How do you do it?

September 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

This post will be sort of a hodge-podge but the meat and potatoes are in the middle…it’s my deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie, if you will.

Luckily I’ve had plenty of time to blog over the past few days.  It’s given me an alternative way to unwind in ways that exercise and my daily prancing around the stove have been (unusually) unable to.  Somewhat of a side note – I had initially planned a flight to Sacramento which would allow me about 3 days in Lake Tahoe and 3 days of wine tasting in Napa.  The plan was set but man, I had a VERY difficult time parting with money that I had saved.  So much time, sweat and sleep deprivation had gone into making that money that I couldn’t part with it.  I know, I know. This seems foolish because I know I’ll burn out before my next vaca, but I’ve developed a little bug in me that already wants to start saving for my childrens’ education (mind you, I have ZERO children/pets/nieces/nephews/godchildren/not even a pet cockroach and no potential to have any in the next few years). So I’ve spent some time doing a little local travel and mainly spent my time put-sing around the kitchen, trying out new recipes and taking in as much of the local fare I can.  Festivals and farmer’s markets galore!  With all of this free time and writing also came time to read some blogs that I had never read…

On to the meat

Being a sort of successful weight watcher’s gal, I tend to stick close to home and read the blogs of fellow WW girls.  I can commiserate with their struggle, get ideas on snacks and healthy lunch or dinner items, and get some fab work out ideas.  Overall I find this soothing in a way; knowing that I’m not totally alone in this battle of the bulge.

This time off from work has made me curious  and I’ve been able to read through the blogs that I’ve never visited…I won’t name names – they’re excellent blogs), but what I’m finding is….they’re pretty impressive!  There’s an astounding number of people who can challenge weight loss on their own.  How do they do this?  How/where do they find the motivation?  How do they figure out what’s right for their body and what limitations to set?  In other words, how do they do this on their own?  Many of these “independent” fitbloggers don’t point this out.  I’ve tried elucidating this from the “about me” sections but they seem to be similar to mine – meaning that they basically felt some sign or urge to make a general change and just moved forward.  What made one turn to weight watchers and the other turn to him/her self?

now the potatoes

Eating healthy and exercising seem incredibly simple if you have a little motivation and time but in reality, it’s really not.  Not at all.  I’m sure you’re reading this thinking “Good job, little doctor.  Your 1/4 million dollar education seems to have really paid off (giant eye roll).”, but here’s the thing, medical school doesn’t teach us HOW to be healthy, it actually does quite the opposite.  I will rant about this in a later post.  In all of my years of schooling I of course knew that calories burned must exceed calories consumed, but I could not practice this for a multitude of reasons.

  1. No motivation,
  2. Literally never took the time to take care of myself because I’m disgustingly competitive and felt the need to study for 10-16 hrs/day (and FYI I was no where near as successful as most students who were just as intense and obnoxious as I was…probably because I never took care of myself – didn’t sleep more than 4 hours, didn’t eat well at all, ever, and was just miserable…you get the ugly picture).
  3. I didn’t have a supportive network by any stretch of the imagination,
  4. I wasn’t willing to take the time to prepare healthy meals.  **Message to pathetic old Me, how much time does it REALLY take to make and pack a sandwich, as opposed to the daily nonsense of stopping at Panera/subway/Moe’s, etc  for almost every meal?  Hello – waste of $$$$ that you don’t have!**

Back to my original thought….

If I didn’t pay someone to basically teach me what I already knew about health and wellness, to weigh me weekly, or  to set limits for me in terms of exactly how much I was allowed to eat daily, I would not have lost 35 lbs. I know it.  Not on my own.  I just don’t know if I have that determination in me.

How do you self-propelled people do this?  What triggered your mind to become structured and to stick with it? How did you determine (aside from the clear calculations of kcal/kg/day along with carb/fat/protein breakdowns) how much and what to eat daily? How do you not just give up when you don’t have a monthly WW bill hanging over your head? (Mind, I know WW has helped me to this point and it’s not only about paying to lose weight..some days it is, but 90% is wanting to be healthy and to look/feel like $4 x my tuition).  I really give you all a lot of credit for being so successful on your own.  I wish I could harness an ounce of that determination to succeed on my own.

Another thought. I wonder if long term success rates differ between self-propelled and weightwatchers people.  I wonder if I would have stuck to a plan this long if I hadn’t been shelling out $40/month to get my self in gear.

