Rather start my day grumbling over the challenges in front of me right now I’m making a conscious choice to start my day of with a list of things in my life I’m grateful for:
- My body - the way it carries me from place to place, day in and day out. It’s resisliance and determination to be the best it can be. It’s ability to heal and live and breathe and thrive. It’s an easy thing to overlook when you’re walking around, but when you’re running it’s just your mind and your body. And now I appreciate both more than I could ever have imagined.
- My family - it’s true, I’ve been blessed with a wonderfully supportive family and I love them more than words can express. I marvel at how that love has evolved, grown and deepened as the years pass.
- My life in NYC - it’s what I always thought I wanted, but nothing like what I thought it would be. Daily I’m challenged to claim what’s mine in the world, which has forced me make decisions about what I want and the best ways to achieve it. Being here has changed me; the reaction is chemical, me + NYC = a whole new entity, and there’s no going back. It’s been a journey (understatement!) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
And there’s more! Like my friends, my apartment, the sun, trees, stars, carnivorous plants, and the list goes on. So many beautiful things in this world to be grateful for, including the time we get to spend on Earth.
Ahhhh, that’s a MUCH better way to start the day. Happy Thursday!
Being at home for a few months (after I got laid off at Christmas last year) taught me some very important lessons:
- Eating in saves a truck load of money
- Eating in saves a ton of calories (yay 45lb weight loss!)
- Eating in is better mentally, emotionally and spiritually
So ever since I went back to work at an office, I’ve made a point to take all my food for the day. Planning out what I’m going to eat has made such a huge difference. I’m not worried about what I’m going to eat, where I’ll order from, will it be gluten-free…basically it takes the whole food issue off the table, as it were. I’m free to think about work and eat when I’m hungry. Ahhh, everything is as it should be.
But this past weekend I was sick and didn’t make a few dishes like I usually do so I didn’t have anything to take with me yesterday and today. I spent over $20 between the two days buying food that wasn’t nearly as tasty as what I cook myself and was far more caloric. I just don’t cook that way at home. I’m not going to coat my veggies in oil or use full fat mayo. At home I use reduced-fat vegan mayo! And antibiotic-free chicken.
I’m realizing that eating out for lunch at work is very different than eating out for social occasions. At work you’re hungry and it gets in the way of working. “Just take away my hunger so I can go back to work.” Lunch is not special, you rarely eat with anyone and whatever food is around isn’t really that great. It’s easier to make unconscious decisions at a lunch buffet. Even when you’re trying to be healthy everything is usually coated in oil…and who can resist potato salad?! I, for one, have a tough time not scooping just a little onto my plate.
In contrast, eating out with friends or for a nice meal is special and fulfilling in so many other ways than just what’s going in your mouth. The food quality is better, the company is pleasant…it’s an experience much more than it is nourishment. Even if I choose something less healthy than what I eat at home, I have an easier time leaving half of it alone than when I get lunch out by myself. And I eat out with friends a whole lot less than every day, which is when lunch tends to creep up on me.
But when I take my food to work I appreciate it a lot more. I appreciate the effort it took to make it. It is special to me. I feel less compelled to work through a lunch where I’m enjoying my own food. I think about the flavors and how they taste different today from yesterday when I made it. I note things I could do different next time, were I to make the dish again. I feel empowered by the experience. Even bringing my own frozen Amy’s entree makes me feel like I’m exercising some sort of control over my food intake.
The overall lesson? Make the time to plan and shop for what I’ll take to work. Make the time to look for recipes. Make the time to cook. Having home-cooked food really does make a huge difference. It’s what’s gotten me this far in my journey and I don’t envision eating out every day magically becoming a positive thing for me…it is, after all, part of what helped me gain all the weight in the first place.
