Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tired Thursday

I don't know why but when Thursday evening rolls around, I am so tired! Oddly, it doesn't seem to happen as much on Friday. Of course, I don't have to be up on Saturdays for work so maybe it's knowing that I can sleep-in that keeps me going on Fridays. That and the excitement of it being the weekend. Anyway, it's Thursday and as usual I'm sleepy! I'd like to just relax this evening but it's a training day, so I have a date with the treadmill.... And then maybe some TF. I haven't done a TF workout all week. Actually, it's been a week since my last. Being busy and sick threw me off, I guess.

I'm still trying to figure out how that will work. Since I extended my miles, my run time will be extended. I might do a shorter TF workout since my time is extended. I was following the class schedule but I'm not sure how it'll fit in with longer runs.  Perhaps this means that next week I'll have to get my lazy butt out of bed early on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that I can do TF in the morning and then run in the evening.  As far as tonight, which I cleary hadn't thought about until now, I think I'll do a shorter workout.

I actually don't have anything specific to write about today (or I'm tired and not all that creative?), so I think I'll just post a little update about what's been going on this week...

Last night I did my SP Boot Camp DVD. As I remembered, it wasn't very intense as far as a calorie burn but it worked my body. Like last Wednesday, I added a few extra minutes of cardio to equal 90 minutes total. I feel it today though, so that's a good thing... Not a lot, and not as much as last week, but I can feel a little soreness when I move just right. Perhaps I'll be ready to increase my weight next week.

My knee has been a little sore; just during day-to-day activities. I decided that I should definitely take something, in hopes of preventing the same issue that happened on Tuesday. I'm actually waiting for that to click in as I write this post.  I think I took a dose that will help the knee but not make me quite as drowsy. I won't be taking anything for energy (which is what helped me beat the drowsiness) so a lower dose was necessary. I really shouldn't need beans or gel to get through a five or six mile run.  The only reason I ate the beans on Tuesday was that I thought I'd be doing ten.

My weight is annoying me this week. I'm up a couple pounds from last Saturday, and I'm not sure what's up with that. I'm thinking that the fact that I didn't workout for a few days, and then got sick, has something to do with it. When I was sick I was very swollen, retained some fluid, and didn't drink nearly enough water.  I've been drinking lots of water and now that I'm exercising and sweating, that should help. It usually does.

Also impacting on my weight... The fact that I reached for comfort foods last weekend (before I was really sick, but was exhausted and obviously had the "bug"). Today is really only the second day of being "really good," and the third "back on track." I'm pretty sure that plays a role in my annoying weight too. I'm proud of my fantastic, healthy eating the last two days. Yesterday I did so well eating that I had left over PP at the end of the day. I was torn on how to use them, so I settled on eight ounces of white wine. Since I wasn't really hungry, wine was a great idea.

Today my eating has been the same, and I was able to plan on a glass of wine tonight too. I forgot how many ounces, but I believe I had enough points to drink ten; using my left over points plus one weekly point. I'd say having two extra ounces of wine is good use of a weekly point. I'm making some spaghetti squash chicken dish (from skinnytaste) tonight, so instead of figuring out what else to eat, I decided that wine would go perfectly with it. So, wine it is! 

Now that I'm back on track, I'm hoping that my weight will go back down... I probably just haven't given my body enough time to do what it needs to. I'd like to at least be down to where I was last Saturday when this Saturday comes.  I'd prefer no loss for the week over a gain. I'm definitely keeping the faith that my good habits will soon be reflected on the scale.

Well, I suppose I should probably go get ready to workout. By the time I'm done with that, the pain med should be working.

I hope you've had a great week thus far! I'm definitely ready for the weekend!!


Edit: I quit my run early. My legs are killing me from all the squats and lunges I did yesterday. They feel heavy and will not go as fast as usual. It has made me not feel up to running so I'm moving in to TF. I'm more in the mood for that than running today anyway.

I did my short run requirement, which I why I left myself stop. I just didn't meet my changed run distance.

Now to figure out a new plan... The day before a run is not good for heavy leg work (for me).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pain and Tears.

Yesterday my goal was to do ten miles on the treadmill of torture. It didn't happen. I managed just over five.  Let's review my run...

I started with energy. I was in a great mood, happy to be running, and ready to tackle those ten miles in whatever form necessary (jogging, walking). I got to about 20 minutes and all of the sudden I had a terrible, sharp pain in my leg. It hurt so bad I immediately started crying, stopped the treadmill, and sat on the belt holding my leg.  I wanted to drop the the ground but I was on the treadmill so I had to stop it first. The pain went away as soon as I sat down but my uncontrollable crying continued.

You know how you see people get injuries in movies or TV shows about some star athlete? It was like that. But real life.

I've noticed a little pain the last couple weeks. In the same spot. This also happens to be in the same spot (top of my fibula) where, when my knee was x-rayed a couple years ago, I was found to have an "old, healing fracture" and a tumor. I went to an orthopedic and because the fracture was old, that wasn't an issue. He didn't see an issue with the tumor either, re-checked it in six months and released me because it hadn't changed in size and didn't cause pain or anything. Those things were found by change. I had my knee x-rayed because I was having knee pain when I started doing more time on the treadmill. The diagnosis for my knee was Chondromalacia Patella which really isn't any big deal. With proper exercises and adjustment to the change in my activity level it was fine. I have noticed it hurting again at times after I have taken lengthy breaks from running (a couple weeks).  Anyway, my knee is pretty much fine. I did notice a soreness there but it could be pain from the leg.

Anyway, I cried. I cried from pain which turned into crying from emotions. Naturally my mind got the best of me and I started going through the "what ifs."  My first thought was, "what if I can never run again?" I cried hard at the thought of that. I never thought I'd cry about running.... But I did. For a good 15 minutes. I also cried because I have a half-marathon coming up and my mind said, "what am I supposed to do about that?" The thought of "what if the tumor changed?" didn't even enter my mind at first. I was too busy worrying about not being able to run.  In fact, "what if I can't run? I'll get fat again!" entered my mind before the thought of a change in the tumor.

Finally, after I got the tears out of my system, I took a pain pill.  I relaxed for a bit while it started working and then I went back to the treadmill.  I decided I was going to do five miles, no matter what.  I started to run and the pain immediately came back, so I walked for two minutes. Then I decided to try running again, but a little slower.  Success! Between a slower pace and the pain med, I could at least jog. So I did. Unfortunately the pain med made me a little drowsy (next time I'll take a smaller dose) so running was difficult. At first. So then I alternated walking a couple minutes and jogging a couple minutes. Then my Sport Beans started to kick in and I jogged the last 10 minutes without a walk break.

Here's the thing with this pain....

It's only there when I do something high impact, like running or jumping (during TF, I feel it at times). I can walk without difficulty. I don't feel pain throughout the day, or when I walked on the treadmill. I would think it would be there all the time if it were a major problem.

It didn't bother me until after the 10K I had done.  Prior to that my longest run had been around nine miles a few weeks before. I'm thinking maybe after so much training at shorter distances, it was a bit much for my leg.  I'm wondering if I just need to allow my leg to adjust to longer paces. I'm going to try a few things before going to the doctor because I just don't think it's anything that significant. That and I'm scared that if it is, I'll be told I can't run and not to do the half-marathon. I'm doing that damn thing even if I have to walk it all....And I have no problems walking.

First, I'm extending my short run days. I've decided that I'll be doing hour runs instead of half-hour runs, somewhere between five and six miles instead of around three. I think that this will help my leg adjust to longer runs.

Second, as much as I hate it, I'm going to take pain meds before my runs. Oh, and ice that area after.

Third, whenever possible I'm going to try running outside and see if the pain is the same as when I run on the treadmill. Our local HS gym is open for walkers so maybe I'll go up there and run around the gym (the thought of that makes me laugh) and see what happens. I'm convinced that my stride is different when I run on the treadmill than when I run outside. I'm confined to a smaller space than when I am outside and sometimes I run a little wild and need extra space. Perhaps it's running on the treadmill that causes the problem. As far as the pain with jumping, I've noticed that on days I do TF AFTER running. There could be a link there. 

If it is the treadmill...That's gonna stink. I prefer to run on the treadmill in the winter. I guess I'll have to keep those runs shorter and spend more time walking on it....If it's the culprit.

Fourth, if all of those methods fail and the pain doesn't get better, I'll go to the doc. I don't feel like it's anything severe and since I know the source of the pain and what's happened in the past, I'm fairly confident that I'll be okay.  My leg doesn't look or feel any different in that area. I hadn't ran since last Thursday so perhaps that break was enough to make my body feel it when I started again.

I suppose the worst case scenario is that I can't do long runs. I may have to stick to 10Ks and 5Ks, and I guess that'll be okay. I don't even know if I want to do another half, and won't know until after the first one.  Although I was thinking "when can I do my next half?" when I was thinking of my upcoming races. I actually considered registering for one in June. I decided I should do the first one and see how that goes before I do. If I desire a half at some point in time, there are people who walk them... I may just have to be one of those people.  Whatever it is, I'm not going to let it stand in my way.  If I have to stick to short distances, that's okay.

I don't think I have the words to accurately describe the agony that I felt when I was sitting on that treadmill.  While it was the worst leg pain I'm pretty sure I've ever experienced, the emotional part is what really hit me. The thought of not being able to run was awful. It was scary. It was a bit like a nightmare. I do believe at one point I was saying "no, no, no" through the sobs. It was horrible.

