Monday, July 22, 2019

Weight Loss & Intermittent Fasting

I went back and forth on posting this for awhile. The thing is, anytime I talk about weight or body image, I feel like I'm inviting people to roll their eyes at me. I know I weigh less than the "average" American woman and wear smaller sizes. I know that it's not "in" to care about your weight and what you look like. But the truth is, we all have our optimal bodyweight and size where we are happiest, and this is my blog so...I'm going to post about it. This post isn't about anyone else's size or body but my own, and just because I have hangups about mine doesn't mean I'm judging people who look different than I do.

If you want to roll your eyes, that's fine. No one's forcing you to read this. But it's important to me, so I'm going to write about it.

Since mid-June or so, I have been practicing some form of intermittent fasting, specifically a modified "Leangains" method.
Here's the thing: I don't really believe a lot of the hype around IF health benefits, but I have noticed some anecdotal pros to eating this way for myself personally.
Honestly, this all sounds fake to me.
I first started IF because in the summer I sleep pretty late anyway, so waiting to have breakfast until after 10am came naturally. Because I'd already been following a heathier diet since late May and had already seen some results, I decided to make the whole "late breakfast" thing more purposeful. I had already been "dieting" (for lack of a better term) for two weeks and had lost two pounds when I started.

Matt and I tend to finish dinner around 9pm, sometimes later in the summer depending on when I get home from my runs. I've pushed breakfast back to 12pm, although some days I'll eat an hour earlier or later depending on how I feel. I'm not being very strict about the whole thing. Surprisingly, I've discovered I can run on an empty stomach in the morning without any problem, too.

The payoffs I've personally seen are:
  1. I don't feel hungry when I first wake up. 
  2. I'm not dealing with nearly as much bloating as I usually do. 
  3. I'm drinking more water (and tea).
  4. I've been able to continue my weight loss and maintain my new weight, which until just recently was my "steady weight" that I'd been at for literally 10 years.
  5. When I have a day of overindulgence - like that weekend in Captiva when I ate donuts and cupcakes Steph brought from Parlour Bakery and then had a huge serving of coconut ice cream - it's much easier to get back to healthy eating without feeling like I've derailed all my progress. 
I've mentioned in a previous post, briefly, that I successfully lost about six pounds this summer and have honestly felt like an entirely new person. I had really resigned myself to the whole "when you hit 30 your body just changes" thing, which is probably partially true, but I'm feeling more energized and confident than I have in awhile. 

I was so unhappy when I ran the SUP & Run 5k because my skirts weren't fitting and I just felt sluggish and awful. It was that weekend that I decided to change my eating habits, and I've been really successful. Adding some semblance of intermittent fasting has helped me stick to those new eating habits.
Here is a "before" picture - it was taken a week after the SUP & Run race and I had already started eating healthier.
It feels really, really good to be back to my usual weight and for all my clothes to fit again.

Now, all these positives could obviously also just be due to eating more balanced, healthy meals and cutting way down on junk food and mindless snacking, but I think it's a combination.
I can see a difference, even if it's slight, and I feel so much better and more confident.
I'm hoping that as I transition into the school year (I go back today!), I can keep this habit up. It'll make my morning routine much faster, so I'll get more sleep, and I'll be able to continue to see the positive results.

Right now, this is working for me. It feels sustainable physically and mentally. If it stops working, I'll change it up. And that's that on that.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Harry Potter Trivia Night

The other day, an event from a local brewery popped up on my newsfeed: Harry Potter trivia! As I've mentioned, I am currently reading the books to Matt. He's seen the movies, but has never read the books. We're in the middle of OOTP right now.

We very rarely go out and do things like this, but it sounded fun, and it's the last week of summer break for me so...why not?!

We arrived at Millennial Brewing just after 6pm and it was already getting crowded. I immediately spotted a couple other teachers there, but they were with their own groups so we left them to it after saying hello.
It's hard to tell but that's a wand I'm holding.
Matt and I hung out for an hour before trivia started. I had a key lime cider from 3 Daughters, which may actually be my new favorite cider - it was a little tart, not at all too sweet, and tasted very fresh. Matt had the butterbeer cocktail (which was lager, cream soda, and homemade butterscotch) and we split a butterbeer hemp ice cream.

(Side note: this was the most bizarre thing! The ice cream wasn't frozen the way real ice cream is and almost had a sticky/stretchy consistency. It was good and tasted like ice cream but you could tell it wasn't "normal".)
Matt did surprisingly well for the first game of trivia, which was focused around The Sorcerer's Stone. (We played three games; each of the three games focused on a different book. I was glad they weren't movie-based questions.) Our team name was Mimbulus mimbletonia. 
Excited to be on the board! There were 83 teams playing!
Anyway, we got on the leaderboard in the second game (Prisoner of Azkaban) and even made it to first place for some of the last game (Order of the Phoenix). I accidentally hit the wrong answer for a question, though, and ruined our lead. Competition was tight. We finished in 3rd, which wasn't bad at all!

I felt like I'd earned my Harry Potter fan club membership.
Here's a trivia question: do you know whose wand I have?
There were a couple food trucks in the parking lot; we had vegan nachos from Buddha Blends, which were honestly amazing. They were topped with cashew queso and the ground "meat" was made from ground and seasoned walnuts, both of which were new vegan tastes for me. I'm a fan!

As I was at the bar closing my tab, a girl who had been sitting with one of my teacher friends made eye contact with me. I'd noticed her earlier and thought maybe I knew her. We kind of stared at each other, and she said, "You look familiar."

I was like, "I think I taught you."

We exchanged names and suddenly all these memories came rushing back. She was one of my little smarty-pantses, and definitely a kid I remember fondly. She's currently in her last year of undergrad with her sights set on PA school. I was like omg you're old enough to drink now?! 

We caught up a bit, during which time Matt had to hold his own on the trivia game. He did a good job! I was proud of him!
Shoutout to Ashley for the shirt!
There were some really clever team names!
We'll definitely be back for more trivia nights that pique our interest, although I'm not a fount of knowledge for much outside Harry Potter unless they're going to do "general English major random facts trivia". I won't hold my breath.