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Are You What You Eat?

They say you are what you eat. Who they are, I have no idea, but that is what they say.   If that was true, I might just be a bowl of ice cream.  I’ve been thinking about this and know that I do need to be better with what I eat. I’m not getting any younger. I am technically bordering on obese as far as weight charts go (shut up)  and most of all I am trying to be overall healthier in my lifestyle.

My goal right now is just to eat better. Although I am not a bad eater, I could and should be better. I have been eating Pescatarian for a while now. There is no specific date that I can point to as it was a gradual transition. My son came home from college earlier this year as one. So while cooking for the family, I began to cook more meals for the family or a separate for him. Cooking for one is hard, so usually by default I would eat what he ate.

Then during this whole pandemic there were stories on the news about meat packing plants and I saw some video footage that really got me thinking about what I was eating. I am only telling you this not to sway anyone, but as part of my story. I know several people who go out of their way to shame people to eating their way and that is not me. I find that really annoying. I readily cook meat for the meat eaters of my family. During this time, I also joined 2 local CSA’s for my fruits and veggies and have been trying to get away from processed foods.

But on this quest to eat pescatarian, I also had to learn to cook this way. This woman can not live on tofu and salad alone. I realized that when you can’t depend on meat to bring the wow factor to your meal, you have to expand your horizons a little So as we move forward, I will share some of my adventures in cooking.

Yesterday, I made Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry. I must emphasize that my foray into cooking Indian Food which I have been doing more of is that not only do I not have a high spice tolerance, but I have not really eaten or know much about it. Luckily there is not only the internet but I have friends willing to share their knowledge. When it comes to cooking though, I have never been afraid to try new things (ok, that’s a lie because macrons still scare me). This one reminded me of a stew and I will say that since I’ve since made a few curry dishes, I felt comfortable playing with the recipe to make it my own somewhat.

My favorite pot to make big meals like this in! Le Creuset Dutch Oven (if you don’t have one, get one!)

The first thing I realized when cooking the Indian dishes and vegetarian dishes as a whole….. the prep work. When cooking with fresh veggies there is lots of chopping. This recipe though was a nice mix of canned, frozen and only chopping was onions which always make be cry and the sweet potato’s. Since I did go rogue on this recipe, I also chopped plantains adding them shortly after the sweet potatoes began to soften.

Giving credit where credit is due…. this is the recipe I used as my base: http://Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

 

Changes that I made….. As mentioned above, I added cut plantains once sweet potatoes softened and I doubled recipe except for chickpeas. I also used 2 cans of crushed tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes because I didn’t have diced tomatoes. So this made it more stew to me. I also used mixture of creamed coconut and coconut milk. Again, I was going for more of creamy strew to go over my rice.

My family is obsessed with the Naan bread and I made a double batch. Even my son who does not eat the curry will eat the Naan because why not?

Then when it ready to eat, I put over some white rice and viola….. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (although there was no lemon).

What was nice about this is today after my 6 mile walk, I made a big bowl of this to replenish myself with and it was perfect. Much better and healthier option than what I might normally eat after a run. Plus can’t beat benefit of sweet potatos and spinach.

 

 

Be Kind…. Even to Yourself

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we always put ourselves down? Why don’t we treat ourselves the way we treat our friends? Why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?

Inquiring minds want to know!

As with everyone, I am in a few group message chains with my friends. These forms of communication are even more important now when you can’t see your friends. In one of these groups recently, we were all saying all the bad but very tasty things we were eating that we shouldn’t be. Then how we needed to get on track. On and on….. You know this conversation because I’m sure you’ve had these converstions.

(Sidebar – Do ONLY women have these conversations? Seriously. Although my husband has said to me about getting back on track, I don’t think he discusses with his fishing or work buddies. Maybe I’m wrong. Am I? )

Anyway after this conversation where we were all beating ourselves up about gaining weight, not loosing weight, and our bad eathing habits I started to think…..

