Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 19: The best prescription

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Let's get straight to it.

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean, Almond Milk

Yep, I am back to my routine breakfast. The only change I made is, I ate more. The box previously had a "weight loss" recommended serving of 39 grams noted below the nutrition box. I noticed they stopped putting that on the box. Anyway, today I decided to eat the full serving, 52 grams. It felt like a lot but I'm wondering if I eat more at breakfast, I might not be so snacky later in the day. Don't ask me my reasoning on that one because I don't have any.

In fact, I ready a study on skipping breakfast. The "eat breakfast" proponents argue, among other things, that if you skip breakfast you'll get over-hungry and eat more later to compensate. This study found that to not be the case and at the end of the day (literally), the breakfast skippers consumed less calories overall because of the "saved" calories at breakfast.

Aaaanyway, I'm getting off track here.

Snack: Banana, rice cake, 3 inch square of pizza.

Pizza? What? Well, I was in the tech support office at work and an admin assistant went around with a plate of little pieces of pizza. Like passed hors d'oeuvres. What could I do? Pass them up of course. But no, I had one.

My lunch spot today - the driver's seat
Lunch: Salad bar salad from The Good Earth with lettuce, tofu and various other veggies.

Work was a lot of driving again today. Why do I get so tired from sitting on my rump all day? I felt myself dragging by late afternoon. Around 3pm I found myself in the cafeteria buying snacks...

Snack: chocolate pudding, a bag of WW Whitman's english toffee pieces (I think there were 6 in the bag)

Huh? Yes, more snacks. I'll tell you, I really like that I'm logging my food here. It got me to thinking. What sabotaging thought am I having that's leading to my non-goal-oriented choices. I did a little rewind in my brain and found this.

"If I eat this food I'll feel better and have more energy."

It doesn't make sense. It's not true. The food doesn't make me feel better and it never gives me more energy. Where did I get this idea?  Ok, so here's my response.

It's not true that I will feel better after eating this food. In fact, I almost always feel worse. And I don't get more energy out of it. It never gives me more energy. If I skip this snack, I will still feel tired, and maybe still not feel "good", but overall I will feel better for it because I'm not sabotaging myself.

I think another factor is boredom/stress. Work has been intense lately and I wonder if I'm not looking for a little escape or reward in the form of yummy food.

"I've been working hard and need/deserve a treat."

It's true I've been working hard, but sabotaging myself is not a treat. I will feel better if I find other ways to take a mental break and to acknowledge/reward my sometimes difficult work.

I'm putting these in rotation and will continue to tune into my thoughts. Obviously something's gone haywire in my brain with this snacking thing and it needs more attention. Less whining, more (thought) action.

Moving on... Even with my feeling so tired I took myself to the gym. I knew that was the only thing that could make me feel more alive. I got there late but my mom surprised the kids and picked them up early at preschool so I had time to stay later. I started with a 4.5 mile run outside, which felt great. I ran the route in 45:18, the slowest I've run it yet but still fast enough to make me happy.

After the run I did chest/triceps/PT&core exercises. I'm rotating out most of the PT stuff and rotating my previous core stuff back in. My back is semi-cooperating so far and I'm just hoping it continues to hold up. My hip is a different story. For some reason it's been hurting lately. I talked to the head trainer and he had some ideas. I have a training session on the books so maybe I'll use it to get some exercises I can use to strengthen whatever's weak and causing the problem.

Bottom line though, I was happy to have exercised and have the buzz I knew would carry me through the evening. Now that's real energy, and it makes me feel good. So good. 

So energy, lack of it, wanting it...where does it come from? Sleep. I need more sleep. At least 8 hours. Lately it's been more like six. Six hours sleep undermines my goals, leaves me feeling tired and uninspired (hey, that rhymes), and grumpy. Oh, oh, oh!!! That reminds me of a super cool quote I dreamed up on my way to the gym. You ready? 

Not exercising because you don't feel good is
like not taking an aspirin because you have a headache.

Bam! So true, right? I walked in feeling a bit grumpy and tired, I walked out feeling alive, happy and zippy.

Exercise and sleep. Got it. And with that, I'm off to bed. And I mean it this time.

PS - Dinner: Chinese food - chow mein and sesame chicken courtesy of mom. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 18: The beat goes on

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I really appreciate all the thoughtful comments on yesterday's post. Really gave me a lot of good feedback and things to consider. You guys sure have a wealth of experience, knowledge and support to offer. Thank you! I plan to respond to them soon.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar and maple syrup, hot tea

I had a lot of driving to do this morning and ended up munching most of the morning.

Snack: other half of (very large) trail mix bag

...and by "trail" mix I mean nuts, raisins and m&ms. Good food for when you're actually on a trail. Not so good when you're sitting on your rumpus in traffic.

Lunch: Veggie frittata, salad, rice, vegetable soup

I heart my City by the Bay.
Work was super busy today, felt like I was going non-stop. But it was a beautiful day and I managed to catch a gorgeous view of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge while waiting for someone.

