Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fasting Day, and Befriending Yourself

Today is the day before my colonoscopy, meaning it's a fasting day. I've had nothing to eat since last night, other than a bit of sugar-free green jelly (jello), and lots of water, tea and of course the nasty drink the hospital gave me.  I've always had my procedures in the morning before, which was nice - but this time I don't go in until 4:30 pm tomorrow. So it will be all day today and most of tomorrow that I'm fasting.  Surprisingly I've not been hungry, just empty really - so before the PicoPrep kicks in I thought I'd come and share some of what I gained from the first chapter in "A Life Complete" by Sallirae Henderson - a book I mentioned recently on this blog, which you're meant to read in mid-life to help prepare you so your later years are more fulfilling.

The first chapter is called Befriending Yourself, and she gives examples of people who found their later years alone less than fulfilling for various reasons. In one case a woman "had lived her life by her intellect, ignoring her emotions. Widowed fifteen years earlier, she spent sleepless nights alone in bed with a person she didn't know - herself. She had no experience or language for knowing what she needed, much less what she wanted. She was a shell of mute despair."

Another woman, Eunice, had outlived every person she knew of her generation - family, friends, even acquaintances. Her family encouraged her to make new friends but how could she convey to strangers her 88-year history? She grieved the loss of old friends and no longer had any peer with whom she could share personal memories. The book says many new friendships made in later life are kept on a fairly superficial level as there's just too much history for each person to share, and no way to convey adequately the personal impact of important events.

Eunice's story made me think about the difficulties I had relocating to Australia.  I've been here ten years, and while I do have several good friends, they're not the same as the friends I had back home, who have known me for many years. We shared our youth and did crazy things together, so they know me in ways no one else ever will. I could recant stories to people today but it's not the same as having lived through those times. My best friends from home are more like family to me than friends, and I miss them dearly. Most are not computer-users so occasional phone calls and letters are how we stay in touch now.  The book reminded me that "long-term, close relationships always involve some maintenance, such as making sure not too much time passes from one visit or call to the next."

Being a best friend to yourself is very important. Sallirae says that includes paying attention to "the warning that applies to every part of our body, spirit and mind, which is, if we don't use it, we lose it. When you are old, don't expect to be in top form sexually if you've been celibate for many years. If you haven't exercised your spirit much, it's not going to be strong enough to support you. If you haven't pushed yourself to think and feel more deeply about life, including your own, or to nurture your curiosity and learn new things, then those facilities will be rusted shut by the time you reach old age. Your muscles will deteriorate if you don't use them; without exercise and calcium your bones will become brittle. The disabling weakness that is the result of a non-exercised body is a common cause for admission into a nursing home. Being a couch-potato - even when we're old - carries a high price of serious deterioration that could have been prevented. If we take care of our whole selves, we can reach old age and even chronic illness with some - or much - vitality left to us."

This part really resonated with me. I'm so glad I'm taking better care of my health and as hard as it is, that I started running recently.  I'm still waiting for any indication that I'll love it and that may never come - that's OK. For now it counts as both exercise and as 'curiosity and learning new things' which is equally important. There are other things I'd love to learn to do, such as using power tools (I'm a big Halloween buff and have annual parties but props are harder to come by here and very expensive if you can find them, so I'd love to make my own). And of course I want to focus on singing again, as I've mentioned before, even if just for pleasure. I would like to meditate more - I do on occasion but not as much as I'd like. I do feel it's important to keep learning and growing throughout life, and that this will help me greatly in my later years.

Lastly, this chapter reminded me that "treating ourselves as a best friend is an important factor in the quality of our current living and will be crucial in our late years. Being familiar with - and able to articulate - our wants and needs gives us some control over our lives, and is absolutely essential when we are old and may have to rely on others to do what we can no longer do for ourselves.

