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So yesterday I woke up with a fever and could not get out of bed.

Funny thing is, in the last year or so, I haven’t gotten sick very much. I would bet that of all the things I try to balance every week (my day job, school, blog, DIY, my struggling social life, etc.), it would be a logical assumption to think that I’d get sick more often. If you’ve been thinking that too, I’ve been just as surprised as you.

Up until these last few weeks, I’ve been pretty pleased that I found a form of exercise I really enjoy. And I’m a bit of a habit former; when I find something I like, I don’t usually dabble. I adopt it. I get into it and it becomes my “thing”. Knowing this about myself has been really helpful when I want to form a habit that I know is good for me. But on the flip side, my bad habits are really hard to break.

In these last few weeks, I’ve fallen off the wagon in terms of good habits. One day of letting myself take a break turned into seven, and then in no time, I’m completely neglecting the things I was so proud of myself for accomplishing last year. I haven’t been back into the gym since school has started. And considering that my school program goes on for four hours per class, they take it upon themselves to stock each classroom with tons of vending machine snacks. Sure, some of them are healthier choices, but instead of going for the almonds, I’ve been going for the ones inside the Snickers bar.

In other words, my sudden sick day has sort of smacked me in the forehead like a (shoulda-had-a) V8 commercial. After sleeping off the fever and feeling completely useless for several hours, I’m noticing things. Like the fact that I’ve been far too lax on my soda habit and my stomach feels like it doesn’t belong to me (does anyone else experience this feeling when they’ve gained a little weight?). Or that my sweet tooth has been out of control lately (I’m more likely to grab the salty snacks than the sugary ones, but since the beginning of the semester, I seem to reach for the chocolate). And that’s on top of my normal bad eating patterns – I eat out way, way too often and I rely heavily on frozen food when I’m doing DIY projects (which is um, well, all the time nowadays).

I know myself well enough to know that to stop these bad habits, I need to start strong. “In moderation” only works when I’ve been mastering something for a while. I need to find healthy snacks and meals that are just as quick, easy, and ready-to-eat as the unhealthy alternative. I need to get my ass back into the gym. And to keep me motivated, I need to find a few food blogs that aren’t the equivalent of a know-it-all coworker that just started her diet last week (you know the type, the one who lectures you on the soda can on your desk as she drowns her salad in blue cheese dressing).

So, today is day one, and I’m putting on my running shoes immediately after work. I know it will feel amazing as soon as I start. I guess if it gets me back into the gym, I should be grateful for my little 24-hour bug, huh? Let’s hope this means I’m heading into a very healthy February!


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  1. *fist pump* yeah! Go Sarah! I have been feeling like I'm slacking and need to up the vitamins and good stuff. It's far too easy (and tempting) to stop for something or make a quick meal.

    Let's do this. Although I'm not running with you any time soon. But I will figure out what I will do.

  2. Hey, just found your blog. I am a fellow Atlantan that currently lives over in France so it is nice to have a little taste of home. Hope you feel better, sweat it out!!
    Nikki Fein

    1. Jealous you're over in France right now :) I haven't been in Europe since 2011 and haven't been in France since 2005. Guess I should start planning another trip when I get out of school! Glad you found my site too!

  3. Good luck with getting back on the right track. They say it takes 3 weeks to establish a new habit.

    re. the frozen food thing. When I was working full-time and DIYing in all my free time I used to make an enormous pot of lentil/vegetable soup at the weekend and freeze it in individual portions. It was healthy, easy-to-grab lunch and dinner for the rest of the week and I lost lots of weight.

    I do hope it was just a 24h thing. Take care of yourself.


  4. I know this wasn't necessarily a request for recipes, but do you have a crockpot? It is my savior for busy nights. This is one of my favorite recipes: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/original-taco-soup-crockpot-recipe.html – I leave out the ranch packet and the turkey, so it is literally just dump a bunch of cans, leave it all day, come home to immediate delicious food. Another favorite: some chicken (any kind, up to 3 lbs but I usually do less), one packet taco seasoning, one jar salsa. Cook all day, shred when you get home. Use it for nachos, tacos, burritos.

    Also, tons of people at my job have been sick and miserable — I hope you're feeling better soon =)

    1. Paula, that's an excellent idea. I got a crock pot over a year ago as a gift and I've yet to take it out of the box. Same goes for my food processor. Crock pots are probably a good place to start.

  5. i recently discovered a great “snack” that has helped my cravings & is good as a post-run recharge. Greek yogurt + peanut butter + honey + banana. i make a small cup of of this to nosh on right after a run & it gives me a good pick me up & holds me over until dinner. i believe Apartment Therapy had a posting asking what people eat after exercising & that's where i got it from. it fixes my sweet craving too so i sometimes use it as my 230-3p craving fix.

  6. Try Mongolian beef for the crock pot. http://whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/easy-crockpot-mongolian-beef/ You actually cut everything up, put it in a gallon freezer bag and then just pull it out of the freezer when you're ready for it and throw it in the crockpot and walk away. If that sounds good, there's lots of “freezer crock-pot” meals you can find. I couldn't survive with a 2.5 year old, a full time job that has me working crazy overtime and a husband who doesn't really know how to cook otherwise!