This particular group was a bunch of running Mamas. Some are still running and training for virtual marathons. Those of us not running are still active. We are not sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day even during a pandemic.

A wise friend said, “Life has been extra nuts lately right ? Eat the damn cake chocolate pie cookie ..drink the wine beer pizza whatever …and more importantly be kind to ourselves”

Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?

If a friend calls us and tells us they totally blew their diet, blew through their Weight Watcher points, or gained weight; we would come back to them with a kind word (at least I hope so!). We would not berate them. We would not tell them they were hopeless. We would not tell them they blew it. We would reply that it’s ok. That tomorrow is another day. That each day is hard enough without beating themselves up. We would be kind.

So lets be kind to ourselves. Let’s start by treating ourselves the way we treat our friends. Let’s start by giving ourselves a break. Let’s start by knowing that it’s ok to eat the donut, eat the cake, and even eat the brownie but just maybe not in the same night. And if for some reason, we do eat them all in the same night to pick ourselves up the next day and say it’s ok. We will do better.

Here is another thing. As a woman of a certain age, it is pretty damn hard to loose weight. Hormones are all over the place. Metabolism is non existent. Then add no thyroid and a non working parathyroid glands and it is perfect storm of impossible weight loss.

Seriously.

No joke.

No lie.

Now I am by no means saying it is impossible to loose the weight. I am just saying that I am not committed enough right now to engage in trying to the extreme necessary. And while I may eat the donuts, the cake, the treats for the most part I really am not a bad eater. I eat a fairly healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables For right now, I have embraced a pescatarian diet. I don’t really eat much processed foods. I’ve dieted. I’ve trained and run marathons. On paper, I look good. On the scale is another story.

My sister has suggested that I talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Truth be told, I take so many pills a day because of my Hypoparathyroidism that the thought of adding to the mix is just tiresome. So I am at a loss and I really do not feel the need to go to extremes as I have maintained where I am for the last 3 years since my surgery when I added these extra 20 pounds.

Now please don’t take this to mean that I have given up. I haven’t. I am not sure when yet, but I will once again start tracking my food. This actually is more for when I go to the doctors for my physical so that we can discuss it. Although my doctor is not one to use the scale as the be all indicator of health. If your doctor isn’t, I would say find one!

Now with all this being said, I am not saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. I’m just saying for right now….. With all that is going on in the world…… It is just not my priority. I am not saying it won’t one day in the near future, but for today I am content to walk my mile a day and complete my 30 day yoga challenge.

I’m Ok, Are you?

I admit that I have not yet seen Brittney Runs a Marathon…. YET!

I admit that I love the trailer! I can’t wait to see it and am planning a girls night out with my Moms Run This Town Running friends. Runners LOVE, LOVE, LOVE running stories…. We love to watch them. We love to read about them. We love to tell them. I can’t wait for this movie.

It looks very cute to me. Maybe a little bit like your typical rom com type movie, but with a running twist. Since I love running stories and also rom com’s this seems like a win win situation. I must also admit that per the trailer it reminds me a bit of me. I still remember after turning 40 when I told my husband that I was going to sign up for a Sprint Triathlon after not doing any type of exercise for years and his response was….. “Well maybe you should get off the couch first” but in a loving way. Besides it’s all good and they don’t call the program I used the Couch to 5K for nothing.

Anyway,   very excited about this movie and then I read a Runner’s World article (What ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Gets Wrong About Running While Fat)…..

Hmmmm…..

I’ve been dealing with this since I started running.   I started running to get back into shape.   To take my life back after birthing 3 babies.    When I started my youngest was in Kindergarten and I claimed it the Year of Me.   And while I did get into shape, I did not necessarily look like I got into shape.    I did initially loose weight, but after my thyroid surgery I gained 20 pounds.   It is what it is.

I am healthier  (not counting the whole Hypopara thing)

I am more fit.

I no longer get winded going up the stairs.

