Sunday, November 21, 2010
All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!
Project Pixie Dust is now in its second week, and I'm happy to say that I haven't lost any momentum since day one. My goals for my second week are much the same as the first, just work carefully on my eating, drink my water, and get in that running, cross training, and strength training! This week is a short work week...well four days short, but even if it's just one day off, midweek, I'll still take it! (And Black Friday should be super easy since hardly anyone is in the office, and my clients really aren't working either...) I have a race to look forward to, although I'll admit I'm actually a teensy bit nervous...not sure why, because I haven't really felt race day jitters on the last few I did.
Today was FIL's last day in town, and he heads back to New Jersey tomorrow. WE had a Denny's breakfast, which for me didn't end up being nearly as sinful as it could have been...you know, being that Denny's is notorious for serving fat slathered in grease for breakfast. We had dinner at a counter-service Greek place for dinner. Their specialty was gyros, but I had this cheesy mozzarella/feta pita pizza thingie. It was so sweet watching FIL interact with Timmy, and I know our little guy will be sad to see him go. Hopefully they'll be able to get more bonding time in sooner rather than later! It is emotionally challenging having no family within 800 miles of us. Much as Madison is a pleasant place to live, except maybe in the dead of winter, I have my days when I want to up and move just so we CAN have local family support. Anyway, we'll be getting back into our usual daily grind tomorrow, with that one day off. Our Thanksgiving "feasting" will be at Cracker Barrel, since we had an excellent experience there last year. When there are only three of us to feed, a turkey doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, especially given that 2/3 K household members don't like turkey. So...um. Yeah. That would leave ME to consume a whole bird SOLO. Not happening, peeps. And then it's time to start looking ahead to Christmas. I can't believe it's a month away. I'm not really feeling the love this year, even though the stores are now decked out with all their Christmas stuff. It's not even because we don't have big plans...maybe because I got so burnt out this fall, all I really want to do is put my feet up and sleep through the festivities. Meh. There's still time for that Christmas spirit to wake up, I s'pose. Anyway, here's today's recap...
Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (8 days running)! I made it again. Nuff about that.
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (8 days running)! And today I didn't have to skulk over to the table at ten o' clock with a plate of broccoli and applesauce. I actually got all my fruits and veggies consumed before dinnertime, folks! Not bad for a recovering fruit and veggie hater.
Eat mindfully all day and night: DONE (8 days running)! Some of my food wasn't the best quality, admittedly, but I managed to save myself by keeping the quantities small-ish and balancing out the "junkier" foods with the good stuff. Breakfast was one scrambled egg with a half order of gingerbrerad Pancake Puppies, which are basically like pancakes in a hush puppy form. Soooo yum. I could have probably eaten the whole order, but boxed it all up before temptation got the better of me. We had lunch at home, and I pretty much piled fruits and veggies on my plate next to my Amy's spinach and feta pie. Dinner was at the greek place...I had to take my best guess at the calorie count since I had no earthly clue what it was. So my tracker said that my calorie intake was 50 calories below my upper limit. But it could have been a bit higher. Or lower, I guess. Who knows...but I cut off my food consumption after dinner because any more would have just about guaranteed an overage. And I wasn't hungry anyway...which is perhaps a nice little NSV, since post-dinner, boredom-induced munchies have been a major problem for me.
Running: Since I finally registered for the Berbee Derby 10K, I decided that today's run needed to be around six miles, as kind of a final check that I'd be conditioned for the distance. To make it even more of a reliable test, I drove myself out to Fitchburg to try out the BD route. It goes through some bike paths, a residential area, and a little bit of a rural-ish region, so the terrain is pretty varied and interesting. It was cold, gray, and a bit foggy, but thankfully NOT raining or humid! I parked at the local Panera and walked almost a mile to warm up and get myself on the route, and then picked it up to a jog. My body quickly heated off and I shed my hat and outer layer. I'll tell you what, carrying a knit hat (all that I had) in a sweaty hand is yucky. I really should try to find a lighter weight hat that I can easily stuff in my jacket pocket! The first thing I noticed about the terrain, which I should have remembered from last year's 5K, was HILLS. No monsters like Bascom Hill, but rolling hills and plenty of them. Kind of glad that I got the lowdown on those today so I wouldn't be shocked on Thursday! There were some random rural touches on the course: some abandoned railroad cars near the bike path, passing through a public hunting ground on the first day of deer hunting season (eek). Luckily, the hunting ground bit was short, and it was relatively open so I could see everything...and other runners and bikers were going through there too. In the second half of the run, I started feeling markedly sluggish, and even downing a chocolate mint Gu didn't help much. I was able to run through to the end, but at a much slower pace than usual. I finished my loop in 1:03:37, which was really close to my 10K PR, well, ok, only official time, but I later found out that I missed a turn and cut about 0.2 miles off the route. Oh well, that time was still pretty reasonable, considering my sluggishness. And tacking on the 0.8 miles each way to and from my car made it quite a substantial workout! My next run will be on Tuesday night. Not sure how far I'll run...may just depend on the kind of TV programming I can find at the gym...lol. Because I know that's where I will be.
