"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Not A Costume

As I was running today at the gym I was thinking about how today is Halloween and kiddies will be coming to the door all dressed up in costumes and I had a sudden inspiration for a Halloween post for today.  

Because this outfit....

..is not a costume.  

It is an outfit similar to what I wear at least four days a week.  Yes, I love sweats and hoodies and comfy clothes, but I don't wear sweats or yoga pants just because they are comfy.  

I wear them to workout.  For real.  

And that is something that made me smile as I pushed myself and ran 3.1 in 32:18 with a 1% incline.  


Monday, October 29, 2012

A Baking Strategy

Good morning!

The "Motivational Mondays" were fun, but I don't want to make that what I do all the time here.  So on to a regular post.

This past weekend was full of baking.  Our church had a 3-night event and had asked for the ladies to bring baked goods to go with the refreshments.  So, Friday I made brownies.  Saturday I made my grandmother's recipe for a white cake-like cookie.  And yesterday I made pumpkin cookies, with and without chocolate chips.  

My house has smelled good, and I did okay with all that baking happening.  In fact, I figured out what I  told my friend yesterday will be my baking strategy for this holiday season. 

I will bake .... 

And, like yesterday, this much will be given away...

and this much (the large baggie on left) will be kept for the family to enjoy.  

It also works to make a single batch of cookies, instead of doubling and tripling like I used to do for years.  Then I could give some away, but still have plenty for the house.   

Yes, I think I have a plan.  I may still have to deal with the temptation of walking by that one baggie of cookies, but at least it won't be so many that I'll fall into the they'll-never-notice-if-I-eat-one-or-two trap.    

I can also allow myself one cookie and make sure I figure it into my daily calorie allowance; but again there won't be so many hanging around for days to tempt me to eat too many.  

Yes, I think this will work out nicely.  I can scratch my baking itch, but not eat it all too.  All things in moderation. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weigh-In ... Finish Strong Week 1

Today's Weight: 165.5
Loss/Gain: -0.5

Short Story: (and then you can skip to the update below)
My week started off with too much food it did end up back on track, so I'm content with the half-pound loss. :)

Long Story:  (because you know I want to journal every bit of my journey...)
It's always better down than up, even if half a pound.  I'm pretty sure this loss is due to taking part in a time of fasting and prayer this week, because I was not eating like I planned on finishing the year strong last weekend.  Then, because I knew I would be fasting, I ate too much on Monday.

It was weird, because I saw myself eating extra just because I knew I'd be fasting and even though I knew it wasn't necessary or good.  Oh, that darn human nature that goes back to bad habits so easily.

However, despite the heavier eat at the beginning of the week there are two good points I can share about my week.

First, I wasn't overstuffed all weekend.  I simply didn't stop eating at satisfied ... I kept going until full.  I'm learning eating until satisfied is really the best way for my health and for weight loss, but I'm glad to see that my "BIG" eating days are no longer stuff-myself-til-I-think-I'm-gonna-be-ill days.  

Second, yesterday after going to the gym my sister-in-law and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I ordered the old timers breakfast which includes, and I quote,
"Two Eggs* cooked to order with Grits, Sawmill Gravy and Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits along with real Butter and the best Preserves, Jam n' Apple butter available. Served with your choice of Fried Apples or Hashbrown Casserole and Smoked Sausage Patties, Turkey Sausage Patties or Thick-Sliced Bacon."

I know... YUUUM!

I always get the turkey sausage and hashbrown casserole with mine, and a cup of coffee.   I never eat the grits or gravy anymore, but I always have a biscuit, which looked small yesterday...and then I mentally thanked them for bringing small biscuits to me because I didn't need large ones.  :)

Anyway... I ended up eating my two eggs, one of the turkey sausage patties, 2-3 small bites of the casserole and one small biscuit.  Oh, and I tasted a bite of her blueberry muffin, which was yummy just like she exclaimed.

I sat sipping my coffee while we chatted, leaving the extra food around me untouched until they brought me a box to take it home in.  (She noticed again and asked if I was done, to which I replied that I was.)

