I get asked all the time why I work out. What am I training for? Why do I eat like this? How can I bake and stay fit? How the hell can you have brownies in the house?!?
Well, the brownies we’ll get to in a moment. My Why? Well, my why has changed a lot over the years. At first my why was because I got fat. Pretty simple. I didn’t like what I looked like. I didn’t like how I felt about myself so I made a change. Then my Why changed to be because I needed to maintain. For quite a while it stayed this way, fluctuating between needing to lose weight and needing to maintain. That was mostly due to babies. Legit reasons (kinda….I did take those lovely 9 month vacations…..three times).
Then my Why became about wanting to be in shape. Not just be skinny. I wanted to be really fit. Healthy. Heart healthy. To actually do something with my body. Make it work hard. Run. Run fast. My Why became about being mentally fit. It all ties together. My Why currently is about building muscle. Not to compete. Not for show. Not for anyone or anything other than the fact it just makes me happy. I happen to love the way muscle looks on a person. The shape it gives. It *may be because I *may want a nice booty for summer (or year round, that works for me as well). Its a beautiful thing, our bodies. Its an exciting and interesting process to me. My body is my canvas and I get to decide how to shape it. So it’s pretty simple. My Why? It makes me fucking happy. That’s it. I’m training for me. For life. For my kids. For my health. And yes, because I like to eat brownies.
So my Why gives me a purpose to make it easier to have those brownies in the kitchen. My Why is always in my head. My vision. I know that I can’t eat ALL the brownies. So I don’t. Is it hard? Yes. Yes I would love to sit on the couch with my favorite TV show on, with a gigantic bowl of warm brownies with ice cream smothered by caramel sauce. Sounds amazing. I’m just not going do it. Nope. Instead I’m sitting here blogging away, while brownies chill in the freezer with my 5am wake up call looming so I can drag my ass to the gym. That’s how I do it. I just fucking do it. No excuses.
“But Victoria!,” you cry, “It’s so hard! How do you find the motivation?” I want it. It’s literally that simple. Either you want it or you don’t. There is no in between.
Yes I love to sleep in. Yes I have really bad days. Yes I get sore. Yes I have moments with body image issues. Yes I deal with injury. Yes I hate meal prepping. Yes I have days where I don’t eat spot on and have guilt associated with it. Yes I wish I could look like Jessie Hilgenberg or Paige Hathaway when I walk out of the gym. Yes I want ALL the wine. And lets not start about all the Lululemon I’d love to have. And YES, every damn day I plow through all those thoughts of doubt, hurt, pain, fear, guilt, exhaustion, envy and gluttony over Lulu. The struggles are real. Yes, I am human. Bottom line is I’m willing to work through the struggles. All those things aren’t going to get me to my Why. To my vision. They’re road blocks, but I choose to not let them stop me in my journey. You can choose to let them consume you or you can choose to take them to the gym and leave that shit there. Then on those really great days, I make a plan for brownies and wine.
That’s exactly what I did this weekend! It’s been a while since I’ve made brownies. They are one of my favorites, but they kinda got shuffled to the side in the interest of making new things. However, it made them all that more delicious. I love the process of making brownies! Melting a pound of butter with a pound of chocolate. There is nothing better. It’s beautiful. Magical. Hypnotic even. Smells like heaven.
And they are really simple too. A few bowls involved, but no mixer and it all gets mixed together into one big bowl. Pretty easy. Baking time is reasonable as well. You can add caramel. Add peanut butter. Add walnuts, almonds, or chocolate chips. Or keep them simple. Its up to you! I use Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies with a few little tweaks.
- 1 pound unsalted Butter
- 1 pound semi sweet chocolate chips
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Butter and flour a 12x18x1 inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of semi sweet chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, instant coffee granules, and vanilla. Stir together but do not beat. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Toss the pecans and the remaining 12 ounces of dark chocolate chips in a small bowl with the remaing 1/4 cup of flour. Add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, them rap pan on oven rack to force the air out of the batter. Bake for another 15 minutes until just done. Do not over bake! Allow to cool thoroughly. Refrigerate then cut into squares. Enjoy!
They are so rich and dense. These brownies definitely lean more toward the fudgy side than the cake like texture type of brownie. So if that’s your thing, then give them a try!
Remember to reflect on your WHY. What is driving you? When someone asks you Why, have an answer. Not for them, but for you. Also, re-evaluate your why. It may need to change from time to time to keep your journey going. Is it to get past an injury. Is it to get over a hurdle or obstacle to get to a certain goal. It’s ok to change why we do what we do, so long as it keeps us in the direction we want to go. Even if your why is because you want to eat brownies!!