Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Running Surfaces Are Not Created Equal

Ouch!  Well, just a little.  I've learned the hard way that running on concrete sidewalks is really hard on my Achilles tendon.  I was told this by my friend, Nye, but I guess I just had to test it out for myself.  Lesson learned!  I'm hitting the streets today and going to run on the asphalt.  Luckily, where I run there's little to no traffic.

On another and related note, I did not get my run in yesterday...bummer.  But, I have a clean house and some spontaneous living room dancing broke out with Gabriel during the process.  I can't complain!

And....I'm down 7 1/2 pounds - woot woot! Gotta love results...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Taking a Break and Embracing Hunger

Today was a glorious Southern California day no matter where one decided to go.  I took my boys (plus Ian's new/old girlfriend - ah, the complications of young love) to the beach, more specifically, Leo Carrillo State Beach.  There are only a handful of days like today on the coast: warm (upper 70s), no clouds, and little wind.  I decided that since I had worked out for a solid eight days in a row, I could take a break today.  I did take that break, but I have to say, I kind of missed working out.  Call me crazy, but I now really like working out, especially after having such a great running day yesterday (and, yes, Cassie, I will keep going next time).  I'm already really looking forward to tomorrow evening's run.

The second part of my blog post tonight is about embracing hunger.  In the past, I would constantly sabotage myself when I'd feel hungry and eat something I knew I shouldn't be eating.  I'm really proud of myself because I have not sabotaged myself this week, at all.  Period.  And there was bread around tonight!  I am learning that being hungry is part of the process of losing weight and getting my appetite under control.  I'm learning that being hungry means faster results.  Don't get me wrong, I am not starving myself.  I had three wonderfully well-balanced meals today, but they consisted of things that I wouldn't have eaten for those meals in the past, or at least not consistently.  I'm not following a six meal plan because I simply don't operate that way.  I don't really like to eat when I'm not hungry anyway (or at least what I used to think was hungry) and Dr. Joel's plan is a three meal kind of plan.  He wants me to "stuff myself healthy" at meals, to be completely satiated.  It's pretty amazing how little it takes to actually satiate my appetite now - clearly my stomach is shrinking.

Anyhow, I also think writing about this process is helping me stay on the straight and narrow, so to speak.  I'm really glad I have a few followers because you all are helping me on this journey, just by being here, so thanks for that.  Now, it's time for bed as I am extremely "beach tired."

Finding success every day...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting a Groove On...

I just came back from the most amazing run I've had yet in my new shoes.  I started out kind of herky-jerky, but on the last 1/2 mile, I got into such a groove, I didn't want to stop.  My breathing was regulated and easy and my rhythm even.  I so so so needed to feel this way today - it's been a rough week of anxiety, lack of sleep and emotional ups and downs.

Share your stories of effortless running - or any kind of exercise.  I'd love to hear how they make you feel.

Tomorrow...it's a day at the beach and my day of rest.  I cannot wait!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Day, Another Pound

Any time I re-start an exercise/eating/well-being program, I try not to become obsessed with the scale.  However, I digress.  I stepped on the scale yesterday to see it was not so evil after all: I had dropped three pounds.  I decided, "what the hell?!" and stepped on it again today: another pound gone.

Now, I know weight can easily fluctuate from morning to evening, thus I really try hard not to weigh myself more than once a week, but I'm excited and already can see some changes even after the few short weeks I've been exercising.  For example, my clavicles (collarbones) are coming back.  Not that they were impossible to find, but when I weigh less my clavicles protrude more.  I have been told by many people that I have a very graceful neck and shoulder area, so this is important to me that they look their best.

My body loses weight in a top down sort of fashion.  The first areas I notice weight loss is in my face and upper chest, then it slowly moves down my body to areas I'd rather not lose weight in (ladies and gentlemen, I'll let you figure out which body parts I'm referring to), then finally my body budges and lets go of the weight I've carried around my mid-section and beyond.  Let me tell you, I cannot wait until I see my mid-section shrink down to what I want it to be.  Six-pack abs?  Not likely, women should be a little fleshy anyway, in my opinion, and I will still have the curves, but none of the bulge.  And, legs, mmm-hmm!  All this running and strength training is already making my legs firmer.  I actually am looking forward to buying a new bathing suit this year.

Anyway, enough blogging for now.  It's time to do the strength training I've been looking forward to doing all day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Promise I Won't Constantly Write about Food, but...

