Motivation Monday: Progress Feels Great

(Note: I haven’t done a post in my Motivation Monday series for literally years, but I thought I’d try bringing it back this month to help me stay on track with my goals.)

We’re five days into April, and already I’m seeing the benefits of my 30-Day challenge and feeling more confident in my ability to meet the monthly goals I set for myself. I still had some slips in nutrition over the weekend, but I did notice myself being a little more mindful of what I was indulging in. I had my Shakeology shakes as my lunches all weekend, and on Saturday not only did Bill and I do a Pilates workout together, but I also walked over six and a half miles with friends of mine! I wouldn’t have done that before, and we had such a good time that I’m hoping I can convince them to do it with me again. And last night I made a nice sockeye salmon with some green beans for dinner, which was tasty and in line with my goal to prepare more fish for dinner.

This morning Bill’s foot was bothering him, and normally I would have taken that as an excuse to skip working out. But then I thought about my Fit Happens challenge and I wanted to log a full workout and not just a walk for today, so instead of opting out of exercising altogether I suggested an upper body workout that wouldn’t strain his foot. We did it and I am so happy!

I feel like my mindset is starting to shift, and I suspect that one of the things that’s helping is that I’m accountable to the others in my 30-Day Challenge. If I’m not logging my workouts and shakes, they’re going to wonder where I am, and besides that I really want to complete this challenge successfully for myself! This reminds me of when I first started going to Zumba classes all those years ago. Before it became a passion of mine, I relied on friends in the class to check in with me and keep me accountable for going, and they never let me down. And once I became hard-core-obsessed with Zumba and was loathe to ever miss a night, I was able to help more new people be accountable for going too.

Right now I feel great about myself and my progress. I can only imagine how good I’ll feel by the end of April if I keep this up!

My Goals for April

It’s a new month and I feel VERY hopeful that I can make some progress in achieving my weight loss goals in the next thirty days. The weather is getting better which means more outside time, and I joined a 30-Day Beachbody Challenge with my coach and a group of other friends she’s connected with to help keep me motivated. I’m also starting a twelve-week group therapy class to help with some of the stress and anxiety I’ve been feeling lately, and I’m really hoping that reducing stress will give me a lot better quality of life overall.

So with that, here are my goals for April!

Stay under my allotted calories four days a week. I haven’t been doing a great job with my nutrition and I think that part of my failure is that I was just being too aggressive with my goals starting out. For this month, I’m just going to try and stay under my calorie goal four days per week. Since April begins on a Thursday this year, I’ll just count my weeks as Thursday-Wednesday.

Strength-train four days per week. I still really like this goal and I’m making it again because I want to have additional motivation to keep going with my workouts. Bill and I just started a new program on Beachbody on Demand called T25, and so far I’m enjoying it. It’s fast-paced and a lot different than workouts we’ve been doing lately, and I’m happy we’re changing it up. Plus, as the name suggests, the workouts are only 25 minutes long, and I like a short workout even if it’s intense!

Average 8,000 steps per day. Because the weather is getting nicer and because I did so well with my steps for March, I’ve increased my goal by 500 steps/day from last month’s goal. I really believe I can do this, especially since a friend of mine recently said she’d like to start getting together and going for walks. Spending time with a person I love is definitely motivation!

Complete the Fit Happens 30-Day Beachbody Challenge. There will be two challenges running simultaneously in my online fit group this month – a daily workout/movement log with a photo, and a daily Shakeology log with a photo. For fitness I’ll have my strength training four days a week, and my plan is to add in long walks and active recovery workouts on teh other days. During the week I use Shakeology as a meal replacement for lunch, so this will encourage me to plan it as a part of my day on weekends too. I have zero excuses not to – I work from home, I’m completely in control of my nutrition, and I have the support system of the others in my group.

Serve at least one dinner per week that has fish as the protein. Fish has a ton of health benefits and I know it should be more present in my diet than it currently is, so I’m going to make a point to add it into our rotation in April. I actually really like fish, but in the past was intimidated at the thought of cooking it. Since discovering over the last couple of years that I actually really enjoy trying new recipes, I’m less nervous, and I want to try my hand at preparing tasty fish dishes.

Recapping my March Goals

That….could have gone better.

Another month has drawn to a close without my being able to lose any weight. But I actually do feel like I’m getting my head back in the game and that I’ll start to see some success in April. But in the meantime, here’s a recap of how I did in March.

