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Kirsti, Delilah, Frankie, Food and Exercise

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today was my cousin Kirsti's birthday, her second in heaven. She would have been 45 today. She died in a solo car wreck on her way to work December 30, 2008. The youngest of my generation, she should not have been the 2nd to go. She left 3 children, two of whom are teens and her baby was not quite 3 and, as I later found out, a wonderful young man who loved her very much.

What I did not know until the end of the day was that my sister had to put one of her dogs down. Delilah, a black Lab, had been part of the family for almost 14 years.

In a couple of days, it will mark a year since my brother's roommate in Afghanistan (they were both on loan from the Navy to the Army) was killed on the base in front of my brother and other members of the team. Someday, I will have to bring flowers to Arlington to honor this young man. Frank L. Toner IV.
His family hurts so badly and, as I told them, their hurt is also our family's. It was just so incredibly close! Thankful I have my younger brother, but the loss of Frankie is as if he were also my brother.

The cumulative grief is hard to deal with, but one does what has to be done. It feels rather automatic.

It was almost funny this morning, though. I had posted on my social page that I was going to honor Kirsti today by wearing a hot air balloon pin and eat cheese. I remembered how we ate cheese, but I had no intention of having any today. It was not on my radar or in my menu. I walked in to put my lunch in the fridge and get my Kashi cereal ready and found someone had brought in a tray of cold cuts, cheese, black olives, lettuce and bread with a note for us to enjoy because it was leftover from a party. WITHOUT THINKING (and that's the scary part), I snagged one olive, a slice of roast beef and a slice of cheese that turned out to be two after I'd removed it. I rolled up the roast beef and cheese and STUFFED it in my mouth! As I realized what I was doing, I saw that I had fallen into an old habit. Shoveling food in my mouth so no one would see. I thought I was past that...

I faithfully logged it in. In a past life, I would not have. Later, all that was left was one slice of cheese and all of the lovely lettuce. I left the slice and took the lettuce!

Last Sunday was my first run, such as it was, and all week, I'd been looking forward to tonight's run. I planned to leave work at a certain time and a senior VP needed something at the last minute. No problem. The stress was hard, but I was happy to assist her. Stress - can I get this done as soon as she needs it and can I do it right? On her heals came two other requests. By then, I felt snarly! I realized I had not gotten to eat all of my lunch and inhaled some while I finished working and rushed out the door.

My run was shorter than Sunday's, which was not my goal! 3/10ths of a mile of run/walk today. I was less winded when it was over. My BF ran with me and kept reminding me to breathe properly. My pedometer had cleared out all the steps just before the run, so I can only guess how many steps I'd had...I was disappointed to miss the data.

Yesterday I got an email from SparkPeople saying it was time for me to transit to the 3rd stage. I am not sure I am ready and commented about it on one of the message boards. A Sparker said I should stay where I'm comfortable and SP Coach Denise said I can switch when I am ready. It's not about comfort. If it were comfort, I would not have started this journey! I am still working to find balance nutritionally and consistency in exercise. So I will stay in stage 2 until I feel this is more integrated into the new me.

I posted a comment on another message board today about exercise. The question was something about what is my attitude about exercise. I said:
This is something I have to do. I don't like thinking about exercise, thinking about making time for exercise. Sometimes I don't like the exercise while I am doing it, sometimes it hurts or is uncomfortable. A few exercises I like, enjoy, look forward to and miss when I can't get it in (walking now, running maybe soon) but I always love how I feel when I've done something! That is progress! This from someone who has spent decades being convinced that exercise is a four letter word that got stretched.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEENTINA 3/26/2010 7:18PM

    I stayed in the stages much longer than I had to also. I was already a team lead and reluctant to move myself to the 4th and final stage which includes guiding others! Someone finally called my attention to the fact that I'd already been doing those things from Stage 4 for months. I do like to really get things down well before I move on as well.

Good luck with your plan. You had the cheese for your cousin after all! It is so easy to take that "free" food without thinking, isn't it? You didn't gorge on it, though.

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NANNER2121 3/26/2010 11:38AM

    Oh my, such a vast amount of sorrow in a few days span. I will keep you in my thoughts and send positive energy your way.

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MEGANC1988 3/25/2010 12:29PM

    emoticon Grief and sadness can easily make us forget about what goes through our head so often now. Good job logging it! I know that feeling of "oh no why'd I do that...do I need to log it? Does it really matter?" And it does, so awesome job!

Running can be so unpredictable, some days you can go forever, other days you can barely make it out the door. On days that you run for longer than you'd expect, take note as to what your nutrition was that day, maybe even make a note in your nutrition or fitness tracker, and do the same on days where you don't run nearly as far, you may see that the good days there's something in your diet that really works.

