Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Dream of Piglets

Remember that nervous breakdown I was sure would happen before the end of exam period? It might be here. You know how I know? Because last night I dreamed that I had purchased a small herd of micro piglets along with some other small animal and given them free reign of my living room. But I decided to return the piglets to the farm when I realized that I had had them for a while and had not been taking them outside to the bathroom so they must have been going under my couch.  Because the real problem with that scenario is their bathroom habits and not, you know, keeping a small herd of piglets in my apartment.  Having awakened from the crazy parallel universe in which I purchased a whole bunch of pet piglets, I made myself a light breakfast and headed out for a run.

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Low Carb Whole Wheat Wrap with sliced banana and Chocolate PB2. 
It was a tough one, both mentally and physically and I blame it on shark week.  I learned last month that "shark week" is a slang term for your period.  I kept seeing other female running bloggers referring to shark week and while their context clues suggested they were referring to the monthly menstrual mayhem, I looked it up on Urban Dictionary to make sure.  They defined shark week as: "The week during which a woman has her period.  There will be blood, an uncomfortable sense of tension and a bad tempered, unpredictable beast."  Sounds about right.

Now that things have gone and gotten awkward up in this joint, let's talk more about running.  A few weeks ago I optimistically mapped out a 4 mile route when I started a 10k training program.  Unfortunately, I got sick and had to take a two week break from workouts while I recuperated.   I have been trying to build my way up to running the whole route since I got better.  It is super hilly, but at least once a week I take that route and try to go farther than I did the week before.  On my first run back after getting sick, I made it 1.66 miles before I got a horrible side cramp.  Today I made it 2.56 miles before I felt exhausted and decided to head home.  I felt defeated for not going a little further to make it 3 miles, but between shark week, exams, and coming back from an illness, my body just couldn't do it today.


Even if I'm still not running as far as I want to, I'm proud that I'm running faster than I was before I got sick.  Before that two week break I was happy with an average pace of 13 minutes per mile.  Who is this girl who tells herself to run at an easy pace and busts out an average 12:04 pace?  Check out my splits:


Once I got back home I did a few chores around the house and tucked into a post workout snack of chips and salsa.  
Trader Joe's Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Garlic Chipotle Salsa.
I have two more exams to get through before Thursday and then there will be some much needed rest.  For the weekend at least...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Crazy Stupid Exciting

I don't know where my day went.  Actually, that's a lie.  I do know.  My Securities Regulation exam  ate it.  The exam was this morning.  My alarm went off at 4 because I wanted to go over my notes before I left for school.  I showered and got to the law school by 7 so I could get a decent seat in the exam room.  The test started at 8:30 and was a four hour beast.  By the time I got home I had a headache, was exhausted, and all I wanted was to go pick up a few groceries and take a nap.  The groceries took longer than expected and after I got my groceries in and put away my day was gone.  See what I mean?  My Securities Regulation exam ate my day.


I made a quick dinner of vegetable radiatore with chicken, spinach, and organic spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, all from Trader Joe's.  I had a peanut butter chocolate larabar for dessert.  It was light and perfect.  Now I have big plans to be asleep by 8.  My life is crazy stupid exciting. Night, y'all!  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Faux Joes (Lentil Sloppy Joes)



I like my Sloppy Joes simple and unadulterated and have ever since I was a little girl.  That's why I used to tear up the school lunch Sloppy Joes but pick at the ones we had at home.  My Grandma made them with this gross sloppy joe sauce with unidentifiable green specks.  Ick.  I was really excited a few years ago when I found a recipe on Food Network's website for Cafeteria Sloppy Joes.  Their version uses regular ground beef which is delicious, but not really the best option for those of us trying to drop a few pounds.  You could definitely use lean ground beef or ground turkey instead, but I had a crazy idea this afternoon: I replaced the ground beef with lentils!  For this recipe, you will need:

3/4 cup of Lentils, rinsed (EDIT: I used green lentils for this. Can't vouch for other varieties...)
2 Cups beef broth (vegetable would probably work too)
Cooking Spray
1/2 Red Onion (or onion of choice)
1.5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 teaspoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water (more if a saucier mixture is desired)

Combine the lentils and beef broth in a rice cooker (or pot) and cook until lentils are tender. Set aside.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion begins to get soft.  Add the lentils to the skillet and stir in the cumin, paprika, cayenne, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and water and simmer until the liquid thickens.  I served mine on a honey wheat sandwich thin, but it would probably be great over brown rice or as a filling for lettuce wraps.  Enjoy!

