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Final Week of 5K Training Schedule, and Fish Chowder

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Second blog entry of the day!

I went to many websites with 5K training plans to compare the final week of training suggestions. Here's my schedule, based on the trends I saw in all those plans, plus my own strength training schedule. Good nutrition, upped hydration, full nights' sleep, and stretching are a given each day.

Sunday, June 21 (1st day of summer!): 60 minute easy run, lower-body strength training
Monday, June 22: 30 minutes on stair climber, strength training for back and shoulders, pick up race materials at City Sports
Tuesday, June 23: 3 miles or 30 minutes easy run, strength training for chest and abs
Wednesday, June 24 (last day of school for students!): Tempo Run (five minute warmup, 5K at 7.4 mph - can alternate with 7.3 if necessary), 5ish minute walk. STRETCH. Also, strength training for arms.
Thursday, June 25 (last day of school for teachers!): 60 minutes elliptical, lower-body strength training with very light weights. Definitely stretch.
Friday, June 26 (first day of summer vacation!): SLEEP (but not late into the morning - earlier at night is better)!, strength train for back and shoulders, 30 minutes stair climber - easy pace is fine.
Saturday, June 27: walk just enough to warm up, then do some slow easy stretching. Go very light on caffeine - 0-1 cups of coffee total for the day. Come up with detailed plan for Sunday morning wakeup, breakfast and hydration, arrival to race start, warmup, etc. Go to bed early.
Sunday, June 28: 9 a.m. race! Time to PR!

Fish Chowder

I just made this...inventing it as I went along!

In a large pot, combine 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil with 1 serving of Bob's Red Mill High Fiber Cereal (or anything else that resembles whole wheat flour), 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1 cup low-sodium organic chicken broth, and any spices you like. Bring to boil, whisking constantly.

Reduce heat and add chopped veggies. I added sweet potato, onions, scallions, garlic, cauliflower, turnip, and celery. Add 1 can wild salmon.

Simmer on low heat for at least an hour, stirring frequently.

Mine made 7 servings, about 250 calories each.

Oh, PS - I'm back in my size 4 jeans. (They're tight, but not obscene.) YEAH. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIL_EZZY 6/23/2009 5:09AM

    Whoooooo Hoooooooo size 4 Congratulations girl.

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TERRIANGEL 6/22/2009 9:11PM

    Size 4 baby!!!! emoticon emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 6/22/2009 2:04AM

    Fish chowder is so not my thing, even if it might be a great recipe - the part about throwing in the wild salmon did not sound so good to me.... LOL! Anyways, you so got a plan and unless something unforseen happens, there is no reason you shouldn't reach your goal!
Also, great for being almost done with school! ( when do you guys start back up?)
Anyways, enjoy your Friday sleep in!

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KJNE8O 6/21/2009 5:08PM

    YAY SIZE 4's!!!!!!!!!!

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ZIRCADIA 6/21/2009 11:48AM

    LOL to Jen saying "having intense runs" HAHAHAHAHAH and catching herself. That is funny. That fish chowder recipe scares me. Not because I don't bet it tastes good to people that might like that but since I've never tried anything like it it kinda scares me. :) hehe. YAY for tapering before your race!!! I did before my last 5K and PR'd with my first sub 30 5K, faster pace than I've ever recorded for myself in practicing, AND on only 3-4 hrs of sleep. HAHAHAHAHAHA :P So with you sleeping and stretching and fueling properly, I'm sure you will get an excellent result. :)

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SWEATONCEADAY 6/21/2009 11:28AM


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SKYFYRE 6/21/2009 2:07AM

    YAY for getting back into your goal jeans! And I am so impressed that you are able to throw together a fancy meal like that! (Although I would never let it touch my lips- fish,... ICK!-- but I am glad you are a healthy eater! Heehee!

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    Congrats on getting into those size 4s, even if they are tight! I'm sure by the end of summer they will fit perfectly. And good luck with your training this week-- looks like you have a good tapering plan in place for your 5K. I know you'll do great :)

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JENONTHEROX 6/20/2009 6:43PM

    hey hey I'm so behind on catching up with blogs!

Right on for getting back into your size 4s, that is fabulous!! emoticon

your pre-5K plan sounds good, especially if you're going for a PR & running intensely before the race. . . (I initially wrote "having intense runs before the race" but that just sounds SO WRONG!!! haha!)



