Healthy Sewist – Becky with Sarcastic Quilter

The response to my own healthy journey has been great.  In an effort to try and keep others motivated I have reached out to a few other quilters.  They will be sharing their stories.

Becky at Sarcastic Quilter took time out of her week to talk about her motivations and challenges.  It’s great to read how others are keeping themselves going.  She gives some great HONEST answers.

So, what inspired #sweatnsew?  I had been chatting with a couple other sewists/quilters about getting healthy and motivation. I decided it was time for me to step up and work on my own health and in talking about it, realized there were a lot of us trying to do it but by ourselves and at home with only kids around to encourage. One of my IG friends posted photos about her exercise, a couple more commented and talked about hashtags and I think, @amylouwhosews actually coined the #sweatnsew tag. I picked it up and asked if they’d mind me taking the tag & running with a giveaway. My purpose, to find others like me and use it to motivate ourselves to change our habits for the better. I was surprised by the interest but kept it going each month, at first, because it became an online place for us to post and receive encouragement from others but then because I really enjoyed helping keep people motivated. I found it kept ME motivated to see their progress and be able to post about my own ups and downs.

There are almost 10,000 posts with that hashtag, that’s impressive.  Were you expecting that kind of response?  Nope. I love that it continues even if I’ve been slacking. I still host the giveaways each month and the prizes are donated by participants (including myself) and are sew related. I think, ultimately, everyone loves doing what they can for themselves with the little tiny added bonus of maybe getting some extra fabric or sewing tools. I can see the ups and downs of school/summer breaks affect participants now, the pattern of life, I mean and so I have decided that I need to do an extra special giveaway in Oct. to remind folks to keep going, or restart if they fell off  the wagon.  Like you, my goal has always been and will always be for all of us to be a fitter and healthier you.

There are so many different levels of fitness among sewists/quilters and some can work out and some can’t that I want, above all, #sweatnsew to be welcoming to everyone. I will always tell people, if all you can do now is change your eating habits, posting a picture of your good food choices and tagging #sweatnsew gets you an entry just like someone else going all Crossfit crazy.

What do you do to keep yourself healthy?  Try to keep accountable. I am human, I’ve fallen off the wagon. For example, the last couple of months, I’ve been inconsistent in both my exercising and eating cleaner. Having reached a point of feeling stronger and healthier, I can say now that I FEEL worse because of my inconsistency. That’s a huge motivator to get back at it. Also, the hashtag. -wink-  I want to do what I’m asking others to do. Be a good example to my family.

How do I do it when I’m on the wagon? A couple things with huge impact.

  • MOVE.  For me, that’s doing a workout program because I love to sit and sew and I sit and work at a desk during the day. I also hate running.
  • Clean eating.  I don’t think I’ll ever be truly “clean” but I have substantially cut processed foods out of my diet. I make meals with whole ingredients.  Whole wheat pasta, ground beef, onions make a great homemade hamburger helper and I don’t have all the chemicals and sodium from the boxed stuff – for example.
  • Plan & Experiment for convenience – I am no good at meal prep, I admit it. I do plan out my meals and of 7 meals planned for the week, I’m lucky if I go with 3 of them. For me, however, it’s about getting those fresh ingredients in the house. If I planned a meal for, oh, say baked chicken breasts but I really want fish that night. No problem, I’ll leave the chicken for another day and pull out the frozen salmon and bake that instead.  Tired of the same salmon recipe?  No problem, add grainy mustard & a tsp of apricot preserves instead of dill and Greek yogurt on top. It’s because I have those in the house instead of, say, soy sauce, that I think to use them. Once past the initial draw down phase of wanting the junk, I was able to listen to the cravings of my system.
  • Track. I track what I eat. When I’m really good, I don’t’ have to write everything down and can focus on weekly macro goals but when I’m just coming back (like now) I’ll track everything I eat through MyFitnessPal. It will help remind me of portion size. Good choices for carbs and proteins, etc. until I get back into the swing of good choices most of the time (instead of the other way around).
    • ** I recommend MYFITNESSPAL to many of the people I work with daily.  It’s nutritional database is huge and pretty easy to use.
  • Smaller and more frequent meals.  If I am eating 1600 calories per day, I will have 4-5 “meals” but only one is a large meal & the others smaller. For me, that works.
  • Setting goals!  I want to run an obstacle race instead of walking it.  I want to run a Tough Mudder next year…
When it comes to sewing or exercise, which usually wins out?  Sewing. This means, I will often use my quilting time as a reward unless I have a deadline.  “Workout so you can get to your quilting!” 🙂
What impact has exercise had on your sewing, creativity, or quilting?  It’s counter-intuitive to most people, but I’ve had more energy and been more focused with my creativity and quilting. The first month is hard for anyone just getting into better food choices and/or working out as the body adjusts but around then.  Most notice they are sleeping more regularly and are more energized during the day. If you eat less and more and are more active, your metabolism is working more throughout the day.  It’s a GOOD thing.
If you haven’t already mentioned, what kind of challenges do you face when it comes to staying active or being healthy?  Being consistent even if I’m busy or having a bad day. Not making excuses. I’m a little backward, too. I know my body but if I feel good, I will sometimes think “it’s okay to skip it today, you are doing fine and you feel fine”.  The problem is, falling into that more than one day or the next… then I find myself right where I am now. Inconsistent and several weeks out where I don’t feel strong or fit anymore. Boo me and time to stop pretending.  So, I guess the short answer is, remaining realistic and acknowledging that once you are where you want to be, doesn’t mean you can stop. It means you have to change focus to maintain.
Do you have a favorite quote, technique, and/or exercise video to share with others?  I’ll share my Pinterest Board. When I want a little extra something (even if it’s just to look at a toned sweaty body for motivation) I go there.  There are some good exercises  as well.  fitness inspiration & sports
The last thing I’ll mention is, if you are a little older like me, go ahead and just put Eye of the Tiger by Survivor on your playlist. Something about the memory of Rocky training and running up the steps in Philly is quite the motivation to get up and get moving!  Okay, one more, this might be my current favorite quote b/c it’s so appropriate for me to remember right now.  fitness inspiration & sports
tumblr_mqzhsgobhd1spfbd5o1_500So, what have you done today?