What I Ate Wednesday 

Hello readers and fellow bloggers!
I realize that it’s almost the end of Wednesday, but that’s okay I still have time to fit in this post – so let’s get to it shall we?!

I’ve been doing really well with my diet and exercise the last two weeks. I’m not sure what it is, maybe that it’s summer and there’s just so much fresh fruit and vegetables available? Whatever it is, it’s working! I really tried to clean up my diet a lot because I was eating an excess amount of sugar and just crappy foods in general. After watching a few documentaries on food, health, and other things like that – I’ve managed to scare myself into eating better. (Thank you Netflix.) 

But that’s okay.
My meals have been tasty, extra flavorful, and very colorful. I look forward to eating each meal just because it’s so pretty!

I took pictures of every meal I ate today and I thought I would share them with you. So here we go!

Let’s start with breakfast: I made a yummy Kodiak protein/gluten free waffle, and topped it with fresh blueberries and sugar-free syrup. Then I made an egg white omelet covered in spinach, and topped with sriracha! So yum! I also had coffee with almond milk.

At lunch I had white rice with fresh green beans and red bell pepper in a hoisin sauce mixed with ginger, garlic, and chili sauce all cooked in a wok. 

For dinner, I had a veggie burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin, topped with Laughing Cow asiago cheese, avocado, an egg, lettuce and tomato. And a salad with Bolthouse Farms salsa verde dressing! 

I snacked on a fruit salad that had strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, and blueberries – so delicious. 

Since changing my diet I’ve noticed that I feel a lot better. It took about a week, but I don’t feel as sluggish and tired as I felt before. 

I’ve also managed to keep up with my workout plan. Yesterday I didn’t get to work out until very late at night, and quite honestly I just didn’t want to. But I did a 30 minute Nike+ training aession, and felt pretty good after it was done. Today I did a strength workout also via Nike+ – and I must admit I’m feeling it already! 

Now its time to get to bed because my alarm is going to go off at 3:30 a.m. Tomorrow is going to be a long day-Thursdays usually are. But I took some time tonight to make my meals so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy things or go out to eat.

Well that’s all I have for you tonight, sleep well and have a good day tomorrow! 

 

Weights, Weight and Wait…

Happy Fourth of July! America celebrates her 240th Birthday today. I hope you’re celebrating in a fun, healthy and memorable way.

I spent my weekend with friends by the pool on Saturday, the weather was perfect and it was a great day. On Sunday, I spent my time with family enjoying BBQ, fireworks, and fun. Today, I am having a very low key day – but I did start it by going to the gym.

Last week was productive in my fitness and food efforts. I am actually down 4 lbs which was kind of a shock. Today I did a quick 15 minute run just as a warm up, and then headed over into the world of weights.

I have been watching a lot of you tube videos on weight lifting, in hopes of learning new things…however I realized that I am pretty knowledgeable when it comes to training and weights. I also know that to be a strong runner, I have to be…well…strong.

A strong core is essential, strong glutes and legs only help make for a better runner. Especially for one who has dealt with injury for so long. However, getting back into the weights scene felt slightly intimidating today. But, its okay…with each new day it will get more comfortable.

I’ve been tracking my measurements, since the number on the scale isn’t always the best indicator of progress. In doing so, I set up a few goals online at http://www.bodybuilding.com. In doing that, they predicted that it would take me about 2 years to get to my goal…

2 years seems like such a long time.

A loooooonnnnnng time.

But, I’ve been overweight and ultimately unhappy with myself for a much longer time than that…so really 2 years is a drop in the bucket.

So, this is my latest adventure…combining my recovery of a torn tendon, with learning to run again, with weights…let’s see where this goes – shall we??

 

 

Summer Heat…

Happy (belated) Summer Friends!

Summer Solstice  seems to have snuck up on me. With each passing season, I keep asking myself where the time is going? Luckily, this year  Summer greated me with a beautiful sunset.

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It also greeted me with 105 degree temperatures…

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This will be my first summer in an area that gets hellishly hot. It makes me miss my hometown, and its lovely bay breezes that much more. I certainly took advantage of my wonderful San Francisco Bay micro Climate all those years before. Alas, I will just have to adjust to the warmth that is upon me.

This means adjusting how, when and where I workout. If I was a morning person, that would be great, but it would have to be early morning – like 430am early morning.

And that’s not that kind of person I am these days, I tend to work out late at night, but often times its so late that my gym is closed. So, this past week I have been doing a lot of Nike Training Club workouts, and even made it over to the Pole Fitness Studio.

