Monday, November 15, 2010

Mamavation Monday : The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Another Monday - another moment to look back over the week that was and prepare for the week ahead. The past week was full of really good moments and some really bad moments, and perhaps an ugly one or two as well.

The Good: Completing Week 5 of the Couch to 5k program.
The Bad : Forgetting to ice my knee down on Friday. No ice on my knee means next day stiffness.
The Ugly : The bruise on my thigh that I got when I walked into one of the weight machines. I can run but apparently walking still escapes me.

The Good : Planning my breakfast, lunch, and snacks so that I had healthy options on hand for office eating.
The Bad : Not planning or at least having a general idea of dinner options. I wound up nibbling on lots of things in the fridge while trying to decide what to prepare for supper.
The Ugly: Eating a bowl of ice cream and considering that a dinner option.

The Good : Making the best food decisions while eating Mexican with my husband for our weekly “date night”.
The Bad : Cheese Dip
The Ugly : My tummy after eating four pieces of pizza when having dinner with friends last night.

Last week was not perfect, as you can tell, I had a few slip ups. But I was able to realize that my poor choices often resulted from a lack of planning.

Therefore, M (that’s my hubby) and I have sat down and planned out our dinners for the week. We have 5 meal ideas that we can prepare from things already in our fridge or pantry. While we have not assigned any of the meals to a particular day, we have a better game plan, which hopefully will help us eat better.

Additionally, I have learned that I can still enjoy meals out but I need to do my homework before hand, so that I know the best options for me to choose from. For example, on Friday I knew that M and I would be eating Mexican, so I reviewed the menu before hand, and made choices accordingly.

The pizza debacle – as I have termed it – could have been avoided if a) I had known before hand where we would be eating and b) I had taken more time to review the menu and ordered what was best for me rather than just following my friends’ lead.

Shifting from last week to this week, I have the following goals:

1. Week 6 of the Couch to 5k program – I am planning on completing all 3 workouts.
2. M and I have scheduled 3 nights for lifting weights at our gym.
3. Make smarter food choices in social situations.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Couch to 5K: Week 5 Recap

Day 1: The day one workout was a 5 minute walk to warm up followed by a 5 minute jog, a 3 minute walk, another 5 minute job, then another 3 minute walk, one last 5 minute jog, and a 5 minute cool down walk.

This was my first real “running” workout in roughly 2 weeks. My legs felt extremely heavy during the first jogging segment. I told my workout buddy Serena that I felt as though I was wading thru mud. The second jogging segment was easier – my legs felt lighter and I was maintaining a good pace. I thought that I would be able to finish the workout strong. However, the final jogging segment was a butt kicker – even though I had been during other forms of cardio in my 2 week break, I had lost some cardio endurance….I quickly became a huffing/puffing mess. I begged Serena to distract me (because sometimes running is so mental) with a joke/story/lie. She happily obliged launching into a tale involving getting lost while shopping with her mother. I finished the final jogging segment and chuckled my way thru the cool down.

Day 2: Given my struggle with Day 1’s workout, this workout had me extremely nervous. The plan calls for a 5 minute warm up, followed by an 8 minute jog, a 5 minute walking breaking, another 8 minutes of jogging, and the standard 5 minute cool down.

My original intention was to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and complete this workout in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, I had to stay late at work, and since I do not feel comfortable running the dark, I was forced once again to hit the treadmill.

During the warm up, I felt myself getting tense and my stomach knotting up. I was very worried that I would not be able to complete the workout. Then I told myself “So what? If you can’t do it today, do what you can, and then try again later.” After my mental pep talk, I began the first running segment. I am not going to lie – the first 3 minutes were very difficult, as my legs felt as though they were chained down. However, I kept trudging along and my minute number four, I was in the “Zone.”. I set my MP3 player to my favorite playlist and cruised along. Before I knew it, it was time for the walking break. The second running segment was a lot easier than the first – I felt strong! After completing the second running segment, I walked for several minutes to cool down and then stretched, and foam rolled for nearly 20 minutes.