"In late life, knowing yourself well enough to know what you need is the only way you will be able to hold your ground in the face of hierarchical care-providing systems. There are medical personnel who are exceptions of course, but ... a majority of professionals hold the firm belief that they know what's right for you, regardless of what you think. If we can not clearly state our preferences and needs and negotiate our situation - standing our ground with emotional strength - the likelihood is that others will make the decisions that affect us. And even the care providers who are compassionate and caring by nature often find it hard to appreciate the nuances of being old and tired. They tend to be younger, and often they have been better trained at 'doing' than at 'listening.' While they may mean well, their agenda will not always be the same as ours. If we cannot speak for ourselves in the face of their power, we will lose our own."

That is perhaps something I won't need to worry about, being as my husband is 8 years younger than me. But there are no guarantees in life. I could wind up alone and in a nursing home one day, and I hope that I'll be able to live my life graciously and not be bitter and unhappy, but also be able to ensure my needs are met and my wishes considered in all aspects of my care. Naturally I'd prefer to stay healthy throughout my life and never have those nursing home years, but as I said, there are no guarantees in life.

So being my own best friend truly is important for so many reasons. Since I don't have my best friends from home here with me every day it's even more important that I take the best possible care of myself, love myself, support myself and be my own best friend.  It's also wonderful that I have a loving, caring and supportive husband.  Anyway, that's what I took from Chapter 1.  I'll be heading into Chapter 2 tomorrow, since they advised me to bring 'reading material' so I suspect I'll need to kill time until I get to come home and can eat solid food again. I sure hope this experience pays off on the scale! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Down 86 lb! Last night's party, and this week's medical procedure

Yup, I've had another drop! This will count toward next week's weigh-in but I'm sure you can understand that being this close to Onederland I am getting pretty excited about every little drop!

So this morning I saw 91.2 kg (201.06 lb) which is half a kilo (1.1 lb) gone from yesterday! And of course it brings my total loss to 39.1 kg (86.2 lb).

Last night as mentioned previously, we went to a 50th party at a local club and I did manage to find something to eat but I was glad I'd had a late lunch and wasn't overly hungry. They served big vats of roast beef swimming in gravy, fried chicken legs, an Alfredo type pasta, an au gratin potato bake, a bunch of mixed veggies including wedges of corn, and two salads ... both had questionable ingredients so I stayed away from those. Instead I dug to find two slices of the roast beef with very little gravy (which I scraped off as best I could), two chicken legs (from which I would remove the skin and light breading) and a pile of the veggies (green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, no corn). I of course passed on the birthday cake that came later.

The beef was quite tasty. I then ate some of the chicken before I noticed hubby had only eaten about half the meat on his. Normally he can insert a piece of chicken in his mouth, chew for a bit and pull out a bare bone ... he doesn't leave any edible bits behind. But he said the meat seemed a tad underdone so he left it. Mine seemed ok on the outside so I carefully pulled off bites until I got to the middle where I could see it was just the slightest bit too pink. Probably not enough underdone to actually make us sick but I wasn't chancing it. So between the two legs I probably only ate the meat of one leg, the two beef slices and the pile of veggies. It was enough.

The lights lowered after dinner and the band came on. They were good, we had a good night, but ducked out about 10:45 as I was just too tired. Getting up earlier these days I just don't have the late night staying power I once did.

So, the week ahead will be interesting. I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy on Thursday, which means a low-residue diet on Tuesday, and nothing but broth and a nasty drink all day Wednesday. So Wednesday and Thursday I'm off work. We have dinner at his folks Monday night, so I only have to worry about what I'll eat tonight, and Monday lunch, and of course after the procedure Thursday through Saturday. So our shopping should be cheaper this week.

I looked through the allowed foods on the low-residue day and there's a lot of corn flakes and rice bubbles (krispies), white toast, potato and pumpkin, rice cakes etc. of course I won't be eating any of that. The other choices are eggs, chicken or grilled fish, cottage cheese, gelatine, coffee and tea. I have chicken breasts in the fridge to bake today ... I suppose I'll have to leave them plain as they don't mention seasoning. And I have a tub of cottage cheese and some lite gelatine so that should be enough. Oh, and I can have canned peaches or pears. I have not added fruit to my diet yet, but hubby has canned peaches in juice in the fridge. Pears have way more carbs - a serve of peaches has 13g so I'm not likely to indulge but if the diet is too bland I might have a little. Since the next day will be pretty much fasting all day, I think I'll be alright.

