Thursday, November 24, 2011
Good gracious, that was not quite what I was expecting. Big turnout, sure, but I don't think I wrapped my head around the reality.
Capacity for registrants was 21,000. They closed registration 19 hours before race time (noonish Wednesday, I believe) as it hit capacity. That didn't count the kids doing their fun run or the strollers or the non-registered cheerers on the sidelines.
Just a teensy glimpse at the crowd ahead of me and behind. The 10k race has already headed out and this is the 5k group. I have no idea where in the crowd I am - I can't see far enough forward or back.
The biggest negative of that volume was there was never "clear track". No matter how hard I tried to maintain a pace, someone jogging would suddenly drop to a walk slower than me ... in front of me. Or a kid would cut across. Or a crowd of 5-6 in a line would require a long zag to get around. And corners meant everyone trying to compact to the inside and many slowing down.
In spite of that, by my watch I was at 15:17 at the first mile and 15:40 at the second mile. Unfortunately, I didn't see the third mile sign, so I don't have that time. And the finish line? So many people would go through and drop to a crawl because they were done that those of us coming behind came to a near standstill 30-50 yards back of the finish line (at a guess ... maybe more). I stopped my time at that point - 47:47. By the time my tag cross the line, it was 49:46. Two minutes to travel that miniscule last bit.
I may not have made my guesstimated goal of 45 minutes (or up to 45:59), but under the circumstances, I did the best I could and didn't feel like I was slowing down from being unable to keep going so much as fighting to keep up speed through the crowd. So I'm satisfied!
And last picture is of the Finish Line - but about an hour and a half after the race. I'd forgotten my donation cans of food and had to head back.
In fact, I had to walk 1.5 miles to get to the race start in the morning AND walk that same 1.5 miles again to drop off the cans, plus another 0.5 miles to meet up with my daughter for brunch. There's also a walk (didn't measure, but probably about 0.5 miles) to catch a bus home.
My feet are T-I-R-E-D!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Breakdown of the steps of Stage 2 - Healthy Diet Habits. (Apologies for the blog spam tonight. Well, just these two tonight. I'll probably spend some time on the remaining 5 tomorrow. Then it's time to work on my goals/motivation images.)
- Control Portions
- Buy measuring cups and spoons
- Measure all single servings for food during the week
- Create leftover storage system
Right off the bat ... I wasn't about to go out and buy things I don't have room or need for at this time (I have one shelf in the cupboard, only cook with the microwave, and found a better way, in my opinion, to measure foods). Likewise, I only have a single shelf in the refrigerator and tossed all my storage plastics in the move. So there is no leftover storage system. Only one of the three Action Steps as stated fit me.
Not to say I did nothing. I did buy a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and a food scale within my first week of Sparking. (I had tossed those in the move too, but the old cup had a chip at the mouth and the old scale's tray was lost.) As it turns out, those two items are more than sufficient to measure accurate servings of anything.
I had downloaded a 30-day trial of a software that seemed to fit the menu planner demands I had (something the SparkPeople one just can't measure up to). It's far more than just a menu planner - it has recipes, ingredients, kitchen inventory, shopping list, meal plannning and nutrition tracking all in one. And it doesn't limit me to a short list of substitutions - but lets me pick and choose from anything I've entered ever.
Anway, one thing the software does is break down every single food measurement into grams. I can set a food to be measurable in any form I want, from tsp to tbsp to cup to liter to special names like package or meal - but each and every one must be defined by how many grams it is. After I got over the oddness of that, I found that just about every food nutrition label includes grams, with the exception of liquids. And even liquids can be looked up.
That may sound complicated, but really it gives me way more accurate food servings. For example, I put my tuna in the tray, looked at the mayo jar and see how many grams are in a serving and squirt that directly onto the tuna as I watch the scale. I get exactly one servings worth. I repeat that with the mustard and grated cheese. Voila, I have a tuna melt that is measured exactly for entry in a nutrition tracker. Even better? I have one dirty dish to wash and one utensil, rather than a tsp for the mustard, a tbsp for the mayo, and a 1/4 cup measuring cup for the cheese, and a bowl to mix it all in. Win WIN!
I no longer wonder what "Servings Per Container: About 2" means. I look at the grams in a single serving and I look at the total grams in the package and I have the exact number of servings and can multiply out how much eating the whole package would add up to. That, and just a keen awareness of the labels, made a huge difference.
In fact, I remember at least three of my blogs that had to do with this general area. One was learning that I could fit a single cookie with a Subway sandwich into my calorie allowance. Another was learning that the standard size of pot pie is a double serving, without any easy way to reserve half for later. And the third was learning how much ice cream is in a single serving.
