"Abs are made in the kitchen; not in the gym."
"You can't out-exercise a bad diet."
"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
"Eat to live; don't live to eat."
When one starts working out more regularly than they may have done in the recent past, people come out of the woodwork with all sorts of well-meaning advice. Eat more protein. Stay away from carbs. Meal planning is key! I get it - I really do! You can't expect your health to wholly improve if you don't get your fitness and your diet in check. But...
I hate cooking. Like, so much. I'm not a bad cook at all - some might even say my food is more than edible! Tasty even! But the thought of doing meal prep... please, just kill me. I will occasionally go through a phase where I cook more than I don't. It's not that I eat out all the time; I just prefer to buy pre made meals so I can move on with my day. And don't even get me started about post-cooking cleanup. Blech. But I will cook from time to time - it surprises even me!
I have a breakfast routine that I'm fairly comfortable with. I usually start with a mile walk with my neighbor and my pup, get ready for work, and usually eat either a cup of greek yogurt with chia seeds or a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks (Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon for the win!). Lunch is where I always struggle. I used to bring my lunch to work, and eat with colleagues in our break room. That got old. When you work as much overtime as I typically do, you need to get away from your desk. So... I eat out almost every day. I try to make healthy choices, but my stomach usually beats my brain. Dinner is hit or miss - I either eat a bowl of cereal or soup, or I grab a burrito bowl from El Pollo Loco or a local burrito joint. It seems healthy in my head? Suffice it to say I don't eat as well as I could.
I have talked to several friends in health/fitness careers, and most said that my breakfast routine was ok. I get protein, which is great! But I need to cut the sugar.... a lot. Yes, I may get a skinny vanilla latte, but those morning Sprites? Not ok. Eating lunch is a good thing, but do I have to have pizza? Probably not. And I have GOT to start cooking dinner. The occasionally nuked meal is ok... but I need to cook some of those fresh foods I buy sometimes.
I have used both MyFitnessPal and WeightWatchers in the past, with varying results. WeightWatchers is good in theory, but I have a hard time believing that I can eat all the veggies I want and not have to worry about the outcome. (I love veggies... tell me that they don't count, and I can easily eat a couple of bell peppers in a sitting). I know veggies are good for you, but I'm a firm believer that weight control is a calories in/calories out game. MyFitnessPal has always been better to me. Quite honestly, I'm not sure why I stopped using it this summer. So starting Monday, I'm loading it back on my iPhone. Let's see how this works out.
My goal is, was, and will always be fitness and health over being thin and pretty. I was thin once... and I wasn't exactly healthy. I'm too old to think I'll ever be the next J-Lo or Katy Perry anyway, and I've had these curves of mine so long that I've kinda gotten used to them. So... fitness and health it is! And if my clothes start fitting a little better in the process? Awesome.
How do you keep your diet in check? Do you do anything differently when you're training for a competition or marathon? I'd love to hear your fitness and health tips... so long as they don't include meal prep. I'm afraid I'll never be that girl, my friends. But I am more than willing to do healthy swaps and cook more often. Maybe I'll share a recipe or two on here? :)
Until next time... cheers!