Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Ugh, this has kind of been the week from hell work-wise. Usually when I work such long hours, it's because I'm running experiments that have an hour incubation here, another 30 min there, and another 40 min there. Usually, I'll take that time to sneak in exercise while I'm at work but today I was on my feet running around the lab all day.
I know I was running around the lab like crazy because I've managed to hit 20,000 steps today. I only hit that mark when I walk to and from work AND with an hour or more of other dedicated cardio. Today, the only other dedicated cardio I got in was 15 min on the elliptical . I'm so glad I dragged my behind out of bed early this morning. Yes, it was only 15 min earlier than normal but that's no small feat as I am notorious for hitting the snooze button repeatedly. If I hadn't exercised this morning, I wouldn't have any other kind of dedicated cardio today at all.
I'm also so thankful that I batch cook on weekends and eat leftovers during the week and plan out my meals ahead of time. Otherwise, I would have been looking to eat whatever I can get my hands on. I try to make healthy choices when I'm in a situation such as this but nothing is healthier than what I could make for myself at home. Unfortunately, I finished the asparagus I had prepared and didn't have a vegetable to go with tonight's dinner .
Frozen veggies to the rescue! I put them into a steamer bag, pop them in the microwave, and voila! steamed broccoli! Thank goodness for frozen veggies. Thank you frozen broccoli, for saving me from eating garbage tonight.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
This has been a weird week for me fitness and healthy eating wise. I caught some sort of cold, which just knocked me out for Monday and Tuesday. Not only did I not exercise but I also had no appetite whatsoever. My body seemed to be repulsed by protein of all sorts and was craving carbs . So I was under-eating as well as eating unbalanced meals.
By the time I felt better mid-week, it was still hard to do any cardio and all I could handle were my normal walks. Plus I just didnít have the time for exercise this week as itís been a particularly busy week at work due to LOTS and LOTS of meetings. I swear meetings are counter-productive to work productivity but I digress. I was really disappointed that I didnít get to do any running this week, so now Iím going to be a bit behind in my 5K training. Cíest la vie.
I had lost 1 lb relative to the last weigh-in for the 5% spring challenge earlier in the week but then regained it later in the week . Yes, I do know that our weight fluctuates dramatically day to day but I was still unhappy about it. This was all before Thursday, when we celebrated a friendís 30th birthday at a sushi restaurant . Normally, I make healthy choices when Iím at a Japanese restaurant. I usually just have edamame and sashimi, with a little bit of low sodium soy sauce and tons of wasabi. I really like wasabi . But this time, I really, really wanted to order the restaurantís special rolls because they sounded so delicious (and they were). AND I got the red bean moichi ice cream
because when I was kid, these were such a rare treat. My parents didnít buy them often because theyíre expensive.
By now, youíre probably wondering why Iíve titled this blog ďSuccess!Ē Thatís because I like to see the glass as half-full when I view my weight loss/health journey. So why was this week still a success?
1. When I weighed in today for the 5% spring challenge, I actually had lost half a pound . I was totally expecting to be even with last week or even slightly higher. Given my strange eating habits this week, I think half a pound is a very respectable number.
2. Despite being busy at work all week without any free time whatsoever to even grab a quick walk, I did find a new way to sneak in exercise at work on Friday evening. It was just 10 min but it was quite the intense workout!
3. I went out to dinner Thursday and although I did over-eat, I didnít gorge myself to oblivion. In the past, I often ate to the point where I felt sick. That didnít happen his time.
4. I did go running today . Even though there was no way I could run the 2.5 min jogging interval that week 4 requires (or even the 2 min from week 3), I did do walk/run intervals. I decided to go to the track at the nearby high school today to do fartleks, which I had learned about from a SparkPeople article: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitnes
s_articles.asp?id=1577 . Using this method, I still managed the same pace I have been averaging since I took up running.
5. I FINALLY remembered to bring tissues with me on my run!!! I did not have to wipe snot on my sleeve like a 5 year old.
6. And the thing Iím most proud of? I actually got my husband to go outside for a bit today! On a beautiful day like today, he is usually at his computer or in front of the TV playing video games. But he actually went with me for a walk at the Duck Pond for an hour! I have NEVER EVER exercised with my husband before because he just ďdoesnít exerciseĒ (his words). Today is a new day in our history! Haha!
So yeah, this week could have been better but it didnít end so bad after all.
Happy Easter and Happy Passover, everyone!