Comment edited on: 6/20/2009 6:53:21 PM

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Bulleted Update!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

*TOM came today. Ever since I stopped taking the pill I have had incredibly long and unpredictable cycles, but this one was "only" 35 days, so it surprised me. I guess I can forgive myself now for having my weight be up a couple pounds. :)

*Elliptical: I could tell I needed a break from running today. I ran hard on Thursday and took Friday off, but my legs were still kind of achy this morning. So instead of forcing it, I used the elliptical instead. SUCH a good idea - my legs feel better now! It's so much easier on the joints. Also, I let go of any fears and just PUSH when I'm on the elliptical. (I guess when I'm running I have this subconscious fear of pushing too hard and then crashing and burning...I don't get that fear on the elliptical.) I finished the first 5K in 28:45, 10K in 56:49 (2nd 5K faster than 1st 5K, yay), and in an hour I went 6.58 miles. Then I did a five-minute cooldown and a nice loooooooong stretch.

*Mocha Latte: I believe I have found the world's best post-morning-workout treat!!! I got the idea from this recipe:
, but I altered it. I made mine with 1 cup of Dunkin Donuts cinnamon spice coffee, 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk, 1 packet diet Swiss Miss, 1 tablespoon cocoa, and a bunch of ice cubes. HEAVEN.

*Goal Weight: I have come to the conclusion that I am going to stick to my original plan of aiming for 140, rather than hitting ten percent (148.5) and maintaining for several months before continuing on. I get so much happier/more excited thinking about finally hitting my goal and going clothes shopping and really digging into permanent lifetime maintanence than I do thinking about the other plan. So I hope I'm not doing myself a major disservice by ignoring the advice to not lose too much all at once, but that's my decision!

*5K tapering: The fact that I was sore for over a day after my last pace workout tells me I have to have a plan for tapering before my June 28 5K. I did a little research online, and of course different articles have different suggestions, so I'm not entirely sure what my plan will be, and I bet I will feel quite antsy if I rest too much the last few be continued. Suggestions highly welcome. :) Regardless of what workouts I end up doing, I like the advice I read in one article that suggested starting to up your rest (try to sleep an hour more per night - not sure if I CAN do this, but I can try!), hydration, and carbs the whole week before the race! Well, honestly for a 5K I doubt I need to change my carb-eating strategy much (I already get about 55 percent of my calories from carbs per day), but definitely more sleep and water have to help!

*Racing/TOM connections? I was curious about any connections between running and TOM, so I did a little research online, and luckily I found that it seems there either isn't much of a connection at all, or if anything that running helps alleviate annoying TOM symptoms.

Post-5K Goals: I'm already starting to think about my next goals after the 5K. First, I'd like to take a few days off to get my hair done! (I do a chemical straightening procedure once in a while that requires 48 hours of avoiding moisture - so that means no exercise!) Then, I have to decide when my next race will be and what distance to go for. I really like the 5K distance a lot, and will definitely be up for the Tufts 10K in October again... not sure I'm in the mood to take on anything bigger than that. To be continued.

Downloading music: It occurred to me today that I haven't downloaded any new music for my iPod in a really long time. Where do you guys get your music from? Do you do it the totally legal way? I used to use limewire, but I'm worried about viruses and consequences. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIANGEL 6/22/2009 9:09PM

    Wowee does that coffee sound DEVINE!!! I may have to try it. Do you need cocoa after a packet of swiss miss?

What 5K are you doing? did I miss it?? I'm so happy for you!! And I have to really look at my training schedule. I may be able to do the Tufts again...if it's like 2 weeks before the marathon i may be able to do it as part of my training. That'd be GREAT, 'cause I really REALLY loved it, and I SO want to meet up with you this time! I think if I can't run it I'll do what Smurfette did last year and just go watch it and cheer you on.

I'm gonna go see what 5K you're doing now. ...

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 6/20/2009 11:56PM

    I run 5K once a week now and I'm always sore for a day or two after. When I was learning to run, starting back at the beginning of March, I walked/ran 5K three times per week, as prescribed by the program I was in, and I struggled with non-stop pain. Some days I could barely walk. Now I run only the one time every week, the rest of the week I use my elliptical. This is the formula I needed to be able to run an entire 5K with no walking. The University of Calgary's running injury clinic web site says that most running injuries and pain after running is due to weak hips and lower back, so I've tried to focus on this area with my strength training. I hope you find what works for you; this is what worked for me.


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JENONTHEROX 6/20/2009 6:52PM

    it sounds like you are right on track with things.

& thank goodness to have running when dealing with TOM, it's the only thing that helps me feel half decent in my jeans during that time!

I think I'm more excited for YOUR 5K on the 28th than my own, I guess because I'm not PR'ing it (but of course I don't want to do worse... ok maybe I am PR'ing. Ugh. I just don't want to end up hating running.) I definitely think a 10K would be in order & in fact the one I'm planning to run is also in October!

