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Hi lovelies! I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday and are looking forward to a great weekend!
Today I wanted to talk about something that I’ve been very focused on lately… HEALTH. Back when I was in college, I was always super focused on exercising and having a set workout routine. I truly loved exercising and I found it to be rather therapeutic for me. If I was stressed, upset, had a bad day, or honestly just wanted to get out of the house, I would go running or head to the gym to get a workout in. However, I was never really great at leading a “healthy lifestyle.” I would go on binges where I ate cake for literally every meal for a week, only to turn around the next week and count calories, eat salad, and drink spinach smoothies to make up for it. I could never find that happy-medium between working out and eating healthy, so although I worked out daily and was comfortable in an exercise routine, I never really felt like I was leading a healthy lifestyle.
A couple years later, when I went to California to attend Pepperdine University for grad school, I was surrounded with a society of people who were constantly eating healthy and working out. I did my best to eat healthy while I was living there (aside from the occasional midnight ice-cream run!) but given that I was always so busy with school, work, driving back and forth between my place and visiting Jordan (we lived about an hour and a half away from each other there) I didn’t have a whole lot of time to workout and eventually found myself falling into a habit where I would workout maybe once a week, if that.
After I came back from California and settled in Houston with my job, I really fell into a series of bad habits with my health habits. I started my job, where I worked 7-5 everyday and on the weekends, Jordan and I were visiting each other and focusing on spending time together and our relationship. Admittedly, I had never really learned to cook anything when I was growing up (I blame living next door to my grandparents, who cooked homemade meals nearly every evening for us!) so when I truly got out on my own (no college, no dining hall, no meal plan) I didn’t really have any recipes or cooking habits to live off. I would normally try to cook chicken breasts 1-2 nights per week, but honestly, by the time I got home from work after working a 10-hour day and being in Houston traffic both in the morning and evening, I didn’t really want to cook.
And thus the era of Carrington frequenting Taco Bell began.
My first year living and working in Houston, I mostly lived off of Taco Bell, frozen chicken nuggets, and pizza rolls. I went probably a 3-month span without working out and honestly just didn’t feel good about myself anymore. I was always tired, had ZERO energy 99% of the time, and would get winded even just walking up the stairs to my apartment (although I am on the 3rd floor and my apartment has no elevator, so hey that one probably wasn’t all my fault).
This past summer, I decided to start budgeting better so I could really focus on building my savings. I downloaded an app called Clarity, which breaks down where and on what you spend money each month. My biggest category was food and groceries (of course), but I was appalled at how much I was actually spending on eating out on fast food each month.
In the span of ONE MONTH, I had spent $280 on TACO BELL alone.
*pause for reaction*
This didn’t include the other fast food places I frequented or the money I was spending on groceries to sit in my fridge and rot (anyone remember that meme about spending money on TBell while your groceries rot in your fridge?? Literally me.)
So I decided I needed to start eating in more and learning to cook, not only for the sake of saving money, but also because I figured it would be the first step in the right direction to eating healthier.
It was definitely difficult at first, but I was really determined to change the way I was living. I had dieted in the past, but I wanted this time to be different; I didn’t want to diet this time. I wanted to learn to live healthier, not just diet for a few weeks and then go back to eating like I did before.
Now, I know I won’t ever be able to completely cut out sweets or never eat fast food again; I won’t be working out for two hours at the gym every single day of the week or running 3 miles every time I go like I used to. Those plans might work for some people, but I’ve learned that they just don’t work for me.
Instead, I’ve been working on learning how to live life with balance when it comes to my diet and exercise habits. I’ve been challenging myself to get in a workout routine that’s doable for me and makes sense with my work schedule. I’m also teaching myself to strive to eat healthier without starving myself and without denying myself sweets and cheat meals. I now limit how many times I go out to each each week (Jordan has helped a lot with this since he loves to help me cook when I’m too tired some evenings!), which has not only helped with my health, but also with my budgeting! J and I workout together most days during the week, but take the weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) off to relax and rest.
I definitely think I have a long way to go since I’ve lived for a long time without having set any health goals for myself, but I’m excited for the journey and enjoy learning about what works best for me and putting it to the test. I’ve officially ditched dieting for good and I’m happy to say I’m looking ahead to living a healthy and balanced life.
Thanks for reading as always lovelies, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Xx.