Cross Training: Today I was back to the SP bootcamp day one video, which is circuit training. Most of it is very doable, but I struggle with some of the exercises. Like where you start lunging on one leg and have to jump to the other leg over and over. Those started OK, but after a few, my left ankle wrenched and I decided to stop. Ankle's OK, but just scared me with the injury possibilities of jumping in that way. Then there were the things where you jump back into a push up position, a little like a burpee, but not quite. I was doing all right with those, although couldn't quite get all the way back into a full pushup position. It looked more like downward facing dog. And then mountain climbers...I ended up sliding my feet back and forth on the carpet rather than jumping. Ha...well, I tried!
Strength Training: As a bonus, I tried a SP balance ball workout. Ten minutes of core training. Core is an area I could ALWAYS use help with, and I love using the ball to workout. Sheesh, I even just enjoy sitting on the thing. Often times, I'll move my regular chair away from the computer and just sit on my big bouncy ball.
I think that about covers everything for today! Time to think about making everyone's lunches and getting to bed so I can get plenty of shut-eye. Busy, busy day at work tomorrow...
Saturday, November 20, 2010
All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!
It's been quite a busy Saturday, between errands and laundry and my father-in-law being in town! I haven't had much time to just sit down, which is probably not such a bad thing because it means I didn't have to worry about boredom-induced munchies. Bruce had to work this morning (well, didn't really have to, but his shop was offering overtime, which hardly ever happens, so it would have been dumb not to take it...) so FIL and I took Timmy to breakfast. I wasn't sure how that would go. There have been a lot of tensions between me and MIL (and a lot is putting it nicely...), so that sometimes leaves me wondering exactly where FIL and I stand. But we actually had a pretty pleasant morning together. He told me all about his travels to Poland last year and his new job, and I didn't feel much awkwardness. Whew. In the evening, Bruce was off again, and we all went out to the pub for dinner. I did eat the pub food and the "good" (as in not so healthy) stuffed, but I really reined in the quantities I ate so I could stay within my calorie limit. SNAP!
Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (7 days running)! There usually isn't much to say about this one, other than I did it or I did not. Three of the ten cups I drank were hot herbal teas. Mmmmm.
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (7 days running)! I'll admit it, to meet today's goal, I'm sitting here, at ten o' clock at night, with a plate of steamed veggies and a cup of all natural applesauce. I was a tiny bit slacker-ish in this department today, but I'll have the quota done and dusted by bedtime.
Eat mindfully all day and night: DONE (7 days running)! We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel, where I ate a light breakfast of Egg Beaters and half of a blueberry muffin. The muffin was delightful, but, knowing that a big dinner was in my future, I saved half for later. Lunch was chicken noodle soup and a pumpkin "muffie," a muffin top, at Panera. Finally, I faced the pub for dinner. I did decide to indulge in the yummy stuff, but kept my quantities smaller: a couple of fried cheese curds, a small handful of fries, a bison burger on whole wheat (semi-healthy), and a few bites of Bruce's black and tan brownie, which is basically a chocolate-cream cheese brownie. Seriously, one of the best brownies EVER. I could probably eat a whole pan of them in one sitting if I were ever presented with one! Tonight's dinner was kind of a compromise, but I'm proud that I restrained myself. I concentrated more on socializing and enjoying the atmosphere than shoveling in tons of food. And I left feeling comfortable, not bloated or overstuffed like I often would in the past. And, as you know, I'm finishing off with a nightcap of applesauce, veggies, oh, and some hot tea. I stayed within my calorie range today.
Running: Not today! I'm planning on 7-8ish miles tomorrow though.
