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Hello, Day One April 6, 2011

Filed under: #7daychip — Susan @ 11:23 am

My long-running (38 and 31 days) goal chips both broke yesterday and I am looking at Day Ones for both of them (probably tomorrow).

How did this happen? Well, for the no-sugar one, it was like this. Friend and I went to awesome restaurant for lunch. I Tweeted about how excited I was to be there and try there awesome mac and cheese (<< only thing on the menu!). While I was eating lunch, I receive a Tweet FROM THE RESTAURANT saying, “When are you coming in? Say hello!” I Tweeted back, “In the red chairs!” Allison,  the fabulous owner of Homeroom, came out and we chatted  a bit, both of us swooning over the yummy lunch. She then brought us a piece of peanut butter pie. As a present. OMG.

I ate two teeny tiny bites, each the size of a kidney bean. They were exquisite. Amazing. One of the best desserts I have had IN MY LIFE. Then I whispered, “You didn’t see that.”

But you know, that’s the point of #7daychip. If you’re not gonna be honest, there’s no point at all.

I was wearing my exercise clothes. I wore them all day. But by evening I still had a huge to-do list for my trip TODAY, and my throat began feeling like glass shards, and by 10pm I knew it was not going to be one of those days in which I jumped on the elliptical late at night. I was completely spent. And then I knew it was over.

I don’t feel terrible about it. I knew this day would come eventually. It’s okay. I’m not going to stress about trying to exercise today (travel day). I’m going to start anew when I get to my destination (tomorrow). It will be a new day.

 

Yoga KICKED MY BUTT. But I might go back… April 2, 2011

from bikram yoga

I haven’t done yoga in many, many years. In fact you might say I have had a yoga phobia. I’m not even sure why.

When I was in college (like a million years ago!) my boyfriend and I took up a home course in Bikram yoga after seeing the extremely sexy and appealing yoga-in-a-Turkish-prison scene in Midnight Express. It looked pretty irresistable. So we bought this book, and I bought a Danskin leotard (LOL) and we commenced to learn the poses along with Bikram and his cast of inflexible movie stars. (he had these hilarious pose photos – you can do it perfectly like Bikram here, but if you are a normal person with hamstrings of concrete, you may do it like … Debbie Reynolds!) But seeing the imperfect movie stars was kind of reassuring.

After that one stint of doing yoga in- what – 1978? I stopped and actually have not been back since. I’ve had a weird chip on my shoulder and I don’t even know why. At some point I came to associate yoga with sanctimonious Cafe Gratitude- type vegans AND with women who put on makeup and $150 Lululemon clothes to exercise. I mean, if you’re going to do yoga, I kind of think you ought to be doing it while wearing rags on a concrete floor. LOL. It’s supposed to be a spiritual practice, not a practice in consumerism and looking stylish.

Also, I can’t sit upright with my legs extended and since you have to do that ALL THE TIME in yoga, it makes me feel cranky and inadequate. Maybe that’s the REAL reason.

BUT… my friend who moved to New York was back in town for just a few days, and she invited me to her favorite yoga class, and said the instructor is AMAZING, and then we were going to go to the Bakesale for Japan together, and it’s really the only opportunity we had to get together, so… what the heck. I went.

First of all. This was a Level 2-3 class. Hahahaha. Second of all, it was PACKED. (popular teacher/ Saturday morning) Thirdly, I thought it was an hour class but it turned out to be 90 minutes more like 100 because he went overtime. YOW.

It started out innocuously enough. Some “getting in touch with your breath/body” stuff which segued into some very gentle neck stretches, and it had been going on forever, and I thought, not so bad.

Then it got bad.

There was a lot of downward dog and plank activity, and warrior pose stuff and even flying on one leg, but the thing that got to me was the Rabbit. (picture above) Except we not only did it like the picture, we also did it while our back quarters were still downward dogging, and one leg up in the air. We were to put all the weight of our bodies on our HAIRLINE. I mean, ow.

This yoga is no joke, people. I have had a few forays into “gentle” yoga or “restorative” yoga and this was a total kickass workout. I was shaking and trembling and sweating and really FEELING IT. It felt like it went on and on forever, but in fact it was around 95 minutes. Give or take.

