Happy Tuesday! Nowadays, I really look forward to Tuesday posts because of Sloane’s brilliance:
If you’re unfamiliar with the Freedom from Perfection campaign, I highly suggest you check it out! Whether or not you’ve ever had issues with an eating disorder, it’s all about celebrating your imperfections and accepting yourself.
So, I just got back from a vacation where I enjoyed a LOT of food. We had a breakfast buffet every morning, and would go out for lunch and dinner daily. We had access to free drinks between 5:30 – 7:30 each evening (in case you’re wondering, I stayed at the Embassy Suites Chicago Lakefront. I 100% recommend it – the hotel was gorgeous and the service was amazing) so we definitely took advantage of that.
When I get home after a vacation, my immediate tendency is to “cut back” or “cleanse” for a days – essentially, undereat and try to undo the damage a few days of indulgent eating must have caused.
Umm…this is ridiculous. I was gone for 4 days – not exactly enough to make any drastic changes to my body. Even if I did, why would it matter? A few days of normal eating and everything would feel straightened out again.
So, that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m still eating sugar and carbs (mainly in the form of Cat Cookies – those things are addictive!) in exactly the same manner I was before I went to Chicago. I went to the gym yesterday and completed the exact same workout I would have done if I hadn’t gone on the trip. I refuse to “make up” for having an awesome time and eating some amazing food.
Speaking of amazing food…
Chicago, Day 1
So on Tuesday, we loaded up the cars and were off on an 8 hour drive. We were in Ann Arbor, MI around lunchtime when I noticed that we were right near a Whole Foods.
I had never been to a Whole Foods before, so of course, I begged Matt to stop so I could test out the deliciousness that is the hot bar.
In the mix:
- Moroccan sweet potato
- pulled pork
- macaroni and cheese
- herb roasted sweet potatoes
- edamame ‘caviar’ (edamame, corn, carrots and seasonings)
I can definitely see why people love it so much! I was a little disappointed with the mac and cheese (kinda flavourless) but the pulled pork and the Moroccan sweet potato were amazing!
On our way back to the car, I couldn’t help but notice the display of gelato. I’ve only had gelato a handful of times, and they had more flavours than I knew what to do with.
I love how you can get in little 2 ounce cups!
I couldn’t decide on one flavour, so that’s salted caramel and chocolate chip cookie dough squished in there.
The chocolate chip cookie dough flavour was definitely my favourite – so, so good.
Stopping at Whole Foods for an hour + getting stuck in traffic (do not arrive in Chicago at 5 pm on a weekday. Just bad idea) the entire trip ended up taking 10 hours.
Fortunately, we got there just in time to arrive the lovely Manager’s Reception – aka, free drinks and snacks for 2 hours.
I tried my first ever Manhattan and a plate of pretels, toffee peanuts, hummus and cheddar popcorn. I went back for more peanuts and popcorn – I’m pretty sure I was eating the popcorn daily in Chicago. That stuff is amazing!
For dinner, we just picked a direction and wandered until we found a restaurant that looked good – in this case, we stopped at Rock Bottom Brewery.
Rock Bottom is one of those restaurants where they brew all their beer on site. I’m not a beer drinker, but a good glass of Riesling always makes me happy.
My friend Nicole got the beer sampler, which even as a non-beer drinker I thought looked pretty impressive. Not a bad deal at only $6!
For dinner, I was feeling seafood. I can always go for Mexican, so the lobster and shrimp tacos immediately jumped out at me.
I can’t even remember the last time I had had lobster – it needs to be consumed more often.
I love how they wrapped the hard taco in a soft one – so you never had to worry about it falling apart in your hands. Smart move, Rock Bottom.
Overall, an awesome choice for dinner the first night!
We headed back to the hotel, where I got to see this view from the elevator waiting area daily:
Chicago, you are one hell of a beautiful city. We had plans to be at the conference by 8 the next morning, so it was early to bed that night.
Slim and Sculpt
Clearly, I need to talk about the awesome workout program I’ve been doing with Carrie of This Fit Chick. The hotel had a gym, so I was determined to keep up with my workouts. What I didn’t realize, however, was that the hotel gym was a tad limited in terms of lifting equipment.
Two benches and dumbbells that didn’t go above 50 pounds. Hmm…
So I had to make a lot of changes, but I’m proud to say I was able to get all my workouts in to finish out Week 8 and Phase 2 of Slim and Sculpt!
- Workouts skipped: none
- Workouts added: walking. Chicago is such a walkable city! We were walking everywhere all week.
- Workouts changed: Workouts B and C required a lot of shuffling – basically anything that required a barbell was switched to dumbbells. A slight inconvenience, but I made it work.
I took my measurements, and everything went up. But, phase 2 is a muscle building phase, which tends to result in a bit of bulking (plus, I took it the morning after I got home) so really, I’m 100% fine with the results. I’m starting to see some awesome upper body definition and I hit some kickass PR’s in the last few weeks, so I’m still loving the results I’m seeing on the program.
Weights that I’m particularly proud of:
- deadlifts: 115 lbs to 125 lbs (so, so proud of this)
- barbell squats: 105 lbs to 110 lbs (finally pushed past the pleateau I’ve been stuck at for months
- weighted lunges: 20 lb dumbbells to 25 lb dumbbells
Some awesome results!
Phase 3 involves a heavier focus on cardio, AKA intervals. I’m excited to see how the final phase goes!
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