I was not full, but I was completely satisfied.  And I didn't snack around the house, but waited until I was getting hungry and had a snack with some coffee in the late afternoon.   Hip. Hip. Hooray!

So, as I finish up this post I'm feeling confident that I will indeed meet my Finish Strong goal of breaking 160.  I know it's only seven pounds, but for me that will be huge since I've pretty much maintained over the summer.   Now on to the update.

My first update on my Finish Strong challenge...

Main Goal:

  • I want to break 160 on the scale.  I want to see 159 or lower.  Started at 166.0.  Down 0.5/7 pounds towards this goal.  :)
Sub goals:
  • Exercise 4 days a week minimum, shoot for two days of running and two days of something else.  Runs can be 30-35 minutes, but everything else 45-60 minutes.  Not so good this week due to planned time of fasting that I forgot about when I set the goals. There's no way I can exercise when I'm not eating.  
  • Track food, even if over calorie budget.  I tracked 6 out of 7 days.  It was interesting, okay...amazing to see how many calories I consumed on one of the weekend days.  wow.  And I didn't do any planned exercise, so probably didn't burn extra.  More wow.  I definitely need to work on keeping my weekends in check food wise.  
  • Drink minimum of 64 oz. water daily.  I think I made this almost every day, but I'm giving myself a yellow because I'm not sure.  I'm going to have to remember to track it in my food tracker so I know if I made it or not.   Water should be my easy green every week.  :) 
Did anyone decide to join me?  Even if you don't make it all official-like, feel free to comment if it made you think about finishing 2012 strong.  

And for those of you who have finished strong and continue to fight the fight, thanks.  Because it's people like you Lori and Diane and Stephanie, to name a few who encourage me to keep going.  :)

Have a good weekend!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Motivational Monday - That's All?

I don't normally dislike Mondays, and I'm not disliking it today either...However, I was so tired this morning that I actually went back to sleep after taking the kids to school.  I curled up on the couch with a blanket, turned on an Adventures in Odyssey kid story and dozed.  Since I woke up an hour and a half later I know I needed the extra rest.  This weekend must've really wore me out.  

I'm sharing all that to say that I slept through my workout time and now I'm not sure if I'll get it in today as I have a busy day ahead.  

Of course, all I can think is "the challenge" ...darn it.  

Oh well.  It's only Monday, and I needed rest, so we'll see what happens the rest of the week.  When I posted Friday with the challenge and my exercise plans I didn't count on something that came up for today through Wednesday, so this week I may not make it all four days.  

I feel better just getting that out.  Thank you. 

Now on to some motivation...since my sister-in-law has been staying with us there has been a phrase that shows me I have changed and am still changing with regards to my food.  

When I serve myself a smaller portion at a meal (like the half tuna melt I had Saturday while everyone else ate whole sandwiches), or I choose to put my meal over a salad instead of with rice she'll say something like, "Is that all you're eating?"  or "You're having a salad??"

Some might see this as negative talk, but I don't.  My sister-in-law wants to lose some weight she's put on in recent years, so when I make a lighter choice she's like "Aw man!! I should be doing that."  I usually shrug and just keep going, or smile and let her know I ate half the sandwich because I was having two deviled eggs with the meal, etc. 

But I'm always a bit tickled that she would notice and it reminds me that I am changing.  

There are still times when we eat ice cream, etc. and I know that needs to be less than it has been lately; but there's more times when I'm eating less food, or healthier food and it's just who I am now.  


Friday, October 19, 2012

Weigh-In - Faux Hot 100 .. Finish Strong

Today's Weight: 166.0
Loss/Gain: - 0.5 lb

First off, I was hoping for a maintain the week of my monthly, so I'm happy with a half-pound loss.  :)  

Now on to something that has been on my mind lately.  The Hot 100 Challenge.  The last three years Steve at Log my Loss has challenged us to finish up the last 100 days of the year strong in our healthiness journeys.  

Life happens and he has been busy, so it isn't happening this year.  By the time I realized it should be starting I didn't have time to put together a challenge of my own.  :(  However, I keep thinking that I do want to finish 2012 strong.  

