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Beefing up the vegetarian chili

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This weekend past I cooked up the Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili. Except, I made a couple changes. One of the changes? I used beef stock instead of vegetable stock. Also, a couple of days I've browned some lean ground beef to eat with it.

Literally ... I beefed it up.

For some reason this amuses me. emoticon

The chili has been plenty delicious. It didn't "need" my adjustments to be good food. At the same time, it didn't "need" to be held to purely vegetarian to be good food.

I actually like trying some things labeled as vegetarian. A spinach lasagna was quite tasty. (Though, I must say that for as much as I love spinach ... I can't abide it in my smoothies.)

This chili, as I said at the outset, didn't need the beef stock and ground beef to make it taste good. It's an excellent mix of flavors already. I also chose to modify the recipe by using replacing the 1 green bell pepper and red pepper flakes with half each a green, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper. More veggies.

I do definitely have a button on how it can feel pushed as an idealized lifestyle. Which actually isn't quite right - it's more of a perception because there isn't a balanced opposing push. Even options such as Paleo or Primal aren't the opposite - they're shifts in a different direction (eat meat, avoid grains, limit dairy).

I'm not vegan or vegetarian. I have zero plans to ever experiment with either lifestyle (or any variant) at any point in my life. But that makes it sound like I'm anti-vegetable, which is absurd. I've always loved vegetables. I eat carrots, corn, peas, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, and so much more. It's just part of a healthy mix of foods, more flavor.

What does that make me? There is no special name for a healthy diet that includes meat and other animal products along with fruits and vegetables, grains, and more. Recipes don't get labeled some word that means non-vegetarian or non-vegan. They simply have beef, pork, chicken, fish, milk, egg, cheese, and more in them.

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And on the heels of thinking and writing this comes another BLC#20 weekend challenge ... with points I won't even try to earn because it edges into this area for me. No max points for me.

"Clean eating" is a term that makes me emoticon . (By implication, if I'm not eating clean according to some definition, what am I eating? Dirty?) The problem is that it's an -all or nothing- kind of approach. Eat one processed food and fail? And whose decision is it just how far that goes? After all, search enough and you'll find someone ranting about bottled orange juice - how dare I actually drink that poisonous mixture of flavorless year-old juice mixed with a flavor pack? *GASP* Obviously I don't care enough about my body and health.

Another one I won't bother trying for the points for? "No snacks after 8 pm". It's a rule I consider utterly meaningless. Half the time, if not more, I'm eating DINNER after 8 pm. That's just the way my schedule works. I'm up till midnight or later. I'm not going to bed hungry. I often plan for an evening snack. Sometimes it is a dessert. Other times it is half a cucumber. What time I eat is pretty much irrelevant compared to how much I eat.

On the flip side, I'm going to have an interesting time with the rainbow of freggies. (Hehe, when I first read it, I was thinking with veggies rather than fruits and veggies ... and some colors would have been tougher to find in a veggie.)

*SIGH*

Yeah, I planned to push myself on these challenges. But I also stated in my original application that there were ones I just flat out would not do - and hello, here they are. I'll eat veggies galore, try new recipes, I'll overdo the exercise (to the point of ... almost 600 cardio minutes in one week on top of 270 ST minutes and 10-25 stretching minutes each day) but I won't bend to "food rules" if they aren't rules I would choose for myself.

Guess I'm a Bad emoticon ! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERGIE8771 10/28/2012 2:58AM

    Your blog pretty much describes my thots on eating and labels.

I find this funny, many won't, my cousin calls vegan, veg-anne! They are after all veg tables.

I have to say since being on Spark I try many vegetarian meals. I remember (about 20-25 years ago?) my sister was doing something called meat-less Monday. Her sons and husband hated Monday dinners! She liked saving money and the health benefits, I am surprised to find me doing this now with a son of my own!

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CEHALLA 10/26/2012 11:27PM

    Really appreciate your point of view, and your passion about freedom of choice. Its too bad people have to have labels for everything. You can only make the best choices that work for you when deciding what to eat.

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SPARKFRAN514 10/25/2012 11:41PM

    Great blog i agree with you about eating aftr 8 pm and clean eating like you i wondered if needed to wash my food before eating this type of eating reminds me of the Food police or Eat this not that to many rules for me .