As for music, I use both Limewire & iTunes, as well as Vuze sometimes. I get my anti virus software to scan EVERYTHING, so hopefully it doesn't become an issue.

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/20/2009 4:54PM

    I am ashamed to admit that we used this legal, but I felt bad that the bands weren't paid as much, site that was Russian for the longest time. But they haven't been able to take credit cards so since most the bands dh and I download are all like small, indy bands, we just suck it up and pay for itunes. We spent $50 this morning, as a matter of fact :(. If I were downloading Pink or something I wouldn't care.

RE: elliptical, why do you think that thing is so much easier than running? It seems like if one were to do a similar pace per mile on the treadmill, elliptical and stairmaster the calorie read outs would all be similar, with the stairmaster a little more, and the level of exertion should be similar, but that isn't at all the case for me, anyway. I know the calorie count parts are way unreliable, but the exertion of running and stairmaster are way harder than elliptical, don't you think?

I would definitely not carb load the week before a 5k. Did you see that office episode? Hilarious!

Re your goal weight, I say go for 140, BUT if you hit a major plateau, I would really STOP and do the maintain for 4 months thing at the plateau rather than trying to fight it because if you try and fight the plateau you risk doing what I did where my poor body thinks we're in a war during a famine. The ideas in the Harvard research are the GENERAL guidelines, generalized in the hopes they would be applicable to the most number of people but 10% is no hard and fast rule, that is simply a number they found to be effective among a lot people. The more important idea is when your body says, "No more" to stop and listen and let it adjust. I would call a major plateau 3 weeks of consistent work with zero scale movement, if you hit four, I would stop and maintain. But you may find that your body keeps losing to 138 or something, in which case I think the research would suggest you can keep rolling with that. Your body will let you know it is uncomfortable losing any more for the time being.

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    I used to use Limewire religiously, but I got a virus and we concluded it probably came from downloading. Plus, it was becoming harder and harder to get a legitimate song (sometimes I would download one thing and it would be a completely different song, etc) Now I just use iTunes and the iStore, but I have to admit, my downloading has completely come to a stop practically. It was so much easier when it was free! So my iPod is seriously lacking these days, I am so sick of the same songs, over and over!

I wish I could offer some advice on 5K tapering but I have no clue. I have read some articles and I agree, you will get different advice and info from each one. So I guess you need to go with what feels right to you, and what you think will work for you.

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MBSHAZZER 6/20/2009 1:20PM

    Lots of items in your post! First of all, glad you are enjoying your cross training. Not running is almost as important as running!

Next, I so hear you on the TOM! I haven't had one in years thanks to the pill, but I remember those totally unpredictable TOMs well! The only thing that I could predict was that it would come at the worst time possible! Exercise should definitely help in relieving the symptoms and may even help you regulate.

Regarding your 5k, I would definitely rest the day before and probably have easy workouts or XT sessions for the 2-3 days before the race. And upping the sleep is critical! I read somewhere that getting adequate rest is one of the best exercise and energy boosters there is. If I can remember where I saw the article, I'll send you the link.

I get my music from LimeWire - it's free and i'm not sure it's legal, but I've never had a problem with a virus or anything.

Have a great weekend!

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Pace workout... and a few things that are bothering me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6/18/09 25:31
6/11/09 26:10
6/02/09 25:45
5/29/09 27:15
5/24/09 26:59

Today's run was after dinner and I was totally un-caffeinated! I did get a good night's sleep last night, and I think that made a huge difference. (Yesterday I went running outside when I was EXHAUSTED, and it was awful.) Today's workout began with a five-minute warmup...first some incline walking (4.0, 2 percent) for 2.5 minutes and then some light jogging (5.0 mph, 1 percent). The run was at 7.3 mph and that felt fine - even easy - at first! Unfortunately about halfway through my shoelace came untied so I had to fix that which skewed my time a bit, but I tried to make up for it with a couple 8.0 mph bursts, including the last 0.1 mile. I think I can safely try 7.4 mph next time I do a pace workout.

A family issue just popped up this afternoon. I don't think I want to get into all the details, but it's about personalities clashing and it's awkward and embarrassing and somewhat hurtful, and my biggest fear is that it could spiral into something worse. Yuck.

So...that was on my mind while I was doing my strength training (still dripping sweat from the run), so I was in a somewhat vulnerable mood. A man who has annoyed me at the gym in the past came into the weights area that I was in, and proceded to take several dumbbells, all different weights. I thought to myself, "Ugh, now when I need a pair of dumbbells, he'll have one of them!" He was only using one at a time, so I thought it was rude of him to take them all as if they were for him alone. I take just what I need and then put it away before I get something else, out of courtesy for others!

