Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 2


I did day 1 of C25K. Again. I figure since I'm doing this 30 day challenge thing, I might as well see if I can get further than Week 1 in Couch to 5K. As I've mentioned before, we live right near this lovely path that is a little more than a 5K round trip. It's nice to get out in the fresh air, even when it's cold. The bonus of working out in the morning in the winter is that it warms me right up.

So I'm thinking about ending my membership at the Y and possibly joining the Gold's Gym down the street. We moved in July and I think I've made it to the Y maybe twice since then. Jason hasn't been at all. Kind of a waste of money. I have plans to go, but every time I think about getting in my car and driving over, I decide I don't want to and hit the path instead. We used to live across the street from the Y and I just walked over. We only live a couple miles away now, but it's a long stretch of road with several lights, past a busy coffee shop and highish traffic area, and is kind of a pain. On the other hand, the Gold's is literally just down the street. I could easily walk there if I make the time.

My main reason for sticking with the Y is that it has a pool. However, I haven't swum laps since probably May. Gold's does not have a pool so if I quit the Y I would be completely shutting down that option for myself. There aren't many gyms in Providence with a pool. But does it make any sense to keep the pool if the distance is preventing me from going at all?

That said, I haven't even checked out the Gold's yet. I've just driven by, and while it looks pretty nice, it may be full of meatheads and not really have an atmosphere I want to work out in. Jason and I are mulling this over.

Monday, November 29, 2010


My friend Deborah gave me an awesome birthday present on Thanksgiving: a Fitbit. (Actually, both my and her birthdays were in October, but we haven't seen each other since then.) Deborah got herself a Fitbit awhile ago and I thought it was the coolest thing. It tracks your steps, miles walked/run, calories burned based on your BMR and activity level, and sleep. You wear it on a wristband at night and it tracks your sleep patterns.

Last night was the first night I wore it and it told me what I already knew about my sleep patterns: I sleep like a rock and barely move. Jason's cover-stealing accusations are completely unfounded.

As a bonus, it is teeny. It's so easy to clip on anywhere (like the middle of your bra, for example) and it doesn't show (so long as you're not wearing your hoochie-wear that day, I suppose).

For a numbers junkie like me, this is such a perfect little toy. The information automatically uploads to my computer and I can access the website from anywhere. The website also has a place for you to enter in your food eaten, but I already have a huge self-entered database on SparkPeople and I'm not about to switch now. However, one of the Fitbit gurus on the message boards had a good idea: enter my entire day's nutrition info in at the end of the day as one big food item. That way I can see the calories I'm eating compared with my BMR, plus my steps and activities all in one place. I love the numbers!

30 Day Challenge: Day 1

Today was the first official day of my self-imposed 30 Day Challenge. In case you've forgotten, that's 30 minutes of activity per day for 30 days. I sort of started on Saturday, though I'm not going to count it toward the 30-day total. On Saturday morning, Jason and I went for a walk to explore the big pretty cemetery near our house. You may think that's odd, but New England has lovely garden cemeteries that are so nice to ramble in. It's so interesting to read all of the headstone and think about the people buried there. There were a lot of Civil War veterans in this one. Yesterday, I went for another long morning walk before church.

I was going to get up and go for a walk/run this morning, but getting to bed too late nixed that. Note to self: watching X-Files DVDs is not vital to my mental and physical health. Exercise is.

So I went for a 45-minute walk on my lunch hour, and I'll be walking up the hill to fetch my car from Jason after work so I can run a few errands. His car is in the shop so he has mine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This morning my boss came in and told me about a New York Times magazine article he read about controlling epilepsy through a high fat diet. He said the kid in the article eats bacon and cream and meat, which is when our secretary commented that he's going to have such bad heart disease when he gets older. To which I responded, "Actually fat doesn't cause heart disease. Carbs do."

This initiated a conversation between me and my boss about low carb and I told him I started restricting my carbohydrates again as of Saturday. I recommended the Fat Head movie and told him how Jason verified the science was right on. I told him I'm not eating sugar or grains and he said he eats whole grains. To which I responded, whole grains spike insulin just as much as refined grains. It was kind of funny how I just couldn't let our secretary's comment slide like I have when other people have made similar comments. I had to say something. I guess I've become a true believer.

