Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holy Toledo and Happy Halloween

Holy Toledo. I forgot how good I feel after a hard run.

My Post-Run Happy Face

Yesterday, a hard run for me was characterized as an 11 minute 23 second mile.




My best time is a 10:50 mile, but I'm not going to dwell. This was my first hard run since getting over my upper respiratory infection. It was also my first run outside since the beginning of October. I'm okay with my time from yesterday's run. It's only going to get better!

After my run last night, I took my dogs for a walk with my little three-year-old brother. We ran a little bit during out walk, too. It was a beautiful evening. I'm glad that I took advantage of the sunshine while we had it because it's nothing but clouds and rain today.

After all of my outside activity, I made a healthy dinner. I stuck to my dinner plan and made shrimp over wild rice with broccoli on the side. For snack I had 6 golden oreos. They were divine.





Today is Halloween. Do you know how I know? There is a counter in the office filled with pumpkin rolls, donuts, cider, and cookies.

Do you know how else I know? There have been two snack carts going around my office filled with free treats. I also had two small slices of pumpkin roll for breakfast. Oh Halloween, you temptress, you.

Tomorrow is the first day of November. I always get so excited for a fresh month. I like creating new goals and challenges for myself. I usually create my challenges and goals so they last a month. This is good for me because it's long enough for me to see progress, but short enough so that I don't get bored with my goals.

I'll start thinking about my goals for November, tonight. I'm hopeful to post them for you all tomorrow.

Happy Halloween, friends!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Featured at Hocking Hills

Awesome news, readers!
Goaloflosing has been featured on Hocking Hills Blog!
Click here to check it out for yourself.

Picture of my husband and I at Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills.

My husband and I had SO much fun on our trip to Hocking Hills in September. I read the post at Hocking Hills Blog a couple times today. It was nice to be reminded of how great our trip truly was. I can't wait to go back to Hocking Hills!

In other news, if you didn't see yesterday's post, make sure you check it out. You won't regret it! Pinky swear. I'll even give you a hint for what the blog post was about:




Are you drooling? Yeah, me too. The Easy Chicken Ranch Pizza recipe can be found by clicking, here. (Shannon T., let me know how you like it!)

Tomorrow is the last day of October, friends. Are you ready for a fresh new month ahead? I sure am! But, before I start thinking about November, and the goals I'll make for the month, I've got to focus on the goals that I am to be working on today, and tomorrow!

You may remember, on Sunday I explained how my October goals were bummin' me out. (If you don't remember, don't worry: I'll link you up, here.)

Since I was sick for most of October, I decided to scratch my old goals and end the month of October with the following:

  • Follow Meal and Exercise Plan
  • Run 3 times this week
  • Drink 64 oz. water daily
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night

So far, so good. Except I forgot to put the roast in the crock pot for last night's dinner, so we swapped Tuesday's plan with Friday's plan. No harm no foul. Water and sleep have been right on!

As for my running, I ran on Monday and I am planning on running again, tonight. Since I have been running on my treadmill lately, I am starting to miss my outside runs. I have been nervous to run outside ever since I got sick shortly after running in the cold weather, earlier this month. I'm not sure exactly when my outside-run-comeback will be, but I'm hoping for some warm enough weather this week. I went for a walk during my lunch hour and the weather seemed fine. I'm hopeful that it will stay that way long enough for me to get home from work!

How did you do with your October goals?
Have you started thinking about November goals?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Easy Chicken Ranch Pizza

Ordering out pizza on a Friday night is one of our not-so-secret guilty pleasures.

We have a couple great local pizza places in town, one of which I use to work at when I was a teenager. They have an awesome Chicken Ranch pizza, and it just so happens that I remember how it's made. Lucky us!


Of course, we are using different, and in some cases even better, ingredients for our pizza; one of which, is our favorite homemade ranch.


One Minute Homemade Ranch Recipe:

4 tbsp Hellman's Mayo
2 tbsp Skim Milk
1 tsp. Hidden Valley Dry Buttermilk Ranch mix

Making the homemade ranch recipe is key for this cheesy melt-in-your-mouth pizza.

Ingredients:

1- One Minute Homemade Ranch Recipe
1 - package Pillsbury thin crust pizza crust
1/2 large tomato, chopped
1 lb. cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 - cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
4 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped

Directions:

1. Roll out pizza crust, spread with One Minute Homemade Ranch Recipe, top with chopped bacon and tomatoes.


2. Add chopped chicken.


3. Sprinkle cheeses.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.


Simple as that!

