Wednesday, February 03, 2010
OK before I get into my update on the raw challenge, I want to share my discovery with you! Cara Cara oranges!
Oh my goodness, was this yummy! And I bought it by mistake! I didn't like the looks of the regular navel oranges and then I found this orange in a different bin, not realizing it was a different variety. Very low in acid, seedless, a pinkish orange flesh... I thought it might be a grapefruit hybrid, but it wasn't. It didn't taste of grapefruit at all! More like a slight berry taste to it. Anyhow, it was absolutely delicious and a perfect way to start the day!
So onto the RAW challenge...
Total bust on Day 1. I had a breakfast of mango, blueberries, and a blood orange (yes, I meant to get the blood orange!) and was doing fine. I actually wasn't too bad without my morning cup of coffee. But I was absolutely freezing! I was really missing my morning oatmeal.
I had a cup of herbal tea, which I think qualified as raw, because it said it was dehydrated at 110F. Well, that failed to warm me up. Finally, I ate a few natural almonds, which are technically not raw, but I thought maybe I needed a bit of protein. My hands were still like icicles. For lunch, I cut up some peppers, avocado, carrots, and celery with a little natural peanut butter dip on the side (also not raw, and I used it sparingly). Still hungry and still cold. I ate some of my dried figs and dates.
By 2pm, I had eaten over 800 calories, which is high for before even my afternoon snack. I was still cold and started to get dizzy and panicky. Finally, I went downstairs to the cafe and got a couple of hard boiled eggs. I instantly warmed up and felt a lot better.
At home, I had some Kashi crackers and cheese before my workout and managed to get up to two miles before I felt spent. After a few strength moves, I went home and cooked some chicken and veggies and called it an early night. I was in bed at 9:30!
So yeah, I immediately felt the effects of switching to raw, even though it was only for 12 hours! This might be more of an experiment for summertime because my body temperature dropped significantly and I couldn't get warm at all despite eating plenty of calories. I felt a little bad for bailing, but I could barely function before I got some cooked food in me!
So I switched to clean eating yesterday, minimizing packaged foods, sugar and flour, and still eating nuts, fruits, and veggies as much as possible. Did an early morning run that was one of my best yet and felt focused and happy, inching closer and closer to maintaining a 12 minute mile. I ended up eating 60g of fiber for the day (twice the recommended allowance) and I felt great. No caffeine withdrawals though I did have a nagging urge for a Diet Coke when I got home from work. And a huge chocolate craving as well. I ate some canteloupe instead and it worked pretty well, though there really is no substitute for chocolate, now is there?
This morning? Caffeine headache. Big time. It might be due to only getting 6 hours of sleep last night because I was working until midnight though. A few ibuprofens seem to have helped, but I'm hoping it subsides by afternoon.
I definitely feel better eating all the fresh produce, even if I do have to cook it!
Yeah, the raw challenge was more to see if I could do it for three days and to spur on my friend (who went raw for a week in the summer) to try a running program. I challenged her to do three days of running in exchange for me to try raw for three days. I never expected to become a raw foodie or anything like that. It was more of a way to force myself to eat the produce that I usually balk at. And on that level, it totally worked.
As you know from my other blogs, I'm a big fan of non-restrictive meal plans. I fit pizza, fries, chicken wings, and wine into my meal plans on occasion. I still believe that. This was more to see... COULD I give up caffeine? COULD I survive without the high sodium foods that plague me? And COULD I survive on veggies and nuts all day?
The answer so far is YES, YES, and NO. I don't know how people can walk around all day on a raw food diet, nevermind have the energy to work out. Also, a friend and I went through the raw foodie team's pages and found PRECIOUS FEW with public food trackers. So I really didn't have much of a clue what kept them going or whether they were cheating. I found one raw foodie with a great meal plan, but it was only about 55% raw and included things like raviolis. Which, yum.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
January had its ups and downs. I started out strong with the exercise and went to a brand new gym and faced a lot of my fitness fears head on: namely, spinning and group exercise classes. But by the end of the month, stress got to me and I had a couple of days when I did not want to exercise at all. There were myriad reasons for that (see recent blogs) and I think I have confronted them. While it looks like I exercise a LOT, and I do, some of my exercise days are merely brisk walks for 20-30 minutes and not full workouts.