I'm going to appreciate every little run or walk I do from now on. I'm blessed to be healthy and have two legs that I can use. Pain or no pain, I'll find a way. Not only did it make me realize how thankful I am for that, it made me realize that I really have changed. There's not a time in the past that I would've been terrified about the possibility of never running again. Heck, running wasn't even in my vocabulary at one point in time. Then I became a runner... Now? I'll always be a runner. No matter the distance, no matter the speed, I've become a runner. And I love it.

Happy Wednesday!!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Still Worn Out!

Whatever this "bug" was, it took a lot out of me. I am feeling pretty worn out this afternoon. I feel better overall, but I'm still pretty tired. Part of me is looking forward to working out and part of me thinking "nooooo, I don't want to."  I'm going to workout, tired or not, because I need to.  I had planned on a typical training run and then some TF.

I think I might change that and just do a training run/walk on the treadmill.  A long one. Like maybe ten miles. My original plan was to stick to long runs each weekend until the half.  Since I didn't follow the plan exactly, I am to the point where I cannot alternate those longer runs with the shorter runs, as the plan states. Ten miles seems like a lot, especially to someone who is so insanely tired. My thought is that I'll keep it to a run/walk combo type thing. I'm pretty sure I'm still recovering from being sick (probably why I'm so tired out) so I don't mind walking part (anticipating a lot) of it. But even walking seems like it would be easier on my body than doing TF tonight. Oddly that sounds more difficult than a run/walk combo....Most likely because I know I'll end up doing a lot of walking.  I'll just start and see how far I get.

Quite honestly I'd like to lay down and take a nap, but I KNOW I need to get back into working out. I feel about like I did on Saturday and Sunday; just exhausted. Now that I know that I was sick and it's getting out of my system I think I should at least do SOMETHING. If I set out to do ten miles and I only do five; that's okay. I know that I'm not totally back to normal yet, but something needs to be done.

I'm going to have to figure out a way to keep track of how much I run and how much I walk though. WW activity points are entered based on intensity. Obviously my running parts will be high intensity, where walking will be moderate (I do a fitness type walk and keep the treadmill at - refuse to let it go below -5.0 when I walk...unless I'm super tired). Normally I just count calories burned, I wear my HRM and go with the total. I'll still wear it but that's not going to work for the WW points.  If I do 120 minutes at moderate intensity I'll earn 11 points; at high intensity, 27.  I'm sure that with my combo, I'll land somewhere in between the two. There just doesn't seem to be any good way to estimate those points. I will most likely walk most of it just due to being tired, but I want credit for the running portions. I plan to run as much as possible even if I mostly walk!

 In general my walking portions are short... Maybe a minute or two (at most), then I go back to at least a jog. Adding up 42 seconds here and 56 seconds there is going to be a major pain.  I suppose if I want to walk, I'll force myself to walk for a full minute or two rather than portions. Otherwise it's going to be super complicated to figure out. I think that just remembering how many minutes I walk and run will be enough... Although I do anticipate a good chunk of walking at some point. And I'm okay with that. I'm not pushing myself too hard today.

Oh! Yesterday I talked about revising my plan to fit in my long runs. It's really not that much different than what I'm doing. Long runs on the weekends; regular plan/schedule during the week for TF, my SP DVD, and my short runs.  Basically? It's just crunch time with getting those long runs done. If I do one today I'll probably still do one this weekend, which will allow me one extra long.

I plan on doing 10 miles on 2/2; 11 on 2/9, 12 on 2/16 (have plans that day so probably sometime during the week), and then 13.1 on 2/24.  If I do ten today then I'll do 11 on 2/2, 12 on 2/9, and either 13 the week of 2/16 or just three, and then 13.1 on 2/24. We'll see how it plays out based on today.

Eating is back to normal today. I've been eating lots of fruits and veggies again; regular meals. I made breakfast, had some left over spaghetti squash and cheese for lunch, and plan on making fish tacos for dinner tonight. I've been drinking better too. I'm not quite up to what I usually drink, but have already drank more water than I did yesterday and the day before.  I'm definitely getting back on track with being healthy... It's amazing how not feeling well can really throw you off!!

I suppose if I'm going to put in ten miles I should go get started.  At my slower pace of 5.0, a 12 minute mile, it will take two hours.... Time to get moving!!

I hope you're having a happy, healthy week!!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Vanilla snowman cupcakes. Recipe from

An Off-Track Weekend

This weekend went NOTHING like I had planned. Or hoped.  I had all this energy and motivation to keep my weekends on-track and I fell off-track. I did awesome all week, especially after signing up for WW and then on Saturday life just fell apart. Well, it kind of did on Friday.

I worked for my Dad on Friday and decided to stay at my parents' Friday night. My cousin asked my Mom to babysit her little girl, so I decided to help with her. And the weather was awful. LOTS of snow and because it was coming down so fast, it didn't appear that he road crews were out plowing. My plan had been to go to my parents' house and workout (a run and TF) before my cousin's little girl got there. I wasn't planning on the weather being so nasty, so I ended up meeting up with my cousin and taking her early, which meant no workout for me. I was going to attempt TF because she'll usually concentrate but she was a bit too wild for that, and needed more "watching" than TF would've allowed.  By the time my parents got home it was a little late to be working out. Not a big deal, but I was bummed.

I planned on doing TF Saturday and then a long run on Sunday.  Neither happened. I was at my parents' house most of Saturday and could not figure out how to make their DVD player work. In the last year, I've made it work twice... Do you think I could remember the "trick" to it? Nope. I pushed buttons for half an hour before giving up and deciding that I'd do it at home. 

My eating was awful. I didn't eat a ton (although I kinda felt like it; and like I couldn't get full - UGH) but I ate things that weren't the healthiest. I thought for sure I'd busted through ALL of my extra PP for the week, but I didn't. I guess my poor choices weren't THAT poor.

Then I got home and was exhausted. I didn't sleep well on Friday night (probably because I was in a twin bed with a two-year old who kept flopping around - at one point I became her pillow).  I figured this was why I was so insanely tired on Saturday night. I ended up doing nothing all evening. I actually slept off and on from a little after 6 until sometime after 10 when I fall asleep for at least an hour before going to bed. I decided that TF wasn't in the cards for the weekend and I'd do my run on Sunday as planned.

Enter Sunday morning... I was STILL tired. Exhausted, actually. It took all I had just to do some cleaning around the house, and shower. Again, I ate poorly.  There is truth in what is said about being tired and not putting forth the effort to stay healthy. I thought I must've killed the rest of my daily points because I felt like I couldn't stop eating. Oddly, I didn't. I guess my eating wasn't as bad as I thought, and wasn't as bad as Saturday (mostly because I don't keep things around that I had at my parents' on Saturday). Luckily I didn't have comfort food as available as I would've liked. Thank goodness!!

I didn't end up running because I was just so tired. After I showered, I put on clean pajamas and spent the rest of the day like I did the morning... Not doing much of anything. I'd clean a little, then rest a lot, then clean  little, then rest a lot. I didn't understand my lack of motivation or why I felt so tired but I was not happy about it. I stopped eating around five last night and felt like a cow shortly after; bloated but didn't think much of it and decided it was my crappy choices. Then, of course, I was upset with myself for being a lazy cow all day. I couldn't believe I had been that tired after so much sleep the night before (including the time I drifted off on the couch).

Shortly after seven I had sudden, horrible stomach pains...Like the ripping kind. And my stomach hurt. I think it must've hurt because of how insanely stretched it was. I had no idea my stomach could bloat like that. I looked like I had a basketball under my skin. It pushed out so far that I looked like I was at least a good four months pregnant! I immediately freaked out because I thought I was just bloated from all the crappy eating. Then I got gas, and figured that was the reason for the stomach pains. 

Then it hit. I was sick. Horribly sick. For over an hour. Then it seemed to ease a little. I was thirsty so I decided to try some water. I drank maybe a cup of it over a half hour period. BOOM. I was horribly sick again. Great.... I was becoming dehydrated and couldn't tolerate water. Last time this happened I ended up in the ER with an IV. That's when I realized why I felt so badly. I was sick. My Dad had been sick with the same thing (although not as bad; no pains for him) on Friday.  My cousin's little girl had a bloated tummy and pooped quite a bit - twice on Friday night (and she didn't come over until around six) and once right away on Saturday morning. We thought it was just because she'd been eating so much. Now I wonder if she had something and maybe I caught it from her. I was my hands but between all the dirty diapers and her little smooches, it's possible she had something that I got.  It's more likely it was from her than my Dad.

I haven't gone to the doctor and don't plan to; it seems to be a typical stomach bug.  A lot of people think of this as "the flu."  It's not.  The actual flu (influenza A) that goes around is respiratory, not gastrointestinal. Lots of people say they have the flu when they have this GI stuff, but that's not it.  I saw on the news that a new strain of Norovirus is sweeping the US, so that's probably what I have. I've had it before and I'm fairly certain (as certain as I can be without a diagnosis) that it's what I have again. I say have because although I've tolerated a little food and drink today (tea, water, plain oatmeal, chicken broth), I still have the pain and feel very run down. And my stomach is still bloated, although not as obviously as it was last night.

