Journey to a Healthier Me

Living life and getting healthy one step at a time.

Keep the Awesome Rolling August 17, 2010

Hey People!

It’s  been a productive day. I woke up with the husband this morning and set out to accomplish as much as I possibly could.

I realized while I was drinking my morning coffee that today was my last real day off. Every day after this is going to be filled with school, my internship, work, or all three. I’m a little bummed. I feel like this Summer has flown by.

In the spirit of getting things done I ate a hearty breakfast to fuel me for my 8-mile run. I decided to try something a little different this time around, and instead of eating toast and peanut butter I had rye toast and a hard-boiled egg.

It worked pretty well.I left later than I usually do for my long runs and because of that the heat was pretty brutal. I took walk breaks when I needed them.

I took my Gu Energy Shot at the 4 mile mark, and I think it helped.

(source)


I definitely felt like the last half of my run went by easily. The flavor was a little weird though. It didn’t taste like a blackberry at all. But I look forward to trying out the other flavors. The gel didn’t sit heavy in my stomach like the protein bars did, which is a definite plus.

I also stopped to stretch at the 5 mile mark. I have to say it really made my legs feel better. I didn’t realize how stiff they were getting. Do you ever stop to stretch during your runs?

I finished my run in 1:48:46 with a 12:58 pace. That’s a little slower than I would like, but it’s still decent time.

Speaking of running, I have officially registered for the ING Hartford Half-Marathon.

(source)

I’ve put money on this puppy now, there’s no turning back. Although I was able to get the student price, so I saved a little bit. I made the age cut-off for the student price by one week. Good thing I wasn’t born early.

The mailman brought me a present today:

My diploma!

It’s only fitting that this would come on my last day off before school starts. It all seems so final now. I’m a graduate student. Scary.

After the husband and I stared at our diplomas for a few minutes we headed out to run errands. We stopped by the library so I could drop off my overdue books and fork over my fine money. I owed them $1.20, but I figure that’s what keeps the library so nice.

Do you use your public library?

I also picked up a book that I’ve been dying to read.

(source)

I’ve seen reviews of it everywhere, but I couldn’t justify spending 25 bucks to get it since it’s a new release. I’ll let you know how I like it. Have you read it, did you like it?

As you know, today is Tuesday and that means I had my Weight Watchers meeting tonight. I’m happy to report that I lost weight this week. This tells me that I’m moving in a positive direction. I definitely noticed that I felt better physically this week just by adding in more fruits and veggies and steering clear of junk. Why does junk food have to taste so delicious?

The meeting topic tonight actually focused on eating filling foods. The idea is that if you fuel yourself with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you’ll consume fewer calories but still be satisfied.

It’s funny because that’s how I felt this week. It’s like Weight Watchers is inside my brain! I know that I stay fuller longer if I’m eating those healthy staples, but it never hurts to be reminded of it. Have you noticed a difference in how you feel if you eat more fruits and vegetables?

Oh and one more super awesome thing:

My blog is now listed on the Healthy Living Blogs website. I really like this website because it’s a source for tons of healthy blogs. Check it out!

It’s come to my attention that this blog post is turning into a novel, so I’ll leave you here.

I’ll see you tomorrow with a post about some of my favorite blogs to read.

Thanks for reading people! It’s greatly appreciated.

Question for you:

What’s your favorite blog to read? It doesn’t have to healthy living, it can be any topic. I’m always looking for new stuff to read.

Advertisements
 

Keep on Truckin’ August 12, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Cyndi @ 10:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Greetings Earthlings! (Now I’m an alien. Sweet.)

I finally did my 7 mile run!

I tried a new pair of contacts after work today, and there was no pain in sight so I took the opportunity to hit the road. Ridiculously, when I opened the garage door I was greeted by rain, but I didn’t let that deter me. I was itching to go for a run.

But let me tell you, I must have been channeling my brother-in-law when I mapped out the route I ran today. I can’t think of any other reason the last 2 miles of my 7 mile run would be in the woods, on a trail, climbing steadily uphill.

