Friday, December 24, 2010
So, I've been within a 5 lb. window of my basic weight goal for over a year now. I shoot for 126-127 and sometimes I'm a bit lower and sometimes a bit higher. It depends a lot. My measurements also waver a bit - sometimes my waist is 26˝ (yay) and sometimes it's more like 27.5˝ (boo) but I know that's usually due to sodium, hormonal stuff, etc. rather than real weight gain or loss.
Honestly, these numbers are so fleeting. They really only tell you about your body as it is *right that second*. A lot of the swings are due to fluid retention, how much food is in your stomach, whether or not your muscles are being repaired (and holding water) and hydration levels.
I know this. I can talk about it and sound like a sensible human being.
I'm not, though. I'm experiencing some mild (and sometimes not so mild) signs of disordered eating - mostly in my thought about calories in and out and exercise. I didn't really experience this until I started the process of maintaining. When I was losing, I wasn't feeling like this. I'd get a little weird if I ate too much and went over my calories for the day or didn't hit my burn for the week, but I didn't completely break down and lose my shi! over it. Not like I do now, at least.
I am thinking about what I'm allowed to eat and the exercise I have to do 95% of the time. I worry about my weight constantly. I stress about burning enough calories when I work out. If something prevents me from working out I feel like I don't deserve to eat anything but my bare minimum amount (around 1300). I feel like a failure if I go over the low end of my calorie range. I don't really consider it a range, most days. Most days it's a game to see how close I can get to exactly that low range number... how few calories more than that I can take in. I feel pleased when I hit it exactly - bummed when I'm more than 50 calories higher than the minimum.
When I eat things I haven't planned I beat myself up - literally and emotionally. I scream at myself for being so weak, for being a fat stupid failure who's going to pork back up again. For not just controlling my self and not being such a stupid cow with a grazing mouth. I feel like I'm slipping whenever I relax.
The thing is, it's mostly mental. I think that I should be working out more/harder, eating less. I should be doing this or that. But I don't. I've been eating and exercising moderately and my clothes still fit the same. My stomach varies day to day (sometimes it looks good, sometimes flabby) but I generally feel pretty stable in my size. That said, the real pain is between my disordered self saying "eat less, move more, fat cow, getting fatter, eat less, you suck!" and my behavior being healthy. Whe I'm working out like normal I'm eating 1600-1800 a day, which is low to mid-range in my calories. I'm sometimes hungry but I'm not ravenous or starving feeling. I don't lose loads of weight, I haven't really lost anything much lately.
So, this disordered me is going "eat less, move more, be smaller" and my brain is saying "eat and exercise moderately, maintain your health." The brain is winning and that ticks the disorder off(!) and causes this crazy rift in my mental state. I feel BAD for Not doing what I know is Not Healthy or Good For Me. I feel bad for eating more food and not killing myself with overexercising. I feel bad that I'm not doing what that disorder brain is demanding. I feel like a failure for daring to eat more, for daring to take two or three rest days a week if I need them. For doing an easy workout a couple times a week in addition to harder ones.
This week is my post-marathon recovery week. I hate it. I hate how I feel. I know I should be recouping. I know that in the last nine weeks I've raced two marathons, raced a half and run a number of long training runs (14, 16, 20) in cold, unpleasant, rough weather. I know that I've got niggling injuries from doing so much to my body and I need this time to start healing. I KNOW that. But I still feel like a failure. I haven't done any exercise since Sunday's marathon. Nothing. The voice in my head is screaming at me right now just since I wrote that down. It makes me panic a bit to have been so lazy for so long. :( I haven't even really been doing stuff around the house - I just feel so wiped out and blah. Nothing seems important so I'm just laying around with my feet up. :/
I'm eating relatively low calorie (1400ish?) since I set my info to hardly any calories burned via exercise (really, it should be none and my daily calories should be lower but I'm not willing to do that) right now. Since I have to rest, I can't eat like I'm working out. I have to just cover my bases for BMR and eat a tiny bit lower to avoid gaining while I'm healing.
