4 Healthy Energy Boosts

We are all busy folk here, right? I know that, and I do appreciate when you take the time to read my ramblings about food, weight and my vain attempts at becoming a runner.

actually, please don't.

But what happens when we start to feel exhausted? Life is hard. Sometimes you can’t go to bed when you want (or can’t fall asleep for various reasons). Sometimes you need help waking up in the morning. Or, if you’re like me, you need help staying awake in the afternoon.

I have a few energy tricks up my sleeve that I would like to pass on to you, however. Beyond the obvious coffee and cokes.

  1. Water. I feel like it’s the answer to everything. Isn’t it though? It helps you lose weight, clear up your skin, relieve muscle pain and it helps wake you up. It’s a miracle drink that comes out of our faucets and we take for granted every day. At least I know I do. My love for water has been detailed at length on this blog. Water actually helps you stay awake because it literally wakes up your muscles. Plus it does about a hundred other amazing things for your body. Plus, if you don’t feel the effects right away, you’ll stay awake for the sheer need to get up and pee every twenty minutes.
  2. Black Tea still has caffeine in it, but the lower amount means it wakes up your brain without overstimulating your heart. It also has a ton of antioxidants, polyphenols (cancer reducing enzymes) and theophylline. While caffeine chiefly targets the brain and muscles, theophylline stimulates the respiratory system, heart and kidneys. This helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. True, the energy boost is a bit slower, it’s better for you and will keep you alert.
  3. Apples. Or any fruit with a large amount of vitamin B. Vitamin B complexes naturally wake up your muscles and your brain, reduce stress and about a thousand other awesome things. Read more here.
  4. Excercise! I know, not unexpected and it’s actually pretty obvious, but working out in the mornings or even on your lunch break can reduce stress, help you wake up and make you feel more productive.

How do you keep yourself awake when you’re feeling tired?

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Biggest Loser – Family Style: Weigh In Week 4

Well hello there.

I know,  I’m way behind in posting this, but it’s been a busy few days. But excuses aside, I think I did pretty decently last week, considering how much I was eating out (whoops) and not running (whoops).

I lost 0.2 lbs

So basically there was no change at all.

In other news, I saw Imagine Dragons in concert last night (an early Valentine’s Day present from Adam) and it was awesome.

 

ID3

ID5

ID4

 

If you’ve never heard Imagine Dragons before, you’re in luck.

 

I’m obsessed. I blame Allison for getting me hooked.

also went for my first official outdoor run this weekend! There’s a pretty little trail not too far from my apartment complex, so on Sunday morning I hopped in the car and headed out there.

winniford park

I went for probably about a solid mile, at a relaxed pace. Not my best, but it felt good to be outside, and my lungs (and body) definitely aren’t used to running in the cold.

Here’s hoping I can make outdoor running part of my routine soon.

I’ll have a quick (and easy) recipe for you later this week, and then things will probably quiet down until late next week, as I will finally be in Ohio hanging out with a few of my favorite people.

Biggest Loser: Family Style Week 3!

Okay, I have finally recovered from birthday week, alumni game watches and one very unexpected and exhausting Super Bowl Party.

I gained .4 pounds.

I’m really not surprised, considering all the events, craziness and overeating/drinking that occurred over the course of the week. Luckily I did get another 2 mile run in over the weekend, as well as some stability ball/free weight action. Baby steps.

Did you hear that? 2 miles. 30 minutes. 

And I wasn’t even sore the next day. Granted, most of my “runs” right now consist of walking for five minutes and then running for two. Lather, rinse, repeat. Though I did get my work out on Sunday by way of frantically cleaning my apartment in preparation for the above stated last minute Super Bowl Party. Which was still fun.

5k course

So that’s it for me. In case anyone is interested, this is the 5k I’m planning on doing in March. If you live in the area and will be in town on March 9, you should join us! (My cousin and me, that is…)Have a great week everyone!

– Biggest Loser Family Style – Weekly Weigh In: Week 2

Welcome to week two of my family’s Biggest Loser competition. My parents are actually heading into Dallas this weekend to celebrate two birthdays (My older sister and I are four years and three days apart.) but I thought I’d give y’all a quick update on my weigh in.

I lost 2.9 pounds last week!

Woohoo! It seems like I’m finally back on track after the past few months. Which is quite a relief, considering how badly I let myself get off.