I have to have this procedure about every three years due to pre-cancerous polyps they tend to find. Three members of my family have had issues with diverticulitis and have even had to have portions of their intestines removed. So far he's seen no sign of that in me, and I hope this time will be the same. Both older brothers and my mother went through that surgery. My paternal grandmother had diverticulitis and now my 24 year old nephew is already having intestinal issues. They aren't calling it diverticulitis just yet but it's a worry. So as much as this procedure sucks (well the day before is really the worst of it) I feel it's necessary in my case.

So wish me luck getting through the middle of the week! Obviously this puts a cramp in my running schedule ... I'll go Monday, but clearly not Wednesday ... not sure how I'll feel Friday but hopefully by the weekend I'll be back on track.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Down 85.1 pounds in just over 8 months!

Yes, today is my official weigh-in for the week and I had another drop since yesterday! Woo hoo!

I'm happy to report 91.7 kg (202.16 lbs) which is a loss of 1.2 kg (2.65 lb) from last week, and brings my total loss to 38.6 kg (85.10 lb)! It's been 8 months and 1 week since I started Dr Poon's Metabolic Diet and I'm thrilled with the results so far. Not every week has had huge drops, sometimes they've been smaller and a couple of times I stayed the same or even went up. That's normal. But not a single plateau in 8 months has never happened to me before. I'm loving it. I am so close to Onederland I can taste it!

So after yesterday's 20 minute run I'm feeling great ... a tiny bit stiffer this morning perhaps but in a good way, if that makes any sense. Just went for a 40 minute walk, did a few stretches and I feel great. Now I need to eat something and start drinking water, we donate blood this afternoon and it goes much quicker and easier if I'm well hydrated.

Tonight is the big 50th birthday party [for hubby's mate] at one of the local clubs. I've been to that restaurant before but it's been awhile. Hopefully I'll find something suitable but I don't plan on being famished in any case, so I'll be alright. There's only been one time when I found a restaurant that wasn't willing to work with me, so it should be ok. Catch up with you again soon!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Down 84 lbs! And facing the 20 min challenge.

Yes, a nice drop this morning, though it's only Friday ... 92.2 kg (203.27 lb) bringing my total to 38.1 kg (84 lb) gone. I will check in again but we have a lot going on this weekend, including a big 50th party where there will be a lot of food.  Hopefully I'll find some suitable things but as it's at a club restaurant you never know how much salt and fat there will be in any low-carb choices they might have. Ah well, it's only one day and if I eat healthy early in the day I shouldn't be overly hungry.

Oh yeah, how'd I go today? On the big 20 minute running challenge day? So sorry, I thought you would have heard my loud cheering even from where you are! That's right, I freaking did it! I ran 20 minutes and I still can't believe it myself. It feels amazing to be able to say that! I was worried because the weather report said scattered showers all day, and the radar looked like it might start very soon, but I was determined to get this run over with. So far in this training the 'rain gods' have really been working with me, so I decided to chance it. Hubby got the dog ready, I got my gear on, grabbed some water and we were out the door.

On the drive over to the lake I was worried a bit and caught myself thinking just do the best you can, if it's too hard and you can't do it, that's ok ... but then I thought this is Anzac Day. The day Australians honour war veterans who fought and sometimes died for the freedoms we all enjoy today. That was hard! This is nothing in comparison so harden up and keep going!

As usual the first minute or two were difficult and I wanted to quit, but a few minutes later I fell into a groove and just kept going. At the ten minute mark I was nearly to the end of the lake path so I kept going to the end before turning around. Drinking water was harder with no walk breaks but I only needed a couple of sips to wet my mouth. Then suddenly, with maybe 5-6 minutes left my music stopped! I didn't know if the C25K app had quit or what was going on so with nothing but the sound of my own breathing to accompany me I kept going thinking I would just try to end about where I started. A few minutes later the next song started so I knew the app was still going. Blissfully a few minutes later she said to begin the cool down. That's when I raised my fists in the air and cheered (or screamed) loudly, not caring if anyone was behind me.

