Saturday, January 08, 2011
I'm gonna pump out 2 blogs today, because I feel it's goofy to combine these 2 subjects - so STAYED TUNED for my blog on my new Vibram FiveFingers!!
The verdict on my wrist:
Inflamed tendons in my wrist due to the hard work I did shoveling my driveway. Followed by further agitation with my subsequent strength training activies. Not sure if that means technical "tendonitis" or not. Dealing with a bit of a language barrier here, so I am not sure if the doctor said it was tendonitis or not. But definitely enflamed tendons. Isn't tendonitis chronic, and not just stemming from one isolated situation?
My wrist got wrapped in a swab with anti-inflamatory ointment on it, and I was to take anti-inflamatory meds 2xs a day. Plus, I am taking my Omega-3s, because they are supposed to naturally help inflamation too. So, my arm was wrapped like this:
Then, I self-prescribed some love from my kiddos to help with the healing. Reilynn ("Thing 1") kissed my "boo-boo" without much coaxing:
Thing 2 was not so cooperative. Mommy - "Eliane, mommy has a boo-boo. Can you kiss it and make it better?"
She hesitates. "Com'on, Eliane, please give mommy's boo-boo a kiss. Please?"
"Ew, Eliane!! I did not say 'wipe your nose on it!' I said 'Kiss it!'"
"Oh, yes, sweetie, that makes it feel MUCH better.!
And today, I have full range of motion with almost NO pain whatsoever!! I feel a little twinge here and there, but its not really painful. And I can rotate my wrist fully without having to limit the movement because of horrible pain.... WOOHOO!
Friday, January 07, 2011
Last weekend, on New Year's Day actually, my husband and I were trying to get our driveway shoveled free of snow. We really waited too long, and it was already packed, but we were getting warmer temps over the weekend, which means it was loosening up and was easier to shovel than when its frozen solid. I didn't want it to partially thaw, then freeze again, and then it be an icey mess. That is NOT COOL.
So we are shoveling and I notice a little bit of pain in my right wrist. So I tried to adjust how I was using the shovel to use less force, and more momentum, to break up the hard spots. I didn't notice any significant pain or discomfort after that....
Then came BodyPump. I went to BodyPump on Monday night, and felt fine, really. But afterward, on Tuesday morning, I had extreme tenderness in my wrist. Certain movements or positions with my wrist really hurt. It hurt(s) right where the wrist bone is and a little down my arm (so I am guessing tendons?), and also the palm of my hand is sore. When I try to hold anything between my thumb and other fingers, it also hurts.
But I HATE having obstacles in my fitness plan. If I plan it, I wanna do it. So, it seemed to be a little better, though not pain-free, on Wednesday... Yes, I went to BodyPump AGAIN. Not the smartest, but I did it. I tried to be very careful, and pay attention to what exercises hurt it, tried to make sure my form was proper when it came to my wrist.... but Thursday morning, it was STILL WORSE!
It's so frustrating. I don't want to take time off of my ST. I don't want to be held back by this. I have some goals I want to achieve (particularly with the Rachel Mac Progress Picture Challenge ) and if I can't get my ST In.... ???
Then I thought for a minute: "What if that were my ankle? What if I were having pain this severe in my knee or foot? My running would be OUT THE WINDOW!!"
And I was immediately thankful. Yes, it hurts when I put pressure on my hand. It hurts to cut my vegetables as I cook dinner. It especially hurts to pick up the cutting board and set it back where it belongs. It hurts to pick up my kids. It hurts even to press down on the soap dispenser to wash my hands.
But in all my running I have done, I have never had pain this bad. Sure I have had some piriformis related pain, tightness in my hip and butt cheek, some knee irritation here and there. But all things that were minor, certainly not this painful. Nothing that sidelined me, for sure. I am SOOOOO thankful for that!
I know, as frustrated as I am about my silly wrist, I would be REALLY DOWN if I were not able to run. Running is my passion. Running has been in my blood for so long. I started running more than 10 years ago, and even though there have been long periods void of running here and there (mainly due to pregnancies, but not always), I always, ALWAYS had the itch to run. Don't get me wrong, I believe STRONGLY in rest days or even longer rest periods. I schedule rest weeks and days into my running plan, because I think it is necessary for the body to take a break. BUT I HATE having something stand in the way of fulfilling my schedule, an unplanned-for obstacle, sickness, injury, whatever. Drives me nuts.