Last weeks Pole class irritated my tendon, mostly because I was barefoot for an hour, which means no arch support for that long. It took a few days for my foot to recover, so this time I decided to try a different class. Instead of Beginner Pole, I tried…well, a twerking class basically.

I’ve done one other twerking class in my lifetime, about a year ago now – but my thoughts on it remain the same : It’s a lot more work than one realizes, and it really works your core, hips, and low back muscles. All of which – I desperately need to build both strength and flexibility in. The class was fun, and we even got to mix a little pole work into it – which is always fun. I have one pass left which I plan to use on Friday, but I am thinking of signing up for more because I find that the Pole Fitness classes help break up the monotony that can come with working out at the gym. It is also working different muscles and things that I do not tend to work on enough…like arm and shoulder strength.  Plus I find that it really tests my self confidence, and is helping me to be a little stronger in that area too…I mean, I have to wear shorts to class, which is a huge deal for me.

I also (as mentioned) have been doing the NTC training sessions – these I always do at home. I wait till the evening when its cooler, or try to get out mid morning. Thankfully we have a covered patio, so it helps.

Today’s workout was pretty intense, combining both strength and cardio into 45 minutes of “fun.” My muscles were shaking and I was sprinkling sweat all over the floor.

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Tomorrow I am hoping to try to go for a jog (since I still can’t really call my pace a run…) But now, I really have to plan this out – if I can wake up early enough I can run around the neighborhood. If not, treadmill it is at the air conditioned gym – as long as I get there before they close.

Motivation is still an issue this week, which is partly why I ended up at the twerk class yesterday. I didn’t want to do anything, but I knew that I really should, so I signed up for the class during the non cancellation window.

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I am unsure how I am going to keep myself in the mood tomorrow – but I am also hoping it won’t be so difficult. Time will tell.

I realize this post is all over the place…sorry about that. That’s kind of how I am feeling today.

I hope your summer workouts are totally happening for you!

 

 

Fabulous Friday – Food, Fitness and Fabletics.

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been a little busy, and have fallen behind on blogging.

After Sunday’s intense Nike+ session, my thighs and butt completely revolted. I didn’t even have to wait two days for DOMS to set in…

Nope – within hours I felt that familiar feeling of the lactic acid build up.

On Monday I could barely walk, and immediately despised the fact that my office was on the second floor. Going up and down the stairs was pure torture! I foam rolled and broke out my Stick, trying to massage my muscles hoping that the added blood flow would help the pain. I had a pole fitness class scheduled for Monday and I didn’t want to cancel again.
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Once again, I was a bundle of nerves before pole fitness. I’m not sure what causes so much anxiety – but it keeps happening. I was a bit relieved when I got there and there was only one other person in the beginner class with me. The pole class helped workout my arms, shoulders, back, core and chest muscles. Ultimately I did have a lot of fun too.

On Tuesday I was sore from head to toe, and unfortunately my foot was swelling. I decided it would be best to stretch a bit and just call it a rest day.

On Wednesday I did another, less intense, Nike+ workout. That’s when I discovered that Nike has completely revamped the app. They’ve added a ton of other workouts and options. As well as changed the way the app guides you through the exercises. You should check it out if you haven’t already.
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On Thursday I took another rest day, basically because Thursday’s are crazy work days for me.

This morning I knew I had a lunch date planned with my sister, nephew and parents. In order to keep myself from ordering the worst (read that as the yummiest, but less than healthy options) on the menu – I did a Nike+ workout. I do feel some achy-ness in my muscles, but nothing like on Sunday.
But it motivated me to pick a salad for lunch. This salad was huge! (I didn’t eat the shell though.)
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This entire week I have managed to eat healthier options and cut out the sugar. I can write a whole post on sugars, which I think I might. In the mean time – it did take a lot from me to accomplish this throughout the week, but I’m happy that I’ve made it this far.

Lastly, I missed my wish list Wednesday post this week. So, I wanted to mention that I ordered an outfit from Fabletics. If you don’t know what that is, it’s an athletic apparel subscription service co-founded by Kate Hudson.

You pay $49.95 a month, but do have the option to skip months (which results in no charge) as long as you do so online before the 5th of the month.Also, your first order is discounted, which is a plus.

I read/watched a lot of reviews and almost all of them were very positive. They all compared the quality of the items, specifically the pants, to lululemon.

I got a sports bra, jacket and pant for 39.95 plus tax.

Here’s my review…
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The sports bra is made of very soft material, and this particular one is minimum support. So I can’t wear it running, but I can wear it to pole class or yoga or something. It is not padded, but that’s okay.

The jacket/sweatshirt is lightweight and comfortable. It features an open back, which I was hesitant to get – but covers enough that I do not feel overly exposed. The quality is good, the material is thick, yet light and breathable.

