Friday, January 31, 2014

Bring on the Weekend!

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It's Friday! Fri-dayyyyy!! I was very happy that today was indeed the end of the workweek. Even though my brain is a bit mushy I'll try to remember what I ate today. The good thing is I took at least one picture, so that will help.

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean with cinnamon sprinkled on, almond milk

I had a lot of appointments today...back to back to back most of the day. But I was prepared and had my snack bag at the ready.

Snack: Apple, 1 brown rice cake, 1 string cheese

Lunch was at the work cafeteria.

Lunch: Salad with feta cheese, meatloaf, broiled veggies, chili soup, and a random piece of sushi

I was hungry come lunchtime so this was a very satisfying meal.

After lunch it was back to the workday. By the time after-work rolled around I debated with myself whether to run some errands and then hit the gym or vice versa. I had tentative plans for the evening so I decided it was safer to get the gym out of the way in case those developed.

Snack: 1 rice cake

I snapped a mirror-selfie at the gym before I changed. It helped to remind myself that part of why I exercise - besides to stave off homicidal urges - is to keep the body that I love so much. I needed the pep talk because it was one of those days in which I was not in the mood to run. It was windy and chilly outside but even then, an outside run sounded better than the treadmill. I reminded myself that I can just run slow, "run as slow as you want to, just run." So I got changed and hit the pavement.

About a half-mile into my run a fellow gym-goer, John, caught up with me. He was on an outside run too. His pace is much faster than mine but he slowed to run with me for a mile or so, which was nice. We chatted about running and cycling and whatnot and he told me I need to work on my stride, "you're taking a lot of steps but you're not going anywhere..." [note: I beg to differ, I do believe I am going somewhere] " should lengthen your stride and spring off your ankle." Just about that time I hit my turnaround point so I didn't get to ask him to elaborate.

But on the return leg (no pun intended) I worked on lengthening my stride, mostly by bringing my legs back. As you might recall my PT said I don't bring my leg back enough (or at all, really). Instead I rotate my hips, which isn't as effective. So I focused on that and on "springing" off my ankle (hopefully I understood the concept). In the end I ran the 3 miles in 28:45...wait, that means I ran 9:35 average. I'm not sure that's right. Or maybe he pushed me to run slightly faster than usual.

Bottom line, it was a good run and I was proud to have finished the job. After the run I did legs/shoulders/core work. I was moving slow and felt a bit low on energy. Not sure what that's about, maybe because it's Friday? No matter, I just moved more slowly through my workout being I was not pressed for time like I normally am.

My evening plans fell into place. I picked the kids up from preschool and met my best mommy friend Michelle for dinner at In-n-Out burger. It was chaos with the four kids but we managed. Michelle and I also managed to put away quite a number of french fries.

Dinner: A double burger with no cheese and mustard/ketchup instead of the "special" sauce (read: mayonnaise, ketchup and relish), plenty o' fries.

After dinner we took the kids to frozen yogurt. I indulged there too.

Snack: A big bowl of yogurt and all the toppings my wee heart desired.

It was a fun evening catching up with Michelle, to the extent we could with the kids acting like jacked up maniacs most of the evening. Marek's birthday theme is coming together and it's birthday season with all the kids in his playgroup turning 5 this year. So exciting! And in August he's starting kindergarten. Woot!

I know I'm a day late for Throwback Thursday but... my other good mommy/runner friend Jackie sent me this picture tonight. She knows the weight loss battle and has followed my story with great support and enthusiasm. Surround yourself with people who get it, people who are striving just like you, people who want it. It makes the journey that much easier.

I was probably around 199 when this picture was taken. I hadn't gotten back on the wagon yet. And check my super long hair! All those curls.

Anyway, that's it from me. The kids are finally asleep and I'm right behind 'em. Time to get some zzzzz's.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

30 Minutes of Something

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I was looking at my "before" pictures last night and had a strange feeling. Who is that woman? I don't relate to her. It's such a different version of "me" and yet I know it was me. What does it feel like to live in that body? I've sort of forgotten. I got close to having that body again after Myra was born. My weight crept back up to 199, but still not the 233 I was when I started. I just look at those pictures and think, "wow. wow, wow, wow."

