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Making Decisions + Chest and Abs Workout

Hi friends!

I have a great chest and abs work out on the books today, but before I get into that, I wanted to share a little conversation my dad and I had last night.

He diagnosed me with “paralysis by analysis.” In other words, I think about things WAY. TOO. MUCH. And he’s right. I sit there and weigh the pros of cons of literally EVERYTHING and it almost paralyzes me from making decisions. I always knew I was indecisive, but didn’t really know why. I think it was sort of an “AHA” moment for me — sometimes I need to just stop thinking and start doing. If not now, when?

Speaking of doing, here’s the work out that I have on the agenda for today! It’s day 2 of my 12-week fat loss plan and I’m super excited for today’s workout. I must admit, ladies, there are lots of “perks” that come along with training the chest, if you know what I’m saying 😉

chestabscardioday2

One thing I love about this plan is that I have my workouts planned out before I head into the gym, so all I have to do is show up and do it. NO THINKING REQUIRED. Yay!

I’d also like to share some things that are making me super happy lately: my girlfriends :-)! We had an absolute blast at the Winter Park Art Festival this past weekend. I tell ya, I appreciate art SO much more now that I’m older. Drag me to any art show between the ages of 5-18 and you can guarantee I was either napping, “too cool,” or pretending to be disinterested. Not anymore! Here are some highlights:

IMG_0492 IMG_0482 IMG_0480 IMG_0474 IMG_0471 IMG_0465 IMG_0464 IMG_0461 IMG_0459

 

The Real Reason I Haven’t Been Blogging

It’s been a crazy past few months.

I graduated from college, transitioned from part- to full-time at my job and have picked up teaching more group exercise classes in the process.

I could blame my lack of blogging on the fact that I was busy; the fact that I write for a living and feel burnt out by the time I get home at night; the fact that I’m trying to adjust to an 8-5 schedule while teaching on the weekends.

While all of these reasons are valid and true, there are much deeper things going on that have been stealing my happiness. It’s time to share the deeper reasoning behind my absence, in order to be transparent with you all and start the healing process for myself.

I’ve written about binge eating in the past. I’ve also written about ways to stop overeating. So, when I began overeating again toward the end of the semester, I felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world having a health and fitness blog. I was exercising to the extreme, depriving myself and then binging, and doing all the things on my blog I recommend NOT doing. So, you can see why it’s hard to find something to write about when I feel like I know what I’m talking about, but can’t even apply it in my own life.

I didn’t want to come across as a hypocrite. And honestly, I was embarrassed. As much as I try to be transparent and vulnerable on the blog, I had trouble even admitting I was falling back into the same cycle I was once victim to.

However, this time around I’d say the disorder stemmed not from how I look (as it did before), but more about eating to avoid certain feelings. Stress, loneliness and my life being out of control are a few of the emotions that I didn’t even know I was feeling at the time. Why? I didn’t let myself feel them. I ate or exercised instead. I was treating my problems like a light switch — if I could just eat or exercise, those problems would magicially “turn off” and silence themselves in my head.

But neither eating nor exercise made those problems go away. I was still numb to any emotions, never letting myself cry or feel upset when I needed to the most. It’s a sad thing, honestly, to be surrounded by such a powerful support system and still feel so alone at times for NO reason.

Then the medical problems began. I was lightheaded, spacey and having an “out of body” feeling for months. Because I wasn’t eating enough for as much as I was exercising, my period stopped. (TMI, but this is how serious it got).

I often speak about the ways God is working in my life. I know that I am beautifully and wonderfully created in His image, and it is shameful to me that I treat my body the way I do sometimes. Again, I didn’t want to come across as a hypocrite and someone who talks about why we shouldn’t worry about the way we look, but can’t live it herself.

So, I stopped blogging. I needed to work on myself internally before I came back to share my experiences with you. I didn’t want my posts to display a list of problems and offer no solution.

But if you know me, you know I find a silver lining in everything, so here’s an update (a bulleted version since this post is already so text-heavy):

  • I went to the doctor and found out I’m eating HALF as many calories as I should be. Yes, HALF. Honestly, it scares me that I’m going to have to DOUBLE what I eat every day in order to sustain my energy and work my way back to optimal health. The good side? My blood work is awesome, aside from the fact that I have extremely low blood pressure and blood sugar levels. (I did my blood work right after I ate lunch and my blood sugar levels were still below fasting levels).
  • I’ve found a beautiful friend and someone I can confide in who has gone through similar situations with an eating disorder. She’s an angel in my life and has provided unyielding support.

