One “Bad” Meal Won’t Make You Fat, Just Like One “Good” Meal Won’t Make You Skinny

One “Bad” Meal Won’t Make You Fat, Just Like One “Good” Meal Won’t Make You Skinny

I think the title says it all, don’t you think? One “bad” meal won’t make you fat just like one “good” meal won’t make you skinny. Note that I put the “bad” and “good” in quotes, if you don’t get it, check out my blog post from a few days ago about stop moralizing your food choices.

Anyways, I just wanted to give a short reminder to y’all. This week has been a “bad” week for me. In the past two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) I’ve eaten five slices of pizza. In the past two days, I’ve eaten in my school dining hall for 3 times. So the other 3 times, I’ve been eating take out.

Now, in my standards, this is “bad.” I’m the one who advocates for clean, unprocessed foods, but here I am eating junk food. But you know what? What happens, happens. Life is life and some days are out of my control that I need to eat those foods. Those 5 pizzas were all my meals. They weren’t snacks, but a meal replacement because I was so busy I missed my school’s dining hall hours. If I didn’t eat the pizza just so that I could maintain my “good” diet, than I would have been starving myself. And that’s not healthy.

I hope you guys realize that in some context, “healthy” doesn’t mean eating “good” foods all the time. It’s about sometimes stepping down and acknowledging that your meal this one time is going to have to be “unhealthy” because there are no other foods that you can eat. And that’s perfectly fine. Don’t be hard on yourself, because … One “bad” meal won’t make you fat just like one “good” meal won’t make you skinny.

Have a great rest of the week!

What are some of your “naughty” eats this week?

xoxo,

Stephanie

Lately Obsessed #4

Lately Obsessed #4

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I usually edit my blog and Instagram posts on VSCO, but this picture is wholly UNEDITED. Isn’t this beautiful?

ONE // drinking tea

Not only do I love drinking tea as the weather is so cold, tea helps both in calming me as well as rejuvenating me. The hot aromatic taste allows me to take a mental break from my busy school day. At the same time, I drink green tea (black black tea like earl gray for times that call desperate measures) instead of coffee. 

It’s also a great idea to drink tea in order to keep your body warm during the extremely cold temperatures (are any of you guys facing EXTREMELY cold temperatures?!)

TWO// moderate exercise

After being cut from winter track, I vowed that I would do as much work and running as winter track. That I would be fit just like the distance runners in my track team. However, after feeling pain creeping up onto the same place I got my stress fracture from XC, I decided against this extreme plan and turned to exercising for the purpose that I actually started loving it. To do it for stress relief and to find energy and happiness. 

Thus, instead of madly scrambling for the gym / from an outside run back inside to finish my homework, I’ve decided to exercise when my schedule allows for it. Right now, my priority is being a student and maybe there was a reason i got from track. Maybe I was being too obsessive over exercise (that I exercised everyday without fail over summer and thanksgiving break) and that this obsession for exercise, a healthy activity, was turning into an unhealthy one. 

So instead of working out six days a week, for at least over half an hour, with only cardio, I’ve been trying to do 3-4 workouts a week that are relatively short and mix cardio AND strength training. 

Read my blog post about workout plans if you haven’t already – I’ve been sticking to this regime, but the moderate version. 

THREE // meditation

I don’t necessarily meditate, but after our church’s youth group went on a retreat this winter break, I’ve been trying to do quiet time (dubbed QT) for 3-4 mornings every week. 

I’ve done it for one week now back in school (whereas back at home over winter break I had did it after I slept in and had my breakfast/lunch). I’ve set my alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual for QT. I go downstairs to the common room, plug my earphones to my Mac and listen to some Christian pop music and journal my thoughts and notes and I read the Bible. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but having this sort of routine has helped me so much. It has helped me become more calm and relaxed before I start my hectic day. It has helped me to complain less and be grateful for a day full of opportunities. It has helped me become a more selfless person and find areas where I can improve as a student, friend, daughter and human being. I really encourage y’all to try mediating this year. Even just for five minutes. 

What are you guys obsessed with this week?

Xoxo,

Stephanie

P.S.: Check out my other Lately Obsessed posts here, here, and here.

What does “moderation” mean anyway?

What does “moderation” mean anyway?

While some go completely cold turkey for their eating regime, as someone who has restricted themselves with eating 1,200 calories a day and then eventually yo-yo dieting, I personally think that moderation is key.

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While sometimes it might be eating this….

I know this produces frustration from some of you guys as you (and myself included) want a definitive answer of how to stay healthy and slim. Eating in moderation is open to so much interpretation, however, I think the message is clear — it means you have the freedom to sometimes eat a salad, or sometimes eat a burger, sometimes go on a 8-mile long run, or sometimes not even workout at all. It’s with being flexible with your eating options.

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… it also means eating this too!

