January 31, 2012

On Clean Living

Recently I came to an epiphany.

It's time to stop dieting.  It's time to start eating well everyday, not to diet, but as a lifestyle choice.

getting avocado, apple, arugula, chive salad ready to take to the museum

pre-run breakfast: 1/2 banana, peanut butter on rice cake, tea

I eat fruit for dessert now, and save chocolate for the weekends 

deli chicken slices, avocado, arugula, spinach pita with hummus and carrots

In 2009 I made a vow to get healthy and lose weight in time for my wedding in 2010.  After joining a gym, eating right, and getting enough sleep, about 20 pounds fell right off.  It was the first diet/workout regimen of my life and it was actually a great time.

Then I hit the wall.  Or the plateau.  The last 10 pounds wouldn't budge at all, and it drove me nuts.

For 2 years I stayed in a terrible pattern of starvation then bouts of binge eating.

(This happened every holiday, lasting for 2 or 3 days, followed by a period of sadness because I gained 4 pounds back, that lead to the extreme dieting again - a vicious cycle.)

I wasn't even skinny, that was the real kicker.   My body fat percentage was still 25% (rather high for my height)

It was awful.

Finally last month, at the beginning of 2012 I made another vow:

➤ Stop being an idiot

My body had been "in diet mode" for so long, it didn't remember what normal was.  The body is a really smart organism: the more you abuse it, the harder it works against it.  That meant the more I restricted calories, the harder my body held on to fat - fat needed for healthy skin, nails and hair.

It was time to be kind to my body - start building my metabolism into a steady fire that would burn all day.  My husband and I are huge foodies - so why give up such an important passion?

I ditched any social networking people who were a bad influence on me; people that made me idolize being skinny as opposed to being fit.  A huge help!

Bought my first pair of running shoes!  Got some running shorts, heat-tech under amour for the winter chill, and began running every other day.

For the record, I used to hate running.  HATE IT.  But it's only been a month now, and I love it!  


  • eat any random food as long as it didn't go over 1100 calories a day
  • didn't lift weights because I didn't want to gain bulky muscle
  • went to bed hungry every night, woke up irritable and starving
  • dreaded holidays because I knew it meant "bad food"
  • workout with no real plan, just burn as many calories as possible

  • eat 6 - 7 times a day, filling up on healthy, seasonal, delicious food
  • strength train, since ladies don't have enough testosterone to gain bulky muscle
  • go to bed happy every night and keep a nightly journal to get out work stress
  • fell in love with running, yoga and love to make work-out mixes
  • fell in love with cooking, now I can cook good food for family/holiday things
  • have a workout schedule : run 3 days a week, yoga 3 days, and relax 1 day

Now I can eat 2000 calories a day - and actually lose weight!  Finally beginning to understand why it's so important to listen to fitness / nutrition experts.

And my mood has been stellar - the dog even peed in my studio and it was no biggie.  

This new way of living allows my body to bounce back way easier than before.  For instance two days ago I had a gigantic apple crumb donut for lunch, and lost half a pound the next day!

I wanted to write this personal post (don't usually do these) in an effort to connect with someone that may have been doing the same thing.  If you are, please reconsider!
.................................... ❤ ...................................

You only get one body!  Take care of it!

.................................... ❤ ...................................

I love having orange bell pepper + chive omelets with 1/2 grapefruit for breakfast

Oop!  Time to go make stuffed bell peppers!


  1. This was quite inspirational! I personally hate dieting, eating healthiness, and exercising of almost any kind. I really am the worst with those things. Maybe because my mom is a health nut. But after reading this, it kind of makes me want to eat more fruits and veggies. (Still not inspired to exercise...maybe that'll come later, haha!) I'm glad it's going well for you!

  2. So glad you're feeling great! I love chives but kind of forgot they exist. The apple, chive, arugula, avocado salad sounds delicious. Gonna try it.

  3. I absolutely love this post! Your pictures of your meal creations are artwork itself. It's full of beautiful colors. It's really hard for me to come up with healthy meal/snack ideas that are easy and quick to make. ~ I absolutely love running since it helps to clear my mind. Congratulations on your revelation! Being fit is definitely more important than being skinny. My sister is "skinny fat" and so she doesn't understand why I even bother to exercise.

  4. Very very inspirational. I have gone up and down my whole life. I always saw myself as that "pudgy" kid even though when people look at me they may not see the same. My mom and my brothers got the "skinny" gene and weigh in at model sizes...i got lucky with my dads fat gene. For years I cried about this, and this summer I feel down to my thinnest in a while, to only have gained 15lbs back this fall (since i was only eating once a day this summer, had no real money to eat, and my stress levels were so high last year its why i got thinner...)

    I even became vegetarian, made myself a strict 1300 calorie diet, did lazy exercises and called it a night!

    I changed like you, and have already lost 5lbs this month alone! just by eating better. I dont count calories anymore, but I do watch what I eat, and snack more often on homemade trail mixes with more dried fruit and nuts than candy. I like to kick box to let out stress, and watch cooking shows to inspire me! Today I decided to stop being a vegetarian. Sure it was fun, but I miss having culinary experiences. I LOVE FOOD, not junk, BUT FOOD. And I yes...layed off the donuts..haha!

  5. Thank you guys for your thoughtful responses!

    cupcake - yeah, I used to hate working out too, I definitely don't like doing it every day, in fact today I'm really wiped out - but once your adrenaline gets going it's really fun!

    Alison - We should take a cooking class together!

    Thao - Thank you so much, it's really easy to eat healthy when you fill the house with good things. once we run out of salad mix or veggies, I have to run out and get more - or I'll start reaching for the cookies again!

    B - I'm so happy for you! Isn't it a freaking god-send when you can get involved in making food instead of resorting to processed, ready-made stuff? Food is so much a part of enjoying life!