My stomach says “STOP!”

Lips and Tongue GraphicSeriously. My stomach is screaming out in protest. I’ve been eating out the past few weeks far more often than I care to admit, and though my choices weren’t the worst, they definitely were not the best. Combine poor eating with loads of stress, and it has left my poor tummy feeling like someone has reached in and braided my intestines, deflated my stomach and drained my liver and kidneys of life-sustaining water. I. am. hurting.

I find it quite disturbing that I have to hit rock bottom to turn things around. It’s no secret that eating a diet filled with fresh fruits and veggies, fresh eggs, raw nuts, whole grains like quinoa & brown rice and organically fed chicken and small amounts of beef can keep a person healthy. Like, duh. So why do I sabotage myself? Why do I eat wheat when I know I’ll be crying out about it later? Why do I drink more than one glass of wine more than twice a week? (I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I can drain a bottle of Vino Verde and then look at the empty container wondering how that happened…?)

It’s not as if it’s hard to cook well. Really,  scrambling up an egg and stir-frying some eggplant will do wonders for my energy level and digestive system. It’s not difficult. Pinterest is chock full of Paleo, vegetarian and healthy meals that activate my taste buds to the point where I’m having to clorox wipe the drool off my keyboard. I think my problem isn’t that I can’t cook. I think my problem is that I’m not an organized cook.

Therein lies the rub. I’m not an organized cook. I have, thus far, failed in planning my meals and therefore find lunch time, dinner time and snack times to be miserable, blank-stare generating experiences that makes me want to run to Panda Express. or Kerby Lane. Or P. Terry’s. Or BurgerFi. (but I digress…)

My question to you, dear readers, is one of organization. Do you spend Sundays planning your meals? Do you have a schedule, a method to your meal madness? Please share below. I’m interested in hearing what works for you.

For now, though, I feel so horrible that I must change things immediately. When I start to feel good again, I must not go back to the way I was. And that’s always the hardest part, right?

5 Reasons to Go Ahead and Join a Gym

metal dumbell

Greetings, my friends! Hello, Hello! I’ve been faithfully working out (barring one dark, wine-filled, chocolate filled week) all summer long. I’ve spent the time collecting workouts on my Pinterest board (follow it here: http://pinterest.com/freshcutdesign/circuit-training-workouts/), subscribing to workout channels on YouTube and doing various free workout apps on my iPad. I’ve learned a lot on this journey and am so. so. excited about sharing with you! Topping the list of discoveries is that working out at home is not for everyone.

Here’s why you may want to bite the bullet and join a gym, hire a personal trainer or join a boot camp or fitness training group:

  1. You’ve never worked out a day in your life. Okay, that may be a gross exaggeration, but if it has been many moons since you’ve picked up a dumbbell, then you need the guidance of someone who can make sure you are doing the exercises properly. All it takes is one over-rotation of the shoulder, and you’ve torn your rotator cuff. And that’s very, very bad.
  2. You are very heavy and have a lot to lose. Here’s the deali-o. The workout videos and apps I’ve been doing all assume that you are 1) in your 20′s and a fresh-faced freshman in college 2) are moderately fit 3) you have a good working knowledge of the exercises and anatomy. It can be a serious de-motivator watching these PYT’s (pretty young things, for all you non-Michael Jackson people) get their groove on when you are simply trying to keep up. Also, many of these videos do not show low-impact alternatives. If you’re heavier, you aren’t ready for jumping and knee-jarring moves. I’m not saying that you can’t workout at home if you’re just starting out. I’m saying it will be more of a challenge finding apps and videos that work for beginners. The variety is just not there. (but please correct me if I’m wrong)
  3. You need accountability. If you wake up with a laundry list of reasons why you can’t fit in a 15 minute workout (cough*bull*shit*cough), then you could stand hiring a personal trainer. Knowing you have an appointment with someone charging you between $40-$80 an hour is a pretty good motivator to get your butt out of bed. The knowledge you gain will enable you to drop that gym membership and do it on your own later. But I digress. Personal trainers dote all over you. They take fat measurements. The access your flexibility. They give you diet plans and stroke egos.  They are good people. And they will keep you on track!
  4. You’re training for a specific event. This one’s a no-brainer because I am probably preaching to the choir. Clearly, if you’re doing a Tough Mudder, you more than likely need more than YouTube. A few years ago, I considered myself a runner, and the only way I could get myself to go faster and longer was to join a running group. I pushed myself way harder than I would’ve on my own.
  5. You’re just one of those people that like working out with other people. I am not one of them. I like nothing more than being able to pull up an app, crank up Pandora and strap on my running shoes to get the sweat going. I also like being able to immediately kick them off without having to drive home first. But I’ve discovered that there are those out there who really enjoy the social aspect of classes at gyms. And if that’s you, go for it! It’ll help build that foundation of exercise knowledge and scratch that social itch.

I confess. I’ve been able to chunk the gym because I have been at 1-5 at various points in my life. But now I simply need to move. Everyday. And my iPad fits in nicely. For those that need the extra push, I whole-heartedly say spend the money! (and then come back here just because you like me. : ) )