Tuesday, December 18, 2012


"Don't Stop Believing...Hold on to the Fee-e-ah-ling" Sing it with me now!

Last week I told you a little about my health journey in my About Me page (check it out!). I also mentioned that we had two Christmas parties this weekend along with many temptations in the office that have been taunting me this month.

I was reminded yesterday that being healthy and fit is a journey. It's something I must work towards every day in order to see results, and my hard work can easily be undone with just a few meals without focus. 

This weekend I definitely lost focus.

I went in to the weekend knowing I had worked hard all week and watched my food intake closely. I had a 10 mile maintenance run to do at some point over the weekend, but unlike normal, I was laid back about when and where. As it turns out "when you fail to plan, you plan to fail" was true for me. I mistook spontaneity for laziness. I didn't do my run, and my sweet tooth ate it's little heart out. 

I won't bore you with the details of my decadent indulgences, but let's just stay it started Saturday morning with a trip to Chik-Fil-A (gross, right?) and ended Sunday night with Mellow Mushroom delivery. The in between mostly consisted of chocolate and cookies. Seriously? What has gotten in to me? 

I mentioned before that I keep a food log. This is something that my personal trainer has asked me to do, and she reads it every week. She's used to seeing a few extra treats on the weekend, but we both agreed that this weekend was atrocious. 

We took a few minutes to talk about my fitness and health goals. I asked her if my goal weight was really possible. After all,  I've been working hard for (nearly) a year, my weight has been in a plateau for months, my body fat percentage is fairly low, and I work out very hard 5-6 days a week. Was this goal really attainable for me?

She said it was, but that it would take a different level of commitment. To make my goal possible I would have to change the way I think about food, mainly sugar. Sugar is very addictive, and I am indeed addicted. When I have something sweet, I crave something else sweet. I can feel a difference in my body, yet the temporary enjoyment seems worth it at that moment. I mean, let's be honest. Sugar tastes amazing. 

So today I am reflecting on my journey thus far. I'm looking at my daily habits, my weekly routine, and my occasional (ok, lately they've been daily) indulgences. I'm asking myself where I want this journey to go. Is having sweets completely out of my life realistic for me? Is life worth living without an occasional cookie? 

Like everything else in my life, I think I should at least try it before I write it off. So let's do this. No sweets for one week. This week may be more difficult than all of the weeks of my journey thus far combined. Who's with me?

And just as I go to hit publish I get this photo in my inbox from a coworker with the title "Have Some Holiday Treats - Come on over." Really?

I'm not going over to that desk.

Guilt laden, I started Monday off on the right foot, with a quick 7 miles at 4:15 am and ended it with a food log entry that looks like this:

And let's keep it looking that good this week. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What Sweet Tooth?

Did I mention I have a serious sweet tooth? I feel like I have a lot to fill you in on, but today I kind of just want to jump right in to the NOW.

It's days before Christmas and my big corporate office is swimming with sinful treats. There's not a whole lot of work being done, but there's plenty of cheering, chatting, and chomping on whatever is in reach. Just yesterday I was greeted with this ridiculous site when walking to my desk.

I looked, I stopped, I checked the nutrition facts, and I kept moving. I kept moving right back to my desk where I knew I had this delicious diversion waiting for me: 

My best friend turned me on to these tricky treats a few months ago, and I am very very hooked. She does a low sugar, whole wheat diet and shares a lot of her amazing treats here. While I do what I can to avoid sugar alcohols as much as the real thing, this bar is packed with a protein blend that I can agree with as well as providing an alternative to a full sugar treat without breaking the calorie bank. Seriously, I feel like I get to eat a giant Reece's peanut butter cup for lunch every day.  I keep one of these at my desk at all times in case there's a tray of cupcakes going around the office that is hard to resist. 

When I do partake in the office indulgences, I try to bring my own healthier version. For our office Halloween Party I made these Mint Fudge Babies from dates and cashews. Not everyone appreciated my ingredients list and accompanying nutrition facts, but at the end of the day there were barely any left. Take that Walmart cupcakes!

So what's the point? The point is, I'm a sugar fiend. It's a big part of me that I fight every day, and there are a  lot of days when the little cookie monster inside me wins. Today I have sweets on the brain. Probably because I started my day with 3 shot blocks and a 6 mile run. But the fight will continue until my head hits the pillow. 

And then there's tomorrow. Friday. Weekends are tough enough as it is with my boyfriend so sweetly asking me to join him for breakfast and lunch out and dinner ordered in. Tomorrow also happens to be the kickoff of what seems like a marathon of Christmas parties. You know what you can count on being at Christmas parties...

I'll give you a recap of how I fare at these sugar-laden festivities. But in the meantime, thanks for stopping by and say hello to this special guy.

You'll be seeing a lot of him. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's In A Name?

It wasn't with great measure or circumstance. It wasn't with time or deep thought. It just sort of came to me. What should I call this thing, this place where I put my thoughts, this place where you can listen if you want to, chime in, ask questions? Well, without being overly analytical (ha, that will be funny later when you learn just how introspective I can be), who am I and how did I get here? What do I do?