  7. Sarah, I get it!!! I totally understand how a quick lax moment turns into 716 lax moments! I am on a fitness journey myself, and I've been doing a lot to educate myself on nutrition, etc. Feel free to check out my blog at http://www.mykindaperfect.com where i share my adventure — the gym, eating right, and pep talking myself through the process. =) I share a lot of recipes I've tried, or would like to try (and will later share my experience). Good luck! You can definitely do it. Even with everything else on your plate! =)

  8. I would think just running around like you do, being young, and doing home repair work would be enough exercise for you. It is great that you love to run. My suggestion for eating healthy–I went gluten free. A few reasons and interesting results but here is my point. It doesn't leave you much but the good stuff to eat. (OK, I do make killer GF gourmet chocolate chip cookies but…) For lunch, everyday, to make it simple and because I love it, I eat a cheese stick wrapped in Boars Head Honey Maple turkey, about 5 baby carrots and some awesome GF cheddar chips by Food Should Taste Good. This is an easy pack for work for you and I think it would satisfy your needs. Just saw your post on the roomate needed…dorky tees, foul mouth, drinking…thanks for the laugh!

  9. my schedule isnt nearly as full as yours, and i still rely on quick and easy dinners most of the time. i'm a huge fan of my crock pot, (i use it every week) and i've also recently discovered baked fish filets. i buy them frozen at the grocery store then thaw, season, and bake them for 20-25 min at around 425. healthy, delicious, quick, and easy. bonus: roast some asparagus (or other veggies) with olive oil, salt, and garlic on the same pan.

    1. I sometimes use a delivery service that can provide those kinds of things. As soon as my freezer has more room, I may give them a call about that :)

  10. Here's one of my foolproof methods for a quick and easy dinner: any vegetable cut into medium-to-large chunks (to really save time, buy the pre-cut stuff at the grovery store), drizzle with a bit of olive oil, add kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, and roast in the oven for 20-30 mins at 350*. I usually just set me kitchen timer for 20 mins and walk away, if they need more time, I just add it on and walk away again :-) It works great with sweet potatoes, potatoes, broccoli, squash, peppers, etc. Sometimes I slice up some chicken sausage (the packaged stuff is pre-cooked, so it doesn't matter if you mix it in with the veggies) and let them all roast in the same pan, or I'll add a second pan to the oven with a piece of chicken or a pork chop, which will roast in the same amount of time as the veggies. Leftovers reheat really well, too, so there's your lunch for the next day.

  11. I can totally relate! For me it's all-or-nothing for habits. No moderation.

    I LOVE the website http://www.skinnytaste.com for healthy recipes. They're all delicious, healthy, varied, and most of all not “diety”. I highly recommend.

    Hope you feel better and get back to your good habits :-)Good luck!

    1. I've seen that one! I'm looking for a few sites I can depend on, so thanks for the reminder!

  12. I have muffin tops and love handles all around along with jiggly jello thighs and butt… but don't like the atmosphere of a gym.
    So you made me think about running (which I did 7 years ago and was in great shape, and I felt AWESOME! 7 years of not running has gotten me in fat trouble)
    Going to have to start that again. Glad you're feeling better, sometimes our bodies loves to tell us we are working too hard.

  13. Agh I've been in a slump myself. Either I'm running 6 days a week… or eating ice cream 6 days a week. My friend and I have a blog about living healthy in a processed world and how we overcome our daily health struggles (with a healthy dose of strawberry daiquiris and Ben & Jerry's of course!)It's called Strawberries & Tea: http://strawberries-and-tea.blogspot.com/
    Good luck and please share any healthy snick snacks on the go you end up loving!
    – SH

  14. Sarah – Don't know if you do smoothies..if you're able to prep ahead (even a little bit) fruit smoothies in individual freezer bags in the freezer are really easy to grab, make and go. Pinterest also has a ton of ideas and so do the comments from some of your other fans!

    1. I'm definitely considering them. Love green smoothies, I just need to buy a blender!

  15. Sarah,

    THANK YOU for this post! I am coming back from a way-too-long hiatus (like going from running 4+ times a week all summer & fall, to almost nothing between the middle of November and now). :( I've been feeling pretty down about my body and this foreign stomach I've somehow gained.

    I'll be following your tips and tricks and healthy snack suggestions. I'm hoping it only takes a couple weeks to get back into the swing of things!

    Thanks for this blog and hope you continue to feel better :)

    1. Well now apparently I'm sharing food suggestions. Ha. Just kidding, if I find stuff that works, I'll be happy to update you guys along the way!

  16. I'm with ya!! Recently discovered a really helpful website….www.skinnytaste.com….she is awesome at taking foods we crave and making them more healthy! Take a look! Hope this helps and good luck getting your ass back in the gym :0)

  17. Oy. I can totally relate. I haven't been to the gym in a looong time. Assuming I don't have to stay late at work though I should be doing zumba!

    I've started juicing and it's starting to turn into my little habit- I'm like you in the sense that I don't vary in what I do much. It's amazing. My energy is high and constant- so much less up's and down's. And I've cut coffee out of my daily routine which has me feeling better too.

    I've also found if I can find a recipe or two that's super fast and healthy, I'm more likely to cook that three times a week instead of doing the frozen pizza thing. But darn that's so easy too!

    Sometimes if I get home late, I'll either skip dinner or have juice instead. It seems to have made a difference for me and I'm feeling much better [and haven't been sick for a long time]!

    Feel better!!

  18. Good luck on the fitness. I'm on day 35… or 36 or something of my Weight Loss Journey and tomorrow is going to be one of the tougher days because I'm going out with friends and there will probably be some eating out and I'm not sure how I'm gonna keep within my calories for that.

    Anyway, I want to link you to a pin on my Pinterest for a great crock pot chili recipe! My cousin first made this for us when my mom and I went up to visit her in Virginia. She has to eat a low-fiber diet because of her gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) so she eats around the black beans. But this entire recipe fits in my tiny crockpot. Anyway here's the link!


  19. I feel the. same. way. Basically, I'm in a huge slump and my stomach feels weird and I'm exhausted ALL the time, even on my “easy” weeks, schedule-wise. I'm super looking forward to February being a restart month and starting some new healthy habits, even minor ones. I just have to feel better. Applause to you for day one!