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Day Two: Second 5k Race! May 30, 2009

Now that I’m on the SECOND day of this challenge, I am seeing that every day will be different (profound realization, huh?). I can already tell you that yesterday was the day I didn’t hit the mark on the water, and today is the day I am not going to hit the mark on the fruits and vegies. I had about 8 blueberries in a little cup o yogurt they handed out after the race, and that is going to be it for today. Such is life.

So today was the See Jane Run 5k! This was a whole different experience because I was there with both of my daughters, two of my friends and also had a Twitter meetup with Twitter friend @pubsgal!

We got up early to get a spot in the parking lot. This race was right along the shoreline, so was both very beautiful and very COLD. The fog was in, and it was chilly. (still foggy even now in the afternoon) Then we stood in line for the bathroom (looooong line). They had a stage set up and after the half-marathoners took off (which gave me chills) they did a ten minute warmup with some goofy teachers in leg warmers and 70’s gear. Very cute. It did warm me up, but it was kind of distracting and it was not the same as doing a brisk walk/run warmup like I did last time. So we went over to the starting line, and one of my daughters ran into a friend, and with all the socializing, it just STARTED and I did not feel quite prepared.

I felt like this race was going much more quickly than the last one. Was it me? Was it the crowd? I don’t know, but in the first mile I felt like I was really struggling. I was really labored in my breathing, and I just felt like.. wow, I was going too fast or something. But I didn’t know how to slow down. (does that sound dumb?) It felt like everyone on the course was passing me. I felt a little panicked. I had told my friend M, whom I always run with, that I couldn’t talk during this race and I was going to use my iPod music to pace with (which I never do when I run with her). She was cool with that.

After passing the one mile mark I started feeling a little bit better. I wasn’t aching or hurting, and I didn’t feel like it was such a struggle. The turnaround point was about a mile and a half.  Then we started seeing the first people coming back toward us. That was pretty cool, and inspiring. I saw my friend K, who is DAMN FAST.  A little bit later, I saw my older girl. She looked great. I felt the best around the turnaround, and for the last 3/4 mile before we got to the finish.  When the finish line was in sight, I started flagging (again).  My friend M wanted to sprint to the end. I tried. We ran fast for about 50 yards? and then she took off right at the finish. I was… wow, I was pooped. As I ran past my mom I heard her say to my husband, “She’s limping.” Was I? My left calf was pretty sore.

I got through the finish line and was happy that my time was somewhere around 37 minutes, which was at least two and a half minutes faster than the first race I did a month ago. It might have been a few seconds less or more.

The thing is, if you keep running FASTER every time, it never feels any easier. I guess I am glad I beat my time by so much. But it wasn’t easy.

Next time I am going to be sure to do a BIG walking/running warmup before the race starts. I realize I really need that, and that it just feels bad to start out cold.

ANyway, it was cool to get a medal, and a champagne glass, and chocolate. I got an ice pack for my leg. We had some yogurt and blueberries and granola. It was nice to walk around with @Pubsgal.

Since I’ve been home though, my stomach has been kind of upset and delicate. I’m totally wiped out (AGAIN). I had to get up to drive one of my daughters to a friend’s house, and it just about did me in. I’m in bed again. And I can’t deal with the idea of eating any fruits or vegies. No fiber, please! I’m going to try out this allegedly very low carb Dreamfields pasta for dinner tonight.  Linguine with clam sauce. I don’t think I can cope with salad though.

It surprises me that a 36 minute run should affect me so intensely. It really knocked me out. I don’t know if it is the diabetes, just general conditioning, pushing harder than usual, adrenaline or WHAT, but I feel pretty much flattened. I am very very happy I did it, and it was fun, but the aftermath is kinda rough.

 

Day One of Healthy Challenge: How’s It Going? May 29, 2009

I’m so excited! Today is day one of the Fabfatties’ Healthy Challenge! And I’m really excited because I know that I personally recruited many people to join in. I was surprised that a few people that I asked really hesitated, saying it was too much of a commitment, or too much time, or something. My feeling about that is that there’s no rule that says you have to do every single thing on the challenge. Even if you make ONE change, and get some points for that, it’s a great step in the right direction.

