Three Things Thursday: Alyssa’s Wellness Check Up

Hey everyone! Is today your Friday? It’s mine, and I’m so psyched to head out to Paso Robles with Matt for a quick trip. I first explored Paso Robles on Fitcation, and I can’t wait for some hiking, hot spring soaking, and olive oil tasting.

I had a couple random things about my health I wanted to tell you about, and because “Random things about my health I wanted to tell you about” doesn’t seem like a very good blog title, I decided to add some alliteration (copywriter’s favorite) and call it Three Things Thursday. So without further ado, here are three things on my mind this Thursday about wellness, health, weight loss, and my general state of being. In the spirit of full Alyssa disclosure, I did receive complimentary Blue Diamond almonds for free in exchange for discussion 🙂

1) About two weeks ago, something clicked for me that to be my best self, I need to be active every single day. I decided to make a small promise to myself — on days I wasn’t doing yoga, cardio, walk training, or hiking, I needed to walk at least one mile every day. That doesn’t sound like much, but on days when I literally walk only the distance from my bedroom to my kitchen, it will help. I ended up racking up about 14 miles over my weekend in Savannah, and I’ve come to realize how much I *like* walking. Especially when I can be with a friend, sight seeing, or talking on the phone — walking is a very calming thing! I’ve been making good on my promise, logging at least 1.6 miles consecutively every day for the past four days, and tonight, my Yoga Meltdown dvd from Jillian Michaels. Hooray for change!

2) Another thing has clicked for me, and that is that I don’t eat enough. Let me rephrase that. There are times when I eat too much. But then, there are times where I eat only my three square meals (or worse – I skip), and for someone with near PCOS insulin resistance, that’s no good, because hunger makes me cranky, shaky, and anxious. I’ve turned into the girl who carries a snack in the back pouch of her purse – something small, like a Health Warrior bar, or lately, Blue Diamond Almonds. You guys know about my love/hate of almonds – I am sad to admit that on their own (raw, unsalted), I’m not a fan. But dress them up in sexy clothes like Rosemary Black Pepper, Smokehouse seasoning, Coconut, or Blueberry, and I’m all good. These in particular taste like Fruity Pebbles! I’m down. So down — they taste like junk food with minimal sugar — and how patriotic, red, white n’ blue almonds!


3) I’m stating here for accountability that in addition to being active every day and eating more regularly, I also need to get back to taking my vitamins. I’ll do really well for a few months and then get super lazy. Lately, I’ve noticed I’m battling some day time fatigue — just a general sense of low energy. Well — I forgot about my ridiculously low Vitamin D levels, and then remembered the fact that I haven’t taken my vitamin D in… oh, several months. DUH. So now, all my vitamins are stacked up eye level on the bathroom shelf, staring at me every day. I’m taking a high quality women’s multi, Vitamin D, Biotin, EPA, and soon, some Horsetail extract to help with the tons of hair I lose (thanks, PCOS).

4) I lied — I have four things to tell you about. I got mentioned in a rap!!! My awesome friend Dre from Mission Meltdown celebrated Fitbloggin’s birthday by creating a hip hop blog soup. You’ll hear an Alyssa shout out mid way through. I’m so sad I missed this in person – I was running late for the key note session because I had just come back from a long 5 mile walk of Savannah and needed to get a shower in. I’m so glad it’s on video. Watch for my Fitbloggin recap soon, in addition to a fun giveaway for you all for some non-GMO, non-chemical stevia SweetDrops, a natural soda replacement.



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How to keep it together when the going gets going

Two of my favorite things: The Double Chin Diary and my Erin Condren life planner!

Two of my favorite things: The Double Chin Diary and my Erin Condren life planner!

Earlier this year, I bought a planner. Almost every year of my adult life, I’ve bought a planner with amazing intentions. I’d diligently pencil in appointments and reminders for about four days, then forget about it and go back to my hectic and crazy life. Well, finally, this year, something stuck. I took a big career risk. I quit a cushy, high-paying full-time (but boring) job to go freelance. While I love the work I do, being a freelancer means no real days off (you’re always on call. If something major happens on Facebook to your brand on Labor Day, you deal with, it because that’s your job). This weekend on my family trip to Oregon, I’ll probably have to take a few work calls. It’s not ideal, but it comes with the territory. The sacrifice of a structured work day and no holiday/vacation hours or benefits comes with higher hourly rates, flexible schedules, and the ability to walk away from any crazy-face client. (And yes, sadly you do get ’em from time to time… the trick is spotting them early.) I can enjoy random Tuesdays off doing errands and I can wear jeans to work, but I have to keep it all together. There are invoices to be sent, reports to make and meetings to attend. My planner is now a part of my daily life for tracking hours worked on projects, upcoming concerts, trips out of town, doctor’s appointments… you name it.

Alyssa and Alan rock FitBloggin 13!

Alyssa and Alan rock FitBloggin 13!

