Saturday, March 23, 2013

Travel Highlights of 2012

Today was kind of a bummer. I woke up and my foot hurt more than it has since I broke it. I must have over-done it at the gym yesterday. I was only lifting weights, but I guess I put too much weight on the foot. I decided not to go to spin this morning, even though I really wanted to.

I'm just focusing on maintaining my weight with the added burden of an injury. I'm doing this by mostly spinning and working out with my trainer. Today I will try swimming, since spin was out of the question this morning. I am also getting back on track with my eating. The biggest change I have noticed since going off Paleo is that I'm so much less alert when I wake up in the morning. I miss waking up with energy, so I've been focusing on meals with vegetables and protein, and have been saying no to bread.

Because I'm sad that my foot hurts again (I thought I was getting better) and because I'm just not feeling any weight loss topics today, I decided to do a picture recap of highlights from 2012 - an awesome year in retrospect! I'm still waiting for 2013 to get awesome. So far it has included the flu twice (once while in Aruba), a car accident, and a broken foot.

We went to Bora Bora in February. Highlights included 2 hour breakfasts sipping coffee and reading the newspaper. We also enjoyed open water swimming with sharks! I always like to do something that scares me on vacation - something that gets me way out of my comfort zone. Looking a shark straight in the eye certainly was an adrenaline rush.


I went to Las Vegas for work in April, and Ed and I took a long weekend to explore. The shows and food were amazing. I could have spent another few days whittling away money in the slot machines and stores by day and sipping cocktails by night for sure.

In October, we went to Nashville for the first Patriot's game. If you are ever in Nashville, you, must take the Redneck Tour. It was the funniest thing I have ever experienced. We had one night to bar hop on Broadway St. Each bar had live country music acts, and every band and singer we saw were of professional recording artist quality - it was like going to 10 concerts in one night. I really started enjoying country music on this trip and still listen to a song or two from the trip from time to time.


And we took family on a trip for the memory books in October. We visited Italy, Turkey, Greece, and France. I will never, ever forget this awesome trip. It wasn't touring that sights that makes this trip so memorable - it was the long dinners with family, sunsets, and wine!

We started in Rome, and then went to the island of Capri, were my great-grandparents were from.

We took a bus to the top of Europe's largest volcano, Mt. Etna, while listening to stories about how it was due to erupt any day now (it did erupt this month!).

We visited ancient cities and took lots of pictures.

We went to Ephesus in Turkey, and imagined what life would be like if we'd been born in the year 614.

We spent a wonderful day on Santorini. One of the most beautiful islands ever.

And ended our trip with a day in Paris. It happened to be the perfect fall day. Sunny, crisp, fresh air

I'd love to plan a trip right now, but where the heck can one go with a broken foot? I like to be very active on vacation so I can have a few extra glasses of wine, or some of the local specialties. I have no interest in sitting on a beach all day right now, especially after being so sick in Aruba. So, I guess we'll just keep waiting for Spring to arrive!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Back on My Game

Anxiety and Pity.  These two feelings/emotions sum up how I was feeling at the beginning of the week, due to my new injury.

I didn't know what exercise I was going to be able to do with a fractured heel spur. I was worried about being confined to the couch for 6 weeks. I also felt sorry for myself. Everyone in the world was talking about the Crossfit Open workout 13.1 and I had also just gotten excited about working out with a new group. I saw runners practicing along the Boston Marathon route which is right around the corner from our house. I saw Shamrock Shuffle 5k pictures and posts on Facebook. March is my favorite time to run outside, when the hint of Spring is in the air. I was sad that I can't do or enjoy any of these things this Spring because of a stupid jump.

I was also struggling with food and sugar a bit this week. It was my first full week off the 60 day Paleo challenge, so technically speaking, no food was off limits. Sometimes I have to realize over and over again, that sugar is truly addictive to me. We had a St. Patrick's Day potluck at work. My coworkers made all sorts of wonderful, creative, green treats. Once I had a taste of one pastry, it turned into three large servings of dessert. While moderation works so well for some, it usually does not work for me. What I should have done is altogether avoid going into the party room to see all the desserts.

I have lost 160 pounds, but I still cannot control myself when there are multiple servings of free dessert - like at a party. Something that I have learned about myself is that most of the time my success in "dieting" at a party is all or nothing. If I start eating, I cannot stop. I find it better to share a dessert at a restaurant with Ed or to go out for ice cream where you control the size/serving that you order, and when it's gone it is gone. That's why when I'm on my game, I don't eat or drink much at parties.

My routine was feeling very disrupted to say the least.

You know what the only thing that helped me feel like myself again was? A good, sweaty workout, which I finally accomplished on Thursday morning. With they okay from my doctor to bike if I didn't feel any pain, I went into the empty spin room at the gym and pushed myself through intervals until my quads were absolutely burning and I was drenched in sweat.


