Category Archives: Me!

Why I’m Not Running a Half Marathon or Marathon in 2014

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Remember when I said I wasn’t sure if I was going to run a race this year?  I finally made my decision and have decided NOT to run a half marathon or marathon this summer or fall.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make.  I’ve run a half marathon or marathon every year for the past 5 years.  I feel a little bit like I’m breaking a streak but it’s for a good reason.  With our wedding in early November I expect that I’ll be in the height of wedding planning in October.  And between now and then, we have a lot going on in life!  I really want to enjoy this time in my life.  I don’t want to be so busy that I’m ready for it to be over so I can relax.

See, I’ve tried and tried to run a race for fun.  I’ve tried to not worry about times and pace and my personal bests but every time I end up stressing out about my race.  I’m a competitor, it’s who I am.  I want to beat my PR every time and if I don’t I want to know I gave it my all and made every effort to do so.  If I know there is a finish line in sight, the competitor in me comes out in full force.

I know I could probably manage training and wedding planning if I really wanted to but I also have this knack for thinking I’m superwoman.  I think I can do it all and balance it all easily.  But then I get in the middle of it all and I get stressed out, overwhelmed, tried and ready for it all to be over.  So rather than live in denial and think I can do it all, I’m being proactive and setting myself up for success.

The Big Day!

The Big Day!

Running has been really fun and relaxing lately.  I’m excited that it will continue to be that for me and won’t add to the stress of my life or wedding planning.  I love knowing that it will help keep me calm and healthy in preparation for our wedding!

So that friends, is why I won’t be running a half marathon or marathon in 2014.

 

Sunday Morning Catch Up

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Hi Friends!  I’ve been MIA lately and missing you! Life’s been a little busy and there is only so many hours in the day which means sometimes this little blog takes a back seat.  Luckily, it’s a Sunday morning, it’s raining and we can catch up over a cup of chai tea.

I’ve been feeling so good lately when it comes to eating and workouts.  My eating habits are far from perfect and I don’t work out as much as I’d like but that’s really ok lately.  I feel like for so long I was caught up in how many workouts a week I was going to do, how long my workouts were and having a perfect combination of cardio and strength.  These days I don’t even plan my workouts, I go by the feel of the day and what sounds fun and interesting.  Some mornings I am up at 5:30am practicing yoga or going for a run.  Other days I reset the alarm, sleep in until 6:30 and go for a quick run, or do a 30 minutes barre workout after work.  The only constant these days is the 6am barre class I take down the street every Friday morning.  The variety challenges my body and helps tone my muscles, in fact I’m still losing weight and inches.  In terms of eating, we’re still loving salads and lean protein like salmon, chicken and turkey and it’s easy to stay on track with these good healthy meals.  We’re still learning and adjusting.  Some weekends we eat too many carbs or overindulge on date night but it’s ok- life is short.  I’d love to say that I drink a green smoothie everyday but that would be a lie.  Most days I do but other times I want toast with peanut butter and banana or a bowl of cereal.  It’s not perfect but it works for me!

Wedding planning has been so fun.  I don’t share our planning process and the details here as this is a space for running and yoga talk but it’s definitely a big project that takes up a good chunk of my time and truthfully keeps me from posting more frequently here.  I was a bit worried about planning our wedding.  So much so that I wanted a very small, intimate wedding of less than 50 people as I thought it would be easier to plan.  We are actually having over 100 people at our wedding but still hoping it will be intimate.  I’m so happy we’re planning a larger wedding with all the fanfare.  It’s been a really fun process so far and an experience I’m so happy to share with Michael and our families.  We just finished booking all of the major details and even booked our honeymoon!  I’m beyond excited for our big day and counting down the next 7 1/2 months with great anticipation.

The Big Day!

The Big Day!

Speaking of our wedding.  It definitely has me thinking about my race plan for the year.  You all know I typically run a marathon or half-marathon (or two) in the fall but with our wedding in November I’m not really sure I want to commit to that.  I’ve been enjoying the wedding planning process, mostly because I’ve set aside the time to plan it.  And the fall will be even busier with all the little details coming together, my bridal shower and the bachelorette party.  As, someone who thinks they can do it all, I find myself more often than not in situations where I’ve taken on too much and get stressed out.  I really don’t want to stress out about my wedding or a race.  Both are supposed to be fun.  So I’m thinking a may not run a fall race this year and enjoy this exciting time in my life.  I’m also really loving my workouts lately.  It feels so good to run for the fun and enjoyment of it, or skip a run and go to yoga or hit the barre instead.  I love the variety and the freedom to do what feels good.  What is up in the air is spring half marathon.  I’d just do it for fun, and not worry about time and PR’s.  Decisions, decisions.