So... luckily I didn't need any of the weights he was hogging for a while, but eventually I needed the 10-pounder that was sitting on the floor near his bench, along with the rest of his collection. So....I just took it! Is that bad?

He said, "I'm using that."

I said, "Oh, I assumed you were using that one," and gestured to the one in his hand.

He said, "Well, I am, but I'm also using that," gesturing to the 10-pounder I needed.

I said, "I'll be quick."

He asked, "Just one set?"

I was too annoyed to think, so I just repeated, "I'll be quick."

It turned out that I did only need it for one set, so in less time than the conversation took, I was done. I placed it back with his precious collection of just-for-him weights, and said, "Here you go."

He said, "We can share it if you want."

I said, "No, I'm all set."

Sorry for the trite details about a stupid little story... I'm not really upset about this... I'm upset about the personal family issue. Ugh. I need to watch a movie or something to get my mind off of it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SABRIELSWEETIE 6/23/2009 12:50PM

    wow.. what an annoying gym person.

I admit that I occasionally will use the 8's and 10's for one set, but generally I try to do one weight range exercises then switch to the 10's.

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JENONTHEROX 6/20/2009 6:58PM

    Wow that is some impressive time for a totally uncaffeinated run. . . I definitely notice a difference when I don't have caffeine in my system & it's not like yours unfortunately!

I hope your family issues resolve/get easier soon for you & ohhh, how we could all devote entire blogs to things (i.e. people) that annoy us at the gym. It's funny because while it doesn't happen TOO often, when it does happen it's something kinda selfishly extreme like this.

Comment edited on: 6/20/2009 6:59:27 PM

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MBSHAZZER 6/19/2009 10:03AM

    OMG, that drives me CRAZY - the hogging of the weights thing! What is WRONG with some people!? Once I was at the gym and I wanted to swap out the rope for a bar on the lat pulldown machine and as I was swapping it out, someone else hopped on there. RUDE! Also, my gym has these 2 middle aged grunters. They are so loud! Also, I totally hear you about the stopping ruining your running mojo. I had to stop for a traffic light at the end of my run today when I was really cranking along and it just killed the run.

Anyway, sounds like you had a good workout and maybe worked through a little mental stress! Have a great weekend!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/19/2009 8:52AM

    You go! I loved that story!!! I cannot stand people who do that crap.

It is one thing *IF* (big if) the gym is pretty empty and someone super-sets between two pieces of equipment, but you cannot "call" 4 sets of weights, or three different benches. And people who won't let someone work in are REALLY annoying! Buy your own, if you can't share, a-hole! I love how he obviously felt like a tool when you returned it, ha ha!!

Sorry about the family stuff. Familys suck. Seriously. I want to just pick the people I would hang with anyway (one brother and his family, two aunts, that is about it, lol!!! And all the kids, of course!) and divorce the rest :P. I don't mean to joke or be flippant, in all seriousness, it is tough when you have an aggregate of people that may or may not ever get along or be acquainted unless they were related.

Lastly, don't you hate those disruptions like shoe laces or your ipod flying off or something? I remember one time I was on a treadmill and the bank of tvs one was tuned to HBO and this REALLY VIOLENT horror film was on, I CANNOT stand violent horror films, so I was having to run with like a 45 degree turn in my neck and my eyes half shut to avoid it. As if that wasn't bad enough, then this dude that works out (I haven't seen him in awhile, maybe he moved gyms) who doesn't wash his gym clothes (I swear, he smells like amonia, it is DISGUSTING) got on the treadmill next to me. So then I was like gagging on his stench and having to avoid the people getting impaled. I was like, "Dang. I earned that workout" :P.

I always ramble on your blog. . . sorry, I don't know why your blog is like "personal share time."

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ELFITZPA 6/19/2009 7:19AM

    I hope things get straightened out for you. I know how easy it is to let your feelings seep into other aspects of life (like weird guy at the gym). Don't feel badly, just focus on what's important.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/19/2009 5:49AM

    Friends are family you pick yourself!-- I love that saying-- sometimes famiy stuff can really get to us but our friends are always there to help make things better! Hang in there!

Your times are getting great! Keep up the good work.

