Saturday, November 27, 2010

Zip it? I think not.

I stood there.

Exasperated.

I was at work, hungry, and in front of the vending machines looking for anything that resembled a nutritious snack. Instead, I found dozens of chip varieties, doughnuts, cookies, candy and cereal bars with high-fructose corn syrup. The machine with refrigerated items had a yellow orange and sausage biscuits, burritos and french toast.

I purchased a diet soda and walked away in disgust.

A few minutes later, though, I found myself walking back to the machines, armed with a pad of paper and pen. I took meticulous notes of the varieties of snacks and the lack of healthy options. I shared those notes with my boss if only to feel like I did something. To my surprise, he was receptive, asked for 10 suggestions and then shared those suggestions, along with my concerns, to human resources, which passed them along to the vendor.

I honestly thought it would stop there. My boss warned me that it would probably stop there, too.

But it didn't.

Since then, I have seen Sprite Zero, sugar-free Jell-O, sugar-free pudding cups and properly colored fruit added to the refrigerated machines. Sure, it's not the carrots with hummus, Kashi bars and almonds that I asked for ... but it is a start. Something. Something that would have never happened had I not opened my mouth.

So, you see, it pays to be a whiner and a complainer sometimes.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I purchased an apple and pudding cup just yesterday ... because I could ... and because I was hungry. A tasty, satisfying and healthy snack.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday love, Cincinnati style

I plan to run through my grandma's hilly, hilly neighborhood this morning. It's going to be fun. And I will keep telling myself that as I go up each insane incline.

But Friday's not about that. It's about love. Let's show it!

Food. I plan to eat some of my favorite foods today - goetta and Skyline chili - all in moderation. Of course. Unless you are in a few select areas of the country, going on about those foods won't help you. Instead, I thought of some tweaks to my Gingerbread Oatmeal and I'm ready to share.

Gingerbread Oatmeal
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons oat bran
1 very ripe banana
1.5 cups liquid (I used 1 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup water)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon molasses
Sweetener, to taste (I used a very scant 1/2 teaspoon Truvia)

Add oats, banana, liquid, cinnamon and ginger to saucepan. Cook over medium to medium-low heat until you reach desired consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, molasses and sweetener. Put in bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds if you like your food insanely hot like I do. Take dainty bites and enjoy.

Fitness. I don't know what it is lately but my runs have been very up and down. Good one day, sucky the next. The one thing that gets me through is making myself go but I give myself two "helpers": I can go as slow as I want and after reaching a set distance, I can turn around and go home. I find that once I get out there and get past that first half-mile that things look up. Or at least a little less down.

Life. One word: Family. I saw my sister-in-law at lunch Wednesday and most of my extended family for the holiday. I still have 24 hours with my grandma. Awesome. Pure awesome.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Thanks edition

As I'm writing this a day ahead, I can't tell you what I ate before my 10K today. I also can't tell you how I fared or whether I stuck with my cousins. I can tell you that it was predicted to rain today and I plan to run like hell to stay dry.

1. It's so easy to get caught up in "Whoa is me! This day sucks because ..." but I have to say I'm a lucky girl. I have a husband who rubs my feet every night, a grandma who spoils me when I visit and a brother who humors me by returning my text messages and picking up race bibs because I'm too cheap to pay $12 to have them mailed. I have a fantastic family and for them I am thankful.

2. Even though my weight loss journey started many moons ago, I feel like so much has changed this past year. I ran my first half marathon and then my second and then my third. I ran farther than I ever thought possible. I am so thankful that I learned not to hold myself back.

3. I am so thankful for the amazing runners/athletes/women/men whom I read about every day. Each and everyone of you inspire to be better, faster, more awesome.

I hope everyone has a fantastic (and safe) Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bite this

Pre-workout breakfast: Gingerbread oatmeal
Workout: 2.2-mile walk with Denali

Mark is such a sissy. It might be a bit mean but he is. I swear.

I was watching him eat ice cream last night - the best vanilla ever (Kroger premium brand) with Smuckers blueberry syrup - and the man takes the daintiest bites on the planet. While he uses which ever spoon he grabs from the drawer, his bites could easily fit on the spoon of someone who still enjoys the game "Airplane" during meal times. To make it even worse, it takes him two bites to finish the spoonful.

Such a sissy.

As I watched him eat this, I realized something. I was finished my treat and plotting an adventure in the kitchen and he was still eating. Still eating because he was taking sissy bites. Maybe I needed to be a sissy.