I'm fairly certain that, unless I miraculously feel better this evening, today will be another day of not working out.  UGH. I want to but I also know that when I hit that point of being super exhausted I know that even if I were to find the motivation, I'd have an awful time getting through even a short workout. I definitely will get exhausted and feel worse if I run. I know. I've pushed myself before. TF is pretty intense so I'm thinking that would have the same result.  Also, if I'm sick... I really shouldn't push my body....Even if I'm feeling guilty for not working out and would if I could.

Hopefully this bug will be out of my system and I'll be back to "normal" tomorrow. I need to get some workouts done, especially running!! That half-marathon is coming up fast!! I need to be sure to complete my long runs; I'm in the critical zone! My training plan has me alternating long run Saturdays and short (three mile) run Saturdays. In looking at the calendar, I'm quite a ways behind. My last longer run was on the 12th of this month and was only six miles. It should've been ten.  So this past Saturday I should've done 11.  I think I'm going to have to find time this week to fit in a longer run. I definitely do them best on weekends but I need to get some longer training runs done... I also know that I'll be busy the weekend before the race, so I'll have to fit a longer run in at some point before the weekend.  As much as I like to follow a plan, I need to figure out where to fit in longer runs. Maybe I'll plan on doing that tomorrow evening, rather than a short run. I definitely need to sit down and figure that out... Good thing this is a sick day off; I'll have time to revise my plans.

I suppose... It's off to do some planning; for my workouts as well as some meals. Hopefully I'll feel up to getting some groceries tomorrow! Luckily I didn't need much today!

Have a fantastic, healthy week!!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Surprising Workout

Yesterday my plan was to bike then do some of the SP boot camp DVD. Well, that didn't happen. I looked at the DVD and realized that the entire thing was almost an hour and a half long. I decided I'd do that and see what it was like before biking... That way I could fall back on biking if the DVD was awful. 

The DVD wasn't too bad, but definitely not up to the same level as Turbofire (everything; including the video portion itself). I did not get a high calorie burn, which I didn't totally expect because it includes some strength training with cardio portions included.  Some of the strength included movement too, so I just left my heart rate monitor on the whole time. I could see myself forgetting to click the button on a cardio type move and then being totally lost.  So for about an hour and a half (I kept moving during the moments between segments and walked for a few minutes after to reach 90 minutes), I burned 494 calories. Not bad, but definitely not near my typical burn. I'd generally burn that in an hour, or even less depending on the activity. The plus was that it earned me eight WW activity points (I logged it as moderate activity).  When I did WW years ago, I'd get two to four, depending on what I did, so eight seemed awesome to me.

I wasn't thrilled with that burn in that amount of time, but I told myself that it was okay because it was not as high intensity as what I usually do. Somehow I finished without feeling like I had "wasted" some of my time. I didn't end up biking because I had to start dinner and such. I decided that I'd rather not be too far behind or eat too late (I was already late enough).

For someone who is used to high intensity cardio, this DVD is NOT going to provide that.  My heart rate did get up a little during some of the jumping cardio moves, but it wasn't for long. The strength aspect was pretty nice. I could feel the burn on some of the moves. I haven't used weights for strength in a while so I'm guessing that had something to do with it. I also know that I need to increase my strength work. This DVD will be good for that. I've only been doing the resistance band toning or sculpting on the TF schedule, and lately that's only been once a week.  The TF core workout is done on the long stretch day, so I guess that counts for something too.

I think that I will do this entire DVD on Wednesdays, which are my "off" days from TF.  That will be a good addition to the one day of sculpting or toning I do a week. I may add one of those TF workouts to another day too; one that is shorter in duration just because I could use the extra work.

The strength moves weren't too bad either. I could do most of them at the "advanced" level which means I could probably use heavier weights next time. I used a lighter set just because I hadn't done any weight training in a while. Oddly, I'm feeling it today! My chest, arms, and shoulders are a little sore. It's not a lot, and I can mostly feel it when I move the muscles, but it's there so I'm happy!

Day two on WW went well.  It's definitely a good way to get some more veggies and fruits (fresh!) into my diet.  I usually eat quite a few but I know I'm eating more on WW. Fresh fruits and veggies have zero points... So I can fill up on those!! Points take values of carbs, fiber, protein, and fat into consideration. No calories. This is different for me because I've counted calories for so long.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to give up tracking that (today anyway; it's early).  I actually had to remind myself to even log-in to MFP today. 

I'm tracking on MFP and on SP (why two, I don't know... it's kind of silly) too - for now anyway. Yesterday I said I was curious to see how the calories went along with points, which I was/am.  I also think that letting go of the control of counting calories was part of that justification. The fact that I almost forgot to log-in to MFP today makes me think that maybe I'm not quite as obsessive....Or this new method is helping me to relax. So far I haven't obsessed about points.  I've planned and stuck to my daily points. I did use a few of the extra weekly points yesterday but as of now by the end of the day today I won't.

I can see me having difficulty with those extra points and accepting that they're there to be eaten; that it is OKAY to eat them.  I'm trying my best to stick to just my daily points allowance.  Of course at this point in time I'm not planning on any specific events in which I'd want to use them. Maybe when that happens I'll be more willing to enjoy them. In fact, I know I will because I looked into that yesterday... A standard (750 ml) bottle of wine will only be 17 points. I can drink an entire bottle and STILL have weekly points left! Shoot, I could drink TWO bottles of wine and still have 15 extra weekly points. However, drinking two bottles of wine at one time is probably not the best idea. Point-wise I would be okay but alcohol makes you bloat, so the potential to gain some water weight (which eventually goes away) is pretty high.

Also, I find myself to be drunk after one bottle. Two bottles would not be a good. Not all at one time anyway!

On tonight's fitness agenda is a training run and some TF.... I believe I have a short HIIT workout to do followed by the 30 minute sculpting workout.  I'm actually looking forward to it all! Hmmm... maybe that change of pace on Wednesdays will be good for me!

FYI... WW points are now called PointsPlus (I have to get the hang of this as I have the term "points" stuck in my brain). When I write about values in the future, I'll refer to them as PP, or maybe WW PP. I should add this to my terms page, huh? :)

Tomorrow is another day of working for my Dad... My cousin and I may workout again after, so it could be another late evening. If we do, it might even be another Subway turkey sub and glass of wine evening. Then again I may just stay at my parents' tomorrow night....I'm supposed to be going to a baby shower on Saturday and it's a few hours away, so we would have to leave early.  If we go; weather doesn't look too promising. Grr... Winter.  Even if that doesn't happen, my Mom will have the Little Miss (so sad - my cousin didn't even call me!!) so I may help with her.  We shall see what the day brings. At some point I should do some things around the house and get some groceries too... So, that's my plan for the weekend. If I don't post, it's because I will be busy. :

I hope you've had a great week thus far - I'm off to workout!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two of today's meals...

Breakfast - Overnight crockpot oatmeal topped with raw almonds and a tablespoon of pure maple stuff.

Dinner - Spaghetti squash and meatballs with a little Parmesan cheese.

Weight Watchers

I decided that I will do WW online again and see what happens. I looked back and when I did WW online last summer I had consistently lost weight. Then I stopped. Then I plateaued. Then I gained a few pounds (the gain still baffles me since I changed nothing). Seeing that, when I do follow the plan accordingly, I have can success motivated me to sign up for the online program again.

I know that the program works, both meetings and online.  It's up to me to make it continue to work for me. I need to continue to follow the plan and do what I need to do. The idea of paying for it (visual reminders) is something I'm hoping will continue to motivate me. I also have a friend who is going to sign up to. Our plan is to have our own type of weekly meetings so that we have a support person and someone to check-in with.  I'm also considering reporting my weekly weight to someone so that I am motivated to continue to follow the plan. I'm just not sure who yet. Giving my weight out is something I'm comfortable doing right now... Not with the public; not with most people. There would only be a few I'd feel comfortable in providing that with... But I want to make sure it's someone who won't be too easy on me or too hard on me. I need a good neutral person who will give a talk when needed, but who won't be "mean" about it. I'll see what my friend wants to do and maybe we'll share with one another. Or maybe we'll just tell the other one "I lost..." or "I gained..." this week. I'm still figuring that piece out but I know I definitely need to make myself accountable to someone.

It's definitely going to take a little adjusting to not counting calories. I may continue to use my other calorie counters just to see where I'm at. I'll probably continue to monitor my calories burned. Honestly I can't imagine not doing those things.  I'm not ready to let go of it. Then again, part of me deciding to do WW is to stop obsessing so much over calories. Obviously if I can't let go of tracking there's a problem there. Funny.... It's kinda like my obsession with the scale. I try not to rely so much on it and try to find any way I can to justify weighing more often than I should.  My justification for using a calorie tracker as well as the points tracker is to see what my calories are like in eating at that points level. I want to compare the two and see if the amount of points I am eating in a day amount to being similar to what I eat counting calories.  It's more like a science experiment, really. Haha....Justification!

I am having spaghetti squash again tonight for dinner... In a different form.  Tonight I am having it with spaghetti sauce and meatballs. I would mix the meat in with the sauce but I've found it's easier to get an accurate count for a serving of meat by making balls and weighing them. No it doesn't taste like spaghetti but it satisfies me and I really like it. I'd honestly eat something "noodley" with spaghetti squash as a sub before I would those tofu noodles. I can't bring myself to try them. They're all weird in that little package full of water... At least I think so. 