Continue strength training four times a week. I actually made this goal thinking that it was an easy one, but I missed some of my workouts in March. The first miss was on a Friday morning, because I’d had terrible allergies the day before and actually took an antihistamine (something I rarely need to do) and woke up feeling beyond groggy. We did go for a long walk that morning, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do a strength-training workout. Then I missed three workouts last week, although technically I did still do a form of strength training for two of them in the form of packing and carrying heavy boxes. I ended up going into my former office to help box up the various books and binders in our library, which proved to be a pretty decent challenge physically. I finished Thursday night but was really sore on Friday and opted to sleep in. This week I’m back to a normal work-at-home schedule and my workouts are on track, but I can’t claim a win on this goal.

Stay under my allotted calories six days per week. I did not fare well on this at all. If I finish today under my calories, I’ll have done so for just 15 of the 31 days of March, or not quite 50% of the month. While that’s an improvement over February, it’s still not great and I really want to do better.

Average 7,500 steps per day. I’m happy to say that I absolutely crushed this one. Even without my final step count for today, I’m at an average of 8400 steps per day for March, which was an amazing improvement over January and February’s step counts. I’m really happy we’ve been getting out and walking more and I want to keep this up!

Cook dinner at least one weekend night and eat that meal at the table. This definitely did not happen. I did actually cook at home on some weekend days, but we dined in front of the TV as per our usual.

Pick one non-eating-related activity per weekend to do with Bill. We….sort of did this? Once or twice? We drove up to Edison one Saturday to go to a show at an art gallery, which was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. Other than that, I didn’t do the greatest job of thinking up non-eating things for us to do.

One Year in Quarantine

It’s been a year now since Washington state went into lockdown in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways it feels like it was so very long ago since things felt remotely normal, and in others I can’t believe I’ve actually spent a year of my life working from home, barely seeing friends, and hardly ever wearing pants that aren’t largely made of stretchy.

I felt a little sad thinking of this anniversary, of the year of normalcy lost and the months stretching out ahead of us until Bill and I are eligible to receive the vaccine. We’re both healthy and we work from home, so we will likely be some of the last people who can get it, which I’m very grateful for even as I feel a growing impatience to regain some of our old life. It can be easy to feel like I’ve lost a year of my life, but I try not to think that way and instead think about what I’ve gained. Having so much stripped away made me realize what really matters to me and what things I want to include in my life going forward. And I can recognize that I definitely took things for granted, like being able to go out to eat in a restaurant, or going to a movie in a theater, or seeing a band live. There were times I had tickets to shows and didn’t end up going, not for any real reason other than that I was tired after a long day of work and decided I wasn’t up to going back out once I got home.

My hope is that we can find a new way to live, where we go back to the things we used to love doing with an even greater appreciation for them, and where our priorities reflect the lessons we learned in lockdown. Although I do miss some aspects of going to work in an office, my stress levels are a lot lower now that I get more sleep, regular exercise, and more time because I’m not sitting in traffic every day. I get to spend more time with Bill and with our cats Ernie and Saturday, and having more family time means the world to me.

Last Friday night, Bill and I went with two of our friends who are in our little quarantine bubble out to a winery. We were able to do a wine tasting while still following all COVID guidelines, outside in the fresh air. It was one of the few outings we’ve had in a year and it was the first time we’ve gone anywhere with friends since last March (although we do see these particular friends at least once a week now, either at our house or theirs). It was a simple thing, but it felt SO good to go and have fun doing something we enjoy and sharing an experience with people we love. I will never take things like that for granted again. I won’t allow myself to.

I’m not saying the past year hasn’t been one of the hardest years of my life. It definitely has been, for many different reasons. I have been reasonably unscathed in comparison to people who have lost their lives, their loved ones, their health, or their jobs – or a combination of these losses – because of COVID. Watching helplessly as so many people suffer has taken a toll on me. I want to help, but all I can really do is keep following guidelines and wearing my mask and keeping my butt at home when I can. It isn’t much but it’s what I have to offer. And when it’s my turn, I will get my vaccine, and I will keep following all guidelines as long as I need to. And hopefully by this time next year things will be a lot more like the world we remember, but with a lot of lessons learned.

We’re not done yet, although it feels like there is a lot to be hopeful about.

Reflecting on Four Years of Marriage

Today Bill and I are celebrating four years of marriage. Four years married to my best friend and the love of my life seems so unreal to me. I feel just as lucky to be with him as I felt on my wedding day four years ago, and if it’s possible I might actually be more in love with him.

