Brain

All things mental and spiritual.

Been a while…

It’s been a while… I’ve missed writing. Work got crazy, eating got outta control, running was miserable, exhaustion set in, then we built a fence and had a big ol’ 30th (birthday party. I still have “extra” projects I’m working on and I can’t quite seem to get into the groove of a new schedule. So that’s why I haven’t written. Why on earth would anyone want to hear my whining and groaning about life circumstances? Well no one would. So I kept my mouth shut. You’re welcome.

Somewhere between my discovery of a medicinal concoction that solves my can’t-breathe-when-I-run-faster-than-10-and-a-half-minutes-per-mile dilemma, the acceptance that working will always suck no matter where I do it, my husband’s new commitment to try to stress less at work, and a random surge of new “fighter” attitude, I’ve become my normal self again. Maybe I was just subconsciously freaking out about turning 30 too? I wasn’t, but everyone acts like you should, so maybe deep down I did? Who knows.

Anyway, my marathon training has been going so, so well. I’ve really set my mind on just what I need to do each day in training and taking one decision at a time. I know next week I have to run 3, 5, 3, and 10 miles on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but I’m not thinking about that yet. I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat for dinner tonight and when I need to wake up for yoga in the morning. If I start dreading my 5 mile run Tuesday morning, I’ll get overwhelmed. I’ll think about that Monday and simply do it. Just do it. Nike knows what’s up.

My actual runs having been challenging but good. I’ve found that if I take 5mg generic Zyrtec before I go to bed at night (I cut a 10mg pill in half) and have two puffs from my inhaler about 15 minutes before I run, my lungs are happy and I can enjoy my run. I tried the whole 10mg of Zyrtec at first, but I was too groggy the next day. All day. I could hardly stay awake at work. 5mg is just enough. I also have a sinus irrigator that I’ll sometimes use in the afternoon if I’m starting to get a sinus headache later in the day. Within 30 minutes, head aches is essentially gone and I’m not taking ibuprofin non stop.

Today I ran 8 miles at the butt crack of dawn. Literally. Okay, not exactly literally – dawn doesn’t have a butt crack. But you get what I mean. It was insanely early. I had to work at 8 so I woke up at 4:30am and left the house a little before 5 to run my normal Saturday trail at 5:15. Honestly, I loved it. I love waking up early in the summer. “The sky’s awake. So I’m awake!”

The first few miles were rough. They always are. By the time I got to about 3 1/2 miles, I started to feel pretty good. I got stuck by a train for 4-5 minutes at mile 5, but I got right back into my groove when I started back up again. I finished in 1 hour, 16 minutes to the cheering and applause of my 40-person running group that was just huddling up to begin their run. Embarrassing and fun. My splits were fantastic and I finished a lot stronger than I thought I would. It probably helped that I stopped for a few minutes. And that the weather was perfect. 60 and sunny! Still, I feel way more confident coming off a good longer run.

 

Lovely negative splits.

Lovely negative splits.

 

In addition to running, I’ve also been doing yoga once a week and weights once a week. The strength, balance, and core strengthening has really helped my running too! Someday, I’ll have to post on just my cross training. I actually bought my husband and myself tennis rackets. Hopefully my cross training will include tennis pretty soon too! Currently, I’m trying to figure out when I can fit in one more day of weight training into my week. I have a few clothes that don’t fit right now because I’m not as lean as I was this winter. I know I can get there, I just have to do it!

Eating… I go through phases. I’ll be good for a couple days, then eat a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Better than my ultimate vice, Jr Mints, but still not great. I’m learning that since I run/workout in the morning, I really need to have more protein in my breakfast (cereal is not an option!), a morning snack on days I run more than 5 miles, and a large lunch with lots of veggies. My afternoon snack just needs to hold me over til my early (5 – 5:30) dinner, which is the best meal to have carbs for my workout the next morning, and then if I need to nibble at night, I should have a little chocolate, and a lot of fruit. I know these things, but do I implement them? Course not. But each decision, every day, every week, I get closer.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m going to try and stay more on top of writing throughout the rest of my marathon training at least. I know that several people have commented on how motivating my blog is. That is such a massive compliment. I really never thought of myself as an encourager or motivator. I’m very flattered. And I’m trying. Thanks for sticking around.

Just Dreaming…

If I could get my act together and muster up the energy, motivation, and persistence I used to have (a couple years ago when I was first losing weight), there are a  few things I’d be determined to do. Since I just don’t have the drive I used to, I make no promises to hold to these goals, but they’re things I want to work toward.

