Monday, October 31, 2011

Goal Week 6? No Nail Biting

I can't remember if it's week 6 or week 5. I suppose I should go back to look at that. I didn't publicly set a goal last week because I wanted to keep plugging away at my calorie counting. Well, I didn't end up losing anything last week but I also didn't gain anything. I originally had myfitnesspal set up to lose 2 lbs a week. After talking to some people, I decided I wasn't eating enough calories each day. I adjusted my goal from 2 lbs a week to 1.5 lbs a week so I would be eating around 1800 calories a day.

I worked out last week 4 days, which was my goal. I did start this week out pretty well with a 30 minute run tonight after work before I had to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. *We've only had two groups show up at our door in 3 hours* I hope to keep the work outs up this week. Tomorrow I have to do some work at the community garden. That will probably burn some pretty good calories and then I will probably run on Wednesday and Thursday too.

I did set a mini goal for myself last week that I didn't talk about last week. I have never been good about getting lotion on my skin after I shower. So I set a mini goal to do that every day. I did it every day except Saturday and Sunday, pretty much just because I forgot. This week's goal has nothing to do with weightloss but more about just overall health. This week's goal is to not bite my nails.

I've been biting my nails since I was a toddler. It was something I started doing when I stopped sucking my thumb. I really want to do well this time. I am stick of not being able to peel stickers and labels, not able to open the little latch on my camera to get the USB port. I can't even peel an orange. How sad is that? I need to grow these things out! I have done it before. The longest I believe was 3 months last fall.

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement. I'm hoping for good numbers on the scale this week and here to longer nails next week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Run Rut

So last year I talked about my butt rut. You know, that Homer Simpson indent in the couch where my butt nicely settles? I have to admit that indent is still there but it’s not nearly as deep as it used to be and it isn’t quite as comfortable either. After reading a couple of blogs over the past few days, I have come to find that I am in a run rut.

Er, a workout rut. I mean, I keep doing the same workout over and over again. Because I run outside and don’t have a gym membership, I have been using the weather as an excuse for not running. I can’t let this happen anymore. I’m starting to figure out that I need to throw a wrench into my run workouts and start working on some cross training again.

One of my original running goals was to run a mile without stopping to walk. I know I can do that now. Now I can run over 2 miles without walking and that feels great! I would like to work through the winter months improving my distance as well as my speed. This is where I am going to change up my running workouts. I am going to start working on speed through interval training. I tried using on my iPhone yesterday. I think the program has some great coaching tools for the free app but to really use the program, there is a monthly fee, which I am not planning on using. Maybe there are other running applications out there for my phone. Any apps that anyone can recommend would be great. I’m hoping a new running goal will motivate me to do something a little different in those workouts. I hope to find an event in the Spring to work towards. Maybe a 10k would work?

Now for some diversity in my workouts. Last Christmas I received two great gifts. One gift from my hubby was a really nice indoor trainer for my bike. The second gift was the Biggest Loser for the Wii. Both are going to be my alternatives through the winter months along with some weight lifting. I won’t have an excuse to not work out. The weather cannot be an excuse when I’m inside. I want to try to run outside when I can. I am still going to plan my workouts around the weather but I want to start looking at the weather for the week and plan around it. I want to plan the inside cross-training days for when it’s really cold, snowing or raining. Instead of my every-other-day mentality I’ve had all summer, I want to get 5 days of exercise completed each week. I don’t want to commit to an hour each time but at least getting some movement in each of those days would work the best.

