Monday, September 28, 2009

I may almost be a real vegetarian...

I'm at a training on the Champlain Islands in Vermont for the next 2 days and on the way up tonight, I stopped in Burlington for dinner (per recommendation of the organizers). Apparently, the villages on the Islands are pretty empty of dinner choices.

So, I looked up a few restaurants over the weekend with the thought that I'd be better prepared. I was. I found a wonderful place- Shanty on the Shore, serving up the best seafood in Burlington. I ordered shrimp and scallop gnocchi (the only two non-vegetarian fare I enjoy- and mainly so I can eat out restaurants) with sundried tomatoes (a favorite of mine). The dish looked great. I dived into the gnocchi- cooked to potato pasta perfection. I then continued to try a scallop- broiled, succulent. And then a shrimp- again broiled, not as succulent. I made it through one more scallop and one more shrimp before I began to gag. They were so fleshy, so meaty. Fishy.

I couldn't eat any more seafood. I nibbled on a couple of gnocchi and then seceded. My gut just couldn't take it.

This is not the first time I've experienced the seafood-squirm. After a few too many days of eating shrimp on our trip to GA I began to gag. Eating too large scallop. Too large shrimp. I'm better when I stick to the small ones.

Does this mean I'm going to have to give up seafood? Say bye-bye to shrimp and scallops- the last bastion and monument to my carnivorous days?

At this point, I'm not sure. But, I'm not thrilled with the idea of eating seafood again any time soon. I'll stick to soy.

Start as you mean to go on.

I was on a writing roll there for a few days, but unfortunately was sidetracked. Went to WW last week at lost 1.6lbs. Not too bad though I'd had a little up (1.4lbs over the 2 weeks prior). Still, this is a journey not a race.

I do have a race this weekend though- a 10k trail run in Lynn. Heather's going to run it with me. She was supposed to do a run-bike duathlon a the same location, but had a small incident with a razor this weekend resulting in stitches in her thumb. The doc said no biking for 10 days so the pressure of her hand on the handlebars doesn't rip out the stitches, but running is fine.

So after a slow start this morning (I slept in as am traveling to VT for work and apparently have "homework" for my conference tonight), I motivated myself to go for a 3 mile run. While I'd like to say the motivation came from race prep for this upcoming weekend- it didn't . Truthfully, my motivation was my Nike Run avatar (I call her mini-me). See I downloaded the Nike avatar screensaver to my laptop. It's a hoot. My little avatar pops up on the screen after a few minutes with one of two attitudes: "Yay I ran" or "Man I need to run". For the "Yay I ran" attitude she's jumping all around saying things like "This 3 mile run made me feel so good" or "I can conquer anything". But, when you're lazy for a couple of days out pops the "Man I need to run" 'tude. She sits around bemoaning life with comments like, "This lack of running is making me sluggish" or "I'd love to run, but my hands are tied".

And this little screensaver works for me. I want mini-me to be jumping around happy, excited, and proud of her exercise. So after waking up and playing with the dog, I clothed my ass in run gear and went out for a 3miler. It wasn't fast (10:40/mi avg pace) unlike my and Heather's Fri night 2 miler at a 9:48/mi avg pace. And today I was totally glad when I finished, but now sitting down to a hearty brunch (egg white, potatoes, and chikin patty- 5pts total!) I'm super pleased with myself.

And, the running gear is packed for (apparently) rainy VT, and I plan to sneak in 4-6miles over Tues and Weds, take Thurs off, run an easy 2 miler Fri, race the 6miler on Sat, and take Sun off. :)

So, onwards and upwards (at least in my mileage).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So we run...

and some days it's damned hard. Like today. That "easy 2 miler" I lightly quoted yesterday...yeah, it kicked my ass today. I managed no faster than a 10:53/mi pace (on my 4.25 miler I ran a 10:55/mil pace..with the extra miles added on).

Though I'm still running the distances I was earlier this summer, my pace has definitely suffered from my summer running vacation. I looked at my mileage on my Nike profile (find a link to it below) and realized that I ran only 2.9 miles for the entire month of August. Perhaps I'm making up for it by running two 10ks in October: the Down & Dirty 10k Trail Run (Oct 3rd by myself) and the Nike 10k Challenge (Oct 24th w/ Maureen). Now I'm on the lookout for November races to sign up for. I think it's keeps me moving better. Like today...

Nothing in my body wanted to run this morning. So I didn't. I laid in bed with a splitting headache and overslept. Nothing in my body wanted to run this afternoon. So I ran anyway. Why? Because this week I have to log a 1x4mi, 2x2mi, and 1x5mi runs (13 miles total). Why? Because I'm on a plan for the Oct 3rd race, in which I want to run well and not hurt myself. Also, I have to run more next week (1x4mi, 2 x 2mi, and 1x6mi runs - 14 miles total). And it increases from there. I'd like to get to 20mi/week on average, but am going to increase slowly, after the 10k/6mi, only by .5mi/week. I need no injuries!