I've been frustrated to the point of tears twice lately. Wanting food but feeling like nothing I want is "allowed" within my current range.
I hate this.
I'm better currently than I've been in the past. I've had some really rough times in the past couple months - disordered brain peaked for a while there and I had a number of total meltdowns - but it's still rough. No one really mentions that maintenance might be even harder than losing - or, if they do, it's worded more about the physical. No one talks about the emotional turmoil of maintenance. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking I should cry you a darn river - here I am at my goal weight, "thin" and where so many would like to be - but it's true. Your brain can be the most cruel thing on this earth. And being a formerly fat person in a now less than fat body is like visiting a strange country where you don't know the language or the culture. And the natives can be cruel or even deadly if you misstep too much.
I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not sure I'm improving my mindset.
Being able to talk about it at all is probably a good sign that things are getting better. At my worst, I wouldn't ever admit to this. At my worst I was in denial and would have said I was fine, never better, totally cool.
I'm angry, though. I'm angry that I'm thin now and I'm more at war with my body than ever. Being thinner and STILL not perfect is hard. You keep going "maybe perfection is five pounds away? Maybe ten? If I lose more, do more, will my stomach finally look like hers? Am I so close to a body like in the movies/magazines/etc. but since I'm stopping here, I'll never know that?" The impulse is to keep losing, see how small you can go, how low that scale can drop, how small those pants can get.
All this is why my tracker is gone. I need to STOP focusing on these relatively arbitrary numbers on the scale and focus on how I feel and my health, rather than my appearance. I need to start judging myself like I'd judge another person. I don't know their weights, I don't feel that they have to weigh a certain amount to have worth or be attractive. I just take them at face value. How people take me.
No one can tell if I'm having a "fat" 128 lb. day or a thin 125 lb. day. It's just not visible to most normal humans. In addition, I don't know why that gain happened. It could be water, food, TOM, time of day... my weight fluctuates all day. The weight I am on the scale is one frame in a film full of them. It tells me nothing about worth or success or value - it tells me what my body, at that second, weighs. Nothing more.
Honestly, it's not a piece of information that's very useful.
If I feel like I look lean and then weigh in higher that ruins my day. If I feel like I look pudgy and then weigh in with a loss, I feel better. This is wacky.
I'm going to focus on how I feel and my health, how my clothes fit, what my body can DO rather than focusing on how small I can make it look. I have a soft belly, toned arms and legs, slim hips, graceful shoulders - this is a healthy, strong woman's body. It isn't worth less due to not having a six pack or fitting into a size 0. I need to keep that in mind.
Not sure how I'm going to handle the disordered brain/voice. It makes me miserable and, honestly, should be taken care of. I'm not sure I can do it alone - I might be looking into therapy to try and get a better grip on that. As it stands, I'm usually a few seconds away from swinging into bad brain space. I feel it, even now, right on the edge of my conscious mind. Too much food. Can't believe you haven't exercised this week. Loser. Failure. Fatty. Slipping...
Things more folks should talk about, IMO.
We need to know we're not alone. Just saying "maintenance is hard" isn't really admitting that it can feel more like an ED than losing ever did. It glosses over some genuinely bad bits - how to get this brain and this body, as it is now, to mesh? How to stop chasing after perfection and how to stop hating yourself? Why is it never enough?
Sunday, December 05, 2010
So, I read this great blog at http://www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com. Katie is pretty awesome and comes up with fab recipes. I made her protein-y brownie batter pancakes this morning, for instance. I did a couple alterations (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-det
ail.asp?recipe=1351619) and ate a huge 10 pancake serving for 320 calories, 20 grams protein! YUMMO.
Anyway, that's not the point.
The new thing that I'm into is agar pudding! It's so cheap, low calorie and filling.
The basic recipes is this:
10 oz. milk of choice (I use unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze - 40 calories a cup!)
