Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall running

A fast 3-mile run for me!
I have had a pretty good running week. The awesome fall weather certainly hasn't hurt.

Sunday's weather wasn't as awesome. It was chilly, which was nice, but overcast. I was feeling great and running faster than I normally do. I was attempting to run 6.5 miles (the longest I have ever run) for the first time. About half way through the run, I heard the rain hit the trees first and then the bottom fell out. Not just sprinkling, but a full on downpour. I took a shortcut back to the house and figured I might as well continue running till I got back. I was soaked!!

On Tuesday, it was speed work day...which I am not a fan of. The fastest I have ever run 3 miles in a non-race setting is 36 minutes. I am not a speedy runner by any means, but I have gotten faster. This time my goal was 34 minutes...eek! I was a little apprehensive. My comfort zone is running slow and steady, if you will. But I finished in 34:19... woo hoo! Didn't beat my goal, but I came pretty darn close. I will count that as a win!

I still had that pesky 6.5 miles I needed to get done for my 10K training. So Wednesday, it was on again. It sprinkled again and I was afraid I was going to get drenched but the rain held off! My time goal was 1 hour and 30 minutes. The last half mile was definitely the hardest, but I finished in about 1 hour and 23 minutes. 6.5 miles... check!

Now my next long run is 7 miles (double eek!) and only two weeks until the 10K! I am accepting all thoughts, prayers, meditation, etc. as I go into unchartered running territory!

Beth :o)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Healthy tips

I have lost over 50 pounds now and have made some lifestyle changes to get to that point. I thought it might be good to share some of those changes with you guys.

Here's my top 10:

1. Limit my Starbucks addiction: This had financial and waistline benefits. I was good about getting nonfat or skinny lattes. I even got the tall (or small in Starbucks lingo), but it was things like a pumpkin scone that would drag me down nutritionally from time to time.

2. Make working out a priority: Wake up, eat, change clothes and then work out. That is how my mornings typically go. If I don't workout shortly after breakfast than there is a good chance it won't happen. The same thing happened when I worked a "normal" schedule. I packed a gym bag and went directly to the gym from work.

My food so far today.
3. Keep track of my food intake: It first started with just typing up my food diary for a personal trainer that I had for a couple months. Then my resolve to do it waned after I stopped paying for the trainer. Then I wanted to ramp up my weight loss and I knew I needed to fine tune my diet. So, I found a free app My Fitness Pal which also syncs with a website (click here). You can track your food, exercise and weight loss. It helps a lot... I still use it. It helps you figure out a calorie goal and I use it to plan my meals for the day.

4. Splurge: I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it is true. Having a piece of cake every now and then won't hurt you, but the key is going back to eating healthy. Don't just say screw it and continue to eat badly because you have "screwed up" your diet for the day/week. I also say make sure your splurges are for a good reason or at least good quality. If you are craving a hamburger don't blow those calories at a fast food joint... make it worth it by getting a really good burger. Or I chose to eat a tasty mandarin orange cupcake with cream cheese frosting and eclair cake for my birthday (thanks Janet and mom!) made from scratch. I am not going to splurge on store bought sheet cake. I think splurging makes eating healthy feasible for a lifetime.

5. Healthy swaps: I eat brown rice, wheat pasta, light soy milk, ground lean turkey and use plain greek yogurt in lieu of mayo. Simple swaps in recipes make things healthier.
Overnight oatmeal!

6. Measure, measure, measure: Portion control is key - especially with calorie dense items like nuts. Almonds for instance can be a healthy snack option. I can eat several portions easily in one sitting and that is approaching 500 calories instead of the better 150 calories for a snack. Now, I break out the measuring cup every time.

7. Trying new things: My husband and I are somewhat picky eaters but we are trying our best!! I have seen recipes for overnight oats on several websites and have tried it out. I am a fan! We bought a box of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) from Trader Joe's it is on our list to make soon.

8. Food quality not quantity: Go for whole, unprocessed foods when you can. Making it from scratch may take a little longer sometimes but it is so much better for you. And you can always make ahead and freeze to make it easier on work days.

My food for one evening at work.
9. Eat more often: I eat all of the time. I am sure my family and co-workers may think I am    
ridiculous. When I leave for work I pack one meal and 1-3 snacks. It is not unusual for me to eat at least two snacks (in addition to my three meals) a day. Sometimes three if I am hungry.

10. Drink water: I don't drink enough, actually. But I always have it with me in my re-usable water bottle. Water is also calorie free!! You can definitely torpedo an otherwise good diet with sugary drinks and soda. My next food goal is cut out my one diet soda a day.

I hope this tips hope those of you out there who are trying to eat healthier and just live a healthier lifestyle in general!!

Beth :o)