Yesterday I decided to take an “easy” day. I only ran for about 10 minutes, and then I decided to try out a new game Nate had gotten for the Wii. He got the EA Active game. I have been such a skeptic about using the wii for exercise, but I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I wouldn’t rely on it alone for my working out, but I will definitely have to admit that my thighs were burning by the end of the workout. Still, it left me really looking forward to today’s run. I was a little bit shaken up by that- I looked forward to running. Who would have thought it?!!

I think I’m beginning to really love exercise again. That’s really refreshing for me, because for such a long time, it was such a huge part of who I was, and I feel like I have a long lost friend back. Today’s run was awesome.

  • Time: 33:36 (counting a 5 minute warm up and 2 minute cool down)
  • Avg HR: 151
  • Max HR: 177
  • Calories: 380

I would love to know the distance, but since I don’t have a pedometer or anything, and I’m running on the treadmill, I would have to remember to check the distance before I get off, and I never do. I’ll have to make a mental note to do that tomorrow. Regardless of the mileage, I’m thrilled to be moving again. It’s great to have no more foot or ankle pain, and even though progress is slow, it’s still progress.

I was talking to a friend at work earlier today. She’s our school’s speech teacher, but has recently (within the past year) taken up running. She said something that I really hadn’t thought of, but once she said it, I have to agree. Most sports (or other areas of our lives, for that matter) when you say something that is an accomplishment, the response often includes a touch of competitiveness. For example, when I say that I have a martial arts background (yes, I am a black belt), the immediate response is something related to rank. There’s a level of disregard by many if you are less than a black belt, and amongst black belts, while there is an immediate level of respect, there is often (not always) a comparison amongst styles (my style is better than your style, etc.)

Amongst runners, though, there doesn’t seem to be as much of that. There is a definite level of competitiveness on the track/road, but off the track, there is a camaraderie there. As a beginner to any sport, for many of us, there is a feeling that we are somehow lesser than those who have been in it longer. Instead, when the subject of running came up today (with another runner at the table) I made the comment that I was only able to run 5 minutes or so, and the immediate response was that it starts that way for everyone. There was no lessening of what I was able to do. I was met with encouragement, rather than someone telling me what they were able to do. It made me feel like I was more of a runner, to know that even as little as I am able to do, every runner starts there and it builds. I mean, I knew that, but after feeling for so long like maybe I just wasn’t cut out for running, it’s nice to hear that from someone else.

Then to follow that up with a nice run tonight, it really makes me feel good.

And on top of that, I had a friend ask me this afternoon how much weight I have lost lately. It’s not a significant amount, by any means, but the change has not been a scale change. A few pounds, at most. But when I look at my legs and my tummy, I see a definite change. My legs now have some muscle, and my stomach is beginning to flatten out a bit. Mind you, it’s not a huge change, and I’m shocked that she can see it. I can only tell when I’m wearing shorts or a tighter shirt, and I didn’t wear either of those today. Still, I’ll gladly take any change I can get! Scale or not!

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Last night, I went to bed very late, but I figured it was no big deal, since it was Saturday, so I could sleep in. Guess again.

6:00 this morning, I hear BEEP BEEP BEEP… BEEP BEEP BEEP… Guess what I forgot to do last night. Oh well, I figured. I’ll just shoot Nate a quick text to tell him that I love him and to have a good day, and then I’ll go back to sleep. Of course, in the real world, it never happens that way.

So now, here it is, 8:40, and I’m still exhausted, hungry, and dreading going to the gym because I don’t feel like I have the energy to sit up straight, even. And to top it, my darling eclectus keeps barking at me. Yep… my parrot is going through a bit of an identity crisis, and seems to think he’s a dog all of a sudden, so anytime I come near the cage, he barks. Which would be amusing, if he didn’t follow it up with growling and biting. Clearly, it’s hormonal season for Mr. Mango.

Some happy news to report, and I don’t know how I neglected to mention this last night… Yesterday, I comfortably into jeans that were one size smaller than I’ve been wearing. This was an old pair that I hadn’t worn in a while, because they didn’t fit anymore. Yesterday morning, I figured I’d give them a try, and they fit! I’m so happy!!!

That kinda adds a little extra happy to this morning’s green smoothie.

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And now, I guess it’s time to get off of this computer and do something productive with my day, even though when I look out the window, all I want to do is go back to sleep. Just 30 minutes on the elliptical… That’s my goal…Then I can come home, shower, and take a nap, if I still feel like it.

Gotta keep telling myself that.

The irony- there’s been no snow. I am incredibly relieved. As of 5:00 tonight, I have 2 assignments and one class left and then my Master’s degree will officially be finished. I turned in my Robotics course work tonight, and am looking forward to a little bit of work for my work (haha… teaching) and then a lot of relaxing tomorrow night. I’m so excited. It’ll be my first little taste of free time since 2 months ago when I decided that I would double up on my course work to finish faster. What was I thinking?!!!!!

