A Day of Firsts

I threw myself waaaaaay out of my comfort zone this morning. Believe it or not folks, I am not comfortable talking to strangers, especially making small talk. I hate making small talk with people I know really well, but even more so with strangers. I deeply fear embarrassing myself  somehow in front of people I don’t know. I do realize that is illogical. Depending on which point in my life you met me (if we know each other IRL) you may or may not find this fact hard to believe. This is obviously a contributing factor in my social isolation problem and thus lack of friends. It is also certainly not helping me notice any potential dates either.

Today, I threw all caution to the wind, got up at 5:30am (I know, right?), and met a group of strangers on the streets downtown. The local running/fitness store put out a call for water stop volunteers for today’s Race for the Cure last week, and I signed up. My OCD self was even the first one there. We filled up water cups and passed them on to the racers and walkers and generally cheered with great enthusiasm to encourage people along. I may not be much of a runner, but I do love exercise, and I know how great it feels to have someone cheer you on as you go.  After the race we cleaned up, and that was that. Did I make a new BFF? No. But I made a babystep out of my comfort zone and met people with a common interest.

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After lunch I went to Loft to see about pants for work. It has been a good long time since I bought new pants from a store and not second hand. My weight loss and body reshaping adventures have precluded me from spending any significant amount of money on pants that may not fit for very long. I decided that I am officially ready to buy NEW pants. Loft was on the agenda for today. Armed with a half dozen pairs of size 4 pants, (and a few tops because you have to have tops to go with the pants, right?) I hit the dressing room.

Epic Fail.

Every pair of those stupid pants were too big. I don’t mean a little too big, I mean falling off at the waist. Even the petite size 4’s I tried on today were too big.  Now mind you, I have just given away/consigned most of my size 6’s. Most of what I have are 4’s and the fit is ok.  I’ve been measuring myself regularly out of curiosity if going GF would change my waist line, and I’ve lost a half inch in 3 weeks. That’s not enough to do this. I seriously think that Loft has done what I believe many stores are doing now: expanding the definitions for what each size is based on the average sized American woman today. All that aside, I still need pants. I grumbled back out to the floor and to the one rack of trousers I really liked best. No size 2’s. No petite sizes at all. Are you ready for this? I sure wasn’t. Image

The size 0 fit.

I had to ask the sales girl 4 times if she was sure they weren’t too tight. I didn’t have to hold my breath to get into them but they don’t require a belt either.

Shopping is still an emotional experience for me in a lot of ways. I’m not sure that I can explain how it makes me feel to say I own a pair of size 0 pants that fit. Sure, it’s a good thing, but it’s an emotionally heavy thing too. For someone who couldn’t wear the clothes the “cool” girls did (cool =pretty) as an adolescent because they didn’t come in my size, this is so odd. I remember being so thankful for Lane Bryant because I could get things in the smaller sizes there that were trendier at least. It is just odd.

I think in some ways my identity was tied up in that fat girl. Loosing her has been like loosing an old friend. It’s not the same face in the mirror. It’s not the same clothes in the closet. The fat was an armor against the world, a buffer for me. There is a reason for the stereotype of fat people as funny. I was always SO over the top outgoing that I hoped people would like me and be attracted to me for my personality and see past the fat. I’ve noticed that the less fat I am, the less outgoing I am too. However, the loss of fat also has occurred over an incredibly difficult transitional period for me too, so the correlation is not direct.

My sweet college roommate Alisha posted this quotation from the amazing Gilda Radner on facebook this morning, I think it really serves to summerize my place right now well. I’m not as content as Ms. Radner appears to be, but I am understanding this concept of  “not knowing” somewhat better.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity. ~Gilda Radner

Cold Oatmeal Isn’t As Bad As It Sounds

Day One of Wheat Free/Dairy Free life and month long detox.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. I just need some space in the morning to get myself together before I am functional and ready to face the world. I have a tendency to sleep late. I like breakfast; I need breakfast (and soon after rising). However, I don’t like to cook breakfast, especially not when I have to hurry to be somewhere…like work.

For years I relied on cereal or sandwiches or fast food. In my real food switch I have come to love and adore plain yogurt. Especially with my homemade granola. Especially for breakfast. It is quick, easy, and ooh.soo.gooood. Alas, yogurt and I have had to part ways. I’ve tried soy yogurt and coconut yogurt and may have those on occasion. I think the big lesson I need to learn is not to have the same.freakin.thing.every.morning. Variety is good, right?

Enter Overnight Oats.

So good I ate half of it before this picture was taken. Note the digestive enzymes in the background.

So good I ate half of it before this picture was taken. Note the digestive enzymes in the background.

Frankly, the thought of cold oatmeal grossed me out. I mean, ew? I barely like the stuff hot, but cold? G-R-O-S-S. I scanned blog after blog last night looking at overnight oats. I was heartened to see that almost every one I read said they felt the same way I did. Everyone was initially skeptical but was won over with the first bowl. I figured what the heck. If it was super gross, I’d toss it out and have grits.

In my little bowl (don’t be fooled, you don’t have to have a mason jar, I used a small bowl):

1/3 cup oats
1/3 rice milk (plus an extra splash)
6 or 8 frozen raspberries and blueberries
In the morning I drizzled on just a touch of honey, because honey makes everything better.

 

 

I have to say, I really liked it. Cold oats were good. Tomorrow I might try 1/2 cup of oats and a 1/2 cup of rice milk. I was hungry mid morning. I could see this being a good thing. I could add lots of things to this. Peanut butter would be good, especially Trader Joe’s PB that’s already on the runny side. Mmmm.

I was really worried about what I would do about breakfasts. This will go in the rotation for sure. Now that summer is quickly approaching I will go back to having smoothies too. What can I thicken smoothies with other than yogurt? I can’t have banana for another month either. Banana will be in the top 3 to be challenged back into my diet (along with tomatoes and maybe lettuce).

Fitness Goal Met

This week I accomplished a goal I never thought possible.

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I finished a 5k.

I won’t say I ran a 5k because I didn’t run it all. I ran more than I walked, but not every step. I never, ever, ever thought I would run anything, let alone a 5k and I did run probably 2/3 of it. Maybe I even ran a little more. It wasn’t the fastest time in the bunch, but it wasn’t the slowest either. It was the fastest I’ve ever done, and I beat the goal I set for myself by 3 minutes. I am pleased.

Not only did I finish this 5k, I trained for this 5k. I started training about 10 weeks ahead of time. I made a plan, and I stuck to it. It sucked at times. I realized that my body is in pretty crappy shape for running. I may be in the gym 4 days a week lifting weights and doing cardio, but my joints were not prepared for pounding the pavement (or treadmill).

Even when I hurt myself I stuck it out and got back on the treadmill and got back at it. A few days of rest and back to the grind.  I maybe wasn’t able to make it the full 5k running, but I walked it out each time. It certainly was a new kind of experience for my body to train for an endurance event rather than the burst of energy expenditure of weight lifting.

The Color Run was the perfect first experience at a 5k. There’s a reason they call it the Happiest 5k on the Planet. You can’t NOT have fun doing this.

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And I can’t end this entry without saying a big thank you to my BFF Kim for nudging me along into this. I would never have believed fitness could be this much fun.

Detox

Ug. I have fallen off the clean eating wagon this week, and boy does my body know it all freakin over. I decided I wanted to try this really yummy looking recipe for stuffed shells I found on Pinterest (damn you Pinterest!). Well that’s all fine and dandy until I get to the grocery store only to realize that I can’t find any whole wheat shells or even manicotti. Oops. Weeeellll, I guess regular old pasta won’t hurt this once….and then for left overs…and then left overs again….and damn that was good, let me take that for lunch one more day…I swear the rest is in the freezer now. That brings me to later this week. I had a work function that was going to include lunch. We’ve been over before how that makes me mildly apprehensive. I knew that the Board of Directors had had Panera at their meeting a couple of weeks ago, which is an absolute NO for me. The meeting was off site in a church, so I was betting on a repeat catering. I planned ahead with a big breakfast and brought a whole food snack to contribute to the group. And I packed a discrete lunch…kimbap. This is totally one of my newest loves. The Japanese version is called onigiri. I linked to that particular website because the instructions are so clear on how to make them, and I think the video is just smile worthy. Who doesn’t love some Bobby McFarin? Anyway. We ended up at a local restaurant where I was able to order a meal that fit my dietary guidelines without worry. That still left me with 3 delicious kimbaps to devour over the next couple of days. While I love them, they are made of sushi rice. White sushi rice. Add to that I think I had a crescent roll at my parents’ house when I had dinner there (maybe?) and the (are you ready?) Starbucks scone I ordered before I could stop myself this morning and I have hit the overload point on refined crap.

I was already feeling not so hot, but that stupid scone, that I regretted the minute I bit into it, has really thrown me over. I’ve been more sluggish than usual, and feeling tired earlier and earlier. Yesterday was probably the first day I didn’t eat refined grains this week and the only day I’ve been able to stay awake easily until my normal bedtime. I have to wonder if this has anything to do with why I haven’t been sleeping so well lately too. I’m back to taking something every night to keep me asleep, which I haven’t needed in quite a while. I’m practically jittery this morning. And I’m not even going to get into what my digestive system thinks of all this.

It is totally detox time. No excuses about that. This weeks’ shopping list will include lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Detox Salad from Oh She Glows is on the menu. I actually have most of the ingredients already. Just need to pick up the broccoli, cauliflower, and fresh parsley. Also planning on this Quinoa and Sweet Potato recipe I found on allrecipes.com There will lots of lemon water and green tea to complement this as well. I did an extra session of cardio on Saturday, and I need to make sure I up the sweat factor for a while in the gym.

It’s a time to forgive myself for the bump in the road. We all have them. But time to climb back on the wagon and keep moving. Lesson learned. None of this is worth feeling crappy for. A bite here or there is nothing, but the cumulative effect of something everyday builds up quicker than I ever expected.

Any favorite detox recipes would be greatly appreciated as I work to reset my system.

Public Confessions and Other Commitments

There is something about telling another person your sins that make them real and helps you to move on. That’s why the Catholics like confession I guess. That’s why one of the 12 steps is to admit your wrong doings and make amends whenever possible. Well, I have some confessions to make.

1. I eat WAY too much peanut butter. This is not a new love affair for me. It’s a life long love that only grows stronger. But in the last 3 months, I would venture to say it is really getting to be something I might openly admit to having an addiction to. I love PB so much I named my childhood cat after this my beloved snack food. And my hippie parents never batted an eye. Dad loves the stuff too 😉 Now, lets get something straight. I am a peanut butter snob. I really love natural, fresh ground peanut butter. Nothing but peanuts in my peanut butter please!

2. I really don’t like cooking. I especially don’t like cooking that involves a lot of work. I tend to eat the same things over and over just because they are easy and I know I can make them without setting the kitchen on fire.

3. I REALLY don’t drink enough water. This used to be the easiest thing every for me. I had no trouble getting in 8-10 glasses a day and 12-15 on exercise days. Now I barely get in the 8 on exercise days. I’m not sure what happened, but I have to improve the H2O intake for sure.

This brings me to the public commitment part of today’s programming. I’m here to say that I am committing to drinking 8 glasses of water a day for the next week. I will. I will finish off at least 2 before lunch and at least 2 more before I leave work.

I’ve confessed and committed. Your turn. What do you need to tell the world you’re working on?

Everyone Sing Along

If there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s that music is essential to exercise. What kind of music is really debatable, but the absolute NEED for music is not. I’ve got a really specific taste in workout music. My overall taste for music is really wide spread, but when it comes to get-your-blood-pumping-sweat-pouring-heart-beating-rock-your-socks-off-music my choice always leans toward hip hop and rap. I’m constantly screwing with the playlist and generally hit shuffle over about 60 songs. I know several people who like the variety of Pandora, but I like to have a little more control over my playlist for workouts than that. (Hey, I’m learning not to be a control freak for most of the rest of my life, let me have my workout playlist, ok?) I mostly have older stuff, but occasionally add in new stuff. And this one time, a couple of years ago this awesome guy I used to chill with let me hack his harddrive, and I came away with copies of about a dozen mix tapes that are now in frequent rotation. (That doesn’t make up for the fact that I never see you any more Car Wash Boy, sniff.) 

Here’s a sampling of my current shuffle:

  • Ashin Kusher -Kid Cudi
  • Move That Body- Nelly, Akon, T-Pain (seriously-this is awesome for hardcore cardio)
  • Work Out – J. Cole
  • Tootsie Roll -69 Boys (talk about a throwback! This was played at every dance I went to between the 6th and 8th grades!)
  • Talk That Talk- Rhianna
  • Good Good Night -Rosco Dash
  • Black and Yellow- Wiz Khalifa
  • Forever -Drake, Kanye, Eminem, Lil Wayne
  • Blow the Whistle -Too $hort
  • Chillen -Wale and Lady Gaga
  • Flex -Party Boys (One of those songs that you have to forgive me for because it just has good memories attached)
  • On to the Next One -JayZ
  • Buy You a Round -Verse Simmons
  • Push It -Salt N Pepa (Does it get any better than these original ladies of hip hop? I mean, really?!?!)
  • Ring the Alarm- Beyonce
  • Pope- Prince
  • Imma Be -Black Eyed Peas
  • Snap Backs and Tattoos -Driicky Graham (I’m going to go ahead and call it what it is-not high quality music, but the beat’s good for cardio)
  • Just Begun- Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, Jay Electronica
  • Hard- Rihanna, Jezzy
  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder -JayZ
  • We Be Clubbin- Ice Cube
  • Step Into A World -KRS One
  • If I Ruled The World ’09 – Nas, Marcia Ambrosious

So, let’s have it. What gets your heart pumping for a good work out?

Delayed Gratification

Do you know Chocolate Covered Katie? If not, you should. Healthy desserts? Many vegan? I’m in.

Sometime ago, I pinned this recipe for Peach Breakfast Bake. I have a not-so-secret love affair with peaches and more recently with nectarines. Seriously, my addiction to nectarines might be reaching intervention level soon. But they are a superfood! Not when you overdose, Becky. Anyway, I decided there was no way I was going to wait 45 minutes first thing in the morning for this bad boy to bake, so I popped it into the oven last night. Let me tell you that it took every ounce of restraint I had not to gobble it up and “Screw you Breakfast! You can have eggs!” It smelled heavenly and made my whole apartment smell heavenly. But I was a good girl and left it until this morning when I woke up with drool practically hanging to my knees.

As you can see, I put it over plain yogurt, but honestly, I think vanilla would have been better, and ice cream would have been best. I’m not opposed to eating ice cream for breakfast, I just don’t have any. The recipe says it makes 3 servings. 3 servings for who? Elves? Must be for people who don’t like food! I will admit to being a glutton who ate the whole pan. I tried to kid myself by only taking half, but I knew that wasn’t going to do it. My nectarine fetish kicked it the minute my tongue got a hint of that sweet goodness and I had to finish off every single crumb.

Now for my alterations:

-I only used 1 tbsp of brown sugar in the topping and no other sweetener anywhere else. Peaches are sweet.

– I used crushed rice chex since that’s what I had and it’s going stale anyway.

-I used 1 peach and 1 nectarine, again because it’s what I had. Probably could have used 1 more piece of fruit.

-No margarine for me (ick!) I used coconut oil. (margarine and soy “cheese” is where I start crossing hairs with vegans on the “healthiness” of lifestyles)

This recipe is a keeper. And seriously, go check out CCK’s other recipes. And nectarines. Eat more nectarines.