Fresh start

May 14, 2010 at 11:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I took a break from the keyboard (and the camera) last night to have a date night with Sam — little did I know, I’d be making a fresh start today!  I have no pictures for lunch yesterday (camera ate them) or dinner (I didn’t bring it).

We had great intentions of going to see a play, but after sitting down in the (finally) nice weather for a pizza and beer on the patio of a local restaurant, those plans went out the window!  We just enjoyed each other’s company, good conversation and lots of laughter.  No pictures, sorry ;).

I must have checked my brain at the door last night, because I completely forgot to take a picture of my Green Monster Smoothie this morning, but I know you’re intelligent gente and know what that looks like.  If you need a visual, just search for it on the blog.  I bet a bajillion photos pop up.  I photograph that GMM like it’s a pop star and I’m the paparazzi.   I really needed those good greens in my system after last night’s eat.  Dairy Queen may have been involved.  May.  Yes.  It was.  No, Dairy Queen is probably not natural.  Sometimes, you have to break the rules.

Then, when your stomach hurts in the middle of the night from beer, pizza and DQ, you remember why it’s important to follow the rules.  It’s fine.  I’m back on the wagon.

I’m so happy it’s Friday — I feel like nothing can touch me on a Friday.  The weather is clearing, my mom and pop are coming to visit this weekend and I feel on top of everything going on in life.  Wunderbar.

Sam will be at a work event late tonight, so I’m bachelorette-ing it up, meal-wise.  Even though our boil order was lifted (I found out by harassing the water district this morning), I felt zero inspiration to make a lunch.  Chipotle it is!

First, I ran a few errands on my lunch hour…

Which included picking up my burrito.  I usually eat the burrito bol because I feel the burrito isn’t worth the calorie-cost for the tortilla.  Today, I had a different plan.  I ordered a chicken burrito filled with rice, black beans, mild salsa, cheese and lettuce and then, I butchered that burrito:

I cut it in half with the intention of saving half for dinner. *spoiler alert ;)*  Those burritos are the size of a newborn, my tummy can’t handle that much food all at once, so half is in my stomach now and half will be later, prob with a salad.  Yay, veggies.

It’s a rest day for my 10K training, which is a-okay by me.  Rest days always feel a little odd because I wake up thinking, “what’s the exercise for today?” and then realize: nothing.  Not a thing.  Ah, bliss…but only because I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

It’s hard to remember a time when every day was a rest day, I was sluggish and unhappy and the laundry wasn’t 50% exercise clothes.  When was that?  Was that this time last year?  Just about…I think so…  While I can’t put my finger on an exact date, I seem to remember starting my fitness journey in late summer and never stopping or looking back.  Amazing how fast something so foreign can become so familiar.

Maybe I’ll have an “exercise-versary” for myself in August.  New workout clothes?  Oooh.

How long have you been an Active Annie or Adam?  Did it seem strange at first or did it feel natural to include it in your life?

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Satisfaction

May 13, 2010 at 11:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I think feeling like a pioneer woman last night, washing dishes with boiled water due to the boil order, infiltrated my subconscious because I woke up craving one breakfast.

Two eggs and two strips of  bacon with a piece of all natural whole wheat toast and orange marmalade.  Yum yum.  It was slightly healthier than your standard lumberjack nosh because I used turkey bacon.  My saturated fat intake is usually pretty low on a daily basis, so when I crave a meal with a little more than usual, I don’t deny.  NEVER DENY.  Just balance it out — view your eating on a “macro level” not meal by meal.   I will never feel bad eating bacon because it’s a treat and a rare occasion.  Mmm, bacon.

Post breakfast and post monster walk, I packed up shop and headed to the gym.

Remember the Rolling Stones song, “I can’t get no…sat-is-fac-tion”?

It was playing in my head today while I hit the treadmill today.  I opted to workout indoors because A) it’s still raining off and on with threats of thunderstorms (no bueno) B) I only have 2 miles to rock out C) after my 2 miles, I had to strength train, so it’s easier if I do it all in one place.

I’m not usually a treadmill runner, but every once in a while, I can handle it.  But this is neither here nor there.  Back to that song.

I spent a good amount of time thinking about what motivates an individual to exercise in the hopes of “looking good”.  When I work out at “the gym”, I’m really at the university’s student recreation center, so I’m surrounded by people younger than me.  I watch girls bop on the ellipticals and guys crowd the weight machines.  I wonder what motivates them to be there.  I worry about what might be motivating them.

All too often, we want to “look good” for someone else.  We’re trying to get in shape to impress our spouse, our partner, our boyfriend/girlfriend, family members, and most impossible of all, people we don’t even know.

