happy hours

A Healthy Balance and Some Confessions

There’s been a lot of stuff going on lately in my life. I feel like I’ve been holding a lot of stuff back from this blog of late and I want to explain the best I can. First, let me say that I hate those oh-so-cryptic Facebook updates or Tweets that are vague and alluding to something going on in someone’s life that they aren’t sharing. I don’t want to do that with my blog but the truth is, there are some things that I just won’t talk about here. At least not right now. So I apologize for some vagueness in this post. Maybe soon I can be more specific.

I’ve been feeling like I’m not on the right path for awhile now. Despite this realization that I might want to do something else, I’m pretty much stuck where I am for now. With Michael unemployed, I’m definitely not going to be leaving any jobs to go back to school–especially since I haven’t decided yet what I want to finish my degree in. Feeling stagnant is not a good thing, though. So I’ve been focusing on other things in my life. Changing my workout routine to add more strength training is a new project that I can focus on and I’m a project type of person.

I’ve started taking a medication that supposedlyΒ does not cause weight gain as a side effect and yet I’ve been anxious for a month now because I’m paranoid that I will gain weight. I’m trying to be super diligent with my calories, continue my fitness and hopefully the scale won’t reflect a negative change. Then I stepped on the scale a few days ago. It wasn’t my normal time of the month that I usually weigh-in and it also wasn’t first thing in the morning. The scale showed a 2 pound gain. Seriously? It was so deflating.

Now when I look in the mirror I think “WHERE?” Where is that 2 pounds?? I’m going to wait and check again next week at my normal time and cross my fingers that it was just a fluke.

I’ve also been feeling unbalanced for awhile. I feel like my life is a lot of “I should be doing ____”. Like I go to work, I go to the gym, I do house chores and whenever I DOΒ have downtime to myself, I get lost in Netflix (currently mowing through “The Tudors”). This is not a healthy balance. There needs to be more fun, more spontaneity and more downtime in my life. I’ve been struggling to find this balance for awhile and I’ve been trying to make more plans with friends.

A few days ago I got together with a good friend I haven’t seen in a long time. We text a lot back and forth but neither of us are very good at actually making the time to hang out. Tim knew me “before” I lost the weight and was always supportive and encouraging. He reads my blog but never comments–instead texting me his comments. πŸ™‚

I was in the green, ha! I met Tim at a restaurant downtown for happy hour and Michael joined us. We went to the Red Star Tavern. It was a really cute and HUGE place and worth a try if you’re ever in Portland. The best part: their happy hour runs from 4-8. I like those hours.

The happy hour prices were decent. The menu had a lot of different kinds of things. I ordered a glass of the house red and only had one (trying to limit my liquid calories).

We discussed a million things but the bulk of the night was dissecting The Walking Dead. Both Tim and Michael have read the comics so they were cryptically discussing it, teasing me with no spoilers, and making me crazy! I am definitely going to read the comics.

I ate an order of the ham and brie sliders. They were pretty good but lacking something–I think a different kind of cheese that was melted or creamy would be better because it was a tad dry.

Michael and I split an order of the shredded BBQ beef sliders and maybe even an order of jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon. What I wish I’d gotten was the mini cheeseburger that Tim got. Look at this thing:

I was so happy that I made the time for happy hour, even if I’d been feeling down and tired with my couch beckoning me. We ended up hanging out for over three hours that night talking and I felt like my soul got a boost. Downtime. Spontaneity. Socialization. Taking the time to take care of myself = much better mood.

QUESTION: How to you create a healthy balance in your life?

The Weekend Eater

Are you a weekend overeater? It’s a common trap for “dieters” or people watching what they eat. They eat so well all week, follow a schedule/plan, work out, then Friday night comes.

I Want 3 Please

Happy hours

Birthday Parties

BBQ’s

Picnics

Date night out

Movies with popcorn

The traps are endless.

BBQ

Eating the ideal number of calories 355 days of the year and an excess 1,000 calories on the 10 big holidays (with no extra exercise to compensate) would lead to a 3 pound weight gain, but being over your calorie needs by just 200 calories EVERY day of the year would result in gaining 20 pounds! Most Americans consistently eat too many calories, day after day after day. I call it the β€œsnowball effect.””

1,000 Calories in Movie Popcorn

Tips for Eating Better on the Weekends

1. Don’t stop exercising on the weekends. I try to take 2 days off a week from exercise. I need those rest days (even if I don’t want them) so I usually plan my rest days for Tues/Thurs. It helps break up the monotony and I KNOW I will eat more on the weekends–so I make sure I get my exercise in.

2. Keep tracking calories/points on the weekends. Weekends do not equal a free pass. Those calories count the same as Monday’s calories. πŸ™‚

3. Avoid the “I’ll start the diet on Monday” mentality. I go by the 90/10 rule. Splurging once in awhile is not license to eat everything in sight all the time.

4. Plan ahead. If you have a big event planned for the weekend, try eating about 100-200 calories less the few days leading up to it. But DON’T starve yourself. That’s not the answer. An example would be: don’t eat dessert Thursday or Friday night and eat dessert on Saturday night instead.

5. Don’t drink your calories! Alcohol really adds up. You can still have fun, but maybe drink something “lighter”. Instead of a Strawberry Daiquiri for 500+ calories, have a Rum and Diet coke for 100 calories.

6. Don’t starve yourself during the day. It’s one thing to eat lighter in preparation for going out to dinner on a Saturday night, it’s another thing to starve yourself and then make bad choices later.

7. Split entrees with a friend. Or even better, split dessert with the whole table! It saves money and calories! Another alternative would be to order a few appetizers, soup and a salad as your meal instead of an entree.

8. If you weigh in once a week, or have a Weight Watchers weigh in, change your date to Monday. That could keep you on track during the weekend!

QUESTION: Are you a weekend over-eater? What tips and tricks do you have?