With summer comes much more free time, and with more free time comes more food cravings, more TV watching, and late nights and daytime sleepiness. I’ve had some minor setbacks in my health journey, nothing big, but my summer life is helping me to relearn some things about how my body functions. The most important thing I’m trying to teach myself is to better listen to my body. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are tired. Relax when you are overwhelmed. Life is not about perfection, but joy and growth. I lost focus of a lot of things as summer hit, so right now I am trying to get back on track and just do things in a healthier, more mindful way.
Bloating and Dairy
First of all, I kinda let go of my whole dairy free diet in late May. At first, it didn’t seem to make a huge difference, but after a month of being pretty careless about cheese and ice cream, I started to feel it BIG TIME. I believe that cutting loose put my body into a little flare-up and caused a narrowing within my digestive tract. Like I have mentioned before, when I was in middle school I had a bowel resection (due to a narrowing) and ever since there has been scar tissue there and when I go into a flare-up I show signs of another narrowing (literally a narrowing in my digestive tract, where food has a hard time going through). This time around, I was getting full really fast, going to bed every night severely bloated and with a distended stomach. It was kind of miserable. And it happened again the other day after eating a pizza. Ugh. I took some pictures to help motivate myself and to share with you what my bloating looks like and how the body can change so freaking fast. Seriously, these photos were taken less than 12 hours apart. This is what NOT listening to your body looks like.
So now on how to avoid this, I need to cut out all dairy. This means lots of So Delicious Snickerdoodle Cashew Ice Cream and stealing my vegan siblings “cheese.” There are worse things, right?
Green Coffee and Diet
Cutting out dairy completely has been a little tough though since I have family and a husband who regularly consume those things. While cutting out dairy, I allowed myself to enjoy some other treats that I wouldn’t normally have. We rediscovered Blue Sky soda a few weeks ago, which has been an actual lifesaver. These sodas are all caffeine free, some organic, and all made with natural ingredients and NO CORN SYRUP. While still high in sugar (38-48g) these suckers have been great at helping me avoid the worse of two evils. Once I feel comfortable on this whole dairy free thing I will be going back to my 25g-of-sugar-or-less-a-day plan. This is much harder than it sounds (at least for this Swedish Fish and Cake loving lady), but trust me, the benefits are so worth it and sooner or later the sugar cravings will go away!
Since I have been cutting loose on the sugar, though, I have been trying to increase my veggie intake to balance it out. I’ve been making my own take on a bulletproof coffee the last week or so and I LOVE IT. Save this recipe below to have a quick, easy, and yummy way to get greens, fats, and a (mostly) free latte every single morning.
Chin-ups and Goals
Finally, I have had to get my head back in the game and remind myself of some goals. At some point in the last few months, working out had become more of a chore than something I was truly enjoying. I was working out for less than 30 minutes, and only really doing it to get some activity in my mostly sedentary days. While it’s still great to get some activity in each day, it’s so much better to have your workouts be refreshing, enjoyable, and helpful.
The first thing I remembered was my goal to reach 5 chin ups by the end of the summer. To help achieve this goal, I found a plan online to help me. This plan is an 8 week program to 20 chin-ups, but that’s only if you start at 3-5. I’m starting at 1, so I suspect in 8 weeks I might be able to get to 10. Maybe. But really, 5 is my goal. Feel free to check it out and join me!
I have also made a goal to start lifting heavier and lifting to burn out. I really only work out at home, so I am not doing crazy heavy weights or super intense training. But I have been at a standstill for weeks now. Anyone else there with me? I felt the best way to combat this was to not focus on time of the workout, but the quality. I’ve been using slightly heavier weights and doing as many reps as I possibly could. And yesterday, for the first time in weeks, I actually felt sore from an upper body workout.
Now this is for the ladies: when I started this journey I told myself and my husband that I didn’t want to be buff. I didn’t want to be more muscular than my husband. And I did NOT want to have weird muscles and veins popping up anywhere. And I don’t look like that by any means, but I don’t really care if I do at this point. I want to be strong and be able to do crazy cool things with my body. In the end, this wellness journey is not about how I look, but about how I feel and what my body can do.
Now let’s all get out there, get over the obstacles holding us back, live life in an enjoyable way, and set some goals!