That belly, those arms, that face. Such a different body. I feel so much freer to be me now. I don't have to compensate for anything. I never had to, but I didn't know that. Now that I have an improved sense of self worth, now that I feel validated in my own right, I move through the world in a much gentler way, I think. I don't need the armor anymore. I never needed it. The only person attacking me was me. Self-sabotage.

Not that I'm over all that now. I still struggle, as you well know. The difference is I come out of it. I recognize it, and I come out of it. I care enough to find the behavior bothersome and worthy of my attention. Oh geez, this has turned into one my therapy posts. Let's move on.

Today was good.

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean with almond milk

Work was ridiculous today. Busy, busy.

Snack: Rice cake, cheese stick

But I made time for lunch anyway.

Lunch: Chicken marsala, salad, broccoli, vegetable soup

The chicken had a sauce on it that I mostly scraped off. But then it was dry and boring without it so I ended up eating it anyway. I figured the meal was pretty damn healthy otherwise.

Back to work, work, work. Work has been much busier and more stressful the past couple of months. So many fires at once, I just can't tend to them all. I'm feeling the pinch of being just one person with only so many hours in the day.

Snack: 6oz Fage Greek yogurt, blueberries, 1 rice cake, 1 hardboiled egg.

That was a big snack but I was hungry and it was all wholesome food so I'm not going to worry about it.

All day I was looking forward to spin class after work. Glenn is such an energizing instructor and the class is attended by some of my favorite gym peeps. But as the workday came to a close I realized I wasn't going to make it. I had too much that had to get done today. I felt so bummed to be missing the class. In fact, by the time all was said and done I would only have about 30 minutes to exercise.

As usual I didn't let lack of time stop me from doing something. I contemplated how to use the time. Normally I ride the bike for 25 minutes, so today should I do 15? 10? I only had 30 minutes total, and I generally believe weight lifting is a better investment in physical fitness (though cardio is important too), so I opted to do only 10 minutes on the bike, at a slightly harder intensity than usual to compensate, so I'd have more time for weights. After the bike I dove into chest/triceps/core for strength training.

I read somewhere that you only need to do half the exercise to maintain physical fitness as it took to obtain it. So today was a maintaining day for sure. Where I'd normally do three sets, I did two. Where I'd normally do two, I did one. And I was hustling around the gym probably looking rather serious. In the end I was able to do a bit of everything. Whew! It felt so good to get even a mini-speed-workout in. Exercise just makes all the difference for me.

Then I flew to pick up the kids. We had a few errands to run and there was no way I'd be able to do that and get dinner ready so I opted for pizza. The kids had a cheese pizza and I had a salad with artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and grilled chicken. I put mostly balsamic vinegar on the salad but added a little of their balsamic vinaigrette too. I also ate a few all of the kids pizza crusts and a few bites of their pizza here and there.

Tonight I was feeling a bit of munchiness. My stomach actually feels a hint of hunger. But I reminded myself of my goals, of what matters to me, and I shut the kitchen down and came to bed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


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I didn't post yesterday. I just couldn't bring myself to diarize that mess. I had a midday binge complete with cereal and chocolate peanut butter pretzels and I'm sure some other crap but I don't remember. I went home for lunch and, well, you know the rest. Plus it was a day off from the gym, which didn't help. I felt irritable the rest of the day. I did my best to not get snappy with the kids.

So, on to today, because it's a better story.

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean with almond milk

I felt strong, really not wanting to repeat the eating mistakes of yesterday.

Lunch was a rush job.

Lunch: Kashi GoLean with almond milk, an orange

Snack: Apple and blueberries over 6oz Fage Greek yogurt

That snack was very satisfying. Blueberries with Greek yogurt ...yum!

Gym time was approaching and I found myself having some negative thoughts about my run, "It's going to be hard, and it's cold outside." I challenged myself, "it's only hard if you choose for it to be hard, you can run slower, go easy, and wear layers." I also knew I'd feel like crud if I skipped my workout. A binge day followed by a day in which I flake on my workout ...not good.

Before leaving for the gym I was hungry.

