End-of-Summer Trip. The Prelude to Fall.

End-of-Summer Trip. The Prelude to Fall.

If you read this blog, you know I took a trip at the end of summer. I did really well with managing my sugar addiction until about a week (or a weak) after I got home. I am not amused by the fall into grazing, but I’m a bit amused by the play on words.

The thing about falls, though, is they don’t have to last a long time. You can get up again, or the season changes. For example, when we were in Wyoming, the leaves were starting to turn yellow and fall. Since we left, they’ve had snow in the mountains and expect snow this weekend on the high plains where our daughter and son in law live. Yes it’s not so much fall anymore. It’s beginning to look a lot like winter. And it’s September.

But the thing with my fall after the trip, is that I got up again. Fairly quickly, even though it wasn’t immediate. (Well, I meaned I ate a lot between meals, first). This morning, after having thought about it for a couple of weeks, I dressed in running clothes, laced on my sneakers and went for a run. I ran the first mile and a half to where the sidewalk ends. Because I wanted to look at a giant bird a little closer, I slowed down to a walk and stepped off the sidewalk to see a great blue heron sitting on a dock sunning itself. I walk and ran the mile and a half back to my car and kept my overall pace under a 13 minute mile. I call that fall a prelude to winner.

Upon my return home, I could see that the seed bread I’d started before my run had risen over the edge of the mixing bowl. It didn’t fall. I punched it down and set it to loaf. No running over for that dough. Whoever eats it will feel like a winner based on the reactions to previous loaves of this hearty seed, nut, and oatmeal bread. I used to eat it toasted with butter. I still enjoy the memory of it paired with two perfectly fried eggs for breakfast. I know, from experience, that a memory is much safer for me than actually eating it anymore. It’s a little hard to comprehend. But I’ll just say, for me, eating that bread is a prelude to a plummet. And I’m not talking about jam. Well, maybe I am. Jammed senses ripe for an addiction binge.

I’m in the midst of baking biscotti for my father-in-law’s birthday. He’s 86 today and he enjoys eating biscotti. I enjoy making it. I’d call that a prelude to win-win.21688004_10155857467864558_7807190138496128681_o

There’s the timer. I must be running along. Some of this post is a bit of a stretch, but that’s okay. It pairs well with running.

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Win. From my Head to de Feet.

Win. From my Head to de Feet.

Do these shoes make my feet look fat? No. I’ve had enough of that. I ran around in the heels (sometimes on my toes) for my youngest dayghter’s wedding on Saturday. It was a tremendous feat to keep it together as the caterer and the MOB. But it all went beautifully smoothly and I didn’t do a split in my head, my heart, or my feet! No sugar added made the day a lot more sweet!

The cows were grazing in the field and sometimes hollered, “Moo!” But Maureen wasn’t Moo-reen and grazing her way through. I simply did what makes me feel best. That’s what I wanted to do!

Three healthy meals with protein and my vitamins–no more. A little bit of writing to process thoughts in my core. With a hefty dose of gratitude for help on every side, I could focus on the bridegroom and my daughter, now his bride.

The wedding ceremony and reception were a lovely start to what has great potential for a wonderful marriage. They are very young, very tall (6’7″ and 5’11”), and very much in love. We wish them the best for a lifetime!

But moving right along, I switched to my running shoes on Sunday while our lunch of leftover wedding soup was heating up in the oven. Hubby and I went for a 3.15 mile run. Done in 30 minutes, 50 seconds for an overall 9:48 pace. It wasn’t a race, but I beat my personal record and got closer to my goal of a sub 30 5K.

My first 5K, in July 2012 (the week before I turned 50) took 41 minutes to run. Before that, I had never run more than a mile and that was in grade school. Impossible changed to I’m Possible. One step at a time. In time.

I continue to do what works to control my sugar addiction. I am excited for all the things that have become possible along my journey. I am thankful to feel like I continue to develop the real me.
I’m Possible and you are, too! Pay attention to your foods and moods and find what works for you!

The wedding pictures aren’t available yet (they only allowed their photographer to take pictures). But I just realized that I had no thought or worry of anyone taking pictures of me and if I will look overweight or out of shape or miserable inside. What a contrast to the wedding just before I started learning how to live with sugar addiction! Feeling good inside and out is so much sweeter than sugar!

Just.

There’s something about the word “just” that doesn’t set quite right when it’s talking about weight loss or running distance. For instance, I ran a half marathon at the beginning of October. When people congratulated me on my marathon, I found myself saying, “It was just the Half.” As if it were a small feat. Anything I do in my size 11.5 running shoes doesn’t fit small feet. But I jest.

Backing up a bit, I lost over seventy-five pounds in 2012. If I measured from my highest high to my lowest low, it was over ninety pounds. But it seems to pale in comparison to the folks who have lost 200 or 300 pounds. I just lost close to a hundred pounds, instead.

