Every(body) Has Bad Days

I’m sure there’s a more eloquent way to say this, but I’m fresh out of eloquence at the moment and I can’t think of a better way to articulate my feelings other than just coming out and saying it: I’ve been feeling pretty blah about my body lately

7 tips to get yourself back on track

While a version of this post has been sitting in my drafts for far longer than I care to admit, I was pushed to finish it after I read this comment from a new blog reader (hi, Cait!) earlier in the week:

“I’m a new reader, and felt compelled to leave a little comment. I discovered you on Instagram and this is my first time checking out your blog (i LOVE it, the layout is gorgeous!). I was reading your ‘about me’ and came to this post. You are such an inspiration! I especially love your healthy outlook (your comments about the word ‘diet’ and that size doesn’t necessarily equal health/fitness). Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story and your weight loss journey. I’m excited to continue following you on social media and your blog!!”

I realized at that point I felt a little bit like a fraud – as if maybe I’m portrayed as someone who got healthy and then automatically started living life sans free of any inner turmoil (which ultimately led me to lose weight and get in shape in the first place). My mind and body are just as connected and intertwined now as they were back then, and I’ve continued to experience mental and physical setbacks – I just haven’t talked about it, until now.

For me, being happy and healthy means leading a balanced life, an even hover on the scale between the order of my day-to-day and the excitement behind a random, weekday girls night (chock-full of decadent truffle fries and half-priced bottles of rosé). Feeling balanced means more days where I feel proud of all the things my body can do (like powering through 60 intense minutes of spinning or making it through Jon’s Dynamic Duo class without throwing in the towel) and less days where I poke and prod at the flaws I see staring back at me in the mirror. 

By definition, balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Living a balanced life is a highly coveted status and while I realize it stems from having a healthy mind and body, I’ve fallen off course. It’s one of those things where I know what I need to be doing, I’m just not doing it and I’m finally at a point where I’m ready to get myself back on track. 

I’m reminded that losing weight (and if I’m being honest, maintaining my weight) and finding my balance wasn’t easy. I’m not one of those people who can cut out carbs and watch the weight melt off like ice cream in the hot summer sun. I have to work hard when it comes to fitness and I have to pay attention to the food I’m nourishing my body with (the latter of which has been a real struggle lately). 

Below are a few things I’m going to implement (and reimplement, in some cases) to help me get to a better place both mentally and physically.

7 HEALTHY HABITS I’M SETTING FOR MYSELF

1. Strive for 10,000 steps a day and generally, just move more. It’s scary how sedentary I am at my day job. Like looking at my Fitbit to see I had only walked 856 steps from the time I woke up until noon one day last week kind of scary. They say you can’t make up for that lack of movement/activity with a workout, so it’s imperative I make time to take a break and get the blood flowing throughout my workday.

2. Avoid the elevator at work at all costs (which, of course, will help me log more steps). I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it’s such an easy thing. Also, I swear it takes the same amount of time to walk up the stairs as it does to wait for the elevator and then ride it up. I work on the fourth floor of my building and the ice machine where I fill my cup of water is on the first floor which leads me to…

3. Drink (even) more water than I already do. I don’t drink coffee or pop and that means if I’m drinking anything throughout the day, it’s water or tea (save for a random Saturday when I sing, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and get the party started early with a boozy brunch), so I have that going for me! But I think it’s easy to overestimate how much you’re actually consuming.

4. Another way I plan to get more healthy fluids: Wind down in the evenings by sipping warm water with lemon. I tried to incorporate this into my morning routine but that lasted all of a few days. I’m a morning person to the extent that once I’m up, I’m up, but I’ve been soaking up every minute of sleep I can get lately and have been doing the bare minimum to get myself out the door.

5. Change up my socializing strategy. I’m rarely one to turn down dinner and drinks with friends and quite frankly, I’m usually the one suggesting it. I’d really like to get better about taking a workout class, going for a walk or even grabbing a juice as a means to catch up with the people I love spending time with.

6. Get back to logging everything in MyFitnessPal. I realize this may sound tedious to some, but it truly helps me. If I eat something indulgent at lunch, it’s a reminder I need to reel it in at dinner time – opposed to saying “to hell with it” and going all out at dinner, too. I’m an extremely picky eater which doesn’t help the matter, however, I can still be making healthier choices than I have been as of late.