I have more endurance (remember I was able to run a 50K running for 7 hours)

Yet……

With all of this every year when I go to my doctors for my annual physical, she looks at the numbers.

Cholesteral – Really good

Blood Pressure – Awesome

Health Questionare – great answers

Weight – What the Hell

I switched doctors once after my previous one told me that “a women your age, should have small breakfast, salad for lunch, and a protein shake for dinner since metablalism slows as you age.” Yeah, I get that whole metabolism thing stopping, but No thank you. Besides, it’s really hard to train for a marathon if you are not properly fueling.

My current doctor at least looks at the whole picture. She knows the numbers don’t tell the full story. Plus my weight minus the bump after my surgery has pretty much remained stable. On top of that…. Have you seen has muscular my legs are? lol

Told you:)

Here is the thing…. Would I like the number on the scale to be lower?   Sure.   I’m not going to lie.    Does that mean I am unhappy with myself?   Not really.    I don’t let my weight define me.   It is what it is and I’m ok with that.   If I wasn’t, I would do something about it.   So what I would say running has done for me is to give me the confidence to know (for me at least) size doesn’t matter.    And for anyone who will judge me personally, professionally, or in my running by my size……

Well they probably aren’t someone I would be hanging out with anyway

Be Where You Are

And so it begins…..

I am committed to this.   I am all in.   It’s only been going on day 2 of the DASH diet and it sucks.   It’s not that I’m not eating yummy foods or even enough of them.   I am.   It’s the breaking my body from the unhealthy choices.    After this rest stage it will be easier and it will be better.   It helps that I lost a pound.   They do say that it is ok to weigh yourself every day in the initial reset stage as it will give you motivation.   This one missing pound is keeping me strong and I’m hoping that he takes many of his friends with him these next few weeks.

On top of eating better, I have been consistent with my training going on my second week now.   I’ve done some cross training, outside running, indoor biking, and even some treadmill running.   It’s just keeping my eye on the prize…..   The prize right now is getting my stamina back.   Feeling like I can do this again.  Feeling like I know what I’m doing.   One day at a time.   One workout at a time.

Here is one thing that I noticed today….

Ego and pride need to be checked at the door.   They serve no purpose and only hold you back.   I knew that today that I wanted to do a 5K on the treadmill today.   I wanted to run it faster than I have been running and use this indoor running time as a speed workout.    Here is where it gets dicey…. Speed workouts today are not where they were before.  It also doesn’t help that my body is adjusting to lower medication, so I could feel that I needed my cal-ez today.

My ego today wanted me to go full force.   I figured that if I had a calcium crash at least I would be at a public place:)   Luckily, I checked my ego.    Now this is not to say that I didn’t push myself because I did.   I just did it smartly for where I am today.    You can’t live in the past and you only have the day before you.  So today, I warmed up with a brisk walk and then took the treadmill up to 5.5 which is now really fast for me.   Then at the beginning of every mile, I would walk again in the beginning of each mile.   It helped me count down the miles too.  Then I sprinted the last part of the 5K.    My heart rate was up.   I was sweating.   It was a good run.

Run where you are, so that you can get to where you want to be.

One day at a time.

One Run at a time.

This is so true in all that we do..  Often we focus on where we used to be or where we are going that we forget to just enjoy where we are.   I’m trying.   I encourage you to try to.

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I’ve Got a Feeling

You know that feeling that you get when you are so tired of being sick and tired.   I’m kind of there right now.   Some of it out of my control, but a lot in my control.   I can choose to eat healthier.   I can choose to do nothing which is kind of where I have been recently or I can choose to do what I can to be healthier.   While training will be different this time around, I know what to do and I know that I can do it.

While I am not officially starting a program till January, I am trying to start getting back into healthier habits.  I also am preparing myself both mentally, physically, and researching best way to achieve my goals.