Following our wedding, we spent a relaxing night at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle before heading off to Cabo for our honeymoon a few days later. We celebrated our first anniversary at the same hotel, and in 2019 we spent our second in Scotland. It was still one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken. Last year, our third anniversary coincided with Washington state beginning to lock down due to the pandemic, so we got creative and spent a day driving out to the Olympic Peninsula to visit Ruby Beach, the place we got engaged in 2015.

This year, we wanted to do something special but between the pandemic and our anniversary falling in the middle of the work week, we decided to celebrate early by spending a night in Mukilteo at the Silver Cloud Hotel. We’ve spent the night there a few times in the last several months and we adore it. The hotel offers a room with a Jacuzzi tub, overlooking the waterfront and the ferry terminal. We like to take our firestick so we can watch movies, and we can get room service from Ivar’s next door and enjoy fresh, delicious seafood without ever having to leave the comfort of our room.

Because it was our anniversary, I was excited to find out that the hotel offered an upgraded package with the Jacuzzi room that came with a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate truffles. I thought it gave our getaway a little extra romantic touch.

On our way to Mukilteo, we took a little detour to Snohomish to pick out cupcakes from Simply Sweet, the same place that we got our wedding cake and cupcakes from. They’re still my favorite cupcake place ever! I chose a pink champagne cupcake and Bill got a vanilla coconut.

We loved our anniversary getaway and enjoyed the chance to have a mini-vacation, even a local one.

For our actual anniversary today, we exchanged cards (Bill always hand-draws my cards which I love, he is an amazing artist) and Bill bought me a gorgeous bouquet of two dozen roses.

I am so grateful for our relationship and marriage. Bill shows me every day what it’s like to be truly and unconditionally loved and that feeling can still take my breath away. Sometimes I have no idea how this kind, smart, funny man could have ever fallen in love with me and he definitely has the patience of a saint, but the two of us fit together perfectly. The last year in particular came with some incredibly difficult times, but having Bill by my side helped get me through and I feel like we’re stronger than ever.

Monthly Goals for March

I woke up this morning sort of in shock that it’s already March. In addition to feeling like this year is absolutely racing by, realizing it’s March also means it’s been a year now since COVID-19 completely changed our lives. My last day working in an office was March 5th; now I don’t even have a desk in that office anymore and my company is in the process of moving out of that building and I likely won’t have a new location assigned until the end of the year.

February was largely a throw-away month for me with regard to my goals. I didn’t make any progress at all with losing weight, and my eating habits were far more indulgent than I’d allowed myself to be in January. It made me see that I really do need a monthly goal for my calorie intake; when I set a goal to stay under my allotted calories in January, I did much better than I did without any sort of goal like that in February. I’m in this weird place mentally where I really do want to lose weight and eat healthier, but I have a hard time making myself follow through with any sort of lasting change. During the week I have a pretty easy time following my healthy eating plan and doing my workouts, but once Friday night hits I lose my damn mind and don’t seem to recover myself until Monday morning (and a wave of regret) hits. I have to figure out how to be healthier on weekends or I’m never going to break this cycle.

With all that in mind, I’ve designed goals for March to hopefully support the habits I’ve formed that I’m proud of, while putting me in a position to (hopefully) finally start losing some weight.

Continue strength training four times a week. Last week, Bill and I finished the eight-week LIIFT4 program that we began at the start of 2021. I definitely feel stronger and proud of my progress, but I don’t want to let this good habit fall away now that we’ve finished the program. This morning, we started a new workout program on Beachbody on Demand called The Prep. Unlike LIIFT4, which is a four-day-per-week program, The Prep is designed to be six days a week – but since I don’t really want to have to commit to doing six days a week of workouts, our plan is to just modify it and do four of the workouts per week. It’ll take us longer to complete, but that’s okay, and I’ve talked to other people who have modified programs similarly and still gotten great results. The first workout this morning was killer, which is probably a sign that switching it up was a good idea.

Stay under my allotted calories six days per week. This goal worked well for me in January so I’m bringing it back. Currently my goal is to stay under 1,600 calories a day, knowing that if I can keep myself a little below that goal every day during the week that it’ll help offset having more food on weekends.

Average 7,500 steps per day. I didn’t do a step goal in February, mostly because the weather was wet, cold, and at times snowy, and it was hard to get outside. I’m not exactly a fair-weather walker but trudging through slippery ice and snow is not my idea of a fun time. Now that it’s nearly spring, I’m hoping that the weather will be a bit milder and it’ll be possible to get out and walk more.

