Yeah, I haven’t posted since last week’s weigh in. It’s been that kind of week. Too much eating out, too much cold weather and snow, not enough healthy eating or outdoor exercise. I’m feeling it, for sure. My mood is off, my choices are lackluster, and I can’t wait for warmth and spring.
I wanted to run a 5K last weekend but I decided the weather was just too awful. It had snowed and the temperature was about 13 degrees. I hit the treadmill instead. I’d like to try again this weekend, although I might hold out for next. There’s a 4 miler that I would like to try. Except it’s called a “Sweetheart Run” and I think that means you’re supposed to sign up with a partner. Yeah, that isn’t happening. Either way, I need to find something soon, before my scheduled Shamrock Race on March 3. It seems like a million years away.
Roni put up a perfect post for my mood last night. “On Not Reaching Goals” was the perfect thing for me to read after I stepped on the scale this morning. This weigh in kind of cements the fact that I won’t hit my goal on time, and I was feeling pretty crappy about it (despite posting a small loss this week). But her take, which is the one that I take too when I am in a better head place, makes sense. Sure, you’ll miss your goal. It happens. But it’s the continuing to strive for it that makes us move forward. It’s practically the whole theme of this blog: moving mostly forward. There are times you won’t move forward. But you have to keep trying.
So I’ll keep soldiering on.
Current Week: -0.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 17.2 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date: 9
Not a good week.
I could feel the complacency right from the start on Wednesday, when I “rewarded” myself for a loss by having 2 glasses of wine on Wednesday night last week. And since the bottle was open, a few more on Thursday. And then Friday was my son’s birthday party. Saturday we had dinner at home, my husband done with his rough January period. Heavy meal, more wine. Sunday, we had his cousins over for dinner. More wine, heavy appetizers filled with cheese and bread and oozy waist expanding goodness. Monday, my son’s actual birthday, and a trip to the local Mexican restaurant. Can’t go there without having a margarita or two, right? Yesterday, my vow to be “good” on the final day before weigh in went to shit when my girlfriend and I went back to the same Mexican place and crabbed out our lives over good food and (more) margaritas.
The thing about it is, I know exactly where I slipped, how I slipped, and I was very conscious about making every one of my bad choices this week.
It’s because I’m close to the line. The line of self sabotage. There is a mental thing that happens to me when I get down to A Certain Number. And below it, I feel lovely, thinner, healthier, and sure that I’ve finally conquered my weight problem. Above it, I feel fat and foolish. Last week, I weighed in just 0.4 above the magic number….I was there! This week I’m above it. Several pounds above it.
That’s because I gained 2.4 lbs last week.
I’m pissed, I’m frustrated and I just want to whine about all of it. How hard it is, how perfect you have to be all of the time, how you can’t enjoy your life and be thin, how it doesn’t matter how far you run or how many strength building exercises you do, you can still feel fat and awful when you’ve screwed up your food choices and post a gain on the scale.
In my head, all of that is happening. I am whining. I’m frustrated. And I have no one to blame but myself.
But on paper, I’m still going forward. What other choice is there? I can’t give up. My timeline is pretty much blown, but I’m still going to get back to tracking today and have a better food day. Any progress is better than none.
Current Week: +2.4 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 17.8 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date: 10
So it was further than I’ve ever gone today, but definitely not faster. A total of 7.42 miles, 7 of it the “run” portion. I put that in quotes because there was walking involved there too.
I haven’t run over 5 miles since my 10K two weeks ago today, so it was time. I needed to get a long run in, adding more distance. Technically I probably should have done 6.5 miles today but I was itchy since it has been so long. I decided to go for 7, even if it meant some walking. I planned an ambitious route, knowing there were hills (“I need the practice,” I smugly thought to myself). I wasn’t sure of the mileage, but I figured I’d adjust as I went along.
Mile one and two felt fine. I was going along my normal route, having done a five minute warmup walk. The weather today was warmer than yesterday, perfect running weather for me (35 degrees, slight breeze). Around mile three I started to feel tired, not terrible, but a little bit. I thought at this point how maybe I should think about getting a water belt for these longer runs, as I was a little thirsty.
No big deal. Around this point I thought about adjusting my route, knowing there was a big hill coming up. But I talked myself out of it. I needed to deal with hills. So I kept going, finally letting myself walk a bit just before and after the hill. That was fine.
