Friday, December 31, 2010

Thankful Thankful Thankful

I try to be a grateful person all year long, not just on Thanksgiving. I sometimes feel that if I start itemizing things and making lists of what I'm thankful for, I'll inevitably forget something that is really important.  It's kind of like the Oscar speech, you know?  In the rush to remember 100s of people who helped along the way, spouses get forgotten.  I'd hate to forget one of the most important things with all the itemization.  So instead, I just want to say I'm extremely grateful.  I love my family and friends and I am very lucky.  I am striving to live a life of gratitude and not take anything for granted.  That is what this year of change has been all about, to start fully living life instead of watching it pass by.  I'm thankful to have made these changes before it was too late.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just Drink More Water

I actually love water.  I must have water near me at all times.  I cannot stand being thirsty.  I actually get a little anxious if I forget my water bottle.  When I hear about people having trouble getting enough water because they don't like it, I cannot relate.  I prefer water over anything else!  Even coffee.  And I love me some coffee!

I do drink a lot of coffee.  I can drink coffee from morning to night without issue, especially in winter.  I usually have coffee before a shower in the morning; thank goodness for the Keurig!  I can also drink coffee right up until bedtime and have no trouble sleeping (except for the inevitable peeing).  I just love coffee; good, strong, black coffee.  I'm pretty sure that drinking a gallon of coffee per day is not a good idea.  5 to 6 cups can't be that bad, though.  But by always having water near me, I tend to drink less coffee automatically.  And that's easier than just trying to drink less.  I also have a rule that I can have no Diet Coke, another drink I love, until I've had at least 64 ounces of water.  My coworkers think I'm strange.

Some people say drinking water will help fill you up so you eat less.  That doesn't work for me, though.  Excuse me, but how does DRINKING a tasteless beverage make me want to EAT less yummy food???  Answer: it does not.  But drinking water does make me drink less of the other stuff that's maybe not as healthy if only for the fact that I can only drink so much in one day.  After all, I do not want to be up all night peeing.  Peeing in the night messes with my sleep!  And I love sleep more than water, coffee and Diet Coke combined!

What about you? Love water? Hate water?

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Redeeming Run

I am super happy to report that I ran today and not only that, I ran outside!! I completed 6.57 miles at an average pace of 11:06 per mile.  Woohoo! 

It was an icy run.  At first I was like a mouse in a maze, running down a road until encountering too much ice and having to turn back and go a different way.  It was a little frustrating.  But then I got out to the main road and it was much, much better.  It was another run where I went out without a plan other than to complete at least 3.1 miles.  And despite the 34 degee temperature it felt so good to be out there.  I felt great and so happy to not be on the treadmill.  It was also the middle of the day; I love vacation!

As for eating today, I stuck strictly to plan.  I predict the scale will go down tomorrow.  As for today, I report a 2.2 pound gain for the week.  Boo!

Simplifying and Minimizing Part 1

As we approach 2011, I have been thinking about the goals I'm setting for the year.  As I mentioned I am keeping things simple and not planning anything specific besides getting to goal and continuing to run.

I truly think our lives are too complicated.  For some, this helps them thrive.  Others get bogged down in the details.  And still others just adapt and go with the flow.  I am one that prefers the simple life.  I like technology, but I don't want it running my life.  I love my iPod and my computer, my iPhone and my Kindle.  I'm glad for things like Blogspot, email, and Facebook.  However, in the vein of simplifying, I'm wondering if it's all necessary. 

Mainly is Facebook necessary?  What do I use it for?  Let's see, I have 127 "friends".  Of those, about 3 are close friends I see regularly, 3 are family, about 35 are from a mommies group I joined when I was pregnant with my son, 12 are coworkers, and the rest are people from high school.  Over half are people from high school that I don't talk to regularly, don't correspond with ever, and wouldn't approach if I saw them in a store.  Yet, I still have them as "friends", still read about their lives and look at pictures of their families.  What for?

So I ask myself, is Facebook really necessary or is it just another time waster?  It's not as if I don't have better things to do.  I have a husband, a son, I love reading, I like blogging, I like emailing with friends.  I even like calling friends, but who has time for that what with all the other complications of life?  ha ha!  Does anyone else think things like email and Facebook enable us introverts to climb further into ourselves and become even more unsociable? 

Anyway, as part of my plans to simplify I have been thinking about dumping Facebook.  It's not as if I spend hours a day on there, but I have spent my fair share of time spying into other people's lives for no important reason.  Course I guess you could argue and say that's what blogging is too, well except for the "no important reason" part. ;-)  From reading blogs I feel like I actually gain something, lots of things, inspiration, motivation, good recipes, food ideas, product recommendations, all kinds of good stuff.  From Facebook I've gained hurt feelings, jealous thoughts, and irritation many times.  Sure, I've been able to keep up on the details of my coworker's baby who at 5 months old is still in the hospital, and I get to see pictures of actual friends and their families that I wouldn't ordinarily get to see, and I've also seen lots of cute videos of children and pets doing funny things.  But I can't figure out if that makes it worth it or not.  I'm actually leaning more towards not.

I'm not really looking for advice or even opinions, although if you want to share your thoughts, feel free.  I'm just voicing my thoughts on some more ideas for changes and improvements in 2011.  I absolutely love a new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Wrap Up

1. I ate too much.

2. I didn't exercise enough.

3. I'll keep moving forward.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's about 10:00 on Christmas Eve and I am ready for bed!  This is the traditional day we have our Christmas celebration and open gifts with my family.  We prefer to be home on Christmas morning so we open gifts with them on Christmas Eve.  And part of the celebration is, of course, food.  So to prepare myself I got my lazy butt up this morning to run at 6:30.  I was so proud to log 5 miles before the eating frenzy would begin. 

I wish I could say I did well with the food temptations, but I indulged in everything from bean dip to chips to carmel corn and pumpkin bread.  All of this for two meals this day, both lunch and dinner.  At one point I actually felt like I'd eaten too much and I hate that feeling.  But, it's just a day and I can move on.  I avoided the candy and cookies so I still consider the day a bit of a success.  We head back over there tomorrow afternoon, but I'm okay with more indulgences.  I feel confident that I'll jump right back on program come Sunday.

Super exciting event of the day, I am now the proud owner of one of these. 

So even though I avoided Christmas baking, I'm pretty sure there will be some New Year treats coming our way! 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To Tea or not to Tea

I have this dream of becoming a tea drinker.  I read about people enjoying their afternoon tea, or tea before bed.  I assume this is all of the herbal variety.  I have bought many different kinds of teas in my life and they all smell wonderful.  The problem is they all taste like ka-ka, or something like that.  Okay, usually it's they don't really taste at all.  I've added Splenda, Equal or even real sugar to the teas, and then they taste like sweetened water.  I've steeped tea longer thinking that was the problem, but still, it doesn't taste very good.

I love warm drinks in the cold winter months.  I drink a lot of coffee, I LOVE coffee and coffee drinks like lattes, but I think less caffeine in my anxious life is probably best.  So I should probably cut out coffee in the afternoon.  Instead, I'd like to drink tea yet I can't find one that I like.  I do like chai tea lattes, but not only do they have caffeine, they also come with milk and sugar which adds extra points.  I'd prefer a warm beverage that adds no points to my day, and I'd really prefer to not add any sweetener at all because Splenda gives me a headache and the unnaturalness of artificial sweeteners is kind of a turn off.  But adding a packet of Sugar in the Raw over a packet of artificial junk, even though it comes with points, is a better option.

So am I doomed to a life without tea?  Or is there a magical tea that I haven't tried that I might love?  So I'm putting it out too all of you, what kind of tea do you drink?  And do you drink it plain, or with sweetener? 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not Recommended

I tried something new today.  I didn't love it.  I don't recommend it.

I am currently listening to an audiobook.  I have a 35-45 minute commute to work and I am trying to get into the audiobook habit which makes me feel a little old, I must admit.  I found that I can download directly from the library using my iPhone (certain books, limited selections) which makes this practice fairly convenient.  I actually found a book that I am enjoying so tonight when I got home from work, I thought I'd try listening to it during my run.

Bee-oh-are-eye-en-gee, boring. 

After about 10 minutes, I was switching to my current running playlist instead.  But at least I tried it and now I know I need my music to keep me running. 