I feel slightly like I am getting in over my head. Am I going to be disappointed if I only exercise 3 days one week?  Will I blow off the rest of the week? Maybe I will set this as one of my weekly goals in the next couple of months. I’ve been successful so far. Why can’t I set myself up to be successful with this too!?!?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shortage of Potassium

I've known since before my race that potassium is an important nutrient to keep stored in my body to avoid muscle cramps and to keep my body energized. I ran, literally, into a problem of not having enough potassium during the second run loop of my race and my legs were starting to cramp just out of the transition area. My sister asked me if I had enough electrolytes and I thought the food I had been eating had electrolytes and it didn't! She encouraged me to keep going until we got to the first mile mark to get some Gatorade. It took a while but definitely helped. I need to consume foods that have a high amount of potassium to help me with my electrolytes. I discovered a couple of years ago an allergy to bananas which is disappointing because I love bananas. So I need to find an alternative.

When I ask people about what foods are high in potassium, the only thing that pops in their heads are bananas. Well, like I said, that wasn't going to work for me. So I finally looked it up today.  Here are the top ten foods for Potassium:

Dried Apricots
  1. Dried Herbs (Dried Chervil contains the most potassium with 4.7g (135% RDA) per 100g serving)
  2. Avocados (100 grams will provide 485mg of potassium or 14% of the RDA)
  3. Paprika and Dried Chili Powder (Paprika provides the most potassium with 2.3g (67% RDA) per 100 gram serving)
  4. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate (Pure cocoa powder without any fat, milk, or sugar, provides the most potassium with 1.5 grams (44% RDA) in a 100g serving)
  5. Dried Apricots ( apricots provide 1.9g (53%RDA) of potassium per 100g serving (about 20 dried apricots)
  6. Pistachios (100 grams (~3/4cup) will provide 1g (30% RDA) of potassium)
  7. Seeds (pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 919mg (26% RDA) of potassium per 100g serving)
  8. Fish (Salmon provides 534mg (15% RDA) per 3 ounce serving)
  9. Beans (White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% RDA) per 100 gram serving
  10. Dates (dates provide 696mg (20% RDA) per 100 gram)
Some of these foods I already like and already knew I needed to incorporate more of them into my diet because of the other health benefits. I think the easiest things for me to eat would be the apricots for a snack a few hours before a run and eat more fish. Dried herbs are definitely a plus because they do made food taste that much better. And who doesn't like chocolate but I've never had pure chocolate!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little Success and a Continueing Goal

I'm not really in the mood to write but I did promise a post about some good news. My last goal was to track my calories for the week. I downloaded the calorie counter program from and got started on my counting. I did really well for the week except there was a day or two that I didn't want to log my calories because I knew that I would be over my calories for the day. I was usually over those calories because I made a silly decision about what went into my mouth. It was hard for me to own up to it. 

Out of this last week came a loss of 2.5lbs! I haven't been successful with poundage loss since last Christmas. Because of this I am not going to be setting a new goal for this week. I am going to keep focusing on counting my calories and see where I end up next weekend. Hopefully it will be with another weight loss.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar

When I woke up yesterday morning my husband said my hair smelled like baked goods. I thought he was crazy until the smell came out when the shower water hit the strands. I smelled like cinnamon and sugar. How sweet! Hehe.

I took a long weekend by taking Thursday and Friday off from work. I needed it. I've been noticing I've been pretty much checking out at work. Thursday I spent the morning wait for the installation crew from Home Depot to come replace the door. The initial door was installed with the peep hole about 12 inches from the top of the door. Now, I'm 5 ft 10 in and I had to stand on my toes to see out. It shouldn't be that high so my mom urged me to go to the store and complain. So I did and complained enough for them to reorder a door with the peephole at the right height.  While I waited for the guys, I decided the zucchini in the refrigerator was about on the edge and would be great for bread. I pulled out the mixer and all of the ingredients. I quickly realized that the applesauce I kept for replacing oil had gone bad so I didn't have that healthy baking alternative to use. I did however have a bag of ground flax meal that I had purchased on my last trip to the grocery store. I heard somewhere that the human body can not break down whole flax seeds so the seed needs to be ground for us to reap the benefits. So I put less 1/4 cup of flour and replaced it with a 1/4 cup of this meal. It's not really that noticeable and I actually like breads with a little more texture.

