Answered – Motivated for a Healthy Life

Hi friends! I’m answering a couple more questions today, so I’m going to get right to it!!

My body clock is starting to finally adjust to my later shifts. I was up at 7:30 am today. Progress! I had to jet to the gym before work, so I ate a light breakfast while drinking coffee.


Crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam on a small bagel. There is nothing dreamier than melty PB on toast. I think if I’m ever on death row, that will be my last meal.

I was feeling a hardcore full-body workout today, so I opened up my New Rules of Lifting for Women book and did the first one I found!

10 minutes on the stair machine (not the “mill” kind, but the death kind)
10 minutes on the rowing machine

A1 – Wide grip deadlift:
3 sets @ 60 lbs x 8

B1 – Bulgarian split squat:
3 sets @ 10 lb plate x 8

B2 – Underhand grip lat pulldown:
3 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

C1 – Reverse lunge w/ forward reach:
3 sets @ 12.5 lb dumbbells x 8

C2 – Dumbbell prone Cuban snatch:
3 sets @ 7.5 dumbbells x 8

D1 – Swiss ball crunch:
3 sets @ 5 kg ball x 15

D2 – Reverse crunch:
3 sets @ bw x 15

D3 – Russian twist:
3 sets @ 5 kg ball x 30

E1 – Plank:
1 set @ 90 sec



LOVED doing this workout again!! I worked up a wonderful weightlifting sweat, and had fun doing lower-body moves again (I can’t do them often because of my old-lady hip). However, I switched the lateral flexion with the Russian twists and the prone cobra for the plank solely because I like them better :)

Came home and had a little protein juice before popping in the shower.


PVL peach whey cooler. This wasn’t a whole serving, just wanted to finish of the giant canister I had.

After I was sufficiently clean, I heated up the last of the frozen moo-beef chili remains.


I, ahem, “beefed” it up a little more with some mixed frozen veggies. This left me SO full! I was barely hungry for my snack when I took my break at work 4 hours later.

Like most things though, the fullness didn’t last. I hit up the grocery store after work for what was supposed to be a quick trip. But it’s snowing (again) and the roads are horrible. Then I ran into a fellow reporter/j-schooler and we gabbed about my career change for a while. Before I knew it I was on my way to the checkout at 6:15 pm and I was starving!!! So I detoured to the prepared food aisle and picked up some sushi which I consumed immediately upon arriving home.


Nothin’ special, just a variety pack. I think it was spicy tuna, california and tofu.

With a side of veggies + hummus.


For such a low-key dinner, it was amazingly satisfying!!

Oh, and dessert was a little treat that fell off the shelf and into my grocery cart.

I used to be obsessed with the chocolate covered sunflower seeds my mom used to buy at Costco.


These definitely did not disappoint!!!  Can you tell I’m a sucker for candy coating? :P

That’s actually a perfect photo to lead into my Q&A’s for the day.

chasingthenow Said:

Here’s a question for you: What is your biggest motivation for living a healthy lifestyle? Like, what keeps you from just eating whatever you want and drinking whatever you want and not caring?

Tamzin Said:

I have a question, How do you control your cravings ?

These are kinda similar, so I though I’d answer them together.

First, to answer Maria’s question, my biggest motivator to live a healthy lifestyle is knowing I’ve already done a lifetime’s worth of damage. Most of you know I was a big boozer, smoker, took drugs, ate horribly, and generally just hated myself. I feel really, really bad about doing that for so many years. I see now as my chance to turn things around and make up for all that lost time.

My decision to change my lifestyle did not happen overnight. It was a slow progression that just snowballed over a number of years. To sum it up, I do what I do because I don’t want to hate myself anymore. I don’t want to look in the mirror in disgust, feel embarrassed by the way I act, loathe my body, or think it’s okay to treat myself with disrespect. I did that for many years, and it’s no way to live.

Everything I do – eating lots of veggies, skipping on the beer, weight lifting, to even smiling at the customers at work. Those are all things I do that make me feel good. And those good feelings are kinda addictive! Now that I know how it feels to accept the way I am, I don’t want to do anything that will make me go back to my old self-destructive ways.

I think this links to how I control cravings too. First, I should say that I don’t ever really experience strong cravings. I constantly eat foods I love so I never feel as if I’m missing out on something.

