Off the Posting Wagon

30 May

…but not off the healthy eating and working out wagon.

I didn’t post for a bit because as they say with life, when it rains, it pours. A lot of challenges have faced me in the past few weeks, but I am happy to report absent two minor binges I have been really healthy. I have gotten more buy in from my boyfriend, and that has made eating healthier even easier. He is more focused on buying and making produce related meals, he never reaches for the full fat cheese anymore, and he even switched to a healthier yogurt so we are eating the same yogurt. I know this may not sound major, but he is an extremely picky eater to begin with!

I also thought more about what can trigger binge eating and when to be more mindful of it. I bought an item from Trader Joe’s this week that I was convinced I could ration out over a period of time to eat with cherry tomatoes and celery: caramelized onion dip. I should have known better. I love caramelized onions – they are probably one of my favorite all time foods, but they are oily/buttery (depending on method) and salty and slightly sugary. They are an item my boyfriend hates, so I would have no outside accountability if I was eating too much of it. I could throw away the evidence and that was the last of it.

This no sharing with the boyfriend is unfortunately related to many items I have binged on in the last 6 months. This isn’t to say I should limit my foods to what he enjoys, but maybe more “rewarding” foods he should eat as well. We bought Sunflower butter at Trader Joe’s this week and I can only describe the taste of it as heavenly. I needed a protein source for breakfast and peanut butter was getting boring. Boyfriend adores it as well, but we have both been keeping each other in check. We only eat it before lunch, which makes it much easier.

The unrepentant summer heat has arrived here in D.C. I ran yesterday mid-morning while it was cloudy, but today I had a morning event and thus did not have time to get my Couch 2 5K training for the day in (I’m on Week 2, Day 3 already!). We decided to run to our pool instead, and for the hour plus in there, I did not let my feet touch the cement, hanging out in the deep end. It may not be lap runs (our pool is wayyyyy too small for anything resembling laps) but it was still exercise and an escape from the heat. Tomorrow I’ll conquer Couch 2 5K Week 2, Day 3. I’m already impressed with my progress – I could not run at all before I started, and my endurance has been showing. My issue has been pacing myself appropriately so my last run isn’t as slow as a walking pace. But I’ll get there!

Goals for the week:
Drink more water (just got a Camelbak sport bottle, so that will be easier!)
Run/walk before or after work at least half of the work days (only 2, so doable!)
Alternative cardio/strength workouts on non-running days (a new TV arrives Wednesday, so I can do videos then!)
Laundry – tackle it! My nemesis.
Post at least once daily to be mindful of my eating and exercise.

Will have exciting fizzy water related news later in the week!

Other side of the coin

19 May

As I wrote about very recently, I got some bad news from someone I love this week. However, not all weeks can be entirely bad. Yesterday I got huge and fantastic news related to my work – suffice to say a raise is involved (still a non-profit attorney – not rolling in the dough!). I immediately called to share with the ones I love.  I did a little happy dance in the stairwell of my office building. I wanted to cry because relief was washing over me. It was the full gamut of emotions. Most proudly, I didn’t suddenly jump to celebrating with food.

Yesterday I ate very well until the evening. Breakfast I had a sandwich thin with peanut butter, mashed banana, and a thin layer of Trader Joe’s new amazing honey apple butter. I had a snack of a few roasted chickpeas, and then for lunch I had leftover spinach stuffed shells with meat sauce and a half serving of edamame. Another banana in the afternoon, and before I knew it it was time to go home.

On the phone on the way home, my mom said I should celebrate, go out to dinner somewhere nice. I hesitated, thinking of my new journey and wanting to be careful about how much I was eating. I told my mom I would have to check in with my boyfriend. When I met up with him, finally, before the metro ride home, I realized how late it was already. This meant that the time for me to run outside would almost be up before I got home, because I also had to make something for a staff breakfast potluck meeting in the morning.  Instead of beating myself up about my timing – because honestly, with my supervisor out, I had been trying to balance two jobs and supervising an intern myself this week, working long hours – I decided to take control of what I could at the moment.

Dinner was leftovers from last night, so again I had a yummy habanero lime tortilla with fat free refried beans, overflowing with other veggies and salsa. I think I could eat that almost every day!

This is when temptation came in. I really wanted something sweet, so I was going to have a square of a chocolate bar. Then the chocolate that I wanted a square of was gone – so I was tempted by the Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer. I still managed to resist when my boyfriend brought up a glass of wine. It was a crisp, semi-dry white with just a hint of sweetness, and it so hit the spot. I had three water crackers with a tiny bit of Trader Joe’s light brie with it, controlling my portion but still getting something I love with wine.

So, my celebration meant breaking my no bad eating/drinking after dinner. I am happy though with my otherwise very controlled eating.

