Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kale

I am so ready for this week to be over.  Work has been mega weird this week, and I'm a bit stressed out about it.  I'm also on edge because I'm still worried about Natasha, who is not worse thankfully, but also hasn't made any astonishing improvements.  It's hard when something is wrong with your dog, simply because they can't tell you what is wrong, or what/where it hurts.  She's usually such a funny little goofball, so seeing her grimace when she gets up, not having her beg at the table, not pester us to play tug of war...all of that is very sad.  I'm just hoping she starts to turn a corner here soon.

I have managed to not eat my feelings as it were, and have definitely made an effort to be healthy this week.  I was telling you that I was on the fence about what to have with the baked salmon I was making, and that it would probably be something with kale.  This is what I ended up making:


The base is all baby kale leaves, and I topped it with grapefruit, blood orange and raw almonds.  I made a dressing with black cherry balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and olive oil.  The dressing was SO good!  The weather has been so dreary lately, but this salad seemed so bright and summery that it really hit the spot.    And I just about flipped when I logged the salad into My Fitness Pal...that kale had 23 grams of calcium!  That is just crazy.  It even had 3 grams of protein (just the kale).

I continued the kale parade for dinner tonight, and made a recipe recommended to me by my PINK friends. It's a creamy quinoa kale casserole, but the "creamy" part is really just a sauce made of raw cashews.  I made a few changes to it, and soaked the cashews for a few hours so they'd be nice and soft.  I also used a green bell pepper, and the world didn't end.  I really liked the casserole, but think I will make some tweaks to it the next time I make it.  My blender was dirty, so I had to use my food processor to make the sauce, and it turned out all wack.  Next time I'd definitely use the blender.  The flavor was great though, and it was easy to make.  You also got a pretty big serving for relatively few calories.  I probably ate 1.5 cups worth of this, and it was 348 calories, 13 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 11 grams of calcium.  Those are pretty great macros!

I have been a real shit about working out this week.  No excuses really, but I admit the break has been nice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In and The Vet

Today's weigh in was a bit disappointing, especially when I was so excited to step on the scale.  All week I had tracked to weigh in at almost 218, which would have been insane considering that would mean I dropped that gain from the last week AND a little extra.  Instead I weighed in at 220.2.  Is that a loss?  Yes, it's almost 2 pounds, and I should definitely be happy about that.  But yet, I wasn't.  My digestive issues are rearing their head again this week, so I think I would have weighed less if I'd been a bit more regular.  One thing that changed is that I ate dairy since the last weigh in, yogurt and cottage cheese, so I am not sure if that's what's holding me back or not.  Pretty frustrating if it is, because at a certain point, I'd like some different options for breakfast.  I can't eat oatmeal every day, sometimes it's nice just to have yogurt and fruit.  I guess I could cut it back out and see what happens.

I wrote the other day that Natasha seemed a lot better, but unfortunately ran into some setbacks. We've been keeping an eye on her, but finally decided it was time to see the vet today.  She is still having a lot of trouble getting up and down, her feet are oddly swollen and she seems very lethargic in general.  Thankfully the vet was able to get us in for a morning appointment, so we were able to go get it over and done with.  His diagnosis was kind of a non-diagnosis, and told us that clearly something happened to tweak her hips (no shit), and that there was a possibility that her heart wasn't efficiently pumping her fluids, hence the swollen feet.  He said that when she gets up and moves around it likely keeps this symptom at bay normally, but since she has been laying around the last few days, the fluid is just kind of hanging out around her feet and lower legs.  We are supposed to continue to rest her and keep an eye on her for a week, and if she doesn't improve, we have to bring her back for more tests.  Good times.

The poor dear is sleeping right now, probably well deserved after being poked and prodded on for 40 minutes at the vet!  She did climb the stairs twice by herself when we got home, which is definitely an improvement, but we shall see.

My eating has been actually pretty good today, even though I feel like tearing my hair out!  I had a piece of Ezekiel raisin toast and an apple for breakfast, and then an Orowheat thin with two eggs, 2 slices of turkey bacon and a slice of cheese for lunch.  Tonight we're having salmon, and I don't know what as sides.  Probably something with kale in it since I bought a ton of it the other day!

Also, I made a really awesome raspberry lemonade that hit the spot this afternoon when I was feeling a bit snacky.  I just took 2 cups of frozen raspberries, water, stevia and True Lemon and whirled it around in the blender.  It reminded me of going to Red Robin and getting one of their strawberry lemonades, but at least mine didn't have 500 million grams of sugar in it!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Rock and Roll

Today was an incredibly stressful day.  Last night our dog Natasha got down in her hips, and was unable to stand up on her own, much less walk around.   I was having to carry her up and down the stairs, as well as outside to go to the bathroom.  When we woke up this morning, she was worse.  I carried her downstairs and she peed all over my shirt, and still couldn't walk.  She is going to be 15 this year, and it was just a reminder that these are her last years.  We put our other dog to sleep in 2009, and the thought of having to deal with another dog's death really had me on edge.  I went to work pretty upset and worried the whole day about her.  We checked on her at lunch and she was still weak and unable to get up, although she was eating and drinking if I brought it to her.

On top of that, today was the day that the tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony went on sale, and my husband and I were going to try to grab some.  We went to the ceremony last year after we found out Guns N' Roses was getting inducted, and the ceremony as a whole was one of the coolest things I have EVER been to.  The ceremony was in Cleveland, and it was such a fun and cool city to be in, not to mention getting to see musical performances of a lifetime!  I love music, but my husband is a passionate super geek about music, and there are a few artists he geeks out more for than others.  (If you are a music geek as well or just nosy, his blog is http://e-rockracy.blogspot.com, not that I am biased or anything, but he is a wonderful writer!) One of his favorite bands is Rush, (not my thing, but I respect them) and one of the big controversies is that they have never even been nominated to be on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  After having such a wonderful time at the 2012 ceremony, we were speculating about what who would get in this year, where the ceremony would be, etc.  We were joking about how Rush is never going to get in, and I was like, "I promise you if Rush ever gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I will make sure you are there to see it."