Not-So-Weekly Weigh-In


The last few weeks have been tough scale-wise.  During the last week of classes I started drinking Diet Coke again for the caffeine, I ate crappy food, and I didn't get enough exercise. Even though I stayed within my calorie budget everyday I kept gaining weight and in the last few weeks I have weighed everything from 149.0 to 151.2 and everything in between.  It made me sad and angry and while I talked about gaining weight I never posted the scale pictures.  

This past week I decided to get my diet back under control.  I'll never be a strict clean eater, but this week I've focused on eating clean-er.  I ate a lot of grilled/baked chicken, spinach, fresh fruit, brown rice, lentils, fat free cheese, hummus, and Larabars.  A typical day of food looked like this:

Breakfast
Egg white omelet with spinach, plain grilled/baked chicken, and fat free feta.  

Morning Snack
Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

Lunch
Brown Rice
Grapes

Evening Snack
Trader Joe's Veggie Sticks Potato Snacks with Trader Joe's Hummus

Dinner
Mexican rice and lentils topped with plain nonfat Greek yogurt and Kraft Fat Free Cheddar

Drinks
Water and tea only

Average Calorie Intake: 1618 calories per day

I ate a lot, but in spite of the high calorie intake I lost all the weight I gained during the two weeks I ate like I had no sense and then some.  Clearly the clean eating craze has merit.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Morning Run

I was planning to go for a run yesterday, but I never really found a good stopping point to do it.  I promised myself before I went to bed that I would go first thing this morning and run down to the river and walk back just to make sure I got in my exercise for the day.  And that's what I did.


My pace has definitely improved since the Epic Illness of 2013 knocked me out of commission for a few weeks, but most of my route was downhill today so this pace doesn't really count.  I gotta say, though. It was kind of nice to feel like I was running fast even if this pace is really only fast to me.


I got down to the river and took a few pictures, but left almost immediately because I was cold and had to get back to studying.  I'll be really excited when I finally build myself up to running 10k and beyond.  I want 3 miles to be my short run and I want my uphill pace to be as fast as my downhill.  There was a time in the not-too-distant past when I thought running at all was impossible.  Who is this new person that wants to run longer and faster?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Non-Scale Victories: The Walking Desk


This week's non-scale victory involves treadmills, textbooks, and test prep.  If you have been following along this week, you know that I have three exams next week: Professional Responsibility, Securities, Regulation, and Constitutional Law II.  It was wreaking havoc on my workout time until I decided to try studying while I walked (slowly) on the treadmill earlier this week.  It may be the best idea I have ever had!  

I was not getting in enough activity sitting on the couch studying and it showed on the scale. For the last couple of days I have spent at least two hours studying on the treadmill and my Fitbit stats are finally back where I like them--at 10,000 steps per day or more.  Here are yesterday's stats:


Law school exam periods are hard, both mentally and physically.  You don't get enough sleep, you are tempted to reach for unhealthy food because it's easy, and you spend your days drowning in stress.  Finding a way to do something good for my body in the middle of it felt really good.  And that is why I chose it as my non-scale victory for the week.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Running Again

I am still trying to get my running back to where it was before I got sick.  I know I only missed two weeks of workouts, but I seem to have lost some of the leg strength I built up over the last few months.  My first run back left me sorer than normal as did my brief interval run yesterday.  I think part of the problem is that I have been running faster than I did before I got sick.  I like the idea of getting faster but it has also meant that I am building my distance back up more slowly than I would like. 