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/25/2012 3:38PM

    Way to do what works for you and not be pushed by outside influences. It can be hard to do at times.

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ROUTE507TOO 10/25/2012 12:53PM

    I love reading your thoughts on these things. :) Some of your commenters made great points too. I don't understand why we (as a society) always have to complicate things like we are with these rules about clean eating, etc. Overcomplicating a healthy diet is NOT the way to get people on board and making progress.

Good blog. :)

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ILOVEMALI 10/25/2012 12:46PM

    We use the fake ground beef product that you can find in the fake meet/natural foods/vegetarian section of your grocery store. We use it in chili and in spaghetti sauce. Also like the Smart Bacon meat alternative -- we use it in BLTs. If you are expecting it to be like bacon, you will be disappointed, but if you accept it as a tasty alternative to bacon, you might like it.

Tip for the fake ground beef -- brown it up before adding to your chili or sauce.

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PGNBRI 10/25/2012 11:20AM

    I'm SO with you on the restrictive food rules. Especially the "clean eating" one. I don't like the idea of an eating plan that has guilt and bad feelings built right in!

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KENDRACARROLL 10/25/2012 10:52AM

    Dirty eating - hehe - I like it!
emoticon

You're pretty much describing my life style in the food department.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
I've gotten to goal with my eating habits and have been maintaining for several years.

There seems to be a lot of extreme stuff going on here on SP (as well as in the real world, I guess...).
Personally, I think it's a recipe for failure for most people, 'cause it's hardly sustainable.
And who wants to go through the agony of counting any kind of grams every day for the rest of their lives?



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SHERIO5 10/25/2012 10:23AM

    I certainly agree with what you've written here...I think you will continue to be successful because you know yourself well and won't compromise.

emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/25/2012 10:19AM

    In my experience, once you've made chili a time or two, you don't need a particular recipe. If you have the spice profile, you can add whatever you like to the stew: tofu meat substitute, ground beef, chipped up beef (my favorite), red, pink or black beans, tomatoes, eggplant, onion, celery, winter squash, rice, spaghetti, corn, olives, tomatillos--I mean anything you like can be stewed up in a chili. I made some a week or two ago and it was divine. I like hearing how you are cooking with your limited kitchen. I also admire your passion and enthusiasm for your diet and exercise activities. I'm with you that I don't want to adhere to any particular diet profile--I'm not paleo, I'm not abandoning all processed foods (I always doctor whatever I make with added veggies), I eat a limited range of dairy products--primarily Greek yogurt and a bit of cheese, I love all veggies but can't abandon meat. Spark says some fat is good so I'm glad. Richard Simmons says he eats only 40 grams of fat a day, so I have tried to limit my fat grams too. Richard Simmons says don't eat after 7 PM, I get up late and stay up late so I frequently DO eat something after 7, but I strive to keep it light. Here I go again, just free-styling on someone's blog. Happy sparking to you!

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DEELB1 10/25/2012 6:26AM

  emoticon emoticon

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VALKYRIA- 10/25/2012 6:12AM

    I am a fan of bottled orange juice... it's got so much potassium and antioxidants. "Clean eaters" can really miss the point sometimes... you just have to do what works for you. Great blog.

Comment edited on: 10/25/2012 6:12:35 AM

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DMF2012 10/25/2012 5:07AM

    I haven't tried the veggie chili yet, but plan to make it in Dec. or Jan. when it cools down here.

I think you have a great attitude about food and eating!



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GHOSTFLAMES 10/25/2012 4:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Getting out dancing again

Monday, October 22, 2012

It has been a long time. I used to head out to nightclubs simply because I loved dancing. I put up with the meat market aspect just so I could enjoy the music and the energy. Last night I decided it was time to get out there again and "dolled" up.

emoticon

Okay, maybe not that much. I did use a little makeup, for the first time in I can't remember how long. Nothing much, just mascara, lip gloss, some green and gold over my eyes, some rose on my cheeks. Just enough to look like I did something. I slipped my running shoe custom insoles into my boots (oh, was I glad I thought to do that!) and off I went.


That's actually after I got back home because my bestest friend wanted pics to see how I looked.

