Monday, October 7, 2013

Bottled Chicken!

Eating healthy can sometimes be tricky when life gets in the way, you work full time, have kids to chauffeur to and from various activities, have a house to keep up on, get to the gym, and everything in between. 

Let me introduce you to my new favorite treat. Bottled chicken! 
I know, right? Honestly, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be domestic enough to pull this one off but one of my co-workers does it all the time and talked me into giving it a whirl. First off, I bought my chicken ahead of time. When on sale around here, it comes by the refrigerated truckloads. I got myself a 40lb case. Let me tell you, that is a lot of chicken! Well, at least more than I'm used to buying at once. 

The part about getting it all cut and in jars was no big deal. In fact, it took no time at all. In all honesty, I was more nervous about the processing of the jars. I was creeped out that I wouldn't do it right, we'd all get sick, and it would be a disaster in and of itself. Once in jars and in the pressure cooker, 75 minutes, and you've got the best chicken ever!

I love this stuff! And it has no preservatives and all the other yucky stuff they cram into the canned chicken at the stores. Better yet, it's perfect as a go-to staple in so many meals. Enchiladas, paninis, homemade soup, and just on the top of a salad. It's so juicy, full of flavor, and just falls apart the way you would want it to. I even ate it right out of the jar in my fridge as a snack this week.

I love finding new tricks and new ideas for eating healthy. It makes it that much easier to stay on track and treat my body in the way it was meant to be treated. How grateful I am for who I've become in this whole process. I may not be perfect, but I'm much better than I was 2.5 years ago.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Making Eating and Exercise a Hobby

When I first typed the title of this post, I chuckled. Only because there is NO WAY if you would have asked me 2.5 years ago to make my eating and exercise a hobby, would I have ever listened. My brain was trained to love food. (It still is.) It hated (I don't use that word often but it's the truth) the thought of having to workout. I have discovered now, that when I was heavy, unhappy, and miserable, that at times because my body looked the way it did, exercise was a punishment. (Because I was fat, I had to be punished and exercise was the ticket.)  I was punishing myself when I needed to be changing something and making it a positive, fat or not. Some may agree or disagree, but let me explain it to you from my perspective.
I have dealt with weight issues the majority of my life. I was active and covered it well at times, but I definitely went through hills and valleys of being chubbier at different times. I played basketball as a child and into high school and that never slowed me down.  It was just a part of who I was. In fact, because I was active and in sports I had a hard time wondering why I was blessed with this body that looked so different than most others on the court. Why I wasn't trimmer. Until I started losing the weight a couple years ago I honestly thought it was genetics. I mean if I couldn't eat right and lose the weight as an active teenager, why would I be able to do it as an adult -nearing 40 at the time no less. Because of this, and over the years of many attempts at trying to lose weight and get healthy, exercise was a chore, a punishment. I never learned to enjoy it because it didn't seem to matter how hard I worked, nothing ever changed.

I can see how so many people can get in this trap, this mind set and having now been through it, I wish there was something magical I could say that will make it all better.  Really it wasn't until I started increasing my calories (yes eat more than 1200 a day), making my exercise into something I enjoy, that the pounds started to melt away. 

In some ways, I wish I would have figured that out years ago, but in other ways, I'm not sure I was ready. Being healthy is a lifestyle and I'm not sure I had the mindset nor was desperate enough until a couple years ago, to make the change. It's one of those things in life that until you are so miserable, so unhappy, and so desperate to make a change, that it will work. If your mind and heart are only halfway on board, it's so easy to slip or find yourself making excuses for this thing and for that.
Exercise for me these days is something I love. I live for it. In fact, the days I don't get to exercise the way I wanted or had planned can send me into grouch mode. Exercise has become a part of who I am and who I want to be. Some of the things in the beginning that helped me out were: not setting too high of expectations (maybe only a few times a week), making it things I enjoyed, having a buddy to workout with, making a graph/chart to help me stay on track, and telling myself how lucky I was to get to exercise that day. In fact as the months and years went on, exercise became a game for me. It became my hobby. It was my sport.
Now that I am working to maintain my weight, it's not drudgery to go to the gym or workout. In fact, most days, it's my favorite time of day. I look forward to it!

Not every day is easy and I certainly am human and fall short from time to time. The important thing is that I know and feel when things are out of balance. It's the steps I take to get back into action that matter most. 

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