Category Archives: Eating

Back in Action: Food First

Today was a perfect day.  And perfect days have ball-busting workouts.  Preferably two!

I am sweaty and happy and very, very smelly.

I am sweaty and happy and very, very smelly.

Does anyone remember that the initial purpose of this blog was to see if I could find any enjoyment in physical activity?  Wow.

Everyone tells you that post-marathon blues are practically a given.  I came home on cloud nine after what was unquestionably the best day of my life.  A week later, Tim and I set our WEDDING DATE (as of this moment: 36 days, 16 hours and 17 minutes but WHO’S COUNTING?) and the following week, I delighted myself with an unexpected 10k PR.  I thought I might bypass the typical ennui altogether but that shit trail race left me with a cough, a strained calf, and a slight bout of runner’s knee.  Rad!

While I had drastically reduced my exercise in the last month, I had hardly changed my eating habits at all.  If anything, I was eating more deep dish.  To celebrate!  EVERYTHING!?

I took control of the eating first.  No more BK biscuit sandwiches (waaaah!).  No more deep dish (WAAAAAHHHH!) and most disturbing, I switched my Chipotle tacos out for…

…..salads…..

(With double meat, to soften the blow.)

This is a salad that I ate.

This is a salad that I ate.  There is more lettuce under all the chicken.  And the cheese.

I resumed tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal and I’ve lost 6.5 of the 10 post-marathon pounds that won’t fit in my lovely wedding gown.  Nothing like incredibly expensive photographs and garments to motivate you to drink water and eat green things.

THIS IS CAULIFLOWER THAT * I ATE *.

THIS IS CAULIFLOWER THAT * I ATE *.

I think it was a good choice to focus on getting my eating back on track before pressuring myself to rediscover my running mojo.  My knee and calf felt better every day and over the weekend, I knew that I would be ready to recommit this week.  I’d been attending Dailey Method regularly but my limited running over the last couple weeks had begun to erode my confidence.  And eroded confidence is not what I need on December 1st when I begin training for the Oakland Half!  Next time I’ll tell you all about that the terrifying awesome TERRIFYING training plan that I have selected in service to OPERATION: GET SPEEDY

How do you get your eating back on track?  Portion control?  Elimination?  Cleanse?  Lay it on us!

Oh, also….

I WROTE SOME FICTION.  No idea where it came from.  It’s pretty dark.  Check it out and feel free to leave any comments you like!

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Hi. I’m in Seattle…

Please tell me you get that altered quotation….

If not, here’s another quote from the same timeless film.

“It’s like people only do things because they get paid. And that’s just really sad…”

(Name it in the comments. Don’t make me beg.)

Aaaaanyway, I’m in Seattle! Basically all of my awesome family lives here and let me tell you – if I could bring my professional network, my fiancé’s tenured job, and Bay Area weather up here, I would move in half a heartbeat.

It’s such an incredible city in which to be active. (Awk syntax alert!!) Yesterday, I did a short run starting at my parent’s place in Queen Anne and down to the waterfront. The running path and bike path infrastructure down there was awesome. I wished I’d had my bike!

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I was wearing an orange jacket so feel free to pretend that I have a personal running photographer (and instagrammer) and that the orange speck is me!

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I came upon a random rose garden and it was gorgeous! Note the Space Needle and overcastness as proof that I’m not in Berkeley. Okay, the Space Needle then…

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So pretty!

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Upon returning, my Dad and I got breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle, Tolouse-Petit. It’s so delicious and adorable. I had their pork cheek hash which was featured on Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate.. Had a (two) biscuit(s) too and it was seriously good.

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After the run, Rog (aka Rojelio, aka Roger, aka Roheezy, aka Dad) had a meeting so I watched the first five episodes of Family Tree on HBO. If you aren’t watching this, get on board. It’s delightful. Directed by Christopher Guest of Waiting for Guffman. More need not be said.

As I mentioned in previous posts, my dad had vascular surgery last week. I’m so proud to report that he’s already resumed his walking routine! After amazing sandwiches at Homegrown, we took a four mile walk through the neighborhood. Being active with my dad is quite a shift for both of us and I’m thrilled. I basically need him to live until infinity so the walking is essential.

20130622-082059.jpgDad at Homegrown. Check out his sweet neck scar. #prison

20130622-082241.jpgHang on. Ham and Beechers. With shallot relish, arugula, and sage aioli. In my top 5 life sandwich experiences. Go there, stat.

Continuing the trend of “do something on my feet, eat carbohydrates, repeat…”, we had dinner at my faaaaavorite restaurant in Seattle, Cuoco. Incredible everything. Fresh pastas, rosemary fucking LARDO with your bread. Come on. My stepsister and I had a great time figuring out the ranking order of her, myself and our brother Patrick in various categories including strength, sophistication, beauty, and education. We’re mature. We tied for first in maturity.