Now that we’ve thrown househunting into the mix, I”m having a hard time carving space into my schedule for fitness and meal prep. It isn’t an excuse, but it is a fact. My friends complain about how busy I am, and it’s true… I am busy. We’re all busy, and I know that. I need to find the time. So last weekend when we met with friends for dinner, we decided to get frozen yogurt for dessert. Instead of driving, we walked the .8 of a mile each way – and voila, there was a mile and a half of hidden exercise. I used to have a pretty solid gym routine where I met two of my gal pals after work, but now that I have multiple clients, I’m not a dependable “meet you after work at 5:30” type of girl. Sometimes the meat of my work day is just starting at 5:30! Hopefully soon things will calm down and I’ll get past some of my big project deadlines, but the reality is that I thought I’d have oodles of free time after grad school, and well… the free time has been replaced by new projects. There will never be enough time. And again, I’m not complaining. I feel so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to do the work I do in the way I do it — but it’s a challenge when dieting and exercise needs to be such a large part of your life. For example, have you guys seen or heard about my friend Alan at Sweating Until Happy? This guy is ROCK SOLID with his meal planning and EVERY SINGLE DAY he is at the gym. And he has the results to prove it, and I admire it. I need to emulate that bulletproof commitment, because as cheesy or narcissictic as it sounds, I’m worth it.

So as usual, spewing this all out on my little corner of the internet is a good idea for me, because it helps me brainstorm what I need to do. I need to find ways to incorporate exercise that doesn’t seem so daunting in that I need a dedicated two hours to go to the gym, workout, come home from the gym. I can use my 7-minute exercise app a few times a day. I can walk around the block. I can jog slowly while my husband runs at night. I can go to the gym on those rare days I have off. I can pop in my Richard Simmons DVD. Fitness can be effective at just ten minutes, so what am I doing? Laying on the couch exhausted? (Yes… I did that today, too.)


My awesome instagram pizza, doctored up thanks to the Rhonna app!

I also need to be more prepared in terms of food. Now that I’m on a “lower carb” (I refuse to say low carb, because I can still have carbs, darn it, just in more limited amounts) diet, I need to be ready to go with healthy and convenient snacks at all times. Tonight, I got past my tiredness and looming work deadlines and made a cauliflower pizza crust with turkey pepperoni and skim cheese. I’ll have this for lunch and dinner tomorrow, and I can’t wait! Delicious looking and healthful, too. I’ll let you know how it comes out! A couple times last week I did breakfast meal preps with turkey sausage and eggs, and packed them up, and that was good. One nice thing about lower-carb eating is the protein keeps me satiated way longer, so I’m not nearly as hungry as I usually am. Woohoooo!

April will be back writing for y’all on Friday while I’m on my way up to Sisters, Oregon. Matt’s parents rent a cabin there, so we’re sneaking away for a long weekend to do some river hiking, lake kayaking, and bike riding. I should be able to squeeze in plenty of activity and also get some fresh air. That will be so nice for somebody who’s hunched over a computer 10-12 hours a day 🙂 I hope you have an amazing weekend and tell me – what do you do when the going gets going?! Give me your “get it together and keep it together” tips, as well as anything that saves you times in terms of meal prep, diet or exercise. I know I gotta do the work, but I’m all about efficiency — so tell me how you handle it when things get (and stay) crazy!



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Trust and weight loss

Hey everybody! It’s confession time. I haven’t logged into MyFitnessPal all week. This would normally be a bad thing, and while I can’t say with 100% confidence that I don’t need it (because I do), I trusted myself this week. I find that weight loss, for me, is a constant battle between the angel and the devil on the shoulder. I’m at the weight I am because most of the time I listen to the devil – and he and his little pitchfork and I have a grand ole time being hedonistic with food! But this week, I tried something new – I trusted myself.

What I had for lunch - yummy!

Part of this comes from the fact that it’s been a crazy week! Work has been SO busy, school has officially exploded into the almost not do-able zone (I wonder if this thesis will be worth the gray hair), and Matt and I have been doing a lot of social things after work. Between exercise and homework and scholarship receptions and errands and class and cooking and working and freelancing and cat cuddling, I haven’t logged into MyFitnessPal, but what I have done is trust myself. I trusted myself to order a pork sandwich with baked beans instead of french fries, and I trusted myself to have a couple bites of a brownie at a work meeting today. I trusted myself to have water over diet coke (I’ve actually cut WAY down on soda – surprisingly, it hasn’t been as hard for me as I thought!), and I’ve trusted myself to be reasonable with my portion sizes, so if I’m eating something less than healthy, I know I can’t have all of it. I’m also trusting myself to squeeze in exercise where I can – like the 30 minute bike ride I took today after work.

However, I know my real challenge lies in this weekend. I’m flying up north to spend my birthday and mother’s day with my family, and that’s where the food comes out in full force. I seem to equate food with a good time, but I need to work on remembering that food is just a nice perk to an event, not the event itself. The real exciting thing is seeing my family – so I’ll try to focus on that instead of wondering when we’re going to eat. (For real, yo – that’s what happens when you grow up with dinner at 6 pm on the dot every night!)

So yeah. It’s good to trust yourself and see what happens. I weigh in with the nutritionist next Wednesday, so I will try my very very best to stay on track the next week and keep making good choices. In fact, while I trusted myself, tomorrow, it’s back to MyFitnessPal, just for a little extra help navigating the schmorgasboard this weekend.