Cook dinner at least one weekend night and eat that meal at the table. Growing up, my family always had dinner together, sitting at the dining room table. This did not carry into my adult life, and most nights Bill and I eat on the couch while we watch tv. We enjoy our ritual of watching different shows together, so I don’t want to stop doing it, but my intent with this goal is to not only make sure that we limit our takeout a bit on weekends but also that we eat more mindfully on at least one weekend night.

Pick one non-eating-related activity per weekend to do with Bill. Whether we go for a walk, a bike ride, a hike, a drive, or do an additional workout, I want to focus on non-food entertainment on weekends. When the weather’s nice, we like to walk into downtown Edmonds and wander along the waterfront. Whatever we decide to do, I want to incorporate this into our lives so that nice meals aren’t our only way to relax and connect with each other after a long week of work.

Beauty in Simplicity

A fond memory I have is of my weekend routine when I was in my early twenties. I lived alone, and for the first time in my life I had a job that gave me weekends off. I liked to get up on Saturday morning, start laundry, and go to the gym to work out. From there I’d do my grocery shopping and run any other errands I had, and then return home to finish the laundry I’d started and to clean my little apartment. Although the place was nearly 900 square feet and spacious for a one-bedroom, it didn’t take much more than an hour to thoroughly clean it. I don’t love the experience of cleaning, but I do love the finished product. I would put on music and light a fragrant candle, so the experience wasn’t unpleasant. Once I finished, I’d take a shower and get ready to go out either on a date or with friends. Sundays were usually just spent relaxing at home, reading a good book or catching up on TV shows while I snuggled with my cats on the couch. It was a simple life, and a very satisfying one, at least as far as I was concerned.

Even though that was over a decade ago, I still remember the happiness I felt during the time in my life when I had that little routine. I know that I am a person who finds the greatest joy in simple pleasures, and I like that about myself. Having more things, even when they’re nice, just increases my anxiety. When I moved out of that cozy apartment and into a lovely, brand-new house a year later with my then-boyfriend, I thought that living in that lovely home with him would increase my happiness. Instead, I found myself feeling very stressed out – by the high price of the mortgage, by the tensions in my relationship with him once we were living together, by feeling very trapped in a job I had grown to hate but that paid me well.

Longtime readers of my blog know the rest: I ultimately left that big house in California and that relationship behind. I’ve learned that I crave an uncomplicated life and have spent the last several years building just that. My relationships with my husband and my friends are loving and free of dramatics. The home Bill and I share is much smaller than that first house I owned, and I love it so much more. Our little place is cozy and comfortable.

My routine these days looks different now than it did in my little apartment, but in many ways it’s the same. I like to get up first thing in the morning and exercise before work. These days my workouts take place in my living room and not in a gym, but I still feel just as accomplished when I finish them. Because I work from home now, I have more free time that was once spent commuting and I can put on music, light a scented candle, and clean the house during the weekday (and now I have Bill’s help!). Our condo is spacious for a two-bedroom but we’re able to do a pretty thorough cleaning in about an hour. On Fridays on my lunch break I pick up our groceries curbside, which is a lot quicker than doing the shopping in the store. Weekends are a relaxing time for us; we can sleep in, and watch movies or go for a drive or take a long walk together.

It’s a simple life, and a satisfying one.

Monthly Goals for February

I don’t usually write two posts on the same day but I wanted to blog my goals for February after recapping how things went in January. While everything didn’t go exactly the way I’d planned, I did learn from my missteps and I have some ideas for adjusting February goals to address the issues I had last month.

Weigh and measure portions. I tracked everything I ate in January, and according to my LoseIt app I only exceeded my calorie goals on six days throughout the month. However, if that were true I would have lost weight in January, which I did not. The most likely reason for this is that I under-tracked the calories I ate. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before today that I needed to weigh out my meals, but now that it has it feels really obvious to me. I might be able to eventually measure out around four ounces of chicken fairly accurately by sight, but I’m willing to bet I’m not doing it right now. I’m prepared for the side effect of this goal being that I’m probably going to be hungrier than normal in February while I adjust to what I suspect will be smaller portions than I’m used to.

Plan snacks for the day in the morning and stick to the plan. I have my weekday breakfasts, lunches, and snacks pre-planned, but I noticed in January that I always crave additional snacks in the afternoons. I think it must be related to the stress of my workdays, because it doesn’t happen on weekends. My go-to weekday snacks are apple slices in the morning and Greek yogurt mid-afternoon, so in February I am going to focus on tracking my snacks in my LoseIt app first things in the morning and then only eating what I had committed to having for snacks.