Flash forward a few months, and who do you think was one of the bands that will be inducted this year?  Yep, Rush.  Not only that, but the ceremony is in Los Angeles where a lot of his friends and his brother are, so it was a no brainer, we were going to have to try to go even though we had not anticipated going to the ceremony two years in a row!  One thing you should know about me is that I am an incredibly uneasy ticket buyer.  I almost have a panic attack every time I have to get tickets for events, but somehow I'm also one who has the availability to buy them.  Today was no exception, I was about to have a heart attack at the prospect of getting the tickets, especially since I was not only responsible for getting ours, but for getting his brother and sister-in-law's tickets!  Long story short, I DID manage to grab tickets and pretty decent seats, so that was one stressful thing removed from the day.  Looks like I will have an LA trip in April!

I went to the gym after work and did the elliptical for 30 minutes, though my heart wasn't in it because I was so anxious to get back to my dog.

I walked in the house and was so happy to see her sitting up.  When I squatted to pet her, she did her usual bitchy little growl at me when she's annoyed that I've been gone, which was a good sign to me since she hadn't had much reaction to anything for the last two days.  Even better, she was able to stand up on her own, walk outside to go to the bathroom, and walked around the living room.  I admit that I was so relieved that I cried and couldn't stop hugging her.  She did her usual routine of begging for food, and is resting again now, so I think she's going to be ok.

So, the most stressful day ended up as a really good day, and I definitely feel thankful for that!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Painted Dogs

Last night we attended a benefit at the Oregon Zoo with one of my coworkers and his wife, and had a most excellent time.  It wasn't a super fancy thing, but they did have nice finger foods and an open bar.  They also had two comedians open up the event as the entertainment.  They were fairly amusing, though I was cringing at times because they were talking about strippers, sex and using the F word a million times.  Considering I have the maturity and sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, I was not offended by any of this, but there were a million little old ladies in there, so I was cringing on their behalf.  I didn't hear anyone complain, and people were laughing, so I guess all was well.

The benefit was in honor of the Painted Dog Conservation, an organization in Africa dedicated to saving the African Painted Dog.  They are in danger of extinction, so this conservation works to stop poaching, educate locals on the painted dogs, and provides jobs and education for the local people/kids.  The presentation during the benefit was pretty interesting, and was filled with pictures from Africa of both the dogs and the conservation center.  There were some sad pictures they threw in there too of the dogs caught in poacher snares, which I could have gone all evening without seeing.  :(  So sad.

There was a live and a silent auction, and while I didn't participate in the live auction (those items were pretty spendy), me and a couple glasses of wine did the silent auction.  (Seriously open bar, me and silent auction are a dangerous combo!)  I don't know if you've ever done one, but it's kind of like real life Ebay, and you end up getting super competitive if you want something.  I threw bids out for 3 items, and kind of hovered around 2 of the items I really wanted to see if anyone would outbid me.  By the time I sat down, I was still the #1 bidder for 2 of the items, but I wasn't sure if someone would come in at the last minute and throw a bid down.

I was pleasantly surprised (though my wallet may not have been) to see that I had won 2 of the 3 items I bid on once the evening was over!


This is one of the items I won, and was definitely an impulse bid.  It's a painting done by a seal, no joke.  They put paint on its flipper and put it to canvas.  I don't know, it was so unusual and the pattern reminded me of the ocean, so I bid on it.  My husband seemed skeptical at first, but I think it grew on him the more he looked at it.  According to him, it looks like a T-Rex head, which I totally could see!


This was the other piece I won, and the one I was most excited about.  It's a cheetah wall piece, and all of that is beads strung on wire.  It was done by a local in Zimbabwe, and I thought it was one of the most pretty things I'd ever seen.  The picture doesn't do it justice, the bead work and the intricacy of it all is so incredible.  Plus I felt good knowing that my money would be going directly back to the artist who did this (they work for the conservation).


They also had art for sale, and I was so drawn to these wire pieces that I simply had to have one.  Part of what the conservation does is search for snares set out by poachers and take them down.  They bring the wire back to the conservation and use it to make art.  The thought of taking something used for something so ugly and turning it into something beautiful just really took my breath away.  And not only will this help save the painted dogs, but it also gives the local artists there in Zimbabwe a way to make money.  It was hard to choose a piece, they had so many exquisite ones, but I picked out a sable.  I really love the horns!

I got up today feeling good emotionally, but my foot is still bothering me.  I had my one yoga class that I can actually attend scheduled for this morning.  I was not looking forward to it, my teacher tends to focus on shoulders a lot, so we end up doing a million planks and other shoulder stuff, and all it gets me is sore arms for a week.  I got there a little early and was able to talk with my teacher and tell her that I was having foot/ankle issues again, and ask her if there was any way that the class could be geared towards the lower half of the body today.  And because she totally rocks, that's what we did for the whole class, and my legs felt so much better afterwards.