Speaking of running, it's a Tuesday again, missed Monday.  Oops.  And I have not found my treadmill stride.  I think I bounce too much up and down on the damn thing which makes my legs hurt and makes me feel more impact, if that makes sense.  When I'm outside I'm propelling myself forward, but on the treadmill I seem to be propelling myself up in the air.  I increased the speed a bit today which I think helped some, but I just didn't feel the natural rhythm that comes with a comfortable run. 

I am hoping for some nice weather in the coming days so I can get outside.  I'm on vacation until 1/3 starting this Friday which means I can run midday--perfect time of day, especially if I can get outside!!  Crossing fingers on this.

Speaking of crossing fingers, remember that other thing I was crossing them about?  Yeah, he didn't get selected, not even for an interview.  Stink!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week Starts on Monday

Hi everyone,

I have decided to change my weigh in day from Tuesday to Monday.  I had planned to change a while ago, but after WW launched their new plan, they weren't allowing changes for a couple weeks.  Today I was able to make the change on their system.

I was scared to weigh this morning based on the week I had, but it all seemed to turn out okay.  See for yourself.

It's funny how even though I logged a gain the prior to weeks, this week's weigh in brings me the message "you're losing too quickly."  A small glitch in the WW online tracking system.  I wonder how many people actually click that link under the question "How do I stop losing too fast?"  I'm pretty sure I never would.

Anyway, I lost what I gained over the past two weeks and another 1.2 pounds making my total loss 81 pounds.  I'll take it!  This gives me extra incentive to really "Toe the Line" all week, right through Christmas.  I logged a loss for Thanksgiving; can I do the same for Christmas?

19 pounds away from my goal now!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Toeing the Line but I Stubbed my Toe

I had grandiose plans of strictly following my plan this week and getting in all my runs.  The number one goal being to lose the weight I've gained the last two weeks.  I feeling like I started the week off great, but for some reason it's gone to hell the past few days.

All was going well until Thursday when I had Olive Garden for lunch.  I didn't do terribly, but I did eat both the bread sticks and I just didn't need those!  And then after I got home, I ate chips again.  No cheese this time, but chips nonetheless. 

Friday was going along great.  After my terrific run, I ate light and didn't overdo it on anything.  BUT then my husband and I had a date to go Christmas shopping which inevitably involved dinner out and bam! I ate too much.  Chips, salsa, cheese enchiladas, rice and beans!  Seriously, why couldn't I have at least ordered just one enchilada?!  And eaten less chips?!

Yesterday started out okay, but didn't turn out incredibly swell either.  I made lasagna for dinner and didn't go overboard, but I had 4 rolls with it and they all had butter.  Seriously!  Then last night I ate the real popcorn that I love at 11:00 at night!

Today I have plans to do better, and I have plans to run.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Wish me luck and willpower because I seem to need both these days.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Run Outside

I was so excited about my run yesterday I wanted to post right afterwards, but unfortunately I got involved with other activities and didn't get to it.  Some of the "high" has worn off, but I still wanted to post about it because it was really great.  It was my first outdoor run since November 20th!

The day started out lazy as Fridays tend to, but I finally got my arse out of bed.  I drank a bunch of coffee and then decided I would run outside in the sunshine.  The streets have been cleared of snow with the warmer temps so I felt confident that the ice danger would be low.

The sun was magnificent!  I actually felt warm, nothing cold except my nose, but luckily my neck gaitor works beautifully.  I wore two layers on my legs and three on my arms, plus a Bondi Band on my ears, gloves, and the neck gaitor.  It was the first time wearing my ugly new shoes outside and they performed great!  I have been enjoying the shoes and using them for every run.  My leg is not 100%, but it feels quite a bit better.

I was thinking this as I ran (it's kinda corny, but I wanted to share it anyway):

Today is about the run
And getting out to enjoy the sun
While my legs carry me
To the place where I feel free

Aside from the potty break at around 20 minutes, I stayed out for about an hour.  I completed a 5 minute warm up walk and then ran for 5 miles.  It was really awesome to feel the sun and breeze on my face.  There is nothing like it.  I didn't go out with a distance goal, or a pace goal, or any other goal except to run as far and as long as I could without freezing my tookus off.  And it ended up being one of my best runs to date.  Go figure!  I'll have to keep that in mind as I endure the treadmill in the coming days because today the snow came back, and the streets have turned white again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Slow Morning

Is it spring yet?  Seriously!  I don't want to wish the time away, but I'm ready to get outside and run!  This treadmill business is getting old.  I know I say she's becoming my friend, but sometimes my friends are boring, and she's a snoozer.  I think I need to try turning her away from the wall and towards the TV so I can channel surf or get lost in some sappy Lifetime movie.   What's another grease stain on the carpet if it keeps me running, right?  I probably should get a mat for the thing anyway; carpet fibers are probably embedded in the motor.

This morning I got up to run.  I wasn't planning to based on what time I went to bed, but when I woke up at 5:40 I thought why not.  My plan for the week had been morning runs on Monday through Friday, each 5K.  I missed Monday, ran after work on Tuesday, and I ran before work yesterday.  So today was the third run in a row, but only the second in the morning.  I give you these details as a preface for telling you I did not complete my run today.  I just wasn't feeling it and I was tired.  I completed my 5 minute warmup walk, then it turned into 6 minutes and I turned off the treadmill.  I decided to try a DVD.  That lasted for about 7 minutes and I couldn't get into it either.  I tried finding something to watch on Exercise TV, but the cable receiver wasn't working.  So I decided to go back to the treadmill since by then I felt more awake, but I only ran for 5 minutes, then I walked on an incline for 15, and then I called it a day.

And then I said to myself WTF?!

I have had terrible runs before, but this was different.  This just wasn't a run.  I didn't feel like I could do it today, didn't even want to do it.  It was too early, or I was too tired, or my legs didn't want to run three days in a row, or it was something else, or a combination of those things an more.  I don't know, but I'm moving on.  I'll see how I feel when I get home later tonight and maybe give it another whirl.  Or maybe I'll go to bed early and hope for a better outcome tomorrow.  Regardless, it's just another experience in my running life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Shall Hereby be Known as LoriV.

So as not to be confused with Lori, or Lori, or Lori, you know that person who commented on your blog or that other blogger Lori. 

V is the first letter of my last name or it can also stand for Victorious, Verbose, Vivacious, or Va-va-voom!


The Roller Coaster of Emotions has Left the Station

And I am on it.

As I have mentioned, my husband has been without a job for 15 months.  In many ways, this is has been a blessing.  The extra time he's been able to spend at home with our son has enabled me to focus a bit more on myself and make these changes in my health.  We have also not had to worry about childcare during this time which is a huge relief for this working mom, and my son has enjoyed having his dad home with him.  And besides all that, this extra time has also given my husband time in his life for reflection and introspection, as well as created an opportunity from him to finish up his degree.

On the flip side of all that is the lost income and the overall stress of the job search.  We all know this economy is not very good for job seekers (if you don't know, turn on CNN for 5 minutes).  In all this time, my husband has applied for nearly 200 jobs, some have been great opportunities, some have served only as a "contact" for his unemployment log.  None of them have led to employment, but they all provided a free trip on the Emotional Roller Coaster.   Will they call, or won't they?  Should he buy a new suit for the interview, or wear what he has?  Should he wear a tie, or go without.?  Will he get it, or won't he? 

This week the Coaster is climbing hills and making loops because last week he applied for another one of those positions that would be a great opportunity.  The pay is great, the benefits are great, the job description fits his experience, and the organization supports our community.  There have only been a handful of jobs that he's really WANTED and this is one of them; I want it for him too.  Could this be the place where our trip finally ends?  We are crossing our fingers, holding our thumbs, and praying that it is because we are beyond ready to disembark this Emotional Roller Coaster for good.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Blame the Chips!

I blame them because they couldn't be left alone.  They were screaming out to me:  put cheese on me, nuke me, eat me!  And I didn't refuse like I should have!

That was last night and today's weigh in finds me at 158.4!  I was looking at a loss this week until the chips.  Now I get to post a 1.2 pound gain.  It's not my fault, it was the chips!

I posted yesterday that the only thing harder than the last 20 pounds is the last 10.  I'm not sure if I made that up, or if I read it somewhere, but I believe it with my whole heart.  And it has nothing to do with your body or biology of any kind.  It's all mental.  The games, the tricks, the antics of the mind can be the biggest obstacle.  Isn't this true for most things?

I have lost (almost) 80 pounds.  It's been relatively easy, really.  It has taken motivation and drive, but otherwise it's been fairly simple.  Eat less, move more, yada yada yada.  Now that I'm within 20 pounds of my goal, things like chips calling out are harder to ignore when the mind is saying, "Oh, you can have that, it won't make too much of a difference.  You'll just run a little extra next time."  The problem is when "next time" never comes around. 