The Capri pant material is dry wicking, which is great. The material is soft, and seems to be well made with smooth seams and stitching. The great thing is that they are not see through. I can bend and squat and not see anything, which can be rare in workout pants. They do not slide down. I haven’t run far in them, but did try to get them to slide with no avail.

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On me.

So far I am happy with my purchase and am curious to see what new items will be available in July. If it’s something cool, I will order something new…if not – I will skip! I like that idea.

Have a great weekend.

 

*Disclaimer, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I have not been contacted by Fabletics in any form. I purchased the items myself, and am expressing my personal thoughts on them with no incentive. 

 

The Revenge of Nike+

Happy Sunday, and happy Father’s Day to all of my readers and fellow bloggers that are dads!

Last Sunday I managed a run. I headed outside for a quick, wind blown run around the neighborhood. It was slightly over 3 miles and it was okay for the most part, except that I felt very tired and sluggish. I had a 4 minute jog to 1:30 second walk ratio. Half way through I had to walk a bit longer because my legs just didn’t want to run.

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On Monday I decided to try a morning spin class. The spin classes at my gym have one thing in common – everyone that goes, is a regular. It’s a bit awkward for me as someone who is relatively new as well as extremely in frequent at attending classes. But trying out a class with a new instructor was good, I liked her style and music choices.

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On Tuesday I went for a walk/jog with my sister and nephew. My nephew is just shy of two months old – so we had to make a pit stop midway through so he could eat. I could totally understand though, because I always get hungry midway through my run too.

After that…

I basically did nothing.

So yesterday, I made myself go to the gym right before they closed and I did another run. It was slightly over a 5k. 

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It wasn’t much different than Sunday’s run – I felt extremely exhausted. It was hard to get through and a bit frustrating. Not because of my foot though, so that was a plus.

This morning I woke up and told myself I needed to get some strength in. I haven’t done anything in the strength related department since the day before I went to Vegas which was well over a month ago now.

I did a 45 minute beginner circuit…

And pretty much died.

I’m not even exaggerating – it felt like I’ve never worked out a day in my life time. Not a one!

It was a stark reminder of how important strength training really is. Or even cross training for that matter.

It was also an eye opening moment.

The whole time I struggled to do things that just a month and half ago, I could do. My muscles were shaking and quivering. My heart was pounding and I couldn’t wait for the workout to end so I could breathe!

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I could really feel all the bad food I’ve been consuming and just my lack of activity. My mental game was off too – but on the plus side, I was proud of myself for making it to the end of the workout without giving up.

Tomorrow I am supposed to go to the pole class. I’ve cancelled every class I’ve schedule for the last few weeks. So I told myself that I have to stick with it this week and just go.

Have a great week.

Wish list Wednesday’s: Shoes!

Good afternoon lovelies!

It’s time for another installment of Wish List Wednesday!

An imperative piece of gear to a runner is…SHOES!

I ❤❤❤ shoes.

Due to my injury, I am now restricted to what I affectionately call – grandma shoes.

In literal terms, I need motion control shoes, and I need the highest level of motion control, AKA : maximum support.

Due to the level of support in this type of shoe, they can often be clunky, heavy, and the boring-ist of colors.

It makes us maximum support motion controllers feel a little left out in the pretty shoe world.

Alas – over the years shoe makers are slowly coming around and giving us supportive shoes that have gotten a tad bit lighter, and come in better color combos.

Today I am going to talk about the The Saucony Redeemer ISO. This is considered “a premium” running shoe. Most suitable for daily road running. It is thoughtfully designed for the most severe overpronated foot motion – which is fantastic.

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I’ve worn this shoe daily since October. It is much lighter in weight than similar shoes I have tried. I like that it is wide enough to fit my custom, orthopedic, Richie Brace. Other brands can run on the narrow side, making it impossible to fit such a wide orthopedic device in. It’s durable too, because the brace does stretch the shoes natural shape.

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Brace is on the left.

It is a very stable shoe that offers both ankle, and arch support – which has been helpful to this flat footed jogger runner. It also has a good amount of cushion. I like that it’s not overly cushy – and yet not completely rigid. It’s a perfect balance between the two.

Pricing is comparable to other shoes in its class at $139.95.

Bonus:
There’s a second color combo! (Confession: I have both.)
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👟👟👟👟👟
The Saucony Redeemer gets 5 out of 5 shoes!

*Side note: the opinions expressed in this post are my own, and done on my own accord. Neither Saucony or Running Warehouse have anything to do with the review I have written. I have not been compensated in any way by either company. 

Looking for Motivation

 

I am just going to jump right into this post.

