“Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio? A nation turns it’s lonely eyes on you…”
I know it’s not of the Simon and Garfunkel proportions, but I’ve been pretty MIA lately. It’s funny because when I wrote my first post after returning from Jamaica, I was so excited to amp up this blog even further with promises of more posts, more content and just general “more-ness.” It’s funny how life can sometimes have other plans for you. Since my last post, we’ve raised a puppy to almost five months (managing to keep it alive for 2.5 months in our care – which is a big deal to me), I’ve traveled home for another visit and the baptism of my godson, and – last but not least – I’ve somehow managed to gain almost 15 lbs in three months (and 25 since getting married in 2016).
I say somehow but I know these extra pounds can be attributed to: later nights with the puppy, less time to plan healthy meals, and the allure of ordering take away rather than digging out my favourite recipes and whipping up something nutritious. It also doesn’t help that I seemed to have fallen into that same, mundane mindset of getting down on myself for not doing things I thought I would – rather than just making up for lost time and getting it done. It has been one year since I left my desk job in Nova Scotia and began my move to Chicago, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in the last year it’s that I don’t enjoy being stagnant and when I am, I can very quickly slip into a routine of sleeping in too late, scrolling social media rather than being productive and getting into a depressing rut.
And I know, weight is simply a number, muscle weighs more than fat, etc., but the number on the scale is one I’ve never seen before – and I can promise you I haven’t put on 15 lbs of pure muscle. While I’ve been consistent with exercising, my eating more than makes up for any calories I’ve sweat out, and to be honest, I feel it all over my body: I can’t run as far as I used to, I succumb to heavy breathing during simple tasks and I don’t feel motivated to push myself to do more physical activities. As someone who has always had digestion issues, I’ve neglected my sensitivities to eat whatever I want, living with consistent pain in my abdomen and lower back. I wake up in a foggy, headachey state and go to sleep feeling the same way. I’ve also started dressing consistently in leggings and sweaters (I live in Chicago where it’s currently 80-90°), and have stopped pulling together cute outfits. I don’t care what anyone says, as someone who has always loved to dress up, I need to smarten up before I lose sight of myself. So I’ve built a plan of action.
I have heard about Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide several times over the last few years and I’ve finally decided to give it a go. While I hold issue with the term “bikini body” because I think it’s ridiculous, I believe the structure of this program is exactly what I need to get me back into a routine of productive and efficient workouts (rather than the Pinterest roulette I’m currently engaging in). I won’t be following the meal plan exactly but will rather use it as inspiration for my own planning, incorporating her clean eating method with my own food goals (like cutting back on meat-consumption with two veggie/vegan meals a week). I’ll be following an 80-20 structure where I eat healthy, whole foods 80% of the time. The other 20% will be reserved for indulgences (which are a current daily in my world). I think this program will be the reset I need in both the gym and my kitchen.
So, with it being Monday morning, I thought I’d share my meal plan for this week in case anyone would like to follow along:
Monday – Skinny Taste’s zucchini lasagna
Tuesday – Skinny Taste’s bruschetta chicken with arugula salad
Wednesday – Oh She Glows big tabbouleh bowl (from Oh She Glows Everyday)
Thursday – Liv’s Healthy Life BBQ chickpea wraps
Friday – Breakfast pita pizza with arugula salad
As someone who is notorious for to-do lists and writing everything out in her daily planner, for the first time EVER this month, I’ve written a list of intentions. While I won’t share them in this post, I will say that navigating my days in a healthy and productive manner is high on the list – and I’ve even been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert to source a little extra inspiration when it comes to my writing and living out this blog in a big, messy, magically creative way.
I’m feeling inspired because it’s a new month and it feels like a clean slate – what are some of your goals for the new month?
Also, is there anything better than this song by Francis and the Lights? Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Chance and this song gives me serious Phil Collins vibes – I honestly want to learn the choreography! (which says a lot as someone with absolutely no coordination).