Monday, March 28, 2011
...how it feels to be able to look at this again with happy tears in my eyes:
...and how this doesn't make me sob anymore:
I mean, let's face it, I do tend to have a realist nature (some call it pessimistic), so for the past few days I've been telling myself not to hope for too much. I've been telling myself it's a fluke and that the pain will return. But do you know what else keeps popping into my head?
Maybe it will. Maybe I'll run tonight and pull my hip worse than ever.
Or maybe not.
I don't deal in maybes anymore.
I deal in dos, trys and attempts.
So as much as my pessimistic nature wants to beat my hope down again (I swear it's a protective measure, so as to not feel the hurt of disappointment), I can't stop the hope from rising up.
Maybe no one will understand this. Maybe it's just my strange nature...but I can't stop the hope from rising up within me, from feeling my feet ITCH when I realize my running shoes are in the bag next to me. One thing I lost when I pulled this hip was hope. It went away slowly. It fought like hell. I tried so many different things to keep it alive, but eventually it died the way of dreams we never thought were possible to dream of again. I was to the point where I was accepting that I was a walker and would be for life. I was letting go of the pain of years of being told to simply NOT run, because I'm not built for it.
And then, a turning point. Like any in a race where the distance seems to long, the hill too steep, and you turn that corner and see your finish line or mile marker RIGHT THERE and you realize you have more in you -- it's the hope welling up again, allowing you to think again that anything is possible with enough determination.
The other night I watched a movie. In it, two men are on treadmills in the gym. One is walking very slowly, eating a candy bar as he walks. The other is running, sweating, and exerting a good amount of energy. The walker looks at the runner and says, "Whoa! Look at you! Something chasing you?" And what might have made me grunt and cheer for the walker just days before had me laughing and smiling. That's right, I saw someone running and I laughed and SMILED. I didn't turn the channel or curse under my breath. My how things have changed...and all because of one simple word -- HOPE.
Hope - "the feeling that what is wanted can be had"
It's so darn simple, but it means SO much!
Without hope there is no achieving. Most people don't fall into success. You've heard the line that to finish you have to start and that the most important part is the courage to try, right? That's hope. The feeling that what is wanted CAN BE HAD. Huge there. It's something we all have to dare to do before we start changing our lives, set out on a training program, or do anything to improve who we are.
There are two types of people in this world. Those who accept their flaws as circumstance. And those who have the hope needed to attempt to change them. Which person do you want to be?
And with my hope, I'm allowing myself to hope for new mantras and fitspo.
So maybe I will fail tonight, or tomorrow, or some day down the road. In fact, it's highly likely that I WILL fail at some point. But when I strap on my shoes from here on out, I'm going to remember what it felt like to be sidelined from my dreams. I'm going to remember what it feels like when my mind wants what my body can't give it, and I'm going to learn to respect what my body CAN give me. Maybe it's not a HM. Maybe it is. The point is, I have gotten back my hope. I plucked my dream back from the tree of hope and I'm taking another bite. And that first bite was SO SWEET! I only hope the bites from here on taste just as good.
I'm not foolish, I know there will be troubles along the way. I know that because I've been there and gotten through. And the most important lesson I learned was:
Sometimes it takes more determination than you think you have.
Sometimes you hit the same wall over and over again.
But...sometimes...just when you think all hope is lost, you'll find the hidden doorway and squeeze your way through.
I don't deal in maybes anymore. Maybe it won't work, but that won't stop me from trying.
Get ready, world. Here comes the runner...catch me if you can!
And if you aren't sure whether to go for a run today. If you feel tired and your legs feel like lead, but you know those are just excuses and not real healing issues for your body. If you're tired or bored or just don't feel like it -- remember that there are people in this world who would love to have the legs you have, the ability to run that you take for granted. If you can't run for you, just this once, run for them. Make every step a puddle of hope for their dream tree...and when you're completed your run, turn around and look at where you've come from and what you've left behind.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Weight two weeks ago: 324.2
Weight Goal for this Week: LOSE SOME WEIGHT
Actual Weight This Week: 320.4
Weight Loss/Gain: -3.8 pounds
Of course I didn't get to weigh-in last week because I was out of town. When I got back from my trip to Minnesota, I was bloated and over tired as all get out and weighed in the next morning at 325 pounds. To me, that was a victory. To be that bloated from 15 hours of driving, from burning about 5k calories in one weekend, and from all the emotional stress I was under and still only gain a pound...I knew if I kept plugging I'd see a couple pounds drop off. So this morning when I saw I lost nearly 4 pounds in the week, I was happy - averaging out to almost 2 pounds per week again, which is always my goal.
I can't say that I was perfect this week. I ate a little too much a couple days because my body was hungry. And I haven't been working out that much because I've been trying to heal my sore and tired body. I'm proud to say that I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. The hip is still sore, but it's not constant. And if you missed my status update yesterday, there's more exciting news to share...
