Sunday, August 05, 2012
I like to be active on the weekends without going to the gym but, boy, it's just too hot to be 'authentically' active! I think I'm going to have to resort to cleaning the (air-conditioned) house as my physical activity today!
I hope everyone else is keeping cool!
Saturday, August 04, 2012
I try to make 'fun food' on Friday. My challenge is to keep it within my calorie budget while still feeling like I splurged. Last night I made buffalo balls and crudite and it was a huge hit! Just watch out the sodium content is crazy.... and I don't see a way to fix that since it comes from the blue cheese and the wing sauce.
Buffalo Balls (adapted from I Breathe, I'm Hungry: www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/02/buf
Buffalo Balls (makes 41 balls, probably 4 reasonable entrée portions)
For the meatballs:
1 lb ground chicken breast
2 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup egg whites
2 Tbs chopped celery
1 oz crumbled reduced fat blue cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
For the sauce:
6 oz Frank's Red Hot Wings Sauce - Hot Buffalo
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. DO NOT ADD
SALT!!! The Frank's is super salty as is the blue cheese so trust me you
don't need to add more. The mix will be sticky and gooey but that's normal.
Form into about 1 inch balls - remember these are cocktail/bite sized so
don't make them too big. (I used a small Pampered Chef cookie scoop and just
ejected onto the pan.) Place them on a greased cookie sheet (with sides) and
bake at 350 degrees (F) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove balls from
oven and dunk carefully (they are tender from the cream cheese and could
fall apart if you are too rough) in the buffalo sauce. Put back onto the
cookie sheet and bake for another 12 minutes. If you have leftover sauce
you could pour it over the meatballs and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes if
you want them really saucy. These have a subtle blue cheese flavor but I
love the dressing so I added more and it was awesome! And of course, you
must serve with celery sticks to be authentic!
Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients) - per ball (41 per pound of chicken)
Calories From Fat: 6
Total Fat: less than 1g
Carbohydrates: less than 1g
Fiber: less than 1g
Sugar: less than 1g
For crudite. I served grape tomatoes, carrot chips, white mushrooms, and celery sticks with a blue cheese, pepper, yogurt dip that is a new favorite with the family. I don't have nutrition info on it but it should be simple enough to calculate.
Peppery Blue Cheese Dip:
3 oz crumbled reduced fat blue cheese
6 oz fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp coarse-grind black pepper
2 tbsp fat-free milk
Zip it all up in a blender/food processor or stir together (for a chunkier dip). Add more milk if it still seems too thick. Serve with veggies.
Friday, August 03, 2012
And so it goes.... back under goal in time for the weekend. Not at 'safe weight' but definitely comfortable. Breathing easy. Feeling OK about splurging tonight with the special 'fun food Friday' meal I have planned for the family.
Around the time that I was beginning this journey, I made a conscious decision to stop trying to 'control' a few aspects of my life that truly are not in my control. I was able to pull together all I'd learned about nutrition and fitness and apply them to my own life when I stopped beating myself up for not being able to control things that were not mine to control. I think that I traded trying to control things I can't control for controlling my weight and fitness. I've done that before with very unhealthy outcomes but this time I did it in a way that leaves my body feeling wonderful when I stick to the plan. But... I wonder... when my plan is SO FAR from the norm in our society have I done myself a disfavor? When I 'let my guard down', 'follow the crowd', 'relax'.... I have a recovery week like this last one where I truly feel physically unwell and it starts to affect my emotional state. There were times this week when I looked in the mirror and all I saw was fat me. It reminded me a LOT of the body image issues I had in middle school and it scared me. This time I am aware of enough to know that my mind is playing tricks on me but it's still unsettling.
Oy. I was talking to a fellow clean-eating mom this week and she said to me 'Why is it that I'm made to feel like the weird one?'... speaking about her peers' reaction to her refusal to feed her children processed food. That's where I'm stuck.... why is it that when I get together in social groups and 'let my guard down', 'follow the crowd', 'relax' does it have to be so unhealthy? Why is what I do considered weird and a weekend of white carbs, sugar, fat, alcohol and inactivty considered fine and normal? Can we not relax and have fun without those things anymore?
Thursday, August 02, 2012
To get it out of the way - my weight has returned, essentially, to goal. I am 0.4 pounds over which is less than I was going into my horrible-awful weekend. I suspect that by the end of my next cycle I will be back at my safe weight. No longer worried on the weight front. If I focus on eating clean and being active, it takes care of itself.