Running, I love it.
I love the way my body feels alive when I have been running regularly. I love how I feel right after a run.
I love coming in from a REALLY LONG RUN, and having that really fatigued feeling like I really pushed my endurance that day.
I love coming in from a short tempo run, where I pushed myself hard on speed.
I love just zoning out during my run, and letting my mind wander to all sorts of things.
I love singing when I run, when my iPod starts playing one of my favorites.
I love running in the dark.
I love running when its snowing, running through thick snowflakes as they come down. It's so beautiful!
I love running when it's light out, especially on beautiful sunny days.
I love running new trails, new routes, and exploring along the way (Thank you, Garmin, for making that possible, AND still know how far I go!)
I love that running makes my weightloss/management so easy.
I love setting running goals and shooting for races.
I love how running is so invigorating.
I love running out in the country here in Germany where I live - it is SOOO beautiful!
So, in spite of my annoying wrist situation, I am very thankful that it isn't a running injury. I WILL be going to the Dr. in just a couple of hours to get it checked out. I hope this clears up quickly.....
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Gonna make it sound all official-like today.
I love food. I have always had a sweet tooth, for as long as I can remember. And certain traumatic experiences as a teenager and thereafter made eating a very emotional experience for me. To be quite honest, I can PACK AWAY some food, for real. So, learning to control my appetite and what I eat has been quite a struggle at times. How have I done it? I put some thought into what has helped me, and thought I might pass it on.... Some of these things, many of you have already heard, but I always like to add things that personally work FOR ME... Personal touch, that's how I roll. That's why my blogs are always long and wordy....
Darcy's Top 10 Tips for Sticking to a Healthy Lifestyle:
(Again, these are eating/food-related)
1. Habits: It all comes down to habits. Habits will make or break you. I think people should take your focus off "diet," and start focusing on etching out some good solid healthy habits. This helped me tremendously a few months back, when I was struggling with getting back on track. I heard this little story years ago, when I was a teenager, and it has always stuck with me (I used it in a former blog too):
There was an old Indian man who had 2 dogs which always fought with each other. The Indian man would always predict which one would win, and was always dead on. Someone once asked him what his secret was, how he always knew which one would win, to which he replied:
"It's whichever one I feed the most."
I don't think this story is even real (since it was used to prove a point like I am doing now), and I have no idea why it was an Indian man in the story, but that's how it was told. from what I remember. Point is, habits are like the dogs in the story - we have good habits and bad habits. As we "feed" our good habits, making healthy choices, eating right, not making excuses when it comes to exercise, not reaching for those pit-fall foods, we strengthen those good habits. It gets easier and easier to stay on the right path, the longer we keep at it.
Likewise, when we continually make excuses to not exercise, or continually make allowances for bad eating, or eating too much, we are strengthening those bad habits. So, when it comes to a test, a situation that is hard to resist, and you are finding that you are always giving in, chances are, you have been letting the wrong dog eat a little too often.
So, which "dog" are you feeding today?
2. Stop focusing on the NEGATIVE! I have read it so many times, so many people say they don't want to "deprive" themselves, they don't like dieting because they feel too "deprived". If we are constantly thinking about, whining about, pining after what we CAN'T have, of COURSE we are gonna feel deprived. Try instead to focus on what you CAN have, what you SHOULD have. Because in all reality, when you "deprive" yourself of those things that you SHOULD be leaving out, you are also "depriving" yourself of the health risks that come from being overweight, and living unhealthy.
For example, when I first started my healthy lifestyle pursuit 2 years ago, I thought at first it was gonna be SOOOO hard!! How was I gonna do it? But I picked a solid diet plan that was formulated with a daily mealplan, so I was constantly focused on what I was SUPPOSED to be eating. It was GREAT! Likewise, recently, I started focusing on trying to get more protein in my diet, as well as more veggies, and I can't believe how easy it has made it lately! It's taking the focus OFF the NEGATIVE, and focusing on the POSITIVE - what good things can I put in my body today???
