DRCLANKY   3,502
2,500-3,999 SparkPoints
DRCLANKY's Recent Blog Entries

Seeking Advice to Get Out of The Danger Zone

Monday, October 15, 2012

I can feel it. I'm entering the Danger Zone. Every time I let my eating get out of control it always starts the same way. It'll be a busy time in my life, either socially, with travel or at work (or all three these days!). Maybe the increased travel or work will start interfering with my workout schedule. I'll find myself not having the time to go grocery shopping as often as I'd like or to make myself proper meals for dinner. Next thing I know I'll find myself mindlessly snacking. Often I'll catch myself but instead of stopping I'll just think "It's ok today, you're too tired to worry about it. You can start eating properly again tomorrow."

All too often though, tomorrow never comes. I start having more and more "snack" days, I stop weighing out my foods, stop working out regularly. I can feel that I've got a toe in that Danger Zone right now and I really don't want to gain back any of the 16 lbs I've lost! With 3 trips of 5+ days away in the span of 1.5 months, friends visiting and the holidays, I can't always make it to my Tues Krav Maga class. Also, my running buddy left for a 2 week trip away the day after our 10K so I haven't been pushing myself to run on my own. For me, a lapse in routine is the beginning of the end. I've had a couple days since I've been home and haven't been happy with what I've been eating at all. I think today is the first day I've tracked food on SparkPeople in at least 2 weeks.

So I'm writing this for help. I'd love to hear people's suggestions on;
1. Time saving tips to keep eating healthy and working out even when suddenly busy
2. Tips for working out and eating healthy while traveling
3. Ideas for healthy snacks for those days when I'm consumed (!) by the urge to binge
4. Ideas to help stop the urge to binge.

Thanks in advance SparkPeople! I'm ok if I hit plateaus in my weight loss during but I'd be devastated if I backslide!


A Little Help From My Friends

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yesterday I had one of "those" runs. The ones that, even before it starts, you are already exhausted and dreading the next hour of your life. The ones during which you spend the first 5 minutes telling yourself that you'll settle into your stride and feel better. The ones where you spend the last 50 minutes realizing you're not going to settle into your stride and feel better today.

My ultimate goal is to run the famous San Francisco Bay to Breakers race in May (12K) so I'm training to do a 10K now using the Bridge to 10K phone app. My running buddy and I have a moonlight 10K race at the end of the month that we won't quite be ready for, so it might have some walk intervals in it, but we're doing our best to be as ready as we can be.

Yesterday was a big time/distance increase - running for an extra 9 minutes (3 x 18 min) and about a mile total in the hot afternoon sun. To be honest, I'm not sure if I would have even gone on the run if it weren't for a standing running date with a coworker. I was struggling for the first 2 intervals but it was doable. It wasn't until I got to the last 18 minutes that I really felt my body screaming.

My brain started with the comments: Why bother training like this if you're going to be miserable the whole time? Isn't this supposed to be fun? There's nothing wrong with 5K, why push for 10K. You are LITERALLY going to DIE if you keep running right now. (Yeah, yeah, I know, my brain is prone to hyperbole)

About 10 min into the last interval I yelled up to my running buddy (who was already a few paces ahead), "I need to walk for a few!". She yelled back "Keep going, we're almost there!" and didn't slow her pace. I walked for about 20 sec and then, watching her get further away, pulled my sh*t together and went for it. I figured it was only 8 more min and I had already survived 46 min! I took a different route than her during the last 5 min to find some shade, but even without her right be side me I still heard her "Keep going, we're almost there!" Even going my own way at the end, I still didn't want to let her down and wanted to support her in her run.

Of course today, I'm happy that I completed the run and can visualize a time when I will be able to complete 10K with....relative....ease. But yesterday's run really hammered home the importance of support on this journey. Nobody is perfect. No one is a rock everyday. Even the greatest athletes still need coaches. And for us mere mortals, on the days that our brains our telling us we're just not going to make it, it's nice to have friends to take the reins and push us further. It's nice to have a little help from my friends.


The "All New" Stay-cation!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

My boyfriend, and I live in San Francisco and had intended to get out of the city and do some camping for the Labor Day long weekend. As often happens with us, we just never got around to planning it and before we knew it the long weekend had arrived. Since we had kinda forced ourselves into a staycation, my boyfriend suggested we make the most of it and do an "all new" weekend, doing things that we had never done before in SF! (Aside: One thing I love about SF is that I think you could do an "all new" weekend EVERY weekend and never run out of new things to do!)

I can't believe what a great weekend we had just sticking around town! First of all, lots of people were already away at the annual Burning Man art festival. Combine that with the crowds that left town for the long weekend and we felt like we had San Francisco to ourselves!! I won't bore everyone with San Francisco-specific details but we tried a new brunch spot every morning, I tried Korean BBQ for the first time, we explored two new neighbourhoods on foot, went to see a new movie, tried a new juice place, went to a new pub, and popped into a couple shops that we'd never been into before. But my favorite "new" things of the weekend were 1. going into the Mission Dolores and 2. going for a run together.

1. Mission Dolores is the founding mission of San Francisco and is remarkable because the original humble structure built over 200 hundred years ago still stands, after surviving the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. The Mission Dolores is what gives the "Mission" neighborhood in SF its name, and it's a neighborhood we actually spend a ton of time in but had never been into the building! It was amazing! With a small peaceful graveyard in the backyard, we felt like we had discovered a sanctuary in the city!