The last you heard from me was Friday and I shared that I had bought some inserts for my shoes. It was a "in-the-moment" type thought that I had concerning my high arches and my mild overpronating. You see, every bit of research I've done says that people with high arches should go with normal gait type shoes. And when I bought shoes online, that's what I went with...but I still felt sore in my hip. I still had that hip pulling feeling. In January, Hubs and I went to a running store with my sister (a runner) to get fitted for shoes like I've been told to do. The guy never watched me run. He had me walk and suggested that I get some mild stability in my shoes. He pulled out a few options and I walked around in them...but the hip still hurt and I still pulled it just about every time I ran.
I've been telling everyone that I haven't been able to run in a month or so. But thinking on it last night, I realize the last time I was really able to run was in December when I ran the National Mall in D.C. (A GREAT experience, btw! Thank goodness I held out that long!) So it's actually been 3 months since I've been able to run without pain. I didn't understand what was happening. I had done everything I was told I should do. I ran for weeks at the end of last year, running 3 times a week without a single problem. I thought I had solved my hip problem then. But then it pulled and I got sad...and as it continued to pull every time I'd let it heal and try again, I got even more sad. It was like a big wall of CAN'T was built in front of me and I just couldn't figure out how to get around it. No wonder my weight loss has been slow going since December! It took a long time for me to pull myself out of it.
I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for a likely referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I figure they might be able to tell me if there's something seriously wrong with my hip. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to have someone look at my knee, which I had surgery on and a ligament cut in high school. I know I have osteoarthritis in my knee already from the years of it popping in and out on me and the years of walking around with so much weight and pressure on it. I figure it couldn't hurt to have someone look at that as well and tell me how I'm doing, if there is more I can do to make sure I keep my knee in a good place and not have to go in for replacement surgery anytime soon. But that first doctor's appointment isn't until Friday, and I have no clue how long it will take to get me into the ortho's office.
So as I stood there, the thought came to me about my arches. I've always had super high arches. I once pulled my arches so bad during a hike at Girl Scout camp when I was a kid that I spent the entire rest of the week healing. So I looked at the guy at the sports store this week and asked him about inserts...and he showed me to them. Hubs was kind enough to buy me a pair (since I'm kinda skint right now) and I immediately tried them out. It felt GOOD. It felt RIGHT. I felt that whole "running on clouds" thing everyone talks about. And even though my hip is still sore and still healing, I didn't feel ANY pain from it when I ran. Though the right foot felt weird...so I wasn't sure about that...but I was willing to sacrifice that for the joy of no pain in my left hip.
So, even though I was scared of facing another "I thought this would work but it doesn't" moment, I decided that I would take them out for a real run yesterday. I set the W1D1 C25k program on my iPhone and set out, nervous the whole time. The last time I tried W1D1, my hip pulled in the second or third running segment. So I didn't expect too much, but I went.
When the first running segment hit, I was walking up a hill. (*sigh* A hazard of living where I live...you can't avoid hills). I took a deep breath of courage and started running. I sat down into my run a little bit, asking my thighs to do a lot of the work (something I learned at the 7k actually) and even though it was REALLY slow going, I got through the running segment without any pain. Still nervous, I kept going. I told myself I had to try. My right foot was still hurting, slipping around in my shoe like the insole was too high and didn't fit my foot right.
The second running segment hit on somewhat flat ground, and I took another breath of courage and cautiously started to run. I felt a slight twinge in my hip, adjusted my running stance and it was gone immediately. After the bell dinged, I realized that I had made it through two runs and decided to avoid the HUGE hill in front of me, telling myself not to push it too much. I turned around and started off again. By this time my oldest son had caught up to me. Apparently he'd been running behind me, trying to catch up. *lol* When I saw him I had this moment of, "CRAP! Who the hell is running this road? No one ever runs here but me. I hate that I have to run in front of someone who apparently runs much better than I do!" Then I recognized my son and laughed to myself. It's funny how I compete like that, even out on open road during training. It's also funny how something so simple can shake my confidence. He walked behind me, and when my phone dinged to run, he ran behind me.
When we went back to walking he asked how the hip was and I smiled and told him that it felt great. I still felt the dull ache when I was walking, but when I ran all pain melted away. It was an amazing feeling. I asked him if I was running funny at all and he said I was running just fine. He said it looked like a normal run to him. Three runs in, and a big hill in front of me, I joked to him that I knew it would ding to run as soon as we were going up the hill. It did. *lol* I told him to sit into it a bit and he tried it. We ran up the hill telling each other, "almost there....almost at the top." And then I hit the downhill still running and I let it all go. I let myself fly down the downhill. I stopped all thought of biting it and let my legs take me...and it felt AMAZING. My phone informed me I was halfway through the W1D1 workout and I smiled. That was my only goal for this day. Half. I didn't want to overwork my hip and even though I had no pain while running, I knew my hip was engaged and working and I was scared to over work it.
