Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The difference here isn't pounds it's HAPPINESS

It's been about 2 years since I hit the 100 pound weight loss mark.  I maintained it for a year, even lost a little more.  Then I loosened the reins so to speak and gained a little back.  My weight has fluctuated at 90-95 pounds lost mark for the last year.  A couple weeks ago I thought it would be fun to take a comparison photo.

100 pounds lost on the right, today on the right fluctuating at 90-95 pounds lost. 
I don't see a huge difference when I look at these pictures.  Brown hair to blond hair is about the most noticeable.  Taking this picture was a real eye opener for me.  Over the last year I have really been trying hard to let go of the "diet mentality," to let go of the scale, to eat with more of an intuitive style, and most of all TO BE HAPPY and LIVE LIFE in this healthy body of mine.  This picture helps me see that the number on the scale is just that, a number.  It really doesn't mean a lot. 

So what are the differences in these two pictures?  

Well the one on the left, I have more muscle tone in my upper body as I was lifting weights more often and heavier (not yet training for marathons).  My belly had less flub to it as I was eating "cleaner" and not enjoying the wine as much as I do now (hehehe).  But I still favoured the bubble exercise top because of loose skin and yes still some pooch :)  My size 8 jeans fit perfectly and sometimes a size 6 fit too.  

On the right, those size 8 jeans still fit but right out of the wash I need to do the deep lunges and squats to stretch them out a bit!  But hey that's just extra exercise, nothing wrong with that.  I can lay down on the bed and maybe zip up of the size 6 jeans...but who the hell is going to walk around in those?  Who am I kidding I rarely wear "real pants" as it is!  Yoga pants, leggings, heck even PJ pants are where it's at.  

The real differences in these photos you can't see, because they are happening on the inside.  The girl on the right is tracking everything she eats, counting calories, getting on the scale everyday, feeling guilty about food much of the time, and generally spending way to much time and energy thinking about weight!  The girl on the left has slowly but surely been letting go of that, getting on the scale less frequently and when she does not letting it have such a big impact.  Much more of the time I am being intuitive in my eating style, I still track what I eat sometimes but more as a guide and not religiously.  I'm enjoying so many of the foods that I used to think were forbidden.  In doing so those foods have lost much of their power over me.  There is less of a dramatic swing between restrictive eating and free for all eating.  I feel like there is more balance.  I still over do it, but not as often as before, and without the guilt that I used to have.  There is no more "MONDAY SYNDROME" where I will restrict and punish myself come Monday, and until then eat myself silly.  

Most of all, I now feel happy and free most of the time.  My thoughts are not all harnessed toward weight and weight loss.  I'm enjoying my fit and healthy life. I'm enjoying being active with my family and food is part of that.  I love spending a day skiing with the family and then drinking beer and enjoying a good Rueben sandwich and sweet potato fries after.  I love cooking a special family meal like Sushi night, and drinking my wine with Ryan while we prep it.  I feel like food is more of a friend now, and not the enemy.  I'm enjoying exploring new ways to make food, and new foods to eat that are wholesome and nutritious.  I'm really enjoying the recipes on the Oh She Glows blog but at the same time very much enjoy the not so "healthy" stuff too.  
Sushi Night at our house, such fun prepping and sharing the kitchen with Ryan and sipping my wine, laughing and having a good time. 

not as pretty as the sushi place, but it was just as tasty! 

So here I am training hard, enjoying food with vigour, still having some ups and downs, but overall feeling Happy and Healthy.  Life is good, very very good. 

