How not to meal plan

I ate mahi mahi today. Twice in fact. It’s like some ancient language of dinners: mahi-mahi-mahi-mahi.  Mahi. If you say it out loud enough times it starts to sound odd.  (Go ahead – try it. I’ll wait.)

Why have mahi-mahi-mahi-mahi? Cause of a little thing called leftovers. In these sort of economic times, it seems ridiculous to waste food. (Actually anytime is a ridiculous time to waste food…) So while I have been good about my diet I have had to make realistic decisions about what to eat.  Candy – bad.  Leftover fish – good. Leftover Easter chocolate – not good.

What is it about leftovers? Apparently people who write “meal plans” have never heard of such a concept. Either I’m cooking wrong or they’re eating way more than they say. Or something like that.

I hit a wall a few weeks back and worked on tweaking the intake. As I prowled around the internet looking for just the right diet….(yes I honestly entered “why do I eat less and still gain more” into the search engine)…I found tons of those meal plans. And I’m always rather frustrated by them.

Here’s what happens (to me) when I check out one of those “healthy” meal plans:

First of all – the breakfast options.  Hmmm….on Monday you’re supposed to eat fresh pineapple with some cottage cheese and coffee. No fresh pineapple here.  Frankly it’s canned or nothing. Shhh don’t tell the meal planner.  Actually don’t tell them you’ve skipped the pineapple entirely as you believe it goes better with ham than cottage cheese.   Berries instead….but you know you’re eyeing the kids’ Frosted Flakes the whole time.

Tuesday you are supposed to eat oatmeal.  Not stick it in the microwave, instant stuff. But the real steel-cut oats. You figure to go all out – get the nice brand of oats and search the internet for the perfect oatmeal recipe that still is healthy. Discover a recommendation that putting it in the slow cooker is a great way to cook ahead.  Stay up late Monday to make sure you don’t put the slow-cooker oats on TOO early as you are sure you’ll oversleep and burn them.

Tuesday morning there is some yummy looking oatmeal …. lots of it.  And boy that just needed a dash or two or three of brown sugar. Maybe some more berries.  Even hubby likes it.  The kids take one bite and demand Frosted Flakes.  You are excited about the energy you feel from the yummy oats. And you put that energy to good use as you fling open cabinet doors looking for enough plasticware to store 6 gallons of oatmeal for the week. And then you need to scrub the slow-cooker of all the burnt sections of oatmeal.  That stick really well.

On Wednesday the meal plan calls for you to eat some fruit and cream of wheat. But your husband reminds you that he can’t get to the cream for his coffee due to all the oatmeal on the fridge shelves. You console yourself that they are practically the same thing – cream of wheat (never ate it before anyway) and oatmeal. You dutifully pour more Frosted Flakes for the kids. Then you try not to look at the gelatinous glop that was once steaming oatmeal as you put it in the microwave. It comes out okay but you are still fighting that gag reflex.

By Wednesday afternoon you realize that maybe the oatmeal can sit another day. So you tackle planning for Thursday’s breakfast. It includes one Raspberry Ginger Oregano Organic Whole Wheat Gluten-Free Sugar-Free* made from scratch muffin.  One.  Only one.  But they have the recipe to make it easy. So you figure it has to be good.

You gather the ingredients for the recipe and find it includes 1/2 teaspoon of some spice that you do not currently have at home. But this ingredient is in bold so you know it is crucial to the outcome of the muffins and provides you magically all the nutrients you need. So you trudge to the store to shell out $5 for a spice that you only need a pinch of and you will never use again. Along with a bag of organic whole wheat flour cause you’ve forgotten that you already have a bag of it in the bottom of the fridge at home from the last time you tried to follow a diet plan.

As you make the recipe Wednesday night (as the time baking will make up for the sit ups you skipped that day), you reread it as you stir the batter and realize that it yields 18 muffins. Crap. And you have already poured in all the ingredients and can’t cut it in half. Apparently these diet gurus assume you’ll be hosting a diet brunch for all your friends on Thursday as there is no mention of this muffin again in the next 17 days of the meal plan.

