Chocolate or competition, choose!

Chocolate or competition, choose… these have been my thoughts the last couple of days… it’s what I’ve been telling myself, “what do you want Veronica? Do you want that piece of chocolate that tastes so good and melts in your mouth but will only last a good 5 maybe 10 minutes max? Or, do you prefer to be competition fit and ready to hit the stage? Choose… The choice has been easy. I work in an office and they love chocolate. I can smell the chocolate two desks from where my coworker has it. It smells sooo freaking good! I almost fell for it yesterday… almost! I got to her desk, looked at them and headed back to my desk after thinking “really? You’re going to cheat today when it’s not your day to cheat and Saturday (my cheat meal day) is right around the corner?? Are you serious?” That was enough for me to just say… nah, I’ll pass, I turned around and went back to my desk. I can still smell the chocolate but it’s not having a hold on me anymore. That is just amazing to me, considering how hard it is for me to resist chocolate.

I discovered this week how much of an emotional eater I am. With the news in Japan, my daughter being sick and some other news I received, it has been very difficult for me to stay on track so it has taken more of a commitment on my part and stay accountable to my word about what it is I’m eating. I have tricks to do that and they’re working. There is nothing like a little shake in our daily lives to remind us what is really important or to challenge us, right? I know that some people will frown upon the fact that I’m blogging about fitness and exercise while there are so many important things happening around the world. The way I see it is that I have no control over these events but I do have control over my health and fitness… so instead of focusing on something I have no control over, I focus on what I can take control of. I have one day a week when I can have two cheat meals. I can choose which cheat meals I will have. The first week I did this, I went crazy, I had pizza for lunch and a hamburger with fries for dinner and then I got sick. I realized my body wasn’t used to eating that way anymore. So now my cheat meals are a stuffed bell pepper cooked very healthy with my very little sodium marinara sauce, a salad with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and maybe 1 small glass of red wine if I feel like it. This is around 400 calories max. I eat this way and remain within my calories allowed for the day. Sometimes my daughter and I, will have a serving of frozen yogurt, that counts as quality time with my little girl, a treat and a cheat meal. Things are a bit different this time around with my nutrition, I am eating very frequently and I am packing my meals ahead of time which sometimes is a pain in the butt because it takes a lot of time to prepare, but then I realize how much of a time saver it is to do that. During the week I don’t have to think about what I will eat, the food has been prepared ahead of time and all I have to do is take my trays with me and heat them at work, sit down and eat. Brilliant! I have also learned to bring extra food for when I’m hungry and today I have found that to be extremely helpful and necessary. Oh, and one more thing… at my workplace, the vending machine sells snacks for only $0.25 (yes, all of them, chips, chocolate, everything) It’s a very inexpensive way to cheat on my meals! Now I don’t even keep cash with me. If I want to buy something, it means I have to go to the bank to get cash during my lunch hour and it’s just so inconvenient, I don’t even bother.

People have asked me if I am trying to lose more weight. No, I am not. I am building muscle. I have inches to lose but I will probably gain muscle weight as my body fat decreases. For the record, I haven’t lost much weight in the last 3 weeks. However, my waistline has decreased a good 2 – 3 inches and today I am wearing a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear in about 8 years. Yes, it feels GREAT. My biggest challenge has been losing the belly, my upper abs are there, I can see them and finally I am seeing my lower belly decrease and that’s exciting to me. Food will always be a challenge, sugar is addictive, highly processed foods with lots of sodium and fat are also addictive. It’s difficult to beat these addictions. We don’t realize how much the food industry has us hooked on these foods and bad nutrients. We are so busy that we hardly read labels, we think about “convenience” instead of thinking about nutrition.  We prefer to press a couple of buttons on the microwave than to wait for 40 minutes for a very nutritious, natural, and well made dinner with fresh produce. Some of us don’t even know how to cook. I will never forget a friend of mine tell me with spite after she learned that I make my marinara sauce from scratch, “it seems ridiculous to me that you’d spend so much time in the kitchen cooking… my priorities are different, I prefer to spend quality time with my son.” I had no children back then and didn’t know what or how to respond. But what is true for me now is that I still take the time to cook. I still cook things from scratch AND I spend quality time with my daughter. We think that if we spend an hour in the kitchen, it means that we somehow are “sacrificing” our time. We are not. When we don’t spend the time in the kitchen, we are sacrificing our good health and our life, and with our health and fitness, we are also jeopardizing our family’s health and fitness… yes, the ones we care so much about. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend more quality time with your kids if you cooked healthier and ensured that they won’t be another health statistic and you won’t either? I think our perspective has become blurred. By the way, my daughter now helps me with simple tasks in the kitchen and loves it… so yes, I get my quality time with her… even in the kitchen.

While my priorities seem a little bit weird right now from the title of my blog post “Chocolate or competition… choose” I end this blog post with a thought and a challenge: whenever you are about to reach out for the junk food, just stop a moment and think to yourself: “Junk food or a healthy life? Choose.” The choice is yours, it will always be. If you have children, think about how difficult it is to unlearn bad nutritional behavior before feeding them the next TV dinner or happy meal. The convenient meal that we feed them today will cost our children their health tomorrow, while the good, fresh, healthy home cooked meal we feed them today will benefit their health tomorrow. By the way, this is one of the things that I love about Shakeology, it is such a great, nutrition rich product that I never once have to question, have second thoughts or even feel guilty about having one. It tastes so good that my daughter even asks me to share some with her.