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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 3/25/2010 12:59AM

    Hang in there. You had a tough day, but it really sounds like all your good habits are paying off. Today was stressful, but you were mindful of what you ate, logged it in, and then had the lettuce. You might not have gotten in the run you had planned, but you didn't give up..you went and did your exercise. Be proud of your accomplishments! It is hard to stay on track when we have emotions weighing on us, but you are doing it!

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VICD25 3/24/2010 11:18PM

    Juneau, what an emotional day for you. Hugs go out to you.

FYI, I to have received the e-mail moving me to stage three, but have elected to remain in stage 2 for a little while longer. I feel the need to cement those 6 strategies a little firmer.

Thanks for reminding me to go back and review those strategies. (I just looked at my nutrition tracker and noticed I popped a couple of breakfast sausages in my mouth without thinking. Hmm. . .like you, at least I logged it in.)

Congrats on the run. Every step you take is one step closer to a healthy life. I'm impressed that you are running. I HATE running!

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Comment edited on: 3/24/2010 11:49:01 PM

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Day on Auto Pilot

Monday, March 22, 2010

I didn't want to get up this morning, which, in my new SP life is new. I went to work and quickly realized that I was tired. I had already had coffee, I had already started water and had breakfast and still could not get the brain in gear. I grew more and more tired, more and more foggy until I took a break by taking a short snooze in my car. When that did not work, I took the rest of the day off as sick time and came home. I slept for over an hour, maybe 2.

Then it was off to school to turn in my final exam and extra credit essays. Between work and school, I got in over 9,3xx steps and covered 3 miles. I've decided I might be having a reaction to the Acyclovir. Every time I take one, my stomach starts to feel terrible and I'm supposed to take 5 a day! Forget that!

I had a great dinner and ended the day within range in most areas (low in calcium and fat). I did some upper body free weight work. I know I need to do more...

Stress can trigger shingles and my having taken more time off as sick time is going to add to that stress. But I was not earning my pay and felt it dishonest to sit there...

Off to bed with the hopes that tomorrow is much better. (Be quiet, brain! The grades won't be posted until next week...)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGANC1988 3/24/2010 2:27PM

    I know the feeling, sometimes we just have days where we drag. Sounds like your day was okay though, and don't let taking leave stress you out, if you had the leave to take then you should be fine!

Are you eating something each time you take your medicine? It may help with the nausea to have a little something with it each time you eat (it may even be a good way to organize your eating schedule).

Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

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KEENTINA 3/23/2010 5:42PM


Sounds like you are "burning the candle at both ends" and needed that rest. Hope it helped! And, tomorrow IS another day! Keep on going!

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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 3/23/2010 12:04AM

    Feel better soon! Hang in there.

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Running - Day One

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This morning started with a cup of Peruvian coffee, a nice light roast. Not one you'd drink when you need a coffee jolt, but great for a Sunday morning. Then I put on my new shorts, new socks, new running shoes and my new sports bra (shirt was not new) and went for a run/walk on the baylands trail.

I envisioned doing the entire path. Before I left the house, I had been on SP and put down a positive affirmation about visualizing a successful run and that I would like it.

Well...I ran/walked for .4 miles. After the first couple of steps, I forgot about the fact that I was wearing shorts (that lady's legs are showing) and I didn't think at all about how I looked except for a fleeting thought as some bicyclists zipped by. I ran/walked long enough that my legs started to burn and I tasted blood in my mouth. (I forgot that when I exercise enough, I bleed. I suspect that has to do with my junior year of college when I had bronchitis for the entire school year - this is not an exaggeration!). Ended with some stretching and all I feel this evening is a slight tightness in the back of my left thigh.

The distance was disappointing, but I felt great! My heart rate stayed up for a while afterwards. I was amazed to realize how much more calm I was and how I felt better able to deal with life's little irritations.

We took a walk on part of the San Francisquito Creek Trail. I wanted to do the entire thing without even knowing how long it is, but turned back when my lower back started to complain. Turns out that we walked 1.2 miles roundtrip
in roughly 40 minutes. Did I say I'm a turtle?

I still have to do some upper body strength training, drink some water and have dinner.

The writer's block did not really go away, but I did finish the two papers I need to turn in for my final exam tomorrow night.

My tracker says I have to burn about 200 more calories today - I guess it reset after I changed my nutritional goals for my 10% experiment, though the reset did not happen that same day. I noticed the tracker does not include the 69 calories I burned on that .4 walk/run. I am completely mystified and a bit discouraged. For me, I have done a lot of exercise today and don't have evidence of it via the exercise tracker.