I walked the five minute cool down, did my stretches and when I was nearly done, hubby and the dog had caught up with me. Just as we were headed back to the car it started raining lightly. We'd just made it! I thanked the rain gods and drove home. I still can't believe I ran for 20 minutes! :)

Hubby was taking pictures of the ducks, and then snapped one of me before we headed back to the car. I knew I'd look awful but at that moment I didn't even care. This is me, hot, sweaty, tired, and with rain falling on my face after running 20 minutes at 203 pounds. Oh, and the picture of the ducks he wanted to share as well. :)



After a hot shower I made a yummy lunch with what leftovers I had in the fridge - so easy and yet delicious! I put one egg and about half a cup of egg whites in a bowl and microwaved for 30 seconds, then stirred and gave it another 40 seconds. Then I topped it with a bit of vintage cheddar, three slices of low-sodium ham and a small amount of leftover chicken, and heated another 30 seconds. I put a spoonful of dijon mustard on top and stirred it all up. Sort of a Dijon cordon-bleu omelette kind of thing - it sure was yummy! :)  Enjoy your weekend, folks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dreading tomorrow's 20 minute attempt!

Well I've successfully completed the 8-minute interval days in my C25K training three times now, so I really think I need to move on to the next step which is 20 minutes straight - no walk breaks. It doesn't feel possible, really. Hubby suggested I try two 10-minute intervals and I said strangely that's what comes after the 20-minute run! I'm told they are put in this order for a reason and I should stick to the order - but I also was meant to go from five to eight to 20 minutes in just one week, and that didn't happen. I had to spend more time on the 8-minute days, though it didn't get any easier with practice.

I'm both excited about and dreading tomorrow's attempt. How cool will it be if I can actually do it? Thankfully it's a public holiday (Anzac Day) so I don't have to run at 6:30am on the busy highway but can instead go to the lake. Hopefully that makes it a bit easier. Anyway, off to bed now so I'm refreshed and ready tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter weigh-in, Stuffed Pepper Soup with Cauliflower Rice, and Spiritual Evolution

Happy Easter everyone! We've been to the in-laws for morning tea, came back home and had some lunch.  I had leftover Stuffed Pepper Soup, which was really tasty! Basically all the things you'd stuff in a bell pepper (capsicum) but in soup form, with shredded cauliflower standing in for the rice. Trust me, this was yummy.  I put a bit of shredded low-fat cheese on top and stirred that in before serving.

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STUFFED PEPPER SOUP with CAULIFLOWER RICE

Ingredients:
3 cups cauliflower rice (grate or shred 1/2 medium size cauliflower to resemble rice)
1 lb (500g) 95% lean ground (minced) beef
1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
1 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz / 400g) diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce*
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and fresh pepper to taste

*Note that what Aussies call tomato sauce is basically ketchup. The closest thing I've found here to American tomato sauce is crushed tomatoes or passata. But if you're not following Dr Poon you could even use tomato soup.

Directions:
In a large pot or dutch oven, brown meat on medium-high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, then add the riced cauliflower and simmer 10 minutes more on low.

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Before I get to the weigh-in, you may notice I've changed the look of the blog. The old format didn't always display well on mobile devices, and this one suits me heaps better. What do you all think? Plus I can have more menu items at the top, so I've given Photos their own page. I'll be adding new progress photos soon - having started at 287 pounds, I took pictures at 253 and again at 225, so now I'm hoping to get below 200 pounds for the next ones.

After weighing in at 93.0 kg (205.03 lb) last week I went back up to 93.5 kg (206.13 lb) and stayed there pretty much all week! Even after all the running and walking I've done, I didn't get a drop, and it was frustrating I must say. I wasn't expecting the monthly gain for another week, but then mother nature has been messing with me more frequently these days. Still, I am happy to report I have dropped this morning to 92.9 kg (204.81 lb). It's really not much of a loss at all from last week - 0.1kg (0.22 lb) to be exact. However, I have lost fat and gained water, so I'm guessing I'll soon have better results.  My loss to date is 37.4 kg (82.45 lb).