Also, I’m really glad I actually weighed myself this morning instead of waiting until Sunday, we are all going  to a birthday dinner tomorrow night at a Brazilian steakhouse. And yes, I am going to eat my weight in delicious food.

This is why I fully plan on going running tomorrow morning before everyone gets here.

loading weekend

It’s Friday y’all. Time to get weird.

Prior out.

Weekly Weigh In: Biggest Loser Family Edition Week 1

This week my big focus has been on one of my resolutions for the year: eat out less, cook at home more.

And it has already started paying off.

I lost 2.2 lbs last week! 

Hooray for me!

I’ve been exploring different spice blends and mixing it up with some healthy snacks. My favorite? Pretzels and super spicy brown mustard. Yummmmm. Also those little Laughing Cow cheese triangles. Let’s me feel like I’m misbehaving by eating cheese.

Things are still crazy busy at work (at least for me), so I’ll just leave you with this picture of me trying on a pair of size 10 jeans. See kids, dreams can come true.

GAP dressing rooms are so luxurious and have fabulous lighting, y'all.

GAP dressing rooms are so luxurious and have fabulous lighting, y’all. (I also bought an adorable navy blue peacoat, which of course prompted Dallas to have a spurt of beautiful, 65 degree weather immediately following this purchase that I made on a day that it snowed.)

Related note: I thought I left Ohio in 2010?

Yes, I know the jeans are too long. All jeans are always too long on me. Because I’m that awkward height where regular jeans are too long and the petite length jeans are like high waters. #firstworldproblems.

Stay tuned later this week for a delicious, healthy and affordable chicken wrap recipe that will blow your mind!

Biggest Loser: Family Style! – Initial Weigh In –

So my family’s biggest loser competition begins today. As I sent in my weight I got a little (okay a lot) frustrated.

I am officially back at my original weight. Booooooo.

Between being sick and eating for comfort and not nutrition, and the holidays, I have not been behaving myself. And I can feel the weight back on.

Sounds like this biggest loser competition is the perfect time to get my ass back in gear. I might do some research into meal replacement shakes, and there will be a kitchen overhaul to get rid of all the fatty holiday foods leftover from the past few weeks.

It’s time to get back to what works for me. Salads, low-fat proteins, light workouts and keeping consistent with my weekly weigh ins.

Apologies for the profanities, but I’m upset at myself, as I should be. Last week I committed to running the local Leaping Leprechaun 5K in March and then the Austin Capitol 10K in April, so there’s a lot of work still to do and I have a plan on how to do it. As soon as this snow melts. I promise. Allison offered her services to hold me to that.

Onward!

[[UPDATE: I have since been to the store to get new jeans (old ones were worn thin) and ended up walking out with 2 pairs of size 10 jeans. WHAAAAAAT. Yeah, that’s right. Size 10. Eat it, scale.]]

Challenges Ahead: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner, New Orleans. Turkey leg, ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay y’all. Thanksgiving is here.

Normally I would be beyond excited. I love Thanksgiving. I get to hang out with my awesome family, eat as much food as my heart desires, and then fall asleep in front of the TV watching football.

So basically, Thanksgiving is the greatest thing ever.

Well it used to be.

I am headed to Thanksgiving dinner (technically this will be my third this year) in San Antonio and my family is notorious for having more desserts than they do vegetables.

So this is me wishing you good luck, and hoping you’ll wish the same to me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Water. Lots of it. And I mean LOTS.

We’ve always been told water is essential for health. “Drown a fever, starve a cold,” right?

And I know I’ve always been told that I need 8 glasses of water a day. When I was in college, on rowing, I was required to drink at least 64 ounces a day.

I found this awesome calculator (I know, I’m a huge nerd) that calculates how much water you need to consume in a day. Now, I’ve always operated under the idea that I need around 64 ounces of water a day. WeightWatchers suggests between 7 and 9 glasses a day. So imagine my surprise when I took the quiz and it recommended I take in 93.5 ounces of water a day.

Uh. What?

Oh but don’t worry, if I eat a healthy diet, I can get away with 74 ounces of water a day.

Folks, someone down the line lied to me.

Obviously this is best case scenario ambition here, and you don’t need that much water. I mean, you do need water, and the more the better. But I never knew I needed 93 ounces. Per day.