Oh, I dug into jewelry I never wear any more. Found some super cute tiny golden dragonflies I'd forgotten about, and simple golden necklace and ... my wedding band?! Tried it on. I remember it fitting snug enough to take some effort to slide off. It went on and off my left ring finger too easily, so easy I'd be afraid of it sliding off if I were to actually wear it there. emoticon Nice to know my fingers are slimmed down completely.

I wandered my way along our downtown, passing a club here, a club there, not really knowing where I wanted to go. Finally picked one that was playing Latin music - I do like my salsa and cumbia and merengue. Unfortunately, I picked up a quick prowler who wanted to dance, but had no interest in respecting personal boundaries. *SIGH* I danced a couple of songs, but then they stopped the music to do some really stupid stuff on a small stage (a la girl in super short skirt shaking her "culo" and comments about whether she was wearing a thong and so on. I used that as my excuse to exit stage left (literally!) and also escape Mr. Paws.

The second place I chose was smaller, more a bar with a couple floor areas with DJs playing dubstep. I stood near the wall, dancing to myself for most of the time. I did have someone come over and join, but thankfully just dancing - no hands reaching.

After last call (for drinks), I headed out. It's about 1.5 miles from that downtown area to my place. I walked. That was actually a very nice way to end off the evening. I had my headphones and "dance"-walked my way home. Not as fast as I usually walk it, but more fun.


The best part of all that? I planned ahead, so the two drinks and a shot I did have were tracked and still nicely in range. I'd eaten well beforehand, was well hydrated, and after the walk home I drank more water. (I've never had a hangover in my life, even the two times I've gotten seriously drunk. I credit the amount of water I guzzle when I'm drinking. I get thirsty - understandably - and often drink a liter or more after I get home.)

Even better, that whole outing included a couple hours on my feet dancing, and probably close to an hour walking (to the first club, between clubs, and home). No, it wouldn't have made up for drinking that went over my range, but because I stayed in range it was all bonus activity.

emoticon emoticon

Just a nice reminder to myself that my lifestyle can be "normal" as long as I focus on being active and not eating (or drinking) to excess.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEELB1 10/24/2012 1:56AM

  emoticon you look fabulous!

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ILOVEMALI 10/23/2012 9:59PM

    You look great!!!

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MNJONES2 10/23/2012 12:07PM

    You look fantastic and I am so glad you had fun!! YOU GO GIRL

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SPARKFRAN514 10/22/2012 11:24PM

    You look great not sure i could wear your boots but then I am not as young as you . You inspire me going out on your own for the evening and walking home alone . not sure i could do that . again you look emoticon emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/22/2012 4:01PM

    I used to be a dancing machine in my 20s and 30s. I would really work it on the dance floor! I think it's great you ventured out and went dancing. Next time plan with a friend to go somewhere that is crowded with dancers and dance the night away!

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HEALTHYHEIDI12 10/22/2012 11:57AM

    I'm so proud of you! I used to love going dancing, too, for all the same reasons that you listed. You give me encouragement that I can do it again one day! emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/22/2012 11:37AM

    Oh you brought back some fond memories! Loved to go dancing! Good for you getting out there!

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40LESSOFERIN 10/22/2012 10:13AM

    Oh, Dancing is so much fun!! I sear that's how i stayed in shape when i was younger, night clubs every weekend...lol i ask my hubby to buy me the dance hit game for the Wii for my birthday!!

Congrats on a fun night!!! emoticon

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ELEMENOPEO 10/22/2012 10:01AM

    emoticon Fun night!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/22/2012 9:50AM

    emoticon

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CIPHER1971 10/22/2012 8:09AM

    sounds like a great evening emoticon

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SANDYB223 10/22/2012 7:41AM

    Sounds like fun!! What a great pic of you!!

emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 10/22/2012 3:47AM

  Love the look and I am glad you had a great time! emoticon

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ALWAYSOWNIT 10/22/2012 1:15AM

    Isn't dancing fun..I really dont know what I would have done if it was not for dancing..I had been taking almost two dance classes at gym most of the time...anything besides eating to take my mind off..And it seems to be working too..By the way,green is definitely your color..you look super adorable :))

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BLC#20 - (Anti-)SLUMP Weekend Challenge

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wow, where is the time flying? Seems only a couple weeks ago that we were readying our spurs waiting for the signal to race out of the corral. Halfway?! How can we possibly be halfway? emoticon

This weekend's challenge is all about making sure we aren't losing momentum (or regaining it if it has been lost). The first step is reviewing the goals set at the beginning. My blog with those goals: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5059919


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So, where am I at on these goals?