You figure might as well go ahead and make them.  Maybe if you put some of that leftover vanilla icing from your daughter’s party on the muffins, the kids will think they are getting cupcakes for breakfast.

You try to stay awake long enough to not burn the muffins. When you set them on the countertop, they look a little odd but you figure it’s late and you’re tired.

At 7 am the muffins are looking even more dubious. But there’s that icing you have. Go dig that out.

Unfortunately now you have your back turned on your kids.  The kids into whom you have hammered the importance of reading. Thus, they have pounced upon the organic whole wheat flour and strained applesauce stained recipe you printed off the internet and are reading it to each other.

Gross Mom. This says these are healthy muffins.

Did you make these?

Eww don’t we have real muffins? With chocolate chips?

You’re standing there with two sad muffins in hand, barely disguised under the hard-to-spread-now-that-it-has-been-in-the-fridge-for-four-weeks icing. And don’t forget the icing you’re licking off the corner of your lips…..

Mom! You’re not supposed to be eating icing. You’re on a DIET!  

DADDY!!!  Mom’s eating icing out of the container.

Caught in the sugar rush, you might accidentally hiss that the children can have ice cream for lunch if they would just HUSH RIGHT NOW! Then you smile at your husband and you don’t blame him at all when he looks at the muffins and says he’ll grab breakfast on the way to work.

As the kids dump their cereal bowls in the sink cause at least they’ve learned something this week, you lick the icing off your fingers and stare at the 18 muffins on the countertop. And you figure another morning of gelatinous oatmeal it is. The muffins get bagged up and put aside for lunch.

And by now you’re pondering how your attempt to pretend that chicken wrap at McDonald’s was the same thing as the chicken salad recipe on the diet meal plan was really a smoke screen.  But you also know that you’re gonna need to eat all that oatmeal in order to find the leftover chicken that’s in the fridge somewhere. And the muffins will have to be eaten so you can find your breadbox again. And you recognize that you’ve lasted longer on this meal plan than on the previous one!

 

And thus I eat mahi-mahi leftovers. They are better than chicken wraps from McDonald’s. Especially if you heat a tortilla and call it a fish taco. But more importantly, the lesson is – meal plans are for wimps. Real moms figure it out as they go along.

*Obviously not a real recipe. My apologies to any raspberry muffins out there.

**Details of this scenario may have been very exaggerated.  Just slightly.

Love and friendship

My feet hurt.  Not in a “I’ve run and run” all weekend.  But in a “I’ve been at an incredible wedding weekend and blast those darn high heels after miles in my Merrells.”

It’s late on Sunday night. Steve and the kids and I are flying home (towards Tropical Storm Debby), exhausted and filled with the lasting joy (and tiredness) of the past few days. I’m nursing sore muscles and reflecting on the past four days of wedding events. One last brunch event this morning closed out the magic of a wedding celebration weekend.

I have known the bride, Andrea, since before she and her twin sister were born. We moved in next door to their parents just 2 months before they were born at the end of a hot summer.  My brother, sister and I range in age from 4 to 9 years older than the twins. But from the beginning, they (and their little sister) have been our little sisters and our families have been dear friends.

We grew up together, spending time running from house to house. We played together, creating games of our own and spending time fighting over the rules of traditional games. Our fathers played tennis together and our mothers shared books, gossip, and parenting tips. Our families often traveled on vacations together and we spent most summers swimming at one house and eating and then moving to the other house to swim and eat again. We taught the girls how to sing in Polish and we tolerated how they licked popcorn and put it back in the bowl.  And we sang songs together – putting on our own Broadway productions in the basement. Two families, two sets of experiences, but often one joy in being together.

It’s been hard sometimes to explain the relationship our families have had over the years. To say we are “family friends” seems inadequate.  To describe them as “family” seems closer to the truth but feels insincere to those who share names and DNA with us. Thus we’ve skipped the labels – it’s simply been that they’ve always just been “The Smiths” and we’ve been “The Jones”. Okay not really our names – but that’s not the point of the story. We know what we mean to each other and we know that our lives have been richer for it all.

