Wednesday, December 08, 2010
First, did you guys see this?
"Until now, researchers had no evidence the elusive "runner's high," the sense of euphoria many athletes report after exercise, actually existed. But, as reported in a recent issue of the Cerebral Cortex journal, German researchers have finally proved the phenomenon isn't just running lore.
Using high-tech brain imaging scans, the neuroscientists took images of 10 runners' brains before and after a two-hour run. What they found: Endorphins flooded the brain during exercise and gathered around areas of the brain responsible for feel-good moods and emotion--hence the blissful high."
Scientific proof running makes you happy....so to all those people who think those of us who run are crazy...guess what!! WE AREN'T, WE ARE JUST VERY HAPPY :)!! I'm not sure why this little tidbit made my day, but for some reason it did.
Yesterday I went for a run, I mentioned yesterday that I didn't get up in the a.m., but I went for a late afternoon run instead. We took the kids to the park and I did my hill run again. I really needed it. I was frustrated, tired, cobwebs were growing in my brain. It has been a very frustrating holiday season and it is taking its toll, but the run was perfect and exactly what I needed. Those scientifically proved endorphins surrounded the feel good parts of my brain and I felt better after it.
Here is a picture of my hill going up....
Hill going back down....
Pic from my GPS website....
For some reason I like seeing all those ups and downs, and that isn't even all of them! After the 5th one I had to turn off the GPS function so I could take the pictures. For some reason my phone can't do both apps at the same time. My phone isn't smart, merely somewhat clever.
Round six was when I took the pics and then I did two more just for kicks and ran around an empty parking lot just for fun until I hit 3.1 miles combined distance between the two trips. It was an awesome run. Got a thumbs up from a driver cutting through the parking lot-lol!! I love running this parking lot because there is very little traffic, but because the park's parking lot and the empty medical office's parking lots are connected there is the occasional car pulling through. The lady driving this one car slowed way down as she passed me, waited until she had my attention and then gave me a big thumbs up. Very sweet, made me smile!
So, anyways, it was a great run! Another random thought, isn't it funny, how the things you notice change over time, especially when you are trying to eat a more healthy diet, exercise more, etc.?
Today, my kids are watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", the animated classic, not the live action Jim Carrey movie, and it is the end of the show, the Grinch's heart has grown and he is now enjoying the holiday feast in Whoville with all the Whos. Grinch is slicing the Roast Beast and lo and behold what do I notice? Every Who gets a plate COVERED in Roast Beast, not a vegi in sight, not even any carbs on the plates, I think they might be on the table, but apparently the first course is made up entirely of Beast!! Oh, that is so not healthy!!! Poor little Cindy Lou Who is going to grow up and suffer a massive heart attack. I'd never noticed before how much Roast Beast was being consumed by the Whos...
Okay, this is getting silly, first my computer self-posts my blog before I am ready and now I seem to have lost my internet connection, though my husband's computer is still connected...What the heck!! Okay, had to disconnet home router and reconnect and I'm back. At least I discovered it before I tried to post and lost everything!!
Okay....better wrap it up quick...
Project FFIT: This week we are keeping the goals from last week (exercise as scheduled, water and negative differentials) and adding the goal of WEEKEND WATER and PROTEIN
I failed at drinking enough water over the weekend...hmmm need to work on that and I have noticed a trend, now that I am back to tracking everything that often I do not get sufficient protein.
Negative Differential: Done
Protein: Failed...trying again today....bad choices (i.e. a cupcake for breakfast) led to a lack in protein...try, try again. The good thing about this is that A) It shows that I am NOT eating a platter of Roast Beast at every meal, B) this is not a one time deal. I am owning that my choices resulted in not enough protein for the day. I often have had a problem getting enough protein so this is a good time to add in that goal and work harder at it!!