It’s so funny how our minds work, isn’t it? Now this challenge contains so many things that are already a part of WW or other plans, and yet for some reason they feel brand new because it’s a new and different context, and people are all excited about it, and Tweeting it, and it’s like, WOW, drinking water! Food journal! when it’s stuff that is certainly not new to me.

I am really eager to know how everyone is doing with this so far. Which parts of the challenge are super easy? (for me, it’s not drinking soda- I don’t anyway- but I know that others are really grappling with this big time) Which ones are hard?

Please check in here and let’s give each other support, suggestions, tips and kudos!

I knew right off what my hardest points would be: drinking water, and eating a healthy breakfast. In fact, I just ate my breakfast a few minutes ago. It’s 11:30am. Does that count as breakfast? Or did I skip breakfast and just eat breakfast food for an early lunch? (ha) I did get some points for the fruit/vegi category. My “breakfast” was some nonfat Fage yogurt with big fat blueberries, some walnuts and a drizzle of agave syrup. VERY YUM.

I exercised for 90 minutes today. Since I have my 5k race tomorrow morning, my trainer wanted to take it easy so we did no cardio- just a lot of strengthening and stretching. My right hip is giving me issues. I had to roll it out on a hard basketball, then a tennis balll, for quite a bit, and it really hurt. But I think I loosened it up a bit.

I drank 8 oz of water after my workout. I know this water thing is going to be challenging, partly because I don’t believe in it. I just read this last week in Mindful Eating and it made me laugh but I also agree with it:

In the last decade, there has been an epidemic of mind-induced thirst. ….Modern Americans feel compelled to carry around a water bottle at all times and sip from it frequently, much like a baby bottle, no matter where they are. This fetish began with a medical report stating that humans should drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Tea and coffee didn’t count since they are diuretics. Your cells were crying out for water. Fearing death by dehydration (HA!) Americans began carrying glasses of water around. Product development departments noted, and responded quickly, spawning two huge new industries: bottled water and water bottles.

People now bring personal water bottles (everywhere), including into meditation halls. Apparently they are unable to endure various bodily sensations that they interpret as “dehydration” and cannot sit for sixty minutes without a drink. All the liquid that goes in must come out. People pop up and down to the bathroom like grasshoppers (LOL).

A few years ago a corrective report came out, announcing that people had misinterpreted the first report. Humans do need a total of 64 ounces of liquid a day, but it does not have to be drunk from a glass. It actually could ALL COME FROM FOOD, and tea and coffee counted! Studies showed that caffeinated beverages did not deplete the body’s liquids after all.

Why, in the midst of this epidemic of grownups toting and nursing from water bottles has no one asked how our grandparents, and the entire human race for tens of thousands of years escaped mass annihilation by dehydration? Our modern minds believed what magazines told us and overrode the wisdom in our bodies.

In other words, you don’t need to drink extra water unless you are THIRSTY. The only times I am actually thirsty are: 1) right after I exercise; and 2) when I eat very spicy food. Other than that, I do not really ever feel the need to drink.  So this 64 oz. thing is sort of annoying me but I am going to give it a shot and see what happens.

Other than that, things are going okay so far. I’ve checked off exercise, breakfast (even though it’s late). I’m tracking my food. Trying to come up with a good deed.

 

Feeling Healthily Competitive? Join Me In This Challenge! May 26, 2009

Wow. The FabFatties have done it again – they’ve set up a HUGE challenge for the next two weeks. It involves doing many, many great things to boost one’s health.  I was so excited when I saw this because truly, that is what has done it for me these past months, doing LOTS of different things, all which benefit my health and weight loss efforts.  One of the ways to win points in this challenge is to recruit others to do it too, so that is what I am doing right now – I am asking all of my readers to join me!! Come on, come on, I get a whopping 25 points for every recruit!!

These are the things that we are being challenged to do: (the intials afterward are my own abbreviations for the challenge, which I’ve used in my handy-dandy Challenge Worksheet -if you join up I will email you one!)

*Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily- 5 points (F/V)
*Drink 8 glasses of water a day- 8 points (8W)
*Exercise- 1 point per minute (EX)
*Do a random good deed- 5 points (GD)
*Stop drinking soda pop for a day- 1 point (NS)
*Actually read someone else’s blog post and leave a comment- 1 point (RB)
* Answer Fab Fatties random bonus questions about us- 5 points (FF)-Bonus questions will be posted daily on our blog.
* Recommend 2 fabulous friends from twitter and tell us why we should follow them- 2 points (TW)
* Eat a healthy breakfast-1 point (HB)
* Lose weight- 1 point per pound (LW)
* Keep a food journal for the day- 5 points per day (FJ)
* Take a walk during your lunch break- 5 points (WK)
* Have a friend join this challenge- 25 points per friend-make sure your friend tells us you recruited them! (RF)

So as I said, I’ve made up a handy-dandy tracking worksheet so you can track all of your points each day. I am gunning to do EVERY SINGLE challenge point, every day. (except maybe the lose-weight one, not sure I can (or should) do that every day.)

In order to sign up, you must email the FabFatties here,  on or before 12:00 a.m. MST Thursday May 28th 2009. You must send them your name, Twitter name if applicable, and your blog or website URL (if applicable; it’s not necessary). Also, tell them that Foodie McBody sent you!!!!! So I can get credit! :-)

And LET ME KNOW (in comments on this post) if you are doing it. Also send ME your email address if you want the unofficial FabFatties Challenge Tracking Worksheet! It will help you keep track of all the amazing things you are doing for your health.

Here’s to some HEALTHY COMPETITION! Let the challenge begin!!!!!!!!!

 

And the Winners are…! May 25, 2009

Filed under: giveaway,good things,health,writing — Susan @ 9:25 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The day has finally arrived and I am announcing the winners to my Laptop Bag Giveaway Contest! This was a wonderful contest to read and I really enjoyed and appreciated everyone’s answers. These were the five that really shone for me. I chose five semi-finalists and then could really not pick ONE from there, so I went to the Random Thingy Chooser (yes, that is really the name of it!) Read down to the bottom to see whom it chose.

dscn2636-thumbBut the four semi-finalists will all receive a prize: this incredibly cool and perfect “Foodie” jewelry charm (can be either a charm or necklace) made by the artistic father of Mara, the blogger at I Made Dinner!!  (Mara is going to get her own Special Prize for helping out with this) Is that not PERFECT? (the crossed utensils over the laptop keyboard??)

So….. drum roll please!! Here are my five finalists.  You can see their complete posts here, but here are some excerpts.

  • Lavagal made me laugh out loud with her post.  Weight Watchers has taught me that journaling is the most honest you can be with yourself. As a result, I blog about my WW progress (lavagal.wordpress.com). For every day that I work out at 24Hour Fitness I tweet my calories, strides, miles, and minutes along with two photos: the first at the start of my workout, the second at the end…Believe me. I eat like a cow so I have to work like an ass, LOL! I love to cook and eat, but I also like to paddle out on my surfboard and wait my turn in the lineup. I’m 50. I still have plenty of waves to catch. Rather than look like a manatee in the lineup, I want to be the chick who’s still hip!
  • Bwjen is another bookworm and English teacher, and she created the inspiring TweetWalker Clubhouse for the benefit of walkers and runners. I have been using twitter and blogging to stay motivated and accountable. I tweet constantly with fellow walkers. I came up with the virtual walking club The TweetWalker ClubHouse where currently me and 15 other walkers blog about our walks. We are a source of inspiration, motivation, support and encouragement for each other. We have each set goals and are walking away our extra pounds.
  • JaimeH is also using blogging, twittering and online communities to help her with her diabetes. I found tudiabetes.com, twitter and started journaling once again. I’ve always known about diabetic communities online but not until I fully engaged in the DOC (diabetic online community) did I realize how much I really needed them. Through writing and connecting with these fabulous people I started to put myself back on my priority list. Out of the 12yrs with diabetes I always took it very seriously and kept my #’s pretty much where they should be…that year I stopped caring was the worst A1c I’ve ever had. These people I started communicating with made me feel like I was not alone in my battle. Not only diabetics but other people on twitter that are living a healthy lifestyle. Even through the internet you could feel their kindness and they are always there to cheer me on when I need it the most. Since then I have become an online admin for tudiabetes & the socal ambassador.
  • ShariMacD is a writer/editor who has found a more personal (and healthy) way to use writing. I’m an editor and writer, but I’ve resisted personal journal writing for years – thinking that it was a waste of writing time because I wasn’t producing something for public consumption. I recently started journaling as a way to help deal with some personal issues, and that has serendipitously coincided with my beginning a new phase of healthy eating/healthy living. Where I’d failed hundreds (thousands?) of times before at weight loss and healthy living attempts, this time around I’m finding it much easier to eat well and get my body moving. I believe this is because I’m journaling, which I’ve found to be a tremendously powerful form of self-care. By journaling, I’m allowing myself to feel what I feel, on the page. To process my life via words, instead of running from it by comforting myself with food. When I’m upset or stressed now, the first thing I think of is grabbing my journal, not grabbing a package of mini chocolate donuts.
  • knk had the most quoteable quote of all. blogging helps me get out what food helps me stuff in. emotions, thoughts, issues, concerns, dreams, fears. and the daily struggle to balance child, career, home, and me– that stuff only gets done by writing/blogging. otherwise, it sits, festers, infects me– takes over my subconscious until i’m doing things i don’t want to do. writing is a way to cleanse my soul, process my emotions, and find the energy to clear a path to a healthier happier life, even if its obscured. it bring me clarity and serves as a conscience. the words bear witness and keep me honest. they provide solace and comfort. writing allows me to listen without responding and gives me time and space to clear away the layers until i am sure of myself again and can face the challenges of weight loss, food demons, and personal growth.