Lastly, when we were at Costco, I picked up a jar of Maranatha almond butter. I read somewhere on SP this week that almond butter is better for you than peanut butter. I love peanut butter but don't allow it very often. I'm not that wild about almonds, but for health's sake, I thought I would try it.

My snack was a smashed banana and two T of the almond butter. I could not believe how great it tasted! That led me to think anew about how much better food tastes since I launched this journey! It's amazing! The calorie-adding sauces and the cheese, oh, the cheese, bury the taste of the underlying food. I appreciate the subtle flavors more than before. Some of that may be because I know that what I am eating is good for me...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGANC1988 3/22/2010 2:04PM


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NANNER2121 3/22/2010 12:28AM

    You'll find as you go along that everything just comes easier:
the running, the fresh taste of food without all the add-ons, your energy levels and the satisfaction of accomplishment. Wonderful blog on a terrific day. Way to go!

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IXCHEL23 3/21/2010 10:52PM

    Congrats on your first run, you did great! Oh, and banana with nut butters I believe is the perfect combo and great after a workout!! I never tried almond butter let me know how you like it, I LOVE PB.

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COTTRELL11 3/21/2010 10:19PM

    Congratulations on your first run! I hope someday to be writing the same thing, albeit not anytime soon. So thanks for the great inspiration.
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VICD25 3/21/2010 10:08PM

    what a great and healthy day!

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An Odd Day

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thank you, SparkFriends, for your birthday wishes! Most of my family has been silent today.

I had a list of things to do today and did not complete all of them. What I did do was go to SportsAuthority to see about the running shoe sale. I have very short, very wide feet. That severely limits my shoe choices and, as was the case today, means the shoes I can wear are not on sale. But I found a pair of running shoes and, as I was testing them, was reminded that I dare not move without a sports bra! I found one in my size, no small feat (does that count as double entendre?!) and a pair of shorts. I am NOT happy about the shorts, but they were on sale and fit. The shorts are not what I'm unhappy about, it's seeing my legs! Don't think pants of any type will work. I am far too short and I am not about to hem something so I can run in it...As I looked at myself in the fitting room mirror, I had to remind myself that, when I see runners, fit or not so fit, I think "You go, girl!". I'm not saying anyone will say that as this turtle gets moving, but it does remind me that people are more concerned about their own lives than how I look as I continue my journey towards health and being physically fit. At the last minute, my boyfriend decided to get a pair of running shoes so we could run together! I was surprised. He'd said his knees were too bad, but then added, "You won't be running for a while. It will be more like walking fast." Hmmm.

I'm still not in balance with food, but that will change tomorrow. I don't expect the weigh in tomorrow to be wonderful. With my being below in food for 3 consecutive days, not getting my exercise in and today's surprise appearance of TOM, I don't know what to expect...

No matter what, I am not going to beat myself up about it. I'll just start a new week and I will probably do it breaking in my running gear!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 3/23/2010 11:18PM

    Enjoy being out there in you're new gear! you go girl! emoticon

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CARRAND 3/21/2010 7:54PM

    Congratulations on the new workout clothes. You I found after losing almost 40 pounds that my feet are not wide any more. I'm having to get new shoes because some of my old ones are too lose. I don't mind. I love shoe shopping. Good luck with the running. How nice that your boyfriend will go with you.

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LADYIRISH317 3/21/2010 12:22PM

    Sounds like you have a treasure of a boyfriend! Enjoy the new workout clothes.

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KEENTINA 3/21/2010 4:16AM

    GREAT attitude! What I've found with exercise is people are not concerned that you are larger and think that you are trying and making the effort and cheer you for it. The skinny ones are looked at and people think "No wonder she's skinny. She does that all the time." It's kind of a cutdown where recognizing the effort of a larger person is a compliment.

I also know what you mean about pants. I was telling Kat that it was one of the weird things about losing weight - my pants get longer. It becomes an issue of hemming them or buying new ones that actually fit.

Good luck with your running program!

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IXCHEL23 3/20/2010 11:15PM

    That's great you are all geared up to be ready to run! That's nice that your boyfriend said he'll join you. Yes, no matter what happens on your weigh-in there's always a new day and new week!


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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/20/2010 11:08PM

    I can't wait to hear about your running experiences! I'm sure the shorts look fine on you and I can totally relate to short, wide feet and shoe buying difficulties!
I hope you enjoyed your birthday, even with your family's silence. I can relate to that too - my sister-in-law called and apologized for forgetting my birthday earlier this month. It was hard to graciously accept her apology since her birthday is the same day, we've been family for 22 years, and I sent her a card.
Oh, well - family can be challenging!