On today’s agenda, Flywheel (!) and a Mariners game (against the Oakland Athletics YEEEEEUH) where I will probably eat a SHISHKABERRY!

*Blogging from my phone this weekend. I’ll post links to all the restaurants when I return on Sunday!

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Rest Day POV

Reach out and touch someone.

Diet Coke by the pallet.

Down the hatch.

Please, don’t get up.

Figuring it out

As I’ve whined about eluded to over the last 10 days or so, things have been off.

[Earmuffs, gentlemen.]

Almost two weeks ago, I had all my typical PMS symptoms: biblical bloating, tummy distress, weight gain, and intense hunger.  Oh and quite the short fuse.

Cramping started about 9 days ago.  (Pardon if this is TMI) I typically get pretty severe cramps the evening before or the day that my period arrives.

Except, it didn’t……..?

In addition to 12 days of period symptoms, I’ve had terrible acid reflux and nausea.  Awesome!

You win this round, Tomato Toast.

So I cut back on the Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce, drank more water, and waited impatiently.  Still no period.  The pregnancy test that I took in the Target bathroom yesterday (#newlifelow), reported that there’s no bun in this churning oven.  So what gives?

Well, according to the internet, I have an eating disorder, an ectopic pregnancy, and probably a calcium deficiency.  And maybe a brain tumor.  Seriously though, a Google search of  “missed period exercise” revealed a startling number of articles with the words “disordered eating” and “extreme exercise.”  It’s more than a little scary.

In the last three weeks, I’ve amped up my workout schedule.  I’ve been doing about 8 workouts a week (3 runs, 3 TDM classes, 2 yoga classes) with a couple of rest days in the mix.  I don’t consider this “extreme exercise” but perhaps it is.  I’ve made an attempt to eat enough to fuel these activities but I can tell it’s not enough.  I had some amazing runs over the last couple weeks but I’ve also had some really tough classes and the tummy discomfort is wearing on my patience.

It’s time to start experimenting with more carbs.  I eat whole grains and fruit but I will admit that my diet is protein-based.  I’ve historically avoided carbs because I didn’t do enough activity to burn them and I believed they contributed to weight gain and bloating.  I don’t intend to regularly eat refined flour or sugar but it’s clear that I need more energy dense foods.

I don’t know what to make of the missed period.  Honestly, it’s frustrating and demoralizing.  I’m finally in a place where I feel strong and athletic and now there’s a health concern?  Really?  I know I wasn’t better off sedentary but it bums me out that there’s any negative aspect to something that’s been so positive.

Game plan:  Eat more.  Smile more.  Hug more.  Drink water more.  Wait and see…

Anyone struggle with how much and what to eat as they’ve become more active?  Anyone……skip a period?

Habitual Eating and Lärabar/Kit’s Organic Smackdown

Those closest to me know that my eating is nothing if not habitual.

Typical conversation with the woman who answers the phone at Fountain Garden:

I’ve never actually been inside.

Lady:  Fountain Garden – May I help you?

Me:  Uh, hi.  Could I please place an order for delivery?

Lady: Phone number?

Me: 555-blahblahblahblah

Lady:  Ahyeah. (she sounds disappointed)  The same?

Me:  ……..yeah, thanks.

Lady: Same card?

Me:  Yeah, thank you.

Lady: Ahokay…[hangs up the phone while she’s still speaking]

As soon as she hears my phone number and realizes who I am, she literally mumbles and hangs up on me as quickly as possible.  Is the BBQ Pork Won Ton Soup worth the humiliation?  If I don’t have to put on pants to procure it, YUP.

Once, after a two week absence, she perked up: “Long time, no see!  You on vacation?!”  Sigh.

You know what, I don’t have to defend myself to you people.  I like soup!

I wish I could say this was an isolated relationship but I have a long and intimate history with food servers.  The In-N-Out people would affirm my order (two cheeseburgers, plain.  Large Diet Coke.  No fries.) before I’d even finished rolling down the car window.  Yikes.

Those were the days…

My grocery shopping is just as…..consistent.  If not more so.  I’d say for the last year, with maybe 5 exceptions, I’ve had a Lärabar every morning for breakfast.  Apple Pie or Chocolate Coconut.  I love that they don’t have any weird ingredients like rice syrup (wtf?) or whatever it is in Cliff bars that make me feel like I have wet cement in my bellah.  Fruit and nuts.  Carbs and fat.  Perfect breakfast!