Apparently my judgement of "small" spaghetti squash is off. The recipe I followed on Monday instructed me to use two small squashes. I did not need too. Apparently mine were not small.  I have  quite a bit of it left over and really feel like I should use it for something else soon.  I feel like it's going to be wasted anyway, but I'd like to eat it in a different way. Hmmm...I wonder if that's something I can freeze. I could freeze some of the squash and cheese from the other night if possible. I'm not sure about tonight's serving but I'll see....

I remember seeing something about what's okay to freeze and what's not on Pinterest, so I suppose I'll consult that first. It's funny, in the past I'd Google first. Now I check Pinterest and then Google if I don't find my answer. Ahhhh, the Internet, holder of all information I need (and always true, like the commercial says - haha).

Tonight's workout includes some biking and then a DVD of some sort. I think I'll try my Sparkpeople boot camp DVD and see what that's all about. After that it's dinner and relaxation time.... And I probably should get something done around the house.

I hope you're all having a great week!!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dinner tonight.... All for 331 calories!

Baked tilapia with a coat of parmesan cheese/Italian style breadcrumb mix, salad with a lettuce mix(from a bag "American Mix") and spinach, and a side of steamed veggies. Talk about filling!!

FYI..I'm obviously not a food photog (and these are all taken with my phone).

Something New for 2013

I think I've made it pretty well known that I gained a few pounds this year and have had a hard time losing them. It seems that after the gain I've plateaued.Now I fluctuate within a range that I cannot seem to get out of.

I've done things that are suggested to break plateaus...

I've added strength training.
I changed my workout routine so I'm not just running... I mixed in Rockin' Body and Brazil Butt Lift. Now I'm doing Turbofire. I'm adding in a little biking (at least once a week, on my TF "off" days). I might do another DVD program on those days too.
I already drink a ton of water so that wasn't really anything "new." I've continued this good habit.
I've cut back on eating out although I'm still eating out at times. It's not nearly as frequent as it had become, which also means I've cut back on my alcohol intake (I usually have a drink or two with dinner).
I've decreased calories.
I've increased calories.

Nothing. Is. Working.

I'm trying to look at the overall change in the scale, not the little changes. Overall, I'm the same. I can put on seven pounds from a weekend of eating out, then take it all off by the following Thursday.  It's frustrating to keep gaining and losing the same few pounds.

This week is not helping my cause any. Give that it's time for TOM I've experienced some retention which is not only reflected on the scale but makes me FEEL bigger. I know what it is, but I can't help but feel a bit cow-ish.

I should still be losing weight. I messed up and gained a few pounds last year. I know what to do and feel like I've been fighting to get back on track with that, yet I cannot seem to lose the weight.

I think that maybe I haven't been as diligent with my eating; or tracking I suppose. Often on weekends I do not track. I don't know why...sometimes it's more difficult and time consuming to stop and get out my phone, ipad, or sit at a computer and figure it all out. This is probably a HUGE part of the problem. I gain on the weekend and lose it all by the following weekend. So it's like all week long my work is just making me lose what I gained over the weekend (although, given amounts and such I think most of it is due to bloating for various reasons; sodium, alcohol).

Most days I track everything. There are times when I'll have a little something (like a 70 calorie k-cup of hot chocolate in the evening), after I've already done my daily tracking. I usually have a surplus of a few hundred calories so I don't bother tracking it. I mean.. It's one small thing and it's not like it's a lot of calories.

Sometimes I wonder if I do that more often than I realize throughout the day. As convenient as modern technology is, sometimes it isn't. I'm afraid that sometimes I might have a light snack and then forget to track it because I'm at work and can't do it right away. And other times I know I am not good about it... I'll think, "oh I'll add that later." And then I forget.

I exercise a lot so I can't help but think that it's the eating that's a problem. I've GOT to be more diligent about that. I didn't HAVE to track for the longest time. I did at first (by hand, in a notebook; just calorie counting) but then once I knew what to do, I didn't do it anymore. I knew what to eat and was still losing weight. That was at the beginning though. The changes in my habits were enough to keep me losing.

It's interesting... My loss slowed when I started tracking more. I think that's because I'd gotten to the point where I lost enough that it just naturally slowed. So I started tracking in effort to lose more. I did. Then I gained a little back.  Then this last year I gained a little more.

I'm not sure if there's a link between the two or not. I can't help but wonder if tracking does the opposite for me. Maybe I get too obsessive and focused? I say "I can't have that; I don't have the calories left" and then worry. Or I'll eat too much and freak out about burning it off. Is it possible that counting calories has been hindering me?

Maybe I don't need to track more. Maybe I need to be less obsessive about what I'm tracking now. Or maybe I need to track less; or not at all.  It's worth a shot, right?

I don't like the idea of tracking nothing at all. I like to know where I'm at and such...Obviously. Otherwise I would not be so obsessive about it.  I constantly wonder if calorie counters are correct. What if what's been entered is less than what it really is? Maybe someone else's data entry is messing me up? Over time, little errors could really add up.

Another thing with my eating is that I don't ALWAYS measure. I do a lot; most of the time. I'm constantly washing measuring cups. There are time though, that I'm out at a restaurant and can't.  So I use something similar from another restaurant when I'm tracking. What if that's wrong? What if it is way too low?

See? Obsessive.

I've been throwing around the idea of doing Weight Watchers again. Not online. I've tried it online, even this last summer, and didn't see results.  I think that just like other trackers, I may have missed things, or miscounted. I'm considering signing up for the WW classes. I think that tracking in that little book would be easier (and more accessible, as silly as it sounds) for me.

I also think that maybe I need some accountability.  Right now, no one sees my scale - except for me. Most people can't tell that I've gained a little weight. If so, they don't say anything.  If I mention it to people they often brush it off and tell me to look at what I've lost so far. Believe me, I KNOW what I have lost. I am just not ready to be done losing. I'm not where I want to be.  But they just tell me good job and not to worry about it. 

I'm not happy; I need to change it.

Nothing I've tried has worked so maybe a system based on points will be better for me. I will know how many points I can have in a day and will just have to keep track of those, as well as activity points. While it is number-focused it isn't quite as much as counting calories can be.

As far as my thoughts on WW...

First -  I did it in the past - twice. I had success - twice. In fact the weight I lost on WW was never gained back. I plateaued for a while before really changing my lifestyle, but never gained back the 55 pounds I had lost...Which I find interesting. But anyway....I know that it works.

Second - I now have the tools to possibly succeed even more. In the past I'd still eat and drink whatever, and just used my points. Now I know that I need to eat healthy foods. I also know that healthy foods are less points. I can eat a lot more in a day if I eat healthy.  I can remember the days of blowing most of my points on a fast food meal and then eating very little the rest of the day. Or using all of my "flex" points in one night of drinking. Or eating back my activity points - which you are "allowed" to do, but I'd rather not.

Third - accountability. I think that's something I really need. Not only am I paying for something, I will have to check-in every week. When I tried WW online last year, I paid for it but that alone wasn't enough. I didn't have to face anyone for a weekly weigh-in. Maybe the idea of knowing my progress will be monitored by someone other than me is what I need.

So... I'm contemplating it.  Does anyone have any thoughts on Weight Watchers? Or in general?

I'm off for a training run and some TF!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked spaghetti and cheese from Mine was a little runny but still tasted good!! This was a one cup portion which I thought was a good size!

I'd definitely recommend it!

A Face of PMS/PMDD

First, a little weekend update.... Then I'll get into the meat of this post.

Due to hour cuts at work I spent all day Friday working for my Dad. I kept busy trying to provide some organization to his chaotic mess of a filing system. I also cleaned. Seriously..I MOPPED FLOORS. I don't do that at work. Janitorial work is not even close to anything on my resume. I'm pretty sure I used a bit much floor cleaner because the smell of pine started to go to my head. After working, I went to my cousin's and worked out with her (I brought Turbofire).  By the time I got home, I was too tired to post.

I actually accomplished what I wanted to this weekend; or most of it. On Saturday I painted my bathroom; which meant I washed all the walls and then started painting. I didn't finish it and quite frankly I'm a bit too afraid to tackle the ceiling on my own. I'm messy.  I'll need back-up to ensure that it's not a huge disaster. The walls were enough... There's paint all over. If I try my hand at the ceiling, I'll mess up the walls and will enter into a vicious cycle of painting and re-paining.  I think I'd do better in a larger room.... My bathroom is just not big enough. I also did a little laundry and cleaning, and went to my friend's wine tasting during the evening. I'd have probably finished the bathroom (minus the ceiling) but had to get over to her house for that (oh darn! haha!).

Yesterday I managed to put together a bookshelf, cleaned a little bit of stuff out of my kitchen cabinets, and decorated the shelf. It's become my little "bar" area.  I used my wine glasses as decorations on the shelves (along with pictures and a few candles). The bottom is full of various bottles of wine and such. The shelf is not perfect and I know I screwed up in a couple places, but it's sturdy and standing. I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment. If only my painting skills were "that good." That was about all I did... Other than be a slave to PMS/PMDD - tired, various pains, light headed episodes (probably due to anemia because someone's not been good about taking her vitamin lately), crazy appetite/binge eating, oh yes...It was a day. How I accomplished anything, I do not know!