Serves 12
Nutrition per serving: 200 calories, 10 fat, 13 carbs, 15 protein

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Goals are Bummin' Me Out

This is the last Sunday weigh-in of October. I weighed in at 230.0 lbs. I didn't meet my goal of 225 lbs.

Bummer.

I had an unexpectedly rough October. I was sick for literally half of the month, combined and followed by some back issues. I've seen the Chiropractor twice, just last week. I have another appointment scheduled for this upcoming week. Hopefully I'll be back to normal, soon! (See what I did there? Hah.)

October's goals are bummin' me out; so I'm ditching them. I've found that if the goals you originally set for yourself aren't working out, it's best to change them up. Goals should inspire you, not bum you out. Due to everything that happened this month, I'm exchanging my goals for some new ones. A little inspiration may be just what I need to get back on track!

Source: google images

Here are the goals I'm going to end October with:

  • Follow Meal and Exercise Plan
  • Run 3 times this week
  • Drink 64 oz. water daily
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night

Dinner Plans for the Week:

S - Pita Pizzas
M - Chicken Salads
T - Pepperoncini Pot Roast w/ Salad
W - Shrimp over Rice w/ Veggies
T - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
F - Pita Pizzas

Exercise Plans for the Week:

S - Rest
M - Run
T - Rest
W - Run
T - Rest
F - Run

What are your goals for the week?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Zombie Season

For just a few hours today, it has seemed as if time has slowed down in our house.

Saturday morning breakfast
We spent our Saturday morning listening to some The Lumineers Pandora Station while making breakfast, doing dishes and relaxing. I spent a couple hours transferring pictures to my new laptop (Dell touch screen - Windows 8 - a learning curve but starting to like it). It was fun to go through some old pictures. We have had a very full, and a very fun few years in our home.

Today, we are having my dad, step-mom and my siblings over for dinner. We are planning on making lasagna and pumpkin muffins. It should be a nice night, ahead!

Last night, my husband and I went to a Halloween Party. We dressed up as zombies. Not very original, but it was an easy last minute costume.



I know, I know. I need to work on my zombie face.

We have two more zombie parties to attend this upcoming week. With the Walking Dead t.v. show back on, and Halloween just around the corner, it's definitely zombie season. I'll be a pro at the zombie face before too long!

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What's your costume?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Transition Week and Cooking Light

Last night was great! Reason being, I ran a half mile and walked another two and a half miles after that. That brought me to an hour of treadmill time, an episode of Breaking Bad in the bag and 3 miles done last night!

My husband and I recently jumped on the Breaking Bad bandwagon. The first season seems very slow going, so it’s a good series for me to watch on the treadmill. Any other Breaking Bad fans out there?

Yesterday, I spent some time over lunch looking through the new edition of Cooking Light Magazine. I tabbed quite a few recipes that I’d like to try.  I even took a couple pictures to share with you guys!

Cooking Light Magazine, November 2013 issue.

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, November 2013 issue.

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, November 2013 issue.

My workouts haven’t been going according to plan this week, and that’s okay. It’s my transition week from being couch bound with illness and getting back into the swing of things. Here’s what I was scheduled to do, and what I’ve done so far:

Exercise plan for the week:

S – Walk (Ran intervals for 1 mile, then walked)
M – Yoga (did not do)
T – Walk (did not do)
W – Yoga (Ran ½ mile then walked 2 ½ miles)

As for my overall goals for October, here’s the update on that:

October's Goals:
Reach 225 lbs. (229.4 currently)
Alternate running - hills, speed, distance (not going as plan this month)
Try a new recipe (this will happen)
Post meal/exercise plans weekly (I’ve been doing good with this!)

How are you doing with your October goals?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It's pumpkin season, and you know what that means? Pumpkin treats for everyone! Yaaay!


After two weeks of slight misery, I am starting to feel much better. Which means I am well enough to cook and bake again. My husband is happy, I am happy and you will be happy once you give this recipe a try!

My upper respiratory infection has cleared up and my back is feeling better. Thankfully, I was able to get in to see my chiropractor after work, yesterday. I am starting to feel like my old self again! Just in time for my run day, too. I plan on doing some light intervals this evening after work.

