Back To A Healthy Diet

Being back from vacation means going back to better habits. No candy and no more eating out. I really haven’t kept it up at all this year after several weeks of being sick, but now I have no more excuses! I’m going back on a low carb diet (lchf). I did it for about a month and a half back in November, along with regular workouts, and I felt ten times better. I started with filling up our empty fridge, and right now I feel more motivated than ever before.
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I really can’t remember the last time we had this many vegetables in the house. But I am loving it! (And, yes, I do know that bananas and tomatoes are fruit. But still.)
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I’ve always thought structure is the key behind keeping up with a diet, a workout regime, or any other lifestyle changes, so I’m writing down this weeks dinner plan. Hopefully I will stick to it and make another one next week. Although I’m leaving one day open for each week – this time It’s Sunday.

Today’s dinner was a success. I haven’t tried this recipe since I posted it on the blog, so I had forgotten how delicious it is. This time we also added fresh cilantro, which really hit the spot!
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Workout Motination

I just figured I’d post some of my tips when it comes to keeping yourself motivated. I always seem to work out in periods, and whenever I break my own “rules” my motivation drops, and I start skipping workouts. And I bet I’m not the only one with this problem! Feel free to share how you keep yourself motivated, and maybe I’ll add some of your tips to my list.

  • Find someone to work out with. That way you can keep each other motivated on days where one of you would rather stay at home in front of the tv. For me it really helps to go running with Andy, especially since he is in a much better shape than me and this gives me motivation to try to beat him sometime.
  • Set goals. Not only your final goal (like how much weight you want to lose – if this is why you’re working out), but also daily and weekly goals. I am not a great runner, so one of my previous goals was very simple: to run the same distance that I ran the day before, but this time I was going to do it without a break halfway through – and I made it! I love trying to beat myself, and having beaten my goal made me feel like I achieved something.
  • Find a workout that works for you! It doesn’t matter if you enjoy running, spinning, dancing, yoga, strength exercises, or using the elliptical (like me). Just make sure you pick something that you enjoy, and try to mix it up every now and then. I have an elliptical at home, but I also have Wii fit and Wii Zumba. I like using my Wii fit board while I’m watching my favorite series, or dancing along to the Zumba routines on a day I have some extra energy (although I think going to Zumba classes with a friend is a lot more fun).
  • Bring good music – especially if you’re working out by your self. This will keep your tempo up and it will help keep your mind off what you are doing. For me this makes me feel less tired.
  • Set a weekly minimum limit to workouts. So if you have decided to get at least three work-outs in every week, then you have no excuses for not doing it. If it’s Sunday night and you have only exercised twice so far then you should force yourself to get at least a small amount of work done. Like a 30 minute fast walk around the neighborhood.
  • Reward yourself. This doesn’t have to be with food (if you’re trying to lose weight), it will just as easily work with other things. You could decide to not buy those pants you’ve been wanting until you manage to beat your own record. Or you could schedule a girls night out as soon as you’ve stuck to your work out program for a whole month. (Just don’t reward yourself by skipping workouts.)
  • Keep a workout journal. I’ve done this for the past few months. Just buy a notebook where you write down which exercises you’ve done every week (including repetitions or duration). I love comparing my current week to the previous one to see if I’m making any progress. Sometimes I’ll add an extra workout if I see that I did better the past week.
  • Buy new workout clothes! I don’t know if this works for everyone, but it definitely does for me. A colorful, new outfit makes me want to try it out. And the same goes for buying workout magazines with tips for exercises. But, of curse, you should limit this to once in a while so that you don’t end up shopping more than you work out. (Although a full day of shopping really should be considered a workout…)

At the beginning of 2012 I finally decided to get back into shape after several years of doing nothing but studying. After most of my workouts I felt completely exhausted and ready to pass out – but it was worth it! And, after a while, I could tell that things were getting slightly easier every day. I still haven’t reached my goal, but I’m much happier than I was before I started.
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2013 Resolutions

So, I don’t usually take new year’s resolutions very seriously, but I still think it’s a neat idea. I like the idea of striving to improve and promising to be a better version of yourself in the year to come. After all, if you’ve put some serious thought into your resolutions, following them can only make you happier. That’s at least true for me. I’m not happy when things stay the same for too long, or when I don’t feel like I’m motivated. And what better way to keep me motivated and on track then to post my resolutions online for everyone to see? Haha.

