body fat testing

YALL. grab a seat and a cup of coffee cause i have a feeling this is going to be a long one.

i’ll be talking numbers a little bit in this post, so if that is a sensitive topic for ya, feel free to skip this one. do what’s best for you! xo

if you’ve been reading for awhile, you may remember that way back in February of last year (so about a year ago), i had to have my body fat tested as a part of my physiology of nutrition class at UCLA. it was this ancient little bioelectrical impedence machine, and i had eaten a huge meal before i went to get tested. and i distinctly remember the moment that i was handed a little piece of paper telling me that i had 30% body fat. we had learned in class that 30% was the start of the obese category.

i remember walking home in tears and calling my mom wondering how in the world i could be considered “obese”. half of me wanted to say that the test was wrong, but the other half of me was like, well this is science, and i probably shouldn’t make excuses for myself. and then i had to write an entire PAPER on the fact that i was borderline obese all the while wondering how the hell that was even possible.

long story short, i spent quite a bit of time battling my mind in the time period after that.  yes, i had gained about 20 pounds since high school, but i still fit in the same size clothes, so i really truly had no idea how it was even possible for that number to be correct. if you know the story of my past, you know that in high school and a year or so into college i was fighting a body image battle, hard. in high school i ate as little as 1200 calories a day trying to lose weight because i wanted to look better and wondered why i wasn’t skinny enough. i used to weigh myself every day and let that scale dictate my happiness.

(a photo from a 2011 trip to maui, in which i spent far too much time wondering how i looked in my bikini instead of enjoying vacation)

weightlifting was part of what got me out of that mindset, as i started to eat more food and enjoy it, and realized that i needed to fuel my body if i wanted to improve my fitness. along the way, i gained about 20 pounds in the last 4 years (which was a very good thing, NOT a bad thing). and then i had my body fat tested and had a seed of doubt planted in my mind that in listening to my body and fueling it well, somehow that had failed.

a few weeks ago, i got my body fat tested again with a far more accurate method- hydrostatic body fat testing. i wanted to get it tested again because i had been haunted for almost a year by that 30% number. most of the time, i did a good job of taking actionable steps to love my body, but every time i had a bad body image day, that 30% came into my mind.

would like to note that your body fat percentage DOES NOT dictate your worth in the slightest. (easier said that believed, i know, but it’s true). no one cares how much body fat you have. when you die no one’s going to talk about how much you weighed. and you only get one body in this lifetime. treating it with love and focusing on other aspects of yourself are FAR more important. 

(a photo from maui in 2015, when i had a much better relationship with my body)

i went into the test knowing full well that the number could be high again and i was just ready to accept that. i also wanted the knowledge about my body to see how i could improve my performance in crossfit and to make sure i was fueling my body appropriately.

when i saw the results, i was shocked. my body fat percentage was 21.4%. almost a full 10% different than what i had been told the year prior. of the 162 pounds that i weigh- which is about the same as last year-, 128 of that is total body weight (muscle, connective tissue, bones, organs, etc). literally with zero fat on me i would weigh 128 pounds. and of the fat that i do have, most of that is essential for body functioning and my happiness. could i be leaner? yeah, probably. is that something that i really want to spend my time and energy on? not really.

to see those numbers really put things into perspective for me. i was shocked that in high school, 125 pounds was my weight “goal”, and to know that now, i have more than that amount of body mass not including fat. and to see that my basal metabolic rate- aka the energy i need to just exist and lay in bed all day- was 1800 calories.

i know this is a lot of numbers talk and for the most part, i stay away from talking numbers on my blog. but i felt like i needed to share this because in the last year, those bad body image days that i had i struggled through silently.

but to know that the fat on my stomach and my inner thighs does not make me unhealthy, does not make me obese, and is necessary for my body functioning, reinforces everything i believe about health. to know that my intuition was RIGHT and that i was not doing anything wrong or gaining a ton of unhealthy fat over the years. to know that at the end of the day, i really do know my body best. to know that the weight i have is a shit ton of muscle that carries me through the days and allows me to lift and run and do all the things that i love.

