Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

The nice thing about having a Monday off? The middle of the week gets here a lot faster! I think that the fact that work has been busy is making it fly by even faster though.  I think every week should be a four day work week and every weekend should be a three day weekend. But we should still get paid for a five day work week. I think that's a reasonable request.

I may actually only have a three day week this week... Depending on how much I am able to accomplish tomorrow at work. If at all possible I...I don't know how to phrase this... I want to say I'd like to be able to attend a funeral. But who likes doing a thing like that?! I suppose I should say I'd like to be there for a family that's near and dear to me, if at all possible. My workload is kinda crazy and I'm not sure I'll be able to take Friday off. Not thrilled about that...But I will see what tomorrow brings.

I realized I've pretty much sucked at this whole "what I ate Wednesday" thing. I've not been doing it at all for weeks. I don't have pictures...I'm really bad about remembering to take those. So...Here's a summary of my day:

Breakfast - whole grain English muffin; four egg whites, slice of cheese, an apple, and black coffee.
Snack - two clementines, water
Lunch - two rice cake BBQ pizzas -- white cheddar rice cakes, BBQ sauce, and mozzarella cheese. I was going to have grapes and I forgot.  I did eat some m&ms too. Water.
Snack - baby carrots, water
Dinner - white fish, salad with some light dressing, steamed veggies, wine, more water.
Without food - water, water, water.... See a trend? Other than 10 oz of coffee and wine, which isn't a daily thing, all I drank was water. That's a typical day - full of water!

As for exercise today...

I have TF and a short run on the agenda.  My run (about ten minutes; told you it was short) will be good to get my heart rate up for TF.

I plan on doing that short run, Fire 30 (cardio) and Sculpt 30 (ST/resistance bands). I hate every minute of Sculpt (as well as the Tone 30 workout) but I love the feeling after.  Most of those moves hurt (which means they're working) and I often think "I JUST WANNA BE DONE!" As much as I hate them, I love them. I look forward to the two day a week devoted to them. Sometimes I think it's just because I'm tired and don't want to run, and despite the soreness, ST is less intense than cardio. Then again, it's intense in its own way.

Eating has been good... Everything's tracked and I'll be right on target with dinner - including a small glass of wine! I had some m&ms but had the points for them, so I'm good there. I generally try not to eat that stuff but I'm experiencing cravings this week and for some reason it's been easier than normal to give-in to them. Everything else I've eaten has been healthy though, so I guess a few m&ms isn't a huge deal.

My aversion to meat is going away - it only took a week! I forgot to include that in my update yesterday. I managed to eat some meat... Still no pork but I could handle a little turkey and chicken. I had fish too but that didn't bother me last week either. I definitely need to eat a little more meat. I've been out of protein shake mix so other than some egg whites and cheese, I haven't been getting much protein. Lean meats are a good source of that so being able to eat chicken, turkey, and fish is a step in the right direction for me. Hmm... I can even write about it without gagging - yay!

I'm glad to be eating meat again because what I noticed is that when I don't, I eat more carby stuff...Like last week I ate quinoa a lot. Sure, it's a whole grain, but when all you're eating is that and other carbs, that's not good. A diet needs balance. I'm not one to criticize someone else's eating habits... Do what you want and what works for you. I may not agree, and may think you're being unhealthy in some way, but until my opinion is sought out, I try keep it to myself.

Wait that's not true. I do have an opinion that I make public..I think that it's important that if you're following a certain diet that may limit certain vitamins or minerals, you do something to supplement them. Multivitamins with minerals are great for that. Protein shakes, bars or other supplements are also a good option. Okay, that's it. Follow whatever diet - as in eating habits - you want to. Just remember to be healthy.

When I say diet I mean what you eat. I will never agree to any fad diet on the market. I'm living proof that if you change your habits you can lose weight naturally... Without pills, shakes, or bizarre diets. Less junk, more healthy foods, portion control.... That's it.

Okay, I'm going to step off my vitamin and anti-"easy"-way soap box and go step onto the treadmill.

I hope you're all having a good week!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekend Re-Cap

Wow! What a weekend.... I was super busy but had a ton of fun!

On Friday I was able to workout. I packed my stuff and pretty much just relaxed for the evening. It was nice, especially since I planned to get up early on Saturday.

On Saturday I should've gotten up earlier than planned.

Yup...I planned to get up early but not early enough.  I guess when I set the alarm I wasn't thinking about the fact that after I ran I would need to shower. I just thought that if I got up at a certain time that would give me time to meet up with my friends (about two hours away) on time. Sure, I could've done that had I gotten up around six instead of seven.  Ooooops. 

So I've gone three days without a workout. I knew I'd miss Sunday, but thought I would workout yesterday. By the time I got home last night it was around eight, and I had to start laundry, unpack, and all that good stuff.

Today? I'll be working out for sure!! I have a three mile run to do as well as some TF. I think I have about 45 or 55 minutes on the schedule after the run.  I may add a little extra something to make sure I get about 90 minutes of exercise done.

Eating was...Fair. Saturday I ate healthy, and tracked my foods. I resisted ordering "bad" foods at restaurants and when offered ate maybe two pieces of a fried mushroom or something, just to get a taste of that satisfaction. That being said, I'm sure I used all of my weekly points, however until I sit down and track everything (difficult to do not knowing quantities), I'm not for sure.  I did a wine tasting with friends at several wineries. I'm thinking that the little splash of wine they gave us was probably an ounce. So I'd imagine the samples added up to a five ounce glass, or even less. If I had only done that I'd have been in fine shape. However, I had a couple drinks at the casino and again at the hotel at dinner and after. I didn't drink anything with pop or sugary juices (like orange juice). I kept it to mostly wine and some beer, so that I was a little more conservative. Not great, but not as bad as things could've been.  I may sit and try to track it out tonight.

Sunday was not as good. I didn't drink like I did on Saturday, but I ate out. And I did not track. It's unhealthy but I pretty much just had one meal (which may be been enough, in terms of points!). I spent about 5 hours in the car on Sunday and about three yesterday. I'd say that for that, yesterday wasn't too bad... Again I forgot to track but didn't go too wild with eating either.  I tried to keep my meals on the healthy side all weekend. I did pretty good. Perfect? Definitely not. As well as I could have? Nope.  Better than in the past? Yes.

One thing I can tell in terms of the food situation is that I'm for sure retaining some fluid. I can feel it in my hands and see it in my face.  Oddly, my pants fit just fine both yesterday and today, so I don't think that I am too terribly high in weight. I'm not allowing myself to weigh until Saturday since that's weigh-in day. I guess we shall see what the damage looks like then. Because of my weekend habits I am not expecting a loss, but hopefully not a crazy gain (meaning I hope the fluid is off by then). I definitely didn't drink enough water Sunday or yesterday but am back at it today.

I went shopping and bought some cute, fitted things yesterday and they looked great - so I know I'm not too out of control in terms of the pounds....At least not to the extent that I can see it.

I had a lot of fun with my friends as well as on my little road trip with my Mom but I can say that after two weekends in a row of enjoying too much unhealthy restaurant food and drinks... I'm ready to just relax and be totally in the healthy zone for a while!! I don't have any major events coming up for a while so I'm pretty happy about that. Sure there will be meals out and drinks here and there, but nothing too crazy. As long as I can be healthy the majority of the time and have an unhealthy moment on occasion, I'm good to go!

Sometimes I miss the days that I didn't do much socializing.... It really helped me to lose the weight and to stay on track.  Staying on track is a bit more difficult when you're busy. I am definitely still trying to find that balance. Now that those two big weekends are out of the way, I'm jumping right back in to being healthy - as much of the time as possible.  I've gotta get back there... And down 20 pounds, to where I had been!!

The good thing? I'm motivated and determined. I know what I need to work on (better planning; better tracking - which is improving - yay!) and I'm willing to put in the effort. I'm not going to get where I want to by not doing the work. Anything worth having is worth working for. I can work hard, and I will.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you have a happy, healthy week!!


Friday, March 22, 2013

My Miracle Knee Cure (Do Not Try This At Home)

As I mentioned yesterday, my knee has been bothering me all week. I worked out; just did TF for a little over an hour.  It seemed just fine during the workout.  When I got to the stretching part I tried to do one of the stretches and couldn't. My knee did not want to bend and it hurt so bad I felt like it was going to snap when I bent too far. I guess then pain made me lose my balance because I feel and felt like crying. 

The stretch is some martial arts stretch.  I'm probably no good at describing it.  Basically you crouch way down (like say you're squatting to pee in the woods - GROSS!, by the way). You leave one leg bent and then stretch the other out to the side, supporting yourself with your hands.  I couldn't do that. I actually put my leg out to the side as I was crouching down and then started to bend my knee. That stretch? Did not happen.  My knee had been fine until I tried to put too much pressure on it.

Last night I thought it looked swollen so I texted some pictures to my Mom (she's a nurse). She confirmed what I knew was there and told me to rest, ice it, elevate it and take some Motrin.

I followed some of that.