I started the 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. schedule at work yesterday. I really enjoy my new shift! I was able to go to my chiropractor appointment, go grocery shopping (for pumpkin spice muffin ingredients) and make it home before I would usually get out of work at 5:00 p.m. It was nice to be home early. I celebrated the extra time in my evening by making pumpkin spice muffins after dinner.

Dinner: Chicken with bbq sauce, corn and green beans.
Last year, I made some awesome Pumpkin Spice Muffins that included only two ingredients:


This is my absolute favorite muffin recipe! It tastes much more complicated than throwing a can of pumpkin, a box mix of spice cake and 1 cup of water into a bowl. But guess what! That's all you do.



Oh, I lied. You have to mix the ingredients all together after adding them to the bowl. Yes, definitely do that part.


Once you fill up your muffin pans, bake those blobs of fluffy pumpkin spice goodness at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


Try to let the muffins cool before digging in.


I know, I know... easier said than done!



Serves: 24
Nutrition per servings: 95 calories; 1.6 fat; 18.6 carbohydrates; 1.25 protein

Monday, October 21, 2013

I RAN and Technology is Cool

I RAN YESTERDAY!

After 13 days of not running (due to illness) I was finally well enough to run. I walked for 1/4 mile at 3 mph. then ran at 5 mph. for 1/4 mile. I did that twice to complete a mile. I finished in 16 minutes and felt good! This week is going to be an easy transition back into running. A lot of intervals will be used!

After my run, my husband and I went grocery shopping and then my mother-in-law and father-in-law came over for family night. I forgot to take a picture of the awesome meal my mother-in-law made for us, because we were busy Skyping with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who recently moved to Florida. My mother-in-law made shrimp and pork egg rolls, Chinese style noodles with vegetables and brought fortune cookies! We added Asian style steak to the mix and it all turned out great!


Last night's family night was very similar to how it was before my sister-in-law and brother-in-law left. We ate with them and we laughed with them. We caught up with each other and even picked names for Christmas! It was a fun time. We Skyped for a little over 2 hours! It was like they were here with us. Technology is very cool in that way!

I am going to have to look in to Google Hangouts. We tried Skype, which is nice, but we want to be able to have a three-way video chat at some point.

Anybody have experience with Google Hangouts? 

Any other suggestions for free video conferencing?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grumpy and Miserable

Day 13 of my upper respiratory infection. I'm feeling hopeful that this will pass soon!

While today it seems my illness is getting better, my back is not. It might be a pinched nerve; might be my bulging disc acting up. My husband has given me multiple massages and I have taken many pain relievers. Nothing is helping. I finally left a voicemail for the Chiropractor to call me back when they are in tomorrow. Since I am trying the 8:00 - 4:00 shift at work this week, I won't have to ask to leave early to go to the appointment, if they can fit me in. Hopefully they have room for me. I am really grumpy and miserable from being in pain all the time. I try to make the best of it, but it's hard to enjoy life when you can't turn your head or even hold it up without being in pain.

Topher Brink

Puppy pictures help any grumpy mood. I almost want to try to go for a run. I think that would help me get out of my grumpy mood, too. Would that be a bad idea? My husband suggested that it might help loosen up my back. Yet, I've read that it's not a good idea to run when your muscles are already compromised. Not to mention my chest isn't completely clear yet. Hmm...

I can tell you one thing, I am going to jump for joy and appreciate every healthy day I have once I am over all of this. If anything, these past couple weeks have made me feel more humble. It's nice to be reminded how blessed I am. I know what its like to live life pain free most days, and some people don't get that luxury. Health is not something to take for granted. These past couple weeks have been a swift and hard reminder of that fact.

As for my Sunday plans, my husband and I will be cleaning the house, grocery shopping for the week, making some stir fry steak for dinner, and hosting a family game night for my in-laws. My mother and father-in-law are coming over around 4. They are bringing some homemade chinese food for us to try, so we are making steak stir fry to compliment their dishes. My sister and brother-in-law will be with us via Skype. We use to have family game nights at least once a month or once every few months before they moved to Florida, so this is our first time trying to rekindle that tradition since they have moved.

Even though I have been sick for a majority of October, I haven't forgotten my October goals.

October's Goals:
Reach 225 lbs. (229.4 this morning)
Alternate running - hills, speed, distance (haven't been able to run since 10/7 due to illness)
Try a new recipe (planning on it)
Post meal/exercise plans weekly (this is something I can keep up with!)