3/4 tsp agar powder (get it at asian markets for super cheap)
Put the agar in the milk and slowly bring it to a boil. Simmer a couple minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly on the stovetop and then put it in the fridge. It will gel up and chill in about 30 minutes or so. It'll actually set faster but I like to let it get a bit cool, too.
Once you have the agar/milk combo set dump it into a food processor, blender, magic bullet, Ninja, etc.
Add the following:
Stevia (or sweetener or choice) - I use about 19-21 drops which is the equivalent of about 2 tbs of sugar sweetness. The agar is flavorless and my milk has no sugar so it needs a bit more. If you use sweetened milk, you can do less (or no) added sweetener.
2 tsps of extract of choice (I've done butterscotch, vanilla, coconut, caramel... all good)
About 1/4 c. water. Start with 2 Tbs and add more if needed.
Blend blend blend. If it's not smooth enough, add more water.
It'll be sort of fluffy and smooth when it's good to go. Taste and see if you need more sweetener.
Transfer to a bowl and pop in the freezer so it gets good and cold. NOM.
Since agar, stevia and extracts are non-caloric it's basically like drinking a big cup of almond milk (with all the vitamins and minerals, protein, etc.) only you get the satisfaction of actually eating solid food. It's only 50 calories for my version and I feel MUCH more satisfied than if I'd just taken in those calories as a beverage!
Katie's original recipe is here:
She says the base makes 2 servings, and it might if you're using a decadent milk (like Westsoy's seasonal chocolate peppermint or Silk Soy Nog) but with the Almond Breeze, I feel totally justified in eating the whole bowl. ;)
Give it a try. :)
Monday, November 22, 2010
Yeah, I didn't forget.
I should have written this while it was still fresh and I was on the marathon high! I sort of hit the post-marathon doldrums and lost all motivation for pretty much everything.
So, I'm going to try to do this as best as I can(!) and see if I can capture some of the marathon high again for just a little bit. We'll see!
POINTLESS TRAVEL STUFF YOU CAN SKIP!
Race was in Mankato, which is a couple hours from my stomping ground in St. Paul. I did an early morning shift so we could leave in time to get to Mankato for the packet pickup and expo. Checked my bags about a billion times, fed the critters and hit the road. Pretty sure I conked out on the drive as I'm am prone to doing. ;)
We found our hotel and checked in and then it was off to the expo! Really small little guy (compared to TC marathon expo - which is a MONSTER) but Aaron and I dug through just about every headband that Bondiband had until I found one that mentioned marathons! I wanted a 26.2 one but settled on "virgin Marathoner". Yeah, I know. It was pretty funny to me, too. But I'm a dirty dirty weirdo.
Super hungry at this point - time to eat some carbs! I'm a little jumpy about GI stuff so I wanted to find safe food. Stuff I've eaten before and know will not rise from the bottom of my stomach to wreck unholy vengeance upon me come race day. I had my heart set on vegan pizza from Papa John's. I could eat breadsticks! For a GOOD reason! LOL. GPS insisted no Papa John's even though I GOOGLED it, darn it! Vegan food was not plentiful in Mankato so I checked my pre and post race options well before we left. Decided to head to the hotel and see if they knew if PJ's was around. Lo and behold, we spy a PJ's delivery truck while heading back to the hotel. This made me happier than is cool to admit. ;)
Unpacked my stuff and obsessively prepared my race stuff. Pinned on my number, attached my chip and laid out all my clothes. Prepped brekkies for the morning (raw chia overnight oats with almond milk, pumpkin and cinnamon) since I was, once again, all about safe food! Ate loads of pizza and watched a couple (too many) episodes of Dead Like Me on lappy. Went to bed a bit later than expected but not too bad!