We walked back to the house and I stretched and then went in to immediately ice my hip. There was this feeling of glee within me. I wanted to shout from the rooftops "I DID IT!" Unfortunately Hubs wasn't home, so I shared with my youngest son and posted it on FB and on here. My hip was sore last night, but no more than it would've been from any workout I normally do. It IS still healing. My right foot hurts and I know if I would've kept going I would've ended up with a blister.
As I looked at my feet last night, I realized that the arch on my left foot is higher than the one on the right. Maybe that's one reason for my crooked limp-running. (I tell you, that finish video seemed to open up my eyes a bit to how strange my running is.) So my thought now is to replace the normal insole back into the right foot and run with only the left in. As much as I want to try that today, I know better. So it'll likely be Monday before I get to try again. Maybe I've solved the hip problems. Maybe it was a fluke (but I don't know why it would be...why the pain would disappear like that when I'm running and still be there the rest of the time...). I'm almost afraid to hope. And I'm not about to cancel my appointment with the doctor. It's still a good idea to get some help from an ortho about my knee and hip. Especially if I'm crazy enough to think I might be able to run a 5k or more before this year is out.
Last night I sat with an icy-hot patch on my hip. I don't know how long it will take for it to heal completely again. I'm not willing anymore to give up an entire week of working out - something I had seriously considered last week. I want to test out these legs one more time. I want to try running again at least once this week (and, I should admit, if I can get both legs and feet with no pain on my next run, there might be no stopping me from running a few times next week...I'm so eager to get back that dream that to set it aside for a week might not be within my willpower). I promise to go easy on myself and not push too hard, but between wanting to see how long I can really walk (and how fast) and wanting to try out this running thing again, I'm thinking my week will look something like this:
Workouts March 27th - April 2nd
Sunday - Boxing @ 3pm with CT
Monday - W1D1 of C25k, ST
Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - W1D2 of C25k, ST
Thursday - Zumba
Friday - W1D3 of C25k, ST
Saturday - LDW 8-9 miles
As for the food thing? I'm still working on that as well. I feel like I'm understanding dishes better. Like I know how to just throw crap together and make a great meal.
Breakfasts - as always, half a bagel with whipped cream cheese and 16oz of coffee with 2 Tbsp. of creamer
Work lunches - a turkey sandwich and a huge salad
Dinners this week:
Kale Tofu dish from Becks
Herb Salmon with Steamed Veggies
Whole wheat pasta with lite smoked sausage and part-skim mozz.
Grilled chicken with veggies (maybe chicken over a huge salad)
Lentil or Vegetable Soup
The goal is to not buy too much at the grocery store this week and try to sort out what I can work with in the pantry. That means there will be a bit of sodium overload this week, so I'll have to be really careful and drink PLENTY of water. Going to shoot for 14 cups of water this week instead of 12, just to be sure.
Other goals for this week:
* Go through the pantry and sort everything out
* Go through some of my clothes and get rid of what doesn't fit anymore
* Start planning for my youngest son's birthday, which is next week
* Get some work off my desk! I keep getting things half done before I get a call and get distracted. Screw that! I'm getting at least 3 things off my desk completely this week!
And, because I should, I am setting a weight goal this week--
Under 320! *lol* No, seriously, I have so much trouble getting through those 10's that setting a small goal like just breaking through is a big deal. Of course I'd love to see 318 (which my scale teased me with today but I knew wasn't right because I wasn't standing right on it)...so I'll mentally shoot for that...but I think the less stress I put on myself the better. Just go, do, follow the plan and eventually the results will come - they HAVE to. I have to believe that.
So I'm starting this week off on a happy note. I'm just 4.2 pounds away from losing 100 pounds with SP...and my initial goal was to do it in a year, which is 3 weeks away...so I can do this. I just have to stick to the plan and not concern myself too much with what the scale says...it'll come around eventually. :)
A pound at a time
An ounce at a time
To lose the next 4.2 pounds
*rushes off to change the laundry so she actually has clothes to wear to her boxing lesson* *lol* I don't think CT wants to get to know me THAT well!
Friday, March 25, 2011
I have become a better version of myself.
Or, wait...this is more like it...
My weight loss has allowed me to be the person I always was.
That's right. I'm noticing something lately. Even after the madness of this past weekend, it wasn't until last night that I realized that I'm more of who I am now that I feel free to be her. What I mean is, I'm not hiding. I'm not covering up who I am because I'm afraid that people only think about how fat I am. Part of my mind wants to remind me that I'm STILL fat, but there's this other part now that tells me I am strong, capable, and worthy of respect...and, surprisingly, that part is much louder than the other right now. Strange, right? Maybe not.
