Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is why I don't own a scale...

A few months ago, I decided to live without a scale. I do weigh myself from time to time at the gym, but I base my progress on how I feel and how my clothes fit. Lately, I have been feeling good and feeling like I was making a lot of progress. My clothes definitely are bigger in all ways. So, when I went to the gym yesterday, I jumped on the scale. From what I remember from the last time I weighed, it said I was 2 pounds heavier. WTH? It just didn't make sense.

Then I proceeded to let it ruin several hours of my day. I can try as hard as I can not to let it get to me but that damned scale effects my self esteem...AND that is just wrong. Now, who knows why the scale was up two pounds? Who knows if it even was up two pounds? I only am thinking I remember what it said last time I weighed in. It is a public scale so who knows how accurate it is. 

BUT even if I did gain two pounds, does that mean that all the effort I have been putting is for naught? Does it mean I am failing on my journey to health? Do I really need to let it impact me as it does? No...I need to realize that I need to keep on my journey and know that results are measurable in so many more ways, such as the fact that one of the hottest days of the years, I completed a 5K or the fact that my clothes are getting so big on me I really need to invest in some new ones (or at least dig out more from my closet) or the fact that I am actually planning on training for a half marathon or the fact that I used an 88 pound bell for two-hand swings in class the other day. There are so many good things that are happening right now. I will focus on those. I do not need a scale to tell me what I am worth.

On the reintroduction side, I kind of screwed up and need to retest eggs. Bummer I know but I will fix it. I did test white potatoes and really was cranky after eating them and starving all day. I also woke up with thick ankles. So I am thinking they do have an impact on me. Now I am on to tomatoes. We will see.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Now it is time for potatoes!

Potatoes are a produce that I am a bit ambivalent about. I am not totally sure that they will be a part of my lifestyle going forward but I do want to test them. Lately, I have found myself preferring yams and sweet potatoes over the old russett or yukon gold.So, today I will test them and see how it goes. 

By the way, if there is anyone reading this, I just want to say that I made the decision to train for a half marathon. The half is in December so I have lots of time to train plus it is in Vegas, which should be fun. It is also at a much lower altitude (1800 versus the 6000 I live at), so I am anxious to see if my stamina and pace improves. I can't believe I am saying this but I am actually quite excited about it. So, I start my official training July 2nd, which will be done in combination with training for the stadium climb. Fun times!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eggs eggs eggs

Today is day one of the reintroduction phase and I got to eat eggs! I know I am a little too excited about having eggs again but it has been FIVE weeks! I actually never ate a lot of eggs because I believe the hype that "eggs were bad for you." I would often buy the cartons of egg whites and use those. I thought I was doing the "right thing" to be healthy. 

This has changed in the last six months or so. I have started primarily eating whole eggs. I have discovered that I actually like them. I like them in many forms, boiled, scrambled, fried. The yolk of an egg is a delectable sauce over sauteed Brussels sprouts. It is one of my favorite breakfasts.

So far there has be no reaction. I feel fine. No rashes can be seen. None of the other "symptoms" that I am looking for are appearing. I have to see if there is a delayed reaction tomorrow but I am very hopeful that eggs will be a part of my lifestyle into the future.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Last Day of the Cleanse and other random things

I made it through these past five weeks without a lot of problems. Sure, I missed my eggs. Sure, it made eating with friends a bit difficult. Sure, I craved an ice tea from time to time. Sure, it took a lot of effort. But I made it through. Tomorrow, the learning phase begins. I will now start adding foods in and listening to how my body reacts to a particular food. (More details here.) It is still going to take a lot of effort because I am slowly adding foods in. I do hope to learn something from this process. Actually, now that I say that, even if my body doesn't react to anything, that is something I will learn from the process.

This weekend I am attempting to run another 5K. We will see if I can run the whole thing and not need to walk/run this time. I guess I need to get over the fact that I may need to walk a bit of it and just be proud that I am out there doing it but it is hard. I can easily run 3 to 3.5 miles on my own but somehow that hasn't quite translated into running an event. I know it is a mental challenge more than anything at this point. I am not quite sure how to get over that but I am working on it.