As of today there are ten weeks left in 2012 and I know these are going to be some of the busiest weeks in our school year with concerts, holiday baking, shopping, visits from family, visits to family, etc.  So, I have one simple goal:
  • I want to break 160 on the scale.  I want to see 159 or lower. 
Which leads me to a couple sub goals.  
  • Exercise 4 days a week minimum, shoot for two days of running and two days of something else.  Runs can be 30-35 minutes, but everything else 45-60 minutes.  
  • Track food, even if over calorie budget. 
  • Drink minimum of 64 oz. water daily.
There is one week I'm 99% sure I will not exercise, because I'll be helping with a conference our church is hosting.  I'm not even going to pretend I'll be superwoman that week.   

Otherwise, these are the goals I plan to work on daily/weekly, and I will be updating these at each weigh-in through the rest of this calendar year.  

I've even made a button for it.  (any excuse to use my digital scrapbooking stuff..lol)

So, there it is.  I am making a commitment to stay healthy during the holidays. 

Please feel free to join me if you'd like.  Make a goal of any sort to finish your 2012 strong and healthy,  put my button on your blog to remind you and link back here in the comments every Friday and let us know how you're doing.

If you don't have a blog, but you follow mine and want to participate...please do!  You can just comment each week if you're reaching your goal(s) (ahem, girls..yes, MY FRIENDS...you know who you are...you can email me weekly...just sayin')

Who knows?? Maybe I'll get excited and even do a little prize drawing at the end to celebrate.  

If nothing else, be assured I will be doing this myself and keeping you posted on my progress.  

Have a nice weekend and, as always, thanks for checking in.  :) 

Note:  I have my photos protected on my blog, but I'm going to try and figure out how to get the button so you can access it.  Worse come to worse...If you're not able to right click and "Save as.." leave me a comment with your email and I can email you the button.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Beirut Memorial 10K

Hello!  Whew, what a day!  It's been pretty laid back, but I've been sleepy.  So, I made a fresh cup of coffee and now I'm going to share with you my amazing weekend...

If you would've told me seven months ago that I would run two 10K's this year I would've chuckled.  In fact, my husband asked me the other day, "When were you planning on running a 10K before I suggested you do the one in May?"

I replied, "Not until I was closer to my goal weight."

And he reminded me, "And look...now you're going to have done two of them!"

Yes, Saturday was my second 10K race and I'm still about 25-30 pounds away from my goal weight.

Short Story:  Despite waking up a bit of an emotional wreck I finished the Beirut Memorial 10K race strong and happy.  At the beginning of the race I met an angel of sorts who unknowingly pushed me to step up my pace a bit and I ended up running faster than I expected. 
Long Story: 
I planned to do this race months ago, but didn't start training for it as early as I did my race in May.  In fact, I hadn't run much all summer, but I did do the core training with Body Revolution DVDs.  After the kids went back to school I got back into the gym more and started running more as the temperatures cooled.

A couple weeks ago I was nervous about this race.  I felt undertrained.  Lots of people agree it's better to show up undertrained than injured, so I figured I'd just show up and do my best.  If I met my May goal of staying under a 12:00 minute mile pace I was going to be happy.

Well, a week ago I did my last long training run before the race and it went well, so for the first time since I signed up for the race I felt ready.

Then the day before I started my monthly, my emotions are a wreck and I woke up Saturday morning wondering why the heck I decided to do this?!?! As I got dressed and got some coffee going I kept telling myself, "It's hormones,  you'll be fine, it's going to be okay."  It wasn't until we got driving over to the race that I started feeling better.

My husband took me to the race and talked to me through the car window while I jogged in place to warm up.  It was a chilly 50-55 degrees.  I stretched, jogged and began to feel a little better about it all.  Then I did a quick little jog down and back to warm up my legs before we headed over to the race start/finish so I could use the bathroom one more time.

As I rounded the corner I saw my friend who had texted me already earlier wishing me good luck.  She runs a lot, but had never run so far, and we decided to do this race together.  When I saw her I got really excited.  (Yay for friends and crowds to get you excited about an event!!)  I was still nervous, but now it was the nervous excitement.