Whole Wheat Molasses Cookies
Speaking of texture, while the bread was in the oven, I still had the baking bug. After digging through my cupboards, I found a jar of molasses that I used last summer to make homemade baked beans and hadn't used it since then. I found a molasses cookie recipe online that looked pretty easy and doable. The recipe called for a whole cup of vegetable oil, which always seems like a lot to me. I always read the user reviews on recipes if I find them online. One person used extra virgin olive oil instead of veggie oil and I did the same thing. I also used 1 cup whole purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour. That is where the texture thing comes in. The cookies are delicious and extra spicy, since I doubled the amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and all spice the recipe called for. It is a great way to increase the amount of flavor without increasing the calories all that much.

I plugged the recipes for both of these into the recipe builder on (which I love btw and will be writing about it tomorrow). I made the cookie dough spread out for 32 small cookies at 100 calories each. The four cookies above were the only ones eaten between my hubby and I on Thursday and the rest were thrown into a freezer bag and frozen. Same with the zucchini bread, one frozen loaf out of two. Problem for me yesterday though, I finished off half a loaf, which is why I was over my daily calorie limit by noon. Bleh! I'm glad the other loaf is frozen and today starts a new day.

Have you every noticed how making something from scratch makes it taste so much better? Part of my changes is make food from scratch because there are so few chemicals. I was talking to someone lastnight at a gathering that bakes all the time and she makes cupcakes and cake from scratch and she said she would never go back to using a box of cake batter. Her cupcakes are delicious and sinful. She uses butter in her frosting. Yum. I'm glad I don't see her more than once a year.  A little over a year ago I started making buttermilk pancakes from scratch. I don't think I could ever go back to boxed mix. And I never buy real buttermilk. If I mix some white vinegar with skim milk, it pretty much is the same. I can add my flax meal and whole wheat flour to make them even better. I even stopped using pre-made jars of spaghetti sauce because I know I can make my own that tastes better. So here's to modifying recipes to make them healthier. Here is the recipe I use.

What recipes do you modify to make healthier?

Tune back tomorrow to hear what happened last week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goal 4, Calories

So week three went pretty good. My goal was to not eat out for lunch for the entire week and eat what I brought for lunch. I was able to do it. I even ate the salad I brought to work the day my boss ordered pizza for the entire branch. I did eat a couple of pieces of pizza for and my salad. It was so hard on other days to not get sick of what I brought for lunch. There were days that all I could think about was just going across the street to have a sandwich from Subway. It took a lot of discipline to just sit down and start eating what I had. It was hard.

I had a small glass of soda some time last week. It just didn't taste good. It wasnt that it was too sugary, it just tasted like chemicals. I thought I would rather have a glass of water. Go me!

So my goal for this week is to count my calories. This is the first goal that doesn't involve giving up anything. The first three weeks have been challenging at times but so worth it. I'm curious what the scale is going to tell me in the morning. It would be nice to be down a couple of pounds.  I have never been good at tracking calories. I think it's because I never have really put my mind to it. Last week's goal, ultimately, was to get myself to eat fewer calories. I didn't track last week but I would assume I was able to lower my daily calories. So how am I going to track my calories?

Hubby and I picked up iPhones on Friday and I downloaded the Myfitnesspal app to start tracking everything. After inputting all my information, I was told I need to net around 1400 calories a day.  Any food eaten counts towards those calories and any amount of exercise takes away from those calories. As of 9pm, I am at net 1009 calories. Does that mean I need to eat another 400 calories before I go to bed? Do I need to wish I had a Snickers bar hidden somewhere in my house? Or is it ok if I didn't make it to my calories for the day?  I guess I'm not sure what the right answer is. So if you know, please fill me in. Count my calories every day and be truthful about it.  I can do that.