Day 3: The third of workout of week 5 is serious – a 5 minute warm up and then 20 minutes of jogging.

20 minutes of straight running was more than I had done in several years, so I opted to run on the treadmill, where I could be sure that I had a certain pace – I am notorious for starting out to fast and never finishing. After my warmup, I set the treadmill to a 1% incline, my pace to a respectable 12 minute per mile pace (I never professed to be fast) and selected my favorite tunes on my MP3 player. I tried to zone out but I kept focusing on the timer slowly ticking off the seconds. Three minutes into the run I hit the pause button, grabbed a towel, slung it over the display and went back to running. I knocked out the next 17 minutes of running with little difficulty.

I have plans for lots of stretching and foam rolling for the weekend – as well as two long walks. Then it will be time to focus on Week 6.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Real Food Challenge

Last night, I was surfing the world wide web and my browser landed on the blog 100 Days of Real Food . The blog is the story of one family's journey to remove overly processed food from their diet. As I read post after post from the author, Lisa, I felt myself nodding along with her points.

Part of Lisa's blog is a 10 Day Pledge. For 10 days, particpants pledge to follow the The Rules that Lisa created for her family.

As much as I hate to admit it, I have become quite dependant on convience foods - my pantry contains way too many items that are boxes/bags/packages with ingrident lists that are extremely long. I would like to move my family towards Lisa's way of eating. However, it is hard to change life long habits overnight. So I am going to take the 10 Day Pledge for myself. I hope that by doing so, I can motivate my husband to join me, and together we can embracing eating less processed food.

I will be posting about my success and failures with the 10 Day Pledge, and I encourage each of you to join me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mamavation Monday - Baby, it's cold outside

Fall has offically arrived in South Georgia. Over the weekend, the temperatures hovered in the low 60's. Now, I know that for those of you living outside my region - 60 degrees may seem warm - but just a week ago the temperatures were in the high 80's/low 90's.  This morning, the temperature was a brisk 29 degrees.

The sudden cold snap, has this Mama wanting to hibernate. That means, I am longing to lie on the couch under a warm blanket rather than working out and craving warm, less that healthy comfort foods (can anyone say gooey mac and cheese?).

It would be tempting to give into these urges. But I have been indulging my less than healthy habits for nearly a month. So cold nap or no, I am refocused and ready to rock this week. Somewhere over the weekend I realized that I can not be successful if I try to focus on all the things I want to improve on. Instead, I have to make the changes one step at a time - to keep my focus on the situation/moment that is in front of me.

For example, today at breakfast time, rather than eating simply because it was time -- I asked myself if I was truly hungry (I was) and then how hungry was I (just a little). Based on that, I chose a "breakfast" to fit my situation....

That's a steaming cup of coffee minus the usual artifical sweetners (who knew that plain coffee could be so good) and a chocolate peanut butter Fiber plus bar. I realize that many people would not label this a breakfast. However, it quited the rumbling in my stomach without leaving me too full. I am planning on eating another small breakfast around 10:00 a.m.

In terms of fitness, I have already made plans with a coworker for a gym date after work. What's on the schedule - Week 5 of the Couch to 5k plan. I have been stuck at this week for at least a month now. I am ready to tackle all 3 of the workouts and move on to Week 6.

How was your week last week? What are you goals for this one

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Radio Silence

It has been nearly a month since my last post - 25 days if you were counting.  I never intended to go this long without posting. But a host of factors including extra long work days, a sick child, and other obligations dwindled my free time to non-exsistence.

I would like to be able to say that even though I was not blogging I was practicing healthy living. However, that would be a stretch of the truth -- a big stretch. I have skipped workouts, stayed up to late, worked to long, and ate a lot of processed food.

But I am still here. Work has settled down, my daughter is no longer sick, and I have free time once again. I have also created a more realistic plan for blogging. One that I hope will prevent any future month long silences.