Writing this post is raw, vulnerable and emotional. However, the reason I have this blog is in hopes of reaching out to people going through similar hardships in their life. We’re all in this together, and I want to be 100% transparent with you throughout my journey to become the best “me” possible. While I’m scared to hit “publish” after writing this, I wanted you all to know that just because someone may seem healthy on the outside, doesn’t mean they are on the inside. If you notice any of the same attributes in your family or friends, please reach out a helping hand. My relationships with God, my friends and family are what saved me and helped me come to this realization.

It’s funny because I’ve always joked that I was blessed with the ability to look at my life from an outsider’s perspective. I’m able to see there’s something wrong before I actually feel it. For example, I’d tell my mom, “Mom, I have an eating disorder/exercise addiction. I need help,” knowing the validity of that statement in all seriousness but never actually crying or feeling any emotion about it.

Hopefully this blog post is a step in the right direction — toward my healing and the rekindling of my love of sharing my life with you all.

If you’re going through something similar and don’t feel like you have anyone to confide in, PLEASE contact me at healthnutjulie (at) gmail (dot) come. I will gladly be your shoulder to lean on :-).

Stayin’ Alive

I AM ALIVE! Shocking to most, I know.

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to transition from college life to post-grad life, which has involved quite a bit of change.

Here’s a bit of an update…. I:

  • Started full-time at my job (40 hour work weeks are no joke.. I feel like I’m in high school again where Friday afternoons are golden.)
  • Teach group exercise classes still and have taken on MORE classes (working 7 days a week is also no joke, even though teaching doesn’t feel like “work” to me because I absolutely adore it)
  • Am trying to find a balance and still have a social life. It’s funny… I thought once school ended I’d have all this free time to do ALL THE THINGS in the world. Someone apparently failed to mention that there are two hours left in the day once you finally get home, then it’s time to go back to sleep so you don’t die the next day at work.

So, I ask that you bear with me throughout this transition. While I may not be blogging as frequently as I’d like, I still have a soft spot in my heart for this little space I call “home” on the Internet.

Peace, love and caffeine because Lord knows it’s pumping through my veins from 8-5 every day.

I Need a Hug

Hello my friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and are well-rested for the week ahead 🙂

Today was my idea of a perfect Sunday: early morning wake up, elaborate homemade breakfast, downtime to sit and enjoy my coffee, then church.

A whole lotta coffee and a whole lotta Jesus

A whole lotta coffee and a whole lotta Jesus

Shameless selfie. I also went shopping and found “the one.” Yes, my graduation dress… Unfortunately we can’t shop for “the one.” FRIDAY THE 13TH! EEK! 

I enjoyed these few days “off,” although I still had to do homework and teach my group exercise classes (I am definitely not complaining about #2 hehe). To be honest, I’m quite overwhelmed in many aspects. Although I don’t actually feel stressed out, I know I am because I’m struggling internally with a few things. First, I’m overly emotional — one minute I’m jumping for joy and the next I’m ready to rip someone’s head off. Two, I’m literally a bottomless pit and am eating everything I know I shouldn’t be (this may also have to do with the fact that I’m teaching now so I’m working out twice as much). Three, I procrastinate. I know I’m stressed out when I wait til the last minute to do something. Most of the time it’s because I don’t know where to start, so I just avoid starting all together, which stresses me out even more. It’s a vicious cycle, I tell ya.

I’m generally a happy, positive person 99% of the time and I absolutely hate complaining and giving off negative vibes, but we all have times where we just need a hug. Right now, I’m in need of your virtual hugs. 🙂 Allow me to share some of my recent struggles with you:

1. I cannot wait for school to be over. It’s such a bittersweet feeling and I honestly can’t believe I graduate in less than two weeks, but this busyness is running me into the ground. I’m trying to enjoy the journey as much as possible and I’m doing much better than I would have been if I were in the same place a few years ago. I’m staying positive and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel!