I am going to make the most out of what I've got this month. I'm clearly not reaching all of my goals this month, but it's important to not give up.

Dinner plan for the week:

S - Steak Stir Fry
M - BBQ Chicken with Corn and Green Beans
T - Pot Roast with Potatoes and Vegetables
W - Chicken Salad
T - Chicken Salad
F - Calzones
S - Lasagna

Exercise plan for the week:

S - Walk
M - Yoga
T - Walk
W - Yoga
T - Walk
F - Rest
S - Walk

Any "walk" days will be changed to "run" days if my upper respiratory infection and my back cooperate. This is going to be a transition week from being couch bound to getting back in the game!

What are your exercise goals for the week?

If you plan your meals ahead of time, what meal are you most looking forward to making/eating this week?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Produce Storage and Work Schedule

Day 12 of my upper respiratory infection. It's just hanging around, making a itself at home in my chest.

I am only 12 days into this thing and I feel like I'm never going to recover from my upper respiratory infection. My friend at work has been sick with the same thing for 3 weeks, now. 3 weeks without running is not going to happen. I am starting to think I should probably get back to it whether my chest is clear or not. Thoughts?

My back is still messed up too. It's either a pinched nerve or one of my bulging discs are acting up. Hard to tell without going to a chiropractor. Guess I may have to bite the bullet and get in touch with one if it doesn't clear up soon. I am kind of getting use to being in pain 24/7, though.

This illness, and now my back issue, has kept me from running for 12 days now. I am not happy and the scale won't be tomorrow, either.

I don't really like talking about my ailments, so it's time to change the subject before I bum you all out even more.

SO, I saw an article that caught my eye this morning. It was about the proper way to store your fruits and vegetables so they don't rot away any earlier than they should. I feel like I have been throwing more fruit and vegetables away lately, so it was a good read for me. I snatched a copy of this chart from www.sparkpeople.com so that I can remember the fruit and veggie storage tips:


Even though I haven't been feeling well, I have been feeling well enough to work. At work yesterday, I asked my boss something that I have been meaning to ask for at least a year now, but wasn't completely sure if I wanted to ask. I asked for a permanent change to my work schedule. I have been working 9 - 5 at my office that is about 40 minutes away from my house in mild weather. The reason it took me so long to ask my boss is because I really love working 9 - 5. I don't wake up until 7:00 a.m., and I enjoy how quiet the office gets around 4:00 p.m. With a quiet office, I can get even more work done in that last hour before I leave.

So, if I like working my schedule so much, why have I decided to change it? Well, my husband has been working 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for a few years now. He gets home about 2 hours before I do, and is more often then not, stuck making dinner. I like making dinner, and most nights I don't get a chance anymore. I also like to see my husband as much as possible, and getting home around 6:00 p.m. isn't ideal. It seems like one big giant rush some nights.

Yesterday morning, I finally asked my boss if I could change my schedule. We talked about it and agreed that next week will be a trial period to see how I like it. I am going to go in a couple days from 8:30 - 4:30 and the other days I will try the 8:00 - 4:00. Most of my co-workers work the 8:00 - 4:00 and they love it. However, they don't live 40 minutes away from the office. Not to mention, winter is coming and we get A LOT of snow in our area most years. I love my sleep as much as the next person, too. I don't want to give any of it up, so this may call for going to bed earlier. Then, I was thinking, doesn't going to sleep earlier just eliminate the purpose of changing my schedule? I need some suggestions.

What's your ideal work schedule?

Which do you think I should choose? 9 - 5, 8:30 - 4:30 or 8 - 4?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Losing Fitness Gains

Day 10 of my upper respiratory infection. Is it over yet?

I am happy to say that I am feeling much, much better! I am still coughing, but not as much. I actually had a different issue today, which was a pinched nerve in my back. I couldn't lift my head this morning when I woke up. I literally had to hold my head with both hands and pick it up as I sat up this morning. I took a lot of pain reliever throughout the day, which helped me function. While it's still painful, I have most of the function back in my neck. Just another obstacle to overcome this week!

I am SO looking forward to getting back in to my running routine. The sooner, the better! I haven't gone for a run since last Monday. If my back and chest are feeling better tomorrow, I am definitely going to break my non-running streak and get it done!

