New Protein Yums! Brand review: MyProtein

Long story short:  There’s a new protein source in town. It’s called MyProtein. And it is good. If all you need is a thumbs up or thumbs down, then THUMBS UP, I say.  Their shop is here.  And right now you can get 20% off of all protein powders with code POWDER. You’re welcome! MyProtein.com

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Here’s my review:

I have a new baby. I don’t have time. And I’m tired. So my way of getting protein lately (other than a steady stream of grocery store rotisserie chickens) has been eating box after box of protein bars. But I can’t be trusted around those things. A box might last me a week. Or I might take down six bars in a sitting BECAUSE THEY’RE CANDY.

So the other day, while my brain and my finger were fighting over whether or not I should push the “Buy another box of protein bars with 1 click” button on Amazon Prime (on my phone, while feeding the kid), a miracle happened!

Someone from MyProtein contacted me and asked if I’d do a review if they sent me some food stuffs to put in my face. Um. HELL YES I’ll do a review! Perfect timing, psychic angel person from MyProtein! Boom.

Here we go:

MyProtein is a new company, they’re from the UK and distributed in the US from Aurora, Illinois. Of Wayne’s World fame. And a half hour from where I live. (Yay, quick shipping!)

They make protein powders and shakes and supplements and even some gear. The protein products are all low-carb, sugar-free, etc. They also make jerky and peanut butter and snacks, so it’s kind of a no-brainer one stop-shop for quick protein stuff. And I’ve just about reached the maximum number of rotisserie chickens one person should consume in a lifetime, so, YES YES PERFECT THANK YOU! Quick protein!

They sent me some shakes (delicious), some peanut butter (perfect), some jerky (gone in 60 seconds), and some Omega 3 (haven’t touched it yet because I’m still taking plenty of for-the-baby vitamins).

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First of all, points for clean design. A lot of protein/ supplement brands look like a ‘roided up fire monster mated with NASCAR (aka: MMA) or they’re so girlie they look like they belong in the barbie shampoo section. MyProtein products look like they don’t think you’re an idiot. So thanks for that.

Here’s what I got and what I thought:

MyProtein Beef Jerky (original flavor):

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This is the first thing I opened. And by that I mean I ate it immediately after opening my box of goodies from them, because jerky.  It was tasty, not too sweet, and  fresh.

I also got single packet samples of flavored whey protein powder

Strawberry: Yum. Tastes like Strawberry Quick.

Cookies and Cream: A little more “cream” than cookie. Think of it as Double Stuf Oreo flavor.

Salted Caramel: Brilliant idea!!! Tastes like Kraft Caramels. The cubes with the cellophane wrappers from childhood? You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s not super sea-salty. But I’d just add salt to my smoothie to get it there. Yum.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: also tasty. Not fake-y.

But the part I was most pleasantly surprised with? The shaker. Seriously.

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I hate shakers. They’re awkward to drink out of and they’re big and cluttery. But this one has a spout and it is easy to drink out of. This one I will not throw away. They seem to know what they’re doing, these MyProtein people.

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And then, their Peanut Butter. Guess what’s in it? Peanuts.  That’s it. No sugar. No salt. No extra oils. No weird things to keep it at an unnatural consistency. Just a big jug of QUICK PROTEIN STRAIGHT FROM THE EARTH! Usually I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because I’ll eat half a jar in a day. Or an afternoon. But this stuff, because it’s not sweet or salty, you eat what you actually need, and then you’re like, “OK. I’m good.” And you get on with your life. Also, it doesn’t separate much. So, bonus.

They also have this cool thing where you can get plain whey protein, but then buy flavor drops instead of having a huge jug of one flavor. Great idea, right?   10966230-1094305484410114

Overall: I’m impressed. I like the stuff.  And I’m ordering more.

MyProtein. Check em out: MyProtein.com

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Dressing the Fit Bump

WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT BEING PREGNANT, WORKING OUT, AND WHAT TO WEAR

1. Shopping stops being fun.

So, shopping for workout wear is massively less fun when you’re pregnant. There’s no such thing as “man this top makes me feel sleek and powerful.” It’s just “man, I look like a hippo.”

