Getting Back on Track

You all know that I’m always honest with you. Sooooo, here’s the honest-to-goodness truth… I really need (as in really, really need) to get back on track when it comes to eating healthy and working out!

Eating healthy and keeping up with an exercise routine used to be second nature to me. But I’ve definitely been slacking… big time.

When Nate was assaulted almost two years ago (Moving Forward), my entire world was thrown upside down, shaken a few times, and then plopped back into place with no specific order. The safe bubble I had lived in for so many years had been shattered. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t thinking about the future or even making plans for tomorrow. It was all about surviving today.

That first week in the ICU, when Nate was so desperately fighting for his very life, I stopped eating completely. In a matter of five days, I lost over 7 pounds. Visitor after visitor encouraged me to eat so that I could keep up my strength. But I didn’t have any appetite. And when I did force myself to eat, I usually ended up losing the food, because my stomach was so upset that I couldn’t keep food down.

When Nate was finally well enough to come home, the nightmare hardly ended, but it was as though a huge cloud had been lifted. Nate’s improvement was so unrealistically quick that many doctors were calling it nothing short of a miracle. Every day, he could walk a tiny bit further and was able to eat a little bit more food. Just being in our own home and being able to sleep with him in our own bed every night filled me with a relief beyond words.

I knew, little by little, that everything was going to be okay. So even if maybe things were going to be different (A New Normal), we were going to be able to face that different life together. I knew that life was going to be beautiful and amazing.

The relief of being home didn’t resolve everything, as Nate still had a ton of recovery to face. And I had a lot of emotional trauma to deal with.
So I went from not eating at all, to turning to food as a form of comfort.

Stress eating had never been an issue for me, but apparently it’s a lot harder to stop than it is to start. 😉 I can honestly say that it has been a part of my life since the day of Nate’s assault, although I don’t do it half as bad anymore. As I’ve recovered from the emotional trauma, the eating for comfort has reduced dramatically.

But I do know that the eating due to stress did open a not-so-healthy door, as I became very lax when it came to eating right. You all know that I believe in moderation; and so any food I love can be eaten, as long as I’m balancing it with healthy food the majority of time. The biggest problem right now, however, is that I’ve kind of reversed it and broccoli is the splurge food. 😉 As in, food that should be a splurge is eaten a little too frequently, and I really need to get back on the veggie bandwagon.

The thing about stress eating is that it’s mindless. You don’t realize that you’re eating a chocolate chip cookie until it’s gone…along with two of its buddies. Had you eaten one intentionally, realizing that you really did want a cookie and so took the time to enjoy it, you would have been much more satisfied. SO I definitely want to jump on the intuitive eating bandwagon!

AND… I also lost my workout routine.

Honestly, that was okay for a time, because I knew that there was a lot going on. But now that I can honestly say that I really have healed emotionally, I feel as though it’s time to take back my health. To really focus on feeling healthy again by eating right and working out.

This is something that I want to do for ME. This is something that I want to do as a final step into recovering from all that happened. I’m hardly talking about becoming a professional athlete or about giving up icecream. (Hello! I could NEVER give up icecream)! 😉 I’m also not going to suddenly start dieting or stepping on the scale! This is not about losing weight.
I just know that I don’t feel as strong and confident as I used to, because I haven’t been exercising my body or fueling it with the fruits, veggies, and healthy grains that it really wants. I still believe in splurging, but I definitely need to incorporate healthier food into my life.

Joel's engagement 003

SO I’m ready to take that next step into eating right and working out. I’ll be sharing my progress in these upcoming weeks! And I hope that you’ll share some of your goals and progress with me. 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Getting Back on Track”

  1. Work it, girl! You can do this! You look fabulous but how you feel is a bazillion times more important so I want you to feel fabulous too!

    I think I’m half-healthy although you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. I’d love to lose weight but it’s not a priority of mine at the moment. I still try to stay semi-healthy. I have a fruit-and-veggie smoothie every single morning, and every weekday I eat the same exact salad for lunch. I’ve been doing this for 6+ months. At least I know I’m getting in fruits and veggies!

    Is Nate planning on joining you for anything? Do you guys eat all meals together? Is your schedule more flexible now so that you can fit in daylight activity? I think I’d be in a much better place if I wasn’t stuck in a chair all day.

    I’m excited to hear where this takes you. I hope it takes you on adventures 🙂 Or at least growth and learning.

    My coworkers and I are doing a 30-day plank challenge. For the last three days, we’ve done 60 seconds (we’re following a plan) but today jumps to 90 seconds. Anxiety! I’m off to go do that… eek!