At the moment I have neither the time nor the energy to be very concerned about it.  I will start building my distance up in earnest after my finals.  For now, I'm just happy to be running again.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The State Of My Life

This might be my worst exam period ever.  I took my Evidence final yesterday and my Securities Regulation Final is on Monday, but sometime between now and next Friday I have to work in unscheduled exams for Constitutional Law II and Professional Responsibility.  Did I mention that I am nowhere near ready for any of these exams?  I might have a nervous breakdown before it's all over with.  But on the bright side if I have a nervous breakdown I will have incontrovertible proof that being an attorney is not for me.  

I mentioned all the free food that floats around the law school during exam period all the time.  When I got to school for my exam yesterday, this was going on:


I managed to steer clear of that part of the table, but did make a pitstop at the healthier end of things for a banana and granola bar, cause free is good, yo.


I had already packed a Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar with my exam-pack (Tylenol, water, Clif bar/other snack that won't crunch loudly when I chew during exam, more highlighters, pens, and sticky tabs than I will ever need, lip balm, etc.)  Nobody judge me.  These tests are 4 hours long and you never know what you will need.  Anyway I ate my Clif Bar and brought the banana and granola bar home with me.  No rest for the wicked, though, so when I got home I immediately started studying for my next test and at some point this happened:


I really wanted to go to sleep, but had to stay up so I waited until the gym at my apartment building was relatively empty and commandeered a treadmill.  It became my walking desk for an hour.  It worked fairly well and it will probably happen more and more often this week. The guy on the elliptical probably thought I was certifiably insane as I shuffled along slowly, earplugs in, reading and highlighting away.  I wasn't really concerned about it.  That's just the state of my life at the moment.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekly Goals Check In

For the last few weeks I have been participating in the weekly goals link up over at Operation Skinny Jeans.  Last week my goals were:

1) Do not succumb to stress eating.
2) Make time to walk/workout at least 30 minutes per day.
3) Don't gain weight.

I did pretty well with number 1 with the exception of some pizza at a review session and a Reeses that may or may not have snuck into my basket at CVS when I was there buying sunscreen.  I have no idea how it happened, I swear!  In any case I stayed within my calorie budget for the week even though I used those calories for things I would normally try to stay away from, like the aforementioned sneaky Reeses.  I also went back to drinking Diet Coke, mainly for the caffeine.  It definitely wasn't a perfect week food-wise, but let's get real here: I've had worse.

I actually accomplished number 2.  I walked to class every day last week and started back going to the gym a couple of days ago.  It felt really good to get some movement into my day and I genuinely think that little bit of workout time has made all the difference in my stress levels going into exam period.

Number 3 was a bust.  Despite getting in more activity this week and doing my best to keep my calorie intake below 1600 everyday (which should be within my maintenance range at my current weight) I still weighed in at 151.2.  I was disappointed, but it is what it is and I'm moving on.  

Going into next week, my goals are:

1) Workout for at least 30 minutes per day.

2) Drink more water and tea.

3) Avoid the free donuts my law school supplies during exam week (but the free fruit and granola bars are fair game.)

Operation Skinny Jeans

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Day Before The Exam


My evidence exam is tomorrow morning and even though I definitely needed the study time, I also needed to de-stress.  I went to the gym as soon as I woke up and hit the books immediately after.  I didn't have time to do much cooking, but I was craving a baked potato after the gym so I threw one in the crockpot for lunch.  I paired it with some of the balsamic rosemary grilled chicken I bought at Trader Joe's earlier this week.


I like my baked potatoes "loaded" with plain nonfat greek yogurt, fat free cheese, turkey bacon bits, and chives.  My lightened up loaded potato still has quite a few calories, but it is worth it every now and then to not feel deprived.

For dinner I threw the ingredients for Mexican Lentils and Rice in my rice cooker.  This was my first experience with lentils so I had no idea how it would turn out.


I tried cutting the recipe in half and I apparently didn't add quite enough water, but even with the slightly-crunchier-than-it-should-have-been texture the the flavor was delicious and I would totally make it again.  The recipe said it tasted just like taco meat. The carnivore in me didn't believe it, but it's totally true.  I would put this in my tacos any day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Disappointment

My day hasn't been going all that well.  Last night was my first workout after finishing an antibiotic that prevented me from exercising because one of the side effects is tendonitis.  It was my first workout in almost two weeks and it was really tough.