So…. the moment is here! and the Random Thingy Chooser has chosen… JaimeH!

Congratulations, Jaime! You have won the laptop bag! Please email me your snail-mail address, and I will send it out this week! Keep doing that great work for diabetics everywhere. You have already helped me so much, so thank you!

Congratulations, Shari, knk, lavagal and bwjen! You have all won the foodie charms! Please send YOUR snail-mail addresses to Mara here, and she will send you your choice of either a necklace or cell-phone charm or zipper pull.

And thanks to Mara for sending out these prizes! Mara, I have something special for you, so please send ME your snail mail.

Thanks everyone who participated, I truly loved EVERY answer. I hope you will keep writing for health!! And guess what? I have another contest/giveaway in the works! Write about your favorite vegetable, and another fabulous prize might be yours!

 

Guest Post by The Fat Geek! May 24, 2009

shapeimage_1It’s truly wonderful to find healthy eating/fitness buddies on Twitter and the blogosphere. One of my newest buddies is The Fat Geek. He just posted my “Got Sweat?” entry on his blog and so I’d like to share one of his posts with all of you.

Week 4: Super Motivated

Week 4 has been a real success. I was super motivated the whole week. Thanks in no small way to all those folks who send encouraging e-mails and tweets via twitter, subscribe to the podcast and of course my family and friends. I am getting unbelievable support from all areas and it is truly what is making the difference. I Thank You all emphatically from the bottom of my heart.

I think the difference between success and failure with weight loss is 95% motivation. More on that another day, let’s get to the week that was and lessons learned.

I had a 2 lb weight loss for week 4. This is fantastic given the travel that took place during the beginning of the week and constraints the hotel gym put on me. However, we (or I did anyway) learned from week 2 that during travel it is your diet that requires the most attention. I was able to improvise the gym routine to ensure I got a good workout in, but I really paid strict attention to what and where I was eating. I think that made all the difference….and my proof is in the results this week compared to the results during week 2. If you remember, during week 2 I worked out like a madman, wasn’t too sure about what I ate and lost nothing. This week I worked out as best I could and concentrated more on my eating plan, which resulted in a weight-loss.

In science we would refer to my “Concentrate on Diet during Travel and less on Workouts Thesis” a hypothesis. To test my hypothesis we require experiments that test the casual relationships among the different variables. In this case it will not be fair. Given my not so good results in week 2 and my good results here in week 4. I will continue to follow my “Travel Hypothesis” (of concentrating  big-time on diet) as I go forward. Thus, we won’t get to see if other factors may have caused the week 2 problem. We are all different but the results of this first experiment (last week, concentrating on diet) gives me enough proof to feel confident in my hypothesis that I will continue with that strategy during travel weeks. Which, by the way, happens again next week.