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Couldn’t even zip the damn jacket.

 

2. You’re tired as shit.

Working out when you’re pregnant is massively less fun, also. First trimester I barely did anything because I was so fatigued. I mean, a walk around the block was a win. I’m not kidding. Also, your blood volume increases, which makes you feel instantly like you’ve lost all of your cardiovascular fitness. So while you can still wear your workout clothes, you can’t workout and feel like the laziest piece of shit on earth. Or at least I did.

3. Even if you want to run the whole pregnancy, you might not be able to.

Second trimester, I got my energy back, but my appetite grew. So I’ve just been growing in every way. Working out…eh. I can’t run because it feels like my bladder is going to fall out, and I’m generally pretty lazy. I walk. I’ll do a little Dailey Method. A little lifting. A few 21 day fix videos. Also, I went to spin twice, figuring “hey, no impact, perfect.” One class was fine. But another class, we did a lot of really fast pedaling, which was basically me bouncing (slamming) up and down really fast on a bike seat for an hour. Pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, workout commitment and consistency?…Not even close. Granted, I work from home, so I struggle with structure and routine. You may not be such a worthless slacker.

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This is me after spin.

4. Even though you don’t want to shop, you have to.

As far as workout wear goes: 1st trimester I just bought larger sizes of pants I liked. My Athleta Chaturanga leggings were king. They’re really soft and stretchy, not a compression pant. I also rocked a pair of seamless champion tights that I just bought huge. I didn’t feel comfortable bouncing a ton, so it didn’t matter if they weren’t tight enough to really stay up.

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Athleta Chaturangas.

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Champion seamless yoga capris.

 

 

5. At some point you WILL have to buy maternity pants. And it will change your life. 

So you might think you can save yourself some money buy just buying larger workout pants, that you’ll still need later as you’re coming back down from preggo size. Yeah. You need those. But at some point, that belly is going to grow. And even though pants fit in the butt and legs, they just get more and more uncomfortable on your gut. I went on a road trip in regular jeans before I could bring myself to buy maternity. It was a mistake. I had to lie back with the car seat reclined, pants undone Al Bundy-style, whining the whole time about how I couldn’t breathe. Don’t be vain and stupid like me. Be comfortable and get on with your life.

6. Start with under the belly.

At first you’ll want under-the-belly stuff. These basically have a big elastic waist band and slope down at the front. Very comfortable. I have some jeans and leggings. And I tried the Maternity Straight Up Pant, and Maternity Metro Legging from Athleta. The Straight Up is called that because they’re closer to a straight leg than a bell-bottom yoga style. I didn’t like them because they were tight and compression-y. The Metro Legging is a legging with seams and pockets so it’s styled like a jean. I like them because they’re slightly more pant-like than leggings, but they do tend to slide down when I’m walking.

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Athleta Maternity Straight Up

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Athleta Maternity Metro

 

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Athleta Maternity Metro.

As far as “public pants” go, I found that the J.Crew maternity minnie pants were actually LOWER rise than the regular ones. No bueno. The Old Navy fake Minnie pants (pixie) maternity are a fine substitute. And for anything in the “black stretchy pant” category,Target is fine. I have some Gap and Old Navy maternity jeans. Also fine. You could spend more, but really, you just keep on changing sizes so why? Oh, and Free People is pretty great for big flowy but still edgy-ish tops. I just wear tanks, big cardigans, big flowy tops, and the occasional blazer. I am not a dress person. I am not a baby-doll top person. They look like sad potato sacks and I just won’t go there.

7. Transition to fold over/ full belly. 

Of course I couldn’t be without my Old Navy Yoga Pants, so I ordered those a size bigger, and then quickly realized that that was pointless and ordered the maternity ones. They have a full belly panel. Which I folded over because my gut didn’t quite fill it up yet. (Now it does.) Same thing with full-belly panel jeans. You’ll want to transition, or at least I did, because while I can technically wear the under the belly stuff, my belly looks more like rolls of beer gut when I sit down and it falls over the band. With a full panel, you get a smooth line. And you can fold it to give yourself a “belly band” effect. I might try a belly band with the low panel pants to see if that works too.