I missed my Monday run again!  For that one I have only myself to blame, although I try to blame my schedule.  "But, dearheart", my mind says, "you could have gotten up before work to get it done.  You suck!"  Let the self loathing commence.

Anyway, I'm not off track completely, and I'm not giving up in the slightest, but I know I've still got a long road with this last 5th of my weight loss journey.  Two weeks and two gains could be the recipe for disaster, but mark my words, I'll be a loser next week.  And not just because my mind tells me so.

Do Bloggers Owe You?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I love reading blogs.  First thing in the morning, I check the Reader app on my iPhone to see if any of my favorite bloggers have updated.  I love "hearing" from them and reading about their lives.  I feel invested in them, so to speak.

So when a blogger goes missing without word, or worse, leaves some cryptic message that they'll be absent while they deal with personal stuff, I get a little upset.  How dare they?  Here they've had me riveted to their thoughts for months and now they are leaving me to wonder and worry about what's happening with them.  Why the break?  What personal stuff?

It's probably not any of my business, except that they've made it my business by keeping a blog in the first place and asking me to follow it.  I wonder if I am alone in thinking that more explanation is due at times.

What do you think?  Do bloggers owe their readers in this way?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goals 2011

I've been having lots of fun thinking about my goals for the future with regard to weight loss, running, and other basic things in my life like budgeting, reading, scrapbooking, and shopping.  Well, I was trying to have fun, then the planning got in the way.  Read on.

The running goal has been foremost in my mind.  I've been thinking about weekly and annual mileage a lot, using a lot of math.  It goes something like this:

Okay, so if I run 15 miles a week for 52 weeks, that's 780 miles for the year.  Well, that's so close to 800 why not round it to 800?  But there's bound to be events, extra runs, and won't I want to run longer in the summer, at least once a week?  Okay, how about a goal of 850 miles for the year.  Okay, what if I want to run 1,000 miles in 2011?  1,000 seems like such a better number, a more impressive number.  So 1,000 miles for the year divided by 52 weeks means 19.23 miles a week.  That's doable isn't?  So at 4 runs a week, that's about 5 miles each time, or what if I increase to 5 runs a week, that's only about 4 miles each time.  And sometimes, especially in the summer, I hope I'll run 6-7 miles on Fridays, so that could back a couple runs back to 3 miles apiece. That's possible, then right?

Um, you see what I'm saying?  A lot of planning, a lot of numbers. 

Then, as I mentioned, I have been thinking whether to plan a half or full marathon for 2011.  Believe me I added in all that training mileage to my calculations too.

Then came the thoughts about my weight loss.  If I'm running more and training for a big distance run, what's that going to do to my eating plan and hunger?  I'm nearing the end of that journey with only 20 pounds to go.  I think the only thing harder than losing the last 20 pounds is losing the last 10.  That's encouraging, right?  Do I really want to be thinking about training for anything big when I still have this other journey to continue? 
After stressing (yes, stressing) about what to plan for the next year, I first remembered that setting goals is supposed to be exciting and fun, and second, I remembered one of my main goals for my life in general:   simplify

In other words, Keep it Simple, Stupid. (K.I.S.S.)

So here are my goals for 2011:

1. Reach my goal weight and learn about maintenance.
2. Keep running.

That's it.  That's what I'm focusing on.  I'm sure there will be running events in 2011, but right now I don't feel like any of them will involve the word "marathon."  I suppose I could change my mind, but with my focus being on reaching my goal weight and maintaining it, finding a fitness level that complements those efforts is best.  I will be happiest to keep running at a level that is both comfortable and fun and right now that doesn't include any specific training schedules.  I am getting to the point of being okay with it, but there's still that niggling feeling of needing that big event to feel good about myself.  I have had conversations with people that have or haven't completed their own distance runs. It always seems to come up, the question of whether I have my own marathon aspirations. Usually I say something like, "I'd like to, but I just don't know if I want to commit to the training, and I don't know if I would really like running that far for that long." Their response is inevitably something like, "You could do it."  And I think yeah, I could do it. Now I should do it, I guess I have to do it to prove that I can. Apparently if I'm a runner, I have to plan that next. In my heart, I guess I know it's not true, but it's that old mentality of never feeling good enough or satisfied with my own efforts. That must stop so I'm also making it one of my goals for the coming year. 

3. Become more satisfied with myself and my efforts.

This one will be harder to measure than the first two, but I'll know it if I've done it.  And if you stick with me, you'll probably know it too.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Honest Scrap Blog Award

Jessica over at See How She Runs passed on the Honest Scrap Blog Award to me.  Thank you.

I now must share 10 honest things about myself and then pass this award onto 4 other bloggers who have shown their honesty through their blogs.  (Note: I have taken a very long time to post about this as it was given to me on Nov. 18.)

1. I have three tattoos, one of which is on my left arm almost up to my shoulder.  I would get this tattoo removed if I had the money.  It's not that I don't like it, I actually still like the actual picture (it's a yin and yang with dolphins), it's just that having a tattoo on my arm is really not me.  I never go sleeveless except in a bathing suit (not often!) so no one ever gets to see the thing anyway.  Oh well, I was young once.  I like tattoos for the most part, when they are small and coverable.

2. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I currently work as an accountant in a law firm.  I have been in my job, or a variation of it, for 11 years.  I have worked in finance or some capacity of it for 16 years.  I enjoy it and I am completely loyal to my employer.  But, if I knew what I really wanted to do, and felt like spending the time and money finishing my BA degree (I have an AA), I would go for it.  Life is too short to not pursue your passions, if you know what they actually are.  Luckily, I'm happy enough in my job that if I have it until retirement, I'll be okay with it. 

3. I love reading.  I love getting caught up in a great book.  I actually feel bad for people who don't know the joy of reading and I am considering volunteering with an adult literacy program when my son gets older and I have more time.  I would also love to help children with reading.  I believe sharing my passion for reading with others would be an awesome way to "pay it forward".

4. I am afraid of going crazy.  Crazy people don't know they're crazy, right?  I am prone to depression and anxiety and I worry sometimes that I'll not snap out of it, that no amount of medication, therapy or exercise will help me.  How do people get so lost in it that they're driven to harm themselves or others?

5. I secretly wish I was a writer, but I have no skill.  I pretend to know how to form complete sentences on this blog.

6. I have an irrational fear of spiders.  I have had dreams about them.  I don't like seeing them or thinking about them.  And as much as I hate them, I can't kill them.  What if they touched me, or I heard them crunch?  Ick ick ick!  One time, when I was about 16 and visiting my mom in Seattle, a spider the size of a mouse came crawling into the room.  I stood on the chair for an hour until my mom got home to kill it for me.

7. I have an unhealthy addiction to all things Starbucks.  I love the drinks, the cups, the mugs, the bears, the logo, everything.  I have a bear collection, a city mug collection, and many, many of their other regular mugs.  If I told you how much money we spent this year at Starbucks, despite my husband being unemployed, you'd freak.  I'm freaking!

8. I am not sure if I believe in God yet or not.  I am exploring the possibilities and taking a spiritual journey.  I am enjoying what I am learning so far, but I have a lot of childhood baggage to get through.

9. I worry that my son will hate me for only having one child and that he'll grow up lonely.  My husband and I made a choice to have one child for various reasons, some of which I'll probably talk about on this blog someday.  I feel like I have enough with one child, but I still worry that I've made the wrong choice.

10. I have watched Legends of the Fall hundreds of times and I still wish for a different ending every time!

I am passing this blog award onto the following four people:

Ellen at  Fat Girl Wearing Thin (she has a really cute blog theme going on right now so go check it out!)
Stephanie at She's in There Somewhere
Katie at Finding the Thin Within
Lucy at Lucy's Journey

It's the Little Things

This week has been, how shall I say...terrible. 

Let's reflect:

I have logged my lowest mileage in months.

I have eaten over my points on two separate days including today.

I'm aware that it could have been much, much worse, and depending on my weigh in results Tuesday, it still could be. 

I am planning to get right back on track tomorrow and I guess I haven't eaten that much, but I feel sluggish and lazy.  I wish I would have run more, but I'm resting my leg.  That part feels like a good thing, but overall I miss the activity and stress reliever.  And stress?  Yep, I got it.