BUT, I am worried about what last weekend did to my muscles. If I was to summarize my approach to healthy life, last weekend was basically the total opposite. My approach? Eat clean. Eat 5-6 small meals a day. Stay active. Avoid stress. Last weekend? Sugar/white carbs/fat/salt/alcohol. 1 big meal a day (although I discretely got in a couple clif bars each day to TRY to stave off the metabolic impact of that). NO exercise. Lots of noise and general discord which I find VERY stressful.
So..... this week I returned to my regular routine. Cardio Tuesday, ST Wed - very typical workouts for me. But am I feeling it and I don't really like it!
Doing Tuesday's workout was unremarkable except that I drank an entire 750ml of water which I don't think I've EVER done during a workout. I was PARCHED. I woke up Wednesday with fairly bad calf pain.... same today. I can't recall another time where I've had DOMS in my calves. I can't walk stairs foot over foot without pain. I've had to walk them like an old lady (or toddler) each morning. What is that soreness from? If you know anything about what triggers severe DOMS from a workout that is routine, I'd love to know.
Yesterday I did one of my whole body workouts. It's nothing new to me but because of a 17 mile traffic backup on the highway near me the road to my gym was bumper to bumper and I chose to workout at home instead. The weights felt SO heavy. Granted they are not the weights I usually use but I can't imagine that a weights marketed as a specific weight can be THAT far off. So... again... something seems off with my muscles. Can a weekend like last weekend trigger what feels like overtraining?
My sister has lost more than me and maintained almost as long. We were at her house for the weekend. I didn't want to be the oddball refusing to eat what everyone else was eating, sneaking out for a jog, explaining to everyone why I was eating or wasn't eating. She is maintaining so I felt comfortable just going with the flow instead of searching out ways to continue my healthy patterns there. Yeah. She may be able to do that. She's NOT a gym rat. I'm not sure she does any moderate to intense physical activity at all. I sure as HECK can't! She told me after I got home and was amazed by my gain that she REGULARLY gains 4 pounds over the weekend and then is 'good' all week and back to goal by Friday. Oh. Had I known that I might have approached things differently. I've NEVER had a pattern of losing and regaining 4 pounds pretty much every week. I don't think my body can take it!
Diet and DOMS? Is there a connection?
Diet and overtraining/weakness? Is there a connection?
Micro yo-yoing (gaining and loosing several pounds every week)? Do you do it? And how does it make you feel?
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
My Goals for July:
1. Body fat under 20% - Just end the month where I am starting it given the cruise.
2. Weight of 124 or less by August 1. I really am OK with gaining on the cruise but I want to be back to 124 which I consider my 'safe' weight (2 pounds below goal) by the beginning of August.
3. Finish the first 5 units of my Fitness Nutrition Certification.
4. Continue to monitor my achilles situation, knowing I have a race at the end of September. (ie, take breaks if needed but don't let them get too long)
5. Schedule at least 5 hours of physical activity per week, even if it means squeezing it in around the kids' changing summer schedules.
All the way around I failed at my July goals. July was my WORST month since committing to living a healthy lifestyle, at least as far as achieving goals. I had a wonderful and much-needed week alone with my husband rediscovering all the fantastic parts of our relationship that are so hard to nurture given the day-to-day demands of our lives. Had you asked me July 15, I'd have said that July was a resounding success. Things fell apart during the second half of the month. I got cocky or maybe I just got lazy. I definitely adopted an attitude of 'Well, the cruise didn't derail me so how bad can it be to 'X'?' The answer is, well, bad. So now I know there are a whole list of 'Xs' that I just can't do without paying a price, a price that may not be worth it.
And if July taught me that lesson? The lesson that I have a healthy body that really DOES need to be treated with respect - fed with QUALITY food, worked with REGULAR exercise, and not poisoned with white carbs, salt, and alcohol - is worth learning. I'm leaving July 2 1/2 pounds over goal and with a body fat back up over 21%. More than anything else I'm frustrated because I don't feel like what got me here was WORTH it.
August will be a month of re-commitment.
1. Schedule 5 hours of physical activity a week.
2. Track calories until weight stabilizes at or below goal.
3. Finish unit 5, unit 6, unit 7, and unit 8 of my Fitness Nutrition Certification.
4. Body fat back to 20%, average scale & handheld.
5. Get back to safe weight of 124.
These seem like the same old goals but they seem harder than usual. I have been feeling really badly about going to the gym while the kids are out of school. It was different last summer when I was still losing. Why is it that maintenance seems like less of a goal than losing weight? 3 units of nutrition means LOTS of reading... which is more time not doing things with the kids. They really don't seem to want to do anything with me, preferring to putter around the house dong their own thing, but is that because they think I don't want to do anything with them because I am busier this summer or is that because that's just what pre-teens and teens do? The others are same-old same-old but we might go on vacation... which will make them all more daunting.
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