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MyFitnessPal rocks

About a week ago, I suggested to a friend of mine the idea of finding online accountability for healthy eating and exercise because I knew there were a ton of free resources out there and her current in-person accountability might be in jeopardy. Before I knew it she had sent me a link to join her over at MyFitnessPal and I have been obsessed ever since. Well, not really, but you know what I mean 😉

The site allows you to track your calorie intake and exercise expenditures based on your current weight and your goal (lose, maintain or gain) and interact with other people that you become “friends” with on the site. It’s like Facebook meets Weight Watchers! You even have a news feed 🙂

Since I am happy where I am and no longer own a scale, I chose maintenance and my calorie goal actually made sense (usually the ones these sites give me is too high, in my opinion).  I haven’t actually been tracking calories for a long time so that wasn’t a priority for me but this site measures so more than that.

Much like the old MyPyramid (now MyPlate), it gives you a nutrient breakdown for the day and shows you where you may be lacking in some areas. Because I am vegan, I keep an eye on vitamin D and calcium since I don’t get those from eating dairy products like many people do. Also, I like to stay low on sugar because my body operates better that way.

I haven’t made any changes to my diet, but the program is definitely motivating me not to go back for a second snack at night and in the 5 days I have been tracking, I have drank more water than I have in a long time! Something about being able to “click” off another glass is fun to me and having that visual reminder is very helpful.

I am also really thankful for this site because it allows me to be part of the process that my friends are going through on their own weight loss journeys. I am glad that I can provide them with accountability and encouragement, plus they probably don’t know this, but being able to see how they are doing is very motivating to me as well. It reminds me of what I went through, how far I have come and how I never want to go back to being who I was before I made myself get healthy.

Just wanted to share this with you all. It’s a great site and I know there are many others out there like it, but this one stands out to me.

There is also an app for most smart phones. The one for Blackberry is decent, I can enter food, water and exercise on there but can’t see what my friends are doing or any of the message boards. However, the iPhone app seems wonderful for all of you who have one (I’m only a tiny bit jealous).

Focus on your strengths

For those of you who may be new to my blog, you may not know that from 2007-2008, I lost 70 pounds through my own hard work and lifestyle changes. When I was getting ready to turn 25, I found that I just wasn’t happy. Sure, I was married to a great guy, had a good job and managed to have a social life with my wonderful friends. But I did not like myself. The way I looked, the way I felt, nothing. So I worked hard and I changed.

But, ever since I reached a certain point on the scale, I’ve been obsessing (off and on) about how to get past it. I never really reached my original “goal” weight but I got to a comfortable point and never made it any further. When the number doesn’t go down, I get frustrated and think I’ve failed somehow. Then there are some times when that number starts to creep up and I get worried, especially when my clothes start to get tighter. So I refocus, get those few pesky pounds off and I’m back to where I was. This especially happens in the summer, I’ve come to refer to it as my “summer fluff.”

I know a lot of people think maintenance is easy but I do not. I feel like it has been a much harder struggle than weight loss ever was for me. Maybe that is because it’s been so long ago now that maintenance mode has just taken over. But I feel like every choice I make is important and if I don’t want to end up back where I was in pre-2007, I have to always be working hard at it. Partially, that is true. But I also need to stop putting so much pressure on myself. Because I know me and when I’m under pressure, it’s no good. It doesn’t motivate me, it breaks me down.

So, recently I have ceased weighing myself. I think it’s been well over a month since I’ve stepped on any scale. While I’ve given up weighing before, this time I feel like I really don’t care what I weigh anymore. Not in a “I’m giving up” way but in a “I’m breaking free from this torture” way. If I’m still wearing the same clothes I was after my initial weight loss, if I feel good and if I can be comfortable where I am, then why does it matter if I weigh one number or another? Why am I always trying to improve when I’m perfectly fine where I am?