3. Have a plan, and stick to it. Some people might do good at just cutting certain trigger foods out, or lessening their portion sizes. But for me, a definite plan really really helped. My "diet" started me out by making a meal plan each week, then formulated a grocery shopping list. This has stuck with me for 2 YEARS, and I NEVER thought I would be the type of person to do this! It really helps to plan everything out, and like I said, focus on what you ARE going to eat, and NOT what you're NOT eating.
4. Fill up on good foods. I feel SOOOOOO full and satisfied if I fill up on good wholesome foods. Lots of VEGGIES, fruit, protein (for me, lots of meat), and healthy fats. I stress veggies, because they REALLY help me feel full, and are usually very low in calories! I also limit the carbs like bread, pasta, or potatoes - they seem to be trigger foods for me, that leave me feeling VERY hungry (which I posted in yesterday's blog). When I am full of good food, I don't have the uncontrollable cravings.
5. STAY HYDRATED - I know this is like a total "DUH!!!" point, because we hear it ALL the time, but seriously, hear me out. We all know that water is essential, particular to weightloss. But not only does water help control the appetite in general and help us lose weight better, I feel that water helps control my sweet cravings. I have noticed when I am really thirsty, and I start eating sweets, I will WOLF THEM DOWN, and just keep going. Of course, I always had a problem with sweets, but when I am not well-hydrated, it is a milllion times worse. My mom told me years ago, that when the body is thirsty, it often displays this in the form of hunger pains, so always drink first!! I think when my body is thirsty, I crave sweets....
6. Find a sweets substitute. I don't mean sugar substitute. I mean, find something that relieves the craving, without you giving in. I found that almonds are great - they have a slightly sweet taste, crunchy texture, and help me avoid giving in to something detrimental. Also, when I need something sweet, drinking tea with just a touch of honey really helps. Find something that is as nutritious as possible, that works for you.
7. DON'T BUY IT!! Don't buy it "for the kids" or "for the hubby". Don't pick it up at the store, contemplating whether you should get it "just this once." Don't read the label to see if it's "really THAT bad." Don't get it. If you have it at home, it will make it a million times harder to resist. For that matter, don't even walk down the isle of the junk food at the store. Don't even go near it. I just avoid it, plain and simple. I try not to even look in the direction, or linger long enough to even want it. I go to the store with my weekly grocery list, and I stick to the list.
8. TAKE A DEEP BREATH!! There are gonna be some times when we have food around, or are around food that is tempting. When I see a food, say, like chocolate, or cookies, my IMMEDIATE impulse is, "OH, I want some...!" and I start reaching for it. I have started just stopping, taking a deep breath, relaxing, and then telling myself, "You don't really want OR need that." And I step back. I was amazed at how much that helped me through the holidays. I had chocolate AND cookies within reach at any given moment, and didn't bother with it on most days.
9. DON'T SWEAT the slip-ups. It seems like this one is really, really hard for some people. The scale goes up ONE DAY for ONE POUND, and some people are already discouraged. Someone brings some donuts to work, you have one, and you totally beat yourself up and eat bad for a week. There are times when I don't eat good.... AT ALL!! But the MOST IMPORTANT THING, is NOT to let it derail me. Get back on track ASAP, and move on. You can't erase what you ate yesterday, but you CAN start fresh RIGHT NOW.
10. Find a nutritious way to keep fun treats in your life. I make my family pizza (though I try not to eat too much of it myself), and I make cookies every now and then. But I try to make EVERYTHING 100% whole grain, and I try my very best to supply those sweets or treats as nutritious as I can. Be creative. There will be a time when a reward, a treat, is well-deserved. Try to find out how you can make it without totally killing all your hard work!
So, that, my friends, is how I have gone from looking like this....
...to looking like this:
I know its a long blog, but I hope it is helpful to some!!! Happy Sparking, Friends!!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Can it be? Can someone even do that?