Hope everyone is having a great day!!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Excuses, excuses, excuses!! Sometimes doesn't it seem like all you hear are excuses? They are EVERYWHERE!! Everybody has an excuse for everything from eating a cookie (seriously the only finger I'm pointing with this one is at myself!!! If you are feeling guilty about a cookie excuse keep reading I'm getting to a point with this and I am hoping it is a good one) to why they decided to run a red light to why they chose to murder someone (seriously, not pointing fingers at ANYONE on this one except at the guy who murdered a local police officer recently and claims he is crazy-he might very well be it still isn't a good reason for taking someone's life-right?). Excuses, excuses, excuses!!
I have three kids. I'm sure many of you with children will agree that children excel at excuses. " I have told you that you may not hit your sister!" Kid: "But....." fill in the blank...."she took my toy", "she stuck her tongue out at me", and so on!
As great an example as my kids are at excuses I have to confess I do pretty well myself and I think that if we took a poll here and we were all honest with ourselves, most of us would have to confess that when it comes to doing what is healthy, when it comes to doing what we should, when it comes to eating the proper fuels for our bodies, we sometimes excel at making excuses for ourselves.
My sister's blog today hit on a good one "I'm being kind to myself" (to kind of paraphrase it) read it-it's a good one www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3830097 . We all know that negative self-talk holds us back, but we can use our "positive self-talk" as an excuse for making poor choices. And if not as an excuse at least to soften the blow. We all know our own favorite excuse (pms, tired, kids, work, Christmas (then followed by every day on the calendar-I REALLY hope nobody out there uses Ground Hog day as a reason to over indulge or under exercise-lol!! I chose Groundhog Day because it was my grandparent's anniversary, with both of them together now on the otherside we have no excuse to celebrate Groundhog Day-(: ).
So, to move this along, the title kind of sums it up. Own the things you do or don't do!! This is something I tell my six-year old ALL THE TIME!!! She is six, she is very much her own person, and she is still learning (mostly because she is six!!). She makes a lot of mistakes, sometimes her most well intentioned acts end up being a mistake. A bit ago, when school was still kind of new and rules were still being learned, she was caught cheating on a math test. Now, the teacher and I both recognized, she's six!! The teacher took it in stride, explained that she has to do her own work and refocused her attention to her own desk. The only reason this came up really was because what my daughter did in reaction to this demonstrated a pattern of behavior (one I've seen and we are working hard on). Everytime my daughter is noticed because of something she knows she is not supposed to be doing she denies, denies, denies!! Because she is six it is kind of humorous, but if it lasts too much longer it will no longer be funny!! In the cheating case she shook her head no, she wasn't looking over, unfortunately, in order to get a better view of her neighbor's paper she was standing up!! Sometimes when she is bored she sings to herself, at home it is cute, at school, not so much. "Kaylie, I need you to stop singing" followed by head shaking and finger pointing at neighbor. Oh dear. So, one of the things I've been saying a lot, I mean A LOT, lately has been..."Kaylie, you made the decision to ......fill in the blank.....it wasn't the right decision, but you need to own it." I explain that just because it was wrong doesn't always mean she is in trouble for the decision. That sometimes when we make wrong decisions it helps us learn what the right thing is. Again, she is only six and trying to explain this can be difficult. But, I also try to point out that we also need to own our good decisions. "Kaylie, thank you so much for your help setting the table without being asked! That was such a good decision!"
Whenever we accept our decisions whether right or wrong and own them excuse free we learn something. When we make excuses we give up that learning opportunity by putting the blame or the recognition somewhere else. By blaming PMS for the cupcakes (that's right cupcakeS) I ate last night I lose the opportunity to figure out the REAL reason I ate two cupcakes AND some frosting with crackers since my husband didn't use all the frosting on the cupcakes. I have to own the decision. Because it was a decision, nobody named PMS came to my house tied me down and shoved cupcakes down my throat. I did it all by myself. Why? Well, frankly because I am not coping well with life at the moment, I am going to spare you the details, but I do enjoy it when life is smooth and goes exactly how I want and it just is NOT co-operating right now and my coping skill failed me last night.
