Monthly Archives: May 2011
Sunday is my long-run day. Right now that means five miles. My race is getting closer, a little more than a month left to train. This week I decided that it was a probably a good idea for me to start running my long-runs in the morning, because my race is in the morning. Working out in the morning is difficult for me; my body just does not appreciate waking up and getting moving on that level. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find an evening race, so morning it is.
I woke up this Sunday and it was very foggy, so I figured that at the very least, it wouldn’t be a hot run. After about two miles it started raining and I love to run in the rain. It feels cleansing to my soul. I ran along the lake and made it through my hills without much trouble. As I was nearing my five-mile mark I realized that I wasn’t tired or sore, so I decided to keep going. I ended up running six and a half miles and I could have gone further, but I was already late for the rest of my day.
It was very exhilarating to realize that I had run my 10k. I feel confident that I won’t have any problem on race day. I know that my body can do it, and it feels amazing to say that.
A holiday weekend does not have to throw you off your plan, the following options may help you keep your detour to a minimum:
- Eat before you head out to any barbecue, party or other celebration. If you fill up on healthier options before you go, you’ll be less tempted by treats you run into.
- Use a small plate, our eyes are generally bigger than our stomachs, fill your small plate and satisfy both.
- If you are hosting your own event, there are many ways you can cut some of the fat and calories from your favorite dishes. I have added a few links below or check for recipes online.
- Have fruit for dessert, keep the sweet without the guilt.
- Bring chewing gum, we often eat because the people around us are eating, fill up and then try some gum instead.
- Drink lots of water, we often confuse hunger with thirst. Also, it can help you to reduce the number of high calorie or alcoholic drinks you have.
And, don’t forget to get some exercise… Play outside with the kids, go for a walk, hit the gym (and enjoy having the place to yourself), go swimming, go for a bike ride…
As a busy weight watchers girl, I am always looking for places that I can grab a quick bite to eat without going point crazy. Qdoba has been a lifesaver for me. When I started the points system, the only place that I knew I could count on for a low-point meal on the run was Subway. Their sandwiches are quick and easy; and you can find a Subway almost anywhere. The problem for me is that I LOVE spices and while Subway is convenient, it is not spicy (hot or otherwise). As I was looking for other options, I came across Qdoba’s website. They have a great nutritional calculator, which is perfect for the weight watchers crowd. As it turns out, my naked steak or chicken taco salads (I have mine with pico de gallo, corn and bean salsa and habanero salsa – without cheese, sour cream, guacamole or dressing) are fewer points than any of the sandwiches I was having. *Cue the halo lights and singing angels* If you have the salad with grilled veggies instead of meat, the point value is even lower. They have several items on their menu that can be modified to be weight watcher friendly, I suggest playing with the calculator to see what works for you:
If you have any suggestions for healthy, on-the-go options, please feel free to share.
I live in Wisconsin, so as the weather warms I like to be outside to enjoy it as much as possible. This means that I am not interested in spending my mornings or evenings in the gym. I am training for a 10k this summer, so it’s easy for me to find outdoor exercise opportunities. I have already been running on the road for the past month. I was talking to a friend this morning about how the transition from the treadmill to the road can be challenging. It feels very different to run without the forward motion, your path is rarely straight or level and you have to regulate your own tempo. I have found that music can help with the tempo issue, as well as counting arm swings or breaths. If you want to know more, I found a great post about this issue on fitsugar.com:
Also, if you have an iPhone or iPod, you may be interested to know that Nike+ is turning 5 this year and they are offering their Nike+ GPS app for free. This is a limited time offer; click on the link below for more information:
If running is not your thing, there are lots of other opportunities to exercise outdoors. Check the boards at your local gym, grocery store, library, etc. for postings about outdoor classes. I know I have already come across fliers for outdoor boot camps, yoga, hula hooping and zumba. Walking is a great form of exercise and if you have children it is an excellent way to involve them; even if it is as simple as walking to and from school, appointments or extra-curricular activities. Don’t forget that there are many day-to-day activities that allow for you to build in your exercise; use the push mower instead of the rider, park at the furthest end of the parking lot at work or the grocery store or take your bike instead of your car. Every little bit helps.