Anyhow, I believe I may need to become a morning runner. This afternoon's run was hell. I hurt. It hurt. My mind wasn't in it and I was physically worn down from work stressors. I've been reading articles about when to run (Runners World, Running Times) and there's pluses and minuses to morning running. + It's done with. + You start the day focused on you. - More at risk of injury - I can't eat for an hour after waking due to my missing thyroid and replacement hormones = running on an empty stomach. Not good. I honestly think late morning would be best for me but who gets to go into work late that often? And, while I can mask a 2miler sweat, there's not hope for me after that. It's shower or bust, but my office is not equipped with a gym or shower facilities.

So, afternoon/evenings runs are supposedly the best for your body. You're physically geared up. But mentally? After a day at work I'm shot. Tired. No longer energized. Often feeling negative emotionally (read: mad, sad) or physically tired (read: been running around like crazy all day, or on my feet training) and it doesn't seem to translate well into a run.

I'm also into this idea of putting myself first: "get it on" style. There's something about fitting runs around my work schedule that gives work precedence. But I don't want work to be the defining piece of my life (though I do need to pay the bills).

So what to do? Well, at least I'm writing down the runs I want to do in my calendar, so I'm aware of them. I'm trying to x-out my "me time" in my calendar so that the runs have a place to live in my day-to-day.

And perhaps signing up for more races will help keep it at the forefront. Any one running a fun race in November?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And talking about dem' apples (an addendum)

I ran 4.25 miles this morning...and could've kept on going. Hell yeah! Bring on my easy 2miler tomorrow morning! :)

PS- I read in Runner's World this morning that for every 1lb you shed of excess weight that you can shave an average of 2.5secs off each mile you run. Another nice reason to lose another 10-20lbs...

How do you like dem' apples

1/2 pecks of gala apples were 77c/lb at Roche, so we had to get some. They looked delicious and there's something about the beginning of fall and bags of apples that go together.

And then there's baked apples. Or, specifically, baked apple treats. Really my relationship with apples is all about baked goods... or spicy mustard, good cheese, and crusty bread. Mmmmm. This is when I know I'm British- life still revolves around bread and cheese. Anyhow, today I'm home from work battling an on again-off again migraine-ish headache and have no desire to traipse my oversized rugby shirt-clad ass to the local cheese shop. So baked goods it is.

Here is my new recipe for apple streusel muffins (adapted from Elaine's Crunchy Apple Muffins, thank you Elaine!)

Apple Streusel Muffins
Makes 12; Approx 3 Weight Watchers points per muffin.

1 cup Quick Oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (sifted)
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup white sugar
2tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (tho next time I may use allspice for the nutmeg kick)
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp fat-free sour cream
2 tbsp butter
2 cups Gala apples (chopped)

Streusel topping
1/4 cup Quick Oats
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fat-free milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix.
3. Fold in apples. (I like to wait to cut the apples until after the dry and wet ingredients are mixed to prevent browning).
4. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups (I spray my muffin tins with canola oil spray to avoid sticking)
5. Mix ingredients for streusel topping in a small bowl. Spoon approx,. 1/2 tsp of streusel topping onto each muffin.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for approx. 20 minutes.
7. Enjoy :)

My partner rated these a 4 out of 5 (she suggested adding the allspice next time and I, after taste testing, concur). Otherwise, they're moist and yummy. A nice afternoon snack for hungry tummies who love baked apple goodies. And at 3 points a muffin, why not?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get it on...

The biggest woman ever weighed in on the biggest loser, Shay, just lost 17lbs her first week. Her weight loss represents a large chunk of the weight I have yet to lose. Shit...and Rebecca lost 18lbs. Okay, so I'm updating this in real time while watching the biggest loser. And I'm writing this entry because this first episode of the new season, along with my reflections in reading Runners' World's advice for fall running, has got me thinking.

I've been trying to live by the motto. "Do good enough". I like that motto, for work. But, it's not working for my personal weight/exercise life. I've been with Weight Watchers this year for about 33 weeks and I'm losing at an average of .7lbs/week. Which is decent and healthy. But it's slowing. This past week I put on 1.4lbs. And I know that up s and downs are a part of this journey. I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is how I'm feeling about this process right now.

I'm frustrated. I've seriously considered quitting WW. And why? Because I'm afraid of failing. I'm slowing down. I'm afraid of this end. That there won't be an end-that the end equals another journey.

So I've eaten whatever the hell I've wanted. I've lightened up on the exercise. I've given myself breaks. But though I've been conscious of my behavior I've continued to give myself hell- berated myself for my behavior. For slowing down. For putting on weight. But I've done this to myself.

Watching the Biggest Loser tonight I was taken back to 2005. Me at 248.6lbs. 5'5" and huge. Unable to breathe. Unable to walk without sweating. Desperate, depressed, and lonely. It was so easy to get there. Self-loathing, sad personal history, time to waste, feelings of helplessness, and food. Chinese food. Single serve store-bought cakes. Pie slices. 2 liters of wine on a Friday night watching TLC. 12 count chicken nuggets and large fries. No exercise. Depression. Vomiting. Self-loathing. Sadness. Personal history. Bulimia. Fear. Bad relationship- with myself and others. A spiral that was easy to go down and down and down.

