Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Craving by Association

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It's the food junkie equivalent of the after-dinner cigarette. A time, place or situation that I associate with overeating. Or, if not overeating, with junk eating. About a week ago I posted this on my FB page.

Garden Girl KP and Insecure Chubby Girl thanks for the support!
Identifying the times, places and situations that can, all by themselves, be a trigger, has been helpful in what Sara described, being able to call it out for what it is and tackle it. If I know that an appointment near the Foster's Freeze can equal a soft-serve ice cream craving, then I can prepare for it before I get there, before the trigger kicks in.

Probably my biggest craving by association is after the kids are in bed. The house is quiet, there's no one to interrupt my indulgence, or to leave me feeling judged. It's almost like I can eat and pretend it didn't happen. Knowing that's a trigger time for me means I can prepare for it.

"Ok, the kids are getting settled in bed. What are you going to do now Michelle?" I recently read research indicating that asking yourself a question such as, "Am I going to make healthy choices tonight?" vs telling yourself, "I am going to make healthy choices tonight" actually leads to more successful outcomes. That makes sense to me because it comes from a place of internal desire and control. What we in the psychology field call internal Locus of Control.

I guess I'm changing the subject here. But I believe shifting our locus of control from external to internal is KEY in this journey. YOU are the one making choices, YOU are the one that wants to lose/maintain your weight. YOU and no one else, no outside force is denying you those cookies, no other person is saying you can't have something. You can have whatever you want...the question is, what do you want?

So I like that and I've been trying it out lately. When I'm facing a trigger time/place/situation I ask myself, "Are you going to make a healthy choice here Michelle?" or "Are you going to the gym after work Michelle?" Yes, yes I am.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mashed Potato Dust

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Moments ago I was struck with a craving for chocolate. Not so bad that I opened the bag of chocolate chips (that are patiently awaiting my next batch of chocolate chip cookies), but bad enough that I dug into the last unused party favor from Marek's birthday and ate the Lego shaped chocolate favors. It's better than eating ice cream, which is what I did last night. That reminds me, I need to unload that ice cream (also leftover from the party).

My overall eating remains just ok. As I've hinted at a few times, I'm going through some life transition stuff here and most days I feel if I can get through it and still be wearing the clothes in my closet then I'm doing pretty damn good. It's a tricky balance being understanding and gentle with myself while at the same time not making excuses to overeat or eat crap.

What helps is that my desire to eat various foods has really changed over these past seven years. For example, there's a Top Ramen in the cupboard that's been there for months. I bought it when I was having a Ramen moment but I never ate it. In years past it would've never sat on my shelf for months. Same goes with those chocolate chips. I'm no longer a slave to food in the way I was before. Hallelujah for that, right?

That said, my food junkie genes are alive and well. Someone gave us a few tubes of Pringles because they'd bought them and didn't really like the flavor. Why did I accept them? Or if I felt I had to, why didn't I immediately dump them? No, instead I ate 'em, pretty much all of them myself, over the past couple weeks. Pringles have got to be one of the lowest life forms of food in existence. I mean, are they even made from potatoes? Possibly, but I imagine them being made from the dust that's left on the side of the pot after making mashed potatoes. Yes, mashed potato dust, flavored with artificial sour cream and green onion chemicals...I'll have more of those please.

Exercise is pretty good. I did the run on Sunday. Yesterday I went to the gym. Because I left work late I had to do a mini-workout, 15 minutes on the upright bike followed by chest/triceps/core. I didn't have enough time to do my full strength training routine so I just did what I could. I think I exercised for maybe 45 minutes total, if that. Because of the shortened time I pushed myself harder than usual, I'm sure I looked like a maniac at times.

Today was a rest day. With working 5 days a week I chose Tuesday as a day to pick the kids up as early as possible to offset less time with them overall. They are always so happy when I show up in the middle of their afternoon snack instead of at the end of the day like I normally do. Mostly I try to do fun stuff with them but today a trip to the grocery store was in order. Which, come to think of it, they think is fun. Especially given the mini-grocery carts they have at Trader Joe's.

Ok, since this post has no pictures how about I share an outtake picture from our LHJ photo shoot? I love this one.

