Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I am not much in the way of New Year's Resolutions, they just don't stick like they should for the most part. I really started working out again in a serious way in the end of September for no other reason than I decided it was time to start getting my life back in balance. Three months later what I am certain about is this: it is not about the resolution, it is about the daily grind. So, I get up and go to the gym every morning and putting one foot in front of the other on the treadmill. It is about watching what I eat as much as possible, not perfection but documenting what I put in my mouth every single day. It is not about perfect, it is about better than yesterday and consistency. So, this year that is what I am striving for, consistency. Some days are easier than others but I just keep going as much as possible. So, tomorrow I will be up at 4:30 in the morning running on the treadmill just like I was today and like I will be on Friday and next week. If I feel really motivated, I will run 3.5 miles, if not I will run for 30 minutes like I always do during the week. It is like the quote I keep running across in the blogosphere, "Losing weight is hard. Gaining weight is hard. Maintaining is hard. Pick your hard." I spent about a year and a half slacking off and gaining weight but now I am picking my hard and that means a lot of exercise and writing down what I eat everyday. I will never really be able to stop any of that because of how my body functions and how screwed up my metabolism is and has been since I was a kid. So, I run and I avoid sugar and exercise circles around my skinny friends because it is what I have to do and how I am choosing to live. In the end, that choice which I make everyday is a lot more powerful than any New Year's Resolution could ever be in my life.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"I Die"

In the immortal words of Rachael Zoe, "I die". I somehow managed to kick my own tail while working out this morning. All I did was raise the speed of my running from an 11:19 mile to an 11:06 mile speed and it killed me. I had to break up my eliptical work into two parts and do some core work in the middle to catch my breath. I feel all better now, perhaps because I have had breakfast and a snack since the workout but it was still brutal. I think I did not eat enough yesterday to prepare for today and I also went out and bought a fancy metal water bottle today (since apparently Nalagene bottles are evil now) to make sure I can hydrate properly during my workouts. I am hoping that a more balanced eating plan today will help me get through tomorrow morning in a better fashion. I am off work this week, two vacation days plus three work holidays (proof of why it pays to work for the government) and so far I am spending the time cleaning out my closets and cooking fun recipes. I made hot red pepper jelly yogurt cheese yesterday which is really tasty but very spicy and I made a nice light arugula and sun dried tomato pasta salad. As you can tell, I am working on incorporating more dairy and veggies into my diet, I am trying to make sure that I get some carbohydrates and grains in as well, especially given the amount that I am running everyday during the week. I do have to push myself to eat enough calories, 1600-1700 rather than 1400 but if I don't eat enough I end up with really bad workout days like today. It is all a balancing act and I am still learning how to live this as a lifestyle rather than a hard core unsustainable diet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A day of rest

I have developed a fit of excessive organization today for some reason. So far, I have worked out, started a load of laundry. made light bran muffins, started making a light pasta salad, and been to the grocery store. Admittedly, I did some of this so that I will not have to do it tomorrow and I can sleep in since Sunday is really the only day I can ever laze around without needing to workout. Sunday is my rest day in terms of exercise and this week I am making it my rest day in terms of everything. I have to clean my apartment but I am not in a rush since I already took down all the Christmas decorations and stored them away for next year. It is freezing cold outside so I imagine I will not go anywhere for the rest of the day but will hibernate in my nice warm apartment with the cats. I am glad that the holidays are basically over, there will be less food around and I can avoid sugar and baking. I do have chocolate chip cookies sitting in the fridge which are a gift for a friend of mine and so far I have not touched them. If I don't see her by midweek I will just get rid of them altogether so they are not in my house. So, I feel like I made it through the holiday season basically unscathed and that is a good thing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the night before Christmas