This month I'm going to try to get back to basics. I'm starting with a raw food challenge this week that will hopefully jolt me into getting more freggies in my life. I'm going to start a 10K training program. I'm going to drink my water and cut my sodium. There will be a kink in that I'm going on vacation for a week and will have no internet access. I, however, am going to stay on track as best as possible.
29 days of cardio exercise
4 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1,845 fitness minutes
14,926 calories burned
Continued strength training (circuit training and EA Sports Active) 4x week
Ran 4.75 miles on the treadmill without stopping
-Continue to track every single day
Done. Tracking seems to be fairly ingrained into my consciousness now. Daresay that I enjoy it a little? It's nice to know where you stand in the nutrition department, especially with fiber, sodium, and calcium.
-Lose 7+ pounds in January
I lost 6 pounds, my lowest loss for a month yet. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it. Technically, I could weigh in tomorrow and be another pound down and make this goal, but I find that doubtful at this point given sodium intake, TOM, and calories burned for the week. Not too bad, but I would still like to lose 7 pounds each month. To make it to my goal of 199 by April 1, I need to lose 15 pounds by then or 7.5 pounds per month. It's doable, but it may be difficult given that I'm going on vacation.
-1,700+ fitness minutes
I finished with 1,845 so I met this goal!
-Finish 30 Day Shred Level 3
I did this! It was tough, but it was a lot more strength than cardio, which seemed to be less difficult for me than a lot of Level 2. I started doing EA Sports Active and gym workouts more than 30DS this month, which is OK. It is still a great go-to workout if you are in a time crunch.
-Take multivitamin and drink 8 glasses of water every day
I did a lot better with this than I did in December, but I still wasn't there. I probably took my multivitamin 80% of the time and drank my water maybe 60% of the time.
-Finish EA Sports Active 30 Day Challenge
Boo, I didn't do this. I finished most of the workouts, but I didn't complete the challenge. I'll finish it next week.
-Run 40 miles this month
I ran 39.5 miles, so I'm going to consider this goal mostly met. I did most of my running at the beginning of the month. I only ran one day last week and I hated it! I probably could have run 50 miles this month if I had been consistent this last week.
-Find a new gym and do two personal training sessions
I did find a new gym, but it was a one-month membership. I really liked it there and the trainer I found was awesome, but I'm probably not going to join that one. So the search continues... I think I know the one I will join eventually, but we will see.
-Find 10K training program
I've decided I'm going to do the "Spark Your Way to a 10K" training program. It seems to be a good program at about my pace (12 weeks) and a lot like C25K, so I'll give it a go: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
-Keep on trackin' (except for vacation)
-Lose 7+ pounds in February
-Complete raw food challenge and incorporate more fresh fruit/veg in meals
-Eat sensibly on vacation and continue to do something active every day
-1,700+ fitness minutes
-Meet sodium levels at least 5 out of 7 days per week
-Start 10K training program
-Complete 30 day challenges and continue strength training
-Run 40 miles this month
-Actually use my water bottle and use it to measure 8 glasses per day!
22 days of cardio exercise
5 days above calorie range
Tracked 27 days
1225 fitness minutes
11,190 calories burned
Ran 3/4 mile at a time
28 days of cardio exercise
5 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1570 fitness minutes
11,587 calories burned
Began strength training
Ran 1.5 miles at a time
20 days of cardio exercise
6 days above calorie range
Tracked 30 days
1215 fitness minutes
10,831 calories burned
Continued strength training
Ran 2 miles at a time
25 days of cardio exercise
1 day above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1765 fitness minutes
10,163 calories burned
Continued strength training 2x per week
Ran 3.1 miles at a time
26 days of cardio exercise
1 day above calorie range (not counting Thanksgiving)
Tracked 29 days
1635 fitness minutes
13,006 calories burned
Continued strength training 3x per week
Ran 5K outside without stopping!
30 days of cardio exercise
3 days above calorie range (not counting Christmas)
Tracked 29 days
1925 fitness minutes
14,819 calories burned
Continued strength training 3x per week
Ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill without stopping
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I've been feeling very negative the last couple of days which I'm going to blame on my grief over the loss of my cat and my TOM and not having the opportunity to exercise on Thursday and Friday. I got a little oversensitive and upset with people both here and in my everyday life. Yesterday's run really helped me feel better (and yes, it was on treadmill as it was -15F with windchill yesterday!) and realized how important exercise is to my life and my mood swings. But I was a bit burned out, and I did need some rest, even if it means I don't have a great weigh in this week.