Wait a minute back up a few words....did you see what I just did right there? I almost went back and erased and re-typed because as soon as it was out I knew it was wrong!! My coping skills did not fail me, I failed to use everything in my arsenal of skills!! I did exercise, I did that right, but when I was still feeling the stress, when I was still upset, when I was still feeling ignored and unloved, I didn't try anything else! I ate cupcakes. What I should have done was eat the one cupcake I had allowed myself (family treat so I get one too, plain and simple I will be eating the occasional chocolate cupcake and I will own that too. It's a choice I make to still eat foods that taste good, I will also own that I budgeted the one cupcake!! Good choices need to be owned too!!!) I should have come and done a bunch of Spark-reading that I'm behind on!! My fingers would have been to busy to eat cupcakes!!
We also need to be careful to NOT own things we DIDN'T do. Maybe this part applies more to those Sparkers who are on teams of some sort or another, but I think that there are lots of ways we own things we haven't done. For example when somebody claims points for challenges they didn't do they are not learning anything, not to mention it is dishonest and takes away from the accomplishment of those who DID earn the points. If we pad our cardio for more points we aren't helping ourselves. If you track you calories but don't list the mayo in your sandwich and then rejoice because you stayed in range, you are not helping yourself. You cannot own what you did not earn, you can sure try, but ultimately you are hurting yourself and in the case of teams, quite possibly the other members of your team too. This part seems a bit of a downer, but I feel it has to be said. Cheating is cheating and you mostly cheat yourself. This part goes back to my daughter. After she "cheated" on that math test I explained to her that what she did is called cheating and that really when she has to take a test it is to help her. I would be willing to bet that out there are at least a handful of Sparkers who for whatever reason were at some point being less than honest with themselves and weren't getting the results they wanted. Then, again, for whatever reason, they changed, they started being honest, they started tracking honestly and exercising honestly and started seeing results. When we claim things we DIDN'T do we sometimes do more harm than with our excuses over the things we DID do.
When we own the good, the bad and the ugly, we learn from our choices. We learn that running feels better than eating cupcakes. We learn that PMS is real and still can be dreaded, but that we can control how we deal with the symptoms. We might learn that even though we don't like exercising during a certain time, we can at least tolerate one certain type of exercise. We may learn that the dish we thought was healthy really isn't, or at least not in the proportions we've been having. When we make the wrong choice and own it we try to see what can be done better next time. Okay, so "I" made the choice to eat the cupcakes, how will "I" change things the next time I feel that the only happiness I will find today is contained inside a chocolate cupcake? By owning it I can change it, or in the case of good things when I own it I can do it again. By owning that I didn't go for a run this morning because, in my own words, "it's too dark" (muttered in a standing, but not awake position as I slammed the alarm clock and literally fell back into bed) I can decide that I am going running as soon as I finish this because I can run and run and run for 45 minutes and then meet up with the rest of the family to pick the kids up from school. I might find that I actually enjoy running in daylight and that postponing my run 1 day a week until the sun comes up will not result in failure!! And I have to run because I am going to OWN the fact that I am mainaining the challenge from one team to run three times a week and I will NOT own something I didn't do!! So.....this has been a rambling, maybe odd, blog, but something that I think is important anyways. Own the things you do and learn from them!! It was a choice you made, own it, if you aren't proud of it change something so that you won't have to ever own that decision again!!
Hope everyone has a great day (only 18 days until Christmas...one of the stressors that affected my choice to eat the cupcakes-lol!).