I think my children understand it a bit.  After today’s brunch, our son commented that he wished he had a next door neighbor family like I had. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’d long given up the hope of that for our family. For such a natural and easy friendship is rare and one you can not hope for – you must just relish when it blossoms and help it to flourish when and where you least expect it.

Through the years, we’ve all grown up, gone to college, and my parents moved away to warmer climates. But the bond is still there. Still visit and still vacation together now and again. But time together is shorter and we are older. We share drinks rather than run around the basement singing show tunes from the 80s. Our parents still discuss us “kids” but now with new worries and new concerns for us.  We’ve been in each others’ weddings over the years and the girls have bounced our children on their knees.

Which brings me back to Andrea’s wedding to Michael this weekend.

A four-day Hamptons, NY wedding is not your typical expectation for a wedding. But the “Smiths” are not typical.

We started the weekend with a clambake on the beach – complete with great weather, a campfire for smores, and a launching of hot air filled lanterns to send up well-wishes for the couple. The rehearsal dinner was a wonderful family style dinner (for over 100 people) at which people were welcome to the open mike for toasting and roasting.  My siblings and I made sure to come with speech in hand, ready to share Andrea stories and wish Michael well.

And then the wedding itself. (By which point, my kids and my nephews were wondering how long weddings exactly last for, and “aren’t they married already??”)  But my musings on the weekend and the wedding especially are not about the details, the dresses (gorgeous), the cake (chose the ice cream sundae instead), or even the yummy food (and the need to request special plain chicken nuggets for one picky kid while the other dined on lobster tacos and sweet potato pierogis).

Rather, the ceremony caught me up in lovely moments of….love.

As you listened to the chosen readings and the special vows, one could easily be somewhat wistful at the special relationship these two share.  Yet, for those of us who have been blessed with our own incredible relationships, we quickly turn that into a silent recognition and appreciation of our own unique love stories. We smile quietly at the inside jokes in the vows, then turn to our partners and spouses and wink at our own jokes and memories – those of long years and those more recently.

For me, this overwhelming reflection on love brought about the recognition that our own families started this way – the vows my parents took and Andrea’s parents took years ago were the beginnings of the journeys that we all shared now as families. Great love stories do not end with the joining of two people. Rather those people create a galaxy of people, drawing others into their lives and strengthening them.

I am filled with joy that my family members have found love.  My brother and sister-in-law, my sister and brother-in-law, Steve and I.  In turn, each of our love stories has been unique – but filled with love and friends and our growing galaxies of love.  As I looked around the wedding this weekend, it’s clear that Andrea and Michael have already filled their lives with tons of people who love them.

No, we all will probably never recreate the friendship that our two families nurtured over all these years.  But that’s okay.  We are still special to each other, and in turn that friendship and love has taught us about our own unique relationships that encircle each of us.

On a lighter note – actually a heavier one – I refuse to look at the scale after this weekend blow-out.  I was relatively good but the food was yummy. But now that we’re home, I’m back on the straight and narrow. I did manage to get in one run over the weekend – in the Merrells.  Worked on the mid-foot strike and clearly I was good at it for my calves hurt all weekend.  🙂

Here’s to celebrating love – with much fewer calories in the upcoming days.

Odds and ends

Been a busy week.  First week of no school for the kids.  Except of course I’m the mean mommy who makes them do homework all summer.  When your son who just finished second grade says, “Ummm what’s 6+7?”, you know you need to make him to math drills all summer.  We have to get into a new groove and routine for the summer….but I suppose that will take a few weeks.

Managed a few runs – including a group run today of 3.3 miles. (June lied and said we were only doing 3…she also burst off ahead of all of us turtles.)  At least I wasn’t alone in the back of the pack. And it’s been awhile since we had a group run (i.e. more than 2 people).  While I like being able to run with just me and my tunes, I also enjoy the time to talk, vent, and compare diets.  By the way, we are not talking about my weight loss challenge this week. Suffice it to say that my metabolism is not getting any of the memos I keep sending it.