Just a few deep lunges and we are set :) 

Heading into training week 3: with kleenex stuffed up my nose and trying to not pee myself

 I'm working hard toward my spring race goals and have already gotten two weeks of my training plan under my belt.  I'm pretty proud of last week's training:

I did 3 runs last week (one speed, one tempo, one LSD), 1 Brick, 1 Spin, 3 strength training sessions, and a day of skiing with the family on my rest day!  BAM! 
Last week I tried to add a little more strength training into the week and managed to get 3 sessions in instead of 2.  They weren't long, but I feel they were effective.  I did a 20 min TRX session one afternoon after a Brick Workout in the am.  The following day I did a PiYO strength workout at home, I have to tell you I LOVE these workouts.  They are the perfect combination of leg work, stretch and sweat! Plus core and upper body, not to mention balance. I love getting into the flow of it.  Then Thursday after a challenging Speed workout I hit the free weights and squat rack with my friend Laura for 30 min.  That one was FUN, and just what I needed.  Fitting in the strength work is what I struggle with so I'm really happy with this week.

I'm also proud to report that I met all my pace targets on my runs last week!  I got over my equilibrium issue on the treadmill and was even able to get my speed workout done without much issue.  I say "much" because on my first 400m lap I was still scared and had my hand on the bar, totally afraid to take it off.  After that I was fine.  It's so weird that running at a 8.1mph pace is pushing it for me now on 400m, where as last year I was doing 9.1 no problem.  Takes time to build back up, I just have to trust that it will come back.  My running is getting stronger, and even if I don't meet the same paces I did last year that's ok.  I have a different goal this year, it isn't to PR it's to Finish a first ever! Very excited about that.

So two great weeks under the belt and sadly not starting off well this week.  I caught a a nasty head cold.  Monday I spent the morning training other's feeling slightly off but by the afternoon I was laid up on the couch with Kleenex stuck up my nose.  I went to bed at 6pm that night (skipping the gym) and slept for over 12 hrs.  I think the 12 hrs of sleep boosted me a bit and I made my tempo run and strength workout the next morning, but soon after was a snotty mess and back on the couch.  I'm going to do my best to fit it all in this week but at the same time I'm ok with having to modify the plan a bit to rest and feel better.  Franky, I will have to modify it.  But that's alright.  Today my big plan is making a pot of soup and eating it all, and picking up all my kleenex before the dog get's it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Confession: I struggle with getting my kids to eat a variety of healthy food

Ok so confession time, I struggle with getting my kids to eat "healthy."  I have two little girls (5 and 7) and the youngest in particular is a very picky eater.  My oldest does pretty well, she will eat the healthy balanced meals I give her even if she doesn't LOVE them.  She will eat all her veggies and such so she can have her dessert.  Yep, my kids get dessert after lunch and dinner if they eat all of their healthy meal.  It's a small dessert and it's how we roll.   I will confess that most nights I make an adult dinner and a kid dinner, it's something I am trying to do less of.  But I hate the drama at dinner  especially since I'm usually the one that eats with the kids on my own.  I just want a peaceful dinner and the fit they would throw if they were met with kale and qunioa casserole is not worth it for me.  We have what seems like a small rotation of healthy meals that they like.  I am trying to expand that list.  I am trying to find and make more meals that all of us like. (I should also confess that I am selfish and I want to eat the meals I like, and don't really like the ones that are more family friendly).

My real struggle comes with my youngest who is a very picker eater.  The eat your dinner or you don't get dessert doesn't work with her. She doesn't care about dessert (perhaps a good thing).  She often will not eat dinner.  She doesn't get hungry later, so there is no coming back to eat said abandoned dinner.  She isn't a breakfast lover.  She often doesn't eat her snack at school.  The only meal she does like is lunch.  Her FAV lunch is a whole wheat wrap, with greek yogurt, avocado, and cheese.  Somedays she will pack in two, that are bigger then her.  Recently she has started eating wraps like this for breakfast.  I figure it's better then a bowl of cereal.  I'm trying to listen to her body and what she needs.  Since she doesn't eat a lot I'm trying to make sure what she does eat is full of nutrients.  She isn't big on the fruit and veggies.  So we are trying something new.  I would like to see both my girls eat more fruits and veggies.  My kids are big on charts, so they each made their own chart with the days of the week on them.  On each day they have the numbers 1-5.  The idea is that they need to eat 5 fruits/veggies each day.  They check of each number as they go.  If they get all 5 SUPERSTAR! There really isn't a reward other then the fun of charting it (and trust me they love this stuff) and me cheering them on.  I took Kasey the picky one to Farmboy today and let her pick anything she wanted from the fruits and veggies.  We came home with strawberries, lots of blueberries, mango, banana's, apples, cucumber, peppers, and avocado (yep we are calling this a veggie for her).  It's been two days so far and it's going great.  Now the key is to not lose steam, which I am just as guilty of doing as they are.

