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No longer an expatriate

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Life has sure changed in the last week. Our two year stay in Italy came to an end and we moved back to Sweden. Of course we chose the darkest, dreariest time to do this, because just the move in itself (with two toddlers in tow) wasn't challenging enough. emoticon

We have been super busy buying new furniture for the kids, organizing clothes, toys books and everything else that makes up the homey clutter around us... Things are shaping up. Still loads to do, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. :)

I have had to worry about my hip as well as all the practical everyday details. On my last run before the move I had excruciating pain in my hip. I hoped that rest would be enough, so I haven't done any exercise (except carrying luggage and assembling furniture) for the past 8 days. The last 4 days have been completely pain free, to my immense relief. So I thought I would be okay if I started out running at a leisurely pace and for only a short amount of time. Today I learned differently. 5 minutes into the run I started getting worried, after 15 minutes I was cursing and by the time I was home after the 30 minute run, I knew that something was very wrong with my hip.

I'll be calling a doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile I'll be hobbling about, getting our home as organized as I know how, if only as a way to quench my worries and anxieties.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEMICHA 12/9/2009 4:01AM

    ...if you really must exercise with problems in your hip area... maybe stick to gentle stretches of yoga or pilates. Just a thought. It may even be good to have a change in style to wake up those muscles. Do be careful though... Christmas is challenging enough without pain! HUGS

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NUOVAELLE 12/9/2009 2:05AM

    You'd better get some rest until you talk with the doctor. Maybe you have pushed yourself to the limits with the packing, the moving and everything else. I hope you feel better soon. emoticon

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BIRDRIPLEY 12/8/2009 8:07PM

    Assembling furniture & carrying luggage isn't working out? Say again!

I know it must be a real drag to not run. I know how you love running. But you need to let your body heal.

I'm glad you're going to see the doctor. Keep us updated. I'll pray for your recovery.

God bless you. emoticon

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SEADANCER 12/8/2009 7:38PM

    Hi there. Thanks for the comment on my blog about how we hide our light in our clothes. It always means something when someone shares that my experience touches theirs. Do do take care with your hip. I myself tried to 'push' through an ankle problem but I just delayed the healing. You're right to check it out. Caring for ourselves is also paying attention to what is really present with our self - pain, tired, etc. But hey, you know that! Best, e

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LOSLUWOM 12/8/2009 6:23PM

    You sure have had a hectic lifestyle lately! I hope what your doctor discovers isn't too serious and won't interfere with your running. We'll keep our fingers crossed, be sure and keep us posted.

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/8/2009 5:16PM

    That doesn't sound good. Until you hear what the doctor says don't do too much "hobbling" about. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope it is nothing too serious!

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Arrivederci Italia!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wow, what a ride it's been!

Two years in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in. And tomorrow this adventure is coming to an end.

It's been awesome, awful, interesting, annoying, mind-blowing, mind-numbing. It is over too quickly and not quickly enough. It's home by now, yet will never be my home.

Do I make any sense?

Well, there's Italy for you. A country of many contradictions, shock-full of impressions, so many good qualities and a host of really bad ones.

While I can't return home to Sweden fast enough, I know that I am going to miss this place so much. I'm going to miss the smells in the spring, the overwhelming scent of flowers in bloom. I'm going to miss the helping hand everyone is willing to give you when you have children with you. I'm going to miss my running route (pot holes and all). I'm going to miss going out in just a sweater in December. I'm going to miss the beaches. God, I'm going to miss the beaches.

I'm not going to miss the traffic chaos, the noise, the drafty apartment, the paper-thin walls, stores that close for siesta.

I know that we're going to come back frequently for vacations, but I can't help but already feel a little nostalgic. Sentimentality isn't reserved just for Italians! ;)

So, Arrivederci Italia. Grazie per tutto.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEKSUNSHINE 12/2/2009 7:54PM

    Sad to leave but always nice to be home. Glad the move went well.