When it was over, I was trembling like a scared Chihuaha for about an hour. I felt really… shaky. But then after that I felt good. Really good.

That’s my takeaway message. I’m probably going to do more yoga because it’s like good medicine. I think it’s good for me and does things that my other workouts don’t do. I’m going to start investigating different classes and see which ones might be a good fit for me. This one was pretty hardcore. At one point people were actually doing HEADSTANDS and I was like… whaaaaattttt? No way I was even going to go there. But it was good, and I do think another barrier was broken in Foodie McBody-land.

After the class we went over to the main Bakesale for Japan location. In my mind I was thinking this might be a day when I’d break my chip vow and try some sugar. Everything looked freaking AMAZING. But in the end, I decided it wasn’t worth it to me. I took a tiny nibble of something called a “sesame stick” and it was on the sweet side so I didn’t eat any more. But I also got some miso pork (made from Sendai miso, how perfect could that be?) and some farm eggs and little cheddar crisps made from cheese and black rice – wow, right? Yum.

It was a good day. And I definitely stayed on track, both exercise and sugarwise. Yay!

Tell me: what do YOU think of yoga? What kind do you do? What kind do you like?

 

Taking the #100daychipquest on Vacation April 1, 2011

Photo credit: Lasse C via Flickr

I’m on day 35 of my 30-minutes-of-exercise chip and day 26 of my no-sugar chip. I’ve got to say. Having gotten to my 30th day of consistent exercise has been… challenging. And it’s not like it’s getting any easier. Every day. Here we go. But I am doing it, I’m super psyched I’m doing it and I know it’s a great thing to do.

My other challenge, the no-sugar challenge (I define this as someone I recently saw posted as “no obvious sugar”) – no candy, cookies, cupcakes (wahhh) or other things that are obviously “sweets” – is going really well. So well in fact that I’ve almost forgotten it. It’s been pretty easy, after the first few days when I kept ‘forgetting’ – to just eliminate that stuff. It’s easier to eliminate than cut back, I think. But I’m also trying to cut back on carbs in general.

The reason I’m eliminating is to get my blood glucose down to the level I want it at. What level do I want? Well, I’ll tell ya. Last week I went to my endocrinologist, and before that I had to get my blood drawn. One of the most important lab values a diabetic person pays attention to is their A1C levels. Which is a measure of their blood glucose over a period of THREE MONTHS. So you can’t really game it and be good the last few days or week. It’s a long period.

My previous A1C level was 5.8 I believe. And the one from last week was 6.0. Which is not DREADFUL but I saw this on my lab slip:

  • <5.7: decreased risk of diabetes
  • 5.7-6.0 Increased risk of diabetes
  • 6.1-6.4 Higher risk of diabetes
  • > or = 6.5 Consistent with diabetes

When I was first diagnosed, my A1C level was 6.8 (ie, “consistent with diabetes). Since I’ve been working on being healthy, I’ve been only in the “increased risk” range. How I would love to be in the “decreased risk” group! I know the daily activity is really going to help with that.

I have a really special vacation coming up next week. For one, Mr. McBody and I are going away alone together for the FIRST TIME IN TWENTY YEARS. Yeah, you read that right. Well, we’ve been away for overnights before, but this is TEN DAYS. Which is completely unprecedented.

I am excited because I know it will be no problem at ALL getting my 30 minutes of exercise in. We’re going to be walking and exploring all over the place and I am hoping to get some nice runs in.

But the tables will be turned in terms of what challenge is going to be “easier.” This place we’re going to is famous for amazing food. I considered deciding to just go to 30 days with the no-sugar thing, then taking a 10 day hiatus, then stepping back in when I return. But I realized a couple of things:

  1. I want to accomplish my #100daychip goal. Which I can’t if I stop next week.
  2. This is my LIFE. And I really want to accomplish my A1C goal as well. So I think I’m going to enjoy all the amazing savory treats and skip the sweet ones.  I hope I can stay strong!

Tell me: do you change or alter your habits when you go on vacation??

 

Yay. Just YAY. #30daychip March 28, 2011

Yesterday was my 30th day of working out for a minimum of 30 minutes. WOW. Part of me just wanted to “rest” after Saturday but you know what? I wasn’t sore and I had the time and it wasn’t like a little time on the treadmill was going to kill me.  Plus, I really really REALLY wanted this chip so there was no way I was going to rest!