Comment edited on: 6/19/2009 5:51:15 AM

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SEEHOLZ 6/19/2009 3:07AM

    Sorry about the family issue-- totally sucks... you never know, it might turn out better than expected...
It's funny that the guy wanted to share AFTER you were done, especially after he was so possessive about the weights... but, you got your weight without it being thrown at you, so I guess it worked out, huh-LOL?
Great job on the run btw --- you rocked it! emoticon

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    You are a running machine. Seriously. And here I am struggling with running more than 5mph on a good day.

As for the personal issue, you'll get through it, whatever it is. I have my fair share of family stress and drama and jealousy and annoyances, etc. I don't know how I am related to some of these people, seriously. OK, anyway, just focus on working off that stress. A good workout (which you always seem to have anyway!), a movie and a nice long bath. Throw in a glass of wine and some candles and you've got a party for one.

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STEFANIE822 6/18/2009 11:07PM

    Nice job on the run!!!!! I HATE when people do that at they gym!! There is this old guy that goes in the weight room that I always use and he takes all 3 of the Swiss balls and puts them in the corner by him. He also takes both of the balance balls (I dont know what they are called). I think its so rude too!! Good for you for just taking it!! Hope everything works out with the family issues!

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BRUIN2 6/18/2009 10:02PM

    Well my friend, you know that I can totally relate to the family issues!! Sorry those thoughts interrupted your workout though. Workouts should be a sh!tty family-related-thoughts free zone!!

As for the weights - how annoying about that guy! I think you handled the situation well. That's really rude of him to hoard all of those weights. But now you have an in with him "Hi!! Can we share?" and just pick up the weight you want and run away. HAHAHAHHAHA.


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ZIRCADIA 6/18/2009 8:36PM

    WOOHOO on the run!!! I know how it is when you're upset about one thing and all the other little irritating things in life are just magnified. *HUGS*

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Fenway Food - Warning - Ranting Ahead

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Last night I went to a Red Sox game with my boyfriend and some of our family members, and we also all went to the Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner beforehand. My observation? Food was WAY too central a feature! With the help of Sparkpeople I have come to realize that food should not be everything... it should not give events their meaning. I was disgusted by the central focus on food - junk food - last night.

The first thing I noticed was the Longhorn menu. It was mostly filled with grossly unhealthy choices, just listed there as if they were somehow normal and perfectly acceptable to eat. Some were accompanied with photos that really disgusted me, especially the one with the rare steak covered in a creamy sauce that was dripping down the sides of the pink beef slices. YUCK. I couldn't find a plain garden salad on the menu for the longest time, though I eventually found it listed as an option for a side with one of the steak dishes. For me it was a toss-up between that and the strawberry pecan salad, but my boyfriend convinced me to get the srawberry pecan salad so I wouldn't feel too deprived when I saw everyone else with their heartier dishes. Well, not only did everyone else have heartier dishes, but they were also all going nuts with the hot bread before the meal and then their wimpy iceburg salads. The dinner portions (other than mine - more about that later) were all way too big to meet the caloric needs of any one person for any one meal, and they were all salty, oily, not-fresh-looking dishes.

My dish was actually "side salad" sized, which meant that the portion was actually fine. However, it was drenched in dressing (I know, I could have ordered the dressing on the side, oh well), the pecans were candied, and the lettuce was iceburg. Not a nutritional A+ by any means.

While we were eating, dessert was served at a table nearby. A very tall slice of chocolate cake with a side of ice cream or something - I tried not to stare - was placed there. My boyfriend's sister sounded like she was seriously considering ordering it for herself, but in the end she decided to wait to get dessert at the park instead.

What? you ask. MORE food after a huge dinner like that?

Maybe you don't ask. Maybe it's normal to just eat all night long when you go to a ballgame, or just any old time. Maybe it's not even that bad for some people, who are already healthy and who exercise, like my boyfriend's family, who seem to somehow be able to eat like that and stay thin and healthy for the most part (though his dad was just diagnosed with diabetes, and his sister lost maybe 30 pounds a couple years ago). But it can't be good for many to constantly overindulge, so why is it so acceptable in our society??

The temptation was there at Fenway, of course. I knew I'd already had eaten my calorie quota for the day and never usually eat after dinner anyway, but it's just human nature to feel tempted when you're surrounded by workers walking up and down the stands screaming the name of their product, and you're smelling all the powerful aromas. All around me people, including the group I was with, were buying all kinds of junk - ice cream, popcorn, hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, sodas. I wasn't a martyr myself - I had two red wines and maybe about 10 of the unpleasantly SALTIEST peanuts from my boyfriend's dad's bag - but at least those things have some nutritional value. Cotton candy was being purchased nearby (among all kinds of other junk) - soft big clouds of colored sugar - WHY??