I still need a way to do yoga 3-4 times a week like I was doing, so I took the advice of my P.I.N.K friends and ordered the Ultimate Yogi DVD set yesterday.  I trust their feedback on it, which was very positive, and it also had rave reviews on Amazon.  The program is meant to be done 7 days a week, which I don't know if THAT will happen, but I will do my best.  I am going to take this week off of running, and will also be doing my P90X stretch DVD to tide me over until my UY DVDs get here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stretching It Out

I woke up today with that familiar pain in my left heel, and it made me pissed, scared and frustrated all at once.  I haven't gone into this at length yet, but I have been struggling with plantar fasciitis since around 2009.    For those who aren't familiar with the ailment, basically it's an inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your feet.  (You can read more detailed sciencey stuff about it at my friend Wikipedia).  It's extremely painful, and there were times that it got so bad that I would almost buckle to my knees in pain when I would stand on my feet first thing in the morning.  I brought it on by bad shoes and training improperly/too much, and also by not stretching enough, and it's the reason I didn't run for 2 years.  When I started my weight loss journey a year ago, I was doing yoga 3-4 times a week, and I noticed that my feet suddenly felt amazing for the first time in a really long time, and that's when I was able to start running again.  Lately my yoga studio has been pulling shenanigans and changing their schedule around, and making it almost impossible for me to go.  They have tons of classes during what my mom refers to as "rich bitch" hours, or 8 am to 2 pm.  I am not sure what the reasoning is behind that, but I kind of have a job during those hours, and  though my boss and I are close, he would probably frown on me randomly leaving during the middle of the day to go do yoga.  It's like, how do you not have classes for after work people??  Anyway, I"ve been rarely able to make classes there anymore, and since then, I've noticed that familiar twinge creeping back into my foot.  Now the twinge is a pain, so I've GOT to do something about it.  I want to keep going to this studio since it's so close to my house, but I don't know.  I may have to find another option.

I haven't been talking about food much lately, but I actually have eaten well this week, and have noticed that my weight is going down as well.  Nothing is ever "official" for me until Wednesdays, but I think my next weigh in should be a happy one.  :)  I made a really nice breakfast this morning:


That's Chobani plain Greek yogurt, and I grated the zest of a whole blood orange in it, then cut up the blood orange segments in it and topped it off with a teaspoon of raw honey.  The zest was potent but delicious, and it felt like such a summery thing to be eating on such a dreary day.  All of that was a mere 231 calories, even though it felt very indulgent.  I planned out lunch already as well, I'm just having a grapefruit and a slice of Ezekial raisin toast with a smidge of butter.  I am trying to keep my day calories low because we're going to a benefit at the zoo tonight, and I'm not sure what the food situation is going to be.  I am doing my P90X yoga DVD today, so that would leave me with 1500 calories to use at dinner.  I would say that's PLENTY of wiggle room!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Runs For Cookies Virtual 5k Post Race Report

Today I participated in a very unique 5k race courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Runs For Cookies.  Katie and her blog have been a real inspiration to me, and are a big part of the reason that I've had the courage to start running again after 2 years.  The run was a virtual 5k that she put out to all of her readers, and as of yesterday, there were 895 people signed up!  You could run anywhere, any time of the day, and then go record your time via Google doc on her site after you finished.

I got up this morning nervous about the race, and also not feeling that well.  Work has been very stressful this week, and I've also had a headache for a couple of days, probably due to stress.  I shuffled downstairs to make coffee, and got the nicest surprise ever:


I think my husband knew I was having a rough week between the negative feelings about myself, work, the headache, and stressing about the 5k.  It really did brighten my entire day!  It almost seemed to set the tone for today, because things at work sort of calmed down, and my headache managed to go away on its own without any sort of Advil or anything.

I did my 5k after work, and the weather actually was pretty cooperative with me.  It was dry and in the mid-40s, so I didn't need my gloves for the first time in awhile!  The run itself wasn't anything totally remarkable.  I was having a lot of issues with my calves and ankles, and my calves kept seizing up during the first mile.  I was able to power through some of the pain, but I had to take a tiny walk break before I'd even hit a mile.  I really need to get back into a regular yoga schedule again, I was not having these calf and feet issues when I was going so many times a week!


At first I wasn't happy with my time, but then upon reflection I feel like this is pretty good.  I took lots of walk breaks, was in pain some of the time, and still managed to do pretty well.


This is me in all my glory with my "race bib".  I actually was kind of happy with the picture, my face looks so much thinner than it used to!  I celebrated tonight with a pesto pasta dinner, and also have the calorie budget for an ice cold Stella beer, which I will be slowly enjoying after I finish this blog post!  I mean, any race worth its salt ends with a cold beer, even virtual ones!

Oh and I wanted to end this post with this picture.  We were driving home and the clouds parted to reveal the moon.  It looked SO pretty tonight.  The picture I took is blurry, but it kind of makes it look like a painting almost.  Its been a damn good day.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In and Plastic Shavings

If you were thinking to yourself "Hmm, that broad hasn't posted for a few days.  She probably was guzzling alcohol and eating like shit for most of the weekend," then you are absolutely correct!  Yes, I had a bit of a setback, and I'm not really sure what happened.  Well, I kind of know what happened, I let my body image get to me and it made me say "screw it" for a few days.  I drank, I ate pizza and cookies, I watched football, I watched Breaking Bad marathons and barely did anything.  I did exercise Saturday, but did not exercise again until today.  Not surprisingly when I faced the scale today, I was at 222.0.  There is no picture to accompany this weigh in, I was pretty bummed out about it and it wasn't like I wanted to celebrate it.  Oh and forget the mini goals, we won't even go there. I mean I did drink water, but there was no schedule to it, and it probably wasn't nearly enough.

After my weigh in I decided I was tired of eating oatmeal, so I thought I'd try to see how a smoothie went down.  I didn't use any protein powder in it because I didn't want to trigger memories of my lovely poisoning incident.  Just straight up raspberries, a banana, almond milk and a dash of True Lime.  I was already bummed, then got super annoyed at my Ninja blender because it was making a crazy noise as it was blending.  I already feel like that blender is a total pain in the ass, so this really was about to put me over the edge.  I figured out it was making that noise because the blade wasn't set right, so as it was blending, it was shaving tiny pieces of plastic into my smoothie.  I stared at it for a bit, then decided I had pounded enough alcohol over the weekend to pickle my insides, what are 3-4 plastic shavings going to do to me.  I drank it kind of half heartedly, and it wasn't even over the plastic, it just seems like smoothies don't taste that great to me anymore.  I think I will go back to oatmeal tomorrow.