What have I learned in these 30 days?

  • I feel overall so much better, less stressed and more “in shape”
  • Contrary to my own limited beliefs, I actually CAN work out in the evening, after dinner, OR right before midnight. And live to tell the tale. It’s just making that decision and doing it.
  • I’d rather work out at half hour till midnight than at 6am.
  • I love YouTube on my phone. Eddie Vedder & Johnny Depp! Ray LaMontagne (of course) Talking Heads (<<our wedding song). Peter Gabriel. Wallflowers. Earth Wind and Fire!
  • I love streaming Netflix on my phone.
  • I can sing really loudly and badly in my garage.
  • It’s soothing to work out with a lot of rain coming down through the open garage door.

I am infinitely grateful to @bradgansberg and the entire #7daychip Family for supporting me in this endeavor. But I can’t relax and enjoy this moment TOO long because I’m on Day 31 and I’m going for… 100.

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Race Recap: Oakland Running Festival Twilight 5k!

So y’all know that originally I was planning to do the Fight for Air Stairclimb, the Oakland Twilight 5k AND the Oakland Marathon Team Relay all in one weekend. Crazy, right? Right! And the 5k for a while felt like a bit of a consolation prize when I tried to register for the team relay and it was sold out. Well, it all turned out to be just riiiiiiiiight. (as it often does)

I did the stairclimb yesterday morning, then came home to blog (naturally) and rest and shower and nap. (<<<<excellent move) Then I woke up, had a nice cup of coffee and headed down to Jack London Square where I was to meet up with Sabrina again (she had had no nap, but a full day of sightseeing in San Francisco! Yow!). As soon as I got to the Square I found her AND a bunch of other people I knew! I met a friend whose daughter had gone to school with my daughter. I was so thrilled to see that she was there and ready to run her very first 5k. I was so excited for her! Go Jill!

Then I found my buddy and very first Couch-to-5k running partner, Mary. That made me feel so happy and emotional! She was the one who started it all with me, from our very first 60-second run that I wasn’t sure we would survive. How awesome. It seemed like every time I turned around I was bumping into someone else I knew. It was such a big PARTY! There were tons of kids, from little ones to teens, and older people and just every kind of person imaginable. The vibe was very big Oakland party.

They announced that they were moving the course last minute (?!) because of mud or puddles or some such thing, and that we were all going to walk a block down the Square to some green line on the ground and line up behind it.  Huh? But we all did just that, and at some point people started running and we were off. I put on my iPod earbuds and my regular running music and went. My only goal was to run the whole way at whatever pace. Often when I am training-running I will do some walk intervals, but I just really wanted to run this whole thing since I knew I was not going to be running any part of the Sunday marathon.

When we started out, it was just a huge sea of people. The kids were running all willy nilly, darting in and around the crowd, and the spectators were loud and noisy and boisterous and YAY! I just felt so overwhelmingly happy and full of love for Oakland. It was truly twilight and the weather and the light were beautiful and perfect. I just took off feeling relaxed and loving the feel of all the people around me. We headed through the square toward the Port of Oakland and then at some point not too far off, all of a sudden the front runners were heading back the other way. I actually love this feeling, seeing the fast runners just pushing it out. It’s so inspiring. I got so excited seeing them, including some awesome looking women and one small, very fast child. It was incredible!

Then before long we turned around and made a U-turn too, and back through the Square full of all the cheering people. YAY that was fun! Then we ran down toward the boathouse where my daughters have been rowing crew for the past 6 years. Man, I know this path so well. I have walked and run it so many times before, and there was something so lovely and comforting about that particular stretch. I saw the 2 mile mark and was like, What? Only 1.2 miles left? I was feeling so good. A lot of people were walking around me now, and I passed a whole bunch. Including some of those kids who had charged out of the gate so early.

I passed one guy walking with a cane, and one paralyzed arm, like he’d had a stroke or brain injury. He was just trucking along. There were two women walking backwards in front of him, cheering him on. It brought tears to my eyes. I saw quite a few people of significant size, and I was like, GO YOU! You’re not waiting to get to X weight to do this! You’re doing it!