When I tallied up yesterday's calories (didn't log until this morning) I was over 2,500! I can't imagine what kind of calorie numbers I'd be at if I ate like everyone else. It was eye-opening to me that this kind of gluttony was so appalling to me - it used to just be the norm. I'm lucky I have my boyfriend who doesn't overeat, and all my Spark friends who constantly remind me of what a healthy lifestyle means. We, it seems, are not the norm.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSICAPAGE 6/18/2009 8:09PM

    Sounds like you did alright to me. You were able to indulge a little but not go overboard. Rock on.

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MATHISUE 6/18/2009 7:16AM

  Hi SeppieSusan- I am new to the Boston Group, (and SP too!). I hear what you are saying about the fast food places! I used to drive through McDonalds or BK and think it was OK because I got a small fry and a diet soda with my crispy grilled chicken sandwich- no more of that! I don't even need to read the book "Eat this not that" I totally get it now, and for the first time in years I have lost 12 pounds in a few weeks just by following my SP meal guides- it is awesome!
Just a note of caution when it comes to eating with family and friends: one relative of mine has been involved in an overeating group for years. She makes it clear that everyone else's diet is disgusting, that she considers us all alcoholics because we may drink a glass of wine or have a beer or 2. Dining out with someone who is judging everything you order or eat can be stressful and uncomfortable, and can ruin a social dinner. Whatever your goals are, they are your goals, and you can't do anything to sway another person until they are ready to be educated. If Texas Steakhouse doesn't do it for you, you can always decline and meet later.
The worst thing you can do is to announce that you won't go there (or anywahere else) because of the unhealty food choices-you will create barriers between yourself and your family members that will be difficult to overcome, because instead of you doing the judging, you will be judged about everything you eat!

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JENONTHEROX 6/17/2009 8:30PM

    I definitely hear you on all accounts...

I live in Canada & I always thought if I lived in the US I'd weigh at least 100lbs more (well not now, but when I was gained 50+lbs during 07-08) because of ALL the ridiculous, super sized this & that & just ALL the food absolutely everywhere in cheap abundance (& quality). When I went down just across the US border into WA for some shopping, my friend ALWAYS insists on the Olive Garden to eat for lunch & although I didn't blog about this, about 98% of the people there were overweight & obese (including my friend).

While we live in countries that offer such GREAT variety of fresh produce & healthy foods, the lack of OPTIONS out there is horrible. I remember once at this outdoor concert event in my early 20s, my friend brought her OWN food when it wasn't allowed inside the event area & she told the security she had a health condition (diabetes, if I remember right) & couldn't eat any of the crap offered at the event. Of course, her only "health condition" was that she wanted to be healthy. . .

We all deserve to have our abs & ass as small as we want them to be & even more importantly, less saturated/trans fat & cleaner nutrition for our bodies. I've learned SO much more about proper nutrition & health over the last year, that like you, all these observations of others around us are inevitable.

Comment edited on: 6/17/2009 8:32:30 PM

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CARILOUIE 6/17/2009 8:14PM

    I laughed so much when I read your description of what the picture on the menu looked like. I could see it in my head! It is so crazy that so many past-times revolve around food. It's your birthday? let's get a giant cake and go out to eat. Haven't seen your friend in a while? Let's go get a giant bowl of pasta. Meeting friends for lunch? heaven forbid you don't go get the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-mouth soup, salad and breadsticks combo.
Re: eating as "normal" - I think that with the help of Spark People, my idea of normal eating has changed, too. When I go out to eat with someone, I don't feel bad anymore when I leave half my food. I don't feel guilty anymore for not eating the bread, and I feel confident enough when ordering "just" water that I don't say it apologetically to the server anymore.
Gooooooooooo SparkPeople!

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ZIRCADIA 6/17/2009 5:42PM

    Amen to RUN_LIFT_EAT's rant for one thing, but yeah. I can't STAND when I go to a restaurant and everything just looks like fat plus more fat and you can't find a healthy option anywhere. *sigh* And then the focal point food takes at NON FOOD RELATED ACTIVITIES (such as a BASEBALL GAME) is frustrating. I definitely also prefer non-chain restaurants now. Chains are usually just a waste of time and calories. :P

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/17/2009 3:49PM

    We (as a society, not as you and I) have been so duped by marketing to think that Longhorn or McDonalds or Chillis, TGIFriday or any of those places is "good" when they're nasty. The last time we ate a Longhorn (we had a gift card) we were leaving and we saw this obese little boy and his obese mother each eating an enormous desert. It made me so sad. Sorry, but that is child abuse, imo.