So I made my first Dr. Joel recipe today, black bean lettuce wraps.  Verdict?  Tasty!  I made some black beans last night and I was happy to see this recipe in the book.  Since I only made it for myself right now, I omitted the avocado, since I would have only needed an eighth of it.  And we all know what happens to avocados after you cut them open...oxidization, yuck.

Anyway, the two books in this collection are a kinder, gentler form of Dr. Joel's Eat to Live.  He lets you eat chicken, and even red meat, but in total moderation.  The first book reads a lot like Eat to Live and I've already read that, I know what I have to do.  It's just nice to have more options, and tastier ones at that.

Even though I can make boiled water taste good, this is still a daunting task.  Retraining my taste buds is most definitely the hardest part of this process.  The proof will be in the putting and if I can shed three pounds without Eat for Health, just think how much I will lose with it.

My eyes are on the prize...

I Made It until 6:30 a.m.

Today I got just over six hours of sleep, waking up to the Colette alarm - doesn't she realize it's still dark outside?  Ugh.  It didn't make sense for me to go back to sleep since I have to drive Ian to school, so I'm checking email, Facebook and writing a short blog.

I'm feeling a bit anxious this morning, but nothing as compared with yesterday.  I don't have to work today, so I think I will take my theory on the road after breakfast and get right out for a nice walk and lift weights today.

It feels like a yogurt with fruit kind of morning.  I will have to learn how to embrace the hunger.  Dr. Joel said so. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eat for Health books are here!

My books have arrived so that means tomorrow is day one to healthy, nutritious eating.  So far, the recipes look markedly better than in "Eat to Live" - thank goodness!  

The plan he has set up is the only thing I'm concerned about because there are too many calories for me to possibly to shed any pounds.  I will have to modify portions or go for alternatives.  The best part is that he is allowing some dairy, mainly yogurt, and a few more whole grain products, including some pasta.  I can definitely live with that.

This is going to be the most challenging aspect of this process.  I'm a foodie.  I love all kinds of food that is not healthy, mainly butter, cheese, red meat and chewy, crusty white flour bread.  This is where I'm going to need the most cheering on. 

I can do this, right?

Sweet, Sweet Seratonin

Ahhhhhh!  My body knows what it needs and I'm glad I listened to it.  I was still feeling pretty crummy after work and I had to pick up my son for his cello lesson.  I decided to put my workout clothes and running shoes on so that when I got home around 5:30, I could eat dinner and get that run in.  I was planning on napping in the car while Ian had his lesson.

I quickly changed my mind once Ian was out of the car.  There is a nice park near his teacher's house near the mountains, so I decided to run.  I am so incredibly glad I did.  It's a gorgeous day in Los Angeles. I'm sure those of you reading out-of-state are saying, "when is it not a gorgeous day in L.A?" Mid-70s, sunny - a stereotypical day.  Anyway, this park is great because it is not flat, there are lots of changes in elevation.  I practiced my Pose Method of running especially on the decline to get used to my positioning.  I alternated running with walking, but I could run a lot further today than I have before with my new shoes!  Yay!  It means my body is adjusting to this new way of running.

I got in about three miles in 25 minutes, so I'm very happy.  My anxious feelings are completely gone.  Seratonin is a miracle worker.  And according to Gabriel, I smell like plants - grin!

Anxiety Is a Bitch

Going to bed at 12:30 a.m. and waking up before 6 a.m. is not a pathway good health.  I went to bed with my son's lunch made thinking that I get to sleep in until 7:45 - I can do seven hours, but I cannot survive on five...and for the second night in a row.

As is every morning I woke up to what I call the cat alarm.  I have a 17-year-old cat who I completely love, but she's cranky.  She wants what she wants when she wants it.  Colette waits for no one.  Anyway, she woke me up and felt panicked when I woke up, the beginnings of an anxiety attack.  Obviously, I would not be falling back to sleep for those last two hours.

It's stress and having a lot of things on my mind that create this anxiety.  I don't take medication, I ride them out.  This is due to the fact I don't have a doctor or insurance, but I have tried Xanax once and it is a miracle drug. They are exhausting emotionally and physically.

The good news is that I've stamped them down in other very stressful times in my life by eating right and, more importantly, by exercise. Even though I am extremely tired surviving on ten hours of sleep over two days, I will go for that run after dinner tonight.  I need it, mind, body and soul.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety?  I'm always curious and receptive to how others deal with a very common issue in our modern lives.  Please leave your comments.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In a Van down by the River

I'm reminded of the hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch with the late, great Chris Farley who played Matt Foley, a motivational speaker. He came to people's homes to deliver a speech to disaffected teenagers.  So so funny (see link below).

