Fitness Habits life

Superficial Things, Consistency, and Results

May 19, 2022

As I mentioned in this post (which got some fascinating responses), I have been eating much more intentionally lately. I am not counting macros or tracking in any kind of quantitative detailed fashion, but am just sticking to a basic framework of three meals, generally healthy options, and basic portion control. Most days I get minimal sugar though there have definitely been planned exceptions (May birthday ice cream cake at my office last week = yes). I do eat one of these almost every night. I have continued my exercise routine was per usual with maybe a bit more attention to getting walks in on non-run days and trying to progress in my weights a bit in my strength workouts.

I decided to take pictures when I started, and as yesterday was 1 month in, I took some progress pix of sorts.

I am not going to show them here.

But I have to say I am really impressed with the difference a single month has made. I feel about 100 times better in my clothing. I have one pair of jeans in 2 sizes, and now the smaller is the one that fits (and looks better, too). I am not distracted by feeling self-conscious.

AND MAJOR BONUS: I have NOT HAD ANY MIGRAINES IN THE PAST MONTH other than a mini-one (lasted ~24 hours but not severe) that was 100% obviously triggered by alcohol (2 drinks out at KYU – which was a really fun night, and I don’t really have regrets). I had at least one person mention migraines being triggered by higher carb/sugar intake and I wonder if that is true for me. No migraines = much happier life. Previously I was getting ~2/month and each one was lasting 2-3 days.

(Side note related to alcohol: I probably drink ~2x/month these days though that has been true since 2020 or so. I am better off sticking to one drink when I do drink, and I should know that by now . . . next time. Also wondering if red wine is better than white/rose from a headache perspective.)

I ordered a couple of outfits for the summer and feel more hopeful that they will be flattering. And my cute-possibly-age-inappropriate shorts fit nicely again.

I have seen this suit everywhere!
Romper – I feel like this could be a vacation essential

Anyway, I feel pretty good and just wanted to share.


  • Reply Gwinne May 19, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Sarah, fwiw, I also tend toward food related migraines. I always Get headaches from tequila and red wine. I seem to do fine with gin and vodka based drinks as long as I drink enough water. I’m also going to do a modified whole 30 this month to see what happens…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 8:05 am

      no wine at all? noooo! I had heard white can be worse for some people (sulfites?) so will do a test w red next weekend.

      I support the Whole30 even just as an experiment. I didn’t even go that stringent, definitely still incorporated some rice and bread here and there, and I do oatmeal some mornings, just mindful of quantity and really avoiding ’empty’ carbs and almost all sugar. I was eating a lot of snacky garbage and ice cream before. not worth it to me.

  • Reply omdg May 19, 2022 at 7:39 am

    So glad you’re feeling better in your body! And don’t you dare say those shorts are not age appropriate. I WANT.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 7:58 am

      get them!!!!

  • Reply Arden May 19, 2022 at 7:57 am

    I think that romper would look SO cute on you! Not that you asked…LOL.

  • Reply Marina May 19, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Pretty much all alcohol besides white wine gives me a headache now, especially if I have more than one. I do the occasional glass of red but tend to stick to New Zealand sauvignon blancs (my favorite!) My body might just be used to this now though.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 19, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Yay for less migraines! I am glad that you are feeling better! Homing in on nutrition seems to make the biggest difference. I heard on a podcast once that ounces are lost in the gym and pounds are lost in the kitchen and I think that is really true for most of us! I had let my eating drift a bit so need to rein it in a bit, too.

    That romper is so cute but all I can think about is how challenging it would be to go to the bathroom! Ha!

    When it comes to wine, I find that red gives me headaches no matter how little drink but I do not have that problem with white wine!

    • Reply keren May 19, 2022 at 11:49 am

      When I see rompers I think the same thing😄

      • Reply Grateful Kae May 19, 2022 at 4:17 pm

        I saw a meme of sorts online last week where the left side showed a cartoon/ stick person holding up a romper, with a text bubble something like, “Oh, this is so cute!”. And then on the right side, it shows her in a public bathroom stall, totally “naked”, covering her boobs with her arms going, “Welp, this is awkward!” (since she had to take the entire thing down to pee!) 🤣🤣 It was so funny. (I think it was actually referencing some kind of romper that had a built in shelf bra, though, so in that case, if you had to take it down, you wouldn’t even have a bra on!! omg lol.)