Got up on time without too much trauma. Two alarms on our phones plus wake up call, FTW. Got dressed, feeling absolutely SICK with nerves. Put on my awesome Team Vegan shirt (back says "Go Vegan Go!") Ate (most of) my VOO/chia blend. Had a banana and some water. Went potty as much as humanely possible. See above re: GI issues phobia!
Headed downstairs to catch the shuttle to the start line. It is dark and spitting rain. Yay.
The start is PACKED. This is a small, inaugural race but the Half peeps and Full peeps are starting together. I think this is cool now. Later, I will hate them and their being done when I still have 13.1 miles left to run. Jerks. ;)
It's dark! And still rainy!
But I'm smiling. I'm cold, mind, but I'm SMILING and cold!
The sun starts to rise as we mill about...
And mill about...
Then we are off!
As chance would have it, my pacer is a gal I've had pace me before. :) She's pretty rockin'. Becca says she'll pace us to mile 10 where our second pacer will join us. Becca will then split off at 13 and leave us with our second gal (who's name I forget - Lori, I think.)
I love running with a pace group, btw. I've done it a few times now (three times with Becca! She paced me at the Monster Dash Half the next weekend after the Marathon...) and it's so nice to feel like you have a group that's pulling for you and totally sharing the experience. Plus, it gives you someone to talk to! I had my iPod "chicklet" but I never turned it on.
Nothing much of note in the early stages. I was running with a gentleman who was running after a huge weight loss, with a pacemaker and after back surgery! He was being filmed for the news(!) so whenever we saw the cameras we all teasingly called Don to make sure he got close to us so we'd be on the news, too (and we WERE!)
Mile five and all smiles...
Around mile 7 or so my quads started to seize up. Not painful, just tight. I shook it out but didn't want to stop and stretch for fear of losing my pace group. In hindsight, I should have stretched! The legs didn't let go for the rest of the run. :/ Pacers would say things like "this pace should feel easy to you, still. You should be feeling no pain right now." Eep. I swallowed back some serious dread on those words. My legs felt heavy and tight and clenched - pre pre-charliehorseish. Before it gets painful. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Mile 15, looking like I'm fresh as a daisy.
Legs are like marble slabs, though. Still, the dread is gone and I'm able to mostly enjoy the day. The cloudy rainy cold badness is gone and it's a lovely day for running. Not too cold or hot, not humid or windy. Just cool enough and no beating sun. Score.
I'm going to take this minute here to give MAD PROPS to my awesome boyfriend. That man drove all around the city of Mankato to meet me at mile markers. He was at the start, mile five, 13, 15, 19 and I think 21? plus the finish. He brought me coconut water cans, medjool dates (when I realized there actually were NO carbs at any of the water stops! NONE! and my supply was low in my belt) and his smiling face and cheering. He even got some other people to cheer for me by name at mile 19. :) He's awesome and I appreciated his support so much. Yay Aaron.
Around mile 19? we hit a HUGE downhill. Steeeeeepppp. My tight quads HATED this hill. Everyone around me was like "yay!!!! downhilllll!!!" and I'm going "*bleeped for expletives* this downhill *bleep*... ow ow ow". My legs are getting tighter as time goes on and I'm feeling worried again. I do not want to cramp up. I'm determined to stay with my 5 hour pacer to the bitter end! I will triumph. But owwww.
Pacer Lori gets me talking about the rat kids for mile 19-20ish and I'm blessedly unaware of my legs as I talk about them and their adorableness. :) We trade tofu recipes and I do a refrain of my "being vegan is so awesome and man, do I love food!" song that I love so much.
Still smiling at mile 20. I'm obviously mental by this point. Why am I smiling? Poor Jeremy next to me looks so tired. :( I went oooohhhh, when I saw this pic of him! I feel like he looks.
At this point Aaron informs me that there are goats coming up. Goats? What the heck? Did he say GOATS? AM I GOING CRAZY?! It was mile 20. My sanity is at low tide, people. And yeah, I think he just actually said goats.
And then there were goats!
