Tag Archives: guilt

stress less

2 Mar

It’s amazing how different I feel when I’m focusing on being in control of my eating and exercising.  And I don’t mean just “sticking perfectly to my plan” or “working out everyday.”  I mean being in control no matter the situation.  For instance, today was my planned day to do cardio.  I have been looking forward to it because I haven’t done any cardio since Saturday, and last night Jon and I started contemplating running a certain race in April (contemplating, I said!).   In other words, I’m rarin’ to go!  However, when Jon called today to tell me that he had an appointment with a client at 5:45 and he wanted me to go, the debate began.

Do I try to workout, rush home, take a shower and take a chance of not being ready to go with him in time?  Or do I move my workout to tomorrow (which was supposed to be my day off), come home, get some school work done, and be ready to go support him?

I have to admit, my initial reaction was to be a control freak and go for option A.  But I’ve really been working on releasing that control, being okay with getting off the treadmill before I’ve run exactly 4 miles.  I’m proud to say I went with option B.  I feel great that I was able to recognize what the healthier, less stressful choice would be…and went with it without looking back. So often I put undue pressure on myself to strive for perfection, and when I stop and think about it, do I even want to be perfect?  How fun is that?  For me, this expands even beyond diet and exercise to relationships (ie. if I don’t cook dinner for Jon every night, then I’m a horrible wife) and to work, of course.

I love the quote that I ran across on Katie’s blog today.

Eat what your body truly craves, exercise (but not excessively), feed your soul, and–above all–try to stress as little as possible.

This quote should be my mantra.  Sometimes it’s the concept I struggle with the most, despite the fact that it’s who I want to be so badly.  I think I’m getting there, though.

So, what about you?  Do you struggle with the idea of reaching (or not reaching) perfection?  Do you take joy in the process of getting to where you want to be rather than stressing about not being there quite yet?

And with that I’ll leave you with a pic of the lil’ snack I’ve been enjoying while writing this post.  I’ve been wanting to try a Pro Bar for a long time, and the coffee shop we’re at has several different ones to choose from.  I went with the Sesami Goji flavor.  While the ingredient list is a bit long, it’s entirely recognizable and has some stellar stuff in it like organic goji berries, sesame seeds, organic oats, raw organic coconut, organic pumpkin seeds, hemp seed etc.  Pick one of these up if you get the chance.  Just FYI – with 400 calories for one bar, it is more of a meal replacement rather than a snack.

a "re-epiphany"

20 Jan

First things first, people.  As I mentioned yesterday, I made Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.  They are TO DIE FOR.  So good!  They are gooey and soft, and for me the bitterness of the carob is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the dried cranberries.  All of the flavors mix together in just the right way.  Her recipe is pretty flexible, so lemme tell you what I put in them.

– one ripe banana
– 1.5 cup oats
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup carob chips
– 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
– 1/2 cup natural pb

– 1 scoop of the only protein powder (soy) I had on hand
– 3 tbsp sliced almonds
– 2 tbsp milled flaxseed – Walmart didn’t have whole flaxseeds.  I think whole would do much better.
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1.5 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

I mixed it up just like Averie suggested.  If you notice, I omitted the coconut, which may have made my bars more gooey – not that that’s a bad thing!  I certainly have not skipped a beat in slicing off a piece each night;)  Definitely try these out if you’re looking for a healthy, vegan sweet treat!

Today I had an epiphany.  Funny thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this epiphany.  I’ve realized, though, that sometimes in my life I have to learn things over and over.  Bad habits tend to come back randomly, and I have to relearn my new, good habits.  Here’s the story:

Usually when I come home from work, I run in the house, change clothes as fast as possible and race to the gym.  I like to get my workout in and get back home before Jon’s been home from work for too long.  Today, as I was driving home I was realizing that my body…and mind, for that matter…were just not feeling a workout.  Now, for me there is a difference between just not wanting to get on the treadmill or weights and me really needing a rest day.  I could feel it in my bones muscles, and I knew that I needed to take a day off.  Plus, I was completely mentally drained.  This week has just been extra busy and strenuous, and I haven’t given myself a chance to recoup.  So, I was going back and forth in my mind between two things: burn calories and get a good cardio workout in OR give myself a mental and physical break.

I started feeling guilty at the thought of not going to the gym.  I was telling myself that I needed to go to the gym no matter what because I needed to burn those calories.  Then Jon called.  He was headed home early from work and would be home any second.  Talk about making a hard situation harder for me.  Now I wanted to stay home to be with him, really wanted to rest, but the guilt was warring inside my head.  I haven’t done this to myself in a long time.  I honestly thought I was past the point of feeling guilty over working out and focusing way more on calorie burning than mental, emotional and relational (when I’m feeling guilty it affects my entire attitude, even toward Jon) health.

So, to make an already long story a little shorter, Jon coaxed me into staying home and resting, but not without a lot of whining and “bad mood” from me.  Because of him, I went to lie down for a bit.  I started thinking about the whole situation with a little more clarity.

Our physical health is not more important than our mental or emotional health.  Sometimes I make the mistake of putting more emphasis on my physical health because it’s outwardly evident.  If I gain five pounds, other people will notice and my jeans won’t fit quite as well, however, if I completely exhaust myself, other people don’t have to know.  It’s a lot easier to ignore.  So, I decided I’m making a commitment to start focusing equally on each area of my life.  I’m always striving to find that balance, and while I did have a setback today, I also took several steps toward becoming more balanced.

Do you ever have trouble finding balance between everything that is important in your life?  Do you often feel that you don’t have time to take care of every part of your life?  How do you try to maintain balance?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, it’s about time for me to skidaddle (sp?:) to bed.  Jon is trying to coerce me into staying up late with him, but I’m not sure how long I’m going to make it!  See you tomorrow for a review of the homemade vegan black bean burgers we made tonight.  Good night!