Today, I will delve into fitness, and why it will be a priority for me in the coming year (and hopefully, for years to come).

The reason I titled this post “Long Road to a Little House”, is because it has taken me 23 years to get my butt on track to reach any type of fitness goals. That is a LONG road to a better (and potentially LITTLE) physique. I have always been a little bigger than my twin sister, but when we were in middle school, it was hellish for me. I was the fat twin. I was only referred to as “the fat twin” once, but that was WAY after my realization, and being called that just solidified the idea in my head. Every year between then and now, I have dreamed of being skinny, beautiful, and loving running.

It has taken me the last year or so to mentally prepare for a fitness transformation. I am through dreaming. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be in shape. I don’t want to become beautiful, because I know I already am (thanks, mom and dad!). And loving to run? NO WAY! That was and is a nightmare that will never come true. But I have started to love challenging myself with new workouts and trying fun ways to move on a more regular basis (swimming, Zumba, and yoga). I like to label my self as “adventurous”, but have never really ventured outside of my coached sports and activities for fitness. Until this year, I didn’t think of being in shape as something fun, exhilarating, and life-changing.

Well, I knew that it could get me in shape. But it’s such hard work, and I love pastries too damn much!

2014 doesn’t mark my first steps in the direction of fitness. First, there was a dream, a desire, but I didn’t want it bad enough. In the last year, I have:

1. Tried a few fitness programs and witnessed my first couple of gym burnouts
2. Found 2 proteins that I ADORE mixing into delicious shakes
3. Been to the gym more days than I didn’t go…for the first time EVER
4. Added a gym membership to my arsenal that has me in belly dance, yoga, and Zumba classes…and loving EVERY MINUTE OF IT
5. Researched different methods of reaching my fitness goals 
6. Begun to combine and contort fitness regimens, supplements, and foods to see what works best for me (because everybody and every BODY is different, and no one thing is going to have the same results for each human)
7. Started my healthy journey of non-comparison and positive self-image.
8. Started MOVING!

In addition to all of this, I started a new workout program with Timmykins this past Monday that will have me in the gym 5 days a week, with at least 40 minutes of cardio per workout and lifting weights to EXHAUSTION! Before, I would have said “yuck” and fought with him every time we had to go to the gym. This time, it’s different. This time, I have an attitude of change. My body is supposed to be moving, and after sitting nearly sedentary 8-10 hours a day at work, I need to maximize my evenings. I need to challenge myself and try new ways of moving, new ways of thinking. I am even feeling the need to move outside of the gym as much as possible, and not take a FULL rest day (yoga and Zumba, anyone?).

I am no longer aiming to be skinny or lose weight, but to lower my chances of fatal diseases and premature death down the road. I am no longer being selfish in my thoughts of wanting to look like someone else or “get skinny” to be beautiful. Instead I am thinking of my family, my friends, and my future.

So, I guess I should unofficially add “fun” AND “future” to my “F” Words as well. They should go without saying, but are a part of each of the 4 that I will break a part for you 🙂

Is fitness one of YOUR “F” Words? Why or why not? 

Have a Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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That’s early-90s me to the right in the purple tank top. I wish running around having a fake snowball fight could be my fitness regimen NOW! 

The Year of the “F” Word

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Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening, Happy People!

Along with a little down time the last couple of weeks, I have been pondering what my word, theme, goals, etc. of the year 2014 are going to be. I thought that the relaxation would clear my mind and turn it into a canister for new materials and ideas.

Nope.

Instead, the relaxation turned me into a lunatic. It made me feel so very unproductive. I know that shutting down every once in awhile is good for the body, spirit, and mind, but I just haven’t been able to fully tune into that idea. I am a mutli-tasker at heart, which is both a blessing and a curse for me. Maybe “tuning out” – not in the 1960s drug usage sense – is something I can work on in this new year. Heck: maybe I can learn how to multi-task relax!

That’s a bit overboard.

The moral of this story is that relaxation didn’t help me dream up my 2014 at all.

It wasn’t until I was pouring my morning cup of coffee yesterday that the light bulb turned on in my head and a beacon of light shown through the clouds atop my head to a choir of angels chanting my name…

2014 is The Year of the “F” Word!!

For everyone else, it can be their year of cleansing, simplifying, love, starting fresh, etc. And those are all WONDERFUL things to focus on within your year. But my 2014 begs to be a little more specific, while also all-encompassing. How the HECK do I do that? Well, by making this The Year of the “F” Word, of course!

And, I hate to break it to you, but I am not referring to THE “F” word (though, sometimes, you just have to not worry, not stress, know that you have done all that you can, and say “F it!”…which is something I need to work on as well). MY “F” words are:

*Fitness
*Finances
*Food
*Family
                                         not necessarily in the above order

Over the next few posts, I am going to go over each and why they are what I will focus on this year. They may seem self-explanatory, but each person holds a different perspective, and maybe mine is a fresh one to help motivate you towards your goal(s) for 2014!