Any feedback or thoughts? (about that pesky topic of medical school and nutrition, more on that in another post)

Now for something fun and random

Also, I thought if I had time I’d start posting new recipes in the body as opposed to a separate recipe page.   I love my new camera and have been making great use of it (in the kitchen) so why not share the photos and the food?

I had some left over potatoes from a previous meal along with some carrots and a new BAG (hangs head in shame) of butternut squash.  I had been craving butternut squash soup as it’s healthy and nicely accents the new seasonal changes underway.  I typically only use squash and potatoes but having the carrots on hand was a great change.

Spiced Butternut – Carrot Soup


  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen (preferably fresh) butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups carrots (or parsnips), chopped
  • 1 cup peeled boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup LIGHT cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cup fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger root
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • s/p to taste

*hand held mixer or food processor

My Method

In a 5 quart pot, heat oil and add onions and carrots.  Once onions develop translucency, add squash and potatoes and heat until squash becomes soft.  Add cream, stir to incorporate, and add broth.  Allow to simmer for approximately 15 min.  Carrots should become soft at this point.  Now either remove mixture and add to food processor or blend with hand held.  Consistency should be that of farina o…or to your liking.  At this point add herbs and sugar. Allow to simmer for another 15 min.

I garnished with toasted Thomas’ Bagel Thin (cinnamon raisin- with a light spray of light olivio and sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar) crostini, a dallop of light cream cheese and chives.  It definitely hit the spot.

I also found a great deal on some organic figs and figured the best way to celebrate the season was so preserve them to enjoy all week month long.I ended up making a cinnamon fig/apple/walnut jam as well as a raspberry/nectarine jam infused with orange.

Such beautiful figs

decorating a piece of Manchego

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Getting back on track, again.

September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Gist – short

I’ve had a rough time balancing life and my health for the past few months.  It’s a work in progress. So is my fitness.

Recap – long and full of details.

It’s been a rough few months.  With the start of residency came not only job performance stress as a newbie intern, but very little sleep, very little energy, and nearly no time to sit down to a healthy meal.  I wish I could say this was a gross over exaggeration. My days consist of pre-rounding at 5am and working until anywhere from 4pm(rarely) until 6 or 9pm.  After work all I ever want to do is come home and prep a dinner that the food pyramid God’s would admonish, read a few pages from Harrison’s or NEJM, and spend at least an hour on the elliptical with my favorite punk bands.  Instead, much to my chagrin, I somehow have about 6-7/10 energy level when I leave work and progressively decline to outright sleepy on the way home.  Driving has always been a sedative for me -yeah, watch out 😉 -and I think it might be from the subtle vibration of the car.  Neither here nor there.  I feel exhausted when I finally reach the driveway. I’m left eating from a 4 – 6 pt Lean cuisine or Smart Ones box, reading a few poorly written clinical summaries on UpToDate, and maybe finding time to do a few push ups before I throw myself at my giant cozy bed with every intention of reading a few review articles…..but my eyes are too heavy.  I’m sure this schedule isnt’ that far off from many other folks out there, but it does get a bit tricky with 24 hour calls and overnight shifts thrown in the mix.

Don’t get me wrong, I can say with pride that I love every minute of my job. Every stinking minute.  I love teaching, I love examining my patients, that my mentors LOVE to teach, that I’m grateful to Vishnu, Shiva, Jehovah, Allah, what have you -that I’m in this particular residency program which I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, I love meandering over to radiology to talk about some obscure CT, practicing a slight smile all day to show my appreciation for work, socializing with my co-workers in the halls with the occasional wink or high-five, really, I love it all.  I just don’t love the fact that it does terrible things to my metabolism, patience, emotional capacity, cognitive abilities, and above all; my waistline. Worst of all, I was getting so frustrated over my crappy schedule because I wasn’t finding time to make it to a weight-in.  No bueno. This started to make me resent my choice of occupation and I would find myself getting less motivated to stick with Weight Watchers because JUST as I’d get ready to leave work for a weigh-in, I’d open my giant mouth to ask someone if he/she needed help with something and I’d land myself a new patient admission.  Again, no bueno.  This is my ASS we’re talking about people, my hips, my thighs and my gut!  And it was all seemingly larger than a few weeks prior.

I gained nearly 4 pounds during that time period and potentially a bit more, ahem, “subcutaneous tissue” around my midsection.  I know what this is attributed to.  It took a few Twitter exchanges with Christina Williams and lots of head scratching while pouring over my food log to figure out why I had veered off my climb to Mount Everest and landed on the Oregon Trail.   Minus one sheep.