Anyway, I have been celebrating tonight by doing some online window shopping. I hate our rug in the living room, so I’m looking at rugs online. So far, this is my favorite. I think it would go well with our new furniture, and I love the green in it. rug

I have also been celebrating losing 15 lbs!!!! That’s a major milestone for me, because it’s the first time I’ve successfully lost more than 10 lbs without doing something very unhealthy. Instead, I have done quite the opposite. I have done nothing but eat healthy. I have quit eating crap (for the most part) and started eating, and even craving veggies. I want my spinach, and if I don’t have my morning spinach smoothie, I feel like something’s missing all day long. I’ve not worked out but once (that’s my goal to start on next month) but have just made changes in my diet.  I ordered the book Skinny Bitch and it came in this past week. Despite the past that I was incredibly stressed out and had far too much on my plate, I couldn’t wait to open it because I’ve heard good things about it. My official opinion- I could do without the attitude, but the information in it was great. I have been making some changes, and slowly had been cutting out many of the foods that the book is so down on, but it honestly hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I could/should become vegan. One quote in particular stood out to me:

Cows’ milk, by design, grows a 90-pound calf into a 2,000-pound cow over the course of 2 years. It allows calves to double their birth weight in forty-seven days and leaves their four stomachs feeling full. Sounds even more fattening than human milk, right? It is. It should be. Cows are bigger than humans.

I’ve been cutting back, drastically, on cheese and milk, but hadn’t really realized how much so, and I had never thought about it too seriously. And I’m still not committed to it, but I’m definitely cutting it back even more than I had been. The past couple of times I have eaten cereal, I have used my almond milk instead of using cow’s milk.  I expected to hate it, but it was actually better. Then, I went to the Kroger on my way home from work Thursday afternoon, and they had my almond milk on sale for a whole dollar off. SCORE! I bought 6 boxes! I love a good deal.

Tomorrow, I plan to get back to posting my meals. I just plain haven’t had time lately. I even have several pictures that I had taken that are still in my camera and haven’t made it onto my computer yet. Le sigh.


I have been a total slacker about posting pictures of my food. I guess it’s been partly because it’s been prepackaged the past couple of days. I have been tracking it on sparkpeople, just so that I could still keep up with it.

Yesterday’s breakfast:

  • a packet of Quaker banana bread instant oatmeal
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • a banana
  • about a tbsp of peanut butter

Yesterday’s snacks:

  • leftover vegetable stirfry with meatless chicken slices
  • a banana with smucker’s natural peanut butter (so good, and only 2 ingredients!)

Yesterday’s lunch:

  • whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • Newman’s own marinara
  • mushrooms
  • black olives

Yesterday’s dinner:

This, I actually have a picture of.

picture-129First, my salad.

  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • about 1/3 of a cucumber

picture-1322And here, with the soup. I had a can of Progresso minestrone.

I also had a cup of Silk very vanilla soy milk with my dinner.

I’m down 12 lbs since New Year’s Eve. Granted, that’s slow progress, it is progress, and I haven’t been sincerely trying the whole time. I have tried for a week, and then given up for 2 and then started again. It was just last month that I actually got serious. I’m starting to feel some of my pants fitting pretty loosely, which I’m very excited about. All of my jeans now have to be worn with a belt, where not long ago at all, I was having trouble fitting them over my thighs and butt. Best of all, for the first time, I’m losing weight without feeling deprived, and I actually look forward to eating or buying groceries, not because I am so incredibly hungry, but because food is now about choosing. It’s empowering. Last night, I tracked my foods, and then I looked at what I was missing from the day. I needed some more protein, but didn’t need to get much more fat or carbs, so I went through my head quickly to figure out what had enough protein without being too much fat or carbs. I’m thinking this through, and rather than just tying myself to a number of calories, I’m trying to figure out how to get my body what it needs.

I had a conversation with my sister last night. She is a fast-food manager, and between her crazy hours and the food that’s readily available, the restaurant lifestyle has not been kind to her waistline. About a month ago, she joined somewhere to help her lose weight. I don’t really know much about this place, except that one of her friends joined it a while ago and has lost a lot of weight. So far, all I really know is that my sister is working out every day. They recommended 30 minutes or so, I believe, but she is doing an hour on the elliptical. They have also told her to cut her calorie intake to 1500 a day, which she is sticking to pretty well. I know that they give appetite supressants, and my sister has been taking those. Apparently they’re effective.

I guess what concerns me, though, is that because of her work, her 1500 calories are coming from crap, pure and simple. She is having cereal for breakfast, something from work for lunch, and then whatever for dinner. A fast-food lifestyle is still unhealthy crap, even if you cut it to 1500 calories. Yes, you can lose weight, but your body is not at all getting what it needs. And I really have trouble with the fact that this place is not pushing her to eat healthier. The answer is not just eating less, it’s eating better. Smarter. I get it now. And it took me forever to get there, but that’s largely because I did it the long, roudabout way. I didn’t pay for an expert to help me, although I wanted to. Still, if the “experts” are doing no more advising than this, I guess I’m better off having gone this route. I have a lot of information, and I know where to go for more. And I want more. Can I say that I won’t slip? No… but I can say that even when I slip, I will know that I am slipping- I will not believe that I can eat healthily at McDonald’s.