P.S. I just need to point out that my husband isnít an unhealthy guy. Despite his mostly sedentary lifestyle, heís probably in better health than I am. Heís in a proper weight range/BMI/body fat percentage, etc. Heís got good numbers when it comes to cholesterol (overall, LDL, HDL), blood pressure, etc. I really hope that our future kids inherit these genes from him and not me.
And for those of you who are curious, Wikipedia has an explanation of what moichi ice cream is:
Sunday, April 01, 2012
As Iíve mentioned before, I took up running a few weeks ago as a way to help me break through a plateau and also to continue to challenge myself. Some of the exercises I was doing were getting too easy and I knew I wasnít getting the workout (and calorie burn) that I needed.
When I started the 5 week Walk/Run your way to a 5K program, the Northeast was having some unseasonably mild weather. It was so much fun running outside along the East River in Manhattan (by work) or by the Duck Pond (by home) when the sun is shining and itís a balmy 75 degrees. Those first two weeks were so easy to motivate myself because the weather was so nice. But this last week (week 3 of my program) has returned to the usual March weather in NY: cold and rainy.
I managed to get the first two training runs (walk 3 min, run 2 min, then repeat) in this week on the days it didnít rain and were fairly warm. But there was no way to get around the weather issue for the third and last run of this week since the forecast was all rain all the time for the end of the week.
So on toÖ
I forced myself to run even though the ground was still wet from the rain and it was COLD, COLD, COLD. I HATE the COLD. I DESPISE IT. Iím not a cold person. I hate the winter and I love the summer. So yeah, I am rather proud of myself for not letting the weather be a de-motivating factor. Now, weíll see if I can actually motivate myself to run on a day when the rain never lets upÖ
Since it was cold and miserable out, the only people there were other runners. Sure I can fool myself into thinking Iím one of those dedicated runner types. Yeah, right. But it was an ego boost nonetheless. And because there was no one there, it was much less distracting for me since I didnít have to dodge baby carriages, bicyclists, and geese. The geese are EVERYWHERE. It shouldnít be called the Duck Pond but rather the Canadian Geese Pond. Even though there are many signs asking people not to feed the geese, people still do. And when there are people around, there are a lot of geese around and therefore a lot more geese poop to avoid when running. I like not having to step in geese poop.
The trail was super slick from being wet and it meant I had to be careful about how I ran on the wet asphalt. Iíll have to pay more attention to this issue because I can totally see myself slipping and hurting myself in the future. I guess this is where my newbie running naivetť shows because I just never thought about how the surface might affect my running ability.
I also swear itís harder to run when itís colder out. The 2 min running interval was hard for me this week but it seemed much harder yesterday as compared to the other 2 runs this week.
When I exercise, I tend to get snotty (aren't you so glad I shared?). When Iím indoors exercising, itís usually not so bad but when I run, I feel like Iím a snot factory. I felt like an even bigger snot factory yesterday because it was so cold. Or maybe my mold allergies were in super high gear. Whatever the case, Iíve got to remember to pack some tissues with me next time. Why can't I ever remember?
When is the warm weather coming back?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Please take a look at today's featured Spark Health News article:
Women's health is an issue near and dear to my heart.
When I was in graduate school, I'll come out and say it: I was poor. Maybe not poverty-line poor but every penny I made went straight to paying for necessities. There was no margin for error. Graduate students don't exactly make a lot of money and living in the NYC metropolitan area isn't exactly cheap either. I'm not looking for sympathy here. I'm not saying it was all sunshine and roses because most of the time it wasn't, but I survived and the experience has made me a more thrifty person.
My student health insurance wasn't the best either and it was my only option as I was too old to be on my parents' insurance plan. The student plan was sickness and accident insurance and didn't cover anything that was considered preventative care. Meaning, if I had a heart attack, my treatments would be covered, but not the tests that would tell me if I had heart disease and was at risk for a heart attack. Don't worry, I didn't have a heart atttack but that was just the example my fellow students and I liked to use. And I do realize that ANY insurance was better than none as I was in a severe car accident at one point and somehow walked away with only $500 in medical bills. And yes, I know how lucky I am that I was able to walk away at all.
I am now in a much better financial and life situation. Even though I'm still not exactly rolling in the dough, my job has benefits and I have good health insurance. I will never take access to health insurance for granted again. I think all the time of how there are people who are still in the situation I was in, or even worse. I'm not surprised at the results of this study at all. Again and again, research shows that those of lower socioeconomic status receive less health care or lower quality care.
I think we have to stop seeing health care as a privilege but rather a human right. Our health is too important.
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