As far as full-on, full-panel maternity workout pants go, I have the Chaturanga (great), some Old Navy capris (fine, but not nearly as stretchy and comfy, compression = not fun), and the Old Navy Yoga Pants. Which everyone knows you don’t work out in, (butt sweat), you just wear around the house because you don’t want to wear real pants ever. Speaking of, those fold-over “yoga leggings” that the kids wear as pants (shudder) are SUPER COMFORTABLE for pregnant times. That fold over flap just becomes a belly panel. Thanks, Target! (and no, I do not mean PINK pants. PINK is for little sluts, littler wannabe sluts and old clueless wannabes. You know better. Don’t do it.)

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Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.11.43 AM Athleta Full-panel Chaturanga with the fold over trick.

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Old Navy Maternity Compression Capris

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Fold over “yoga” (yeah right) leggings from Target.

 

7. Tops are depressing.

You can totally hide for a while. I just layered tanks and high-low tops and it was totally fine for the first bit. I have been able to wear regular tank tops so far. (I am a pear, though. Apples, maybe not. We get what we get.) But I’m at 26 weeks now, and I don’t think I can really wear my regular ribbed tanks anymore.  I have a stash of maternity tanks (rouched sides, extra material) ready to go. You’d think you’d want to wear baggy tops, but with me it’s kind of the opposite. Because my beloved tunics don’t flow and hide. Now they kind of almost…fit. It’s not a fun feeling.

I bought one new top at LuluLemon  (black friday weekend clearance). The Run Times Tank. They don’t have it on the site anymore. It’s another bra and breezy over-tank kind of a top, but the over-tank has a little more coverage, the bra has wider straps, and a higher neckline, and the bottom of the bra extends down further so only a teeny little bit of rib skin shows. I look like a marshmallow in it. It bums me out. But it will be a cute feminine thing for after baby. Oh, and special fun note on that top in particular: I posted a picture of me in it on instagram, and some really charming fellow who has an instagram account that posts only pictures of women with bubble butts (in thongs, and yoga pants and volleyball shorts) said, and I quote: “hahaha absolutely disgusting. :)” How did he know how I felt? He must be a real empath. Some lucky girl is going to get to marry him. Or some sex doll with a bubble butt will get to marry him. Because apparently that’s all women’s bodies are to him. Parts. Yay internet!

So anyway, to me, tighter tops are less depressing because at least you’re not adding more volume up there. And for your budget, that’s good. Because you only need a few tank tops. And the Breathe tank from Athleta is great.

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Athleta Breathe Tank

 

Speaking of breathing…good luck with that because…

8. You can’t breathe so good. 

My out of breath-ness comes and goes. But blood volume + baby taking up more and more of your body cavity = less lung capacity. It doesn’t feel that way all the time. But…it’s only going to keep getting more crowded in there.

9. Your baby squishes your stomach. So full is REALLY FULL.

And yet, I keep on eating more than I need to, every single time I eat. What’s up with that? Oh yeah, I’m an idiot with a compulsive eating problem. And hormones. Good times.

10. Your boobs get HUGE. And they hurt. Like. Hell. But not all the time.

I never wanted big boobs. My boobs were fine. Neither here nor there. Never bothered me. Now, they’re big, and it has taken some getting used to. I won’t even go from bed to the bathroom without some support. I basically live in bralettes now. My jog bras don’t fit. I bought bigger ones, but they’re still pretty damn uncomfortable. I can’t do bouncy jumpy run-y things anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t need sport-level support. I bought bra band extenders for my real bras. Which kind of work. But I broke down and bought some real bras in the right size yesterday at soma. Yeah. the kind that pretty much have fabric up to your neck and stick out ABOVE your tank top neck lines? Those. Real woman bras. Not very exciting. But the holidays are coming and I will have to go out in public more often. So. Support is probably a good thing to have.

