Plan B

Woo Hoo!  I just got back from running 3 miles in 42 minutes!  I am really excited about that.  I know that is relatively slow, but that is up and down the hills here, (I did have to walk up the steepest hills, but even then I challenged myself to keep walking fast,) and it is a personal best for me.  And I didn’t even go as fast as I could have because Sophie has some weird objection to going too fast.  I really am going to have to figure out what to do about this, or she will have to start staying home.  Anyway, I have really been interested in increasing my running distance since  late summer, but haven’t really gotten too far along (darn deer flies!) and hadn’t timed myself up until now.  And the best part is that it didn’t hurt.  I really paid attention to my core (holding my stomach in) and that really seems to support my back and my knees.

So the Plan B part was that I proclaimed in my morning blog entry that I was going to go to the gym and lift weights, and also take the dogs for a walk.  But I just wasn’t feeling like leaving the house today.  It was cold outside and I just wanted to stay inside and be cozy.  And cook, evidently.  I started with the crockpot chicken that I talked about.  And then I baked the delicata squash fries for lunch.  Then I decided to bake one of those little pumpkins because I keep seeing people’s pictures of pumpkin oatmeal and I want to try that.  I decided to throw a butternut squash in the oven at the same time.  By the time the pumpkin was cooled, I decided I wanted to bake those great-looking pumpkin chocolate chip bars that  Lori showed on her blog (here is the recipe I followed, minus the coconut.)  100 calories per bar if you cut it into 18 bars.  Yumm!  Quite worthy.  I had one with a second cup of Lori’s delicious coffee.  Gosh, do you think I am influenced by Lori’s blog pictures???  I enjoyed a few more blogs, and watched an ‘Ask Roni‘ videocast.  By the time I got done with this, it was 5pm.  That is when I turned off the crockpot and headed out the door.

I roasted some potatoes that I got at the farmer’s market, and I have some zucchini cooking for dinner.  Okay, I stopped writing this long enough to go eat dinner.  Quite tasty.  The best part of all this cooking?  I kept track of what I was eating today, and I came in well under my calorie allowance for the day!  If I hadn’t taken the time to write down everything that I was eating, I really would have thought that I had overdone it today.  Sorry I don’t have any food pictures to entertain you–I just can’t seem to get in the habit of snapping a picture before I eat.  But here are a few of the Oregon pictures from this year’s trip.  I was trying to take some pictures of shapes and textures that I might use for quilt inspiration.

 

IMG_4313

IMG_4330

IMG_4325

IMG_4339

IMG_4357

Life Today

Can I just say–WORK SUCKS and BLOGS RULE?  Can I?  Here is a picture I took of me after work last night.  I had to take a picture to make sure I had not ballooned back up to my previous weight.  How weird is that?

MyPicture

I know.  Its the same picture you always see of me, holding the uncooperative Sophie, only bad quality and fuzzy.  But people, this picture was taken at 10pm, after being up since 4 am and working 12 hours and driving 3 hours and eating 4 donut holes and 4 chocolate covered pretzels (have I said I have a love/hate relationship with the breakroom at work) and walking up and down stairs COUNTLESS times.  Wah, poor me.  Poor you, having to read this.  Anyway, the picture actually made me feel good, pitiful as that is.

But now I’m sitting here drinking a most excellent cup of coffee courtesy of Lori and catching up on my blog reading and commenting.  And can I just say, BLOGS RULE!!!  I have been encouraged, uplifted, and laughed and commiserated with your postings both last night and this morning.  And now I have a firmer food plan for the day, which will also provide good food for the next two days of work.  And because of you all, I will go to the gym for a weights workout, AND take the doggies out for a run this afternoon (although I am going to have to get a doggie sling or a jogging stroller for Sophie.  I know she has the capability to keep up, but she drags behind–maybe she is a sprinter and not a long distance runner…)

I am going to make this crockpot chicken for dinner.  And I will probably make some delicata squash fries for lunch–look at this stash of squash and sugar pumpkins that I got at the farmer’s market in Oregon!  I was so excited when I realized I could buy these and bring them home.

