2017

I posted this on my Instagram, but think it’s worth repeating here:

“2016 was the year of awakening for me. I realized I was just going through the motions, stuck in a routine, and mindless about my wants and wishes, rather than living consciously. I woke up one day and really thought about my life in a different way. I came to a realization of what I want my life to look like and what my priorities are: my marriage, my family, my friends, my happiness, and giving to others.

And if 2016 was the year of awakening, 2017 is going to be the year of heart. I have one goal: to be mindful. To be fully aware and conscious of every work I speak, every thought I have, and every action I take. To never again be completely oblivious, careless, and mindless with my life. To be surrounded by people I truly love and their awesome differences. To do things I truly love to do without reason or justification for anyone. And to give all that I can to others without compromising my own happiness and without expectation of anything in return. I have found that giving to others either through my job, my volunteer work, of my hobbies gives me the greatest amount of happiness and fulfillment. Heart is always positive, always aware, always thoughtful, always giving, and always having fun. That is exactly how I want 2017 to be.”

– – – – –

I have no resolutions for 2017. I have spent the past two years or so living in an unconscious state. I have not been present; I’ve dreaded going in for shifts, longed for scheduled vacations months in advance, and had anxiety about making sure my house is clean, food is ready for dinner, and panicking trying to do everything myself, thinking that my life is not good enough compared to others. Living in an unconscious state affected so much of my life; my marriage, my relationships, my attitude, my mood, my emotions, my job…the list is endless.

And then this summer, I woke up. I stepped out of my unconscious slumber and really thought about my life for the first time in a long time. What I valued the most. What I thought should be my priorities. I totally changed my perspective and attitude towards time and towards living in the present. There were some really rough patches, but ultimately that period brought me to where I am now; at peace.

And as I dive into 2017, I can’t help but credit my entire mental turn around to meditation, mindfulness, and little bit to the Buddhists. At first, I thought meditation was for hippies, and yogis, and people who were very spiritual. But now, my perspective has changed entirely. I have meditated consistently for the past 3 months and have noticed an dramatic change in how I live my life, day to day. I continue to read about mindfulness, the present, and living consciously. My emotions are more stable, I am happier, I am at peace and I have less anxiety, less periods of anger, and the most important thing; I’m not constantly ruminating on the past or longing for the future.

I can honestly say for the first time in my life that I am so close to absolutely loving my life. I admit that I’m not quite there, because I’m still working on being present as much as possible and I still have periods where I revert back to old habits and old thoughts – but it doesn’t happen as much. My relationship with my husband has never been better. We lived in a state of routine for about 2 years but our relationship is totally different (in a really good way) than it was when we first got married. We’re out of the honeymoon phase and it’s matured a bit but we’re still finding new things out about each other that we love. We enjoy spending more time with each other, now than ever because we’ve realized that the time we do have together is precious. And we don’t do activities that are super adventurous, exciting or even new. Even just eating dinner together without the TV, cell phones, or music when I’m off is a luxury.

 I am in love with my job 100%. I don’t think I could have said that two years ago.  Of course we have bad days (especially in Emergency medicine), but who doesn’t. And it’s all about how you approach those bad days; if it makes you angry and frustrated because you’re busy, or you wish you were at home watching the football game, or you’re tired of seeing a drug seeker for the 17th time – you’re not living in the present. You’re not living in the moment – despite how miserable you may THINK it is. Realizing that my work allows me to help heal people, to make them feel better when they’re at their worst and to possibly even save a life allowed me to shift my perspective about my profession.

“Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything. And that is the only time everything will be okay.” -Michael Singer

And trust me, I know it’s hard to live this way when everything you see on social media tells you to “never settle” or that “nothing worth having comes easy” or “team no days off” or “always push yourself outside of your comfort zone – living life on the edge full of adventure.” And while that’s a great way to live life, I don’t believe that that is fully living either. Constantly searching for a new adventure or a new lifestyle is just a way to fill the void in your life of being present. Life can be pretty meaningful and comfortable just living in the present. You don’t have to start a new career, move to a new town, start a new relationship, or be constantly seeking validation outside of you from people or things.

Living in the present, accepting what is now (not what is later today or next week or in six months) can totally change your views of your life, your job, and your relationships. At least it did for me. I look at my husband in a totally different way. I look at my house, my family, my job, my body, and my mind with general curiosity but also with happiness because I am grateful for it all. Changing the shape of your body, buying new cars, new houses, new clothes, or changing your permanent residence or your serious relationship is not going to fix your problems. It is not going to give you satisfaction (unless you have worked very hard at your relationship and have realized that it just will not work). It will keep you happy for a few minutes, maybe a few weeks or months, but then you’ll be right back where you started – searching for something new because social media or some outside perspective told you that you SHOULD.

– – – – –

My intention for 2017 is simply this; I am living a meaningful life.

I am content with the present moment. I am not seeking the future, nor am I muddling in the past. I am not dreading work, or a party, or an events that I have to go to. I am enjoying my life as it unfolds in front of me – good or bad. I am seeing emotions and thoughts as they are and letting them go when they do not serve a purpose for my happiness.

ea5c9634012c3fb803a0a7953a2a9371

It is hard work to be present and conscious all of the time – but it’s worth it. The sense of ease, the acceptance, the peace, and the love I have for my life is unbelievable. So even though awareness is a never ending road, with no ending in sight, riddled with trials and tribulations, I will continue to work hard each day to accept what is and to be OK with what is. Life is so much easier when you let go of all that you think you SHOULD be carrying and immerse yourself in everything that is.

A Little Change

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I am a flexible dieter through and through. I believe that having flexibility in your diet, allowing things in moderation, and enjoying food is a big part of life – all while attempting to reach your goals. I have followed my macros for the great part of 2 years and I’ve seen some great success eating this way. Recently however, I’ve become very attune to my body and it’s different responses to food.

