Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 5 – Survived Thanksgiving (sort of)

My weight at the start of the Thanksgiving week was 155.2# and I had an average weight of 155.5#. I’m starting week 6 at 156.6#, which means any of the weight that I may have lost in the previous weeks has been negated by four days of eating and drinking. I know that some of that extra weight is going to be water weight - beer can be pretty bloating – but I still ate more than I should have. Though I am happy to report that on Thanksgiving I ate much less desserts than in the past – a single slice of very delicious carrot cake. But I think the reason I ate less desserts is because it was served right after dinner. Typically at my family’s Thanksgiving, there is some time between dinner and dessert to clean off the table and get the dishes washed, allowing for digestion and more room for dessert! For the most part, I did pretty well on the portion control for all the different side dishes that were served. Where I got into trouble was the turkey and mashed potatoes – I had 3 helpings! And using the excuse of not eating either of these items during the year is no excuse! The other contributions to the weight gain, of course, was the beer drinking on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (can you see where I need to cut out the calories!??!).

So this week I really need to focus on the diet and keep exercising (again); I have 24 more miles of running to make it to my goal of 800 miles for the year, which I'll reach some time in the next 2 weeks. Today will have to be an easy day (yoga). During the Thanksgiving weekend, I ran 4 straight days for a total of 19.6 miles! Running is the only thing that has kept the weight from increasing more than it has. And I really need to start limiting the beer intake! So one of my goals this week is no beer Monday through Thursday. Even though I only would have one 12 oz beer on a weeknight it is still calories that my body does not need.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 4 - Discipline!

Control. Discipline. The ability to make sure you do the things that need to be done to reach your goals - even when you really don’t want to.

You need discipline to put in the training needed to complete long races, especially if you want to run them well. You also need control and discipline to make the changes in your life to effectively lose weight. And these are two goals that I have right now (race well & lose weight). However, control and discipline is what I sometimes lack and need to work on. This is especially true when it comes to desserts and alcohol. Hmmm – may have to rewrite that last sentence – it makes me look like I might be an alcoholic! But I think most of you know what I am talking about. You are out hanging with friends, having a good time, and the beer or wine (or whatever your drink of choice is) is flowing. And despite telling yourself you won’t have more than 2 beers you end up having 4, or sometimes more. And lately this has been happening on Saturday evening for the past three weekends! And now the holidays are just around the corner so I really need to focus on that control and discipline!

Despite the amount of drinking and dessert eating I did on Saturday, the rest of the week was better: 5 days of beer, 4 days of dessert, and 4 days of fruit. The previous week it was 6, 6, and 2. So this week I need to stop having a beer in the evening during the week and try to up the fruit intake more. The veggie portions weren’t great for week 4 either as dinner was Tuscan garlic chicken ( I make sure to use whole wheat pasta but you can see that the only vegetable is the arugula. Next time I should have some steamed broccoli to go with this meal. I did work out 6 days this week, which included some speed work on Friday and a long run on Sunday; so the intensity of the workouts was a little higher than last week.

Start of week (Monday) weight: 153.8#
Average weight this week: 153.3# which is a 0.6# loss from last week’s average.

But I ran 8.1 miles on Sunday and was hoping to make-up for the extra stuff on Saturday but alas that didn’t work as the following Monday’s weight was 155.2#.  I wonder what I would have weighed if I hadn’t had as many beers or desserts on Saturday! And with it being Thanksgiving this week, I’ll have to more focused on the diet for the next couple of days.

Thanksgiving Day is always a struggle for many of us. I’ve been following a blog of a personal trainer and he posted some helpful hints for Thanksgiving:

            Rule #1:  This is Thanksgiving dinner, not Thanksgiving Week, Month, and Year .

Rule #2: You don’t get bonus points for only having one meal. Drew is advocating the
6 small meals a day type of diet. The key thing here is to eat sensibly the morning of Thanksgiving and the rest of the days of the week. If you have only one meal on Thursday and skimp too much the rest of the week, your body adapts by decreasing its metabolism because it thinks its not going to be getting enough calories and nutrients and you end up storing more than if you just ate normally.

Rule #3:  Stick to a realistic definition of a “portion”.