Then around mile four I started to feel funny. Like possibly maybe dehydrated. I was in a slight incline and I decided there was just going to have to be more walking on this one. I wasn’t going to stop until I hit 7 miles, dammit. Even if it meant some of it was walking.
I felt better once I let myself agree to some walk breaks, and by mile 5 I was feeling pretty good again. I was also on a flat road; coincidence? Probably not. I kept going, past the park at the end of my street and down a lovely hill to get myself up to the six mile mark. Which I was loving, even though I knew it meant I was going to have to go right back up it on my way back. During my last mile. Of a seven mile run. Probably not my smartest choice.
But whatever. I ran/walked the hill, hit the last half mile, and ran the rest of it. I had about .15 of a mile left to go when I hit 7 miles, and let that be my cooldown walk. I was tired, probably wasn’t quite ready for this distance and probably a little dehydrated. So I wasn’t going to push it.
Still, I feel fine now, and kind of amazed that I logged 7.42 miles (including warmup and cooldown). It’s still kind of unreal to me that I can do this. Maybe there is a half marathon in my future after all.
It’s really freaking cold here. The temperature outside this morning was 24.1 and dropping as I pondered whether or not I was going to indeed go out for my “long run” of 6.75 miles this morning.
Don’t get me wrong. I like cold weather running. My favorite running temperature is probably 35 degrees. Once I’m out there I am toasty warm and eventually I get rid of the headband and the gloves because my blood is pumping so hard through my veins that I don’t need them anymore.
But somehow, the idea of running in 23 degree weather this morning put me off. Way off. It’s only 5 degrees. Why am I such a wimp?
I felt lazy for a few minutes, and thought maybe I’d skip working out today. I could do my long run tomorrow when it was in the thirties. So maybe i could just sit on the sofa for a few minutes this morning instead and have a second cup of coffee.
I did, I thought about it. But then I yelled at myself that this was stupid, because I hadn’t worked out at all yesterday, and after traveling this weekend, I couldn’t do another multi day slide. So I popped in my favorite workout DVD and dialed up two workouts: the hardest cardio one (which I never do because I remember it being so hard) and the strength training one (which I love).
And guess what? That hard cardio workout, the one I always skip because I remembered it was too hard?
It was over before I even knew what was happening. 20 minutes of cardio and I was just getting started, but that workout was over.
Do you know how good that felt? To realize how far I have come, that the once dreaded workout was now Too Short? Man, that’s something else.
And I will do that long run tomorrow. I will.
Another good week on the scale, though I’m still not back down to my pre holiday weight. Still, another 1.6 lbs down feels good, and I’m seeing the good habits starting to be less conscious and more just part of the new reality.
Example: I was out of town visiting family this weekend, and as there usually is, there was a big dinner with everyone together. Burgers and sausages and lots of desserts. I opted for a black bean burger with no bun, and lots of salad and veggies. There was chocolate cake, and I had some, but it was about a third of the size piece I would used to have.
Yes, there was wine, and yes, I drank plenty. But to make up for that indiscretion, I didn’t drink at all in the days following. That may not sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but it’s a shift for me. I am used to unwinding most nights with a glass of wine, and I didn’t this week, because I knew I’d kind of already drunk them. 🙂 Before, I just would have let Saturday night stand alone as a party night, and still do my usual every other night. So I feel good about that.
Less exercise this week, unfortunately. The traveling definitely took a bite out of my schedule, and work/school/life/kids is taking another one. Today, for example, was going to be a run day, but there is snow on the ground. I just spent 70 minutes shoveling, which is probably still a good workout, but I need to get a good run in soon. Just typing that sentence shows that I’ve come a long way.
Here’s this week’s stats:
Current Week: -1.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 15.4 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date: 11
I haven’t been writing a lot about my food choices lately, and I think it is probably the single most important element in a weight loss program. I heard someone say once that it is really hard to work off 500 calories, but it is exceptionally easy to eat 500 calories. I have been making a conscious effort over the last few months to make better food choices, so here is a list of some of my new go to foods.
1. Plain Greek yogurt.
I use this for breakfast most days of the week. I top it with frozen fruit, granola, sunflower seeds, real maple syrup, you name it. It’s also a great item to have in the fridge for soups and a sour cream replacement. I never used to like plain yogurt but now I realize how versatile it is, and it’s so much healthier for me to dress it up than a bunch of chemicals.
