ANDALEX's SparkPeople Blog ANDALEX's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community another milestone! so i ran the celtic solstice 5 miler again last weekend! i didn't have any concrete goals since i haven't been running regularly. i just wanted to see if i could run at least half the time and get through it without crawling! well, i did both. i probably ran about 75% of the time, which is awesome. i actually came in 2 or 3 minutes faster than last year. it was hard, for sure...i didn't push myself too too much because i would be asking for an injury. but, i can say that it was easier than it... Sun, 25 Dec 2011 13:08:04 EST time for a list of milestones! if you've read my blogs for any length of time, you've probably figured out that i like lists. i don't know why i find lists so effective at reinforcing my resolve, but i do! i guess sometimes it's just good to take stock of where you are and what you've accomplished in order to see your way toward accomplishing more. so, here goes: <BR> <BR> i am just a smidge over halfway to my goal weight <BR> i have been super consistent with tracking my food <BR> i have successfully kicked the sugar hab... Tue, 13 Dec 2011 22:49:24 EST yay! i went to the gym yesterday! and ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill! and lifted weights! woo hoo! Tue, 6 Dec 2011 07:10:47 EST i think i need a pick-me-up so, for whatever reason, i'm having a bit of a hard time lately. i can't put my finger on it. work's going pretty well, things at home are pretty good, my eating habits have been super good, the depression's as minimal as it's been in the past few years. i'm even still losing weight consistently. i just am having really low motivation when it comes to just getting up and doing something that i don't have to. i really think i should be working out consistently (a good portion of my weight loss... Fri, 2 Dec 2011 11:39:51 EST rational vs. emotional eating i made it to the gym on tuesday! it all felt pretty good. i ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes or so (ran/walked intervals) and did some free weights. it was a little hard, but not like i would have expected. i guess i've been for a jog here and there over the last month or two, so it's not that much of a shock to my system! i haven't lifted in ages, though. i am still a little sore! <BR> <BR> i have off tomorrow! i've been working crazy overtime and had a ton of stuff going on, so i'm very... Thu, 10 Nov 2011 22:04:59 EST back to days i had a weekend of night shifts and now am back to days. at least i won't be doing this flip flopping nearly as often now! the transition actually hasn't been too bad so far. the scale's still creeping down and i feel pretty good. my energy levels are still fairly low, particularly in the mornings, but i expect that to continue to get better. onward and upward! <BR> <BR> otherwise, just sparking along. the farmers market has had fantastic broccoli and kale for the past couple of weeks, so i'... Mon, 7 Nov 2011 23:15:06 EST first 10% gone! so, i was feeling skinny today. i've been holding off on weighing in because things have been a little rough lately, and i wanted to get a workout or two under my belt first. i didn't want to be discouraged if i wasn't making progress. but, i decided to weigh today anyway...and i actually lost some! i've lost 27.7 pounds (if you want to be exact) so my first 10%--26.4--is gone, baby, gone. <BR> <BR> woo hoo!!!! Sun, 6 Nov 2011 23:45:26 EST gentle upswing i am a big believer in not making excuses. things are what they are, and we can only do so much. well, i've had a rough couple of weeks, and i haven't been able to do much beyond keeping my head above water. through choice and chance, i ended up working a LOT recently, and have had a lot of other things on my plate as well. no working out happened, very little housework, and sleep was at a premium. i'm not making excuses, just stating how things were. like i said, it is what it is. in any cas... Fri, 4 Nov 2011 18:46:02 EST just a little down feeling kind of negative tonight, so i'll keep this brief. i've just finished up a marathon string of shifts at work. i lost a patient today, which was really upsetting. i'm pretty good now at not getting invested, but some people slip through. the whole thing just seemed unfair. i guess i'm sad and angry about it, but that is okay and natural and i will get through it and let go. <BR> <BR> i have been eating well this week, making it out of bed and in to work consistently, and giving it my ... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 23:07:33 EST keeping it together so, yesterday was going to be my day off, but i ended up getting called in to work. added to my regular schedule this week, that means working 7a-7:30p four days in a row. ick! during a stretch like that, i have to focus just on getting good nutrition (packing my breakfast and lunch with healthy options) and getting enough sleep. there's very little window for working out! so, i'm sort of on "workout hiatus" until saturday when i plan to go running. <BR> <BR> i've still been consistently und... Wed, 26 Oct 2011 23:43:49 EST cool stuff -my pants are all getting baggy. my scrubs are actually looking a little ridiculous <BR> -my hair looks uber cool right now <BR> -i have way more stamina now when jogging stairs at work <BR> -i just worked my last permanent night shift--mostly day shift from here on out! <BR> -i'm comfortable sitting with my legs crossed <BR> -my skin has cleared up a lot (i'm convinced it's from giving up sugar) <BR> -my energy levels have been pretty good <BR> -i'm a lot more productive <BR> -my mood has be... Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:06:57 EST taking the first steps (again) it's been a good couple of days. i've had some downtime, which is a nice change. i should be at work right now except i got called off! i've used the extra evening so far to get some things done around the house. after i'm done sparking, i'll go cook some veggies for lunches this upcoming week. <BR> <BR> i'm still off added sugar the vast majority of the time. this morning, i was super hungry and needed something fast and easy, so i ate some cereal that i couldn't bear to part with when we d... Sat, 22 Oct 2011 20:48:22 EST inching forward things are going well. i finally got my calories up yesterday (not something i ever thought i'd have trouble doing!) and got a decent amount of sleep. i'm not feeling super energetic, but i feel calm and even-keeled. i think that's even better. after this week, i will be switching off of straight nights and working mostly day shift. i've been working nights for about four years so this will be a big change. night shift was great when i started. i was single and a night owl and it suited me pr... Thu, 20 Oct 2011 04:51:02 EST energy levels my energy levels have been super low lately. whenever this happens, i try to figure out the cause. but, there are so many possibilities--working night shift, depression, meds, getting sick, not sleeping well, not eating right, etc.--that it's difficult to really determine why with any certainty. i did get outside and active for a little while yesterday, so that was good. today i have some errands and cooking to do but nothing else pressing. should be manageable. <BR> <BR> my calorie intake h... Mon, 17 Oct 2011 09:17:11 EST plugging away nothing too exciting going on today. just working and getting ready for the weekend! i'm definitely ready for a break. <BR> <BR> eating's been going well lately. i'd like to start upping my exercise soon. i'm thinking jogging once a week and strength training once a week. i've been pretty consistent with running stairs on my lunch break at work. the weight is still dropping off like crazy--i'm not sure why, but i'm okay with it! <BR> <BR> today: get all my water in, maybe do stairs on my b... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 23:41:03 EST acknowledge, release i'm feeling a little on the blah side today. my sleep patterns and energy levels are all out of whack (thanks to working night shift). i woke up with a headache. i'm working overtime tonight when i thought i might get the night off. i wanted to cook today but didn't, so i don't have tasty leftovers to look forward to on my lunch break. i was awake for most of the day and super hungry, so i went over my calories a bit. <BR> <BR> know what? it's all okay. coffee will wake me up and t... Wed, 12 Oct 2011 23:07:50 EST guilty little pleasures i actually don't feel guilty about these at all, despite the title. it just sounded good. just two little things: first, i'm sort of addicted to sparkpoints. don't know why! i know they don't really mean anything but going through the motions of accumulating them, especially on days when i can't work out, makes me happy. i guess it keeps me in the mindset. second, i had chocolate for breakfast today. yum! <BR> <BR> never made it for a jog today (slept instead). i'll do stairs tonight at work... Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:57:21 EST guilt yo-yo it's always something, right? most of my life i've felt guilty for eating too much. well, now i feel guilty for eating too little yesterday. waaaay too little. i'm talking around 500 calories for the whole day. <BR> <BR> of course, there is a rationale. i worked night shift two nights ago. i ran some errands in the morning when i got off. when i got home, i ate breakfast then went to bed around 2pm. i woke up briefly a few times throughout the evening, but ended up taking some benadryl and ... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 11:23:48 EST looking back, looking forward i've just reread a handful of my last blog posts. they all have a similar theme: getting back in the saddle after having let things slide for a while. well, this post is different only in scope. over the past few months, i've realized that i've let depression, my job, my schedule, my stress, etc. rule my choices and i not only lost ground but ended up worse off than i was before. i maxed out at around 265 lbs. i'm tall and can carry extra weight well, but 265 is really pushing it. i felt tire... Sat, 8 Oct 2011 07:18:51 EST easy does it this past week has been a little tumultuous on the weight loss front. it started off with meal planning and cooking some very tasty and healthy meals, then segued right into an unexpected weekend trip complete with crazy eating patterns. then, back to baltimore and work with some healthy food and some takeout. i guess i'm trying to make small changes, not gargantuan unmaintainable ones. i'm okay with that :) <BR> <BR> i'm also okay with this: i ran 4 miles today. i kept it between a 12-13 mi... Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:15:49 EST new year shmew year i'm back to my original starting weight. and, i'm back to wanting to do something about that. so, i am dusting off my old sparkpeople page and getting ready to get back into the swing of things. i have one day of tracking in (not as scary as i was fearing) and the beginnings of a plan. i've had a significant break from running occasionally punctuated by brief jogs or races but, by and large, i've been pretty inactive. let's change that. y'all know how i like lists, so, here goes: <BR> <BR> t... Wed, 17 Feb 2010 21:50:52 EST a new day i am reminding myself that i have been, so far, given the chance of a new day every day. i am, once again, endeavoring to make the best use of that. so i'm back here, once again picking up the reins and getting back into this journey. i've been doing this in fits and starts lately, but am planning on following through with more consistently. <BR> <BR> after months of little to no training, i ran the baltimore half marathon. my time was not my best by any means: 2:39:47. however, i ran a smar... Thu, 5 Nov 2009 23:34:32 EST the twinges begin i guess the time spent traveling and having fun takes its toll on the body. yesterday morning i met up with a couple of friends at ye olde running traile for a walk/jog. it was after my second night shift in a row since getting back from florida and i just couldn't dredge up the energy to run. i honestly almost couldn't dredge up the energy to drive there but i managed to make it without falling asleep at the wheel (don't worry, parental types...i am ridiculously careful when it comes to all ... Fri, 17 Jul 2009 23:07:15 EST dumb pt. 2 i almost forgot the best part of my story about running on the east coast of florida. when i was about three quarters of the way through, a guy passing said, "you're my hero!! you're RUNNING!!" he looked as tan and beachy as a local, so i was pretty thrilled at the compliment :) Thu, 16 Jul 2009 18:40:25 EST sometimes you just gotta be dumb although i love sleeping in and am generally a total night owl, there are times when i love getting up early and seeing my surroundings as they're first hit by the morning light. today, i had planned to get up near sunrise and go for a run on the beach. i thought it would be nice to both beat the heat (i'm still in florida and it's still july) and to see the atlantic at sunrise. last night we walked on the beach and watched loggerhead turtles search for prime nest real estate, so i also wante... Sat, 11 Jul 2009 23:02:59 EST much needed vacation i'm spending the week in florida visiting family and hitting the beach as much as possible. i haven't forgotten my training plan, though. two days ago i ran about three miles on the beach (wow, was that a workout!) and yesterday i