I stayed up way too late last night and was dragging, like seriously dragging, most of today. The idea of hitting the gym inspired nothing more than dread.

Thanks goodness for Thursdays with Glenn! I dragged my tired self to the gym and started up spin class. Told myself, out loud even, just do what you can. The music got going and eventually so did I. After about 50 minutes of spin I felt awake and ready to tackle weights. I did back/biceps/PT and core exercises. Things went pretty well overall and I left feeling energized enough to get through the rest of the evening anyway.

Dinner: Refried black beans, cream, avocado, scrambled eggs, 1 flour tortilla, pico de gallo

I cleaned up the kitchen and packed the kids' lunches and somewhere along the way finished Myra's popsicle and had some chocolate.

Snack: 1 square of chocolate, 1/2 a pecan popsicle (which is somewhat more like ice cream on a stick)

The sad thing is the chocolate isn't that good. I should throw it away.

So I'm back to my more normal routine, still with some snacking and various other munchie behaviors I'd like to eliminate. But I'm confident I'm moving in that direction. And my exercise is on point, which is good. So glad I dragged myself to the gym today, it balanced out the trail mix encounter.

So why am I still counting the days to 28 days? For now it's because I am still doing some of the challenge - no caffeine, no alcohol. Oh, and I'm posting my food here. I know, it's not much, but it's still something and for now, I'll count down the days until this challenge is over, even if I'm hardly doing it. I guess it's about this not being all-or-nothing, or even most-or-nothing. I'm doing something, right? I'm on day 18 of doing something.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 17: Are my days numbered?

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This post could easily be a paragraphs long diatribe about all that I think is wrong about what I'm doing these days. It's wrong that I'm following some time-limited challenge, it's wrong that I'm eliminating certain foods from my "diet", it's wrong, all wrong. Why haven't you stood up and screamed at me? "Michelle, what the hell are you doing?!"

Well, truth be told, some of you have. And I know the rest just wish me well. And then there's this:
This is day 3 for me . Day 2 my husband brought my son a birthday cake it . Yes a birthday cake who does that . Day 3 came along and I did a detox water. It happens but you can do it . I have just started I have 150 pounds to lose . I hope to one day lose it . 
A comment left on yesterday's post. And it got me to thinking...What the hell am I doing? Is this what I'm inspiring? Am I on a diet? Holy cow, Am I on a diet?!! Somebody tell me the truth, I can handle it.

Ok then, you have an idea of where my head is. I don't actually think I'm on a diet. Can I call it a phase? An experiment? Diets are done to lose weight. I'm not doing this to lose weight. Ok, I had that idea in the beginning, but I quickly saw the error of my ways and dropped that as a reason for doing this. To go back to my purpose, it was twofold.
  1. To check out the gluten free thing
  2. To break some of the "bad" habits that had crept back into my world
I'm pretty sure I don't have an issue with gluten. I haven't noticed any changes in my digestion, etc, by not eating it (can I get a thank God?). Anyway, no gluten issue. Purpose #1 met. Purpose #2 was going well, I was breaking those habits. And then I think I took it a bit too far and had a little food-meltdown. I've always tried to avoid the on/off thinking when it comes to eating. There's no "on plan" or "off program" or any of that. There just is what happens.

There is, though, such a thing as being off-the-wagon (for me anyway), which is when I'm not paying any attention to my food or exercise stuffs. But that's a different animal, and nowhere near the case now.

As far as food today...

Breakie: Oatmeal with brown sugar and maple syrup
Snack: 3 rice cakes, one with a cheese wedge spread on it
Lunch: Chipotle salad bowl with grilled chicken, black beans, salsa, guacamole
Snack: Banana
Snack: Trail mix (more than a serving, to keep it real)
Dinner: Steak salad with oil/vinegar dressing, sauteed zucchini and onion, bread, butter, olive oil
Snack: Orange

Oh, and exercise. The day got away from me. Or I got away from it. Either way I ended up with only about 20 minutes at the gym. I almost bailed altogether but Laura and Cori inspired me today. If you talk the talk, then walk that walk! So I hit the gym for a solid 20 minutes on the treadmill. I wished I had more time because I was feeling groovy.

Ok, back to my non-diet challenge. What's the point of all this introspection? I'll tell ya. Take what works, leave the rest. What's working is no caffeine, no alcohol, focus on whole foods, avoid the crap. What's working is what's always worked. Oh, and logging my food has helped. The question is, do I continue counting days? If I'm saying ok to dairy, ok to gluten, ok to most anything and everything I want in moderation (save caffeine and alcohol), well, doesn't that look mostly like what I've always done? Should I keep counting the days? Or should I call the whole thing off, acknowledge the dissonance, and move on?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 16: Glad it's over

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This will be short.

I fumbled.

There was a hamburger. And fries. There was bread. And ice cream. There was rebellion. And regret.

It's over. And I'm human.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 15: Running uphill

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Me: If you really want some ice cream, put some in a bowl and eat it. Don't keep going to the freezer for bites and end up eating more than a bowl.
Me: Good point. I'm not sure I even want any. Ice cream makes me all phlegmy anyway, plus it's not part of my plan right now. I'm only wanting it because it's there.
Me: If it gets that bad, put it down the garbage disposal.

