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My style is: whatever fits

We all, I believe, have a “putting on tight jeans” ritual. Its the act in which we wiggle and worm our way into pants we want to fit. Pants we pray fit. For me, it’s step the left foot in, pause to access the comfort in that leg. Step the right food in, pause to access the comfort in that leg. Take a deep breathe and prepare for the process of moving the jeans over my butt and thighs. I slowly inch them up around my hips, doing a side to side shimmy with my knees to assist the process. I then proceed to do a slight bend at the waist, place my pointer finger in the back belt loop of the pants and lift the jeans over my  butt. I shimmy back and forth a little more to get the button up to the highest position. Then with all my might I suck in and force the button closed. I stop to see if I can breathe. Usually I can’t. But if you’re like me, you’ve convinced yourself that if jeans can button, they fit.

Many of you read my post, Just Buy The Bigger Size where I talked about how much better we all look and feel when we are wearing jeans and clothes that actually fit us. Well I failed to take my own advice. This past week, I decided to venture into my bin of “pre-pregnancy jeans.” I picked up a pair of ripped jeans that I loved pre pregnacy. I struggled into them. They zipped. I wore them to work. They were not comfortable in the slightest. Fast forward to my commute home. I’m in the car with my co-worker and carpool companion and we get stuck in traffic. The type of traffic where you literally move an inch every 5 minutes. I had to pee, really really bad. Knowing that we still have a while in the car I come up with a brilliant and risky plan. I tell my friend that I am going to hop out of the car, run into the nearest restaurant, [it was Gotham Market if you’re familiar with NYC] and use the bathroom. I said, I’ll put the car in park and jump out and you hop in the drivers seat. Then, I’ll meet you wherever you have inched up to. We execute seamlessly, I’m in the bathroom in my too tight jeans. Now as we all know, putting on tight jeans is just as hard as pulling them down. AND in my attempt to quickly wiggle them down, I kid you not, I dislocated my thumb. Pain radiating through my whole hand. Now I’m sweating, in pain and in a panic that the traffic miraculously cleared and she’s driven home without me. I struggle to pull my too tight pants back up and run back to the car with my fly down and my button undone. I’m done with these pants for today and the foreseeable future.

Lesson learned. That was the universe reminding me that it’s just not worth it to wear the pants that are too tight. I remember back in the day, there was a tip that said you should wear tighter pants to dinner and you’ll eat less. For me, it’s always been the opposite. Wearing clothes that are too tight just reminds me that I am not where I want to be and that makes me emotionally eat. I’ve decided that my new style is: whatever fits, comfortably. No more of this wearing something that’s too tight nonsense. And no more mornings where I try on everything in my closet only to get angry and throw it all on my floor and the bed, to clean up later. I will keep the things in my closet and drawers that fit. The first thing I put on that morning, if it fits and it looks somewhat decent, I’m keeping it on and I am out the door and onto bigger and better things.

Happy [total eclipse of the heart] Monday!

The left picture is the illusion, the right is the truth. Live the truth ❤

 

 

Why do we eat so much at night?! Plus 3 ways to stop!

This is one of my favorite memes ever that often comes up on Instagram;

  • 9 am: Egg whites and avocado
  • 1 pm: Kale Salad
  • 6pm: Chicken and Veggies
  • 11pm: 23 Oreos and a tub of ice cream

It’s my favorite because it’s 1000% accurate. Here’s the scenario that happens oh too often for me, the day goes GREAT, I’m feeling great, I’ve even managed to resist a couple indulgences throughout the day. Then, night time hits and the flood gates open. Night time, binge eating, rears its ugly head. No matter how many times I say I’m not going to do it, I do it. I’ve literally been doing it every night for 20 years. And if I do manage to resist I feel uncomfortable the whole time, counting the seconds until bedtime. Like right now, as I’m finishing up this post for tomorrow, I’m thinking about how I want to eat something. Do we have any chocolate in the house I wonder?

For me, night eating usually starts at dinner. I start with a healthy dinner, then I have a second serving. Then maybe a third. Or I sit at the table and pick at the bowl while talking to my husband and the next thing I know I’ve finished the whole bowl and actually don’t have leftovers to take for lunch the next day. I then move to the couch and proceed to eat way past hunger. Cookies, cereal, popcorn, candy. Whatever I am craving, whatever I have in the house.

Night eating for me is one of the hardest things to combat. It’s like an itch I just can’t scratch. I feel possessed. There is no stopping me from walking to the kitchen and opening the cabinets. Willpower does not exist for me at night. Serving sizes and portion control doesn’t exist when the sun goes down. And I do have to admit that I roll my eyes at anyone who suggests that I “brush my teeth” to stop eating. I’ll brush my teeth and then still eat. I’ll brush my teeth again and then eat again.