1. Cutting Out Sugar: We’ve used up most of our grocery budget for this month already, so although I do have every intention of revisiting my mini-detox I couldn’t finish a few weeks ago, it’ll have to wait until we have fresh funds to buy a fresh batch of fruits and veggies. While we finish eating whatever’s currently in thee pantry, I hope to steer clear of added sugar. ‘

2. 14 Days of Yoga: I just keep hearing and reading about how good yoga is for runners, controlling cravings, and managing stress. Work is getting busy, I’m running a lot more now that the weather is getting nicer, and it would probably help me get off sugar. I found a couple DVD’s at the library that each have 7 20-minute yoga workouts. Seems simple enough. Just gotta vacuum first! Ha!

3. Committing To A Schedule: I work odd hours, my husband works odd hours, things change all the time and there’s always something to do. We’ve been eating dinner as early as 5 and as late as 10. There’s been pizza (veggie at least! And only 2 pieces!) for breakfast at 10:30. In the past week I’ve woken up as early as 4:50am and as late as 10:27. I used to get up at 6 or 6:30 every morning, get my run in by 7:15, take a shower and eat breakfast by 8:30, and work 9-5. I’d make dinner, clean up around the house, relax a little bit with the husband and get to bed around 10:30-11. I need some normalcy again! I’m supposed to be able to set my own work schedule starting in June. I’m praying it helps.

4. 35 More Workouts: I’m still bummed that I never completed the initial challenge that led me to create this blog. I know that I need to do some cross training and some strength workouts during my marathon training but just wouldn’t know how to work it in.

Maybe a little bit of each. One day at a time…

Grace.

Well, I’m gonna try to write a post on my phone from bed. I apologize if it looks weird or different than normal. I’ve been a little quiet lately. Both here on the blog and in my personal life. I’ve even run my last two 3 milers without music on! I feel like I’m mentally digesting a lot so I’ve been spending more time in my own head than usual. I had a few thoughts though that might mean something to someone so I might as well share.

First off, I’ve been doing pretty well keeping up with my running schedule. I’m now in week two of marathon base training. It helps a ton that the weather has been absolutely perfect the last 4-5 days. Anyone else find its easier to stay on track when it’s nice out? My eating hasn’t been nearly as good but getting better. Which leads me to my next point. (Spoiler alert: I get all spiritual in the following paragraph so if it’s not your cup of tea, feel free to move on. No hard feelings.)

This weekend was Easter. Some years Im really good about setting aside a little extra time for prayer and meditation over Easter weekend. Not this year! I worked Friday, babysat the niece Saturday, and we hosted Easter dinner here Sunday. It just didn’t happen. I went into church Sunday morning not knowing what to expect to hear from the Lord since I spent so little time connecting with Him all weekend. What He showed me was so practical and true, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized it yet.

Some sin is a result of us and our human nature. Sometimes we can be effected as a result of others’ sin. Sometimes we’re effected by it just because sin is in this world. My binge eating and axiety issues aren’t my fault. Let me rephrase that. It’s not my fault that my brain is wired in a way that makes me have obsessive thoughts that manifest themselves in the form of binge eating and anxious thoughts. It is a result of sinful human nature. What a relief! Even better is that Christ died and rose again to overcome that sin. Whether it’s our sin, someone else’s sin, or sinful nature, we can claim freedom over that sin in our life! Just like when you repent for your sins or forgive someone else’s sin, it doesn’t mean that when we claim the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives and over our own sinfum human nature we just sit idly by and do nothing. Repenting requires change, forgiveness requires actions of love, and receiving grace in an area of weakness requires surrender.

I don’t have to do this quitting-binge-eating thing on my own. In fact Christ already died and rose and paid for the sins of the world so I could also put this sin to death. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to try, but there is tremendous power in me working for me that is stronger than anything I face. The Lord doesn’t want us to be bound by anything. Of course he wants me free from anxious thoughts, from binge eating, because he already paid the penalty for those things. Why should I hold onto them then?

So I’m looking at this battle from a new perspective. Just like I held tightly to Jesus’s hand when I lost my job a couple months ago, like I trusted Him when money was tight, I’m going straight to Him with this too. I’m excited about how this will go. I’ve seen the Lord bless us for trusting Him with our jobs and our finances. I would expect this to be no different. I’m quitting binge eating for real this time. Not for me, but so the work of Jesus can be seen in my life. Not so I look skinny, but so my thoughts can rest on Him and not my anxious thoughts. Not so I run better for my own personal pride, but so I can train and complete a race to serve those the Lord loves and wants to bless.

