Sunday, October 23, 2011

I got my own month! True story

My own month!  It's such an honor.  Although to be fair, one of my favorite restaurants may not have realized it was honoring me so much as the food of my nickname.  Sweet Tomatoes ( is having potato month and I've decided to take it as a personal honor.

This has been a pretty decent month for me.  I ran/walked/crawled my way through my first 5K.  I figured out I have finally reached the point where I weigh less than I did in college and am a size-ish away from where I want to be at the end of the year and about 9 lb from where I want to weigh by the end of the year.  

Sweet Tomatoes is one of those places that can be a great, healthy thing for me or a downfall.  It's a salad bar place, but as so many magazines warn just because it's a salad doesn't mean it's healthy or low calorie and Sweet Tomatoes has seriously good muffins and desserts.  Luckily, my approach to my diet in general works perfectly here.  Since I'm a brat and don't like to be denied my good stuff (AKA high calorie and delicious), I start strategically by adding stuff.  In this case, I pile the veggies high and choose other stuff more carefully.  Sure, I could add on a ton of dressing and cheese to my salad or I can pile every veggie I can stand and be sparing with the dressing and maybe only a sprinkle of cheese. I do not count calories because I'm not mathematically inclined, but I figure a plateful of veggies followed by some lean meat and more veggies in a soup (I love their chili- deep kettle or three bean turkey) allows me some room for chocolate lava cake or gooey caramel pumpkin cake (which sneaks in more fruit).  I'm trying to focus on not consuming empty calories.  If I eat something I want it to be something halfway beneficial to me or something I really want because it tastes amazing.  Every once in awhile, I'll luck out and find something that accomplishes both.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's not the size of the Tater, it's how you use it

Ok, it's the size of the Tater also.

I have been slacking off on the writing purpose (and thus existence) of this blog, but I have been keeping up with the other part.

As usual, I haven't been cutting out all the bad stuff.  I had an enchilada/fajita plate for lunch, but I brought home leftovers AND the enchilada had tomatillo sauce on it. Since my allergies/sinuses have been bugging me, I consider it medicinal. Unfortunately, the tomatillo sauce was a little wimpy so the sinuses are still wonky (I'm a healthcare professional; I hope my medical terminology does not confuse you). I've been making small changes. Sour cream would always accompany my fajita taco; now I skip it and usually skip the cheese or use the cheese sparingly.  I've found it does not make a huge difference in the taste but it cuts the calories a tad.  I have been adding fresh fruit and adding veggies where I can and I also try to have some milk or Greek yogurt. I can feel a difference in my bones when I run whether or not I'm getting enough dairy. If the hips hurt, it's time to have a glass of milk or a thing of yogurt or a slice of cheesecake. Whatever gets the job done.

I've thought about going all out and doing a stricter diet.  I look at people more fit and thinner than I am and think I need to do it like them, but they're not me. I love sweets and I make an effort to control the portion, but I will not be cutting them out.  My main eating plan is balance.  I had a crappy day of eating; it happens.  The next day I'll start better and eat a few more vegetables. But the Oreos may happen again. They're sneaky and delicious (especially the Halloween ones; is artificial orange food coloring especially delicious or is it me?)

I have been stepping up on the whole exercise thing. I decided that I wanted to finish a 5K or two and then do a half marathon in March. So, I stepped up the running then I felt myself once again starting to feel unmotivated.  Before I could think of more excuses and I'm surprisingly creative so I had more than one at the ready, I signed up for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K.  At work.  This was to keep from ducking out on the run I had planned for after work.  That worked.  I did three 5K's a week for the next few weeks up until race week and then, bizarrely, I couldn't run due to rain. I surprised myself though and the 5K wasn't bad.  I have no idea how my time was because my phone died (temporarily, but for 24 hours it was touch and go) and it was a bit disorganized  as far as where we should line up and start. I was able to run for a longer time period without stopping though and I timed it out right so I could run across the finish line.  I did more walking than I wanted to, but my main goal with this one was to run some and not walk all and to be breathing at the end (well, throughout really).  My next 5K is the Layla Grace Foundation run during the first weekend in December and I want to run 75-100% of that one.  I also plan on adding mileage to prep for the NOLA half in March (and make the 5K in December a tad easier).

Happily, these small dietary changes and the increase o exercise have paid off. I am now about 10 lbs lighter than I was when I graduated college and am able to wear a size larger than I did when I graduated high school.  I still have quite a bit to do. I was heavy in college and not exactly a lightweight in high school. As absolutely thrilling as it is to not shop exclusively in the plus sizes anymore (the ladies are large; a plus size shirt may always be in the cards for me), I'm excited to be able to do more than I used.  I avoided  running in all forms like the plague since I was a little kid. I remember making an excuse when someone asked me to fill in on a kickball team for a night when I was in my twenties.  Now, I think I would give it a shot.  I'd still be bad because the coordination would still be lacking, but now I feel like I could run to the base and have enough energy to keep going and make it home.