We’re also working on getting healthier habits into the whole family. I refuse to allow the kids to keep grabbing juice boxes out of the fridge.  So we now each have our own water bottles – kept on the table from which to sip all day long.

Hydration!

Our son really likes the idea – despite a desperate need for a restroom while we were in line at the post office yesterday. Our daughter is coming around – as she does with everything that Mommy and Daddy suggest.  In fact, as I was typing this, she came up and declared “I’m thirsty.”  I pointed at the water bottle and she sighed, “oh I forgot.”  Ah six-year olds.

I’ve been eking out a few miles here and there in my Merrells.  Really really like the feel of the minimalist shoe.  I almost ran the group run in them today – but Steve reminded me I need to work up to longer distances.  But meanwhile I still love Merrells – and the fact that they have read this blog!!!  COOL!

Thank you Merrell!!

And sent me even more presents!  I really can’t say enough good things about this company!  I’ve started the Barefoot Running book.  It’s rather good – although some of the people in it – run barefoot.  Like really barefoot.  Like no shoes at all.  Ugh.  The summer I turned 9, I was running outside barefoot in my front yard.  Until I stepped on a piece of wire and had to go to the ER.  It was a really thick wire.  Hence, I’m rather fond of keeping my soles protected. But I’m encouraged by my, thus far, minimal strides into the minimalist world. And the book is encouraging.

 

You can do it!Speaking of encouragement – I saw this sign at Downtown Disney last weekend. I don’t recall any stories of Walt Disney being a runner. But as a visionary – he definitely knew how to put his efforts full force into something. If only we all could be so determined…….

Now – put down the computer/smartphone/tablet and go RUN!

 

 

Fill ‘er up

There are some people who fret about how much fuel is in their car’s tank. For example, on long car trips with my dad, my mom worries when the gas gauge gets below 3/4 of a tank.  Okay maybe at 1/2 tank. But the concern is that you might not know what’s around the bend so you should keep it filled up while you can. You don’t want to get caught on empty in the middle of nowhere.

My stomach is exactly like that.  It constantly thinks it’s in this state:

  In actuality the gauge is probably more like this:Stupid stomach.

In addition to poor skills at measurement, my body is apparently very bad at subtraction. I mentioned to the doctor that earlier this week I had eaten roughly 1200 calories and burned approximately 400 in exercise that day.  When I stood on the scale the next day, I had gained 2 pounds!  What in the world????  The doctor’s response – you’re not eating enough.

Oh yeah that must be it.

Apparently when I don’t eat much my body is worried that the next gas station isn’t for miles and miles.  So we have to hang onto all the lovely fat – and even multiple it when possible. My stomach isn’t clued into the fact that there is food in the house and it will last for awhile.  Stupid stomach.

But I am trying and I am being good. The loss has stalled for a few days – but I’m determined to get my stomach and body to get with the program.

 

There’s a joke in here somewhere

Couch potato meets road.  See – if even this potato can do it, so can you!

Why did the potato cross the road?

I have no idea why there was a potato in the road but I stopped running to take a picture and encourage it on its journey.  Sadly, when I ran by this corner the next day, all that was left was a flattened splotch of potato skin in the same spot.  Perhaps there’s a lesson in that too – keep moving for goodness sakes!

Give or take a pound or two

One of my sillier memories of fifth grade involves a gaggle of us girls asking one of the boys in our class how much he weighed.  I have no clue what precipitated this interrogation or why we were even remotely interested in the answer.  But I’ve never forgotten the response.   He simply said, “At what time?”

Being fifth graders we were ready to pounce on his inability to understand simple question words.  We had asked for a quantity in pounds and he was talking about hours of the day.  Clearly the boy had lost his mind.  (After all, he did support the independent candidate for president that year – John Anderson. Why do I remember these things about former classmates?  I have no clue.)  But we had forgotten the important detail that he was one of the smartest kids in our class (and future Ivy Leaguer).  Thus we were subjected to a whole lecture on gravity and how a body at rest at night will distribute weight more evenly than say later on during the course of the day.   I have no idea if his theory was right….but years later I still assume that you weigh much less first thing in the morning…..even a 10 year old knows that, right?