Having spent the last eight months working towards improving my health and fitness (evolution of body) and recently tackling some of my fears and the belief that I could never run (evolution of mind), I would like to focus on my spiritual evolution as well.  No, I'm not going to get all religious on you! Organised religion is so not me.  But if you've browsed my Shelfari bookshelf in the lower right of my blog, you'll notice that I'm interested in spiritual matters, it's just not been the focus of my blog. And I'm not saying it's going to become the focus, so don't worry if that's not your thing! LOL But I did title my blog "An Evolution in Body,  Mind and Spirit" because I'd like to experience self-improvement in all three areas.

Currently I've been drawn back to a book I've had for years. It's called "A Life Complete" - Emotional and Spiritual Growth for Midlife and Beyond - by Sallirae Henderson. I started reading it a few years ago, and found it interesting then, but now that I'm 50 the topic is even more meaningful to me. The Shelfari description reads:
"Once we reach middle age, the harder questions about how it actually feels to grow older -- and closer to the end of life -- begin to surface. Difficult as these questions may be, Sallirae Henderson assures us that our desire to find the answers is both a mark of maturity and an opportunity for growth. A Life Complete envisions midlife as a rich, reflective period that gives us the chance to begin a process of discovery. With Henderson's sensitive and knowing advice, we learn how to make emotional and spiritual choices that can help us confront the past and welcome what the future holds. A Life Complete offers six simple skills that guide us through this period of change and inspire feelings of satisfaction and joy: Befriending Yourself, Learning to Grieve, Recognizing that You Always make a Difference, Maintaining a Sense of Personal Evolution, Finding a Larger Context for Your Life, and Accepting the Help of Others. Remarkably wise and thoughtful, A Life Complete is an inspiring reflection on what may be the most meaningful period of our adult lives."
And an excerpt from inside the jacket: This book explains how the choices we make in midlife can become distilled and irreversible by the time we reach our last years. It offers a practical plan for healing in middle age so we can avoid elderly regret, unexpressed grief, and unresolved spiritual issues before it's too late. In a culture that ranks the fear of living in a nursing home above the fear of death, this book serves as a reminder that the end of life is also an organic part of life. It is an indispensable guide for those seeking to grow old gracefully, with a sense of meaning and purpose.

As I've said before, longevity is not something my family members have enjoyed by and large - and though I'm doing my best to improve my health, if I only have another 20 years or so on this planet, I'd like to ensure they are both happy and healthy - in body, mind and spirit.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday, good run, and purging wardrobe

So it's Good Friday and that means no work today ... and no 6am wake up call to get my run in. But of course I still wanted to run. And I once again attempted the eight minute intervals. Since I got a bit later start and it was a lovely morning I decided to go to the lake path. There were lots of boaters, swimmers, and other fitness buffs out today but I found a park and got started.

I was kind of dreading it when I knew the command to begin running was due soon, mostly because the idea of eight minutes still felt impossible despite managing to do it once on Wednesday. And in truth about 30 seconds in to that first interval I was already wanting to quit. It's hard! Of course it's hard, where would the challenge be if it was easy? LOL. But I kept going and when it finally said to walk I was so happy. I walked until she said I was half way and turned around even though I was nearly at the end of the path because the run interval would fall at the same markers on the path so I would know where the run would start and stop.

The second eight minute run began where the first had ended and for the first few minutes I just tried to get into the music and not think about how long or how far I had to go. When I was feeling like I couldn't possibly make it I could look ahead and think, "the end isn't much further than that next bend up ahead." That helped a lot. In the final stretch I employed my finish line visualisation again ... lots of people on the sidelines cheering me on saying 'you got this' or 'you're almost there' etc. then finally she said to begin the cool down. I had done it! Eight minutes ... TWICE! I ran 16 minutes total today and I felt amazing! I did my stretches, had some water and drove home feeling fabulous.

I got home and hubby and the dog were just heading out for a half hour walk and I felt so good that I went with them. So I definitely got my workout in today.

