Tag Archives: balance

Very Thoughtful Thursday

I’m coming off of a rough few weeks as some of you may know, and also a very productive therapy session, so I have some reflections that I want to share on this Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Link up with Amanda today no matter how deep your thoughts!

I seem to re-learn this lesson time and time again, but I think having strict rules has been backfiring on me. I decided after I got back from Florida that I was going to cut down on drinking by not having any wine on nights I stayed in – even on nights I wanted to. I also decided to really focus on keeping my eats at home “cleaner”. Well, this has not worked very well, because now on nights I am out I have found myself really overdoing it. And that’s been resulting in mental consequences far greater than any I’d be having if I was enjoying a glass of wine or two at home when I wanted to. Perfect example – Monday night I was snowed in and really wanted a glass of red. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! But I texted some friends, made plans to go out to eat the next night, and told myself THEN I could have a drink.

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Thinking Out Loud: Twice as Nice

I’m back, twice in one week, wahoo! I’m writing this post on Wednesday night because I had enough time to cook, but decided to instead make dinner leftovers and use the extra time to a) write this and b) have a glass of NY Cabernet Sauvignon. I didn’t have anything to drink the last couple of days because the event I worked on Sunday was pretty nuts (in a very fun way). But now I’m ready to relax with my glass and think out loud.

Link up with Amanda if you too are thinking out loud today!

1. My half marathon training has officially begun! Tuesday’s aforementioned personal training session didn’t happen because the trainer had to cancel – but never called me to let me know? So I was at the gym, without a plan, and decided to kick off training this week instead of next, which is what I had planned! And I decided to get this week’s longest run done – 4 miles. I’m no fool, I know that I should savor the fact that this week’s longest run is 4 miles, and believe me I am! I did at a 9:13 pace on the treadmill, with a 1% incline. With a side of Kardashians…enough to get me through. I’ve also been following a June ab challenge I found on Facebook, and though these earlier days are pretty easy, I know by the end it will feel very hard. Just like my runs – ha! But seriously, having plans to follow has been really helpful for me. I felt like I had no direction at the gym and now I have a couple of things to follow!


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What I’m “Allowed”

This is a post that’s been weighing on the back of my mind for awhile now and on the front of my mind the entire Memorial Day weekend. I’m still struggling with recovery and what it means in terms of what I’m “allowed” to feel about my body, or what I’m “allowed” to do about my body if my feelings about it are not so favorable. I continue to have great weekends and attend fun events in Boston – and when I go home! I continue to do a pretty good job of not depriving myself. But I also continue to feel as if my body is changing in ways I strongly dislike (dare I say hate), as a result of all that lack of deprivation. I feel like my lack of deprivation is actually overdoing it. I feel as if I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum now, and my body shows it. I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel gross. I feel disgusting. Last night I met up with Jen for a patio drink to conclude our holiday weekend, and I wore a dress I purchased back on Black Friday 2011. It felt so tight on me, and I felt like I was busting out of it. I felt self-conscious and wished I was wearing something more bag-like. I kept mentally pulling up in my mind photos of me in the same dress when I wore it in Orlando in March 2012, or at the Mohegan Sun BrewFest later that same year.

Before dinner with my parents, in Orlando.

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An Introvert’s Goals

I usually do Fashion Friday if I have time to blog on a Friday, but instead today I’m feeling some reflections on this morning’s therapy session (yes I go to therapy – have been since I started my recovery – and I used to be ashamed of it but now I’m comfortable saying it benefits me and I don’t know many people it COULDN’T benefit). I explained to Bridget that I’ve been feeling pulled in a thousand different directions and I thought that after I handed in my big MBA capstone on Monday I’d be feeling better, but on Tuesday morning I woke up in one of those I-hate-anyone-who-tries-speaking-to-me moods and last night I dropped some salsa on the floor, it spilled everywhere, and I started sobbing. So I’m still feeling lots of (non-MBA-related) pressure.

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My FitFluential Magazine Audition

As some of you may know, I’m part of the fantastic FitFluential community and serve as a FitFluential Ambassador. That means I get to work with some of the most exciting brands in nutrition and fitness, spread the word about my own FitFluential lifestyle, and learn from brands, staff members, and fellow Ambassadors about best practices in blogging, marketing, branding, and more. I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to craft a post that will serve as an “audition” of sorts to fitness and nutrition publications looking for bloggers to work with them. This would be a dream come true, and I’m putting my all into it. So without further ado, here is my FitFluential magazine auditionlet me know what you think in the comments!