So, while I did not do two of the Action Steps, I feel like I excelled at the core intention of Stage 2 - Step 1 in learning to pay attention to a serving size and sticking to single servings of foods unless I intentionally choose more (or less) for a reason. (Such as - I usually drink milk and juice in 12 oz amounts rather than 8 oz, in spite of the serving size - but fit that into my meal plans in advance.)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Stage 2 - Healthy Diet Habits Overview
So, reviewing this Stage I find that I have things I do already (feel like I've always done?), things that I do not want or plan to do, and things that just do not fit my current lifestyle. So it's a little interesting going through the Steps which were each intended to be done during a week. I actually had to work to avoid rejecting some Steps due to my take on them or the actions that were recommended.
Some of what is said makes complete sense to me. I have no argument, I never have, with statements like these:
== Good fitness, nutrition, and motivation aren’t disruptions to their normal routines or crash courses they try for a while and then drop. Instead, they are ingrained habits. ==
== It’s good news because it highlights a common problem with deprivation diets and programs that require major changes. Sure, they may help you lose weight in the short-term. But once the weight is lost, then what? Are you supposed to “do without” or “do too much” for the rest of your life? 95 times out of 100 (the current diet failure rate), people can’t keep it up. ==
== Make gradual changes to your everyday life to move closer to a healthy lifestyle. ==
== Why do many diet plans fail? Because they’re too disruptive. They turn your life upside down, make it impossible to eat in your favorite restaurants, and encourage extreme eating behavior. ==
I think the key to the areas I start resisting information is when the focus becomes TOO heavy on the idea my key goal is to lose weight. And that's false for me. I initially found SparkPeople while looking for a free (online) meal planner. I'd used NutriDiary for a couple years off and on, but it didn't have all the features I was hoping for. Neither did SparkPeople, as I found after making an account. So I kept on looking.
I'm not here to "diet" (using the bad definition of starving myself to lose weight). I'm here to monitor changes I make to my "diet" (using the good definition of the selection of foods a person, animal or group regularly consumes). Even before I came back to SparkPeople I was in that process. I'd just moved, cleared out the majority of food that was normal with two adult kids around, and was starting to shop for just me.
All of the above quotes are ones that talk more about gradual life-style changes as the important factor.
And then it turns around and the first of three purposes for this stage?
== Accelerate your weight loss. Anywhere from 1-2 pounds per week should be considered good, healthy progress. ==
Not once in two or three months have I made a nutrition or fitness decision based on whether it will make me lose weight faster. The most important question I ask myself is actually whether this change is something I like, want to do, and have no problem making a habit.
The other two purposes I'm totally fine with. So I had to remind myself that I'm an odd one and the article is written toward the more usual new Sparker - such as the person who has hit bottom with respect to weight gain or the person who has bounced from diet to diet, up and down the yo-yo.
Onward to the Steps!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
No, no, I actually didn't overeat.
Rather, I was talking to my best friend at some point after lunch and he'd asked what I had. A couple of comments later, I listed out my typical workday meals/snacks. The list SOUNDS like so much food, his reaction was "Stop eating so much!"
12 oz juice
String Cheese or Breakfast Biscuit
Cereal (fiber) bar
Frozen Dinner or Peanut Butter, Honey, Cheese sandwich
Snack 2,3, and sometimes 4
Fruit Bar (apple or strawberry)
or Slice of raisin bread toast and butter
or Veggies and Dip
or another String Cheese
(Whether I have 3 or 4 snacks mostly depends on dinner plans. Which snacks varies by what I want and by the carb-prot-fat balance I need.)
Frozen Dinner or Subway 6" sandwich
12 oz Milk or 12 oz V8 Low Sodium
0.5c Ice Cream (French Vanilla or Mint Choc Chip)
or Apple Crisp
or Fruit or Cereal bar
or Strawberry Yogurt
(Dessert is only if I have calorie room and helps close the gap to get all my nutrition requirements.)
It does sound like a lot of food. And admittedly, I am tall (5'8") and big-boned (6.75-7" wrist bone) and active (burning 1600 calories a week or more consistently) - so my SparkPeople calorie range is 1700 - 2050.
But that's the way I eat during the week and pretty much all but dinner and dessert are shopped for on the weekend and stored at work. It's working amazingly well for me AND is something I can totally see keeping a habit for a long time. (It's also reasonably inexpensive for me as there's no wasted food and only minimal eating out.)
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