Nov 042015

I read an article recently,  If You Find Joy in Exercise, You’re Less Likely to Look for Joy in Food, and the title really stuck out for me. There was quote that I found really spot on and I wanted to share it here:

It concluded that those who perceived exercise as a fun activity (and not just a ton of effort) were less inclined to compensate with junk food after their workouts.

These findings appear to support something that Precision Nutrition refers to as “hedonic compensation,” wherein if people feel like they’ve been deprived of pleasure in one place they will compensate by seeking it elsewhere (i.e. “I had a tough week, I deserve to relax and have a beer.”)

I agree! I found that once I started eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis, I didn’t want to “ruin” it with junk food. My taste buds changed. My cravings changed. Instead of wanting a king-sized candy bar, I was leaning towards fruits and vegetables. It was a slow shift in my brain, it surely did not happen overnight, but once I started to FEEL BETTER, I started to make BETTER CHOICES. (Body Love Week: Structure, Perfectionism, and Authentic Living)


Then I came to a point where I looked at junk food as what it was: junk. It wasn’t fuel for my body. It didn’t help me in the gym. It didn’t make my body feel good. (Read this post: Healing Your Body.) And the more candy I ate, the more I craved it. But when I cut it out, those cravings went away. Is there anything better than fresh fruit in season? Yum, I want those raspberries!


The above quote talks about “hedonic compensation” — if you deprive yourself something you seek it elsewhere, you want it more. While I was cutting out junk food from diet, I wasn’t DENYING myself treats entirely. Like I’ve written about many times before, living a life in moderation is what helped me STAY SANE while I lost 110 pounds. I never felt like I was denying myself things I wanted because I ate certain things in moderation. After I lost the weight I continued with that method and it worked. For 7 years I kept the weight off.


Now let’s talk about exercise. So many people have told me that they wished they could lose weight but they hate exercising. (5% of Americans Exercise Daily) I think if you rename it and not look at exercise as a punishment you won’t dread it. Here are a few posts I wrote awhile ago about this topic:

I Hate Going to the Gym

How to Exercise Regularly

Learn To Love It

Overcoming Exercise Obstacles

Too Busy to Exercise

I think the biggest mistake people make when starting to work out is this: they pick something they don’t inherently enjoy. If you pick an activity you don’t enjoy, force yourself to do it, hate every minute of the activity, you start to think “I’ll reward myself for this workout with ____!” Pizza, ice cream, whatever! Fill in the blank. It’s easy to sabotage your efforts with a “I deserve this! I worked out!”

If you hate running, don’t run. Start with walking. If you hate the treadmill, join a running group at a local running store–they are usually free and super fun! And running outside is so much better than being stuck running in place.


Try the elliptical. If you have aches and pains in your body and it hurts to work out, try swimming. Trust me, when you are overweight or obese and your body hurts, swimming is AMAZING.

If you hate the gym–don’t join one! There are SO many options out there. Get a bike trainer and ride your bike in front of your TV in the comfort of your home. Read this post by Michael: How to Watch More TV! :)

Try hiking. There are hiking groups you can join. Meetup is a great place to find new friends, join activity groups and I know in my area there are TONS of hiking groups!

Do you have a dog? Join a local dog training group that includes fitness! A friend of mine posted about a group here in Portland that I’d love to try someday. A quick google search has shown that there are a ton of groups like this all over the country. See if there’s one in your area.


This is not to say that you CAN’T find joy in food. There is so much joy in food. I love baking and am learning to love to cook. There is nothing more rewarding than trying a new recipe and it’s a success. I love cooking for other people and throwing dinner parties. I like creating appetizers. Don’t we all love going to a nice, new restaurant with a group of friends and sharing good food and a bottle of wine? But is it really JUST about the food? Isn’t more about the process? The people? The socializing? For me, the joy in food is sharing it.


What do you think? How do you balance the joy in food with healthy eating? Have you figured out a fitness method that brings you joy?

Oct 122015

Even though we were sort of trying to get pregnant earlier this year, I was still trying to lose a few pounds. I really really wanted to get rid of that honeymoon weight before I got pregnant. I managed to lose 3 of the 10 pounds and then gained it back on vacation. As soon as I got back from vacation I was back at the diet and was confused as to why I wasn’t losing when I did the month before!