What I learned about myself

So here I was thinking that it was simply the lack of time and energy that was crimping my success on weight watchers.  It dawned on me that while my life has changed significatly over the past few months, there is no reason for me to lose control over it. I don’t have an excuse not to eat well. Not at all. I carefully select my groceries weekly, scrutinizing labels and separate portions. So why was I letting myself become lazy – buying lunch from the cafeteria (did I tell you we have a giant SUSHI bar??) or grabbing lunch at a local bar or festival with fellow interns on the weekends (which by the way I refuse to stop doing because my sanity depends on it)?  I was not making terribly poor choices but what I was doing…….was tracking AFTER I ATE.  SUCH a poor idea for me.  This is exactly the opposite of (1) what I should be doing (2) what I had been been doing.  I let the EXCUSE of my hectic schedule get in the way of holding myself responsible for my points.

I had gotten in the habit of using my 35 Weekly allowance points every day…of course not all at once, but I was slowly chiseling at them daily.  Prior to this, I had been saving my points for a dinner out or special occasion.  Well that control was trampled.  The scale was moving up and I was feeling more an more miserable.  I sat down that night of my ( for lack of a better word) revelation, and wrote down exactly what I was going to eat the following day. I also decreased my daily points allowance by 2pts.  I needed to not only give my giant butt a kick start, but I had to re-train myself to stick to a daily regimen.  The following day it worked.  I resumed packing my lunch and making my coffee at home (with my beautiful new Keurig – just to save money thru the year), leaving my wallet in the car so I wasn’t tempted to buy what I didn’t need around my waist. I didn’t go over points AND I had my skinny COW dessert. Win – Win.  This is exactly how I’d been running the show since March and was pretty successful, and here I was again, finding a way to save myself from falling back into old behavioral patterns.

While I need a regimented menu, I also struggle as a fatty-bo-batty who loves…… (sorry I was distracted by the ridiculously hot guy walking his dog down my street)…both quality and quantity in food.  Hence my need for weight watchers to begin with.  Keeping my new regimen in mind, I do allow myself to go off schedule for 1-2 days per week, usually when I’m going to a community event with friends, and I will enjoy a beer or three with some sort of ethnic treat. So that issue is settled. I need to live with my regimen but I never lock myself into it for the sake of my sanity and social life.

Much Ado About My Giant Ass

So now that I figured out how to control my food again, now it was back to square one with my exercise. What the hell was I going to do about my energy and time?   This is one I haven’t quite figured out yet.  I have been lucky enough to have been on vacation and outpatient clinic for the past 2.5 weeks so things are nowhere near as hectic as they had been, so I’ve had ample time to work out multiple times a day.  The question is how I’m going to handle this once vacation is over and I head back to the hospital.

My favorite work outs involve Spin Class every other day, yoga/Bikram, Pilates, elliptical, occasionally running (I had been working on the couch to 5K and hit week 6 but had to tone that way down b/c of my hips, knee and shin splints…despite having a gait analysis for proper sneakers and orthotics) and, as of this week – the 30-Day Shred.  I’m also waiting to get that P90x video in the mail that I was supposed receive back in July…we’ll see how that works out. I’ll hammer something out soon.

What’s my motivation (rewind to late 1990’s Sprite commercials)

Not to add a whole new level of creepy to the blog, but I not-so-recently started following (god, not literally) Bitch Cakes and her blog that feels like a big shoulder to lean on.  Better yet, what I really wanted to write was that she ALSO follows me now…I know, lame…but she’s BitchCakes and rides her HK cruiser AND has made LifeTime, so yeah, I got a little excited.  After having many days feeling that I was just bound to put all of my weight back on, I’d occasionally flip through one of many blogs I read for my little desperate moments of motivation. It was a breath of fresh air to see that like me, all of these fine ladies have struggled to stay on plan and incorporate activity in their life.  They’re all had ups and down’s.  This is not easy. Never has been and I don’t think it ever will be, but it’s a work in progress.  I’d have to say that’s why I’m stoked about Twitter. For as annoying as it is to keep up with 140-character blurbs about everyone’s lunch (including my own until my POS Blackberry’s phone chose to revolt against me), random updates about where everyone is (ahem, me at starbucks all of the time), what they’re drinking (my non-stop mentions of the #PSL), the weird and random sarcasm, who they hate, (hmm, sounds so much like my twitter feed), and loss of productivity, the aspect I find most useful is the fine group of fitness tweeters who help get me back on track.  High-five, you sexy bitches! You helped me get back on track.  Cupcakes for everyone!