It was a gun start race and as the crowd surged ahead I found myself next to a chatty lady who was running about my pace.  She was really friendly and shared with me about she had just completed her first half marathon, her tips, etc. etc.  I was nervous to stay with her when I looked down at my Garmin and realized we were going faster than I usually allow myself to on a long run.

But...the weather was cool, I felt good and I decided, "Oh, heck, just go with it.  It's not super fast and you can slow down later if you feel like you need to."

We ended up chatting off and on for the first 3 miles, passing some people who were slower and agreeing that if one needed to slow down the other wouldn't be offended one bit.  :)

Just before mile 3 I kept going and she slowed up a tad.

From then on I was on my own.  It was glorious.  Still so cool out, legs just going and feeling great.  

Just after mile 4 I saw we were passing where my car was parked.  There was my husband ready with the camera to snap a picture.  I gave him a thumbs up and told him, "I'm going faster than I planned!"  He said, "Good!"

The course ran on a path that went through woods, some asphalt driving area and then finished up on a gravel path in another patch of woods.  As I skirted around a huge puddle after mile 5 I thought to myself, "I am a trail runner now!  Yep, just put my picture in Runner's World!" lol

Mile 6 brought us back to asphalt and I sprinted to the finish coming in at 1:08.  One hour and eight minutes - a full 2 minutes faster than my 10K race in May.  I ended up setting a personal best without even really trying.

That's when I knew the lady who chatted with me at the beginning was an angel of sorts, sent to push me out of my comfort zone and show me I could do more than I thought.  :)  So, when she came towards the end I hopped up and ran over the finish with her.

It was a great way to start the weekend!  I was excited about finishing strong and faster than expected.

Oh, and I can't leave without saying a BIG THANK YOU to my husband who believed enough in me to challenge me to do something I didn't think I could.  Love dat man!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weigh-In ... Pumpkin Oats

Today's Weight:  166.5
Loss/Gain: -1.5

Nice.  Those better food choices are helping.  *happy dance* 

Speaking of food and choices...

Inspired by fall and cooler temps and wanting some pumpkin-y I decided to make a rendition of Lori's famous Custard Pumpkin Oats.  I knew they would be a better choice than the Dunkin Donuts pumpkin donut I had Monday.  ahem...it was delicious...

 Here's how I made mine: 

1 packet instant oatmeal
2/3 cup original Almond milk
1/3 cup water
--> cook above ingredients in microwave for 2:00
1/4 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. brown sugar
splashes cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves - according to taste
-->Stir above into cooked oats and let sit a minute while oats soak up liquid and get more puffy.
Note:  I did less pumpkin than Lori because I was afraid of getting too full.  I also did not use egg whites like she does for same reason, but I think now I wouldn't have been too full.  So maybe tomorrow.
Total calories for my bowl:  177  (yes, definitely can add the egg whites next time)

I have to tell you that about two years ago I made one of her custard oats recipes and didn't care for the fact that it wasn't really sweet.  Now that I've been cutting out the added sugars somewhat I was very content with the 1 tsp. brown sugar in this bowl.  Amazing how we can change.  *more happy dancing*

So, here's a shot of my bowl...not as thick because I didn't custardize them with egg whites..and the lightening isn't too good, because it was early and the sun wasn't shining in the window at better angle. 
They were yummy and completely satisfied my desire for something warm, sweet and autumn'ish.  (My spell check is going crazy with all these funky words..lol)

Now I'm off to get ready to go to the gym to exercise and pick up another race packet for a 10K race I'm doing tomorrow.  *more happiness*  It's closer to home and the weather is so beautiful for running right now.  Love it. 

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend!  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Steak, Sweet Potato and Salad, Etc.

Hello!  I'm just checking in before the official checking in tomorrow.  :)  

It seems like my days are flying by.  They are nice full days, but I miss blogland at times.  So, grab a cup of coffee, because I have lots on my mind, a fast typing hand and some time to spare.  

But if you don't have time...

Short Story:  I am still making better changes in my life and it gives me hope that I'll reach my goal weight eventually.   And my sister-in-law is becoming a healthy eating friend also trying to lose some weight.  Knowing she's watching me is motivating me to do well.  