I guess it’s supposed to be about smaller changes? Maybe the goal is to gradually help her to change her lifestyle… I don’t think that’s what has happened with her friend, but maybe I’m wrong. I sure hope so.

All of that said, here is this morning’s breakfast.

picture-133I made some cinnamon roll instant oatmeal and added some frozen organic blueberries and some whipped cream for a little bit of extra fun.

picture-1341And again.

I also had a Clif Z chocolate brownie bar.

Ok… so I know it’s not exactly ideal, but I do need to go to the store and get some regular oats. I should put that on my to-do list.

I decided to track my meals from the past 2 days in sparkpeople, and I’m disappointed with how I’ve done. Both days, I have been over 1600 calories, which is not absolutely horrible, but I guess I just thought it would be a little bit lower. Which tells me that I’m slightly underestimating how much I’m eating. I know that I don’t need to cut too low, and I have no intention of doing so, but I really thought I was shaving about a hundred or so more off than I really am.

I also had a frozen pizza tonight, which I probably shouldn’t have done, but couldn’t be bothered to cook for just me- it’s so much harder to motivate myself to make an actual meal on nights that Nate is at work late.

First, the pizza. It was a Kashi mushroom and spinach thin crust pizza.

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And the salad. Spinach, mushrooms, olives, and a few spritzes of that dressing from the other post.

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And now, the whole thing. Dinner is served.

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Well, over my calories or not, it was tasty, and I feel good. I’m going to take a quick nap (I have been exhausted since about 1:00 this afternoon) and then a workout DVD.

On a side note, I can’t remember whether I said anything about the coming workout room. I’m very excited about that… Once the roommate gets his stuff moved, I can’t wait to set up a workout room so that I can work out any time, day or night. While I’m sad to see him go and will really miss him, I’m also thrilled to be getting my own workout room!!! Of course, it’ll be a few weeks before it’s a reality. Right now, he’s stuck in a hotel until he can get a place of his own after being transferred for work. I thought about suggesting Nate take his next day off and drive up to surprise him. We’ll see.

On that note, I’m off to nap for a little bit. Yes, I know my sleep schedule is going to be completely messed up as a result, but I also know that if I go to bed now, there is no way I’ll sleep through the night, so I might as well resign myself to just a nap, and then stay up for a while.

Taking weekend classes for my masters is wearing me down. I spent all weekend in class last weekend, and then had morning duty all week. The result- one exhausted Sarah. I have tried motivating myself to start back to my workouts this week, but after beeing up since 5:00 every morning and knowing that I’ll have to be up just as early the next day, it’s just not happened. Thank God it’s finally Friday!!!

Keeping consistent with the changes in my eating this week, I have pretty much maintained my weight, but I got my period earlier this week, so maintaining is actually an accomplishment. Add to that that I’ve done absolutely no working out. I’m pretty confident that next week will show some changes on the scale. I’m also intending to add some exercise starting tonight, so that will help even more. I’m just so ready for it to be gone!

Breakfast was a smoothie. Today, I opted for all spinach, since my kale is starting to wilt.

picture-122Wow… that’s a lot of spinach!

picture-1231Here it is before mixing.

  • spinach
  • almond breeze
  • banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp flax seed

I switched my peanut butter back for the smoothies, and this morning’s was much, much better. Absolutely delicious!

I fell asleep on the couch last night (see, exhausted) so I totally forgot to pack my lunch until this morning. Since I was running late, I didn’t have time to fix what I wanted, which was the leftovers from stirfry a couple of days ago. Instead, I ended up grabbing a frozen dinner. I did make time to take a picture, though. It just isn’t a very good one because I wasn’t thinking about the fact that one of the lights was turned off in the kitchen. Oh well… at least it’ll help me remember what I had.

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  • Kashi pesto pasta primavera
  • baby carrots
  • hummus
  • banana
  • peanut butter (for the banana) I ended up not using it
  • larabar

The frozen dinner and the banana were my lunch. The baby carrots and hummus were my snack during my planning period this afternoon, and the Larabar was my “driving snack.” I really look forward to eating them on the way home, but I may switch back to some of the other bars for a little while to save calories. As much as I love them, there are lower calorie bars that I could eat instead.

I am absolutely starving and really craving some pizza. I guess I know what dinner tonight will be.

I’m finding that taking pictures of my foods is helping me to stay more motivated- knowing hat I’m going to be recording it in pictures and that I might not be the only one looking at it is really helping me to keep a better eye on exactly what I’m eating. Even though I’m pretty sure I’m talking only to myself, I’m still having to face myself and admit to myself exactly what I’ve done. I still have a long way to go, but I feel much better about the road ahead.