Well, I do. Not super low, but definitely lower than SparkPeople recommends for my calorie range. I think on most days, I am between 120-140 g carbs. I don't really stress or worry about it, I am not that strict about it, but I certainly don't "carb-load" or change my diet for my running. And I know, I know, there is a BIG push in the running community to load up on carbs. I don't buy into it, however. I just wanna put some thoughts out there. This is just to be a help to others, and get people thinking. I have seen many other runners struggle with their weight after they started running hefty distances, and it is JUST A HUNCH of mine that this might be why.... Here are my thoughts:
I NEVER was a big fan of the low-carb hype. Hated it actually. Thought it was a fad. Blew it off. Whatever.
Until one day, I read a book my sister recommended to me called "The Maker's Diet", a book written by Jordan Rubin. It is a faith-based diet philosophy, shall we say. Excellent book. I highly recommend it.
The diet is this:
Whole foods, organic if possible, everything as natural in its natural state as much as possible, not processed by heat (oils, honey, milk, other things like that), refined, stripped, skimmed, pasteurized or any other processing. EVERYTHING, and I mean, EVERYTHING 100% whole grains, in fact he recommends that you not eat ANY bread unless it is sprouted grain or sour dough. Absolutely no artificial sweeteners or other additives. Only raw honey, or organic whole cane sugar (Sucanat, Rapadura, those are 2 examples, but there are others on the market.) LOTS of veggies, but also LOTS of meat. And I guess I could add here - high fat if you compare with conventional diet recommendations.
I started this diet at the same time I started running to get back into shape. The first 2 weeks were nearly carb-free. I immediately started dropping weight like crazy. Four days into the diet, I do remember hitting a "BLAH" day, where I had no energy whatsoever, but after that, I felt great.
The second phase (2 weeks as well) added a few more carbs back in. I pretty much stayed in this phase for several months, losing weight EASILY while RUNNING and training for my first 2 half marathons, WITHOUT TRACKING a single calorie. I finished my first marathon in 2:05, completely without the help of supplements or extra carbs in my diet. I finished my second HM in 2:08, but that distance was actually just about 14 miles (22.4 km exactly), so my pace was faster for the second, again, without the help of fuels, gels, or carb-loading.
After I got about 15 lbs away from my goal, I found SparkPeople (YAY!!!!!), and started tracking calories too. I found that with tracking calories, I felt more free to eat a little more carbs, because I would just track the calories, and it was all good, right??
Wrong. It was at that point that I REALLY began STRUGGLING to keep my hunger at bay. My calories would just blow through the roof, and I often felt like I just had to eat and eat and eat. The more carbs I seemed to eat, the more hungry I was.
Well, I still worked hard and reached my goal. I loosened up A LOT after that on the carbs, but let me stress here that I STILL followed the whole-foods philosophies, making all my own bread 100% whole-grain, trying to keep everything whole-grain, and nutritious.
But I kept struggling to keep my hunger at bay with my running. I kept wanting to blame the running as the culprit. And the funny thing is that I do not think my performance improved much at all from eating more carbs. Yeah, sure, I went on to PR at my next 2 HMs, 1:57 and then 1:55, but I think it was the TRAINING that made the improvement, NOT the carbs. (I am not shooting for professional numbers, here, and I know I am just an average runner, but I think that is pretty good on a low-carb diet!)
In December, I joined Rachel Mac's Progress Picture Challenge, because I am looking to tone up more, and wanted a new goal, something different than running. Plus, I feel as a runner, ST is VERY important. So, I started focusing the last several days on really packing on the protein, and staying away from bread, pasta, potatoes and such. I try to get all my carbs from my fruits and veggies. My only splurge every day is my COFFEE!! To which I always add my Organic Whole Cane Sugar!! That is my treat!
My Nutrition Goals at this time:
120+ g Protein per day
100-140 g Carbs
Fat... whatever, I don't care about fat, I don't believe it causes heart disease, and I know I am stirring up a lot of controversy by saying it, but if you wanna get a different side of the story, pls read Sally Fallon's book "Eat Fat, Lose Fat." My goal is mainly to stay within my calories, so whatever my fat comes to is fine with me.
Anyway, The last several days, I have really shot to get that protein in!!! And you know what??? I FEEL GREAT!! I have also PILED ON the veggies - raw, cooked, salad, however I can get them, and stuck to fruits and beans as my carbs (except for today... don't look at my nutrition tracker... I baked cookies for a neighbor and nibbled.). I am not having problems controlling my appetite, and my running is fine.
