This food thing is hard!

Granted I haven’t been focusing super much on food for awhile, but I don’t remember it being this hard!  Like today, I added one of those little packages of liquid creamer to my coffee when we went out to breakfast today without thinking anything of it.  During a lull in the conversation I thought “I wonder what’s in that.”  I looked at the package and saw that it listed 2% milk, heavy cream, and some weird additive.  Three ingredients, but one of them was weird.  *sigh*

Then I ordered a Denver omelet.  Sounded right: eggs, ham, bell pepper, onion and cheese.  I should have ordered it without the cheese – who knows what’s in the cheese that makes it orange?  Side of hash browns that I only ate two bites of, and a slice of wheat toast.  Notice it’s not 100% whole wheat?

OK, OK, it’s basically day 1, right?  I’m out of the habit of analyzing everything on the menu and all the pieces of a particular plate when I’m ordering.  I just need to do better.  I’ll know better for date night on Wednesday.

Tonight should be easier for dinner.  My brother is coming over to make us some dinner.  He’s making his “California Salad” with tilapia on top and we’re pairing it with an amber ale.  He’s a chef and the author of http://goesgreatwithbeer.com.  It only has one entry so far because he caught a nasty cold right after the first meal.  He’s back tonight.  I’ve had the California Salad before, but this time it will be a little different.  We couldn’t find the strawberries that he’d normally use so he’ll be substituting with raspberries.  And normally there isn’t any meat added in, but since it will be a main dish salad there needs to be something to go with it.  I’m totally looking forward to it.  Since we moved out a few years ago, I haven’t been able to spend a whole lot of time with him and I kinda miss him.

OK…  now onto the exercise portion of things.  I’m pretty limited in what I can do since I fell and cracked a rib a couple weeks ago.  I’m moving better now, but I can’t run or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds right now.  And even lifting 2 pounds repeatedly makes me cry.  So as soon as I finish with this entry, I’m planning on trying some lower body stuff just to get moving.  Squats, calf raises, going up and down the stairs, that kind of thing.  Nothing that requires twisting or using my abs too much – I don’t want to hurt myself worse!

And I weighed myself last night with my trusty Wii balance board…  I’m at 159.4 pounds.  Ugh.  I need to be around 145 to be at a healthy BMI.  So that means I have 14.4 pounds to lose.  I know BMI isn’t the be-all of health and fitness, but it’s a gauge to use.

Time to do some light exercise to get things moving.

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Food and Fitness Goals for 2012

I’m sitting on the couch pondering my goals for the next year, and letting them marinate in my brain.  The ones that I’m thinking about the most right now are the fitness goals and the food goals, mostly because they go hand in hand.  And also because there are some limitations to what I can do right now.

Let’s start by further defining the food goals:

  1. Cut out wheat and rice
  2. Eat “real” food
  3. Cook one new recipe each week

I’m focusing on the food goals because those are usually the most difficult for me to follow/stick with, and because they have a direct impact on my fitness goals.

Cut out wheat and rice
Hmmm… OK, this one isn’t really what it sounds like.  It doesn’t mean that I will be cutting out all wheat and rice products.  It means that I will be only eating products made with 100% whole grain, 100% brown or wild rice, 100% corn meal.  If there’s any other weird grains, sugars, additives or chemicals added in, it doesn’t go in my belly.

Eat “real” food
I’ve noticed that when I eat food that has lots of “fake” things inside (like additives, flavorings, colorings, preservatives, etc) it takes more to fill me up and I’m not as satisfied.  When I eat real food I need to eat less and I’m generally more satisfied.  OK, to be fair I really like to have a bit of something for dessert, but doesn’t everyone?  So the rule is that the food that goes in my belly needs to be real.  In other words: no weird additives, no weird flavorings added, no weird preservatives, etc.  Birthday parties and other celebrations are the exception to this rule.

Cook one new recipe each week
I’m hoping this one will help me meet the other two food goals.  Plus I know it’ll help me meet the fitness goals.  It’ll also help me put to use the many cookbooks I have at home.

