Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Finally starting to get the hang of yoga. I wasn't sure how into it I'd be, but I'm really growing to like it! The biggest challenge was figuring out how to transition from one pose into another, because the app I'm using didn't make that very clear. But YouTube was a big help with that, and now the Sun Salutation routine is fun! I'm thinking of incorporating it into my post-run stretching - I basically did today, just a few poses rather than the entire routine. Probably going to move onto the next routine tomorrow.
This morning I woke up with a ton of energy, and in fact, was itching to run. This does not happen to me - though I work the early shift at work, I am quite notoriously NOT a morning person. I've been getting way better about my sleep habits, so maybe that's helping, but whatever the case I decided to work out early. Also unusual - I prefer early evening, when it's cooler outside. But that gives you a potentially very small window of time - hottest part of the day is 3-4ish, but that's also when the storms tend to hit. So you can wait it out, but once it starts getting dark it's not safe anymore (ESPECIALLY in my area.) Early morning is not always feasible, given I'm usually at work, but I need to take advantage of it when I can. Not to mention I just need to suck it up and get used to running in the heat sometimes, because when I run events they're not going to be in the off-hours. I live in Florida, trying to avoid the heat is just silly when you think about it.
I tired out quicker than I anticipated, mainly due to my body not being used to the extreme heat anymore - this is the first year I haven't been working outdoors. Today was Week 6, Day 3 of C25K, aka the dreaded 20-minute run. And I didn't think I could do it. I was at 6 minutes and felt like I was dying. But I just kept pushing myself, a few minutes at a time. I thought ok, I'll go for 10, when the halfway alarm sounds. Then I'll go for 12, which is the longest I've ever run at one time before. If I could do that on Sunday, I could do that today. Then I figured I might as well make it a round number, I'll go to 15. Might as well go for a few more minutes, wait for the 1-minute alarm. And then it's silly not to go for that last minute. It was hell, and I was exhausted, but I DID IT. And not only did I do it, but I walked for 1/2 hour beforehand, and walked another 1/2 hour afterwards. One trick I like to utilize is to walk 1/2 hour away from my apartment, then run a loop around a housing complex. By the time I'm done there, I kind of HAVE to walk that 1/2 hour again, if I want to get home. And then, nearly to my complex, I randomly felt like running again. So I tacked on another few minutes, just because.
Leaving me at a grand total of 65 minutes of walking, and 23 of running.
The most exciting part is that I'm now 75% finished with C25K. This is the furthest in the program I've ever made it! I have a race coming up in November (and POTENTIALLY one in October, we'll see. Only thing stopping me is money - or, rather lack thereof), but I have plenty of time in-between then and now to build up to running even more at a time. Since I'm running for time right now rather than distance, I think once I'm done with C25K I'll spend a week or 2 just running 3 miles, making sure I'm comfortable with that distance, whatever pace it is that I need to run at. This is thankfully made very easy with the wonderful paved trail that runs right through town, and is clearly marked every 1/2 mile. After that I'd like to move into the Bridge to 10K program, but. One step at a time.
I'm just absolutely ecstatic, and feeling SO good today. Came home and made an avocado protein smoothie, then in a bit I'm having (healthy!) pancakes for lunch, followed by a light dinner with some aloe juice (FAVORITE OMG). It's always good to reflect on the good moments, when I'm thoroughly enjoying my healthy lifestyle, so that I can come back when I'm getting discouraged.
Then perhaps the most exciting part of today was that I followed up with a friend, M, after a conversation with my BFF on Saturday. Apparently M likes to run, and likes to run crazy events like obstacle runs and the Run For Your Lives zombie run! That is like the best news I have heard in a LONG time! Since switching jobs, I have lost all of my old buddies that were runners, so anymore I really don't have any friends that are into fitness at all. And what's nice is that M is very much on my level - we're about the same size, and she's just barely ahead of me as far as how long she can run at a time. She's also just a wonderfully sweet person, and a giant nerd like me, and generally a joy to be around. So I'm really really happy to have found someone I can talk to and commiserate with about running. I'm currently trying to get her to do the Armageddon Ambush with me in November, which would be AWESOME, because right now I'm pretty much going it alone, as my usual partner in crime will be in New York that weekend. If not that event specifically, we agreed that we should definitely run SOMETHING together, even if its just a local 5k. Actually, I believe I have a found a local company that SPECIALIZES in mud/obstacle runs! Based right out of my town! I'm definitely looking into that.
tl;dr AWESOME DAY. THE END.