I have also realized that by always being focused on calories, weight, exercise, that I am missing so much of the rest of my life. Did I mention I’m turning 30 next year? 😉

If I’m being real with myself, I have to remember that I originally sought to lose weight for health reasons. I was sick, borderline everything and only 25 — a scary situation. These days, I am very healthy, all of my numbers are in the optimal ranges and my doctors are always impressed with my diet and workout regimen. So why do I care that I don’t have a flat stomach? Why do I care that I never got out of a certain “decade” in weight numbers? None of those things are health-related anymore.

I think some of it is comparing myself to others, seeing people my same age and height that weigh a lot less than I do. Some of it is the media I’m sure, even though I like to deny that one a lot. Some of it is my natural perfectionism. I am my own worst critic sometimes. But I’m making some great progress!

I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this but I had a real breakthrough when my friend Stephanie posted the following statement on her blog: “in my head, i’ve always admired very lean women, with their flat stomachs, small chests, and perfect pencil legs. but in my heart, i realize that’s not me, and i’m better learning to love what i do have than longing for what i don’t have.”

It was like the light shone down from above and the chorus sang “Hallelujah!” I had a major revelation about myself thanks to some thoughts from a friend about her own situation. This is why blogging is great and why we need to communicate with each other through this medium.

Little by little, I am learning to embrace who I am, my life, the body that I have and you know what? It’s great! Instead of wanting to be the next size down, I love my size. I also love that I have to buy one size at one store and a different one at another because clothes are made differently and I am not shaped like anyone else but me. It’s okay that I can’t wear low rise jeans, really. It’s better to wear what is flattering than to try to hide what is not in order to be trendy.

So if you’ve ever felt this way too, my advice would be this: instead of focusing on the things we don’t have or what we do have that we don’t like, we need to start focusing on our strengths. I’ll go first.

I may not have a flat stomach but I have incredible arms! Stuff may jiggle in places I don’t like but darn it, I have completed 5 half marathons, I still work out 5 days a week and I feel incredible! I am also feeding my body the healthiest diet I know and still allowing myself the occasional splurges (I heart french fries). I may never wear a two-piece but my doctors say I am very healthy!

Does it get any better than that? I think not 🙂

Off to a great stop?

So I merged my two blogs back in May, in hopes that I would feel less intimidated and overwhelmed by the concept of updating two blogs regularly and that I would be able to get back to blogging here on a regular basis.

*Crickets*

What happened?

I guess you could say life happened. Josh and I are in the process of buying our first home, which, if I ever get my blogging mojo back, I hope to do several posts about. The process of getting buying a home is a post in itself and then this condo we are hoping to close on soon needs a lot of work so I hope to do some before and after posts to share 🙂

But another thing that happened was last summer. I had a lot of stuff going on and I just lost that urge to blog all the time. Frankly, I got tired of it. And for the past year, off and on, I have been toying with a name change, a change of focus, and many other changes for this blog in hopes that it would inspire me to get back here and write some great posts again.

Well, nothing has been nailed down as you can see. But I have been reading other blogs regularly again and I am inspired to see so many that are not limiting themselves with a certain “topic.” I always thought since this was called See Sarah Eat and I established it as a food blog that it had to stay that way forever. Luckily, I have gotten over that (even letting a certain food-driven ad provider go) and I do now feel like I can talk about anything pertaining to my life or my experiences and not “worry” about whether or not it fits in here.

This is my blog! I can write whatever I want! I am changing, life is changing, so it’s only natural that my blog should follow me. Not to say I will never write about food or weight loss again, I will, just not all the time. I actually do have a couple of recipes to share. But there’s also so much more to life that I want to discuss.

Why do I always put so much pressure on myself? I’m so silly.

Anyway, that’s just an update. Hopefully it won’t be another month before I come back here. In the mean time, here is a picture of me with Louisville’s own Morel’s Food Truck, which I finally visited at Abbey Road on the River, a Beatles festival that was here in Louisville over Memorial Day weekend.

Photo courtesy of my BFF, Courtney 🙂

The guy who runs it is actually a dude I went to high school with. Pretty cool, huh?