Some serious stuff there. Like I said, I’ve been working through some stuff. Hopefully this spoke to some of you. If it did, I’d love to hear from you. His grace is enough, but he also calls us to be held accountable in community. Maybe through comments and sharing we can be that community. What do you say?

Help!

It’s late and I know a lot of people won’t read this, but that might be better anyway. I was going to make this cute and lighthearted but it seemed a little inappropriate the more I sat on it. Here’s the gist – I’ve gain a bunch of weight. Like 5 lbs in the past 3 weeks. All of my hard work earlier this year has basically been wasted. I tried really hard not to care, but I do care. I’m really disappointed in myself and frustrated too.

I’m having such trouble getting into a routine, making the care of myself and my body a priority, and taking control of my eating. My clothes are starting not to fit and I know I won’t be able to wear any of the cure summer stuff I bought in San Diego at this rate. I’m officially signed up for the marathon. Paid in full, no turning back now. I thought I’d be excited but I don’t really know how I’m going to be able to get my act together to make this happen.

Marathon Registration

I’ve tried a lot of things to get back on track and nothing has “stuck” and helped me stay on track.

  • Calorie Counting – It’s a necessary evil when you carry the “fat gene”, but it was too much for me to measure and type in my ingredients for everything I made and ate every meal everyday.
  • Scheduling Workouts – My work schedule is different every day so I never know if I’ll get off in time to make it to the gym or not. Plus it’s finally nice out and the last thing I want to be doing is sweating my butt of running in my neighborhood or stuck inside the gym. It’s just not as convenient to workout as it was when knew I’d work 9-5 everyday.
  • Setting New Goals10 in 10? Forget about it. I’m already two weeks behind and now I need to lose 15. Great.
  • Eating More – I thought that I pushed myself too hard with my 35 workout goal, so I decided to eat more this time. Well, it backfired. Now I’m eating big meals and snacking all day because I’m sitting in front of a computer when I work. When I’m home, there’s no meal schedule and I could snack all day long.

With that off my chest, I guess I see a few things I can try:

  • Cutting Out Sugar – I eat way too many sweets. Waaay too many. It’s hard for me to not eat any at all because I go through withdrawal every time I quit cold turkey. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • Detailing Out Meal Plans AgainThis is what I did all winter to lose weight. I knew how many calories were in each dish I’d make for the week before I even bought the groceries to make them. it was time consuming, but I’m working part time now. I should have the time.
  • Pre Cooking and Pre Packing Meals – It’s so easy to work 6 hours instead of 4, find 3 errands to run, and then throw a frozen pizza in the oven because it got too late and I got too tired to make dinner. Even sticking to simpler meals, there’s really no reason I can’t have a fridge full of prepackaged homemade meals.

I know these will get me back on track again, but I don’t know if I feel motivated or have the willpower to choose this lifestyle right now. What do you do wen you’re feeling unmotivated? Honestly, looking for some advice here!

10 in 10, obo.

After a I hit a little emotional rough patch the other night, I started to feel more ambitious. Why can’t I be strong, passionate, determined and also be affectionate, emotional, and patient? No matter how it comes out, it’s all still me! So on this uplifting note, despite all of the changes, and financial stresses in my life right now, I’m going to be working toward a new goal.

The whole point of me starting this blog was to capture a 7 week, 35 workout commitment to losing 12 lbs before our San Diego vacation (Recap 1, 2, 3, and 4.). I was doing really well the first 4 weeks and then totally crashed and burned. It was just too much! The calorie restraint was tough to stick to. I could have up to 1500 calories a day but often ate more like 1300. I was working out for over an hour at least 5 days a week, burning 300-800 calories per workout. I lost 8 lbs and gained about 2 back after vacation. I’m still happy with my size, but I know that it couldn’t hurt to try to lose the last bit of weight before I begin official marathon training in June. It’ll be better on my joints and I know I won’t be able to lose weight during training. So now’s the time!

This time around will be less intense. I’m thinking 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Losing 1 lb a week means a 3,500 calorie per week deficit. I’ll plan to burn some of it off -1,650 calories a week – working out. That’s factors out to be 330 calories per workout if I exercise 5 days a week, about 413 calories if I workout 4 days a week, or 550 calories if I work out 3 days a week. It overall seems a lot more manageable this way. I won’t need to take an hour long cycling class, then run 2.5 miles, and so 30 minutes of weights to burn enough calories. (What was I thinking??). I can run 3-5 miles or take an hour long class and lift weights. Sounds good to me!