I’m Caitlin Croswell, and you want me writing about food and fitness for your audience. Just explore Cait Plus Ate, and you’ll see that I’m all about living life in a healthy, fun way, and sharing with readers that it’s absolutely possible to both be healthy and have fun.

I write on a variety of subjects – restaurant reviews, wine tastings, my own workouts as well as others I’ve found useful, beauty products, mental health, and more. I’ve gone through a lifestyle change in the last few years, from a complete lack of a fitness routine and the blandest, carb-iest of eats (not a veggie or fruit in site), to a routine that was way too rigid and structured, to a way of life that I am trying to get to, sustain, and spread to my readers – healthy and fun balance. The mindsets I’ve held over the years make me comfortable and open about communicating with any fans, because I GET what they’re looking for and I know where they’re coming from, whether they’re just starting out in healthy eating or are looking for new fitness challenges.

My passion is what drives me to blog alongside a full-time job and a part-time student status. When I love something, I LOVE it and want to share it with as many people as possible. I’m grateful that I have Cait Plus Ate, and associated Facebook and Twitter accounts, to help me do that. I also am all about giving the brands that I love – and hate – the feedback that will benefit them, as well as connecting the ones I love with my readers. Writing for you is going to make my audience bigger, and that means I get to share my passions with more people – something I’m ALL about.

Take a look around Cait Plus Ate and you’ll be able to see my true personality right off the bat – you’ll feel like you know me from reading my posts. That’s what you need – someone to write for you that your readers can trust and feel friendly with. So let me write for you, and I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Please feel free to share any other reasons in the comments why you think I’d do a great job writing for fitness and nutrition magazines – and any tips or suggestions you have for me and the blog, while we’re at it!

FitFluential Holiday Balance: 5 Tips!

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed yesterday’s post about the goodies I received in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Make sure you check it out if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet 🙂 Can’t wait to see the official link round-up post tomorrow of every single recipe involved!

As a Fitfluential Ambassador, I am always looking to both give and receive tips on achieving balance. FitFluential’s key areas for balance are Eat, Sleep, Move, and Enjoy. I have to say that I certainly agree that balance in those areas is important, but since CMO Danielle Liss has assigned Ambassadors a writing prompt on five tips for achieving holiday balance, I am going to provide my own fifth area so that I can keep things Even-Steven and concentrate on one area per tip.

1. Eat: Focus on what makes you feel good, both physically and mentally.

Let me elaborate. There’s the food that makes you feel good physically. “Clean eats”, some call them. It’s different for everyone, and can often depend on what your body is used to. Some people feel best as vegans, some feel best as raging carnivores. Some feel best eating like Snooki:

Before Christmas dinner last year. Yes, my Christmas dinner came from a Jewish deli. And yes, I'm sunburnt.

For me, some of the foods that make me feel good don’t have too much sugar, are often in their most natural form (whole fruits, fresh veggies, local breads and meats, etc), and aren’t fried (which makes me veeeery sleepy). Those are just some examples.

Chowing down on fried alligator in DC.

But other foods are fun to eat and try, even if they aren’t those foods mentioned above that typically make me feel my best. And every now and then, I try to tell myself that it’s OK to eat those foods and experience them. Just because they don’t leave me feeling my best, doesn’t mean I don’t like to eat them. Fried food is YUMMY! A lot of heavier or sweeter foods tend to pop up during the holidays. Most emphasis is put on avoiding them at all costs, but I don’ t that’s entirely realistic or mentally healthy.

Grease-laden fries sure do TASTE good.

This area of FitFluential balance is, undoubtedly, the area I have the hardest time in. It’s very difficult for me to allow myself to eat the foods that aren’t on my list of foods I typically consume on a daily basis. In other words, I have a tough time breaking the mold. In fact, at this point in this post, I’d like to ask you all for tips! How do you allow yourself to indulge every now and then in some of those special holiday foods, like Christmas cookies or that random relative’s cheesy traditional side dish?

2. Sleep: Get enough of it.

I love my sleep. There isn’t much I will sacrifice it for. Blessed sleep is the reason I refuse to make myself wake up for a workout earlier than 7am, and why I rarely will commit to plans that may potentially have me out past 10pm.

Behold, my college sheets.