My legs felt tired almost as soon as I started and I only finished the workout out of sheer force of will.  I stretched really well when I was done, but I could tell I had lost quite a bit of leg strength while I wasn't workout out.  

Despite the epic fail last night, I was determined to run this morning.  I put on my running clothes and headed out, but I only made it 1.5 miles before I got a terrible cramp in my side that pretty much stopped me in my tracks.  On top of that, I weighed myself this morning and had gained weight even though I made sure to stay within my calorie budget all week.  Epic fail.


To be fair, I've eaten a lot of things I normally wouldn't even though I counted the calories for all of them.  For starters I spent most of last week chugging diet coke and eating extra snacks like pretzels that I normally wouldn't keep in the house.  While I was able to walk to and from classes last week, I still wasn't allowed to go to the gym or run and I think not being able to burn calories the way I normally do with my workouts really affected my ability to lose, or at least maintain, my weight.  

This week I'm going to focus on eating a little cleaner than I have for the past few weeks.  With the exception of my four exams, I will be spending most of my time at home studying so I will have a lot more control of what kinds of foods will be in my environment and the times that I eat.  I started with lunch today.



A purple sweet potato, Trader Joe's Chili Lime chicken with a little sweet chili sauce, and cantaloupe.  I had never had a purple sweet potato before but wanted to try one, so I was really excited when I saw them in the store.  I put mine in the crockpot for around 3 hours on high like I do with all my baked potatoes.  The purple sweet potato has a slightly different flavor than a regular sweet potato, but it was delicious with butter and a little splenda.  Plus, I'm not gonna lie. The color is kind of awesome :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Noshing: Trader Joe's Edition

I was talking to one of my aunts last week and she mentioned she was on her way to Trader Joe's.  I like Trader Joe's, but I hardly ever go.  They have better quality meat and produce than Walmart and they are usually cheaper than Kroger or Harris Teeter on not as popular in the South items like Tofu, quinoa, and alternatives to cow's milk.  However, there are grocery stores closer to my home than Trader Joe's and I frequently want to buy things like normal soap or ziploc bags that Trader Joe's doesn't sell.  As a result, I usually find myself going elsewhere for my grocery needs.  Every now and then I get a craving for some Trader Joe's product that I know I can't buy elsewhere and off I go to spend a happy hour perusing the shelves and freezer sections.  Today was one of those days.  Here's what I bought.
Wasabi flavored seaweed snack, heat and serve chicken in chili lime and balsamic vinegar & rosemary flavor, and organic blue corn tortilla chips to go with the hummus pictured below.

Cubed butter nut squash, hummus in roasted garlic and tomato & basil flavors, and green lentils.  I plan to use the lentils in a recipe next week.


Angel food cake (impulse buy, but not the worst one I've ever made), fresh strawberries, plain non fat greek yogurt, chickpeas, honey, unsweetened applesauce, and allll the sauces for some frozen chicken breast that isn't pictured.  I got hot & sweet mustard, pineapple salsa, sweet chili sauce, and enchilada sauce.  There are tons of easy crockpot chicken dishes in my future.

More fresh fruit.  Watermelon spears and cantaloupe slices.  I actually ate a couple of the cantaloupe slices before taking this picture and promptly learned that I don't know how to spell cantaloupe as I tried to enter it in MyFitnessPal.  Autocorrect kept trying to change my attempts to cant elope.  Epic fail.  I have since figured out the correct spelling, but I am a bit embarassed that I didn't know it to begin with.


Larabars!  I have tried a few of these in the past, but my local Trader Joe's sells these individually which is nice because it allows me to try flavors before I buy a whole box.  I got peanut butter cookie, peanut butter chocolate chip, apple pie, and cashew cookie. If I like a flavor, awesome. If I don't, no big deal since I only bought one.  Speaking of trying new things, I have also never tried lentils, butter nut squash, or seaweed, pictured above. This will be a week of new noshing experiences, some of which will most likely find their way onto ye old blog. 