Ooohhh....just thought of a spin on not owning things you don't do....Do not feel guilt for someone else's choices!! If you didn't do it don't own it!! That's called baggage and you need to dump it and quick...not healthy!! If you didn't do it don't own it!! Okay, done now.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Yesterday was a pretty good day. Got a tiny bit of cross training done, but missed the strength yesterday, but I was okay with that because I knew that I could do it today!!! The only day I can skip strength and make it up the next day is Friday. I figured this out yesterday and hope I will not use it except on rare occasions-lol!! We went to the Christmas Parade last night and had a blast. We had our picnic and hot cocoa and watched a lot of very pretty light displays go by. My princess daughter got very excited about a horse drawn carriage that stopped right in front of her. At first I though she was excited about the horse, but no, it was the carriage. She couldn't believe that she was seeing a real life, honest to goodness, CARRIAGE. She is such a princess-lol!!
Got up this morning and had a great run with my mom and AWEISE (Angela). We did 3 miles this morning and it felt great, at least for me!! I came home and did that strength I had shoved off from Friday. And then I did the yoga also scheduled for today. Whew! That was a lot and lesson learned, putting off a chore just means you will have MORE to do later. :)
The yoga was kind of funny. My brat of a husband, instead of making himself useful and doing ANYTHING while I was doing yoga he watched me. Unfortunately for me, today was the most challenge routine I've ever tried. It utilized Crane pose quite a bit....I cannot do Crane, but I tried to the best of my ability each time. Here is Crane for those of you thinking "what the heck is Crane pose.
Like I said, can't do it, what I did was put as much weight on my elbows as possible while staying grounded and that was hard enough. This routine also used Warrior 3. Once or twice I was afraid I was going to fall into the t.v.! Here is Warrior three... (photo from Fitsugar.com)
My dear husband was kind enough to keep track of the fact that I fell 3 times during this routine. 3 times!!! The first time was the most spectacular, and a good example of why I do yoga at home!! Going into a simple crouch (do it all the time) I lost my balance and fell right on my keester. Hard. That was embarassing... Once was while "doing" crane. I wasn't balanced on my hands right and fell forward. The last was during Warrior three. While moving forward into the pose lost my balance again, but simply put my foot down and managed to only tip to the left a bit instead of totally losing it and falling over. One of the reasons I love to do yoga is becasuse it helps me develop balance I don't naturally have-lol!! I guess I found a good routine to help me with that-lol!!! It was a fun sequence and I was definatly worked by the end of it!! I did have to laugh when the narrator on the video said shortly after my first fall right on my bum that it is okay to fall because it is part of the routine!! Yes, that made me feel better-lol!! I am such a clutz I am used to landing on my behind, I took mock offense at my husband keeping track though...I mean really!! :)
Now I really must get on with the rest of the day...the first week of FFIT was a success and I will be planning week two later on tonight or tomorrow as the case may be...
Thursday and Friday:
Water: Done and Done
Exercise: Done and Done, even though I finished Friday's exercise today we got it in...it's all good.
Calorie Differential: Thursday: -1,272 Friday: -1,102
Starting weight for the week: 272
Ending weight for the week:268
Loss/Gain: Loss of 4 pounds!! WOW!! I know at least some of that was bloat that went away by drinking all my water. Next week we'll see what happens :)!!
Thursday, December 02, 2010
This morning I had the most awesome run!!! It was a beautiful morning. Crisp and clear and not TOO cold. Last week and earlier this week it has been downright frigid. Cold enough to cause frost and freeze moisture on sidewalks, small puddles, etc. My poor eggplant withered up overnight and my poor, poor bouganvilla is fighting for its life!! It has weathered two winters already with absolutely no problem, but it has quite a few withered branches now, but there are enough healthy ones left that I have hope for its survival. Anyways, it has been really too cold for this So. Cal. Gal to feel comfy running outside in the pre-dawn as we normally do-lol!!! Today was back to quite cold but not frigid, so really, perfect winter running weather. The sky was perfectly clear with tons stars twinkling merrily like Christmas lights. When we started it was dark, but the dawn began to break and watching the sky lighten was so much fun. The best part was NO SORE SHINS!! Today's run was truly wonderful. I've been doing squats and calf raises and I think that is making the biggest difference for me. I could be wrong, but that's how it seems. Cutting back the mileage could have something to do with it too :). I also got my scheduled yoga in for the day-yay!