I know there are a lot of people out that that struggle with anxiety and/or depression. I am one of those people. I have found that it is not something that ever fully goes away, especially when you’re dealing with both. Anxiety often triggers depression, which creates more anxiety – it’s a vicious cycle.

I do my best to “be on top of it” by getting professional help, as well as doing everything I have learned to manage this as a part of my daily life in order to stay on the up and up – so to speak.

One of the absolute, best things in winning the fight against this has been consistent exercise. It has done more for me than any medication ever could. It literally saved my life, and changed it for the better.

Over the last few months, I have really struggled to keep my daily exercise plans constant. I do well for about a week or two, and then I just kind of get tired or bored – or both. I have also dealt with a few triggers which have lead to increasing symptoms. It is becoming for apparent that this is something more than just a “funk.”

When I opened up to someone very close to me about it, they’re response was typical of anyone who has never dealt with mental health issues. I heard the line I have heard from so many people before: “You just have to stop moping around and get to the gym.”

I know it’s coming from a good place. I know they just want to help. I appreciate the urgency in their hearts to  push me to do what is best for me. Sometimes it just scares them, so instead of being more empathetic, they jump to an urgent sense of wanting to fix me – with a stern “you just need to do this right now.”

Obviously, it’s not that easy.

So what I want to talk about today is how someone like me – suffering from anxiety and/or depression can take steps to getting better.

I have noticed that I have been feeling excessively tired. Not just physically, but mentally too.  I even went to my primary doctor thinking maybe it was something else this time – and not the tale-tale sign that I was headed down a rough road. I hoped for anemia, or something that would more easily be fixed with a simple vitamin tablet. Alas. My blood work was completely normal. (Don’t get me wrong, that’s a blessing in itself.) I have been sleeping a lot more. I have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings. At the same time my insomnia at night has gotten a lot worse. During the day, I barely have the energy to think, let alone hit the gym. Staying focused on almost everything seems like a huge task. I count down the hours till I can just lay down in bed, both due to exhaustion and the comforting thought  of a safe place in which I can hide from the chaos that has been in my head all day.

I have so much going through my head at any given time, that I just want quiet. So I tend to become somewhat of a hermit, because going outside is both anxiety inducing – and mentally overwhelming. A few posts back I mentioned that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety every time I was supposed to go to the gym, or even the pole fitness class.

I look back and realize it was just another indicator.

So what do you do when this happens? Because it is very hard to push yourself to do things when you just don’t feel well.

Well, here’s what I suggest.

First things first, I am a huge advocate of counseling. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression – or just symptoms that you know aren’t exactly you – seek professional help.

Sometimes, just getting out of bed is a victory in itself. So if that’s all you can muster that day – try not to be hard on yourself.

Try your best to exercise. It might not happen…I know this…in fact I am living with this right now. But, It can be something as simple as a walk, or some stretches, even breathing exercises. All of which can really help you feel better. Start small, and work your way up.

I usually try to map out my week I feel if I have a plan, I’m not trying to figure out what to do on a any given day. A plan gives structure, which is helpful for me. So do what’s easiest for you. Easy is what we need when we are dealing with so much more.

If your plan doesn’t pan out – don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. Just keep trying – eventually you will get there.

Some days will be better than others. Some days will be worse. Do what you can any given day and consider it a victory.

Try to surround yourself with friends or people that are positive and supportive. Having negative influences in your life will not help.

Confide in a person in whom you can trust, they may be able to help motivate you. I have a friend who struggles with motivation as well due to her overly busy schedule as a stay at home mom, and wife. In devoting her time to her family, she is often too tired to make time for herself – I am sure many of us have been there! So we team up to try to motivate each other in following through with our gym plans via morning texts, fitbit challenges, or just agreeing to meet up for a group run.

Get some sun. Being outside in fresh air and sunlight is uplifting – even 10 minutes or day, or 1 to 2 times a week can make a huge difference.

Write things down. Blog it, Vlog it, write it in a diary, or where ever. Make it public or keep it private – whatever feels comfortable for you. But getting it out there in whatever format you choose helps to get it off your mind.

Try meditation, they have great guided meditations on you tube.

Read books, or color, try crafty type projects.

Try to eat healthy foods, that are vitamin rich.

Drink water.

Stay away from harmful things such as drugs or alcohol – these can actually cause more depression and/or anxiety.

Most importantly, whatever you do – just remember how important you are. Remember that the way your feeling is not permanent. If you’re sad, it’s warranted, and it’s okay to feel sad. We just have to remember not to stay sad. Or Mad. Or angry – or whatever it is you are feeling. Your feelings are valid – And so are you.

Here’s to another week my friends.