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 4:53 pm

          HAHAHA. at least with the one I showed yes the bra would be safe! (and truthfully – who usually watches you pee?? hahaha)

    • Reply Ali May 21, 2022 at 8:16 pm

      Same re: rompers!! 🤣

  • Reply Amy May 19, 2022 at 9:29 am

    FWIW, I don’t think how you feel in your body is a superficial thing at all. So glad you are feeling better — and what a discovery about the migraines! Wow. But for real though, isn’t it amazing how much better we feel when we cut back on sugar and empty carbs? Trying to do the same myself.

  • Reply Lou May 19, 2022 at 9:39 am

    It’s really heartening to hear that a month of ‘tidying up’ eating has made you feel so much better. I’m about to take the same approach – tracking and calorie counting has just made me depressed (and takes up time!) and I think makes me a bit obsessive and then I go into rebel mode and undo any good work!!
    Nice to hear you’ve not done anything too drastic and it’s worked. Get out there and enjoy the summer in your smallest shorts, I say 😊

  • Reply Ashley May 19, 2022 at 10:18 am

    This is inspiring! I was tracking calories and macros for awhile, and it was absolutely crazy-making. So I stopped after about 6 weeks, which was enough for me to reset my portion sizes and really see my habits. Since then, I have focused on making sure I’m getting adequate protein at each meal, snacking less, and increasing my fruit/veggie consumption. It’s made a big difference in how I feel. No clue on what the scale says, and I honestly don’t want to know. I wonder if further tinkering could help with the PMS-related migraines I get. I do tend to eat more snacks and sweets during that time … hmm.

  • Reply LN May 19, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Wear the shorts, life is short! They don’t seem inappropriate to me, plus I’m sure in South Florida there is always someone wearing a shorter/ more revealing outfit around (and why not? It’s hot and people should wear what they want)

  • Reply Noemi May 19, 2022 at 11:39 am

    For me red wine causes a headache almost immediately, but I can’t get away with white wine. Neither makes me feel very good. Actually my best bet is a tequila drink with just a splash of lime juice. I know people have bad vibes for tequila but I swear my body can handle it better than anything else, even other clear alcohols like vodka. Beer gives me bad heartburn so I steer clear.

    Thanks for writing about this. I’ve been meaning to write about body stuff since your last post (which I really appreciated) but it’s always easier to push a harder (to write) post like that to later! Hopefully soon.

    I’m so glad your reset had provided the results you were hoping for, and that you feel good in your body and clothes again. It’s really important! And thanks for talking about something a lot of us are thinking about, but rarely mentioning.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 11:50 am

      I never used to feel like wine caused headaches until I started having the migraine issues I currently have. Then I realized a total correlation. I think I can usually get away with one smallish glass and will have to compare red vs white. White is really the main alcohol that I actually *like* (beer – rarely? in the right setting) so I will be really sad if I can never have it without a long headache after.

      I’m glad these posts resonate – agree this ($*@$ occupies a lot of brain space but most don’t seem to address it.

      • Reply KGC May 19, 2022 at 3:36 pm

        I agree with Noemi that mixed drinks with minimal mixers sit best with me. I dislike beer and am only so-so on wine – partially due to taste (meh) and partially due to how it makes me feel (not a migraine trigger but just sort of blah and headachy). But I love a dirty martini or a very minimally-made margarita (similar to just tequila + splash of lime). Without sweet mixers, I prefer these. I wonder if there’s a cocktail that you might like (almost) as much as wine that wouldn’t trigger a headache?

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 4:55 pm

          I’m not a big cocktail fan of any kind really! Maybe I could learn to like a dirty martini or bit of lime/tequila/salt/ice. I could see that 🙂 Or a vodka soda (w/ club soda) with lime . . .

  • Reply Brittany May 19, 2022 at 11:41 am

    I can vouch for that bathing suit! I bought it after seeing another woman share it on Instagram and it is so flattering! and comfortable.
    So glad you are feeling fit! I love how small changes can add up to a big difference.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2022 at 11:48 am

      Yes you were one of several inspirations! And you are short like me so that bodes well 🙂 I hope it works out. I ordered the black/white one in the pic!