Well, surprise surprise! I know now. :)

So I’m starting this pregnancy 10 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, but what am I going to do about it? My starting weight at 4 weeks pregnant was 157. 7 pounds over my goal weight. Sure it’s disappointing but honestly? Once I found out I was pregnant I didn’t really care anymore. Somehow the number on the scale didn’t matter to me anymore. Which was HUGE because it’s always mattered to me.

Instead, I started to think of my body as a vessel that I wanted to keep as healthy as possible. It was mind-blowing just how quickly the shift in my brain happened. Even though the pregnancy didn’t quite feel “real”, my brain was suddenly on alert–what food was healthiest? What would be the best thing to eat for the baby’s growth? My body and my weight was suddenly a secondary concern. It was kind of a relief.

I’m sure this will be short-lived. :) I imagine as the weight ticks up and my body REALLY starts to change I will struggle with the weight gain. Right now I am basking in the glow of happiness and trying not to focus on the scale.

I’m not too concerned about stretch marks. I know this is a big concern for a lot of women (and a common topic for currently pregnant bloggers) but I don’t care. I already have stretch marks. What’s a few more? You can’t lose 100+ pounds and not have stretch marks.

Something I am curious about is whether or not I will show or how soon I will show. Having lost 100 pounds the skin on my stomach is very loose and has been since I lost it. No matter how much I worked out and how much I focused on ab work or tried to clean up my diet, I never got rid of that pooch. In reality it was probably going to be something a surgeon would have to deal with. So now that I’m pregnant I’m kind of curious if that excess skin will keep me from showing too much? Time will tell.

Since this blog has mostly been about weight loss, keeping the weight off and fitness, it seems like I should address this stuff a little bit. Obviously there isn’t going to be a lot of weight loss going on here for the next 5 months…..

First Trimester

Like I said, I started out at 157. I didn’t weigh myself at all at home during the first trimester. I was weighed twice at the OB during the first trimester and didn’t look at the results until I made it to the second trimester. I guess I just didn’t want to know. Then I did.

I only gained 2 pounds during the first few months. They say you should gain 1-5 pounds in the first trimester, the about 1 pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy. So I was right on track.

I was honestly kind of surprised that I only gained 2 pounds this summer for a few reasons. Exhibit A:


MMMMM French Toast.

First, it does not take much for my body to gain! I was worried about this fact before I got pregnant. Second, my first trimester was all about CARBS. All I ate was pasta, bread, crackers. Basically crap.


I didn’t eat much meat. I didn’t eat a lot of vegetables. For a while there if I tried to eat a salad I’d gag while I forced myself to eat it. I was still eating fruit and dairy but really my diet was crap. I thought for sure I’d gained at least 5 pounds, maybe 8! So it was a nice surprise that I didn’t. :)

Michael surprised me one day with a Burgerville Blackberry shake (oh my god it’s amazing) and it was magnificent! (Sadly, this small shake is 500 calories though!)


Towards the end of the first trimester I was starting to get my appetite back and eating a little more normally. I also started craving cheeseburgers and fries.


Despite my occasional splurges, I was doing okay with my calories and staying within my range each day.

I think I will need to increase my calorie intake soon. I need to double check that. Now that I don’t feel sick and food sounds good to me again, it’s a lot easier to try and eat a normal healthy diet! I’m really glad my diet is almost back to normal. And I want vegetables again!


Despite feeling sick with morning sickness all summer, I worked out like normal throughout the first part of my pregnancy so I’m sure that helped keep the weight gain at bay. I plan on keeping my current workout routine/schedule for as long as I can. Obviously the time will come that I need to modify things and I may need to eliminate some activities but so far there is no need to quit doing the gym.


I run occasionally. After my 5k I took a little break from running. Mostly due to scheduling stuff and being on vacation. But I’m back at it. I’m slow, STILL, and that’s ok. As the weather changes it will be treadmill running anyways.

Swimming. Still swimming. The bigger I get, the more my body starts to ache, etc, I foresee swimming increasing and being my go-to exercise for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Weight lifting. Still weight lifting but easing back a little bit and not doing it as hard-core. This is more due to the back stuff I had in August then the pregnancy.

Yoga. Going once a week and I’m glad I’m doing it. This might be another activity that increases as the months go on.

Hiking. Michael and I hope to do a lot of hiking this fall/winter like we did last year. This of course depends on the weather.

So that’s my plan so far. I’m going to keep doing what has worked for me, listen to my body and modify what needs to change as time goes on.