I have to clean my house and wanted to get a little bit of it done since I'll be gone all weekend (again - no wonder it gets messy!). So I did a little cleaning. I also wanted to get some packing done and in order to do so I had to try some stuff on, which of course takes a bit of time.  I managed to get all of my outfits ready but am definitely not done packing... I need to throw in a couple more clothing items and all of my beauty stuff. I'm sure I have at least another 30 minutes to do. Anyway... So I did rest for a few minutes, but not long. I also did not ice while I rested.

I took Motrin though! So, yay, I followed that! I also had some Flexeril left from something else and decided that I'd take one of those too, in case there was a muscle issue that causing pressure on the knee. Did I mention that I splurged and made it a wine night. In fact, I had two small glasses. By the time I was getting ready for bed, I wasn't even thinking about the fact that I drank wine and I took both of the meds.

Let me just say... I slept like a rock last night! I didn't get up once. I even drank quite a bit of water before bed and didn't even wake up. I had a hard time getting up this morning because I had been sleeping so well. I thought about doing two workouts today so my alarm was set to go off early but I was still so drowsy that I didn't think twice about resetting it.  Usually I have a little guilt and try to talk myself out of sleeping longer. Not today. I was back out for another hour.

This morning I woke up and my knee was fine. I was happy but I also know that as the day goes on it worsens, so I wasn't totally convinced.  Now that it's late afternoon, I'm convinced that it's better. It's been a little sore today but nothing like it was the rest of the week. I tried that stretch again and my knee resisted. So there's obviously still something going on with it, but not nearly as bad. I didn't push it and got back up as soon as I felt it resisting. 

So my miracle cure... Two glasses of wine, 800 milligrams of Motrin, and 10 (I think) milligrams of Flexeril.  It's not totally normal, but it is definitely better!!

I do not recommend doing this.  The wine plus meds thing was a complete accident that came from me just not thinking about the fact that I had a little wine. It's not a good idea to mix meds and alcohol. It's definitely not something I am going to plan on doing.  I'll also have to make sure to ask myself if I've had something to drink when I'm going to take a med....Which isn't often. I think that's why I forgot - I don't take pills much. I really only take them if I have to, or if I'm really concerned about something like I was last night.

I feel like I should run today since I feel a little better. I'll admit I'm thinking of skipping it and doing something else instead. I'll burn more and sweat more (I can feel I'm a little puffy), which would both be good before the weekend. However, I am a little worried about that knee. And I'm feeling pretty worn out this afternoon and running just does not sound like fun. I should rephrase that. Running on the treadmill does not sound like fun. Not for four miles. I can handle like two on it but I'd much rather be outside!! I hope this weather improves fast because I am totally burnt out on treadmill running. I'd have no problem with motivation if I was running outside. I'd be ready to go as soon as possible...Even if it's a little chilly. If it weren't for the snow and ice, I'd be outside already. Running inside has worn on me though. The thought of spending more than 30 minutes on the treadmill, staring at the basement wall is bumming me out. Even music doesn't help.

I really just need for the weather to realize that it is Spring now. .. I'm tired of the cold, in general. I want to get outside for runs.

I guess instead of whining I should go workout. I'm trying to psych myself into a run but so far it's not working.  It's easy to tell myself to take another day off because of the knee, but I feel like I should at least try it. If I can get myself to do two miles, it'll be a lot easier to do four. Once I get started I can say "you're half done" and that will keep me going, even if I don't want to. Anyway, I think I've almost talked myself into running (despite the fact that I'd much rather do TF instead).

I hope you all have a great weekend! I'm excited about an outing with some ladies and then some quality time with my Mom! It should be a good weekend!!


Update, even at a slow pace my knee is a little sore. Very light jog and lots of walking today. I guess I'll extend my one!

Not Running.

**This post is from Thursday. I managed to hit "save" instead of "publish." Oops.


All week I have been dealing with this weird knee pain. It seems to get worse over the course of the day and is only with movement.  My knee is swollen and sore. It feels tight or like something in there needs to pop or crack. I hate missing workouts so I have still been working out. I ran on Tuesday (yes, I had it then too - I know that's a bad idea) and it was okay. Actually... It seemed as though it wasn't as bad running than it is when walking. I think all the sitting at my desk at work all day makes it worse.

Today I decided I'm going to miss my run.  I am scheduled for a four mile training run but I really don't want to push it. I decided that I'll just do some TF - cardio and some core work.  It's not a run, which isn't great for training but it's better than nothing at all. Yesterday my knee seemed to feel a little better after TF so maybe it's like therapy for my knee.  Maybe it's getting stiff from all the sitting. Who knows!

Unless I get up super early, I'll be missing my run on Saturday too. I'm headed out of town in the morning for a ladies day/night. We're doing some shopping, lunching, wine tasting, dinner, and some relaxing. Two meals out is a little scary but I'll try to find something healthy. I'm also going to be eating out on Sunday too. I'm glad I don't weigh until Saturday because this weekend is going to be filled with nasty restaurant sodium. Siiiggghhh... This is why I cut back on my social life so much.  The sodium, the calories, the fat (it's all there even when you pick the healthiest things possible)... It makes me feel like I'm erasing all of my hard work from the week.  I know my weight goes up and then I have to fight all week for it to go back to where it was, and hopefully down al ittle more. 

It's frustrating.

It's also a difficult position to be in... I don't want to skip all these fun events with friends. I did that for at least a year. But at the same time it is SO difficult to lose weight when you're eating out. I know it's usually sodium which goes away within a few days, but even just feeling myself get puffy is enough to drive me nuts!  I love to socialize but, as I mentioned yesterday, almost everything revolves around food or drinks - or both! Luckily my next planned outing is an overnight with a friend for a run toward the end of April. We won't have dinner out that night (thank goodness!). Then we will get up in the morning and run.  I'm definitely looking forward to a run that's close enough to home that I don't have to worry about the food part of it.  I'm trying to do more things like that, but I didn't want to miss this trip either.

I'll be as "good" as possible and try to stick to my plan. And tracking - I definitely need to remember to track, no matter what. Even if I use all of my extra weekly points this weekend, I need to track. That is such a HUGE part of losing weight. It's also a good idea for living a healthy lifestyle.... If we are not aware of what's going into our bodies, then it's a lot easier to put unhealthy things in them. I'm hoping that my whole "eat to live" plan will help me through the weekend. I've just gotta keep that in mind!!

Anyway... If I am not up early enough on Saturday I'll be missing that run too. I'm hoping to get up early enough to do it, or at least do short DVD before I head out. I definitely will not have time for both. I think I should be able to block out an hour for a run and whatever else I may decide to do... That just means I have to get up early on a Saturday.  It'll be worth it though... I just need to remember that!!

Sunday is a "rest" day (or an optional one mile run day) so in terms of exercise, I'm good there. 

It really all comes down to the food... Mindful, healthy eating. I have to do it.

Speaking of eating... After having a disturbing dream on Sunday night, I have not eaten meat all week. I'm not actively trying to become a vegetarian but the idea of it has been revolting. My dream involved piglets, but I'm currently disgusted by any meat. Weird.  I don't anticipate this lasting forever...Just until the disgust fades.

I suppose that's about it - I'll most likely write a short post tomorrow. I have to work, then get home toworkout and finish packing (hopefully I get a lot done tonight), and if possible I'll be heading up to my parents' house. It's a shorter drive to where I'm going with the girls and I'll get a little extra sleep that way. I won't have to worry about getting the dogs ready to go/dropping them off in the morning. The only bad thing is that I'm less likely to get up and run on Saturday morning if I stay there. I have no idea why... I guess I'd just rather run on my treadmill than theirs (it's identical).  It must be about being in the comfort of my own home or something. 

Hope your week is going well!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eating to Live, NOT Living to Eat.

I'm a little early today! I actually wrote this last night and didn't want to wait to post it. I guess I'm particularly excited about this post.

I am adding a little something to what I wrote last night...

This is completely conflicting with the point of this blog post, but this recipe for Moscato Cupcakes sounds so amazing I had to share it.

That being shared...

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how, in general, we seem to put way too much of an emphasis on food.  People have forgotten that the reason food is around is to fuel and nourish our bodies. That's it. Food is not meant to be used in that way that we (and by "we" I mean those of us in the US) do. Food is an essential - without it, our bodies will fail. People seem to forget that too much of it is also harmful to our bodies. I know I've blogged about this, to at least some degree, previously but I'm taking a little bit different of an approach on this one.

Let's look at food in social situations. How many celebrations or events in your life revolve around food? I can think of several in mine... Birthdays, holidays, family reunions, weddings, showers, picnics, other parties, luncheons, festivals, dates...We even give gifts of food. I'm guilty of this too - because I love to bake but don't want to keep it around.  And? People like those gifts. We have entire television networks related to cooking and food.

The majority of what we do revolves around food in some way. Usually these events include foods that are not healthy. In fact they include a lot of foods that are super unhealthy (cake, anyone?). I think that tradition and culture are at the root of food being involved in such events.

Why does quality time with our loved ones have to revolve around food? Is that all there is to do? Can we not enjoy one another without it? Why can't we participate in some sort of charity walk as a method of bonding?