Needless to say I took some walk breaks, and I’m not really sure what my official time was because my GPS didn’t work in the woods, but it was probably about an hour and a half.

I was sweating, and panting like a mad woman going up that Tower Path, at Sleeping Giant. But when I got to the top and saw this:

It was all worth it. I even found the energy in me to run up to the very top of the tower and take in the scenic views.

Even though it was a little cloudy.

And you know I had to look down.

I munched on a Kashi protein bar while I was up there. I’m trying to get rid of the ones I have,  but they’re just so dry, and they sit so heavy in my stomach that they don’t make good fuel.

Then I began my descent, and ran into the husband on the way down. I guess he didn’t want to wait in the parking lot, which is fine with me. I enjoyed the company on the way back down.

Trail running is a whole other beast than road running. My legs burned like crazy while I was doing it, and I had to keep a constant eye on the ground in front of me so that I wouldn’t trip. It’s making me worry a little about the race on Sunday, but I’ll worry about that later. Have you ever done a trail run before? Did you enjoy it?

Dinner tonight was EPIC!

I transformed this:

Into this:

And then finally into this:

I made the zucchini into noodles (zoodles!) by using this nifty julienne tool from Pampered Chef that my mother-in-law (Hi Susan!) gave me for Christmas.

I topped said zoodles with this Raw Mediterranean Sauce and then with marinated tofu, and a balsamic reduction.

The tofu was marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, 5-spice powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and sesame seeds.

My whole serving was about 5 Points Value, but it was huge. It could easily be cut down.

This was my first experimentation with Raw cooking, even though it was not entirely raw because of the reduction. Is it still called cooking when the food is raw?

This meal was so light and fresh. I loved the way the flavors of the sauce came together, and the zucchini had this awesome crunch. I am thoroughly looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow. And the best part is that putting it together literally took 10 minutes. That is my kind of meal.

I was skeptical at first about eating raw zucchini, but slicing it so thin makes it nice and light, and the flavor is really mild.

I guarantee you this will not be the only raw recipe that you’ll see on this blog. Do you eat raw food? Any recipe recommendations?

Okay cool cats, it’s time for this blogger to go to bed.

Goodnight, Blogland!

Question for you:

If you could be in any movie what movie would you choose and why? Originally I was going to ask what horror movie, and then I realized that could get pretty gruesome.

I would be in Harold and Maude. I’d play Maude naturally. I hope I’m an eccentric old woman someday.


 

Egg-cellent Choice August 11, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Cyndi @ 9:10 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Well hello there, lovely readers!

Today was another crazy day in Cyndi-land. After working 12 hours my legs felt like crud and I didn’t have the heart to make them bust out a 7 mile run. But it’s coming tomorrow hell or high water.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a little burnt out. How can you tell if you’re burnt out from training? How do you recover?

The eye doctor couldn’t tell me what was wrong with my eyes, although he was able to rule out that it isn’t the actual eye itself that has the problem. He advised me to throw out my old contacts, the cases, and the solution and attempt to start fresh with a new pair.

I’m going to give that a shot tomorrow (fingers crossed) and I have a follow-up appointment Saturday morning where he’ll put a fresh pair in, that they’re getting delivered to the office, to make sure it’s not my batch of contacts. I’m relieved that he’s willing to listen to me.

Sometimes I worry that my doctor’s won’t listen to my concerns. Do you ever worry about that?

Anyway, onto what you really came here for:

Summer-Fresh Frittata

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup baby portabella mushrooms, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1 small jalapeño, chopped

4 eggs

4 egg whites

splash skim milk

2 tbsp grated romano

Salt and pepper to taste

1/8 cup crumbled feta for sprinkling on top

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.

Place all the vegetables in the pan, and cook until golden and delicious looking.

While the veggies cook, crack the eggs, and egg whites into a bowl, add the milk and whisk.

Once the yolks are broken up, add the romano, salt and pepper, and give another quick whisk.