I will say that I do not plan to start on January first as I don’t want it to be tied to the New Year.   I plan to start the second week of January at least food wise.   This will give me time to stock the house and read up on the DASH diet which is what I’ve decided to go with.  It seems like a good fit for me.   It’s more of a lifestyle change, but I will be following their weight lose program.   I ordered recipe book and plan today.   So I will have time to actually to be prepared.    I want a plan that isn’t going to starve me and that will fuel me to get back to training.

That being said after weighing myself and taking my measurements today, I have decided to start  being more mobile today.   Although I really didn’t need to do this because I could tell by having no clothes that actually fit me.  It will be cheaper to get back in shape than buy new clothes.   This is the biggest I’ve ever been unless I was pregnant.   It’s not even the weight, it’s the measurements that I will be watching.

I even went to the gym today.   I ran just 3 miles and doing some weights.   I am a long way away from both my Crossfit and Marathon days.   So out of shape.   I purposely want to ease back into this slowly.   It takes a long time to build up your stamina, but no time at all to loose it.   Here is to gaining stamina while loosing inches and getting back into my closet.

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Creeping Up There….

I went out yesterday for what should have been a “easy” 6 miles.    Even skipping my normal training in Vermont, these 6 miles shouldn’t have been that difficult.   I was not in the mood to keep track of time, so I decided to just keep the pace slow and I would give myself a walk break every mile.   Seemed like the way to go.

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As you can see from the long red and orange line, even at these paces I was working hard.   Harder than I feel that I should, but I imagine the paces don’t really tell it all as it evens out with the walking.  Still need to work on it.   Part of the problem is that in the 8 months since my surgery I have gained 10 pounds.    I’ve never been what one would call petite.   That being said, I had remained steady in my weight for many years.   As I’ve blogged before in Laying It Out There even though the numbers never changed, I could tell that it was redistributing with added muscle.   Sadly, I can not say that now.

Part of the weight gain I attribute to not exercising as much post surgery.   Part of it might be from thyroid surgery while getting my levels correct.  Part of it might be Christmas and winter coming during this non running time.   While I don’t care about the extra weight per se, I do care that my clothes are not necessarily fitting the way that I like them.   I also think this is part of why I am struggling a bit with my running.    Yes, my legs are more sore than before, but that doesn’t account for all the heavy breathing.

Now is the what to do, what to do moment.   I honestly and whole hardheartedly hate dieting.   It’s not my thing baby.   

That being said, I am creeping up to another big milestone that I do think I would be upset to hit as it would be how much I weighed when I was pregnant.

  I  know that with my hypoparathyroidism, I do need to do better with my diet.    It might help with the muscle cramps and other issues.    I have toyed with my diet for this reason, but never committed especially since I still think my parathyroid are going to bounce back and work properly.  I keep waiting for the doctor to tell me they made a mistake.   I know.   I know.   It’s a foolish pipe dream, but I still can’t fully admit that this is permanent and my life yet.   It’s a work in progress.

So maybe it is past time to meet with the nutritionist that I called and never followed up with an appointment.   Not for my clothes.   Not for the way I look, but for my health as I really need to eat a diet with less salt and more calcium rich foods.    There has been much discussion in my hypoparathyroid groups on what is a good diet and I really need to start paying attention.   Also, I really need to figure out proper fully for runs.

So maybe I could turn this all around.   You know make lemonade out of lemon kind of thing.

start-where-you-are-use-what-you-have

Moving forward is all you can do as sitting still is not an option.

 

 

 

Sticking to the Plan

I’m now more than a week into my Gluten Free life.  I’m not sure that it is a permanent thing, but for now it seems to be working out for me.   One would think that gluten free means that it’s all health food, but I will let you in on a little secret.   Chocolate and ice cream are gluten free.   So there’s that.

That being said, I think I’ve been eating fairly healthy.   It might be because for now it requires more thought to think about what I will eat.   Plus I used to eat a decent amount of cereal or PBJ sandwiches for lunch.   These for the most part of turned into pretty yummy salads.    Dinners have not been that difficult surprisingly.   What is a little more challenging is snacking.   But after getting on the scale this week, I really need to be readjusting my snacks anyway.   Work in progress.