So what's the deal? Why do we center our events around which restaurant we will go to or which menus will be included at parties and dinners?

I'm going to try hard to break this trend for myself...Actually, I would say I already have. I honestly DREAD gatherings and parties that include food...Especially bridal/baby showers. Seriously. Those can be like triple-torture to me... First, there's the food. And this one really includes any event that involves food. For me, it can be so hard because...

I want the bad stuff. I (usually) make the choice to have very little of it or choose the healthiest options and fill up on those. This is is conscious choice that takes effort. Sometimes A LOT of effort.

The other torturous factors for me? First...Those damn games. I hate them. If we're gonna eat fine (but please include fruit and salads for some of us), but CAN WE PLEASE SKIP THE STUPID GAMES?! I do not want to sit on my ass and decide how many words I can make out of names. I don't really give a hoot (yes, I did just say that) about what flavor of baby food is in a jar. I don't care what kind of candy bar is melted into a diaper (and really, that's disgusting). Those games? Just might be more torturous than the food thing. Seriously... Can we pleeeeeease find other things to do? Do we need to stretch these things out to three or four hours because we need to play six games? I can accept a light lunch.

But let's be real here... Why are we attending these showers? So we can celebrate an event in the life of a loved one, right? PSSSHHH... I'm gonna say it: IT'S THE PRESENTS. And the food. We get together and buy people stuff for their new life with their love, or their little bundle of joy. Honestly... We need things for lives and having a party is a damn good way to get what we need? I'm a big fan of this concept. And I LOVE registries (except for when people don't know how to use them as evidenced by multiples of something). Yes, you're having an event and you need things - thank you for telling me what you need!!! That makes life so, so much easier.

I think we should have birthday registries too. And Christmas. And whatever else.  No more unwanted gifts that end up being unused or re-gifted? Yes, please. (Not that I would ever re-gift).Naturally if I do a birthday or Christmas registry someone's gonna think I'm shallow and just want presents. That's not it. But if someone is inclined to buy me something, then please buy me something I really want or need. The registry really is a wonderful, powerful tool.

Okay, I'm off-track and making this long post (hey, I had some extra free time last night when I wrote it!) even longer.....

For those interested the third form of torture is "I'm the only one" syndrome. Yup, I'm the single friend. I'm the childless friend. And, hey, guess what? I'm pretty okay with the way my life is right now. Naturally I want those things to change someday but stop with the sad looks. I'm not sad!! I'm happy! Those things will happen when it's right for me.  I also really don't like the "you're next..." or "so when are you having one?" statements/questions.  I'm next? Probably because I'm the only person here who is not married and does not have a child. But? I have dog-children and they are freaking amazing, thank you very much.

Is it just me or am I on fire today?  I think I'm pretty freakin' funny.

Back to food...

Food can even be used negatively. People make comments about what others eat often.  Guess what! This doesn't stop when you quit eating so much junk ("like you really need that fast food burger..."). I've gotten it for healthy foods to. That's right, I stopped with the junk, ate healthy, lost weight, and people are still criticizing me for what goes in my mouth. Honestly? Why do you care so much? If I want to follow the Paleo lifestyle, then let me. If I want to be Vegan, then let me. Why does what I eat have anything to do with you? Why should YOUR opinions influence my dietary habits?

Oh... That's right... Your opinions don't matter. As long as I'm eating a healthy, balanced diet, you need not worry.

Man, we are so nosey!! But that's another topic

Part of the issue is with the way we do things. This is something we can change. However, very few of us would want to do that. I'm in the minority, I am sure.

The other part (that I'm going to write about, as I feel there are many components to this) is the brain. I am a firm believer in food addiction. Binge eating disorder is real. Night eating syndrome is real. I believe that the brain sends signals that trigger responses to food. I think that some of us have these issues just like others have depression. It's a chemical thing. However, despite being chemical you can take steps to change your eating habits... Just like any other addiction; you can fight, and beat, food addiction. Don't use that as an excuse. Most of us would look at an alcoholic saying "well it's hereditary and an addiction...I can't help it," and think that they're in denial. That they're just making another excuse for their behavior. The same is true for food. No matter how much your brain craves something or is triggering you to compulsively eat, you can change it.

I used to say that it wasn't hard to change. For me, initially, it wasn't. I just made a decision and did it. I've lost a lot of weight. I gained a little bit back... Not all, or even a great deal of it, so don't you dare throw me into THAT stereotype. Am I 20 pounds heavier than I was a couple years ago? Yes.  Do I weigh like 350 pounds? Nope. In fact I am very, very, very far from that. Do I continue to eat healthy and exercise? Yup.

But it can be a struggle. EVERY. STINKIN'. DAY. Despite knowing what's healthy for us and what's not, passing up that piece of cake when everyone else is eating it really sucks sometimes. It's like the brain is saying "hey that makes me happy and you're not giving it to me."

I'm going through this struggle right now. Just last week at work someone brought in cake and was passing it out. My first reaction? "Oh crap."  My second, "is there a small piece?"  There wasn't. So I passed.  Guess what? It was kind of hard watching two other people eat that delicious looking cake while I sipped water. It was a hard choice to make. Just like it's a hard choice to not have a drink when others around you are.

I made that choice though and even though it's a small one, it's the right one. It's the one that was healthy. I didn't need those 500 extra calories. I didn't need that fat to find it's way to my thighs.

I fall to it sometimes. Usually when I'm alone. That's why I cannot have unhealthy things in my house.  If they're there, I will eat them.  I still give-in way too easily. When others are around to see me, I'm much more aware of it.

I found this article on sweets and the brain to be very interesting and it's definitely one to check out. I agree with it. There's one part that talks about how people who've lost weight on their own still have strong responses (in the brain) to food.

I'm a geek in that I love studies like this. I think they're fantastic. I think that learning more about how the brain works is one of the coolest things ever. The brain really is the most amazing thing. Without it we couldn't survive. It is the center of everything our bodies do. I especially love how the brain impacts on behavior - whether it be chemical or due to things we're conditioned to learn.

I really like a quote from this article because it highlights what's true...

"Post-obese people are extremely prone to regain weight," says Dr. Del Parigi. "The only way they have to counteract these strong predispositions is by having a very controlled lifestyle, with restrained food intake and exercise."

That's me. I have to be controlled. I have to eat healthy and exercise. That's how I got here and that is the only thing that will keep me here....Without that level of control I'll fall.

 It is way to easy to slip into old habits. What I've learned is that it's not as easy as I thought it was. It's become harder the longer I've done it (in some ways) and easier in others. Now I've conditioned myself to say "no" to a giant slice of chocolate cake when someone brings it in. I skip work potlucks and any situation I can that involves food.  I still go to those pesky showers because I love my friends and family, but sometimes it's so freaking hard (but really those games...oh those games!).

It's hard to fight what my brain wants. It's hard to fight what society tells me I should be doing in social situations (while also telling me that I should look like a model). Some days it's easy and some days it's a damn struggle. What helps?

In general...Having a good support system.

Being blessed with a Mom and a Nonie who include healthy holiday meal options, just for me.
Having friends and family who encourage me in being healthy. 
Having friends and family call me out on bad habits when needed. (Thanks, Dad, you're best at that whole tough-love thing).
Being around other health-minded people. I love that I have friends who want to do runs/walks or other healthy things with me. I do a lot of races alone, but it's awesome to have this in common with so many people. Whether we start and finish together or not, just having someone else there is such a huge thing for me.
Being lucky that the number of family and friends getting married is dwindling because most of them are already there! No showers, weddings, etc.
People who support my way of eating no matter how "weird" it is. I have to ignore a lot of comments and opinions from others, but I do. (Ruby, I love you and I know your farm-raised/grass-fed comments are just you being goofy; not mean).
People who will do things with me even if it's not their typical interest. Sure, someone may not want to go for a run, but if they'll at least walk a few miles, I'll take it.  That's more time for chatting anyway.
Filtering toxic people out of my life...
These are the people who don't understand, despite my best attempts to educate them. They don't understand my "weird" eating habits. They don't like that a lot of the time I will put workouts before some social things. They just don't understand what all of this means. They see a girl who lost weight. They don't understand the work that it takes. If people can't support what I need to do (especially those who can get angry about it, which doesn't happen often) in order to be healthy, then they need to go. 

I'm making the choice to continue being healthy... By doing so I am also making the choice to eat to live. I am trying to put emphasis on foods that will nourish me; foods that will provide me with energy. Will I still indulge in things that won't? Yes. I just have to limit them (more than I have been lately - looks away shamefully).

I'm working hard to eat when my body tells me I need to...When I actually feel hunger. I'm going to try my best to fuel it with things that it needs, while seriously limiting things that it doesn't need. There are times when this won't work for whatever reason (options not available at a restaurant, for example), but I'll keep as close to it as possible. No matter how much it is pushed on me, food will not be the center of my life. And it shouldn't be - for me.