Good night all.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Across the Bay 12k Race Report (and weekend recap)

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It's Sunday and I am, yet again, exhausted. This is likely going to be my shortest race report ever. But before I get to that, a quick recap of the day prior. I arrived at Sonoma Mission Inn on Friday evening. My mom, aunt and sister were already there. Two generations of sisters, what could be more fun?? They'd already had a few drinks when I arrived so I had a quick couple glasses of champagne and was soon in the festive mood too.

We ended up going to dinner in the hotel restaurant. I had a risotto appetizer and a "tasting" steak dinner (there were three types of steak). We all shared a chocolate souffle for dessert. Oh, and I had a cocktail before dinner, a vodka soda. I got serious about drinking water and before the night was over I was well hydrated. Oh, I also had almost a whole tin of Pringles on the drive up there. Ugh.

Saturday was the spa day. My massage was at 9am and then I met the women for breakfast. I had a farmer's omelet with egg whites and roasted veggies, fruit on the side and toast. Lunch was a shrimp salad sandwich but without the bread. Back to the pool and a bit more champagne.

And then it was home to get some sleep before the big race. Up at the crack of dawn to drive into the city. I parked near Ghiradelli Square (where the race ended) and caught the shuttle over to the Sausalito start. Some of my mom/runner friends crew were also doing the event but I couldn't find them before the race got underway.

I'd done all my morning stuff right, took an allergy pill, used my inhaler, no GI problems. The day was off to a promising start.

Race route
I had my Garmin on and I pretty well knew the route. I've done pieces of this run quite a few times now and knew it started with a good sized hill (that I ran last July for fun). I decided to run by effort with no real pace goals, except to not go out too fast. It's tricky because the run starts with a downhill, then flat, then uphill. I paced myself by way of watching my heart rate, staying in the high 150's/low 160's as a guide.
At the start
My first mile was 9:34 and only included a tiny bit of the uphill. Mile 2 included most of the hill and was 11:13 as a result. 

Once we leveled out I started checking my Garmin...I was solidly in the 9-10:00 minute mile range, which made me happy. If could average sub-10:00 minute miles for the 12k distance with one big hill and one small one (at the end), I'd be a smiling girl.

The weather was just perfect, mid-50's and almost no wind.

But the Golden Gate bridge was socked in with fog.

No view of SF from here today.
Mile 4 included the downhill coming off the bridge and I ran it in 8:27. That balanced out Mile 2.

The picture below is near Fort Point, the turnaround spot. Still some fog but it's clearing out. It wasn't long before I started feeling the sun. Like I said, the weather was perfect, any warmer and I would have been suffering.

Thanks Laura for the awesome pics!
I'd had a plan to have two ShotBloks at around mile 5.5, figuring they'd kick in at mile 6 and carry me through. And that was exactly when I started dragging so my plan was perfect. Those last few miles were just me and my thoughts (and music). The only evil thing is a hill at mile 7. It's only about 1/3 of a mile long but I was tired. Still, I ran up and then sped down the other side.

After the hill I came around the corner and BAM!, there was the finish line. I thought a 12k was over 8 miles so I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out 12k = 7.45 miles roughly. Nothing better than getting to the finish line sooner than you were expecting.

I stayed at the finish line hoping to find my friends. Before long Laura came in, then Laurie and Jackie rounded out the crew. Everybody was happy and wearing those distinctive post-race smiles. I love it!

Laurie, Laura, Me, Jackie
 My buddy Jackie has made her post-baby comeback and is in great shape, not to mention she looks amazing! I'm so impressed!! Congratulations Jackie. And it was so fun to finally get Laura out on the course with us. Laurie is my tried-and-true event partner, so good to see her post-race smile again too.

As far as my stats, when all was said and done I ran it in 1:13:56 for an average of 9:55 minute miles. I'll take it! I finished in the top 1/3 for my age group and gender. I was closer to the middle of the pack overall. Me, the middle of the pack? That still amazes me.

After the race we went to Bar Bocce in Sausalito, sat looking out at the bay and had beers, pizza and salad. I'm planning to reign in the eating though, even with the exercise I can't take in this many calories and maintain my weight. And on that happy note I'm off to bed. Thanks for reading!