I know I've written before about experiencing PMS/PMDD but I don't think I've ever really gotten very in depth with it. I'm honestly not even sure I'll post this when I finish. I hope that I will because I think it's important to let other women know that they're not alone in their struggle. It's very easy to make some things public and very hard to make other things public. No one wants to write about the "bad" things about themselves...Not in all that much detail anyway. I've made general statements that it turns me into a "crazy person" but what does that really mean?

From judging on what I've read I'm 99% certain I have PMDD. I have all the PMS symptoms, but at times (most months) it interferes with my daily life... That's one huge difference between PMDD and PMS. PMDD has severe impact on a person's daily life - work, relationships, well-being, whatever area it may be for them, that month. That happens to me. I've never been officially diagnosed, but that's because I've never brought it up with my doctor. For the purposes of this post, I'll be referring to it as PMS/PMDD just because I have not had an actual diagnosis...and I could be wrong. Maybe I'm interpreting the symptoms as being worse than they are.
I'm going to write a personal account of what I go through more months than not. I write with hesitation because I'm afraid that someone will read this who doesn't understand it and will not take time to understand, or at least learn about, it. There's such a stigma surrounding anything that could be deemed a mental health issue, as this is. Being a professional in the mental health field sometimes makes those things more difficult to accept (within ourselves). 

I don't agree that this should be labeled a mental disorder. I feel that, although there are mental characteristics, it's more of a physical disorder. A change in hormone levels is responsible. It only happens once a month, and sometimes it's mild.  There are just as many physical symptoms as there are mental symptoms. Yet, PMDD is viewed as a mental disorder. I highly doubt that a mental disorder will cause certain physical ailments that accompany PMDD.  Severe cramps? That's all my uterus, thanks. PMDD is classified as "depressive disorder, not otherwise specified."  I get that PMDD and Major Depression have a lot of common features but PMDD is due to hormonal changes.... I'm as angry and irrational as much as I suffer from fluid retention and cramps. Maybe it's because I don't want that stigma attached to me, but I just don't agree with it being classified as a mental illness.

PMDD is awful. I cannot imagine how people who really do have Major Depression get through life. Medication, perhaps? Support? Counseling? All of the above? I couldn't imagine getting through it without anything.  Just a small glimpse of how it can really effect a life makes me feel for people who make it - on a more personal level. I deal with the craziness for a matter of days and I want to close myself off from the world - mostly to spare others from me!

Actually, it's only at certain moments. My mood swings are so major that I'm totally fine one minute and then one person pissing me off can totally change my mood - toward them. I can be angry at one person but totally normal with someone else. Unless it's directed at someone, I usually keep my emotions to myself.  Usually my anger comes out when I'm provoked; in even the slightest way. Sometimes it only takes a look or one phrase and I'm angry.  An hour later I could be crying about it. Most people I'm totally fine with, but when someone gets under my skin, that's it.

I do feel bad about it later. I hate being hurtful and I know I can be. Sometimes I honestly can only describe myself as wicked. I have a mean streak and when I get mad, I'm mad. If someone upsets me, it's like I want to make them even more upset. Yeah, that makes me sound crazy...Huh? It's completely irrational and illogical. I feel out of control and like I'm not even myself.  When the way I've behaved catches up with me I feel horrible; like the worst person ever.

I'm much more sensitive; particularly to rejection. If I feel unimportant to someone or don't get the attention from them that I feel I deserve, I get angry. And I don't hesitate to let them know it. Sometimes instead of expressing my feelings in a normal, healthy way, I pick fights or start "drama." I push buttons. It's kind of like "oh, you made me feel like crap... Guess what, now you can feel bad too." Sadly when I do this it's to people I care about. The good thing is that those are the people who really love me. They understand when I'm acting like a child. They know that's not the real me. They do their best to handle it. I cannot count the number of times I've been a complete brat to my parents (was much worse when I was a teen). But they're my parents... No matter how bratty and awful I acted, they still loved me. They never walked away from me. After everything would blow up, and I'd feel bad about it, I'd cry and apologize. They were always there to wipe away the tears and comfort me, even though I'd just been completely rotten toward them. That's unconditional love.

Man...I was such a hormonal girl! I'm sure I was worse back then, which makes me feel that my parents could possibly qualify for Sainthood just for putting up with my crap.

Now that I'm an adult it's not as easy finding that kind of love. Friends don't have to be your friends. I guess parents don't have to be parents either, but I'm lucky to have great parents and I don't need to worry about that. Take relationships for example... With irrational behavior many guys would say, "you're crazy" and walk away.  In my opinion if someone is like that, then he probably wasn't willing to learn and understand it anyway. That's not unconditional love.

Unconditional love will come from the person who stands by you no matter what. Even if they have to drag you to the doctor, help you find a support group, or anything else... They'll show love because they'll want to help you. You can yell, scream, and in your eyes they cannot do anything right, but they won't leave. They might back off and give you space (which sometimes fuels my fire more than anything else - I cannot stand being ignored). This often contributes to my feelings of anxiety. Sometimes I am more anxious before anything happens because I'm so afraid that something bad will happen (like someone leaving me).

Sometimes you can be downright awful to this person and no matter what, they stay. They do everything right and deal with you getting through it, and when you're ready to cry and apologize, they're there. I honestly believe that when you find someone who can handle all of your crazy crap (within reason; don't stay with someone who beats you up, cheats, and treats you badly all the time) and still be there at the end of the day... That's it. That's one way of them showing that their love for you is real.

Some of it is maturity, too...I think. A guy who isn't as mature will fight back, get angry with you, stop talking to you, and not even bother to take the time to understand what you're going through. Or maybe his unwillingness to learn about it, and support you just shows that it isn't real love.  If does walk away during those dark times, you might feel angry at first. Later on though, the realization that not only did he leave, but he didn't really love you (enough?) to learn about what you deal with, will sink in... And then not only will you be dealing with PMS/PMDD emotions, you'll be dealing with emotions because you've seen that you never really meant what you thought you did to someone else. 

PMS/PMDD + heartbreak? Watch out world!!!

Those good people though... Your family, your friends and significant others who love you enough to stay through it all - be thankful for them.  It takes someone who really loves you to understand that sometimes you're consumed by something that makes you behave differently. They wait for it to pass and they love you anyway. They stand by your side. And frequently those friends are so amazing and supportive that they'll do whatever they can to understand why you're so angry at whomever did whatever to make you that way. They'll support you. They might tell you that you're acting crazy; maybe not right away but maybe when it's safe.  No matter what though, they're there for you.

Those people are the ones who keep me going when I'm in a horrible mood. Sometimes I just have to think about a hug from one of them, or someone's smiling face, and I feel better. And at the end of the day, I know that I'd stand by them through all of their craziness (whatever that may be) too. When you love people, you love them... All of them; their flaws as well as the good things about them. You love them enough to work through whatever it is that's causing difficulties.

I feel so lucky and happy that I have people in my life who love me, no matter what. I can't imagine my life without those people!!

And that's only part of (my) PMS/PMDD...

I'm not only angry and depressed but I can become very selfish. And if things don't go my way, or I feel rejected or ignored then the anger intensifies. When I say anger, I mean that I say mean things... That's mostly how my anger comes out. Sometimes it overwhelms me and I cry.  I'm not a violent person... I don't show anger by lashing out physically. My words are nasty enough.

Then I feel bad and I cry. Sometimes I feel alone (and don't reach out because I WANT to be alone). I don't care about what is happening around me (hello, depression). It's funny because as nasty as I am to other people, I'm hypersensitive and my feelings get hurt very easily.

Then there's the binge eating which is two-fold... One, I binge eat because of emotions or even for what appears to be no reason at all (boredom?).  And second, I eat a lot because I am physically hungry. Sometimes it's like I am so ravenous that I cannot get full. I actually have an increased appetite and feel hunger.

I'd say that covers the emotional part of it, which is probably the biggest problem for me.

As far as the physical symptoms... I feel tired. Totally run-down. My motivation is gone (partly emotional too). I retain water horribly. One month I gained ten pounds- of water weight. FYI, the scale can really mess me up during this time because a "gain" will make me feel worse when I'm sensitive. Then there are things like headaches, body aches and pains, cramps, and breast tenderness and swelling. Sometimes I feel really light-headed but this may be related more to my anemia (and forgetting to take my vitamin). I also have insomnia. I am either up a lot during the night or can't fall asleep. Sometimes it's both. At times it doesn't seem like my body wants or needs the sleep - I can function normally, for a while anyway. Eventually it catches up with me and the fatigue sets in.

PMDD is, to me, best described as the wicked older sister of PMS.  The symptoms are worse; more intense and persistent. It will interfere with your daily life.  

I'm a nice person; generally happy, positive, and loving. I work hard, I'm dedicated and motivated, I'm successful... Then once a month this demon creeps in and takes over my brain (or so it seems). I can be okay, normal, with some people and not with others. I try hard to fight it but there's a loss of control there and sometimes I just can't stop it. I'd probably be better off with a prescription or Xanax or something to help chill me out but I haven't come out and asked for one yet. I don't want to have to take it.