Cross Training: I did an hour's worth today. The first half was walking to and from Target to pick up a prescription and some deli meat. I could have driven, but Target is less than a mile up the road, and it was a gorgeous, cool, sunny day, so why not walk?! I have to admit that I'm tickled pink to have a Target (pretty much my favorite store) within walking distance! Later in the afternoon, I also did a half hour's worth of a Denise Austin indoor walking video, kind of like Walk Away the Pouds, just with Denise instead of Leslie Sansone. I have to admit, I'm kind of a Denise Austin fan. Even if a lot of people think she's a big cheeseball, she makes me happy.
Strength Training: I did the final video in the SP bootcamp series before I go on to lather, rinse, repeat tomorrow. This was a floor workout focusing on core strength, and I actually really enjoyed it. Coach Nicole gave me some creative new core training ideas, which I desperately needed, and I actually liked the video, which is crazy considering that core work is decidedly my least favorite form of strength training.
Oh, and I made the final decision and registered for the Berbee Derby. Since I just could not make up my mind, I took a Spark friend's suggestion and flipped a coin. The verdict: I'll be running the 10k. I'm actually quite pleased with this outcome. I have generally found myself gravitating towards longer distances when given the choice. I don't feel as much pressure to run at full-out breakneck speed at a longer distance, where a 5k does feel like a mad dash (not that a mad dash can't be fun though...), and I like the 10k course better than the 5k one for this particular event. The 5k course, I recall from last year, was a bit of a boring-ish out and back, but the 10k goes through some pretty nice bike trails and is a loop, so more variety, which I like. This will be my second 10k. So tomorrow, I hope I can eke out a decent training run longer than a 10k outdoors so I have a pretty good flavor of what I'll be doing on Thursday! Until tomorrow...
Saturday, November 20, 2010
All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!
TGIF, need I say more? And I had a pretty easy day at work since I was in training class from nine until about four-thirty. I was learning how to use my company's OB/L&D software. Kind of neat...as part of our training, we were all busy making some babies. Wait...no...I mean, in the computer, silly! (What were you thinking???) Haha. Don't mind me...it's late. Now I just have to do a project, pass a test, and I'll get a nice little bonus for my efforts. Just in time for Christmas! Not that we're going to be big spenders this year, since we're looking into buying a house in the next year. So we have to SAVE. I'm feeling a bit of tension right now between the thrifty, responsible Christina and the bratty, materialistic Christina who wants a new phone and a new computer and more running gear and toys and...oh yeah, a new car. But, you know, that's all just stuff at the end of the day, and even though we don't live a particularly fancy, up-to-date, or high-tech lifestyle, life really is good and we don't want for anything. Especially in these hard times, I'm incredibly grateful for all of our blessings.
Anyway, babble, babble, Christina, right? What about the actual Project Pixie Dust talk? So, I did a big grocery run with Timmy this evening, so I'm stocked up on produce and healthy eats again. Whew! I have a couple of recipes I'm going to try this week, branch out a little. One is a holiday baking recipe, admittedly, but it was too yummy sounding to pass up and I WILL make myself consume the finished product in moderation. You know the black bottom cupcakes where it's chocolate on the bottom and cream cheese on the top? I got a recipe like that, but it's pumpkin instead of chocolate. Can we say YUMS? I'll probably make them tomorrow. The other recipes are a little lower-key, one being a pumpkin-pie oatmeal made with oatmeal, spices, banana, and pumpkin puree. I managed to stay away from candy, pre-packaged sweets, and all the "bad stuff" this week. My only letdown was that the store was out of my favorite brand of tomato soup, so I had to substitute with something else. Boo. Hoo.
Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE! Easier today. I kicked it off with some Sobe Life Water. Those are a little spendy, but they taste good, are zero calories, and don't have artificial sweeteners. My favorite is the fruit punch one.
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE! Due to low grocery supply, I was a little slow going with this goal until I got home. But I picked up some stuff at the work cafeteria - broccoli, spinach, carrots, and such - and ended up having a very veggie-heavy dinner to meet my quota.
Eat mindfully all day and night: DONE! Great day today. My during the day fare was a little weird. Like for lunch, I had a tomato "soup sippy" (one of those Campbell's soup on hand thingies), a bowl of oatmeal, an apple, and Chex Mix. Random, huh? Dinner was chicken nuggets and lots of veggies, and after the gym I had some pizza minis to get up into my calorie range.