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Yup, it's those few days of the month where I turn into a hormone-crazed lunatic. My best friend was cracking up over the phone because I just went on this angry diatribe about idiot drivers - a complete overreaction to a few morons in a parking lot. TOM affects everyone differently, but for me getting emotional is the worst.
So I let myself have a cheat day, because I was already planning on going out to lunch with my best friend. That didn't end up happening, we decided on dinner instead, but I was all ready to eat, so I went and bought candy. I bought Reeses, which I usually LOVE, and were one of my biggest problem foods. And halfway through eating them I just kind of realized that they're nowhere near as good as I used to think they were. I kept flashing back to my dinner last night - a simple mix of chicken, skim mozzarella, and veggies. And I realized that I'd much rather be eating that right now.
But, conversely, I'm glad that it's that TOM, because it helps me avoid the emotional overeating. Figuring out the root cause is always the hardest part, but when I can blame it on TOM it makes it that much easier to talk myself out of it, and go work out instead. BFF suggested Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, god bless him - it's a healthy buffet, lots of fruits and veggies and salads. That's excellent by me, because it's halfway through the day and I'm already over the cheat day. Candy tasted kinda good, but it didn't bring me any sort of emotional satisfaction (what a shock!). A big healthy salad for dinner is just what I need to get me back on track and start fresh again tomorrow - new day, new week, and new plan to step up my workouts, too! I've been slacking since SparkPeople Bootcamp ended, but no more. Time to put on the big girl panties. As someone on Instagram said this morning: "Your excuses are stupid." No matter what they are, they're excuses, and they're stupid. I refuse to fall back into that hole.
(As a side note, I find it funny that this is basically the same entry I made last month - almost exactly to the day. I don't think I realized before just how much TOM really does affect my emotions and my eating. I'm lucky enough that it doesn't severely affect me in any way, so I've never really had to keep track. When it comes, it comes, I deal with it, and it's done. But now that I realize what a monkey wrench it seems intent on throwing into my healthy eating plans, I want to be prepared next month, see it coming and head it off at the pass. Aug 5, I'm looking at you. You don't have anyone fooled.)
Friday, June 07, 2013
It's interesting how, as I become more and more dedicated to being healthier, old habits just don't seem appealing anymore. I wasn't feeling great this morning, so I said screw it, today will be a cheat day. (I didn't get one on Tuesday. DRAMA HAPPENED. So much for fun beach day. Oh, well.)
In the past (lol last week), this would have meant gorging myself on burgers and candy. But soon afterwards I realized okay, so I want to eat like crap because I feel like crap. But one is causing the other and it will just be a vicious cycle. Eating a greasy burger is not going to make me feel any better. I also know that PMS and lack of sleep are also urging the unhealthy habits - and that PMS is helping the lack of sleep. Another catch-22.
So, I compromised. I allowed myself some high-calorie treats, then came home and ate veggies for dinner. Only went over calories by about 150, still stayed on target for carbs, fat, and proteins, still worked out and accomplished all of my other daily goals. And I don't feel guilty at all - I indulged myself appropriately, but I didn't use it as an excuse to be a blob. And after eating a healthy dinner, rehydrating, taking my vitamins, and working out, I feel SO much better. WAY better than I would have if I had stuck to the original burgers-and-candy plan.
The more sleep goal is getting there - I've gotten at least 6 hours 5 days this week. So that's a significant improvement for me. But I still need to make that a 7/7, and then hopefully bump that up to 7-8 hours. Been reading more and more how vitally important sleep is, and how intrinsically it's linked to weight loss and gain, so. I don't want to ruin all my progress just because I couldn't put myself to bed at a reasonable hour like a big girl.
So with that, I bid you all good night, and hope that you're progressing along with your journey as well. It's slow-going sometimes, but the little victories make all the difference!