Some positives that have come out of this weekly challenge:

  1. I no longer crave pop yes!
  2. If I distract myself during my lunch break, I will forget about the candy sitting on the back counter.
  3. I’ve learned that McDonalds breakfasts should be a rare occasional meal. I can live with out it.
  4. I’ve been eating until I’m full and then stopped.
  5. I opened a hard cider a few nights ago, took a couple of sips, and then dumped it out. I know I’m a beer waster but I needed a glass of water instead.
  6. I need to drink Gatorade before I work out to avoid cramps.

Please let me know if you have a goal for me. I have ten weeks until the New Year and I only have 5 more goals on the list

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I Love

I'm copying a post from Mariah from Unstoppable Mariah (kinda) because she said she loves reading my blog. I also wanted to do this because I found my OLD Livejournal entries a couple of nights ago. I actually completely forgot I had it. I don't even remember the password. It has been interesting going back to see where I was 5 or 6 years ago.

One of my favorite posts was a list of random things I love.

Here it is:
Christmas (music, and everything about it)
XCountry Skiing
Playing music
Bright Colors
Family (sister, mom and dad)
(Fresh) Pineapple
Green Beans
Cold (Glass of) Water
Sweat Pants
Home Made Apple Pie
Grandma Mary's Sugar Cookies at Christmas Time
Ribbon Candy
Choral Music
Lawry's Salt

Now most of those things still qualify...actually all of them do. But  I wanted to add a few more things to that list:
Devils Lake October 2010

Cities 97 Cds
Hot Chocolate
My Hubby
Having my sister stay with me through the finish line
My Past
My Future
A warm bed on a cold night
Jelly Beans
Fish Fry (Its a WI thing)
Cooking and trying new recipes
Finding new interesting food or weightloss blogs

I'm sure I'll be able to add to this and there are things I can't come up with right now.

I was told today, by my bosses boss that I was her motivation. She asked about my race and how everything went. And she told me I was her motivation to get out running. She's probably in her late 50s and has never been a runner. How good did that make me feel!!! It makes me want to go for a run right now. If it wasn't dark and almost my bed time, I probably would.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is That the Problem?

I brought my computer to work so that I could busy myself with writing over my lunch break.

Its day 3 of week 3 and I think I am doing pretty good. Still eating breakfast at home. I do think that I need to find new ideas for breakfast besides cereal and oatmeal. I think I could make some mini baked eggs or something to have it in fridge. Then I can just pull them out and heat them up for a great breakfast. I know that the South Beach Diet cookbook I have has some recipes like that. I will have to look into it.

I was going to write about that empty feeling I’ve had all week since I started really paying attention to what goes into my mouth. Anne over at Twelve-in-Twelve has recently been writing about owning her emotions and not using food as a cover up. I think I started to over eat when I was in high school when I was feeling inadequate, not good enough. And I just continued to eat through college, especially when my grades didn’t meet my expectations or when I disappointed someone. The strange thing is though that I never strived to do better. I just ate and forgot about it until the next time I didn’t succeed. I cruised through college, graduating with an average GPA and 25 pounds. I gained another 25 pounds after graduation. Sure I had a job because I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. The first couple of years at the job were stressful. There is a lot to learn about banking and I wasn’t the quickest to catch on. I was stressed and I needed food to cover up the emotions. I used stress as an excuse. The Subway, across the street, became my new best friend. I think the worst I was for going out to lunch was 4 times in a 5 day work week. Now I know there are worst things to eat but I was just eating too much.  I knew that had to change.

I knew I could walk into the restaurant and order just a six inch sub, and I did a couple of times, but only when I knew that I was going to have a larger dinner. It just became a habit. It probably still is a habit. How come the feeling of shame is ripping through my pores right now? I am downright ashamed of my actions. Maybe I’m more embarrassed by those actions? I guess I like to keep the face that I have things in control.

When I think about my lunch breaks, I often hide my overeating from my coworkers. I’m often in the breakroom alone which allows me to eat without thinking. If someone is in there with me, I will just eat what I have. If I get Subway and come back with a 12 inch sub, if someone is on break with me, I will actually only eat half of it because I don’t want them to judge me. I never thought I was one of those people that hid my binges because my husband usually knew about them. But come to think of it, I am one of those people. Its probably why I usually lose weight when I’m with my parents. I don’t want to binge in front of them.

