Reset

So now that birthday shenanigans are totally over, it’s time to reset my health habits again. The fall is pretty difficult since there are so many birthdays and holidays, and we typically go on vacation in the fall. We have 2 trips coming up in the next 2 months, including one in about a month, so I really want to zero in on better habits and ideally lose about 10 pounds. A big part of that is working on my sleep schedule. According to my fitbit I average 6.5 hours of sleep during the week and 7-7.5 on weekends. I think stress from work coupled with recent bad eating habits have thrown things off. We have a bunch of tea, including chamomile, so I’ll see this week if that will help me to get to sleep sooner.

I’m also going to start tracking my food again to make sure I don’t lose focus. Usually when I have a solid deadline for losing weight tracking my food helps. Breakfast this week will be smoothies with half a bagel. The smoothie is only 166 calories and one of my problems before was eating too little, so I tossed in half a bagel. Morning snack is a serving of Triscuits. Lunch is a turkey burger with a side salad and my afternoon snack is carrots and hummus. Dinners this week include stuffed mushrooms and breakfast for dinner.

In terms of working out, I’m going to shoot for 3 times a week, with 2 days of cardio-focused workouts and one day of strength-focused workouts. Hopefully I can stick to all of this, but the biggest challenge will be sleeping more. Stay tuned.

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Drop it Like it’s Hot

Phew.

We had our latest 5k over the weekend and it was brutal. I forgot to eat something before heading out and paid for it during the race. Everything started out okay but around mile 2 I began feeling dizzy, to the point I was having trouble seeing. I had some digestive issues earlier that morning and thought I may have been dehydrated (and it felt like we were running in a sauna), so I was sure to stop at the water stations. However, every time I started running again I felt dizzy. My time wasn’t great but I cut myself some slack considering I almost quit due to the dizziness. I did some research later and found out that it was possible that my blood pressure probably dropped due to low blood sugar from not eating. Important lesson learned.

Also important: I still beat my time from my first 5k! The official times were released yesterday and the split time for my first mile was way better than expected. The last 2 miles were obviously not that great but I’m still in disbelief that I beat my last race time. We’re already planning the next race, but it’ll be in a few months, when the weather isn’t so stifling.

Whirlwind

What a week. DH and I were directly affected by the hurricane. We wound up evacuating but we were definitely one of the lucky ones as we never lost power and our place had minimal damage. It was an incredibly stressful ordeal and I even lost 5 pounds last week because I typically don’t have an appetite when highly stressed. I gained some of that back though when trying to eat up perishables ahead of the storm. To compound the stress, my family was also directly affected so it felt like I was running on straight adrenaline for 4-5 days. I’m exhausted.

After eating out of primary boxes and cans the last few days, I was excited finally get some fresh stuff from the grocery store. However, the grocery stores are still devoid of perishables. It was stunning to see so many empty refrigerator and freezer cases. It could be up to a week before grocery stores are fully stocked again. I panicked a little because we have our next race very soon and we’re not really getting our nutritional needs met without having to keep eating out. We bought ready-to-eat meals from a local health food store, which was helpful, but it’s been a huge challenge to ensure we’re not eating straight carbs.

On a somewhat related side note, this week has also made me more introspective than usual. When going to each grocery store trying to find food, I thought about it’s a regular thing for some people to struggle to find healthy, affordable food. I was also very aware of how easy it was for me to go from store to store when others don’t have that kind of mobility or access. I don’t feel guilty for my privilege as I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at, but with this storm my privilege has been a lot more apparent. Once I reset emotionally DH and I will start looking into how to best help the recovery efforts.

Final Countdown

The human mind is kinda amazing. I’ve been consistently running twice a week now directly after work. I’m usually wiped after work but telling myself that it’s just 30 minutes has been making a big different. I’m still doing intervals but starting last week I decreased my walk time and increased my run time. I still have all my run data from this year saved in an app and my pace is almost a minute faster than when I ran my first 5k in March. Our next 5k is about a month away and I’m excited. I’m considering trying to bump up my runs to 3 times a week but my legs are a bit sore from yesterday. I’m hoping to get my pace down by another minute, especially since we’re looking at another race in December. Not sure if I’m ambitious or a glutton for punishment at this point.