I am also training for the stadium stair climb. This weekend I went up and down my basement stairs 110 times for a total of 3,080 stairs. The stair climb in July will be around 3,980 steps. That will be a major challenge but I feel like I am up for that. I know that people will look at me and think I can't do it but I will. I will do it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 34 -- only three days left and a bit of a rant

Three days from now I will start the reintroduction phase of the cleanse. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. I can't believe I have gone more than 30 days without caffeine. It hasn't been the easiest thing, especially considering most of my favorite dishes have some sort of pepper spice (cayenne, paprika, etc.) in them but I am managing.I am looking forward to the reintroduction phase to see if I learn anything new about how my body reacts to certain things.

Now on to the rant portion -- I recently read a blog by another blogger. In it, she was discussing how magazine touted the miracle diets and such. Now that she is following a primal lifestyle, she was so happy that she was not on the look for the next diet to help her achieve her goals.  All of that, I do agree with her points. I too am happy and healthier with my new lifestyle. I am very happy about that.

The point that I did not like about her blog was that she said something like diets don't always fail, people fail. This is where I take exception. I got so tired of people saying to me that "if you are working the program, it will work." I was following the directions given to me by so many diets -- Weight Watchers, calorie counting, carb counting, etc. BUT nothing worked. I felt like a failure and had so many blows to my ego as I went through this part of my life. Why didn't it work for me? What was I doing wrong?

The truth is that I WAS NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. (I needed to put that in all CAPS for my benefit.) It was the diet that was wrong. It was the whole concept of "diet" that was wrong. I needed to change my lifestyle more than I needed another diet. I am glad that I have come to this realization and gained this knowledge before it was too late (not that I think it is ever "too late" to change). I am now in control of my life and my body. I am learning to listen more carefully to my body for the cues that it is giving me about things. I feel empowered by what I have learned over the past six months (or longer). I know I will reach goals that I have set for myself. It just may take time but I am already a success story based on how much I have changed to this point and how much I am looking forward to the future! I am already a success because I didn't let the diet mentality that failed defeat me.

Success is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Arbitelle

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 32 -- Planning the reintroduction phase

After Monday, I will start reintroducing foods into my diet. During this time, I will introduce a food every other day and watch for body signals that there is something about that food that does not sit right with me. Each time I introduce a food, I will eat it three times during that day (unless of course there is an immediate reaction). The types of things I am watching for are:
  • headaches
  • brain fogginess
  • skin breakouts
  • gas/bloating
  • mood changes
  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • congestion
  • diarrhea
 A reaction can either be immediate or delayed, which is why I will wait a day between adding a new food in. I will be testing a lot of things, just to have the knowledge of how my body reacts to certain foods. Some of the foods I will only be testing to test and NOT to add back into my lifestyle. So, I will be testing soy and gluten as well as other grains and legumes. BUT once they are tested, I will be removing them from lifestyle again.

The order I am contemplating for the testing phase (items in red are only for testing) is as follows:
  1. eggs
  2. potatoes
  3. tomatoes
  4. tomato sauce
  5. quinoa
  6. peppers
  7. another non gluten grain (possibly buckwheat) 
  8. yogurt
  9. cheese
  10. milk
  11. corn
  12. beef
  13. beans
  14. nuts
  15. wheat
  16. eggplant
  17. soy
  18. alcohol (maybe)
Also, during this time, I can add back in caffeine and pork products (welcome back, bacon!) as I want to do so. They are not items that are tested. I am not sure when I will be adding either back into my lifestyle but I know I will at some point. 