So where has all of this thinking, tracking and tweeting led me?

My schedule switched over on September 1st and it’s been much less hectic b/c I’m in an outpatient clinic.  I’ve been back at my previous level and frequency of exercise. This consists of 60-min of spinning every other day (>78% max HR and an average of ~450 cal/session), with 60 min cardio and weights in between. I’ve recently started the 30-day shred but I’m definitely not doing this every day – maybe every other day.

I’ve lost exactly 5.2 pounds since sept 1.  Talk about ecstatic and satisfied.  I haven’t used all of my additional weekly allowance points and I haven’t felt like I’m starving, despite decreasing my points allowance by 2.  I’ve lost a total of 24.4 lbs total Since march, but this has included ups and downs with the occasional 5-lb fatty bastard that sneaked into my plump physique.  I somehow lost 10 pounds prior to WW so I’m at a grand total of 34.4 lbs so far AND I’m about 10 lbs from goal but I think I’d like to push beyond that.  One day at a time. (Side note* here’s an article I posted on Twitter recently that I thought was a beautiful representation of everything we go thru on our journey towards fitness)

Food – Oh is there ever food.  As ya’ll know, I LOVE to cook.  Details aside, I love food so much that I read about it, subscribe to several foo-foo shi shi cooking mags, and even received a Canon Rebel xs  for graduation because everyone knows that I love me some food photog.  And as my life goes, I, of course, have no time to sit down to read those mags more than 2x/month anymore, ergo, I don’t cook anything fantastic anymore.  At least nothing from Bon Appetit or Food and Wine anymore…it’s somewhat time consuming.  But boy do I miss the aromas and the relaxing little place it takes me.  All that nonsense being said, I have taken a few photos of my half-assed lunches, dinners and other crap I’ve made while working on lighting…and seasoning.  I’ve mainly been figuring out a way to make a boxed meal (low points) into a fab meal.

Lunch #1: mixed salad, mixed fruit and, of course, a Kind bar for snack.

Breakfast: Red Quinoa, almond milk, banana, mixed nuts, almond butter, and honey.

Snack: Heirloom tomatoes I picked up from the Farmer’s market. Pricey little bastards, but so delicious with squeeze of lime and pinch of salt 🙂

Dinner: Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, spinach/cucumber/tomato salad w dijon-lime-dill vinaigrette, and boiled potatoes. yeah, I pretty much rocked the house with this meal.

These were just little tid bits of my daily meals…I’ll post recipes on another page.

This is all a balancing act, complete with successes and failures.  Some may come in the form numbers on a scale, an ill fitting outfit, over indulgence but in the end there are all things we can learn from.  While I’m sure I’ll trip and fall again, but I’m sure I’ll find a fellow twitter friend who can help me brush off and get to my next goal post. My failures have helped me succeed thus far. (Side note #2* While This article from Success Mag is about Bouncing back in the business world, it’s important to realize the essence of the article is about making a comeback in life.  Getting back on your feet once you’ve hit the proverbial wall.

A few random notes that are not in any way related to my post

1. Eat Pray Love – shouldn’t we all?  – My current read. I relate to it on so many levels…most of which I’ll keep to myself. Read it if you have a few hours to spare and I’d love to chat about it with you.

2. Latest rump-shakers – I have a tiny obsession with music and constantly revamp my work out lists.  I have a tendency to make mixes that are on-the- spot with the intervals I’m doing – I mean to the second!  To spare you my obsessive compulsive mannerisms from henceforth, I’ll just list some of the songs on my two latest mixes.  There’s some over lap but I think you can handle that.  Let me know if you like this stuff 🙂

Mix 1: This is for either elliptical, running, walking – when I’m feeling ridiculously ghetto.  I’m ususally in the >75% Max HR with this mix

  1. rapture – Alicia Keys
  2. Memories ft Kid Cudi – David Guetta
  3. Supernova – Jason Darulo
  4. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  5. Krazy – Pit Bull
  6. Feel it – Thee-6-Mafia
  7. poker round (fristy remix) – flo-rida
  8. Bad Romance – Gaga
  9. Come Fly away – Benny Benassi
  10. Up – the Saturdays
  11. The Fame – gaga
  12. Cyber Love – Jason Derulo
  13. break your heart – taio Cruz
  14. gettin’ over you – David guetta
  15. Forever – Chris Brown
  16. Turn it up – stereos
  17. la Musique – Riot in Belgium
  18. Meet me half way – Black eyed peas
  19. the way I are – Timbaland
  20. Sweet dreams – Benny Benassi
  21. Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
  22. Can’t stop me now – pitbull
  23. gettin over you – david guetta
  24. shots – LMFAO
  25. sex, lies, Audiotape – DeadMau5
  26. Love is gone – david guetta
  27. Hey! – Laidback luke
  28. Sleepy Head – passion Pit
  29. Finger Food  – Benny Benassi
  30. Satellite – Lena
  31. Beat dat Beat – Dj Pauly D
  32. I need a miracle – fragma
  33. take it off – kesha
  34. calabria 2007 – Enur
  35. you make me sick – pink
  36. thong song – sisqo (you know you love it)
  37. remedy – little boots
  38. outta control – peter andre