On April 12th we’ll celebrate 6 months with Twila.  She’s been such a joy in our lives and makes us laugh every.single.day.  She’s so goofy and funny.  She has this little purple mouse that she plays with.  She’s always pushing it under the couch or in a closet and then comes and yells at you until you get it for her.  It’s so funny.  She’s really come around lately and been so snuggly and full of love.  I just can’t get enough.  There’s nothing better than the unconditional love of a pet.  And who can resist her silly bat ears and sweet eyes?!

Twila

Twila

I’m off to make breakfast! I’m thinking is a french toast and scrambled egg kind of morning.  Thanks for catching up with me friends! I’ll be back soon!

Tell me, what have you been up to?

Keeping Healthy with Doctor Visits

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I have a confession. I’m really bad about going to the doctor. Like REALLY bad. . In fact it’s been about 9 years since I had my last physical. It’s actually kind of embarrassing because I claim to be so healthy. But really, I think that’s why I haven’t made it a priority. I’m not overweight, I eat well, I don’t abuse alcoholic, I exercise regularly- I do everything they tell you to do. Except have regular doctor’s visits.

There’s something about getting engaged that motivated me to make doctor’s visits a priority. The biggest accomplishment for me was finding a primary care doctor and have a physical. For the first time in almost ten years. She was awesome and pretty much told me what I already knew, I’m healthy. I’ve gone on to schedule and attend all those overdue appointments. Now I’ve got 2 new inhalers, new glasses, and contacts and I feel better than ever.

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There is a certain sense of relief in visiting the doctor and hearing I am healthy. It’s also rather motivating to keep doing what I’m doing. And it kind of verifies those 5am runs and green smoothies payoff.  All good things.

They say an apple a day keeps he doctor away. Perhaps it should really be that an apple a day keeps the doctor happy? If you haven’t made doctor visits a priority in your life I encourage you to do so. It truly brings healthy living full circle and is worth every minute.  Plus, as my doctor told me, collecting data when your healthy builds a baseline that will be helpful to have as you age.

Tell me, do you make doctor visits a priority? If you don’t, why not? It’s worth every minute and it’s good for your health!

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Breakfast and Lunch

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Continuing on with this mini series on weight loss  I thought I’d share the changes I’ve made to breakfast and lunch.  Many of these changes are very subtle but they’ve certainly paid off.  I’ll also talk about carbs because I’ve definitely made some changes when it comes to those!

Breakfast has always been rather healthy for me.  I typically gravitate towards oatmeal, overnight oats, yogurt with fruit and smoothies.  I still enjoy all of those things but some more than others.  Smoothies have been a big component of our weight loss meal plan.  We started the year drinking detoxifying green smoothies everyday.  Michael really liked a combination of spinach, kale, celery, pear, cucumber, ginger, garlic and water.  I personally couldn’t deal with the garlic, it was just too much for me at 8am.  I liked a combo of spinach, kale, celery, pear, cucumber, pineapple, ginger and lemon.  It has just enough sweetness to it and it makes me feel really great.  I love playing around with different combos of smoothies and think they are a great way to use up veggies that are getting close to the end of their life.   Smoothies also did a great job of keeping me full but not stuffed.  By the time lunch came around I was ready for it!

Green Smoothie!

Green Smoothie!

Speaking of lunch, let’s discuss.  About a year and a half ago I gave my lunches a makeover.  I used to eat a sandwich, crackers, fruit and something sweet.  When I stopped training for marathons I started putting on some weight and I knew I was eating too much during the day.  Since then I’ve been eating soups, salads, or a sandwich on a wrap.  I no longer have crackers or chips, or sweets during the day.  I’ll be honest though I sometimes struggle with the sweets particularly when I’m really stressed out.  I’ve found the only cure is will power, so I just don’t eat it.  I do eat a lot of fruit.  So a typical lunch is soup or salad, a banana, and some berries.  I always have some almonds in my bag should I need a late afternoon snack but it’s very rare.  I love soup or salad because it’s just filling enough and since we make all our soups at home I know they are healthy!