Sometimes this means “healthifying” foods, like I did with yesterday’s Subway sandwich. Sometimes, it means having a little bit of the food I want in moderation. Today for example, I was given a free polar bear cookie. I really wanted the damn cookie (cookies are admittedly my worst weakness). But I also know they’re over 400 calories a pop. Knowing the cookie probably wasn’t worth that, I broke off the nose, savoured every nibble, then threw the rest in the trash before I had time to go back. It was good, but not 400 calories good ;)

Sometimes though, you just gotta go all out. There are 365 days in a year. I see no problem with taking a handful of those days and eating everything you crave. For me, it’s always special occasions, like Christmas will be this year!

So with a combination of healthy versions, moderation, and splurging, I really don’t experience intense cravings for any food. I’m an awful “muncher” though. Walking into the kitchen can turn into a munch-fest for me. It’s something I’m always working on. Some days are better than others. But hey, we all can’t be perfect! :)


And with that I ask you: what’s your biggest motivation for living a healthy lifestyle? Do you have any tricks for controlling cravings?


Posted on December 15, 2009, in Health, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. i agree about the melty PB on toast. mmm. i need to go get that lifting book! i looked for it at the bookstore last time but it wasn’t there. i love that workout!

    great answer regarding motivation and moderation. haha.. love that you just ate the nose. way better than eating the bum.

    hope you have a great waffle wednesday my dear!

  2. You and I have both been decimating winter-themed cookies lately! Last week I ate the head of a penguin and tossed his body, hehe.

    Oh, NROLFW. I miss having the time for three long weightlifting sessions a week, plus plenty of cardio! Student life definitely had its perks.

  3. DH was sitting next to me as I read this post – his response to the pic of the bagel “That looks disgusting.” Mine? “I think it looks delicious.” My dad raised me to love warm, melted PB on bread and that love runs deep!
    I suppose my biggest motivation for living healthy is the immediate result – more energy and happy vibes! When I get cravings, I usually divert my attention or sub it with something else. If I want something sweet, I go for Wasa or Rice Crackers with sugar free jam. If I crave salt, I pop some low-fat popcorn. Now, I usually get a craving for those things!

    • Bahaha, every single piece of food I prepare in front of Chris gets a “What the hell is that?” question. My dad was a PB and bread man too. We actually never threw out stale bread in our house – my dad would cover it in peanut butter and call it a day ;)

      I crave my alternative foods now too! I have an insatiable sweet tooth that used to be tamed with cookies and chocolate. I started subbing those things with dates, and now I just want dates all the time! Still straight up sugar, but at least it’s more natural :)

  4. Eeeeee! I’m famous with the video :D

    The bagel, the bagel – I can’t wait for mine tomorrow after looking at this one!

    I am a serious muncher, too. Especially hard working from home because I can pretty much munch on anything, not just snack stuff. Munchers can get pretty creative, don’t you think?

  5. I know how much better I feel when I am taking the best care of myself mentally and physically. I also want to be a great example for my daughter. I want her to grow up loving her body and treating it kindly…she is my biggest motivation ;)

  6. For me, living healthy is all about knowing how far I’ve come. Kind of like you, I guess. There are days when I think, Is it worth skipping out on this today? But there are so many more days when I think, today was awesome and I’m glad I am not 60+ pounds overweight anymore!

  7. My biggest motivation for health (spiritual, mental and physical) is because it allows me to be the most productive and effective in my life. I think that’s God’s will for me, too…We only have one life…why not take care of it so we’re not sniffling and being miserable all the time?

    I liked your answer, by the way, I liked it a lot. I think it’s just completely practical, relatable, and down-to-earth. you really view food just for what it is: FOOD! And you understand that sometimes you just have to go “all out” as you say, while other times, you just use a bit of wisdom. :)

  8. Great post!
    Controlling cravings is difficult for everyone, but I generally find if I up the protein and veggies, add in some good fat, that will generally decrease the cravings I get from eating poorly.

  9. Controlling cravings can be difficult. For the most part though, I don’t get too many cravings. Mostly, I face temptations. For example, our office has TONS of holiday treats right now. I constantly walk by them…and they look good! But similar to you and the cookie, I ask myself, is this worth X amt of calories? I also think about how yucky I feel when I eat sweets in the afternoon. If I have some treats, I know that I will be less able to focus and get my work completed.

    But as far as cravings, I usually give in. If I really really want something, I just eat it! This method has seriously saved me from lots of junk food binges!

  10. Store-bought sushi scares me for some reason. And a lot of it has HFCS. :(

    And I control cravings by giving into them so they stay in control. I find if I don’t, it ends up a really bad and grumpy situation.