It’s not too far from the same line of thinking that you can use an event to motivate weight loss and exercise.  “I have to drop 10 pounds before my high school renunion.”  It may motivate you to start, but will it keep you going?

I think when you assign other people’s appreciation of your efforts a serious value or give yourself a deadline for exercise, you set yourself up for failure.  Why?

Because that is not going to provide the satisfaction to motivate you to continue.

Even if that special someone comments you look hot or you knock your classmates socks off at that reunion, it is just a fleeting moment in time.  You cannot possibly capture that feeling and hold on to it.  It doesn’t last but a second.

The longer I ran, the more convinced I became that self-satisfaction is what helps propel a person to keep moving, be active and eat well.  Ever start a program and a few days in, catch yourself off guard in the mirror?  It’s just a minute, but you realize, “whoa, that’s me!  I’m looking good.”  THAT moment stays with you, because it came from within.  You can hold on to that feeling because it was a moment of self-realization, not outside-appreciation.  You can remember that moment when things get tough and you want to quit, but you don’t.  You are the source of that positive praise and since you’re always on your mind, you’re never going to forget that feeling.  It’s harder to negate the positivity that comes from within.

There’s a reason for all this happy, mushy, self-love talk.  It’s because after my run I realized I had been a perpetrator of looking for satisfaction in other places.

Know what I’m talking about?  Well, here, I’ll ‘fess up:  I launched a “Miami My Abbies” challenge about three weeks before our Florida vacation in the hopes that a serious ab work regime would give me the super duper abs I wanted come beach time.

I failed miserably.  I failed so much in fact, I didn’t even mention it again on the blog.  I thought about sweeping it under the rug, but that’s not the point of this blog.  I’m holding myself accountable.  So let’s learn from my failure.

I failed because I was assigning exercise a deadline.  Get abs by the end of April.  I wasn’t taking the time to revel in my hard work and appreciate the progress I could see in my muscles.  Instead, I was sweating against a deadline and I quit.

I’m back to working out my abs, but this time, it’s because I want a stronger core, I want to feel more toned and I want to appreciate my hard work.  If someone else happens to say “looking good!” (ahem, Sam), well that’s just the icing on the cake.  I’ll already feel good because I know I’m the one that got myself there.  I know now that working my abs is much like working pottery on a wheel.  Keep your hands on it and it will form into something awesome.  Let go and you’ll have a fat blob of clay.

Where do you derive your satisfaction from?

Spread it out

May 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sometimes, I post my lunch picture and feel a little dishonest.  Usually, all that food is clustered together on my 1977-model year desk’s faux wood laminate top and it looks like I eat it all at once.

I don’t.  Nope, not at all.  I spread it out.

I decided a slightly more honest approach was in order.  I wasn’t lying to you intentionally 😉 and I’ll probably go back to the cluster picture in the future (isn’t it just more efficient?), but I thought I’d give you an idea of how long it takes me to eat lunch.  Um, all day.

At noon, I had a Trader Joe’s crunch peanut butter and reduced sugar grape jelly sandwich on all-natural whole wheat bread.  Mmm.  Lunch of champions.  Champion first graders.

I also ate a pear.

And about a cup of sliced cucumbers.  So refreshing — I had to really fight the urge to put two slices on my eyes and recline, pretending to be a swanky spa instead of my windowless office.

Then around two o’clock, I hit up the fruit for a little blood sugar boost and fiber.  Strawberries did the trick.  Don’t they look delicious?

Now, we all know I’m a fan of the four o’clock yogurt.  I work different hours than the usual Sally, so I won’t get out at 5 o’clock like most people.  My dinner doesn’t hit the table until about 7:30, so I need a lil’ sumthin’ to tide me over.  I’ve tried a variety of “snacks”, but found yogurt has just enough protein to help me through.  I added some Cascadian Farms maple brown sugar granola for flavor and crunch.

Not too pretty to look at, I realize.

What’s the point of showing you this?  Eh, I don’t know.  I guess because I really don’t “eat” lunch — I “graze” lunch.  I stretch it out.  If you’re like me and eating all of that at once leaves you hungry just a few hours later, try spreading it out.  I find it also helps me recognize my hunger cues and gauge just how much food it’s going to take to silence that hunger.  I’m also a boredom eater, so having my lunch spread out over the day means if my mind starts to wander and I think about heading up to the vending machine, I can give myself a reality check with “you still have fruit” or “there’s 4 o’clock yogurt in the fridge”.  Sit down.  Leave that vending machine alone.

I made it safely to dinner without any vending machine interludes.  I attempted to rock out the Real Simple Turkey Meatloaf recipe I found in the same old magazine as the Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower recipe.