It is my theory (and has been for a long time now) that carbs are really over-rated, EVEN for runners, and that maybe part of the problems I was having with controlling my appetite had to do with the carbs. They seem to be a trigger food for me, that sends me into a wild cabinet/fridge draining session (where I "drain" the food right into my mouth, that is.) Some people may do fine eating more carbs, but some of us may thrive better eating less, let me stress again, EVEN as a runner. If a certain diet works for you, then stick with it. Take the motto - if it ain't broke, don't fix it!!
Of course, these are just my OPINIONS, and simply what I have noticed with my own weight, with my own hunger control issues, and my running. Just wanted to throw this out there as food for thought for some other runners....
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
I hate New Year's resolutions. Seriously. It's like people get on this big kick to do something they should have been doing all year long... (NO OFFENSE TO THOSE WHO MADE THEM!) But the saddest part is that most of the time, with most people, the resolve to change doesn't even last until the end of January. At best, they might push through until the end of March. Why wait until the new year to start a new life, or start working toward a new goal?
I read a great quote recently:
"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's."
– Henry Moore, 1898-1986
That's the way we ALL should think, I believe. Each day is a new day, a new beginning. We should resolve EACH DAY to do our best, to work toward our goals, to be a better person. EACH DAY, not just at the beginning of a new year. I am always, all year round, setting goals, and dreaming up new ideas, trying harder to better myself in some way. And besides, setting a goal for A DAY seems mentally and spiritually much more feasible and reachable than setting resolutions for a WHOLE YEAR!! (Doesn't that tire you out just thinking about doing something for a whole year?) If we take one day at a time, soon it WILL be a year.
So what do you resolve to do TODAY?
With that said, I do have some goals, some things i am looking forward to, some challenges of 2011, that I would like to share.
Daily or constant goals:
1. Draw closer to God. Spend more time each day cultivating my spiritual walk. Most important, therefore it's No. 1.
2. Draw closer to my family. I spend a lot of time being impatient with my kids and husband. Using harsh words. Being too wrapped up in what I am trying to get done. And I want to share more time with them, quality time, time when Mommy (or wifey) is not so impatient. I LOVE THEM!! THEY ARE MY WORLD! I need to show them more.
3. Cultivate my relationships with others more - get good friends, and take time to spend with them more. Listen more. Be a friend. (I already have a few in mind!)
1. Races: I am a runner. So, my planned races this year include:
** Kiel Marathon on February 26th, my first marathon... YAY!
** Krakower Mittsommernachtslauf 30K, June 18th
** Hamburg Run 10K, July 9th (My birthday!!)
** Volks- und Straßenlauf Kl. Meckelsen 10K, July 16th
** Harz Gebirgslauf ("Mountain Run") Marathon, October 8th - This race will be a HUGE challenge, as you basically climb a mountain. It will NOT be for a PR, but simply for the experience, and the accomplishment aspect. I ran the HM in 2009, and totally LOVED IT!
** Christmas Run to Tree 10K, Dec. 2011
So far, that's what I plan for races.
2. Study for ACE Fitness Personal Trainer cert, and take exam in July/August.
3. Finish my studies at my German trade school to become a Hauswirtschafterin (home economics specialist), to keep working toward my dream of having a whole-foods cafe or catering/party-planning business. My written exam will be in May, and practical exam/project in the fall sometime.
4. GARDENING!!! I had wanted to really get on my garden last year, but didn't get as much planted and accomplished as I wanted to... However my zucchini was a GREAT success!! Though not much else was. So, I want to spend time over the next few months planning out exactly WHAT to plant, and WHERE. And I want to be prepared as soon as possible to get out there and work.
Here's my tentative list on what to plant:
Spinach (had great success with that too, until it got too hot)
Tomatoes (maybe! I have heard they are tender... they probably wouldn't make it with me around!!)
I am not a natural gardener. I do not have a green thumb. I kill most plants I buy, sadly. But I really am trying to do better and to learn more along the way. So, here's to trying!!
So, 2011, are you ready for me? I am going to make EACH DAY you give me count toward something good!
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