And since then, I'm back in the game. I know I'm going to be okay and I'm as determined as ever. And changing my routine back to spinning has actually been pretty easy. At one point in my weight loss journey I was spinning 3-4 times a week. On Saturday morning I walked into my old spin class, and my favorite teacher was so happy to see me back! I was glad to be back. I felt great all day after the class on Saturday. I can't really remember the last time I did 55 minutes of non-stop heart-pounding cardio. Well, actually I do. It was when I did Murph at Crossfit on Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we went to a Bruins game. I wanted to do something that would make Ed happy, since he had been extra sweet the week before. For example, the flight attendant and pilot got quiet a chuckle when I got off the plane from Florida in a t-shirt. It was snowing and 20 degrees in Boston that night. I had a long sleeve shirt somewhere in my suitcase but decided to dash to the car in my t-shirt. What is 30 seconds of being cold? But Ed was waiting on the other side of security and gave me his coat immediately. I didn't even know that he had parked and come into the airport to meet me. This was at 9 o'clock at night too. Deserving of a Bruins game, right?

The Bruins wore their St. Patrick's Day uniforms for practice before the game. I enjoyed the game, although my favorite sport to watch is definitely football.

I was worried about the food there. I knew I would want some wine and then M&Ms or popcorn. But after the St. Patrick's day party there was no room for any indulgences. I was happily surprised at the healthy options available. We had roast beef and fruit for lunch.


I also used my old trick of drinking coffee at sports games in lieu of alcohol. It has worked for me at Patriots games (hot coffee) and Red Sox games (iced coffee). This saves a ton of calories and also helps me keep my willpower strong against all of concessions. When I drink alcohol my inhibitions go by the wayside and I always end up eating whatever I want!


After the game we went to Barnes and Nobles. I wanted a book about the food industry. I was thinking a lot about how inundated we are with junk food. Sometimes I feel like every single place I have to go, I have to turn up junk food, which is still very hard for me. And people are making big money off of selling all of this unhealthy stuff. I found exactly what I was looking for. So far I am 94 pages into this book, and it is fascinating! I actually feel really motivated to start trying to make a difference in the area of food education, so stay tuned for more posts on this topic.

Well, it's time to go take the husky outside for a bit, even though I can't give him an actual walk. He really knows how to make me feel like a guilty puppy-mom. Here he is admiring the beautiful day that it is outside while I blog.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The good and the bad of my week

Well, the week started off well. Monday at lunchtime I took a break from work, and went outside to run near my work. I experimented with a new route, and came across this baby.

That is one nasty hill. And I ran it 3 times, no stopping. I was a bad mood, but tackling this baby, plus the invigorating fresh air, cheered me right up.

That night I went to Crossfit and tackled this monster:

8 Rounds
30 seconds on
10 seconds off (transition)

Box Jumps
Wall Balls
Kettlebell Swings

Everyone was laying on the ground after this one. I also was eating clean again so I was feeling great.

Wednesday, I was off to Florida. Boston was dreary, like it is 95% of the time in winter.

So Thursday morning's sunny run was a huge treat. It was probably 55 degrees and sunny. Not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for running. The air was fresh and crisp. And the sun! It was so nice to see the sun. And the green grass. No snow, no brown patches. All of these thing are such a novelty to a Bostonian in early March.

While I was running, Ed sent me a picture of the snow/rain they were getting in Boston.


So I sent him these pictures back.

Next up was my big sales meeting. I presented well, but had some problems with the wifi in the conference room that really stressed me out and left me to improvise in front of all of the big decision makers. I had to keep talking to myself, reminding myself not to stress about something that is out of my control.
And then Friday night...We had a nice dinner out and everything was great! And then klutzy me tried to jump over a puddle. It was probably about a 3 foot puddle between the street and sidewalk. I yelled "Hey Ed, watch this!" I took a running start and leaped over the puddle. Would have been great, but I landed on my heel and was instantly in pain. I could barely walk and I had to crawl up the stairs to get to our bedroom. This morning I went to the doctor's and learned that I fractured a bone spur on my heel.

So most likely no running for 4-6 weeks. I will know more after I see an orthopedist next week. I will have to get back into spinning and maybe give swimming another try. Last summer I strained my hamstring and couldn't run or do high impact exercises either, and I managed to maintain my weight just fine. I'm not worried about weight gain, but I'm majorly bummed about not being able pursue some exciting new workout opportunities I had planned.

I guess I will be posting about workouts that don't require you to put weight on one foot for a while.

And here is Ted, enjoying the morning sun from his cat condo.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday - the day to get ready for the week

After our walk on the beach we were all tired.

I took a 2 hour nap, and then Ed and I were ready for dinner. We went out for what turned out to be a cheat meal. Nachos, a martini, and frozen yogurt. My willpower was low from being tired, generally worn down and burned out. Not how you want to end a 60-day Paleo challenge, but I am looking at the big picture. What I do needs to work for life, and not just 60 days.

Bottoms up! It was a relaxing night for Ed and I. I really can't remember the last time we had a full weekend without any work, commitments, blizzards, or illnesses.

