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I haven’t updated here in forever because I started another blog here. I can’t seem to pick a name that I like. But I promise to stick with the new one for a while.

Here’s the URL for the new one.

http://brownriceandbananas.wordpress.com/

Things have been insane for the past week or so. Last Sunday, I had plans to get up early and go for a run, and then meet my sister at church by 10:30. The goal was to wake up around 7:00. The reality was that I woke up around 6:15 to the sound of barking dogs. We have two great dogs. A husky/boxer mix named Lucy and a husky/black lab named Laika. Obviously not small dogs, as you can see below.

Lucy, our husky/boxer

Lucy, our husky/boxer

and Laika, the husky/black lab

and Laika, the husky/black lab

They’ve both got wonderful personalities, and they’re just all around great dogs. The one problem, they like to dig. So back to my Sunday morning story.

Laika was barking, which woke me up. When she wouldn’t stop after a minute or two, I looked out our bedroom window to see her standing beside the fence, barking at Lucy, who was standing just outside the fence. Needless to say, I quickly got Lucy into the garage and tried to find and fix where she had gotten out. And of course, this would happen on a morning where Nate was already at work, so I had to deal with it all alone. I found where she had gotten out- a hole she had dug at the bottom of the fence right beside a gate. She had pushed the gate open just enough that she could squeeze through at the bottom where her hole was. I put some big rocks there, and let her back out. Just a few minutes later, I decided to check again, and once again, she was out. I got her in the garage again and then went out to fix the fence. She had dug beside the rocks, and was doing the same thing again. I took an extension cord and used that to tie up the gate so that she couldn’t push it open. Haha… this dog was persistent.

I thought I had her, at least until Nate could call me back with some ideas, but as I was standing in the garage, about to take her back out to the yard, I heard scratching on the garage door… Laika was out, and she just wanted to be with Lucy. Again, I fixed it, the neighbor came over to tell me they were out, I put them in the garage, fixed it, put them back out, cleaned up the garage, they were out again, lather, rinse, repeat. This went on for about 5 hours, until they decided to take a nap. I siezed the opportunity and went to buy some tie outs. Which I couldn’t get into the ground. Uughhhh!

When Nate got home, his cousin came over to help him put poles in to keep them from getting out the same ways again. The next day, they just dug new holes. We tried pepper, hot sauce, metal spikes in the ground (think tent stakes, but made of metal), electric collars, the tie outs (which worked, until they found a way to tangle themselves up in them. Nothing was working. Finally, we have an electric fence. I hate it. I really do. But I know that getting hit by a car would be worse, and where we live, unfortunately, if they get out, that will be the end result.

Anyway, somewhere in there, I had gone out to check on them, and Lucy jumped up, wanting to play. Instead, she hit me in the mouth and chipped one of my front teeth. I’m going to the dentist on Monday. It’s really not bad at all- just the very tip. I tried to take a picture, but it really isn’t showing in the picture. That’s how minor it is. Still, it bothers me.

Then my mom called me to help her with a wedding cake, so for the past two days, that’s what I’ve been doing. I have known for ages how to decorate cakes- I grew up watching Mom, and even though she never officially “taught” me, I just kinda picked it up naturally the first time I tried. But the one thing I have never been able to do was roses, and I told her a while back that I wanted to learn. So that’s what I did. She sent me home with all of the leftover icing so that I could practice my roses a little more. So this morning, that’s just what I did. I wasn’t up to making a cake for it, so I just used a paper towel. Still, not tooooo bad.

Just playing around to see what I could do.

Just playing around to see what I could do.

I sent this to Nate as a picture message while he's at work this morning. I'm such a dork.

I sent this to Nate as a picture message while he's at work this morning. I'm such a dork.

I guess I should get moving today. I’ve done nothing today except eat breakfast and decorate a paper towel! Time to get my slow moving self up and doing something productive.

The past few days, I’ve been a bit of a slacker with my exercise. I’ve been doing some informal exercise, but not enough to make up for the lapse in my regular workouts. I’ve done some dog walking, some other walking, etc. but I know it’s not been the kind of exercise that will get me results. As I’ve been struggling with my weight, and watching the scale not budge, I’ve found my motivation waning a bit, so today, I decided to set a new challenge for myself today.

The goal: my first 15 minute uninterrupted run since my black belt training.

The result: I stepped off the treadmill, soaked, and with a grin that won’t go away.