Homemade Thai Noodle Soup

Homemade Thai Noodle Soup

The biggest change has really been how I view carbohydrates.  I LOVE bagels and muffins and paninis and subs.  There is nothing better than an everything bagel toasted with veggie cream cheese or a warm, cheese panini.  Clearly they aren’t the healthiest.  Here’s the thing though, I’m just not one to eliminate things.  In fact, once I eliminate it makes me want it EVEN more.  So I had to compromise.  Now I make my own muffins at home to be sure they are healthy and low-calorie, like these Banana Almond Muffins.  If I’m craving a bagel, I’ll have a half a bagel instead of a whole one.  Even then, I don’t eat bagels that often.  As for sandwiches, I really only try to have them once in a while.  If I said I had one once a week that would be exaggerating.  I make every effort to bring a healthy soup or salad from home to work so I’m not tempted to head out at lunch for Panera or the like.  We also don’t keep bread in our house.  The only bread you’ll find is a loaf of frozen ezekiel bread in the freezer which has been there for quite some time.  We do eat a lot of tortillas.  Michael loves egg sandwiches, so these days he’s been loving scrambled eggs on a tortilla.  I love waffles with almond butter and bananas, now I have a warm tortilla with bananas and almond butter.  They are delicious and I honestly don’t miss the bread or carbohydrates.

Like I said, small changes for these two meals that are really paying off.  Like I said in my last post, I’m feeling really good and definitely seeing the movement on the scale.  The most exciting part is that I’m seeing my muscles really tone up!

What do your breakfasts and lunches look like?  What changes have you made to help you lose weight?

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Dinner and Portions

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There are a lot of reasons to lose weight and there are a lot of ways to do it.  With our wedding approaching in November we decided to make this an overall healthy year.  So in January started to focus on what we were eating, how much we were eating and set out to change some habits and lose weight along the way.  I’ll be sharing some of our new healthy habits over a series of short posts.  Let’s start with dinner and portion sizes.

I grew up in a house where my mom cooked dinner every night.  We sat down as  family, talked about our days and shared a meal together.  She made everything from tacos, to shake and bake pork chops with mashed potatoes.  We always had a fresh vegetable and salad with our meals.  My mom also made pretty much everything from scratch which helped to keep our meals healthy.  Michael grew up in a similar house and together we bonded over cooking and sharing meals.  When we moved in together, cooking dinner and having a meal became a daily occurrence.  We have always tried to keep it healthy with lean protein and green veggies but we knew this wouldn’t be enough to help us shed a few pounds.

One of the first things we changed up this year was our dinners.  Michael has always struggled with GI issues, and complained that our dinners left him feeling full at night which made sleeping uncomfortable.  So we’ve started to shift to a lighter dinner.   We’ve also really focused on our portions.  For example, Wednesday night is always taco night for us.  We used to make guacamole with 2 avocados and would each eat three tacos with extra lean ground chicken.  I’d say most nights we ate 3/4 of a pound of turkey.  Now make guacamole with  1 avocado, each eat 2 tacos and have less than 1/2 a pound of meat between us.  Most other nights we have been having a salad or soup.  Salads are topped with salmon or chicken baked in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  We’ll put some butternut squash, tomatoes, cucumber, and whatever else sounds good!  We’ve always tossed our salads with a yogurt based dressing and kept it very light so we continue to do that.   Even when we order takeout I serve out my portion and then package up the remaining serving so as not to over eat or tempt myself!

Salmon over Salad with Veggies!

Salmon over Salad with Veggies!

For me the switch was really hard to adjust to mentally.  I was afraid I’d be hungry or not get enough to eat, after all I was already at a healthy weight.  And to add to that, I’ve always been a big eater.  Growing up I always had seconds, and when I was skiing in college and burning about 2,000 calories in a single workout I had seconds.  To the astonishment of those around me I could always eat and eat and still be at a healthy weight with lean, toned muscles.  Recently though, I’ve noticed I want to eat less and I’m fuller faster.  It’s likely a product of my age and activity level but had me thinking about how much I was eating on a regular basis.  The first thing I noticed when it came to eating lighter, smaller meals was that I really didn’t miss the larger portions or second helpings.  Not one bit.  I also noticed that I was sleeping and feeling better with our lighter dinners.  Michael has also been feeling much better since we’ve started eating lighter and has had less GI issues as well.  I think the greatest change is that this habit is even translating when we go out to dinner.  We order less food, order healthier options and we don’t eat our whole serving.  It’s so unlike us but goes to show how mindful eating can make a difference…a difference you can see and feel!

Over the next few posts I’ll talk about breakfast, desserts, meal prep and more!  All of these changes are really making a difference for us.  And the positive results make us want to continue our healthy habits!

How do you monitor your portions at dinner?  Does mindful eating  help you keep your portions smaller?