I admit, a lot of these are annoying but, hell, if you listen to the beat and ignore the lyrics you’ll be OK and survive. there are a few others but I’ll spare you.

Mix #2: Hotter and better. Love it. I also occasionally listen to this when I feel like a bad ass. I’m usually at <75% max HR with this list. Elliptical and walking.

  1. Heads will Roll – yeah yeah yeahs
  2. Good ol’ Fashion Nightmare – Matt and Kim
  3. magic – B.o.B
  4. Kill me Carolyne – The Whigs
  5. Dashboard – Modest mouse
  6. I can talk – two door cinema club
  7. Whoo! alright – the rapture
  8. This is your life  – The killers
  9. Clark gable – The postal service
  10. Sleepy head – Passion pit
  11. Memories – david guetta
  12. supernova – jason derulo
  13. Bad romance – Gaga
  14. Break your heart – Taio cruz
  15. rebellion – the arcade fire
  16. dog days are over  – florence and the machines
  17. what ever you like (single version) – anya marina
  18. DJ Got us falling in love again – usher
  19. Use somebody  – Kings of leon
  20. Until we bleed – Lykke li

In closing, thanks to all the fine ladies who have helped me past my pity party a few weeks ago. You rock my socks off. Truly.

How do you guys push past through plateaus or those rough patches?

It Just Hit Me

August 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

It just hit me that after this week I’ll be more-or-less vacationing for one month.  Planned on taking a trip to Cali and doing nothing but relaxing my mind, hiking, and wine tasting. Perfect.

That also made me feel OK about the way things have been going with my weight over the past two months.  I haven’t been to a weight watchers weigh in for four weeks now although I’ve been occacianally (OK, daily) stepping on the scale to chastise myself for the previous days’ gluttony.  I’ve lost. Not much, but I’ve lost weight and I think some muscle mass has been replaced by adipose. Oh well.  With the easy peasy schedule I have for the next four weeks I’ll be able to work out DAILY and continue watching what I eat. Hopefully I’ll finally make it to goal weight by the end of the term. 🙂

Down again!

July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments

After all of my endless whining I had my weight in today and was down 1.6 lbs!  I couldn’t really believe it; I thought for sure I was either steady state or up a few tenths of a point.

Changes I made this week that may have contributed:

-continued with C25K

-added a yoga session after my run or just a few extra minutes of walking

-instead of hopping on the elliptical on my cross train days like I did in the past, I started adding spin classes into the mix.  Three days this week.  I still have slight saddle anesthesia, too. 🙂

I haven’t had AS much to eat at work (still eating at night tho) but the only big difference is my my liquid intake.  I’ve been trying to save more money so instead of my pre-shift stop at S-to-the-bucks I’ve started brewing my own jasmine or pomegranate green tea.  I make it about 30 min before work, add ice to my 32 oz travel jug, add a stick of honey with some Stevia and I’m on my way.  Getting that extra fluid really does stave off some hunger.

Thanks for the comments on the last post.  Having that extra bit of motivation when I’m feeling defeated by the scale really helped push me to my ultimate 1.6.  Thanks 🙂

Side note: while I was at WW for my WI today I noticed they had some chocolate shakes and immediately thought of a new concoction I might try; 1 packet WW chocolate smoothie mix, 1 mini banana, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp instant coffee, 1 packet Stevia.  1/2 cup crushed ice + blender.  I actually will try using chocolate almond milk instead of the mix because I ended up buying the pomegranate blueberry smoothie mix instead, with a box of the ranch crackers.  I’ll try ’em out and make a few comments later.

totally random, but as I was searching for images to add I came across this little clinical gem and it reminded me how much I love fiber.