FITNESS:
- To work toward a full military pushup, I'm going to add doing 3 sets of modified pushups one of my three ST days each week.
emoticon I'm doing these consistently for TNT on Thursday and definitely am getting stronger. I don't know if I'll be able to do a military one, but it won't be for lack of working toward it.

- To lose my pound a week, but also look toward future maintenance, I will be decreasing my cardio on my ST days and adjusting my fitness minutes to get an updated calorie range.
emoticon Welllllll ... I'm trying? The funny part on this one is that it is at odds with the BLC challenges - doing less is not the usual goal. I have gotten away from 60 minutes of cardio followed by 90 minutes of ST, so that's good. It is still reasonable at 12 weeks / long-term, but is being implemented more slowly.

NUTRITION:
- Space out my snacking at work more. They're becoming more habit than just available if I get hungry. Some days I seem to be eating so much that dinner is really small to compensate.
emoticon Completely forgot about this one. My snacking at work hasn't changed much. It's not bad, exactly. I stay in range. It's just that I rarely go more than an hour or two without another snack so I'm eating more from habit than hunger. I'll refocus some attention on this one.

- Expand my lean protein options beyond beef, egg, tuna, and the rare chicken breast.
emoticon I read that now and wonder ... "to what?" I tried salmon while doing one weekend challenge and determined that I still don't care for seafood. About the only other source I can see adding is beans, which do seem to be common in slow-cooker recipes, so maybe a chili. (I won't touch soy.) But really ... with four sources already, plus cottage cheese/dairy and my protein powder smoothies, what did I think I needed?

- Look at more slow-cooker recipes to see if it's an option worth considering.
I've bought said slow-cooker (and an electric skillet) and made one meal. It was decent, but did show me that it may be best for a weekend meal prep than trying to cook during the week (since I'm out of the house nearly 12 hours).

PARTICIPATION:
- Check in with the team at least once a day - looking for new posts and blogs by teammates.
emoticon There have been a couple of days when I didn't have time to reply to everyone, but I've generally caught up (and even when I don't reply, I do read).

- Don't back down from a challenge just because it's uncomfortable. Push my boundaries a bit every time. (In fact, if a challenge is "too easy", try to find a way to go one step beyond.)
I ate salmon. That right there ought to earn me enough brownie points. emoticon There has only been one item in one challenge that I flat-out refused to participate in. I might want to push a little more.

- Live by the rule "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" and expand it to saying something positive and encouraging.
emoticon I definitely try to live this.

- HAVE FUN! If this isn't fun, MAKE IT FUN!
emoticon emoticon I'm certainly having fun with this, but this was a good reminder to see that as one of my goals.


Not too shabby at all.


New Goals I'll add:

FITNESS:
Add 5 minutes to my stretching to focus on flexibility. I stretch quite a bit. I love getting it done at the end of every workout or walk. But, all of my stretching to date has been focused on the muscles and avoiding soreness where possible.

NUTRITION:
Use the slow-cooker at least two weekends a month to make food for 3-4 meals in the following week.

Expand my protein smoothie options. (One I'm going to try is with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices.)

Cut out the hidden calories by bringing my old food scale to work and making sure my portions = servings and match what I track as exactly as possible. It might not be much, but it is a slippery slope to say "a little over won't hurt".


GENERAL LIFESTYLE:
Organize my time so that I can do NaNoWriMo this year. I found my past year's account, it's active and set up, but I need to make sure I don't let that cut into my BLC time or BLC cut into my writing time. Balance!


================

I so don't really pay close attention to scale numbers. I know I've been flat or down every single week of the challenge, but until today I hadn't looked at the change.

Pre-Start = 179.5
Start (12 Sep) = 177.5
Wk 4 (17 Oct) = 173 (wait ... I was 172.5 ... why does the BLC data say 173.0? Rounded?)

So, 7 pounds - 4.5 of those during the challenge. Nicely on track, given that is called Week 4.