11. You can’t work out for more than 5 minutes because you have to pee every 3 minutes.

Seriously. I mean, I pee more than a puppy when I’m not pregnant. Pregnant, I pee more than I thought was humanly possible. I can’t take a walk that’s longer than 20 minutes, because, no way. And now my dog is getting fat. Even when I walk on the treadmill at home, I have to hop off every five minutes. I’m not joking. It’s ridiculous. I took a “fit 4 baby” fitness class…had to pee before, during, and after. In second trimester came the “double pee.” I’d go upstairs, walk down half a flight of stairs, and have to turn back around and go again. And now that I’m almost in third trimester, the triple pee has started. I will, I shit you not, I sweat to fucking whatever, have to pee three times in five minutes. So yeah, that’s another reason why workouts are tough. You either have to pee, or are stopping to pee. Jumping Jacks? Not gonna happen. I peed twice while trying to write this paragraph.

I could go on about all the other things I’ve learned, but there’s an entire universe of mommy bloggers for that shit. I’ll just keep it to the workout clothes and fitness stuff.

Here are some of my pregnant WorkOutFits: And yes, I had pink hair for a bit. It was leftover from Halloween.

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Athleta breathe top and maternity Chaturanga leggings.  23 weeks.

 

 

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Lululemon Run Times Tank, Old Navy Yoga pants, 25 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheating Myth

So here’s a lesson I keep on not learning: THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS CHEATING. As in, YOU NEVER, EVER GET AWAY WITH IT. Maybe if I write it out, it will start to sink in. Or at least help you. Here’s what I’m trying to tell myself:

1. Cheat days don’t work.

2. Cheat meals lead to binge weeks.

3. Cutting carbs doesn’t mean you can chow down on cheese and sausage and eat steaks the size of your face. Trust me. I have tested this theory quite thoroughly. I have eaten many face-steaks.

4. Starting to eat right tomorrow doesn’t mean you should eat way wrong tonight. Because how many times have you done that? All of the times. That’s how many.

5. Unless it’s a whole food, “low carb” just means “highly fake.”

6.  “impact carbs” =  “intestinal cramps”

7. Protein bars? They’re just candy bars that don’t taste as good. They’re full of weird stuff. They’re not satisfying. And they’ll make you fat anyway. And you’ll still be hungry.

11. Atkins bars and snacks? You are literally paying someone $8 to make you bloated and cause you pain. Great service! Sign me up! Here’s my money! See you in four days for some more!

12. Sugar Free Candy? It won’t make you hyper or give you a headache like real candy, but it will fill your intestines with a holy terror that will take away the next twelve hours of your life. And the life of anyone in the same building.

13. A serving is not one bag or one box.

14. Calories count. They do not disappear into thin air because they are low carb or low sugar. A bar is a bar. Candy is candy. Overeating is overeating, no matter what the ingredients.

15. And unfortunately, it still counts if you eat it in the car.

I have been spending more time cheating than not lately. And it sucks. I’m an idiot. Don’t do it! I feel terrible. All I want is for this shit to be out of my system and to go back in time and eat whole foods instead of lying to myself for the past month. I am wearing my mistakes. These lies don’t fit into my pants. Wah wah.

Whole 30…here I come…Tomorrow…Probably.

 

 

Hey this exists: Tony Horton Kitchen

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I just learned from Twitter that Tony Horton has a food delivery service. It’s called Tony Horton Kitchen. And if you’re in LA, some of the food is actually at 7-11. What???? Luckies.

http://www.tonyhortonkitchen.com/

If you’re wondering, yes, I have tried a food delivery service. I don’t remember which one, it was a while back. It was good food but it didn’t work for me. I basically took all the little pieces of cheese and chocolate you were allowed throughout the week and ate all of those first, and at once. I’m for shit at following food plans. And diets. And portions. And anything that puts discipline and food in the same room. BUT HEY, if you’re not a complete animal like me, go for it. Looks like good stuff. Like flexitarian options with wild-caught salmon and grass-fed buffalo.

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Eating is fun.