I saw so many people who inspired me during this race. It just filled me with pride and happiness. My body felt great – not any soreness at ALL from the stairclimb. I just felt relaxed and good. When we came to the last .1, and that Finish arch was right THERE, I decided to just push it out into an all out sprint. It felt amazing. I just tore through that finish and all I can say is I hope that someone took a picture because I was on fire.

Then I stood at the finish and watched everyone else come in. I loved it. And then the craziest thing happened. I was standing there, and this woman I didn’t recognize said, “Excuse me, but do you blog?” I said, “Yeah…” and then she said, “Are you Foodie McBody?” I could have fainted dead away right there! She introduced herself as Bethany (@, a reader and blogger herself! WOW! WOW! I think that was one of the absolute highlights of the weekend.  Today I went and found her blog and it’s awesome! Everyone go read her!

That's @bgetnhot

Then I met up with Sabrina, who had ended up walking the race with the friend of friend, and apparently they had the best time chatting away! I was so excited to be with her at our SECOND finish line of the day! Yahoo!

That's @brematt!

Then we went and met up with Mary and her family at Souley Vegan, an awesome restaurant up the street. Yeah… vegan soul food! You can read my full review of it here but needless to say it has redeemed my estimation of vegan food! YUM!

Mary's daughter gazing adoringly at the Everything Platter

Crispy Tofu Burger is a thing of wonder!

I have to say that this was one of my favorite race experiences EVER. There was so much to love: being in my own town which I love, with other Oaklanders (and fans of), having such a cool and enthusiastic crowd to cheer us on, feeling totally relaxed and without pain or struggle. It was just wonderful. The only thing that would’ve been better would be getting some nice BLING but that didn’t happen. Ah well!

I had been feeling all sour grapesy about the actual marathon, but this morning I just wanted to be part of it. I knew my friend Lydia would be running the 2nd leg through my neighborhood so I made a sign (with two sides) and went down to Montclair Village to see the marathoners coming through. Well, I have never participated in a race as a Spectator before, and let me tell you, it was awesome. It was so exciting and I was so happy to see the runners and frankly very grateful that my running for the weekend was OVER. :-) People were SO happy to see my sign, and many of them yelled out, “No, YOU are awesome!” (What?!?) and “THANK  YOU!” It was fantastic. I just loved being there and again felt so inspired. Lydia zipped right past me before I could get my phone out to take a picture. She looked fabulous!!

I came home and it was time to get my own workout in. Yeah, there’s no days off with this #30daychip! Because TODAY I also completed my 30th day in a row of exercise! It felt great. Now I’m waiting for my #30daychip to show up. @Bradgansberg? :-)

Day 30 done!!! Yippeeee!

When that was over, I was ready to rest and sit down. Finally. My friend Ericka and I met up to see the movie Jane Eyre. Which I loved. It was the perfect ending of a pretty much perfect weekend. YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!

 

Letting Go March 20, 2011

Next week at this time, the Oakland marathon will be happening and I won’t be there. :-(

Sometimes we make plans and they just don’t work out, and it’s important to be able to let go gracefully. It’s not like I’m not going to be participating in athletic events next weekend: I’m still doing the Fight for Air StairClimb (still time to donate for a chance on a quilt!) and the Twilight 5k portion of the Oakland Running Festival.

What happened is that I was hoping that my family (me, Mr and 2 girls) would be able to run as a family team for the marathon relay. As it got closer it became apparent that a few of Mr. McBody’s orthopedic woes were not going to allow it. I’ve been looking and looking for a 4th person but it just didn’t pan out, until last Thursday. I went to sign us all up and BAM – it was sold out. SOLD OUT! I was so crushed. Incredulous really. Damn.

For a while I bandied about the idea of signing up for the half. But I think it’s crazy to even try and walk a half marathon with no training. I’ve been diligent about my 30-minute minimum of exercise for 22 days now (YAY #7daychip) but that has not included distance running. I think I could’ve probably pulled out the 7.5 miles, but not 13.1. Wah.

Part of me was mad at myself. Part of me felt really embarrassed. Part of me was soooooooo sad about not getting the gorgeous new Oakland marathon medal. But in the end I have to let it go. I have to remind myself of my own mantra: “Be mindful and don’t suffer.” To push myself through a half marathon would be a suffering thing, I can tell you. This just isn’t the time.