Look, I'm one of those people who can't seem to keep her eye on one serious goal and keep going after it. In some regards I hate that about me because it makes me flaky...I hate flaky people...they annoy me. When I started losing weight again in April, though...I knew I was going to have to deal with this part of myself. Losing 200 pounds is a HUGE goal. I mean...HUGE. It won't happen over night. It's likely to take YEARS to make it happen. How the hell was I going to keep my flaky self interested for YEARS?! I was nervous. It's why I didn't start announcing to my friends that I was losing weight until I had about 60-80 behind me already and I felt like I was already well in to what I set out to do. I never wanted to be that girl who tried to lose weight AGAIN and failed AGAIN. It's the flakiness of my personality that I was hiding.
But I realized I couldn't simply change who I am. Instead, I started to think about it differently. I told myself that it wasn't that I was flaky...it's that I'm interested in so many different things. I'm that girl standing at the buffet of life wanting to try EVERYTHING. I know I won't like everything, but what the hell is a buffet for if not for figuring out what you like? A bite here, a bite there. By the end I am able to say with certainty "I like ____."
Wednesday night at the gym, as I discussed this last trip with Hubs, I told him that I went because I said I was going to go...that it was something I just had to do, that whole "solo road trip" thing. And I told him I didn't like it and likely wouldn't be doing it again, but there was something in me that just HAD to try it out. He looked right at me and said, "You'd try anything once, wouldn't you?" I thought a moment. Was I THAT person? Because I know I used to be the girl afraid to try anything for fear of embarrassment. I smiled, nodded, and said, "Probably." I like this girl better.
But I realize now that it's not the girl who has changed. Yesterday I was talking to some coworkers about fitness and eating right and somehow we started talking about leg strength versus upper body strength. I told them I was the girl who would reorganize her room every few months and would push my dresser across the floor with my legs...even at the age of 8. (It's funny...Ethan does this now. *lol*) I explained, "I changed my room around a lot. I got bored." But maybe I wasn't bored. Maybe I just wanted to try my room in every possible way. Maybe I WANTED to see all the possibilities I had to find the one that suited me best. Maybe I just liked the small change that I could control. I realize now that that is exactly what I'm doing now. It's always been a part of me - that girl willing to try just about anything...I was just too afraid to show it...too afraid to fail.
So when I started losing weight, on some level I recognized that "bored" feeling that inevitably comes. Some people can stick to a meal plan for years at a time without changing anything. I can't. I can eat the same thing pretty much every day at work, as long as dinner is always something different, or as long as every once in a while I get a chance to go get something new. That's exactly what I do with exercise...and I realize now it's exactly the part of me that was working when I came up with the Year of Adventures for 2011. I wanted to TRY everything I always was too afraid to try.
When I started out here, I simply made sure my calories fit. Soon, I was trying new healthier versions of my favorite foods. Later, I tried foods I'd never had before - quinoa, lentils - I was retrying fruits and things I used to hate to see if I still did. (Found a new love for pineapple...something I always hated...and learned that my body *HATES* oranges...no lie.) I tried foods from different countries. I wanted to taste what they were eating since I didn't have the money to travel there. And lately I'm kicking into more vegetarian dishes, discovering a love for tofu and loving that.
When I started here I stuck to walking and my inStride cycle. Two things I was sure of. I simply tried to hit the fitness minutes Spark set for me. In time, I joined the gym and tried the elliptical - a new favorite love of mine because, to me, it mimics running without the impact on my body. I can "run" on the elliptical, burn a ton of calories, go farther distance wise without feeling the pain of it later. In time I rekindled my love for the rowing machine. I tried Zumba and found a new love. I did yoga again and remembered that it was one of my favorite exercises because of my innate flexibility. Then I tried tennis and boxing. I ran. I walked long distances. I joined races. I played basketball with the kids. I played racquetball (though I'm still not sure I'm doing it right...but who cares?). I went from Spark suggested ST moves to challenging myself on crunches, planks, and push-ups. And lately I've moved into heavy lifting and discovered a true love for the power that makes me feel.
Throughout the past 11 months, I thought I was improving and that was the cause of the change. And, for some of it, that's exactly what it was. But a big part of it is that I need small changes I can control. There is something that spurs me on when I realize I can make small tweaks and still maintain consistency.
When I started here, I realized I was going to have to address my flaky side somehow. I didn't want to flake out on the big goal, so I flaked on smaller ones. I hated myself for it every time. I didn't finish 8-week training programs because I found something else I wanted to do instead. I told myself it was awful that I couldn't stick to anything! But, do you know what I realized yesterday? Through all the changes I made, flaking out on fitness routines and group challenges...one thing never changed -- I stuck with the big goal.
The scale is being nice today. Yesterday I blurted out to my coworkers that I had lost 94 pounds or so since April. (Funny, they didn't say anything...their faces didn't change...and as much as I want to analyze what that means, I'm just going to let it go.) As of yesterday, it was only 93 or so pounds...but this morning...94 lost. I willed it so! *lol*
What was I saying?