Struggling today with food a little, I am still obtaining negative differentials and staying in my calorie limits, but as the week goes on it is getting harder to stay in range. It does not help anything that my husband made chocolate chip cookies last night!! Ugggh!! I had budgeted for dessert last night since we were kicking off our holiday story time, but staying away from the bowl full of delicious, scrumptious, perfectly cooked (meaning not baked until crunchy, but left on the soft side) chocolate chip cookies has been a challenge!! I had ONE cookie today and I'm not having anymore. I found out the casserole that I THOUGHT was relatively healthy is actually very high in fat due to the amount of hamburger in it. DANG, I had it for dinner last night and then dug in for lunch today and it kind of killed the rest of my day. I will try it next time with half the meat to see if it is still yummy. I am considering trying it with beans or lentils, I'll have to think about it. I didn't give up even though the day could have been shot, I changed the menu from what I was going to make to spaghetti. I can still have a decent serving and stay in range. Yippee!! Yay for spaghetti!! lol!! I needed more carbs and less fat so it fits in perfectly for today :)!
So, tomorrow is another busy day...tomorrow we go to see a Christmas Parade. We are kind of excited because it is an electrical parade and it is at night. I am planning a picnic for dinner so we can see the parade and still have dinner without eating at 4:00 p.m. Tuna sandwiches (which happen to be my son's favorite) and potato chips. I have already planned breakfast and dinner to see how the day is shaping up and even with indulging in some chips I'll be fine tomorrow. I just need to finalize my plans for lunch...no casserole-lol!! Thinking some vegi soup might be in order.
So the first week of Project FFIT is rolling along and doing well so far. To this point there haven't been any major glitches. Sunday might be interesting though...friends have invited us for dinner. Can't really plan too well for the unknown....Luckily Sunday mornings are usually so busy I don't have time to eat a big breakfast so I should have PLENTY of calories left by the time dinner rolls around :)!
So, until tomorrow...
Project FFIT for Dec. 1st
Exercise: Walked for cardio and did strength training-DONE
Water: Drank all 64 oz-DONE
Calorie Differential: -765
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
I keep meaning to blog earlier in the day, but it isn't happening. Yet. So yesterday was a great run. Then the rest of the day got BUSY!! I went out visiting with a friend and then in the evening a bunch of ladies from church got together for a "class" on making candy. Two ladies showed us their recipes for holiday faves. One showed us Almond Roca and the other a REALLY easy, but REALLY rich fudge. I might make it because it is so easy and I won't want to eat more than one piece because it is so rich-lol!! I ate 2 pieces of fudge (one peanut butter and one chocolate) and 2 pieces of Almond Roca (an english toffee with almond in and on top of the toffee) AND (this is an important "and") I STAYED IN RANGE!! Mostly because I didn't eat a real lunch. That kind of happened on accident, but kind of on purpose. I knew there would be samples to be had at the class so I didn't want a heavy lunch to allow for those tastes. The other part was the afternoon got so busy that once I was ready to eat something it was nearly dinner time so I grabbed a small amount of popcorn to tide me over until dinner. I then narrowly avoided distaster when my husband swapped my mostly healthy casserole for mac and cheese. I got distracted and didn't get my dinner assembled in time so hubs took over and instead of assembling the casserole broke out the mac and cheese. I measured though and ate only what I thought would fit into my plans. I was still scared to come home and enter the candy and was quite thrilled when it still worked out.