Running: Not today!
Cross Training: I wasn't scheduled for any, but since my gym was playing a Harry Potter marathon in the Cardio Cinema, I wanted to go enjoy that for a while. I stuck to walking on the treadmill, for sixty-five minutes. I covered 4.19 miles, with some rolling hill action thrown in. The movie was great. With the last couple of showings, I've come to notice how engaging the HP soundtrack/score is. The gym plays movies off of DVDs, and when a movie ends, the front desk staff will restart it from the beginning. But they don't always get to it right away, and the credits roll for a while. This happened a couple of times, and usually it kind of annoys me, but this time it made me think, "Wow, this music is actually pretty cool!" Now I'm listening to some of it on Rhapsody.
Strength Training: I did a SparkPeople boot camp video - day 6. It was upper body strength training, mainly with dumbbells, but also featured pushups, done with the balls of your feet on the floor and your hands on a chair. The pushups were difficult for me, mainly because I am used to doing them on my knees, and even those aren't that easy for me. I liked today's video, though, and ran through it twice since I had some time after dinner.
Tomorrow I have a challenge to face...we're going back to the same pub we went to earlier in the week to celebrate Bruce's 31st birthday. I am soooooooo vulnerable to overeating at that place because I seriously have not had a single bad bite of food there. So I'm strategizing, since obviously there is NO room for whining about Bruce's restaurant choice! NO pork sandwich with fries and cheese curds this time. And plenty of work at the gym is also on the agenda! I'm still trying to decide on which Berbee Derby race to do. In the 10k's favor is that I get more for my money (time/distance), and it's a course I've never done before (the excitement!). In the 5k's favor is that I'm familiar with the course (no surprises), and my still somewhat weary body should be up for the challenge, while I'll admit that the 10k may be a bit of a crapshoot at this point. My fear is that if I did the 10k, I'd be DEAD LAST, and we all know that those fears are almost always unfounded (and so what if you are dead last, to boot, at least you got out there and ran AND finished). But I'm still leaning maybe 70/30 towards the 5k right now. I have until Tuesday to make up my mind!
Friday, November 19, 2010
All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!
We're coming up on a week of Project Pixie Dust, and I'm still feeling pretty good. Eating was on the sketchier side for parts of today because we're getting really low on a lot of groceries and I also ate dinner out (the Japanese restaurant) tonight. But I still got my quota of fruits and veggies, although I'll admit that over half of them were consumed as a post-gym snack (since I was very low on them throughout the day...) Even though it was late after my meal out and I wanted to make every excuse in the book not to work out, I still dragged my booty to the gym and got it done!
Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE! Just barely today. There are a lot of "just barely" met goals for today...but at least they were met, I guess.
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE! I had some fruit with lunch and edamame with dinner. Had no idea how to eat the edamame at first until I watched my co-workers eating them. (I would have done it all wrong if left to my own devices!) They were good, and I'd definitely have them again sometime. But that still only made two servings...so guess what my post-gym snack was? Spinach salad, another apple, and berries. LOL. So I did squeeze everything in, just very last minute!
Eat mindfully all day and night: DONE! I did treat myself to a cup of rice pudding at lunch since it was (relatively) low-cal and I was craving a sweet treat. The cafeteria also had pumpkin cheesecake, which looked ah-mazing, on the menu, and I really wanted THAT, but it was 450+ calories...so I fought the urge and skipped it. The rice pudding ended up satisfying my craving pretty nicely. The dinner menu featured lots of sushi and stir-fry. I'll admit that I'm kind of scared of sushi. I have never tried it, so I can't legitimately say I don't like it, but it just kind of freaks me out. The plates of sushi that my co-workers got were gorgeous, just so pretty, but I couldn't bring myself to try any. I know, I know, live a little, right? In any event, I got a stir fry dish made with tofu and rice, and it was YUM. And it didn't completely mess up my calorie count for the day, so I was pleased. And as you already know, I finished out my day with a late-night snack of fruits and vegetables!
Running: 4.05 very slow, slummy miles on the treadmill. The last couple of workouts, I just haven't been feeling the running mojo. Not sure if it's still a little burnout from all the half training or if it's just the season or if I'm just going through a slump, but I wasn't feeling it tonight! My gym was playing Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, so at least I had some great entertainment while I ran. I finished up with a 0.27 mile walking cooldown and some stretching. My next run will probably be on Sunday, hopefully outdoors.