i hope that, if you gain anything from this post, it is to not go through what i did in the last year. to not let a number dictate your body image, whether it be a weight or a body fat % or whatever. to know that you truly do know your body best, and feeding it well, moving it enough, and listening to it is the most important thing at the end of the day.

it is insane to me that i let a false number dictate my happiness on bad days throughout this past year. i never would have even had my body fat tested if i didn’t have to for class, and to think that i let some machine from the 80s get the better of me makes me want to scream and punch something.

but it also makes me incredibly proud that during the last year, i was strong enough to not let that number affect my treatment of my body.

i still ate enough, i still moved when i wanted to and because it made me feel good, i allowed myself to be happy and enjoy food. and i know that i would not have been capable of that 4 years ago. which shows just how far i’ve come.

a long time ago, a number like that would have made me restrict my food and workout a lot more. i had days where i wanted to do that, but i did not. i didn’t let that little voice win. and that is something i am proud of. i’m not proud of a little number that does not define me. i am proud of my actions and how i treat myself.

and with that, i will continue to eat well, listen to my body, eat donuts when i want them, and ignore the scale. because who gives a f? instead of focusing on how i look i’m going to focus on what positivity i can put out into this world and how i can make a difference.

xo,

 

 

 

 

trader joe’s grocery haul

i thought that i’d show you guys what i got at the grocery store this week since i haven’t posted about what i’m eating in so long! i went on friday to trader joe’s to grab some groceries for the next week, and it was the first time i went to TJ’s in probably a few months here. the only one that i know of in atlanta is a good 20 minutes from where i live, so usually in the thick of the semester i can’t really justify 40min driving just to get groceries when there’s a kroger 5 min up the street. but, since it was only the first week back i had some extra time so i figured i’d treat myself and make the trip!

here’s what i got for this week:

the produce i picked up included a bag of navel oranges, 3 pink lady apples, 5 bananas, bag of baby carrots, bag of baby spinach, and spring mix. i ate an orange in the car on the way home and they are SO GOOD. i think it’s orange season and i’ve been craving citrus lately so these will be perfect for snacks in class and in lunches. i also feel like peeling oranges makes me feel more awake because of the smell… tell me i’m not the only one?

the carrots, apples, and bananas are all mostly for snacks. i still had some spinach at home so i just got one bag to keep me going through the week (i throw this in eggs, smoothies, salads, and pretty much any hot meal i make) and some spring mix to spice up my salads a bit.

for the refridgerated/frozen goods, i got eggs (obvi), ground turkey, goat cheese, lowfat milk, shitake mushroom chicken, brown rice, and spinach and artichoke dip. i think ground turkey is one of the cheaper meats you can buy at TJ’s (2.99/lb) since to me their meat seems a bit more expensive than typical grocery prices. i got the milk for my coffee and over the weekend i had the spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer before dinner with some wine. chips + dip + wine = my kinda relaxing weekend evening haha.

i haven’t had the shitake mushroom chicken before but it was quite a bit healthier than their frozen orange chicken so i figured i’d give it a go! i always buy 1 or 2 convenience meals at TJ’s since they are so decently priced and it’s nice to have something to grab when i come home and am exhausted. the rice is for the chicken as well as a mexican burrito bowl with some veggies, beans, and ground turkey.

and now for the fun stuff! i have some salsa at home so i wanted chips to get to dip with them, and am out of peanut butter (because ants decided to make an appearance in my kitchen last week..) so i picked up my favorite crunchy kind. i also got bread, two of my favorite chocolate sea salt rx bars, wine (merlot, always), and these new pink and white cookies i found. i don’t tend to keep much dessert food in my house and last week i was craving something to have after dinner with tea, so i looked for some sort of cookie to buy. i’ve never had these before but they are really good and reminiscent of those mother’s circus animal cookies- aka some of the best packaged cookies of all time- without the trans fat!