Happy…..something 🙂

I am what I eat

July 11, 2010 § 5 Comments

Gross

I feel so gross.  Residency finally started and I’m working night float so that means I’m not really eating much because I’ve never been a night eater, right? I thought that when I shifted my sleep schedule that I’d also eat much less  and I’d be busy enough to stave off cravings.  I couldn’t have been further off.  The only accurate part is that I’m not, or at least I didn’t think I was, a nighttime snacker.   Working nights has made me soft, literally.  Some how I’m hungry every hour. I have been trying to stick within my WW points and pack little 4-point almond butter and banana sandwiches, apple, greek yogurt with granola and fruit, and by sticking to my all bran in the AM.  I have even stuck with my eating every three hours rule and have an eating schedule planned out in my head.  None of this is helping.  For some reason I’ve re-developed my love handles and my abdomen looks like something I’ve only come across on maternity units.  My measured weight is actually continuing to decrease while my image in the mirror is NOT what is was when I graduated last month.

I’ve been eating so much more…and not just when I’m at work, it’s mainly when I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve completely let myself go to the point I had TacoBell two times last week while hanging out with the little bad influence Runt-my sister.  I hadn’t touched bad-for-you-nutrient-deplete fast food in months. MONTHS.  Then she introduced me to the crunch wrap supreme. 12 fucking points.  12!!!!! Mind you, this was at 1 a.m. It’s been downhill from there.  I had tiramisu, went to a wedding and had cake and a cannoli, multiple sweet mixed drinks, I’ve even gone back for more TacoBell.

I miss my last few months of people making fun of me for eating so healthfully and for my self-control around desserts/junk at work.  I’ve never had control like that before.  As much as I say I want to get back where I was with my self control i feel like it won’t be as easy this time because i don’t have a particular goal.  Last time it was that I didn’t want my classmates seeing me as a fatty at graduation.  I haven’t been able to find a new short term fitness goal.  I know this is what works best for me.

The only thing I’ve go going for me lately is that I’ve been exercising A LOT lately.  I’ve been doubling up on spin and running; a little speed-junkie I guess.  The only thing I really miss is my hot yoga… and I guess pilates.  I’m pretty sure those were the two things that really helped me tighten up and tone…the only issue is that I can’t afford the Bikram anymore and I have no patience for pilates.  It’s just not what I need these days.  I’ve got to get back into it.

I need some tips and encouragement/motivation ASAP.

happy Eating…. 🙂

Accomplishment; 7 days later

June 27, 2010 § 6 Comments

Thoughts

Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the Truman Show.  Same thing, day in and day out.  I am sitting here yet again, on my little  pink exercise ball, typing away with the sound of lawn mowers down the street and splashing from my neighbor’s pool just outside of my window.  Prepped dinner, tidied my room a little, and stressed about internship starting this week.  Besides that one nagging thought, some of the others running through my head are mostly pointless and fleeting, such as; “hey you know Husband and Wife next door pretty well. Why not just invite yourself over for a swim?” Or “I thought I’d get some more color while I was running, dammit!”  Hoping I’m not late for work tomorrow, or, wondering why my raspberry green tea tastes like I drained it out of the men’s urinal of an outhouse. Damn, you crystal light!   But the one I’m going to do my best to bore you about is the sense of accomplishment I feel about the way I’ve burned a few calories this week.

Losing It

Last night I had a little bit of insomnia so I stayed up watching “Losing It” w Jillian.  While I find her obnoxious with that weird sense of control and the cheesy way she breaks people down (just to build them back up) I still really enjoyed the show.  It’s great how I can watch that show and totally relate; the sense of letting go, having a massive bump in the road that brings you down, ultimate self pity and fear of change and comfort.  I got it.  Watching the May family struggle their way from heartbreak, loss of control, heart break that the children felt for their mother, actually had ME excited to see their transformation after eight weeks.  That was an inspiration.  It seriously helped me plow my way through the workout.  It was one of those “If they can do it, I can do it” things.  Worked – and I feel it in my thighs, but it’s a good feeling.