Finish Season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy. I feel like I need a “fun” goal, so that’s why I’m adding this one. I was an avid Grey’s fan until 2014, when I didn’t have cable service and couldn’t watch the new episodes. I fell way behind on the show, but in 2020 I decided to start it from the beginning and watch all the way through (the show is currently airing Season 17). Bill doesn’t like medical dramas and won’t watch it with me, so I watch an episode or two while I take baths or when he works later than I do, and I’m about halfway through Season 16 now. I want to finish it and start on the current season!

Address my increasing anxiety. Fun fact: being stressed out can make it harder to lose weight. Stress increases cortisol levels, which in turn can cause weight gain. Human bodies haven’t evolved as fast as our environment has, so our bodies largely attribute stress with lack of access to adequate food supply – because that’s what originally stressed people out. High stress levels can bring on fun things like fatigue, increased appetite, thinning skin, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

I know I have anxiety and I also know that my stress levels have been through the roof lately. I think my problems are a combination of having lived mid-pandemic for nearly a year now and the fact that I’m an empath and other people’s feelings and emotions have a big impact on me.

I know that I can’t meet my weight loss goals OR be happy until I address my anxiety. I have a number of coping mechanisms I’ve been taught over the years to deal with stress and anxiety, and I’ve also reached out to my health insurance provider for a referral to help with mental health.

January Goal Check-In

That felt like the fastest January I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Normally, the first month of the year feels like it drags on for an eternity, but not in 2021! Even though I feel like we were just raising a glass while we counted down to the new year, January is already over and it’s time to make some February Goals. Before I get into my new monthly goals, I thought I’d write a quick check-in on how January went.

Stick to my calorie count goal six days a week. I counted the days that I ate over my calorie goal, and in January there were six days in total – two more days than I’d hoped for, but still better than I’d been doing for the last few months of 2020. I’ve heard about the 80/20 rule (stick to your calorie goal 80% of the time), and I did accomplish that.

What I noticed though, is that even though I tracked everything I ate and believed that I was doing a better job with my eating, I didn’t lose weight in January. I did drop a couple of pounds early on, but those came back by the end of the month so ultimately the changes I made only helped me maintain my current weight. I’m pretty sure that I’m underestimating what I’m eating and tracking fewer calories than I’m actually eating; albeit unintentionally. This is something to address for February.

Weigh myself every day. I achieved this one on 30 out of 31 days (we stayed in a hotel one night and I wasn’t committed enough to this goal to pack my scale along). It was good to have the data, and it definitely showed me that I need to review what I’m doing and make some changes if I want to see weight loss.

Drink more water. I did really well on this one overall. Since I didn’t set a tangible metric I wasn’t measuring ounces or anything like that, but I definitely got into the habit of filling up my Hydro Flask for the day and drinking more water.

No alcohol. Dry January had….a few showers. We gave in to the urge and had drinks with dinner on four nights last month. But that was a huge improvement for us!

Average 7,500 steps/day each week. I didn’t quite make it with this one. Overall for the month of January I averaged 6,307 steps per day, which was quite a bit short of my goal. The biggest reason I didn’t make it was the record rainfall in Washington last month; there were multiple days where it was absolutely pouring outside and it was just too gross outside for walking. I’m hoping that as we move into spring that I’ll be able to get out more. I miss my walks!

I don’t really know how to feel about January. Going in, I thought I had set realistic goals that I could easily meet and that would guarantee me weight loss, but obviously that turned out not to be true. Some changes I’m pleased with, others not so much, and I’m going to take those feelings into account for my February goals. I’m using this as data to adjust my goals and habits and not beating myself up over not achieving everything I’d planned, because one of my 2021 Resolutions was to be nicer to myself. I’m still on track for all of my resolutions, so that’s a very good thing!

Where I’m at with Health and Fitness (and Where I Want to Be)

This year I have a renewed drive to set and achieve goals, which was probably apparent with my goals for January and for 2021. And in looking at those goals I think it’s obvious that I’m hoping to achieve weight loss and improved health this year.

