Monotonous Eating and Working Out

So yesterday was the prefect weather to take a nap. I usually am not  fan of rain, especially on the weekend, BUT in light of the fact I haven’t slept well all week I was PSYCHED!  The rain made it so much easier to relax and nap than the sun would have!  When I woke up I ventured out for a bit and in an attempt to keep my pants from getting wet I rolled myself some sweet tight rolls.  I bet you haven’t see tight rolls this sweet since fifth grade.  Don’t be jealous!

For dinner I had a couple of pieces of pizza and a couple of glasses of wine.  I think last night was the third night this week that I had pizza for dinner, but I am OK with that.  I usually get on “food kicks” where I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Past food kicks have included spinach salads, broccoli, hot and sour soup, french onion soup, and chicken parm.  Most currently I eat a home-made nurti-grain waffle sandwich each morning for breakfast (oatmeal on the weekends) and yogurt for snack, FIVE DAYS A WEEK!  I also usually have a cold-cut sandwich for lunch on school days, uggg, how I’ve come to loathe cold-cuts!  Food monotony is a convenient and completely mindless way to eat because each meal’s preparation is easier, it makes my food shopping quick, and it cuts down meal prep time!  The convenience is amazing!  This doesn’t necessarily mean that I am eating unhealthy though because it depends on what my choice of the week is!  I mean, I do remember at one point in my life I was addicted to Slim Jims (gross I know) and Munchos (those are not very healthy snacking options that I should not be eating daily), but broccoli and spinach are full of nutrients so that it a food kick I could keep around!

So, to get to my point, I basically eat these foods until one day I just can’t bear the thought of that food anymore, which then causes me to be in a food rut. In a food rut I end up at a loss for what to eat and end up snacking too much while trying to think of what to eat and none of my meals end up satisfying me.  To prevent a food rut I try to plan my meals for the week, allowing myself to eat my fav food of the moment but also planning some old favorites too.  Another thing I have been trying is finding new recipe once every couple of weeks to add more meals into my world.  Reading other blogs has also inspired me to try new foods that I never thought of, and because the blogs I read have the same “healthy eating” goal I do, I feel very comfortable switching up my boring old foods with some of their newer, exciting suggestions.

What is your favorite meal and how often do you eat it?  Do you find yourself eating the same foods out of convenience?  How do you “break free” from a food rut?

Gym Ruts also happen when your mind and muscles have gotten used to your routine.  This happened to me a couple of months ago after doing four months of Spin class two to three nights a week.  One Monday I sat on the bike and 2 minutes into class I said to myself “There is no way I can make it through 45 minutes of this class right now!”  I did make it through that class but I haven’t taken it since.  When I got sick of Spin I was at a loss as to what to do to get my heart pumping the way it did.  I guess the good news is that getting tired of spin paved the way for me to really step up my running game, but I have to be careful of getting sick of that too!  I think I picked up running at just the right time because the weather is getting warmer and, unlike the treadmill where you are stuck in the same environment for the entire time, I can choose different routes to run for a change of scenery.  Also, with warm weather, I can spend more time outdoors: hiking, biking (if I owned one), rollerblading, walking, swimming (I doubt I’ll swim much, but you get it).  Cardio is an essential part of my fit life so it is important that I keep it new and unboring.

The other part of my fit life which can get monotonous is my strength training routine.  It usually take 1 to 2 weeks to get used to the movements in each exercise and during this time it is so new and fresh it motivates me to get to the gym.  In weeks 3 to 5ish I am in the routine and my workout is “convenient” because my mind and muscles know what to expect, the workout flows and flies by. By the end of the 5th week I start to feel less motivated, hear excuses creeping into my mind telling me it would be OK to skip, and I am known to complain a little bit about having to be at the gym.  In this 5th week I realize I don’t push myself as much as I could have and many times end up unhappy with my gym session.  I often get home and wish I had done more while I was there, and don’t wake up as sore as I would have in weeks 1 through 4.  Part of this is boredom and part is muscle memory, in other words, my muscles memorize the movement of the exercise so I don’t need to exert extra energy to complete each rep.  When I get to this point I know it is time to start planning out a new routine.  I do keep my weight routine to the same format: four days of muscle specific workouts.  I just switch up the exercises in each muscles group.

To find new exercises I do a number of things:

  • Go to Barnes and Noble and peruse their weight lifting books and magazines
  • refer back to Karon Karter’s “Bikini Body” book
  • google exercises for each muscle group
  • ask Amy’s brother for suggestions
  • bring back oldies but goodies.

We are in the process of planning ut our next round of weights which we will probably start in a week or two.  In the meantime, while we plan, we are going to dabble in muscle failure (I swear a post about it is to follow!) to keep us from getting bored.  I also need to develop some newer fitness goals, because in writing these posts, I have come to the realization that most recently I do not have a specific and measurable goal- and having one is KEY in having an effective fit life!

How do you develop fit goals?  What are they?  Do you choose long-term ones, short-term ones, or both?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Fresh strawberry martinis and Chelsea Handler tonight!  Enjoy the sun and I will catch you later this evening!

~L

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