So I was carrying all of these lame feelings today and not feeling that great about myself.  We dragged ourselves to the gym, and I very reluctantly put on my running clothes to go do a 3 miler.  And I must mention, the weather turned back to rainy crap today, so I was really not looking forward to this run.  Even my Garmin was being a real bitch about it, it took FOREVER to find satellites before I could get going.  Once I got going, I noticed my legs felt better than they had the last 2 runs I did, and actually had some snap in them.  I ran a mile, took a 30 second walk break, and then got back after it.  As I neared 2.5 miles, I realized that I was on track to finish faster than I normally do.  (The irony of this is that I was just having sad thoughts about how I'm apparently never going to get faster).  I decided to try to finish in 36 minutes, since my last run I finished in 37:31.  I was really hauling ass (or at least my version of it), and even almost mowed down an old dude with a huge umbrella who refused to get out of my way.  I heard my Garmin beep to signal that I had finished 3 miles, and this is what I saw:


That's not only under 36 minutes, but it means that my average pace was less than a 12 minute mile!!  I was really pretty excited, and it was just the kind of boost I needed after gaining weight and eating plastic shavings today!!!  And who knows, with the way my body is, I may not be able to do this a day from now, but I did it today.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Water World

So I started my mini goals yesterday, and, so far so good.  Not surprisingly, the water goal is the easiest one to do, and I think it will be a good forever habit to have.  Having water with meals makes sense, and I feel less like I'm going to float away.  I also have tons of tea in between, so I would be very surprised if I"m not at 120 oz of liquid a day.

The tea instead of snack goal kind of sucks, because I really do love to end the night with a little treat as we're sitting on the couch, be it popcorn or a Vitatop with Fluff.  I was really antsy and wishing that I could get up and snack, but I stuck to my guns and told myself that it's only a week out of my life.  My husband was so sweet, after dinner and the kitchen was cleaned up, he asked me if I wanted him to put tea water on for me, since he'd read my blog and saw my mini-goals. He is really so thoughtful and supportive!

I had an interesting tea sent to me by a coworker from India, so that's what I drank last night.  Basically I think it was a type of chai tea, but it contained holy basil, which I have no idea what that was until I consulted Wikipedia (clearly the ultimate source for everything right?)  Anyway, I guess it is widely used in Hindu cultures as medicine and in religious ceremonies.  I liked it quite a bit, and ended up having 2 giant cups of it!

Another thing that helped was to keep my hands busy with crochet.  I am self taught and not very good, and can only do the most basic of things, but I am working on a project for a friend (I will post pictures when I'm done).  I tend to zone out when I crochet, since I have to pay really attention to everything I'm doing so that I don't mess up.  It's the perfect type of thing to occupy your mind and hands with!  I worked on that until I went to bed and really progressed on the project, so I felt doubly proud of myself.

I have a run scheduled tonight, and I'm not sure if I'm going to do 3 or 4 miles.  I may stick to 3 this time.  And it's actually warmer and sunny outside, so it's going to be great weather.  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In & Weekly Challenge


Today is weigh in day, and I was down 0.8!  I knew I wasn't going to have the loss that I had last week, simply because last week's loss was pretty big.  And I had to take like 3 pictures of the scale before I could get one without my toes clinging for dear life.  I need to work on that, seems like a balance issue.




I want to start giving myself little mini-challenges to focus each week (Wednesday to Wednesday).  I figure a week is a good way to try out these goals, and if they suck or make me miserable, then they are done with.  On the other hand, if they make me feel good, then they are yet another thing I can change in my life.  These are my goals for the next week:

  1. Drink 24 ounces of water with every meal
  2. Drink unlimited hot tea after dinner in lieu of nightly snack
So, my water consumption has gotten better, but I really want to try to get it in around meal times to help myself feel fuller, and to get in a better schedule with water consumption.  I actually like water, but tend to space on drinking it!  Meals seem like a good way to get in a schedule with that.

So, for the snack goal...  I tend to feel pretty full if I have hot drinks, so I'd like to see if I could be satisfied doing this at night instead of constantly popping popcorn or making some kind of dessert.  There is nothing wrong with having treats at night, but I also don't want to depend on it or expect it all the time.  I am so very close to my 30 pounds lost goal, and I really want to try to achieve that within the next 2 weeks, and I want to see not having a snack at night helps this or not.  We'll see how this goes for the week, it's probably going to be harder than the water goal!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It Was The Best of Runs, It Was The Worst of Runs...

I had one of those confusing runs tonight where when you're done you say to yourself, "I don't know if that really sucked, or if that was kind of awesome."  I had planned on doing 3 miles, so after work I got all my gear on and set out from my usual starting point from our gym.  About a minute into the run I was not happy in the slightest, and I'm sure the look on my face would have rivaled Tommy Lee Jones' scowl at the Golden Globes.  Actually, this duo perfectly expresses how I felt during my first mile tonight:



I don't know if it was the cold, the fact I was hungry, or what was going on, but I was just downright pissed to be out there.  My legs felt like lead, I felt slow and tired, and I was muttering the Danny Glover "I'm too old for this shit" line over and over in my head.  I usually can zone out and get into the run, but I was struggling mentally and having to constantly have a dialogue with myself to try to keep going.  (This dialogue wavered between, "You can totally do this!" to "Quit being a freaking pansy."  Only more explicit.)

