Posted in Personal Post

Perks To Upping Calorie Goals

Hello Everyone,

For those of you that have been following my health/fitness journey you’d know that I recently upped my calorie goals. I did this for several reasons:

  1. It will help maintain my metabolism
  2. It will support muscle growth. Not just fat loss.
  3. I will feel less hungry, especially on hard workout days.
  4. Higher calories are closer to my maintenance numbers. This means more sustainability.
  5. It supports me working on my relationship with food.

So I have lost a significant amount of weight two different times. This time will hopefully be my third and LAST time. Previously, I did things wrong both diet and exercise-wise, but this post is focused on food.

The first time I lost weight I used myfitnesspal (I still do because it make life easy and its a great app). It set me up with 1,200 calories/day because I had less weight to lose, I lived a sedentary lifestyle, and selected that I wanted to lose 2lbs/week which is aggressive. Back then, the software was new and was not as focused on adjusting to a person’s caloric needs. Knowing nothing about nutrition and health, I thought that is probably fine. All diets should make me feel hungry right? I was clearly eating too much… Wrong.

hungry

For those of you who were like me and didn’t know, 1,200 calories is hard to sustain long term. I managed to do so for about 6 months/1 year on two different occasions. I lost weight and was beyond proud about how strong my willpower was. Sadly, it also generated a really unhealthy relationship with food. I started a pattern of extreme restriction, slight restriction, binge to the point of feeling sick, followed by massive guilt, and finally once again I’d restrict even more. I’d repeat this again and again. I labeled foods as bad and would feel anxious anytime I had to eat. Fearful thoughts like what if this was the one time I couldn’t stop? What if I gained all the weight back because I ate that piece of cheese? I got to a point where I wished I really didn’t have to eat. If I was completely honest, I still feel that way sometimes. I’m working on it. I explain this feeling to folks like this…People who quit smoking can get rid of their addiction cold turkey. I have to get out my addiction 3x/day to survive. Majority of social events, networking and career related events, and even dating revolves around food. Around my addiction. So I have to learn to balance it. I have to live in harmony with my addiction.

This diet I initially selected the same settings of 2 lbs/week and sedentary lifestyle, however, being heavier it upped my calorie goal at about 1,350. (Yay myfitnesspal for accounting for caloric needs and body types!) After starting my new workout plans and going through the motions, I just felt like I was restricting and more hungry than I wished to be. More than just eating less. Especially considering I was eating healthy things that should fill people up.  I could do it, and maintain this diet, but I was feeling icky about what I was doing to my body. So I on a whim felt like I’d try upping my calories. And it turned out great! I am not eating anywhere from 1,400-1630 calories/day. I like the range because I’m trying to just eat to satiety. I don’t force myself to eat more, and most days I feel fin at about 1,500 and don’t even come close to the limit of 1,630. Likely because I am eating a TON of vegetables and fruit.

  1. I ended up losing more weight week than the weeks previous where I was eating more.
  2. I felt way less hungry. In fact, I don’t really feel hungry at all unless its prior a meal.
  3. I feel like this is closer to maintenance calories/diet so my body wont be as shocked once I make the switch. Also, I feel the transition will probably be easier.
  4. I don’t have to restrict myself a ton just to enjoy one even with friends. This is probably my most favorite change. Before, if I knew I had an event with friends I would eat the least I possibly could until the dinner at 7pm. I would feel starting. This way I can eat semi normal before these things and still do okay calorie wise.

Overall, this is an awesome change and probably the best thing I could have done for my body and health journey. Even if my weight loss is slower, this is much healthier mentally and physically and I am beyond happy about it. 

With peace,

-B

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Posted in Personal Post, Uncategorized

5 Tips For Staying SANE In College/Graduate School

Hello All,

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve done a lot of school. A whole freaking lot. So much so that my family jokes that I’m a professional student. My collegiate experience can be summed up as follows: I went to undergrad for 5 years completing a major and double minors finishing with honors. I then went directly into my research based masters degree for the next three years, also teaching and working a second full time job. I was uber busy but still managed to graduate with honors. I then took one year off to work as a scientist, and now I’m back in graduate school again for 2 more years.  For those keeping track, that is 10 years of higher education. TEN YEARS!