I don't expect anyone else do this...I'm not telling you what to do. I'm sharing my personal thoughts and opinions (on MY blog, FYI) - you don't have to agree (so puh-lease don't clog up my comments arguing your opinion or telling me why I am so insanely wrong). You don't even have to understand. My hope is the same as it is with the intention of this blog... To reach at least one person; to inspire a healthy change. To keep someone who is struggling motivated.... That's it; just one.

I'm doing what's natural and what I believe is healthy...I'm eating to live. I am not living to eat.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get Lucky 7K Race Re-Cap

I'm a little late in posting (I've been busy and then a little tired last night!), but here's my race report from Saturday's Get Lucky race.

I was not expecting the weather to be like it was. I remember last year at this time, it was warm - probably unseasonably warm. I do believe I wore capris and a sleeveless shirt on my St. Pat's outing last year. This year? Not so much.  I wasn't prepared for as cold as it was going to be. I knew it wouldn't be as nice as last year but I was hoping for at least 40 degrees and some sunshine. HA!

I was definitely dreading the race.  I had planned on wearing running tights, a running skirt over them, a long sleeve running shirt, a t-shirt over that, and a fun little shamrock headband. I wore all of the clothing items, plus my puffy North Face (which means WARM) vest. I was still cold. My toes were freezing and I was thinking "HOW am I going to do this?! I avoid this!!" I didn't wear the headband because it was really windy and I thought it might just blow off anyway. 

Walking around before the race, I noticed that it was pretty wet and muddy. And the grass was pretty squishy. I KNOW shoes are to be worn outside and will end up getting dirty, but I was pretty annoyed that my shoes were all muddy. I mean, I just got them a few months ago. Now they look gross. I was pretty cranky before the race started and had I not paid for it, I may have let myself skip it based on the weather.


Once I got started and warmed up a little it wasn't so bad.  The path was a little congested for a while but eventually the crowd thinned out and it was a little easier. I had to jump a couple puddles and run off the nice paved pathway to pass people, but eventually it was a nicer run. I ran around my usual pace for the first mile. I, apparently, picked up the pace after that and from mile one to three I ran faster. Then, after the turn around mile three (it was an out-and-back course), I slowed down. I maintained a jog but it was definitely a slow jog; slower than normal.  The wind was blowing in my face and then it started snowing a little. As light and fluffy as snowflakes look, they sure do hurt when they pelt you in the eyes. I picked up my pace at mile four and ran the last little bit a little faster than I had been... I didn't hit quite the same sprint speed that I usually do, but I kept it at a good pace.

You know it's funny, I always sprint when I'm in that finish zone... Why? Something JM said on one of her DVDs about how you don't slow down; you sprint toward the finish. So I sprint.

Anyway... I finished at a pace that was at the higher end of my usual race pace.  The nice thing? After my last race being a half marathon, just over four miles didn't seem bad at all. The time passed quickly, despite the rotten weather... Although it did seem to take a while after mile three.

Overall? The race itself was great. It was my first race of that distance, making it a PR so that's always a bonus.  I enjoyed the course, which is similar to other races in this series that I've done. I still have a hard time knowing that I when I ran in January the weather was nicer than this weekend... Crazy (yet typical) weather changes!!

Of course I got warm and a little sweaty even though it was cold (it happens when your body heats up...So after I ended up getting really cold.  I couldn't check into my next hotel until three that afternoon, so I had to wait all day to shower (agony when it's cold). I ended up changing my top in the backseat of my car. And luckily there were lots of places to get out of the cold (shopping, eating, drinking). But that hot shower (when I finally got it) felt amazing!

The rest of the weekend was awesome. I'm sure I ate and drank back the calories I burned (plus) but that's okay.  It was a weekend for celebrating and one that won't happen again for a while. I did alright with my WW points tracking but not the best. I feel pretty good though and I guess that's what's important.

Hope you're all having a fantastic week!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Things

First an update...

I ran yesterday and didn't do anything else. NOT because I was tired. It was because I decided to run outside.  It wouldn't be classified as an "easy" run. I pushed a little harder and ran at a faster pace than what I'd consider an easy pace. Definitely a little faster than I've been doing on the treadmill.

Did I mention I did this outside? And it was like 30 degrees.  That would be the reason I didn't do anything else. Naturally, as with any movement like that, I was sweating. Between the cold and sweating, when I finished and my body temperature returned to normal...I was freaking freezing! I was feeling too cold to start something else. So I decided that a hot shower was the better option.

I may have to see if I can get in to see my chiropractor tomorrow. My knee was starting to hurt on the run. Sooo... I'll see how it is on today's run. It made me walk a little more than usual yesterday, so hopefully it's better today.  If not, I'm definitely seeing if I can get an appointment. I don't want to have to walk during the race on Saturday - at least not that much. And not because my knee is in pain.

Today's plan is to do some strengthening (that I missed yesterday), see how much packing I get done, and then do a run. I SHOULD be able to accomplish all of that. I hope. I really want to get my run in and am in the process of packing soooo as of now it's not looking good for turbofire. Oh well.... A run is priority today. No sense in stressing about the other!

I decided that I need to start trying some new things... I was good at it for a while but not as much lately. I've been in a bit of a rut.  So I'm taking this weekend in the city as an opportunity to start that again. I've decided that anytime I'm somewhere I'm usually not, I'm trying something new...A food or a restaurant. Maybe an activity depending on where I am. I'm making it healthy too.  Like this weekend, the city is full of new and different restaurants. I can find some kind of different restaurants or foods.  I'll try these new things and, obviously, include them in my blog.

First on my list is trying a place called Protein Bar. I'd like to get a post-race breakfast or lunch there. They have some pretty tasty looking (and healthy!) things on the menu.  I'm drawn more to the lunch options than the breakfast, but I'd try breakfast. Of course, due to time and showering and all that kind of stuff, it'll probably be more like lunchtime anyway. I'm definitely looking forward to it!  There are a few different locations downtown so I shouldn't have a problem finding one (especially since there are a near where I'm staying). I honestly can't believe I haven't been there before!

So that's my plan...Something new, something healthy.

I think that trying new things is important. It helps us to be open-minded. We may find that we like things we never thought we would.  Or they may be awful and we may decide that we will definitely NOT be eating/doing that again. Whatever the outcome, I think that we should all take time to try new things (not just food; activities and such too). I believe life is about living... For me part of living is trying new things. Why be afraid of something when it could turn out to be something great?

I will try to blog tomorrow... I have to get some thing done and want to get to the city at a decent hour (and traffic can be a nightmare...Friday rush hour? YIKES).

Hope you're having a good week!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Getting Up Early = FAIL.

Why is it that when I want to go to bed early so that I can get up early to workout I fail miserably? Why is it that those are the nights I just lay there, unable to fall asleep. Those are also the nights that I toss and turn for what seems like an eternity before I manage to fall asleep. It doesn't matter if I'm tired and want to fall asleep early. I can't.  It doesn't matter if I was drifting off on the couch around 9:00 and am obviously tired. I still can't sleep.

Last night was one of those nights. Of. Course. That means that I did not get up to run this morning.  My alarm went off and I thought, "no" and hit snooze a few times. Despite last night being the first night that I wasn't awake at least twice I still felt tired and like I wasn't well-rested.  In fact, I am tired this afternoon. It's one of those days where I'd like to go home, put on comfy clothes, and just hang out.

Well, that's not happening. I didn't workout yesterday and won't on Friday so I most definitely need to workout today... Tired or not.

I have a meeting shortly, which will most likely last about an hour. Then I have to pick up a couple things at the store.  I should be home by 6:00.  At that time I will do my three mile easy run (which will most likely take a little longer than normal since it's at an easy pace). Then I'll do 50 minutes of Turbofire... The toning and care DVDs.  I was scheduled for a 30 minute cardio TF workout too but if I do all of that, I won't be done until almost 8:00.  I really don't want to wait that long to have dinner and such. I'm so tired that the thought of not doing any TF is actually something I'm considering... Or maybe just the core DVD (that's only 20 minutes).  I can always fit the toning in at another time.

To be perfectly honest the idea of only doing the TF workouts sounds a heck of a lot more appealing than running. THAT is just how tired I am. I usually love my runs. Today is one of those days where I'm not into anything, so the intensity of a run, even an easy (SLOW) three miles, seems like torture.

Hopefully I'll perk up before then.  I know I'll burn at least 100 more calories running than doing the TF cardio DVD so that's an incentive to do the run.  I love the burn after the core DVD, so I'll do that just to get that little dose of soreness.  The toning DVD? That might be reserved for tomorrow or even Friday morning (nothing scheduled in the afternoon as I am going to the city). Saturday is my 7K and Sunday is meant to be a rest day, or an "optional" one mile easy run....We'll see what that brings. I can, at least, run a mile.

In other news... I contact RunDisney about my missing time, they referred me to someone else, and I received a response today. They are working on trying to figure out my time. The woman who e-mailed me back noted that my b-tag didn't register when I crossed the finish line (yet they called my name... How could that come up but not my time...Unless they had a camera or something there getting names. Or another Rebecca crossed when I did. I'm not really sure how they did that, but I thought it was probably with the b-tag. Maybe not.

