Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Think I Can, I Think I Can....

And I did. I finished my run in under 40 minutes, and if no one had been around to see, I might just have danced there in the middle of the road for joy! Well that's one reason, but truthfully, I was in no condition to be dancing after that last hill.

I still hate the hills, especially the big one at the end, but it feels so good to see improvement, and I'm definitely going to run that 6K next month. Best part? My BFF is planning a visit, and may run it with me!!!

One thing running is doing for me that's not so great, is making a couple of my classes at the gym seem too easy. Today's was one of those, so I'm thinking I may add an extra set of risers under my step next week.

Another big bonus of running, along with all of the hard work I've been doing at the gym? Jillian is not so scary anymore ;) I did the first level of The Shred many months ago, and didn't put that disc back in my player again, until a couple of days ago. I did level one (both of my girls did it with me) and it was a piece of cake. I was still sweaty and my heart rate got up there for a bit, but it was totally do-able, and if I actually enjoyed working out with Jillian, I probably would have done the other two levels that day....

My weight isn't budging, which is terribly annoying, but I'm feeling good, and I know it'll drop eventually.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bok Choy, Baby

If you're a blogger, and I read your blog, you probably influence me in some small way. Whether it's dusting off The Shred, running better and more, or cooking up some interesting foods, this lady takes to heart a lot of what you all have to say.

So, it should come as no surprise, that after reading about Bok Choy yesterday, I looked around for it at the grocery store tonight, and came right home to make/cook it. I live in the South, but I don't "fix" meals ;)

I ran right over the computer to check the recipe, and noticed my error: I bought Big Bok Choy, not Baby Bok Choy. I'm very new to the Bok Choy world, and yes, I had to read all of the labels on the veggies until I found what I was looking for. There didn't seem to be a Baby variety, but I may have missed it somewhere near the micro-greens.

Have no fear! I google recipes all of the time, so I looked up one for cooking Bok Choy and found one that seems to apply to the Big version. They cut theirs into manageable pieces, which, if you notice the bouquet sprouting out of the biggest bowl I own, made a whole lot of sense.

I put a couple of pats of butter in my pan, and stuffed all that I'd cut (about half of the bunch in the bowl) over it. Then I put a few dashes of soy sauce on top. It wilted and shrunk a bit, and when I tried it, I was quite satisfied, but I didn't really want to eat it all alone, so I topped my chicken noodle soup with it.

I was making the soup at the same time the bok choy was cooking because I wanted to use the chicken stock I made with the bones/skin left-over from our pastured chicken. When you spend $16 for a wee-little chicken, you tend to want to make use of all of the parts. I wonder what kind of art project could make use of some bones. Or is that too morbid...

To the stock, I added a can of beans, a bag of frozen peas, a cup or so of pearl onions, a bag of frozen corn, and a couple of cups of hubby's favorite gluten-free noodles. The bok choy on top was a nice addition to my bowl, but I learned a few things from my experience tonight:

  • Bok Choy is a choking hazard. It was mentioned in the post I mentioned above, but I didn't take it seriously. Future references to choking on new foods will be respected.
  • One person should not try to eat an entire pan of Big Bok Choy. The Baby stuff perhaps, but not the Big kind. Binges aren't only for ice cream. I may remember The Bok Choy Binge for years to come, especially if what I think may happen to my digestive system later tonight actually happens.
  • Putting soy sauce (not gluten free) on bok choy is a bad idea in a home where the only other person willing to try said vegetable, is gluten-free. It leads to bok choy bingeing.
  • Cats do not care for bok choy.
  • Grocery stores sell Big Bok Choy in bunches not suitable for a lone diner.
  • The Clean Plate Club membership seems to be a lifetime membership, and is more fun for its members when foods other than bok choy (in astronomical portions) are on the plate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Did It! (Almost)

I'm still hoping to run my first road-race, and it's next month. You'd think I'd run more than once a week if I were really serious about this, but you'd be wrong ;) I just want to finish in under 40 minutes, and if I can do that once before race-day, then off I'll go!

I figured I'd try to pace myself this time by figuring out where each of the 4 miles ends and checking my time at each point. I ended up running 11 minute-miles pretty consistently, and then wimped out and walked the last quarter of a mile. I really wanted to finish, but the last half-mile is ALL uphill, and I just couldn't pull it off.

But I did get farther than last time, so I'm moving in the right direction, correct?

It was 99 degrees here today, and I'm so sick of this heat, but I think I may give it another try on Wednesday...perhaps it'll only hit 95?

If you run, have you noticed much of a difference in your pace or endurance as you've lost weight? I need hope here folks :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me and a Large Fungus

I got the idea for the massive stuffed mushroom from Whole Foods, where I saw a pre-stuffed, enormous portabella begging for me to take it home and enjoy. Then I saw the price tag, and sticker shock is an understatement. So, I made my own, and it was a glorious thing! I stuffed it with chopped onions, green peppers, tomatoes, chives, and garlic. Then I topped it with shredded Blarney Castle (Kerrygold Irish) cheese. A wee bit of freshly ground black pepper covered the cheese, and in the toaster oven it went for about 40 minutes. Yummy! And quite low in calories for the size of the snack.