OK, now it’s time to further define the fitness goals

  1. Run a 5k without walking
  2. Complete three 5k’s
  3. Complete two 10k’s
  4. Complete at least 1 half marathon
  5. Wear a bikini in public comfortably

Run a 5k without walking
So, you’d think that with all of this training I’ve done that I could run a few miles without stopping somewhere in there to walk, right?  Well, you’d be wrong.  To tell you the truth, I’ve only run 1 mile without stopping and that was awhile ago.  So, to make myself feel like I deserve to call myself a runner, I’m going to run (or jog, whatever) 3.1 miles without stopping.

Complete three 5k’s
I find that when I’m training, I get bored if I don’t have little things to work towards.  Upcoming races are awesome for the motivation factor and I love how short a 5k feels.  I just need to figure out which 5k’s to complete.  Oh, and complete means just that: complete it.  It doesn’t matter if there’s walking mixed in, as long as they’re done and I’m happy with what I’ve done.

Complete two 10k’s
Again, having upcoming races as motivation is awesome, and a 10k is twice as challenging as a 5k.  So, as I get back into running, I’ll be working towards the 10k length.  And again, complete means complete.  I don’t have to run the whole thing.

Complete at least 1 half marathon
My plan is to complete the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2, 2012.  I’ll be using the 5 and 10k races I complete along the way as training.  And if I don’t die and if I don’t totally hate it, I’d like to complete the Wine & Dine half marathon in Disney World in November.  So yeah, complete means finish it.

Wear a bikini comfortably in public
As I’m training and eating healthier foods, I should be losing weight along the way.  I’ll also need to work in some weight training too.  I don’t want to be “skinny-fat”, and doing this will help me become a more effective runner too.  So, I know this is cliche, but I’ve never worn a bikini in public because I’ve always been too fat to do so.  Being able to do this would be tangible proof that I’m not the girl they made up a song about in Jr. High.

I’ll come up with a training plan in another post… this one is already too long as it is!

My mostly unplanned training

I’ve been up and down with my running lately.  Starting, stopping, starting again, not getting enough sleep so running is harder than it needs to be…  I know I start Couch to 5K again, but the stubborn part of me wants to figure this out myself.  So, instead of following a specific plan, I’m winging it.  The goal: complete a half marathon in 3.27 hours.  That’s about a 15 minute mile.  Right now I can do a 5k at an average speed of 11:30 min/mile with a combo of walking and running.  I just need to translate that to longer and longer distances.

I think I can handle running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute at a time.  I’ll do that during my training and plan to do it during my races too.

I’m only willing to run 3 days each week, so that’s what I’ll do.  My non-running days will be spent walking, doing strength training, hiking, or resting.  Maybe I’ll do some yoga too.

Each week I’ll increase my distance by 0.5 miles.  If I’m not up to an increase or if I do poorly one week, I’ll just repeat the previous week’s training.

My neighborhood is all hills… well, except for the street I’m on and the (very) busy street my apartment backs up to.  Even though hills are great for building muscle and training your body to work a little harder in a run, I’ll have to research different trails to drive my happy little butt too for some running.

Here’s to training to run 13.1 miles in Disneyland in January!

Anxious

It’s another “Mom Friday” which means that I’m taking care of Mom right now… until about 1pm.  Today’s a little longer than normal so that my Sister can have time to work on my niece’s birthday quilt.  She’s almost done piecing the top together.

So… until my sister gets home, I’m here waiting.  Anxious.  Ready to run.

I looked again at the course that I’ll be running in January.  My first half marathon (if I don’t magically do one before then).  My excuse to go to Disneyland in just a few months.  RunDisney has the course mapped out, with mile markers in place.  I counted… all 13.  Can you believe it?

Now I’m nervous.  What makes me think I can run 13 miles all at once?  If I think about it too much, I’ll probably make myself sick.

I have a training plan.  It’s a doable plan.  But still… 13 miles?  Wow.

But today I only have to do 4 miles.  I can do that today.  I’ve done it by accident once, I can do it on purpose today.  And, because I’ll be on a pretty secluded trail, I’ll dognap my brother’s dog.  I’m so ready to run right now… I hope she can keep up!