    • Yes! I learned the HFCS thing the hard way! My grocery store has a little sushi station set up where they make it in front of you so it’s not so bad :)

  11. I don’t have a good answer to your question because I don’t live a healthy lifestyle (YET! – that’s what recovery is about) but I do want to say that your healthy and well-balanced relationship with food and exercise is inspiring. Your blog is one that I read every day with the hope that soon I can practice those same behaviors and ideas. So, Thanks!

  12. My biggest motivation for living a healthy lifestyle is remembering the health problems the rest of my family has historically been riddled with. Almost everybody on my Mothers side of the family has died from heart disease. I use that as my motivation. I don’t want to leave to children on this earth without a mother because I didn’t give my body the attention and respect it deserves.

    I’m not always the best at controlling cravings… Often times I battle the cravings by thinking about how I used to look when I didn’t exercise and ate anything without thought. I don’t ever want to go back to looking like that again. A bit vain, yes…but it works for me.

  13. My biggest motivation is health and fear of dying. I know it’s crazy but if I eat too much junk I start thinking my arteries might be getting clogged or something. So that kind of keeps me leading a fairly healthy lifestyle. I do eat my favorites in moderation or I adapt them to be healthier so I rarely have bad cravings. If I should be hit with a bad craving I just eat a small portion of whatever it is or save it for a “free” day.

  14. susan….i love you. your honesty and attitude constantly brighten my day.



  15. I love the answer!! You nailed it! Personally, I keep an everything in moderation attitude but I know how icky eating crap makes me feel. Being reminded of that feeling makes me want to keep eating healthy and wholesome foods.

  16. Awesome workout!! I love reading all your moves!

    For me motivation comes from a few things. Honestly, I like seeing the results that have happened from clean eating and working out. It’s superficial I know, but it works! The second motivation is just the fact that I know I’m doing something good for my body- preventing diseases and strengthening my body.

    To control cravings I try to eat every 2-4 hours and give into something similar that I’m craving like protein cookie dough in place of cake or something!

  17. Hmm…what a great question! As far as the cravings go…I’ve been giving in to them too much lately, but I think I just try to remember that even though I may want a greasy burger and fries or a big cookie, I usually feel pretty crappy afterwards…healthy foods just make me feel so much better! That goes to the motivation thing too…I just know how much better I feel, physically but almost more importantly for me, emotionally when I make healthy choices. I know how unhappy I was being overweight and sedentary, and going back to that just isn’t an option.

  18. loved your answer to the question!

    You want to feel good about yourself, and treating yourself and your body with kindness and respect is what it takes me for to make me feel good about myself.

    When I started eating badly on a consistent basis and my workouts suffer, it affects other areas in my life and my mood. So, thats my motivation!

  19. I liked this post Susan. I think your motivation – knowing the damage you’ve done and not wanting to hate yourself anymore – is something a lot of people can relate to.

    I do the same thing with sweets! At the Christmas party the other night, I had a lemon tart put in front of me – and I enjoyed a few bites and left the table. I like to think to myself “imagine how much better you’ll feel tomorrow if you don’t eat the whole thing!”

    Also, thanks for answering the waffle question! I guess Australia is a barren waffle iron zone – I’m struggling to find much online, so will probably hit the shops during the Xmas sales and see if I can find something.

  20. Great post and I have to say melty PB & J is like the best combo ever!

    Choco sunflower seeds? I have never seen those before! Nuts, yes. Seeds, no?!! Cool!!!

    Cravings…I have a bite or two if I realllllllly want it. And then I’m done. However if I crave something I truly cannot have like gluten then I just remind myself how sick I will be for days for that one bite and that’s enough to do the trick.

  21. Loved your answers.

    When I saw your chile I thought you called it your MoFo Chile?!!! I’m seeing things!

    Motivation: fear of “going back” to being heavy and horribly unhappy with myself.

    cravings: I am like you- I nibble on things I want throughout the day. I probably would be 5 pounds thinner if I didn’t stand in the pantry and break off part of a cookie or a pop a mini meringue in my mouth (mulitplied by 64 times I go into the pantry!, well not quite that bad). So i don’t get bad craving either. I tend not to eat a ‘whole” thing. I will eat a half an energy bar, or half a pack of candy. that sort of thing. then come back to it when the next craving strikes. I have a huge assortment of plastic baggies and clips :-)

  22. Geeeze I think you are my food twin. Seriously. It’s a constant battle for me finding a blogger that is really like me- we all have our own differences and shared similarities, BUT, with my healthy eating- I think you put it best with: healthy versions, moderation, and splurges. YAYYY. You are my hero. And also the munching. My worsssttt enemy. Today was no munching day! Hoorah for me. I could. never. work. at. home.

  1. Pingback: Goodies & Answers « The Great Balancing Act

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