Snack: Rice cake, string cheese

My run went well, I took it easy, telling myself if I ran 11:00 minute miles or better, that'd be great. I didn't have my Garmin on so I couldn't be sure of my pace during the run. In the end I ran 3 miles in 30:30 for a 10:10 pace. I was super happy with that. 10:10 feeling "easy" is spectacular! The only downer was the wheezing. It's just not getting better.

After the run I did back/biceps/core exercises. My back has been hurting more than a little the past couple of days so I took it easy on the ab stuff. I'm back up to two sets of three pullups and will start pushing to four soon. Something's going well!

After the gym it was time for some food.

Dinner: Chicken thigh, zuchinni with masala and coconut milk sauce over rice.

That's it. Today was a positive one. I'm shooting to keep it going with another positive day tomorrow.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 22: Making my own sunshine

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Zip-a-dee-do-dah, zip-a-dee-day. My oh my what a wonderful day. Plenty of sunshine heading my way...

Yep, feeling good. Life isn't always easy, there are tough moments and low points, but today isn't one of them. And further, I'm feeling good about feeling good. Do you ever feel guilty for feeling good when you think maybe you should be feeling like crap? I do. Happiness guilt. There's something really wrong with that. No matter, today I have none of it. I feel unapologetically good.

Breakfast: 39 grams Kashi GoLean, almond milk

Yep, back to the smaller portion. The full serving just seemed like more than I needed. Moreover, it's the serving I ate forever and worked great so why change things?

Snack: Banana, 1 brown rice cake

Today's lunch
Driving again today. I stopped at that natural foods store again to pick up a HeartThrive bar for lunch but they were completely sold out! I was bummed. So I had a B!g Sur bar called The Blind Date with "an oatmeal bottom and a thick, crunchy, delicious mix of pecans, almonds, coconut, dates, roasted sunflower seeds, brown sugar and honey on top." 600 calories, 33 grams of fat, 42 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein in the whole bar. That's 10 teaspoons of sugar. I really think they could cut back. I emphasized whole bar because the serving size is 1/3 of the bar. I'm betting not many people eat a third of this and put the rest away.

Compared to the HeartThrive bar this was really sweet, like eating pecan pie. I would have preferred less sugar but this was my best option here for what I wanted. I considered heading over to Subway but it just didn't sound good. And the B!g Sur bar really filled me up so that's good. I just decided to send off a quick email to the B!g Sur people and let them know my thoughts. For whatever that's worth.

The work day was less stressful than in the recent past so that was nice. A little banging-my-head-into-a-brick-wall this morning but other than that, smooth sailing.

Snack: Apple, cheese stick

I went to the gym after work. I was craving a spin class but they don't have one on Mondays so the upright bike it was. I started chatting with a fellow gym-goer and wasn't able to stay at the level so I had to lower it a few times. But my heart rate stayed high anyway, maybe from the talking. Anyway, she helped the time go by faster so it was worth it.

After the bike I did legs/shoulders/core. I know I sound like a broken record but I'm really happy with how strong I'm getting again. I weighed myself this morning. 143.6 pounds and 28% body fat. I was thrilled to see 28%! I know what happens next, the pounds start to drop. Not that I'm feeling obsessed with getting back under 140 but it would be nice. I'm truly of the mind to do what I know works and see what happens. If my behaviors and habits are in line with my healthy routine, my weight will never be a problem, regardless of what the actual number is. Does that make sense?

On the way home from the gym I was hungry.

Snack: 3 satsuma oranges

Dinner: whole black beans, cream, avocado, 1 flour tortilla, pico de gallo

I felt a bit munchy after dinner so I had another satsuma and then a handful of veggie chips. I might have a few more satsumas if I want more to eat. Well, that's it from me! It's 9pm and I'm off to bed. Sleep. Must get enough sleep.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Days 20 & 21: Coming together

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It seems I forgot to blog last night. I didn't realize it until this morning. Maybe subliminally I didn't want to write it. I'll have to try and remember yesterday's food...

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, bacon

Lunch: A bunch of snack food at a kid birthday party - pb&j, crackers, chips, cheese sticks, a cupcake, a few bites of cheesecake

We took the kids to see The Nut Job and I was hungry so I had a few bites of tomorrow's dinner.

Snack: a few bites of chicken breast and zucchini in a Indian masala sauce.