The cats are sleeping on my chair and I am sitting at my computer back from Christmas eve lunch at my friend's house. It is a bit odd since christmas eve is usually a big deal in my family. There is clam chowder and Dylan Thomas on the CD player reading "A Child's Christmas in Wales" and a fire and fruitcake. Tonight, it is just me by the light of my small christmas tree with music in the background and sleeping cats. The cats already got their Christmas treat of wet food (which they don't usually get) and wrapping paper to roll around in and tear apart. I don't think I will be up late tonight, I got up at 4:30 am and ran my holiday 5K distance on the treadmill (it took me exactly 40 minutes) and then I did about 25 minutes on the eliptical machine and some resistance training. I have not been great on food today, but then I knew I would not be great on food today. Tomorrow I am meeting a couple of friends for dinner and a movie which is almost a Christmas tradition in and of itself. I am planning on getting up at 4:30 am tomorrow as well to workout. I figure that just because it is the holiday season is no reason to disturb my normal workout schedule and tomorrow I will be back on track in terms of food. I would like to lose weight over the Christmas season and that means sticking to a pretty rigorous exercise schedule. Besides, getting up early means that it is done for the day and I can do whatever else I want to do over the course of the day. Anyway, I am off to snuggle the cats and set my alarm for tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Almost Christmas

I spent today wrapping presents and making peanut butter pumpkin soup. It was a nice peaceful day and my only current frustration is that I am driving a rental car because my car is still in the shop while they replace the catalytic converters (the shop ordered the wrong part but they swear it will be fixed by tomorrow and in the meantime they rented a car for me at their expense). I am ready for christmas, I need to make some baked goods for Christmas eve for the relatives of my best friend and then I am done with my shopping. I lost another pound this week but I still have a long ways to go before I am really happy with my weight again. I am planning on running another 5k distance on Christmas eve morning just to prove to myself that I am getting a little bit faster at running and hopefully I can run that distance in about 38-40 minutes. I only work two days this week (the benefits of working for the government) and then I have 12 days off and only two of those days are my vacation time (see aforementioned benefits of working for the government) which I desperately need because I am exhausted and tired from work. Anyway, here is what I am eating this week for the most part: Roasted red pepper hummus Roasted sweet potatoes Carrots Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Oatmeal with Splenda and Cinnamon Roast Chicken Thighs Pears Bananas Blueberry smoothies Tamales and Queso (Christmas eve lunch) Light Yoplait Yogurt I love peanut butter pumpkin soup, it is not low in calories but it is jam packed with good veggies and good fat. It basically has pumpkin, baked sweet potatoes and peanut butter mixed together with some butter and lots of chicken stock. It tastes like fall and winter to me with rich velvety veggies and it is hearty enough that a cup and a half is enough for dinner without needing to eat anything else. I made enough for two weeks because I figured that I would not feel like cooking that much while I am on vacation, we shall see what I feel like doing next week, I may surprise myself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Check-in

The sugar is finally out of my house since this morning I delivered all of my Christmas presents to my coworkers. It does feel a bit disingenuous to be working so hard at eating well and working out and then giving everyone tons of unhealthy gifts. Still, my coworkers don't really need to lose weight and they don't struggle with their eating the way that I have over the years. I am pretty much done with baking for the holiday season and the left over sugar and chocolate will just hide in the back of my pantry until a birthday party rolls around in a few months. I did pretty well at not eating much of the baked goods, I could have done better but they are out of my house now and that is good news. Tonight, I am going to clean up my kitchen and the remainder of my house which I wrecked over the weekend with the baking. I also have finally managed to raise my running speed again after several weeks of running an 11:45 mile pace, I am now running an 11:32 mile pace which is exciting. My real goal is to get to around a 10 mile pace over the next couple of months and then increase the incline to make the workout more difficult. I have been forced to acknowledge that I will never have more than 60 minutes a day to workout so I have to make that 60 minutes count everyday. Other than the Christmas cookies my eating has been good overall and that is good news given the time of year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A busy Christmas Elf