A major part of my week included being really busy at work and having to decide more about what not to get done than what to get done.  These kinds of work weeks always leave me feeling drained.  I've also been worrying because my husband still hasn't found a job after 15 months of unemployment.  I've been very good for all these months about looking at the positives in the situation, but overall it basically sucks and I'm ready to start saying it.  It sucks, it isn't fair, and it's driving us crazy! Something has gotta come along, doesn't it?!  It's about time for us to get a break!!

My son has been extra mouthy to me too all week, although he's probably just feeding off the stress I'm radiating.  I'm so thankful the weekend is here and I'll have time to reflect and plan and relax.  I'm glad there's nothing on the schedule except church and a soccer game on Sunday.  That means tomorrow will be free for journaling, Christmas cards, organizing, goal planning, scrapbooking, and spending time as a family--getting in a 5K too, of course.

I had planned to post about my 2011 goals this week, but lack of time and motivation deterred my efforts.   I apologize for that, to you and to myself.  I really wanted to put something in writing on this blog.  Oh well, there's always the weekend.

One good thing about my week was a visit to the doctor today for my annual physical.  My doctor congratulated me on losing weight and gave me all expected kind words, but that wasn't the good part.  The good part was that the gown FIT!  It not only closed in the back, even when I sat down, but there was plenty of extra room.  My visit to the doctor's office last year was humiliating and still fresh in my mind when I went in there today.  Last year the gown was too small, the drape seemed more like handkerchief and if that wasn't humiliating enough, the doctor felt the need to let me know that I was too heavy.  I always hate going to the doctor, but I can honestly say today's visit was the best one I've had in a long time.  And all because of a dumb gown. 

It's the little things.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The (Half) Marathon Question

I have been struggling for weeks with the whole (half) marathon bug; do I or don't I?  Don't I have to?  Shouldn't I want to?  If I'm a runner (and my blog name has the word run in it) shouldn't I be scheduling my first half or even full marathon right about now?  As I've been planning my 2011 goals, I've been mulling over these thoughts a lot. And struggling.  Because at the heart of it, I really don't want to plan a half or full marathon.  Gasp!  How can I not want that?  Surely that's what ever runner is supposed to want.

Emily over at The Front Burner posted about this very thing today, and I loved reading what she had to say!!  So much so, I am linking to her post because some of you might enjoy it too, especially if you're like me and feeling the (internal or external) pressure to plan a marathon (or half).  Hop on over to Emily's awesome blog and check it out.  In addition to the post mentioned, you'll find lots of good stuff over there about running, eating, and just plain ol' good living!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quick Check-In for Tuesday

I like to post my weigh in every Tuesday even if I don't get to brag about a loss.  So here I am to tell you I gained .2 last week!  I really don't know how.  It was my first week on the new WW plan and I did only run three times (13 miles).  I used all my weekly points and all but two of my activity points.  Clearly that is a combination for gaining.  Had my official weigh in been yesterday I could have posted a .4 loss, but as it happens, it's a .2 gain.  I can't beat myself because I didn't go off plan, I can only go forward and plan differently.  I think this week I will avoid using the activity points and see if that that helps.  I'll have to earn the activity points first, of course.  I have not run since Friday!  I do feel guilty about that and I am beating myself up over it, but I still don't think that is why I have a gain for the week.  I do plan to get in some running this week, but I'm trying to rest my knee for a few days.  For that reason, this week could be my lowest mileage yet.  Time will tell.

Like many of you, I'm working on my 2011 goals with regard to diet and exercise.  I've been thinking about mileage goals and distance goals, race goals and speed goals, and of course, weight goals.  Then I decided that I want simple attainable goals.  Nothing lofty or complicated.  I'll be sharing what I come up with later this week.

Re: Julie/Julia project. I'm still thinking about this. I think it would be so super fun, yet I can't come up with anything that interests me yet. I want it to be something unrelated to diet and exercise because I want it to be something more easily controlled, and most of all fun.  Here's some of my ideas:
  • Scrapbooking a certain number of pages in the year
  • Reading Jane Austen's classic books
  • Weekly cooking project
  • Picture a day
 Anyone else planning a project a la Julie/Julia?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Treadmill, Dreadmill, Shredmill: it's the Same Torture Mill

But, it's becoming a very dear friend.

Right now, our part of the country looks like this.

And, therefore, me and the Mill are becoming quite close.  My last run outside was on November 20th.  Since then, I have run my four weekly runs on the treadmill.  Do I love it?  Not so much.  But I feel very fortunate to have the option of just heading down to my basement for a run because I know many people aren't as lucky to have their own treadmill.  I also know that if I had to pack it up and head to a gym I probably wouldn't make it very often, especially when the roads are like this.

Sometimes, like yesterday, it's very hard to even drag myself to the basement.  School was cancelled due to snow which ruined the plans of spending time Christmas shopping for our child.  That meant the need to get up and out early was gone.  Once I finally managed to drag myself out of bed, it was 10:30!  I know, I know.  Then I relocated my lazy self to the couch where I settled in with the computer, TV and coffee.  A true recipe for laziness, but I did have some work to get done, after all, wasn't I justified?

Well, finally I mustered some energy to change into my workout clothes and headed downstairs about 12:30.  I'm proud to say I completed 5 miles on that damn Mill.  I changed things up by plugging my iPod into the stereo so I could go without headphones.   The difference in being completely untethered during the run was awesome.  I still used Nike+, I just set my iPhone on the console and let it keep track of my distance.  It really was a small change, but it ewas enough of one to take away the hum-drums I've been feeling about the Mill.

Unfortunately, I am still having issues with my knee.  This morning when I got up I could barely walk down the stairs.  I cannot even express how discouraging that is.  I'm wondering if I should take some time off from running, but I really don't want to.  I'm actually really scared to.  Scared I'll lose momentum and motivation, and endurance.  It seems like you lose stamina so quickly.  I don't know what to do yet.  For sure I'll be postponing my weekend run until at least tomorrow and then we'll see.

Anyway, today we're decorating our house for Christmas. I absolutely love Christmas, it's my favorite time of year.  I love the festivities, the decorations, and the giving spirit in the air.  It definitely makes dealing with this a little easier! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Things Change and Some Stay the Same

First things first, today's weigh in:  157.0!  That is a 2.4 pound loss for the week, a week that inlcuded Thanksgiving!!  My total loss is now 79.8 pounds, and I am 20.2 pounds from my goal.  Yay me!

I mentioned yesterday that with the changes to the Weight Watchers plan the amount of WWPP allowed each day/week has increased from the old Points Plan.  I don't want to give the values of all foods, but I would like to spotlight a few things.

My favorite breakfast, an english muffin with peanut butter was formerly 4 Points; it is now 7 WWPP.  With a banana added, it was 6 Points, now it is 7 WWP.  I love that comparison!

Raw almonds, my afternoon snack of choice, was 2 Points and it's also 2 WWPP.

My beloved Chobani yogurt was 3 Points and it is 3 WWPP.

A grande skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks was 3 Points and it's also 3 WWPP.

A grande nonfat chai tea latte from Starbucks was 4 Points and it's now 6 WWPP (the sugar [carbs] increase the WWPP).

Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup = 2 Points and 3 WWPP.

So that gives you an idea of the changes.  It's clear that eating the healther stuff is better.  Now, given that I'm a human Points calculator I will still be figuring Points and monitoring exactly how many WWPP I'm eating versus how much it'd be worth using Points.  I want to know if the new plan is helping me or hindering me.  I'm really excited to find out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weight Watchers: A New Beginning

I am really, really excited about the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus Plan, (hereinafter referred to as WWPP).  Anyway, I love what I have read so far about this plan!  I was so excited to get up and read all about it this morning!  I would like to share it all with you, however, I truly feel that it's not okay to give away the Weight Watchers program for free.  For this reason, I'm only going to share the highlights as they pertain to me.

Basically, the scoop is this: Points used to be calculated using the calories, fat and fiber of all foods; WWPP are calculated using the carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber--no calories.  The only obstacle with this is that I have been calculating Points using the cal/fat/fiber method for so long, I can do it in my head, but with WWPP I'll have to relearn the values for everything.  I'm up for the challenge and luckily the updated iPhone application was available tonight which gives me all I need for on the go calculations.

Another big change is to the number of daily WWPP and weekly points which have both increased.  At first glance that sounds awesome, except that the WWPP value of most foods is higher than the old Points value.  So I believe it will even out.