This whole testing phase will take more than a month but it will be well worth it. I may be changing the order a bit but I want to be careful about it and really listen to my body. As you can see, I am trying to break up foods that I will not be eating long term and those that I really do want to reintroduce into my diet. I will definitely be posting about each reintroduction and what I am learning from all of this.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 31 -- Eating meat and how other things have changes

As of yesterday, I am done with the detoxification phase of the cleanse, which means I get to eat meat again! Of course, I am not yet able to eat beef as that will be reintroduced after the cleanse is completed but at least I can consume chicken, turkey, and fish. I was very happy yesterday when I could have ground turkey with my spinach, yam and jicama hash. I savored the flavor. Later I had chicken in my salad. I was very satisfied with my meals.

Also yesterday I treated myself to a spa day (actually, Tim helped by forcing me to schedule it). This is where I am realizing how things are changing in my life. It was a bit over a year ago that I had my first massage. Before than, I thought I was in a strange minority that just did not like to be touched, especially by strangers. I know a lot of it had to do with how I viewed my body, or more accurately, how I thought others viewed my body. When I was on a spa vacation that was all about letting go of who I was and experiencing life, I actually had that massage....and loved it. I was able to ignore those voices that were telling me what it perceived others were thinking about me. Since then, I have had several massages at various places and have loved most of them. Heck, I have even had male masseurs without too much angst. BUT I have usually had my socks on during these massages. Yep, as crazy as it is, I just couldn't get beyond letting these professionals touch my feet.

Well, yesterday, the spa package included a massage, a facial, a pedicure and a manicure. The idea of a pedicure scared me. I wasn't sure I would go through with it BUT I did and I LOVED it. In fact, in the massage session, it was a focused massage on first my feet and then on my shoulders and back. Yes, on my feet first....and it felt wonderful! During the pedicure, it was a sugar scrub and a hot stone massage on my feet and calves. So wonderful. I may even like pedicures BETTER than massages.

Over the past few years, I have definitely improved my physical health but the changes in my mental and emotional well being are becoming more and more apparent. There are times that I look in the mirror and I still see myself in the same spot I started but my mind knows I am not. I know that I have come a long long way. I can't wait to see what the future brings!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 29 -- Let me just state for the record...

I have no desire to ever be a vegetarian. Sure, I don't mind a vegetarian meal or even a day but I will not ever be a vegetarian long term. It is especially hard when you are not eating legumes or grains or most nuts. So, I guess if I was eating those items, I would find being on a vegetarian diet a bit easier...but thankfully today is my last day! Tomorrow I can eat fish! Tomorrow I can eat chicken! Tomorrow I can bison!

Yea, I am excited about that...maybe a little too excited? Fortunately, I have discovered a few recipes that have made it tolerable to be on a vegetarian diet. Yesterday, Tim made me a butternut squash soup that I will be eating throughout today to complete this phase of the diet. The day before he also made me a jicama hash, which was delightful. So, by the time today ends, I will have finished this detoxification step of the cleanse and I will be happy!

Today is the first day of a week's vacation for me. Yesterday to kick off the vacation, I went to a yoga/meditation retreat. It was the first time I actually enjoyed yoga. The meditation portion was helpful as well. I realized, after speaking with the instructor, that my method of meditating while I am walking or swimming is definitely beneficial. I don't need to sit in a corner in an awkward position to be meditating. 

I ran a 5K this morning with Tuff and walked a couple of kilometers with Katie. It was a lovely morning, even with the smell of a forest fire quite a bit north of here in the air. Tomorrow I have a spa day and am looking forward to that as well. I am not sure what else the week will bring but it is going to be relaxing.

"Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation. " -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Saturday, June 9, 2012

DAY 27 -- Start of "Bring the spa to Lynn" week

First, let me tell you that not eating meat is hard. I am so glad that I only have a couple of days left. Then I get to add back in fish and chicken and some other meats. I am finally in the home stretch as after the two days of being vegetarian, I will only have a week left before I get to to start adding things back in. Believe me, the first thing I will be adding back is eggs. I really am hoping that I will not have a reaction to eggs. I am going to think about the schedule that I am going to add back in items and post it soon. I want to do this correctly because I want to learn more about how my body reacts to inflammatory foods.