did 6 miles of speedwork and jogging. whew! let's just say i'm not used to the crazy humidity here and my runs are super slow. i'm not fazed, though. today and yesterday i got a decent amount of swimming time in in both the atlantic and the gulf of mexico (this is a... Fri, 10 Jul 2009 18:30:42 EST racing i ran the arbutus firecracker 10k yesterday morning. it was a small race but the course was relatively interesting and had some decent elevation changes. nothing like the dreaded druid 10k! but still a nice challenge. by my watch, i came in at 1:07:47. it's not my best by far,'ll do. i honestly wasn't tackling this as a race so much as i was thinking of it as a substitution for my long run that week. my training plan called for 7 miles at a slow training pace. instead, i ran 6.2 mile... Sun, 5 Jul 2009 16:22:52 EST check trail challenge? check. 12 miles of running logged this week so far? check. decent 5k race time? check. healthy reasonable eating? check. <BR> <BR> things are going pretty well. the trail challenge a couple of weeks ago was...well, brutal. there's no other way to put it. it was 35.1 miles of small mountains (it seemed) outside pittsburgh and it took a full 15 hours and then some....but i did it. i'm not sure my feet will ever fully recover from the strange blister situation that resulted. <... Thu, 2 Jul 2009 23:00:55 EST i'm not gonna say it every time i make the decision to recommit to spark and step up my efforts, i put in one or two solid days and then fizzle. so, i'm not going to say that i'm going to spend a week or so tracking my calories because i don't want to jinx myself. i'm not going to say that i'm tired of throwing these fifteen or so pounds on and off and that i want to just put my nose to the grindstone and get rid of them for good. i'm not going to say that i'm working toward a half marathon again, or that i'm sho... Mon, 25 May 2009 22:15:59 EST spring is in the air! and the water, and the soil, and and and... i've got a new routine going on, and it's been working out really well. these days i've been hitting the gym in the morning after i get off work. i've never really done the morning workout thing before because i always thought i'd be too tired and therefore too klutzy...i figured i'd be too likely to faceplant without notice. but, it's been going really well! i've been lifting once or twice a week, crosstraining maybe once a week (i can't seem to convince myself to do it any more frequently) ... Mon, 18 May 2009 10:34:23 EST drift so, i made it for the long run i had planned the day of my last blog entry. i ran ten miles with two walk breaks of two minutes each. my mile splits were as follows: <BR> <BR> 10:59 <BR> 11:18 <BR> 11:12 <BR> 11:29 <BR> 11:33 <BR> 12:04 <BR> 11:27 <BR> 12:21 <BR> 11:39 <BR> <BR> not as great as my last long run, but still thoroughly respectable. i maintained a fairly consistent pace and didn't have to cut my run short or anything, although i was pretty beat. the two 12+ minute miles include... Thu, 30 Apr 2009 00:52:40 EST craving i find more and more these days that whenever i make a positive breakthrough, be it emotional or physical, i tend to go through a period of backlash that undoes all my hard work. frequently, i take more steps backward than i took forward, so i start off farther from my goals than before. i'm in the middle of such a backlash right now, and it feels downright turbulent. i find myself craving calm and stability and trying to achieve it through food. i end up binging on carby sugary stuff, and fe... Sat, 18 Apr 2009 00:55:42 EST running, ups and downs so on thursday i went for an epic run. i ran 10 miles, which i don't think i've done since november. i just have to post my mile splits: <BR> 10:11 <BR> 10:26 <BR> 10:52 <BR> 10:34 <BR> 10:36 <BR> 10:18 <BR> 10:59 <BR> 10:18 <BR> 10:36 <BR> 10:23 <BR> <BR> pretty cool, huh? the 10:59 mile included two minutes of walking...and that's the only walk break i took. that's probably the fastest i've ever run that distance. that workout burned something like 1500 calories. <BR> <BR> the downside is... Mon, 13 Apr 2009 06:44:26 EST running, ups and downs so on thursday i went for an epic run. i ran 10 miles, which i don't think i've done since november. i just have to post my mile splits: <BR> 10:11 <BR> 10:26 <BR> 10:52 <BR> 10:34 <BR> 10:36 <BR> 10:18 <BR> 10:59 <BR> 10:18 <BR> 10:36 <BR> 10:23 <BR> <BR> pretty cool, huh? the 10:59 mile included two minutes of walking...and that's the only walk break i took. that's probably