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This is one of those blog posts that are just like… sorry! Not a lot going on here with this. Or rather, nothing new, nothing sparkling. Nothing fancy. Just my head down, plodding along in a daily dance with the elliptical (I love that thing) and BeachBody stuff, if I have the energy. Doing the 21 Day Fix as best as I can.

I’m eating pretty well.

It’s all as it should be.

Okay, so this post is really about motivation, and the piece of motivation I’ve been thinking about is how we can lose weight to feel good about our bodies or fit into clothes we like, yada yada yada, but this is the thing: no amount of fitness is going to transform the way that I feel about myself. I mean, if I don’t love myself when I’m fat, then I’m not going to love myself when I’m thin. I’ll just find different things about my body to pick on. This, I know for a fact because I’ve been very skinny and very fit as well as very fat in my life and I can’t say that I loved myself better at any one of those stages.

So it’s really, really important to me to be in a good space with my body right here, right now, regardless of whether or not I lose 50lbs.

My friends are not my friends because of how fat or thin I am, and I don’t think yours are either. My husband isn’t with me because I’m the size I am and my being skinny won’t make him love me more than my being happy and smiley will. He loves my smile. My kids don’t think I’m the cat’s meow because I’m more or less toned. They love me being fun, they love my heart and they love my arms that hold them.

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I’m in this to love myself better – to be fit and fine and to realize that I’m already there, where it counts the most.

 

very messy food prep stationLast week I prepped like a wild woman.

It was nuts, but there is nothing like opening the fridge door and seeing this:

Salad in a Jar

jars filled with food line the shelf in a fridge

And an arsenal of healthy food that visually assaults.

It’s Motivational.  (“Motivation Monday”, as opposed to “Transformation Tuesday” – that’s cuz “Motivation Monday” is becoming a *thing* and ever since I learned the Marcarena approximately 5 years after everyone else, I love the idea of being with a thing at the time the thing is happening. The end.)

Being motivational, I thought I’d tell you about the best thing of the bunch that I prepped*.

Salad in a Jar

It’s another macarena moment, for sure. Everyone else has been doing Salad in a jar for probably most of my lifetime, but I only *just* heard of it. WHERE HAVE I BEEN?! This stuff is amazeballs. You gotta try it if you haven’t already.

It goes like this:

Meriah Nichols Salad in a Jar #MotivationMonday

This is the thing: THE LETTUCE STAYS FRESH. The key to keeping it fresh is making sure that the dressing and the lettuce are on opposite ends of the jar and well buffered by the filling stuff.

A few things:

  • The holy grail of Salad in a Jar: dressing at the bottom and greens at the top, preferably with buffers of other things in between. Keep them as far away from each other as possible.
  • Add grains/protein (or a mix of both) in the buffer area – it makes the salad really filling and allows you the chance to lively it all up, big time. Think, chicken, beans, quinoa, etc.
  • Pack ’em tight: don’t allow wiggle room for the sections to move around
  • For the 21 Day Fix, just measure out the components in your salad using the colored boxes! So. Easy.

I used pint-sized mason jars – perfect size – and I dumped it out into a bowl, mixed and ate. It was absolutely delicious.

I also made LARGE sized “Salad in a Tub” for the family, because I wanted to be able to have one healthy item for dinner each night pre-made so it would motivate me to carry it forward. Totally worked – we ate better last week than we have in a long time and it felt great. More motivation for keeping it up!

Meriah Nichols Salad in a Jar #MotivationMonday


* The other great thing was the Overnight Oats, and cutting up veggies for snacking.

Hang out with me on Pinterest for more Salad-in-a-Jar ideas and motivation for this

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

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Transformation Tuesday!

Today I wanted to talk with you a little bit about the creativity and the body and how PTSD actually helped me realize my creative self.

[Deep breath. This next paragraph isn’t a fun one to talk about, but it is an important part of the story.]