Do you have a theme for 2014? If so, what is it? If not, let’s figure it out for you! Feel free to comment below or contact me privately!

And, as always: Have a Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin

Day 15: Email Lists & THE Challenge Update!

Happy Thursday, Happy People!

I just want to start out by thanking you. YOU choose to click on a link to my blog. YOU choose to spend at LEAST 4 seconds of your time reading what I have to say. YOU may have already decided to join the motivational happiness bandwagon, and if not, I hope you find something to keep you coming back for more. So, first and foremost, THANK YOU.

Today I am answering the prompt for Day 15 of the Blog Challenge! I am still a couple of days behind, and have had to double up a few times because of days where I couldn’t get a post written! Sometimes life gets in the way, and I apologize! But, if I only have a minute to sit down and try to bust out a blog post, I would much rather wait. Quality over quantity, right?

If you want to check out my progress from day one, start HERE!

Enjoying the Blog Challenge material? Stop by my twin sister’s BLOG! We are answering the same questions separately to see how similar our answers are! Do YOURS match any of ours?

Day 15 Question: What would the purpose of your email/ newsletter be if you had one? How often would you like to send it and what type of content and value would you provide to readers?

A: An email list? Just another step in the right direction towards my dreams. I would send to your inbox all kinds of content, from pins to videos and podcasts, to interactive programs on happiness. I don’t want to give too much away because I want you to be DELIGHTEDLY SURPRISED! When it comes to happiness, I have seen so many suggestions for ways to obtain it, live it, be it, do it; but not much has clicked for me. And maybe what I have to say won’t click for you. But I want to be innovative with my material and in getting the information out there to help you on your happiness journey!

As my mind races with ideas, it stops momentarily on the fact that Timmykins and I are still participating in THE Challenge: who can save more money between August 5th and December 31st? As you may remember, last week I was about $125 behind him (womp wompppp), and here is where we stand THIS week:

Me: $380
T: $300

BOOM! We still have a long way to go, but I have surpassed him! I am telling you, it is largely in part because of this 100% personal interest idea that I have instilled in my spending/saving: for every dollar I spend (aside from big, timely bills), I must put the same amount of money in the bank. This has proven pretty easy this paycheck as I didn’t have any big bills due, so I purchased a few smaller items for the wedding: bridesmaid gifts, maid-of-honor gift, centerpiece pieces (that are also doubling as home decor. Why waste money on a one-day item?), and more!

Blog challenge, money challenge, fitness challenge: I am SO excited for all of the challenges I have placed in front of myself, because I am proving to myself and the world that I can do anything I set my mind to!

Now, what kind of support can I give you? What can you challenge yourself to do to bring happiness to your life?

❤ The RoaminTwin

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Rest & It’s Opposite: Decision-Making

OK, so you know how I joked about yesterday–being the 7th day in the Blog Challenge–should have been the day of rest?

Well, I was wrong: TODAY was the scheduled day of rest! How about that?

So, I will take that scheduled rest in stride while still writing about happiness. Because that is what I do, and we all need a little reminder, right?

Yesterday my patience, dreams, and waistline were put to the test. Wedding dress shopping was overwhelming. I am not one who loves to go shopping for hours, nor do I like to try on clothing. The lighting in the fitting rooms is such so that every flaw is accentuated, and every outfit makes you look like the Michelin Man.

It probably didn’t help that I was tired as all get out. For some reason my mind was racing the night before with excitement and so many ideas. I MAYBE got 3.5 hours of sleep. Maybe.

But, through the clouds of white tulle, pile of dresses stacked to the ceiling (literally), and accessory after accessory of eye-catching sparkle, I came out of it with:

1. An open mind – dress styles I NEVER thought would look good on me, I can pull off. This does not make me stray fully from the ideas in my head, so that is good.

2. I am looking much more svelte these days! I thought my biggest challenge would be fitting into the sample dresses. Instead, my biggest challenge was that, even though I am fine with adding embellishments to a less frilly dress, it is really difficult to picture it all put together when you have the simple gown on. And, as I continue to slim down, it is also hard to want to pull the trigger on ordering a dress size 8 months in advance knowing that I will have to spend another few hundred $$ to have it resized. But, hey! I found proof that my healthy habits are paying off!

3. I just want to marry Timmykins. Every time I tried on a new dress, I had him in mind. Not what I would look like in the pictures, not what made me look the skinniest. I could only picture his face. Which makes it a little more difficult because he loves me in everything, and I can’t make a damn decision to save my life.

Am I expecting tears or just KNOWING that I found THE dress? Not at all. I wish it would happen, but I didn’t even cry when we got engaged. And I KNOW he is the one.

How are YOU on decision-making? Does it come easily for you? Can you teach me your ways? What kind of decisions – big or small – have you had to make recently?

Have a Happy Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin

Blog Challenge: Day 7!