What are your favourite kid friendly healthy meals?  Have any tips for picky eaters?  And does anyone else find trying to help your kids eat well freaking exhausting?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Training for Spring Races is Underway

Training for spring races is well underway.  It feels so weird to say Spring, it is coming right? First up will be the Manotick 10 Miler on April 27th, and a week later a 70KM Bike for CN Cycle for CHEO (I have never biked that far).  My main events though will be a super fun girls getaway weekend to Peele Island to run a Half Marathon June 1st with some very good friends.  Two of my favourite things WINE and RUNNING!  Then on June 15th I will do my VERY FIRST DUATHALON!  An olympic distance Duathalon consisting of a 5km run, 40km bike and 10 km run.  I'm pretty nervous about that one, especially since I also signed up for the half iron distance at the end of August.  But I can't even quite wrap my mind around that right now.

Did I mention that as a kid I used to fall off my bike a lot? I still have scars on the my knees.

January I started doing a "long run" again on weekends with the goal of having 10 miles feel like a comfortable distance to run.  Think of it as the new 10km, why not?  I knew that Feb 10th my Run Less Run Faster Program, which I used to PR in the half distance last year, would start.  The program has a pace target for each run, and I knew that I needed to have the distance under my belt so I could focus on pace.  I was also doing some brick bike to run workouts getting a feel for that in addition to my usual strength training.  Last Monday things got serious and my plan came together.

The "plan" right now is to follow the RLRF program of one speed, one tempo and one long run a week.  I'm also adding a "brick" (bike+run) workout and an endurance ride workout in.  That's 5 cardio workouts a week compared to my usual 3.  Needless to say fitting in strength work is challenging.  I learned training for my last Marathon, in October last year, that I can't back off strength too much.  I don't like feeling "weak" and I hurt myself to easily.  So right now I am aiming for 2-3 strength sessions a week.  They may be a 20 min TRX workout, a PiYo Strength workout, and a more formal gym strength session with the free weights and squat rack for 30 min.  They are shorter and full body workouts.  Oh and lots of stretching and foam rolling I can't forget that!

It's funny despite being someone that workouts out most often 6 days a week and sometimes more, my schedule seems a bit overwhelming to me at the moment.  Maybe it's because I am used to one "long workout" my long run.  Now I have 2-3 long cardio workouts a week.  Then stick 20 min on the TRX on to that....aye aye I am tired.  But it's a plan, and I will see how it goes.  It's early yet and I don't need to be on the bike for 2 hrs plus yet.  So maybe I drop a bike workout one week and take an extra rest day if I need it, maybe I replace it with a strength workout.  To be honest I am flying by the seat of my pants a bit with regards to the bike stuff.  Running I know, biking I do not.  I have looked up some plans online and have a general idea of what to do.  I want to see how the Spring goes, and then see if I need help and need to get a coach to help me.

I'm missing one KEY component right now and that's a bike! I need to get myself a new bike as I don't think my 10 year old Canadian Tire Special is going to cut it.  I think I will head to Bushtukah tommorrow night to get an idea of what I should be looking at.  I'm pretty excited.  We have a week at Sandbanks booked this summer and I can't wait to take my shiny new bike and train there.

So until I have both a new bike, and clear roads I have been spending lots of time on this baby.

I will bike on it for 30-50 min and then go run on the treadmill.  That's my version of brick workout right now.  Not ideal by any means but I hate the cold and the snow.  So you make it work with what you have.  

I"m proud to say that my rear end is toughening up and my butt almost finds the seat comfortable until about the 70 min mark that is.  

So it's game on! See that's my game face at 5am :)