After my boss left my office, I looked up the article he was talking about. The thing that I find sad is how much Sam, the little boy in the article, struggles with the way he eats. I can understand it being difficult at school and at friends' homes, but the author notes that neither Sam's parents nor his twin sister eat the way Sam eats. Of course, they believe Sam's diet is incredibly unhealthy, but given what I've learned about restricting carbohydrates, Sam's diet is actually just an extreme version of a healthy way to eat. I feel bad for Sam, who has to watch while his parents and twin sister indulge in the carbs he knows taste so good. It's too bad the whole family couldn't break their carb habits together.

I'm sure there is a huge difference in Sam's perception of what he eats, compared to the children of low carbers like Tom Naughton of Fat Head or Sarah at Everyday Paleo or all the other low-carb people out there with kids. They are teaching their children that not eating a lot of carbs is a healthy way to eat, and teaching them to enjoy their food, while Sam is being taught that the only reason he's eating this way is because he has a disease. Sam probably perceives this way of eating as a punishment because he's sick, and I'm sure if the epilepsy wanes when he gets older, he'll be eating carbs with the rest of his family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fitness Challenge: 30 Minutes for 30 Days

I totally just went public with this on Facebook so there's no turning back now!

I'm starting a fitness challenge on Monday, November 29. 30 minutes of activity for 30 days. Activity can be anything - cardio, weights, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, push ups, lunges, cross fit, etc.

I just need to do something to get in gear and make a habit of being active again. I had grand plans to work out both yesterday and today in the mornings, but sleep won. I'm just not motivated right now to get out there and move, even though I know I will love it once I do it. It's convincing myself of that at 6 AM that is providing to be difficult.

I realize this challenge encompasses Christmas, but if nothing else, I can walk loops around my parents' apartment complex for a half hour.

In other news, I'm still doing well on the food front. No sugar and no grains for 4 days now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sugar Stop

So without making any big fanfare about it, I finally went off sugar (and wheat) this past weekend. I've been hemming and hawing for awhile (as evidenced by the last 20 or so posts on here), but I weighed myself Saturday morning and was absolutely horrified by the number. Just awful.

I knew my clothes were tight, but I didn't really want to admit how far I had let it go. I determined that Saturday morning I was turning over a new leaf, and that began with weighing myself and facing the brutal honesty of the digital scale. I'm really disappointed in myself, actually, and frustrated with the knowledge of all the work I'll need to do to get back to my weight of a few months ago, and then I still have 25 pounds I want to lose.

It's amazing what a number like that can do for my motivation, though. I went to a 3-hour long church function on Saturday, and at the end they brought out giant trays of cookies for all of the participants to munch on. (When they had said they would have refreshments at the end, I was hopeful that maybe there would be a veggie tray or a fruit bowl mixed in with the junk I knew was coming. Nothing healthy as far as the eye could see). I was starving by that point, but I can honestly say, I didn't want a cookie at all. So different from my point of view these last few months.

Jason went shopping Saturday and bought some dark chocolate mints for us to share. He said he knew I was trying to be good, but one wouldn't kill me. I decided to try one and it didn't taste that great, actually. I didn't want any more. I think last week I would have popped them in my mouth anyway, even if they did taste like they had been in the box too long.

What is my problem that is it so easy for me to slip into mindless eating?

Today I am at work with veggies and protein and a bit of fruit. I chopped a lot this weekend, and planned for the coming days. I've also planned our meals and am determined to stop our trend of getting take out several times a week because I didn't plan and we're both too tired to cook when we get home. Must remind myself: the crock pot is my friend.

I know this is a strange time to start, what with Thanksgiving coming up. However, I needed to start eating better, and after the holiday I can just pick up again. I actually found a great recipe for a low-carb pecan crust, and ran some experiments this weekend on pumpkin pie fillings with no sugar. Stevia was a no go - it tasted sweet when I put it in the oven, but came out tasting horrible. Agave nectar was the winner, though I'm not really sure what the current low-carb thoughts are on agave nectar. I'll need to research that a bit. I also substituted coconut milk for the evaporated milk and it added a nice flavor. Right now, the only really high carb things on the Thanksgiving menu are sweet potatoes (which I make with a pecan topping) and stuffing. If I don't overdo those, I think I can keep this Thanksgiving pretty reasonable.