*EDIT* Oh! Duh - the whole Week 4 thing. Week 5 simply isn't all included yet. My Week 5 weight was 172.5, so 5 pounds in 5 week. Nailed it right on target for a pound a week.


emoticon I think I can call the boots in my previous blog my reward for a job emoticon so far.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 10/23/2012 12:09AM

    emoticon seems like you are enjoying thr challenge

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JO88BAKO 10/21/2012 12:10AM

    You're doing a great job!! Enjoy the weekend challenge. You have a really good plan.

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SAINTBETH 10/20/2012 9:27PM

    Hang in there. You are doing great!

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/20/2012 6:10PM

    emoticon you really made progress and stuck with most of your goals! That's emoticon emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/20/2012 11:53AM

    That BLC sounds like a pretty good way to work your program. Congrats on making a lot of progress!

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CIPHER1971 10/20/2012 4:47AM

    Woot

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ILOVEMALI 10/20/2012 3:22AM

    emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 10/19/2012 10:16PM

    emoticon

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PKCTTS 10/19/2012 7:23PM

    There wasn't a doubt in my mind that you were doing a great job on all your goals. I wish we were all so focused.

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MUSOLF6 10/19/2012 7:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/19/2012 7:15PM

    I totally agree! emoticon

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Thirteen months and I own boots again!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here it is, middle of another month and time for another set of pictures. Thirteen months into this fitness journey and so many small changes made that have really added up to a lot. I think my regular camera is out unless I want to spend the money to have a special USB cable shipped to me. Haven't decided on that yet. So these are again taken with my smartphone.


17 Oct 2012 @ 172.5 pounds


Side view. emoticon this swimsuit is a size 22W. While that worked okay when I started out (somewhere in the 24/26 range, I think), it definitely is roomy.

( I'll get them up on my SparkPage soon, but the BLC#20 International Travel is supposed to stay up through tomorrow. )

Yep, those are thigh-high boots hanging up in the first picture. I went shopping over the weekend. They're nowhere near the holy grail of perfect boots - far from. But I did pick up two pairs. (The other pair is mid-calf and has a thick heel - maybe 1.5 to 2".)

I did a little more shopping than that, in fact. I had need of smaller underoos. Upper half I had to special order, and have taken care of. Bottom half I'm now in "normal" sizes, so I just had to figure out what store to go to and which size to grab. Target's where I've gotten towels and kitchen stuff, so why not. (Amusingly, I remember what store I used to use for similar purchases a couple decades ago - Mervyn's. Looked them up and ... they were owned by Target Corp for a while? Small world.)

Took care of that need and picked up a couple sweaters in mediums. (The very first picture I posted here in a green shirt was an XL bought from Target, definitely a very snug fit.)


I don't actually plan to wear those boots with my blue jeans (jeggings), but did for the pictures so the boots are easier to see.

...

I did not expect the results of wearing boots, though. Without changing ANYTHING else about what I was wearing, just putting those boots on ... ugh.

First was the guy at the bus stop outside the grocery store. For lack of a better word, he was gushing. emoticon I had on headphones and was doing my little mini-dance to myself, so he was complimenting my legs, asking if I liked dancing, was I going dancing, my legs looked strong, blah blah blah. At least he was occupying himself as long as he talked.

Then he stopped for a moment ... and scooted closer on the bench. O_o

More about my legs looking strong. Starting to say I was giving him a free show. Could he touch them and feel how strong they were?

emoticon

Do I need to buy MACE?!

Thankfully I made some comment about the leg press right after saying "No, absolutely not!" and got his eyes up higher than my waist to talk gym workouts.

I always stand and dance (not like serious dancing - just moving side-to-side kind of thing) like that at bus stops, but usually I'm wearing my running shoes because I walked to the store and they're comfy. I've had people make comments about my legs being strong when they see me walking a lot. This, however, was just over-the-top.

*shakes head*

And he was just the first and worst.

On the plus side, I'm not feeling an urge to go back to being "invisible". I just need to figure out a better way of politely accepting a compliment WITHOUT the slightest amount of friendliness being perceived as an invitation.

I am liking how physically capable I'm feeling. My legs ARE strong and that's a very good thing. I like being able to FIND boots that fit and that I like the style of.

=======================

I'm getting a little excited by my BMI. I'm only 1.5 away from the "healthy" range (25) and below the "risk factor" level of the overweight range (27.3-27.8). Given that I started out at 37.4 that is notable progress. Even better, I'm only about 10 pounds away from hitting "healthy". SHINY!