DSCN0963

Cool, huh?  Those little round white and green squash are supposed to be a cross between a delicata and something else–supposed to be even better than delicata!

Man, I just looked back at a post I wrote about stress-eating (that someone else had linked to–do you ever do this–look to see what other people are looking at on your blog?)  Anyways, it was from Jan. 15, which was the beginning of the stress period with my dad and his wife, and it was before I started working out with Vicky.  And I was astounded at some of my food choices.  Really?  Did I eat that just 9 months ago?  So it was also an encouragement to me (ha-I was encouraged by my own blog) that I have changed my eating for the better in the past few months.  One of the biggest focuses I have had in the past 2 months is trying to add a LOT more veggies into my daily diet.  Fortunately for me, I like vegetables.  But that has also been a process.  When I first started Weight Watchers, if I had too many vegetables in one day, I would feel VERY deprived, and feel like I HAD to have something crunchy or chewy.  Now that isn’t so much of a problem.  Of course, if you roast veggies long enough, they are VERY chewy LOL!

Anyway, I spend too much time reading and writing blogs, but it is WORTHY!  Thank you all for continuing along the path with me.  I’m glad we don’t all fall down at the same time!

Re-Framing Life, Part 2

There is a lot more swirling around in my head, if you can believe it.  I’m not sure I can explain it, but I want to try, if only to clarify my thoughts for myself!  First of all, I woke up this morning thinking about how I am NEVER tempted to eat at fast food places.  The thought never goes through my mind.  And for that I am extremely grateful–quite a change for someone who routinely ate fast food 3-5 times a week!  My next thought was that on this trip, eating out at restaurants had finally become much less of an issue for me.  Those of you who read my blog know all the angst this has caused me.  I have gone all the way from refusing to go to restaurants, to going and giving in, getting ‘whatever I wanted,’ and being frustrated afterwards.  Or sometimes NOT getting what I really wanted and feeling deprived afterwards.  Finally, I think, I have made peace with eating out.  I just don’t want to do it all the time.  I don’t feel deprived that I consider all the restaurant choices (like when I was in the Bay Area at the quilt show) and choose to go back to my room and eat some green beans and fruit and yogurt that I had brought with me.  And when I do go to a restaurant, I enjoy it.  I have something I really want, but eat half of it (thanks to my friend who LIKES sharing a meal with me!) or I make better choices, and I don’t feel like I am missing out.  This change has been a long time coming, and it is a VERY good, peaceful feeling.  So if you are a regular reader, (or even if you just read yesterday’s entry) you might know that DESSERTS seem to be the last bastion for me!  But now I am hopeful that that will change also.  Not that I won’t ever have a dessert again.  Just that I will ‘make peace’ with them.

BODY IMAGE.  And the scale.  Somehow my thoughts on these two things are tied together now.  Somehow, even though I comment frequently about aging, there is a part of me that still unrealistically clung to that ‘ideal’ body image.  That thought that if I lost enough weight, and I worked out hard enough, I would look ‘perfect’ in the mirror.  THAT  is NEVER  going to happen.  Even if I had never been morbidly obese, there is still the genetic factor (my mom’s heavy thighs and hips) and there is still the age factor, which by the way, seems to change on almost a weekly basis.  I am astounded at the changes in my body between the ages of 50 and 55.

How I FEEL, how  my body moves and works and is strong is becoming my reality.   I don’t need a certain image in the mirror to be satisfied with myself.  This is a big change for me, and I’m not sure I am describing it well.  I suspect it will be a work in progress.  And along with that, surprisingly, goes my dependence on the scale.  I just don’t want to know what I weigh every day.  I am more confident with my food choices. (When I got home from this trip, all I wanted was vegetables!)  And when I make a food plan for the day, it almost always adds up to the right amount of calories, and I know by looking at it that I won’t be hungry or feel deprived.

In one way, it seems like I am giving up, but really, it is acceptance.  Acceptance of reality.  And with that comes peace.

