I had a recent epiphany…a moment of self-realization that I was, in fact, lying to myself. It all started a couple of weeks ago. I try to stay off the scale for the most part because I know from experience numbers make me loco, and not in a fun Enrique Iglesias kind of way (really though I don’t even own one). Occasionally though, I like to step on my roommates just to make sure I am on track with where I want to be-let me remind you I am still on slim down mode rather than maintenance mode.
It all happened a couple of weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and realized I was no longer in slim down mode but plateau mode. Hitting a plateau is a common struggle for most people on a weight loss journey, and it can be confusing, disappointing, and most of all frustrating. It is not, however (I REPEAT NOT!) a time to throw in the towel and go back to the burgers and burritos (sorry, two of my favorite foods). Instead, it is the perfect time to look within yourself and figure out what you could be doing wrong, or even too right. There are a few reasons the scale refuse to budge, and no it’s usually not because it is broken…The two most common reasons I have experienced are one: your body has grown accustomed to your exercise routine and it’s time to switch it up or bulk it up, and two: you’ve got a case of the calorie creepers.
With a busy last few weeks of summer, I found myself cheating on my diet more and more, because hey I’m balanced and I can! Although being balanced is great, there comes a time you have to look inward and see if you are really practicing balance, or not. This of course goes for both spectrums; you don’t want to starve yourself in order to reach your goals, but you still have to be realistic about the ways in which you reach them. That is no easy task. After some thought I realized i was using being ‘balanced’ as an excuse. The cheat meals were adding up and I found myself more and more susceptible to tempting foods. it was time to rethink my purpose, recalibrate my mind, and recharge my determination to reach my goals.
Physically logging meals in a journal, to me, is the absolute best way to practice being mindful of your intake. You will be surprised by how much more you may take in throughout one day, aside from your planned out meals. It all adds up, and it adds up fast. I have had a lot of practice recording my meals and let me tell you it does wonders. Not only knowing exactly what you put into your body, but seeing it on paper can be a life changer.
So, now that I am back in school, training for my sorority lipsync dance competition, working at a new medical internship, and recording my meals, my progress is back in swing and I have to say I am proud of myself. Through my frustration, I didn’t completely give up, I faced my problem and found a solution. Something that I probably wouldn’t have done a couple of years ago. I guess that is the basic problem-solving strategy that I probably learned in elementary school, but oh well we all gotta start somewhere.
My apologies for being a little late on this recipe. Jumping back into school happened to be a lot busier than I even really anticipated. I woke up one morning and wanted to switch it up. I had a little time on my hands and decided to make a baked oatmeal, soon after i realized I had all the perfect ingredients for a carrot cake rendition, SCORE!
Chia Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
2 1/4 cups rolled oats, certified gluten-free if necessary
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/3 cup pure honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract (optional)
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts