Monday, December 28, 2009

The holidays are almost over!

Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday. I love the decorations, the food, the gifts (I love buying presents!!) the get-togethers, all of it! Woohoo!

Anyhoo, Rex bought me a running accessory I've been drooling over for more than a year but have been too cheap to buy. The Garmin Forerunner 305 Heart Rate Monitor with GPS. He found it on for less than the price shown at the link above, and snatched it up! I haven't gone for a run yet, but I am planning on using it this weekend. I also need to install the software that came with it on my computer. I get to track my workouts and runs on the computer! Yay!

Now that the New Year is upon us, I think it's a good time to think about fitness goals for next year. I don't recommend resolutions, because we inevitably break them. Think about it...when was the last time you kept a New Year's resolution? Yeah, I never did either. But we can make goals! I like broad goals like "complete the Warrior Dash". I won't put pressure on myself and say "Complete Warrior Dash in 30 minutes". Honestly I am so slow that a goal like that is setting myself up for disappointment. But I can improve my endurance!!

If you're looking for a good way to start the new year, since we have a blank slate, try finding a race happening on New Year's Day. will have some good ideas for your area.

2010 here we come!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm broken

First, I realize that I have more than likely developed lactose intolerance. Then my tummy starts to hurt really bad last night....the muscle around my belly button was so tender I could hardly stand up. Now I have heartburn. It's official. My guts have rebelled. They're trying to escape any way possible. Belly button, throat, whatever.

It's more than likely stress (although not the lactose intolerance....damned Asian genes finally taking over my European genes). My in-laws are in town and I just finished school stuff for the time being. I love my in-laws, but having people over causes stress, no matter who they are.

I want to run so badly!! GAH! No time! At all!! *sigh* /whine.

On a more productive note, we're still excited about the Warrior Dash. I just need to find time to work out. We'll see......

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An observation...

I get bored sometimes and click on "Next Blog" at the top of the screen to see what other bloggers on blogspot are talking about. What I've noticed is there are a lot of cancer patients out there writing about their journeys online. I also found one about a mother's experiences with her cerebral palsy child, a deaf college student, and a bisexual. But mostly cancer. A lot of cancer. Makes me sad really.

But take hope! While many cancers are unavoidable, research shows that trying to stay at a healthy weight and eating right with exercise thrown in the mix can reduce some cancers. Sometimes it takes seeing other people struggle in life to make you realize that your life isn't so bad. In fact, I think I have it pretty good. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What have you done to cut back on calories?

I'm hypoglycemic. I'm also trying to cut some useless and empty calories from my diet. The best way for me to do that is by cutting sugar, because I take care of two birds with one stone. Since my blood sugars can be fickle, simply cutting out sugar in my diet helps significantly.

On that note, I've been drinking coffee. For those that know me this is really new. I got hooked on Starbuck's Caramel Brulee Lattes. *drool* Unfortunately I think all that extra milk (lattes are mostly milk with a shot of espresso and flavored syrup) wreaked havoc on my poor tummy. Because I rarely drink milk anymore and cheese and yogurt are very limited in my diet, I think my body is becoming lactose intolerant. I became so bloated I couldn't fit into my pants comfortably! Uggghhhhh! Sure enough, cutting out the lattes and milk caused my body to revert back to a more normal state (a more comfortable state).

I had a coffee this morning and decided to try using Splenda instead of sugar. I also used coffeemate creamer, which is non-dairy according to their website. Splenda is NASTY! OMG! I can't get the taste out of my mouth! AAHHHHH!!! Not even Coke Zero will wash it away.

Here's my dilemma - I want to continue drinking coffee, but regular sugar is really not an option (but it tastes so much better). Splenda is nasty. Equal and Sweet-n-Low are both worse than Splenda. What's a gal to do?? Coffee is actually good for you, and the coffeemate is something I can live with to avoid the milk bloat. What is a good alternative to artificial sweeteners and refined sugar? What will have little to no impact on my blood sugar? I will try Truvia next time and let you all know how that goes. If that doesn't work I don't know what will.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My latest training plan

Remember how I'm not really doing a good job of running? Well, my goal is to be ready for the Warrior Dash by May 22nd. Because I have to be able to run 3.2 miles and handle the obstacle course, I'm bound and determined to at least complete it without getting injured. I also have lots of friends participating, include Red and my hubby Rex. Red has been great about maintaining her training, so she'll do great. Rex and friends all need to build a good foundation, and I need to rebuild mine.

With that being said, I've found a great training plan for a 5k by Jeff Galloway. I've been developing more and more respect for the guy lately because I think his philosophy is great for runners of all levels, but especially people like me. People who sometimes have a hard time staying motivated, don't have a lot of endurance, and don't want to focus on speed. The plan takes about 4 months to complete, and so if you include some extra cross training we'll be doing it's really the perfect time to start come January.

I'm actually really excited that I'll be meeting with friends on the weekends to run. I just hope I can maintain some semblance of a training program during the week while I have school. I have literally 8 months of school left....7 classes total. I'm about half way finished with this graduate degree, and then I can hopefully start on my chosen career of project management. That, however is for another blog LOL!

Jingle Jog 5k

Despite not training since the last race, I ran in Uncle Julio's Jingle Jog on Saturday. This was mainly a toy drive for the Salvation Army (I brought a Barbie). Not having read much about this race I wasn't aware how large it would be. My guess is they had over 1000 people participating in the race itself. It got so crowded those of us who didn't finish quickly enough for them (I finished in 47 minutes, mostly walking) didn't even get to fill out time cards to see where we placed. Yes, those of us towards the back know we're not winning the race (duh!), but that doesn't mean we don't want to see how we ranked. We also didn't get any bells for our shoes per the advertisement for the race. So no jingling while we jogged! I believe they ran out before we got there.

I had a couple friends new to running join me. One friend ran the Pumpkin race with me along with another race in November called Rebecca's Run, while the other was running his first 5k ever. We ended up finishing together, and we're definitely signing up for a race in January.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We're killing ourselves!

We've all heard that we're too sedentary and that our inactive lifestyles are increasing our likelihood to be obese, develop type 2 diabetes and develop heart disease. But did you know that the very act of sitting for too long dramatically increases those risks, despite how fit we are? That's what this article I came across on states.

I've often thought of this fact when I'm wondering about my own health and weight. Prior to the invention of computers and tv and cars, people led more active lifestyles by the very nature of their environment. Need to go somewhere? Walk or ride a horse (yes buggies and carriages existed but most people were more active than that). Need to eat something? Go hunt or farm for that food. Want to get a new dress? Make it yourself. Floors dirty? Sweep it with a broom. All those activities during the day equals more calories burned. No wonder why "gym rats" often still struggle with their weight and resort to drastic measures like eating the blandest, low-fat, high protein food imaginable. Ew. I'd rather be fat.

So what's the point? Besides wanting to eat what I find tasty and nomalicious and not torturing myself at the gym, I need to be more active in all my actions. You do too. Try little things like walking to your co-worker's desk instead of sending an e-mail or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I struggle with these things too, especially since it's a little embarrassing to take the stairs and finally emerge onto the 5th floor of my office huffing and puffing like a pathetic wimp. The key is to try.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stress sucks!

School has gotten the better of me. I have two projects due this week (tomorrow and Thursday) and then two finals next week. On top of that I have family coming over and need to clean house. So what does my body do? Gets sick. Again. For the second time in less than two months. *sigh* Oh well. Would running help? Probably. I haven't had a chance to run since I took Rex out for his first run. I would have run last weekend but it snowed! It didn't stick, which is normal, but if it's cold enough to snow this gal doesn't want to be out.

On another note Rex obtained a copy of the P90X workout routine. I haven't seen it yet, but a friend of ours thinks it would help him a lot. Once I've had a chance to try some of the workouts I'll let everyone know.

In light of the winter weather and upcoming holidays, here are some ideal gift ideas for winter running gear:

Running tights
Long sleeved technical tees
Trail shoes (if you're running in snow and slush)
Technical socks
Running gloves (like those made by Under Armor)
Skull caps/balaclavas

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My breakfast dilemma

Breakfast is a hard meal to plan for. Why? Because most quick and easy breakfast solutions are nasty. Instant oatmeal, which tastes pretty good, gets old after a while. Breakfast bars just don't have the same punch as real food. Shakes are evil. I got desperate and tried instant grits. While okay (I know, as a Southerner I just blasphemed), I got tired of them quickly. The cheese ones are a strange neon orange that reminds you what you're eating is not natural.

Lately I've been craving real food for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, that sort of stuff. It's kind of hard to make that kind of food every morning though since I have a hard enough time getting up in the morning. What I decided to do was make a breakfast sandwich. Last night I scrambled one egg, put it on a 100 calorie multi-grain english muffin, placed a slice of cheese on it, and then put it in a container to bring this morning. After nuking it in the microwave for 30 seconds it was ready for consumption. The verdict? Awesome! Because the eggs were scrambled they reheated much better than a fried egg would. Melted cheese is a bonus. The english muffin was okay, but much healthier than a bagel or croissant. I may toast it before storing next time. My issues with the english muffin were mostly texture, not taste.

The reason I am posting this is because breakfast is an extremely important meal for everyone, but especially for those who are trying to lose weight. You start the day off right with good fuel, and you're less likely to binge on junk at lunch and dinner. Eggs pack a lot of protein in each serving, and fiber fills you up. I may get adventurous and try some bacon soon.....YUM!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Probiotics for weight loss

We have all heard that yogurt is a good snack and has many health benefits, but now studies are showing that the probiotics in yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, help maintain the proper balance of good bacteria in the gut versus bad bacteria. In fact, this article describes that this imbalance has been shown in 7-yr old overweight kids! Another good thing to be mindful of - probiotics need prebiotics to work at maximum efficiency (found in wheat, bananas, onions and garlic YUM!). I love that the author states this is not an excuse to slack off on exercise LOL!!

So eat up that Greek yogurt! It's best with some honey and sprinkled with walnuts.