So despite gravity, the weight loss is occurring.  I’m actually down about 5 pounds from when I started the deal with Steve. So about 21 pounds to go.  However, I’m convinced my scale is trying to make me lose my mind in addition to the pounds.

First of all – I weigh myself every morning.  Um yeah –  I know the experts say not to. However I also know weight changes everyday – and I like to track change…I’m a developmental psychologist – we STUDY change.   I like to start my day off with a reminder to my mouth and stomach about what we are trying to accomplish here.

Thus the early morning weigh-in has a required procedure beforehand.  Including (but not limited to) putting in contacts (glasses add at least 7 oz more as I am rather blind), wringing out the bladder (again a few more oz), and making sure the scale is in the optimal point on the bathroom floor.

Steve had redone our bathroom floor with groutable vinyl tiles a few summers back (very nice).  And as he is a perfectionist – I know my floor is flat and even.  However – there is a vortex just next to the closet door where I swear gravity is stronger than usual.   Thus I try to be careful when I turn on the scale so as not to accidentally tip it so that one corner of the scale is in that vortex.

The other day the scale was completely trying to mess with me.  I got on and weighed 1 pound more than the previous day.  Poop – but again I know it’s just daily fluctuations. But then I moved the scale across the floor (avoiding that vortex) and remeasured.  Discovered I had lost 1.2 pounds in those 30 seconds.  Wow!  So I again moved the scale, made sure the four feet were completely even, no wiggles. And then I gained .75 pounds back.  Two times in a row.  Finally moved the scale back to the original location. And got a completely different number.  See – completely messing with my head.  (I wrote down the lowest number in my log – duh.)

Earlier in the week I had a doctor’s appointment to hear my latest cholesterol results.  I had been happy with my morning weigh in – but my appointment was at 3pm.

“But I totally was like 3 pounds lighter this morning.”

The nurse just nodded as she wrote down the number.

“Clearly gravity is different in the morning than in the afternoon. Or maybe it’s different here in the office compared to my house. But I swear I’m really lighter than that.”

At this she just laughed and probably made some note on my chart to indicate the doctor might want to order a psych eval as well.

Regardless – I know this to be true….at least, thus far, the scale has NOT shown me any numbers equal to or greater than where I started. WHEW.  I claim that as victory alone.

I’m also running better.  Not necessarily faster but for longer stretches before I take a walk break.  I didn’t realize quite how out of shape I was with the injured foot. But I’m starting to get my endurance back bit by bit.

I will win this bet ….. despite the strange pockets of gravity densities in my bathroom.

 

 

100 blog posts!!

100 posts!!!

Woo hoo!  This is my 100th blog post!  Wow….never thought I’d make it that far when I started this blog almost a year ago.  Then again – I never thought I’d actually consider myself a runner.

If this were a television show, 100 episodes would mean I’d be all ready for a party with cake and syndication.  Given my recent dedication to losing weight, the cake is right out.  As for syndication, I’m not sure how well these posts hold up in reruns. But if you haven’t perused the whole shebang – take a look back to some of my oldies but goodies while you’re here.

So how should a blogger (whose readership is limited to a few kind friends and family) celebrate such an accomplishment?  Cause clearly this is cause for amazement and wonder….and presents!  

Well in my case, I killed a fish.

No no – not intentionally.  In fact, I was doing the fish a favor at the time.  I was cleaning his bowl – see very nice – when he decided to keel over in the “holding” bowl.  I would like to point out that I was rather sweet to let him flop his last in my favorite Pampered Chef batter bowl.  Not all mommies would be that kind. But I’m thinking that I won’t be making pancake mix again until I disinfect it thoroughly. (My apologies to any and all Pampered Chef reps – I love your products….apparently fish would die for them.)  I would also like to point out that I refrained from yelling at said (dead) fish that I had now wasted all that time cleaning out a bowl for a fresh corpse.