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BABSRA302 3/20/2010 10:45PM

    Hang in there! If you don't think your weigh in will be good tomorrow then do it the next day and focus on drinking more water, exercise or getting your foods in, then weigh in the next day. I know the scale is important to give us a gage but for me it can also set me in a mood and sometimes it is better for me to put it off for a day. You know your self better than anyone so do what will bring you the most motivation. You are on the right track or you would be here!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/20/2010 10:38PM

    I can't miss your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


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My New Year's Eve

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today was an excellent day! I am not 100% yet, but that does not matter. I didn't have a dedicated walk, but I did a lot of walking throughout the day and used the stairs at every opportunity. The fact that I got winded a little and my legs started to burn did not surprise me, but neither was I deterred.

The day is ending with me being within range for all nutrition except calcium. I have a hard time getting enough because the dairy fat scares me! I have dairy in my cereal and in my coffee, but not often elsewhere. Still striving for balance in nutrition. I was amazed how an apple threw me into "within range" when I was below before I added it to my tracker. Learning...

The medicine for shingles has to be a wonder drug, akin to sulfa drugs and the polio vaccine! I know I will be 100% on Monday.

I had lunch with a friend at KFC. She had a meal that she loves and, while it smelled good, my eyes looked at it and, internally, I was screaming "bad carbs! fat!" I had the grilled chicken caesar salad, skipped the croutons and had about half of the salad dressing packet. And a biscuit. It really sucked up a huge chunk of my nutritional allotment for the day! I think it was a good choice given where we were. Can you believe they don't have mustard? I asked about a grilled chicken sandwich, but it comes with mayo. Even in my unwise eating days, I did not like mayo!

I did a little with my free weights and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could do 25 reps! I started with 10 and had gone to 15 before I got sick. I wasn't sure how this would go tonight and thought I would just try and see. Nice. Baby steps. I read about SparkFriends doing a LOT more than I am and I am envious, impressed and discouraged all at the same time.

I know there is a mental block in addition to the physical limitations for my exercise and I just need to find the key to break down that block! I heard a commercial yesterday from SportsAuthority saying all of their running shoes are on sale. There is one near my house. I am going to walk there (notice I didn't say "go there" which would imply driving) and see if they have something for short wide feet! I am not happy with the little bit that I've lost and I know I need to get more active. I hope my knees can handle running and I won't know until I try. My boyfriend doesn't think I can do it. He wrecked his knees through heavy weight lifting (why do guys think they must look as if their shirts will rip if they flex a muscle?) and running.

I made the mistake when I was a teen of allowing someone else's opinion influence my career decision and I have always wondered "what if?" I cannot allow his opinion to govern my fitness - my life is at stake. If I don't lose this tonnage, I face an unhealthy, unhappy and short future.

Trainer James has been booted off the SP site for violating the SP policies about offsite communications in a competitive manner. I did not fullly understand the email, but I am disappointed. I suspect there is more to the story. He has responded with a continued endorsement of SP. I am saddened because I sensed that he might be able to help me break down the mental barrier I have about exercise.

I have to write two papers this weekend but I also want to read The Spark. I set it aside and need to get back into it. It's right next to my computer, so I am reminded all the time! I want to start the 28 day thing and I would love to start that tomorrow.

Why tomorrow? Why the odd title for this blog? My personal new year starts tomorrow. Hard to believe!

I would be remiss if I didn't thank my SparkFriends for their compassion this week while I've been sick and unable to stay on plan in any way. I feel certain that my SP family's contact kept me from sliding into a journey-ending depression. I love you all and if we ever get to meet in person - hugs all around!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 3/21/2010 12:23AM

    I hope you get better really soon! I am sorry you haven't been well. Good for you for not letting someone else's opinion govern you! You never know what you can do until you try..just take small steps so as not to over do and hurt yourself. I think with your attitude you can achieve any goal you set for yourself...just remember they take time!
You will figure out what is behind your exercise "block" and you will move past it because you are determined!
Good luck on those papers and Happy New Year!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/20/2010 8:11PM

    You are such a fighter. Proud of ya ;) Cheers.


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CARRAND 3/20/2010 5:13PM

    Good for you for resisting temptation at KFC. And for not saying anything out loud to your friend! She'll come around when she's ready. I'm glad you're feeling better.


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MEGANC1988 3/20/2010 12:27PM

    Glad you're starting to feel better!

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VICD25 3/20/2010 11:23AM

    Happy New Year's!

If you want to run, you can run. I say take it one step at a time, though. I've heard a lot about the couch to 5K program. Maybe that's a place to get a start toward your goal.

Good luck to you, enjoy those new shoes!

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MUSIC66 3/20/2010 12:30AM

    hope you get better from shingles soon.

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