So now that this week I am controlling what I am eating alone in the breakroom over my lunch period, I’ve been feeling empty, physically and emotionally. The cool thing is that I know of ways to alleviate the problem, it’s just hard to do at work when the feeling comes over me.

If I am physically empty, I could eat a healthy snack such as an apple or a yogurt. (I should have eaten something before I ran after work yesterday. I was so starving when I was done that I ate too much for dinner.) I think it’s the emotionally empty feeling that I need to overcome with some physical activity or some other sort of activity to take my mind off it. I don’t want to just forget about it but I need something to bring me out of that feeling. I said it’s the worst at work because I work the retail side of a bank and it’s not like I can just get up to leave the building to go for a walk. I also think I would like to find some new hobbies to work on or atleast I just need to pick up my camera and head outside when I need to overcome the emotions. Or maybe do something silly like get up to bust a move in my living room. Dancing is supposed to make me feel better right?

I’m supposed to be destroying dead ends right? I think this is just another dead end that I have…it’s not even a dead end but more of a high wall that I just need to climb over and the climb is hard.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Day of Week 3

Ugh!  I felt the anxiety creeping up on me about 20 minutes before noon. I need to figure out where this is coming from. But I did make it through my lunch only eating what I brought.

Lunch Today
My lunch box consisted of left over lasagna, a cheese stick, carrot sticks, and a small salad with lettuce, bell peppers and dried cranberries. I didn't end up eating the cheese stick and ended up eating an apple for an afternoon snack instead. I accompanied my lunch with a bottle of water. Oh and I had a Dum Dum for dessert.

I'm pretty proud of myself for food today. I did sneak two apple muffins, which were overly delicious, thanks to a coworker that made them yesterday. For breakfast I had some low sugar Quaker oatmeal made with skim milk. Dinner was a left over hamburger patty from last night (w/o bun), and then I made a small chicken sandwich and I had a handful of pretzels. 

It was getting really hard towards the end of the day when I really wanted one of the Peanut Butter Snickers that have been sitting in my candy dish at work. Has everybody had those? They are yummy. I managed to get through that time without touching one. I even made it past a trip to the gas station with only buying the much needed milk and gas.

The strangest feeling came over me during some idle time during my last hour of work. I felt...empty. I was hungry but I felt emotionally empty too. I wished I didn't need to keep sitting there waiting for the clock to turn 6. I think this is just the beginning of figuring out the true emotional reason why I eat. Here is to discovery!

I still need to pack my lunch for tomorrow. Probably left over lasagna again.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Goal 3 - Lunch From Home

Today is the start of week three of my goal setting. You can read about Goal 1 and Goal 2 at their respective links. Goal 1 has been successful for two full weeks.

I am proud of this one because I was starting to think I was becoming addicted to that morning egg sandwich or breakfast burrito. The cravings still sneak up on me but since I know the way around it, I can beat the want. I also purchased Quaker Oatmeal Togo. At 220 calories per bar, they are a much better on-the-go option for me. Out of curiosity, I went to McDonalds website to check out how many calories I was typically eating on those mornings I went out to breakfast before work. *I feel ashamed and humiliated admitting what I was eating there* I usually would order a burrito breakfast meal with a small orange juice. After adding all the calories, it totals to nearly 900 calories...for breakfast! I only did that once a week. I'm figuring those days would probably total over 3000 calories. Ouch! No wonder I wasn't losing any weight. So I think I am much better off with my Oatmeal squares for those days I need a quick breakfast.

So just say "No" to breakfast from a fast food restaurant!

Goal 2 of drinking no soda went better than expected. I did fudge on Monday when I wasn't really thinking about what I was ordering but I haven't had any since then. I have been drinking a lot more water which I'm happy about.