Since it's been 10 days since my last run, I am getting a little antsy about how I am going to perform. Running was getting easier for me before I got sick. I am hoping that I haven't lost everything I worked so hard for.

I actually read a little about this topic today in an article found at www.runnersworld.com:



"In athletes who are relatively new to training (about one year or less), research indicates that after not training for two months they essentially lose all of the fitness gains. The results are quite different for well-conditioned, long-term athletes. Veteran athletes, referring to athletes that have been training regularly for several years, lose about 50% of their fitness when they cease training for the same period of time, two to three months. Quite a significant difference!

The good news is that our fitness is dynamic and constantly changing; the bad news is that our fitness is dynamic and constantly changing. It's significant to note that the newbie exerciser also makes dramatic cardiovascular improvements in eight weeks.



According to the research then, since you have been training regularly for over one year, at least some of your fitness is still there. However, forcing a run is never beneficial so start with a one mile run three times a week using walk breaks as needed to complete the workout. This will help you gradually re-condition your cardio-respiratory system as well as your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. Running three days a week will allow time for recovery between workouts. Increase your runs in 5-minute increments each time you run. When you reach 45 minutes, or roughly the equivalent of 3 miles, three times a week, maintain this for level for two weeks. If you are not experiencing any fatigue, aches, or pains, you can then begin training for distance. Designate one day a week as your long run day and add on half-mile increments each week until you hit 6 miles. Once you reach the 6 mile mark, begin alternating long run weekends to every other week or every two weeks and continue building to your targeted distance.
Goal setting and disappointment is another issue. After months of training for a goal race, it can be difficult for many runners to return to training when they didn't achieve the desired outcome. Post-race recovery should be a time for reflection. Look back at your training plan for areas you could improve upon. Examine what went wrong with the race and, more importantly, what went right.
Accepting the disappointment can be much easier if you resist putting all your eggs in one basket; always have a back-up plan. Registering for subsequent races that are just a few weeks apart is one way to give yourself a back-up plan if you don't attain your goal immediately.
In distance running, there are many, many elements that must come together on race day to achieve your goals—which is part of the allure of the sport for some people. There are some things, like the weather, that we have no control over. If, in another race, you reach the half-way point of the race and realize you are off pace and there is no way to make up the time, just back off the pace, relax, and enjoy the remainder of the race. Don't beat yourself up physically or mentally trying to achieve an unattainable goal at this point. By running the remainder of the race easy, you have already begun your recovery process. You will be ready to turn your attention to your next race or next goal as soon as you cross the finish line.
Fitness is a lifetime journey, so rather than cease running totally; cycle your training. Change it up from time to time by running two days a week, targeting a different distance, incorporating cross-training, adding strength training, or tackling a triathlon. Changes in training can help keep things interesting and give you different goals to strive toward, all while maintaining your hard-earned foundation of fitness.
And that beats starting over from scratch."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Shrimp over Pesto Pasta

I made something amazing last night!


Garlic Parmesan Shrimp over Pesto Pasta

Just a few simple ingredients, less than a half hour of your time, and you've got one killer meal!

Serves: 2
Nutrition per serving: 570 calories; 48 carbs; 27 fat; 34 protein

Ingredients:

8 oz. frozen shrimp
2 cups pasta
1/2 cup pesto
Garlic Salt
Dry Basil
2 tbsp. Parmesan
1 tbsp. butter


Directions:
  • Add one tbsp butter and 8 oz. frozen shrimp to pan, cook shrimp as directed. Meanwhile, bring water for pasta to a boil. Cook pasta as directed.
  • Once pasta and shrimp are ready, drain both.
  • Season the shrimp with about 1 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of dry basil, and a sprinkle of garlic salt.
  • Toss warm pasta with 1/2 cup of pesto and 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese. Serve pasta topped with shrimp.

That's all there is to it!

This recipe is a little high in calories, but that's to be expected when you're dealing with pasta and pesto. It's totally doable if you have the room in your nutritional ranges for the day. My nutritional range, at my current weight, is around 1,550 calories per day. This was an easy fit for my nutritional range for the day, and definitely worth it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Active Couch Potato

Day 8 of being sick. I am going crazy.

My legs want to run, but I can't. Rather, I shouldn't. I went to the doctors after work yesterday and they confirmed that I have an upper respiratory infection. It's a viral infection that should go away within 7-10 days. I am at day 8, and going a little nuts. I am sure somebody out there has been in my shoes. I am feeling well enough to function (going to work, grocery shopping, making dinner) but not well enough to feel good or be able to resume physical activity.