 

 

Re-Framing Life

DSCN0343

I was going to title this ‘Re-Framing Travel,’ but the more I thought about it, it has to do with all of my life.  Re-framing is one of those Weight Watcher’s terms.  re-framing thoughts can help you to see events or situations differently. 

This is the longest trip I have taken in recent years, and the most successful in the areas of food choices and exercise.  Usually the longer the trip goes on, the more my food choices degrade into poorer and poorer quality, and increased volume.  And usually, I exercise less and less as time goes on.  But this trip was definitely different.

I brought enough of my homemade yogurt to last the whole trip.  And I brought that Bob’s Muesli with me.  I have found that 1/2 cup of the yogurt with 1/4 cup of that muesli mixed in is a very satisfying breakfast and lasts me most of the morning.  And of course, I had lots of apples with me, some walnuts, my lo-bars,  and a few energy bars.  Those few items were really the mainstay of my breakfasts and lunches.  Pretty simple to pack, and only the yogurt needs refrigeration.  Of course I was lucky that the main part of my trip was spent at my friend’s house, and she knows I am trying to eat well, and so all the dinners she and her husband prepared were really very healthy.

I had been looking forward to jump-starting my running while in Oregon because it is flatter there.  And I did get out and really get in some challenging and satisfying run/walks.  Like I told my friend, it reminds me that I am no longer ‘fat girl on vacation.’  Which is mentally where I usually end up.  Even after all this time, the old mentality wants to slip back in.

And that is mostly what I wanted to write about.  My mental process on the trip home.  I can’t believe how much time I sometimes spend thinking about what I am or am not going to eat.  My friend pointed out that I probably spent the same amount of time thinking about food in the past, and she is probably right, but the focus is different.  Now the time is spent thinking about CHANGING my first inclination, and that is the hard part, I think.

So the driving time home is 8 1/2 hours.  I got a great start at 7 am, which meant without any stops (impossible) I would arrive home at 3:30 pm.  Ashland is about 3 hours from Elkton (starting point) and is usually a place I like to stop.  Only thing is, I like to stop to get more coffee, and a morning bun.  And shop, which I also didn’t need/want to do.  And there is a gourmet type market that is full of not-so-good travel food choices.  And if I didn’t get any of those things, I might stop at the old candy shop and get a caramel apple, or something even worse.  And if I stopped ‘just to get coffee,’ I knew that I would also end up shopping and buying MORE stuff that I really didn’t need.  None of these things by themselves would be terrible.  It was just that there was a good chance I would get out of control if I stopped.  And this conversation went through my mind for MILES AND MILES.

Then I tried to ‘re-frame’  the situation.  If I didn’t stop, I would get home earlier, and I could take the dogs for a walk, or I could even go to the gym if I still felt like it. (I had even dressed in ‘workout clothes’ for the drive home.)  I could at least stop at the gym and get some lo-bars for a treat.  And if I wanted to, I could even treat myself to some of that tart frozen yogurt that I love so much.  All of these things really appealed to me.  But the pull of Ashland was still pretty strong.  Finally, a few exits before Ashland, I ate an apple and a few walnuts so I absolutely would not be hungry when I reached the Ashland exit.  I drove on by!  Success!  I am guessing that to some ‘normal’ person this whole process seems kind of crazy.  But after almost 5 years of working on changing my food habits, I still struggle.  And I guess I always want to share in the hopes that it might help someone else who is trying to change and is struggling.  I also write stuff like this down to remind myself of what is happening.

Continuing on, I spent many of the next four hours thinking about where I would stop to get some groceries in Sacramento.  The main thing I really wanted was some greek yogurt and lots of vegetables.  At first I was going to stop at Whole Foods.  I really wanted some more of those Jay Robb bars.  But it is a little out of the way, and of course, there is the danger (for me) of their dessert department.  Then I thought about stopping at Costco.  They have the big bag of spinach that I like to get, and I heard they also had Fage greek yogurt.  But Costco has lots of other stuff to buy, and I knew I would spend too much time shopping and would probably spend some money that I didn’t really want to spend.  In the end, I stopped at Trader Joe’s, which was the most convenient stop, and I stocked up on lots of really good food choices.  As a bonus, the little strawberry stand was open, and I got some fresh-picked ripe strawberries.