I try to control it on my own. I try to watch for symptoms and manage them. I even warn people about what might come. It is not something that's easily controlled, but I try. So hard. Sometimes it's like fighting it. I have to find my inner strength and do what I can.  Sometimes I make it through parts. I feel really successful when I complete a workout or have a healthy (and/or binge-free) day of eating. There are days I have to push really hard to do it, but I do. I have to take it one day at a time and focus on small successes.  I think it's important to do that... Celebrate your successes, no matter how small (in anything really).  I think that it's helpful to work on modifying your own behavior. I'm aware of mine and at times I can control it but at other times I can't.

PMDD Quiz - This is just a quiz to review symptoms that MIGHT be PMDD. The best thing to do is to take the quiz and share the results with your physician. Talk to him or her about it more in-depth. If your physician is unfamiliar with it, seek out a professional who is - another doctor, a therapist.

PMDD Symptom Tracker - Sharing something like this with your physician would also be beneficial. Then they can see the patterns in your symptoms, as well as how significant they are. I've read it's best to track symptoms (daily; not just when they're worse) for three months.

Most days of the month my symptoms would be "none" or "mild" at most.

That's my story. I'm one of many people who experience some kind of monthly hormonal changes. Some people have PMS and some have PMDD.  PMDD is more severe than PMS, but PMS isn't something to blow off.  There are jokes about it and sometimes if a woman is a little crankier than normal people are quick to say "it must be PMS. PMS/PMDD is really not something to joke about. It's something significant to those of us who live with it.

Have a good Monday... I'm determined to make mine good!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

I just need to vent some feelings....

I hate PMDD!!

Having an awful evening:

1. Ate four pieces (light bread thank God) of cinnamon and sugar toast for dinner.
2. HRM wasn't working... So my burn for my run is low. Got super frustrated with it. Actually yelled and cursed at it. Not my best moment.
3. Then burst into tears.
4. All motivation is gone.
*managing a workout anyway.


For years, I loved mayonnaise... On burgers, on fries, in egg salad, and pretty much anything mayo compliments.  I recall eating mayo within the last couple months and didn't mind it. I eat it rarely but as far as I knew I still liked it.

Until this week.

I made turkey burgers for dinner on Monday night and I put a little mayo on my burger. Mixed with ketchup and mustard I didn't seem to notice anything. I had one last night for dinner and took a bite that had only mayo on it. I didn't like it. At all.  I even put a little on my finger to test just the mayo. Same reaction...NOT good. It didn't taste anything like I remember mayo tasting like. The flavor didn't seem to have the same richness and it just seemed a little different. I thought maybe my taste buds were a little off last night (was tired; had a headache) so I decided to try it again for lunch today. Same reaction. YUCK.

I thought I noticed this last week when I ate a veggie sub with a little on it, but then I thought maybe it was the combination of foods that made it seem different. That and the mustard seemed spicier than mustard should. Anyway, I figured it was a fluke. Turns out that was incorrect. I, apparently, no longer like mayonnaise. At least not as a burger condiment.  Maybe it's because I eat it so rarely that I've lost the taste for it...?

This is not a bad thing. Mayo really isn't good for you; it's full of unhealthy fat. This is why I rarely use it and only have it in moderation when I do. I haven't eaten mayo like I used to in ages.  The idea of dipping an order of fries in it sound disgusting. I absolutely do not like the taste of mayo anymore. I haven't tried it in anything, just as a condiment but I imagine the taste isn't something I'm going to enjoy again anytime soon.

It's amazing how your taste for things can change - and so quickly! I've always liked mayo. And now I don't. Does that seem weird to anyone else? Maybe I'm sick. Maybe it's my hormonal level. Or maybe I really have no desire for mayo anymore.  Whatever it is, it's interesting - and good.  I was never able to stand Miracle Whip but maybe I'll try it again sometime. Or just stick to ranch.  Or maybe a little ranch with Miracle Whip? Who knows.

Completely changing topics...

I'm doing really well with this whole streamlining and decluttering thing. Last night I got rid of a bunch of stuff from my living room.  I have a problem hoarding magazines - mostly Cosmos; I could at least part with the others without a second thought. Not last night. Last night I decided I was done with the needless stacks on the bottom shelf of my coffee table and threw them into a bag with some other junk. I'll probably donate or recycle them... Whatever I do, they'll be removed from my house.

I think I may stop buying magazines too. Maybe. I really love picking up a new one when I'm getting groceries or something, but I really don't have a need for them. They just waste space. I should probably start getting them to read on my iPad...There would be a lot less clutter and trash to deal with!

I rearranged my living room and part of my kitchen last night. I still have to go through kitchen cupboards and change some things around but I'm making progress. My goal for tonight is to assemble a shelf that I bought (hahaha we shall see) and then switch some stuff around. I'll be happy if I can get all of that done. Heck, I'll be happy if I can build the shelf on my own! Those directions are not always easy to follow!

It's a work in progress, which sometimes leads to more of a mess than you start with, but it'll be worth it when everything is finished and put back together. My goal is to finish those two rooms (really just have the kitchen cabinets to clean and organize) and get the bathroom painted and decorated this weekend. As usual, with the bathroom anyway, we shall see.... I also have a wine tasting to attend on Saturday evening and I need to do ten treadmill miles at some point (either Saturday morning or sometime on Sunday).  I'm hoping to have everything decorated and put back together by Sunday afternoon....Or at least Sunday evening.

I should get started on my workout if I want to get some work done tonight. I'm off to do a training run (just 30 minutes) and then some TF. I think I have a sculpting workout (30 minutes) plus a HIIT workout and stretching to do (about another 25-30 minutes). Time to get moving so I have time to do other things (including watching my favorite nerds - BBT) tonight.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sore Arms and Bacon.

Weird title, I know. It will all make sense in the end. Or before the end, I hope. Actually the title just covers two topics that I plan to write about.

Why did I just devote a few sentences to my title?

First - my arm and my shoulders! Oh my!!! My workout yesterday consisted of a run and then TF. Monday I did TF. I've not doing anything out of the ordinary regarding my workouts.

Except that...

I received some weighted gloves as a Christmas gift. These particular gloves are only a couple pounds each, but let me tell you - a couple pounds added to the arm movements (punches) in TF can really make a difference! ! I'm sure that as I use them and adjust they will cause less soreness. I'm happy to feel it now and will enjoy it while I can!! This just means that I'm working my muscles that much more. 

I can tell that my left arm is obviously weaker than my right.  I had a harder time punching with my left last night, especially toward the end.  I also feel more soreness in my left arm today than I did yesterday. The really cool thing is that I feel it mostly in my triceps, which are an area that many of us want to work on. From my limited (two day) experience, I can recommend doing some punches to work those arms! If that doesn't work you hard enough, add a little weight.... Weighted gloves really seem to work!

Second - bacon.

Seriously.... WHAT is the deal with bacon?

I get that it's tasty and people love to eat it. I'm not a huge bacon eater, and if I buy bacon it's often turkey bacon, but I understand that people like to eat it. Apparently some people like to eat it a whole lot.  I suppose that it's normal that people rave about bacon like they would other foods that they like. I'll admit I ate some bacon dipped in chocolate and it was fabulous. That was a treat that I've only had once because bacon alone isn't the healthiest... Bacon with chocolate? Even worse.

What prompted my thinking was that a friend posted a picture on my FB page that started with the word "Exercise" and went through various ways to pronounce it, ending with "eggs are sides... for bacon!" That got me thinking about all this other random bacon stuff... Bacon socks, bacon toothpaste (YUCK!), bacon shower curtains.... Whatever the product, bacon is everywhere

I cannot seem to find an explanation of why bacon has become more than a food that many people love to eat. It's been transformed into this huge pop culture phenomenon. Was it Lady Gaga's meat dress that inspired this? Or did she wear that meat dress because bacon was all the rage?  I honestly cannot remember when bacon started appearing in pop culture (a few years ago?) or whether it was before or after that horrid dress.

I honestly just want to know WHY!

Why is bacon such a huge thing in pop culture? It's kind of like mustaches. They're everywhere too - shirts, mugs, attached to sunglasses, tattooed on fingers... All over. What's the deal? Why is "I (insert picture of a mustache) ask you a question" so trendy? I get that suddenly beards are "hot." But that seems to be more recent than the whole mustache trend that started a few years ago.

Mustaches and bacon?

Maybe I'm getting old but I don't understand it, or the humor behind such things. Maybe these are trends started by super cool teenage soon-to-be hipsters and they're trends that only super cool teenage soon-to-be hipsters will understand. Maybe awesomeness of mustaches and bacon in pop culture are things that are lost on adults. Maybe the actual hipsters understand (defined as young adults who've recently settled; translation people in their late teens and early 20s; maybe working in a coffee shop or maybe a recent college grad) and I really am just too old to "get it."

Anyone in the teen or early 20 crowd care to explain? Or is there no explanation? Maybe someone, somewhere decided that these things were trendy and it spread. Maybe people are jumping on the bandwagon and they don't even know what started the mania surrounding bacon and mustaches.

I'm waiting to see a bacon 'stache. Certainly the combination of two major trends is somewhere on the horizon. Or maybe it already exists.

That bacon thing is a little off-topic compared to the general nature of this blog.  I couldn't resist though...Especially after seeing that exercise post. The sad thing is that some people really will find that humorous because, for them, it's factual. That is clearly lost on me.  Exercise and "eggs are sides" are two very different things. Maybe I'm a little uptight but I do not think that it is funny to compare the two. Some people will honestly look at that and see it as a way to laugh at exercise and consider it no big deal.  I know it's not meant to be viewed in such a literal way but knowing the information that I do about obesity rates and various health issues in this country... I just don't think it's funny.  At all.

