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Baby steps toward balance

June 15, 2009

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

-Albert Einstein

After publishing my Weekly Wrap-up, I began today with a new zest for life and a renewed will to seek BALANCE. I had a 10am meeting so I hit the nearest Starbucks an hour earlier to finish up some illustrations. After my meeting, I met some old college buddies for lunch. Following lunch, I ran errands and returned home to squeeze in a workout… after which I compiled a to-do list and worked on more odds and ends till about 8pm. That Einstein sure knew what he was talking about when he said to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

Today was busy, yes. But I did manage to fit in the three major interests I focused on in my Weekly Wrap-up: my need to be social, growing my business, and achieving good (and consistent) workouts.

Thanks to the review of my SparkPeople pal, TaLisa, I checked out the Biggest Loser Bootcamp workout on Netflix. After all the Jillian Michaels videos I’ve done, I gotta say… I think I enjoy Bob’s training style better. Jillian’s moxie is entertaining, but when it comes down to it, I’m more likely to listen to Bob. Aside from that, I LOVE how this DVD is setup. At the main menu, you can add different segments to the video queue to create your own customized workout. Unsure of how I’d feel about it, I started out with a 5-minute warmup, a 25-minute workout, and a 5-minute cooldown. According to my HRM, I stayed in my target heart range for a little over 28 minutes, burning 219 calories so I was pleased with it, overall.

Tomorrow, I’m going to get back into running. I just signed up for the Firecracker 5K run on July 4th! The best part is that my parents will be in town that weekend and my mom registered for it, too! I think I may go back to working on intervals to re-build the endurance I feel like I’ve lost. If nothing else, it will at least boost my confidence and remind that I am strong enough to do this.

Speaking of reminders, I took a trip down memory lane today and was amazed by what I saw. It’s such a weird feeling to describe to someone who hasn’t been through this. I still feel like the same person, even though I look different. Weird. …In a good way. πŸ™‚


What’s on the menu?

The Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal is quickly becoming my breakfast-on-the-run of choice. I stuck with 1/2 the dried fruit and 1/2 the nuts, adding 100 cals to the 140-calorie cooked oats. I paired it with a grande nonfat latte because it was rainy and blah outside. Plus I learned my lesson… the hotter the beverage, the slower I sip. πŸ™‚

mexicanLunch was delicious, fun and shared with great company! I met the girls at Las Palmas, our neighborhood Mexican restaurant and had a glass of water with about 5-10 chips while we waited to order. I settled on the grilled salad with chicken. It’s about the plainest Mexican dish you can order, but I really love the way they cook their chicken. I’m not sure of the exact caloric value, but the salad was made up of iceberg lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, a little shredded white american cheese and chopped stir-fried pieces of chicken. I topped it with a few spoonfuls of salsa and went to town.

Dinner was too boring to document, but I was working late and realized I hadn’t stopped for dinner yet. A full can (2 servings) of Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup (140 cals) and three servings of Saltines (180 cals – I snacked on 5 crackers before the soup was even heated.)

Somewhere in there, I also had a homemade peach smoothie that was somewhere in the ballpark of 125 calories.

All in all, I feel good about today! What about you? What areas in your life are you trying to BALANCE?


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Blee permalink
    June 16, 2009 11:19 am

    Currently, I am trying to balance EVERYTHING!

    Those before and after shots are amazing!! I mean, even your skin looks all glowy now!

    Random question, and I should probably know this, but I’ve thought about keeping a food journal, except when you’re out and about, and you pick up a soup at, say, the office’s cafeteria, how do I find out the calories, sodium, etc.? It’s not posted anywhere, and it’s just out of a pot. I get how you can count saltines and canned, branded soup…but not sure about the rest.

    • Amanda permalink*
      June 16, 2009 11:52 am

      Good question! My short answer: estimate. I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating since I’ve been tracking calories for the better part of a year now. Really, it just takes practice. If you pick up soup at the cafeteria… it’s impossible to know the nutritional info for sure, but try searching for something similar. A lot of places like Schlotzsky’s offer soups in-store AND nutritional info online. That will at least give you a ballpark figure.

      My other suggestion is to break it down. For instance – my grilled chicken salad at Las Palmas. I’m estimating 2 cups of chopped iceberg lettuce (15 cals), 8oz of grilled chicken (~249 cals), 8 slices of radishes (1 cal), 1/4 cup of american cheese (106 cals), 4tbsp salsa (18 cals)… totaling ~390 calories. Being familiar with portion sizes is a huge help in estimating the value of what you eat.

      Check out this website to give you some hints in making sense of portion sizes:

      As for food trackers, hundreds of websites offer them for free online. I use the one on but I’m sure others (like SP) also offer a database of nutritional info for various foods to pull from. I’ve found that really helpful as well.

      Good luck!!

  2. June 16, 2009 11:37 am

    You really have come a long way! You looked lovely before, but now you’re radiant!

    • Amanda permalink*
      June 16, 2009 11:58 am

      Thank you! I still have about 40lbs to go… but I’m over the halfway mark and that is certainly encouraging. Slow and steady wins the race, right? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. June 16, 2009 9:34 pm

    Great write-up leading me to the picture comparison. Congratulations on having such a determination to reach your personal goals.

    • Amanda permalink*
      June 16, 2009 10:49 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement! The support of my family & friends has made all the difference in my success. πŸ˜‰


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