One of the things that I really need to look at and read about is how to carb load for running without the traditional runners pastas and breads.    To be honest, I probably ate much more of these things than necessary anyway.    If anyone has gone gluten free and has any good reading recommendations for how to put this together with training, I’m all ears.

So for now, I’m sticking to the plan.   I’ve still been feeling good and that really is what is making it easy to make the choice to stick to the plan.   I’m hoping this continues.  Although I won’t mind the normal soreness and aches that come from training.   It when I’m not training and I feel them that is bothersome.

As I said before, I am starting off with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan.   In looking at my first week, I have 4 days of running with only a total of 15 miles.   The first three runs are only 3 miles and my long run is only 6.   In looking at it, it feels like I could/should do more.   Before my surgery, a short run was only 6 miles and now that I’m starting again it’s my long run.  In my heart, I feel like I should pick a harder plan, push my self, and do more.  In my mind, I know this is right where I need to be right now.  I’ve still got so much to figure out with how my body will adjust to training with my issues that I need to be smart.   I need to be safe. I need to be wise.

 Last year I ran over 1,000 miles.   This year six months in, I have only run 206 miles.   Times have changed.   So I will listen to my mind and not my heart.

Doing the right thing.

Listening to my body.

Sticking to the Plan.

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If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

And so it begins.  Just a week away till I’m “officially” in Marathon training.   After looking over several plans, I decided to stick with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon plan.   Yes, I know I’m not a novice but I feel like I’m starting over and this is where I’m at right now.   Besides I look at it as a starting point.   If I determine that I can take it up a notch, you know that I will.

There was another training plan that caught my eye on Training Peaks.   It was specific to Chicago, but it was also for a 4:30 marathon.   Plus I already owned the Hal Higdon Plan, so I saved $80.    I may down the road change to this plan, but not yet.   First I need to start running again and see how that goes.

I’ve recently made some changes that have been helping.   I’m not sure which one is helping but I don’t want to mess with either.   First I added both a magnesium and Vitamin D supplements to my daily dose of things to take.    Second and I’m finding much harder is that I’ve gone gluten free.    I’m doing it because it may help with some of the symptoms that I’ve been having due to the hypoparathyroidism.    I’ve got to say that I’ve actually felt “normal” these last few days.   Not waking up feeling like Grandma.   Not having leg pains.    Feeling like my “old self” if you will.    So I’m afraid to make any changes.  You know what they say…

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Now I have a sister who actually has celiac disease, so I know that going gluten free is a hard road to travel.  I also know that many people go gluten free because it’s the new fad diet.  I’ve never wanted to go gluten free, but I’m willing to try it now.   It hasn’t been long  and it might not even be the diet but the supplements, but something is working better.    I am lucky though to have a sister who can guide me on this journey even if I don’t need to be as strict as she is with it.   Right now, I’m in 100% because I feel that is the only way, but I will see where it leads.

What I do need to do is figure out how to carb load without bread and pasta!

Living and Learning

worth it

 

Plugging Along

Most of us lead ordinary lives.   This is not necessarily a bad thing.   It is just a fact of life.   Most of have a pattern to our lives which changes over time.   My Mother refers to it as the “seasons of our lives.”    Right now I feel that I’m between seasons…..

As with the “seasons of our lives,”   we also have seasons in our training.

Right now I feel that I’m in between seasons……

I just came off the NJ Half.   A race that I went in under trained for, but still finished well and with a solid time of 2:20:23.    The race went well.   For the most part,  I felt good overall and it gave me hope that I will be ready to start Chicago Marathon training.    I’m to the point where I need to start preparing for my training.   First thing first is to put the actual date of the Marathon on my calendar.   When people ask me when it is, I truly only knew that it was in October.

Date:  October 8, 2017

152 days from today.

This means that training will start literally in a matter of weeks.

Oh Boy….