Clif bars.  I frequently buy the Crunchy Peanut Butter kind at CVS when I am craving peanut butter but can't justify a Reese's or a Butterfinger based on my activity.  I don't really think of protein bars as treats even though I probably should so I sometimes let myself have them even on days when I didn't really earn a treat.  I'm trying the Cool Mint Chocolate and the Chocolate Brownie flavors for the first time.  Hopefully I'll like them all.  

In the interest of full disclosure, I went to an Evidence review session today where my professor provided free pizza from Pizza Perfect.  Since I did not have a cheat meal this week I let myself have two slices, one cheese and one pepperoni.  I couldn't find nutrition information online so I just counted it as two slices of Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza.  I figured (hoped) the cheese slice would be fewer calories than the pepperoni slice but I would rather overestimate the calories than underestimate.  


I wish I could say it wasn't worth it or that I regret eating it, but it was really good and totally worth every bite.  There were whole pizzas leftover so I guess I should just be happy I didn't bury my face in one.  I'm going to get myself back on track at my next meal and hopefully go to the gym this evening after dinner and a few more hours of fun with Evidence.  You heard that right.  I finished my antibiotic last night which means that I can get my sweat on during workouts again.  I'm excited.  If this break from workouts has taught me anything it's that the new me relies on exercise for stress relief.  Once upon a time I would have eaten my feelings, but now I'm all about purging my demons with a tough workout.  I'm liking the new me.  Sometimes change is a really good thing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All About a Belt: Non Scale Victories

Last week I discovered the Non-Scale Victories linkup over at KTJ Weighing In and decided to participate on a whim.  I decided to participate again because I know that I haven't done as well with my diet as I would like between not being able to exercise for medical reasons and the all-consuming urge to stress eat while I deal with finals.  I need to focus on something positive right now so this week my non-scale victory is all about a belt.

I wore a belt today that was getting awfully small when I wore it this time last year.  I knew I was getting bigger at the time, but I was in denial about how far off course I had gone.  But today I realized that I had turned things around in a big way when I tried the belt on with today's outfit.  Not only did the belt fit comfortably again, but it is almost too big now!  


The photo on the left was taken on March 19, 2012.  The picture on the right is from today. There is a huge difference in how the belt fit last year and now and even though I'm still not where I want to be on my weight loss journey, I have made major progress and you can see it in the way my clothes fit.  I'm going to need a new wardrobe soon!

As an aside, I took the picture on the right in a bathroom at school and it is an absolute miracle that no one caught me in the act.  No one else was in the bathroom so I wasn't really invading anyone's privacy, but someone I met in college once pointed out that there is something really subversive about taking pictures in public bathrooms.  Maybe it's because the bathroom is such a private space, but I think the idea had merit.  I have taken pictures in that bathroom before, but I always imagine I would get in trouble if someone caught me.  It's my version of living on the edge, I guess.

 
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Holy Tan Lines, Batman!


Look at the tan lines on my ankles, you guys! Those are from wearing my running shoes outside with ankle socks.  Not sure if I should be proud I've spent that much time running/walking or horrified that I have ombre legs.  Either way, buying stronger sunscreen today.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekly Goals Linkup

Last week, I only had three goals.  I wasn't feeling well and couldn't exercise so I challenged myself to not get discouraged, stay on top of my calorie budget, and rest.  I definitely got discouraged on some days, but after I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic to help with the problem, I pulled it together.  The doctor and pharmacist told me not to do any strenuous exercising until I was done with the antibiotic, but I was happier once I felt well enough to go back to walking and trying light exercise like yoga.  I didn't get a chance to post my weekly weigh in, but I'm sad to report that I gained 0.6 pounds this week.  I know it's only a little over half a pound, but I was still kind of sad when I got on the scale.