I miss running. Yes, that thing that I love to hate. I actually miss it! Since I am not able to get back out there and run just yet, I have been reading about running. More specifically, I have been browsing www.runnersworld.com. They have a bunch of great articles on their site, one of which caught my eye this morning.

"Sitting is the New Smoking - Even for Runners"

Photo from runnersworld.com


Here are some blurbs from the article:

"But wait, you're a runner. You needn't worry about the harms of sedentary living because you're active, right? Well, not so fast. A growing body of research shows that people who spend many hours of the day glued to a seat die at an earlier age than those who sit less—even if those sitters exercise.

Unless you have a job that keeps you moving, most of your nonrunning time is likely spent sitting. And that would make you an "active couch potato"—a term coined by Australian researcher Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland to describe exercisers who sit most of their day. If they aren't careful, she says, active couch potatoes face the same health risks as their completely inactive counterparts.

"Your body is designed to move," Hamilton says. "Sitting for an extended period of time causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level." When your muscles, especially certain leg muscles, are immobile, your circulation slows. So you use less of your blood sugar and you burn less fat, which increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Indeed, a study of 3,757 women found that for every two hours they sat in a given work day, their risk for developing diabetes went up seven percent, which means their risk is 56 percent higher on days they sit for eight hours.

Although running does much good for you, Healy says, if you spend the rest of your waking hours sitting, those health benefits depreciate. In a 12-year study of more than 17,000 Canadians, researchers found that the more time people spent sitting, the earlier they died—regardless of age, body weight, or how much they exercised.
Scared straight out of your chair? Good. Because the remedy is as simple as standing up and taking activity breaks. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., director of the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo says that interrupting your sedentary time as often as possible and making frequent posture changes is important. "Even breaks as short as one minute can improve your health," he says. Developing healthier habits will also improve your running performance, says Nikki Reiter, biomechanist with The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project. The combination of going for a run and then parking your butt for the rest of the day (or vice versa) could be a recipe for injury. "The static sitting position can cause certain muscles to become tight or overstretched, neither of which is good for your running," she says. Even if you went for a really intense or long run, regular activity throughout the day will help your recovery. So stand up now: It's good for your body and mind."

This article spoke to me. I have a 40 minute drive in to work, a desk job where I sit for 8 hours, then a 40 minute drive home. My typical active evening includes a run, but then it's usually back on the couch to relax. I am definitely one of those "active couch potatoes" defined above.

Now that I'm aware, I plan to make a change. I am going to set a calendar reminder every hour so that I remember to stand up, and walk around. Even if just for a couple minutes. Every little bit helps!

If you have a desk job, or are sitting often throughout the day, what changes are you planning to incorporate for your health?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Defeated by Illness

Day 6 of being sick.

I plan on spending the rest of my day lounging on the couch, but as for earlier, I tried to take advantage of my day. This morning I had brunch with some friends from high school. We try to get together as often as possible. We met at a local restaurant and got to spend two hours together. I had an italian wedge (a personal favorite) with a side of italian wedding soup. 

Italian Wedge

The scale was not my friend this morning, showing a 2 lb. gain. I haven't been tracking calories this week, and I haven't been able to exercise due to illness. The gain wasn't a shocker, but it was still a bummer. I have been working hard for over a month and I feel defeated by this illness.

I ate a lot of comfort food this past week, while being sick. I intend to get back to tracking my calories this upcoming week. I hope to be able to get back to my workouts soon, too. Once I am healthy again, I am certain that I will have no problem getting rid of my 2 lb. gain.

Even though I'm not making any progress with my weight loss goal right now, I refuse to give up. Here's everything I will continue to work toward this month:

October's Goals:
Reach 225 lbs. (5 lbs. to go)
Alternate running (hills, speed, distance)
Try a new recipe
Post meal/exercise plans weekly

Here's what I plan on making for dinner this week:

Monday - Steak Salad
Tuesday - Garlic Parmesan Shrimp over Pesto Pasta
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Thursday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Friday - Calzones

As for workouts, I am going to take it day by day this week. I am going to follow the neck rule for running and will take it easy.

Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants, or do you try to mix it up?

Working out while you're sick: does it make you feel better or worse?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sick of Being Sick

Being sick is exhausting.

