Diet, Goals, Habits, Health, Health(ier) Habits, Weight Loss

Health(ier) Habits, Vol. IV

Health(ier) Habits, Vol. IV

Welcome to Health(ier) Habits, a series I started to help keep me on track with my goals to stay healthy, even when (ESPECIALLY when) I don’t always see the progress or results that I would like to as quickly as I would like to! Every two weeks, I list out my progress on my recent goals, my exercise habits, and what I’ve been eating.

Quick Recap of My Goals From Last Post:

  • Keep tracking what I eat, and hit my recommended fiber amount (25 g/day) at least five days out of the week.
  • Strive for an average of 10,000 steps a day over the course of a week and add in two 10-minute intense strength-training sessions a week
  • Make it to bed by 10:30 at least twice a week and by 11:00 the rest of the week

Chicken Pot Pie (from scratch) // To Love and To Learn






To be truthful, I’m a bit embarrassed to post what I ate during my birthday week–with mine and Matt’s birthdays only five days apart, let’s just say we used it as an excuse to basically party almost every night for a full week. So, as you’ll see, my dinners from that first week aren’t stellar, though I at least usually kept my breakfasts and lunches smaller on the days I knew we were going out. I also wasn’t great at planning on certain days, like on that first Saturday when I had two photo shoots (one in the morning and one an hour’s drive away in the afternoon), which meant I had to grab dinner on the go.

For more details on what I typically eat for breakfast and lunch, click on Vol. II of the series.

Monday: leftover homemade pizza + peaches ‘n cream dessert (from Matt’s birthday)

Tuesday: out to eat for birthdays (Mexican food – carne asada burrito)

Wednesday: corn and garlic beef enchiladas (if you haven’t checked out this recipe, GO NOW–these enchiladas are seriously restaurant-quality good!)

Thursday: German pancakes w/ homemade blackberry jam + fresh apple slices (from my in-laws’ tree—SOOO good!)

Friday: another birthday meal out (burger and fries with my mom and stepdad and sister and her family!) + fudge marshmallow brownie at fundraiser for a former student of mine

Saturday: Arctic Circle hamburger (basic) and medium fries

Sunday: ground turkey stroganoff over rice + green beans

Monday: creamy chicken noodle soup (one of Matt’s favorites–recipe to come soon!), 2 snickerdoodle cookies (recipe to come soon)

Tuesday: buttermilk waffles + peach-orange smoothie, snickerdoodle cookie

Wednesday: chicken pot pie

Thursday: leftovers (from the night before)

Friday: cheese ‘n avocado tortillas + Cold Stone ice cream

Saturday: tater tot casserole

Sunday: buttermilk waffles + peach orange smoothie

I’ve found that whenever weeks such as these ones hit, I usually just throw in the towel and stop counting calories, esp. when it’s difficult to know how many calories I’m actually eating (like all the meals we had from restaurants, or the brownie I bought at the fundraiser). So, I did not do a great job of tracking calories on either of these weeks, though I at least did log in to My Fitness Pal every day and track SOME of what I was eating.

On the days I was diligent about tracking (and actually knew exactly what I was eating and how the nutrients broke down), I was a lot better at hitting my fiber goal than I was before. This is still something I need to consciously work on though since I often won’t hit it unless I plan for it, so I think I’ll keep my goal the same this time and redouble up my efforts on being better about my tracking, period.

Exercise //

Exercise, as long as I’m in a habit, doesn’t seem to be hard for me to keep up with, but when something throws a wrench in my habit, it seems like EVERYTHING gets thrown off. My latest hiccup in my exercising routine is that my husband just got called to be the Scoutmaster in our ward (church congregation), and it just so happens that he pretty much will ALWAYS have a meeting on the night I was regularly going to my boxing class (a total bummer). I probably need to just choose another class from the rec center and start in the habit of going, but I don’t relish the thought of doing yoga (the Thursday night option) to replace boxing (just because I’m looking for something more high intensity), and I know that anything I try to do on a Friday will probably be super hit-and-miss since we go out of town frequently over the weekend. My best bet is to look up the classes for Monday night and just substitute that as my new night, though I’ll be sad that it won’t be boxing anymore.

I was great about doing my new strength training sessions in week one, but I missed the second one in week two, mostly just because I let myself get sidetracked by work stuff (aka, blogging and photography). Even though these strength training sessions are short (about 10 minutes is all), I feel confident that if I keep doing them, I will start to see some results in a few weeks.