We went through a petting zoo(?) type deal. No sooner did I see the goats (and say a very enthusiastic hello) did roosters start crowing in the next pen. Then the cows saw me and started to moo. I was JAZZED. I started informing the cows and chickens that "yeah, I'm Team Vegan! I'm running for you guys!!" *thumbs up to barnyard critters* *barnyard critters go ape and moo and crow like rockstars!* I take this as them cheering, thank them, and keep going. As soon as I'm out of the zoo area, they go quiet again. Best part of the run.
I am on a farm animal cheering section induced high for the next two miles.
Things don't get dire until mile 25. My pacer and I are now alone. All the boys have dropped back behind us. Lori tells me we're way over pace. We've got a 2 minute buffer. She waves me on and tells me to go go go and beat her. I can come in under 5 if I keep the pace. My legs are concrete encased in fire rolled in fire ants. And they are mad fire ants. I keep going.
It is at mile 25 that my body declares it's So TOTALLY Done. That last mile is the longest mile I have ever run. I keep looking for the mile marker for 26. SURELY it must be soon? SURELY!? I mean COME ON!!! I am nearly in tears, I'm exhausted. I see the marker! Hooray!
And then... the worst! That .2 miles is the killer, my friends. They don't tell you that part. That .2 can break you. Worse, I had to turn TWO corners before I could see the finish and the masses of cheering people. I find some fuel in the tanks left to do what feels like a sprint (but might be a slightly faster zombie death shuffle, my perspective is skewed!).
I sob as I get my medal and shirt and get asked by 52 race people if I'm okay. I'm not sure if I'm crying with pain, relief, pride or some crazy hybrid of all of them. I drop my banana while trying to open it with shaking hands. I cry more. I get a new banana. Still crying.
I find Aaron and realize my legs are broken.
I can't even lift my knee enough to clear a curb without help! I decide I DO want my shiny space blanket, after all. It's so iconographic! I want that! I wince my way back down the curb and get my blanket.
Back to all smiles (I'm not moving so my legs don't want me to die at the moment).
I cheer some of my fellow pace group people in, drink some coconut water and eat some carby foods. Then it's off to the car (slowly) and into the car (slowly). I find that I have to freefall into the car seat and then move my legs into the car using my arms. They are broken and will not move.
Off to Panera for a big bread bowl. Haven't had but two of these in the last year (first one was after my 20 mile training run). Thumbs up for carbs and ear to ear grins (I'm sitting, so my legs don't want me to die at the moment.)
Then we hit the grocery store for vegan ice cream, cookies, stock up on my favorite PB2 (defatted powdered peanut butter!) so I don't have to order online and get some car munchies. Head home - call mom and dad and my bestie, HEZLIZZIE, checks in with some support and love. :) I am tired and thirsty and still ravenous. I eat and drink and snooze and wince.
I am a marathoner.
Home for a hot shower complete with Lush adzuki bean peppermint massage soap - tingly! - and liberal tiger balm. I can lift my leg enough to get into and out of the shower. This is progress.
My friends Scott and Abby are waiting for us at their home with homemade pizza, two types of vegan apple pie and lots of congratulations. :) We have a great night and a fun time. I can barely move but I'm happy.
I have to walk downstairs backwards for three days, don't gain the ability to swing my legs into the car for two days and get sore shoulders from using my upper body to raise and lower myself onto the toilet, couch and any other seat. My toenail is a goner.
I'm a marathoner.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
I am SO sick of seeing Spark shill for this absolutely atrocious company.
Yes, this will be a vegan/AR post. If you don't want to read it, please back click rather than read and leave po'ed comments. You were warned. I do hope, however, that most people will want to know rather than just ignore it because it makes them uncomfortable...
Full disclosure, I don't like ANY egg producers and if I could wave a magic wand and take one animal based food out of the human diet, I'd pick eggs without hesitation. Yes, eggs before meat. Eggs even before veal. I don't support "cage free" eggs... I support egg-free diets. Even cage free birds are crowded, debeaked, force molted... and the hens for cage free eggs come from the very same hatcheries as their battery cage brethren.