They say write about what you know. If a anything, the one thing  I know about is school. That being said, something  I did not know when starting school was how to take care of myself. Or how to balance school with everything else. Being an achiever type, I often took on too much extra. So through many years of trial and error, multiple break downs, and unnecessary stress I’ve learned a few things that help me balance school. So here are my tips for keeping sane.


1-Get A Planner. It can be digital, on paper, or on a white board even. Just find whatever works best for you.  I personally have a paper one with monthly and weekly sections. Not only does it free your mind of stress trying to remember all the do dates and coordinating everything, but checking things off the to do list is highly satisfying. I love looking back at how productive I am. I also record my workouts in my planner. That way everything is in one place.

2A-Get Some Exercise. Yes my cerebral friends, it is important to get exercise. If you’re anything like me, you have a love hate relationship with working out. I’d much rather curl up with a good book or Netflix, drink some wine, and eat all the unhealthy things with it. But research and individual resorts suggests that not only is exercise good for your physically and mental health, but its supports your academic goals too. Research has shown that regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training improve memory, thinking skills, and even increases the volume of your brain. You can find one of the thousands of articles here.

2B- Eat A Balanced Diet. As hard as it is to refuse the free pizza, do it. Your body needs the right fuel to function properly. It is worth taking the time to prioritize and do things like meal prep. Apps like myfitnesspal can help you track things like macros, calories, and activity. If anything it can help you just be a bit more mindful about your food choices. I’m not saying don’t go enjoy a beer with the cohort, I’m saying take care of yourself. Prioritize your health. All aspects of it.

3-Find Something To Love COMPLETELY Separate From Your Program. Its very easy to get wrapped up in a graduate program. Its important to remember that there is more to you than research/lab work/ this one interesting topic. Remember to do things that are fun for you. For me it was running and playing/making music. It helped keep me sane when experiments weren’t working, or I couldn’t find that one specific article I read once upon a time to cite. Doing this keeps you balanced, reminds you that this stressful time is not forever, and that your life is more than this singular program.

4-Get (Lots) Sleep. I had to learn this one the hard way. Being ultra busy and always taking on new projects I found myself sacrificing sleep to attain my long list of achievements. It wasn’t until my mentor during my 3rd year of grad school suggested that I reevaluate my priorities (that is the nice way of saying-you look like crap and your second full time job is killing you) that I realized I had a problem. I was living on max 4 hours a night for two years and it took a toll on my mental and physical health. Even though I dropped a second job, I still ended up dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome for about 4 months AFTER graduation. Since entering graduate school a second time, I have chosen to maintain no less than 5.5 hours of sleep, but my average is closer to 7. Even if it means I get a A- instead of an A.

This connects to my next tip well…

5- Say No. Yes, the overachieving people-pleaser just told you to say no to people. I will be the first to admit that this is easier said than done. However, I have learned that it is better to say yes to 1 thing and give it 100% than say yes to 4 things and not be present. When in graduate school your time is limited and sometimes saying no is important for taking care of yourself. You’re not being selfish, its just the way life is right now. Explaining why you can’t always hang out with family and friends helps. Also, intentionally planning hangouts when it IS convenient helps them understand too. What helps with this and maintaining a balance is having a planner. See tip # 1.

*Bonus Tip* Therapy. If you are having a hard time coping or balancing your life during school, go get help. There is 0 shame in doing so. ZERO. Also, most schools offer this to students for free, so take advantage of this resource. It can be the difference between a really negative experience in school vs. having an amazing time and making positive memories.

So thats it for now. Good luck! You got this!