So last night, exhausted from the day. Happy to have given in on my body's request for rest. I drove straight home. It felt strange not going to the gym, but I powered through, sure that my body needed rest more than my mind needed the Zumba. I went home and looked around and voiced my hunger and looked begrudgingly in the kitchen and didn't want to cook. I asked Hubs to take us out and he agreed...and I let the boys pick where. We ended up at a local pizza place nearby. I always end up with a meatball sub, which I generally only eat half of, and some of their homemade chips. This time, I ordered a huge salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions (YUK! Will ask for those to be left off next time), carrots, broccoli, and spinach. I got ranch dressing because they didn't have any light versions (I'll bring my own next time). I told myself that I could be good. I sat down and devoured my salad. It was HUGE and yummy and I LOVED it (except when I had to pick out the onions). And as I looked over at my sub, I thought...I'd rather have the salad than the sub? WTF? (Don't get too excited for me...I ended up eating EVERYTHING. The salad, the sub, the chips...and I was full, not stuffed...maybe a touch over full, but not stuffed. *shrug* Maybe my body needed that. I took breaks while I was eating to see if I was full and I just wasn't yet. STRANGE.)
When we finished eating, Hubs wanted to head across the street to Big Lots. He joked, "You want to walk across and I'll meet you there?" I looked across the street. "Sure!" I said. His jaw dropped and he laughed. "I was just joking." "It's not that far," I said. And I realized as we walked over...a super easy walk...that a year ago, this would have seemed MILES away. I wouldn't have done it. I would've gotten mad at him for suggesting it...or I would have tried and been completely out of breath. As it was, last night was a nice stroll across the street. And, funny enough, both of my kids spoke up, "I want to go with mom!" *lol*
Even after a big meal...I wasn't beating myself up. I accepted it as what my body wanted. I feel more in tune with my body than I've ever been before, and while HALF of a sandwich and that salad would've stuffed me any other night...last night my body needed all of it. *shrug* I'm not sure why. And some of you might say I'm delusional for thinking it and sabotaging my own efforts....but lately I've been thinking "I'm giving my body what it needs." That doesn't mean I let it go wild on me. I know where that road leads! Today I'm sticking to my schedule and sticking to my calories and eating on the low side of my calorie range. It just means that I'm listening more.
I don't want to be the flaky girl. I don't want to be the girl that can't stick with anything. But when all is said and done, there are SOME things I can stick with. I stuck with 3 years of school and working full-time to get my degree. I stuck with almost a year of losing weight and I'm still going strong. I guess I'm better at the big things, especially when the little things within it have flexibility to change. So maybe I am flaky. But I'm also ambitious and successful. I'm also determined and strong. I can be all those things and succeed.
I guess what I'm saying is - you are exactly the person you need to be right now. And that person, whoever she/he is, has the ability to make the changes needed to lose weight. Our roads might look different because WE are different. But if you treat your body with respect and stay true to the parts that are you, there is no reason you can't be successful at this or anything you set your mind to do. You are exactly the person you need to be right now. I am exactly the person I need to be right now. Right now I'm flaky...but it's exactly what I need to keep the big dream alive. Small changes, new workout routines, new recipes...but one common goal - a healthy lifestyle that allows me to be who I am.
No, I still haven't decided on a HM yet. Going to do some training next week and see if I can possibly get to where I need to be by May 1st for the pig. If not, I'll focus my efforts further out.
I made an appointment for next Friday with my doctor about my hip. Until then, I will NOT be running AT ALL. Not even to get across the street quickly. People will have to hit me. Besides, I can walk just about as fast as I can run right now. Walking ONLY. The doc will likely refer me to an orthopedic surgeon, but I'm on a path to discovering what I need to do to unleash my inner runner!
Yes, I went over my calories last night. No, I'm not beating myself up about it. I'm planning a light day today. Low calories but in my range. Low sodium. Low, but healthy, fats. Lots of water. A low impact yoga routine later for recovery. Maybe some lite strength training. And later? I'm thinking a hot bath with bubbles and some fitness magazines with the music turned down low and some candles. Me time. Sounds good.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Please mark this week as the week my MIND wanted to work out and my BODY was not having it. Please, mark it down. It's so often the other way around. I've been at the gym the past two nights.
Tuesday I had to stop before Zumba was over because I simply could NOT lift my legs anymore. I started stumbling over my feet and got all tangled up. I lost all speed, coordination and rhythm and found myself several times just standing there, completely exhausted and spent. So I left. I pulled out 45 minutes (the last 10 in a crazy haze of OMG..NO MORE! from my body) and then left.