Back to one

If any of you follow River City Fitness, you may have seen yesterday that I have decided to go back to one blog only. I don’t know why I thought I could keep up with two separate blogs when I have enough trouble keeping up with one sometimes!

Anyway, everything I do will be over here now. Food, running, yoga, life, everything. I no longer feel the need to define my blog or have it live up to it’s name all the time. It’s just my blog, about me, and eating is just one thing I do 🙂

I have no plans to delete RCF but everything from there has been moved over here so there’s really no need to visit that page anymore. What held me up from making this decision for a long time was the fear that I’d lose my Race Recaps page, but it’s here too!

Thanks for all the support, I hope to be back to regular blogging soon! In the meantime, you can ‘Like’ this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter if you are so inclined.

Thanks!
Sarah

Louisville Vegetarian Club meets again!

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I last posted a meeting announcement, but this coming Saturday, February 26th, the Louisville Vegetarian Club will be meeting at Cumberland Brews starting at 1:00 p.m.

Check out the invite on Facebook and RSVP if you wish to attend!

This month’s discussion will be led by Andrew, who has a food blog of his own, Jolly Green’s Kitchen 🙂 The topic is “Vegan on the Cheap” and I’m really looking forward to learning some new ways to save money while eating a vegan diet.

So many people assume that healthy, vegetarian or vegan means expensive. Sometimes that is true, especially if you rely on a lot of processed foods. But there are ways around it and the benefits of a healthy diet will save you money in the long run.

If you are in the Louisville area and you are currently vegetarian, vegan or an omnivore interested in the vegan diet, come on out and join us!

Healthy Living Blogs

I posted this same thing over at See Sarah Eat, so sorry if this is a repeat for you. It just means you need to check it out even more! 🙂

Have you checked out the new Healthy Living Blogs website yet?

If not, you must. It is a great resource, put together by healthy blogger Lindsey, where you can find blogs listed by location or A-Z, as well as posts by healthy living bloggers who are currently sharing what “health” means to them. It is very cool!

This blog is listed on there as well as my other blog, See Sarah Eat. I have already received an email from a fellow Louisvillian (Hi Rachel!) who found my blog through the website.

I love that this is going to enable us to make connections with like-minded people in our own areas!

Thanks Lindsey and everyone else who made this website possible. And go check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

Healthy Living Blogs

Have you checked out the new Healthy Living Blogs website yet?

If not, you must. It is a great resource, put together by healthy blogger Lindsey, where you can find blogs listed by location or A-Z, as well as posts by healthy living bloggers who are currently sharing what “health” means to them. It is very cool!

This blog is listed on there as well as my other blog, River City Fitness. I have already received an email from a fellow Louisvillian (Hi Rachel!) who found my blog through the website.

I love that this is going to enable us to make connections with like-minded people in our own areas!

Thanks Lindsey and everyone else who made this website possible. And go check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

Small changes

I just read this article on CNN Health that I thought you all might be interested in:

Farmer’s markets bloom at hospitals

I am always inspired by articles such as this one because it shows that little by little, the world is (hopefully) striving to be a healthier place! These small changes being made today will add up. My hope and prayer is that when my children are my age, they will see a whole new (better) world when it comes to health. All too often we hear stories of unhealthy things, like disease and death, not to mention other forms of negativity in the media. This was refreshing!

Farmer’s markets are becoming more and more popular and popping up in new places all the time. I’m hoping to get to a few near me this summer. It makes total sense to have one at a hospital, where people go to be treated for various ailments. Now they can pick up something toward their good health while they are there 🙂 Not to mention the workers and visitors.

What about you? Have you heard or read something recently, health-related, that inspired you or gave you hope?

Happy Thursday, its ALMOST Friday!

p.s. Looks like Starbucks is making some changes too…hooray for the banishment of HFCS!

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Check out the Sunshine Burgers giveaway over at Keep it Simple, yay!