2012 was an amazing year, but with a little effort I think we can make 2013 just as good!
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  1. Keep Working Out. I’m really happy with my progress in 2012, so I really just want to keep it up. And now that I have an elliptical at home I really have no excuse to be lazy. So my goal is to work out about 4 times a week, unless I’m sick, traveling, or extremely busy.
  2. Keep Traveling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many new places as I did last year, and it was amazing! Our honeymoon was a big part of that (and we won’t be repeating that any time soon), but I want to keep going on weekend trips even if it’s just to Atlanta. And we’re already planning on a road trip through Florida when spring break comes along.
  3. Try to Eat Healthy During Weekdays. This is the one resolution that I’m the most likely to break! I love my fast food, chocolate, and potato chips. But from now on I’m going to limit it as much as possible. Saturdays and Sundays are for movie nights and snacks, any other day is for trying out new healthy and delicious recipes – and sharing them with all of you!
  4. Be More Social. Last spring was extremely busy with school and I hardly ever had time to hang out with friends. And when I finally did have some time off I would rather just curl up on the couch and watch a movie with Andy. In the long run this didn’t exactly make me very happy. However, during fall I put much more of an effort into being social, and it was a much better semester!
  5. Make Plans. We will be staying in Athens until Andy is done with his PhD, which is at least another year and a half, but after that I haven’t the faintest idea what I want to do. So this might sound a little silly, but one of my resolutions is to put some serious thought into what I want to do with my life. Where do I want to live, where do I want to work, and what is going to make me happy in the long run? Because right now I have no idea.
  6. Keep in Touch! I’m probably not the only one who is bad at this. When your life gets busy and you have a hundred things to think about, you tend to forget about the friends and family you haven’t talked to in forever. Sitting down to write a letter might not be the first thing on your mind, but it means so much to the one receiving it. I am lucky to have great friends back in Norway, and every time we meet it seems like no time at all has gone by. But I would love to know more about their day-to-day life when I’m not around. So this year I am going to write more emails, letters, facebook messages, and texts to all the people I care about. And I hope you’ll join me!

Here is one of my happiest moments from 2012. It’s a tough one to beat, but I’m already wondering which moments are going to stay with me from 2013.
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A Beautiful Forest Walk

I felt wide awake when I got up this morning – even with just 5 hours of sleep. I hurried upstairs to grab breakfast and noticed that the weather was perfect, so I dragged Andy out of bed for a nice, long walk. He told me about a forest trail not far from here, and that’s where we went. It was a little cold and windy in the beginning, but the sun was shining and walking kept our temperature up.

We really had no idea where we were going, and just picked random trails every time we had a choice. It was so beautiful there that I almost wished I had brought my camera along, instead of just my iPhone.
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I also loved the fact that we only met one other person for about an hour. We had all the time in the world to talk and enjoy the scenery by ourselves. It was probably for the best too, because after a while I started getting a bit slaphappy from the fun and lack of sleep, and giggled more than I talked.
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There was even a river. I’m already looking forward to coming back here during the summer!
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Just My Luck

Ah, I have to be the most clumsy/unlucky person ever! This year I have pulled a muscle in my back, gotten bronchitis for my wedding, fractured a bone in my foot, had a few colds, and this Wednesday… I twisted my knee. I should be rolled in bubble wrap and propped up in front of the tv at all times! That would give Andy some time to relax, because he gets super stressed out every time I’m injured or sick.

And, like always, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I had finally gotten the hang of this whole “workout thing” – it used to be a pretty scary concept. So when my knee started hurting I had actually worked out 17 days out the last 19! And since we’re leaving for Virginia tomorrow I wanted to get as much use out of my elliptical as possible (since I won’t be able to use it for two weeks). Oh well. Now I’m just doing simple strength exercises instead. I’m a little scared to stop being active, just in case my motivation will magically vanish again! Haha.

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Wednesday Adventures

I just finished 30 minutes on the elliptical, and I feel amazing! I’ve wanted one forever and now that it’s mine I’ve been using it daily. This might be one of the best things I have ever spent money one, hehe. The perfect workout machine for someone who likes watching Netflix and really doesn’t like going to the gym. Oh and it’s great for my bad knees.

Today me and Andy decided to do something different. Neither one of us had ever been to a shooting range (I had never even held a gun) and we happen to have one here in Athens. So we rented a .22 revolver, bought 50 bullets and gave it a shot (hahahaha, got it?). I was surprised at how simple it was. But the people next to us were shooting something that made my entire stomach shake.

It was really weird, but strangely fun at the same time. And turns out I actually have a pretty good aim.
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Don’t we look badass? Hehe, joking. I’m not a fan of firearms, but it doesn’t hurt to know how to use one.
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Afterwards we went to the mall. The idea was to get some ideas for Christmas presents, but I don’t really feel like I’ve made any progress. I found a few cheap sales items for myself though – no surprise there.

A Great New Week

Ah, I’m not normally a huge fan of Mondays, but this one is turning out really well. I think I’ll be getting a lot of work done, which feels amazing – I love it when I’m in a productive mood. Doing dishes, making chicken salad, and taking out the recycling is already checked off my list, and after going shopping with Maren (that’s productive, right?) I have laundry, the bathroom, and dinner left to do. For once I’m actually starting the week off right!

And I hope this week is better than last one when it comes to working out too. I didn’t post a workout schedule last week, because I was planning on taking it easy. My leg is objecting to all the activity after being stuck in a walking boot for four weeks. But I didn’t want to take the whole week off, so two days ago I ended up focusing on strength exercises instead. I think it was about time too, because when I woke up the next morning most of my body was aching. Turns out I have just about no arm muscles at all. What I need to work on even more though is my stamina. Right now I’m online reading about elliptical machines. We don’t exactly have a lot of room in our apartment, but I have wanted one for ages, so we’ll see what happens.

I’ve also been looking at different workouts I could do with one (probably while watching tv, hehe).