Sidenote: I also eat a lot of pre-made chicken meatballs from the deli case.  Not only does the deli guy know I want a large container of meatballs but he recognized my dude and assumed he wanted them when he went in *without me*.  Awkward.  I’ve also realized that I eat a wide range of foods in compressed form.   A little weird, no?  Bars, meatballs, turkey burgers…

So, the other day, I was filling my basket with bars and I noticed that Cliff Bar has come out with a line of fruit and nut bars called Kit’s Organic.  Jumping on the Lära/Kind bandwagon, I suppose.  There was a chocolate flavor with almost identical ingredients to my beloved Chocolate Coconut Chew but with the intriguing addition of coconut oil and sea salt.  I looooooooove desserts with sea salt so even at $1.79 a bar, a smackdown was in order.

It’s a walk-off.

It was not necessary to do a side by side tasting because I’ve had the Lärabar about 14 kagillion times.  I did, however, take a side by side photo.  On my leg.  So profesh!

I chooooooose….BOTH!

My first impression of the Kit’s Organic bar was that it tasted like a BROWNIE!  The texture was also more consistent throughout.  I personally think this even texture makes it look and taste less like real food.

So compressed. So tasty.

The nuts in a Lärabar (Ugh, enough with the ä’s already!) are whole and I like that each bite has a slightly different texture.  Still, the Kit’s bar was delicious.  It’s a bit more expensive but it might end up in the rotation.  Look at me, growing!  There is also a berry flavor I’m interested in trying.  They also make Peanut Butter flavor and Cashew flavor.  Neither of which I will be trying.  Not a fan of peanut butter or cashews.

Okay, any other habitual eaters out there?  Anyone else not have to order because the server knows what you want already and it’s kind of embarrassing but kind of makes you feel like a VIP?  Holla!

Weight

In fifth grade, my class was learning about the skeletal system.  My teacher, Mrs. Attles, told us that without our skeleton, “we’d just be a big blob of stuff.”  A girl in the class responded:

“Like Shauna.”

Evidenced by my Timeline, I have had a complicated relationship with my self.  My identity was formed around what I believed was the truth:  I was fat and thus, I was wrong.  I was not who I was supposed to be.  I was a disappointment.  I was unlovable.  I was not allowed or able to be happy.

Each time I lost weight, I was elated by the feeling that my life was changing.  That *I* was changing.  Each time I gained weight, it was confirmation that no,  nothing had changed.  Confirmation that there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

I lived between two extremes.  On one end of the pendulum was “perfect” behavior:  eating whatever I had currently decided was acceptable (and only that) and working out for the sole purpose of getting skinny.  When I swung in the other direction, it was to large quantities of unhealthy food.  My body would yearn for fruit and I would give it pizza.

Swinging back and forth was beyond demoralizing.  I hated seeing numbers on the scale and wearing outfits that I desperately wanted to leave in the past.  What I didn’t realize was that the momentum was slowing down.  Each time I swung from one side to the other, I didn’t go as far.  I may have moved away from working out but I brought whole grains with me.  During diligent times, it became easier to have an indulgent meal without fear, shame, or a spiral away from health.

* * *

The last time I weighed myself, I was 134lbs.  That is the lowest weight I have been as an adult.  I look and feel like a thin person.  I am one.  But see how I write about “a thin person” as though it’s someone else?  I’ve always believed that the “true” me was someone glamorous and thin.  How strange that in the past, when I came closer to that idealized version of myself, I felt like an imposter.  All of a sudden, I felt like an overweight person in a thinner body.

Now is different.

When I began the 30 Day Challenge, one of my fears was that I would gain muscle, gain pounds and feel like a failure.  I would no longer be on the road to “skinny” and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that.  Was I still in the mentality that skinny is best? Have I finally grown to value strength and redefined “success?”  I promise to be honest about how I feel when I finally see how my increased strength influences that one number.  Even I’m curious to see my own reaction if this stronger, more solid body happens to be say, 140.  Seeing a loss on the scale feels great.  At this point, I can honestly say that shocking myself with an 8:14 minute mile and getting through a brutal thigh work set at TDM feels better.  I haven’t been on the scale but I am loving my body.  I feel so strong in every way.

It’s stunning.  It’s change.

 

 

 

Balance, Treats, Rewards

After about a week without a functioning AC adapter for my laptop, I FINALLY have my lifeline back!  Despite the great iPad WordPress app, blogging without my computer is a pain in the basketballs.  Hence the brief, picture-less posts.

As the 30 Day Challenge progresses, I’m finding myself increasingly “focused” (read: OBSESSIVE.)  When I see positive results, I tend to begin to fear food.  It is very easy for me to workout every day.  It is hard to eat enough to fuel my activities.  It’s even harder to believe that this is actually happening.  For good.

Since I truly want to make permanent life changes,  there must be balance:

Balance.

 

There also must be treats:

 

And, of course, there are rewards:

Rewards.