After lunch we'll be packing up some garments to post. I did a wardrobe purge recently and a lot of stuff went to the Salvos (Salvation Army for those who don't speak Aussie LOL) but some of the nicer stuff we decided to list on eBay. I'll have close to $100 which I can use for new clothes! My new size 16s are fitting perfectly now (they were snug when I bought them). And I've had more compliments than ever with most thinking I've lost more weight this week. I haven't ... in fact I have been up half a kilo (1 lb) all week from my weekend weigh-in. But I seem to have gotten smaller despite that so I'm not worried. The weekend will tell whether I get a drop this week or not. Until then I'm not gonna sweat it, instead I'll just be thankful for what I've got and how far I've come. Things are going well ... life is good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eight minute intervals ...did I make it?

Yes ... and no. I did the first eight minute run and it was hard! But I did it so I felt great. Then the five minute walk and I started the second eight minute run. I got about five minutes in and could feel myself slowing down, which normally I don't worry about because I'm going for endurance, not speed. But at that point I almost felt like I'd trip over my own feet and I just didn't have it in me. So I walked the next two minutes and ran the last minute before cool down started.

I am a bit frustrated because I didn't want to quit. But I know even seasoned runners have off days so I am not giving up. I will repeat today's training on Friday instead of trying to run 20 minutes straight. Probably Monday and Wednesday next week as well and try for 20 next Friday I think.

That's it for now, I just wanted to let you know how this morning's run went. Happy Hump Day everyone.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I made it through Monday! Ran 15 minutes!

OK not all at once - yet! LOL But today was three FIVE minute running segments with three minutes walking in between them and I made it. I did them all.  But Wednesday's EIGHT minute segments remain to be seen. LOL Off to get ready for work, I just wanted to check in quick to say I did it!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weigh-in, body image and Leigh's delicious Ratatouille!

Weigh-in stats first. I am 93.0 kg this morning (205.03 lb) and that is a loss of .4 kg (.88 lb) from last week. [Total loss to date 37.3kg or 82.23 lb.] I'll take it, though truthfully I had hoped for a bigger drop. Hubby reminds me that's almost a pound and that I tend to alternate smaller and bigger drops week to week now. Yeah I guess.

I would probably be happier about it if I were happy with my body shape right now. Yes, it's nice to hear compliments from friends and co-workers, and I'm delighted to have bought a couple of new outfits in size 16 now that, while slightly snug they do fit comfortably. I am shrinking so I buy the smallest size I can fit into now. I should be thrilled but truthfully I'm in a bit of a funk.

I want to put up new pictures soon, but when I take them I only see the fat remaining, not how far I've come. If I lay in bed and put my legs straight up in the air I am amazed how thin, sleek and shapely they look now. But standing up normally I only see the loose skin starting to gather on the inner thighs. Laying on my side I have an amazing curve shape, with a lovely dip from hip to waist that hubby loves to wrap his arms around ... but the fat that's left decides to gather in front and remind me that I have far to go yet and even once I'm at goal the belly region will never be pretty.

Getting such a large amount of weight off is much more important than any loose skin issues I may have, and I know that. Most of the time I feel fabulous about my accomplishments to date. But when I look at my body in the mirror or take photographs, I still don't like what I see. I'm not someone with body hatred issues, I'm secure in who I am these days and have a healthy amount of self-love, it's not about that. It just can be hard to see what others see. Hard to see how far I've come instead of how far I have to go. So sometimes ... just sometimes ... I get in a bit of a funk. So that's where I am today.

Last week's running intervals were three and five minutes, and I never thought I could do five but I did. That did give me a hell of a confidence boost, I must say. But what do I have to look forward to next week? Monday will be all five minute intervals ... three of them with three minutes walking in between. So far I have repeated each new level three times before advancing but not this time. Believe it or not Wednesday I'll be expected to run eight minutes! Then Friday ... 20! Seriously?! I mean I knew that I couldn't do three minutes, but then I did. Then I was sure I would not be able to do five minutes, but I did. And now I am equally certain I am not ready for eight, much less twenty! I'm tempted to stretch this week into three weeks by doing each level three days instead of one, but a runner friend advised me to try it rather than talk myself out of it. We'll see. It just sounds impossible right now.