I feel like I spent all day today running around trying to get things done and only partially succeeding. I spent an hour at the post office to mail a package for a secret santa exchange I am involved in every year. Note to self, 9 am on one of only two weekends before christmas is not a good day to be at the post office. Of course, by the time I made it to the post office this morning I had already done the following: worked out, had breakfast, gone to target, and wrapped secret santa presents. I came home after a quick and disappointing stop at Pier 1 looking for small holiday trinkets for my coworkers and washed a piece of cross stitch. I need to make the cross stitch into an ornament tomorrow and it had a small stubborn dirt stain on it. I have now washed it three times and if the stain is not out, I officially give up. Then I started making cookies from the dough I had frozen last week. Today I made two kinds of cookies and white chocolate bark with assorted dried fruit. Tomorrow I have to make three more kinds of cookies and then I am done with presents for the coworkers. The problem with baking is that you have to test stuff to make sure it tastes alright and I think the sugar is making me feel like crap as a result. Oh, and I am also on my second load of laundry at this point so that I will not have to deal with it tomorrow and I will have more time to cook. My one saving grace has been the fact I made all the cookie dough ahead of time so that I am just assembling things and not making them as well. Although, I am quashing my perfectionist tendencies which make me fuss about taste and presentation which no one else will notice. Ah well, I am off to crash in front of the TV for a couple of hours.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Almost Friday

So, lets see where I am at right now. Wednesday I woke up with a horrible backache so I was not able to run, I just worked out on the eliptical machine for 60 minutes. I felt crappy all day but spent the whole day at work because otherwise there would not be enough people to cover court. Today, I spent all day in court but I felt much better so I got my run in this morning. I am probably going to run on Saturday morning to make up for missing Wednesday's run. I always work out on Saturday but I do not usually run so that will be a change. I came home to day to piles of boxes on my doorstep from christmas presents I ordered which finally arrived today. I am about halfway done with my shopping and this weekend I am going to do all my baking so I can give my coworkers their presents on Monday. I am still doing well on my food plan despite an increase proliferation of baked goods at work and at court and my plan is to only deviate on Christmas and stick to healthy eating the rest of the time. Right now my cats are playing in my small christmas tree and I am off to organize myself for Friday when I only have one short hearing rather than all day in court.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Brief check-in

This week is kicking my tail, I had to file a bunch of last minute paperwork on Monday and today as well. This morning it snowed but it was gone by the time I drove home but it is now freezing outside. I am madly trying to finish my homemade Christmas presents so I can give them to people on Monday and I am no where near finished shopping for my two best friends. This weekend I am going to try out for the community theatre play and I need to prepare for trials on Monday. I am still running about 30 minutes a day and doing another 30 minutes on the eliptical machine. I have to say that dragging my self to the gym in the freezing cold at about 4:30 in the morning is not pleasant but it must be done. Today I made myself a lovely light chinese chicken salad of chicken, bean sprouts, red cabbage, and carrots which is my attempt to get more veggies in my diet because I feel like I have been slacking on that for the last couple of weeks (well except for the carrots and yams that I have for lunch). I can't wait for Christmas because it means I will have 11 days off in a row and it is the first time that I will have taken significant time off since I started working at my job two years ago.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Holiday Season

I am back, I know it has been quiet around here recently, mostly due to the holidays and work issues. I am still totally on track, I am now running about an 11:45 mile for 30 minutes every weekday morning. I am up to working out for an hour every morning six days a week and my food has been surprisingly good given the holiday season ( I actually lost weight over Thanksgiving despite consuming queso and pumpkin empanadas). I spent today roasting chicken and sweet potatoes and making four different types of cookie dough for my holiday gifts. In true baking fashion I ran out of salt and had to put off making the last dough until I get to the store again. I am freezing all of the cookie dough (it keeps for about two weeks in the freezer) and I will make the cookies next week when I start putting together gift baskets for my coworkers. I am also making cross stitch ornaments for everyone and given them cards and calendars made by my mother. I am pretty much making all but a few christmas gifts this year which is my preference since I never find what I want in the stores. So, everything is going well and hopefully I will have more time to blog over the next few weeks than I have had over the last few weeks.