So, along with keeping those two goals going for this week, I am adding a new one.  This weeks goal is to eat the lunch I brought to work. There are two points to this goal: 1, I tend to eat less calories when I plan my meals out at home and 2, I save money that way too! I'm guilty of something sneaky though. I sometimes will bring lunch to work from home only not to actually eat it for lunch. It will sit in the fridge at work while I head across the street to Subway.

I worry that this is going to be the hardest goal so far. Probably because I know I throw every excuse on the table when it comes to my lunch time. I'm just starting to think going out for lunch should be a treat.

To make sure I reach this goal I want to make sure I have an action plan. So the plan started today. I took some time this afternoon to cut up carrots, celery and a bell pepper that I had in the fridge. I also pre-cut some lettuce for salads. There is a bunch of lasagna left over from dinner last Thursday that I will probably be eating for the next few days. I just want to make sure I have my lunch packed the night before because I tend to be short on time in the morning before work (because I lay around in bed). I also need to make sure there are lunch foods in the house.

So here goes week 3!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Walk Away

I promised this entry for Monday but the week really got away from me.

Last weekend my hubby was out of town on a short cabin weekend with his buddy. It was nice to have the house to myself and I was able to get a lot done. One of the projects was to get some grocery shopping completed. I make a list like usual. I bought most of the things on the list. While I was searching the shelves for some items, I came across some things I knew I had coupons for, some of them not so healthy. I took the time to read the nutrition labels and then put them back on the shelve. I picked up other items that I was craving and didn't really need. There was the moment my hand was on a box of doughnuts. I put them back down and walked way. A moment later, I found myself at the freezer case, eying the Eggos. I walked way. I even managed to walk down the candy isle without picking up a single bag. I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I walked out of that store.

It was a good shopping trip.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's 80 Days from Today?

Christmas! Why is it that I am already starting to count down to Christmas? I counted today. There are 80 shopping days, 12 weeks and six paychecks until the fated Holiday. I must start shopping now because I usually wait until the last minute and I'm just so stressed. I am so stressed I am uninspired  to find great ideas for gifts.

I started thinking about how far away Christmas was because I want to set a new goal for myself every week leading up to the Holiday. I am almost to the end of goal week 2. I did fudge up a bit on Monday when I went through the Culvers drive thru after a stressful day at work. Without thinking, I ordered a snack pack which a Diet Coke! I briefly had an "oh fudge!" moment while I was sucking on the straw. I drank it, all of the small soda and I haven't had one since. I also still have had breakfast at home every day. I almost slipped up this morning . It has been a tradition, in the past, for when I have an early morning doctors appointment, I would usually pick something up on my way to work. I almost stopped at Panera. I even went out of my way to get there and I made myself keep driving.

I'm pretty proud of myself. Next week's goal will be announced on Sunday. I'm worried about this one.

By the way, I lost 3 lbs from last week!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Goal 2 - Soda Free

I just remembered it is Sunday and I said I would be posting a new goal for the week on Sunday.

Last week's goal was to eat breakfast at home every day and I did complete that. Friday was really hard for me because I was really craving a McDonald's breakfast burrito. Two things, if I dont leave myself enough time to go there, I won't go. Second, if I eat at home, I will usually run out of time to go there so I won't go then either. So I made sure I ate breakfast at home. Some days it was Cheerios, other days it was a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter (my go to work out food). I did it.

So what is my goal for this week? I am making a goal to eliminate soda for the week. I'm still going to keep my word of not going to McDonalds for a breakfast sandwich. I haven't had any soda in two days and I'm feeling the effects of it right now with a headache from the caffeine withdrawal. I know I will feel tired for a few days. I have really been upping my water intake. I've gone without caffeine before, for Lent one year I gave it up. But I have never fully given up pop for more than a day or so. This will be an interesting adventure.

1. Eat breakfast at home every day
2. No soda