I must've injured my b-tag along the way. It wouldn't surprise me with all the sweating I was doing. And the fact that my hydration belt was over part of it. This makes sense since my Dad didn't get any text updates after my 5K split (should've gotten more of them, I think). All I know is I crossed that stinkin' finish line and I just want to know a time!

I answered some questions that she had and provided her with a little extra info (like the time on the clock at mile 12, which was clock time -from the start). With my corral number and that info, I figured out what my time was and my calculation is a little faster than what I originally thought. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with. At this point even an estimate would be nice... All I know is I high-fived Minnie Mouse as a Princess before I hit that finish line and I want credit for that! 

On yet another note.... I have an idea for a November race but need to figure out some details before I register.  I'll be sure to add it to my list if I decide to do this one! It will be another half-marathon. I've also looked at the possibility of a 10 Miler in October (which is a little cheaper - a nice feature!), however I'd like the extra month of training since I am having surgery in June. I'll be running again by early July at the latest so I will have four months to train for a November race, or three for an October race. Most training plans are about four months long.

This is completely separate and not something I usually post on the blog but I'm going to do a little self-advertising.  I've decided to start selling my running tutus (as well as other tutus for girls of all ages) on-line, as well as some running skirts that I'm starting to make.  This is new so I have not yet posted anything, but be on the look out for samples to be posted very soon!  I will be selling these through my etsy store and also have a FB page to promote them.  The FB page has a couple examples (recent running tutus that I wore) and more information about the specifics of the tutus.

If you're interested, please contact me at:  or visit:

My Etsy Store
My Facebook Page

I hope you're having a great week!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Plans and Changes

Over the weekend I finally sat down and wrote down my workouts for the next few months. I had to change some things around since I'm doing another half marathon and am using a new training plan. I added the runs in and changed some of my Turbofire workouts.  So far things are looking pretty good. There are days that I have races so my long runs won't add up to what they should, but I'm pretty much okay with that...Mostly. I may have to figure out something else for long runs on some weeks. I'll figure that out when the time comes... Some are a little far ahead to know how I'll be feeling and what other things I'll be doing.

I'm good at planning. I can plan, plan, plan. Sometimes my plans are a bit ambitious. I usually follow through with them. Sometimes I will look at a plan and for a particular day it's overwhelming, so I change it (usually do only part of a workout; say I'm scheduled for two hours and only do an hour or hour-and-a-half). Then I make plans and realize later that a particular plan for that day won't work because of a conflict. Blah. Then I have to re-schedule. This usually means changing my entire plan. Double blah.

Now I find myself trying to figure out how to handle these issues.  Today is one of those days. When I made out my workout schedule I forgot that I have a hair appointment at 5:00. This will take between an hour-and-a-half and two hours. I have a lot of hair.... It's thick  Since I cut some of the length off, it's been on the "shorter" end of that time frame. Still though, let's say I'm done by 6:30. I still have to drive half an hour home. So let's say I'm home at 7:00.

I have a three mile "easy" training run scheduled today. Busy evening plus a planned run...Enter, dilemma.

I will most likely be pretty darn hungry by 7:00. I can be done with dinner by 7:30.  I could then start a super light run. Because of eating, I'll want to run slower than normal. Like super slow so I don't get an upset stomach, cramps, or whatever. Running slower means I'll be extending my time. Let's say I'm going so much slower that I'm at a 15 minute mile... That's 45 minutes. By the time I'm done it will be 8:30 (figuring in time for changing into workout clothes, etc.). I'll have to shower then. And if it's that time of night I might as well brush my teeth and get ready for bed. Let's say it's now 9:00. I'd have an hour to relax before bed. 

Guess what happens if I workout later.  I get energized.  There's a reason they say not to workout within a few hours of bedtime. You have trouble sleeping. Well, you may not, but I do. Sleep is a very important thing (and something I happen to enjoy). My sleep has been interrupted enough lately (too much water too late, I think). In fact it's been interrupted enough that getting up to try some kind of early workout hasn't happened. Not even once.  The last thing I want to do is make myself get even less sleep.

Given the above info... I will most likely NOT do my training run today. Easy or not, it will just be too late.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 4:30, for about an hour. That's not too bad. I have various Turbofire activities listed, for a total of 80 minutes. I should be home and working out by 6, which is a little bit later than I like but not terrible. There have actually been quite a few nights that I've started later...Not usually that late, but later than normal.  I'll be done by 7:30 so it's no big deal.

Now I just need to figure out what to do. I know that the fantastic thing to do would be to get up early tomorrow and do my run.  Then I can still do my TF in the evening. The chances of that happening are pretty slim. Let's face it, as much as I often want to, I do not get up early a good 99% of the time.  I'm not sure why; I used to do morning workouts all the time... Usually a JM DVD, like the 30 Day Shred. That's intense. And I got up and did it. But now intensity in the morning is too much because I'm dragging. Interesting. Maybe I was sleeping better back then.

So...Option one, which I will try hard to do, is to get up and do my run; the other stuff later.

Don't hold your breath.

Option two is to just skipping the run.

Option three is skipping the first part of Turbofire (Fire 30; the cardio portion).

Option four is doing it all in the evening but that will make things even later, so really... Option four isn't an option at all. So. Scratch option.

The well-meaning part of me is planning on option one. Getting up to run, and doing the rest later. More than likely I won't.... If not, I'll probably go with option three. At this point it's probably best to make sure I do the run since I'm training for another half.

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll be organized and off to bed early tonight so I can get up and do option one.

For now... Time to get pampered!


Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm Going to go BROKE!

Or at least it seems that way... I keep finding races that I want to do. And I register for them.  I'm already up to 13 and still have to find races for November and December. Clearly my 13 in 13 goal will be reached. In addition to the Sunburst half in June, I added another 5K (Color Me Rad) in July, and a 10K (Women Rock) in September.

I think that it's possible that I have a new addiction... At least it's healthier than an eating addiction. And a little less expensive than shopping all the time. Yes, it can be costly (registration fees and often travel expenses like hotels), but not as costly as one of my past shopping trips (even at outlets; and with coupons). These races are also keeping me going... Knowing that I have something coming up (that I paid to do!) keeps me on track with exercise and with eating healthy (mostly, anyway). I have a goal every month. Some months are larger than others (half marathons!). Some of them won't be as physically demanding and I won't be pushing my body as hard. Some I'm running with others so at times I will (possibly) ease up on my pace, or try to run a little faster and keep pace with my friend (doing two races with her and she's at the very least a minute faster than I am).

Luckily these race expenses are mostly monthly...And those are just the associated costs for travel and whatever else. Registrations are paid in advance and I pay all of those with my Debit card. That's the nice part... They're taken care of well before the races. Luckily hotels can be booked ahead of time so I also know how much money to save/set aside.

I'm pretty sure that I'm spending less a month on race costs than I was on a monthly shopping trip in the past. I could throw down some serious cash in a matter of hours! I still love clothes... To me fashion is an art. I love putting outfits together and creating different looks. It's still a passion of mine, but it's not something that I'm spending as much money on anymore. Honestly I have not had the desire to shop like I used to. I find myself spending a lot less on clothes.  I expect that to continue into the summer... I'm having more surgery and I know what I'll be able to wear and not wear thanks to factors like swelling and compression garments.  Why buy new shorts and such if I'm pretty much going to have a month or two of wear out of them? Seems silly... So... I won't be buying much for this Summer.

Also? I'd rather spend money on races.  Races are more beneficial than new clothes. Each races offers an opportunity for a new goal... A new possible PR. Another medal awarded, another race shirt that I've earned the honor of wearing. Even though I get race gear ahead of time sometimes, I won't wear it until after I race. It's like a badge of honor to me... I've gotta finish before I can claim that I did it!

Races also offer the obvious health benefits... Continued cardio during training as well as the races. Striving for new times gives me the opportunity to work on running faster and stronger. They also keep me focused on healthy eating. It's much harder to run when you're carrying more weight. I could, most definitely, race at a higher weight but I don't want to. It's harder. I'd be slower. Gaining weight would hinder my progress... Actually, I'd more than likely go backward! I don't want to do that. Definitely not.

The expenses can be high at times, but races are something that keep me on track. Naturally I don't NEED races to help me out, but they make it more fun. They do get me through on days I don't feel like running. I tell myself "you have a race coming up; you have to." I guess it's easier to stay dedicated to my routine if I know that an event is coming up where I will want to do my best.

Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm such a lover of races... Of running, in general. I cannot remember a time when I actually enjoyed it. I hated it in gym class (even a mile).  Previous attempts at weight loss never included running...Walking, yes. Biking, sure. Weights, yup.  But running... Oh hell no. Now I enjoy it. Now I try to do better each time I'm out. It really is amazing how much a person can change, when they want to.