Last night we went to a benefit at my cousins' high school and basically it was a lot of raffles and betting on video horse races for prizes. It was a whole lot of fun and just what I needed. Especially since we won two of the raffle prizes! My husband was so excited to get the Superbowl Basket: basically a huge ice bucket with almost 200 bottles and cans of beer (some good stuff too! Heineken, Sam Adams, Shipyard Ale) and about six bags of pretzels, chips, and tortilla chips. Oh my God, it was so funny hauling that thing out of there!
Superbowl party at my place!
Real nice and healthy huh? LOL. Well, there was a counter-balance: I won six free hour-long personal training sessions! So crazy. It was valued at $480, so that is pretty amazing!
Even with last night's festivities, I realize I need a jolt. Almost 8 months here at SparkPeople and I found that I can stay in calorie range 90% of the time and I actually enjoy tracking my food at the end of the day. I've slowly amped up my exercise to a level that I am comfortable with. Where I've been slacking is in the quality of my food and drinking my water. I can stay in my ranges, sure, but it's not really good if it includes a ton of Diet Coke, sodium laden foods, and not many vegetables. For example, yesterday, I don't think I ate ANY vegetables. I had a hot dog and a half a slice of pizza at the benefit, which wasn't too bad, but I just felt crappy. Too much sodium for one day!
Also, I found that drinking my water was a whole lot easier in the summer and fall. I just find myself turning to coffee and tea instead of water these days and I know that I end some of my days feeling dehydrated and nasty.
In the beginning it was more about making small changes and learning how I can eat enough to satisfy myself but still restrict my caloric intake to lose weight. Now, I think I'm ready to eat BETTER. That doesn't mean I'm not going to eat my favorites, but I really want to make non-processed food a bigger part of my diet.
So, starting tomorrow I am doing a RAW challenge!
My friend FLORIDASUN is going to try running and I'm going to try RAW eating this week, basically switching our passions for one week! I'm going to commit to 3 days in and might do more if I'm feeling up to it.
I just got back from the grocery store (where I left my cart for like 2 minutes and the thing was confiscated by the store staff and half my items put away, but that's another story) to stock up on a lot of fresh produce. Usually when I shop for fruit and veg, I get a lot of Steamfresh veggies and some salad supplies because I have a bad history with my produce spoiling in the fridge. But I'm not going to let that happen this time!
So there are red and green peppers, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, avocados, lemons, blueberries, blood oranges, pink grapefruit, watermelon, canteloupe, Braeburn apples, tangerines, tofu, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, dates, figs, prunes, and frozen fruit for smoothies!
I'm excited. Like I said, the month started with a bang and ended with a whimper, so I'm ready to get back on track, even if I am going to be offline for a week in February. I hope doing something drastic like this will get me in the right mindframe for eating halfway decently while on vacation.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I need to amp up the exercise starting today. I aim to burn 3000 calories a week and so far I've only burned 1200. I haven't gone for a run this week either, but I'm going to go for one this afternoon. I desperately need it.
It was a tough week with the loss of a beloved pet and dealing with that after work. My husband and I always joke that Seri was the cat version of me. Fiercely independent but still in need of love, but on her terms. She had a ton of personality. I still expect her to walk into the room as I'm typing this.
I wish people would think about what they write on blogs, SparkPages, etc. I used to be the queen of speaking before I gave it a good thinkover until I did it one too many times and reaped the consequences. I'm glad that people enjoyed my last blog here on SparkPeople, and I think people liked that because it was basically an uncensored stream of consciousness about my thoughts about the weight loss process and how we tend to compartmentalize people into categories. SP kind of perpetuates this by breaking people up into age groups and weight loss numbers as soon as they join. Being "THAT fat" versus "not THAT fat" is one of those things people don't like to speak openly about a lot of the time.
The last blog struck a chord with a lot of people and caused some of them to project a lot of their experiences and or that of others onto my own issues. I think that sharing honest thoughts and experiences is so important here at SP, but to automatically assume that they are applicable to my own life is pretty presumptuous. So share, yes, but seriously? Many of the comments telling me not to give up, get complacent, etc. are from people who have never read my blogs before, visited my SparkPage and certainly haven't spoken with me.