Rule #4: One dessert.  Wait let me be more specific.  One portion of one dessert! Yeah this will be a tough one for me. This year I won’t be spending Thanksgiving with my family so I don’t know what dessert will be available – and how many different kinds there will be. Typically my family has apple pie, pumpkin pie, cookies, and brownies. And I usually have at least one of each, except the pumpkin pie, and probably 2-3 cookies. And this year will be just as tempting as my friend Jessi is baking a chocolate cake and I heard there will be carrot cake – two of my favorites!

Rule #5: Enjoy yourself! This is NOT a fad diet. This is a lifestyle.

Hopefully I’ll be able to go for a run Thursday morning. I need to start the day right before all the food and wine that will be consumed later that day! But still keeping in mind portion control!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 3 - back to normal!

I finally have electricity and am back home and on a more regular schedule. While I was without power, I stayed at friends’ houses who had early morning schedules, which meant that I was going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up at my normal time. I’ve been keeping to that routine so far and hope to keep it up. Now that I’m home, I’m also working out more! And felt it for the first 3 days of the week. So here’s an over view of the good and the bad this past week:

The Good:
- Worked out 5 of 7 days! I should have run long on Sunday but ran 4.9 miles on Friday and 6 miles on Saturday so it will do. And I was in no condition to run on Sunday but I think a walk would have done me some good.
- Ate fruit on 2 of 7 days. This is actual fruit. I drink oj every morning that I have breakfast at home. I definitely need to eat more fruit!
- Dinner was salmon (about 5 oz), asparagus, and skim milk (Mon – Thurs).
- Afternoon snacks, if I’m hungry, have been celery with humus.
- I was in bed before midnight most week nights. I felt good every day last week and better sleep certainly contributed to that. It will also allow me to workout more and more intensely.

The Bad:
Some sort of desert 6 out of 7 days AND a beer every night of the week except Sunday. And waaayyy too much beer on Saturday.

- Monday morning: 156.6#
- Avg weight Mon – Fri: 154.1#
- I didn’t measure my weight on Sunday morning as I nursed a hang over all day. And since I only had one meal on Sunday, Monday morning's weight was pretty good (153.8#).

So I’ve been getting a few more fruits & vegetables in the diet – yeah! And was consistent with the workouts. But still eating desserts and drinking beer – boo!

So some progress on the diet and exercise. I’ll want to step up the intensity of some of the workouts. This will be including longer runs for training for my next 50 km race in March and hopefully some speed work as I need to get my pace down so that I can run my longer races faster.

The pounds aren’t really dropping yet but I have noticed in pictures and the mirror that I seem to be getting a little bit leaner. Hopefully, the pounds will drop soon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 2 - no electricity and not much exercise

Well I certainly didn’t meet my workout goals this week. Sunday morning a transformer blew and I’ve been without power ever since! This is now day 6. Luckily I have been able to stay with friends so I had a warm place to sleep and a hot shower. I’ve had to eat out a lot, and ate with friends so the diet would not have been typical. I’ve been able to see what others eat for dinner at home and now have a couple of ideas of what other foods I can eat - spaghetti squash! I should also look at other recipe resources as I’d like to eat much more vegetables than I usually do. The one good thing about sleeping at other people’s houses is that you end up following their sleep schedule. And my friends get up quite early to work out so they go to bed early! Hopefully I’ll continue with that trend when I am finally back in my own home and bed. It would allow me to workout consistently and more intensely. Also, I’ve read that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain and the inability to lose weight. Something about hormones. I should look into that so I have a better understanding. At least I’ve noticed that my weight has stayed the same. No gain is better than gaining if I’m not able to lose a few pounds this week.

This weekend I’ll be traveling to Albany NY with a friend to visit another friend. Marie is having a wine and appetizer party. Hopefully I’ll get a run in this week before I travel. So far this year I’ve been able to run at least once a week. I’d like to continue that trend. And since I have run just over 700 miles this year (a new PR!) I’d like to get to 800. I won’t be able to run as far as my sister – she’s run 1000 miles this year! But maybe I’ll try to make that a goal for next year. All those extra miles should help with my running goals!