Life Lately

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on March 15, 2017

in Fun and Random Posts

For the first six weeks of 2017, I blogged with a newfound consistency. I had a good rhythm, the words flowed easily, and it was fun again. For a long stretch, blogging wasn’t fun anymore. The community is changing, as it will inevitably do. But, as easily as the words flowed, suddenly they were gone again. So, I didn’t post. Maybe less so when I was a baby blogger and posting seventeen times a day was the trendy thing to do, but I pride myself on quality over quantity. I never want to post just for the sake of posting, to keep my analytics at some particular level, or whatever the reason may be. This is not my income and I don’t need to treat it that way. I never want blogging to be a thing I have to do, but rather something that I get to do.

But, the itch is back and I want to honor that. I missed letting my fingers fly over the keys and the words, once jumbled in my head, flowing onto the page. I feel like I have a lot to say tonight, but this feels rusty and a bit unnatural. So, I’m warming up and getting back into the groove once again. A little life update felt like a good place to start.

Health and Fitness

To start, I am excited that I am doing really well on my weight loss goals! I’m down about 15 pounds since January 1 and feeling so great. Although I’m not to my final goal yet, the progress is immensely encouraging. The fact that people are starting to notice and comment on it helps.

I’m revamping some fitness goals I had for 2017. Back in October, I wrote about how I wanted to go for a massive PR at the Grand Rapids Triathlon. I realized that’s not actually something I have the desire to pursue right now. Mostly because I don’t love swimming and the thought of swimming laps sounds terrible. It’s easily my weakest link and I know a massive PR isn’t going to happen without developing a serious love affair with some highly chlorinated water. So, I’m pushing that to the back burner for the time being. Someday, maybe.

Instead, I want to focus my heart and soul on a PR at the Chicago Marathon this October. My one and only marathon finish was at Bayshore in 2015 with a respectable time of 5:51:10. Okay, maybe that’s not respectable to some, but I’m damn proud of it. I also know I can do better. My goal for Chicago is to shave an hour off my time from Bayshore, which means running an average of an 11-minute mile. That’s still an insane amount of time on my feet, but it’s a goal that feels attainable for where I’m at now and where I think I can be by October.

But, first…

In the meantime, I am registered for two spring races that I’m excited to run. First up is the Rock n Roll Nashville half marathon at the end of April. Two weeks later, returning to the River Bank Run 25k after dropping down to the 5k last year. I’ve got some work to do to get my mileage where it should be before toeing the start line, but I have no doubts I’ll feel at least adequately prepared. The hills in Nashville might be the death of me, but running has become my absolute favorite way to explore a city, so I’m excited to just have so much fun on the course.

I know that to get to the finish line injury free, I unquestionably need to incorporate strength training into my routine. Hi, my name is Mindy and I’m a broken record. Last week, I started Jillian Michaels’ BODYSHRED program once again. (Like I said, broken record.) I’ve started in a few times in the past year, but I never got past day three. I don’t plan on doing it as prescribed, but as a supplement to running and yoga. My goal is two or three BODYSHRED workouts a week. I may not get the best results that way, but that’s okay. My goal is to increase my overall strength and I think this will be a great program to accomplish that.

Miscellany

It seems fitting that since this is a healthy living blog, the majority of my updates relate to health and fitness. But, some other life updates feel relevant as well! I’m super multidimensional.

I’m seeing one of my favorite comedians, Pete Holmes, live on Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. We’re talking I sold my Hamilton ticket so I could see this show levels of excitement. I know Hamilton will be in Chicago for quite some time, but Pete is going to be in Grand Rapids for one night. It felt like a no-brainer. I’m also seeing Jake Owen when I’m in Nashville next month and Jimmy Eat World when they roll through Grand Rapids in May. 2017 is shaping up nicely for some live entertainment.

I am reading so much lately, more than I have in awhile. In my drafts is a “what I read in February” post I need to finish, despite the fact that March is already half over. The books I’m picking up are all over the board, but the most unexpected title of late is the first book in the Game of Thrones series. I haven’t watched the show (yet), but I’m enjoying the book thus far. (Nerd alert.)

My heart broke last week when my niece’s basketball team lost their run to the state championships. She’s a senior and team captain this year, and while they had a great season overall, it was sad to see it end. They made it to the state quarterfinals last year and I think everyone was hoping for a repeat.

Despite that disappointment, life is just really freaking good lately. I feel happier than I have in a long time. 2016 was a year that left me feeling so broken down, but there’s a lot happening these days that leave me feeling good about the direction things are going.

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Whole 30: Final Thoughts

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on February 15, 2017

in Uncategorized

I (sort of) did it! I survived my first Whole30 challenge!

Previous posts: I’m Doing the Vegetarian Whole 30Week 1Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4.

Technically, I didn’t finish Whole30 because I added grains back into my diet the last week. But, I was at the point that my overall health and well-being was suffering, so strict adherence wasn’t a priority. Some rice and quinoa aside, I felt like I did a great job sticking to the plan.

My primary motivation for taking on a Whole30 challenge was to clean up my diet. Things felt a bit out of control, particularly after the holidays, and I desperately needed a reset to my eating habits. I needed something that would force me to reach for an apple rather than an apple fritter. And, that truly did happen. My sweet tooth feels so much more manageable now, more so than it has in years. But, the sweets around the office don’t even tempt me any more. I bought a pint of dairy free Ben & Jerry’s over the weekend and it just didn’t hit the spot the way it used to.