Snack: Movie popcorn, peanut m&ms

Dinner: Greek salad, pot roast with potatoes

Well...there you have it. And after the kids were tucked in it was time to do a little dancing. My mom was over and stayed with the kids. And I can't imagine dancing without just a wee bit of alcohol. I probably should have tried but I'll admit, a drink sounded lovely. So I had vodka martini. The challenge said if we "must" have alcohol to drink a high-end vodka, so that's what I did. I guess I can be pleased to have made it to day 20 without drinking.

The alcohol definitely help me feel groovy. The music was Beso Negro, a band that plays what they call gypsy swing with music described as "darker, faster, more danceable, more blues, more Gypsy" was definitely danceable. I had a fun time. Of course morning came early and I had a slight headache, which I attributed to the alcohol. I don't plan to drink again until after the challenge is over.

In fact, this whole not drinking thing has made me realize how little I get out of drinking. It's sort of like the caffeine. Go without it for a while and you realize you really don't need it. Add to that, I like not spending money on things my body is probably better off without.

So that brings me to today.

Breakfast #1: Oatmeal with brown sugar and syrup, banana, english muffin with butter and jam

And then later my mom made pancakes for the kids so I had some of those.

Breakfast #2: Pancakes with butter and syrup

It's almost impossible to get them in a pic together, so on the move.
Around lunchtime I took the kids for a round of miniature golf. We're still in the middle of a drought over here with lovely spring-like weather (it's supposed to start raining mid-week finally) so I wanted to get them outside. We had lunch at the snack bar.

Lunch: hot dog (mine plus a couple/few bites of Myra's) and, later, a round of ice cream sandwiches (again mine plus some of Myra's).

I wish I could believe I burned those calories off walking "the course" but I know that's not true. We came home after golf and were all wiped out. So we had a little quiet time during which I laid down and dozed off and on for an hour or so. Then it was time for my run.

I knew I wanted to run for about an hour and decided to do a loop that I thought would take around that much time. I hit the road and felt slooooww. My legs felt heavy and, heck, my whole body felt heavy. I decided not to look at my Garmin and just run a comfortable pace. I told myself, "every run is a gift" and gave myself plenty of praise for getting out there when I felt so tired and for not judging myself on pace/distance/difficulty, etc.

I looked down after mile two and was surprised to see I'd run it in 9:41. Guess I was able to pick things up after all. To go what I thought would be a slightly shorter route I had to run up a big ass hill. This is the other side of the big hill I ran up the other day.

Elevation profile. Full Garmin stats here.
Holy hill that was tough. Though I am getting stronger at this running up hills thing. I think. If not physically stronger than I know I'm getting mentally stronger. I'm learning to sort of tune out and just do it, ignoring or even not having/hearing any negative thoughts about how difficult the experience is.

Check out that last quarter mile - 8:33 pace baby! And the mile before that was at 9:28. I was so glad I'd gone out for that run. Oh, and the weather! Though we really need rain. One last thing I'm really enjoying - running for the fun of it. I'm not training for anything, just going out and doing what feels right. That's fun. So, 5.25 miles in 51:54 - that's close enough to an hour for me. After the run it was time for dinner.

Dinner: Chicken thighs and zucchini in an Indian Masala sauce with light coconut milk, over rice.

That dinner is SO easy. I put a bag of frozen boneless/skinless thighs from Trader Joes in the slow cooker. Dump a bottle of Indian Masala sauce (also from TJ's), a can of light coconut milk and salt on top. Cut and toss in whatever veggies I have on hand (zucchini, onion, mushroom, bell pepper, carrots, potatoes - they all work well) and put them in. Four to six hours in the slow cooker and yum! I serve it over rice. So easy peasy (as Marek is obsessed with saying these days). I was just looking up the sauce and saw someone adds yogurt at the end to make like a Tikka Masala - guess I could do that instead of the coconut milk. I'll have to try it.

Snack: m&m's

The kids had a handful of m&ms leftover from the movies last night and I had a few of those just now. But I'm not going to have any more. It's funny, I made a fair amount of "unhealthy" choices this weekend but I'm feeling better about my eating than I have in a while. Even though the food has not been stellar, I feel less compulsive about the way I'm eating, which is positive.