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOING-STRONG 10/19/2012 11:37AM

    emoticon

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HEALTHYHEIDI12 10/19/2012 12:37AM

    You look amazing! Revel in your success, you deserve it! emoticon

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JUNESHOPE 10/18/2012 10:12PM

    I've never been a boot person, but the other day I was looking for some shoes and I went ahead and tried on a pair of boots...I was shocked at how they made me feel...I felt amazing in them, and sexy. But I need to wait longer...they killed my feet b/c of my weight. :-(

But you look great!

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SAPHRAEL 10/18/2012 9:38PM

    Voodoo! Boots are on my vision collage. Nice progress!!

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REALLY_ROBIN 10/18/2012 9:31PM

    Way to go....you look great! And I totally understand what you mean about fending off those type of people and one of the reasons why I gained weight. You are definitely doing the right thing learning to deal with it. So happy for you! Robin

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SPARKFRAN514 10/18/2012 3:18PM

    be careful lots of nutty people out and about. you are looking great and i like the booths how fun to going shopping and finding nice new things. i like your back round page picture. keep up the good work you are doing a great job on your way to a healthy life style. have a good week and stay safe emoticon

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PATIB13 10/18/2012 1:52PM

    Woo HOO!!! boots!! I can totally understand the thrill that is, I am not able to wear my boots right now so I get it!! Enjoy it! Yes, there is a fine line that is crossed that goes from compliment to creepy. I usually don't smile at people and that avoids any further conversation emoticon

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IMELECTRIC 10/18/2012 1:16PM

    It catches you off guard at first wondering if you should take it as a compliment . Then they cross the line and become a creep! Need to carry a small can of hairspray.

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RICHILA 10/18/2012 12:57PM

    Great boots!
Spark On! You Got This! emoticon

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_JODI404 10/18/2012 12:53PM

    You look AMAZING!!!!! Fit, healthy, STRONG, happy!!!

emoticon emoticon

Love your new boots!

I say yes to the mace or pepper spray! So glad that creepy attention doesn't make you want to reverse progress!! You've come so far!!!

Your BMI progress is outstanding!! Being healthy and fit is what it is all about and you are doing a fantastic job... month by month.

So proud of you!! You are very inspiring, and an awesome team leader!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 10/18/2012 11:52AM

    Keep that mace handy -- the guys are NOT going to stop hitting on you! You look fabulous!

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DIET_FRIEND 10/18/2012 11:22AM

    The fashionista in me says you can wear those sexy boots with jeggings. I would look for a long chunky sweater/jacket to wear on top that will fall below largest part of the butt. Then you can have the skinny bottom, full top look that stylists recommend. I think you look great and why buy boots like that if you don't plan to flaunt them some? I've seen some cute cape style sweaters that might look good over sleek leggings and boots. I live deep in South Georgia and it's warm/hot most of the year. I would love some cool boots, but we can't enjoy sweater weather like a lot of the country can. You look really great in your pics, and are an inspiration to me.

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CIPHER1971 10/18/2012 10:52AM

    emoticon

I accept compliments with a Thank you and try not to say anything else,

Have an awesome day

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SMANISMELL 10/18/2012 10:37AM

    You look great! And those boots are awesome! Good job on working on getting that BMI down. Stay strong and don't ever become invisible again!

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40LESSOFERIN 10/18/2012 10:15AM

    LOL What a great blog!!!! That is so awesome!! I understand completely how it feels to no fit into boots. My bootcut jean are my skinny jeans...lol You're proof that it is possible to ROCK boots again.... emoticon emoticon

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2BEABETTERME 10/18/2012 10:07AM

    Amazing progress!! And, those boots rock!

Keep up the great work!
emoticon

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JENNCABA 10/18/2012 9:49AM

    You look great !! Love the boots emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/18/2012 9:41AM

    I burst out laughing reading about the guy at the bus stop! Pretty over the top! I think you handled the situation remarkably well!

I love seeing your beautiful smile in the pictures and you have every reason to be doing a happy dance! emoticon

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TANYA602 10/18/2012 9:27AM

    WOWZA!
You look so strong, confident, and fabulous! I am so happy for you! and the smile alone is to die for. I've been looking at boots for some reason, and wish I had that same confidence - I am quite pigeon-toed and in my head I still hear the shoe salesman who told me and my mom (when I was 6!) that I would never be able to wear boots. With bunions now on top of it, I just can't seem to find closed toed shoes that are comfortable. So I will live vicariously thru you and your boots and strong legs! Any guy at the bus stop better beware of a potential swift kick!

