Using what I’ve learned.

Tomorrow starts the first ‘real’ vacation since I started the barre n9ne challenge in May. And while the challenge spanned a traditionally difficult time to ‘stay healthy’ (summer!! cookouts! drinking!! FUN!), for the most part, I didn’t travel, I didn’t go on a week-long vacation and most of the cookouts I went to were family or close friends where I felt I had more control over what I had as food options. Tomorrow, I use what I’ve learned since that fateful day in May when that life-epiphany I was desperately searching for began.

While I won’t lie and say I am not at least a little anxious about making sure I make good choices, and not compare myself to my workout-y friends getting in lots of good workouts on the homefront (comparing! my nemesis! Must push her down!). However, I’m confident that I can and I will make good choices and have a blast and a half on this trip!

So what have I learned?

At the core of it, it’s about consistency, making healthy choices. Each and every day. This was probably the biggest thing I learned and something that every day, hits me upside the head with how right-on it is. I know I feel better when I choose healthy. I know I feel better when I think before I eat. And know whether its mindless eating, random ‘want’ or actual hunger.

Almost as important, it’s about balance. Yes, healthy food options with a good amount of protein, fats and carbs is ideal. But balancing that with small indulgences is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean eat 10 cookies, but if you want that cookie? Commit to it. Don’t eat half and not ‘count’ it, don’t take 3 bites of your boyfriend’s pizza and still want a full piece. Choose to eat it. Commit.

So closely tied to balance and choosing, is planning ahead. Plan, plan, plan. It’s what I do. I am getting really good at mentally preparing for when I am faced with a party or having wine on the weekend or a random ‘ice cream for dinner’ kind of night. But if you plan for it? Guess what? It will almost always fit into your ‘number.’ And that’s why this way of life works so well for me. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like I have to cut out whole food groups (I heard coworkers talking about their ‘diets’ and how they cut carbs and don’t eat after 9 and only eat lunch and dinner and I shake my head…really, people, really?!). I don’t feel like I am endless counting calories either, because I am so accustomed to it now, that I just sorta know what I am eating and how many calories I’ve got left for the day.

Almost the most important thing I learned is joy does not equal food, your experiences do. Food equals fuel. It does not equal happiness. I used to be so accustomed to looking forward to parties, vacations etc as a chance to eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. And would always feel pretty gross and overly full afterwards. For what? What purpose does that serve? Not happiness, that’s for sure. My focus now in social situations? The people I am with. Conversations. Not food. Food is secondary. Sure, it’s yummy, but it can be yummy in smaller amounts too!

And finally, the most important part of what I have learned is that I am making an investment in myself and making me a priority. Yes, planning ahead and counting calories (not that I will count forever, but here and there, eventually, to keep in check and accountable) does take time. But as Tanya told us, ‘if you ‘don’t have time’ then you don’t have time for YOU. Is that what you are saying?’ <–so true. INVEST IN YOU.

So, while I am most certainly going to enjoy the shit out of wine country three-peat, I am going to be mindful, I am going to fit in a few runs, and I am not going to eat my face off. I will eat, I will enjoy the local fare (including In-N-Out Burger! First time ever!) and lots and lots of wine. I promise you that. I just feel as though I am going into this smart, confident and ready to have a great trip…enjoying M, my friends, and our experiences and perhaps not putting food as my first priority as it seems to have been in the past.

Balance. Choices. Priorities.

Using what I’ve learned.

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23 thoughts on “Using what I’ve learned.

    1. You have no idea how much I wanted to go off on them (in a good way) about WHY those approaches just don’t work! Keep it SIMPLE! Healthy choices, portion control. Enough said. None of this no-bread, no food after 9 pm kind of things! And yes, I will certainly enjoy the trip, I promise!

  1. The nice thing is that you’ll be in Sonoma County, which is rich with all kinds of healthy, gourmet foods! So many options to choose from! As for In ‘n Out, there is one right by the airport (just saying…it’s an option!) Looking forward to seeing you (because we WILL make it happen!)

    1. Exactly!! I LOVE how fresh the local fare is. Can’t go wrong, really. And we are actually eying the In-N-Out in Santa Rosa that is now open (that was being built last year when we drove by, drooling!). And we WILL make our meet-up happen!! YES!

  2. I use to do the same thing with food – at a party, a bbq, vacation, a night out – the food would be the priority, not the time with my loved ones. Sometimes my crabbiness over not having (or feeling gross for eating too much) “food” would dampen some of those experiences.

    You have such a positive mindset!!! It’s still “work” for me, but as GI Joe says “knowing is 1/2 the battle” 🙂 I think its 3/4’s of the battle, but who’s counting? 🙂

    Enjoy every moment of wine country, every experience, every sip, every bite of fabulous food, every breath of that fresh and clean Northern CA air (I swear I’m a Cali girl in my heart)…you can’t get your vaca back so do what you need to do to enjoy it to the fullest!

    1. YES! I would do that too and then be thinking after, WHY did I do that?? Didn’t even THINK about what I was eating whatsoever. Love the GI Joe shout-out, that’s hysterical 😉 And absolutely 100% LOVE the last line of your comment…you can’t get your vaca back so enjoy it to the fullest! Really hit home with me. I will, I promise.

  3. You’ve learned so much, come so far in the past four months. This trip ain’t got nothing on you!! Just remember – balance is more important above all else. And ALSO remember, you have to drink twice as much wine for me.No ifs, ands, or buts about it, mmk? 😉

    1. Seriously, we have both learned SO much! Incredible how much I could spit out in this post alone!And balance is of the utmost importance, I agree. I will drink lots of wine for you, I promise. And bring you some too!

    1. I can’t wait to try it! I have been out there many times for work, of course, but never wanted to go to In-N-Out for a burger by mysefl…wanted to wait till I could experience it with others – haha! (thanks for stopping in! sweet to see you have been reading!!)

  4. that’s definitely what i’ve learned–to enjoy the food you do eat, but that doesn’t mean feel full and stuffed. i hate that feeling too…but it’s still a work in progress (as always) and if you DO screw up, just start over and don’t beat yourself up about it..you ARE on vacation, after all ; D

    1. Right. Feeling full and stuffed just sucks. It’s not fun at all. I am going to try my best to make good choices and balance the wine with the eats…BALANCE!

  5. spin off of Jessica’s comment- you are so much SMARTER now- not that you weren’t smart before 🙂 but you HAVE learned SO much and the fact that you have done the hardest thing possible- to make a lifestyle change- is amazing. YOU GOT THIS 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about all the amazing adventures this trip brings. We will surely be missing you @ barre n9ne®

  6. I admire your commitment to healthy eating on vacation! (I always eat like it’s a sport when I’m away.) I need to get better about planning and grocery shopping. xoxo

    1. Eat like it’s a sport! LOL! I used to do that too…and it IS fun, don’t get me wrong, but at this point, it was something I wanted to NOT fall into again, ya know?

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