C25K – week one in rear-view mirror:

I just finished my first week of the C25K program.  I was a little nervous about starting to run again after so long but I did it.  I was afraid of how my hips, knees and feet would ache, afraid of my shin splints attacking me while I’m busting my ass, or if I’d just not benefit from it at all; maybe staying stagnant in one phase of the program.  So far so good; my knees have hurt a little and my shins only develop a slight ache but what I tried training myself to do was focus on my form rather than my fear of pain.  As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve been reading a good amount about chi running so as I run i try focusing on my hip/shoulder/clavicle alignment.  I might look kind of like an ass while I’m adjusting my form several times mid-run but I kind of don’t care.  Being that I’m extremely self-conscious and uber critical of everything I say and do, I had to coach myself a little; a little pep-soliloquy:

  • who cares what you look like to Joe Shmo who’s sitting on his front porch slugging down three beers and slobbering on his grease stained shirt.  If I’m getting my overweight and unshapely ass out there to teach myself a better way of health then I really shouldn’t care what Mr. Obese thinks about my chameleon form.  So what if I look stupid in these positions.
  • try your best to ignore the pain.  A 5/10 is tolerable but a 10/10 and constant popping is disgusting and I’m going to stop running – and it will be acceptable.  I can’t force my overloaded knees to handle this if they’re feeling finicky.
  • No excuse to feel tired. Done.  I need to move and it’s normal to feel tired during a run.
  • push your self-imposed fatigue limits.  If Jillian can make a 350 lb man who hasn’t exercised in 15 years run and dance, I better not get lazy and give up on myself.  Not acceptable.
  • And finally, refrain from belting out to “Bad Romance” in public. Not cool.
  • FOCUS ON FORM!

With all of those little bits of self encouragement I started day three of week one.  Can’t lie that I wasn’t tired, but man it felt good to push myself to run quicker when I felt my shins act up and when I felt tired.  I’ve never really done that before.  Run through shin splints? yes.  But run through fatigue? No.  That was pretty awesome.  I think it helped that I was listening to “Krazy” by Pit Bull at the time, but whatever…I felt bad ass!

I suppose I should pose a question or two.  Things I’m trying to figure out just to compare and contrast my newbie running experiences with others:

(1) How do you guys work past your leg fatigue and/or pain when you run (dare I ask about shin splints?)?  I’m only asking to make sure that I’m not just needlessly harping on the fear of leg pain that I feel.  And no smart-ass comments about seeing my doctor lol.

(2) how much fatigue is “normal”, especially for a beginner who is in pretty decent cardiovascular shape? Is that a dumb question?  Any marathoners or daily runners who can share their experience? Also, this may sound really weird, but where do you “feel” your fatigue the most (especially the type that makes you stop running)? Is it mainly in your breathing, your chest as a whole, whole body, or legs/feet?

(3) what keeps your running?

Thanks for reading!

Happy running 🙂

Runny

June 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

To start things off; Random Ramblings

It’s a Friday night.  I’m sitting here with my liquid motivation; Malibu, Light cranberry/raspberry juice, and Fresca. Thumbing through Fitness Magazine and Cooking Light, and listening instrumental hip hop on Pandora.  As I’ve said several time on Twitter, I think my 40’s have bitch-slapped and taken over my mid-20’s. All of this while relaxing in a big comfy swivel chair at my desk on my Gaiam balance ball, aka, my fitness orb.  Yes, I use a balance ball in place of a chair because, per Dwight Schrute “This ab workout is specifically designed to strengthen your core”. I’ll quote one of my favorite scenes from “The Office” because I’m just that bored and I LOOOOOOVE The Office!

Dwight Schrute: [sitting on a giant rubber ball] You should get one of these.
Jim Halpert: No, thank you.
Dwight Schrute: Do you even know what this is? It is a fitness orb, and it has completely changed my life. Forget everything you thought you knew about ab workouts.
Jim Halpert: Done.
Dwight Schrute: This ab workout is specifically designed to strengthen your core. [bumps picture on Jim’s desk] Sorry.
Jim Halpert: It’s all right.
Dwight Schrute: Numerous health benefits: strengthens your back, better performance at sports, more enjoyable sex.
Jim Halpert: You’re not having sex.
Dwight Schrute: [smirks] Plus, improves your reflexes. [knocks over knick-knack on Jim’s desk] See, I would have caught that.
Jim Halpert: Okay, you know what, how much is that?
Dwight Schrute: It’s only 25 bucks.
Jim Halpert: Wow. Um, okay. [pops orb with a pair of scissors, causing Dwight to crash to the ground]

Am I an exciting, burning ball of fun energy or what?

Starting to sip drink #2.

