Sunday, January 25, 2009

Still Sick

I was horribly sick from Thursday afternoon through today, I am better today but not nearly better. I find myself getting tired quickly if I try to do a lot of stuff and that is very bad. Especially bad given I am in trial right now. Fortunately we are doing a half day tomorrow because I don't think I would be able to manage a full day. I took Friday and Saturday off from working out and depending on how I feel, I will try and do a gentle workout tomorrow. I did not pay attention to what I ate, but I ended up eating healthy anyways. Today, I made it to the grocery store (because I had no food left) and then I slowly (i.e. with lots of breaks to rest) did my laundry and cooked food for the week. As you can see below it is uninspired because it was all about easy to prepare food. Roasted Red Pepper hummus Roasted sweet potatoes Carrots Turkey Burgers with whole wheat buns Onions Reduced fat provolone cheese Oatmeal with Splenda and Cinnamon Roast Chicken Thighs Pears Bananas Mango smoothies Light Yoplait Yogurt I have been craving hamburgers with buns for some reason (well not while I was sick, before that) so I bought 100 percent whole wheat buns to go with the turkey burgers. That will be dinner all week long and hopefully by next weekend I will feel inspired to make something different and more complex for food.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pushing through the wall

I do not really feel better today, but then again I do not feel worse. I cannot tell where that leaves me at this point. So, I keep working out and eating all of my usual foods in the hope I will get better quickly. My run this morning was not great, probably because of the cold. I hit a wall at 16 minutes (and yes I know it was exactly 16 minutes) where I suddenly felt like crap. I kept running to see if it would pass and it did eventually but it made the rest of the run rather unpleasant. Really, I think it was all mental and I just had to convince myself to keep running and moving through the workout. This I suspect is the part that trips everyone up in weightloss, the inability to convince one's brain to push through a mental block. I am getting better at it, but it is really hard on days like today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Exercise a cold

My head hurts, and I can't breathe through my nose. Still, I had a decent run this morning which makes absolutely no sense given my head cold. Admittedly, I usually workout through sickness unless I am really ill. Most everything I have read says that you can keep working out with no ill effects as long as you are careful. So, rather than break my workout schedule, I got up this morning and went to the gym. I will go tomorrow and keep running until I feel like it is a bad idea. It was back to work today for me and that means going back to my carefully planned weekday meals which are the same as they have been for the past five months. I really don't get bored of eating the same thing which is good news for me because it makes my life simple. Anyway, I am off to curl up in front of the tv and then crash early because of this cold.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Like coming home

So, I will find out some time this week if I made it into the play or not. I am really rusty so who knows how I did in my audition. I can tell you this, it felt like coming home (hence the post title). It felt really good to do something that I love to do and to be free to express that side of myself again. Part of the reason I stopped doing theatre in high school was the teacher and part of it was because I knew I would never get major parts at my weight. This time around it is less about the parts and more about the love of acting and I am more at peace with who I am and what I look like (although I am still working my butt off at losing weight). I will say that one of the things they don't tell you about working out is that it makes you brave. Somehow the fact that I can get up in the morning and run for 30 minutes makes me fearless and willing to try a lot more things. I lost that for awhile over the past couple of years but it is back now with a vengeance. So, on I go and whatever happens with this play, I will be back to audition for the next one as well.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My weekly menu

I am about to head out the door to try out for community theatre. I doubt I'll make it into the play, there are only three female parts and I have not been in a theatre production since my freshman year in high school. In other words, here goes nothing. However, I thought I would pop in with the weekly menu which is as follows: Roasted Red Pepper hummus Roasted sweet potatoes Carrots Turkey Burgers Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Oatmeal with Splenda and Cinnamon Roast Chicken Thighs Pears Bananas Blueberry smoothies Light Yoplait Yogurt Light Coconut and Soy Milk Rice pudding I am finally all but finished with the bran muffins I made a month ago, now it is on to finishing off the pumpkin soup which is still hanging out it my fridge. If I don't finish it this week I am going to chuck it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Community Service Again