So what is it about eating at night, after dinner? Why the heck does it happen and why the heck can’t we control ourselves? I’ve thought about this a lot and here are the reasons I’ve come up with.

I think there is an unsettling finality to the end of each day that makes us eat. I think there is anxiety about the day in front of us that makes us eat. I think we replay the day at night, maybe we did or said something that we are stressed about. Maybe we had a conversation with someone that upset us. Maybe we’re waiting on news or a text from someone and another day has gone by and still radio silence. Maybe a family member or friend sent a text or email that triggered us and we’re stirring about it. Maybe we were scrolling social media while watching our favorite show and something or someone made us jealous. Maybe we’re lonely and need food as a friend. Maybe we’re watching the news and feel stressed about what we saw. Maybe we’re bored with our life. Maybe we’re putting something off that we need to get done. Maybe all of these things. Maybe none of these things. I wrote a laundry list out like this on purpose to show myself and you that there can be so many reasons why we eat at night. What I’ve learned is that we are eating for a reason. An emotional reason. And we all know that the reason isn’t because we are hungry. It’s up to us to find the reason. When we find the reason, it can save us from a couple hundred calories each night.

Find your feelings at night. We all know we’re night eating. So the next time it happens, try to think really hard about why you’re doing it. I know why I’m night eating tonight. I’m stressed about going back to work tomorrow after 5 months of maternity leave. I’m using food to numb the anxious feeling I have.

Remind yourself you will eat tomorrow. Many of us about-to-be dieters overindulge ourselves in preparation for the deprivation of the next. When night eating gets out of control we often let it continue to stay out of control because we are prepping to restart tomorrow. If we stop now, we wont have to starve ourselves in the am.

The morning after FILL. I often try to think about how I will feel AFTER I eat. It’s hard to do in the moment but I now try to picture what I will feel like in the morning after eating a ton of food the night before. I know I never, ever feel good. I never ever don’t regret a night time eating binge so I must remind myself that.

I know when you clicked on this post you were probably hoping for tips like, “brush your teeth” or “sew your lips shut.” A tip that will miraculously end night eating. Unfortunately I’ve found that for me those truly don’t exist. What does exist is self talk, and a constant reminder that my emotions are driving my eating. So tonight, if you can, binge Netflix, not food.

Happy Monday!

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I don’t have time to be perfect.

This past week I decided I wanted to wear a pair of jean shorts I had. A pair I assumed fit. Bad assumption, they didn’t fit. Frustrated, annoyed and horrified, I took them off, threw them on my bed and resorted to the same pair of floral drawstring shorts I’ve been wearing all summer. I left on my extremely clashing, also floral, kimono and threw my hair in a pony tail. Because I didn’t have time to straighten it. Penelope was screaming.

Later in the day, in the shower, I was still stirring over the darn jean shorts not fitting. I started internally beating up on myself. Why don’t you eat better, make more time for the gym, wake up earlier, cook more meals, be more organized, be better at sunday prep. All these things you could be doing better to look better and make your jean shorts fit better and you haven’t. I then started making the game plan to get into these shorts, essentially punishing myself. I’m never going to eat bad again, I’m going to gym everyday. Maybe i’ll do a three day juice cleanse. Maybe I’ll just drink water for the rest of my life. Irrational and extreme planning that always happens in times of frustration. This extreme planning happens because we’re trying to make up for lost time. Then we think of all the time we’ve  spent desiring to look a certain way and have many hours, days, weeks and years that have passed and we still don’t look that way. We still have clothes that don’t fit. Body imperfections. A scale that reads higher than the height and weight charts say we should be. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve collected up many positive changes along the way, we’re healthier, stronger,  but we still don’t look “perfect.” So why is this? Why can’t we just put in the time, to make the extreme changes that will lead us to the perfect body we desire?

Well because frankly, we don’t have time. None of us. We literally don’t have time. Sure I can wake up and go to the gym every morning but right now, I’m choosing to breast feed and that’s my time to pump. Sure I can drink a healthy smoothie every morning for breakfast, but that means I have to chop up 6 fruits and veggies, then clean the cutting board and counter I’ve made a mess of and clean the blender. That’s the 20 minutes I’m laying on the floor playing with my daughter before work. Yes I can eat a salad everyday for lunch. But again, when it means I have to take out the lettuce, cut it up, clean the cutting board, pull chicken off the rotisserie chicken to put in the salad, get out my measuring spoon to measure dressing, I’m adding another 20 minutes to my morning prep, forgoing my shower and clean hair. Ok so wake up earlier everyone says, but no, because sleep is JUST as important. And when I don’t sleep I’m falling asleep at my desk by 2 pm. So then I think well maybe after work I can be more productive with my health, get to the gym, meal prep. But again, that’s the time I chose to work on my schoolwork, spend time with my husband, catch up with friends, do a little extra work.