-B

school

 

 

 

Posted in Personal Post

Being A Bridesmaid While Losing Weight & How To Not Lose Your Cool

So I am someone who has been blessed with awesome friends. And when I say awesome I mean crazy insane wonderful people who speak truth into my life. I am beyond lucky to have them. In this phase of my life that translates into being a bridesmaid in weddings. Lots of them. I have legitimately been in over a dozen weddings nearing the 20 mark here soon. I threw in a few pictures of some I had been in more recently. I adore weddings and seeing my friends so happy and in love brings me massive amounts of joy. From helping the bride pick out her dress, to decorating table placements, to schlepping chairs out of the rainy location that you set up the night before, I’ve done it all. I enjoy it all and its done out of love. There is ONE big part of being in weddings that I absolutely hate….

…and I mean absolutely hate is, bridesmaid dress shopping.

 

Bridesmaid dress shopping is my least favorite part for several reasons. One, there always seems to be one girl in the party that “doesn’t care” but backseat drives when it comes to making the choice with all her different opinions. That or she throws a fit or doesn’t listen. I am of the belief that so long as things are covered length wise and hopefully there is a strap (I am flexible on this but I have a large bust) that you wear whatever makes the bride happy. Two- I am “disproportionate” according to bridal salons everywhere. Usually my bust measures 3-6 dress sizes larger than my waist. Three, having to predict what dress size I will be in 6+ months is a terrible game. Especially considering my weight has not been consistent high OR low for more than 2 months over the last 6 years. No I’m not joking, but the fact that they make you order so far in advance is trash. #DavidsBridalLies Four, I am actively trying to lose weight now so predicting that dress size is even harder. Five, everything and I means EVERYTHING is stupidly over priced. I swear I’m taking my folks to JCPenny one day and we will do it that way. Six, online shopping with no inexpensive exchange policy which adds an additional layer to size guessing SUCKS. Even more so when the bride does it last minute and you have to front a grand to order 3 dresses to TRY ON is infuriating. Only do the online thing if you absolutely love it/its cheaper. PLEASE- your chubby friend is begging you. As you can see, for  me the the overall experience is just exhausting and anxiety inducing.


So you’re losing weight and in a wedding. What dress size do you order?

1-Order the larger size. Let me say it again for those in the back, ORDER THE LARGER SIZE. Girl, no one sees the tag! Quite frankly, you’re the only who cares about that number. However, people WILL see back pudge or rolls sticking out off a too small dress. Do yourself a favor and make yourself comfortable! This brings me to the nest point…

2-Find yourself a bomb– Ass seamstress. Often bridal shops can recommend local people who personally, I like working with better than massive chains anyway. You can always order the bigger size and have it taken in where you need it or a size down. Due to my “disproportionate-ness” I always have mine altered. I just plan it into the budget.

3-Whatever you do, DO NOT ORDER A SIZE TOO SMALL/DOWN. Not only do you run the risk of not fitting into the dress on time, but also you put yourself through metal and emotional challenges that are just are not worth it. You may totally be that size come the wedding and that’s awesome. Good job on reaching those goals! You can risk it but in my experience, I only recommend buying the smaller dress if you are willing and capable of doing the following:

  • Buy a second dress last minute. Usually this means additional rush fees one top of the first non-returnable dress.
  • The store can guarantee it is able to replicate the dress exactly come closer to the wedding. Styles often come and go as do colors.
  • Finally, the store can even accommodate such requests. Often its not possible to do.

4-Remember to have fun! Its super easy to get wrapped up in how you’ll look next to your friends. Comparison is not what that day is about. Doing so will only make you feel bad and a bunch of unnecessary negative feelings. I can pretty much guarantee that your bride and your friends don’t want that for you. If so, get some new friends and leave that bride at the alter! Its about your friend getting married and that they appreciate you so much that you get to be part of their day! Its about love! Your friend loves you AS IS and gives 0 poops about your size. Embrace it. I promise choosing the joy in this situation is well worth it.