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FITSPIRATION 12/2/2009 9:07AM

  At least you can look back and say you lived there for 2 years! That is aweseome. I am sure there will be adjustments for you all getting back home to Sweden. So now you can enlighten us with Sweden... I get to travel from my kitchen desk. I love your descriptive writing about Italy. Def a place my hubby and I will visit. So do you have family in Sweden awaiting your return? You make it just in time for Christmas. BTW, are you a native Swiss/Swede (not sure which is correct?) Your English is great. emoticon

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LOSLUWOM 12/1/2009 12:50PM

What a wonderful experience! I spent some time in Italy 10 years ago and was so impressed that my husband and I went on a cruise in the area.

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NUOVAELLE 12/1/2009 6:10AM

    Goodbyes always make us sentimental. But they provide us with the best "time machines": memories. They just take us back in time whenever we feel the need to. Next time you're somewhere in the Mediterranean don't forget to visit Greece. It will definitely give you some of the best memories. Oh, and don't forget the other type of "time machines": dreams. They travel with our hearts to the future...

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm putting this here for my own reference. This is a calculation of my Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

Since I don't know my Lean Body Mass, I will use the Harris-Benedict formula to calculate my BMR.

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

655 + 729.6 + 306 - 173.9 = 1516.7

For the activity factor I'm choosing moderately activity (moderate exercise 3-5 days a week) so that's BMRx 1.55

= 2350

So, my TDEE is 2350 calories.

Since I usually work out 5-6 days a week at a pretty hard level on most days (The Insanity workouts are no joke!) I was contemplating choosing the next level of activity, which would have put me at 2616 calories per day. Just something for me to keep in mind.

For an optimal, safe weight loss I should have a calorie intake 15-20 % below maintenance level, which would put me at 1880 (with a TDEE of 2350) or 2093 (with a TDEE of 2616).

Currently my calorie intake range on SP is 1400-1700, (which I almost never reach anyway) and as I suspected it's too low a range for my activity level. I just can't seem to eat that much. I am almost never hungry between the main meals, so snacking is a chore. I need to find ways to eat more, without resorting to high-calorie, high-fat treats, like cake, ice cream, Nutella. I just can't feel good about myself if these are a daily part of my diet.

It's good to get these numbers written down. It does quite clearly show me that my eating is way off, that I am likely putting my body in starvation mode and that is the reason my weight loss has slowed down.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYEDOLPHAN 11/17/2009 7:35AM

    Hi Minna,
I also have a huge problem with staying anywhere near my calorie intake range. I do find that when I am consistant on the SP nutrition tracker it is easier (but I almost never am ) I find a good way for me to stay closer to my protein and good carb range is to keep a fiber bar and a performance bar in my car/ pocketbook at all times . ALso the emerald 100 calorie nut packs are good for this. It lets me have something without having to think about it and with it being right on hand I can grab it whle I am out driving and running around..

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MARKAMURKA 11/15/2009 4:24PM

    You've got good advice here, I think. I also use nuts and dried apricots on my low intake days, although they are very few. I tend to overeat a bit...
I don't understand how can your SP range be so low with your activity. On the start page you can edit your goals and your average weekly activity level - tracking it in your fitness tracker is not enough for this. If you edit it , you will get a higher range. ( and you will get no more "over your weekly burnt calories" message) In my opinion SP ranges are OK.
If you track your workouts on the fitness tracker (which isn't as high quality as the nutrition tracker but with a little googling it's usable) SP does the counting for you in Reports - deficit tracker, cardio tracker... From the cardio reports you can see your weekly burned calories since you've joined SP - if you've tracked. this should help you with editing your weekly average. Insanity should count as high impact aerob workout on the tracker or you can use your own data of burned calories.
Nice progress by the way, congrats.

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AMALISSY 11/15/2009 2:59PM

    How about adding in a handful of brazil nuts ( good fats) and a few dried apricots? Lots of fibre, low glycaemic index and plenty of magnesium and selenium. A lot of positive nutrition rather than (as you know) the foodstuff of the devil, nutella!