Last night, I would have skipped the gym altogether if not for Hubs. I called him on the way home and left the choice of gym/no-gym to him. He picked gym and I wanted to cry. I went anyhow. He walked for 12 minutes or so on the treadmill while I SLOWLY got dressed, SLOWLY walked up the stairs and BARELY made it through 5 minutes on the rowing machine. We then went downstairs and he was wishy-washy about what he wanted to work, exercises he wanted to do -- so sad considering I was going to let HIM lead this one. I sighed and then set him up with barbell curls and presses. Then we went to working back muscles, which he actually took a great liking to. (I'll remember that for later.) Finally I just sat there, staring at him, completely exhausted...and he said, "Ready to go home?!" OMG! Magical musical words they were! HOME! I love it!
We did go home, and I set to work both begrudingly from exhaustion and excited in anticipation, making up some tofu fried rice. Fried rice used to make a regular occurrance in our household. Usually chicken fried rice from one of the 2 chinese restaurants in the small towns that tuck us in among the hills. Coated in even more soy sauce from us, we'd eat thinking we were doing our body good. I know better now. And it's sad to think I spent that much money and wasted those many calories and salt grams when I had a perfectly good substitute I could make at home.
3 cups of brown rice in the rice cooker
2 packages of tofu being pressed
I bought a pre-cut onion from Kroger (*LOVE*)
I minced the garlic and put some olive oil into my wok.
I threw in the garlic and onion and let them cook
Then I washed the pre-cut "wild mushroom mix" I picked up at Kroger and let them get soft
I chopped a green onion into small pieces (I have a picky 8-year old) and threw it in
Once all that cooked, I cut up my tofu and removed what was in the pan to a bowl.
Not sure if that was necessary, but it felt like it.
I tossed a bit of sesame oil and low sodium soy sauce in the pan and then tossed in the tofu
I let it cook for a while, trying desperately to get that crispy outside but unable to produce the desired effect.
After a while, I gave up, chopped the tofu smaller with my spatula and threw the onion mixture in with it, mixing it all together.
I let it cook for a bit longer while the rice finished.
Once the rice was done, I spooned all of it into the pan, mixed like crazy and added a touch more soy sauce.
And then we all sat down and ate deliciously. FOOD! Good food! I tell you that it feels so much like cheating, but I know better. With the calorie calculations, it serves about 8 and each serving has:
16.3 g of fat (high yes, but healthy fats)
375.5 mg sodium (the restaurant version usually has over 1,000!)
259.6 mg potassium
21.8 g carbs
2.3 g fiber
1.1 g sugar
15 g protein
(I'm going to cut back the oils next time. A dash here and a dash there and we should be good because there was a touch too much oil and moisture last night..made it a little soggy. That will help the fat go down as well. Might also try less tofu and lite tofu.)
I'm really looking forward to trying more tofu recipes now that I know where to find it in this state! But as exciting as all this is...I've noticed something. I have stocked-pantry syndrome. Seriously, my pantry is overflowing with food. Why the crap have I been spending so much money every week on groceries then? This weekend it's time for a serious evaluation of what we have, what needs pitched and what can be used to make some healthy dinners for the next couple of weeks. We'll save some money and get some room back so I can get back to my new recipes! :)
Oh, and the better part of yesterday was spent evaluating the various fitness magazines and trying to decide which ones I want. I'm drawn to the Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine because it's got some great lifting tips, but I don't think they have monthly issues...I think it's 6 a year. I want something to come every single month! I'm kinda liking Oxygen right now... What's your favorite health/fitness magazine?! Why do you like it more than the others?!
Finally, I'm toying with that HM idea. Walking or running wouldn't matter - I want to be able to say I did one. I've been searching around Ohio/WV for good ones and have a few in mind. My criteria for a HM is easy.
1) It has to have a 4+ hour cap and be accepting of walkers.
2) It MUST include a medal. I will NOT walk or run 13.1 miles and NOT get a medal.
3) I want it to have some sort of meaning to me, a catch, or something special.
That's why these are the three I'm seriously considering right now:
1 - Flying Pig HM - Cinci, OH - May 1 @ 6:30am
*I know someone running already, so I'll be able to feel like we're doing it together.
*The medal has a pig with wings. Hello, does no one else get the irony/joke here? "When will Esther do a HM? When pigs fly! Oh, look...they did!" ;)
* It's close to my Mom's so I wouldn't have to worry about hotel rooms and the like.
* It's SOO close. The closest one. And I don't think I could be ready in a month.
* It's 75 bucks if I register by April 4th, 90 if I register by the 18th and 100 after that! OUCH!
* 6:30am if effin' early, dude!
2 - Capital City HM and Quarter Marathon - Columbus, OH - May 7 @ 8am
*They have a HM AND a QM option. If I don't do the flying pig, I may consider doing the quarter here to work my way UP to the half.
* It's in my hometown of Columbus! WOOT!
* The company running this one seems to state over and over that it's a "friendly and supportive environment." I'm loving the way they talk about their races and how friendly they seem on the website. This same company is doing #3 too!
* 18:19 pace time or under required. I *think* I can do that.
* It doesn't have quite the ring that "flying pig" does...but there is a medal!