The biggest change, and the most exciting one, is the one I predicted: fresh fruits are now worth zero WWPP!!  This is awesome.  I love eating fruit and will happily reach for fruit over other snacks if they are free.  Bananas were always 2 Points because of their sugar content and now they are free!  Splendid!  That seems almost too good to be true, however, I think the extra fruit consumption will also be accounted for in the increased "cost" of most of the other foods.

Overall, it's a bit daunting to think about learning a whole new plan, but in a way it feels like a fresh start to me.  I'm fine with kissing the old Points plan good bye.  It's changed a bit through the years, but the program always worked well and I became a Lifetime Member of WW by counting Points.  I have lost nearly 80 pounds this year by counting Points, but now I embrace the WWPP plan as something different and exciting, a new beginning.  I think it makes perfect sense to leave the calories out of the equation and use more of the nutrients in the food to calculate their value.  It all will help promote the benefits of eating more whole, fresh foods as opposed to processed garbage like 100 calorie packs. It's a great change for Weight Watchers because unfortunately some people do get stuck in 100-calorieville and never see the big picture of eating healthy, balanced foods/meals.  For example, now someone can eat a 100 calorie pack of Chex Mix for 3 WWPP, or a banana and an apple for zero WWPP!

I do have one concern and that is that some folks are bound to go overboard with fruit.  I sincerely do not think a lot of fruit is bad for you in moderation; WW does recommend to stop eating when you're satisfied, but sadly some people cannot recognize that sensation in their bodies.   I wonder how people will adapt to this part of the plan.  I remember when the Points plan first came around, the Points value could be calculated on foods using fiber up to 11 grams which significantly lowers the Points value of foods high in fiber--I heard people at meetings talking about eating Fiber One by the boxful.  The problem was people weren't losing enough weight and WW made a change and limited the fiber to 4 grams.  I wonder if in a year or so they'll decide all fruits must be counted in some way.  Only time will tell.   Don't ruin it for us, people!  Just kidding!

Anyway, as I said I am excited for the WWPP and overall I think the changes are awesome.  This old dog is ready to learn some new tricks!  I thought it would be a great time to change my weigh in day to Monday and start a new week in conjunction with the new program.  Unfortunately, they aren't allowing changes to your weigh in day for a couple weeks.  Oh well, tomorrow will be here soon enough, and Tuesday has always been my weigh in day; I became a Lifetime Member on a Tuesday.   So let's hear it for Tuesdays!  And Weight Watchers!

And fruit!

Weight Watchers PointPlus Plan and Points are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International Inc.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Stuff

It seems unfair that tomorrow is already Monday.  I am not ready to say good-bye to the weekend.  I'm just not.

For those that asked, the movie yesterday "Love and Other Drugs" was only so-so.  Had I not gone with my husband, I might have watched it in a different frame of mind, you know, drooling over Jake and such.  And I was wondering too much about whether he was hating it, or thinking it was too sappy, which kind of kept my mind halfway away from the movie itself.  So, it was okay, not the worst movie, not the best.  I'll see it again on DVD without my husband just to see it with a different perspective.

Yesterday I also watched the movie "Julie & Julia".  I hadn't heard much good about the movie so I waited until it was on Starz to watch it.  I shouldn't have waited; I really liked it!  I loved the concept of her blog and undertaking the year long project.  Of course it was totally awesome that it all led to a book deal and whatnot, but mainly it got me to thinking about whether I could plan a year long project for 2011 and blog about it. That's kind of what I've been doing with this blog in 2010, but I'm thinking of something unrelated to a running or weight loss goal.  Something fun and different.  I don't know what it would be, but I'm considering my options.

I got some major organizing done this weekend.  I cleaned and straightened out all my kitchen drawers and organized two cupboards.  I am an organizing junkie and I don't like when things are just thrown into cupboards and drawers all willy-nilly.  I also don't like having things around that I don't use.  So I sorted all the plastic containers and lids to make sure there was one lid per container, and I got rid of some utensils and other things that I never use.  Purging feels great to me!

I also went through all my scrapbooking paper and most of the embellishments.  I now have a stack of paper nearly a foot tall that I plan to give to a crafty mom or some other scrapbooker who will use it.  Papers I bought when I first started scrapbooking no longer fit my tastes so there's no point in keeping it all around.  I also sorted through some pictures and organized my scrap room/office.  It's all leading up to rediscovering the joy of scrapbooking.  I just have to know where to begin and that starts with knowing what supplies I have.  I am planning a project which involves transferring many, many photos from an old album of my dad's into a new scrapbook.  This needs to be done by Christmas when my grandma will be in town so she can help me with labels.  I will start this week!

Changing my exercise routine in November/December is not going to happen.  There's too many things going on to make big changes like that, I've decided.  And beating myself up for not making planned changes leads to no good.  For that reason, I am committed to running 4 times a week through December and not worrying about adding in strength training or anything else.  I'll run when I can, but I'm not planning to get up and do it before work.  I think spring would be an awesome time to switch to morning workouts, but fall/winter is not appealing.  And that is okay.

I put off my weekend run until 5:00 pm tonight!  And I can tell you that wasn't really smart, but at least I got it done.  I have rested my knee since Thursday's Turkey Trot and it felt pretty good today.  I ran slow, but I got 4 miles done.  So far so good on my new shoes.  My eating has been on track since Thursday.  I did eat a bunch of popcorn yesterday, but I didn't eat a lot of other things due to my headache.  Today I stayed within my points range and ran for 6 extra points!  So I'm feeling like I'll see a loss on the scale this week and I can't wait.

Finally, one final point for this Sunday.  I'm super excited about the new Weight Watchers plan to be unveiled tomorrow!  I really hope I can read about it while enjoying my morning coffee.  Every change that has come about from WW over the years has been wonderful and I've no doubt these changes will be good.  The teaser email mentioned changing the way we think about fruits and veggies.  Do you think that means fruit will count less, or veggies will count more?  I can't imagine that it would be the latter.  And not counting fruit would be a huge deal since I'm already a little loose with the counting of fruit anyway.  After all, as I heard a WW leader say one time, "The fruit isn't the problem, it's the fruit pie."  I count the points on fruit, but I usually don't measure it, I just guesstimate, and I've never counted an apple for more than one point regardless of its size.  Anyway, I'm anxious to see the changes and will be really interested in reading what other bloggers think about it as the week goes by.

Enough rambling for this Sunday.  I'm ready for bed.  Good night!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lazy Saturday

It is snowing, snowing, snowing here in the Pacific Northwest!  I don't know how many inches we have, but it's a lot.  Perhaps I should turn on the news and find out, it looks like almost 2 feet of accumulation to me.  I can't believe a week ago I was running outside, seems surreal, kinda.

We are going to venture out into the snow a bit later today.  I'm dragging my husband to see "Love and other Drugs" and then we need a few essentials from the grocery store.  I'll need to have extra hands to carry since we won't be pushing any carts out to the car today.  My son is at his grandparents so we'll take advantage of being "kid free" for a few hours, otherwise I wouldn't want to go anywhere near the white stuff.  I am so not a winter person.  I'll admit, it's beautiful outside right now, so fluffy and white, but it really makes driving the pits, especially with my long commute.  Oh well, no work until Monday so I'll worry about it then.

Our Thanksgiving was great.  We spent the day with family since our travel plans were cancelled and it was very relaxing.  I successfully said no to the cheesecake and yes to the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cooked carrots, broccoli, green bean casserole, a roll with butter, olives, and pasta.  I will say I had decent sized portions (mainly because the size of the plate was limiting), but I also had seconds of a few items.  And I'm okay with all of it.  Like many have said the past few days, it's just a meal and I'm right back on track.

Somehow I forgot to weigh on Thanksgiving, and for the sake of self preservation, I didn't weigh the day after or even today.  I can tell the sodium consumption is effecting me just by how my rings are fitting; I don't need the blatant reminder from the scale.

Today I have a four mile run planned.  However, I am tired and somewhat groggy.  I have been battling sinus issues for a couple days complete with an icky headache.  I can't seem to get my butt off the couch and down to the treadmill.  It will be okay if I put it off until tomorrow, but I'll give it a bit longer before I decide--that's the beauty of weekends.  I can really capitalize on my laziness!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Turkey Trot was fabulous!!  I ran my fastest 5K (on the treadmill) this morning at 31:13!  Woot woot!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here I am before the run.

And here I am after!  Blurry!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, the smell of pumpkin cheesecake was drifting about!  (I know that doesn't exactly rhyme.)