I still have to finish my antibiotic before I can go back to running/going to the gym in earnest and since it's the week before exams start I'm not sure how much time I will have to work out this week or during exam period.  These considerations have definitely affected my goals for the week.  Without further ado, my weekly goals are:

1.  Do not succumb to stress eating.

I gained around 30 pounds during my first year of law school because I was spending so much time studying at school where free (generally unhealthy) food was always around and I was always tempted to use said free food as a way of coping with stress.  Exam period is definitely one of those times when the urge to stress eat is at its strongest, but I think that as long as I keep counting my calories I can stay on plan.

2.  Make time to walk/workout for at least 30 minutes per day.  

I try to get in as much walking as I can just in the course of going to class and running nearby errands, but the more I panic about the exams the more compelled I feel to sit on the floor/couch/nearest available surface that will hold my weight and surround myself with a protective circle of textbooks while I frantically try to make myself understand Evidence, Securities Regulation, etc.  Exam period only lasts for two weeks, but until they are over my workout time will be extremely limited.

3.  Don't gain weight.

I have no delusions about actually losing weight this week.  I just don't want to see another weight gain.  My current plan is to eat within my maintenance range of calories (somewhere around 1600 calories per day if I don't exercise).  


Operation Skinny Jeans

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Morning Walk

I took a morning walk to clear my head before I dive head first into my Con Law II textbook and don't come out for the rest of the day.  


I have approximately nine days until the first of four exams, my hair is a hot mess, the laundry and dishes are piling up, but I needed to move my body today, even if it was only for a little while.  


I probably won't be able to post (or workout) as regularly as I would like for the next couple of weeks while I try to survive exam period unscathed, but I will try to pop in with a few short posts here and there.  Hope everyone has an amazing week.  Enjoy the spring weather for me--I will be buried under a mound of textbooks, supplements and notes trying not to cry.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Let Nothing Stop Me In Pursuit Of Hummus

I was in Walmart the other day and I saw these little individual  servings of Sabra hummus with pretzel chips.  I bought one of the garlic ones thinking I would eat it one day as a post workout snack.  It didn't last very long in my fridge, that hummus, and I woke up today craving more of it like whoa.  It didn't end well. I caved and am now harboring a tub of artisinal store brand (sort of oxymoronic but whatevs) hummus and a bunch of 100 calorie packs of pretzels.   I don't imagine my fugitive food will be here for too terribly long.  Such is life.

The rest of my day involved a walk, alllll the exam stress and an evening watching Easy A because Emma Stone movies will totally help me ace my Securities Regulation exam.  Sometimes I make really regrettable decisions. 





My walk was glorious and exactly what I needed since most of tomorrow will be devoted to Con Law II and Securities Regulation.  I'm sure it will absolutely be as bad as it sounds.   

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Doctor's Orders

I haven't been feeling well this week so I went to the doctor.  The issue is related to my Crohn's Disease and it has pretty much stopped my workouts for the last five days.  The news from the doctor was both bad and good.  I came home with a foul-tasting antibiotic that will, hopefully, take care of the problem but in the meantime I have been ordered not to do any strenuous exercise. Apparently my antibiotic has been known to cause tendonitis, typically in the elbows, but possibly in the knees.  Not something I want going on if I want to finish the 10k training plan anytime ever.

When I got home from the doctor I took my medicine as instructed.  It's a liquid and the dose is a little weird so the doctor gave me this crazy looking oral syringe thing to measure out the correct dose and squirt the medicine down my throat.  It was way more complicated than it sounds, but I only have to take it once a day for seven days so surely I can manage that.  I knew I couldn't run or get on the elliptical so I decided to try a few minutes of yoga since I figured it was a workout I could do without getting sweaty.


I made it through about 10 minutes before the antibiotic started making my stomach feel icky (the doctor warned me that may happen so I'm annoyed about it, but not worried.)  In any case I abandoned my first yoga attempt sometime after the instructor told me I needed to de-stress and self-bless for the third time.  I'll give it another shot later this week.  I have to take the antibiotic for seven days and I can't run or use the elliptical until I finish the medicine.  As a result, I have a whole week to fill with light workouts.  I'm foreseeing some strength training and walking in my future.  And more yoga.  If at first you don't succeed and all that jazz.  