When the veggies are softened add the egg mixture.

Stir with a rubber spatula, and cook until set. Approximately 5 minutes.

In a 400 degree oven bake until fully cooked, approximately 5 minutes.

Then sprinkle the feta on top of the frittata, and broil for a couple of minutes until the top is golden brown.

Cut into 8 wedges and enjoy!

Makes 4, 2 wedge servings.

Points Value 3

This was so delicious! I loved that it came together so simply, but tasted so fresh and light.

The feta added a nice saltiness, and broiling it gave it a little crunch.

I can see myself making this over and over again. Feel free to use whatever veggie is in season, I think asparagus would be amazing in this dish, especially if you roasted the asparagus first. Oh man, I have so many egg-based dish ideas right now.

I promise to share.

Best of all, I get to have the leftovers for breakfast.

In other food related news, I have an amazing idea for a dinner. Hopefully it will come to fruition tomorrow. Stay tuned for that. It could either be a success or a failure. Only time will tell. (Cooking is kind of like a soap opera, huh?)

Here’s a hint: it involves zoodles.

Alright friends, it’s time for me to make some dinner, and maybe do some yoga.

Sleep tight, Blogland!

Question for you:

What are your favorite vegetables to put into egg dishes?

 

The Long Run That Wasn’t August 10, 2010

Filed under: Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 9:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hey Guys!

I hope your day treated you better than mine treated me. Have you ever had one of those days where things just don’t go your way? That was my day.

I got up early this morning in the hopes of doing my long run only to see dark rain clouds. I’m not afraid of rain, but I can’t run with my music in the rain or GPS, so I waited for the clouds to clear. Once the clouds cleared I went to put my contacts in (I hate running in glasses!) and found that as soon as the contact touched my eye I felt this immense pain.

I’m calling first thing tomorrow, since the eye doctor is closed today, to figure out what the problem is. I even opened a new pair of contacts, and waited several hours before trying again, but no such luck. And in both eyes too! My husband says it could be a scratch or something. I hope it’s nothing serious. Wish me luck.

Then after many frustrated attempts at putting my contacts in I headed to the DMV to stand in line for 2 hours. It’s sad that it takes 2 hours to get to the counter for a 5 minute transaction. But at least all of the employees were really nice, that made the wait slightly less awful. Do you dread the DMV?

After the DMV I had lunch with Lauren, so my day wasn’t all bad things. We ate this delicious frittata that I made with zucchini, green pepper, and jalapeño from the garden. (Look for the blog tomorrow.)

Then I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. Honestly, I gained this week. I can’t say that I’m surprised by the fact that I gained. I know that I ate a lot of food last week, and some of those foods were not very healthy. I just need to recognize that one bad choice doesn’t have to lead to another.

Coincidentally, the topic for this week happened to be dealing with seeing a higher number on the scale. Robin, the meeting leader, had some really encouraging things to say today. She reminded me that just because I gained some this week, that doesn’t mean that it negates all of the hard work I’ve done over the past year.

You can’t always judge your success by the number on the scale. I’ve watched myself become so much healthier. I’ve found that I can be athletic, that I can race. I’ve learned that there is nothing that I cannot do, if I put my mind to it.

And as I sat in that meeting room I realized that I’m not upset about my gain this week. I’m not perfect. My weight will fluctuate for the rest of my life, but that’s okay.

I am not defined by the number on the scale.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to write that.

I guess today hasn’t been so bad after all.

Hopefully, the doctor can help me figure out my eye problem, and I’ll be back on the asphalt in no time. I’m going to fit in my long run, even if I need to have my husband ride alongside me on his bike to show me the way. I’m determined.

I want to share this fortune that my sister got at the sushi place yesterday:

These fortunes are getting pretty sneaky.

Goodnight, Blogland!

Questions for you:

How do you cope with a bad day?

Do you tend to focus on the number on the scale? I just want you to know that you’re beautiful no matter what the scale says, and I bet you have a million amazing qualities that make up who you are, and none of those reflect on the scale.