Last night we made Leigh's fabulous Chicken Ratatouille and hubby and I both loved it! We had a choko (chayote squash) on hand so I substituted that for one of the zucchini, and used Lebanese eggplants in place of the regular eggplant. We really enjoyed this - in fact the only thing I would change is to cut the chicken into bite size pieces rather than leave the breasts whole. We had a couple of smaller pieces that I threw in and they seemed to absorb the flavours better so we'll try that next time. It was definitely delicious.

That's it for today, we're off to shop for a new electric wok and then groceries. Have a great weekend.

Monday, April 7, 2014

I ran five minute intervals! OMG

So clocks went back yesterday, and since I'm still adjusting I found myself up at 6 am instead of 7. I checked the radar ... rain predicted much of the day. But t was nice out at 6 am. So ... I decided to get my training in. I wasn't sure if I could do 5 minutes but decided to just move to the next level anyway and find out.

You'll recall I said 3 minutes was hard last week ... a little easier Friday, but still hard. Well today the first interval was 3 minutes and it was ... kinda easy! OK maybe not easy, but not hard. But after 90 seconds walking I had to go again and this time was 5 minutes. I focused on the music and just kept going. And I did it! I ran for 5 minutes! Then 2-1/2 minutes walk and repeated the intervals again. On the second go I was slowing a little in the last minute but I didn't stop. And when she said to cool down I felt like doing a victory dance!

Who would have thought less than 8 months into this journey I would be down over 81 pounds and running 5 minutes straight? Not me! The only downside was running from home rather than driving to the lake ... it's a busy road and car exhaust was not nice. Maybe if I get an earlier start I could get to the lake and back and still get to work on time? Not sure about that.

Now another conundrum ... do I keep getting up at 6 even on the days I don't run? If I don't it might be harder to get up early on the days I do. Right now it's easy but if I start sleeping in later on Tuesday and Thursday ... and I can always do something else, maybe stretching and strength exercises. We'll see how I go tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Down 81.35 lb 7-1/2 months! And jogging ...

Yup, after holding steady last week due to TOM, I got a nice drop this week! There were fluctuations as expected during the week, had a drop early then went back up again, etc. but this morning I have fabulous numbers to report!

I weighed in at 93.4 kg (205.91 lb), which is a loss of 1.8 kg (3.97 lb) from last week. That brings my total loss to 36.9 kg (81.35 lb).

I didn't mention passing Milestone 6 in Happy Scale at the end of March! You may recall I entered 130 as my goal in Happy Scale, whereas it's 150 in my ticker. So being on Milestone 7 is awesome ... I'm 9% done with it, too! To complete it I need to get to 195.5 lbs, which it estimates will take 5-7 weeks.

I've been hoping to pass hubby these last few weeks ... he was 95-96kg for a while there, but each week I would think this is it, he would drop! He's not eating particularly healthy, but he has been walking more. So I thought once again this week was it. He came in at 93.2! So just 200g separates us. Surely next week will be the week! Lol

Speaking of next week ... time to increase jogging intervals again. This week was alternating 1:30 and 3:00 jogging (equal time walking afterwards). Three minutes was hard! By Friday it was a little easier. Only a little, mind you. But next week it's jog 3 min (walk 90 sec), then jog 5 min (walk 2.5 min). Am I ready for that?! Part of me wants to repeat this week, and part of me says you'll never know what you're capable of if you don't try! I don't want to sell myself short just cuz I think I can't do it. But 3 minutes is still hard! I don't know yet. I was very lucky with the rain again last week, with it stopping pretty much when I needed it to. Will I be so lucky next week? Who knows.

I do think part of what made it a little easier Friday was I put on some music to run to. That gave me something else to focus on, and the C25K app interrupts the music to give your cues. But twice now when using music and Sports Tracker (with or without C25K) the apps quit on me. That sucks because you have to take the time to set it up again and get back to where you were in running, and you lose your Sports Tracker stats entirely. I'm going to try with my work phone next time, as maybe it's just an issue with my phone.

Clocks went back an hour last night so I'm trying to adjust my schedule accordingly. It'll start getting darker after work soon, so I may have to consider running in the morning at some point. Anyway, that's it for today. Have a great weekend!