Tests begin again this morning at the potluck! I have Kath’s Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars smelling like heaven in the oven right now, and that’s what I plan to eat, along with a fruit salad that another co-worker is bringing. I’ll be avoiding the wafflemaker, the doughnuts, the breakfast potatoes…the list goes on. By bringing something that I doubt my other co-workers will really eat, I can still ensure that I am eating healthy! Maybe some of them are on journeys of their own and may appreciate my contribution, too.

The oven beeps! And I must go on to another day of healthy eating.

Buying in

17 May

Now that my first #7daychip has been earned, I knew it would only get more challenging. After I faced down demons by myself last night, it was time for my boyfriend to return from his trip.

He picked me up at the Metro station on my way home and after the initial rush of excitement, I said ok, let’s go to Trader Joe’s – as we had discussed. He said, I want Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a is probably the one fast food place that I do not think I could walk into without absolutely having to order something. Just the scent of the restaurant is intoxicating. I expressed some hesitation, which surprised my boyfriend because normally I would be all about it – and I would value size it. But for right now, Chick-fil-a and I are not going to meet.

                                                                                                                    (Source)

We did go to Trader Joe’s, and on the drive over I was honest about my healthiness journey and I wanted his support, which he immediately gave. He wanted to opt in to making healthier choices too! He will not be going quite as hardcore as I already am, but I didn’t expect it. He really does not need to lose weight – that boy’s metabolism is insane.

I’m sure I’ll be mentioning some purchases as I go along, but I made sure to stock up on edamame – my go to chip/cracker replacement, as I am a intense salty snack craver. For some reason the extra effort needed to eat them is incredibly satisfying to me!

And of COURSE I stocked up on Trader Joe’s Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water – hands down the best fizzy water for the best price around!

We got home and he made 96% lean ground beef taco seasoned meat, and I heated up fat free refried beans to fill our new habanero lime tortillas. I had one tortilla filled with beans, spinach, onion, newly purchased fire roasted tomato salsa, and a sprinkling of beef. Boyfriend had 2 tortillas with mostly beef, cheddar cheese, salsa, crunched up tortilla chips and a sprinkling of spinach. He pulled out the tortilla chips to snack on and I was so happy with myself. I waited until I had eaten my burrito, and then I only had 1 chip! I never would have stopped there before. We can make this work.

Staying positive is half the battle!

Do you have to make compromises for eating with others? Any tips for meals that can work for both types of eaters (especially when one is a meat lover!)?

And a special shoutout to Skinny Emmie for answering my swimwear question!

Bad News Bears

16 May

Today I had to deal with some bad news. I don’t want to get too into the specifics since it is not something that happened to me, but someone I love very much. I got this bad news at work today, where I had already eaten my packed lunch and the only food I had in my bag was a banana. My first instinct was to grab and eat the banana quickly to stem the tide of my sadness.

Then I thought about how eating wouldn’t make me feel any better. Sadness is sadness. Food doesn’t cure it. The momentary rush of eating would have only made me feel worse about myself later.

Again, in the afternoon I kept thinking of the things I could stop and buy for dinner. I don’t feel like cooking – so I should by Chick-fil-a! Just run into the grocery store and get a frozen pizza! Thai food! Instead, when I walked home from the Metro I called my mom and chatted with her about my day and assorted topics.

Of course, by the time I was up in my apartment the weather had changed to match my downy mood. Pouring rain falling down, darkness already enveloping my area. It was gone, but then it has returned. Sadly this means I can’t go outside and run/walk like I had planned – all the more reason to do it in the morning. My anxiety about being home alone or something kept me up way too late last night, when I battled the binge demons to finally fall asleep.

Here, today I thought I would celebrate my first #7daychip here on the blog to give myself kudos for 7 days of controlled and healthy eating. It’s not that I am not thrilled with my accomplishment, it’s that today is a reminder of the real challenges of that healthy eating. Today I have been more tempted than I was that entire week, and now it’s about trying to sustain that through all of life’s ups and downs. It’s almost as though I don’t know how to be sad or to help someone through sadness without some reference or connection to food. I will change this.

Time to make a turkey burger with my leftover turkey meat and enjoy it on a sandwich thin with a salad for dinner. 30daychip, I will really earn you more than the 7daychip if I hold on!

Anti-Lazy Sunday

15 May

After staying up a bit later than I anticipated last night to watch Saturday Night Live (I fell asleep during Paul Simon’s first performance!) I slept in this morning until just about 10 a.m. My body felt totally rejuvenated and the soreness I felt yesterday was completely gone. It was overcast yet again.

I went out and started going for it. I ran almost half a mile straight! I was feeling fantastic, and the endorphins were hitting my body. I slowed and ran again a short period. I decided to go down a different path this time, a bit more friendly than the tiny sidewalks I did yesterday.