According to some fancy math magic (that I’ll share soon), I can eat 2070 calories per day and maintain my current weight. To take off another 1,850 calories per week I’ll need to cut my calorie intake by 265 calories per day. I’ll be able to eat 1,805 calories a day and I will eat all of my calories this time! This may be tricky because of our budget limitations and my new way of preparing food, but I’m planning to use a new weight tracking app to track my calories. In the past, I’d make all of my meals for the week in one night and package up 300-350 calories portions to reheat for meals. I’ve never tried losing weight apart from that system, so this will be a new challenge (or maybe not!) for me.

In the end, I don’t care quite so much about the actual pounds I lose. As good as it sounds to finally get to my goal weight, I just really want to be in good health and at my best before I begin training for the marathon. Preventing injury, fatigue, all that good stuff. Stay tuned, things are about to get interesting!

Failing to Fit Fitness In

Reasons why I have not worked out recently:

  • My schedule is weird.
  • I was sick 3-4 days last week.
  • I’ve been busy with work training and a secret side project.
  • No one will ever again see me in anything but pants and sweater because this is the winter that never ends.
  • I’ve been having good hair days.
  • I’m sick of the gym and the weather isn’t cooperating.
  • I’d rather read a book.
  • I’m tired because I haven’t been sleeping well.
  • I should be cleaning the house (but I never do)

I’m just over it right now. I’m hoping once the weather finally gets nicer or my work schedule/routine is more normal, I’ll be more interested in working out, meal planning, and all that other good stuff. I feel like I’m just getting through each day one at a time lately, not in a depressed-and-can’t-make-it-another-day way, but in a not-worrying-about-tomorrow-because-today-has-enough-worries-of-it’s-own way. It’s different for me, a planner, to take things one day at a time. Meanwhile, my health and fitness isn’t the best. I promise, I’m not going anywhere though. Just trying to be honest about where I’m at. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Anyone else struggle to make their health a priority when things aren’t “normal”? How do you deal?

Short and (“Sickly”) Sweet

I had a whole bunch of thoughts and even a weekly meal plan I wanted to share this week, but I have a head cold so bad that I can’t really think straight. I actually drove myself to Walgreens to get Gatorade today and forgot what I was there for when I got there. I spent a few minutes wandering the store and eventually got my Gatorade. And two bags of Jellybeans… So please forgive me for the lack of content this week.

I don’t have much energy to type out our meal plan this week (it’s a lot of linking and picture loading), but I’ve made a couple meals that were so good I have to share. For breakfast, I made this AMAZING baked oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Backed Oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking

The oatmeal is actually peanut butter flavored and it’s the best baked oatmeal I’ve ever made. No joke. I will note that I used only 2 cups of almond milk. I also omitted the Uncle Sam cereal but used 4 cups of oatmeal. I used honey instead of Stevia too. Even the whipped cream I was totally skeptical about was incredible. I’m going to make this quite often and try it with some different toppings. I’m thinking a s’mores version, apple cinnamon, banana walnut… What really doesn’t go well with peanut butter!?

Another recipe that turned out really well was a baked potato soup from Skinnytaste. When I made this last night, I thought its seemed a little bland. I threw in some garlic salt and it tasted great when I had it for lunch today with some Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar and crumbled bacon. It was cheap and easy to make so I’m sure I’ll be making this again soon!

Baked Potato Soup from Skinnytaste

Another thing I didn’t have energy for today was exercise. The weather is finally warming up so I wanted to go for a longer run today, but there was just no way that was going to happen. The ability to breathe is pretty essential to being able to run. Luckily, I was able to get in a short-ish run on Tuesday. It was 25 and sunny so it felt a little like 30. Which still isn’t warm, but it’s warmer than the typical 5-10 degree highs we’ve been living with since Thanksgiving. Since the sun was higher and everything was melting, it really felt like spring. I got in 3.5 miles in my neighborhood, dodging cars and puddles since the sidewalks were still covered in a foot or more of snow in some areas. My pace was 9 minutes, 40 seconds per mile. Not bad for my first “home” run in months.

After I got done running, I made myself a little salad using a couple chicken wings that were leftover from dinner Sunday night, spring mix greens, matchstick carrots, a chopped cipollini onion, some diced avocado, sliced almonds, and a little bit of ranch. I know ranch and wings weren’t my very best options, but if I’m going to have something not so great for me, at least it was in a salad!

Post Winter Run Salad

Post Winter Run Salad

That’s about all the updating I’ve got in me tonight. It’s time for a little more Airborne and Gatorade. Anyone else getting anxious for Spring!?