Friday, July 30, 2010
I'm heading north to my parents' house for the weekend. Going to my parents' has always provided certain... challenges for me, diet and fitness-wise. After all, I learned the majority of my bad nutrition habits while living in their house. Things like "there has to be a starch in every dinner" and "splitting an eight serving box of pasta topped with a jar of sauce and well over a pound of ground beef among five people is perfectly reasonable." A couple of months ago my dad remarked how great it was that I was losing weight, then served me two fried eggs, four sausage links and four pancakes! But once I got that surprise out of the way, I was better able to ward it off and it hasn't happened since.
I also learned that family time is TV time from my parents. It's kind of ironic because our TV died when I was a kid and for at least a year, we didn't have one. So it wasn't always the focus of our lives. It just seemed to overwhelm us over the years.
My niece will still be up with my parents, so that may make the weekend more active. She's thirteen, loves swimming and is always up for a walk or a trip into town. If she brought running gear (she was briefly on the track team at her middle school), I may drag her into town to run around the local high school track with me. Regardless of whether she joins me or not, I'm running tomorrow morning. I have a three mile run due this weekend, and have packed accordingly.
Something else I packed- my lunch bag is full of baby carrots, grape tomatoes, strawberries, and banilla yogurt (for dipping the strawberries) to munch on on the drive north. It's about 250 miles of greasy, sugary gas station snacks and fast food restaurants. The more I fill up on the good stuff, the less likely I am to indulge in bad choices (although I confess to a craving for Sonic tots). The one thing my lunch bag doesn't have in it? Lunch!
I'm hoping to get approval from my boss to take next week as a last-minute vacation. I could really use a break. It would be more than staycation, it would be sleepcation!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I just realized that I'm having a craving for "birthday cake." And what I mean by that is cheap yellow cake mix cake and canned frosting. You know the kind of cake I'm talking about. The kind of cake that, if asked to identify the flavor, I would respond "vegetable oil." And the frosting flavor doesn't matter since it all tastes like sugar and can. It's fluffy, but more in a crumbly foam rubber way than delightfully light and tender. That's my (hopefully extremely short-lived) craving.
I should probably explain that I am a total baking snob, at least when it comes to cake. The only cake I don't bake from scratch is carrot. And as for that, give me time. I've got a recipe I'm dying to try out. My chocolate cake uses two kinds of unsweetened cocoa. My strawberry cake owes its flavor and color to crushed strawberries. I once made a cake from a bottle of Guinness, two cups of dried cherries and a boatload of Ghirardelli. I am all over cream cheese frosting, seven minute frosting, Swiss meringue buttercream and ganache. I love to bake. I don't really care about eating the results beyond sampling new experiments.
So here I am, limiting myself to a couple of Tootsie Rolls and a piece of good dark chocolate (every day on that one), and I'm craving crappy cake. Whatever, evil craving. I will defeat you with this surprisingly tart plum and a Kashi granola bar. If you persist in pestering me, I shall resort to sugar free mousse. Now, begone!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I am pretty cranky lately. For one thing, I've got a giant knot in my right shoulder that has been hanging around since Monday afternoon. For another, I'm stretched way too thin. On Monday afternoon, I was struggling to get something done at work, but my resources were just not cooperating. At around 6:30, I started to realize that it was going to work out in any small-ish amount of time and I needed to get to the gym in a hurry if I was going to get in my run. And I was *going* to get in my run. At 5:00, I had told my work friend that I was going to be a while, so I completely understood if she walked out without me. She didn't take me up on that. By 7:00, I was all logged out and packed up, but it took another 30-45 minutes for us to actually get out of the parking lot because she was a) dawdling and b) wanting to talk. I finally had to say, "I need to leave now" so I could get on the road. It takes an hour to get home, so I didn't start my run until about 9:15, which is frankly ridiculous. I was about two minutes from the end of my run when the lights in the gym turned off. It's the gym's version of "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." And believe me, the gym people are on bar time. The clock in the gym is set about eight minutes fast. The one gym guy was hustling people out of the gym while I was on my last lap, so I yelled that down to him (I had the track to myself by that time) and finished up. I asked him about the time discrepancy and he told me that it was to get people out of the building by closing time. Evidently, some people try to really push that. At first, he didn't want to admit that their clock was eight minutes fast, but I think he realized that I didn't believe him.
The late start on my workout led to an extremely late night on Monday. I don't think I really got to bed until close to 2:00 AM. I did sleep before that. I have been falling asleep on the sofa a lot- go figure! I have no idea how long I slept on the sofa, but I think it was about two hours.
Yesterday, I woke up with an icky tummy so I sent an e-mail to my team and went back to bed. I was all set to blame underdone chicken for the stomach ache, but I suspect it was really just getting run down from too little sleep and too much activity. I slept like a cat yesterday. I was awake for about twenty minutes early in the morning (with the alarm), slept from 5:30-9:30 AM, had brunch, watched TV and did a little work remotely. Then I started nodding off, so I took a "nap" which was really sleeping from noon until 7:30 with a small wake-up break to determine that I'd rather sleep than call in for a meeting. I slept for about 11 hours on top of regular sleep. This morning? I still want to sleep.