Oh. My. Goodness.  I want to eat it!  Remember what I said before, about how I dream of not politely declining the dessert, but eating it and enjoying it and not feeling guilty?  Sadly, it's not going to be tomorrow.  And I made the dessert!  I love, love, love pumpkin cheesecake, more even than regular cheesecake--at least in October, November and December--and I have one cooling on the counter right now.  I took some pictures earlier so I could share the wonder that is pumpkin cheesecake.  Sorry, they turned out a little dark.

Here is the yummy graham cracker and chopped pecan crust!

 Three 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla--yum!

 Added the eggs, so creamy.

 Add the pumpkin and more sugar after...

You reserve some of the plain batter so you can make a swirl.

 Mix, mix, mix.

The finished product.  See the swirl?  That's the reason for the reserved batter.  It's so pretty and easy, but looks extravagant! 
(Clearly I am not a food blogger.) 

So while I will not be indulging in the deliciousness of my cheesecake, I will be eating stuffing and mashed potatoes and this pasta dish I have decided to add to our Thanksgiving tradition, just for my son!  So, I'm choosing what to indulge in and what to forgo.  As a consolation, I plan to mix pumpkin and yummy spices into my morning oatmeal!

Our Thanksgiving travel plans were cancelled, so sad.  We have a tradition of spending Thanksgiving with some good friends, but this year the weather is keeping us home.  Stink!  At least we have family here to spend the day with and I still don't have to cook, well except for the cheesecake and pasta dish.  I know it will be a great day, but I will still miss our friends.

I will be running my Turkey Trot tomorrow morning and I can't wait. Today's run was really, really great! I ran 4 miles and my knee felt great! There was residual pain, but I did not feel like I was continuing to put stress on it with each step as I had before. That is awesome! And my knee has continued to feel great all day, no ice even! And I stood on my feet for two hours in the kitchen without issue! So I might even try for a fast 5K tomorrow, we'll see.  I'll be back tomorrow to share my results.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am very thankful this year, for so many things that I can't begin to list them!  But I must mention this blog as being very high on that list.  I love having this outlet for myself and knowing there are some of you reading really makes me feel proud.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

The Running Shoe Diaries: More New Shoes

Monday I had a pretty terrific run.  Since I was working at home, I ran on my lunch "hour" which was a great time of day.  I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn and exercise before my morning coffee, and I didn't have to drive home in the dark, make dinner, and then reach for my exercise clothes instead of pajamas.  I'd say lunchtime would be the ideal workout time if I could make it happen regularly.  Sadly, it can't, but I'll take advantage when I can.

I ran 4 miles on Monday.  I have decided to continue running 4 days a week for now, but instead of three 5K runs and one 5-6 mile run, I'm going to run 4 miles on each run.  4 miles is a great distance.  It's longer than a 5K which makes me feel a little more accomplished, and it's shorter than 5-6 miles which means less time I'll have to spend on the treadmill at one time.  This plan actually ups my mileage to 16 miles per week.  But learning from experience, I am not making any long term plans, I'm just going to take one week at a time.

Yesterday I bought new running shoes.  I know what you're thinking, I'm thinking it too.  And I don't have a response except to say that today I went to the running shoe store.  I talked to them at length.  I let them watch me stand like a flamingo on one foot, I let them watch me run down the hall.  I pretty much hated it.  BUT I decided that I am not looking for purple shoes; I am not looking for Nikes; I am not even looking for cute.  What I am looking for is something that will help me run without pain. And they recommended (just like the doctor) stability shoes and I ended up buying a perfectly hideous pair of Adidas Supernovas Sequence 3*.  They are white, silver and blue.  I showed them to my son and he said, "But you don't wear blue shoes."  Right.  Except I am now willing to wear any color or style of shoes if they correct the pains.  The shin/knee pain I went to the doctor for is better.  But the other knee pain (that was faint before) has gotten worse and worse, and as a bonus my other shin has started hurting.  I tried to ignore it, but today I could barely walk normally and stairs were incredibly painful.  WTF?!  Sorry, I'm just frustrated.

So anyway, I bought these hideous shoes with money I don't have, all the while feeling dismayed, defeated and depressed.  I tried them out on a 2 mile run/walk last night, but there was so much pain in my knee that it was hard to tell how they felt.   Today I have 4 miles planned so I have iced last night, and I won't walk much on it today, and will ice again shortly.  I'm working from home again so I'll be able to run at lunch.   I will take it slow and easy and stop if I need to.  I am crossing my fingers for improvement. It already feels better this morning than it did yesterday.

I have these shoes for up to 14 days in order to try them out.  If they don't help, my next pair will be Brooks, and after that it will be Asics.  I'm in for the long haul.  I am not ready to try custom orthotics since the doctor said he thought I'd get the most benefit from stability shoes.  At that point, I just didn't want to have to buy a new pair of shoes!  Argh!  I guess I'll be listing some "practically new" shoes on eBay soon so I can afford to pay for these new ones!

*Just my personal opinion, of course.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The One and Only Drawback of Being Thinner

I'm freezing!

We are experiencing cold weather right now. Our fall has been unusually cold on the whole, but this week includes snow and now frigid temperatures.  Right now it's 0 degrees with a low of -15 expected overnight! Tomorrow will be bitterly cold too!

And I am freezing! My feet are cold, my arms are cold, everything is cold. I have lost my insulation and that is awesome, but I'm also freezing all the time. Prior to these low temps I was cold, but now I'm just freezing!  I wear long sleeves and flannel to bed, and I actually wrap up in a blanket before getting under the covers.  It's crazy!  Brrrr!!

Of course, I'll take freezing over obesity anyday. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Can't Let the Darkness Derail Me!

So the time change...yeah, not a fan.  I am lucky in that I do not have to be to work at the crack of dawn so when I drive to work it is light out.  But when I leave work it is not.  I drive 30-40 minutes home in the darkness and when I get there it feels like bedtime.  It's not, of course.  There is dinner to make, dishes to wash, family to spend time with, a workout, shower, TV/computer time, and then bedtime.  Unfortunately, it has become very difficult to force myself to get in my runs.  And those Jillian DVDs I'd planned?  Nonexistent.  Argh!!

Winters are hard for me, always have been.  I am so much more unmotivated and prone to napping.  You could say I usually hibernate in the winter.  But that's the old me.  The new me has workouts on the schedule, dammit!

I thought changing my workouts to the morning would help.  Get up, get it done.  But apparently I can't make the change from sleeping until 7:00 or 8:00 to getting up at 5:00 and immediately donning my workout clothes let alone actually working out at that hour.  Perhaps I should start slower, like actually getting up at the same time everyday and getting out the door to work.  That would be a major accomplishment in itself.  Or maybe 6:00 would be a better time to aim for.  I don't know what's going to work, but clearly what I have tried isn't so far.

This is a struggle for me.  I spend so much time beating myself up over not getting up and getting it done when I had planned to that my day usually starts out for sh!t.  I tell myself I'll never regret getting up and doing it, yet that statement holds no water in the wee hours of the morning darkness. 

I will find my groove, I hope.  One day at a time.  Today I am working at home which gives me ample opportunity to get in a run.  This week requires extra exercise, doesn't it?  I don't *plan* to go overboard on Thanksgiving, but I do plan to enjoy myself without tracking.  Unfortunately I also enjoyed myself without tracking over the weekend.  Not that I went overboard too much; the worst thing I had was full butter microwave popcorn.  Sometimes we just need a weekend off.  But it's right back on the bandwagon today.  Counting and running.  This is my life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Trot Plans

I was looking for a Turkey Trot event in my area, but there aren't any so I am glad to have found that A Journey to Thin is hosting one online.  I'm joining this event and you can too.  Make sure you check it out!

Jessica's Gifts Giveaway

Stephanie Anne over at Running to Health is hosting a giveaway for a necklace from Jessica's Gifts.  Hop on over to her blog for all the details on how to win this adorable necklace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jingle Bell Run AND Walk

Yesterday I headed down with my family to pick up my race packet for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk.  I had already decided I wasn't going to do the actual event, but I wanted my shirt!  But as we were driving downtown, I started feeling guilty for not completing it just because it was going to be cold.  I asked my son if he wanted to complete a 5K with me. "You get a shirt" I said.  "How long is a 5K?" he wanted to know.  I said it was longer than the 2 mile walk we completed in June, but not much longer.  "Okay."  He was in!  We picked up my bib and shirt and got my son registered (with a late fee).  Unfortunately, they didn't have anymore shirts, but they gave us a ticket to pick one up at the race or have one ordered, depending on supplies.  That was a bit of a bummer, but what are you gonna do?  Luckily he didn't change his mind about the event and back out on me!