But actually, after reading a few blog posts, it seems this isn’t that weird. A lot of the fitness bloggers and weight loss people I follow regularly drink over 100 ounces of water a day. And they are very open about the fact that they have to visit the restroom every 30 minutes.

So does this mean I get to start counting my walk to the bathroom as activity points?

Why I Joined Weight Watchers

I found this article from Thought Catalog that summed it up perfectly. It’s called “17 Things That Suck About Being A Little Bit Fat” I’m going to go into detail on the ones that apply to me.

1. Depending on what you’re wearing, you can either look borderline thin or borderline obese.

Ugh. I had to avoid half my closet. One wrong shirt, one false choice in a pair of pants. One second where I wasn’t standing up perfectly straight, and suddenly I was fat.

3. Nothing fits exactly the way you want it to.

See above.

6. You only really think about losing weight when you see yourself naked. Other times, you’re just like, “Meh. I don’t think I’m fat enough yet. I’ll just wait and see what happens.”

This is what deterred me from joining WeightWatchers for a long time. I didn’t think I was a hopeless case. I knew that it would just take some small changes to lose the weight, and I didn’t need a whole program. I didn’t. Really. And then I saw other girls I knew joining WeightWatchers, or similar programs. Girls I didn’t consider fat.

11. You notice that everyone started to eat healthier except for you. You are the only one who’s still ordering pasta at dinner. When did this happen? When did everyone agree to stop consuming carbs? Was there a meeting about this that you didn’t know about?

Again, see above.

12. Your clothes from three years ago still fit. You just look fatter in them.

14. You hate every piece of clothing you own but you avoid going shopping because you can’t bring yourself to buy things in a bigger size.

That was always my reasoning for not joining WeightWatchers. My clothes from college still fit. I’m still a medium in t-shirts and an XL in fitted shirts (I know, women’s sizing is weird). I still wore a size 12 jeans. The thing is, all these sizes looked awful on me. I started to wear a 14 jeans, and right before I joined WeightWatchers, I was in a size 16. My clothes all still technically fit, but they didn’t fit properly. The ironic part? I was working in retail at the time, and told women on a daily basis to ignore sizes, to go with what fits, because ultimately that will make them look better.

I wasn’t listening to my own advice.

13. You’re not fat enough to want to change your lifestyle, even though you feel more and more uncomfortable in your own skin.

15. You know it wouldn’t be that difficult to lose the weight which makes you feel even lazier and more pathetic.

These go together in my mind. In my mind, my situation wasn’t dire enough to take action. I thought WeightWatchers was for women who wanted to lose 50, 70, 100s of pounds. I just wanted to lose 30 pounds. I then realized that’s still a lot of weight, and I needed help.

17. You know the thing that comes after a “little bit fat” is “actually fat” so start changing your life now! You totally will. Just after eating this plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

This was the kicker. After this realization hit me, I signed up for WeightWatchers that night.

Me, last year, in Washington DC. Notice how I cropped out most of my fat. #skills

What made you decide to change your life, to get healthy?

Also, this gave me a chuckle: The Case for Formerly Fat Girls.

Diets vs Weight Management Programs

Okay, I need to get something off my chest.

WeightWatchers is not a diet.

Diets are bad.

Weight management programs are good.

Nowhere on the WeightWatchers website will you see them refer to the program as a “diet”. I dare you to find it.

Really, go ahead. I’ll wait.

You back? Awesome.

As a public relations professional, things like this don’t pass by me unnoticed. Messaging is one of those things that normal people overlook and PR people spend hours obsessing over. It’s just how we roll

The reason WeightWatchers does not refer to the program as a diet is because, well, technically everyone has a diet.

di·et

[dahy-it]  noun: the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group.

Diet is a word you use to describe what you eat. You could be “on a diet” and eat McDonald’s every day. (Please, please, please do not do this. C’mon America, we all saw SuperSize Me.)

On the other hand, we have the connotation of the word diet. Which is that you want to drop weight, at any cost. When I hear the word diet I think of the crazy fad diets where you gain almost all the weight back as soon as you stop. Oops. Not a good definition for what WeightWatchers is. Or a good way to approach your relationship with food. (Again, another topic for another blog post).

This is why WeightWatchers is not a diet. It is a weight management program.

/rant