It's not funny to make fun of exercise, and those of us who like to do it. It's not funny to take a healthy concept and turn it into something unhealthy.  Again, maybe it's that my sense of humor is different (more refined, perhaps?) but stuff like that annoys me. To me making a joke out of exercise is sad. Perhaps that's why this country is so obese? Too many people make a joke out of what's healthy and think that things that are not healthy are funny.

They can go eat their pound of full-fat bacon. I'm going to go do some biking.

Happy Wednesday!!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's Happening Again...

The organization bug is really hitting me hard again. It's this time of year; it makes me want to do all kinds of things around the house. I rarely seem to find time for them. I think it's hitting me worse than it did a few months ago because it's cold. I just want to be inside and do things inside. Snowfall is anticipated soon and it will likely stay for months when it comes. We've been lucky so far in that the winter has been very mild. I'm afraid that when it strikes, it will strike hard.  Hopefully not but there's a lot of winter left.

When it does, I have a list of things to occupy me.  I don't go far in the winter. I hate driving on snow and ice. I spend a lot of time working out and working on craft projects. I also do a little reading, but it's the time of year that I like to jump into various projects. I have a list of things to do and have already started on it.... Well, at least as far as taking down my Christmas decorations.  I do need to put them away yet, but at least they're not up anymore.  I'm thinking I will carry everything to the basement, for storage, this evening. Then I will get to work on getting the upstairs back in order. 

My bathroom STILL is incomplete. I have things going on in the next few weeks but they will be relatively quiet. My goal is to get that bathroom DONE. Finally! After that I'll start going through some other things, getting rid of junk, reorganizing and maybe doing some redecorating. Then it will be time to start on little projects - the fun stuff.  It'll be like projects are my reward for doing the not-so-fun stuff first. Perhaps that will be my motivation to get things done sooner than later. With the exception of the bathroom... Painting is a chore, but can also be fun. And I'm VERY excited to get that stinkin' bathroom done.

Other than that stuff, working out will continue to occupy my time. Luckily I'm feeling a little better today than yesterday so I'll be getting that done soon.  I have a 30 minute run and some TF to do. After that it's a shower, then dinner, and then I'll get to work on hauling things to the basement. Honestly? Sitting down to relax sounds like more fun than moving things to the basement, but I'll never get things done if I don't spend at least a little time working on things like that.

I think that I'll try to devote an hour a night to my home... My workouts are my priority, so it will always be later in the evening... After working out and after dinner. Well, unless of course I do a long morning workout, giving myself more time in the evening. At any rate, an hour isn't much time, so that will be my minimum. Maybe I should just make it a goal that my house gets an hour of my attention a day. Hmmm.... That wouldn't be a bad thing and would give me a lot less to do on cleaning day!

I think that as a reward for spending an hour on my house, I'll allow myself a little craft time. That way I won't be anxiously waiting to do them, and will have an incentive for doing the things that are less desirable. That will help get things done before the weekend, when my plans seem to fall apart. Whether it's babysitting or some social obligation weekends can go from nothing but a day full of plans of what I want to do, to accomplishing none of them. I need to get back into the mode of telling people "no" when it comes to various things. My home is part of my life. It's not fair to neglect it to do things for everyone else. Having things become disorganized and messy (note: messy not dirty) drives me crazy. It makes my life feel chaotic. Now that the holidays are over and things are calming down, I'm hoping to be able to get my house in better order. I SHOULD have less going on...I hope anyway.

The other thing I need to worry about is my training schedule. I simply cannot keep rearranging my long runs because someone needs something or wants to do something. I have a half marathon to run in a matter of weeks... Five from Sunday, to be exact. That's it. No more dropping things for everyone else. I need to do 13.1 miles in five and a half weeks. THAT is my top priority right now; followed by an orderly home. I think that anyone who loves me will continue to support me.... No matter what. Not that I have much trouble with that now. My cousin doesn't mind if I can't babysit. My family understands... My parents are paying for this trip to Disney so that's an extra incentive to do my best and finish this thing! All of my loves have been so supportive and encouraging lately. I really am lucky.... I think that sometimes I create guilt that shouldn't be there and worry about it. Honestly? If at some point I piss someone off because of what I choose to do with my time, well they probably don't belong in my life anyway. I feel fortunate that I have some pretty special people in my life. You know who you are. :)

I suppose, it's time to get that short training run and TF done. I'm afraid my run today will be boring... Treadmill... After a week of outdoor runs... Not sounding like fun. It's ONLY 30 minutes though. Saturday's run will be the nightmare!

Hope your having a great week!


This is not health or fitness related but I wanted to share this giveaway from 11 Magnolia Lane:


I believe that being organized in all areas of life is a good thing, and can only help your overall well-being.  They're giving away some shelf paper and labels - and have tons of cool ideas on what to do with them! I discovered the site via Pinterest one day and it's given me lots of good ideas for organization and such around home. Their stuff is adorable!!

Check them out sometime! 

The giveaway ends at noon, CST today!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Race Weekend Recap

On Saturday I did Polar Dash (Chicago) and had a great time! I had registered for the 5K and toward the end of last week (Thursday, I believe) I started thinking about doing the 10K instead. I was still undecided when I got to packet pick-up on Friday evening. I had filled out the paper - just in case. Before I knew it, I was handing over my paper and paying for the upgrade. I figured 6.2 miles would be a good run for the day, and with my half marathon next month a longer outdoor race would be good prep.

I didn't do a traditional workout on Friday night. I had packed extra workout clothes and then forgot to pack my Turbofire DVDs. I picked up the SP DVD at Target, but after a super filling (and late) dinner, working out wasn't happening.

FYI... I had an amazing dinner. I totally went over my daily calories but I needed those carbs for the run in the morning! Dinner was at Grand Lux (right downtown, off of Michigan Ave.). I had the garlicky shrimp pasta for my dinner and ate about half of it. I also had some fresh, warm bread (two slices - no they weren't huge) along with it. I indulged in one glass of pinto grigio (seriously, wine is a MUST when eating pasta). There was even a splurge for a shared dessert.... Beignets. Oh. My. Yumminess. They were delicious!! I ate two of them (they weren't huge like some). I enjoyed every single one of those delicious calories without too much worry. I ate healthy early in the day, needed some race fuel, and don't do that often! Guilt? Nope.

As far as working out, it was at least a mile and-a-half walk to and from dinner, so I did get in a little walking (3 miles; carrying bags too). I had all of my gear for the race series (Polar Dash, Get Lucky, and Monster Dash), a shopping bag from Old Navy, a small bag of popcorn from Garrett (I get the Chicago mix whenever I'm downtown - it's the BEST!), and then after dinner there were take out bags. We had our arms full, so I'm sure that must've made me burn a few extra calories... Right?!

So... I ran a 10K on Saturday; my first (and longest) race to date. I've done longer distances, but not in a race. For anyone who runs, you "get" what it means to reach one more goal, even if you already do it unofficially. At least it's a big deal to me.

The weather was unseasonably warm for Chicago. At one point when I finished my race, I heard the announcer say that it was 55 - in Chicago; in January! It was wonderful! The wind made it feel colder than 55, but I'd still consider it a "warm" morning! I wore a long sleeve shirt and a wind breaker style jacket, and probably could've gone without the jacket. I'm glad I had it though, as I filled my pockets with things I needed - a bandana (to wipe away sweat from my eyes and, on the other side, blow my nose as needed), my phone, and at one point my ipod because it kept coming unclipped. I have a shuffle specifically for running, since it's lighter and easier to manage. Not to mention it's cheaper so if tragedy were to strike it would be much less expensive to replace than my phone or ipod. Also, when I finished I got cold very fast, so that extra layer was nice!

The race itself went well... We ran along paved pathways, along Lake Michigan (the Lakefront trail, for anyone who is familiar with it). We ran somewhere between three and four miles before turning around to finish the race (started and stopped at the same place). I will admit that I don't run up a lot of hills and there were several along the path. They weren't big hills, but inclines that I wasn't really used to. I didn't mind them, but could feel the difference in my body. I'm sure that running into wind didn't help much either. I was glad that the weather forecast changed from 20+ mph winds to 12-15! The wind and inclines definitely took a toll on me and I started to feel tired toward the end of the race. I allowed myself to slow down and walk as needed, but didn't really walk much... I think the most I did was between miles four and five. For some reason I had to blow my nose a lot at that time, so I'd slow a little to do so. I found a running buddy along the course... We didn't chat but we tried to keep pace with one another. I lost her at mile six. I decided to run the last two-tenths as fast as I could, and she apparently kept pace.

Oh! This course ends with an incline. Nice thing to do at the end of a race, huh? I knew it was coming, since it was along a similar route as Monster Dash had been, so at least I anticipated it. I dug hard and powered up that hill as fast as I could. I can safely say that I was breathing hardest and pushed the hardest after making the last turn toward the finish. I'm not a fast runner (nor do I claim to be). My goal is to, some day, be able to run a ten minute mile. Shoot, even in the ten minute mile range (10-10:59) would make me happy!