My point is, we all have to constantly make decisions in our lives about where to spend our time. Unfortunately perfection when it comes to how we look and what we weigh isn’t a priority. If we’re all wearing one size bigger than we want, weigh 20 pounds more than we want, have more cellulite than we’d like but have more time with our kids, friends, work and our passion projects then that’s ok. We don’t have time to be perfect. None of us. It’s a great aspiration or WANT to be perfect but all we NEED is progress. Progress is happiness, not perfection. We can’t achieve perfection, we don’t need to achieve perfection. We’re all perfectly imperfect.

Happy Monday!

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Here’s me, hot mess express over here!

 

 

 

 

What is failure?

I never pegged myself for someone who would enjoy baby classes. But since having my daughter I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in these classes. My favorite class is one called, baby yoga. Yup, we sit on the floor in a big circle and essentially put our babies in yoga poses. It’s adorable. We sing a song that goes, “you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and shake it all about, you do the Yogi Yogi and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.” So fun! Yes, I accept if you’re rolling your eyes reading this! Anywho, before the class, the teacher offers up a positive parenting lesson. This week she talked about failure. She explained that as parents we’re trained to celebrate success. Success is good, failure is bad. We all want our kids to succeed, we don’t want them to fail. We want to succeed, we don’t want to fail. She went on to say that we should actually start celebrating and welcoming failure. The reason, failure means we tried something hard, challenging, foreign, new. I loved this lesson so much. It took the negative connotation away from the word failure and made me think about failure in a different way.

I’ve been thinking about failure all week long. I am so thankful to Carmen for sharing this lesson with me. And I’ve been thinking about how it relates heavily to dieting. Failure is a word that often goes hand in hand with dieting. We all feel like failures when it comes to dieting, our bodies, what we weigh and what size we are wearing. Anyone reading this who isn’t currently at their goal weight feels like a failure. Anyone reading this who is carrying around extra weight feels like a failure. I’ve personally felt failure not having lost all the baby weight and not knowing if I ever will. Every time we give in to temptation and fall off our diets we tell ourselves we failed. Many of us wake up every Monday and feel like a failure for not sticking to our healthy eating plans over the weekend.

I’ve lost count of how many times I set out to change my body. The strong desire is there, I think I want it more than anything, I make changes, yet I experience repeated failure. I repeatedly eat the things I shouldn’t. I repeatedly weigh what I don’t think I should. Repeated failure when dieting causes us pain, anxiety, self doubt and embarrassment.

But her explanation changed that for me. And I think we can all learn from thinking that way. So let’s redefine failure when it comes to dieting.

Dieting is hard and some days it’s just not gonna happen for us. Life gets in the way. This past Saturday, for example, it was a monsoon rain on the jersey shore. So my family and siblings basically hunkered down in the house all day… eating. Life and Mother Nature, got in the way, it happens.

So we set out last Monday to diet and it didn’t work for us this week, we tried. That’s what’s important. Maybe we tried a new food or a new recipe, that’s what’s important. Maybe we made it to the gym or tried a new class, that’s what’s important. Maybe we drank more water or stopped drinking soda or alcohol. That’s what’s important. Maybe we simply cut back on something this week, like made our bowl of ice cream smaller or ordered a salad instead of a high calorie meal. These are all small successes in what looks like one big failure that we should actually be celebrating.

So guess what? You rock and you should be proud of yourself any and every time you TRY. Because if you failed at nothing, you tried nothing new:)

Happy Monday!!

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Just buy the bigger size

This past week I spent the week down on the Jersey Shore at my familys’ beach house. Our beach house is on Long Beach Island. It’s an island with very little chain stores or restaurants and when you get on the island you usually stay on the island. Midweek I was coming to the conclusion that I was running low on wipes. Sure I could have run to our island grocery store to get whatever brand they stocked but the particular wipes I like were at Target, about 25 minutes away, off the island. The biggest incentive to take this trek, there is a Starbucks in this Target. So maybe I was just looking for an excuse to get my Starbucks BUT lucky for me my aunt, who also spends much of her summer on Long Beach Island, offered to take a ride with me.