Chain restaurants are worthless and disgusting. I seriously cannot stand them. Life is too short to have to eat Outback or Longhorn or any of that crap with ignorant teenagers instead of chefs. Nicer restaurants have smaller portions and better food.

It is messed up how overeating has been so normalized. This whole country has an ED. Hence why we're all either being told that 300 pounds is beautiful, too, or we're supposed to see some stick with fake boobs stuck on like Victoria Beckham as the pinnacle of beauty. What about a good old sane approach to it all?

I see no problem with breaking bread with friends as something to do, but it should definitely be more about spending time together than enabling gorging ourselves. Yesterday at my parent's place I was again awed by how they eat constantly. I mentioned the dessert buffet after lunch, well, not too long after that ice cream was pulled out. All they do is eat. I am honestly surprised that Americans aren't EVEN FATTER.

Well, okay, now that I have had my own rant on your blog, I have to disagree with Pam I have been to Hockey games, it is fun, whatever, but baseball is WAY better!

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MBSHAZZER 6/17/2009 3:39PM

    Yeah, I find eating out depressing, especially at chain restaurants. No one needs that much food. We recently took out from the library the book "Eat This, Not That" - we never eat fast food, but we were curious... WOW, I knew a lot of that stuff was bad for you, but I had no idea just how bad. I think some of those places just add oil and butter for the sake of it! Anyway, hope you were able to enjoy the game....

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    You need to watch hockey games, not baseball. Hockey is much busier. We spend too much time jumping out of our seats to scream at refs or cheer on a fight to be stuffing our faces with anything. OK, except maybe beer, but we spill a lot of that so it doesn't really count. Baseball is boring, so Americans eat. Be Canadian and you'll loose weight.



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KARVY09 6/17/2009 3:21PM

    Great blog. It really is eye-opening when you start tallying your calories and realize how many you were consuming before. I wouldn't beat yourself up too much, keeping your calories down with a trip to Longhorn and Fenway is extremely difficult.

My funny Fenway food anecdote: My uncle isn't content with the three chicken finger portions on the chicken finger/french fry basketin the self-serve line. So he'll nab one of the fingers from another basket and stick it on his. Other people do this too, and sometimes you'll see just a sorry old box of fries with no chicken! Oh, the gluttony!

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PAMELA984 6/17/2009 3:11PM

    You seem to have a great attitude about food now - it is okay to occasionally have a bigger day - but it is important that we don't make it a habit!

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BRUIN2 6/17/2009 3:08PM

    You are so, so, so right - food is such a major focus when it doesn't even have to be. I mean, I get that there are events all about *the food* - but does a night out to a ball game have to be one of them??

You did great working within the confines of what you were working with!

And this is one of the reason that I'm friends with some people still - and not others... The friends that I remain closest to are the ones that, when we get together, we do something active - whether it's a walk or a hike, or a trip to the gym. This didn't happen on purpose, but it did...and I'm ok with that. Good to have healthy people and options around!!

(these thoughts sounded much better in my head, so I hope my general point came across. HA)

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Ten Percent

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One thing I love about SparkPeople is reading other people's blogs. Hearing about other people's triumphs and even their struggles reminds me to stay on track. And on a surprisingly regular basis, I gain valuable insight from other people's thoughts, or from articles they link and discuss.

Yesterday Run_Lift_Eat re-posted a link to an article about how to maintain weight loss. (She described how this has applied to her own journey, and had the photos to suggest that it's really working for her. She has posted this link before, so obviously this article has been meaningful to her.

R.L.E.'s blog:

The article:

The idea that worked so well for R.L.E. is a goal of losing no more than ten percent of one's body weight at a time. Lose up to ten percent, then maintain for six months before trying to lose anymore. Supposedly if you do this, your body will adjust to the new weight and you will adjust to the behaviors that allow you to remain at this weight, and your "set point" will adjust. This has got me thinking...if I'm REALLY serious about keeping the weight off this time, shouldn't I be willing to try this??

Just like the other two times I've started a weight-loss effort, I began this journey in the 160s - 165 to be exact. (Actually, I was a bit heavier before I started recording my weight again, but I think it was water weight because I lost it within the first day or so of eating right.) Ten percent of 165 is, of course, 16.5. So if I were to lose ten percent of my starting weight, I would weigh 148.5. That is somewhat higher than my current goal of 140.