Then I don't know what happened.  My Garmin beeped to signal that I had done a mile, and I told myself to try to keep running as long as I could without taking a walk break.  Then before long my Garmin was beeping that I'd hit two miles.  I took a one minute walk break, and started going again.  My legs were burning horribly, but I knew if I took a long walk break, I was never going to get going at a good speed again.  I misjudged the route I took and how long it was, so when my Garmin beeped at three miles I still had quite a bit to go before I hit the gym parking lot.  I was like, well, I guess I will just do 3.5 miles then.  I hit the gym parking lot and looked down to see that I was at 3.6 miles, and if there is anything that drives me nuts, it's running a weird distance number wise.  It's either got to be whatever mileage and a half, or an even number, and yes I am psychotic.  So I just continued to run up and down the sidewalk until I hit an even 4 miles.


My time wasn't terribly exciting, I came in at 50:34.  I am stressing a bit that I am not getting any faster, but I guess I shouldn't be freaking out too bad yet.  I figure as I continue to train and lose weight that the speed will eventually follow.

I guess the bigger question is, how could I start out feeling so crappy, but go further than I had intended and also take very few walk breaks?  I am just processing that I feel pleased about going the extra mile (literally!), because I honestly felt like I was so miserable during the run, I couldn't really process it then.  Running is so freaking weird sometimes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Left Behind in The Cold

I haven't blogged the last couple of days because there really hasn't been anything that exciting to blog about.  I didn't do as well this week food-wise, which kind of sucked.  My stomach still seemed torn up from last Sunday's incident with the protein powder that shall not be named.  Every time I ate, I would feel like I was going to throw up, my stomach would cramp, and my other end was...active.  I finally got fed up and bought a bag of white rice, and ate white rice and butter for several meals.  That seemed to help my stomach, but then I got bingey because I wasn't getting the variety and nutrients I needed.  I ate random crap that I didn't even enjoy, and realized that I was starting to get into a bad pattern again.

Yesterday I decided to snap myself out of it and get some exercise in so that I could clear my mind.  I knew I wanted to go for a run, since I had not run since last Saturday, but it is COLD here.  It's getting down to the 20's at night, and the highs are hanging around 32.  I decided to do the P90X yoga disc first to warm my body up and get my muscles stretched out.  This disc totally kicked my ass the second time around, but in a good way.  I was sweating like crazy!  Once I was done I got dressed in my running gear, and then my hubby and I went grocery shopping.  The plan was to eat lunch and then get a few things we needed, and then he would drive home and I would run home.  The store is about 5 miles away from our house, but I only wanted to run about 4 of that, and figured that the extra mile would make for a good cool down walk.  I think my husband was amused that I just wanted to be left behind, but hey, there's no better motivator than having to get your butt home one way or another.

It. Was. Cold.  I was glad I had done yoga, because I think my muscles would have freaked if I had just started in that weather with no warm up.  I had on my compression pants and 2 lighter long sleeved wick away shirts and a Bondi band over my ears.  This time I was smart enough to remember my gloves as well.  Still though, I was freezing for the first mile of my run, and then I finally felt warmed up enough that I didn't feel miserable.  My time wasn't that great, I ended up at 53:33 minutes for the 4 miles.  I didn't realize how many hills were on the route, and oh man...it just kicked me ass once again.  I want to keep doing hills since it will condition my legs faster, but it's so hard!  I was having to take a lot of walk breaks.  When I finally got home, I noticed our thermometer said it was 30 degrees.  No wonder I was so cold!  I was more than done by the time I showered and got seated on the couch.

My eating was so so yesterday.  I had oatmeal with chocolate chips and coconut for breakfast, and a turkey sandwich with tons of vegetables and avocado for lunch.  I burned over 1200 calories with exercise, so I was able to have a treat meal as dinner.  We went to a friend's house to watch the NFL games, and beer and football just go together so well!  I had 3 Stellas and some pizza.  I didn't totally enjoy the pizza, it was Poppa John's, which I think is a really gross pizza, plus the owner is pretty douchey.  I still came in way under for net calories, and only netted 995 calories for the day.

Today I have yoga class, and we're not going anywhere, so food will be easier.  Not sure what I'm doing for breakfast, but I figured I'd make lentil soup for lunch, and we're having crab for dinner, which I am super excited about.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weigh In Day!



I got a pleasant surprise this morning when I discovered I am down 5.4 pounds from what I was a week ago. It's always nice when you see your efforts pay off.  I know I won't lose like this every week, but seeing it today made me pretty happy.  I am very close to being back to my lowest weight on the journey so far.

I am still feeling ill effects (pun intended) from that blasted shake on Sunday.  When I eat I get a twinge of nausea, and I really thought I was going to toss my cookies after breakfast today.  I got blood red and had to strip down to a tank top and put my desk fan on at work.  I chewed a couple of antacids and had fizzy water and that has helped slightly, but am still feeling weird.  I am praying that my body will heal soon.  I don't have a workout today, and maybe that is for the best.

By the way, why the F are my left toes gripping the scale in a death grip?!  Just noticed that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday

Nothing exciting today.  I skipped my run today, but I did do the P90X Stretch X.

I went way over calories on my food plan today, though they were quality calories.  I was really hungry today, and am still hungry.  I'm going to hold off on eating anymore, because I have eaten plenty today!

Today's meal plan:

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with honey and chocolate chips
Lunch:  Veggie Chili
Dinner:  Veggie Tacos and baked fries
Snack:  Hummus with carrots and celery

Monday, January 7, 2013

Grazing and Unhelpful Dogs

I have slightly recovered from yesterday.  I don't have nausea, but my lungs/chest burn pretty bad, and my ribs are still sore.  I cannot seem to get enough water and tea today, especially my fancy Teavana Youthberry tea:




I have been grazing a lot today, mainly because I think I am still messed up and hungry from everything that happened yesterday.  I hadn't intended on working out, but since I did graze a bit, I felt that I should go ahead and do a workout to justify the extra calories.  One of my guy friends kindly lent me his copy of the P90X series.  I have been curious about it for awhile, but not curious enough to spend the hefty price tag to get it.  I don't really have interest in doing the videos daily as intended, I already have a strict schedule with having to run, but thought it would be nice to mix things up and do some of the P90X videos once or twice a week.