Running Away

My jog yesterday was my fastest yet: 2.03 miles in 22 minutes.  I can’t help but think that the reason I was so fast is because it was my way of running away from what’s going on right now.

There are things about which we all worry, but that we try to ignore.  It’s the way we humans cope with things that are out of our control.  We don’t have a say, necessarily, in whether we lose our jobs, have a bomb drop on our heads, or have a natural disaster hit our neighborhood.  These things happen, and rather than worry too much about them we prepare for “just in case.”  We stockpile emergency supplies in case of a disaster.  We save as much money as possible in case of a job loss.  We purchase insurance in case of something else.

But how do you deal with the reality when those worries come to fruition?  I know some people who keep it bottled up.  I know others who spend their time grieving or freaking out.  Others talk about it incessantly.  Still others flee.

I would love to be able to flee the reality I see sometimes.  Unfortunately, there’s a complete inability to leave reality behind – to leave responsibility behind.  I’m good at pretending I can run away, but I really can’t.

Such is life.  It’s the reason I haven’t moved far, far away as I’ve often longed to do.  It’s the reason I haven’t aggressively searched for a job outside of the Bay Area.  It’s the reason I get up every day, go to work, exercise, pay my bills and take care of my family.  I remind myself that running away is for cowards.  Adults – the true adults – keep going even when it’s hard.

So instead of running away, like I really wanted to do, I ran – literally.  I ran up into the hills surrounding my neighborhood, past the parks, around the corners and made my way back home.  I ran the fastest 2 miles I’ve ever run.  And although I didn’t actually run away, running was enough yesterday.

Not a Fluke!

I wanted to see if my 12 minute miles were flukes brought about by all the downhill areas in my neighborhood. Unfortunately I didn’t want to run in a circle on the flat places over and over. The next best thing? Drive out to the Hayward Shoreline and jog along the flat gravely paths there next to the bay. The picture at the top of my blog was taken there a few years ago.

No music, just me holding my phone with my car keys tied inside my pants. I passed (and was passed by) a few people. All were of retirement age, most were on bicycles. I got to listen to the birds chirp, a squirrel chirp (who knew?), the planes pass high overhead, and my breathing. Somewhere in there some geese chased me for a bit. They also flew up and attacked a hawk!

I kept thinking “Man, 3 miles is a lot longer than I remember” and “Keep going. You can walk when you get to _____.” When I got home and checked my route on the park map, I found that I’d gone 4 miles! No wonder it felt longer! So, with that in mind, it looks like my 12 minute miles weren’t flukes. Even with the walking that I did, I still managed a little over 12 minutes. I guess I’m going faster than I think. This is definitely making me happy – I’ll be prepared for my next 5k on April 17th.

Tucked in All Day

The outfit I was planning to wear today fell through, mostly because you can see a purple bra through a white tank top and I didn’t feel like changing my bra.  So instead I wore a blouse tucked into my bootcut jeans with some cowboy boots and a belt.  I’d planned on untucking my shirt after awhile once it mostly untucked itself (and once the belt started bugging me too much), but after all the compliments I got today I decided to keep it tucked!

One of the clerks I supervise said “Danie!  Look how tiny your waist is!”

One of the librarians I work with said “That’s a great look for you!  So polished.”

One of the building maintenance guys said “You look good today – what are you doing differently?”

One of the janitors said “You look skinnier.  Are you still jogging?”

One of the library members I was helping said I was real pretty.

Talk about a self-esteem boost!  And to top it off, the belt didn’t bug me once!  In the past it would dig into my stomach whenever I sat down or crouched or bent at the waist, but today it felt like a firmer waistband instead of a torture device.

It seems like this whole eating right and exercise thing is working the way it’s supposed to!  Since March 1st, I’ve lost 8 pounds.  My waist is down to 30″, my hips are 41″, each thigh is 25.5″ and each upper arm is 13″.  Those are all smaller numbers than they were on March 1st!  All I gotta do is keep up the momentum – I know I can do it!

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