Weighty Issue

Like I’ve whined about before, I’m not sure what happened after my third month on weight watchers, but I’m not liking what I’m seeing in the mirror or feeling.  I continued to lose a slight bit of weight this month but I think it was mainly from muscle loss after not working out much and not exactly eating as healthfully as I was over the past few months.  I posted about this issue earlier in the week.  I think my biggest issue was moving back home and getting too comfortable.  When I’m by myself I found out that the best way for me to fight my boredom and occasional loneliness was to exercise.  It worked so I pushed and motivated myself more and more.  I was regularly attending Bikram hot yoga classes and going to the gym 5 days/week.  Whoa, what a difference it was to come home and have no stresses, all day to do nothing at all until residency starts.  Apparently there is an inverse relationship between my daily free time and the amount of MoJo I have.   I’m positive that once I’m all moved into my new place in a few days I’ll get back on track without feeling tied down. Anyways…

Side bar: Also, of note, is that I have been managing my eating habits and hunger much better than I had been since the first week of June.  I started this morning right with my berry smoothie, had a snack in the mid-morning and had a light lunch.  I am a girl who loves quantity AND quality so small portions are difficult for me, lately just one fistful of veggie chips won’t suffice.  My solution; eat on. a smaller plate and load up on fluids.  The smaller the plate, the more voluminous the meal appears.  I made sure I had about three bottles of water and I am happy to say that my hunger was not as intense as most days.  Now, back to the exercise…

Couch to 5K

Tried to get my MoJo back and I think it’s 85% safe to say that I think it’s back. Let me tell you how.

After reading multiple accomplishments by a few of my Twitter peeps I thought I might jump on this bandwagon.  I’ve always been told by orthopedists not to run because I’ve had a funky arthritis behind my knee caps since I was in high school…but I don’t listen to doctors…

On Monday I chatted with the ever adorable  littlemissknits and concluded that I’d start myself on a stable running program.  I needed to change things up to be able to re-start.  I was also a bit pressured when my sister kindly noted that my belly was coming back…and I was starting to feel a bit of side rolls, you know the ones right under your bra strap beneath your arm pit?  Yes, those.  Gross.  So, with all of these signs that it was time to kick things back up I looked up the C25K Program.  Started this program on Wednesday and didn’t have any hip or knee pain.  Felt great afterwards, felt like myself again.  Today I made a valiant effort to get back out there and overcome my fears of my shin splints making an -all out attack on my or feeling my knee caps start to rub on underlying bone…the thought of which makes me slightly nauseated.  I made my sister go out with me.  It was awesome.  Yes, I did have knee and hip pain so I was attempted to Chi Run.  If you’ve ever read about this, it’s not the easiest method to pick up on, especially for someone who’s as far from graceful as possible.  I tried aligning everything, keeping my shoulders aligned with my hips and my hips aligned with my knees. I thought I was doing ok but according to my sister I looked more like a confused, pigeon-toed ass.  I thought so, too.  This method will take some time to learn and I’m trying to be patient with myself.

The run it-self, aside from the incessant bitching about chin splints and other such orthopedic nonsense, was peaceful and relaxing.  The course I run is mile posted at a local park, taking me through a short course of an evergreen forest, along multiple hills and valleys, and finally a beautiful pond with fountain.  I’ve never taken the time to appreciate how calming and serene it feels to run in a wooded area (with a partner and my pepper spray on my keys, of course).  But aside from the pepper spray the run was awesome.

I was a runner in high school (until my shin splints got so bad that I ended up having to quit and going to physical therapy three times weekly. (long, sad sigh) so I thought I’d be able to pick up on my stride pretty fast.  This didn’t exactly happen and it was slightly discouraging considering I was able to run two miles at least once per week with out discomfort just two months ago.  What happened to my knees in this time block and where’s my stamina?  Oh well.  Better slow and steady than hurting myself again or pushing so hard that I feel intimidated and stop all together.  Right?

A few of my motivational resources:

Fitness magazine, reading Tweets of fellow fitbloggers, and …kick in the pants when I realize I’m paying weight watcher’s AND the gym to provide me the tools I need to stay fit and healthy- need I say more? I need to get my money’s worth!  I also just couldn’t motivate myself to go to the gym in this beautiful weather to stand on an elliptical for 45 mins. no way. As a result of some not-so-heavy thinking, I found that having a work out buddy (my sister) and taking the heat outside was the best way for me to do it and get back into my little groove. And yes..I wore my sunscreen. 🙂

The outcome

I finished my C25K daily routine and even felt motivated enough to practice some pilates when I came home.  Tomorrow’s cross training – planning to take a spin class.  Really looking forward to it!

Final note; I found a terrific iPhone app for C25K – it’s 2.99, voice-overs telling you when to start running and when to walk.  It also allows you to listen to your own iTunes playlist and will momentarily interrupt a song to prompt the next move.  I LOVE IT!

Thanks for reading,

Happy blogging

🙂

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