Another Move

The second part of 2014 was an eventful six months. In July, my husband began the long process of interviews that eventually resulted in him accepting a position in Pennsylvania and us moving for the second time in 15 months.

In the past 15 months, we moved from Las Vegas, NV (a place with extreme heat and no humidity), to Austin, TX (a place with high humidity and heat), and then to Hershey, PA (a place with extreme cold, at least to this southern girl).

A lot has happened these last few months. My husband started his new job. We bought a house. My kids turned four and started preschool. We now live near family, near as in across town near. And I’m learning what it is like to live in Pennsylvania, which is completely different from any other place I have lived.

Hershey, and the neighboring towns, is small and quaint and surrounded mostly by farms. Most of the roads are one lane and the speed limits are typically 35 mph. Hershey has Hershey Chocolate World and Hersheypark and the baked oatmeal is outstanding. 

Hershey and the surrounding towns have the nicest people I have ever met, for example it is common for cars to come to a dead stop and allow others to make a left turn despite the buildup of traffic. With all its charm, the one thing I seem to not get the hang of is the snow, ice and the complete lack of sunshine.

Snow falling is beautiful and at times magical. It seems to slow time and quiets the noise. But like all things beautiful and magical, it must end and reality steps in. The once beautiful white snow turns into brown slush that gets dirtier as the day progresses. Then overnight the disgusting snow turns into ice.

I’m sure y’all are wondering why I’m hating on snow and ice, but don’t fall for the deceitful beauty. Ice is like a ninja, invisible and deadly. It appears to you as wet asphalt then all of a sudden; you’re sliding, falling, and smashing into things.

Balancing Bites - The Beauty of Snow

Then there is the absent sun. I don’t mind the cold as long as the sun is out, but here in Pennsylvania the sun doesn't shine too often during winter.

When the sun does shine, finally, on a cold Pennsylvania morning, and the land is cast in a golden hue – the dew twinkles on grass blades, shadows dance beneath tall naked trees, kids ride their bikes in the streets, the bright light blinds our eyes, and the sun places warm kisses on our cheeks – there is that uneasy feeling of “it’s too good to be true:” that the sun is teasing us before it retreats back behind the clouds and we’re left in the dreariness of winter.

I miss the sun.

And summer. 

But I'm loving Hershey, PA. 

The Food You Eat Tells a Tale

There are many sayings about diet and weight. For example:

“You are what you eat.”

“Abs are made in the kitchen.”

“You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”

I could go on, but I think you get my point. Honestly, they are all true. The way you eat, and the food you eat tells a tale. If you eat unhealthy, heavily processed, and sugary foods, your body is going to document the discomfort, excess body fat, and eventual disease that it is feeling.

It will start as a whisper, and continue until it is screaming for change. You might wonder “when did this happen,” but deep down you know it was happening all along.

The opposite happens when you eat healthy, unprocessed, and low sugar foods. Your body hums melodies of health, while your feet skip to the rhythm. You have energy and feel great. The Food You Eat Tells A Tale - Balancing Bites
If you don’t like the way you feel and look then change. Your story is not permanent. It’s not your identity. The only way to transform your health is to change your diet.

Going to the gym will improve your narrative, but it will not give you that ultimate ending you desire. Trying the current fast or fad might improve your story for a few chapters, but again, it will not give you what you want.

You must change the way you eat to transform your body, both in health and appearance. You might think eating healthy is hard and boring, but it’s not if you keep it simple and eat unprocessed foods. Meal planning and searching for new recipes will ensure a healthy diet does not become boring.

But let’s say you’re right, eating healthy is boring, what would you rather feel boredom or discomfort? Boredom or excess body fat? Boredom or disease?

For change to last, you need to realize and accept that you got yourself into this situation, and only you can get yourself out of it. You are the problem and the solution to your situation. You are the creator of your story, and only you have the power to change it.

Don’t let success or failure derail you from your health goals. Take it one meal at a time, and keep it simple. Use the grocery list I posted a few months ago to guide you in buying real foods. Plan your meals, so that you have new recipes to try and won’t get bored.

We all have the power to choose our story.

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

Losing weight is frustrating, especially if you’re consistent with your workouts and diet. Exercising helps with weight loss, but it comes down to the food you eat.

Many people like the concept calorie in vs. calorie out, but our bodies are not that simple. Processed and low quality foods have chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy metals in them that overtime can damage our body’s cells and hormones without us realizing it.

Here are five reasons why you are not losing weight.

1. You’re eating too many calories.

Many people, myself included, avoid calorie counting. It’s tedious; however, sometimes it’s needed when weight loss stalls.

Determine the amount of calories you need to lose weight then use a food scale and track everything you eat.

2. If you’re eating within your calorie range and not losing weight then consider manipulating the macronutrients.

Balancing Bites - 5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight
This might take some experimenting to see what works for your body. I do well eating low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat. If I ate more carbohydrates and fewer fats, I would gain weight and always feel starved.

My husband is the opposite and does well on a higher carbohydrate diet. Manipulate the nutrients, and discover what works for you.

3. You have unrealistic expectations.

Maybe the goal you picked is not right for your body. It’s easy to pick a weight you weighed 20 years ago as a goal, but in reality your body might not be able to get there.

Pick a reasonable goal, then work to achieve it. Once you achieve the goal, decide if you are happy with the results. If you are, pat yourself on the back. If not, set a new goal.

4. You’re not patient enough.

Weight loss is a slow process. Have you given your body enough time to lose weight? It’s best to stick to a new weight loss plan for at least 4-6 weeks before evaluating its effectiveness.

Balancing Bites- 5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

5. You eat low quality foods.

Look at the quality of foods you are eating. Are you eating too many processed foods? Eat real foods and limit or cut out processed foods. Remove the low fats and reduced fats foods, and consider switching from grain fed meats to grass fed meats. Small improvement in food quality makes a big difference to your body.

Weight loss isn’t difficult if you keep it simple and eat real food. Put on your detective hat and experiment with different strategies to determine what works for you.

You might need to increase calories while decreasing carbohydrates. Perhaps you’re eating the wrong types of fats and not enough healthy fats. Keep experimenting until you get it right.

Remember, the best diet for you is the one you can stick to.


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