For example, this past Friday, I had a mandatory meeting for one of the councils I’m in for school. The meeting started at 12:30 and my science lab ended at 12:25. The council provided pizza and while in the past, my uptight self would have been anxious and frustrated that I would not have time to stop by the dining hall and get a “healthy” salad, I opted to eating two slices of pizza. The same council, had a mandatory meeting on Saturday night at 5:30 when my dining hall opened at 5:30. So dinner on that Saturday night was just a lot of snacking. But you know what? I need to be okay with that. Trying to live your life where each meal has to be perfect in portions and quality is impossible. And even if you achieve this, You. Will. Be. Miserable. Trust me, I’ve been there.

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Is turning down Starbucks w/ friends worth it? I think not.

While it is vital that we nourish our bodies, we at the same time, need to nourish our souls. We need to be both physically and emotionally healthy. And I know this easier said than done. I can rant all about this, but in reality, I have times where I am tested.

 

So both you and me will be taking this challenge. We will be eating in moderation. No more rules. No more “carbless meal,” no “not eating past 7pm,” no “not eating any refined/processed foods,” just simply: eat in moderation. It’s actually a lot simpler than it is. You would think that if you were given the complete freedom, you would just eat junk food all the time. But if you’ve come from a standpoint where all you’ve been eating is healthy food, you actually start craving food that’s healthy. I personally can’t go very long with pizza and junk food. My mouth salivates for a nice and light salad. So trust yourself.

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Trust yourself enough that you won’t crave an ice cream every day.

Also, in addition to moderation of food quality is important, PORTION moderation is important. My dad and I were talking about this (as he is a complete health and fitness freak now — and also: Happy Birthday, Dad!), but you can gain weight from eating just healthy foods. Healthy or not, all foods have calories.

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Watch your portions too! All foods have calories!

This motto also applies to burning calories, too. I am a Type-A so I can get carried away with anything – such as fitness. I ran every morning at 6:30am and did core everyday. Even when my body was screaming that I sleep more or take an easy running day. And guess what? I learned my lesson as currently I have a stress fracture on my foot so I can’t do anything for two weeks and probably can’t run for 6 weeks.

 

So all in all, remember, moderation is key. Not beat yourself on those “bad” “junk food” eating days. We are all humans. We need to have life. We need to nourish ourselves but enjoy ourselves. Remember: a sustainable and healthy lifestyle is the best.

 

What is your motto for nutrition and fitness?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

How to Avoid the Freshmen 15

How to Avoid the Freshmen 15

Staying healthy in college is a major concern for those heading to college. While the Freshmen 15 may be a haunting threat to many, there are easy changes you can implement into your routine or tips you can keep in mind that might keep those extra 15 (or even more) pounds off.

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Now, I do want to preface that while weight gain is mainly considered as a bad and unhealthy thing, many might be surprised that people care a lot more about who you are and what qualities/characteristics you possess than how you look. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mindset of looking a certain body type and size, but guess what? Nobody cares as much as you.

Think of these tips and changes as long term, lifestyle changes for a healthier version of yourself rather than quick-fixes so you hit a certain number on the scale.

Just before I start, I do want to say, even though I am the one writing this post, I did gain about 30 lbs. my freshmen year of boarding school. I left the summer before freshman year with an eating disorder and a drastic 20 lbs. weight loss that happened because of my vulnerable 13-year self. However, I do attribute a lot to the buffet style dining hall, the wide availability of food (especially the bad ones), peer pressure, and stress eating. So don’t worry, I’ve been there too.

 

Once you sit down, stay down // This is one the hardest things for me to keep. It’s so easy in a buffet style dining hall to keep on going for seconds, thirds, and fourths. However, 99.99% of the time I stand up to get seconds, my stomach already feels full but my mind who denies it wins. So stick with your single serving. I think the most helpful tip for this tip is to eat slowly and really savor each bite in that single serving.

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Dampen the size, up the frequency // In the beginning of my freshmen year when I realized that the dining hall wasn’t open 24/7 (unlike the convenience of your pantry at home), I suddenly ate three very big meals because I knew I wouldn’t be getting in another snack/meal until the dining hall opened. This was such an amateur trick – instead of expanding your stomach, eat in moderate portions but eat whenever you’re hungry. This means that you’re going to have to keep healthy snacks at hand so even if the dining hall isn’t open, you’ll still have access to food. My favorites are apples, plums, bananas from the dining hall (just pick them up as you leave) or KIND bars and granola that I buy at Costco before coming to school.

 

Be picky //  I know when we were young, our parents told us to NOT be picky eaters, but here I am telling you to be. I mean picky in a sense of picking when to have your indulgences. Life is too short and precious to not eat those processed and fatty indulgences – so “schedule” when you’re going to have your indulgences and have them then and only then.