I run.

I'm not sure I can consider myself a runner, but I definitely run. 28-40 miles spread over up to 5 days a week, to be precise. I am 9 weeks away from my first marathon, so at the moment, I definitely run.

And what about Losing? Am I Running and Losing weight? If you had asked me that question a year ago, I think I would have said yes. We are all, after all, always watching, working, waiting to lose some weight, aren't we? (What, you guys don't keep a food log?)

But I think it's more than losing weight. I think it's trying and losing, and I think it's running straight in to the next challenge with just as much hope. My whole life I have run, run, run at full and un-maintainable pace towards whatever task is in front of me. I keep that pace until I hit a brick wall, my body shuts down, I LOSE.

I never seem to learn. I just go until I can't go any more. In work stress, in workouts, in traveling to visit friends and family, it's always the same. I can feel it build, I can feel that brick wall getting closer and closer, but I don't know how to slow down, not in time.

When I was 17, I was a Cross Country runner for my high school. I was juggling varsity sports, club soccer, honors classes and the full social schedule of any senior high school student. The state qualifying meet for Cross Country happened to fall on the same weekend of my sister's first college play. She was amazing on stage and I desperately wanted to see her performance, but I had worked so hard running twice a day for months that I really wanted the chance to qualify.

I begged my parents to let me stay home to run the meet. Even though they had never so much as left any of their kids home alone overnight, they knew this one was important to me. Under the watchful care of my best friend's family, they allowed me to stay and wished me luck in the race.

After months of Running, I was about to start Losing. With my best friend, her family, and several other friends from school there to cheer me on, I started the race strong with a sub 22 minute 5K in sight. After mile 1 I was on track and feeling strong. Somewhere between mile 1 and mile 2, that brick wall finally appeared. SMACK! Right there in my face. I stopped my race, laid on the ground for a few minutes shaking and scared, and slowly made my way to where my best friend was waiting.

She and her mom were scared. They had never seen me like this, nor had I. That afternoon they took me to a walk-in children's hospital and held my hand as I cried about the infant size needle being used to take my blood. While waiting for the blood test results, the doctor asked me about my schedule and habits. With a raised eyebrow, I could tell he had an idea. I had to admit to him that I was barely eating, I was exercising more than I should, and I was stressed beyond what a 17 year old needs to be stressed about. A few minutes later he returned to confirm, I had mono.

A lot of us have had mono. You know that feeling I'm talking about. It's as if the blood in your veins is moving in slow motion through your body. It's tiring to take a deep breath. Even thinking is draining.

I think my case would be considered moderate. I was out of school for a few weeks, off the Cross Country team and sitting out soccer games. I recovered in time and felt somewhat strong again. But ya know, I was never quite the same. My immune system took a blow that it will never forget, even though my mind and my heart have happily put it aside.

I'm a middle child to a T. I'm stubborn, secretive, and the more you tell me not to do something, the more likely it is that I will try. So I ignore that brick wall that I know is eminent. I run and run, until I lose. This is a trend I've noticed in my choices throughout most of my life. It's one that I hope to gain control of as I approach my 30th birthday. But until then, I'll keep Running and Losing.

Starting Somewhere

I guess there's no better place to start than right here. I've never been much of a journal keeper. In fact, I'm pretty awful at taking pictures and documenting what is happening in my life. I'm a bit intimidated when it comes to social media type things and technology that I don't completely understand. And I'm pretty new to the blog world. That should make this interesting...or it will make me better! Starting a blog is an idea I've tossed around for a few months. Almost two years ago my best friend started a food blog. She's done amazing things and has really inspired me to take a leap of my own. Since following her blog, I started slowly following a few other blogs until I got, well, here. I'm not quite sure of the direction or purpose, but as everything else in my life, those things will become clear in time.

There's been a heavy weight over the last few months. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but I'm pretty sure it is all somehow tied to a VERY big day coming up in May of next year. My 30th birthday (AHHHH!)

Shhhh! Don't say it out loud, then it becomes real.

I'm a little stressed about the upcoming birthday. Mostly because I always felt I would be somewhere else in life by this point. I've done a lot in my 29.5 years, but there's so much more I thought I would have accomplished by now.

For starters, I think I would like to make this a place where I explore all the excitement, adventures, and fears that are coming with this (quickly) approaching date. Even though I'm scared, I am taking BIG steps in my life right now to make that day less scary. I've already taken a few steps over the last 4 years that I'd like to share in upcoming posts: training for a marathon, my first half marathon, working with a personal trainer, committing to getting in to shape, changing my diet, a puppy, moving, a boyfriend, and a VERY big change in my life. Wait. Stop. Reverse that.

Maybe this will be just a place for me, or maybe you will like to check in now and then too. Either way, I'm sure it will be a journey and a learning process. What I can promise is lots of pictures (I am determined to get better about this!) lots of running updates, puppy pictures, and an easy/healthy recipe or two.

Thanks for stopping by!