Two things have made my produce and protein lifestyle infinitely more fun this week: QUEST BARS! SHIRATAKI NOODLES!

Dude. I was at ye olde Vitamin Shoppe the other day contemplating protein pudding, and happened upon Quest Bars. I tried a cookie dough and a cookies and cream. And they are the shit. I love me some cookie dough. I am capable of eating half a tube, easy. But obviously that’s not a constructive activity. This Quest Bar was very cookie dough-like and delicious. Screw you Atkins bars. Screw you Pure Protein. I know I shouldn’t be eating any of these science experiments, but when I need some “junk” food, I am absolutely Quest Bar for life now.

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Speaking of needing to eat something that reminds me of real food…remember noodles? You know, those starchy carb bombs you used to eat when you thought vegetarian pasta entree was the good weight loss choice? Well they’re motherfucking back on the table. Shiritaki noodles are these pretend, made from nothing, quazi-noodles that take zero seconds to prepare and you can stuff in your face like real pasta without the bloated, jangly, insulin disaster after. And they’re in your grocery store right now. I promise. Look above the tofu. Nasoya Pasta Zero. Put it in your face. pasta-zero-all-natural-shirataki-spaghetti-noodles_0

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Why I don’t miss sugar or wheat. And why you can’t be annoyed by that.

In the past, if you told me “I just don’t eat sweets” I would hear “I’m a pretentious liar who can’t deal with the fact that I’m on a diet.”

Today, I would say “Really? Me too? Why? Do they make you sick?” and I’d talk to you for a half hour about inflammation and the politics of the food industry and stuff.

Today is the 100th day I have been off sugar. And of those 100 days, I only had bread once. It was inspired by the lady who documented her 100 days at the gym and Whole30. I had bigger plans, but my “Whole100” devolved into just 100 days w/o sugar and wheat. I don’t care. Progress is progress and 100 days is game changer. A change has been made.

Sugar and wheat/bread/flour/whatevers make my whole body ache like I have the flu. After dinner EVERY DAY I would curl up and whine. Sometimes I’d take a bath to feel better. Like, multiple times a week. I have no idea why I accepted that existing meant feeling like crap for so long. I didn’t even think about it. I’m sure there are other things I’m doing to myself now that make me feel like crap that I should work on next. But my point is this: you can read all the books on sugar and wheat (I have) but until you have a powerful, meaningful reason to not eat them, they’re literally addictive drug-like things and they will make their way into your face. Once I realized that I felt like shit all the time, and it was their fault, making them go away was psychologically effortless.

Physically, there was a bit of effort. Yes, I went through the carb flu. And I felt like the walking dead. And no I haven’t lost any weight despite not eating most carbs. (excuse me while I go have an IT’S NOT FAIR!!! hissy fit…) But now that I’ve kicked the habit, I just don’t want to go back to eating that shit that makes me feel like shit. Also, I don’t want to have to start at square one with the carb flu. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

People can talk about positive motivation all they want. You can say you’re working out “to be healthy” and I will still translate that statement in my head to “I’m working out to be thinner.” Sure they’re the same thing. But don’t bullshit me. “Healthy” and “Clean” and “Strong” are not concepts that motivate.

Negative motivation is more powerful. It’s real. It embraces what really matters to you, and that, my friend is what WILL GET YOU THERE.

So lets be a little more honest, OK?

I don’t eat non-produce carbs because they make me feel like shit.

I’m working out because I don’t want my body to look and feel like it does. I don’t want to be self-conscious, and hate getting dressed, and have a nervous breakdown when someone invites me to the beach. Basically, I don’t want to feel like shit.

Those thoughts get me moving. I am literally running away from the negative. “Better cardiovascular fitness” does not get me to put on a jog bra.

Why are you doing P90X? Because you don’t want to keep on taking “before” pictures.

Why are you running a marathon? Because you have something to prove.

Why are you going to boot camp? Because you can’t push yourself hard enough on your own.

Why are you lifting weights? Because at some point someone made you feel weak. (Who can’t say that?) And you need to feel like you can kick someone’s ass.            Or you’re going bald.