I'm proud to say my son and I completed the 5K in 52:23.  We stayed fairly warm except our legs were a little frozen, the temperature was hovering around 30 degrees.  We basically walked the whole way, but it's okay (his running training begins soon--ha ha!)  I was very glad and excited to have my son with me.  It was a fun event, lots of costumes and bells.  Everyone was given bells for their shoes and lots of people were adorned with much larger, louder bells.  Here we are before we left the house.

My son did end up getting a shirt, however, instead of waiting to have one mailed he opted for the adult medium which is the same size as mine.  It's a little big on him.  I'm excited about the shirt, the long sleeve style is great and I love the artwork!!  Here we are modeling after we came home.

Since the event became a Jingle Bell 5K Walk, I still had a run to complete when I got home.  So I headed out (with another layer on my legs) and ran a 5K.  Here I am after my Jingle Bell Run--note the Bondi Band for the occasion.

All in all, I'd say it was a fabulously successful day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another Thursday Run

Unlike last Thursday's run, this Thursday's run sucked! 

I decided to omit the music and watch a movie instead.  My treadmill has a built in television which I never use.  I thought focusing on something other than the red wall in front of me might take my mind off the run and make the time go faster.

It did not.

It might have been my choice of movie: Serendipity. 

It might have been the time of my run: 8:00 PM

Regardless, it was a not a good run.  I planned 5 miles but barely made it 4. 

Some runs are just like that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Hodge-Podge of Thoughts Before Bed

I looked back at my weight log and noticed that I entered the 160s back on August 19!  That means it took me almost three months to lose the last 10 pounds!!  No wonder it seemed like the 150s were elusive.  I know, I know, a loss is a loss and at least I'm sticking with it.  But aren't we all itching to get there fast? 

I have about 23 pounds left to lose until I reach my goal and if it takes me a half a year to do it....well, I'm not sure how I could stick to it.  I want to get to the next phase; don't we all?  So I'm taking a look at my eating, my points allowance, my exercise plan, and my soul in order to figure out how I can get this these pounds moving a bit faster.  What am I willing to change?


Tonight we went to Disney on Ice.  I actually thought we were done with those shows, that my son wasn't interested, but he asked if we could go so I obliged.  I am sad to report that I think it was probably our last year.  It's so not the same when your child isn't mesmerized by the show.  In past years, it was so fun to watch him get excited about the sights and sounds; this year he was more interested in playing with my iPhone than anything else. 

I'm okay with my son growing up.  I don't get teary over the inevitable transition from childhood into adolescence and young adulthood, etc.  But occasionally I get a little melancholy over the years that have already past.  They go so quickly, don't they?  (Unless you're dieting, that makes things slow down a little. ha ha)


I heard today that Trader Joe's is coming to my little town in 2011!!  This is so exciting to me.  I have only been there once, but I picked up some of the best stuff--some healthy, some not so healthy (cough cough, mini peanut butter cups, cough).  I can't wait to have access to their healthy options whenever I want.  Now we just need to get a Whole Foods!


I have been reading a bit and listening to podcasts about building on your strengths.  Have you ever heard of a speaker by the name of Marcus Buckingham?  He is phenomenal and makes so much sense.  He defines strengths as not just what you're good at, but as something that makes you feel strong.  Sure, you're probably good at it too, but doing it also makes you feel energized and alive.  I'm thinking about this with regard to my job and my responsibilities at home.  There are many things I do that make me feel strong and there are some that make me feel weak, drained, and depleted.   I am asking myself what changes I can make so that more of my time is spent playing to my strengths.  I'm still in the listing stage, but I'm excited about the prospects. 


I am making a commitment to getting some scrapbooking done this weekend.  I love scrapbooking, but I have not been very active with it for quite awhile.  I made a page completion goal earlier in the year and I am far from achieving it.  I need to get back to it because I know how enjoyable it is.  I have so many supplies that I either need to use up or get rid of.  I think I'd rather use them up although digital scrapbooking holds an allure that it never did before.  Making my blog header felt like scrapbooking and it was so fun!  So this weekend, I will scrap!


I will not be doing the 5K event this weekend.  Well, I'll be doing a 5K on my treadmill, but not outside at the official event.  It is going to be too cold for me!   But I'm still hoping for Friday's 5 mile run to be outside.


I missed my run today, and I ate 3 ounces of corn chips.  Hey, at least I measured them, right?  I will make it up tomorrow.  And with that I must get to bed.

Night night.

Thank You!

This is a great community!  I'm still fairly new here and I already feel the love and support that goes around the blogging community.  Bare with me as I still don't know what I'm doing most of the time.  :)  Thanks for coming by and leaving comments.  I really appreciate it!

Thanks to Rae's suggestion for, I have made a new blog header.  Well, it's more like a blog page as it's fairly large, but I'm pretty proud of myself.  Stop by and see it if you have time.  :)

Again, thank you for all the comments and support.  You're all great!

Yummy Food Finds

For every one new thing I've tried that I haven't liked, there are at least two or three things I've tried which are great!  I'll share a few with you.  Maybe you'll find something new you've not tried before.  Enjoy!

Bananas in oatmeal
Unlike the FAIL combo of nut butter in oatmeal, I do love to add banana to oatmeal.  I hesitated to try this combo because I didn't think I would like to have warm bananas.  I'm picky with my bananas and feel like they have one day of perfect edibility.  If they are past their prime, they seem like warm mooshy messes.  That's what I thought it would be like in a bowl of hot oatmeal, but I was wrong, it's sooooo tasty!  So far I only slice them and do not stir or mash them into the oatmeal, but I'm willing to give that a try sometime soon.

Bananas with peanut butter
I've heard about this combination many times and though it sounded good, I never tried it. Man was I wasting time. I like just a banana with peanut butter, or even better, an English muffin with peanut butter, topped with banana. Or a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It's all luscious goodness.  Provided the bananas are at their prime edibility stage.

Whole wheat pasta
Pasta is my favorite thing in the whole wide world.  I can eat pasta all by itself, with butter, with cheese (preferred), with sauce, with salt, with, with, with pretty much anything.  I have tried whole wheat pasta a few times in the past and was less than impressed.  Well, it's all about a frame of mind, I think.  When you're eating anything and everything, whole wheat pasta is kind of blah.  When you're eating healthy and counting points, whole wheat pasta is yahoo, more pasta for less points!  So yeah, I am eating and liking whole wheat pasta now.
Greek yogurt
I posted about this before.  I have tried a few brands and can most definitely recommend Chobani as my favorite!  I have not tried Fage which I see mentioned a lot, but I've tried other "fake Greeks".  Chobani is rich and creamy and I love that it's nonfat.  There are a few low fat options, but my stores don't seem to carry those.  I keep hoping Chobani picks me to review their yogurt--I could use a free case of it, ha ha.  Anyway, I buy Chobani at Costco which gives you the most value for your dollar, otherwise it's not the most economical yogurt.  But it's so chalked full of protein that I am a forever convert.  (Although I still occasionally eat Yoplait or Dannon regular non-Greek yogurt.)

Raw Almonds
Yep, plain, not roasted, not salted, just raw almonds.  I love these for an afternoon snack.  I always measure them out (12= 2pts), never sneaking extra because I know they can pack on the calories right quick.  I even like them chopped and added to oatmeal for extra crunch.  Yum!

Sandwich Thins
I love bread.  Bread is my drug!  I could eat only bread for every meal.  And this is why the sandwich thins are great.  They are enough bread to make a sandwich (see bananas and peanut butter), while not adding too many calories to each meal.  Beware, though, on WW they are only 1 point, but if you eat two, they are 3.5 points!  I have only tried Oroweat (Arnold for some of you) but I know there are other brands.  Oroweat has I think four varieties, whole wheat, multi-grain, honey wheat, and whole grain white.  I love them all!  They also work great for hamburgers or my preferred Gardenburgers.

Mini Baby Bel Cheese
These little wax encased jobbies are so tasty.  I love string cheese and always have, but the Baby Bels are different enough to make it seem like you're eating fancy cheese.  I love to slice them up and serve them with some Triscuit Thins.  I'm also planning to try a grilled cheese made with a sandwich thin and a Baby Bel.  But mostly I just eat them straight out of the fridge.  Small bites, mmmmm.