Today, I had the opportunity to be a motivational speaker for Project GRAD, a fantastic non-profit that helps kids from elementary through high school achieve the goal of going to college.  My very good friend, Ozzie, asked if I would be interested in coming to speak for their Career Week and I jumped at the opportunity to do so.  I actually think the more we offer of ourselves, the bigger impact we have upon others.  If I reached even just one of the 50 or so kids I saw today, I made a difference.

So what does this have to do with this blog?  Well, you, of course.  I am writing this for the support, for the cheerleading, for the motivation you all give me on a day to day basis.  I'm writing to keep me on the path of better health and fitness, but I certainly cannot do it alone. Thanks to anyone reading and being my Matt Foley!

Forgive the choppy tribute, but because of copyright issues, it's hard to find the entire original sketch.
Matt Foley, motivational speaker

Monday, March 22, 2010

Farewell, Sweet Sweet Bread

Here's the thing.  There is no eating of bread on the Joel Fuhrman plan.  He's not a whole grains kind of guy even.  Leafy greens, dense vegetables, fruit, soy and beans are his idea of a balanced diet.  I can wrap my mind around losing the dairy as I will also be giving up coffee (no need for half and half now) and will "live" without cheese.  But bread, oh, that's a tough one.  I can give up sugar, no problem, diet soda, sure!  Oh, but I will miss bread.

However, eyes on the prize, right?  So as I sit in my windowless office at work - you do know that professors really don't do anything important during office hours, right? - I will savor one of my last pieces of bread with real butter (another thing I must give up - double sigh).

I will prevail.

Blogging...It's a Thing We "Do" in My Family

So, I just added a blog list to my page.  There are three.  I don't really follow anyone except my own awesome family members.  I read the occasional blog here and there, but I don't follow any of them except for my sister's and my nieces' blogs.  They are overall amazing people who I am proud to call my family.

My sister's blog is about the journey of keeping weight off.  In case you didn't know, my sister is a minor celebrity.  She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, The Today Show, twice, (recently as a member of the Joy Fit Club, although I don't know how she could stand Kathie Lee and Hoda - blech [sorry sis!]), and in print in People Magazine's yearly edition of people who have lost a whole person or more.  As of now, she has a book proposal being shopped around by her literary agent.  She is an inspiration for thousands of people, including yours truly.  And she's MY sister - woot!

My nieces started a blog called "Sisters from Different Misters" not only because that title is hilarious, but also because it's true.  Basically, their blog is a random musing of living life in their 20s, but from very different perspectives.  Carly, the eldest, is completing her M.A. degree in history and dating (from what I hear) a nice guy, while Cassie, the youngest, is married, has two adorable children, and is a nurse.  They are fantastic young women.

My oldest brother and sister wrote and self-published books already, so I figured I better jump into this writing party.  We all have a way with words.  This blog my be uneven at times, but I'll find my footing and my voice as I move forward.

For now, read some of my family's blogs.  I have to go preach the good word of the High Renaissance today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome to My World...

It is 11:15 on Sunday night and my brainchild of this morning is coming to fruition.  I have no idea who is even going to read my thoughts, but this blog is written for me to keep me honest and on track.  I'm somebody's "guru" now, so I better start living up to it!

I started back on the exercise train two weeks ago after a nasty cold.  I felt inspired, FINALLY, to really take back control of my body.  It hasn't been laziness, just life, that's kept me from doing what needs to be done.  After being inspired by less-than-lovely legs last night at an art gallery opening, I decided that I can do this.  I can be 35 (in May - gifts are graciously accepted) and have fantastic looking legs AND wear a miniskirt.  Will I have my 18-year-old body back? After birthing two over 9-pound children, probably not, but, hey, that's life and I can accept that.

What this blog won't be is what so many others write about: the struggle for weight-loss.  The fact is, I love myself.  I mean, I really love myself!  I have good self-esteem and am not known for being modest or humble.  Character flaws?  To some, perhaps, however, I am gracious and can take a compliment as well as constructive criticism.  I hope that whomever reads what I have to write will keep that old adage in mind, "If you don't have something nice (or constructive) to say, then don't say anything at all."  Let's be civil, shall we?

Let the games begin (again)!

*Shoes courtesy of Vibram Fivefingers, nutritious eating courtesy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman and my mad cooking skills, and running technique courtesy of the Pose Method.  I'll be posting all about the aforementioned things this week, so stay tuned.  Until then, see the links below!