I am proud of the other goal I’ve been working toward this month, my Project Consistency. It’s been a very good thing for me. It would be different if I’d just been sitting on the couch eating ice cream all month, but that hasn’t been the case. I still have something to feel proud about.

I do want to do at least one or maybe two half marathons this year. The Las Vegas to be sure (so excited – running the LV strip AT NIGHT!), but maybe also the Disneyland Half in September. (Edited to add: SOLD OUT! DAMN!!!!!!!!) It’s just going to take some planning.

Yeah, planning WAY AHEAD. Wow!

 

Update: Project Consistency March 16, 2011

photo credit: nayski via Flickr

Less than a month ago, I made a decision that I was going to try and make exercise a more regular, consistent part of my life rather than just trying to jam it into the weekends. I made the decision that I was going to start working out a minimum of 30 minutes a day, come hell or high water.

The first week I was ON. I felt like I did not want to exercise after dinner and so I often ended up exercising DURING dinner, while everyone else ate. That worked okay, but I realized I did not want to eat separately from my family indefinitely. I was going to have to start something different. Reluctantly, I started working out much later at night – often starting close to 9:00pm or after. A few times, I ended up in bed, cold, tired and really wanting nothing more than to go to sleep. But then I started getting Tweets like this:

Brad Gansberg
BradGansberg @foodiemcbody Just get on the darn ellipitical and get it over with. It only hurts before you get started. After it is all good. GO NOW
BradGansberg @foodiemcbody Go kick some ass.
Brittany
gettinfitbritt @foodiemcbody you got this!!!
tracey
despite myself
MY2Thrive @foodiemcbody you can do it! get up get up get up!!!
Brittany
gettinfitbritt @foodiemcbody get up girl and shake yo booooootay!!!!! <3#7daychip
Brandon
AHealthyDad @foodiemcbody you’ve got this, we’re all here for you!! #7daychip
healthyem
healthyem @foodiemcbody do it!!!!!! claim day 13!!!!!! come on, lady! #7daychip
Can you SEE? Can you see how motivating and irresistible it is when you have people like this in your ear, 24/7? No matter WHEN I wanted to whine and say “not today,” there was my healthy community, every day, nudging me on to health.
Today, I finished my 18th day of consistent, daily, at-least-30-minutes of exercise. Most often it was the garage elliptical, because it involved no commuting. And it showed me that no matter how little time I think I have, I always have 30 minutes.
One night, I started using streaming Netflix movies on my iPhone to get through the workout. And a few times I went on for 65, 69 and once even 99 minutes. Because I couldn’t tear myself away.
I watched FatHead. Which everyone HAS TO GO WATCH and then come back and discuss with me!
Then I watched DisFIGURED. Which is hands down one of the most emotionally INTENSE movies I have ever seen. Everyone please GO WATCH and then come back and discuss with me!
The last time I started watching a movie, it was so moving and powerful I stopped after 30 minutes then started it up again on the laptop so I could watch “Which Way Home” with Mr. McBody. SO SAD but so… just wow. (yeah, go watch it too!)
It feels like it’s falling into place now. I’m learning – I’m teaching MYSELF – that there is truly no such thing as “not enough time.”
After this post, I decided to start a second #7daychip devoted to improving my blood glucose. One, by testing my blood more often (minimum 2-3x per day) and two, by taking added sugar out of my life. I had been slipping in the candy-drawer arena, and I knew I was just eating “a little something sweet” just a bit too often. It was showing up in much higher BG numbers which I hadn’t really realized since I’d slacked on testing as well.
So now I’m on day 10 of regular blood glucose testing and no sugar. This has not been easy. But it’s been do-able. I am doing it. I can do it. I just put a barrier down between myself and sugar. I say, “This is not for me (for now).” I can’t say Forever, but I say for now. In some ways it’s easier than just eating a “little bit.”
One thing that is helping so much is that in addition to the whole #7daychip “family,” I also have buddies who started their goals on the same day as me. Terri is my 30-minute-exercise buddy (she has her own goal). We greet each other day and encourage each other to add another day to our chip. Often she reminds me what “day” it is. (because it’s easy to lose track!) Jerakah is my blood glucose/no sugar buddy. We are on Day 10 and we are unstoppable.
#30Day Chip, I’m coming for you.
 

 
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