Here We Go Again

After our run last week, I had some minor shin pain. Due to the HSG and an extremely busy week at work, I took a week off from running. DH and I ran yesterday and I was a minute over my usual pace, in part due to an event we literally ran into, and due to wet pavement. I also tried to slow down when I began feeling shin pain but it was challenging since DH was the pacesetter. I asked him to slow down a few times but he’d eventually unconsciously speed up again. I gave up after a bit and tried to keep pace, but I’m paying for it today. It’s annoying since we’re less than 2 months from our next race, but I guess I’ll just be on the bike or elliptical this week and probably next. Such a pain in the ass. These last 2 runs probably messed up my shins too because I’ve been predominantly running on the treadmill due to the heat. After I recover from the shin pain I’ll give outdoor running another shot but hopefully all will go better. I’m super excited about this race though and we’re looking at race #3 in November!

Calm Before the Storm

DH and I had a much-needed staycation this weekend. We both had colds this week (I caught mine from him) and we had another tough work week. Plus I was feeling stressed about my HSG that’s scheduled for tomorrow. We stayed at my in-laws’ (they went out of town) and it was nice to slow down a bit and get a break from the city. We visited a friend in the area and thanks to my gregarious husband, made new friends.

Today was a little tough though. We took advantage of being near a paved trail but the humidity was stifling. We have less than 2 months until our next 5k and wanted to ramp up training. I don’t think I’ve run outside all summer and I could feel it. I ran intervals but it was challenging since it was tough to gauge my speed. Plus I was running with DH, who would periodically speed up. While running back to the house, my shins began hurting so I’ll probably take the next few days off from running to heal. I guess the one positive is that I haven’t had shin pain in months.

As far as the HSG goes, I’m nervous. And annoyed. Annoyed because someone I know announced her second pregnancy in the last 18 months (!) and I have to get this stupid thing done just to try and have 1 kid. I also have to take strong meds to hopefully prevent spasms in my tube like last time. Good thing DH and I both took tomorrow off. We’ll see how it goes but I’m really really really not looking forward to this.

Almost

Last weekend I came across Runner’s World and found an interesting running plan. DH and I have decided to do another 5k in September so I need to start training again. The plan consisted of walking briskly for 2 minutes, jogging lightly for 5 minutes, then alternating 10 minutes sprinting for 30 seconds then briskly walking for 90 seconds, with the idea of gradually increasing time sprinting and decrease time spent walking. What follows is a 2 minute casual walk to cool down. I got pretty excited and decided that I would try out the plan on Monday. That didn’t happen because I forgot I had to meet a friend after work. Tuesday was a no-go because I had to work late, but I finally got to do it on Wednesday. Running went very well, except my obnoxious neighbor came in and wanted to chat. In the middle of my work out. As I’m wearing headphones. I don’t know if he has poor situational awareness or just didn’t care that he was interrupting my workout (I think it’s more of the latter), but it was very distracting. However, after I brushed him off I was able to get back on track. What was kind of cool is that I had planned to take yesterday as a rest day. It was another stressful day at work and I had intended to come home and relax a bit with a glass of wine, but I instead walked for almost an hour while listening to a podcast. I kept my speed around 3 miles as to reduce injury risk. I’m hoping to start with running twice a week then increase it to 3 times. A friend invited me to go to spin class with her in a few weeks so I’m pretty excited for that.

So the exercise part of things are going well but nutrition suffered a bit this week. I started tracking my meals again and did well Monday and Tuesday, not so much Wednesday. Breakfast this week consisted of burritos (scrambled egg, black beans, turkey sausage, yogurt cheese, salsa) and lunch Monday-Wednesday was a salad. However, Wednesday some of the top brass at my job came to visit and pizza was provided. I had one piece in addition to my salad and later in the day, another coworker and I discussed the odds of there being more left. My coworker brought back a slice for me and initially I was going to save it for DH, but he’s on a FODMAP diet for the next week and a half. So I ate it but it helped that I ran later in the day. Lunch yesterday was a really delicious bowl that DH and I agreed will be added to our regular meal rotation. We were inspired by a Hawaiian restaurant that we went to last week. The bowl consisted of quinoa, grilled chicken, feta cheese, white bean beans, black beans, and a honey-coconut milk-sriracha sauce. I added a bit of Greek yogurt to help balance the heat. I planned to have another bowl for lunch today but we ended up ordering out at lunch. Dinner has been more of a mix since it was provided by my in-laws. We went to their house for dinner last weekend and they gave us a ton of food since they were leaving town for a while. We’ve had leftover chicken marsala, crab cakes, and planning to have cod this weekend. My weight has been off this week due to my period starting (yay) but I think I should be back on track next week.