Overall, I would recommend planning your day better than I did, but going light on a meal when you know there will be snacking later is a valid technique for staying in range. Remember that during this holiday season...when there will be plenty of chances to snack. I was very proud of myself for passing up a differnt flavor of fudge that I did not taste at all because I knew three pieces would definately be TOO MUCH. I was also proud of myself for not going back to the Almond Roca tray and scarfing down half of it when our hostess BEGGED us to eat more and not leave her family with so much Roca. I let other women do her that favor-lol!! I could EASILY have eaten more. But, two pieces had given me enough to be satisfied. I am going to have to keep fighting to have that restraint later in the month!! :)
This morning was Pasteries with the Principal. At the start of each month the Principal and Vice-Principal hold a meeting for parents to come and become more informed about what is going on in school. It has proven to be a great resource and I am very impressed with the Principal for doing this. Last year was her first year as principal and it is obvious she is more settled in now and I love the chance to go and share my concerns and learn about what is on their agenda in a small, intimate group. So far there have only been a handful of parents at each meeting and it tends to be the same ones each time. They throw out some pasteries and coffee and water and so far there have been door prizes. Last meeting I came home with a travel cup and this month I came home with really cute binder clips. I am a sucker for office supplies. One of the funnest parts of my old job was stocking the office supplies-lol!! I love a unique or cute office supply!! My use for binder clips? I use thumb tacks to tack them to the wall and then hang my kids' art work, projects, whatever and my fitness plans from them!! So, anyways this morning at Pasteries with the Principal....of course there were quite a few tasty looking items to select from. But, I got a bottle of water (no cream, no sugar-lol!!!) and ONE, SMALL, chocolate filled pastery thingy. The outside was basically the same crust as a cherry turnover, but really small and filled with chocolate. Just one and I was satisfied!! Again, I could have EASILY eaten a whole bunch of these little buggers, so yummy, and I hadn't had a real breakfast (mistake), but one tied me over until I got home and had a real breakfast. I am learning that I really CAN be happy with just a taste of something I want. These initial holiday events are great training for what is coming later in the month!!
I was putting event in my phone calendar and this month is BUSY!!! Tomorrow is the school's awards assembly-my son is getting a reading award so we are going. Friday is the Christmas Parade we are going to (an electic lights parade in a neighboring town that looks like so much fun). Saturday the kids have a church activity (the reason we are NOT attending our town's Christmas Parade). Sunday is church and dinner at a friend's house. Monday through Friday the PTA is doing an ornament sale at school. The kids bring their pocket money and can pick out their own ornament for themselves or a family member for $1. I will be assisting with that on several days. Thursday Santa is coming to the school in the evening and the kids get to do Christmas crafts. And then the Saturday after all that (Saturday next week) is my friend's ornament exchange. Somewhere in there I have to exercise and finish the 16 owls for that party. OH MY GOSH!!!!! I cannot believe how full my schedule just got!!! Oh and then the 19th I am giving the lesson in Relief Society (church's women's group) so I also have to plan a lesson. Each night, as a family, we are singing a Christmas song and reading a Christmas story before bed (my bestest girl friend gave us this neat book when we first got married. For each night starting the first and ending the 24th there is a Christmas song (hymns and secular) and a story (like Gift of the Magi, etc-fun stuff).
Are you all tired yet? Because I am!! I'm gonna be burning calories just running all over creation between now and Christmas (not to mention all the projects I have to finish and wrap before the big day). This is going to be FUN!! Actually, I think it will be fun as long as I stay on track...I can do this!!
So, I am wrapping this up now and going to sew eyes on owls because I was supposed to do that last week and I didn't!! Here is the wrap up from Tuesday
Exercise: Hill run and stretching-DONE
Water: Drank it all-DONE
Caloric Differential: -1121
Now I owe myself a half hour reading-lol!! I'll fit that in tomorrow after I run and do yoga and before I go to the awards assembly. Maybe I can even stretch it to an hour since I accomplished everything today too (post that tomorrow) and will then owe myself 2 half hours-lol!! Hmmmm.....this will work, this will work, this will work. Yes, starting to believe it...I'll probably have another running dream tonight like I did last night, my sub-concious telling me to speed it up a little-lol!!
Happy trails all!! Hope your holiday season is off to a great start!!
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