i always try to buy myself 3.99 flowers whenever i manage to make it to trader joe’s because they make me so happy. i’m a huge fan of yellow flowers because they are so bright and calming. sunflowers and mums are some of my favorite!

here’s some of the meals that i’m planning on making with these groceries and some of the stuff i already have:

  • rice & shiitake chicken (frozen meal)
  • nachos with chips, beans, ground turkey, cheese, and green dragon sauce (from tj’s and it’s one of my favorites!) plus veggies on the side
  • rice bowls with turkey, beans, and a bag of frozen mexican veggies from kroger
  • leftover spaghetti squash pizza pie
  • salads with greens, veggies, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and balsalmic

my lunches typically include leftovers from dinner or a salad, and breakfasts are the usual eggs & veggies plus turkey bacon or toast or something.

what are you guys eating this week?? fav TJ’s find?

see ya soon for some recent meals and an update on my foot!

xo,

foot injury + working out

i will be the first person to tell ya that i am awful at being injured or sick. i am healthy the majority of the time so even a small injury is upsetting to me because i feel like it throws everything off. last week, i had a foot injury flare up after walking too many miles in SF in shoes that were not meant to walk 10 miles. the pain started after we got back, and it was a very familiar pain that i actually dealt with after my first marathon a few years back.

i had expected for my foot to be better by now, a week after i injured it. but it’s not. and that’s soooo frustrating to me. i was fully expecting to be able to just jump right back into crossfit, and had a bit of a meltdown yesterday after my first full day back at school and wanting to go work out.

i have said it before and i’ll say it many times, i honestly don’t know how i would survive nursing school without having the physical outlet of working out. the stress runs high in nursing school and a way that i cope with it is to sweat. and when you feel like that’s taken away from you at the moment, it hardcore sucks.

so yesterday i burst into tears on the phone with mom because school left me feeling overwhelmed + i felt like i couldn’t do anything about it. she calmed me down a bit and then i drove myself to crossfit with the mission of not using my leg at all. i ended up on the airdyne bike using just my arms and did a WOD on that and bench press. it felt nice to move again even though it was frustrating to not use my foot, it was something.

so, as long as it takes my foot to get better, i’m committing to resting it as much as possible. we have 12 hour clinical days this semester and i reeeaally need my foot to be working normally asap. but, until then, i’m babying the best that i can, foam rolling my legs (two muscles in the lower leg that attach to the 5th metatarsal on my foot are part of my problem – the tendon is inflamed and irritated and the muscles are tight af), and taking ibuprofen.

i’m trying to be gentle with myself and not worry about it too much. getting upset with my body doesn’t get me anywhere and rushing healing will make things worse. fingers crossed that things will be back to normal soon! moral of the story: always, always, always wear walking shoes in the city. even if you don’t think you’re going to be walking much.

xo,

WIAW: a day in the life of nursing school

hello and happy wednesday! i hope you all are having a great week!

stopping by to share a little what i ate wednesday post, monday style! mondays are by far my busiest day of the week class-wise, so i thought i’d take you all through what i eat to stay fueled and energized throughout the day. hopefully you’ll get some ideas for quick meals or snacks to include in your daily eats!

i figured since i haven’t done this in a long time, i’d take you through a little day in the life as a nursing student as well. we’re getting down to the last month of the semester, and it’s pretty much so insane that i can’t even look at my calendar for the rest of the month. one day at a time, folks!

6:20am: first alarm goes off, but i’m so tired that i snooze it until 6:40, and then proceed to be rushed the rest of the morning… story of my life!