My project at work keeps getting pushed back, which is great for my stress level, but makes me a bit worried about when I'm supposed to take vacation. I've used 24 hours out of 160. I've got most of it figured out, but I need to use five days between now and December. I mentioned my concerns to my boss and he replied, "There's a lot of year left to use it." Yeah. There was a lot of year at the beginning of the year, too, and I only used three days. And I'm probably going to be busier in the second half of the year than the first. My thinking is, I need to take that week as early as possible so that it doesn't get pushed out along with the project. Ideally, that would be next week. I'm just planning to stay at home, clean, pull weeds and get some rest, so the last minute nature of this doesn't bother me. You've heard of "staycations?" Well, I need a "sleepcation.'
In other developments, I'm running tonight. My knees are still pretty sore from running on Monday, but I'll deal with it. I feel better running than I do walking. Weird. Also, I totally fail at scale avoidance. I weighed myself this morning. Obviously, the scale is too easy to get to. I'm going to try putting it in the linen closet next. For the record, I lost a pound.
Monday, July 26, 2010
As part of my self-prescribed "reset period," I recently decided to cease using my scale until I return from Chicago on August 13. In reality, it's not a terribly long time from now (it's a measly three weeks), but it feels like an eternity. I'm such a scale addict. It's kind of ridiculous. I often weigh myself in the morning pre-shower and at night pre-sleep. So I weighed myself one last time on Saturday morning and put my scale up on its side. I'm hoping that will be enough. If not, I'm putting it someplace inconvenient to get to. My basement, for instance. It's already seeming to whisper in my brain, "Weigh yourself, Jenna! You know you're curious. Just step onto me for a second. It's not really *such* a bad thing to be addicted to..."
Apparently, I have an evil, thought controlling scale.
But the scale and the number it tells me is not important right now. What's important is that I stay consistent with my workouts and sticking with my nutritional goals. Last week was the second week in a row that I got my three runs in. That makes me happy. Hopefully, when I do step on that scale again in three weeks, I will have a lovely surprise. But if it's not the number I want to see, that's fine too.
In other news, my Mom's family picnic was yesterday. Over eight hours at a state park where the main event is lunch. Lunch is the first thing we do, and then there's all-day grazing that coincides with euchre, horseshoes, kids' games, and our crazy boat races. I didn't do any of those events, but I walked all over the place. I wish I'd been wearing my pedometer! I mostly stuck to green salads, veggies, fruit and baked beans for lunch. I also had a tiny scoop of macaroni and cheese, a bit of ambrosia salad and a fairly large piece of chicken (boneless, skinless grilled breast). My primary beverage was the giant pitcher of water I put in my cooler and used to refill my stainless steel security blanket. "Dinner" was not quite as virtuous as I allowed myself to hit the dessert section. Not particularly worried, though. It was a special occasion. I planned to indulge in advance and I was on my feet for most of the day.
Today it's back to the routine: carefully planned meals, lots of water and a run tonight. I may not exactly love it, but I love the way it makes me feel.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Last night I did my second strength training session this week and feel pretty good about it. I figured I was due for a weight increase, so I added weight to the exercises I was doing. I don't think I'm quite ready to do 15 reps for my now-20 pound alternating bicep curls, but I can do 12 with the appropriate amount of strain. I also did three ten minute sessions on the elliptical and experimented with the crossramp feature at one point. I'm curious to see if that really would exercise my butt and calves more when it's set more vertical.
So what I don't like is that even without wearing my heart rate monitor, I know my heart was elevated, I was sweating and I was working hard. Calories were definitely being burned. And yet, when I enter my fitness into the tracker, I only get "credit" for the time on the elliptical. Which leads me to another thing I dislike- my calorie goal and calorie reality are out of whack. I enter how many minutes I expect to do cardio per week and it gives me a calorie goal for the day. It also tells me how many calories to consume. Great! Love it! The problem is, the cardio exercises I choose burn more calories than the tracker expects. For my runs, I burn about 100 calories more than is planned. Half an hour on the elliptical burns more than twice what the tracker plans. Which would normally be a good thing (I think), except I always get that bright red warning message about burning too many calories and how it can send your body into starvation mode and prevent weight loss. Argh!
And I don't know what it's going to do when I start adding miles to my runs and they go from being measured in minutes to being measured in hours. Am I supposed to just figure out the difference between the planned calorie deficit and the actual deficit and just eat more to put some back- but then deal with the nutrition report telling me I went way over my goal for the day? It's a wee bit frustrating.
So, today. Today the plan is make myself an omelet, go to the gym and run for 2.5 miles, do a little shopping, shower, make lemon bars for my family picnic (tomorrow is a calorie minefield), and head to my sister's house to see her family and my parents. I'm debating shower between omelet and run. It seems pointless to shower, get sweaty and then shower again, but I feel stinky. I hate shopping stinky. I'm not a huge fan of shopping sweaty, but I will do it. I just don't want to be the smelly girl. Okay, shower it is!
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