  • Reply Keren May 19, 2022 at 11:55 am

    It’s so nice that you feel better in your body. I also lost some weight recently ( a combination of tracking food on app and exercise) and it’s a really good feeling that your clothes fit again and look better on you. Enjoy all the cute summer outfits.
    As for wine, red is notorious for causing migraines ☹️

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly May 19, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    So interesting on how people react to wine. I prefer red wine but stopped drinking it years ago because it makes my rosacea flare up. Fun times!

  • Reply Heather May 19, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Hi! Thank you for writing about these topics. I’m curious if you or any other readers could please share stories about how changes to diet (like cutting back on sugar and processed foods) impacted their moods and energy / motivation levels? I know I need to make some changes to my habits, and I’d love to hear “success” stories to help rally me to get started! Thanks in advance!

    • Reply Caitlin May 19, 2022 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Heather, I cut back on sugar years ago and it has made such a huge impact on my life in so many ways. I was always overweight and struggled to maintain even a heavier weight, got migraines often, got very tired in the afternoons, and didn’t have a ton of energy. For a while I cut it out completely (doing Whole30/paleo/keto) and that made a huge difference and helped me cure my “sugar dragon.” Now I eat sugar occasionally, but I usually try to make sure it is high quality and worth it to me. I could not believe what a difference it made for me, especially in how I felt (hardly ever get migraines now, much more energy, and much more clear-headed). I really feel better when I am mostly eating real food but I feel like I’m in a good place now where I can have it sometimes, without constantly jonesing for it. So I would definitely recommend trying to cut sugar back to see how you feel.

      • Reply Heather May 20, 2022 at 7:53 am

        Hi Caitlin – Thanks so much for this reply! This is really encouraging.

    • Reply Cate May 20, 2022 at 3:18 am

      Hi Heather, I realise everyone is different, but for me, cutting right down on sugar made a big improvement in my headaches. I was v resistant to trying to cut back but it has definitely been worth it. It took me a while for my body to stop missing it but after that my migraines, other headaches and peri menopausal symptoms especially night sweats got loads better. Good luck!

      • Reply Heather May 20, 2022 at 7:53 am

        Hi Cate – Thank you for this reply! That’s good to know it might take awhile to get used to it, but that it’s worth it!

  • Reply coco May 19, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    I really think diet plays a huge role in how we feel and look, much more than exercise honestly. It’s harder to change but it works. I just commented on Kae’s post about skincare… after trying a lot of products, the one that worked consistently to clear my skin is cutting out sugar and white carbs, every time! 🙂 It’s not easy in this modern world with so many package food luring us… but it’s possible, especially the longer we do this, the easier it gets and eventually our body thrives/prefers that way of eating too.

    • Reply Amy May 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      I totally agree with this. For one thing, I am in my forties with much, MUCH better skin than I had in my twenties (not just acne, but clarity, brightness) and I attribute this 100% to diet. I feel like acknowledging what an important role diet plays in our wellbeing is actually kind of unpopular / makes people defensive … but it’s absolutely true.

  • Reply Kwan May 20, 2022 at 12:28 am

    Hi Sarah!
    I didn’t realize how close you were to Fort Lauderdale. So sorry for the late question but we’re going to be in the area this weekend. Any recommendations for Sunday brunch? What are some of your Kent miss places? Thanks for your insight!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 20, 2022 at 5:05 am

      oh man – we actually do not go to Ft Lauderdale that much (it’s 20-30 min away)! Miami is almost as close to where we live (and our friends/family are more there) so we tend to go South. The one place I can definitely recommend is Yot – cute place near where yachts actually dock (hence the name) with a really nice outdoor area.

  • Reply Sonna May 20, 2022 at 1:34 am

    Love that swimsuit. Really good to hear that the migraines are reduced. None of this is superficial imho. I’d like to tidy up my food intake too, this has been good inspo. June 1st here I come.

  • Reply HJ May 21, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Boden swimsuits are always worth it! Great fabric, quality construction and fit and fun colors!!

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