Unfortunately, many nights the past few months I’ve been plagued with what I’ll leave as “digestive issues” after a full day of eating. It would usually hit right around 7 or 8 pm and last throughout the night and sometimes in the morning. After looking at my diet and critiquing some of my decisions, I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed it down to cheese and broccoli. Cheese is the absolute worst. Broccoli and cauliflower I can handle.

After doing some thinking about my choices, I stumbled back to Corina’s blog where I updated myself on the fact that she started doing what’s called “Keto”. I’m pretty familiar with keto as it’s a diet method my sister has been following for the greater part of 2 years off and on. Before her wedding she made some serious progress with weight loss that was awe inspiring.

The Ketogenic diet is basically a high fat, super low carb, and moderate protein diet. The idea is to eat so few carbs (<20 grams) to get your body into “ketosis,” which is when you use ketones as an energy source instead of glucose. The claim is that this enables you to burn fat and have a significant amount of weight loss.

For the longest time I was a disbeliever when I saw some of the posts on Instagram and some of the foods my sister ate; fried everything, cheese, butter, bacon, etc. I thought my body would never like that diet. I thought my gallbladder would hate me and I would feel nauseated all the time. BUT, after reading Corina’s blog about her reasons for starting keto as well as the way her energy levels improved and how great her body felt on this protocol, compounded with the facts that she follows keto in what I call a “healthy” way, I thought “why not?” and decided to give it a shot.

– – – – –

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am not following strict keto, nor do I want to attempt to get into full ketosis. I really don’t care that much to be so strict. But, I am following a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. Before I started this I literally thought to myself “there’s absolutely no way I can go without eating carbs” and “I’ll be hungry all the time.” I also thought that I  would have terrible cravings for sweets and carbs all the time. This was absolutely the opposite of how I felt.

My first few days I literally could not believe how full I was throughout most of the day. It’s so weird, but the high fat content keeps me satisfied all day long.  I no longer had severe cravings for sugar, Oreos, bread, chocolate, etc. I no longer came home at 2 am wanting to binge on the entire pantry full of carbs. I looked forward to my meals because I was no longer hungry 30 minutes after eating. I was satisfied for hours…and the meals were delicious.

I started off with the following macros for a few days:

Protein: 150 g
Carbs: 100 g (around 75 net)
Fat: 95 g

I didn’t want to shock my system so I followed the 100 grams of carbs for a few days just to ease myself into it. Once I felt pretty comfortable with that, I dropped the carbs even more:

Protein: 150 g
Carbs: 40 grams (around 20 g net carbs)
Fat: 116 g

The past few days of being pretty low carb have been nothing but amazing. I feel like I have so much more energy. At 1 am during my 12 hour shift, I felt like I could keep going forever, where before I would be yawning and so tired before my long drive home. My workouts have felt amazing and I’ve been able to PR most of my lifts at home. I am only hungry in the morning after my workouts, which I do fasted. My cravings are non-existent. The craziest thing is that I no longer miss bread, sugar, oreos, cookies, chocolate, etc. I just don’t even think about them.

The way that you calculate out your net carbs is based upon how much fiber you eat in a day. I generally aim for 25 grams, so when you subtract your fiber from your regular carbs, you get your net carbs. Like I said before, I’m not trying to do strict keto, I’m just trying to stick with lower carb.  I’ve eaten so many vegetables over the past few days than I have ever eaten in my life…and I’m actually enjoying them.

On top of eating low carb, I’ve cut out most dairy from my diet. I drink almond milk or cashew milk and I still use heavy cream in some things but I’ve eliminated cheese and yogurt completely from my diet and my belly has definitely been thanking me. I haven’t had any digestive issues in the past few days and I can tell that the bloat I previously had from these foods has disappeared. I feel leaner each day and my weight is finally starting to respond.

img_0895I swear I have more than one pair of grey underwear. And band-aids are there for a reason…nobody needs to see that!

– – – – –

I didn’t necessarily try this out because of weight loss, although that is my current objective (more fat loss), but I did it more so to see how I felt while following this. Cutting out gluten and dairy completely has made such a significant impact on my energy and the way that my body feels, I’m not sure that I’ll ever want to include them again!

Obviously this way of eating is not for everyone, but some of my clients have suggested toying around with the idea for their macros and I thought I’d give it a shot myself to see what it feels like. I really thought I’d be starving or feel deprived without those sacred carbs in my life, but I’m not. I feel better than I have in a long time. I’ll update in a few days to see how I’m still feeling and how my body is responding!

And please, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I was a disbelieving for a very long time until I tried it myself. Despite popular belief, you do not need carbs to survive or to perform well in the gym so long as your fat and protein are kept higher. The most important thing about a diet comes down to consistency. If you can’t stay on your diet and you’re hungry all the time, you will not make progress…I can guarantee that.

12072016

2 power cleans every 90 seconds x 10 rounds
Worked up to 135 lbs

5-5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1 back squat
Worked up to a heavy single of 230!

WOD
Run 400 m
15 power cleans (105 lbs)
Run 400 m
10 power cleans (105 lbs)
Run 400 m
5 power cleans (105 lbs)
11:10

– – – – – –

I worked late last night (2p-2a) and slept until around 11 this morning. I knew I wanted to lift heavy and get moving and I felt so good this morning!

I started with the cleans and felt good enough to do the backsquats. I haven’t lifted above maybe 200 lbs on my back squat in about a year, so a 230 lb back squat is freaking amazing for me, and I definitely think I could have gone heavier but wanted to make sure I was keeping proper form and didn’t hurt my back again. I was so thrilled!

I have some new information about my diet that I’ll be posting tomorrow likely, so stay tuned!