Once again this is community service night for me. So, I am working what amounts to an eleven hour day although I do not begrudge the time I am spending volunteering. Partially I suppose it is because the more I work out, the more energy I have in the long run. I am a little tired today because I stayed up late last night (10 pm which is late for me) and I am relying on the energy from my run this morning to get me through the rest of the day. We will see how that works and whether I make it successfully through everything. I did run at 5.5. mph today and while it was not a great run and my legs feel pretty spent, at least I managed to run. I have one more run left this week and hopefully I will accomplish that (unlike last week) with no major issues. I did wear ballet flats to work today to rest my improving ankle and I think that will help as well with running. Food is fine, and I am still staying away from white bread and sugar which is my major concern in terms of my food. I have been a little low on protein so I am going to work on increasing that amount in my diet over the next couple of weeks. I think it is low because I have been eating a lot of vegetable soups and I need to have more chicken and fish in my diet since I am not big on red meat. So, I am keeping going and at least tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to 5.5

Today I cranked my speed back up to 5.5 mph. It was not easy for the first 10-15 minutes but the second half of my run was not bad. I am going to have to stay at 5.5 mph for at least another week until my body really adjusts to the speed. I did decline a lunch out with a friend of mine today because I had a feeling that if there was bread within five miles of the restaurant I would inhale it in a heartbeat. So, instead I stayed at my desk and ate my carrots, pear, hummus, roast chicken, and roasted sweet potatoes. I have a yogurt left for the day as my afternoon snack and I ate a banana this morning for my mid-morning snack. I suspect that I will be low on calories today but it is better than inhaling half a loaf of bread for my midday meal. I have learned that sometimes it is better just to stay out of the way of temptation than to try and remain strong while directly facing it. I am also still toying with the idea of a personal trainer, mostly because I am going to try out for community theatre and I am not sure when I will fit in a trainer if I make it into a play. I think I can fit it in, I just am not sure how much I want to juggle right now. Anyway, I will make up my mind in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Checkin

I had to slow down my running this morning, due the still stiff ankle. However, I really wanted to run (which is odd for me) and thus the slower pace was a good compromise. I am playing it by ear and it really just depends on how I feel every morning. Once I hit about the middle of the run, everything felt just fine. I don't know that I actually like working out as much as I do not function properly during the day if I skip a workout. Working out is a real mood stabilizer for me and one that I need given the stressful nature of my job. Food is unremarkable at this point, I am still eating healthy food and really liking it. I think I have been helped by the fact that I like to cook and I like vegetables which is not true of many people that I know who have weight problems. Besides, the benefit of living alone is that I can make the food on the weekend and just eat the same thing all week and no one complains about the lack of variety. I suspect that would not be true if I had to feed anyone else beyond my cats. Now, if I could just figure out what to cook for next week which is not a soup since I have made a lot of soups recently.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lucky number 600

I believe this is my 600th post which is rather frightening in away, I guess I have been at this for a long time. My ankle has been acting up for several days now, well actually it is more my heel but you get the point. It was sore enough that I did not run last Friday and today was the first day I tried jogging again. My ankle ended up not being the problem, I just felt tired and like I had not run in a long time rather than just four days. Today, I am trying to eat more than I did yesterday including more protein in the hopes that it will help with my jog tomorrow morning. I am seeing how my ankle/heel feels and will stop running if it begins to seriously hurt again since an injury would mess up my workouts completely. In other news, I was thinking today about how I can replace sugar and white flour (ie bread and pasta) with other food that I love in my diet. If I eat sugar, I crave it immediately and it takes about a week to detox myself from it, the same is true of bread and pasta. However, there are foods I really love such as hummus (by the way sun dried tomato hummus is a huge success) and blueberry smoothies (made with splenda) which give me no ill effects whatsoever. So, I am trying to think of them as treats as opposed to sugary substances in my diet and I can eat them a lot provided they fit in my daily calorie budget. Frankly, it is all about choices and recognizing what I can eat and be happy with and what will cause my diet to spin out of control immediately. So, I have given up starbucks almost entirely and now I buy flavored coffee creamers that I like and make coffee at home instead. Less calories (around 140 usually as opposed to 500+) and a lower cost overall which is good news in this economy. It is all about balancing and smart choices in my life which I am really trying to make everyday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Weekly Menu

I am finally done with all my prep work for the week. I have roasted off all my chicken thighs for lunch, made a tomato soup, and made sun dried tomato hummus (which is my own variation on my regular roasted red pepper hummus). I am also trying to finish off some left over food ranging from frozen bran muffins to the remains of my peanut butter pumpkin soup. I also made a light rice pudding last night which was made with light coconut milk and light vanilla soy milk rather than full fat milk. I only made four servings which each run about 250 calories but it is very tasty and I will probably make it again some time. I will admit to being a creature of habit in certain ways, I always eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch each week and only dinner really varies on my meal plan. It works for me but I do realize that this would bore other people. However, below is my plan for the week, I guess I was craving tomatoes this week for some reason. Sun Dried Tomato hummus Roasted sweet potatoes Carrots Light Cream of Tomato Soup Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Oatmeal with Splenda and Cinnamon Roast Chicken Thighs Pears Bananas Blueberry smoothies Light Yoplait Yogurt Light Bran Muffins Light Coconut and Soy Milk Rice pudding