If you are a fan of this blog (and if you are – definitely hit the Facebook button on the upper right side of this page!) you’ll know this is not the first time we’ve experienced fish death in our house.  (Click here for the full story.)  This was the last of our Rosy Reds….and we still have a beta that seems to thrive on filthy water.

And as with the previous perishings – our son got to witness the horror first hand.  He happened to get out of bed just at the right wrong moment. However this time he was less mad and freaked out.  In fact when the fish tried valiantly to kick himself back up (I presume to say good-bye), our son started saying, “Zombie fish, I have a zombie fish.” He’s all 8 year old boy – pets are cool but zombie pets are even cooler.

I pray we don’t encounter any zombie rats anytime soon.

In other news….. I did celebrate today with some running.  Managed 1.5 miles today with a friend.  Foot’s not doing too badly but we weren’t breaking any speed records.

And we signed up for Disney 2013!!   Steve is doing the Goofy (because he is insane) and I’m signed up for the 1/2 again.  And Steve has reiterated his promise that if I shave 13.1 minutes off my time from this year – I get to go shopping for a Coach purse.  Between the weight loss deal and the run – this could be a profitable year for me.  🙂   Before we signed up – I called my parents to very sweetly ask if they would join us in Disney to watch the kids the morning of the 1/2.  Because I called before his alarm went off, my Dad was very willing to say yes.  (Thanks Dad! Hope you didn’t rethink it after you had some coffee!)  I’m hoping my sis and her husband will do the 1/2 again with us.  (Pretty please??)

As for the weight loss …. I am actually down 1.4 pounds since I made the deal with Steve.  Woo hoo!  So I’m 24.6 pounds away from $1000.  Woot!  So far so good.  I’m trying to stay upbeat about it.  (Come on it’s $1000!)

So – here’s to Stumbling Forward into the next 100 posts….hope you join me!

Diet or diet not, there is no try

It’s been about two weeks since my last post – in which I was moaning my lack of fashion sense.  And sadly, no change has come forth in my closet.  Still have the same old clothes, many of which are ones I hang on to thinking that somehow either the 80s will come back into fashion or that I’ll instantly lose 50 pounds.  Yeah yeah I know – I wasn’t even fashionable back in the 80s…but maybe retro will make me cooler this time around.  

But it is time to clean out the closet.  As college professors – my husband and I very much look forward to this time of year.  Our classes are over and we survived finals (although some of our students did not). And our children are still in school for another month or so.  Thus – our new found ‘freedom’ means that deep cleaning of the house must commence.   Hey – we are a wild wild pair!  So the closets are often the first things we go through – where we try to be honest about what we really need to keep.  Just glancing at my closet I figure I’ll be left with 3 pairs of yoga pants and a dress of dubious color and style.

On top of the moaning of my clothes…I’ve complained about my weight.  Part of the wardrobe issue is the deep sense of insecurity about how those clothes fit.  When you start to consider applying Body Glide on the days you’re not running – you start to get a little worried.  Here I’ve been running for over a year and I’m still at the same darn weight I was at when the doctor read me the riot act about my health. Time to download yet another app for keeping my eating in check and tracking my weight. (I’m always downloading the free versions of such apps – I’m cheap.)  So for the past few days, I’ve nursed the chronic plantar pain, typed all my foods into my iPhone, and broken out the Gold’s Gym Cardio Boxing for the Wii.  I’ve also done some slow jogs around the block to get my foot back into the game.

And in the middle of all this came along a great idea…..or maybe it’s just a “better than good” idea. Cause it was Steve’s idea….which I’ve agreed to….for better or for worse.

This morning he offered me the following proposal.  Pick a goal weight.  Make it to that weight and he’ll give me $1000 to buy new clothes.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thousand dollars!!!!!!!!

But hold on there’s a catch (there’s always a catch)….

Steve went on to say – if I don’t make it to the goal weight, I get only $50 for new clothes.  Well that and the joy of failing at losing weight.  Which we already know I am incredibly good at.  So that $50 could totally put me in the running for worse dressed college prof come Fall 2012.   Although I’m probably already on the short list.