2. I have been stress eating like CRAZY and it’s taking a toll on me mentally. It mostly hits me late at night when I need the energy to do more homework. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can eat half a bag of pretzels (and hummus….). It’s so strange, though — I can eat healthy ALL day and then nighttime comes around and it’s like I’ve never eaten before in my life. I try my hardest to drink tea or keep my mind occupied so I don’t become even more of a bottomless pit than I already am and consume the whole kitchen LOL. Again, I’m hoping that once school is over, I’ll have one less thing to focus on/stress out about. Anyone have any advice to stop this?

3. I’m probably working out too much. I can’t remember the last time I took a rest day; they’re even more few and far between now that I’m teaching group exercise classes. I realized this yesterday and decided to take today and tomorrow as official “rest” days, which is also challenging for me mentally. The gym is my “me” time and my release from the world, but I really need to listen to my body before I wake up one day and can’t move anymore.

I wanted to post this to showcase the fact that while someone may look like they have it all together on the outside (that’s the downside of social media, people only post what they want you to see), everyone is still struggling with SOMETHING. I’m a real person. I’m far from perfect, even in the health and fitness aspect. I have a good handle on what I should be doing, but I don’t always take my own advice and implement it in my own life.

We’re all a work in progress, and I’m relieved that I’m able to share my struggles with people who also understand… YOU 🙂

Sending you all my hugs and positive thoughts. I’m thankful and blessed to have such a great support system! 

Crock Pot Turkey Chili with Beans

Lately I’ve been SUPER bored with my meals. I tend to eat the same foods over and over (and over) again until I’m absolutely sick of them. Since I’ve been so busy lately, making my usual meals has become second nature and doesn’t require much thought/creativity. But if I have to eat one more ground turkey/sweet potato/vegetable combo, I might go literally insane…. Thus, my modification of Skinny Taste’s Crock Pot Turkey Chili. Thanks to those of you that emailed me some recipes after I tweeted about my dilemma. I’m so excited to try them!

CrockPotTurkeyChili
This chili has a little bit of a kick to it, so you may need to add tissues to the list of ingredients if you’re a baby like me and can’t handle much spice 🙂

Oh, and you’re in luck. I’ve decided to compensate for my lack of quality photos by adding some… friends… to my photos.

Chili a la Glass Duck

ChiliGlassDuck
Chili a la Glass Turtle

ChiliGlassTurtle
Chili a la Giraffe (you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? ;-)) 

ChiliGiraffeBroken Nikon = iPhone pictures = boring = add animals (because life is better when animals are involved)

Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

Yield: 5 servings
Serving size: 1 cup 

You’ll need:

  • 1.25 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 10 oz. can Rotel Mild Tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup all natural chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

Directions:

  • Cook the turkey in a skillet over medium heat until brown; place in slow cooker
  • Add 1 tsp. oil, chopped pepper and onion to skillet and sauté for 4-5 minutes; add to slow cooker
  • Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to slow cooker. Stir until well blended.
  • Pour 1/4 cup chicken broth.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings. (I added cauliflower and avocado!)

Enjoy! 🙂 

My Life Lately in Two Words

Good morning from Jury Duty! I’m always so weary about logging into personal sites on public computers. I guess we’re not really safe with any technology though (cell phones, laptops, iPads, etc.). All those conspiracy theories out there really freak me out (Hi, government!)

Anyhow, life has been such a whirlwind lately! Between all my jobs and finishing my last month of school, there’s SO much light at the end of the tunnel and lots to look forward to. I’ve seen this done before so instead of boring you with what would be a 96 page update on my life, I’ll provide two words to describe what’s been going on in my life lately, some of which are accompanied by pictures because who doesn’t love pictures?!

My life lately in two words:

Group Exercise

22nd Birthday!!!

Doggy Dates

photo

Best Friends

photo

Minnie & Giraffe

Adventure Race

Almost Graduation

Photo: Just found out I'm graduating in the top 2.5% of my class.... No words, maybe a few tears

and last but not least… I’M EMPLOYED!!!!!!

That’s right. When December rolls around I’ll be a full-time employed post-grad that doesn’t have to live off of Ramen noodles and frozen pizzas! WAHOO!!!

Have a fabulous Wednesday, my friends 🙂