I went through the DVDs and immediately gravitated towards the Yoga X disc.  I have been practicing yoga on and off for years, but have consistently practiced it several times a week for the last year.  I credit yoga for healing my feet, for changing my body shape for the better, and for making me a better person.  I know yoga can be controversial, many people think it's some kind of cult or weird religion, some people think it's boring, some hate it.  I don't understand any of that thought process, and I personally think the people that think that way could not only use a good yoga session, but a shot of tequila as well.  Just my opinion.  ;)

Some thoughts on the video.  If you are new to yoga, this video is going to be pretty hard.  I found it challenging but was able to keep up with it pretty well.  I was definitely happy that I didn't have the heat going in the house, because I was pretty warm!  I have seen various complaints about this disc of the P90X series, and I admittedly had a few moments of yoga snobbery where I was like "Hmm, that's totally not the right name for that pose."  But, I actually really liked the video, and found it both relaxing and a good workout.  The one thing that may trip people up is the running time of this video, which is an hour and a half.  I personally liked how long it was, but it would be tough to fit in if you are busy.  The other thing that is tough?  If you have a nosy ass dog who likes to hover over you when you're on the floor doing some of the floor poses.  This was my glorious view for most of the time that I was on the floor....*sigh*  She thinks bugging me is hilarious.


I felt great once I was done, and definitely will be adding the yoga video to my routine at least once a week.  Once I was done I was starving for dinner, so I was very happy to have veggie chili made and ready to go:


Today's meal plan has been hard.  As I said I have been very hungry, and am still very hungry unfortunately.  Again, I think my system is messed up, and I will probably be better by the time I get to work tomorrow.  With today's exercise I am allotted 2,029 calories, and I have the feeling I may reach that by the end of the night!

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with chocolate chips
Lunch:  Carrot "hot dog" in Ezekiel bun with guacamole
Dinner:  Veggie Chili
Snacks (this is where shit gets real):  grapefruit, granola with Barney Butter, handful of chocolate chips, and popcorn with nutritional yeast...told you I was grazing!

It's a lot, but at least I am only going to net a little over 1400 calories. Once I'm done with the popcorn, I'm going to drink a crap ton of hot tea so that I will feel full (hopefully!)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vega One and The Porcelain Goddess

Holy shit peeps.  I have spent all day violently ill, and while I don't want to get too TMI with you, I do want to warn you about a bad product that could potentially make you sick.

So the day started off really well.  I had yoga scheduled this morning, and decided to have a smoothie for breakfast before I went.  This is hard to write about, because it just reminds me of the experience all over again but...I made a peach smoothie with this protein powder from the Vega One brand.  When I first started PINK last year, I occasionally used this brand and had no issue with it, then I bought a new tub in the fall after they apparently changed their formula.  The new formula made me pretty sick, throwing up and the works, so I stopped using it.

Last week when I was out shopping, I thought I would give Vega One another chance, thinking maybe that I got a bad tub of it.  This time I just bought a couple of individual packets in case I didn't like it, instead of spending money on a tub of it.

So the shake didn't taste very good to me, but I was hungry and choked it down so that I wouldn't be hungry during yoga.  I was sort of ok in class, though I felt really tired, and the room was flaming hot.  I got home and was sitting on the couch watching the Ravens/Colts game and just felt AWFUL.  My stomach was roiling, I felt hot and cold all at once.  It finally got to the point where I was like, I"m going to make myself throw up because I'd rather throw up than be dancing on the edge of throwing up, so I did.  5 minutes later I didn't have to make myself, I barely made it to the bathroom before I was heaving my guts up again.  For the next 4-5 hours I was in misery from both ends, and threw up every 30 minutes or so.  I can't even remember the last time I was that sick.

I finally was able to eat something around 3 pm, but God I feel awful.  My ribs, back, stomach and throat ache so bad.  I went online to see if this was a freak thing, or if other people had experienced issues with the Vega One powder.  Sure enough, there was story after story about people violently throwing up and having explosive diarrhea after making shakes with this powder.  Sounds like the company is not very responsive to complaints about it, but I guess it could be one of a few things.  An allergy to one of the types of algae they use (apparently 30% of the population has this allergy), Vitamin A poisoning, or an allergy to savi seed, which is one of the proteins they use.  Regardless, screw this product.  I would highly recommend NOT using it.  There are tons of complaints about this product out there, so I welcome you to do your own research.

My sad pathetic meal plan for today....please don't judge:

Breakfast:  Does it count if you threw it up?
Lunch:  Cup of wonton soup, a half cup of rice, tablespoon of butter, cup of orange chicken
Dinner:  Cup of rice,  tablespoon of butter, 3 TB of chocolate chips.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Four" The Win!

I had a great run today!!  I'd really just intended to do 3 miles, but ended up doing FOUR!  Not only that, but I usually have to take a walk break immediately after running the first mile, but this time, I was able to run 2.4 miles straight before taking a walk break.  One huge difference was that I wasn't going at too fast a pace.  Sometimes I tend to do that, and then I get super winded and have to take more walk breaks than I would like.  Physically I felt really good and had tons of energy.  It was SO cold though, and I forgot my gloves like a dummy, so I was pretty miserable for the first 1.5 miles until I really warmed up.