6:40-7:20 am: the first thing i do after getting up is brush my teeth, wash my face, put in contacts, and then head to the kitchen to make some coffee & breakfast. i went to starbucks the previous night to study and forgot it was buy one get one free on the holiday drinks so i brought an extra gingerbread latte home to enjoy this morning! they’re a little sweet for my liking so i made a cup of freshly brewed coffee to mix it with and make it a little stronger. i pour half of the mixture into a tumbler and drink half while i’m cooking breakfast.

omelet breakfast

for breakfast i start making my usual- spinach and feta omelet, uncured turkey bacon, and some toast. i typically make the omelet and turkey bacon every day since i love it and it’s easy, and will switch up the carb source depending on my mood.

after eating rather quickly, i put together my lunch with food i packed the night before, get dressed, swipe on some mascara, and head out the door to get to class.

fall outfit

(side note: i’m ridiculously happy that i get to wear pants and boots and longsleeves now that it’s colder. i also got to break out a vest that i’ve had for forever and my lululemon vinyasa scarf- aka the best scarf ever)

7:25-8:00 am: walk/take the shuttle to class. i have a bit of a longer commute than i used to at ucla, and overall it takes about 30-35 minutes door to door to get to the nursing school. i actually walk to a parking deck, hop on a shuttle, and then get off and walk to the nursing school. at first i was upset that i didn’t get a parking pass because getting to and from school takes up a decent chunk of time (when in reality it’s about a 5-7 minute drive from my place). but, it helps me stay active and get my steps in so it’s not too bad!

8:00-11:00 am: pathophysiology lecture. our lecture is 3 hours which is pretty long, but i always enjoy this class because it makes so much sense to me and i love this kind of science. we’re learning about all the alterations of the respiratory system today, and it’s definitely information overload! during lecture i sip on the coffee that i brought with me. during the two breaks we get i always go outside and walk around to make sure that i stay awake!

11:00am – 12pm: eat lunch outside with some friends and then i head inside to grab some (free!) hot water for my tumbler and to work on this post. i packed my lunch last night, which is brown rice, pinto beans, cooked ground beef & onion, a hefty scoop of salsa, mexican style vegetables, and a sprinkle of cheddar.

mexican bowl lunch

after i head inside i make some tea with the hot water i got – these two teas are so good together, and the chai has a little caffeine for a boost- and eat these little biscotti my mom sent me in a care package.

tea

12-3pm: health promotion and foundations lecture. we ended up only having 1 hour of health promotion lecture, which was a panel with veterans, and it was really eye opening and interesting. in between classes i end up snagging a free piece of pizza for a snack instead of eating the yogurt that i brought (honoring cravings yall!). i worked on an online test in the little break between classes and then had my perioperative lecture for foundations. we also ended up getting out of that class early – it’s normally 2-4pm – so i raced home to try to make it to an earlier CrossFit class. on the way home i ate an apple that i brought for snacks!

siggi's and apple

3:10-3:40pm: commute back home, change into workout clothes, and head to CrossFit. i was literally running out the door to make the 4pm class!

5-6:15pm: CrossFit. i mixed up some unflavored BCAAs, l-glutamine (both of which you can get at weslap.com and use the code FOSTER for 10% off!), and some lemonade sweetened with stevia to drink during class. we did a really hard workout that was basically two metcons- it was a 7 minute emom of 3 full clean and jerks each minute, and then we did the “nasty girls” workout after. i subbed 2:1 pull-ups for muscle ups and was dead by the end! after class i spent some time working on my kipping pull-ups before heading out the door to go home.

6:30-7:30pm: i make it home and mix up a protein shake with cinnamon swirl whey protein from slap with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. then i hop in the shower, change into pajamas, and light a candle in my room to cheer me up. candles are just the best!

slap nutrition protein

8pm-9:30pm: i reheat some homemade pizza for dinner that i made last weekend. i just get premade whole wheat crust (this one was from target) and add sauce (i did half red sauce half pesto), shredded cheese, sliced fresh green bellpepper, and applegate pepperoni. the applegate pepperoni is just the best and it doesn’t have any nitrates or nitrites added- totally worth the extra $. i had my pizza with a simple salad of spinach, carrots, feta, and balsalmic.

img_7572

while i eat dinner i study for my health assessment checkoff that was on tuesday and my exam that was today (wednesday).