 

The Long Road to Self-Acceptance August 3, 2010

Filed under: My Story — Cyndi @ 3:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It’s going to be a 2 post Tuesday today. But that’s just because I have so much that I want to share with you.

It’s Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look Week, in honor of the release of the Operation Beautiful book. Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point has asked for bloggers to write posts about a variety of topics, that range from getting fit, to finding your healthy weight, to accepting yourself.

When I saw that they were asking for guest posts I knew that I wanted to participate, and I knew exactly what I would write about.

As I said in one of my first posts, I’ve been overweight for most of my life. I’ve heard every name in the book, thunder thighs, fat ass, I’ve been called a whale, and I’m sure many other names that I was fortunate enough to not catch people whispering under their breath.

I know the pain of attempting to find clothes in my size that make me feel good about myself, and don’t look like something my grandmother would wear. Because lets face it, when you’re overweight they don’t make “hip” clothes in your size. I didn’t want to wear elastic waste velour pants, with a matching sequins top. I wanted to wear the clothes that kids my age were wearing, but they all seemed to stop well before my size. I cried in my fair share of fitting rooms because I couldn’t wear the same clothes that my slimmer friends were wearing. And it got to the point where I stopped clothes shopping all together. I would just make my clothes last as long as possible.

But you know where I would go after those failed shopping sessions? To the nearest fast food place, or to the fridge. I would attempt to eat away the pain, and it would help for a little while. At least until I realized how much food I ate, and then felt disgusted with my lack of control. It was an ugly, vicious cycle. One I wasn’t sure how to break.

Over the years I just kept getting bigger and bigger, and it only made me more depressed. Then when I met my husband, way back in high school, I realized that I needed to change. He was, and still is, active. He skateboards, he does yard work, and when he isn’t doing those things he’s trying to get me to go on hikes, or bike rides, or take a walk.

When we started dating, I couldn’t keep up. I got winded before we could even get to the end of the road. I would force myself to go on these outings with him, even though I was ashamed that I couldn’t go for a hike and carry on a conversation at the same time.

Shortly after we got married, nearly 5 years after we started dating, I realized that if I wanted our life to be a quality one I needed to make a change. If I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw I needed to do something. I didn’t want to have to worry about finding clothes that fit me, I wanted to be able to walk into any story and find my size.

The husband swore up and down that I didn’t need to change, that he loved me just the way I was. And I believe he did, and still does, but I wasn’t happy with myself, and I wanted to make sure that our lives together would be as good as we could make them. But I knew that my weight, and overall lack of health, was cutting our years together short.

That’s when I joined Weight Watchers. And little by little I began to shed the extra pounds, and my pants size got smaller. My asthma practically disappeared, and my thyroid condition started to get better. But something even greater than a physical change was taking place.

I was beginning to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I didn’t spend time obsessing about what to wear to camouflage the less-than perfect parts. I accepted the fact that I would never be the size 0 that some of my classmates were. I stopped comparing myself to everyone around me.

I started to run, and run far. I  realized that my body could do things I never thought possible. I learned how to take care of myself so I could keep doing these amazing things.  I stopped caring as much about my weight, and what I looked like.

I went kayaking! Something I never would have done before because I was always so self-conscious about how I would look wearing the life vest and sitting in the tiny boat.

I’m not saying that I don’t have negative thoughts about myself. But now instead of catering to those negative thoughts and heading for the fridge I try to appreciate how far I’ve come. I can go for hikes and carry on a conversation, and I don’t shy away from going out.

After 22 long years, I’m finally beginning to accept who I am, and realize that there is more to me than the way I look. And let me tell you, it feels awesome.

Question for you:

What started you on your journey to getting fit? I guarantee that you are beautiful, and that there is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it. Thanks for reading.

 

Stay the Course July 29, 2010

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you’re having a nice relaxing evening. It’s been so hot here lately that I don’t want to leave the house until the sun goes down. Maybe I could get my store to open at 7 at night instead of 7 in the morning?