So I’ve been sick for days now and have missed 8 miles of running this week. It’s the first time I’ve been really ill since Christmas (literally - sick. on. Christmas). I distinctly remember being robbed of running on the beach on Christmas day, my family was staying on the Washington coast and I was so looking forward to running with ocean at my side. But I had to respect my body or run the risk of being ill for my whole visit, and so I accepted reality for what it was and moved on.
Now I’m wondering if I’m in a similar situation. I’ve been upping my mileage from 10-20 miles a week (using a program in The Runner’s Handbook) so that I can start my official half marathon training program mid July - using a 12-week half program from Cool Running that starts at 21 miles a week. I’m on week 7 of the build up phase, and should have run 17 miles this week over 5 days (4 days of 3 miles, 1 long run of 5 miles). I missed 8 of those miles. Next week is supposed to jump to 18.
Having recently started working full time again (between 3 part time jobs) I’m starting to wonder if perhaps this is all too much, especially since I’m currently sick; I always tend to get sick when I’m stressed or overdoing it. The half marathon is on 10/9 but unfortunately I didn’t build in any grace period to my training - I can’t make this week up later, I just have to keep going.
Maybe this week I’ll get my strength back and can pick up where I left off and right now I just sick of being sick, or maybe I’ll need to cut back. However, right now I also have the momentum and the desire so I can’t say I won’t be disappointed if it’s the latter.
Welcome to my new blog! I have met so many wonderful people recently who have running and fitness blogs that I have been inspired to start my own. And since I don’t have a ton of people to talk to about nerdy running stuff I’ll be posting my thoughts here.
A little background about my journey…I have struggled with my weight and fitness goals for most of my life. As a chubby kid I participated in sports but never really loved it. Then I fell in love with swimming in middle school and high school and was able to lose some weight, but then didn’t keep up with it. I gained a lot of weight around the time I turned 18, then lost most of it when I fell in love with Pilates in my early 20’s. But when I stopped working at the Pilates studio I sort of stopped doing Pilates, at least on a regular basis.
Through moving across the country from Seattle to NYC, finishing my BA degree while working full time, and being in some seriously crazy NYC living situations my weight soared to 215lbs in 2009. No stranger to the fitness world, I knew that to succeed in losing and keeping off weight I needed to find both a sport I loved and a really good reason to not eat cupcakes. In an effort to find a sport or activity to connect with I have tried so many different things: Karate, MMA, Zumba, Yoga, Spinning, but none of it stirred my passions. Even picking up swimming again wasn’t the same.
Then one day in the summer of 2010 I got inspired. A friend was training for a triathlon and I thought, “wow, it would be amazing if we could train together for next year, but I could never do that.” But wait…maybe I COULD. I had been seeing a personal trainer for a little while and she pushed me farther than I ever thought possible. Although still at the beginning of my recent weight loss journey I was starting feel more and more powerful and less afraid.
When I thought about it without judgment, I realized that I knew how to swim and bike I just needed to learn how to run. So that’s exactly what I did. I looked up the Couch to 5K program and started immediately. That was at the end of July 2010 and I ran my first 5K on October 29, 2010.
I signed up for a 10K in May 2011 to have another big goal. Around Christmas time I was down to about 205lbs and knew I needed to drop some pounds before the 10K. My pace is on the slow side and running for 1.5 hours would be a serious endeavor for my joints at that weight. So after losing only 5lbs in 2 months, at the beginning of March 2011 I decided to count calories. It was the only method that had worked for me in the past I didn’t have time to spare. I wanted to drop 20lbs by race day. And that’s exactly what I did! I ran the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park in about 1hr, 24min at 181 pounds. It felt amazing to achieve 2 huge goals at the same time. I realized that finally I have found a sport that fulfills me in ways I never knew possible, and has races that keep me focused on my goals!
Today I’m at 170lbs, and continuing to chip away at my weight loss goals while training for my next big event…a Half Marathon in October. The triathlon is no longer an immediate goal but I know that if I keep running it will become more and more attainable. Thanks so much for reading this and I look forward to sharing my journey with you!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?