Cross Training: None today!
Strength Training: I did a SparkPeople boot camp video, which was lower body exercises. It felt the right amount of challenging, and most of the exercises were ones I was already familiar with. I followed up with twenty minutes of lower body Pilates exercises for good measure!
My motivation level is still great...and I'm all ready to take on the weekend! Hopefully I can spend some quality time with my son, as I've barely seen him this work week, or so it seems. I love that he sees me living an active lifestyle, and he seems to want to keep moving too. The other day, he was putting on his sneakers for school and calling them his "running shoes." And then he kept saying he wanted to go running with mommy! My hope is that when he's old enough, he actually will go running with his old mom LOL! Anyway, time for bed...and TGIF!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!
Another good day is in the books! Even though I'm still just taking the first steps in my Project Pixie Dust journey, I'm already feeling a major improvement in my attitude. All of a sudden, even though I'm pretty sure I haven't changed much physically (yet), I'm feeling more energetic, fitter, less flabby, and healthier. The power of positive thinking, huh? I'm proud that I can now check off a fourth day of healthy decision making.
Thanksgiving is a week away, and I'm very much looking forward to an extra day off from work. (I do work on Black Friday, but that's OK. It's usually kind of a "nothing" day since a lot of people are out of the office, as are many of our clients!) As far as eating/partying or whatever, it doesn't really imply much for me. Our closest relatives are 900+ miles away, and we just don't feel brave enough to travel on such a busy weekened, since we'd really only be at our destination for a day or two! And we aren't hosting anyone either...so we don't really have to worry about turkey comas or serious overeating. In fact, our current plan is to dine at Cracker Barrel, where I know I can get a satisfying meal for 12 Weight Watchers points! And then there is the Berbee Derby that morning. They have a 5k and a 10k, and I just can't make up my mind which one to do. I'm wondering if a 10k would be a little too much, but then again a 5k feels like such a mad dash. And the entry fee is the same for both. Decisions, decisions! Anyway, here's the rundown of how I did today...
Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE! I'm really getting into hot tea again. I finished up my apple spice tea, and have dug into my Indian spice and sugar cookie tea stashes. I really want to get the apple refilled soon though, as it's by far my favorite flavor!
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE! This morning, I looked in the fridge and realized that I was running low on some essentials, so I stopped at the work cafeteria's salad bar to replenish. Really it's not a bad deal. For $2 you can fill up a generous-sized to-go box with any kind of salad fixings you want - greens, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, etc. And their stuff is the GOOD stuff, too, as in organic and locally grown. Can't beat that! Insipid grocery store produce pales in comparison! I am also running pretty low on fruit now, but unfortunately my work doesn't have a fruit bar, although it does sell a few basics like apples and bananas.
Eat mindfully all day and night: DONE! The work dinner was rescheduled for tomorrow, so instead of navigating my way through a Japanese menu, I came home, where Bruce and I quickly threw together some odds and ends. It was a semi-healthy meal, I guess: some honey barbeque chicken nugget things, a little Pasta Roni, corn, and a large spinach salad made up from my salad bar bounty. I managed to skip the lemon bars which had been calling out to me from the dessert counter, and I stuck to what was in my lunch box throughout the day.
Running: None tonight.
Cross Training: I was planning on 30 minutes on the Expresso bike, but when I got to the gym, I saw that the Cardio Cinema was featuring Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Score! The cinema has more limited options for cardio machines, so I did a brisk walk over rolling hills on the treadmill. I finished up 3.02 miles in 45 minutes, and cooled down for an additional five minutes, bringing my total to 3.30 miles. Watching the movie really helped my workout time fly by!
Strength Training: At home, I did the SP boot camp day four video, which featured standing core exercises. It was interesting, and I don't know...it felt a little easy to me. Which makes me wonder if I was doing the exercises wrong? I KNOW I don't have the world's strongest core. Hmm. In any event, to challenge myself a bit, I did the seven minute video twice in a row. One thing that was really funny is that Little T was in the room while I was exercising. Whenever I paused to wait for the next exercise, he called out to me, "Mommy, do again! Do more exercising!" It's kind of neat having a little coach to boss me around...um...I mean motivate me!
Not much else to say, other than it was a great day! I'm really re-learning a lot of important lessons, as well as some new tips and tricks for making healthy living easier and more enjoyable. I'm lovin' it!
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