Those same hatcheries were involved in the bad press recently when the general population was shocked to hear (from the United Egg Producers, themselves, even) that male layer breed chicks were killed upon birth by being ground up in wood chippers or tossed into plastic bags/dumpsters and left to suffocate or starve to death.
"Cage Free" eggs are a bandaid. It's a largely meaningless term that doesn't come close to meaning what the average consumer thinks it does. You think cage free and you see Old McDonald's farm with a happy flock of hens guarded by a cocky rooster pecking in a barnyard. Or out in the grass, sunning and dust bathing. You don't think this:
(note the sheared beaks)
Fact: "Cage Free" is an unregulated term. "Free Range" is also unregulated. Producers must have the hens have access to the outdoors. In many cases this means a small door in one wall of the shed that goes into a tiny concrete yard where only a handful of hens could fit. Organic also only regulates the food the hens are given - it must be organic feed: no pesticides/herbicides, no animal by-products. Organic eggs are still laid by confined, debeaked hens 99% of the time. How about pasture raised or small farms? Where do they get their chicks? If it's from a hatchery then the same things hold true for them as the larger factory producers re: male chick disposal. Are they still debeaked? Most of the time, the answer is "yes" to both questions.
But, more specifically, about Eggland's Best...
The company is being cited for false advertising.
Why false advertising instead of animal cruelty? Simple. Chickens (and other poultry - rabbits are included as "poultry" too, btw, which makes so no sense.) aren't covered by the Humane Slaughter Act. What is done to them can't be fought as it breaks no laws(!) Any practice that is "industry standard" (read: whatever most farms do) is not illegal. Even if it's blatantly cruel. Even if we'd be screaming bloody murder if it was being done to companion animals.
It sickens me that Spark would continue to give "Eggland's Best" this advertising.
I understand that a lot of people either don't know about egg production, don't want to know or don't really care but I felt the need to say something and at least offer some information. It's better than just flipping off my monitor or preaching to the choir at home.
I really don't care what folks think about this post or if someone gets upset.
The chickens can't talk so I have to talk for them. A little discomfort in a reader PALES with what the hens go through to put those cheap eggs on so many tables.
Tara asks, "please go egg-free!"
Even starting slowly by gradually reducing the amount of eggs you eat until you can phase them out entirely helps the animals. And, honestly, there are only two items I can't veganize due to them requiring copious eggs - meringues and angel food cake. Which are absolutely not worth hurting hens for, IMO. Period.
Need links to egg-free version of your favorite recipes?
Want help baking without eggs? Note me or comment (or request I do a post) and I will tell you what I know about baking and cooking delicious, egg-free goodies and meals.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Full post later, I'm off to have dinner with friends.
I finished even with my quads feeling like clenched angry baby fists from mile 8 to the finish (yes, seriously. NO idea why!) I finished ahead of my goal, even AND ran uneven splits(!) On legs that felt like death.
They feel worse now, OMG. And other things are starting to sing - knees, etc.
Getting into a car and drive the 90 minutes home = fun.
My thighs are so tight, it's crazy. "Iced" with a really cold water bottle in the car and then took a hot shower once I got home + tiger balm. Gonna do some Arnica, too.
488 overall out of 577 finishers. 57/78 division First Half: 2:30:21 Second Half: 2:27:26
Gun Time: 5:00:31 Chip Time: 4:57:47 Average Pace: 11:22
I feel so proud.
I haz a medal! And a shirt! and a SPACE BLANKET like in the movies. :D
Also, thumbs up to carbs!
Yes, I ate a whole dang breadbowl at Panera. We also shared some coconut milk ice cream, gluten free cookies and I had a frappachino. I burned 2600(!) calories and my body wanted sugar in the worst possible way. I regret nothing! ;)
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