Speaking of annoying things like my period, I scheduled my HSG for about a week from now. I took the day off because I anticipate being emotionally wiped like last time. We shall see. At least I was prescribed a stronger painkiller this time.

Lesson Learned

A few months ago, one of DH’s relatives came to town. We hadn’t seen him in quite a while so we went out to a bar and tossed back a bunch of drinks, including shots. The next morning, I was feeling okay, until I ate breakfast. That didn’t stay down. I vomited several times, thinking that it must have been the flatbread I ate the night before (it was pretty terrible). I almost went home from work.

Yep, this happened on a Tuesday night.

Fast forward a few months, and the same thing happened, except I realized that it wasn’t bad food. It was the liquor. I’ve hit the point in my life in which I can’t tolerate straight liquor. I couldn’t keep anything down (ironically, not even Pepto Bismol) until mid afternoon. I guess it was for the better since ingesting shots isn’t the greatest idea, especially when trying to be more health conscious. Also coincidentally, DH and I were with family we hadn’t seen in a while.

This weekend was a bit frustrating not only due to getting sick, but because I couldn’t exercise much. My folks were staying at a resort and we used their pitiful gym. Kid you not, every piece of cardio equipment was broken and just 2 weight machines worked. DH and I found a path that we though was .75 miles but was more like .2. I haven’t exercised this week because I’ve been battling borderline-severe acid reflux. The liquor + bad food over the weekend + vomiting kicked it up pretty bad. I haven’t been able to sleep and I haven’t been drinking coffee as to not worsen the reflux. I think I’m finally better after leaving work early yesterday. Such a pain, but now I know to be a lot more cautious.

***

Friday, I have my next doctor appointment. I’m supposed to get my progesterone levels checked and I think next week I get all my test results back. Fingers crossed we finally get some answers.

Shorts!

I finally got back into the gym this week. I decided on Tuesday that I needed to get back into exercise. It had been at least 3 weeks since I last really worked out due to traveling and work obligations. All day Tuesday, I started talking myself out of going to the gym. I was tired. I had things to do at home. I just didn’t feel like it. But before I could fully talk myself out of going when I got home, I changed out and headed over. I kept the workout on the light side: 4 sets of 10 reps of leg presses at 200 pounds, chest press (same number of sets and reps) at 80 pounds, and I walked for 30 minutes. I know myself well and knew that if I tried to run for the first time in 3 weeks I could a) get tired pretty quickly and lose motivation; and b) get a shin splint and be out of commission for a few weeks. When my workout ended, I realized that I had missed how amazing I felt afterwards.

I went back to the gym yesterday, again immediately after work. And I did something for the first time in a very long time: wore gym shorts to work out. I rarely wear shorts in public. I gain weight first in my thighs and since I was in my teens I had issues with shorts that ride up when I walk. I wore jean shorts last week to run to the store and it felt both great and strange. Yesterday I was suddenly feeling inspired to wear gym shorts to work out instead of my usual capris or pants. While walking to the gym, I felt a bit like a baby learning to walk: a little unsteady, hyperaware of the air hitting my legs. In addition to a 30 minute walk, I did a few kettle bell exercises and 4 sets of 10 reps on the ab crunch machine at 70 pounds. When I walked to get some water after using the ab machine, I checked out my legs in the mirror. I noticed less jiggle and more muscle definition than when I last examined my legs months ago. During my walk, a friend came in the gym and I immediately felt self-conscious. I worried about not working out harder, my shorts riding up, completely irrational stuff. That lasted approximately 5 seconds. I re-focused and finished my walk, then made brief conversation with my friend before stretching and heading out.

The best part? My shorts stayed put.

The Grand Experiment

So, the 2(ish) weeks are up and this whole thing was pretty interesting. Here are my takeaways:

-Totally failed at not going out to eat for 2 weeks but when we did go out, I made better choices

-Calorie counting is a pain in the ass

-Planning meals 2 weeks at a time has been incredibly helpful and has saved time and money

-I was more mindful of my portions

-I have been getting fuller on less food

-I had a net loss of 3 pounds

-My water intake did not increase

-I’ve somewhat weaned myself off of coffee in favor of tea

-Calorie counting is a pain the ass

-I frequently don’t eat enough calories, but I’m more aware of the calorie content of many foods

-It’s gotten easier to turn down junk food at work

I doubt I’ll continue counting calories regularly (see above) but I will be eating more mindfully. Potentially in a week I’ll do it again for a few days to make sure I’m consuming enough calories.