As far as my 10,000 steps/day goal, I did all right—my average was 9,024 steps/day for the first week, and 8,650 steps/day for week two (it’s getting MUCH colder here, so it’s hard to get out for very long after dinner anymore!).

Here’s my exercise breakdown over the past two weeks:

Monday: 10,000 steps (thanks to long walk after dinner + time spent shopping at mall)

Tuesday: hip hop aerobics (60 minutes)

Wednesday: long walk after dinner + 10-minute strength workout (I tried out one by Kayla Itsines and it kicked my butt! I couldn’t even do the whole thing, and I was sore for literally about 3 days after. If you want to check out her new(ish) book that includes several workouts and a 28-day eating plan, click here (that’s an affiliate link), or click on her site to check out some of her free workouts. (I also have pinned some of her free workouts to my Pinterest board here.

Thursday: 45 minutes shooting hoops outside in our driveway

Friday: 45 minutes of yardwork

Saturday: Zumba class + 10-minute strength workout

Tuesday: hip hop aerobics (55 minutes) + after-dinner walk as a family (almost 15,000 steps today!)

Wednesday: 10-minute strength training workout + long walk

Thursday: 30-minute family walk

Saturday: 2-hour photo shoot in the mountains + 1 hour of gardening (10,000 steps)

My goal for this week is to replace my usual Wednesday night boxing with an hour-long equivalent, whether that be another group fitness class through my local rec center or a run (which I haven’t been doing lately).

Sleep + Other Health Goals //

You guys–I am THE WORST at completing my sleep goals. I always start out every evening with the best of intentions, but since evenings are one of the few distraction-free times I can work on personal projects or work, it’s all too easy to get caught up in some project or other and then look at the clock and realize that it’s already 11:00. I don’t think there was a single day that I got to bed at 10:30 (maybe one that was close), although I DID fit in a 2+ hour nap yesterday, which was glorious. I’m debating whether I even want to include sleep as a goal anymore since I’m obviously not prepared to prioritize it at this point in time.

So, since I’m going to table the sleep goal for the time being, I’m going to set a new goal that after the last can of Diet Dr. Pepper is gone (which should be tomorrow, let’s be honest), I won’t buy any more Dr. Pepper for the next two weeks. At the beginning of this year, I set a goal to kick myself of my DP addiction, and though I’ve done that on and off all year long (with my longest stint being about 3? months off of it), I need to just kick it for good. So, no more DP. *tear*

Health(ier) Habits, Vol. IV

Progress I’ve Seen //

Weight: +1.0 lb.

Yeah, not much of a surprise there. Even though I would still venture to say that I wasn’t *that* far over my calorie counts over the last two weeks, my body just tends to freak out whenever it gets thrown off schedule AT ALL, and the weight will come right back on if I’m not 100% diligent. It’s frustrating, but it seems to be just the way it’s going to be since my whole autoimmune disease diagnosis a couple years ago. I’m trying not to get too frustrated about it, especially considering that I DID basically take a whole week off of watching what I ate (okay, basically two).

However, I’ve already seen progress from the strength training routines, in that the third routine left me MUCH less sore than the first routine (although that might have been because I also found the exercises a bit easier in that one). I feel like I have a super solid aerobic/cardio base thanks to years of running and doing high-intensity exercise classes, so I feel like my body will respond well to switching it up with these body weight routines. They’re really hard, so I’m excited to see myself get better and better at them over the next several weeks! I have four workouts from Kayla Itsines that I do total (focusing on abs, butt, arms, and full-body), and each routine has four different exercises targeting that specific area. I do all four exercises with the full reps that she calls for, and then I do all four exercises again, but just doing half the reps. (Her real workout would have me doing a lot more reps, but I’ve got to work my way up!). I’m hoping that after this two-week block, I’ll be able to start doing two full sets of all four exercises with all the reps called for in both sets.

Goals for the Upcoming Weeks//

  • Be more diligently about tracking what I eat, and hit my fiber goal at least 5 days out of 7 each week
  • Continue shooting for 10,000 steps on average every day and find a replacement class or workout for Wednesday night’s boxing class
  • Do two 10-minute strength training sessions each week
  • Don’t buy any more Diet Dr. Pepper once my current supply is gone


How do you get back on track after an indulgent week (or two)?











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