I don't want to go there again- down that spiral. And I'm not ready to quit yet. This journey is not over- I know that. I've come far. Hell, at 169.4lbs this week I am still near that 80lb weight loss mark. That's huge. But I want more.... I want more. For me.

So, it's time to get it on... I'm gonna get this weight loss train racin' to that end. And I'm setting my goal at 148.6lbs. 100 lb loss. So it's about 21lbs to go.

And I'm gonna do it by shaking it up. Mind and matter have to go together. And right now, my mind's not playing with me. So I'm going to play with it. Shake it up. I've been "fitting in" exercise. "Fitting in" eating healthy to my nights out. This week we're going to turn it upside down. Get it on...

I'm gonna get it on in the morning. Exercise first. Day later.

I'm gonna get it on through the day. Eating well first. Treat later.

I'm gonna get it on... Love for me first. Others later.

I'm gonna get it on.

And at work, I'm gonna do good enough. Because I come first this game. And I'm gettin it on.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

it takes time...

I keep trying to remind myself- it takes time. And in between time I'm going to feel good, bad, ugly, and fantastic about it. This week it's ugly. At least, that's how I'm feeling about this whole program and where I'm in the middle of it.

8lbs to go until my first major goal...and I'm faltering. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. I want to say that it's pissing me off and firing me up, but really it's just making me tired. And confused.

Do I think too much? I try to keep up with all the talk of "living into it". Hell, I've posted the commentary on this blog. I'm not good with living into anything. When I move into a new apartment, I hang up pictures before the weekend is out. I like drawer dividers for cutlery and utensils. I make checklists. I count things constantly. I'm notorious for writing pre-vacation to-do lists a week in advance. Living in just hasn't been a practice of mine. Yet I want it to be...or think it has to be...or I'm just scared of committing and am looking for an out.

I am scared. Of losing weight. Of not losing weight. What happens when I get to "the end" of this journey (once I figure out what that end is). I'm afraid that I'll put on the weight again. I'm afraid I'll not be satisfied. That I'll realize how much I lost out on time and energy being fat and weighing in.

Mostly, I am afraid that if I set this goal that I won't make it. I don't want to fail on this. And yet, here I am, stalled. Feeling slightly addicted to sugar and hesitant. 8 lbs to my first major goal of160. 20lbs to the "final" at 148lbs. I think I'm not going to be happy until I hit 100lbs lost. I worry that it's crazy to say that. It shouldn't be about number of pounds lost, right? Am I thinking too much again?

I also want this to be over. I'm tired of counting points and going to WW meetings. 20lbs. Another 10-20 weeks. If I keep losing at the rate I am currently, closer to 20 weeks. 5 more months. That's a mid-January 2010 finish. Still 4 months before the wedding. Doable. Very doable.

So what to do? At work last week I tried to keep the motto- "do good enough" (not well enough because that's too grammatically correct!). Do good enough. How does that translate to WW? Tracking. Eating within my points range. Exercising. Going to the meetings. I can manage that.

Do good enough. Early bed. Early exercise. Good...enough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An addendum

I also did weigh in and lose .6lbs last night. So, I'm at 168lbs. See why an 8lb loss would be a nice round number for the Lose For Good campaign?!

How bad do I want it?

That's a darned good question. One I've been working through in my head all night. Apparently I don't want it badly enough to get up and run at 5:30am. This morning when my alarm went off at 5:20am I groaned, viewed the way-too-early-in-the-a.m. darkness, and hid under my pillow until 6:40am. Read: no morning workout.

I planned for the Tuesday a.m. workout on Monday. I stayed late at work Monday night so I could go in later this morning. I imagined a 6:45am wake-up, 7am run, 7:35am dog walk, shoer, breakfast, go. What happened? We received an emergency water pipe replacement notice last night when we arrived home at 8:30pm. No water running on 9/1 (today) between 7am-7pm. All showers must be complete by 7am. Well damn. Hence my lame attempt to rise at 5:30am while knowing I hate early morning exercise. Really, I'm no good at regular mornings.

So now I must leave work early enough to run before the first dinner date of the week (to which I'll have to go to sweaty). I'll take my gear to work, which will help and stop in JP on the way home to run around the lake. Good plan. The dog has the dog park today so I'm not as stressed about her getting a walk this evening- we'll play soccer instead.

With that conundrum solved, back to the first question. How bad do I want it? I want to hit goal. Which, we know I'm not sure the number of as yet. 150? 160? Whatever. Though it's tricky to drive toward nothing. But, I do want it. I want this to be the end to my WW losing career. I want to fit into my HOT wedding dress a little better. I want to lose 100lbs from my 248.6lb beginnings. I want to stop paying $40/month for meetings. I want my goal eight and maintenance key ring charms darn it.

So in the next 7 weeks, despite the most intense work and social schedules I've had in a while (read at least 2 BBQs, out-of-town friend dinner, a NYC trip, and long work days) I want to make a significant loss for the Lose For Good campaign. I'd like to hit an 8lb loss, my wise wise partner is encouraging me to shoot for 5lbs. So, the goal is a definite 5lbs off- 8lbs and I'll be ecstatic!

Now to pack for work-running gear, food, water. Go!