IMG00177

I was so proud, I had to take a picture! (Nevermind the poor quality- it was taken with my cell phone) I have to admit, though, that there was a 2 minute walk break in the middle, and during the second half (after I accomplished my 15 minute goal) where I had to step off the treadmill to change the music a couple of times. I’ve lost my cable for my mp3 player, so I had brought the laptop downstairs to listen to music from it. Can’t do without my music. I’m such an addict that as soon as I realized that I couldn’t find the cable, I promptly got on ebay and ordered another. Hopefully it’ll come in in the next few days.

Other stats of note:

  • avg HR: 156
  • max HR: 176
  • burn: 389

The best part, though, was the change in my heart rate over the past couple of months. When I first started running, my average HR and max HR were a full 20 bpm higher than now, and the most amazing part was that during those quick breaks to change the music, my HR dropped back down SOOOO quickly. I was amazed. Obviously, making such an increase in my time was definitely pushing myself, but I really don’t think I overexerted myself. In fact, I feel great! I was amazed at how easy it was, and I could go again already… or maybe that’s just endorphins and adrenaline and such. Either way, I definitely think that taking a few days off helped me. I was worried that going back to the treadmill today, I would be dragging myself through a torturous workout and feel halfway dead at the end, but instead, I think that it gave my body a much needed break to heal up from how I was pushing it.

So today, I run because I love the feeling that challenging my body gives me.

I had the most delicious bowl of oatmeal this morning.

Picture 151

It was a mountain of homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal, topped with a squirt of whipped topping. It’s been a long time since I had apple cinnamon oatmeal, but the last time I did, it was the instant oatmeal packet. Wow! What a huge difference! Ignore the silly plastic bowl- this is a real woman’s breakfast!

One of my friends called me a little while later, wanting to celebrate some good news she had just gotten, and I still wasn’t hungry, even though it was well after my normal lunch time. Still, she headed up, and we ran a couple of errands together before we went to lunch. By the time we were finished with our errands, I was finally starting to get hungry again, so we opted for some Olive Garden for lunch.

For most of my life, I have struggled with this all-or-none, clean-your-plate mentality. It’s always been hard for me to see food still sitting on the plate and not polish it off. That’s especially true when the food is something that I enjoy eating. I’ve been really thinking about this a lot lately, and wondering how much impact that has on my weight issues. I mean, obviously it does, but I guess it’s been really hitting me how screwed up my relationship with food is. Not long ago, I could feel myself returning to the days of calorie counting, working out like a fiend, and not allowing myself to leave the treadmill until I had worked off my last meal or dessert…

The past couple of days, I have been trying hard to listen to my body, and use that to tell me when to stop eating. Yes, I am trying to lose weight, but I think that for so long I’ve been in the mindset of depriving myself of things I wanted or going overboard on those foods that I let food consume me, instead of the other way around. All I have been thinking about lately is food- what I was going to eat, how to make it healthier, what I was not going to eat, how much I was going to allow myself. With that mindset, it’s so hard to cut back without feeling deprived. Instead, the past couple of days, I have been allowing myself to have what I wanted, but listening to my body’s hunger cues to decide when to eat and how much to eat. What I realized is something that I have seen on so many blogs and other places, but I guess it means nothing until you realize it for yourself- I truly do not have to eat it all in one sitting or even all today… I can have more tomorrow. I can make a loaf of banana bread, have a slice, and know that tomorrow, the rest will still be there. I don’t have to “clean my plate.” When I’ve had enough to be satisfied, I can quit then.

Is this a magic answer- no… but it may be one more little piece of the puzzle, and I’ll take all of the puzzle pieces I can find. After I finished the day, I figured up how many calories I had eaten in the day, and I was very surprised to see that by listening to my body, it was just within the range I was shooting for.

Picture

What a way to start a morning. I got a little carried away making my green monster this morning and had to get a second glass. I think I might have gone a little bit overboard with the strawberries too.  In it are

  • 3 kale leaves
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 10 strawberries
  • a banana
  • tofu

Yummmmm… So now I’m sitting here, chilling, and finishing the second glass before I have to make a run to the school. One of the other 5th grade teachers called me yesterday and asked if we could meet today to plan some stuff for next year. I think we’re going to be doing some curriculum mapping and digging into our new science textbooks to see what all of the resources and ideas are.

I’m also a bit bummed out because I am not sure whether I’ll be able to get in a workout today. I thought about doing it this morning, but I think I would have been too pressed for time to do a good one. I’m not sure how long I’ll be at the school, so I may or may not have time before Nate gets home. Worst case scenario, I’ll get on the treadmill tonight before bedtime, which I hate to do. After working out, I always have trouble winding down, so it’ll probably take me a while to get to sleep.

I have a long day, so I better get moving. Off to make some bird bread now.