7. Shut down the negativity when it starts to creep in. It’s embarrassing to admit that I have days where I look at myself with anything less than approving eyes. I recently remembered a quote from an interview with Olivia Wilde in Shape Magazine where she said, “I believe there is space for exercise to be as much a gift to your brain as it is to your body.” I know the key to eliminating this type of mindset is to gift myself that escape each day and make it more of a priority than it has become.

I realize these aren’t revolutionary ideas and that’s the glory of being healthy – it’s about a lot of little things that add up to a whole!

If you take anything from this post, I hope it’s the fact that everybody has bad days, but if you find the bad days are outweighing the good, let that be a sign that it’s time to make positive changes for yourself.

Image via Love Yoga Balance

47 comments

47 thoughts on “Every(body) Has Bad Days

  1. Meg - Life of Meg

    Love this, Jess! I needed to read this today as I’ve been in the same boat lately, so thank you! Maybe we can tackle some of this together with a dinner tasty salad date or a long walk catching up soon? Miss ya!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I’m glad to hear that! It’s crazy how being physically unhappy can effect you so much mentally, but also pretty cool how much exercise can boost your mood when you’re feeling down. As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comment 🙂

      Reply
  2. Maggie Keel

    UGH. Jess this is exactly what I needed today and honestly perfect timing as we jump in to spring/summer. I too have a very similar blog post sitting in my drafts. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I’m glad to hear that it resonated with you. Hopefully we can both use it as a boost to kick start our decisions to make healthier choices!

      Reply
  3. Alissa

    Love, love, love, love this! I just started hardcore working out THIS week because of my BLAH feelings about myself. I realized that I was feeling bad because I honestly was doing NOTHING active and I knew I needed to change that. NEEDED THIS!

    The Adored Life

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you my friend! Even walking for a few minutes after work some days does wonders for me. While I’m not glad to hear you needed this, it is nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling.

      Reply
  4. Caitlin

    Preach, to all of this! Are you able to take 10-15 minute breaks during the day and get outside of your office? Even a 10 minute walk gets a good amount of steps in! A few people in my department make it a point to walk around our company’s campus twice a day and I can get almost 4,000 steps in!

    And I completely agree that MyFitnessPal is super tedious, but I’ve found it really helps for me as well. I’ve logged on and off for years, but I’ve been diligent the past few months and I think it’s really helped my goals.

    Sending you some good motivational vibes! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much Caitlin! I am, thankfully. It’s just a matter of peeling myself away from the computer screen to make that happen! Feel free to add me on MFP 🙂 I’m jessicazimlich. I’ve been using it since 2011, but lately, I’ve been dropping off after I log my breakfast which clearly isn’t doing me any favors.

      Reply
  5. Sydney Garrett

    Jess! this is a great post.. and just like everyone else is saying, “I totally needed this today!!” I’ve been feeling exactly the same for quite some time and the “to hell with it” seems to be my mantra on a common basis.. No bueno! I love the list of small changes to incorporate. I think doing little things like that add up a LOT over time and if they help you get into a more consistently healthy mindset it’s a huge win! You are a beautiful healthy woman and such an inspiration to me! Now if only I can take that inspiration and get my booty to the gym once in a blue moon I might be onto something.. ha! Love you girl!

    PS. You’ll see me in my bikini in 126 days. So maybe that is some motivation for me?

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I am SO glad to hear that it’s resonating with others. It’s not the most fun thing to post on the internet, but it’s my reality at the moment. I think the same about you and I’m lucky to have someone as encouraging as you in my life! Uhh, if you find the inspiration…please send a little extra my way 😉 When you said 126 days my jaw dropped to the floor and I let out a little “well, shit..” haha Let’s do this. I CAN’T WAIT! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Nicole

    Jess, I adore this post because I feel like so many people can resonate with you! I too fall down the trap of eating out and grabbing cocktails with friends for every single activity. It’s like why don’t we do other things besides that?!

    One thing I recently did with a friend (this isn’t Earth shattering but I wondered why I didn’t do it more often) was grabbing a mani/pedi with a friend. We felt so pampered, productive (yay for polished nails) and we got to chat the entire time. I also love doing a work out class together and then grabbing brunch or a juice afterwards.