Next week I am on vacation. I was to go to the spa but after extra car expenses, the spa is out of question for right now. Tim decided that it was going to be "Bring the Spa to Lynn" week. That is, he planned some things for me to do during the week. I know that I want to go Red Rocks to do the stairs. I am going to the spa for a day. We are going to go ride the Royal Gorge train. I plan on working out a lot. And tomorrow I go to a yoga/mediation retreat for the day.

I need to think about the schedule for the week. I plan on doing that tonight. It will be a nice week off. I also hope to do some yard work that I never seem to have time for during the week. The dogs will get lots of walks and runs. I am also going to watch Firefly if it is on Netflix. All in all, a good week will be had. Of course, I will miss the spa and views like this.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 24 -- It's National Running Day!

And I did go out for a run of 2.25 miles. I was only going to go for 2 miles but I decided to do a bit more. It still amazes me that I am sticking with running and that I know think of 2 miles as a short run. A few years ago I never would have imagined that I could run for any distance without dying. Now I am a runner. I like to run. Some days I love to run. One of my reasons for getting more fit is to be able to run faster. But just because I am slow, it doesn't stop me. I run.

I like being out on the pavement, alone with my thoughts. I like to feel the sweat drip down my face. I like to hear my Garmin beat as it counts down the 1/4 mile intervals I have it set at. I like to hear the bird chirp. I like the sun in my face. I like to watch my dogs when something catches their eye. I laugh when Tuff pushes at me when we are walking instead of running. I only wish I could run as fast as he would like me to run.

Some John Bingham quotes about running that I have so appreciated:

"It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination." 

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." 

"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate." 

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 23 -- No meat for a week and stair climbing

Yes, as of today, I will not be having any meat in my diet. This is considered the detoxification phase of this portion of the cleanse. I will be consuming the protein powder three times a week so I will be getting sufficient protein but I will only be eating vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. It is during this time I may include some white rice into my diet. I am still not sure but if I find I need to do so, I will.

I am also prepping for the stair climb in July. I am going to see how many steps (both up and down) I can do this week and then challenge myself to increase it the next week. Last night I did a total of 1,540 steps (55 flights up and down). I will do steps again on Wednesday.

I am also going to bite the bullet and sign up for the next 5K. I was disappointed that I did not run the entire 5K last time but I will not give up. I can and will do this at some point.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -- Winston Churchill

Monday, June 4, 2012

day 22 -- Tomorrow starts the real work...

Starting tomorrow, I will be only eating vegetables and fruit for a week. My protein will be in the form of the protein powder I am using on this cleanse. A whole week with meat is very daunting but I will do it. I want to get through this cleanse and then start adding things back in to see how I feel. I am quite serious about the process. All in all, it has been easier than expected, mostly because I gave up grains at the beginning of the year and I didn't have to go through that withdrawal.

My focus will be on veggies I like and not just eating salads. I will get lots of kale and/or chard as well as asparagus and broccoli. It will be a good week.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 20 -- Photo blog

Let's go for a walk!
I can't believe it is already day 20 of the 35 (or is it 36) day cleanse. It has been going well, even with all the stress over the past couple of days.

Today is a recovery day so I decided that I would share with you some of the things I see on my walk/run time. I am fortunately to live very close to a local bike/run/walk path. While I am rarely that far from houses, I do fool myself into thinking it is more isolated than it really is. So here are some photos I took along my walks today.

First the bridge. We cross this bridge multiple times on run days as I follow strange paths on my runs to get my distance in. One day we startled some mule deer that were under the bridge....well, they startled us as they crashed about under it.

Fun with shadows

The creek below the bridge. Not much water running right now.
The following are just random photos of the path.
Another view of the creek.
I will admit that I am always a little nervous through this area of the path.

We also go along a dirt road the runs out of the north end of our neighborhood. There used to be lots of horses in the fields around there but we haven't seen them all year.

 More sights along the way
Hawk kept an eye on us
Hawk in flight
We see a lot of bugs

Not many wildflowers but lots of weeds

Where have all the horses gone?

 My favorite two sights on my walk/runs.