What can you do with an offer like that?  You have to take it, right?  We’re talking 1000 dollars.  Sadly – I don’t think all total I’ve spent that on my clothes in the last 4 years or so….if you don’t count in running shoes and such.  (See note above – I’m cheap – and fashion impaired so that explains a whole lot.)

Before I officially agreed to it – I should point out that:

a) Steve is a man of his word.  He offered me 50 cents to drink wine at dinner out of the bottle – perhaps cause he was too lazy to get a wine glass down from the cabinet.  He paid up.  (Again – wild wild pair)

b) Steve has more faith in me than I do.

c) Should I win….I do not intend to blow the money in the clothing section of Target (although that is tempting)….I fully intend to make my sister come to FL to shop with me and improve my fashion sense.  Okay – maybe only the first one.  She can only do so much  in one trip.

I sat and looked the goal I had put into the diet app.  Unfortunately that goal weight is projected to take me till Sept.  By then I’ll be needing more clothes for back to school.

So I counter proposed a different goal weight (roughly 26 pounds less than today) by my birthday (August 5th).   And maybe I can get down to the other goal….but at least this goal would bring my BMI back down from the stratosphere.

So now I’m staring at the calendar sheets I printed out and stuck on the fridge and wondering what the heck I’ve gotten myself into.  But then the next minute I dream about how fast I could run if I could lose 26 pounds.  (I mentioned this deal to a friend tonight at a school event….I summed it up that she and I would need to run a lot this summer cause “I have to run my @$$ off.”  Yup – that will be about 15 pounds of it.)

Then I start thinking about cheesecake…..and then I start thinking about running in just a sports bra rather than my giant old shirts (with holes).  And I think this is a doable idea.  As long as I stop thinking about cheesecake.

And I have to do…..or do not.  There’s no trying about this.  I’ll be 42 on my birthday.  And I’m sick of saying “by my next birthday….”   I’m envious of my running friend who has recently lost a lot of weight. I’m tired of wearing running capris cause my running shorts are too tight.  And I’m not a fan of sportswear that is only made for women who are stick figures. The last one I can’t change….but I certainly can work on the other ones….

I never thought I’d make it a year or more with running.  And yet I am – still running.  So anything is possible…..so I can and will make this work.

I’m not going to post about any particular diet or such.  I know the rules of the game – eat less, move more.  And log everything you eat.  All three simple things….that get old after about 3 weeks.  But I have about 13.5 weeks to make it work.

Who’s in with me?   (Of course $1000 not guaranteed to anyone other than me.  🙂

 

I am an IronGirl!

No….not that kind of Irongirl….although beating up bad guys is cool even if not profitable.

Yesterday morning was the IronGirl 5K in Clearwater. This was my first race ever in 2011. This year it was my third race of 2012….what a difference a year makes.

Our wacky and wild Florida weather kept us all on our toes through race time. Bad storms blew through the Tampa Bay area overnight. Given the forecasted storms, Steve and I decided it would be best for me to catch a ride with friends and keep the kids out of the potential rainy morning.  Sad for me to not have them at the finish line – but understandable.

So off I went to the races with my friends Wendy and Heather….both speedier than I.  To ensure myself they would wait for me to finish and give me a ride back – I made sure I was the sole member of our caravan who remembered where we parked.  Tricky!   We made it to the race in good time and with clear skies above.

Great skies over the Clearwater Causeway

The worse part of the race (of any race) was the port-a-potties. Seriously folks – how hard is it to invent clean, non-smelly port-a-potties? We put men on the moon and can order pizza online but we can’t pee in a stand alone stall that doesn’t stink??

The irony of this is that the lines for the port-a-potties were SO long.  You have a couple of thousand women….we need to pee.  I seriously considered peeing on a palm tree…but I didn’t want to get arrested right before the starting gun.

Me, my hips, Heather and Wendy (note the stinky port-a-potties in the background)

 

This year’s course was point-to-point.  A change made due to parking and shuttle issues with last years loop course.  (There ain’t much parking in Clearwater Beach area…downtown is much better.) I’m not sure why but this then resulted in a very narrow first 3/4 mile or so. The starting chute was skinny and went back for forever.  And the few streets in downtown Clearwater that the course snaked through were not wide at all.  I found myself doing a couple of shuffles to not trip over people who decided to suddenly walk in the middle of the road, or were turning to talk to people.  Now I’m not all about winning – but I was eager to go forward at least.