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WAYSOFGRACE 10/18/2012 8:52AM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THOSE BOOTS!!!!!!! I have always wanted a pair, but figured it would never happen because of my large calves and thighs. Now I am thinking...hmmm....I could get a pair of those!

You are doing so fantastically awesome!! Thank you for inspiring me today!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/18/2012 8:41AM

    I'm so blessed to be able to share in this journey with you. I remember when you first started blogging. You have come so far. You should be so proud of yourself.

Creep guy..yuck! But yeah on being strong and fit.

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KSCHRAUT 10/18/2012 8:34AM

    Woohoo! Good for you! Keep up the good work!

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LGAR519 10/18/2012 8:33AM

    You are really looking good! Glad you bought the boots.

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DIANNEMT 10/18/2012 8:04AM

    You look fantastic!!! Enjoy the boots!! emoticon

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SANDYB223 10/18/2012 6:53AM

    Sooooo excited and happy for you!! You are just amazing. Congrats on all your fortitude for sticking to your goals!!

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SBNORMAL 10/18/2012 6:34AM

  You are great!! When they comment me on your legs, tell them you are a BOXER!! I bet they won't move to close then. YOU GO, GIRL. I admire your success, gives me hope!!

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RORYLYONS 10/18/2012 4:31AM

    emoticon you look..... emoticon in those boots. emoticon on your weight loss. emoticon emoticon

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BEWELL48 10/18/2012 3:53AM

    Great success. You look wonderful. That smile is fantastic! emoticon

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First 5k anniversary? Sadly no pics and no shirt

Saturday, October 13, 2012

One year ago I did my first ever 5k - Oktoberfest held by the City of Campbell.
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It seemed an appropriate choice for a first race. My early years were spent in Campbell. I remember summers in the Book Club at the library, checking out the canning and prune-drying equipment in the basement, walking to school on my own, the local park and pedestrian walkway that went up from the park over the freeway. I remember a jet at Campbell Park, knobs and dials left "working" so we could climb in and play fighter pilot. (One of my brothers had his picture taken and published in the local paper when they were removing it - with a story about how we'd miss it.) I remember the orchards less than a mile away, long gone. I remember the steam boat car wash, still there. (I'll actually have to take a picture of that one of these days.) I remember climbing the trees - both in front of the hosue and in the back yard.
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It's like coming home every time I walk out on the Los Gatos Creek Trail or head to Campbell's park or library or just through their downtown.
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Anyway ... a year ago, there I was, bright and early with no real idea what to expect from the experience. I didn't have any real concerns about finishing. I'd never stopped walking even when I was trying to gain weight. (It's probably what kept me healthier than otherwise.) Though I hadn't done it more recently, I'd walked 10+ miles non-stop in my younger years, in heels even, and knew it was possible to just keep going long after the body wants to quit.
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I picked up my XL t-shirt, put it on and took a quick snapshot with my phone, posted on my blog back then. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4537111
My official chip time last year? 50:52. I was so excited by because I thought I was on a 17 minute per mile pace, more like 52 minutes.
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Sadly, this year I didn't have the money for the registration until after it was too late for pre-registration - so no shirt unless I wanted one of last year's XLs. Haha, no. I already donated that a while back because it was too big. I didn't even THINK about taking pictures until I was almost to the train (light rail) station post-race. Oh well. We'll see if I can find any pictures on their website or what the race photographer's shots look like.
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Not being pre-registered meant getting there earlier. Awake at 7:00 am, out waiting on a bus at 7:20 am. And waiting. And waiting. And getting nervous while waiting. About 10 minutes late a bus finally shows up. Luckily for me, it got to the transfer point with just enough time for me to jog down to the pass scanner as the train was showing up. WHEW!
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Registering went smooth and I put on my chip and bib, made sure to take care of the necessaries, then spent the time walking around the staging area to stay warm and limber. (Speaking of warm, I had on a pair of too large sweats with a drawstring over my shorts. By the time I'd walked around a couple times, those and my jacket were tucked away in my backpack. I was wishing I'd thought to bring my gloves earlier, but stayed in the sun and was comfortable enough.)