2. Homemade whole wheat pancakes.
I used to always buy packaged pancake mix, but I’ve started to wean my kids off of them and moved towards the better, homemade kind that have five or six real ingredients instead of 30 fake ones. The great thing about these is that you can freeze them, pop two in the toaster in the mornings and boom: breakfast. You can top them with the above mentioned yogurt, fruit or real maple syrup.
3. Egg whites.
I always shied away from egg whites because I never felt full from them. But now I combine them with one whole egg to get the protein and bulk. You can buy packages of just egg whites, which is handy; I hate to waste.
4. Bags of spinach/arugula blend
I never noticed these until recently. I love the versatility of these. Spinach alone feels kind of bland but mixed with arugula makes it tastier. You can make a great salad with this, or use it in wraps, or cook it in omelets, soups, whatever. I find myself tossing in a handful here and there in lots of different htings.
5. Homemade pizza dough.
This could not be easier to make with a breadmaker. You throw in water, salt, honey, flour and yeast and a few hours later, you have dough. I keep a container of yeast in my fridge (the little envelopes get expensive if you use yeast a lot) and always have the ingredients for pizza. It’s a great go to meal when you don’t have any other plan for dinner. The last one I made had turkey bacon and carmelized onions and it was to die for.
I eat a lot of nuts for snacks, maybe too much. I love a salty snack, and I find myself craving them. I need to work on portion control with them, but I know they’re still a better snack than say, pretzels.
These are in season right now and couldn’t be easier to grab and go. I keep a bowl on the counter. When I want something sweet, I try to go for one of these first to see if that will take care of the craving. They’re full of fiber and vitamin C.
8. Diet Tonic Water
In my quest to reduce the booze, I still want a drink at night. Diet tonic fills the need and gives me some hydration. I choose this over seltzer or sparkling water, even though I know those are likely better choices, but it’s a start for me. I love a gin or vodka and tonic, and it’s really the tonic flavor I like. A diet version seems like a win/win.
9. Spaghetti Squash/Roasted Squash
I discovered how easy it was to roast squash this fall. Now I often will roast a spaghetti squash on the weekend and have it in the fridge for most of the week. You can use the spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti. It’s also super as a filler in soups to give them more bulk. Any squash can be roasted this way: cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, brush the flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast face down at 400 for 30-45 minutes depending on size. Butternut squashes, pumpkins, spaghetti squashes all work wonderfully this way.
All summer long when I went to the farmers’ market I would get a big bunch of kale. I would make kale chips out of it then, but now that it’s winter it’s great for soups. I know some people eat it raw in salads, but I’m not a huge salad fan, and I think the flavor of kale is a bit strong raw. But I love it as a filler in soups or sauteed like spinach with some garlic. It’s great in pasta dishes as well.
So there you have it. There are ten new go to foods that I’ve embraced in this journey to get healthier. Did I leave one of your favorites off of the list?
Down 2.6 lbs this week.
I wish it were more. I know, that’s ridiculous.
I am very glad to see it because of our overnight in NYC last weekend….let’s just say diet food wasn’t on the menu at the two restaurants we ate at. While I ran my 10K and walked a ton, I also drank and ate plenty too. But still, somehow, despite that, I was kind of hoping the 6.2 lb gain from Christmas break was mostly water weight and it would just “fall off” after I (mostly) got back in the game.
At least the scale is headed back in the right direction.
I am starting to feel that my body is starting to changed shape and size. The strength training I’m doing is definitely giving my arms some definition. I am fitting back into the smaller bras that I bought when I lost weight the first time five (!) years ago. I noticed in Florida clothes that were snug last summer fit. So that part is feeling good, and motivating me to continue.
And the running continues to feel good. After a few days of rest, I went out for a 3.5 mile run yesterday and it felt great. I’ve signed up for 2 5Ks in March: a St. Patrick’s Day race early in the month and a Sandy Hook Relief race later in the month. I’d love to do something before then, but I’m going to kind of hedge my bets and watch the weather. This time of year, I don’t want sign up for something only to have it snowed out. So we’ll see.
This week’s stats:
Current Week: -2.6 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose: 17 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date: 12