Wheat Berries
I have only made these once, but they are very yummy. They take awhile to prepare, about an hour, but once they are made you can store them for a couple days, if you can keep your hands out of them. I think they are great to just grab a handful or sprinkle on salad, kind of like sunflower seeds. They are nutty and chewy and just overall tasty. I'm itching to use them in a salad recipe I saw over the weekend.

Are any of these things on your meal plan?  What foods do you think are the yummiest?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Need Blog Header

I've been fiddling with my blog look again tonight.  I have made it much cleaner while still showcasing the purple that I love!  What I need now is a blog header.  How do I make one of these cute things?  I don't want anything too complicated, just a pic or a two, and some fancy font.  Any suggestions?  Are there programs for this?  Or maybe my best option is to pay someone to design it for me?  Thanks in advance!

Surprising Food Disappointments

As I find more and more "healthy living" blogs, I find more and more foods I think sound yummy and want to try.  Many of them turn out great, some turn out to be surprising disappointments.  Today I thought I would share some of those disappointments.

Steel cut oats
First, let me say I love oatmeal.  It is yummy, creamy, and comforting goodness.  I like quick cooking oats, regular rolled oats, and those little packets of cinnamon flavorted Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal.  In my prior life, I also consumed the regular pure sugar flavored packets of instant Quaker oatmeal, but I'm pretty sure those hold no nutritional value for me now or ever again.  Anyway, given my oatmeal repertoire, I felt sure that steel cut oats would be my next love.  I'm sad to say I was wrong.  I have tried these things a number of ways and I just can't get them to a point of tasting good.  First, the cooking process is long, which is fine and I was prepared for the time.  However, I wasn't prepared for the mess of them boiling over if you cover the pan, or the disgusting dried ring of yuck around the edge of the pan that forms when you do not cover them.  Ucky ucky ucky!  In serving these I have tried adding healthful things like fruit, nuts, almond milk, milk, evaporated cane juice, bananas, and even nut butters (see next paragraph).  I mean, steel cut oats are not the worst thing in the world, but they are not good enough to add to my pantry for good.  I like to keep things simple, so I'll stick to my Quaker rolled oats for now.

Nut butter in oatmeal, steel cut or rolled or otherwise
I love nut butters!  Peanut butter is my favorite, but I also like almond butter on occasion.  I thought for sure adding either of these to my oatmeal would make for nut buttery goodness.  Wrong!  This combination seems not to be for me.  I think it's because while I like PB or AB on toast or a toasted English muffin, I do not like either of them HOT and they get hot in a bowl of hot oatmeal.  I still look at bloggers' pictures of a bowl of oatmeal topped with nut butter and think dang, that looks good, but for some reason looks aren't everything.

Butternut squash
I thought this was something I really liked.  Loved, no, but liked, yes.  I had it at a friend's house one time and it was so yummy.  I realize now the yumminess was from the butter and brown sugar that was added.  I have been wanting to try roasted butternut squash, butternut squash risotto, and all other kinds of things involving this squash.  Sadly, when I roasted it, the smell was so much like squash I almost gagged and then the taste of it was pure SQUASH.  Ew, icky.  Bummer, I don't like squash.

Roasted chick peas
Another thing I read about on other blogs and was anxious to try was roasted chick peas.  Now, mind you, I only tried these once but once was probably enough for this lifetime.  I do love a good garbanzo bean, in minestrone, on salads, even plain, but the roasted variety just didn't cut the mustard.  I was expecting something like a roasted nut, but what I got was a roasted bean.  Blech! 

So there you have it.  Just a few things that I'll not be adding to my food plan.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on Yummy Food Finds. 

What have you tried lately that you thought would be awesome but turned out to be icky?

I See the 5!

Yesterday I posted about the elusive 150s, today I entered the 150s!!  Yahoo! 

Today's weight: 159.6 lbs

Total loss: 77.2 lbs

Total lbs to go:  22.8!  That sounds like nothing at all.

Here's to another great week!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Elusive 150s and Running Thoughts

I am dying to see a 5 in the middle of my weight number, but I just can't seem to break into the 150s yet.  The scale said 162 this morning.  I had a fairly good weekend eating-wise and I logged all those miles between Wednesday and Sunday so I feel really good about my efforts.  I just need to stay focused and keep plugging away.  We'll see what tomorrow's official weigh in brings.

I checked the weekend forecast and the weather is set to get colder and colder with snow and rain and high temps in the mid-30s.  That's entirely too cold for this warm-blooded runner.  Still on the fence about the event because I'm already registered, however, the registration fee is actually a donation for arthritis research so all is not lost.  Plus, I can pick up my race shirt on Friday, it's not a finisher's shirt.  Would it be cheating if I picked up the shirt on Friday and then ran my 5k Saturday morning in my toasty basement on the treadmill?  After all, I registered for the race as a way to stay accountable and keep going.  A run is a run, I say.

I wanted to add more about my friend and her 5k.  For some reason after I posted yesterday I started feeling guilty, thinking that it might have sounded like I think she can't be faster than me.  That's not it at all.  We have run together a few times and I always feel like I'm struggling to keep up with her...she's very fit.  That was my motivation for wanting to run a 5k with a similar time.  I wish she was coming to visit this weekend to run the race with me.  I know she'd push me to be faster and achieve a better time.

But it's not all about the run times.

I like knowing that I am capable of running a sub 10:00 minute mile.  I like knowing I might even be able to run a 32:00 5k next time, at least on a treadmill.  But for my everyday runs, I'm okay being slower than that.  Slower feels better on my legs, my lungs, and my knees.  I asked myself last night whether I'd rather be able to log a sub-30 minute 5k, or run 10 miles without stopping to walk.  I know it doesn't have to be either-or, and that both things are achievable, but if I had to choose, I'd go for the 10 miles.  You see, for me, being able to run longer distances feels like more of an accomplishment than running faster.  That is why I run mostly for distance instead of time.  When I plan a run, it's either 5k, 4 miles, 5 miles, or 10k.  I like the feeling of accomplishment from setting a distance goal and then running that distance.  It feels more complete than running for a specific amount of time. 

Now, should I decided next year to tackle that half marathon, I might possibly switch back to running for time.  I followed the Couch to 5K program using the specified run/walk times, and many of the half marathon training schedules are based on adding a little time to each long run.  Two of my coworkers (a marathoner and half-marathoner) successfully follow this method and swear by it.  When it comes to running 90+ minutes, they say it is easier to add 5 or 10 minutes each week because some days you run faster, some days you run slower.  A timed run has a finite end in sight.  That all makes perfect sense to me, although adding a half mile or mile each week seems perfectly doable as well.

For now, I'm sticking to 10K and under and I'll keep running for distance.  Not sure when I'll make the decision about a half.  Definitely not before January, though it always seems to be knocking around in the back of my mind.

What do you run for, time or distance?  Why?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fastest 5K, Fastest Mile

My friend texted me yesterday that she ran a Turkey Trot 5K in 32:30!  We ran one together back in August and neither of us were that fast, although close.  I have been running a lot this year compared to her; she runs 5Ks or 30 min, does yoga, goes hiking, all kind of active things.  Oh, and she also completed a 10K on 10/10/10!  Me,  I just run.  Not to discount her activities at all, but I'm thinking that with all the running I'm doing, I should be able to run as fast, shouldn't I? Hearing of her time yesterday felt kind of like a challenge.  Could I run a 5K in 32:30?

Today I planned a 5K, just a regular day on the treadmill.  But about 10 minutes in I decided to try and match her time, or even beat it.  I'm happy to report that I got the exact same time!!  And that's actually weird because of how much I varied the speed on this run.  I started at a regular pace, so I had to really kick it into high gear at the end.  I started at 5.2 on the treadmill and ended at 6.5.  For me, that's fast!  So my finish time was 32:30 and I recorded my fastest mile to date which was 9:52!  I finally exceeded my goal of 10 minutes a mile.  I guess the easy paces of this past week were a good lead in to today's run.

This coming weekend I have a scheduled 5K event which I have been waffling about.  Do I or don't I?  I'm still not sure because if it's cruddy weather, I'd rather skip it than take the risk of getting sick right before Thanksgiving.  But if I end up doing it, I now have a time to aim for.  Can I do that outside?  In the cold?  I guess we'll see.  Regardless, kudos to my friend on such a great time yesterday and challenging me to keep going.  I'm now more on the "do" side for the event on 11/20 thanks to her!

Here's me after my run.  I was tired, couldn't even smile.  My dark shirt doesn't show the sweat as much as a light shirt would, but trust me, I was drenched!