So I tried it out this morning with my gingerbread oatmeal concoction that, by the way, is not worth sharing with the public. I scooped tiny amounts of oats on my spoon and ate them slowly. I was careful not to eat too much at one time. And, I think, it took me a decent amount of time to eat the bowl - I was able to see the last weigh-in, voting and follow-up of "The Biggest Loser." (I'm too much of a sissy to stay up till 10 p.m. to watch the whole thing.)

I did feel like I enjoyed my breakfast but I am not sure it helped me feel fuller. I ate about 6:15 a.m. and was ready for a grapefruit at 9 a.m. before taking Denali to the kennel. Denali was ready for the grapefruit, too, and the kennel. I swear that dog has no loyalty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In brief

Pre-workout breakfast: Cold cereal with skim milk and sliced banana
Workout: Ran 5.03 miles; average pace, 8:48.



I think I need to work on my flexibility.

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Thanks to a police standoff in a nice, quiet, family-oriented addition, I was down a running route this morning. Not that I was going to run it anyway - it's garbage day and Denali acts like a dufus when he hears a truck.
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I flipped a driver the bird this morning, aka lifted my middle finger at her as she tried to turn and talk on her cell phone. The worst part was that she saw me, paused and seemingly started to go again. It was a bit harsh but I couldn't help. I was feeling sassy this morning.

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My grandma asked me if I had throw-away clothes for Thursday's 10K. Seriously, she's awesome. In the same conversation, she has told me that she acquired one of my most favorite Cincinnati foods. Goetta. Anyone care for an omelet?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paddle down …

The stream of consciousness.

Pre-workout fuel: Whole-wheat toast with apple butter

Workout: Jackie Warner OnDemand selection and 2.2-mile walk with Denali.

I was super tired last night. I wanted to go to bed at 8:30 p.m. but I woman’ed up and made it to 9 p.m.

When my head hit the pillow, my mind went from slumber to party. I didn’t get the sleep I wanted. I woke up tired.

Too tired to do Jackie Warner’s kick-your-ass “Xtreme Timesaver” DVD. I thought I’d do her circuit thing on OnDemand because you don’t do legs and arms at the same time.

Thirty minutes in, the cable went out. I missed the lower abs section. I think. I didn’t cry. I wasn’t all that sad. Happy actually.

I did try to make up for it by doing a minute each of bicep curls, overhead extensions and lateral raises. I hate the raises. My shoulders are weak.

I took a shower and got ready to take the dog for a walk. I put on leggings and Mark’s middle-school cross country sweat shirt. It was hot. Not in a honk at me sort of way but in a “Holy cow, it’s 60 degrees at 7:30 a.m. in November in the Midwest” sort of way.

Of course, it was a wet 60 degrees. More puddles than rain, giving Denali the idea that it was a buffet of wonders between the puddles and fallen acorns.

I’m thirsty but any beverage I think to have makes my stomach turn. Even coffee.

I think there’s a bug going around.

I hate bugs. Especially mayflies. Mayflies carpeted my former city of residence and home of America’s Roller Coast, Sandusky, Ohio.

I was able to see the rides from my house.

I never rode them.

I was too fat.

I wonder if I would ride them now.

Age has made me scared to do things like that.

I wonder if that’s why I picked up running. So I could get the hell away.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why?

Saturday workout: Ran 4.27 miles; average pace, 8:38.
Sunday workout: Ran 3.13 miles; average pace, 8:25.

Why do I rent movies like "The Last Song" with a shred of hope that they might actually be decent? That's two hours of Miley Cyrus-induced pain that I can't get back.

Why do I want to go see "Harry Potter" again?

Why did I ever fear running three days in a row? Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Boom, boom, boom. Felt good.

Why was I in this mindset that more miles equals better runner? Two shorter runs this weekend felt better ... for me. Quality not quantity.

Why don't I bake more often? Three batches of quick bread - Chocolate Gingerbread, Cranberry Orange and Boston Brown Bread - are in the freezer for Grandma. I feel accomplished, the house smells good and I actually wasn't bored on a Sunday. (Mark's either grading papers or watching the Colts.)

Why does Christmas smell so good? Let's forget about Thanksgiving and skip ahead to cinnamon-scented pine cones, Christmas cookie-scented candles and peppermint milkshakes from Steak 'n' Shake.

Why is it that sometimes a grilled cheese and tomato soup is the best dinner ever? Pot of Smoky Tomato Soup on the stove and a grilled cheese soon to go on the griddle.

Why ask why?