9:30pm: i’m already hungry again, so i make an evening snack to have before bed. i had a chocolate almond cluster that was in a package my mom sent me, a piece of dave’s killer bread with sunbutter, and the siggi’s yogurt that i had left over from my packed lunch today.

night snack toast yogurt

9:45-10:15pm: nightly wind down. i try to stretch, foam roll, or meditate each night before bed. i also use my favorite destress essential oil, turn down my lights, talk to taylor, and just try to relax before i get in bed in an effort to get a better night’s sleep.

10:20pm: lights out!

i hope you enjoyed a little peek into my life lately! as you can see i eat a lot of food to fuel my day and my workouts- i like showing full days of eating to try to be an example that eating less is not necessarily healthy. and this is what works for me and my body!

and with that, i’m signing off! i just finished an exam this morning and will be working on a project and going to class later this afternoon. happy hump day! we’re almost there!

xo,

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committing to more sleep.

the last couple of months i’ve been really struggling in the sleep department. everyone says that you’re going to give up a lot of sleep in nursing school and i kind of just accepted that it was a given… except for that it’s not. it’s how you choose to prioritize things.

if you know me, you know that i sleep a LOT. you know that i love my sleep and i absolutely am not a morning person. my parents thought there was something wrong with me when i was a baby because i slept so much, and i’ve always slept more than most people. during my last quarter of college i think my sleep average every week was 9 hours. i thrive on 9 hours of sleep, and the last couple of months, i’ve been trying to suck it up and deal with averages around 6-7 hours (and that’s with weekend night of sleep around 9-10 hours).

virtual coffee date 5.4

i slept about 5 hours last night and then came home from class today because i needed to take a nap. i didn’t even take naps the first month of school because everyone was telling us that we were going to give up a lot of sleep, and i just kept telling myself i’d survive and get through it. but today, i came home and napped 2 hours. and then i started to try to do work on a paper and a quiz that i have due tonight. and somewhere in the middle of that i just started crying. because even that extra 2 hours wasn’t enough.

when i don’t get sleep, the first thing to happen is i start to cry about pretty much anything. add to that the election, the stress of nursing school, and how much i tend to work out, and i was just sitting on the edge of disaster. i called my mom, because that’s what you do when you feel overwhelmed and in tears, and one of the first things she said to me was that this is how i get when i don’t sleep enough. and she told me to go take another nap.

momma's visit

something that i’ve struggled with, and even more so recently, is how unique my body is in its need for sleep. i don’t need 9 hours because it’s a luxury. i need 9 hours for my body to optimally function physiologically. i just do. i work out harder and more often than the average person. and i also simply need more sleep. but when i see so many other people not getting enough sleep and seemingly working harder than me, i start to tell myself that i can just suck it up and deal with less sleep and that it’ll be okay. but for me, it’s not okay.

my body isn’t anyone else’s body. i know that my body needs a lot of sleep. and just because our culture is telling us that the more we hustle the more we’ll gain, even if it’s at the cost of our sleep and our health. but my health is important to me and i can work a lot better when i’ve slept enough. so i need to start figuring out how to manage that. i need to start prioritizing sleep a LOT more. and i’m realizing that prioritizing sleep is going to mean making sacrifices elsewhere. but this isn’t a forever thing- i’m not going to be in nursing school forever. i’m going to have more free time when it’s over and i’ll get to do more social things then. for now, some of those things just might have to go.

so, this is me committing to more sleep. to actually trying to get to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning. to stop “sucking it up” and to start taking care of myself. to getting at least 8 hours a night.

a couple blog posts about sleep by one of my favorite bloggers robyn, that i found extremely useful:

xo,

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