On another note.. I had a good weekend.  Saturday was spent babysitting and shopping (with Little Miss and my Mom). I picked up a jogging stroller on sale at Target. I lucked out - I got the last one left... Well, on the shelf anyway. I suppose there could've been more in back.  The sale ended on Saturday though so I'm sure more than a few people were out shopping for them.  Why did I buy a stroller? Because now when I'm babysitting, I won't have a reason to miss a run. Saturdays are typically days that I have Little Miss and those are also my longer run days.  Will I be able to take her on 10 milers? Probably not, just due to the time factor. But I can definitely do shorter runs. I sense that I will get good use out of that stroller. I picked up a workout outfit (on sale!), a dress for post-op, some fabric and craft materials, and a few things for the house. Shopping also meant eating out which, as usual, wasn't the greatest for my healthy eating plan.  Oh well.. It forces me to really behave for the rest of the week (don't have many weekly PP left now!). It was a fun day - I always love spending time with my Mom! And Little Miss too.

AND - I completely finished my bathroom. Finally!! And I love off! My office/craft area? Nope.  The bathroom took me much longer than anticipated.  In fact, other than some other usual cleaning and laundry, that was my Sunday.

I hope your weekend was great and that you have a fantastic week!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I found some old pics to share.... If I can transform you can too!!!

These are from 2004.

Small Accomplishments

I'm starting to learn that small accomplishments are acceptable. It is okay to take time to reach a goal.  I've been aware of this in terms of weight loss and fitness.... I've set small goals on the way to a larger goal. It's worked. That whole idea of looking at where you've come from and how much you've done rather than how far you have to go has really helped me. 

I've been like that in terms of career too... Of course that's a matter of steps anyway; education/training, new job, furthered education, etc..

It wasn't until recently that I realized it is okay in other areas of life too.

Like cleaning.

I started cleaning out my craft room/office last night. Yay! Did I finish? Nope. But I did a little. Truth be told, I found my license (right where I thought it would be) and then didn't do much else. I did a few more things but then I decided it was time to make dinner.  After dinner I cleaned up the kitchen. And did laundry. And then I sat down and relaxed...I just didn't feel up to doing more cleaning out (this includes going through things and throwing some things away so that I can re-organize). Instead  I had a small glass of wine. Then I got up and did a few other things; more laundry. After that, I had a cup of tea (hoping that it would help me sleep better) and then let my dogs out and started getting ready for bed. 

So... I did not finish cleaning out that room. But I started. And that's important, right? I try to think of it like weight loss.  You have to start somewhere. Are you going to reach your goal super fast? No, not if you're doing it the healthy way. It takes time. Sure, organizing a room is a little different and could easily be done in a couple hours. If I had more time (i.e: hadn't worked out) I could've finished it. But I wanted to work out. No, actually, I didn't. I ended up with a headache and working out did not sound fun. I needed to workout. I wasn't motivated but I knew I had a two mile easy run scheduled.  I told myself I'd at least do that. That became telling myself that I'd do at least 30 minutes. I did a little over 30 and then stopped. I didn't end up doing anything else....But if I had, I wouldn't have had that time to start cleaning out the office.

Weight loss and organizing are clearly two different things that take very different lengths of time. But accepting that it is okay to start something and not finish it immediately is okay... I've never been like that. If I wanted to do something, I wanted to do it right away. Say, painting a room. I'd want to buy the paint and have it done in the same day.  Obviously I'm letting go of that, as evidenced by (ahhhh - work mode just snuck in!) the length of time it has taken to finish the bathroom. I'm finally starting to realize that I don't have to do something all at once.  The fact is that I'm doing things like this alone.  A few years ago? My Mom would help me with these times of major cleaning/organization. Home improvement things, like painting a bathroom? My Dad would help with. Or my Mom, but she's a messy painter (worse than me!).  Sure there are still some things I can't do totally by myself, or things I just don't know how to do (as far as home improvement), but I'm determined to learn. Sometimes it will take time to do things, and that's okay.  Did I really expect to complete something that will take a few hours on a Thursday evening at 6:00? That's unrealistic for me...On a Thursday anyway.

I'm babysitting tomorrow so I won't be doing anything around the house... Actually, my Mom and I are taking her shopping with us, so I won't even be home. But Sunday? I have all day Sunday.... It's a "rest" day from training (well, there's an optional easy one mile run that I'll probably do; that's not much!). I will most likely do something more than a mile run but if I don't, that's okay. Sunday is going to be my day to work around the house. I'll have all afternoon to finish off the bathroom (which really won't take long; and yes I'm still not done). I just have some areas to touch up (where I dripped on color paint onto the other), and then clean.  After that I can put all the new accessories up and I'll be done. Mission accomplished.  I should be able to get, at least, that done. After that I should be able to get most of the office done, if not all of it. I do need to do regular house cleaning too, but that generally doesn't take long...Plus I'll have the bathroom done so that's a time saver. Kitchen and living room? Easy!

 As for sleeping last night... The tea seemed to help.  I was up like an hour after going to bed to pee (AGAIN) though. Of course that's been the pattern all week. Last night, though, I didn't wake up super early.  I actually slept until my alarm went off. I think.... I don't remember waking up so if I did, it wasn't long enough to remember! I feel more rested today than I did yesterday...Finally!! Tonight will be a bit different (sleeping with a two year-old in a small bed; at my parents' house) but hopefully I feel rested enough. I'm sure I'll sleep well tomorrow night after babysitting and shopping all day, so I should be ready to tackle the house on Sunday.

An extra funny.... Not only did I find my old license last night, the one I lost at Disney came in the mail today!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Loss of Control

Do you ever feel like you have complete control of some areas of your life but when it comes to others you just don't? In the past it was my eating that I couldn't control.  Now that I've got that down, as well as exercise, I find myself feeling out of control in other areas. I believe I posted about this before and had a plan on attack. Well, you know... The best laid plans...

What, exactly, is my problem?

The home front.  I go to work, workout, take the dogs out, feed the dogs, take the dogs out again, shower, cook, eat dinner, and clean up the kitchen every day and evening. Sometimes though, I allow myself to fall behind because I just don't feel like doing things.  I have this urge to get so many little home projects done; cleaning, organizing, cute little crafty things, getting things done on etsy, designing more t-shirts... I have to book hotels for upcoming races. I have to figure out why my cable and Internet seem to be plagued by some evil force. Seriously. I got a new cable box and I can't get it to work. I got a new modem too... It worked well when I first hooked it up. The next evening I went to do the online part of set-up and it won't work. That was two days ago. I've spent time in the evenings trying to figure it out but when I'm tired and already annoyed with it, it's easy to get frustrated and quit. Blogging would be a lot easier from my computer than my phone! You'd think that the fact that I'm paying for those things would be a motivator to finally get them done. Well... Here's the thing... If someone comes in to fix it, they're gonna see the no-no zones (disorganization!) of the house. This requires me getting some organization done before someone comes in.

Where does the time go? I suppose having been on vacation and then babysitting last weekend kind of impacted on all of that.  I've been so busy that I haven't had much time on the weekends to do those things. I was on a roll for a while, but lately I've fallen short.

Here's my problem...

By the time I get home and do all of the things I mentioned earlier, I'm tired. Most nights it's 8:00 before I stop. Honestly? When that time comes I want to relax. I try to go to bed around 10:00. By the time I sit down at 8:00 I want to keep sitting. I do not want to get up and start some project. And in all honesty, I need to get some cleaning and organizing done before I do anymore major projects.

I'm motivated to do them early in the day. I wake-up thinking, "today I'll get this done," or "I really need to do this today. No excuses." Even when I'm home at lunch I think about how I need to accomplish things. Then I get home and I write, change, and start the nightly process... By the time I'm done? I do not want to workout. 

I thought a solution would be to start on that right away when I get home.... Wait to workout. But then I realized I won't want to workout. Or it'll be getting later and I'll be getting hungry.  It's a vicious cycle. I am busy all day and by the time I have time to do the extras, I feel tired and want to relax.

A solution that would work is to get back to morning workouts. This has been hard lately because I've been so tired. All the time. I haven't been sleeping well (up a couple times; then wide awake super early - but too early to get up - and trying to force myself to sleep). During the time I try to go back to sleep I'm sure I haven't been sleeping very well. I've been having weird dreams...And I remember them. I must be somewhat lucid at some point. When you don't sleep well, the last thing you want to do is get up earlier and workout.

I also need time to wake-up. Getting up at 5:30, changing, and immediately running a few miles is hard for me. I can get up and bike. I can do some DVDs in the morning. Pretty much anything that's a lower impact... I'm good with that. Lately I'm running and doing Turbofire. Neither of those is low impact. So the appeal of doing them early in the morning just isn't there for me. Honestly sleeping until six or seven and not working out until around nine is perfect for me. Unfortunately life doesn't permit that.

Here I am... In this rut. Again. I think if I get my energy back (sleep better!) then I'll have an easier time with it. One thing I really need to do is get my computer room cleaned out/organized. Like pronto. I KNOW I have an older driver's license around the house (I lost mine in the fall, replaced it, and then found the old one) and I need to find it. Soon. I lost my newer one in Florida. Yup, I've been driving around without my license on me. I can go get a new one but it won't come in the mail fast enough... I'm going to spend the evening in the city for St. Pat's. Ummm..... I most definitely need to find it so that I can at least have one festive drink! All week I've told myself "I need to find that..."  I've looked a little, in a couple places, but haven't looked very hard. And definitely not in all the places. It really will not take me that long to get it done because the room is fairly small. It's just a matter of feeling up to doing it.