Monday, June 03, 2013
Took a few days, but finally recovered from that stumble last week, and it's just amazing how much dedicating myself to a healthier lifestyle has affected me. I have so much more energy, I'm less irritable, and I'm slowly learning to vent my stress and frustrations into exercise instead of stress eating, which is mentally healthy as well as physically. By the time I'm done working out, whatever was bothering me seems way less dire and I'm able to deal with it rationally.
I finally figured out that my SP plan was set for Spark5, for weight MAINTENANCE instead of weight LOSS. When I made the switch, it cut back a LOT of daily calories - from 1800 down to 1200. (I thought 1800 was awfully high; that's what made me realize I was on the wrong plan). I was initially wary of this, thinking that it was going to leave me hungry all the time. But what's crazy is that even at that level, I still find myself sometimes having to make myself eat just to meet my calorie needs for the day. I was stunned the other day when just some carrots and (healthy!) dip left me completely full. Tonight I planned to cook 1 package-recommended serving of ground turkey, but looking at it I realized it was just too big, so I only ate half. I guess my body is finally learning what 'full' ACTUALLY feels like - it's satisfied, not stuffed.
And it's just made eating so much FUN! My Instagram feed is now basically all health and fitness accounts, and it's SO inspiring to see what kind of healthy meals other people are eating, find ones that I can recreate or change. Tonight I had a 274 calorie cheeseburger, loaded with veggies and protein. It was amazing.
Tomorrow is my cheat day, because I'll likely be eating dinner out with family. But the morning/afternoon will be spent running and swimming on the beach while munching healthy snacks - I'm getting really excited planning what to pack! Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes and avocado is on the list, and I'm working really hard to wait until tomorrow and not just eat it now! Carrots & dip, rice cakes, yogurt...small snacks throughout the day, really - I'm getting away from eating big meals, and instead trying to spread my calories out evenly. Again, tomorrow will be the exception, as I anticipate a big dinner, but that meal is going to taste so much better knowing that I spent the morning getting cardio and eating healthy.
In general, I just feel really great about life! I love opening my fridge and seeing veggies for days, I love that post-workout zen, I love creating delicious new foods that are healthy and filling, I love having energy and positivity, I love knowing that I'm working towards my goals. It's a the best feeling ever.
I will leave you with my current favorite applicable song lyrics:
Don't be scared
Your dream's right there
You want it, you want it
Reach for it
--Ultranate, You're Free
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Fell off the wagon a bit the last few days. Pretty annoyed with myself and my complete lack of self-control. I really think that lack of sleep was a big factor. I keep saying I'm going to get more, but it's become clear that it's an absolute necessity. Not only does it make me tired and irritable when I'm not getting enough sleep, but I also just get antsy and make bad decisions. And that's not something I can keep up long term. Of course I can't blame it all on being tired, it's not like I was a zombie unable to control any of my own actions, but I do definitely think it exacerbates an existing problem, So I'm going to make that a priority and start fresh tomorrow. I have the day off, so I'm planning to hit the trail early in the morning and rollerblade for about an hour or so, then come back home and get the apartment cleaned up. That's definitely another thing contributing to stress is having my apartment be a pigsty, so I want to add that as one of my daily goals: do at least one thing to tidy up every day, even if it's just wiping down a countertop or straightening my desk.
Lastly, I think I really do need to follow through with having a designated cheat day. I think that might make it easier to avoid binging, if I allow myself small treats once a week. What's bothering me the most though is that I don't know what triggered it this time. I had a great day, went swimming and then decided to walk a mile to the grocery store for blueberries, made these great muffins filled with fruit and protein, ate a delicious dinner almost entirely of vegetables. But while I was in the middle of cooking said vegetables, that itchy, chomping-at-the-bit, I-hate-dieting feeling randomly started creeping in and it was downhill from there. I was doing good the next morning, but by the time I got off of work I was heading across the street for fried chicken. And a burger. And candy. I was a little better today, but not by all that much. It just seemed like such a strange time for me to do such a 180, because previously I had been doing good and feeling great. If I could identify when and why I go off the rails it would make it so much easier to deal with. As I said, I think lack of sleep is definitely a factor, but it's not the only one.
In any case, tomorrow is a new day. Here's hoping to stay strong.
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