Jul 262016
 

Remember how I said that Friday nights were always my gym nights? And while it was nice because the gym/pool was empty, it kind of sucked for “fun” on a Friday night. Well this last Friday we had a different kind of Friday night and it was so much fun!

It was kind of a humid, gray summer day but the evening was nice. I got home from work and Michael said we were going out. Logan had been fussy fussy fussy all day long. I figured he wanted to get out of the house. He didn’t tell me where we were going and after feeding the baby we left.

Turned out we were going to explore the food carts on SE Division Street. Division has exploded in the last few years with tons of new restaurants, condos, etc. It’s a completely different neighborhood than when I lived over there. I’ve been wanting to check out some of the new popular restaurants on that street for a long time but I always talked myself out of it for some reason (traffic, parking, crowds, long lines, etc).

There were a ton of food carts in this little area with a bunch of picnic tables and a beer garden. The place was packed! And it was a really popular place for people with kids and babies. I love that this is an option for eating out when you have a young one.

We walked around and checked out the options and I decided to get something from the Korean-Hawaiian food truck, Namu. I ended up getting the Bulgogi Beef plate. It was spicy beef, rice, kimchi, spinach, cucumber and avocado. It was between that and the vegan bowl with toasted tofu–that sounded really good, too. (My original choice was going to be the waffle truck that sold sandwiches made out of waffles–but I reasoned with myself and decided that wasn’t a good idea diet wise. LOL)

My dinner was really tasty and spicy, but I did kind of have food jealousy over Michael’s dinner. 🙂 Michael got pizza from the pizza food card (I don’t remember the name, sorry). They cooked their small pizzas in a wood burning oven.

We found a table with another couple and their toddler and asked if we could share and they said yes. (And then I asked them about their super cool detachable high chair seat thing that just clipped onto the end of the picnic table–brilliant!).

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Logan did great! I think there was so much going on and so much noise that he wasn’t fussy anymore. He just chilled and checked everything out and let mom and dad enjoy their food.

I had a few bites of Michael’s pizza and it was REALLY good. I loved the crust. They nailed it.

We enjoyed a Crux Double IPA beer from the beer cart. PERFECT! It really hit the spot. And it was strong (at least for me). One was enough.

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We finished eating and Logan was getting a little antsy so back in the stroller he went. We decided we wanted dessert and there was a dessert truck but it was vegan and that wasn’t really what I was feeling. So we decided to walk up Division Street and see what other options we had. It was so nice out, too, we didn’t want the evening to end yet.

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I like this neighborhood. It’s hip and popular and there were tons of people and art all over the place. It just has a cool and inviting vibe (like I said, a lot different than 8 years ago when I lived near there). It was fun just being out on a Friday night with all these young, carefree people out on dates. 🙂

We walked up the street and past Pok Pok, where the line was at least 2 hours long, it looked (there is always a long wait there) and then we ended up at Salt and Straw.

It’s a super popular ice cream shop in Portland. I’ve had their ice cream before at events and it was good but I never understood why the lines were always so long. And if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know how much I hate long lines for restaurants. There are just too many good places in Portland to stand in line for over an hour. No thank you!

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But we didn’t have anything else to do, so why not? And the baby was sleeping! The line actually moved fairly quickly and as we waited we tried to figure out what flavor we wanted! And tried not to drool at the aroma of waffle cone as we stood in line…

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We got to the counter and they said we could have tastes. Michael tried the Pear and Blue Cheese and said it was amazing so I tried it and it was just ok. He got a taste that was all pear and I got a taste that was all blue cheese. It wasn’t overpowering but it just wasn’t for me. I tried the Goat Cheese and Marionberry with Habanero and it was FANTASTIC! Loved it! The heat was at the very end and it wasn’t crazy hot, just the right amount. But I thought it might be too much in a full serving.

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My first choice was the Sea Salt with Caramel and the Honey Lavender. Then the girl at the counter talked me into tasting the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache and my mind was blown. SO GOOD! So I got a half scoop of the Sea Salt and Caramel and a half scoop of the Almond Brittle Ganache. PERFECT.

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Michael got the Chocolate Gooey Brownie, I had a bite and it was good but I won at the ice cream selection. 🙂 We walked around and ate our ice cream in the warm summer evening and then Logan started to wake up and it was time to go home.

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May 042016
 

I recently read an article that I wanted to share with you guys. Here is the link: I Stopped Exercising For One Year: Here’s What Happened. I read the article and found myself nodding and saying “yes!” to a lot of stuff in the article. It was well-written and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I know I could.

When I first started losing weight I had to be super diligent–like almost obsessive. I was counting my calories and I had to be strict. I had over 100 pounds to lose and I felt weak–I didn’t think it would work or “stick” and so I was diligent about staying within my calorie range each day. That meant denying myself a lot of stuff.

During my exercise mania days, I ate “clean” most of the time, which means, I stripped every bit of fun out of the experience of eating. Every day I ate grilled whatchamadingle with a side of steamed doojawockey. I removed sugar, alcohol and complex carbs out of my diet, along with the will to live.

Yes yes and yes. I stopped drinking all alcohol for the year and a half it took to lose the weight. I just didn’t need the calories. I stopped drinking all of my calories, which was a smart move on my part. But did that mean I stopped doing fun things like going out with friends to happy hour? Yep, it sure did. I didn’t trust myself in the beginning to make good choices — with food or alcohol. In those early days of trying to lose weight I didn’t think I could have just one drink and I knew I wouldn’t be able to order a salad or something and skip the happy hour treats like deep fried foods and fatty treats. You know how it goes…having fun out with friends, have a cocktail, someone orders some fatty food for the table and you vow to have just one bite but then…things get away from you and suddenly you’ve completely tanked your calories for the day. So I just didn’t go out. It sucked.