My mind is a flurry thinking about gearing up my training,  getting handle on calcium (hypoparathyroidism), figuring out nutritional and supplements,  and being a busy Mom of three.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy….

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Honestly right now I’m plugging along with the calcium, but I often feel like I’m just treading water.   There appears to be a fine line between keeping your head above water and letting yourself sink.    It feels like a constant state of not being able to plant your feet.    It is a strange feeling trying to keep your calcium high enough to not be too symptomatic but not so high as to cause other problems. Plus even with keeping my calcium high enough, it is still keeping it in the low range thereby figuring out how to deal with those symptoms.   Those that have dealt with it for a while do say that you eventually get used to the “new normal.”    I’m trying to believe them.

I’m looking forward to the day where I’ve figured it out a little (lot) better than I have right now.   It’s just a constant guessing game.    Plus I’ve come to the realization that what has changed most for me is that really overnight I started to feel my age if you will.   Although I do think that even if I don’t look it being in such good shape has helped with some of the symptoms.

But I will work it out.    I will get my head out of the sand.    I will start training.    Most of all, I will cross the finish line in Chicago.

  I’m trying to find the excitement.   It sounds bad, but I’m not excited about running.   I’m not happy about running it.   I’m not unhappy or unexcited either.   I’m just blah.   It’s not that I don’t want to run it.   It’s just right now I’m not feeling it.   But I’m not feeling a lot of things right now, so I’ll just go through the motions.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

Every runner no matter what their health knows that nutrition plays a key role in not just their training but their general well being.    That is where I plan to start.

Off to make an appointment with nutritionist.

 

 

 

A New Chapter

We live in a society where strength is looked up to and any kind of weakness should be both stamped out, frowned upon and just wrong.   Asking for help is often seen to some (not all) as an almost sacrilegious thing.   We live in a society where if we don’t like something we just ignore it.   This holds true to so many things from politics to health.   The expression bury your head in the sand didn’t come from nowhere.

You see this in runners (myself included) who rather than deal with an injury may try to shake it off and run anyway.    I did this with my Plantar Fasciitis and also when I twisted my ankle training for the 50K.   It wasn’t until I was out about 2 miles after I twisted it that I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run off the pain.   I also did it to when coming back from my surgery.   Trying to jump back in where I left off like everything was the same.  Some times you can’t run out the pain.   Some times you need to face it, deal with it, and treat it.

Why do we do these things?     When a friend comes to us in need, we don’t think less of them.   We don’t hold it against someone who has fallen ill or becomes injured.   Then why do we hold ourselves to different standards?

Why indeed?

This weekend I am going to run my first race post surgery.  My first race with hypoparathyroidism.

I am both excited and apprehensive at the same time.    I’ve got my arsenal all ready to go.

I originally signed up for the marathon.   Thank God that I was smart enough to know that was never going to happen.   I’m not even properly trained for the half marathon that I’m running.   Luckily for me though I’m not going in alone.   I’m going in with some friends and we are all going to do what we need to do to get to the finish line.

Even more lucky, these are friends that I trust to keep an eye on me.   I’ll be honest.   Part of me is a little nervous.   Not because I’m not trained enough which I’m not.  I’ve done races before not properly trained.   I’m nervous because this will be my first real test on how I will be able to run distance with my calcium issues.   It’s also a test for how much I need to prepare for Chicago Marathon training.   A base line if you will.

I’m not trained, but I’m still prepared.    I plan to pack my calcium tablets with me and take 2 before the start.   I also am heading a recommendation from a hyperparathyroidism athletes group to put Cal-Ez in my water.

Cal-Ez

I’m not thinking about pace.   Ok I’m thinking about but I know I need to just let it go. The ego is strong, but needs to be left in check.  This is not the day.   I must remind myself of that and let my ego go as this will be the day just to finish.     I am handling it like a test run:)   But a test run with a medal at the end!

This is the first run in a new chapter of my running.

On your mark

Get Set

Go!