It’s been a while since I’ve done an update post, so here’s a little check-in:
The past few months totally flew by, but overall were pretty awesome; we traveled, went to the beach, barbequed, saw family + friends, etc. We went to our last wedding of the season two weekends ago, which actually fell a year to the date of our September 2015 wedding! Pretty awesome! We also went to a Yankee game last week with Sam’s dad and sister, while his Mom is in Paris for the next couple weeks, and got to spend a few days with my brother.
Now that the summer has officially come to an end, I’m so excited for Fall (let’s be honest, I was ready by early August)… It’s my most favorite time of year; crisp air, apple cider, Football, farmer’s markets, cider donuts, pumpkin everything, cozy layers, and Haunted Happenings in Salem. We have a few trips already planned for the upcoming months: Salem over Columbus Day weekend and the other heading down the Cape to run in our first Half Marathon! (yikes) In between we have tentative wedding related appointments to make and details to iron out, but what I really want is some time to simply enjoy my favorite season.
As for the pictures above: I’ve been pretty open about my battle to get back in shape after taking about 7 months off from working out (for personal reasons) . Since about May, I’ve tried to be consistent with my workouts and clean eating, while experimenting to find what would be the best method to reach my fitness goals (which has always been simply to tone + tighten, firm up, feel confident, healthy, fit, and strong—not just thin). I would have good days/weeks and “soso” days/weeks. However, I’d say the past month I’ve been very consistent about making daily exercise a priority, whether it’s a long walk around town with Sam, elliptical before work, strength training at the gym, cycling classes at Equinox, etc depending on my mood and energy level. Now, I knew that this was not going to be an overnight process (I did not want an unhealthy “quick fix” to combat 7 months off), but would also get so frustrated sometimes when I wouldn’t see results or progress. I kept plugging away while trying not to be so hard on myself. Lately, I’ve been really monitoring my portion sizes (using measuring cups for quinoa, brown rice, almonds, cereal, etc) and I think that has helped tremendously. I’ve been focusing on eating lots of produce and whole foods as opposed to organic snacks. Also, I’ve recently cut out Stevia from my coffee (which was so hard to do! But now I’m fine without it!!).
I also joined Weight Watchers online so I could get a better sense of what I was consuming and how much (I’ve never been a calorie counter, and don’t think fruits/veggies should count against you, so this program is awesome for me!). It really made me cognizant of mindless munching and realizing “actual vs boredom hunger”. The points method truly does help to keep you on track! I log my daily meals and it reminds me to measure/alter portions. I was also able to indulge a little bit over the weekend while sharing a pitcher of Oktoberfest and sweet potato fries with Sam (my entrée was a chopped salad with no dressing and grilled chicken), and a boozy Sunday brunch with Sangria celebrating Melissa’s birthday. The tracking method will also allow me to also enjoy my favorite fall treats while staying on track! It merely holds me accountable and allows me to balance out treats(wine) with whole foods + fruits/veggies.. because you better believe I will still enjoy chili, cornbread, and pumpkin beer on Sundays, but will make it work by filling up on fruits for breakfast, a veggie salad for lunch, and getting in my daily workout.
So now for the picture; I had brought two pairs of jeans back in March at Abercrombie (they’ve always been my go-to for denim since high school). They were having a huge sale, and while I didn’t have time to try them on, I thought I would be totally fine getting my “normal” size. I packed them with me the next day to visit my brother in Boston. When it was time to get ready, I went to get dressed and could not even get the jeans past my mid-thigh…. I was so upset. How would they not fit?? I tried wiggling around, hopping up and down, and nothing. The second pair of jeans I brought, although were the same size as the first, had a great deal of stretch to them, so although quite snug, I was able to wear them. Now jump to last weekend: I was getting ready for the day and was looking through my clothes for a pair of pants. It was just a cleaning and errand day, so I wanted something casual. I picked out a pair of ripped/distressed jeans I couldn’t remember getting. I put them on with a t-shirt and didn’t think about it until about an hour later—these were the jeans from March!! I went back to my room to look in my full-length mirror. They fit perfectly, a little snug in the butt, but perfect on my waist and thighs. They took no wiggling or jumping to get into and were so comfortable. I almost cried. Had I not noticed my body changing the past couple months? Was it ever so slight that I didn’t feel it? Now, looking back at pictures from the spring, I can surely tell a difference in my face, chest area, hips, thighs, and butt. I’ll never be perfect, and I’m fine with that, but I’m so proud of the progress I have made. I’m starting to feel more confident again and motivated to keep it up! Since I have an obsessive personality, I want to really keep myself balanced and not go overboard—that has always been a focus as well, to not take it too far. For now, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and as long as I feel good in my own skin, that is what’s important.
Another milestone: Last weekend, I had my personal best at cycling! My distance was 23.3 miles and 966 calories. When I did my first cycling class back in January, I only did about 13 miles and burned well under 400 calories. That shows me that my physical fitness has vastly improved these past months. Fitness is becoming fun again and not something I dread after a long day of work.
I hope this post helps to motivate you to keep pushing towards your goals. The results are not overnight, but once you start to see changes, it’s the best feeling in the world to know you put in the hard work and discipline to get there.
Love you all,
Group Shot : )
by Brooke Taylor
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