We headed to Target, got our Starbucks, picked up the wipes and then continued up and down the rest of the aisles, running up our bills in the way every great Target trip goes. At one point, we found ourselves in the clothing section because my aunt remembered she needed to pick up an article of clothing for an upcoming trip. She was in between sizes and decided to just buy the bigger size. That moment was the inspiration for this post today. We both acknowledged in the car ride home that that decision to buy the bigger size wasn’t a moment of defeat but a moment of triumph. I was proud of her for making the hard decision to go bigger. Yes, we all know, its one of the hardest decisions to go bigger. It should be a no brainer, but sadly, it’s not.

It’s because sizes are a lot like the scale. We let them define us. We’ve come up with a certain size in our heads that we believe we should be and when we aren’t that size, we beat ourselves up. We spend way too much time and energy trying to get into that certain size. We think people know what size we wear. We think our lives will be better if we are the smaller size. We think everyone we pass on the streets knows what the tag on the inside of our clothes reads. We give the size too much power. In fact, how many times have we been in a dressing room and we’ve been in between two sizes? We get the smaller size JUST because it’s the smaller size. We squeeze into the smaller size, wear it even though we’re uber uncomfortable simply because it’s the size we want to be. Or we buy the smaller size thinking it will be a vehicle to motivate us. From my personal experience, any clothes I buy that are too small, never motivate me. They actually do the opposite. They haunt me in my closet,  collect dust and make me eat more.

I know how hard it is to make the decision to buy the bigger size. It feels like a defeat, a failure. And it’s a reminder of the progress we haven’t yet made. But in NO way whatsoever does the size of clothes you wear define you.

Being 4 months post baby, I’ve acquired a pair of jeans that are two sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy jeans. These jeans are beyond comfortable, they fit, they look great and I basically wear them everyday. However, every time I slip them on, I do have that moment where I think of the jeans tucked away in my closet from before the baby that I haven’t made any progress to get into yet. 

So I decided I need to own my bigger jeans. So I decided to “build the case for the bigger size!” I tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans and took pics. And then took the same pics in my comfy, 2 sizes bigger jeans. Unless I need a new glasses prescription, I think we have our answer and a case built for the bigger size. We look better, we feel better and we lift a huge weight of pressure off our shoulders. And it’s moments like this, when I rock my bigger jeans that are more effective than any fruit or veggie.

PSA: Canceling all plans to starve myself

Hands up if deep down you’ve ALWAYS believed that your life would change [for the better] if you lost weight? It’s an age old belief that we’ve all picked up. We believe that all our problems will melt away with the pounds. We believe our relationships will improve and the problems in our marriages will dissipate. We’ll find the partner we want, get the house we want, have the kids we want. We believe our goal weight will bring us more satisfaction in our careers and influx in overall happiness. We believe our lives can begin once our diets have stopped because we’re at goal weight. (yes, we believe that our diets stop once we see that number on the scale- we’ll get to that myth another day, another post)

The fact that this belief is always in the back of our minds is why many of us have been dieting every day for our entire lives. It’s why you may have woken up this morning and decided to recommit to your diet after a weekend of bad eating.

This weekend, like most, I ate more than I intended and wanted it. Too many meals out, too much snacking, little self control and emotional triggers were all the cause of this. Around 4 pm on Sunday, I found myself knee deep in a bag of Pepperidge farm goldfish. That was the first moment I felt awful and vowed to recommit on Monday.

Now when we decide we’re going to “restart” the diet we’ve fallen off of, there’s a feeling of dread that washes over us. Dieting is HARD. It’s restrictive, it’s all consuming. It’s a big sacrifice that affects virtually our whole lives.

I started mentally rearranging my entire upcoming week to accommodate this new diet I committed to in my head. Mentally canceling plans that would involve bad foods and sugary cocktails. The next thing I knew, I was in a worse mood. I wasn’t looking forward to this week of dieting. I was dreading it.

That’s when I decided to cancel my plans to diet (which I do often these days). Because I remind myself that NOTHING in my life changes if I lose weight. Nothing of significance that is. Sure, maybe my clothes will fit better, maybe I will be able to sit without first lifting my pants over my lower belly roll, but those small conveniences are not worth canceling my life to diet.

When I was younger, I’d be able to basically hunker down for 2 weeks to crash diet, lose 10 pounds and then rejoin the world. Not anymore, because it’s not worth it. If I have the opportunity this week to meet a great friend at a great restaurant for a great cocktail and great conversation I’m going. If I have the opportunity to have an amazing latte with my mom on the beach, I’m going.

The summer weekends are hard. We all wake up on Monday and feel gross, for lack of a better word. So if you started out today with the intentions to hardcore diet and you’re already miserable, loosen the reins. Remind yourself that you’re still the same person, 10 pounds heavier or 10 pounds lighter. Simply bringing awareness to this truth, I’ve found, has more affect on the scale than any fruit or veggie.

Happy Monday!

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Yup, ate this on Sunday morning.