Soon enough we were off. I started a lot closer to the front this time than last year and did well with that. Sure, I was passed by some runners, but most serious runners were well out ahead. Last year I remember spending a lot of time getting around people.
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I did have a moment of panic, amusingly enough. I brought my watch and started the chrono when I crossed the start line. As I crossed the 1/4-mile marker, I clicked the lap timer and looked. !!! 4:21.81!? I thought I was walking a much better pace than that. I tried to push a little more and it was tough. Bearing in mind I've been managing close to a 14 minute mile lately as my default brisk walk ... going from 3:45 when I'm really pushing to 4:22 had me freaked out. If that was my time for a quarter mile, my race time would have been right around last year's.
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Then it dawned on me. We don't start at the line the 1/4-mile marker is based on. We start a good ways back. I didn't even thing to hit the lap timer at the START painted on the ground - only at the line for the 5k. Sure enough, my lap time at the next 1/4-mile point was 3:22.40 and the one after that was 3:26.85. My time as I hit the 5ks sign for 1 mile was 13:37.25.
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I started losing track with the lap times at that point because of the disconnection between the mile signs for the 5k and the 1/4 mile markers in either direction along the trail. Also, past the 2-mile point, the trail isn't really marked in 1/4-mile sections. Only the main 2-mile loops is fully marked. But I did feel like I held that pace pretty well.
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My finishing time I don't have officially yet. The race clock said 41:30 more or less, but I didn't start right at the front, so my chip time is likely to be a little lower. I hit the lap timer on my watch coming around the last corner (40:32.12), but then was looking at the race clock and didn't stop it until a bit after passing the finish line and slowing down. That gave me 41:34, which also seems to confirm I'm a little below that, but unsure by how much.
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No matter what, a very sweet pace of around 13.5 minutes per mile.
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Now to make sure I get pre-registered for the Turkey Trot rather than leaving it to the last minute.
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*** I had to come back and edit this in.***
Went to do the SparkPeople Web Search for the SparkPoint and the motivational picture said:

WHETHER IT'S A 17-MINUTE MILE OR A 7-MINUTE MILE, IT'S STILL A MILE.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/15/2012 12:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PRINCESSCHUBBIE 10/15/2012 8:05AM

    emoticon

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MNJONES2 10/14/2012 12:59PM

    So happy for you - you have really kicked butt with your exercise and achievements

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CIPHER1971 10/14/2012 9:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/14/2012 9:32AM

    Amen!

How fun to see how far you have come!
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GOING-STRONG 10/13/2012 11:39PM

    emoticon

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JENNCABA 10/13/2012 10:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RG_DFW 10/13/2012 9:17PM

    Absolutely!

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PKCTTS 10/13/2012 9:06PM

    Great job Blue! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 10/13/2012 8:25PM

    We should walk.

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JO88BAKO 10/13/2012 8:24PM

    Way to go Blue, good for you. So true, a mile is a mile. Congrats!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/13/2012 8:17PM

    Great job!! That is a fast mile time! When I started running (jog/walking) I averaged a 17 mile pace. Now my walking speed is 13-14 min/mile.

Happy 1 Year emoticon Anniversary!

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KSCHRAUT 10/13/2012 8:06PM

    Woohoo! Nice job!

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MUSOLF6 10/13/2012 7:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 10/13/2012 7:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHELLYK972 10/13/2012 6:57PM

    awesome job! Congratulations!

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SHEL_V2 10/13/2012 6:09PM

    I love the valiant effort to keep track of lap time mile math. I find that the longer I'm on the treadmill the less I'm able to subtract 5 (my warm up) from however long I've gone, or plan to go. Yeah, my thighs are big enough to suck all the steal all the blood from brain!

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RUNNINGWILD 10/13/2012 5:28PM

    It's true, a mile is a mile and you really rocked yours!! I know people that would happy to run a 5k in the time you did so DOUBLE kudos.


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TERID816 10/13/2012 5:15PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I hope I can remember to do the same for my first 5K anniversary in February 2013! My time for that one was 50:01. I hope to be able to walk at your "sweet pace" for my anniversary! Congrats! emoticon

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HEALTHYHEIDI12 10/13/2012 5:13PM

    Way to go with your improvements and perseverance!!
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