3 - Emerald City HM and QM - Dublin, OH - September 4 @ 7am
* The medal is supposed to be cool, though I can't find a picture. Still, the idea of a "one of a kind" medal that WILL, I'm assured, be placed around my neck (it's this company! they even say on their site - "will place your well deserved medal around your neck when you cross the finish line"...it has such a nice ring to it!).
* It sounds like fun and I could pull out my Get Lucky gear and fit right in with the whole Emerald City theme.
* It still has that QM option, if needed. But it might be ideal to do the Capital City QM and the Emerald city HM as a back-to-back build up thing.
* I believe it's the same weekend as the Charleston Distance Run/Walk and after the BS way they treated Ethan and I last year I don't want to be anywhere near them. Leaving the state and competing somewhere else actually sounds ideal - like a kick in the face of, "Your race sucks...I'm traveling 2.5 hours to go somewhere else to do one! :P"
* It's not until SEPTEMBER! UGH! I mean, great for training time, but it's plenty of time for me to talk myself out of it too!
* The company, while seemingly friendly and accepting, is also a teeny bit disorganized...I can tell from the messiness of the website. I'd love to go in there and revamp it for them because if they're anything like I think they are, they deserve better! (Hey, maybe it's a new job opportunity! *lmao*)
So, those are my thoughts right now. First I need sleep. Then I need rest and healing. Then I need to get back to working out and set up a serious training schedule. I don't think it's right to expect my body to double it's best in just 5 weeks. I don't even know if it's possible. Still, I can work toward that and guage my progress. If I feel I can do it and I want to spend the 100 bucks to try, I will go up the night before and get registered that morning. I'll still get the flying pig medal, even if I don't get any other swag. And...I actually have another week to decide before the price rockets to 90 bucks. We shall see....we shall see...
As I said, for now I need to focus on healing and sleep. TIGERJANE gave me some great stretching exercises to try. I've got to get my body back where it should be. And I need to call the doc for an appointment. Maybe an orthopedic surgeon can give me some better understanding as to what's happening. Heck, even being properly fitted for a knee brace might correct my obvious gate issues and allow me to run without injury. It'd just be nice to know what's going on. And considering I haven't seen an orthopedic since...well, junior year of high school? I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have the knee checked and see how the surgery went way back when and what's going on now and if there are certain exercises I could do to improve the function and stability of my knee joints. Couldn't hurt, right!?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Affirmation: the act of affirming, something affirmed: a positive assertion
Affirm: to validate, confirm; to state positively
Commitment: an agreement or pledge to do something in the future
Yes, I'm double blogging today, but this is necessary...for me at least. After trolling some rather inspiring blogs today, dealing with the emotional flood of this weekend, and surprising myself by agreeing to give myself a reward I didn't "earn" completely...I've decided something.
I'm Worth It.
That's right. I said it. I've got another for you.
I'm Good Enough.
CREATINGAMANDA wrote about how she read that half-marathons are looked down upon because they aren't full marathons. She talked about giving full thought time to her accomplishments, instead of devoting all her effort and focus to her failures. She talked about giving her all and letting that be good enough...great in fact.
YOOVIE listed, in the great way she does, that she knows her recipe for success and she made commitments to herself in order to create that recipe and get herself where she wants to be.
TIGERJANE wrote about pool season coming, and about how her training stalled so that she could take care of her body, and how that has been an amazing lesson in devoting time especially to that cause.
KARVY is making herself over in mind, body and spirit.
SHARKBAIT is driven to succeed, even if the results she wants ellude her.
MEZZOANGEL is recommiting herself to herself and learning to treat herself nicely.
Let's face it...Spring is here. And with it comes all the renewal of life both without and within. So, along those same lines, I am making some affirmations and commitments to myself.
I WILL treat myself with kindness. I will work to quiet the inner monsters and negative self talk. I don't like it when I feel that others are "beating me up" and I shouldn't allow it of myself.
I DO deserve fitness magazines and positive reinforcements.
I HAVE earned the right to call myself a runner. My hip injury is a RUNNING injury, one I got from RUNNING. In my heart I am a runner. I have been running. I love to run. I am a runner.
There is NO REASON I cannot walk into a running store, sports store, or other health food or fitness related environment. I have earned this right. Hell, it's not even a right that has to be earned. These, as I know from my job, are places of public accommodation. EVERYONE is welcome. EVERYONE. And the dirty looks I might get that I interpret as not belonging could be any number of insecurities on the part of the person giving the look and should not reflect poorly on me.
I AM AN ATHLETE. I train for events like races. I take regular Zumba and boxing classes. I have increased my stamina, strength, and resistance. You can actually SEE the muscles in my arm. I, still in the severely obese category and over 300 pounds, have MUSCLE DEFINITION like most skinny chicks I grew up with would envy.
As Amanda said, every workout, healthy eating choice, and other small victory throughout the day is a reason to celebrate that I made a healthy choice. I CHOSE TO LIVE THIS WAY!
