Tag: diet

Slowing Things Down

I don’t think I have mentioned on this blog I have started a new pain treatment at the Utah Chronic Pain Center.  This is a dual approach of hormone balancing and laser/decompression treatment all supervised by nurse practitioners and doctors.   As part of the treatment I am supposed to remain active but not cause my muscles to be overly swollen, tender or pulled.   This would revert all of our progress.  I am also supposed avoid bending, twisting or sudden movement.  As a result I have moved from working out 4-6 times a week to more like 2-3 times a week.  I have also been a little less intense on the diet; although I don’t really have an excuse for that.

I have also been specifically told by the doctor to stop mixed martial arts for the moment because it is too jarring and too much potential for my muscles to be strained.  I miss it and hope to be back soon but for the moment, the treatment is very expensive and I’m inclined to listen. :).

Here’s the weird thing- I feel great.  I feel energetic, happy, and relatively free from pain.  In all the years I was working out hard core I kept expecting to be energetic from exercise but never really felt it.  All those endorphins were a myth to me, never a reality (and I mean never).  I can’t explain it but I feel healthier now than I have in years.  Hmmmm… Why does my body have to be a freakazoid and not response like everyone else’s!  Can any of you relate to what I am saying?  Please, please share your experiences.

Now I have to get training again soon because I have the GSL swim coming up and I have been woefully out of the water this year.  (With everything crazy for Poler and Grabber I haven’t had time to get to the pool as much as I would like.  Going tomorrow though!).

What do you think of this?  Am I just deluding myself that these behaviors are making me feel good.  I don’t think so.  I really feel good.  Most importantly I am not in constant pain when I breath, move, bend over or walk.  What should I do in the future because I don’t want to lose all the training I worked so hard for but it was making me feel terrible and it never got easier after 3 years?  Never.   What would you do?  It’s like I have to decide pain or fat?

It’s so hard because you feel like you should almost be feeling bad when you are training but usually that goes away after a while.  For me it was a constant bad reaction to exercise.  Even swimming would leave me weak and frustrated.  There’s a limit how long a person can live like that especially without losing much weight.

I’m puzzled because it seems to go against what doctors and medical science thinks for me to feel better not exercising.  Thoughts?  All I know is what my body is telling me and it is definitely telling me to slow things down.

slow and steady wins the race
slow and steady wins the race
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The Food Trifecta

So here’s the deal with food.  Over the years I’ve learned that all foods and recipes fall into three categories- it is either fast, cheap or healthy.  What I’ve found is you can usually get 2 out of 3 but the 3 out of 3 foods are very rare (egg dishes almost always fit all 3 but its still hard to find)

For instance, ramen noodles are fast and cheap but definitely not healthy.  A salad is usually fast (depending on chopping time) and healthy but isn’t cheap.  Homemade veggie burgers may be healthy and cheap but not fast.  Macaroni and cheese is fast and cheap but not healthy. Seafood like crab and mussels are healthy and fast but definitely not cheap. You get the idea.

In the end I think you have to pick which 2 areas you are going to focus on most.  If you have the budget than you can focus on fast and healthy.  If you don’t than focus on healthy and cheap.  If health isn’t as big a deal focus on fast and cheap.  Etc.

I just find this type of prioritizing to be helpful. You cannot focus on everything.  Perhaps with kids there is a fourth factor of ‘kid friendly’.  I’m not sure.

For me, I focus more on fast and healthy and less on cheap. Not that I’ll be buying caviar or lobster daily but its just where your focus is. To make things faster I may pay more to buy some salad bar items or prepared items from the deli.

I guess my trifecta doesn’t apply to deserts because let’s be honest 2 out of 3 would rarely apply.  I would just focus on taste for that category.

Taste is a given for anything I eat.  Above all it should be tasty! This is true except for protein drinks which I detest but drink anyway because they are good for me.  (And yes, I’ve tried ALL the brands…). Aside from protein drinks,  I prefer to not have an instant gag reflex when I swallow food. 🙂

What do you think of my trifecta?  Where do you fall on it?

Btw, I’m going on a diet tomorrow.  Not looking forward to it at all.  Please forgive me if I’m a bit grumpy.  Stupid diets…

No Vacation: No Distraction

Everyone knows I’m a huge traveler and love experiencing new places, cultures and food.  So you might find it surprising when I talk about my plans for the summer. I have decided to take NO VACATIONS.