Yesterday I went through a funk. I was hungry and tired all day long, ate at the top of my range, and took a nap. My workout felt tougher than normal. I overdid the sugar-free gum to compensate for being hungry and ended up with painful gas pains that hit me hard on my way home from the gym. (Sorry for the TMI, but I'm hoping maybe someone out there can relate to the downside of sorbitol.) I knew the funk was temporary and even blogged about the reasons why I was feeling that way, but it got me thinking. I have a strong suspicion that the lower my weight gets, the more desire I will have to overeat. I have read that this happens because your body wants to get back to its set point. So if it's possible to lower one's set point, it really would be in my best interests to do so.

I also noticed some physical changes yesterday. I wore a pair of formerly tight size 10 pants that were loose, and I noticed that my face looked slimmer. I was happy about these changes of course, but they made me realize that REAL changes are going on here. If I'm serious about keeping the weight off, shouldn't I let my body adjust to these changes before I pile on even more?

I haven't completely convinced myself yet. There is a part of me, of course, that cringes to think that I won't get close to my ultimate goal weight while it's still beach season. If I were to implement the ten percent plan, I'd have to stop in a few weeks when I hit around 148.5 and then maintain that for six months - probably until January (!) before attempting to lose any more. I know everyone thinks teachers have a lot of patience, but come ON, that kind of slow weight loss would require more patience than I think I have!

On the other hand, though, if I were to try this out, I'd probably feel better physically, be able to eat a bit more (maybe 300 extra daily calories?), I'd still be able to make progress in running and strength training, I'd wear size 6-8 for the next six months, and I'd have a consistent weight, which is more than I can say for any time in my recent history. Plus, and most importantly, I'd be more likely to make the weight loss permanent. And as a bonus, I might even be able to realistically shoot for an ultimate goal weight lower than previously imagined, as long as I'm willing to lose no more than ten percent at a time.

If anyone has any insight based on your own personal experience or research on this issue, please feel free to share!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 6/17/2009 1:49PM

    No personal insight really, but I think it's a great plan. It totally makes sense, and really, if you want to tackle a big project, it does make sense to break it down into smaller pieces. The slower you take it off, the more likely it is that you will really be able to stick to the changes and keep it off. GO FOR IT!

I can totally relate to the sorbitol thing, BTW... I was getting cramps just reading your blog!

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SKYFYRE 6/17/2009 3:21AM

    Your comittment and reflection are impressive. I think that this is an interesting theory, only one way to find out if it will work for you and that is to try it!

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FITGIRL15 6/16/2009 6:05PM

My personal story is that I lost 25 pounds (~16% of my original 155 lbs) in 6 consecutive months, no breaks or plateaus...very consistent (about 1 pound a week).
I then maintained that weight loss (not intending to, by ANY means... I actually plateaued there!) for 6 months. Then when I started competition diet & training, I lost another 12 lbs in 2 months (~9% of my new body weight of 130lbs) which were dramatic results IMHO! But definitely slowed down again after reaching this new place (118lbs).
I couldn't believe how quickly my body responded after resetting my set point. (Either that or giving my metabolism a chance to catch up to the NEW ME!) Either way, I think the body has a way of "plateauing" when it wants a break... For me it did! ...Maybe that was my que to stop dieting so hard and just live & enjoy food a bit more!?!

Comment edited on: 6/16/2009 6:09:05 PM

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 6/16/2009 5:06PM

    Thanks for the shout-out in your blog, sister!

I guess you know where I stand on this, but I will add that I can relate to the impatience and just wanting to get on with it. But, this has really made a big difference for me. Dieting SUCKS and maintaining presents its own set of challenges, so while I commend those people that can be really strict and have fast, dramatic results, it just isn't sustainable for me. So maybe the same is true for you? And it may not take 6 months, from my experience you could basically tell when your body had adjusted and tell when you were mentally in a place where you were ready to deal with the strictness of dieting again.

I also think you make a great point about how major, dramatic changes HAVE happened to your body . . . it is new and it takes time for your body to adjust.

Anyway whatever you decide is the best route for you I want you to know that I support you!

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HOPERY 6/16/2009 3:28PM

    Wow! I am going to read and consider that. Funny, when I started losing weight, I was around 153. I went down to around 138, which is 10%. I stalled there for 7 or so months, and am now losing again. Maybe I should stop and hold at around 124 for 6 months. Although, when I get into the 120's I might just be done.

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ZIRCADIA 6/16/2009 1:42PM

    I read her blog and I think it sounds like a great and realistic theory. I'm not sure it's necessary for everyone, but for you and your history it sounds like a really great idea to implement this kind of a plan, especially since your goals require such a smaller amount of total weightloss and you're nearing your goal and working on changing your set point (vs someone who's trying to drop a lot of weight and is obese or something). Definitely something to consider!

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