I can inspire others just by being me.
What I do best is what I should do. As Amanda said, if I give my all then I have NOTHING to be ashamed of. This Saturday I left all I had on that race course. My legs were bricks and I walked/ran with my heart. I let my ambition and DRIVE spur me forward and I crossed that finish line with tears knowing 100% that I put everything I had into it. I could have done no more. At the place I am now, in the frame of body and shape I am in, I gave 100% and that is EVERYTHING to be proud of!
I am beautiful. I see it in pictures. I see it in the mirror. I no longer shy away and run. I believe more clearly now that I am beautiful.
I have changed my life. In many respects I will always be a work in progress, but knowing that I'm less than a month from my 1 year with Spark, and knowing that I've lost nearly 150 pounds from my highest weight SEVEN years ago. I am no longer the person I was. I have changed. I CHANGED IT.
I am EXTREMELY flexible. Even people smaller than me envy this about me. But, what's more, I accept it as a part of who I am and who I always have been. I need to work with this strength to make it into a part of my accomplishments every day.
I have the right to read running magazines. Yes, I have the right. Not only does EVERYONE have this right, I do honestly feel that I have earned that right. I should not cut myself off from something that can help me to improve just because I have some crazy need to punish myself for something I never needed punishment for.
I am STRONG.
I will use EVERY opportunity to make myself a success.
I already am a success! Even if I stay exactly as I am right now, I cannot call what I have done anything OTHER than a success.
I am a good friend. I may not be perfect and I may not always know the right thing to say, but I am a good friend.
I am a much better friend to myself. I am selfish when I need to be, focusing on what I need in order to be complete and whole - not giving too much of myself of others so that I save enough for myself.
I belong. I have a place in this world and I know there would be sadness if I were to leave it suddenly.
I am a good mother. My most recent lesson has been teaching my boys the value of a healthy lifestyle.
I am a loving and caring wife. Again, I am not perfect. Sometimes I am selfish. Sometimes I demand more from him than I should. But, in every day, in every way, I love my husband with my entire heart and want nothing more than for him to feel complete and whole in this world, and happy. But not without sacrificing all of my happiness. I believe that makes me an even better wife.
I have the tools to succeed and I will use them.
I will only attempt to control what I CAN control. I cannot control results, I can only control action. Results will have to come...there is no denying them if the actions I take continue to be the right ones.
I will take care of my body. I will devote the time needed to healing my whole body. I will be nice to it and provide it with stretches that aid in recover, hot soaks in the bath, ice packs, ibuprofen when needed, and plenty of rest. I owe it that much after all it has given me.
I will stop diminishing my accomplishments for fear of coming off as conceited.
I will devote a respectful and just amount of time and energy to accepting, acknowledging and celebrating those accomplishments.
I will not let any number on the scale, any weight limit, any dirty look, any thought of what I could be "if" distract me from what I have become, what I have done and who I am. I will no longer let those aspects of the world define me. I will define myself.
I did not "only" run like 3 times on Saturday. I ran THREE TIMES! I limp-ran the finish line because my runner self could not be contained. I triumphed over every emotional and physical roadblock and ran. I RAN.
I will allow myself confidence without feeling it is arrogance.
I will demand respect from those around me when it isn't given freely. I will not suffer silently and assume of others things of which they do not intend. Instead I will demand that my pain be addressed, that my heart be healed, and that any miscommunication be corrected.
I will not feign happiness. Yes, sometimes we must "fake it 'til we make it," but when you're with friends, it should be okay to voice concerns and allow them to help build you back up so you can be truly happy.
I am exactly the person I am supposed to be RIGHT NOW.
I will work toward my goals with respect, reverence, and drive.
I will be hard on myself when I need to be, without beating myself into a painful place. "Pushing" is one thing. "Being pushy" is quite another.
I am a yoga-ite. I will no longer deny myself the joys of yoga because I have a false belief that the benefit is nominal. I will benefit from it greatly, therefore I will indulge in it.
And I will introduce myself properly - with verbs, not nouns. Verbs are alive. Nouns are dead.
My name is Esther.
I have LIVED for 30 years and continue to look forward to LIVING my life.
I EAT healthy foods and ENJOY their freshness in my mouth.
I ENJOY the way I FEEL when I am LIVING a healthy lifestyle.
I MOTHER two children and LOVE them completely.
I LOVE and ADORE a husband who sees me fully for who I am and what I want to be.
I COMPETE in races. I BEND into Yoga poses. I BOX to make me strong. I DANCE like a freak! I LOVE my friends. I CHALLENGE myself to new things. I TAKE ON new adventures.
And, here's a little thing to think about. AM is an action. TO BE. It's a verb. Be your action.
I AM an ATHLETE.
I AM a SUCCESS.
I AM a beautiful, strong, courageous, kind, and loving woman.
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