2. I completed a 5K race at the end of July and my running buddy and I are now training for a 10K at the end of this month (so nervous!!). I've noticed that when my boyfriend and I spend the weekend together, a lot of our workout stuff gets pushed to the side in favor of more fun stuff (he's trying to lose some weight too). Since my boyfriend had told me numerous times that he would go for a run with me, this weekend when I went over to his place I brought my running stuff. It was so much fun! He was a great running buddy! He commented afterward that he really enjoyed getting to see me in that capacity and commented on how confident I was in my stride and my pace. It was interesting for him too since he had never trained 'my' way before. I do intervals of running at about 10 min/mile with 1 min of walking between intervals. This weekend I was doing 4x 10min runs, this week will be 3 x 15min runs, etc until I can run the full 10K distance. My boyfriend on the other hand, tends to run for a looooooooong time but at a slower pace (12 or 13 min/mile). We decided next time we do a run together we'll try 'his' way! I think it'll be fun to teach each other new ways of working out!!

Anyway, now I'm feeling refreshed and relaxed coming into the new work week without the re-stressing of driving through all the traffic back into the city after a long weekend. The "All New" staycation - I highly recommend it!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN42BOYS 9/9/2012 12:13PM

    Sounds like you both had a great weekend! Keep on running!

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Importance of Sleep

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I need my beauty sleep!

Over the last month I haven't been keeping up with my SparkPeople very well. I've been tracking food and exercise only sporadically, haven't been reading any blogs and didn't even log my last weigh-in (even though it was a half pound loss!). The worst part though is that I have not been keeping up with my running and have started sneaking junk food back into my cupboard. Part of this is general business lately. A long weekend trip away, lots of new things going on at work, working extra hours to make up for long weekend trip away, etc.

But hey, what else is new, right? We're all busy all the time. If it's not one thing it's another. In fact, I've been busy since I started this endeavor! I started reflecting back on my 'worst' weeks and found that they correlate pretty heavily with one previously overlooked factor.


I've always known that I'm a 'stress eater' and need to be careful around these times, but this past month there were days that I wasn't particularly stressed but I was, for one reason or another, EXHAUSTED. It was on these days that I tended to wimp out of my workout or reach for the handy snack. I mean, when you're exhausted and running on fumes who has the energy to make the right choice?! You just do what's easiest. And that's certainly not going for a run. And even if I manage to choose to go for a run, I just can't seem to push myself to do that last little bit when I am tired.

Seems obvious, but I never noticed until recently what a direct day-to-day effect sleep was having on trying to maintain my healthy habits. So, if I'm trying to develop healthy eating and activity habits, seems like healthy sleeping habits should go hand-in-hand!

I hereby resolve to get 7 hours of sleep every night!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIET_FRIEND 8/30/2012 6:39PM

    I have "favorited" an article about sleep's part in our journey to better health and fitness. I hope your stressful situations don't take you off your plans too much. In a year, if you can stay with it, imagine how great you will feel.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Lesson Learned.....

Friday, August 10, 2012


The last two weeks I've been eating above my calorie goal and haven't been recording it. It showed on the scale this morning with a zero weight loss week. At least it isn't a gain, I tell myself! I think the only thing that kept me from gaining was that I have been keeping up with my exercise during this time.

What gets me though is "why"?

Why have I stopped recording what I'm eating?

Why have I suddenly started mindlessly snacking again?

Why, when I paused last night before putting a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth and thought "I wonder what's triggering this?", did I just keep putting it in my mouth instead of stopping?

It's been about 7 weeks now since I've joined SparkPeople and I know that I have a notoriously short attention span when it comes to dieting. What's strange this time is that I haven't been feeling terribly restricted or hard done by. I'm wondering if I'm just getting a wee bit bored.

I'm *hoping* that it's not some type of self sabotage. But I worry about this. I mean, my highest weight ever was 208.5 lbs, which I "achieved" this past Christmas. Believe it or not, at 5'10" this juuuuuuuuust puts my BMI into the obese range. I've spent pretty much my whole adult life in the 180s and 190s in the "overweight" range.

A few years ago I had a fair amount of success doing Weight Watchers with a friend. I don't remember total poundage lost but I think it was close to 20 lbs and I know I was in the 170s and just a few pounds away from my upper healthy weight threshold of 174 lbs. With my goal so close, it was still so far away as for some reason, I just gave up and put about 10 lbs back on within the following 6 months or so.

At the time, I attributed the weight gain to stress. I was just starting to write up my PhD thesis, was flying around the continent for postdoctoral fellowship interviews, and was wondering what would happen with the relationship I was in. Seemed reasonable that I would gain a bit of weight back.

But now here I am, at an ok point in my life - in love and very happy in my personal life, sorting stuff out but starting to feel empowered in my professional life - and I've had these couple weeks that feel like have the potential to be the beginning of the end. Why?

I don't really have an answer, but in trying to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible to stick with my diet and exercise I've adopted a race schedule for the next several months that I'm hoping will keep me motivated in my running and I'm trying to mix up my food in fun ways. For instance, I just ordered a bento box online and I'm excited to try it out for my lunches!

Anyway, I guess I'm writing this for myself really. A little note-to-self to check yourself before you wreck yourself Eileen!!! Start tracking again, it works!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/11/2012 2:09AM

    May I suggest one of the biggest things that has helped me - stop looking at this as a diet. It's not supposed to be. You're building a healthy life. And that's supposed to be permanent. You're replacing poor habits with healthy ones. That takes time. You can do this!

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 Last Page