And on the seventh day, He rested…

Not THIS lady! For the first time EVER I am finishing out a full week of blog posts. Don’t know why? Check out my first post of this series HERE!

And on top of that, I am putting some of the actions from my perfect day post into action. This morning I woke up to get my brother donuts for his first day of school. In doing so, I abstained from eating one and instead had my pea protein shake. While driving to the donut shop, I watched the sunrise (which is a first in a VERY long time for me). Then I completed 40 minutes of yoga followed by a nice, relaxing shower before getting to work early! After work I have my first wedding dress shopping experience (EEK!), followed by the gym with Timmykins. We are going to try out a new routine, so I will let you know how that goes!

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uxtaposition at the donut shop this morning.

So, I am heading in the right direction with my healthier, happier lifestyle, and I am diggin’ it!

If you are enjoying the Blog Challenge material, stop by my twin sister’s BLOG! We are answering the same questions separately to see how similar our answers are! Do YOURS match any of ours?

Today’s Blog Challenge Prompt: Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?

A: I will list them below. In no particular order.

1. My blog. Past posts, posts I plan on writing, just the sheer idea of ‘challenge’ that has inserted itself into every post as of late. Just as it has been a constant reminder of what makes me happy, and that happiness is a choice, so too will it remind me that I am challenging myself to live my dreams and plan out the life I not only am meant to live, but would LOVE to live.

2. Regular exercise. I want to challenge myself to try new things, harder things. Not only will this be a challenge, but a routine that reminds me that I should constantly be changing and improving myself. When I get on a roll, I really get going. It is when I take a day or two off that I lose motivation and my eating habits turn sour (well, actually sweet. Very VERY sweet).

3. The blog posts and tweets of my happiness community, photographers, film professionals, and other leaders in the motivational circle I have created for myself. Some of my top picks are listed below (check them out!):

suitcaseentrepreneur.com
jasminestarblog.com
katemarolt.com

@FitBottomedGirl
@GlbetrotterGrls
@Stage32online

Thank you so much for returning again and again to hold me accountable for all of these crazy challenges as well as life in general! I hope I can be a resource of motivation, optimism, and opportunity for you as well! Have a Happy, Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin

Intimidation vs. Motivation

What intimidates you?

That was probably an easy question to answer. Everyone has at least ONE thing that intimidates them. Is it motorcycles? Your work/school rival? The mere idea of CrossFit?

Now, answer me this: WHY does this thing/things intimidate you?

Fear? Jealousy? Inadequacy?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I decided to take something that has always intimidated me and turn it into motivation…

ESPN Magazine: The Body Issue (find this year’s photographs HERE)

Every year until now I have avoided this. Why? Because I personally have had body issues. Those athletes with their god-like physiques intimidate the HELL out of me. They make me feel more inadequate than I feel on a daily basis, and that is pretty damn bad. Pure muscle. Pure beauty. Pure talent. Pure poise.

All things I wish I had.

This year, I am taking a different perspective on this. I looked the the photographs once, and will continue to every time I need a pick-me-up, or motivation to work harder, eat healthier, and try new things. These athletes are grateful for their bodies, therefore they take care of them. It is time I did the same, instead of falling into this self-loathing crap.

Now I’m going to look up the healthiest food I can eat at the restaurant I am going to tonight. It’s a start, right?

What are YOU going to do to face what intimidates you?

❤ The Roamin Twin

Anxiety is Overrated

The last 2 Mondays, my life has been ridden with anxiety.

And I’m not an anxious or paranoid person, by any means. But, life changes have become pretty iffy for me.

Today, there were 2 things making my stomach churn:
1. The decision to choose the “right” apartment complex and turn in my very first rental application
2. My decision to make a life change and join a 90 day fitness challenge

The apartment decision was down to 2 possibilities, and I just had the toughest time choosing, because they are both pretty ideal. Yes, I have lived outside my home before – I attended college half way across the country – but I have been home for nearly 2 1/2 years now, and have been living with my family. It is a wonderful living situation, and very comfortable. But that is just it – it is comfortable. Once I hear my mind saying that, I switch out of reminiscent mode and into “get the heck outta dodge” mode. I love my family, and I have loved my time with them, but if I don’t cut the cord soonly, I will live at home forever.

I will be happy regardless. And I will be damn happy with my apartment of choice as well – as long as my application goes through :/

 

The 90 day challenge…GASP! I have been in the market to transform my body for a long time. It has really driven me to times of unnecessary anxiety and sadness, and it’s time for me to love myself. It doesn’t hurt that there are cash prizes and trips involved. Also, it involves an online support system and workout/food logs, and is totally free! My boyfriend and I have decided to do this together, make it a fun challenge, and to (hopefully) win something along the way.

I wish I could make every challenge as fun.

Actually, maybe I can. And you can too! Let that be our collective goal as we wrap up this Monday, and keep it in mind any time we face a challenge.

It’s 2013. Live honestly. Live fruitful. Don’t be a passive party to your own life.

❤ The Roamin Twin