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SALDABA6 11/15/2009 12:18PM

    There are small ways you can increase your caloric intake without going overboard on high fat treats and things like that. For instance if you are eating non fat yogurt, change it to a 1% or 2% fat regular yogurt or if you are using skim milk change to 1% or 2% milk. These small changes may put you in to your caloric range without making you eat more. Just tweak what you already consume.:) Good luck and keep going emoticon

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LOSLUWOM 11/15/2009 11:08AM

    How impressive!! What I have been doing is allow myself a cheat day to keep my body from thinking it is being deprived which seems to be working. I applaud you on your exercise goals. emoticon

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BIRDRIPLEY 11/15/2009 9:56AM

    Wow, I guess your figuring it out. I almost never get my full amount of calories either, but I just let sparks figure my K intake. I did lose another 5 lbs. though. and my pants are starting to feel much to big. That's the crunches I guess.

I don't really know what to say about the k intake, but I wanted to say HI. Hows the family. and You are an inspiration to me.


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November goals

Monday, November 02, 2009

I like this concept of outlining goals for the next month. I have also realized that the more concrete, detailed and realistic the goals, the better I feel about them and the harder I fight to achieve them. I have read some blogs where the goals stated are really lofty and general, this would never successfully keep me accountable to myself for my actions, or lack thereof. I know myself well enough to realize that.


1. I want to lose 3 kilos this month, which would put me at 73.3 kg. I didn't succeed with this last month, but I know it's a realistic goal and I just have to push through the plateau I'm stuck on.

2. I want to improve my 10K time by 2 minutes. So, the time to achieve is 58 minutes.

3. I want to run at least 150 kilometres this month. I ran 120 K last month, so this is definitely realistic. Broken down it means that I need to run 37.5 K per week. I am going to aim for 40K a week.

4. I want to get a long run in once a week. By this I mean 13K or longer.

5. I want to keep doing the Insanity program at least twice a week. Any additional workouts are a bonus.

So that's 5 goals for this month. They are all detailed enough to leave very little room for manouvering and free interpretation, which is what I need.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSLUWOM 11/5/2009 2:02PM

    You go GIRL! You can do it!! emoticon

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CANDOIT54 11/2/2009 9:28AM

    Great goals. Wish you luck.

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MARKAMURKA 11/2/2009 8:33AM

    Nice goals. Wish you success.

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October in the rear-view mirror

Sunday, November 01, 2009

October is over and a new month has begun. I outlined some goals for the month that I wanted to reach and goodness knows I'e worked hard to do that. I haven't been entirely successful, though.

I ran 120 kilometres during the month. One of my goals was to run the 10K distance in under 60 minutes. I almost made it. I ran in exactly 60 minutes. It is a bit of a disappointment that I couldn't make it just 10 seconds faster, but oh well. I still improved my time by 7 minutes during the month - not bad at all.

My other goal was to run up a hill instead of walking it. This was no problem at all and I did it within a week.

Lastly I also set the goal of losing 3 kilos this month. That didn't happen. I managed to lose 1.7 kilos and a fought incredibly hard for every gram I lost. As of yesterday I am down to 76.3 kilos. Exactly 10 kilos away from my final goal weight.

So that was my October. Some successes savoured, some disappointments overcome. Some lessons learned, some insights acquired.

Now I need to figure out which goals to set for myself for November! Onward and upwards, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYEDOLPHAN 11/2/2009 7:08AM

    Congratulations Minna on your accomplishments !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep going strong and you will get to the end soon enough ;)

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FITSPIRATION 11/1/2009 9:16PM

  7 mins time difference is fantastic! And the goliath of a hill didn't intimidate you~ Keep on pushing. Only 10 away from goal, you can do it. I bet by the time you are thru with Insanity you will be there. Plus very toned indeed. emoticon

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SEKSUNSHINE 11/1/2009 5:22PM

    You did a great job. My weight seems to be stuck and then moves a little, but I guess that happens when a person gets closer to goal. I am 15 pounds from that. I'm sorry I don't know the conversion. I just found a chart I guess 15 pounds is around 3 Kilos, is that right? You will take your November goals by storm!

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BIRDRIPLEY 11/1/2009 5:16PM

    Wow, you've accomplished so much. Give yourself a pat on the back. and all while enjoying your little ones and packing to move. Wow! emoticon

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