The next morning, I did wake up with a bit of food guilt. There's no reason for it, but it was there -- so I made a frittata with just eggs and vegetables. Total prep time of 2 minutes (veggies were precut from Wholefoods). Total cook time 20 minutes. Super easy and a great healthy start to the day.Then I planned my meals for Monday through Wednesday of this week. I will be going to Florida for a day, so I will again need to navigate the airport and hotel buffets for a portion of the week. I will bring apples and whole almonds with me, and hope I find healthy options and make good decisions for the rest.

Pre-gym snack in AM - banana

2 hard boiled eggs
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and 

Mid morning snack
Orange, sunflower seeds, sliced turkey (if hungry)

Almond slivers

Mid-afternoon snack
Peppers and guacamole, apple, sliced turkey

Spaghetti squash
Ground turkey and pork
Tomato sauce (clean, with no added sugar or chemicals)
Ground turkey with fresh salsa

And here's what it looked like when we got it all home from Wholefoods.

Looking at our food, I became extremely proud. There is no packaged food! No crackers, no cookies, no bread, no frozen meals. That's a feat itself, but I'm proud because this is my normal. This is how I eat and have eaten for about 60 days. Prior to the Paleo challenge there would have been more cheese and oatmeal in there, but it would have been similar. 3 or 4 years ago there would have been diet soda, frozen pizzas, boxes of snacks, pasta, ice cream and whatever else looked good at the store. (We still have treats, but they are not part of our weekly shopping).

This afternoon I went to the mall with my sister and then we both went to my gym for a Tabata class. It was hard, but it felt easier than last week. I guess that means I didn't push as hard. That's not surprising - I find my workouts suffer the day after I have alcohol and sugar.

We had one of my all time favorite Paleo dinners tonight - Spaghetti squash with meat sauce. We also made enough for another dinner this week.

Here are my workout goals for the week:
Monday- Crossfit in PM
Tuesday- rest day and packing
Wednesday- run 400m x 6, Personal Training in AM
Thursday- hotel-gym workout
Friday- Personal Training in AM, Fran in the PM
Saturday - Crossfit open workout #1?

My flight is scheduled to get in after 10pm on Thursday, so training at 7am on Friday is a bit of a bummer, but I've missed so many lately, I don't want to cancel. Then weighing in on Friday night stinks because I weighed in first thing in the morning to start the challenge, but I won't have any other choice.

And now it's time to start the week. Should be an interesting one between Florida and finding out what the first Crossfit Open workout is going to be. I've got to stick to eating clean this week and then I'll feel ready and up for the challenge!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I tend to go through waves or phases in my journey to maintain my weight loss. When I'm focused on my eating, I tend to workout less, or less intensely. When I'm making huge gains in my strength, I tend to feel extra hungry and cave more easily to cravings for treats - and that's okay. I try really hard to listen to my body, rather than fighting it.

The past 45 days or so I have been focused on my eating and the Paleo challenge I'm participating in. I did less 2-a-day workouts and averaged 2 rest days per week. I also had some weeks were I took 4 days off in a row (the flu is also to blame for this, twice).

I think I'm entering a new phase now though. This week was a great workout week. I have a renewed sense of energy in my workouts. I'm not sure where it came from, but I'll take it!

On Sunday night I went to a tabata class. My heart rate stayed pretty high the whole hour, and my abs were sore for 2 days afterwards. I ran twice, once before personal training, and once outside during lunch. I finally made it back to yoga and went to Crossfit 3 times.

I killed each of my workouts at Crossfit this week. One workout inluded box jumps, rowing, and handstand push-ups. I was able to push to the point where I felt nauseous and maintain that pace for the 12 minutes. 

In Thursday's workout, I got a new PR and cleaned 95#s. The WOD was only 6 minutes and 48 seconds, but I've never been so tired in my life. It was a sprint. 3 rounds of 15 power cleans and 15 burpees, for time. I collapsed on the floor for a good 2 minutes, unable to move, after I finished that one. It's amazing how you can gain more from an intense 7 minute workout than an hour of steady-state cardio. I love the feeling after Crossfit - I always feel like I achieved something.

My eating was good for most of the week. Here are a couple of my favorite healthy meals from the week.

Friday night, I was so tired. I caved and had two glasses of wine. And then I wanted birthday cake to celebrate my mom's birthday. Even though my Paleo challenge goes another week, I've mentally checked out. I'm tired of denying myself things that I want. Not a good reason to quit a week early, but it's where I'm at.

Today it was 40 degrees and not raining. We took the dogs for a walk on the beach! It was so nice to be outside and to get some fresh air! March is the best time of year. We have all spring, summer, and fall to look forward to.

Jaxson managed to get loose. His leash slipped out of my hand. Luckily he ran right into the ocean instead of taking off (he's Siberian, he does not feel cold, ever). I chased him into the freezing Atlantic, fearing he'd go too far. I had no idea, but my boots were waterproof and my feet remained dry. It was a close call though.

Now I'm resting, but hoping to do something fun later today. It's a real treat for me to have both days off this weekend, and not have any work to do. I love being on such a relaxed schedule. I should get a workout in today since yesterday was a rest day, but if it doesn't happen, that's okay too. I'm looking forward to going back to the tabata class tomorrow.