Today has been a pretty good day. I have been watching some TV, doing some laundry, and trying to get a little bit of cleaning done around the house. I absolutely hate housework. I can always think of a million other things I should be doing, and even when I’m on summer break, I can think of a million other things I want to be doing. Today, the TV is tempting me away from my housework. And then I’m also thinking I need to get a workout in this evening. Right now, even cooking is taking me away from the cleaning. I feel like I’m the 7 year old again, asking “Do I have toooooooooo?”

I’ve also been asking myself “do I have to” about something else. I have been tending back toward counting calories lately, and obsessing over those numbers, and using them as a basis for how many calories I “need” to burn during my workouts. Thus, working out is becoming a chore, because there’s a number in my head I have to hit, and until I do, I can’t get off the treadmill. I don’t want that. That’s a pretty miserable way to approach diet and exercise, and I know from experience that I quickly find myself cutting calories so that I don’t have to workout as long, or working out for hours to make up for a minor discretion that put me over my “allowed” calories.

I’ve been reading a lot on some other blogs, and I know that other bloggers have talked about listening to your body’s cues and learning to trust your body. What I see, though, is that those bloggers who are talking about that are at their goal weight. They’re not trying to lose. Could you listen to your body, trust it, and lose weight? Is that possible? I honestly feel like I’m putting undue stress on myself by making it all about numbers, and I can’t help but wonder if it might be worth a try. What I’m doing isn’t working for me, obviously, and I really feel like counting the calories in a slice of canteloupe or 2 slices of tomato isn’t worth “the squeeze.”

So far, it’s shaping up to be a great and pretty productive day. I had a quick breakfast of some kashi wild blueberry and oat cereal, and then a 35 minute workout with the Wii. I would have never expected a video game workout to kick my butt like that, but I won’t lie… it was rough today. I guess, though, when you think about it, workout videos can be pretty tough, and this is just like having a workout video with a sensor to make sure you’re doing the movements. Of course, it can be tricked (as I accidently discovered today) but then you’re only cheating yourself.

Today’s workout did raise some questions for me, though. According to the Wii, I burned 212 calories today. According to my HRM, I burned around 400 (I accidentally reset it to start again before I had a chance to get exact numbers, but I know it was over 400). Which is accurate? And do I go by exactly what it says?

It made me start thinking, and I would love to know the answer to this: When the HRM measures, it tells how many calories you burnt during that time period of exercise, right? But is that in addition to what you burn just by being alive, or do would you subtract from that whatever fraction of your BMR it is? I hope that’s making sense. In my head it does. It’s not entirely relevant, because I’m not going to completely flip out over less than a hundred calories one way or the other, I just thought of it, and it would be interesting to know the answer.

And furthermore, my workout today raised another question for me. I read once that you should do cardio first, and then strength, but that seems counter-intuitive. It would seem like you would be depleting your energy stores so that the strength would be either ineffective or just plain dangerous, depending on what you’re doing. I’ve also heard to go with what your goal is, and do that first, and then let the other come second. For me, my goal is to lose weight, and so it would seem like the cardio would be a better first exercise, and then strength afterwards… but I know that when I’ve done cardio first, I often have nothing left to give on the strength exercises, and I don’t want to sacrifice building muscle for it. I know that running builds muscle, as does the other cardio exercise I do… I just don’t want to feel like my workouts (and my body) are suffering from my not knowing.

I think that maybe that’s something about the Wii that I’m enjoying. There is cardio incorporated into the strength. It uses resistance bands and your own body weight for some of the exercises, but then alternates that with running in place or boxing drills.

Nate said yesterday that he is starting to see a difference in the way I look from the past few weeks. The scale isn’t showing it, and neither are my clothes, but I can honestly say that when I look at my legs, there is more definition and my stomach is shaping up a bit. Hopefully the scale and the fit are just a little bit slower to show. I wish I had thought to take a before and after pic. I mean, I could take a pic now, but there’s no before, so it wouldn’t really show the change.

Edited to add this later in the day, because it didn’t seem to warrant another post: I did some cardio boxing a little while ago to add another 180 calories burnt today. Yah!!! That makes a grand total of 50 minutes of exercise and somewhere around 580-600 calories burnt. I’m realizing that I’ve been neglecting my exercise. I’ve done some, but it’s been inconsistent and unfocused, and I’m starting to wonder if committing to it consistently may be what it takes to get the weight off AND make me feel a lot better overall. I don’t think my diet was really as big of a problem as I thought it was, but I was not very active, and I think that’s what hurt me more than anything else, so hopefully I’ll be seeing big changes.

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