We're all going to have bad weeks. That doesn't speak to our commitment. I'm certainly not giving up just because I express a few qualms about what will eventually be my goal weight.
It's a new month next week. Let's make it count. I'm going to run it out.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
When I stepped on the scale yesterday, I reached 65 pounds lost on SparkPeople. That puts me at more than halfway through this weight loss journey.
I started trying (and mostly failing) at a healthy lifestyle before I found SP on January 26, 2009, a year before yesterday's weigh in. So I am 72 pounds lighter exactly one year later!
Being "halfway there" got me thinking about my ultimate goal and where I am now as opposed to where I started, so if this blog is a mix of mind vomit, I apologize, but I wanted to put it out there.
I've put 150 pounds as an arbitrary number for my goal, though I'm not sure that will necessarily be my endpoint. I may be happy at 170 or 160. I've been over 200 pounds for over 10 years, so I'm not sure what a normal weight will be for me, BMI Calculator be damned. When that time comes, it will all be about what feels right to me and not some magic number. According to the BMI chart, I could be 115 pounds and still not be considered underweight. I think I was 115 pounds in primary school, so that number seems crazy to me!
I restarted my healthy lifestyle last June and that random number of 150 seemed insurmountable. If I wanted to reach 150 pounds as an ultimate goal, I would have to lose 129 POUNDS, more than 46% of my body weight.
Crazy when you put it that way, right? So I set goals and rewards for every 10 pounds lost and set my ticker for 199 as a first major milestone. It would be 80 pounds lost until I joined that Onederland club that everyone is ecstatic to join. Sometimes I'd come across a "Onederland" blog and I'd click on it for some inspiration only to find that the member started at 215 pounds, and I won't lie, it was frustrating.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't begrudge this woman her accomplishment. Heck, every time the scale goes down, it's a huge deal, ESPECIALLY for those people who start at lower weights and the fat doesn't melt off quite so easily. I love my SparkFriends who are in the 100s and are looking to lose that last 10-20 pounds just as much as I love those with 200+ to lose.
But here's the ugly thought that pops into my mind sometimes...
"You're Not THAT fat."
You're not THAT fat, I thought to myself. I feel the same way about the partners on The Biggest Loser. There's one member who's like 400+ pounds on the team and the other one is like 215. And I'm like "C'mon, how can you possibly compete in the Biggest Loser?" I'm basically scorning them for not being in my special fatty club for people who are THAT fat.
How nuts is that?
Well, apparently, at 214 pounds, I'm not THAT fat now. My membership in the fatty club may be revoked. I made a joke about Running While Chunky (RWC) to one of my friends and she told me that "I wasn't that big anymore." Not THAT fat. So apparently I've passed that mystical, magical turnpoint where I cease to be a freak of nature and object of bizarre interest to normal-sized human beings. I'm teetering on the edge of fitting into a Size 14, the high end of the bell-curve of non-plus sizes. On the train every morning, it used to be a game to see if I could find a seat in between two thinner women. If it was next to a bigger guy or girl, I stayed standing. Today I sat between a 6'3" guy with a very "wide stance" and a bigger lady and didn't feel squished.
Being THAT fat has been a part of my identity for so long, it's hard to picture myself moving to a different bell-curve. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it's scary for someone who's never known a normal size.
It's difficult to be THAT fat. Walking, running and climbing were a whole lot harder. There was always a lingering question about whether I'd fit into a ride at an amusement park or someone's lawn chair at a party. I could write a whole blog (and others already have) about how much it sucks to be morbidly obese.
But in some ways, being THAT fat makes a lot of things easier.
It's easy to think that everyone is scornful of you because you're THAT fat rather than some other personality flaw. It's easy to discount certain activities (running, spinning, swimming) because you're THAT fat. It's easy to defy others low expectations of your abilities because you're THAT fat.
It won't be that easy to make excuses anymore.
15 pounds until Onederland. Less than 30 pounds until I bid "obesity" goodbye. It's a whole new chapter for me. And yes, it's a little scary. But I'm up for it.
This blog was initally about the crazy thoughts that go through your mind during the weight loss process. I love the comments because everybody took something different from this blog. Some people stopped in their weight loss because they weren't THAT fat anymore. Others have felt THAT fat at a weight where others feel downright skinny. What's most important is respect and respecting everyone no matter their weight, their losses, and their mindset.
To quote a cheesy Disney musical: "We're all in this together."
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