Friday, May 23, 2014
Okay, so Iíve had a bit of a zeitgeist here. Iíve read the information. Iíve understood the information, I just didnít put 2 and 2 together.
I have been part of a Biggest Loser type competition at work off & on for the past year. (The competition has been off & on, my participation has been consistent.) Any road, since not everyone at work wanted to lose weight, and since some of the people in the challenge wanted to boost their weight loss by setting and meeting specific goals, we also have had what we call a Ďlifestyleí challenge wherein we set two specific goals and then record how we do.
Piece of cake, right? Well, one of my specific goals has been to eat my full 5 servings of fruit and veg. I could do 4 no problem, but sometimes getting that 5th serving was pulling teeth. So I found a way to rectify that. Fruit. Because fruit is easier to eat than veg for the most part. Grab an apple. Grab a peach. Throw some berries in a bowl. Easy, peasy.
Over the past year, my 5 helpings of fruit and veg have become more like 4 servings of fruit and 1 of veg. And over the past year, not only have I NOT lost weight, I have steadily re-gained 20 of the pounds I had already so laboriously shed.
But this week all the nutrition reading and advice and thoughts just percolated in my head and, like that proverbial lightning bolt, I thought, ďHang on!Ē Fruit is good for you, yes. But fruit has fructose. Fruit has sugar. Lovely fiber, yes, but lots of sugar.
So I started looking into it and sure enough the literature is very clear. 4 veg and 1 fruit is going to do much better for you than 4 fruit and 1 veg.
Hereís the deal : If you are giving your body sugar, whether itís sugar straight from fruit or sugar derived from fruit (or cane or beets or a chemical lab) or whatever, then your body is using that quick sugar for energy and never has to tap into your fat stores. Why bother using that stored fat when you keep feeding it all the quick sugar it needs?
So. I am going to do a scientific-ish trial. Over this weekend I am going to start the transition to 3-4 veg and 1-2 fruit servings a day. On Monday, 26 May, I am joining Running Worldís streak challenge to run at least one mile per day from the Memorial Day holiday through the 4th of July. That Monday will be the start of my trial as well.
I am going to measure, weigh, and take pics at the start. Then Iím going to continue to eat as healthily as I have the past year, with the only changes being that flip to more veg and less fruit, and if I DO eat 2 servings of fruit, one of them must be accompanied by protein to help slow the effects of the sugars. (nuts or yogurt with the fruit, for example)
To help on this, I am going to check in here weekly with all results.
I really (REALLY, REALLY, REALLY) hope this is where the problem is. If not, Iíll keep searching, but one trial at a time!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, everyone knows what the 2014 Boston Marathon meant. It meant redemption. It meant strength. It meant purging demons. It showed us all what can be done if you want something badly enough. It showed us that the more people try to tell us we canít, the more likely we are to prove we can.
Yesterday I did my short run. 2.6 miles on a wicked up and down trail, a short run that is part of my training for my first marathon this fall. Like the participants in Boston, I ran for those whose chance to run was taken away from them last year. I ran for those whose courage got them back into the Boston Marathon despite injury and fear. I ran as Meb Keflezighi for a way, channeling his determination to finish first. I ran as Mark Remy for a way, channeling his philosophical bent. I ran as everyone who was forced to turn away from the finish last year, yet found the strength to return this year. I ran as all the people who ran Boston just to prove they can. And I ran as myself, knowing that although I will never run the Boston Marathon, my being a runner, on even the small tracks I travel, I am part of a community that is more open, giving, respectful, supportive and loving than any I know.
I am blessed.
Monday, April 14, 2014
This isn't really my blog today. This was written and posted to Facebook by my daughter. If you would like to see the article she mentions, you may find it here :
With the price increase deadline for the St Louis Rock n Roll approaching, and after a fairly uncomfortable 5K this morning, I began to have doubts about running a full marathon this fall. The race today was only 3.1 miles. But it was hard, there were hills, it was windy, and I'm sore. I thought, "Maybe I should register for the Half instead." I've done a Half. It's comfortable. It's safe.
Then I saw my mom's facebook post, showing photos of Boston Marathon bombing victims returning to the finish line for the anniversary of the race. I began to realize just how lucky I am. I have my legs, my arms, my health, my sight, my hearing, every physical ability necessary to accomplish this goal. I am lucky enough to live a life that's culturally, socially, and economically stable enough to afford me the luxury of running for recreation. I have an amazing support network of family and friends who will be there for me and hold me accountable as I reach for any goal I can imagine.
There are so many people who would love to begin to entertain the idea of running a marathon. For them, I will run that marathon. Every single step, I will think of those who can't be there due to age, illness, disability, or because they've already crossed that big finish line in the sky. I will run, lift, train, fuel, sweat, cry, and get up the next day to do it all over again.
In October, I will cross that finish line.
I will do it because love conquers terror. I will do it for the people holding up signs on the side of the road. I will do it for my mom, as we accomplish this goal of a lifetime together. I will do it for my friends and family who have loved me and cheered for me along the way. I will do it for everyone who can't. I will do it, because I can.