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Long Day's Journey Into Night

It was an exceptionally long day today. I spent all day in court and then I went and did community service after work and did not get home until about 7:30 p.m. Since I get to work at 7 a.m., you can see how long a work day it really was for me. They had food at my community service event but it was pizza which I really try to avoid because of all the fat and white processed flour. So, I did not eat until I came home and I basically inhaled a bowl of black bean soup and a low calorie bran muffin. Oh, and I never got to either of my fruit snacks today which is not a good thing. I am tired but tomorrow is friday which is good news. I am going to go pack my lunch for tomorrow and go to bed now.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Leg cramps and wednesday blahs

I am tired, I always get tired about midweek from all the working out and just from my job itself. I woke up with the worst leg cramp this morning but it went away pretty quickly so I was able to run when I got to the gym. There was already somebody working out and he immediately left when I arrived which surprised me. Perhaps it was my panting from the running, I cannot really say. In any event, I did my normal workout and then did my strength training moves once I got to work. See, this is proof that you can always schedule in exercise, whether you want to admit it or not. I work out for an hour at 4:30 am and then I usually do a bunch of strength and core fitness moves in my office at work with the door shut. I pick moves I don't need much equipment for and then if I am going to lift weights, I have weights in my apartment. Thus, there is never any excuse when it comes to working out.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The eleven mile mark

As promised, I moved up my speed to 5.5. mph this morning. It was fine, I did realize that I needed a new sports bra but the running was fine. I was actually surprised that there was not much of a difference between 5.5 mph and 5.4 mph especially given how I had struggled with 5.4 mph. I am on plan with everything else and especially my eating which is the good news. The black bean soup is delicious and it is chock full of vegetables so I feel like I am eating enough fruits and vegetables this week for once. Everything is falling into line again and I feel really stable and balanced for the first time in a long time. Anyway, I am off to clean up and feed my small furry children.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A running fool

I had the best run this morning, really I did and I know that is a little bit strange. It was easy and I was not breathing all that hard by the time that I was finished. I am back to my standard hour of cardio now since I had to go back to work this morning at 7 am. Tomorrow I am going to try running at 5.5 mph (an 11 minute mile) and seeing how it goes and whether or not I can manage the speed. I was going to wait a week to increase my speed but after this morning run seemed so easy it seems silly to not try running faster. I was in a really good mood as a result when I got into the office this morning which has proved to be amusing because everyone else has been in really bad moods since they came back from vacation. I think that because the hardest part of my day is working out and that is over by 6 a.m. I tend to be in a better mood for the rest of the day. I had a bit of a headache last night and I was worried that I would not feel good this morning but it worked out well in the end. I am once again motivated to be back on a relatively strict regime for the next few months, i.e. no bread and no sugar because it made me really sluggish over the holidays. So, I am back to my healthy eating with a mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein. I still have a long ways to go but I am happy with where I am right now and how I feel overall.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Menu

I go back to work tomorrow morning and that meant I once again spent all of today cooking food for the week. I once again was reminded of how much I love the editors of Cook's Illustrated and their book of light recipes which make it really easy for me to cook things that I love and can eat without calorie fears. This week I made a huge pot of spicy black bean soup which is chock full of veggies and only 350 calories for 1.5 cups (which is plenty for dinner). So tasty. I also made my standard food supplies, sweet potato fries and roasted chicken along with hummus. This is what no one really mentions about healthy eating, it takes a lot of work to prep and prepare everything especially if you make everything from scratch as I prefer to do most of the time. Still, my lunch for tomorrow is packed with carrots, hummus, roast chicken, yogurt, a pear, and a banana, which works out to lunch and two snacks as well. I am well set for the week but I have no idea where my Sunday really went because I spent so much of it in the kitchen. The benefit of course is that I don't have to do much cooking over the course of the week because I can just pull the soup out of the fridge and warm it up and everything is prepared for me to pack for lunch all week. So, tomorrow it is back to the daily grind although it does not change that much for me because I have been getting up early every day anyways. So the week's menu is as follows. Roasted red pepper hummus Roasted sweet potatoes Carrots Spicy Black Bean Soup Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Oatmeal with Splenda and Cinnamon Roast Chicken Thighs Pears Bananas Blueberry smoothies Smoked Salmon Yogurt Cheese Hot Pepper Jelly Yogurt Cheese Light Yoplait Yogurt