I feel like this was such a waste of a week. I want to get back to running and feeling human again! Even though I'm not at 100%, I decided that I would enjoy today; sick or not!

My husband and I went with my mom and little brother to a pumpkin patch today. It was a beautiful day, sunny and about 70 degrees. There was a lot to do at our local pumpkin patch. There were slides, pedal carts, pumpkin sling shots, corn maze, hay rides, and much more! We spent about 3 hours of our afternoon in the sun, enjoying the day. That helped me feel a little more human.

My husband and I, making our way through the corn maze.
My husband and my little brother.
I think that I may have overdone it a bit today because my head is aching and my lungs hurt now, but I needed to get out and do something for my sanity. Not running is driving me crazy. I did some research online for tips about running while you're sick. I found that it's wise to use "the neck rule". If the cold is above the neck (runny nose, stuffed up, etc.), you should be good. If it's below the neck (chest congestion, body aches, etc.), you should hold off. Looks like even though my legs and head want to run, I need to wait until my chest clears up.

I wanted to blame my current illness on running in the cold on Monday after work. It was shortly after that run when I started feeling ill. After looking further into this, it turns out that probably wasn't the only thing to blame. Temperature doesn't make you sick, germs do. The temperature during that run probably didn't help, but running in the cold didn't make me sick. That's good news, because once I am better, I plan on doing more outdoor runs and it's only bound to get colder. I have a goal of running hills, speed, then distance each week. This week was shot due to my illness, but I can't wait to get back into it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stir Fry and Sick Bed

As requested by a reader, my husband shared his recipe with me for his awesome stir fry.



On Monday, he made the stir fry with shrimp; last night he made the stir fry with steak. You could even make it with chicken, if you want!

1 Green Pepper
1/2 large Onion
Meat of choice (steak, shrimp or chicken)
Wegman's Stir Fry Sauce (sweet soy with garlic, onion and ginger)
Honey

My husband cooked the veggies in one pan, the meat in another. You can really add as much or as little of the honey and stir fry sauce as you'd like. It's a tasty mixture that we have been loving lately!

I meant to share this recipe with you last night but I was on my sick bed. I got very sick, very quick. I think it all began with my run on Monday. It was colder than usual, and I was sweating. I need to learn how to run outside while its cold out without getting sick.

This morning, around 4 am, I felt like death. My throat was raw and my chest was tight. I called in sick to work and I am determined on getting better, fast! I slept in today and have been drinking a lot of water, while relaxing on the couch. I am feeling better than I was this morning, but still sick.

I'm frustrated that I had to miss work today, but I'd rather get over this sooner than later. I think that I'm even more frustrated that I wasn't able to run today, and won't be able to run anytime soon. I have been making some good progress with my running, and I don't want to fall behind on that.

Any tips for running outside when it's cold out, without getting sick?

What's your go-to feel better meal?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Start Right Finish Right

Fact: Starting the morning right makes it easier for you to finish your day right.


This morning, I made a fruit smoothie with frozen strawberries, pineapple and peaches. I added a half scoop of vanilla whey protein and breakfast was served! I have a thing for beverages in the morning. I usually walk out the door with a cup of coffee, my smoothie and my 24 oz. water bottle. That's the right way to start my morning, lately.

I tried a new lean cuisine meal for lunch today. Swedish meatballs with pasta. It was actually very good, and filling too! It was a bonus that the meal was just under 300 calories. That's the number I like to stay around for my lunches. Some days I go over, some days I go under. Weight loss, and life, I've come to learn, is just one big juggling act!

As for my fruit for the week, my husband and I decided on grapes. The last time we bought grapes, they went bad before we ate them all. It takes a long time for grapes to go bad, so that just goes to show you how much we aren't a fan of grapes. Actually, we aren't a fan of green grapes. As I was bagging up the purple grapes last night, I noticed they were disappearing like lost keys on a Monday morning when you're already running late!

Cheese sticks have been another go-to snack for me lately. I've recently been trying the colby jack cheese sticks and they were a nice change. Sometimes I have to switch it up a bit; for the sake of both my body and my interest level. Who am I kidding? If it's food, I'm interested.