Friday, February 21, 2014
In Tai Chi we teach that we "Use the yi, not the li" which means to use your head, and not to react to things with brute strength, or without thought.
In commenting on someoneís page today that thought came to mind, and it makes me think about how often we eat in response to something. About how much we eat is in response to something. Although not a big emotional eater, I have let the cold weather around me be an excuse for poor choices lately. ďAr, itís freezing out. Have another cookie!Ē
There is a meme going around Facebook, a quote really, by Heather Morgan, a life coach and nutritionist. It says, ďEvery time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.Ē
This one really caught my attention. Deep down. Not just a passing thought. Weíve had a few health crises around here over the past few years. As many of you know, my husbandís colon exploded nearly three years ago, putting him into ICU for three weeks. His reconnection surgery didnít take so he was back in the hospital two years ago for another extended stay. Fortunately, last May he was able to be put back together again and is doing well.
While we were going through all this, my son-in-law was diagnosed with testicular cancer, my mother went into the hospital, first with blood clots in her legs, and more lately with blood clots in her lungs.
My brother was diagnosed with breast cancer, although newer doctors are debating that diagnosis, and my father has Alzheimer's Disease.
Now, I know that not all of this is a direct link to what we eat. My mom has a genetic disorder that pre-disposes her to blood clots, for example. But the fact that she started just sitting around and not getting up and exercising made that propensity a reality.
My husbandís colon had some physical problems, and we will never know how much of that came from poor food choices over the years. Eating better could have saved him that ER and ICU visit, however.
And cancer? It just sucks the big one. There still seems to be some debate about how direct the correlation between food and cancer is, but I will say that the better shape you are in, the better your body will be able to tolerate the cancer treatments.
And the evidence is mounting that nutrition can play a huge role in staving off Alzheimer's, or make it less severe.
This thought is haunting me a little. Not in a bad way. Iíve written a lot on here about choice, about will, about taking charge. Since reading that quote, every time I start to cook or eat something I stop and take a second thought. I do not just make something because it is simple after a long and stressful day. I use my yi : Will this meal feed disease? Will it nurture the dark side? Or will it help me fight off any potential for disease? Will it keep me strong? Will it add to or aid my fitness?
I want to be fit to live my life. I want to be fit to face the future. I want to be fit for me.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
What is it they say? If you can do something for 28 days it becomes a habit?
Last year I decided to create a Gratitude Jar. (You can read about that here if you want)
The idea is to write down, every day, something for which you were grateful, fill this jar and have something visual to remind you of all you have to be grateful FOR, and at the end of the year, spill it out and go through it as a memory of how great your year was.
Although notoriously bad at journaling, I thought this was a good idea. Every night before bed (so the last thing in my mind was a positive thought) I would scribble something I was grateful for on a snippet of colored paper, and drop it into a quart-sized Mason jar.
I will admit, to my shame, that there were days when the best I could be grateful for was my dogs or having a roof over my head. My problems are definitely first-world problems and feeling like there just wasnít much to be grateful for without straining made me feel guilty and bad. At that point I expanded the scope of the jar and decided to include good things that happened that day: positive things that happened, which is always something to be grateful for in the end.
THAT worked! And my jar filled. And filled. And filled. I ended up with smaller and smaller pieces of paper and ended up shoving the slips in, but there they are. I only missed a few days out of the entire year, and I have to admit I feel pretty good about that.
I have yet to turn last yearís jar out and go through the slips. I know that was supposed to be part of the project, but for me, keeping tabs of my days, well, keeping tabs on the BEST bits of my days was what became the important part of the exercise.
Then came 2014 and a decision. I hadnít emptied the jar on 31 December. Did I want to just keep cramming paper into that same jar? Start a new jar? Put those 2013 pieces of paper somewhere and then use the now empty jar? Or did I want to give up the practice? Make it a one-year thing?
The entire month of January passed with me faithfully scribbling on little slips of paper and dropping them into the pen-holder on my bed table while I tried to make a decision.
The truth is, I had trouble dropping into bed without taking that moment to reflect and find something good out of my day. Even one of the WORST days Iíd had in a long time, when I was feeling pitiful and angry at bedtime, I was able to find something for which I was grateful, something which had made me happy. And if I DID lie down and pull up the covers without filling out a slip? I felt edgy and had to sit back up and do it.
But the slip of paper thing was bumming me out. Iím not sure why, but maybe because I knew when it DID come time to look through 2013, Iíd have to dig and sort and shuffle to go from January to December. So for 2014 Iíve decided to move this newish habit into something I thought I wasnít good at : Journaling.
I bought a little journal. Just a little one. I donít PLAN on writing more than the snippets I did for 2013. But on a very good day (and this is still a gratitude/good thing journal) on a VERY GOOD day, I may write a little more, and a new habit may be born.
Iíll let you know in 28 days.
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