In a similar fashion, everyday at the dining hall, be picky about what choices you are making. That chicken breast look funny? Then don’t get it. The potatoes looking too oily? Don’t get it. We all know what’s good and bad for us, it’s just the matter of carrying out our inner-thoughts.

 

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Find a buddy // Everything is better with a friend….

This is so so true. Bring a buddy with you to the gym on campus or find a class nearby. Maybe it’s my Type-A personality, but whenever I have someone working out to me, I push myself to be better – to be better than them. But best of all, having a buddy helps to keep you accountable. Not only for working out, but eating habits. Serena is definitely my eating “mom” – she’s always with me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and tells me whether I can or cannot get a bowl of yogurt (#yogurtlover).

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MOVE // Just move!!! There’s something about endorphins and breaking a sweat that makes you feel so productive and energized. My personal favorite is running – I love going on runs after a long day of classes as a stress reliever. I know that not everybody loves running, so just do whatever makes you happy and active. Walk, dance, do yoga, play tennis, just anything that makes your heart pump.

 

Don’t be obsessive – life is too short // While all these tips are great to keep those 15 pounds off, don’t make these tips restrict you from having late night pizza or dessert with friends! Remember, everything in moderation!

 

What are your tips for keeping your weight in check?

xoxo,

Stephanie

I ate, I ate some more, and I still love myself

I ate, I ate some more, and I still love myself

 

 

The title of this post is a twist around Julius Caesar’s famous quote “I came, I saw, I conquered.” It’s about forgiving yourself after you eat a lot. I don’t want to call this binge-eating because binge-eating can be a lot more serious than over-eating. This past Saturday, I had an away crew regatta at Delaware. First, this means I don’t have my handy and trusty dining center (I go to a boarding school, so I eat all three meals at school but I never thought I would ever say that my school dining center was trusty, but in extreme situations like this Saturday, they can be quite relished and appreciated).

I had my usual breakfast at school (luckily) of yogurt with granola and nuts on top and sauteed spinach. However, everything goes downhill from here.

First, I ate a clementine before getting on the bus at 9:45am because I thought I was hungry because I ran from my first class to the bus. Bad thought there. Thinking I deserve to be hungry…

Next, I ate a pre-made box lunch turkey sandwich – with loads of deli turkey (= lots of sodium), cheese and white bread. I ate this at around 10:45am as my lunch because my race started at 1:15pm and I “calculated” that the protein in my turkey needed enough time to digest. In other words, I got too bored on the bus and decided I needed to eat despite not feeling hungry.


After the race, which was 500m shorter than varsity since I’m novice, I decided that I needed to refuel. Now the race wasn’t that bad and was definitely less physically demanding than any of the track races, but because I knew crew was deemed as a “physically demanding sport that burns tons of calories,” I digged into the snacks the parents brought. Here’s the list: One HUGE banana, one Clif bar, half a bagel (now this was my first time eating a bagel in months – I thought I deserved this thing of dense white flour because I rowed too hard), 5 cookies (again, another first since months – this was more out of a craving, just kind of bummed out that I ate my first cookie since last year as a Chips Ahoy cookie and not a homemade one), plus another banana and a whole bowl of pineapple. I know … in a less than 8 minute race that I partook, I ate that much. It also didn’t help that the day was super chilly so I wanted to eat even more.

After all that snack shazam, we went to one of the varsity boy’s house for dinner. And I ate okay, except I ate a brownie, my first in years, for dessert.

But with all this being said, guess what? I just worked out today and I feel perfectly in shape. My clothes still fit me the same. I ate just as much as I would have on any regular day. No, I did not eat less on Sunday because I ate more the day before so I can “balance” my calories out. Nope, I just moved on. I didn’t dwell on my lack of self-control, I just told myself that Saturday was my “treat yo self” day and I gave myself the trust that I can go back on track the very next day, which I did. I told myself that it’s the consistency that counts and one day isn’t going to ruin me.

So to all of you out there who are perfectionists when it comes to eating, just chill. My mom  is the perfect example of this mentality that I’m talking about. She exercises an hour everyday, but she does it because she enjoys it. And the exercise I’m talking about is simply walking briskly on the treadmill for an hour while watching her favorite TV show. She eats pretty balanced meals, but when she wants dessert, she’ll get it, if she’s at a dinner party and there’s heaps of food, she’ll treat herself. The only way she shows her regret is this, “Oops, I ate too much.” That’s it. And she moves right on.

So for those who eat for perfection, I want you to know that sometimes you have to eat for pleasure. It’s okay if you eat that cake, it’s okay if you eat something despite knowing that it’s “bad” for you. In fact, I think it’s emotionally bad for you to eat something with guilt. Remember, everything in moderation.

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So you overate for one meal, one day, one week, or more? It’s okay, I did that too. I ate, I ate some more, but guess what? I still love myself.

Do you have any tips for getting back on track after a “cheat” meal?

xoxo,

Stephanie