  2. Smoothies and salads are absolutely amazing (and delicious) ways to incorporate fruits, veggies, and calcium into your daily diet; so you can be sure that I shall be adding them to my diet now! (I used to enjoy them all the time, but really haven’t been as of late). It sounds like you’re getting your veggies, which is such a huge part of feeling strong and healthy!
    I think that so many women fall into the trap of thinking that they have to be a certain size or shape in order to be healthy (thanks to the pressures of society). But it really is all about how you feel, like you said! It’s about eating healthy foods and being active.
    And, YES, Nate is actually going to do it with me, which I’m very excited about! I’ll have to write about that when I recap how things are going. I love that when I fix a meal, Nate is asking me how much fiber is in the meal. Ha, ha! It will be much easier to get back on track with him also trying to get healthy with me.
    We really do eat all but one or two meals a week together, and I’m usually the one who prepares them (although Nate has been saying that he wants to take on one of the meals to help out). 🙂 AND my new schedule gives me SO many more opportunities to work out during the day! When I was working a 40-hour desk job, I had a difficult time fitting in the exercise I wanted to (as you know full well how that is), but now I don’t have an excuse. Now I really do have the time, so I’m excited to fit exercise into my daily routine.
    I’m counting down the seconds to warmer weather, because I LOVE running outside!!
    That being said, Nate has been wanting to start doing planks, because of his back injuries. The doctor said that strengthening his core would help his back pain! So he and I will be doing a bunch of planks too, so I’ll think of you when I do them. Ha, ha. 🙂 I can’t imagine holding for 90 seconds, but YOU have got this, Girl!!

    1. Nate is such a sweet husband. If you tell me otherwise, I won’t believe you 😉 ha.

      We are just working off of a 30-day plank challenge found online but there are a lot of good smartphone apps with 30-day challenges too. (By the way, I finished my 90 sec plank and only the last 15 seconds were torture. It helped that we played an upbeat song during it!)

      Same with tracking food: for a while I used MyFitnessPal to track my food; I used it partly for calories and partly to see how my days broke down. It was shocking, as a pescetarian (veg but I eat seafood on occasion) how high of a percentage my food intake was CARBS, even when I didn’t think so. eek!

      Is Sarah helping out? Where’d she disappear to?!???

      1. Ha, ha. I won’t argue, Nate is pretty sweet! 🙂
        That’s a really great idea, I’ll have to check out those plank challenges (and other fitness challenges)!
        Nate actually just started using MyFitnessPal in order to track calories. I’ve used it in the past, and I think I’ll check it out again. I don’t necessarily want to track calories, but – like you – I’d like to see how my daily food intake breaks down. I think it will motivate me to eat more fruits and veggies, for sure.
        And Sarah is doing well but is crazy busy between work and then being back in college. I actually want to do a healthy-eating vlog collaboration with her; so if she doesn’t blog soon, you’ll see her on this blog at least! 😉 I’ll tell her that she needs to get everyone updated soon! 🙂

      2. I think I’ve exceeded your blog settings’ reply limit. Oops! Anywho, about all of that you said… YAY! Please tell Sarah that we all miss her!

        Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  3. It seems to me that you are in a healthy and happy place mentally and that is going to drive you getting back on track. Good for you. Have you tried My Fitness Pal? It allows you to track what you eat (food diary style) and I know so many people who have really benefited from using it. Of course there are similar sites out there, but my experience has been with MFP.

    Best of luck! YOU are going to rock this. The working out and eating right is your original nature – think of it like that. You are getting back to what is natural to you – not taking on a different lifestyle.

    Also, I’m excited for the prospect of the healthy-eating vlog!

    1. I ‘have’ tried My Fitness Pal in the past, and I loved it. Nate has actually been using it for the past week or so, and he loves it too. 🙂 So I will probably use that at first, because it’s a great motivational tool!!
      And thank you SO much for the encouragement!! 🙂

  4. Doing physical activity that you actually enjoy will be really helpful because you’ll be motivated to do it. Plus the endorphins that you get from exercise will help counteract stress (so less stress eating!)
    If you’re still struggling with things emotionally you should try yoga. Honestly, it is amazing for your mind and body. The breathing techniques and the mindfulness aspect of it are really good for dealing with stress by making you more present, suppressing the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” stress response) and activating the parasympathetic nervous system (ie. the body’s “rest & digest” response).

    1. I really should try yoga! My mom and sister do it one night a week and always try to convince me to do it with them. I’ve always been too busy, but I might be able to fit it in now that my work schedule has been drastically cut (thanks to teaching piano from home). Thanks for the suggestion. I’m going to give it a try!!
      And I know that I am ‘really’ looking forward to the warmer weather! I absolutely adore morning runs, but I don’t really have the gear to run in this type of cold. I cannot wait for warmer weather, and then I’m going to start running outside again. THAT is probably my favorite exercise (and stress fighting activity). 🙂

  5. Nicole, you and I are so similar in so many ways. I love how you aren’t necessarily trying to lose weight, but instead are just wanting to be healthy. Fueling your body properly. It’s amazing how different our bodies work and feel when we are taking good care of them. 🙂 And I am so glad to hear how you are taking this step toward healing from all the trauma that happened.

  6. It took me a while to own up to emotional eating. That is one of the reasons that I’ve been doing these monthly fasts from certain types of food (sodas, sweets, etc) so that I realize more what I put into my body. I even went through actual withdrawal from sweets earlier this month due to the fact that I let it go out of control. This post was so encouraging to me! 🙂

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