I'm sure girls the world over have bouts with insecurity and self doubt. Usually, I don't let it get to me, but every now and then, it creeps in and gets under my skin.
This last time, I was feeling it while I was home on vacation.
While I was home, I ran with my parents and walked a lot. While I was home, I also recommitted to things I'd been better about before. Running, exercising more, less soda, less fast food and all around less junk.
After a quick bout with a cold or something when I got home, I got back on track. Running some mornings, Insanity workouts other mornings. They don't call it Insanity for nothing, I hate it, but it works when I don't have time to drive out to the trail, run and drive home. The downside of country living.
Some other things I got serious about were less eating out and more brining lunch to work.
Things I worry about lately are my health and our finances. Basically, if it costs more than $5, I am now a royal pain about spending money.
Buying a house has made me into a penny pincher of epic proportions. Why did I not have this trait for the last 30 years?!
Before, I was grabbing gas station snacks or quick lunches out most days. Partly because I fell into the busy trap, partly out of laziness and lack of planning. That was costing me anywhere from $3-$10 per day during the work week.
Now, I'm spending a few extra bucks at the grocery store each week and bringing a lunch I'll actually eat.
It usually consists of sliced turkey, from the actual deli, not a package. A half pound is usually $3 or $4 and lasts most of the week, unless M takes lunch too.
I've also been easing myself back into yogurt. The kind I like now is 50 cents a container and I usually only buy 3 or 4 per week knowing I won't eat it every day. It's a consistency thing.
I'm a huge fan of string cheese, which is weird, because I'm really not that into cheese. M says to avoid cheese altogether and save those calories and fat for elsewhere in my diet, but I like the low fat calcium boost. The kind I buy is about $3 and has 10 or 15 sticks of string cheese.
Usually I toss a banana or peach or whatever fruit I'm into that week into my lunch, for just a few bucks a week.
And because I'm into carbs, I usually stash a baggie of pretzels in there too. They're good for snacking throughout the work day and they'll keep if I don't get to them one day.
I've also significantly cut back on my soda intake. Before I'd grab a 20 ounce bottle in the afternoon because I was tired, or busy, or stressed. Really, I don't think it was helping me any.
Because I'm still a cherry coke addict, I take one 12 ounce can with me per day and have that for lunch or an afternoon treat. Sometimes I splurge and have two, or if I'm really desperate for caffeine I break down and grab a bottle, but I've stayed strong on this the last few weeks.
We've been making a lot more iced tea around the house and I turn to that more than the soda these days. My water intake is also increasing, in part because the smoky skies thanks to the major wildfires in surrounding state and Canada seem to be making me constantly thirsty.
All of these things are now conspiring to help me spend less and eat better. I'm now spending probably less than I'd spend on a day's lunch out to cover homemade lunches for the week. We've kept lunches out together to once a week or less and dinners too and it really feels like so much of a treat now to go out than it did before.
This week I got busy at work and fell off my normal workout schedule, but I kept up with lunches and water intake.
Even still, I noticed the last few days that I felt more awake, more productive, focused and energetic. Plus, I feel all responsible and grownup with the money we're saving by eating better.
This all makes me very, very exciting for skating season to start again. Last season was my first back in figure skates in years and I didn't feel all that confident in my own skin or that strong. Now, I'm wanting to get back out there and go for it. I'm sure a few hard falls will knock that right out of me, but I'm feeling a lot less fragile than I did last season. Maybe it's all the hard labor in the back yard. I kid. Sort of. Not really.
Slowly but surely, I'm getting back to my old ways of running regularly. I was never an athletic all-star by any means, but honestly, I always took a great deal of pride in being able to complete multiple half marathons without being a super skinny, speedy, athletic rockstar. I did it in spite of drinking too much wine and eating too much pizza and popcorn.
The closet purge is also helping the mental aspect of all this in that I'm weeding out the things that don't fit now so that every morning I can put on a great outfit and feel great. If I'm going to crank out 40 minutes of Insanity (which is a form of torture) or somehow pull out 3 miles in about 30 minutes, I deserve to feel good about that all day in my comfortable, feel good-look good clothes.
I may never get back to my all time adult skinniest of a size 6, but I can surely get back to a place where I feel fully comfortable in my own skin. Where I feel healthy and strong. And I feel like i've finally hit that sweet spot where I'm finding the balance that's right for me. Enough exercise to drop a few pounds and keep at a healthy spot, but not so much that I can't sleep in when I'm plain exhausted or just don't wanna.
I once gave up soda for Lent and between that and tennis training, I lost 10 pounds in a few months. I bet if I gave up wine and kept running, I'd drop 20, but let's not get carried away here.
So, this might have been a little long winded, but I'm feeling pretty solid on this whole pulling it together thing. Seriously, I've been dancing in the shower and throughout the house while getting ready for work each morning and rocking out in the car on my way home each night. I even covered a city commission meeting this week, so it's pretty huge to be in this good of a mood all week.
I should also credit Alicia for some inspiration on this front. She's got all kind of wise words on healthy living and loving yourself. You really need to check her out. No really, do it.
How do you balance a healthy lifestyle and doing what you want? What are your vices?