Why do I go to Dailey Method classes? Because my butt is sagging lower by the day and will soon reach my knees. And the only way I’m going to workout hard enough to change that, is by paying so much for class that I’ll feel like shit if I half-ass it. (I have the Dailey Method DVDs, but they lack this feature.)

So if someone is honest enough to say “I’m going to spin because I feel fat” do them a favor. Don’t say “You’re not fat.” Say “That’s awesome. Do you like it?”

We’re all doing what we’re doing because in one way or another we don’t want to feel like shit. We’re motivated by the negative. And that’s a very positive thing.

 

Wining About Off Weeks.

 

red wine and grapes

Hello, lover.

I love wine. It tastes good. It’s relaxing. It’s pretty. It’s like consuming sunshine. I lived in San Francisco for almost ten years and I am all about California old style zinfandels. I love the whole “having a glass of wine” thing. And my favorite smell on earth is the barrel cellar in a vineyard. Liquor hits too hard and isn’t as delicious. Beer is totally fun but is pretty much like drinking bread so it’s kind of out. Wine is king.

So I’ve been doing my own quazi version of The Whole 30 for the last 80ish days. I called it the 100 Days of Healthy. No sweeteners, grains, soda, sugar, packaged food, beans, alcohol. It morphed to include soda, sweeteners and “cleaner” alcohols: tequila and vodka occasionally. Basically because if I didn’t give myself those, I was going to go off the rails and it was worth the compromise to keep moving forward. But I’ve stayed off of grains, sugar and beans completely for over 80 days. I literally do not want to eat grains or sugar at all. No need. So that’s really a great GREAT turn. Because grains and sugar cause inflammation in me and my whole body aches after I eat them. Like the flu. It’s super fun. So not wanting to eat them is a really good thing!

I’m starting a P90X3 Challenge next week, so I figured, close enough. I’ll take this week off before I buckle back down for another 90 days. Long story short: I’m eating whatever I want this week. (I still do not want grains or sugar.) Long story shorter: WINE!

I’ve missed it a ton. It’s 90% a habit thing. Having a treat at night. And I do really enjoy the taste. My first glass was like “oh sweet nectar of life I have missed you!!!” And it was really nice to REALLY taste it and APPRECIATE it because it was special. But I’ve been having wine all week, and I’ve learned some really good lessons.

TRUE FACTS ABOUT AN OFF WEEK

1. I feel like absolute shit. My stomach is burning. I’m extremely uncomfortable. My SWEATPANTS are tight in the waist. Bloated. Bags under the eyes. Puffy face. Total package!

2. Wine tastes good, but feels terrible pretty quickly. Namely, as soon as I finish my first glass. Headache. Uncomfortable. I feel poisoned. Wine is basically an instant hangover. Plus you get the tomorrow hangover too!

3. I’ve always known that wine is the worst as far as affecting your workout the next day. But now that I’m old old old, Wine = not sleeping. Not sleeping = not being able to do things, like function, work out, or walk around the block without shuffling like the walking dead.

4. One protein bar/ Atkins bar is not satisfying. A box of Atkins bars HURTS LIKE HELL. I knew that already, but apparently I have to keep on testing that one. Over and over and over.

5. I am not a person who can have nuts in the house because I am not a person who can not shove infinite amounts of crunchy, ready-to-eat things in my face. Ideal serving size = hand full. Actual Aimee serving size = all of them. It’s not even that I like nuts that much. It’s just the nom nom mindless shove it in my face hole enabling nature of them.  Nuts = chips.

6. It’s going to take who knows how many days to get this out of my system and start feeling good again. And I can’t wait to start feeling good again.

7. Off weeks are no bueno. Off days, probably better. Off-something: you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane and keep moving in general in the right direction. Off-anything will definitely teach you something useful and reinforce why you actually truly like eating right and working out.

Conclusion?

Off weeks are a terrible idea. You’re welcome.

And one good thing about getting older is: it’s easier to feel like crap, so it’s easier to actually really authentically want to eat well. So you don’t feel like crap.