Long Story:

Things are going pretty well on the weight loss aspect.  My sister-in-law is staying with us for a while and we've been going to the gym and having some discussions about eating better.  She put some weight on this past year and wants to continue working on losing it, so we're kind of helping each other now.  

Funny about that...she kept saying I was making sweets (Yes, I had to make Autumn Pumpkin Cake for a dinner we were invited to, and I may have made some similar desserts as well) and not helping her at all.  Or I made a baked sandwich with soup for dinner last week, but put my lunchmeat on a salad and she was like, "What?  You're eating a salad while I eat bread?!?!"  

I laughed because I'm usually the one who is saying those things, or thinking them at least.  Knowing she wants to work on her weight, and knowing I need to finish what I've started, have helped me think a bit more about what I'm eating.  

The baking is going to happen off an on over the next couple of months, so I can't help her there.  We were talking about how we just need to be careful to keep it in small portions.  I also told my husband that she is going to see what a challenge it can be to lose weight and cook for a family who doesn't necessarily have weight issues.  

Speaking of eating differently...or at least...turning blinker on for a new subject here...

I am changing how I pick my meals and it's not killing me. 

Take a dinner date this past week for example. 

Last Monday evening my husband and I went out for dinner.  Our meal started with salad made up of a spring mix grass, as my husband calls it and I ordered the Balsamic Vinaigrette.  The dressing was in a little container on the side and I didn't even use half. 

We ordered steaks and I decided to get the sweet potato with mine instead of the baked or mashed potato.  The sweet potato came with three pre-wrapped pats of butter and a tiny (maybe 2 Tbsp. size) container of brown sugar.  I used half a pat of butter and maybe half of the brown sugar for the entire thing.  

Before you get too proud of me...I did eat plenty of the spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips, so that probably ruined the calorie count of my healthier meal.  

However, and getting back to my point, I was very proud of being able to choose a couple things different during this meal and not feel deprived of what I used to always order.  Read: baked potato with all trimmings and a salad drenched in ranch dressing.  I enjoyed my healthier choices.  My salad with little dressing was fine.  

I'm also still eating plain oatmeal made with almond milk with about 1 tablespoon peanut butter and some ground cinnamon for breakfast and loving it.  It's not nearly as sweet as what I used to make, but I prefer it now.  

I guess I'm sharing these little bits to show you that I am still changing for the better.  Just when I think these months of maintaining, and even gaining about 4-5 pounds, can be vexing I see some changes still happening.  

And it's these small changes in my food choices that give me hope that I can be "that" girl who eats healthier and maintains a healthy weight.  

Little by little ...  choice by choice.  I will win!  

See you tomorrow. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Motivational Monday - Run for the Tatas

For today's motivation I want to share that it was motivating to take part in the Run for the Tatas Breast Cancer 5K run and 1mile walk with my family.  

My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so we wanted to do this race in her honor.  Us girls painted our nails pink and put on bright pink lipstick for the race.  Such fun!

The girls and my sister-in-law did the 1 mile walk and my son and I ran the 5K.  My husband is taking care of plantar fasciitis in his feet, so he was chauffeur and photographer for us.  

This was a chaser race where the guys start 2.5 minutes after the ladies.  I no sooner am trotting along when the men begin to race past.  Suddenly I heard, "Goodbye Mom!" and my son surges on ahead.  

I didn't see him again until I passed him up just after mile 2.  He was working hard, but had slowed up a little.  I had told him before the race that if I passed him he was welcome to try and stay with me from then on, but I wouldn't be stopping for him.  So, he was warned and understood when I kept going and encouraged him to just do his best. 
Um, yea...that wasn't totally necessary, because just before mile 3 he comes whizzing by and sprinted out to the finish.  I thought about catching up with him, but I couldn't push myself to do so.  I was going at a quick pace for me and was afraid my legs would crumble if I did that.  

My speedy boy came in at 30:44...

..and I followed at 33:41. 

Later that morning I asked him, "So son, when I passed you did you think, 'I can't let my mom beat me!' ?"  He smile and said, "Yep!"  