I made it home by 5:30.  By the time I reached Jackson, I no longer felt the need for the frozen yogurt or lo-bars.  Those treats would wait for another day.  I took the doggies for a nice run/walk, which was good for all of us. I pretty much unpacked the whole car.  And cooked a great dinner.  And I even had energy to vacuum the cobwebs that had accumulated (vacuuming cobwebs involves holding the vacuum cleaner up with one hand while waving the extension wand with the other.)  It feels so different to get home after a trip like this and still have energy to do so much.  And I guess that is the part about re-framing life, instead of just making it a travel thing.

DSCN0348

This took forever to write, and doesn’t seem to explain half of all that goes through my mind in working this out (aren’t you glad!)  I am having some technological problems, and so these pictures are actually from a few years ago when I visited Oregon at about the same time of year.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of this year’s pictures with you soon.

I also wanted to point out a new recipe on my side bar– ‘THE GREEN PINA COLADA.’  This was really amazing tasting–I just made it this morning.  And a very bright and beautiful green color too (no red fruit in it to make it brown.)

Good Morning. Its Raining.

So what else is new, eh?  After all, I am in Oregon.  Its just that it is messing with my day.  I got all dressed and ready to go out for my morning run/walk, and it was drizzly.  I am not feeling dedicated enough to get wet today. My friend is busy right now and not available to amuse me.  Bah.  And I am not feeling particularly amusing myself, so I am not available to amuse you.

What to do when plans are changed?  And then when plan 2 gets changed?  On to plan 3.  Oh yeah.  I could exercise in my room.  Vicky has wisely taught me a lot of exercises that only require your own bodyweight for resistance and are plenty hard.  Yes, that’s what I’ll do, as soon as I’m done yammering here. 

Yesterday me and my friend did our ‘traditional’ ‘foundation shopping.’ That’s what her husband named our bra-shopping expeditions.  Not my particularly favorite activity, so I guess its more fun with a friend?  Anyways, they were having a ‘special event’ where there were WAY too many of those ‘helpful’ fitting ladies around.  I HATE THAT.  Well, my friend says, they are kind of helpful, kind of like going to the doctor.  And therein lies the problem, I said.  (I hate that too, in case any of you didn’t know.)

Anyways, I did end up with a few ‘foundational purchases’  and we did get a lot of laughter out of the whole trip at the dinner table.  All in all, I had more fun at the quilt shops we hit up.  And we had a great lunch at BJ’s–a most worthy burger that we split–Yay, no guilt in half a burger.  Not a ton of sewing going on here.  But lots of inspiration.  I’ve got to write some of my ideas down before I forget them.

I’ll check out now and get on with plan C.

Hellooo from the Road

Hi all!  My friend is so nice!  She puts her laptop in my room so I have a computer to use for the week.  Even so, I usually don’t have the oomph to actually write a blog entry when I am traveling.  But I have a little time this morning and wanted to do a product review that I haven’t seen around the blogs before.  

One of my favorite places to visit when on the road is Whole Foods.  I have to admit that Whole Foods is a dangerous place for me to go to because they have an AMAZING array of desserts, and that is where I spend the majority of my time…  But I like to go there to get a good salad or a healthy dinner, too, and I usually pick up some organic fruit, and I also visit the ‘energy bar’ aisle.  I have really gotten away from energy bars now, but they are good for traveling when its inconvenient to bring other stuff (like when I spend all day at the quilt show and don’t want to carry a cooler–just stick a big apple and an energy bar in my purse, and I’m good for the day.)  Anyway, I checked out all the energy bars (they carry a LOT of them) and I spied the Jay Robb High Protein JAYBAR.  I remembered a while ago people in blogland were raving about the Jay  Robb protein powder, so I decided I would get one to try–fudge brownie, of course.  You can check the link for complete stats, but the first three ingredients listed were almond butter, agave syrup, and whey protein.  I thought that was very interesting, and different than most bars.  It was AMAZING.  Really chewy, like a chocolate caramel.  I don’t really think any of the bars fuel me like real whole foods do, but what  I thought was, that at 220 calories, 1/2 of it would be a most excellent and worthy dessert.  They definitely get a thumbs up from me.  I’m mostly glad that they aren’t too available…

Other news from the road–eating’s been okay, not optimal.  Brought a lot of my own food.   The first three days I was in a hotel room, and spent two days at the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  This is a great big quilt show with gorgeous quilts from all over the world, and vendors selling every kind of quilt related item imaginable.  Even some unrelated items!  I spent two days looking at everything.