the fastest i've ever run that distance. that workout burned something like 1500 calories. <BR> <BR> the downside is... Mon, 13 Apr 2009 06:44:21 EST eeek! i've taken two days off of exercise...i'm off work tonight but i'm going to try to switch my schedule. i am going to go for a run this afternoon, but who knows how much sleep i'll be able to squeeze in first. in any case, i've got to move! i'm starting to feel antsy. <BR> <BR> eating has been....enh. mostly ok, occasionally not great. gotta nip that in the bud, too! <BR> <BR> all right, i'm on it. <BR> <BR> today: run! <BR> tomorrow: quick gym session <BR> every day: self care in all its g... Fri, 3 Apr 2009 05:46:55 EST mmmph. i'm feeling a little off this evening (morning), but still forging ahead. i've had a good couple of days so i think it might just be post birthday festivities letdown or something. in any case, my birthday was great! i got on the scale once and wasn't quite where i wanted to be...but i was close. so i got off it and promptly forgot about it. monday i ran four miles on the trail and tuesday i ran five. today i'm thinking i'll go to the gym and crosstrain...i've been so good about that lately. ... Wed, 1 Apr 2009 02:21:17 EST i know this is technically two entries in one day... ...but the last one was written early in the am during my night shift, and this one is post sleep and workout. so i have some new material. <BR> <BR> i weighed in this morning at 196, so i guess yesterday's weight did reflect some serious fluid lost during my run. oh well...all i can do is keep doing the right stuff and wait for it to kick in. not that it hasn't been...i'm just super impatient right now. it seems like every time i get close to this 195 barrier i hover around it for a little ... Sat, 28 Mar 2009 16:24:34 EST i'm inclined toward incline i ran at the gym yesterday with gratefulsned. in the interest of camaraderie, we started off the workout running next to each other on treadmills. i figured that in order to stave off boredom i'd do a hill workout. <BR> <BR> well. <BR> <BR> i started out at a modest 6.0 mph...i figured that's slower than i run on the track these days and the treadmill's a bit easier, so a slightly slower speed would make up for the difficulty of the hills. right? WRONG! partway in i had to slow down to some... Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:48:46 EST fingers crossed next sunday is my birthday. i would like to be my lightest ever since the start of this journey by then. this would involve losing about 1 lb from my last weigh in weight. howeeeeeever (there's always a catch, right?) my last weigh in weight is on the low side of my weight spectrum (i fluctuate a LOT from day to day). so i need to kick it into high gear in order to achieve this. <BR> <BR> honestly, i've had really really good habits for the past week or so. i've been drinking tons of water, ... Mon, 23 Mar 2009 23:07:22 EST balance, grasshopper, balance i am approaching this journey these days as a total neophyte. i kind of feel like i got knocked off my high horse in a way. i liked feeling accomplished and positive, but maybe i wasn't being realistic enough about the curveballs life can throw and how i might react to them. in any case, i am again faced with relearning how to do things in moderation, and it's not an easy task. <BR> <BR> for several weeks, my appetite was pretty much nil. now, it's back in full force and i find that i just w... Wed, 18 Mar 2009 23:49:23 EST running and musing i've been super speedy lately. i'm picking back up with the running thing, and really enjoying it. yesterday i ran at the gym because it was a smidge chilly out. i knocked out an easy 5 miles on the indoor track and was amazed to see that each new mile was faster than the last. i started out at 10:45 min/mile and finished at about 9:40 min/mile. woo hoo! i just kept feeling good, so i pushed it just a little more each mile. <BR> <BR> three days ago i had a really good trail run. i did my 3.8... Sat, 14 Mar 2009 04:21:52 EST don't look a gift horse in the mouth well, my appetite shifted pretty drastically lately, and i relost most of the weight that i had reacquired in november and december. i once again got under 200 pounds, but not really through any virtue of my own. i just ate less. i've been running a bit and it's picked up a lot in the past week or two, but mostly i've just been keeping busy and living life to the fullest. <BR> <BR> my runs lately have been good, but not overwhelmingly positive. yesterday, though, i got out on the trail and d... Mon, 9 Mar 2009 09:26:01 EST vacation! all i ever wanted here's the monthly update from alex: <BR> <BR> vacations almost always spur me to action and get me back on track. part of this is because my day to day life doesn't always allow me (or, more correctly, i don't always make time) to do the good things i want to do, like cooking, working out, taking time for myself, getting enough know, things like that. the first thing i want to do when i'm on vacation is take a good long nap and the second thing i want to do is get OUTSIDE and st... Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:01:22 EST i guess it's time to do this right. i'm gonna do my new years entry and my 1 year on sp entry all rolled up into one big "let's take stock and see where to go from here" kinda deal. so, i've been gone...for a while. life kinda ganged up on me all at once in october. i admitted it in november and started to do something about it. now, in january, i'm finally ready to pick up the reins again and get back to living my life. <BR> <BR> so, where was i when i joined sp? it was december '07, and i was something like 240 lbs. i carrie... Sat, 3 Jan 2009 02:46:33 EST getting there so i ran a couple of times this week. on dec. 31 i did a slowish 6 miles on the trail. it didn't feel great, but i got into it by the end and finished strong. my knees were super sore for the next day, but it went away. <BR> <BR> yesterday, i ran 5 miles in 52 minutes, so i'm getting closer to where i was before i lost my momentum. i'm planning on a long run on sunday. i'm beginning to feel like my old self again, and that's a good thing. <BR> <BR> i am so grateful to gratefulsned (hee hee)... Sat, 3 Jan 2009 01:37:58 EST squeaking by so, i'm still not really ready to re-tackle sparkpeople...but i wanted to give a race update. i'm running minimally, but at least i'm running! anyway, i ran a 5k with gratefulsned on dec. 13. it was her first race! we did really well. i was super proud of us. <BR> <BR> i also ran the celtic solstice 5 miler on dec. 20. my time was 52:58. for not really running that much, i'm happy with that time. but, i know that sub 50 minutes is within my reach. my splits were (approximately): <BR> mile 1:... Sat, 27 Dec 2008 01:00:47 EST updates hey all, thanks for the notes and encouragement while i've been mia. it's been a hard couple of months, and i've just been focusing on getting myself through one day at a time. i haven't had much left over to give to this website, or to the goals i've made for myself. i haven't given up, though! <BR> <BR> i've been running here and there. i did run my second half marathon this past saturday in rehoboth. i was able to get my approximate mile times, and they are as follows: <BR> <BR> mile 1 (... Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:27:53 EST it's time... to get back at it, kids. break's over, vacation's done, it's time to get back on the wagon. i've been visiting my family for the past couple of days in georgia and it's amazing that, even eating out nearly every meal, i'm still eating much better than i was at home. i'm going to use this as a bridge to transition back to my usual healthy eating habits. i fly home this afternoon. tomorrow morning i'll go to the store and then tomorrow afternoon i'll cook some chili or something to get me the r... Fri, 14 Nov 2008 08:33:50 EST in and out i have been wavering a lot lately. i've been running, but only 3-6 miles at a time, and only about twice a week. i have been eating a lot, more than i want to, more than i'm physically comfortable doing. i've regained some weight. <BR> <BR> but you know what? it's ok. i haven't lost sight of my goals, or given up, or felt helpless about it. it's not like before when i felt doomed to be fat and couldn't find the tools to make changes. i have the tools, now. they're right in front of me, in pl... Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:02:06 EST sad times these are sad times around my place lately. everything's been turned upside down a couple of times over during the past three weeks. i expect things to get easier soon, but the next week is still going to be on the difficult side. i am well and healthy, but people close to me are going through some hard times. suffice it to say that my presence on sp will continue to be minimal for the next several days. <BR> <BR> i have been stress eating for the past couple of days, and allowing myself to... Thu, 30 Oct 2008 05:13:16 EST