My workout routine for week four was pretty similar since the beginning. I have been doing strength training and running every day, with the following exceptions: Monday and Tuesday I had to improvise my strength training routine due to lack of equipment. This meant doing some old fashion push-ups and bench dips along with the machine exercises. I didn’t run on Wednesday morning because I arrived back home late Tuesday night. I did my strength training that was scheduled for Friday evening on Saturday morning because I was really tired Friday night. I feel way more confident with this routine right now, because I am confident that I can improvise as required and still gain great benefits from the exercise plan. That means a lot to me, given my work schedule and travel requirements.

My healthy eating plan was excellent for this week. I averaged around the 1700-1800 calories range each day of the week. I had about three Subway meals for either a lunch or dinner (trust the Subway 6 grams of fat meals). I ate out on Friday night, had some Salmon and rice (600 calories). During travel I tried to eat the same way I did when I was home. Bought a bag of apples and some bananas to throw in the hotel fridge, so I always had a healthy snack during the day. Basically, I ate the same as I would at home all during the day and then had a really healthy choice for supper. This worked. I will continue with this strategy for week 5. As I mentioned above I am on the road again. Once again I will be traveling to Calgary for part of the week (Tuesday to Thursday).

So, over the past 4 weeks I have lost a total of 14 lbs. However, if you break down the numbers you see that I lost 12 lbs during week 1 & 3, weeks I stayed home and had no travel. I lost 2 lbs during week 2 & 4, weeks I travelled. Big, big difference. Maybe week 2 skews the results, but it certainly tells me that I need to seriously consider what my expectations are during travel weeks. I need to be patient about my weight-loss when it comes to travel weeks. Finally, I need to trust my process here and that doggedly continuing to concentrate on exercising and eating healthy will have long-term pay-off.

To read more from The Fat Geek, to keep him company and cheer him on, visit his blog!

 

Got Sweat? May 22, 2009

It used to be (not so long ago, either!) that if I got a little pink in the face and had a thin film of sweat, I’d declare, “WOW that was a good workout!” But I wasn’t wild about big exertion. I only saw my trainer twice a week, and during the other days, I’d either walk (leisurely) or do nothing.  I was fairly sweatophobic.

Now, I feel like a workout session just isn’t cutting it unless I have visible rivers of sweat running down my face and body, and unless I can see a color change in my clothing. THAT is different!  And now, on my “days off” from my trainer I am either running with my penguin buddy (we call each other that because we used to run like penguins) or at the gym. If I take a walk, it’s “extra” and really for pleasure rather than considering it a workout.

Someone on Twitter recently mentioned that she didn’t want to intentionally sweat after sweating all day at work. I liked that phrase “intentional sweat.” I LOVE intentional sweat now!!!!! But I still really really hate “uninentional sweat” which comes from just standing around in hot, muggy weather. I grew up in NJ so I know about this. It’s MISERABLE.

ANyway, I read somewhere that once you start working out, you really have to keep upping the intensity level or your body just sort of stagnantes. As you get stronger, you just have to DO MORE. Back then, the idea absolutely terrified me (“I can barely do what I’m doing NOW, how can I do MORE? Aghh, get me off this train!”) but now it is exciting. It is making me believe that now that I’ve done a 5k, they will keep getting easier and faster, and that I WILL be able to get to a 10k or even a half marathon. RUNNING.

I had an incredible nonscale victory today. I’ve been going on and on about how I HATE spinning (stationary bike). It’s true, it’s the only exercise I’ve done that has made me want to puke. About 2 years ago, I worked up to a pretty high level but then we moved on to other things (trainer and me). I’ve never taken a group spinning class. I really don’t know how those things work, just how I do it with my trainer. Anyway, he had me doing these things that he calls “hops.” One hop basically = pedal 2x standing up, and on the 3rd pedal, sit down for a millisecond. Then up again.This is all done at very high resistance, so you have to push HARD to do one revolution. This is a lot harder than either perpetually standing or sitting, because it’s that up-down thing that is such an effort. I hated those freaking things. The first time I did them, I was heaving and gasping and really almost crying after I’d completed 25. I worked up to 4 sets of 25 for a total of 100.