That's my goal for tonight. To get that room picked up and find that dang license. If it's not there then it is actually lost again and I will have to go get a new one. Hmm... Hopefully with some other picture ID and my temporary paper license I'll get served somewhere. I doubt they're going to be as kind as they were at various places in Florida....of course I had my parents with me, confirming my age. And really... Who says they're 32 when they're under 21? More importantly though, I need to have that for driving as well as in case of an accident or something. I can't imagine not being identified and ending up in a hospital with memory loss or something. Yikes!

I'm hoping that the weekend will energize me, I'll get some better quality sleep, and will be ready to start a new week feeling refreshed.  Fingers crossed....

I guess I should get moving. I'm spending time writing and I could be working out so that I can get things done; especially cleaning/organizing that room! I guess it's not as difficult since I don't have TV to watch... Of course that's what's made me procrastinate the last few nights... Why hurry to get my workout done when there's nothing but movies to watch?

Okay.... Time to run! After that I will probably do some Turbofire (one of the shorter workouts).


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's Official

I signed up for my second half marathon; Sunburst which will take place in South Bend, IN on June first! I'm pretty excited!! I know I hinted at it and said I probably would in yesterday's post but after I wrote it, I did register. So... It's official! Half number two is coming up in 87 days.

You know what I just realized?

I didn't even look to see if there's a finisher medal. There should be. Even smaller scale races I've done that have half marathons give out medals. I mean, I'll do it just for the t-shirt (er, the satisfaction of completing another one). They have an expo and everything before hand and usually only larger races have expos. And photographers....They MUST have a medal.  If not, I'll survive.

Yes, I run because I enjoy it. I like the exercise and I like the satisfaction of completing something, especially a large task. I look at each race as a new goal... Once I've finished, I've achieved it. That's an awesome feeling. Whether you walk your first 5K or run 26.2, I feel that you should have that feeling. Each accomplishment is something to be celebrated. Find something new to take out of each experience.

Being the anxious person that I am, I already researched last year's times. I don't know why but I have this fear of coming in last. I saw a quote today that said something about finishing dead last is better than not finishing, which is better than never started. All of that is true... Yet something inside me does not like the idea of being last. Or even second to last.  I guess being somewhere in the middle (even the end of the middle) is my comfort zone. I know I'll never finish first or anywhere near it, and I'm okay with that. But last? Last is somewhere that I don't want to go.

In my research I saw that there were several people who finished in more time than it took me to do my first half. I now feel confident that I won't come in last.

Here's the thing... This only applies to me. I looked at the list and saw the last place person, her age, and her time and I thought, "good for you... That's awesome."  I'm supportive of everyone else, no matter their time. The fact that they got out there and gave it their best (heck, even if they couldn't finish!) is something that I feel makes them pretty awesome.  Like that quote, even not finishing is better than never starting. 

Yet when it comes to me... "I cannot do poorly" is stuck in my brain. And poorly is based on  my own personal definition for me and my abilities. It could take someone five hours and I'd feel like they did a good job. If it took me five hours, I'd be mad at myself.  I'm not hard on myself to the point where I end up doing damage... I just want to always do my best. And for me, last place and a five hour finish would not be my best.

I guess it's my sense of competition. As an athlete I'm more competitive with myself than others. To me, it doesn't matter who's passing me (although I do always find my "person" during a race and am determined to beat them; keeps me motivated).  It doesn't matter who is in front of me or behind me. It doesn't matter that I will take twice as long as the first place person. 

What matters is doing my best.  I think about whether I'm working harder than the last time. I want to push a little. I want to beat previous times (I think a lot of us are all about setting PRs!). I want to beat myself.  Why? This will show that I'm working hard and making progress. It will show that I don't just settle for whatever I happen to do (this is the case in other areas of my life too). I strive for my best. I don't base my performance on anyone else's best (better than mine or not). 

Yesterday I ended up doing my first training run for this half. Followed by Turbofire. I started the plan in week two and have several more to go.  I'm looking forward to it. I'm actually more excited about this training than the last. I'll be running outside again (warmer weather; I refuse to run outside in Winter). That is a huge part of my motivation for training. I expect to work hard and do better this time than last... I'm out for a PR!

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Half + One Half Does Not Equal a Full

First, I need to get this part out of the way because I am overdue... My weight. As I mentioned it went up, and up, and up on vacation. When I weighed myself the Thursday after I got back (last Thursday), I was ten pounds heavier than the Saturday before I left (about a week and a half). TEN pounds. In a week and a half. What in the world? I wasn't good but I wasn't horrible either! There's no way I could've eaten enough additional calories to gain that much weight. Craziness!  I can only imagine that factor like sodium and not as much exercise played a part in that.

I weighed again on Saturday, my usual weigh-in day and had already lost half of that....Yes, five pounds. In two days.  Was I holding some water? I'd say yes.

So I'm not that worried... I won't weigh again until Saturday and I'm pretty sure that I'll be down a little more. I'm not doubting that I gained some weight on vacation. I'm sure a couple pounds is possible. I'm not stressing about a couple pounds though. The ten pounds, of course. But a couple? Nope.  I can accept that because I know what I did (and didn't do) and the consequence is that it could've resulted in a gain. I'm okay with it. I've moved on. 

Am I disappointed in myself? A little. I should've been losing. Not only is that a few pounds less that I will have lost, but it is also more to lose. But it's nothing to dwell on. It happened. It's done. It's time to move on and get back to normal (which I already have).

Now, the topic at hand...

My first half marathon has come and gone. I did it!

Now what...?

That was my big goal. Sure, I have the goal to complete 13 races this year, but I'm confident that I will do that without difficulty. I have other little goals too; weight loss goals, improving times, the usual... But my big goal can be checked off my list.

I can't help but feel a little lost. What do I do next? I need something to strive for...

Before anyone dare suggest it... I have no desire to train for a full marathon. Get that idea out of your head now! As the saying goes, "I'm only half crazy!" Plus, I'm in no way ready for that. I keep hearing that after I have a couple more half marathons under my belt, I'll want to go for the full.  I keep telling people that they're crazy.  I've found a few others who are totally pleased with doing half marathons. 13.1 is enough. At this point in time I really have no desire to go for 26.2

26.2...Do you have any idea how FAR that is!? I was thinking "wow this is a long way" during my half. I can't imagine what I'd think during a full marathon. I will admit, though, that the thought of accomplishing that is an awesome idea. Part of me thinks, "just once..." and then the other voice in my head retaliates by reminding me how freakin' crazy I would be.

26.2? A full marathon?

I guess I can't totally rule it out (even if right now I have no desire). Maybe at some point in my life I'll do one. There is a small (very small; tiny, almost microscopic, I'd guess) part of me that's curious but then I think of how far 26.2 miles is...

I decided that I should probably do another half marathon. It will be another big event and I'll be aiming to set a new PR. I'm thinking of doing the one that I briefly mentioned before. It's on June first in South Bend, IN, with the finish line in Notre Dame stadium! According to the website it's just over 87 days away. Awesome....Lots of training time and most of that will be in good weather.  I printed off the beginer training plan because I'm still a beginner. It may not be my first half, but it is only my second. I'm definitely not advanced. The training plan had week one as last week.  Looking at it, I can easily jump into week two.

I will most likely register for that half marathon this evening. I was pretty certain that I'd do it before the Princess race, as long as it went well. It did. I didn't die. I didn't get swept. Other than a couple physical issues I was totally fine. After that first one is done it doesn't seem like as big of a deal doing another one.  I'm not gonna lie... I already miss that feeling of completing the first one. I felt special for a minute; like a real athlete. The afterglow was awesome! The feeling of camaraderie with other runners was amazing... Totally different than anything I've felt before. And something I can't explain. It's something you have to experience.

Now it's all gone.

I have to strive toward something so why not make it another half? It'll be a great thing to do just before having surgery and being restricted for a couple weeks.

There's another half that I'd love to do at the end of August in Baroda, Michigan. It's called the Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon.  It's actually a street race and after this year they'll be changing the name to... Wait for it...It's cute.... 13.Wine! I think it's adorable. And it involves wine... What's not to love?! I'll probably look at doing that next year. I'd love to do it this year but with surgery in June training would be difficult.  I'd really only have July and most of August to push hard, with light activity the last couple weeks of June.  I just don't think that it will be possible this year. Insert sad face here.

So that's that. I'm most likely registering for another half this evening. For now, I have some Turbofire to do and a two mile easy run according to the schedule. Maybe I'll run first. The roads are fairly clear so I could get outside. Then again it's cold and really does not sound appealing. It's only two miles... The lesser of two evils (treadmill or the cold) will win.

I hope you're having a great week! Spring will be here soon - are you working toward any goals?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Busy evening... Didn't get a chance to sit down and blog.

Post coming tomorrow...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Disney Part Two: The Half Marathon

While I blogged about the trip itself and did a little recap yesterday, today's post will be specific... All about the half.

