Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fast Approaching "Normal"

I'm coming up quick on a very busy few weeks, I feel tired just thinking about it.  First up is Myra's 2nd birthday party over Labor Day weekend.  Fortunately we're just having a casual backyard party without the bells and whistles.  Last year we did a big thing at the local pool but we're taking it a bit easier this go 'round.  That's quickly followed by the first real board meeting of the year for our mothers club.  That will be relatively easy, it's just a matter of getting organized ahead of time mostly.  Then, that evening I'm driving most of the way to Yosemite for my girls backpacking trip.  I'll get up Thursday morning and drive the rest of the way.  I'll have to be crafty and organized to keep everything rolling until I get to Yosemite, then I can drop all the mental stuff and just put one foot in front of the other on the trail.  Add to that I'm behind at work so I'm going in next Wednesday (my day off) to do some catching up.  It's my own fault, not being as efficient lately as I should be.  Anyway, if my blogging trails off over the next few weeks you'll know why. 

To get back to the topic of the day (food and exercise, what else is there?), things have been going great.  And if I can hang on tonight and resist the incredibly powerful urge I'm feeling to eat a bowl of cereal (that I don't need), I'll be doing even better.  Monday I went to the gym and rode the bike for 25 minutes.  It's the first time since getting sick that I did my "normal" plan, 25 minutes on level 8.  Whew, it was tough!  I was sweating like crazy.  After that I did chest/triceps/core.  I'd forgotten my workout book and had to try and remember my routine.  I remembered everything but dips.  And I did too many pushups.  Three sets, 12, 10 and 8 reps.  Normally I do 10, 9, 8.  Guess I need to do 12, 10, 8 from now on since I know I can.  Overall my workout was good.

My eating (until this afternoon/evening) was very good.  I've been especially motivated and tracking 100% of my food intake.  Take a look at the dinner I made myself Tuesday evening. 

Black beans, quinoa, zucchini, avocado and pico de gallo...Yum!
I really enjoyed that meal, very comfort foody and satisfying.  I've started cooking my quinoa in chicken broth and it's super yummy!  After work I'd gone to the gym and did a 25 minute run on the treadmill.  I gotta admit, it was a challenge.  I found myself watching the clock.  I probably should have done an outdoor run.  I did my normal 6mph but every 5 minutes I did a 7mph interval for one minute.  After the run I did legs/shoulders/core.  I decided to drop curtsy lunges, I felt just the tiniest twinge in my right knee when I did them.  But that was enough to scare me off them, knees garner a lot of respect with me.  So I'm doing side lunges instead (even though they feel really easy so I'm not convinced they are working anything in particular). 

I've been on this roll of motivation until I made a tactical error with lunch today.  Instead of my normal protein heavy lunch I had a relatively small amount of fried rice.  Point heavy but protein light.  I've learned that my body needs a good amount of protein to stay satisfied.  That left me feeling like eating the rest of the afternoon.  Well, that and being home.  It's SO much easier to stay on track at work.  I did my best to avoid food overload but I managed to tip myself into the red with Points.  Even if I stay within my points tomorrow and do my normal workout I'll still finish the week -2.   I honestly don't care about a measly two points, but I really don't want to make matters worse by eating a bowl of cereal tonight.  I had a very satisfying dinner (chicken breast marinated in curry spices, quinoa, green beans and a bit of Miguel's white rice and avocado) but sometimes once the "eat, eat, eat" feeling gets going no amount of food seems to end it.  I'm not eating the cereal.  There.  It's done, I've decided.

On a more positive note I am on the brink of "normal".  My blog's tagline is "Follow along as I strive to be normal...on the BMI scale anyway".  Well, all that striving is going to be a reality soon.  Could be this week, maybe next, maybe the following...all I know is, it's close.  And I'm feeling a sense of excited anticipation.  When was the last time I was in the normal category for weight?  Probably 15 years ago, maybe more.  And that was a relatively short-lived time in my life.  I've spent almost my entire life being overweight ("obese", actually) and have been on this current journey 5 years, 6 months and 8 days.  Talk about sticking with it.  And I'm being taunted by cereal?  Sometimes I forget how determined I can be. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gardening and a Trail Run

It's not even 9pm and I'm in bed, which is good.  But with my laptop, which is not so good - though I'm going to sleep right after I finish this post.  This weekend has been fabulous!  It started with a great workout on Friday.  I didn't make the same mistake I made on Thursday (going to the gym on a totally empty stomach), this time I had an AccelGel on my way and that made a huge difference in my energy level.  Friday was the last day of my "recovery" week (after being sick) but I was feeling ready to tackle Level 8 on the bike so I did, but instead of my normal 25 minutes I just did 20.  The bike went well, I managed to keep to my normal rpm plan.  After the bike I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I saw someone doing squats on an upside-down Bosu, so of course I had to give it a try.  My legs were all shaky but I could definitely do them.  Not going to be adding that to the routine for now but maybe later.  The gym went great but I was totally wiped out afterward.

My gardening digs
Saturday was a day off from the gym but not from work.  I walked with the kids to the local garden store and bought some plants (lantana, penstimon, geranium, echinacea and pink yarrow) to replace the ones the gophers ate.  This time, as a defensive move against the gophers, I got gopher baskets to protect the plants.  I hear it sometimes doesn't work.  We'll see.  I spent the entire afternoon digging holes and planting the plants.  Growing up I thought gardening was the worst form of torture.  I must be getting old because I'm starting to enjoy it.  But I worked my butt off.  I planted a fountaingrass in a new spot and ended up running into a huge root that I had to break up.  Man, that was tough, so much that I gave myself 1 activity point for the gardening. I was a little worried I would wake up sore from all the manual labor but I was fine.  After a day out in the sun gardening I was too tired to cook so we had fish sticks (Trident from Costco) and french fries (Alexia sweet potato fries) for dinner.

Today we spent the morning at home and then Miguel took the kids to watch a soccer game while I went to the gym.  At first I planned to do a 4.5 mile loop from my gym but then I remembered it's Sunday and I should do something I can't do during the week - a trail run it is.  I did the Indian Valley trail loop that I always do.  I debated 2 vs 3 loops during the first loop and came up with a new running rule for myself, never think about when you're going to stop while running uphill.  In the end I decided I had enough to do 3 loops, plus a little extra to make it a full hour.  My pace wasn't record breaking but I was happy to be under 12 minute miles given the terrain and my ongoing recovery.

I ran just over 5 miles, stretched my legs some and then took the short drive to the gym to do chest/triceps/core work for strength training.  I did my full workout, even a few extra pushups, and then stretched. I am so stiff!  I think it's going to take a couple weeks for me to loosen up.  But what a triumph!  I'm back!!  I felt motivated all weekend and this great workout topped it off perfectly. 

My mom came over and made dinner - chuck roast with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob and asparagus, plus I had a glass of wine.  Ohhh, it was all so good.  I ate more than I needed but I enjoyed it and tracked it all so it was a regret-free meal (I don't really feel guilty anymore about "bad" food choices but I do sometimes regret bad choices).  After we cleaned up and spent a little time playing with the kids I came to bed.  I'm wanting to get a good night sleep after this very active weekend.  Ugh, I wish tomorrow wasn't Monday.  But on a good note, I've gotten through the weekend with 9 activity points remaining, those will do me some good since I wiped out my weekly points on dinner tonight.

This is the first weekend in what seems like forever where we had no plans, and it was lovely.  Ok, that's it from me.  Nighty night!