There are several artists whose songs help me through tough workouts. One of them is definitely Pink. The title of this post is a lyric from her song “Perfect”, which has a great message: we all make mistakes and we are our own worst critics.
I struggle with my inner voice. I set high expectations for myself and I am strict with my plans and goals. I know that this is part of what makes me successful, but I am also very hard on myself for any deviation from the plan. For example, my sister was visiting this weekend. We went out dancing on Saturday night and I had a few drinks; nothing even close to over-indulgence, but I don’t drink alcohol very often. Sunday is my long run day. I knew that it was going to be more difficult to run with alcohol in my system, but I drank a lot of water in the morning and headed out in the afternoon. About two miles into my run, I knew that there was no way I was going to get five miles done. My legs felt like bags of cement and I was barely dragging myself along. I ran my regular three mile path and added some walking.
If I were listening to a friend tell this story, I would say that there are going to be days like that. Great job on getting out there and doing what you could. Even if you decided to take the day off, that happens too. A plan is just that, a plan, and life gets in the way of plans. Have fun with your friends, take a sick day when you need it, take a mental health day when you need it, rest if your body says rest. Then get right back on the plan. Be confident in your commitment to yourself.
Unfortunately, I was talking to myself and it sounded more like: “You shouldn’t have had a drink if you knew you were supposed to run. You only have until July to be ready for this race. Not only did you have food that you shouldn’t have had; now you’re off your exercise plan too.” Make the voices in your head like you instead.
For every time that you are sad or mad or disappointed in yourself for a slip or a break or a “life happens” moment, think about all the times you had a great day or a great run or stuck to the plan or went over-and-above. Did congratulate yourself with the same enthusiasm that you are kicking yourself now? Let’s stop delivering our own knock-out punches. I know that I have many more good days than bad days, but it’s the bad days that seem to get the most attention in my mind.
I think this carries over to all aspects of life, whether it be food or exercise or work or kids. I think we can all talk a little bit better to ourselves. It is a good thing to be driven and to hold yourself accountable to your goals; it is what makes us successful. Knowing that we all makes mistakes or have bad days and that life happens is what makes us wise. Giving ourselves permission to roll past those things is what makes us compassionate.
“Pretty pretty please… don’t you ever, ever feel… like you’re less than, less than perfect…”
I struggle with moderation. I am excellent at none at all, but horrible with “just a little.” Once I have one, my willpower goes out the window. I have found a couple tricks that are helping me to get better:
Avoiding the “Whole Package”
For things that don’t come in single serving packages, like girl scout cookies or chips/crackers/etc., I use little baggies to separate the portions and I never get more than one portion out of the pantry/fridge/freezer at a time. If have have to get up to go get another one, that is usually enough time for me to talk myself out of it. If it is sitting on the coffee table in front of me, it’s much easier to say “just one more.”
If there is a treat at work or a party, I tell myself that I can have one as I am leaving. It’s a great way to make sure the I am not tempted to have more than one and sometimes they are gone by that time, so I don’t end up having any at all.
I am also learning the value of things that are “just okay”. For example, I like to have a protein/fiber bar before I run. There are some that are terrible, some that are great and some that are just okay. I buy the ones that are just okay, because I can have a whole box of them in my pantry/office/car and I am not in danger of eating more than one. They do their job, giving me energy and keeping me from feeling starved at the end, but they are not so great that I want to eat more.
If you have any tips or tricks to help with moderation, I would love to hear them…
This has been a week of major milestones for me. I was able to run 5 miles, continuously, for the first time in my life. As of Wednesday, I have officially lost 100 lbs and as of this week, I have kept the initial 65 lbs off for one year. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been asked many times what my secret is and the secret is that there is no secret. For me it meant hard work and commitment… and deciding that I was ready to change my life, not “go on a diet”.
I am hoping to create a space that helps foster healthy living, for myself and anyone else who is interested. I think this means different things to different people. I know that different things work for different people, and I am not here to tell anyone what to do. I want to share my successes and struggles, and I hope that other people will share theirs as well.
I am excited to see what this grows into and I thank you for stopping by to check it out…