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Eventually I felt more confident and trusted myself and I started going out again. I found that I could make better choices and I COULD limit myself to one drink and one happy hour treat instead of completely derailing my weight loss goals.

Once I reached my goal weight I was able to loosen the reigns a little bit. I didn’t stop doing what worked but I did allow myself to have treats here and there. Doing things in MODERATION worked so much better for me. Instead of the early days of weight loss where I was afraid of the slippery slope one treat or one drink could do to my diet, I enjoyed more things and enjoyed life. Instead of feeling restricted, I ate whatever I wanted in moderation and it worked for a really long time–years in fact.

After all, life is supposed to be fun–good food enjoyed with people you love.

Something that disappointed me about the article was that the author quit the gym and then proceeded to just eat junk food. As she said–the dam burst. She gained weight and gave in to all the junk. On some level I can understand that but I was hoping that she’d say she quit the gym and quit being obsessed with food and … somehow found a balance.

The article went on to talk about exercising a lot:

I lifted weights. I trained with kettle bells. I climbed a zillion steps to nowhere on the stairmaster. I yoga’d and spun and kick boxed. I set impractical and ludicrous fitness goals, like being able to do 20 unassisted pull ups.

There were other downsides to being an exercise devotee. Going to the gym was time-consuming. Aside from exercising, there’s also getting changed, traveling to and from the gym, showering afterwards – it took up hours of my day. I put more energy into my relationship with exercise than I did with a living human being.

Again, I could relate 100%. Like with food, I went through phases of being obsessed with it. In the early days I did overexercise. I didn’t take rest days like I should and that lead to burnout, overuse injuries and exhaustion. I learned my lesson and incorporated mandatory 2 rest days a week. I’m glad I learned that lesson early on in my “career” as a gym rat because it’s necessary. Rest days are good. For the mind and the body.

Even with rest days incorporated in my schedule, working out 5 days a week would take it’s toll once in awhile. It made it hard to do fun things after work because I “had to go to the gym.” It really limited my schedule. I wish it didn’t. It was frustrating how much effort it took. Like the author of the article said, it wasn’t just the workout, it was the travel time, changing clothes, showering afterward. For me that was about 90 minutes total of my day and that meant less time for other things.

Things that helped alleviate that in my life? When I used to run during my lunch hour at work. I loved that. It gave me so much freedom. I was able to break up the work day, get out of the office, burn off stress, get my workout done and out of the way and then I had my evenings free! To do STUFF! To have fun! See friends! Go on dates with Michael. The other thing that helped was biking to work. Again, that freed up my evenings immensely.

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Then the author said she woke up from the fog of not working out, eating junk and gaining weight and she DID find a balance that worked. Instead of hardcore everything, she found moderation.

I’ve had to reframe my whole idea of myself. My identity was wrapped around being very skinny, and I’ve had to give that up.

Now that I’m a mom I’m reevaluating my life. I think that’s why this article spoke to me so strongly. Priorities have changed in my life, obviously.

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When I was pregnant, that last month or two I started reducing my workout schedule. Instead of five days a week I went down to four. Then it was three. I was just tired, my body was starting to hurt, and I needed a break. I thought it would be a slippery slope for me–that I’d just stop exercising, that I’d fall off the horse–but I didn’t. I just took a little bit of time for myself. The world DID NOT END. It was ok.

Now that I’m easing back into the fit life postpartum, I’m thinking about the future and what I want it to look like. I know once I go back to work full time and Logan is in daycare, the last thing I’m going to want to do is drop him off at home every night and then go to the gym for an hour. I don’t want to miss these moments with my son. I don’t want to waste what tiny time I have in the evenings with Logan by leaving. I just don’t.

At the same time, I know I want to keep active, stay fit and healthy and have some ME time, too. So it’s about finding balance.

I’m already thinking about what the future might look like.

Biking to work after dropping him off at daycare once or twice a week will be a good option when the weather is nice. It means I can get my workout done and then have the whole evening at home with my family.

Running at lunch is something I’ve missed a lot! I would love to get back to that.

The gym at work is also an option. Is it ideal? No, but it’s something I can do during my lunch hour in a pinch, especially if the weather is crappy.

Working out on the weekends is still ok because Michael can be with Logan and honestly if we can find things to do together as a family that would be even better — like hiking as a family! That’s something I am really looking forward to.

Running with Logan once he’s old enough will be great.

The Warrior Room is another option, too, because they have childcare options if I need it. We also have kettlebells at home, so I can always do that if I can’t make it to the gym (or if there are childcare issues).

And maybe it’s ok to drop my schedule down to 3 or 4 days a week instead of going back to 5.

Basically what I’m saying is that my workout routine/schedule will look different in the future, but I think it is still doable. I don’t think I have to sacrifice me time, fitness and time with family as much as I thought. I just think it will take more planning and will definitely take ME to learn how to be more flexible and let somethings go if necessary. Maybe it’s doing quick sprints in the neighborhood instead of long runs on the weekend, for example.

Finding balance in life is hard, even without kids. You want to be able to enjoy the things you love to do (even if that includes sleeping in on a Saturday morning instead of getting up early for a run!) but still be fit, right? There’s GOT to be a way!

So what about you? Especially if you have small kids/babies, how did you find that balance and what worked for you? What did you think of this article?