Edit:  I recently started reading a blog called KTJ Weighing In and she is hosting a Non-Scale Victories linkup over at her blog.  It occurred to me right after I posted this that I should totally participate since trying a new type of workout is totally a non-scale victory.  

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Mixed Fruit Smoothie


1/2 Cup Frozen Peaches
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1/4 Frozen Banana
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Splenda to taste
Water, enough to get the blender going

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goals

I missed a week of goal setting last week and even though I'm not feeling all that great at the moment (Crohn's-related issues, doctor later this week) I wanted to set a few goals to keep me on track until I am feeling better.

1.  Do not get discouraged.  

I don't talk much about how having Crohn's Disease derails affects my life on this blog or in real life.  But I'm not feeling very well this week and as a result I haven't felt like doing any exercising, walking included, since Saturday.  I know it is not my fault.  I know I am doing everything I can to feel better and get back to PRing my Fitbit stats and increasing my running distance.  But while I'm out of commission I want to challenge myself to keep my eye on the end goal of losing weight and not worry too much about the minor setbacks on the way.  Even if I can't workout this week, it doesn't mean that I will never be able to workout again, or that I will never reach my weight loss goals.  It just means I'm having one bad week.

2.  Stay on top of my calories.

I wrote yesterday about the calorie budget and this week it will be more important than ever for me to keep my eating under control.  I won't be earning as many extra calories from exercise as I normally would, but that's okay.  This just means that my meals will involve more fruits, veggies, and filling whole grains this week.  I'm okay with that.

3.  Rest.

Rest is not a bad thing.  Maybe my body is telling me I need to slow down a little.  Get a little more sleep.  Be a little less stressed.  I'm going to do my best to  relax and enjoy the week off. Hopefully I will be well enough to go back to my regularly scheduled workouts soon.

 
Operation Skinny Jeans

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Calorie Budget

In a perfect world, I would be able to eat whatever I wanted and if I gained weight at all it would only be in my boobs.  Unfortunately this is not a Disney movie kind of world where you are guaranteed a happy ending.  While you could eat whatever you want whenever you want, that is not a story that is likely to end well.

I have been using MyFitnessPal to keep track of my calories since I started losing weight in September of last year.  The longer I track my calories on MyFitnessPal, the more I have come to think of it like a bank account with "money" that I have to budget carefully lest I overdraw my account.  Thinking of it this way works really well for me.  Some foods "cost" more than others. Example: that cookie is more expensive than a piece of fruit.  Sometimes one "brand" will give you more bang for your buck.  Example: two pieces of turkey bacon "costs" less than one piece of pork bacon.  

You can earn more calories the same way you would earn more money: by putting in work.  If you wanted your bank account to grow what would you do?  You would get a job so that you could earn more money and put it in the bank.  The same is true of your calorie budget.  If you want to "buy" a food that you don't have enough calories to pay for, you will simply have to go out and earn more calories.  There's no such thing as a calorie credit card.  To lose a pound you need to eat 3,500 calories less than your body burns.  On the flip side, if you eat 3,500 calories more than your body burns you will gain a pound.  You can go over your calorie budget if you want to, but just like overdrawing your bank account will result in some unfortunate fees from your bank, overdrawing your calorie bank will result in some unfortunate weight gain on your body.  It really is that simple.   

Most people are pretty careful with their bank accounts.  They are aware of how much money they have left and they try really hard not to overdraw it.  If you want to get healthy and lose weight you are going to have to get conscientious about your calorie budget.  Is eating within your "means" harder than staying on budget?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  It will be when you see the results on the scale and start to feel better on a daily basis.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Busy Day

My day has been crazy.  It started with a grocery store run, followed by a weigh-in, lunch, a long walk, and dinner.  And a treat.  I earned a treat. But let's take a look at my day in slow-mo, shall we?

After I got back from the grocery store I got on the scale and basically exploded with excitement when I saw my weight.