One might think this leads me to lead a boring life, but I think my life is anything but that. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour on Friday and Saturday nights means I’m ready to go bright and early during my valuable Saturdays and Sundays. I have enough time to sweat, spend time at my favorite cafes, blog, do my homework, run errands, hang out with friends, you name it. Going to bed earlier than 12am doesn’t mean I have less free time on weekends – it just shifts my free time to earlier hours, which is fine by me.

Sometimes holiday parties start on the later side, at 8 or 9pm. If it’s not too far away, there’s still always time to drop by. You can make a decision about how late you want to stay once you arrive! If you’re having a blast, by all means, stay and enjoy. If you’re like me, and on a steady sleeping schedule, your eyes will start getting droopy and you’ll be out of there by 10:30 (aka last Friday night for me). It’s easy in these instances to suffer from a classic case of FOMA (Fear of Missing Out), but then again, I often find myself suffering from FOMA in regards to the morning and early afternoon hangouts, group fitness classes, and blogging sessions I will miss if I hit the hay too late and end up sleeping in.

3. Move: Do so when you can, but don’t skip a special event for a workout. Or better yet, combine the event and the workout!

I like how FitFluential goes with the verb “move”, not “exercise”, because there are many forms of movement that your typical athlete might not consider “counting” toward physical activity. I know I myself am guilty of this. But the dancing you do at that holiday party? That’s movement! So is the pole dancing Groupon you might use with a few girlfriends for a girl’s night out precursor to a festive cookie exchange party, or the hike you may take after a Christmas brunch.

Greek dancing, anyone?

I always say, when you have time to move, make sure you take advantage. If you have a free afternoon or evening, going to the gym may be the last thing on your mind. But it won’t even be present in your mind at ALL the morning after a festive shindig that didn’t send you home until about 3am. So if you have the time, get that movement in so that when the busy holiday season leaves no space in  your calendar, it’ll be no biggie.

Speaking of calendar, scheduling movement is a big help to me as well, especially with my love for group fitness classes. Since those run on a schedule, I can prepare for when they occur in advance and fit them into my schedule!

4. Enjoy: Not just the obvious “fun” things (parties, presents, etc), but also the food you eat, the rest you get, the moving you do, and the drinks you drink.

No one can follow any of the tips in this post, on any Twitter feed, in any fitness magazine, etc if he or she isn’t at least somewhat enjoying life at the same time. It’s human nature not to stick with something that we dislike doing. So for each area of FitFluential balance, try to figure out what you enjoy most.

Had to have one holiday photo in here, right?

It may take trial and error. You may try a thousand group fitness classes before you find one that works up a sweat AND makes the time go by at a reasonable pace (I’m not going to say makes the time fly by – I know that’s not realistic for most). You may go through twenty “healthified” holiday cookie recipes before you find one that doesn’t taste like cardboard. But don’t give up! There is a way out there to lead a balanced, healthy life of enjoyment. You just might not have found it yet!

5. Drink (my own addition): Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – but also, one or two glasses of wine don’t hurt!

First of all, I cannot stress the importance of water. Drink it as often as you can. Drink a ton of it! I always have water on me, no matter where I go. I recommend using it to pace yourself during holiday parties and dinners as well. After you clear your plate, try finishing your glass of water, then see if you still want seconds. Alternate each run for finger foods with a glass of water.

Not exactly a holiday photo, but I'll drink sangria year round!

Water can also be used to help you enjoy alcohol in moderation. Firstly, it’s another pacer – always make sure you order a glass of water at the same time as each drink. Make sure you finish it before you consider ordering another. Secondly, water will help to ward off the dehydrating effects of alcohol. There’s no guarantee against a headache the next morning (I usually get one no matter how much water I drink!) but taking every “precaution” is smart.

If you don’t drink, that’s your choice, just like the foods that make you feel good are your choice! Don’t let that make you nervous about attending any holiday gatherings where you know most people will be drinking. There’s always substitutes you can fill your glass with – seltzer water is a good option, or diet soda. Everyone will assume there’s something “intoxicating” in there, trust me!

As for choices of what beverages to partake in, if you do wish to do so (I know I sometimes do), I recommend something that you can sip on and savor. Spring for a wine that you know you will enjoy, even if it’s not the cheapest. It will satisfy you more! Many banquet halls and even party hosts are now offering “skinny” or “natural” cocktail options for those that dislike wine.

I hope you all enjoyed my 5 tips to achieve FitFluential Holiday Balance! 

Which of these five areas is it hardest for you to achieve balance in? Is there anything you think I left out, or anything I said that you disagree with? Do you have any tips for me on how to achieve balance in the area of Eat?