I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want over the last ten years. When I went to my first Zumba class in October 2010, I started to learn that I didn’t want to just be thin, but fit. Zumba taught me that I can actually enjoy being active and pursuing athletic activities. Even though my beloved Zumba class isn’t there anymore, I’ve found other ways to stay active and healthy. I’ve always enjoyed going for walks outside, and when I began working from home and couldn’t go with my coworkers anymore Bill started going with me. It’s now one of my favorite parts of the day and I enjoy getting to take a break, get some fresh air, and spend time with him. I had found a new dance class at a local gym that I absolutely loved, but when the pandemic shut things down I started working out at home by following Beachbody workouts. Although it’s always tough for me to get up and get moving, I’ve grown to really enjoy those first-thing-in-the-morning workouts. As we move into spring, Bill and I have vowed to get back into cycling and spend more time on our bikes.

When I achieved my weight-loss goals in my late twenties, I didn’t follow any diet or plan. Instead, I channeled the things that I’d learned over the years about nutrition and put them into practice, combined with logging my food in the LoseIt app and practicing portion control. I never restricted any foods; everything was allowed in moderation. I wish I could say that I’d stuck to this practice, but after turning 30 I gained a little weight and as a knee-jerk reaction I went on a pretty restrictive diet. The weight came off….and then came on again, plus some. Instead of going back to what I knew worked, I went back on a diet again…and again. Nothing worked (which should not be shocking, because diets do not work if they’re not sustainable long-term). I did all the fad programs: Medifast, Weight Watchers, Dukan. All came with an initial rush of results followed by misery and me ultimately falling off the program because I’d get so tired of restricting. A few years ago I drew a line in the sand and vowed that I wasn’t going to go on another diet, EVER, and I meant it. I’m proud to say that I’ve kept that promise to myself and that I’ve stayed away from diets, even as friends embark on their Paleo or Keto or whatever-else journeys.

And that brings me to where I am now: anti-diet (but with some extra pounds I’m ready to bid farewell to) and proud at how consistently I exercise and move my body. As far as fitness level goes, I feel like I’m in a great place and I want to use this year to do some hikes, some long bike rides, and of course lots of lunchtime walks. As far as my eating habits go, I’m ready to push myself to do better so I can (hopefully!) finally shed the extra pounds my foray into dieting left me with.

The only thing that has ever worked for me long-term is calorie counting, so that’s what I’m planning on doing in 2021. I’ve been using Jordan Syatt’s calorie counter to get a baseline of how many calories I can eat every day and still be in a deficit, which happily is not 1,200 (do you guys remember when for some reason eating 1,200 calories a day was like the gold standard for losing weight?). For my weekday breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, I’ve largely just reverted to what I used to eat when I was at my goal weight, but now I eat egg whites with veggies for breakfast instead of an Eggo waffle with peanut butter smeared on it. While the Eggo was arguably far more delicious, I can concede that the egg whites and vegetables have a lot more nutritional value. My go-to snacks are apple slices mid-morning and a Greek yogurt mid-afternoon, and for lunch I just have a Shakeology shake made with almond milk.

I like to cook a lot more than I used to, and home-cooked meals are a big help when trying to lose weight because I actually know what the heck is in my food. Although I love takeout as much as the next girl and I will freely admit that I fantasize at least once a week about the day when I can finally dine inside of a restaurant without fear of catching the plague, it’s really hard to track calories in restaurant food since it’s next to impossible to know exactly how it was prepared. Because Bill and I place a grocery order for curbside pickup once a week now and don’t do our shopping in-person, I have no choice but to meal plan for the week ahead so that I know what food to buy. At times this can be a little annoying because I can’t think of a week when I actually got all the things I wanted in my grocery order, but overall it works pretty well. I’ve had a lot of people tell me they don’t like it when someone else picks out their produce, but my particular grocery store does a nice job overall of giving me fresh fruits and veggies and I only had an issue one time, when I wanted to make roasted tri-color potatoes as a side dish but instead of my little bag of tri-color potatoes I got a single red potato, which would have been fine as a substitute had it been, say, a half pound of red potatoes, instead of just a single little red potato. That was odd, but it’s only happened one time so I just chalk it up to an amusing little story about curbside grocery orders.

One of the things Jordan Syatt says regularly that gives me hope is “You can’t fuck this up”. I know I need to hear that when I’ve had a stressful week and dealt with said stress by baking a double-layer chocolate cake and eating a slab of that cake every night after dinner for five days in a row. But even with cake, as long as I don’t give up I haven’t failed, because I can’t fuck this up. Five days in a row of really healthy eating never yielded dramatic results so five days in a row of cake for dessert isn’t going to yield dramatic setbacks.

I know where I want to be, and I’m going to get there, because I can’t fuck this up.