“Whether you think you can, or you can’t .. you’re right” ~ Henry Ford
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On a cold winter’s afternoon, I longed to be curled up in alpaca slippers near a fire; ideally with a warm beverage and a book within arm’s reach. Instead, knowing it was best for me, I’d made my way to the gym for our weekly training session. She loaded the bar with weight
“You’ll never guess what I’ve heard from everyone today.”
(I bet we’re starting with squats)
“Can’t. Everyone who’s walked through the door today has told me something they can’t do.”
(Ummm .. so you see, the little weights on the top? I’m sure you meant those instead of .. )
“I can’t eat vegetables. Yes, you can eat vegetables. There are a million different ways to prepare them. I can’t give up coffee. Yes, you can; there are a lot of alternatives. I can’t give up pizza or sweet treats. Yes, you can. I have so many recipes with all of the flavor and none of the junk.”
(oh dear .. hopefully just one or two reps)
“So now I’m on a mission to show them they can!”
(you can do this)
My husband loves taking chilly winter walks, especially on holidays
“But it’s so cold out there,” I rationalize
“Please?” He says; tossing me a pair of socks
(Always glad I said yes)
Little changes in life. I fight them more often than I’d care to admit. Opting instead to start a new puzzle, switch up the playlist, try a new recipe. Anything to stay inside, to shake things up a bit but from the comfort of my alpaca slippers .. please?
Certainly, I’m not like everyone else? The can-do girl is still as gung-ho as ever before? There are no hints of “can’t” floating around in her head, right? Not so much
As I’ve gone about my days, her new-found mission hasn’t been far from my mind. Turns out she’s onto something. Can is hard. Can’t is easier, and I’m telling it to myself more often than I’d care to admit.
For the latest installment of the Live Healthy Iowa 10-week Challenge Series, I thought it might be fun to share how I’ve handled a few of my can’ts these past weeks, and found answers in the question
“So if you can’t do that; what can you do instead?”
I’m going to a restaurant and can’t be in control of my food
“In this moment, what can I choose that will help me with my goals? What questions can I ask the server? What can I order to make this meal the best it can be?”
When we’re at a restaurant, and I’m worried about being in control of my eating; I simply don’t open the menu. Instead, I’ll ask the server if I can have a piece of grilled chicken and a big salad with lots of different veggies.
Life is busy right now, and I can’t do my normal routine
There are so many different ways this one has played out for me over the years. Family is visiting from out-of-town, the kid’s activities are taking up every spare minute, a deadline at work. Seasons with limited time and I wasn’t able to eat meals I knew worked for me
“What’s a minimum routine can I do during this crunch time? One where I’ll be able to maintain my weight and stay healthy.”
I can drink my water every day. I can stop at the grocery and buy some things that will meet my needs. I can walk around the block (or office building) during my lunch break. I can think positive thoughts because I know it will help with stress
We’re invited to a neighbor’s for dinner, and I’m worried about eating well
“In the situation where I feel like the meal is out of my control, what are some things I can do to ensure success?”
A traditional hostess will say “no, no, I’ve got it covered” although the reality is I never know for sure what’s on the menu and if she’ll have enough of what I need (ex: veggies or protein)
In most cases, I’ve stopped asking what I can bring and instead make a huge salad. I’ve discovered if I show up with something beautiful, it will quickly be put on the table. (If I ask ahead of time and she says “no” then I’m in a weird sort of pickle)
Another trick that helps is not to think of the meal as my dinner, simply another snack during the day. I’ll have a very small portion of whatever is being served and eat dinner when we get home
— — —
What about the times we’re injured and can’t work out? Or the holidays are upon us, and we think we can’t lose weight? Or people in your life cause you so much stress and anxiety that it’s triggered dysfunctional eating?
( .. to be continued .. )
My progress report after week 4?
Total minutes of activity this week = 505 and Overall = 2410 (a combination of walking, yoga, resistance class, and weight lifting)
Total pounds lost this week = +1.2 and Overall = 8.2
I took a small step back this week, which I’m handling with grace. I wouldn’t have traded an anniversary lunch with my husband, or picnic along the banks of the Mississippi River with my son and his family .. for anything
— — —
A salad I’ve been bringing to dinner parties as of late. It’s full of flavor, color, and texture.
It lends itself beautifully when there is a mix of vegetarians and meat lovers; allowing everybody to customize their salad (or taco). I especially like grilled chicken marinated fajita style as one of the topping options.
It makes for a festive evening
Note about the dressing: If you’re able, making it a day ahead will allow the flavors to co-mingle
— — —
~ Adapted from iFoodReal
South of the Border Kale Salad
- 4 cups kale, stalks removed, coarsely chopped, and packed
- 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans)
- 1 cup corn (thaw if using frozen)
- 2 large bell peppers (any color), chopped
- 1 ½ large avocado, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp jalapeño peppers, seeded & minced
- Honey-Lime Dressing
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey (sub maple syrup to make this recipe vegan)
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp jalapeño pepper, chopped (use canned for less heat)
- Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over mix and toss again.
- Season with fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.