I lost 4.8 pounds since last week!  Having tracked my weight since last September, I have a pretty good understanding of how my body loses weight.  The week of my period I either lose very little, lose nothing at all, or gain weight.  I'm fairly certain it's a water retention issue, but whatever causes it, it  almost always happens. 

If I stay on top of my diet and exercise regimen the week of my period, the week after my period I usually lose more weight than usual.  I like to think that once the water weight from my period goes away, the weight I should have lost the week of my period as well as the weight I lost the week after my period shows up on the scale.  This week was no different.  Between keeping up with my training schedule including doing my longest run so far and really staying on top of my calorie intake for the past two weeks, I guess I did all the right things to make my body let go of the weight.  My results usually aren't this good (and let's be honest, they will probably never be this good again), but I may or may not have basked in the glow of seeing a weight loss that good for most of the day.

I also did a lot of cooking today, mainly because I won't have as much time for it now that finals are looming.  I had a Hawaiian turkey burger with a side of sweet potato tots for lunch.


Then I threw the ingredients for stuffed peppers in the slow cooker for dinner and left for a long walk.  I started listening to a new book and enjoyed the 70 degree weather despite the fact that I walked straight into a cloud of gnats at one point and was harassed by two bees and a wasp, both of which terrify me beyond description. 

I got home just in time to take dinner out of the crockpot.  I was stuffed like Thanksgiving before it was all said and done.


I was in no way hungry, but I still found myself going to the store after dinner to purchase milk chocolate shame in the form of a Reese's.  


I worked hard today and as far as I'm concerned I earned every last bite.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday


Today was supposed to be a 2 mile run plus strength.  I did the 2 mile run portion of events grudgingly after school, grocery shopping, and an activity fair, but I just couldn't make myself do a strength workout too.  So I'm going to try yoga tomorrow morning and call it a strength workout.  I'm not sure what kind of cross training I will do yet, but I'm just excited that it's the weekend.

I made my second attempt at cauliflower pizza crust tonight.  It turned out much better than the first time I made it.  The secret is squeezing some of the water out of the cauliflower after you microwave it but before you mix the other ingredients into it to make the dough for the crust. This time I was actually able to pick the pizza up with my hands.  Last time it was so soggy I had to eat it with a fork and a knife.  It tasted good both times, but being able to eat with my hands made for a more satisfying pizza experience.

All in all it was a good Friday.  I have a lot to get done over the weekend, but it's still the weekend and I am crazy ridiculous excited about it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bro Hour At The Gym


How do you know when you pushed yourself hard enough during a workout?  When you get off the elliptical and your shirt looks like this, that's how.  I was super tired when I got home today and I put off the scheduled cross training until late, but the important thing is that I made myself do it. I really shouldn't leave it that late again, though.  Apparently 6ish is bro hour at the gym.  You know, when all the reasonably cute muscle-y boys of Nashville show up at the gym to lift weights and make me feel even more self-conscious and uncomfortable while I sweat it out on the elliptical than I already do.  I made myself stay for the full hour I had planned on, but I really, really wanted to leave.  I'm awkward like that.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

To The Top


I'm a day behind on the training schedule, but I decided yesterday that what really matters is that I complete each week's scheduled workouts, not necessarily that I complete them on the day the schedule says.  So I did yesterday's run today.  I know.  I'm such a rebel.  Here are my splits:


Since I'm only in week 3, this run was supposed to be 2.5 miles (in week 4 it goes up to 3 miles), but I wanted to try out the new route I mapped out yesterday and the route was 3 miles.  There were some minor problems with the route that weren't apparent on Google Maps.  Part of the route was down this residential street where there weren't sidewalks for several blocks.  It was a low traffic street so it was not that big of a deal, but it is a good example of how pedestrian un-friendly Nashville is, especially for a town with so many universities.   

The route had a lot of steep hills so I was really happy with my time.  I actually kind of like running uphill routes every now and then because it lets me see how much my fitness has improved.  When I started working out last semester it would have been hard for me to walk up some of those hills, let alone run up them.  It's still hard to run up steep hills, but I know now that if I keep breathing and keep putting one foot in front of the other I can make it to the top. It's amazing what time and hard work can do.