I hadn’t done “hops” in YEARS when a few weeks ago he said, why don’t we try this. I immediately felt a sense of dread and anxiety. And it kicked my butt. I actually did cry then, because I felt like I’d come so far in my fitness, the running etc. and why could I not do these hops?? It nearly killed me to do 100, then a second 100, gasping out for mercy the last 30 or so.

So I was NOT HAPPY when I walked in and he said we were going to do the bike today. I thrashed around on the floor and whined and groaned (I can be quite dramatic when I feel like it). He was like, don’t worry, only 500. I was really upset. I dragged out the warmup for about 40 minutes. Then I got on the bike. He turned up the resistance. I started.

Um. It did not kick my butt. I kicked its butt. My trainer counts by going 1, 2, 3, 20, etc (going up) until the last ten, then he counts down when he reaches 90. 10, 9, 7…  His plan was for me to do five sets of 100, with ample breathing and whining in between each set. But when he got to 90, I wasn’t even breathing hard. He was like, WOW, okay, keep going. I got to 150. I got to 200. I was still feeling pretty damn good. Happy little sweat rivers were coming down my neck. I got to 300. Then I stopped.

My trainer had tears in his eyes. He said, I have goosebumps, you crazy woman. I was so happy. I was not at all winded, but my feet hurt, so I thought I was a good time to stop. I said, “I don’t think you had the resistance high enough.” He looked at me funny. He cranked it up several turns. He said “OK, now go.” I cranked out the last 200 feeling like, I don’t know what. Chariots of Fire.

It. Was. Freaking. Awesome.  And now I’ve been on an endorphin high all day.

I’m not afraid of anything anymore.

UPDATE ON 5/27/09: Did 700 straight without stopping. Heeeeeeeee!!!!!

 

Old Habits Die Hard

Filed under: emotions,food — Susan @ 1:10 am
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the things that David Kessler talks about in The End of Overeating is the incredibly strong trigger of nostalgia, emotions about certain foods that are hardwired from childhood.

I’m going to a major league baseball game this weekend. I wasn’t really worried or thinking about it at all until a friend (who is also going) just emailed me and said, “What do they have for food? Is it mostly junk?” My immediate reaction was, “YES, AND I LOVE IT ALL!!!!!!!!” I know, I KNOW, they are horrible disgusting products made of pig toenails and rat ears and nitrites and poo, but god, I LOVE hot dogs. I remember very clearly being at a church picnic when I was about ten? years old. The hot dogs were perfectly grilled, with the crispy little lines on them, and I remember squirting them with that fluorescent yellow mustard and thinking I had never tasted anything so delicious in my life.  The weather was perfect. I kept going back to the outdoor grill, and one of the church dads was grilling, and he kept saying (delightedly), “You want another one??” I don’t remember how many hot dogs I ate that day, but it was probably five or more. It was a lot. (was that the beginning of it all?)

Imagine my horror when I grew up and realized that hot dogs were not, like, the perfect food.  We don’t eat them at home anymore (except when my mother wants them–she has NEVER given them up, and she’s 86) although we do enjoy the occasional chicken-apple sausage (yummy, but not exactly the same). I felt like the only place where I could legitimately enjoy a hotdog was at a baseball game. I mean, who ISN’T eating hot dogs at a major league baseball game?

Obviously, I have not been to a ball game since January. Sigh. NOW what do I do. I did have some ideas about hosting a healthy tailgate (oh GOD) in the parking lot beforehand, but I have something else going on all day, so wouldn’t have time to prepare anything.

I could, obviously, eat ONE hot dog and it would not kill me. But there’s that slippery slope. And I’d probably hate it anyway. (would I?)

I have to make a plan. I have to find the one vegi-burger stand in the entire stadium, and do that. Or else pack a bunch of random things in a carry-in bag: carrots, hummus, apples, cheese. Sigh.

No hot dog? No garlic fries? Realllly?

Yeah, really.

 

 
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