Yes, these are the conversations I have with myself. I know it's not pretty, but it works. As you can probably tell, I've been to the freezer once and stood there with a spoon having a couple bites of ice cream. The internal dialogue above happened when I went back again for a couple more bites, which I didn't end up having. I put the spoon away and came to write my blog.

Aaaanyway...on to the story of today.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, maple syrup, raisins and a bit of milk, raspberry tea

Sugar! What can I say? I faltered. It sounded really good and it was a holiday and blah, blah, blah I ate it. I'd slept in quite late so the oatmeal was more like brunch, if that justifies things any (no it does not, in case you were wondering).

Snack: 2 brown rice cakes

I finally got to the gym in the afternoon and for whatever reason, running even three miles sounded like too much. So I decided to do a shorter route with a giant hill in the middle. This is a hill I was too scared to ride my bike up until this year, and now I'm scheming to run up it?! The good news is, it's not that long, but where it's lacking in distance, it makes up for in grade with parts in the 20% grade range. That's a steep hill!

But I managed to keep running the whole way up. I had an Eminem song blasting in my ears and I found myself carefully listening to the lyrics to distract me... 'Cause I am, whatever you say I am, If I wasn't, then why would I say I am? In the paper, the news everyday I am... I took each step with the beat of the music and, head down, just ran. If you can call that running, which you can, so I will.

I was super happy with my pace. Even with that big hill I kept the middle mile under 11 minutes. I'm feeling so good about my running these days.

After the run I went into the gym and did legs/shoulders/PT exercises. I again added in some of my old "hard" ab/core stuff - including russian twists with 10 pounds, medicine ball swap (like this but with a 6lb medicine ball instead of a swiss ball), and the swiss ball jacknife. So far so good on that. They are NOT easy, but I'm feeling ready challenge myself and I just hope my back is too.

After the gym it was home to fix dinner and play a few rounds of Candyland.

Dinner: Carne asada, black beans, rice, avocado

And, as you already know...

Snack: 2 spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream

After I post this I plan to watch a bit more TV and then go to bed. I'm tired and need a good night sleep before I face the thankfully short workweek.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 14: Lazy Sunday

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It feels so good to laze around doesn't it? Today was one of those days. I slept until around 8am. Thought about going back to sleep, just because I could, and then realized I'd be burning daylight and, heck, why waste time sleeping? I'd had 8 hours, that seemed like enough.

For the first time I really wanted a cup of coffee. It just sounded divine. But I dutifully made my tea and carried on. Eventually I felt more awake and didn't miss the coffee. Breakfast was heavenly. I found this pancake mix that is gluten free and very wholesome. The pancakes are more dense than what I've had in the past and they just feel so much more satisfying to eat.

Breakfast: 2 gluten free pancakes, maple syrup, fruit salad (bananas, apple, orange).

Look at the list of ingredients - Sweet brown rice flour (what makes it sweet?), tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and ground vanilla bean.

Sounds like real food to me. I bet I could actually buy these ingredients myself and make this pancake mix. Anyway, they're super yummy. I cook them in butter, which helps. They get crispy on the edges and, well, it's hard to only eat two.

The weather was, unfortunately, gorgeous again today. I say unfortunately because of the drought. And not a drop of rain in the forecast.

No rain in the coming week.
If we're not going to be able to wash our clothes come March, might as well enjoy it now. After a lazy morning I decided to go for a walk. There was a big football game today and the whole world was caught up in that so I could roam free. I did a two-mile flat trek along the coast. I didn't take any pictures. I felt like I wanted to be more meditative about it, taking in the ocean air without thinking about much more than the waves crashing against the rocks. I think a bit of fog was cleared from my brain during that walk.

Snack: 1/2 HeartThrive energy bar, banana

I stopped for lunch at a little place near the water.

Lunch: Shrimp cocktail, wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon.

I'm not supposed to have cheese but it sounded too good to pass up, so I didn't. It was a perfect amount of food. I people watched for a while before heading back.

Dinner: Salmon, steak, quinoa, salad

I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock and added sauteed onions and diced tomatoes to it. It was VERY good. Quinoa is super bland if you just cook it in water, you have to spice it up or it's just not good, imho.

So today I had cravings for "bad" foods. I really wanted a burger and fries. And then I wanted ice cream. I let the cravings crash on the shore, they weren't that big and certainly didn't come anywhere near knocking me down. After dinner I had some fruit to satisfy that sweet craving.

Snack: orange

I imagine I'll never be one of those people that sees fruit as a dessert but, that said, I do actually enjoy fruit as dessert. Especially after a heavy meal that includes something like steak. Anyway, this is the two-week mark so I'm not surprised I'm starting to have some cravings. I'll keep taking it one day at a time. If I decide I must have a burger and fries, or that I must have ice cream...well then, maybe I'll have them. But today was not that day.