I had all the ingredients on hand, especially the spinach ;).  It looked pretty enough in the pan…

…but I realized after I baked it I should have followed their instructions and formed it into a loaf on a baking sheet.  This probably would have allowed the fat to drain away from the turkey instead of sit on top of it.  Oh well.  I was being lazy and it came back to bite me.  I still ate it ;).   I ate it with garlic smashed potatoes.  I followed the mashed potatoes recipe on the same page and added a little garlic.  What doesn’t taste better with garlic?

The meatloaf was tasty — I thought the spinach and onions added a nice flavor punch, and we all know how I feel about hiding veggies ;).  The mashed potatoes — meh.  I don’t think I’ll make them again.  I think they were pretty flavorless, even with my added garlic.

I have to admit, cleaning up the dinner dishes with that whole boil order in effect was a challenge.  I felt like a pioneer woman — or at the very least, one of those women off the PBS series 1900’s house.  I had a big pot of boiled water and I was ladling the clean water over the dirty dishes, one little scoop at a time.  Scoop, scrub, scoop, scrub, scoop scoop scoop scoooooooop (this is the part where I’m rinsing).

Repeat.

*sigh*  I will be calling and harassing those water people in the morning.  I demand clean water!

P.S. I did yogAHHH while I baked the meatloaf.  That’s multi-tasking. 😉

Drip, drip, drip…

May 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh, what an interesting morning!

I got up with the intention to do so yogAHHH for my 10K training mandated cross-training, but when I saw we had a break in the rain, I wanted to take advantage of it.  I convinced these sleeping beauties to get up and take a walk (not that it took much convincing ;)).

(Zora has her own bed, but this morning, felt it was appropriate to spoon with Ruby.  Whatev)

The monsters and I enjoyed a nice mile and a half walk around the neighborhood (which included one unfortunate encounter with a cat) and stretched our legs.  It’s funny — when I walk with the monsters, my pace is pretty fast, almost a jog.  Those dogs are so excited to get out and sniff everything, they move at a good clip.

Post walk, I got industrious and mowed the lawn.  This hardly ever happens, but given the mid-week reprieve from the showers and thunderstorms, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  Our yard is finally looking nice and I don’t want to lose momentum!

I was just patting myself on the back I got the yard work done just before it started to thunderstorm again as I went to turn on the faucet to wash my hands.

NOTHING.  No water.

Irritated, I called the water company and was told some state-funded road work in our area had required the water supply to be turned off for an undetermined amount of time.  I was also scolded, as the woman explained, for not knowing this was happening because the water district had put notices in the newspaper and on all the radio stations.

Never mind that I work at a radio station and never heard anything about it.  Never mind that as a public radio announcer, it is my job to announce such things.  Never mind, never mind.

We’re under a boil order when the water does come back on…but don’t worry — they’ll let us know when that’s up using the same efficient methods they employed to spread the word in the first place.  *sarcastic face*

After this phone encounter, I started to think about all the things I was thankful for: I am thankful I showered last night after my run.  I’m not usually a night-showerer.  I am thankful I brushed my teeth, washed my face and put my contacts in as soon as I woke up this morning, instead of putting it off.  I am thankful I filled the Brita pitcher and the dogs water bowls while I fixed my breakfast.  I am thankful I started the dishwasher while I ate said breakfast, as I’m pretty sure it had just finished its cycle when this shut off happened.

Happy thoughts, silver lining, if you can’t laugh you won’t last.

I wish I could say breakfast was a phenomenal creation on my part, but I woke up this morning with an intense interest in just plain ol’ cold cereal.  I ate a heaping bowl of the Aldi brand version of Special K Vanilla and Almond cereal with a sliced banana and skim milk.  Of course there was coffee involved.  I think it’s safe to say even if you don’t see it pictured, coffee was involved.  I can count the occasions on one hand where coffee would not start my morning.  One hand, people.  I love me some coffee.

A reader asked me if Aldi is worth it.  In short: yes.  Our little micro-family runs on a tight budget, partly because we’re not millionaires and partly because Sam and I have big dreams for the future and know what we need to do now to make those happen: save money!  Aldi is always on the grocery route because I find produce, spices and baking items, nuts, cereals and eggs are cheaper there.  It was just an added delight to find that a bunch of their products are natural, too.  This was helpful during “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March I hit Aldi first because you can’t always count on finding exactly the same thing every time, but what you can find is worth it.

I smell a post brewing.  You peeps seemed to like the “cheapy exercise clothes” tips — just wait ’til you see what I can do with groceries. 🙂

I’m off to hydrate at work while I can.  Who knows what the situation will be like when I get home!

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