I was abused as a kid and my trajectory following abuse was pretty typical: I did a lot of self-harm in various forms. I was able to function though, and had a tight lid on my closet life as a cutter/chain smoker/promiscuous addict. But then! I met Mikey and got pregnant with Micah! When I found out I was pregnant, I quit smoking and drinking.

Well, not drinking meant that I was not blacking out every night, and had me clear-headed for the first time in years – and in a good enough space I guess, that my suppressed memories came, along with PTSD.

It was really, really bad.

But the point of this is not to talk about how bad it was to have memories hit me along with PTSD; the point of telling you about this stuff is that it was only then that I realized that my creativity saves me. That is, engaging in whatever that is creative will literally take me from this paralyzing abyss of pain, or panic attacks and lead me out. It’s photography or painting or writing or anything, really. Anything that is about the actual craft of creation.

This whole entire blog is the direct result of PTSD. My being a “prolific blogger” is the direct result of PTSD.

The pain of PTSD is no joke – and the healing and transforming power of what works for me isn’t either. I take it extremely seriously. I wake up as early as I have to in order to engage in it, I write when we drive, I edit photos at any and all odd moments. “I don’t have time” does not apply to my creative engagement because my creative engagement is my ticket to being present right here, right now.

NIchols_Meriah_s-Sr6DMIGHPTSD was good for me

PTSD was good for me because I love creative engagement and I had always wanted to spend more time with it, but I was always one of those people who “doesn’t have time”. Everything took priority over my creative action. I would never seriously think of a job that tapped into the stuff I loved – the writing, painting, photography, dance, drumming, etc.

What PTSD did, was it snapped me right around in a way I could not ignore. It was my soul, bitch-slapping my body to PAY ATTENTION. It woke me up.It made creativity an absolute, un-ignorable priority in my life.

As good as I have woken up to being firm about my creative engagement, I am still sleeping about being firm in the care of my body.

This bothers me, because my body is the tool of my spirit. I mean, it’s my ultimate tool, right? – and I take better care of my camera – something that I can replace – than I do of my body – which is irreplaceable.

That’s the root of this Challenge right now for me. I want to care for my ultimate tool. And I suppose there is an element of nervousness about it. I mean, if it took some pretty horrific PTSD to bitch slap me to really making my creativity a priority, what will it take for me to care for my body better?

Ack.

Moving on.

Accountability This Past Week:

Oh hello there, Doritos!

Yeah. What I learned was this:

  1. When solo parenting (as I am now), I absolutely must have delicious food around me
  2. If there is no delicious food, I will go the junk route
  3. The junk route will make me feel like I’ve failed anyway, so why even bother with the exercising?

BIG PROBLEM. 

So, after straggling through last week, I went to town and bought out Costco and Winco (- remind me to write the post on shopping with all 3 kids while trying to weigh grains at Winco sometime! It’ll be fun!). I then spent FOUR HOURS PREPPING food for the week, so we’ll see next week how that all goes.

The 21 Day Fix Extreme DVD:

I think it’s honestly too much for me. I hurt so much the next day, I don’t want to do it again. I think I have to go back to something that is easier for me – like T25 or the regular 21 Day Fix (not to be confused with “extreme”).

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Handy Links that Friends Shared with Me:

15 Lower Carb Whole Food Swaps (I printed it out and put it on the fridge)

Skinnytaste – I have her cookbook coming through our mobile library (really! the librarian drives the bookmobile all the way out here! God bless her. And libraries. And Skinnytaste)

The Pleasure Principle – I love this. It’s honestly the root of what I’m trying to do here. I’m only use the 21 Day Fix to integrate in these concepts and have a better sense of portions.

If you do want to join the 21 Day Fix with me (or anything BeachBody related):

Just click here, make sure I’m listed as your coach (I’m thehumboldthousewife) . My coach ID is 627640. That’s it. Then I can add you to the fantastic group on Facebook that I’m already a part of.

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