Food wise I did pretty good.  Didn’t even go to the free bfast buffet at the hotel, only had one meal out, actually.  Exercise wise, okay too.  I didn’t make use of the hotel gym, but I found the free exercise channel on the tv, and exercised in my room, and then I found a park, and walked/jogged one day.

I drove up to my friend’s house in one day–mapquest said it was 8 1/2 hours of driving.  Usually I putter along the way, stopping to shop here and there.  But this time I wanted to get there at a decent hour, so I only stopped at 3 rest stops, and walked around at each to wake up, and one gasoline stop. And I made great time–8 3/4 hours, I think.

Anyway, since I’ve been here, I’ve done very good with my eating, and the best part is that I really have challenged myself to get out and run each morning.  The first morning, I went for 1 1/2 hours, and I was really stiff and tired the rest of the day.  But I woke up feeling great the next morning, and went out again for one hour.  When I say run, don’t get too excited.  I run for a little, then walk for a little.  Overall, there is a little more walking than running.  But a lot more running than my previous life!  I am really happy about this.  It will give me a little headstart when I get home.  Lori has really inspired me with all her running talk.  The weather here (in Oregon) has been gorgeous, and the scenery is breathtaking.  I will post some pictures when I get home.

I think I’d better end for now.  Habanada!

Yumm!

This morning I had a delicious cup of coffee–courtesy of Lori over at Finding Radiance! Hand-roasted by Lori, if you can believe it.  And it came in a beautiful shiny copper bag with a personalized label–so professional!  Thank you so much, Lori.  It was really great.  And I thought all night about what I wanted to have for breakfast with my new coffee, and I decided I would try Lori’s protein pancakes–double yumm!!  That was the first time I tried her recipe, and it was great.  The ingredients are similar to the Hungry Girl blueberry pancakes that I like so much, but Lori’s recipe is SO much easier.  I topped them with some sliced fresh strawberries.  Next I will try Lori’s blueberry sauce.  Sorry, I ate the pancakes before I remembered to take a picture of them.  But here is a picture of the coffee!

DSCN0862

Unfortunately, my eating has been a little over the top today.  I kept eating when I was full, and that really drives me nuts.  But I’ll just pick right up where I left off.  Actually, I just did the math, and I’ve only eaten about 1750 calories today.  I’m going to have broccoli for dinner, and maybe a little yogurt and strawberries, and call it a night!  I think I’m worried about eating too much on my vacation that is coming up (so I eat too much because I am worried about eating too much???)

I did get to go to the gym today, and really pushed myself on the weights, and got in a good swim too.  I don’t think I’ll get too many more swims this year.  I’m not so crazy about swimming that I will do it in the cold.  But it will be fun to have different activities for different seasons.  I am already enjoying running/walking with the doggies.  Now if it would just rain a little bit to make it less dusty.

I am thinking that I will just set my goal to maintain this current weight through the end of my vacation, and that will be a victory in itself.  Starting with my brother’s visit last week, and until I come home from my friend’s on the 24th, October is pretty much shot.  Fortunately the people around me are getting used to the way I like to eat, so I am pretty good for breakfast and lunch.  And if I can just control myself at dinner (and dessert/snacking) I will be good to go.  At this point in my journey, it is never the ‘fault’ of the people around me.  It is always my own decision to overeat.

I’m off to work tomorrow, so I’m afraid I’ll be pretty much absent for a couple of weeks.  I’ll probably be able to check in and comment on your blogs once in a while.  Be good and eat well while I am gone!