It was a great morning and I was pleased to be able to not only join my family in an event, but to be the one giving my son a reason to push harder.  :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weigh-In ... TGIF

Today's Weight:  168.0
Loss/Gain:  -1.0

I'm happy with the loss.  I was more careful about what I ate this week and it shows.  :)

It's been a very busy week for us and won't really stop until about tomorrow afternoon.  So, I'm keeping it short today.  Well, that and .... because I spent the last hour or so scratching my digital scrapbooking itch by making a fall desktop for my computer and now I really need to get on with my day.

Today TGIF means:  Thank God It's Fall!!!  :)

Have a good weekend!

Note:  The kit for this creation is new at Shabby Miss Jenn Designs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Random Running Ramblings

Did you like that?  Three R's....  :) 

I listen to music when I run (with only one ear bud in to be safe since I'm on the road.), but I still think about a lot of things.  Today I thought I'd share with you things that went through my mind.  ... for fun. :D

"It's already 75 out...boy with how the humidity has been lately it's going to be a rough run."

"You've ran in hotter weather, so you'll be fine.  Just go as fast as you can, but don't be vexed if you have to slow down.  Only running 3 miles today. " 

Starting Run: 
"Oh, it's not as bad as I thought." 

"Let's see if you can push a little harder since it's a short run.  Pretend this is race day. " 
(I'm running a 5K breast cancer race this Saturday...yea...sorry kept forgetting to blog about it..)

During Run: 
"Just stay under a 12:00 minute mile pace."

"Hey...look the neighbors are having a yard sale.  Wait.  It's Wednesday.  What the heck?!?  Oh...it's not a yard sale, it's Halloween decor.  Now I remember.  They did this last year, the whole spooky graveyard thing full of dead stuff and ghosts and skeletons."  

"Nice breeze.  So glad for breezes when running!!"

"Everyone is walking today.  Where are the running folk?  Oh yea, they stayed inside since it's so humid out!! lol"

"The firemen are home.  I should bake them something.  It's good to know they are in my neighborhood. "

"Oh, look!  There's a lady running." 

"It doesn't feel as hot.  I think clouds have rolled in.  Lord, rain would be very welcomed right now, seriously, I wouldn't mind one bit." 

"2.8 miles...I think I'll just run up to the house.  It'll be over 3.1 miles and that's okay.  I'm feeling good."

"Oh hey, the two moms who were walking are jogging now.  ooooohh, I think I may be a tad faster than them.  That's a switch!  Of course, one looks like she'd be quicker, but she's helping her friend.  Cool."  

"3.45 miles in  38:20 .. not too bad in warmer temperatures.  Clouds have definitely rolled in...so nice!!"

"I'm going to make an Instagram...because I keep thinking one thing during my entire run....

Dear Lord,  I'd be most grateful if you'd lower the temps and humidity for my race Saturday.  Oh, and thanks for bringing in the clouds today...Very helpful.  Love, Leah"  

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Motivational Monday - Small & Baggy

Welp... I didn't really feel like I had anything to post that was motivating, but as I thought more about it throughout the day I realized I do have a couple things going right in my weight loss journey.

First off, I am still making good changes. 

I love this oatmeal:                            But I traded it for this one:


Less sugar.   11g sugar in the Cinnamon & Spice vs. 0g sugar in the original.  This is most likely what contributed to the 60 calories less in the original as well.  

Yes, they are both still microwave, versus steel cut oats or something healthier; but I've made a change to cut out some unecessary sugar from my diet.  

As a girl here and I were discussing...eating sugar seems to lead to wanting more sugar.  I know starchy foods and sweets are a problem for me, and it seems that when I cut those things way down in my diet I eat better.  

So, I decided to make this small change.  I made my first bowl with almond milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  It wasn't as sweet, but as I slowed down and paid attention to what I was eating I could taste the sugar from the peanut butter.  

It was enough and I know it was better for me.  

Secondly, I also wore my new size 14 jeans from Old Navy and ... they are baggy.  :)  I remember buying them a month ago and wondering if I should get the size 12, because the 14s were comfortable.  Knowing my weight loss record I went with what fit now.  

Thankfully they were only $19, because I've a feeling I may not need them for long.

Little changes...and baggy size 14s...  yep, good motivation to keep going.