But more, or less, than that, I met a woman this past summer who had joined Weight Watchers to lose twenty-five pounds. And she did it. She’s kept an awareness of her food so she didn’t just have to lose it again. If she goes up just a pound, she’s just on it. And she’s living at lifetime with Weight Watchers.

I know another woman who joined Weight Watchers to lose eight pounds and drank a lot of water before weigh in so she would weigh the, then, requisite ten pounds over her ideal goal weight. It wasn’t just eight pounds. It was all of eight pounds that she wanted help to get rid of so she could Go On And Live at her GOAL of lifetime healthy. Just eight pounds is like carrying a gallon of water everywhere you go. It’s noticeable after not too long. This same woman told me that she had learned to respect a pound in either direction. Not just a pound.

Too many just a pounds can add up to 300 extra pounds. And if a person has added those 300 just-a-pounds, it may seem daunting to attempt to get rid of them. But one significant pound at a time can take them away in time. Well, I can’t speak from experience for that, but I can say that my collection of just extra pounds went away just one or two at a time. Sometimes it was just a fraction of a pound. But it was a significant fraction in the right direction. And it all added up–or subtracted–as I paid attention to just what I was eating and thinking and doing. As I continue paying attention, I continue to live in my healthy weight range four years later.

Revisiting the distance idea: There are people who run ultra marathons of tremendous distances that could make a full marathoner feel like saying I just (only) ran 26.2 miles. My run of 13.1 miles (13.32 on my Garmin watch!) was more than I ever ran up into my fifties. It’s not a run of the mill thing for a person to do. It involves training, discipline, will, and good shoes (good knees help, too). I have an almost 97 year old friend who can walk down her apartment hallway–a significant distance for her and her new hip.

I could slip in a cliche here: It’s all relative. And then I could tell you what I noticed last week about punkins. They’re relatives who enjoy word play.

I could say I’m just fooling around now, but I think comic relief is better than rolaids for me. Sometimes I roll with the punches and sometimes I throw them a line. Yeah. A punchline. Oh my word. This is getting absurd.

But speaking of abs, I have a new Blaze fitbit that has an ab workout on it. I think it’s just ten minutes at a time, but it’s capable of producing a six-pack (of bottled water). Or at least the need for part of one to take ibuprofen for muscle pain! So maybe the “just” shouldn’t be used with exercise unless it’s just do it. Even if it’s ten minutes, it’s significant. Not everybody notices, but my body does.

This may seem just ridiculous, but it’s actually me taking care of myself. Processed thoughts are better for me than processed food. And I’ve noticed that writing usually helps my mood.

Perhaps this post has given some food for thought. Or a smile or two, instead of a chew. I hope you have a significantly good day!

 

Over Training.

I ran a lot of miles (for me) the week before last. I think it added up to 27 miles. More than a marathon. I think it might have been a PR (personal record) as well. It took me only five days to complete it. But then I had some knee pain. It was bad enough to feel like I shouldn’t even try to run. I had also done some stretching and maybe a little overstretching. And all of a sudden, after about ten weeks of half marathon training, I couldn’t and wouldn’t run. I didn’t even walk much for a few days. I tried to eat well. I did an exercise DVD. And that was that.

Thursday, I felt like running again. Three miles. And then Saturday it was time to try another long run. Twelve miles. I had some issues with my sneaker laces and hydration, but I went the distance. Even though the last two miles were pretty much walking, I had a sub 12 minute pace. And that was that. No disgrace.

But over training. I have a mental image of a picture that one of our friends showed us from her time in Bangladesh. It was a picture of a train, but we couldn’t see the train. All we could see were people all over the train. Over training. It’s what they do. I don’t know if anyone’s knees hurt afterward. But they get where they need to go. (I hope.)

I had some brilliant thoughts about this last week, but I had no time to write them down. So I think I lost them in a tunnel. Or maybe I was thinking about how I used to have so much excess riding around on me that I couldn’t really see me. It was all getting somewhere, but I don’t really think it was where I wanted to be. More likely it was at the drive-through lane at a fats food chain. Because the sugar monster riding in the locomotive wanted another hit of something. Seriously. I don’t miss that. But I have to remember it, because I could easily go back if I forgot.

When I lost so much weight a few years ago, it was rather dramatic. People thought I had reinvented myself. Or something. But really, I just got rid of the excess baggage that I was carrying everywhere. It makes a difference to downsize. The body and the mind. And sometimes it’s just about being aware. Noticing what’s going in. Tracking and staying on track and paying attention to what I chew-chew. I trained to notice how I felt when I ate certain things or between meals. And I continue to be aware of what to beware. So I can see where I’m going is good.

Running is a lot easier without the excess baggage. But there’s this thing called fuel that a body needs when it’s running non-stop for over two and a half hours. But there’s also this thing called sugar addiction that I manage to control partially by not eating between meals. Racing has to be an exception. But how much?

Training adds the question of how many calories and what kinds of nutrients do I need to eat fuelishly and not foolishly? I have a hard time trusting myself with the experiments I make with seeds and nuts and pureed fruits. What I want is something that gives me energy without too much sweetness. I want it to be something that tastes good but doesn’t call to me all day long after I’ve had one or two.