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Grocery Store Adventures and Saturday Workouts

I have now finished my last workout for the week, 25 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill and 45 minutes on the eliptical machine. Saturdays are always a little more mellow in terms of workouts than the rest of the week because I am not running or pushing myself as hard because I am tired and sore. It is more important to me on Saturdays to do something involving cardio than to run myself ragged with a high intensity workout. I did succeed in one mini goal that I had, I managed to workout on the same schedule during my vacation as I do when I am working. I also am almost at the point of running an 11 minute mile although I think it will probably take me another week to get there because I am not going to increase my running speed this coming week due to how hard it has been to adjust to running at 5.4 mph. I also made it to the grocery store yesterday and was reminded of why I usually go to the store early on Saturday or Sunday morning no people or lines to contend with while I am shopping. The store was really crowded and busy but I got all of my food for the week and I will make it today or tomorrow for the week. Probably tomorrow because that way it will last me through the week. I will be glad to be back on my regular schedule next week because it makes watching my food intake a lot less stressful and easier because I am not bored and contemplating what I want to eat. Schedules always make my life easier to manage probably because I am something of a control freak in certain ways and I want things to run to plan. However, I have not had any major food slip ups in a while, so I am pleased and also happy that all of the sugar is out of my house so there are no lurking cookie temptations in the fridge. I am going to go stretch now and clean my kitchen up so that I can be prepared for all the cooking tomorrow.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Temple Foods again

I did not sleep well last night, not at all. I woke up at 1:30 because I thought some kind of alarm was going off and after determining that I was mistaken, I had problems falling back to sleep. However, I dragged myself over to the gym as I usually do and ran for 31 minutes anyway. I was still able to run at 5.4 mph but my legs were pretty sore from yesterday's long run. I also did my standard eliptical work and core training. I am considering going to the grocery today just to get my shopping done for next week, but I am not sure I will actually make it there. I have finally cleaned all of the sugar out of my house and next week will be composed of healthy meats and veggies with no bread or pasta on the menu. I am back to what I consider to be my "temple foods". a term I adopted from Nigela Lawson several years ago. Basically, as I have explained in the past, "temple foods" are the cleanest of clean foods to me, vegetables, lean meats, fruits, no processed products, and a very balanced diet. Admittedly, I try to eat this kind of foods anyway but I always try to start the new year by making an extra effort to eat healthy vegetables and proteins. They also have the benefit of allowing me to eat more food overall than I would manage normally because I will not have a lot of calories from bread or pasta. So, either today or tomorrow I will go and shop for those foods at the grocery store and cook everything for next weeks meal plan.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

True to my word

So, I was up at the crack of dawn this morning just as I said I would be in my post yesterday. Technically it was prior to the crack of dawn because the sun did not come out for another two hours or so. I hauled myself out of my nice warm bed and dragged myself over to the little gym at my apartment complex and on to the treadmill. I ran for 41 minutes which worked out to approximately 3.6 miles in terms of distance. I also managed to run at 5.4 mph for that entire time which was nice since on tuesday and wednesday I only ran for 10 minutes at 5.4 mph and then dropped down to 5.3 mph. Plus, we all know what monday's run was like for me. After running on the treadmill, I walked on it for another 11 minutes to catch my breathe and then I spent 25 minutes on the eliptical machine at level 17 (my normal level). After that, I stretched and came back to my apartment and have been lazing around ever since. Well, I did have a bowl of oatmeal and two cups of coffee and a lot of water but other than that I have been lazing around in yoga pants and a comfy gap t-shirt. In about an hour I have to get ready to go to my friend's investiture ceremony (he just became a judge) and meet one of my friends for lunch. I have no idea what to wear other than knowing jeans are probably not an appropriate choice. However, I am pleased that I managed a long run this morning since there may be a reception type thing and random food this afternoon. Running a 5k distance is something that I am trying to turn into a holiday tradition for the rest of this year and it is a good reminder of how much my fitness has come back over the last three months. I am very pleased with myself that I have not allowed the holidays or vacation days to stop me from working out everyday and I have in fact used them to get in slightly longer workouts than normal. I think I will successfully come through the holiday season without gaining any weight as a result which is very good news for me. Now I just have to get through the rest of the year, one day at a time.