Speaking of interesting food, my husband had dinner ready for me when I got home. He made shrimp stir fry with fresh green peppers and onions over rice. It was honestly the best stir fry we have ever had. He didn't give much of the ingredients up, but I did catch him say that he made the shrimp in honey and the soy sauce was a new style, given to us by my mom. I will try to get more details tomorrow. We will be making steak stir fry tomorrow, with the same sauce. I am already drooling just thinking about tomorrow's dinner!


As for running, tonight was hills. I ran faster than I did last week, but not with any less issues. If you remember from last week, I had some unleashed dog and skunk issues while running hills. I ran in to the same unleashed dog, and the same skunk smell tonight. The skunk smell was not as pungent, and the dog was a little less scary since my husband was running with me.

Although it's not quite fair, I may need to find another running route since my husband won't always be there with me when I'm running hills. I really enjoy my current running route for my hills training because I start running from the second I close my back door; my driveway being my first hill. I'll give the route another try next week. If I still have issues, I'll get serious about a new running route.

It seems as if we lucked out with our run, because it has been raining outside ever since. It was also a little colder than usual, at only 49 degrees. Aside from the minute with the skunk smell, the smell of fallen leaves filled the air. It is definitely starting to feel and smell like October out there!

Since it was cold and rainy outside, I decided to treat myself to a candle lit bubble bath after my run. My husband played the guitar for me as I soaked in the tub, and I felt like I was in heaven! There isn't a better way to end a Monday, in my book! Like I said at the beginning of this post, starting the morning right makes it easier to finish the day right.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

All Time Low

I have been bad at blogging lately.

I am making it a goal to blog more this week! Another goal of mine was to post my weekly meal and exercise plans for the week.

Dinner plans:

M - Shrimp Stir Fry
T - Steak Stir Fry
W - Chicken Salad
T - Chicken Salad
F - "Homemade" Pizza

Exercise plans:

M - Run
T - Yoga
W - Run
T - Yoga
F - Run

My first weigh-in for October was a good one! I am at an all-time low on the scale, and it feels great!


My weight goal for the month is to get down to 225 lbs. It's a huge goal for me. I haven't been that weight since 2008. I am looking forward to reaching that milestone! It will be possible as long as I stick to my plans.

What are your goals for the week?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October's Goals and Running

On Monday, I promised a run down of September's goals and accomplishments. Time got away from me last night, so here are my results:

September Goals:

Break out of the 230’s
Run a 12:30 minute mile 
Exercise 4 days a week 
Track nutrition 5 days a week 
Try something I've never done before (ran two miles straight)
Go back to church

I am super excited that I reached all of my goals for September! It makes me even more motivated to do the same for October.

October's Goals:
Reach 225 lbs.
Alternate running (hills, speed, distance)
Try a new recipe
Post meal/exercise plans weekly

Last month, I was able to get down to 228.5 lbs. I am up to 229 lbs. right now, but that's not going to last long! I would love to see 225 lbs. on the scale this month! I feel like that's an attainable goal for the month of October. 

As for my running, I am taking the sound advice of one of my readers, and I am going to mix things up! I want to alternate my running. My plan is to do hills, speed then distance.

Monday: Hills

I don't like hills. I started with hills on Monday. It was a hard run for me, for a couple reasons. First, I was running on the road. I am always a little more nervous when running on the road. A car stopped and pulled in front of me while I was running, then started to reverse. I crossed the road and took a side street. The side street has significantly less traffic, so that issue was solved. The side street, however, also had a strong scent of skunk. I was running up a hill, breathing great deep breaths of skunk. I could taste it. It wasn't good. After the skunk smell dissipated, I ran in to another fear I have while running on the road; an unleashed dog. This wasn't just any dog, it was a huge dog, and; it was running full boar from the front porch, right at me. I panicked, stopped and turned away from it. The dog put on his breaks and nearly crashed in to me. The owner ran out and called the dog back. I have never been afraid of a dog before that run. I don't think he was a mean dog, but you never know!


Wednesday: Speed

Tonight's run was speed. I ran my fastest mile of 10 minutes 50 seconds. I was a little nervous to do speed tonight because I was alone and forgot my cell phone at home. Sometimes I get dizzy when I run too fast. Everything went well, and I'm super proud of my new running accomplishment!

Tomorrow's run will be distance. I am going to take it slow so I can finish. Anything more than a mile will make me happy for tomorrow!

Runners: what's your favorite type of run?
My favorite changes. This week I think my favorite is distance, but I may just be saying that because it's the only run I haven't done yet!