Today I want to share a blog post I just read over at Health for the Whole Self. The post is about using intuitive eating, or listening to your body, as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

I love the idea of actually listening to my body about the food it wants, and when it wants to eat.

But I don’t trust myself.

How do I know that my body won’t be asking for cookies and ice cream 24/7? How do I know that my body wants me to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day?

I think that’s part of the challenge of intuitive eating. You need to figure out what “craving” is actually what your body wants and what part of it is emotion.

For me, I’m a huge emotional eater. I came from a family that used food as a means of comfort, celebration, commiseration, and any emotion in between. You had a rough day? Let’s make cookies. You got an “A” on your test? We need cake to celebrate. Junk food was never in short supply when I was growing up.

And I realize that even now I still fall back on using food as a crutch. Otherwise why would I be on a first name basis with the Coldstone clerk? But I’m not ready to leave Weight Watchers and begin intuitive eating. Not yet.

I think of Weight Watchers as my training wheels. I’m learning what foods I need to fuel my body, and what I need to stay healthy. I’m learning moderation, and the Points system is teaching me that I can get, and stay, full on less food than I thought.

So where does this leave me?

I’m going to stay the course, and continue making progress on Weight Watchers. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t incorporate some of the techniques that Christine references in her guest post on Health for the Whole Self. I can start to examine my relationship with food, and why I turn to it in times of stress.

You can expect plenty of other posts on this topic in the future as I continue to look how food and my emotions go hand in hand.

This tired girl is going to hit the hay. Have a good night Blogland.

Question for you:

Are you an emotional eater? How do you cope?

 

Every Story has a Beginning July 25, 2010

Filed under: My Story,Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 11:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

You know, it’s kind of funny. When I wrote my first post for this blog I expected to update it regularly. And yet, here I am, just now getting to my second post. Sometimes life gets away from you, but I’m here now, and I promise to give you tons of excellent updates.

Are we cool now?

Great.

I’m starting this blog about a year into my weight loss journey, but I want to tell you a little about how I got here. Picture that slightly awkward overweight girl from high school. That was me. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, and I can recall the first time the doctor used the word obese when he was talking to me, even though my mother had expressly told him not to. What 12 years old girl wants to hear that word? Wasn’t it bad enough that I was a pre-teen on the verge of high school? By the time I got married I was a portly 200 pounds.

Here’s a before picture from the day after my wedding:

When I got my professional wedding pictures back I was shocked. I didn’t realize I looked like that. When I looked in the mirror I saw a chunky girl, but not someone that big.

When I think about it now I realize that this is the point where I started to change. I was always unhappy with the way I looked, but somehow seeing those pictures bothered me.

In August of 2009 I joined Weight Watchers. Now, I realize Weight Watchers isn’t the perfect fit for everyone, but it works for me. But I don’t just attribute my weight loss to being on the program, a large part of it is the fact that I wanted to change. I was sick of hiding from the camera, and buying clothes to hide the way I looked. I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to keep up with my husband, a skateboarder, who seems to constantly be in motion. I wanted to be able to walk my dog and not feel like I needed a nap after.

I wanted to be happy with myself.

I was shocked to step on the scale at my first meeting and see that I weighed 201.8 pounds. How did I get that big? Why didn’t anybody tell me I was that big? I committed myself right then to cutting the junk food out of my life (for the most part) and to start exercising. Until then exercising had always been a chore for me, and in a later post I’ll reveal what I do to keep myself happy while exercising.

To make a long, and somewhat tedious story short, here I am now down 55 pounds, and only 10 pounds away from my goal weight. I’ve had more ups and down than I thought I would, but when I look at my progress I’m thrilled.

Here’s what I look like now:

I have learned so much about myself, my relationship with food, and about fitness over the past year. I look forward to sharing my knowledge, as well as learning what you know, as I keep moving towards being the healthiest person I can be.

Question:

What made you want to get healthier? How long have you been on your journey?