Made it all the way to a grocery store that the boyfriend and I always drive to, when I decided to turn around. The sun had started coming out leaving my body starting to overheat. I had been treated well by the overcast skies the past few days.

The warmth started affecting my speed and stamina. I knew I had to overcome it in my mind and commit to continuing strong. I did a few intermittent runs, but I felt my legs were getting heavy and I almost felt like I couldn’t keep up a good pace. I was slowing down, but I told myself that was ok. It was hot and I had gone over 2 miles at this point. I tried to do another short run, but I couldn’t make my visual goal. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

When I got close to my building, I felt another rush, especially when I saw I was close to three miles. I picked up my pace and went past my building until my phone told me I had gone three miles, then I turned around and made it close to my building before slowing down and stretching, then heading up to my apartment.

I grabbed the half banana left, sliced it into a bowl with a half cup Kashi Go Lean and Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch, and threw in a splash of milk. Now my stomach feels full and I am bulking up on water to hold off other cravings.

Have an exciting Game 7 to watch in a bit – want my Thunder to win! Will have to battle the demons of stress-eating. Planning on opening up a raspberry lime seltzer as my exciting treat, and making one potato’s worth of baked fries. I can control my eating!

Run/walk stats:

3.13 miles, 50:57 – 16:17 avg. mile

Plans, plans, plans

14 May

This afternoon I went to the grocery store. Wow, was that ever a test of my willpower. It would have been so easy to grab something unhealthy to eat. I made a list before I went, but I allowed flexibility in both checking out another cereal to buy and in picking out salad/sandwich toppings.

I grabbed baby bella mushrooms on sale, having to pass by some amazing looking blue cheese dressing. Instead, I bought some balsamic vinaigrette – that was on the list!

The cereal aisle didn’t seem like it would pose problems, but it was also the cracker aisle. Mmmm. Savory crackers like cheezits and wheat thins I could put away like nobody’s business, without even thinking about it. But all I did was grab a whole grain Cranberry Almond Crunch cereal and keep on walking.

Once I trucked home with my heavy heavy bags, mostly thanks to re-stocking on fizzy water, I put it all away and got to making dinner. I got a side workout – walking to and from the store and dragging almost 20 pounds of delicious and healthy food with me! I made these amazing stuffed shells with turkey meat sauce. With that, I made some steamfresh brussel sprouts.

Making an entire casserole full of stuffed shells had overeating written all over it. Instead, I portioned out my three shells and used the new entree plastic containers from the grocery store to portion out 10 additional meals! Two I threw in the fridge, to be eaten tomorrow and Monday. The other 8 I tossed in the freezer, to be eaten later. The meal was incredible and I’m so glad that I made it and kept my control while doing so. Now I have the main course for nearly two weeks of work lunches! The investment I made at the store today will pay off in spades.

Now I’m looking for more main dishes like this. I am thinking I’ll make one every weekend to make sure I can stay in control when things get out of hand and I don’t want to worry about what to have for lunch.

I am sore from my workout and full from my dinner. Now time to enjoy some television and fizzy water (raspberry lime flavor) and avoid the kitchen and all the yummy purchases until tomorrow. Still holding strong on not eating late at night!

Rain, rain you can stay

14 May

This morning I woke up early, a consequence of my early work wakeup times. I stayed in bed a bit, woke up and remained pretty lazy. I drank some water and remained sitting on my couch. It’s easy to take on the attitude of the outside weather when you are still a bit tired.

Instead of keeping down, I got up. After all, the cloudiness outside means that the temperature is low, meaning I wouldn’t get too hot while exercising. I went out and I started running slowly after a warm up, and I hung on much longer than I thought I would – .3 miles. I took a short break and ran again, around .2 miles. Then I was pretty tired and facing a hill as I went further than I have before.

I kept up a good walking pace as I hit the very busy street that was my turnaround goal. Happy and feeling the endorphins, I turned around and went back up the downhill I had just enjoyed, feeling my legs burn. I took a break to stretch, feeling the tensing.

I again started jogging, barely keeping it up before stopping. Instead of being upset with myself, I took it as a cue from my body to listen, since I am still trying to build up my stamina and I didn’t want to burn out. I did another short jog, and walked the rest of the way home.

Sadly, the GPS refused to locate me until I had already turned around, when I was a bit slower. I decided to use the Almighty Google and map my walk/run when I got home.

Results? 3.2 miles in just about 55 minutes. A 5k without realizing it!

I got home, parched, and down 32 oz of water while making a few egg whites that I topped with salsa. I also pulled a banana out of the freezer and ate it with Kashi and a teaspoon of TJ’s peanut butter.

My stomach is satisfied, now I’m overdue for a shower. We have this weather for the next few days, and I’m liking it! I stay cool while pushing myself further than I have in a while.