    Great thoughts as always. P.S. I think you look INCREDIBLE. Would do anything for that bod!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Nicole, you’re the sweetest! Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out and grabbing drinks, but I need to pump the breaks a bit haha. I love the idea of getting a pedicure – I honestly can’t remember the last time I treated myself to one and I’m sure my girlfriends would say the same thing! Time to round up the troops.

      Thank you for the encouragement and the thoughtful comment. I hope to see you VERY soon 😉

      Reply
  7. Annie

    I. Am. With. You. Gosh I’m glad you put these thoughts into words. I have been feeling so UGH about my body lately. I can just feel a few extra pounds packing on (great timing with bathing suit weather looming), but I’ve had the hardest time motivating myself to do something about it. I think the stress of it all physically makes the situation worse, too. I need to implement these tips into my life ASAP. Much love to you – I think you look beautiful and fit and wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      UGH is right. No better word to explain how I’ve been feeling. It’s definitely a snowball effect for me and I can relate to the stress of it all worsening the situation at hand. I also believe we’re all our own worst critic…to which I say, I think all those wonderful things about you, too! We can do it 🙂

      Reply
  8. Natalie | Natalie Was Here

    I loved this post, Jess. We’ve all been there. I struggle with feeling blah about my body from time to time, too. Like you, my job is more than sedentary, and I wish I could spend a portion of that time exercising and just moving in general. I always feel so much better when I do. I make sure to get up from my desk every 20 minutes or so (I’ll blame the A.D.D. for that) and it really helps. And taking the stairs is a definite plus!

    Even though you’re feeling this way, just remember how far you’ve come. I read your fitness story last week and it blew me away. You are an inspiration to me and many others. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

    Natalie Was Here

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much for reading all of my thoughts! I definitely need to peel myself away from the computer screen more often. I appreciate that reminder and am taking it to heart. Enjoy the weekend ahead, Natalie!

      Reply
  9. Rachel

    You have no idea that this post came at the right time! I was on such a good path and I’m now the worst I’ve been since I started to lose weight 3 years ago. It’s hard, really hard to swallow that. But it’s totally my fault because I allowed myself to keep “cheating” and now here I am. I’m actually doing a cleanse this week and it’s been really hard. Worth it, but I get frustrated thinking that I got myself to this place. But it’s always good to know someone else is in the same boat! I’m trying to stay focused!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      So happy I could help, even in a small way! It’s hard when you find yourself reverting back to old ways. I’m all about indulging in moderation, but it’s become my norm lately and I know I need to get away from that so that I can be the happiest and healthiest version of myself. You’ve got this girlfriend 🙂

      Reply
  10. Rachel

    Amen to this. Because I’m getting married in a few months, all people keep asking me about is my wedding diet/work out. I don’t have one. I’m trying to eat healthy and go to the gym, but not any more or any harder than I would normally. As long as I’m healthy, I’m happy!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Exactly, it’s a lifestyle! Not to mention it can come off as offensive to ask someone what they’re doing to “prepare”…as if they aren’t content with the way they look and feel already and could be doing better. Eek!

      Reply
  11. Theresa

    Yes! I relate so much to this. I’m working on a healthier lifestyle myself, and these are all struggles that I share. Tracking makes a huge difference for me, too, if for the accountability and nothing else. Knowing that I have to put it in the tracker makes me think twice about eating certain things, as if I’m telling a real person haha. My boyfriend is on the same track, and coming up with “date night” ideas that don’t involve going out to eat is so difficult! Hoping to see more posts like this! 🙂 Can’t wait to follow along!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much Theresa! Haha hey, whatever works! My fiance and I were just talking about this tonight actually. We went on a walk together and then enjoyed a glass of wine on our patio before we made dinner at home. It was such a nice switch up from spending the majority of our evening together at a restaurant. If I think of any brilliant date night ideas, you’ll be the first to know 🙂

      Reply
  12. Whitney Hinson

    You are such an inspiration in various forms and you are a great motivational support in all areas of our friendship. 😘

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I’m so glad! Some days I let go my day with a workout and others I let it go with a glass of wine 😉 Balance is everything! I appreciate you taking the time to read.

      Reply
  13. Jessika

    I’m right there with you girl! Those 7 healthy habits sounds like a good starting point and wishing you the best of luck with it! xoxo – Jessika

    Reply
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  15. Alyssa

    Thank YOU for this! I feel like we can all use reminders like this to get back on track and, most importantly, not beat ourselves up! Sending you some motivational vibes as you get back on track! xx

    Reply
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