The only sort of negative thing was that I had my first dog encounter.  I guess these things are to be expected, and I'm sure I will have more, but it was definitely a nerve wracking moment.  I was running through a neighborhood and some guys were out working on their car, and had their blue heelerish type dog out there with them.  The dog wasn't leashed, and I could tell by the way it was staring me down that it wasn't digging me being that close to its yard.  I slowed down, and the dog charged towards me barking.  As hard as it was, I did was you're supposed to do and stopped in my tracks and stayed perfectly still, and was talking softly to the dog.  It stood there barking with its hackles up, and I averted my eyes so it wouldn't perceive me as a threat.  Finally its owner came over and started yelling at it, and it reluctantly came back to him.  The guy apologized to me profusely, when took my annoyance factor down a touch.  I have owned dogs all of my life, so I know it was just protecting its yard, plus I probably looked threatening jogging towards it.  I told him it was ok, nothing bad happened and the dog was protecting its yard, so no harm done.  I wasn't angry with the dog really, just kind of disappointed that some people don't realize the importance of leashing their dogs.  It also drove home the fact that I need to look into getting some kind of pepper spray or those shock knuckles for my runs.  I would be sad to ever have to hurt an animal, but I also would prefer to not be bitten.  It would also be a good insurance policy against creepers.


All in all it took me 50 minutes, so that breaks out to about an average pace of 12:50.  I would argue that I was probably faster, but that stupid ass dog caused me to stop for at least 30 seconds, and it wasn't like I made it a point to stop my Garmin during that lovely sphincter clenching moment.  On the bright side, my run burned 669 calories!

Today's Meal Plan:

Breakfast:  Sliced banana topped with homemade granola and Barney butter (679 calories)
Lunch:  Vegetarian Dal Stew (224 calories)
Dinner:  Carrot "Hot Dog" On Ezekiel bun and homemade baked french fries (675 calories)
Snack:  Almonds and chocolate chips (367 calories)

Breakfast and dinner are definitely hefty on the calorie side, but I am still below my macros for the day, and will net 1,276 calories.


Friday, January 4, 2013

A Quiet Friday

Yesterday's run was a good one even though it was really freaking cold and I had to run through sleet for about 5 minutes.  Nothing like the feeling of tiny shards of ice (aka glass) hitting your face when you're running, that's always good times!  It stopped pretty quickly though, and thankfully the rain held off until I was done.

Eating clean this week definitely helped my energy levels, and it was an entirely different run than the one on Tuesday.  I felt lighter and didn't have to take too many walk breaks at all, and also found myself able to have short bursts of speed at times.  I shortened my New Year's Day time by a whopping 67 seconds.  That was kind of disappointing because when I was running, I felt like I was flying.  Hopefully I can continue to improve my time, because it would be really nice to be able to knock out a quick 3 miles in like 30 minutes or less.


We were talking about going to a movie tonight, but I think we're just going to stay in and watch one of our Netflix instead.  Kind of a relief really, I like to be able to stick to a strict schedule without a bunch of outings when I am back in my fitness routine.  Going to the movies just makes me want to have a beer, which I want to avoid for the moment, and that would just make me sad!

Nothing terribly exciting for my meal plan today:

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with chocolate chips and walnuts (511 calories)
Lunch:  Vegetarian Dal Stew, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes (294 calories)
Dinner:  Baked mushrooms with cashew "cheese"  and a baked sweet potato with 5 spice (428 calories)
Snacks:  a banana, air popped popcorn with nutritional yeast (226 calories)

Since today is a rest day from exercise, I had to take more care with not going over my calorie limit.  This meal plan puts me right at 1,459. so that's right on target.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Living Fearlessly

I wanted to start out with a revelation I had yesterday, courtesy of the Half Size Me podcast.  I am catching up on episodes while I'm working, and something the podcast host Heather Robinson said in episode #42 really struck me.  She was talking about the fear/mental thing that happens when you are halfway or close to goal, and suddenly start to sabotage yourself and backslide into old habits.  She really breaks it down and put into words what I have been thinking and feeling inside, and didn't even know.

Basically the gist of what she said is that when we are at a certain point in our weight loss journey and can see the finish line in the horizon, we become scared to death of what lies in wait for us across that line.  We become afraid of what people will think of us, we are afraid of getting attention from people when we felt invisible before.  We are afraid of losing friends and loved ones due to the new lifestyle.  We are afraid and unsure of what kind of effort maintenance will be.  We think things like  "what if we have loose skin after I lose weight."  We think, what if I did all of this work busting my ass, and hate the end result of how we look?  We become intimidated by reaching big goals, and we become afraid of what else we could accomplish, and the attention that comes with that.

My pattern lately is to get to 219 pounds, right on the cusp of having a 30 pound loss from my starting weight of 245, and suddenly feel the need to stop exercising and start eating like a crazy person.  I ask myself WHY, why would I do this to myself when I want to be healthy and want to lose weight.  When I listened to this podcast and heard Heather say these things, it was like freaking A....this is EXACTLY what is wrong with me.  I so identify with all of those fears.  Yes I fear having loose skin, of working hard and still not being happy with how I look, with having eyes on me suddenly watching what I do.  Even being told that I inspire people to run scares the shit out of me, because I am thinking in my head "why the hell would you emulate anything I do!?"  When I read stats and see that people look at this blog scares me.  (BTW, lurkers feel free to comment, I promise I don't bite!)  It makes sense that getting to a certain point drives me to sabotage.  When I see a 219 or 217 on the scale, I do think "Wow I'm so close to being in the 100's".  And frankly that is scary.  I have not been there since I was in my very early 20's, I don't even remember what 100's feels like any more.  It's like, what does that look like, what will it feel like, what does it mean for me?  What if I work my ass off, make sacrifices, reach my goals and don't like the person that emerges?

It's hard to admit being scared, but, I am.  Now that I have a finger on what this is about, I think NOW I can move on.  I think I can move past that 219 and beyond now.