I'm currently in the 11 minute mile range. This makes sense for outdoors since I usually run about a 12 minute mile on the treadmill... A little less, but it's often closer to 12 than my outdoor pace. My goal for this race was to finish under a 12 minute mile, which I did. I know the last couple outdoor runs I did were slower than normal; around a 12 minute mile (but I had to walk around some snow and ice, which slowed me down). I was happy with my final time... I finished the race with a time of 1:12:39. According to the website, this was a pace of 11:42 per mile (the 10K was a little longer than 6.2; calculated at 6.3). When I mapped the race out on endomondo, it was actually closer to 6.5 (6.46, I think), but that may not have been accurate. If that were the case, my pace was 11:14. Both paces were in my range (11-12) but let's be honest... I'd have been a lot happier with 11:14. I believe my fastest pace in a race is 11:12 per mile.

I always like the first race of its kind... Every first race means a PR. That means that every 10K after this, I will strive to run it at a faster pace than 11:42. I suppose I should be thankful for more inclines than anticipated; and wind! This means that on a difference course, without as much wind, my pace should be a little better. I hope anyway!

I'm pleased with my performance. I wasn't totally exhausted when I was finished so I know I could've gone a longer distance. I was pretty tired immediately, but I think it was from sprinting up that last incline. As soon as my heart rate went down and my breathing returned to normal, I was totally fine. I think that the key to my half marathon will be taking little walk breaks as needed. I like knowing that I will be able to, comfortably, slow down. At my current pace I will finish in just a little over two and-a-half hours. My goal is to do it under three hours, and the time limit is three and-a-half hours. Provided all goes well, I should be able to finish under my goal.

I celebrated with post-race cocktails and lunch at Weber Grill. I drank a Bloody Mary before lunch arrived and became a buy tipsy. Apparently burning 885 calories after only eating a bagel will do that. For lunch I had half a burger and some of my fries, and another Bloody Mary. Weber Grill serves theirs correctly, with a little glass of beer.

After lunch a stop at HomeGoods was in order. The downtown store is my favorite. I'm not sure why but I love it. I discovered some great finds - on clearance! There was a lot more I would like to have purchased but couldn't, for various reasons including a walk back to the parking garage. At least I had the sense to realize that.. Which wasn't the case when I purchased this hideous dog:

He will be the source of an inside joke for years to come. Perhaps shopping after drinking isn't a good idea. Perhaps.

Don't drink and shop.

The rest of the day was spent shopping and with dinner out. I ate out a lot this weekend!! I'm glad to be back into my normal routine today.

Yesterday was spent grocery shopping, doing some driving, a little cleaning, and relaxing. Not an eventful day but a nice day.

I came home with a headache so I ate an early dinner and will workout in a bit; after my food settles. It's later than normal for a workout but I wanted to wait and see if my headache would lighten up or go away first. I'm hoping my headache will go away before then. I have about an hour of TF to do this evening.

I'm going to go spend some time cleaning before I workout. It's about time I put the Christmas decorations away!!

Hope you had a great weekend and have an even better week!!


Thursday, January 10, 2013


Last night I was less than thrilled to have to do yoga.  It sounded like 40 minutes of pure torture. I was looking forward to the 20 minute core workout, but not the yoga.  I biked for about an hour first... I thought that maybe if I biked long enough I'd just do the core work.

I couldn't end at core. I did the 40 minutes of yoga too. Guess what! It wasn't so bad.  It actually wasn't bad at all. Much better than when I did it before. I still absolutely love the relaxation technique at the end. If nothing else, that will get me through the weekly yoga session.  At least I think it's weekly.... I don't have my schedule in front of me but it pops up often on the TF schedule.

Here's the thing.... For as much as I absolutely dreaded the yoga, the time passed quickly. I think I might actually like it... At least I did yesterday.

I'm really looking forward to Polar Dash! I can't wait.  I have to be downtown for packet pick-up tomorrow afternoon/evening so I decided to take a partial day off work. You never know with traffic and such... I wouldn't want to be late. Clearly I NEED several extra hours to make that happen. Or perhaps it's just that I am so excited (for multiple reasons) that I'm going to be anxious to go!

Tomorrow night will be spent in the city since the race is early the next morning. Okay, it's not that early, so driving would be fine, but if I have to be downtown tomorrow evening and then Saturday morning... Why not just stay? Hotels are really cheap (cheap for Chicago) this time of year anyway. It'll be nice to spend a few hours in the city, just relaxing and doing whatever. I'm still trying to decide where to have dinner. There are always so many options that it's hard to choose! I always want to get dressed up, so I try to find some place that's not super casual but not super fancy and expensive. I don't want to have to be totally well-behaved. Of course, with a run the next morning, I doubt I'll be too out of control.  Anyway... I usually try to think of a place that's in-between. A place where people can, and do, dress-up and others dress down. I think that as long as I don't look like I'm going to the prom, I should be just fine.....Sequin dress or not.

Today I'm due for another outdoor run. I actually don't want to, which is odd. I guess I just don't want to run period.  I have TF to do too, and I'm looking forward to that - kind of.  It's one of those days where I'm tired and just don't waaaaannnnnaaaaaa... But I will. Because when I'm done I'll be happy that I did. I won't have regrets and I'll feel good.

After the working out portion of my evening, it's off to pack for the weekend, and then do some more reading in my personal trainer book. Oh and of course BBT at eight. I can't miss my weekly date with the nerds.  It's one of the few shows I make it a point to watch, so missing it would be completely tragic. Okay, not tragic, but I'd be super bummed.

I suppose since I have some things to get done before I can dash to the dash (corny... too corny that was dumb), I should get moving.  It is a little (a matter of a few degrees) warmer than it was earlier in the week, so I have that to look forward to...Even though it's still cold and I hate the cold.

I'll post something short at some point tomorrow, and will recap my Polar Dash experience as soon as I can!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Tropical Dash"

The Polar Dash Facebook page just announced that Saturday's Polar Dash is going to be a Tropical Dash! They're not changing the theme or anything, but the weather is supposed to be wonderful! The forecast has been updated again and it definitely makes me a happy girl.  I realize that the point of a Polar Dash is to run in polar-type conditions but I'm super excited. I think my biggest fear, even more than the dreaded cold, is of falling on the ice/snow. I'm not usually afraid of falling THAT much, but right now I cannot afford any injuries. My half marathon is about a month-and-a-half away. With 13.1 miles rapidly approaching, now is NOT the time to get injured.

Naturally I checked the forecast as soon as I read that. I'd have already known this if I watched the news a little more often. I rely a lot on news channel Facebook updates and what I find online on pages like Yahoo or MSN. Bad habit.

Unseasonably mild to start but temperatures fall through the 40s during the afternoon.
Increasing cloudiness, southwest winds shift northwest. A few showers possible.

Running outside this week in temps colder than what will be expected won't be such a bad thing. I haven't done an outdoor run in a while so this is definitely prepping me for it. I'm not sure if it's that I had to walk around/over ice and snow at some points or that I was faced with wind resistance (oddly, only when going uphill!) but my run time has been slower the last couple days. I definitely do not like that. At all. I don't know what the contributing factors are but I certainly hope I run a little faster on Saturday! If not, I'm going to have a time that's WORSE than my first ever 5K. That? Simply cannot happen. I really think that those other factors (and possibly just running in such cold temps, although I thought that would make me faster) are impacting on my speed. Today is a day off from running but I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be a little (lot!) faster. It looks like it will be a little warmer, so hopefully...

I'm not looking forward to tonight's workout. I have Stretch 40 and Core 20 on my Turbofire schedule. I'm not so worried about the core workout because I like it. It's Stretch 40 that I'm dreading. That's pretty much yoga, of which I am not a fan. I understand that stretching is good for your muscles. I know that yoga has its own benefits for the body. I do not like it though. I feel like it's 40 minutes of time that's... Not wasted; I don't want to say that becuase it does have its benefits... But I feel like I could use 40 minutes of workout time in a different manner. I'd prefer to be doing something that will result in a lot of calories burned; or even doing some strength training. I guess some people count yoga as strengthening (and some people do not) but it doesn't quite give me the burn in the muslces that I like to feel. I believe that it does tone, to a point, but I don't think it's the same as the effects of free weights.

In addition to core and the horror that is yoga, I'll be biking. I'll be using my stationary bike and will likely only bike for about 30 minutes. Maybe I'll walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes too...Or do TF Fire 30...Who knows.  Like the treadmill, I can only stand being on the stationary bike for so long. I've definitely become bored with indoor workouts. I might pop a DVD in and get lost in a show while I bike... That should help pass the time. I would bike outside if the trail wasn't still covered in snow/ice... Unfortunately it's through a wooded area, and it hasn't been warm enough to melt what's in those shady areas.

I suppose it's that time... The sooner I start, the sooner it is over. With my schedule today, that's a good thing. I usually don't look at working out as a chore but with the workouts ahead of me, it's hard not to. The promise of watching a couple episodes of  "Friends" or "Sex and the City" while I bike is about the only thing motivating me to do it! Yoga is still on a "have to" basis....But I'll get through. I'm trying to view it as "it's ONLY 40 minutes." Hopefully that works!!

Hope your week has been going well!!!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lunch today...

Fish (tilapia) taco with fat free sour cream. I also spread some Laughing Cow light chipolte fresco on the tortilla. With a side of black beans (low sodium!) and brown rice.... Half a cup of each.