With peace,

-B

 

Posted in About me RIGHT now, Personal Post

Back Again!-Life Updates/Where I’m At Now

Hey all,

I know its been a LONG time since my last post. Looking back, its pretty clear I was struggling had. Even more so than I was letting on in my writing. In the last 6 months I’ve been through a lot of transition. The following has all been part of my story:

  • I’ve moved twice. Out of the house with my ex and temporarily into my parents. It was a humbling experience, but they were essential in helping me heal. Then into an apartment with my current roommates in the fall.
  • I joined a work softball league. Its hilarious to watch a bunch of scientists attempt sports ball.
  • I went on a NYC/Virginia trip with my good friend Alicia before both of us starting graduate school.
  • I started the P.A program which in and of itself is extremely time consuming. But medicine it awesome! I love learning about the human body.
  • This summer I was really working on managing my depression and dealing with ending things with M. Letting go of what you thought was your future partner and the fantasy of the life was harder than I expected. Learning to deal with grief has been a major point of growth.
  • I’ve gone on a cruise this Christmas with my parents
  • I was in New Orleans for New Year’s Eve/Day.
  • I visited Nashville.
  • I’ve gained and lost and gained weight. Its been a yo-yo thing but I am just trying to go with the flow and find more peace in my life. We are starting to get things back on track again. I will continue my weigh-in-wednesdays.
  • I’ve accepted being in 2 weddings this summer which I’m pumped about. Expect lots and lots of dancing.
  • I’ve gone on some awkward online dates. Nothing super significant, but plenty of funny stories.

So that is a short abbreviated version of what has been happening in my life the last 6 months. I plan to start writing a little bit more regularly again. My goal is a substantial post once a week, however, it’ll probably be closer to every two weeks. This will be in addition to a weigh in Wednesday hopefully every week but I hope you can give me some grace if its more every two weeks. That all I’m going to write for now. I’ll update on the specifics of my weight journey tomorrow.

Have a good week!

-Becky

 

Posted in Personal Post

I’m Still Here

Hey All,

I’m still here and alive. Sorry for disappearing. I intend to still continue writing and giving updates on my fitness goals and life. To be completely honest, this last week I’ve been really fighting my depression and managing emotions I cannot really put into words at the moment. I’m hoping for some grace from the few of you who do follow my writing. I swear I’ll be back soon enough. I just needed to take care of myself. For me that looked like barley getting by and functioning at work. So again, I apologize. Will update soon.

-B

Don’t forget to take care of yourselves.

Self.gif

Posted in Personal Post

Mini Update: We Found A Place To Live!

Hey All,

I realize I’ve been a bit MIA recently. This has been mostly because we have been looking around for a place to live in the fall for when I start PA school. Between that, work, and managing my anxiety/depression things I’ve felt all over the place.for sale.jpg Sadly this has also meant my diet and exercise routine has kind of fallen apart, but I’m hoping to restart that this week. But I am super excited to say that me & my 3 other roomies (E,R, and S-for future reference) have found a place to live. YAY! It is a close to campus townhouse that is just perfect for our little group. I’m a little bummed that we couldn’t find a house, but the upside is we wont have to worry about rodents and bugs as much as we would with an older house. Also the landlord seems nice. I’m trying to not panic/second guess myself so much. I’d love to just not worry so much in general. Either way, hope you all have a fantastic week.

With peace,

-Becky Cronin-

Posted in Personal Post, Weigh-In Wednesday

Weigh In Wednesday/Mini update

Good Morning All,

So this week has been a bit nuts for me. I moved out of where I was living and back into my parents house until August. So that has been stressful but I think good since its been cleansing to get away from the place where a large portion of M and I’s relationship took place. All that being said, I haven’t been watching what I eat a ton or exercising. Just kinda trying to survive the emotional roller coaster.

In general I have been eating more, the lasts two weeks instead of basically unintentionally starving myself out of grief. This resulted in a large weight gain last week, but I’ve dropped back down this week. (3 lbs!) Not back down to my smallest, but that also wasn’t a healthy weight loss. I think my body just needed to believe that I was in fact going to feed it and not be in starvation mode. So I’m pleased with today’s numbers. Planning to do some more meal prep t

keep calm

his weekend and ramp of the exercise game. With the weather getting nicer I’ll attempt to do some of this outside. Allergies willing.

Hope you all have a good week,

-B

Peak Weight: 250.0 lbs

Starting Weight: 247.5 lbs

Current Weight: 234.6 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 15.4 lbs