I really liked the way she ended the conversation about these fears.  Since Heather herself has lost 170 pounds, she knows what the journey is like, and she understands having these fears.  She said to think of it like the Wizard of Oz.  She said the fears are like this big booming voice that everyone is terrified of, but in the end you pull the curtain away only to find out the fear/voice is nothing but a small, shriveled man (and a creeper I might add...really dislike that movie).  So, my goal is now that I have recognized this intense fear to make sure I remember it when I get closer to goal, and to not give into it.  I want to remind myself that the fears I'm feeling have no weight (no pun intended), and that the reality is NOT scary at all.

_________________________________________________________________________________

On to today...I have a 3 mile run on the schedule, and lucky for me it's dry and not icy today!  It's colder than all get out, so it's going to be quite the chilly run!

My food today rang in at about 1,610 calories.  Not too worried about this, my goal every day is 1,470, so by the time I run tonight and burn around 400 calories, I will be at goal:

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with chocolate chips and walnuts
Lunch:  Vegetarian chili, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers
Dinner:  Baked portabella mushrooms with "cheese" made from nutritional yeast and a baked potato
Snacks:  Grapes, a banana, and air popped popcorn

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Clean

In "womp, womp" news today, my husband and I are back at work.  We really had such a fun time being off for Christmas and New Year's, but I guess all good things must come to an end.  It is good to see my coworkers, and at least the day has been pretty calm, so it's been good in that regard.

I ate clean yesterday and today, and that definitely feels good.  I think I am going to try to eat plant based for a couple of weeks, just to really clean out and get my head back in the right place.  It's not like I think meat is the enemy, but I really need to get some more fiber in my diet, and I also want to cut out dairy and gluten to see if that helps my digestive issues/energy levels.  Even before I went off the rails, I was indulging in treats too much, so I think it will be good to be clean and eat the bulk of my calories in veggies and plant proteins.  I started out the day with a really wonderful breakfast, oatmeal cooked in coconut milk and topped with 2 TB of chocolate chips, a TB of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of raw walnuts.


Doesn't that look divine?  That's because it was!  It kept me full until lunch, and I really enjoyed this combination, so it's going to remain in the rotation.


I brought leftovers for lunch, both recipes from my Hungry Hottie cookbook.  The top container is a veggie chili, and the bottom container is a salad that has broccoli, cauliflower, apples and other good stuff.  I ate the chili at lunch time and will be eating the salad later on as a snack. I have also had grapes, tomatoes, cucumber and an orange as snacks.  Dinner tonight is going to be a vegetarian dal with potatoes, lentils, and carrots.  Doesn't that sound like a ton of food?  And believe it or not, it only rings in at 1,472 calories.

Full disclosure, I love eating this way, but I have a bitch of a headache right now, and it's the same headache I always get when I shift my diet back to eating clean.  It's really awful, but there's not much to do other than keep trucking through it, since I know it will pass in a few days.

We are going to the gym tonight, which I"m sure will be apeshit with resolution peeps tonight.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do as a workout.  Technically it's a rest day from running, so I probably should do a brisk walk, but if I feel up to it, I will probably be doing the elliptical.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Slippery When Wet

Happy New Year!  We had a rip roaring time ringing in the new year last night.  We both sat on the couch, drank champagne, and I crocheted while we watched Return of the Jedi.  I know, we are both crazy people and probably should dial it back.  ;)

The partying, drinking and eating crappy has come to an end, and I started the first day of 2013 right, by going for a 3 mile run.  The fact that it was actually sunny and beautiful helped my motivation thankfully!  I knew that it was probably going to be a rough run since I haven't been consistent all through December, but I went into it deciding I would honor wherever my body was, and to not be too judgmental of how slow I was probably going to be.  It was also colder than hell, so I knew that was going to slow me down a bit.

So I set out and drove to a spot by our house that was a little nicer and actually has sidewalks to do my run. Right away when I got out of the car, I almost ate it in the parking lot due to a thin sheet of ice covering the asphalt.  My first thought was "Holy shit, I almost ate it in public", and the second was "I was just DRIVING on that."  All of that was followed by, "Well, this is going to be an interesting run!"  I did about a half mile walk to warm up through this quiet neighborhood that was on the way to the route I wanted to take.  Since the streets didn't have any sun hitting them, all the sidewalks were a sheet of ice, which really kind of sucked.  I was literally tip-toeing at certain points, and even that was questionable in points.  Luckily the spot where I wanted to start my run had the full sun blazing down on it, so the ice wasn't as much of an issue.  There were spots that were shaded where I literally had to slow down to almost a tip toe, so I definitely had to pay attention and be aware the entire run.

The run was about what I expected from a physical standpoint.  I felt clumsy, slow and HATED the first mile, as I typically do.  I did the first mile in about 12:30, which isn't exactly going to get me into the Olympic trials, but is also pretty good considering I hadn't run in a couple of weeks and I was dodging ice.  The next two miles were basically ok.  I overdressed for the run and didn't have on my wick away gear, so I was slightly uncomfortable in that regard.  Overall, I was pretty satisfied with how I felt, and finished in a little over 38 minutes.



 I will say that going for a run when the rest of the world is hungover totally rocks.  There was barely a soul to be seen, and those who were out there with me were also runners.  I really enjoyed being out in the sun, which we see so little of this time of year.  I was also amused by the antics of some of the birds I encountered on my walk.  There was a really beautiful woodpecker who was very annoyed by my presence.  He would fly to the tree ahead of me thinking that he was getting out of my way, only to have me continue forward, so he just kept one tree ahead of me for a good 5 minutes.  Finally he got wise and flew away entirely, chattering all the while.  Then I came upon a group of robins, which surprised me since it's January and FREEZING!  There were probably 5-6 of them, and they kept hopping ahead of me.  One finally flew in a tree above me and was giving me a very disapproving side eye for disturbing him:


Can you believe how blue that sky is by the way?  Definitely a nice treat, and a nice way to spend the first day of 2013.  :)