I tried some apple, oatmeal, raisin, spice bites with chia. I like putting good chia in my race fuel. I think it’s helpful to have good chia along the way. It’s a superfood and it is a good distraction from the mileage monster when the seeds get stuck in my teeth. I’ll try it again on my six mile run later in the week.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have an oatmeal muffin for breakfast on race day. 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, 1 scoop designer whey (unsweetened and unflavored), 2 T. coconut oil, one egg, and a teaspoon of baking powder. Mixed together and microwaved for one minute. I might throw in a bit of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of good chia as well.

I have decided that I will walk through all of the water stations. I will drink the water and calmly start running again. On track.

I don’t know if I will run a two hour and thirty minute half marathon. It’s in my mind that it would be nice to claim it. But it’s also in my mind that I want to enjoy this race and continue to enjoy running. Even when it’s over.

All aboard.

 

 

Rip.

As in Van Winkle and too long of a rest. I think it’s probably past time for me to write another blog post as it works in the scheme of my addiction management. My last post about rest was followed by some lovely times and some rather intense emotional distress. I’m not inclined to write about personal things (other than my sugar addiction) here so I’ll not go into greater detail about that. I’m dealing with it.

I have been trying to connect to my support system on Weight Watchers. The tool that replaced the community blogs that were so helpful to my success story isn’t quite a success yet. There are some features that work perfectly on apple products, but apearantly don’t on other operating systems. I’m still waiting for the desktop version to be fully functional. I tap out my thoughts in on my phone and fight with auto correct and the small field of vision. I try not to complain and whine too much. And I try to not let my disappointment get in the way of trying to make it work for me.

I’ve established, with myself, that I do better with a creative writing outlet. But I’ve also established that I’m not quite willing to creatively spill my guts to a general public that may or may not be interested or care about or want to understand what I’m dealing with. I’ve done that, in a measure, by publishing my story in a book. Ten people have written five star reviews on Amazon. And I’m thankful for that.

It scares me a bit when I don’t feel like I have anything to write but I feel like I have lots of things to eat. Even when I’m not hungry. I do so well on trips with my emergency supplies of food when the options aren’t ideal. At home, there seem to be too many options. All of them are good, but not all at once.

I’m feeling like Autumn is poised to trip me up for a fall if I’m not careful. I am wary of grazing that’s cropping up in this harvest season. I’m keeping my eyes open and being aware. I’m accepting that I have to work around an addiction or the addiction will work around me. And I’m adapting, or trying to adapt, to continue being the I’m Possible me.

There are new headlines screaming tainted research findings about sugar and fat. I’ve proved what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. Yet the doubts are always waiting to pounce. I feel a little off because of my half marathon training. I know I have to fuel my body for optimal performance. I’m burning a lot of calories and I don’t want to go into a wonky metabolic trance. There’s a lot of conflicting stuff about fat and protein and carbs. I’m afraid to believe any of it but I’m afraid to ignore it also. What should I eat? How do I fuel during training and on race day?

Last week I made some Fig Nuttins (dried figs, ground almonds, chia seeds, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt) and Just Peachy with Good Chia (dried peaches, chia seeds, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt). Both had no sugar added and I made the recipes up as I went. We used the Just Peachy with Good Chia for an eleven mile training run on Saturday. They taste good and provide some energy. The chia and dried peach get stuck in the teeth a bit and provide some distraction from the running. That’s a positive. But I also noticed the taste got stuck in my head and kept calling me for more. That’s a negative for me.

Today I went for a six mile run. I took hydration, not carbohydration. It worked for me. My training schedule was for an easy run and I took that seriously. My average pace was 12:21 and that was because I wasn’t afraid to walk some of the time. I had some seriously steep hills in my route because that’s where the sidewalk goes. I felt good about stepping up my pace when I was inclined to. It didn’t have to do with the steepness of the road either. Sometimes it was on the uphill and sometimes it was on a flat. I always ran when the road went down–gravity takes care of that!

I stopped in at the grocery store when I was done running and done swabbing my face with some paper towels. I did my shopping and, since it was lunch time, got some things I could eat right away when I got home. A cooked lobster, some pineapple and cantaloupe that were marked for quick sale. All of it was delicious.

I decided at three o’clock that I would have some extra protein to help with muscle recovery. One scoop of unsweetened whey powder with a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, a cup of frozen unsweetened pitted cherries, and seltzer. It was good. I’m tracking my food on Weight Watchers and it fit into my day quite nicely.

This post is like little notes ripped from my experiential notebook. It’s what I have.

 

 

Going the distance.

I went for a run with my husband this morning. We both have gps watches that we watch. His is a fitbit and mine is an old Garmin cross trainer. They don’t match. The big question is which is right and how does is line up with the race we’re training for. If my watch is accurate, I’m on track to beat my last half marathon time. If his is right, I still might beat it. They’re off by 40 seconds per mile.

The other think I