I should mention that one of the highlights of the trip was meeting a sparkpeople buddy, SKINNYMISSKASEY and getting to do the races with her. We met up after the 5K and talked for a bit. Unfortunately her phone died during the half so we didn't get to catch up after that. It was good to meet her, even if for a short time. We stayed in contact throughout our trips (via text and facebook) so that was pretty cool too!

I woke up around 3:00 Sunday morning to get ready for the half.  Race buses were running from 3:00-4:00 so I wanted to be sure not to miss one.  I got up and got ready, ate a small breakfast (a banana and a small Luna bar from the post-race box I got at the 5K the day before), and drank some water.  I then went and got in line for the bus.  When I saw the line I immediately panicked that I might not make it. Of course they had many buses running and I'm sure they wouldn't just leave anyone because the clock struck four.  The line was very long; from the bus stop around the side of the building - and I definitely was not the last one in line.  By the time I got ready to board, the line had grow to run all along the back side of the main building. Wow! I think that the majority of people at our hotel were runners and their families.

The traffic freaked me out and I again panicked. There was a major back-up, due to race traffic, but thankfully it moved pretty quickly.  The race started at 5:30, but I was not in the first corral and had some extra time.  It was quite a walk from bus drop-off to the race start. Honestly isn't it a bit cruel to make people who are about to run 13.1 miles walk so far before they even start?  I'm not sure how far the total walk was, but I'd guess around a couple miles. Maybe this is off because it was so early in the morning, but it sure felt like it.  Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.  Anyway... First we had to walk to the area to get into "race village" and once we were in we had to continue walking to the starting line. It seemed like a fair hike to me!

The first corral took off on-time, and then about every ten (?) minutes after another corral went. I was in corral E (estimated my time and that's where I ended up - which was pretty accurate) so I had a little bit of a wait. I started shortly after six. It was definitely congested for a while but I was able to move to the outside and pass people (even if it was on the grass!) as needed.  I ran the first few.... somewhere between three and six, I can't remember.  Then I noticed that my legs were hurting. Not the muscles, but the insides of my thighs.  I was experiencing a burning sensation.

I was experiencing chaffing. OUCH!! That was by far the worst thing about the race. I'd never had this happen before... Probably because I generally wear compression capris that keep things where they should be.  On Sunday I was wearing shorts that I thought would be tight enough to stay in place. They were not. They kept riding up, so the friction of my skin on the shorts as well as skin on skin (all that excess thigh skin, and fat, I'm sure, was bouncing around like crazy) contact started to cause chaffing. I didn't bother to put anything, like Body Glide, on my legs because I'd never had this happen. I didn't know to expect it.  I also happened to be wearing cotton shorts which hung on to my sweat. They were totally soaked by the time I took them off. Anyway, at that point I started to do more of a walk/run combo.

By mile eight I was really starting to feel it. At this point I ended up walking quite a bit. It was more comfortable for me to walk (less friction?) than to run.  I had the physical energy (thanks to Gu, which is so gross, but obviously effective!) to keep going but my thighs hurt so bad I wanted to cry.  I also noticed that I was starting to feel like I was getting blisters around that time. The blisters really did not bother me much. I think it was also around mile eight (or maybe ten) that I noticed my hands were super swollen and it freaked me out for a minute.  I later looked it up and read that hand swelling is a common thing when running long distances. My poor little fingers were swollen up like sausages!

Around mile ten I'm not sure what happened. The thigh pain was still obviously there but I think I got used to it and it didn't seem quite as bad. I had walked almost two miles straight and thought to myself, "I only have a 5K left to do!" So I started to run. I ran as much as I could from mile ten to twelve, but the thigh pain did take over again and I had to walk a bit more. 

I ran the majority of the last mile... I walked for less than a minute two or three times basically just to be able to adjust my shorts to try to protect my skin.  Like always, I ran as hard as I could when I saw the finish line.  I generally make sure to sprint or just push myself as hard as possible when the finish is near. I'm not sure why... Just my thing I guess. Maybe it's because I always hear Jillian Michaels in my head talking about how you sprint to the finish, you don't slow down.  So anyway, I pushed myself over that finish line.

It was done. I completed my first half marathon. I felt pretty awesome crossing that finish line and having that volunteer put my medal around my neck. I knew I looked like a hot mess, but I felt SO good. That red-faced, sweaty look made me feel fantastic. 

I knew where my parents were sitting and tried to get their attention, before being ushered past them, but they missed me.  They were too busy talking to the couple in front of them. I waved and danced around like a freak trying to get their attention but they missed me in the finish area, but I caught up with them later.  I got my water and Powerade (I drank more Powerade than ever just on that day) and then went and stood in line to have my picture taken against the half marathon back drop, then made my way to the post-race snack box area, and straight to the bus waiting line.

The race itself was awesome - although it was crowded (I'd been warned ahead of time), it was so much fun. Most of the other runners were there to have fun too, so that helped time go by. There were several forms of entertainment along the way - bands, characters to pose with, DJs, people holding butterfly flags, mile markers that looked like storybook pages, flags to mark important miles along the way (5K, 10K, 15K, 10 miles too I think...), gospel singers, Cheer Squad (spectators) members at various points, lots of volunteers along the way... The time passed pretty quickly. They had a lot of Powerade/water stations too. I honestly did not even need my hydration belt. I did drink some of my water and promptly lost the top to that bottle.  I used my belt more for my phone (to take pictures along the way) and to store my Gu.

I personally did not wait in line for any pictures. I didn't see many of my favorites (Cinderella - really!? She's the top princess!! And Ariel) so I decided it wasn't worth the wait. I did skip Aurora and would have loved a picture with her but the line was pretty long.  She's one of my favorite princesses - my 5K costume was Aurora-inspired (and my costume for the half was Cinderella-inspired; my favorite!), but I had been warned about the lines. Not only are they long, but if you wait in them, it's highly possible that you will be swept because you waited so long. I didn't want to be swept.  I didn't stop to pose with characters but I did stop here and there to try to get pictures of them.  Many of my pictures have random strangers in them, but that's okay!

After the race was an experience in itself...

I felt so awesome for having finished, which was my goal. Because of the thigh pain and having to walk, I ended up being slower than I had anticipated and finished right around three hours. Not bad, and a half hour under the time limit of 3:30, but still about 20 minutes longer than I anticipated. BUT...That's okay. Given the factors of crowding, taking pictures, and chaffed thighs, I'm not too disappointed. Plus that gives me a lot of room to PR in the next one - if there's a next one (although I'm already considering it).

I immediately went to the hotel and showered (super painful on those chaffed areas!!) before returning to Epcot. I put my medal back on and wore it for the rest of the day. I earned it; I was going to show it off. A lot of other runners stayed at Epcot and some were still in their race gear. I don't know how they did it... I was far too wet and stinky to even consider that. All day I felt like I was part of a special group of people. I don't know how many smiles and knowing glances I exchanged with other runners. There were words of congratulations and conversations with strangers.  It felt so good to have finished and to have been able to celebrate it all day. It was like I had a bond with about 26,000 strangers who had all been through the same thing. It was definitely a cool feeling.

I'm glad I chose this race for my first half... It was a fun and exciting experience. SO many other runners were encouraging along the way. The downside? The crowd at times, but it really didn't bother me. Had I been running for a PR (which you are encouraged NOT to do, unless you're super fast like the winner) maybe I'd have been more upset. It was definitely not a run to be taken super seriously by most of us.

The winner? Rachel Booth, from Mandeville, Lousiana... For the second year in a row. She also set a record for the race. She finished in 1:17:38. I can do a 10K in about 1:12!! For those of you doing the math, that's less than a five minute mile.  She? Is freaking amazing!!!

Post-race physically - OH, SO MUCH PAIN.  My thighs not only burned from the chaffing but the muscles hurt for all the running and walking. It hurt to go up stairs, even the few steps on to the bus.  It hurt to go down stairs, even those same few.  Walking in general was okay, minus the blistered areas on my feet.  Getting up and down was a nightmare. Of course I had to pee more that day (all that hydration during and after the race!) than any other day on the trip.  I could've used bars around the toilets to get up and down. I was okay when I was up and moving but if I sat too long I got pretty sore.  No worries, I dulled my pain with Aleve, and later a cider and black at an English pub, a margarita in Mexico, and in the evening some wine with dinner.  I may not have drank my way 'round the world, but I indulged a little!

My legs were sore for a couple days after. I'm sure riding in the car for long stretches of time didn't help matters any.  I'm back to normal now. Well, except my blistered areas. Despite knowing all the reasons not to, I popped my blisters. Those areas are pretty tender now. I haven't run yet, but did do some TF last night. I started to run but those spots were too sore.  I hope to be able to run on Sunday; that's my plan anyway.  I'll do TF today and tomorrow.

Well, I suppose that's a pretty good race re-cap.... I need to go get my TF done, then start cleaning, and get to work on dinner. My cousin is bringing her daughter down (yay babysitting!) and I'm making dinner for them, so I don't have much time to spare.

I only worked two days (they were super crazy, hectic days) but I am definitely happy that it is Friday!

Have a great weekend everyone!!