But the pace was reasonable and eventually I hit the amazing and scary Causeway (see above pic).  Given that they were predicting high winds – I was sure we’d all get blown off the bridge. Of course the worry was for naught. Once I made it up the crest of the bridge (walking most of that), we were treated to the most amazing views of Florida coast, sunshine and even a sliver of a rainbow. In fact, I ran some of my fastest pace on the bridge – which is sad as I almost didn’t want it to end and come back to the flat end of the course.

Overall I enjoyed the race a whole lot….was proud of how much I kept going even when I wanted to stop. I only got a little teary with about .2 mile to go – thinking about how much my family’s support means and how I missed them being there to cheer me on.  But I wiped the tears aside and got across the finish in 37:42.  Which is about 50 second slower than last year.  I actually wasn’t too upset about it.  I know I have work to do – and the injury hasn’t helped.  But the best part was the momentum….I want and know I can do better next time.  And the shiny shiny medal helps a lot.

Woo HOO!!

Wendy and Heather ran great races too (faster than me of course) and waited for me. But by the time we all caught up – the dark clouds were rolling in off the Gulf.  So we just grabbed our boxed breakfast treats and caught a trolley to the car. For a great event – I was a little disappointed in the boxed food.  After I run – I crave FOOD….eggs, bagels, bananas – things with substance.  The food in the box was crackers, hummus, a fruit trail mix bag and edamame. Really?  Oh and we did get a small square of chocolate.  Not really the food I want….but maybe if that’s what I really ate all the time I’d be skinnier and faster….well and hungrier….but who knows….

 

I did manage to eat the chocolate square (after I got home and made myself a bacon, tomato and cheese bagel sandwich – hey I ran 3.1 miles I deserve!).  And I wrapped myself in the comfort of knowing that I want to keep doing this….and not just for the bacon….  🙂

Waiting for the weight loss…

Friend A: “When I started running, the pounds just dropped off of me.”

Friend B: “When C (a mutual friend) started running, she really lost weight fast.”

Wii Fit Plus:  “You are overweight.  You’ve, in fact, gained 2 pounds since you last stood on the Wii Balance Board.  Please step down now, as my circuits are weary.”

Okay – so the Wii wasn’t quite that explicit…but was still certainly not friendly this morning. For the record, I hadn’t been on the Wii Balance Board in about 200 days – so I think it kinda missed me. Ha.

Running is my new healthy habit. And I’m very excited about all this. I like running. I actually feel good about sweating it out and moving faster than I usually do. And I feel like I’m getting stronger bit by bit. Heck – I beat a lot of my previous “scores” on the Wii Fit today. My balance is better and I rocked the 30 mins of yoga I did on it.

But I’m not feeling any obvious weight loss benefits as a result. And clearly my friends are stymied by my lack of weight loss. The frequent response is “Well you’re gaining MUSCLE.”  Apparently I’m gaining muscles made of concrete rather than human tissue and biological parts!

I suppose I know all the things to do – eat less (check), drink more water (swimming in it!), write down everything you put in your mouth (um okay but that’s hard to do when you’re the mommy), eat less carbs (okay), eat more carbs and less fat (um, okay?), chew each bite 400 times (what??), just think about eating but don’t do it (yeah right), eat like a caveman (???), eat lots of veggies (okay), eat no veggies but only tofu and flax seed (???), and of course the “give us $$$ and we’ll get you thin!” (sure).

Obviously the weight loss industry is full of ideas – some of which are hilariously contradictory. I need to settle on a method that will truly convince my fat cells that they are being served a permanent eviction notice. If I find it – I’ll let you know. But I will keep at it.

In the meantime – I take to heart what the crossing guard said to me on the way up to school this morning:  “Aw honey – you are looking so thin, you’re running, right?  Good job!”