In other news, I'm getting low in the 150's, and really ready to charge into the 140's. I'm finally getting close to my goal, and I can hardly wait. Given the fact that I only lost about 3 pounds last month, I'm not even hoping to hit 125 by the end of the year, but I can wait...Now that I'm able to go out in public and feel healthy for a change, the waiting isn't nearly as hard as it was 40 pounds ago.

A sign of joy in my emerging form? I bought a new pair of pants last week at the Gap. They're size 12s, and they fit like a glove through the derriere and thighs, but the waist is actually a tad too big. I'm not a belt-wearer, so as soon as my rear end shrinks, I'll be headed back out to replace them ;) Pics are sure to follow...as my BFF has already asked to see these new pants o' mine.

Do you remember a "first" article of clothing that you bought when you'd lost some weight and were starting to feel happy about your current size?

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Brain is Faster Than My Legs-Running Help Needed

I don't seem to have enough ability to match my ambition. I am interested in running a local race next month that benefits a free medical and dental clinic in our area, so I asked a former runner about the course and clocked it in my car.

The distance is right about 4 miles, and it's got some big honkin hills, so I thought I should give it a shot just to see how I'd do. Today. At noon. In 90+ degree heat.

Did I mention that my stomach was growling like crazy when I left for the run, and the last thing I'd eaten was a cake-pop (this concoction on a stick) and a truffle. Both were given to me as a door prize this morning at a big sale. Healthy, I know.

I made it about 3 miles and then couldn't do anymore. I walked, much to my chagrin, the last mile, but still finished the course in about 40 minutes. What this tells me, is that I'm running too fast for my current condition. I don't even run 10 minute miles on my treadmill, so what the heck was I doing out there? I have no way of knowing my pace since I don't have one of those nifty Garmin devices.

Then there's the problem of technique. I know this sounds really stupid, but I don't know if I'm running properly. There have to be some tricks of the trade that I don't know about, right?

So, if you know anything about running, HELP! How do you set a good pace for yourself, and how do you handle going up and down hills? Any other tips that I don't know, since I'm so ignorant about this I can't even come up with many intelligent questions?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mommy, Don't Skinny Up! (And a Jeggings Pic)

I don't ever want to forget what my youngest daughter said to me today, so I'll put it here. "Mommy, don't skinny up!"

She was in my lap, which there's more of now, and was nesting as she tends to do, and urged me to quit losing the soft, squishy, fat to which she's become accustomed. For the same reason I loved my mother's extra padding, my daughter likes mine.

But what's special about this is not that I'm gonna disappoint the poor girl and keep trimming down, but that she used the term, "skinny up". This is well beneath her typical vocabulary, and as I thought about it, I realized why.

We don't talk about fat or skinny people. We don't talk about pants that, "make me look huge", or thunder thighs and muffin tops around here. With two growing girls in the house, I have made every effort never to criticize my body in word or attitude within a ten mile radius of them, because I desperately want them to focus on more important things than fad diets, butt sizes, and superficial body assessments.

They are healthy. They eat well. They get plenty of exercise, and they live in a beauty-obsessed culture which I'm doing my best to shelter them from for as long as possible. So when it comes to Mommy losing weight, they just don't have the vocabulary for it, because all of these months, Mommy has been going to the gym to "get healthier" and they've not really associated this with my shrinking fat cells.

They may have not even noticed, as gradual as this process has been, if it weren't for the ladies at church who keep bringing it up in front of them. Their praise is something I really want to appreciate, but it's been sending a signal to my girls I really wasn't ready to address. But I have now talked to them about it, being the 'more info from home is better than less' type mother that I am. I've talked to them about why we don't have junk in our house. Even so, sometimes people can eat pretty well and still not get enough exercise (their understanding for why I was heavier before).

I hope it has all made sense to them. I think my youngest realizes that no matter what, Mommy will have a squishy hiney and belly she's welcome to sink her little self into.

So onto these lovely pictures....taken today to share with you all that I too, am a trendy chick. (My buddy Lynn is laughing hysterically right about now, because she knows that when it comes to most trends, my knowledge sits somewhere even with a man who's been hiding under a rock for the last century).

Truly, my Yahoo homepage mentioned the new "Jegging" trend, which is how I found out about it. Jeggings are the combo of jeans and leggings, for those of you who have more important things to read about. I saw some celebrity examples of this new fashion trend hitting our very own streets of America, and folks, they are hideous. Worse than high heels and tight jeans with leg warmers on top. Worse than blue eye shadow. Worse than what I did to my hair in the 80's.

But, when I saw them, my mind's eye flickered to that pair of size 10 jeans with stretch from Land's End that have been sitting in my closet for at least a year, waiting for a butt skinny enough to cover.

And my butt? Not skinny enough yet ;) But I can zip em! Here's where the blogosphere shouts, "Just because you can zip them, doesn't mean you should wear them!!"

I know, I know. I won't be seen dead in these jeggings until they are less 'egging' and more 'jean'. So, another 15 pounds or so might do it. In the meanwhile, I thought I'd pass along a chuckle or two, at my butt's expense.