The other big aspect for me in taking on Whole30 was that it would be a great transition into a fully vegan diet. I already don’t eat meat and dairy isn’t allowed, so it was just a matter of not eating eggs. I’m working on another post for another day about why I’m eating a fully plant-based diet now, but it is something that’s been on the back of my mind for quite some time. In truth, avoiding eggs was probably one of the harder things about the month. Eggs are an easy and obvious protein source, but there are certainly plenty of vegan-friendly ways to get protein.

Whole30 forced me to find ways to handle my emotions, other than food. I am certainly an emotional eater, but grabbing a bottle of wine or ordering a pizza after a rough day wasn’t an option. Let’s be honest, sweet potatoes are not awesome binge food. Delicious, yes. Satisfying in the way a glass of wine might be? Not even a little bit. So, I drew on practices like meditation and journaling. I did some at-home yoga practices and may have cried during a workout or two.

Finally, yes. I lost weight on Whole30. It was somewhere in the ten pound range, which was a great kick start to my weight loss goals for 2017. But, that’s just an added bonus. Losing weight was not the primary intention for the month.

While Whole30 did some great things in my life, it wasn’t without its challenges. I experienced a few days of mild “carb flu,” with brain fog being the most significant symptom. The first week, I was unbelievably exhausted, and while that did improve, my energy levels were quite low until I added grains back into my diet. Certainly, I could have survived that last week without, but I don’t regret that decision one bit.

Many people talk about Whole30 being an expensive investment, but that wasn’t the case for me. I attribute that to doing the vegetarian route, as a serving of black beans or cashews is a much more budget friendly protein than a serving of chicken. Because I was just worried about food for myself, I could get a little creative with the produce that was on sale in a given week and stretch out a recipe into several servings. Although I don’t buy an extravagant amount of alcohol, it does add up over the course of a month. Being young and single, meeting up with friends for a drink is a common social activity. A bottle of wine here and a happy hour there, it certainly impacts my budget.

So, now that Whole30 is over, what’s my approach going forward? As I said, I’m eating a plant-based diet now. That will likely be the biggest long-term change for me. It will really help control my sweet tooth, as most baked goods are not vegan. I am excited to experiment with vegan baking, though! That said, am I never going to have a homemade treat that has some eggs in it ever again? Probably not. But, if I do, it will be for something worthwhile and special.

Will I ever do Whole30 again? At this point, I think it’s highly unlikely. For my body, restricting my carb intake that heavily just didn’t work. I appreciate the reset to my habits, but I don’t know that, as a whole, it is something I need to take on again. I truly believe that the only reason I stuck with it for the month is because I had a support system of friends who were also doing Whole30. The accountability is absolutely crucial to success, I believe. While I know that many rave about Whole30, for me, it didn’t quite live up to the “Tiger Blood” hype.

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What I Read: January 2017

02.08.2017

Rather than doing reviews for every book I read, I thought I’d join in the ranks of Laura and Caroline with a monthly recap. I’m hoping to read a lot more in 2017, so this feels like an easier way to capture everything. Plus, if there’s a dud, I can still acknowledge it without a full review. […]

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Whole30 Update: Week 4

02.07.2017

As I write this, I’m on my last day of Whole30! I (kind of) made it to the end! I’ll do a full recap next week of my overall thoughts and feelings. If you’ve got any Whole30 related questions, leave a comment and I’ll touch those. But first, let’s talk about last week, shall we? […]

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2017 Workouts, Week 5

02.06.2017

After last week’s slog fest, it felt amazing to have energy again! Including the miles I ran today, which will be in next week’s recap, I’ve run almost as many miles thus far in February as I did in all of January! I’m back in training mode and, despite the slow miles, it feels good […]

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Reading List, Volume 59

02.04.2017

If you want more to read, check out previous editions of the reading list! Health and Fitness “Take care of yourself every single day. With every bite you eat and every minute you spend, ask yourself, “Is this nourishing my body and soul?” This and more in Health Advice I Wish I Could Give to My […]

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Loved Just As I Am

02.02.2017

“Just as I am, she’d said. I’m loved just as I am. She sounded so surprised. Me, too.” “It strikes me that it’s always the religious people who are most surprised by grace. Those hoops we become so exhausted from jumping through? We created them. We forget that our maker made us human, and so it’s […]

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February 2017 Goals

02.01.2017

Happy February! I can’t believe how fast January flew by (but, then again, I say that about every single month!). Although I didn’t have quite the strong start for my goals that I would have liked, in so many ways, 2017 is already kicking 2016’s butt. Overall, I feel happier and just in a better […]

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Whole30 Update: Week 3

01.31.2017

With just about a week left in my Whole30 challenge, the end is in sight! So, let’s talk about week 3! Previous posts: I’m Doing the Vegetarian Whole 30, Week 1, and Week 2 What I Ate As dairy is not allowed on Whole30, this challenge seemed like the perfect time to transition to a vegan diet. […]

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2017 Workouts, Week 4

01.30.2017

Confession: last week was exceptionally unremarkable. I worked out one time. Yes, that right. One time. It wasn’t for lack of want, but sheer lack of energy. This Whole30 challenge is great in a lot of ways, but that “tiger blood” sensation never really kicked in for me. Most days right now consist of going […]

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