No Beach This Year 😦

Here’s why:

I have a goal to swim a 5k at the Deer Creek Open Water Swim.  This is an ambitious goal- 3 times what I struggled to swim at the GSL race.  I know I will not be able to accomplish this goal without some serious dedication.   Even with the dedication it will be a challenge.

I had thought about going to Disneyland but I have to go to California for work/reunion (doesn’t count as a vacation, more like a business trip) and if you add Disneyland it will be 2 weeks away from my training.  I can’t risk that.

I also decided to put the  money I would have put to travel towards my training.  I have started meeting with a dietician and am taking UFC kickboxing classes (they are so much fun and the trainer is great!).  This week I was supposed to take the week off and rest my muscles…I have worked out every day.  Not too successful.  Sorry doc!

I’ve also been watching what eat even more carefully and am using myfitnesspal.com to help me keep track.  I found I was either eating too much or too little.  Now it is closer to the right balance.  By not going on vacation I am able to control my diet more carefully.

I still have vacation days to use but I plan on applying those to recovery days and then if I have extra I may take a trip in the winter to NYC.  Maybe New York for Christmas! (The Tony awards peaked my interest in a couple shows).

What I would love to do is save money so I can go to the swim camps in Costa Rica.   That would be a dream come true! It would also be an easy trip to go by myself because it is planned, group oriented.  I don’t feel like I am a good enough swimmer yet for it to be worth it but I’d love to go!

http://www.costaricadreamswimcamps.com/costaricadreamswimcamps.com/Welcome.html

I’m really going to miss the beach this year. It’s just not summer without the beach but at least I have a salt lake to enjoy and there is always the man-made strangeness of Black Ridge in Herriman.

Black Ridge reservoir (more like a cow pond behind some houses) strange place but nice!

I’ve just got to make sure that with no vacation I don’t make myself crazy.  I’ve got to find ways to relax within my normal schedule.  Especially with training this could be difficult.  I do not want to get over-stressed like I did before the GSL (no promises but I’m going to try!).

What do you do to relax when you can’t vacation or travel?

 

Calmness

So this week has been tough.  Lots of drama from lots of sources including most prominently myself.  I think when it comes down to it seeing that 289 scared me.  It made me feel like 3 years of effort was all for not, and that’s a scary thought.  Everyone likes to think that their life has value and that they aren’t wasting time on a fool’s errand. For it to seemingly all go away was almost more than I could process.

It still scares me but I’ve made some progress-

Well, I went to my gym today.  Met with the dietician and it was actually pretty helpful.  We have some good plans that I’ve already implemented and we will see how it goes.  Then I met with my trainer who has stood by me for 2 years through it all.  I’m not going to lie there were tears and frustration and then smiles. The good news is I weighed using the fancy scale at the gym and it said 277.  Still a gain but only 4 lbs.  That I can live with without a panic attack!

Now I’m moving forward and going to do all I can to be successful.  If the meds make me gain despite all I can do than so be it.  My journey will still have meaning even if I get back to 313.  If that happens I can start again and keep trying.

Facing that fear of regression is actually a huge victory.  I’m sure anyone out there that has lost has had to face a similar fear.

Thanks in advance for all your support as I  get ready for this race and achieve greater health in my body.  I know it will be a rocky road ahead but I am determined to push forward, and try again.

I still wonder what it is that God is trying to teach me and why does this have to be so hard? I’m not ashamed to say I don’t know the answer but someday I will.  He knows and He is guiding me each day.

I thought of my favorite author today.  The book, aside from scripture, that I read when I feel sad or hopeless- A Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh.  I just love it.

Here are some quotes from it that I love and felt strongly today.

Don’t wish me happiness – I don’t expect to be happy it’s gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor – I will need them all.

“I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.”

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.

Anyway, hope you all have a great Memorial Day.  Hugs from your smilingldsgirl.

Pain or Fat?

So recently I’ve been presented with a question- would I rather be skinny or free from pain?  The answer is undeniably free from pain.   Last year I started having chronic pain in my ribcage and chest area.  After over a year of doctors and misdiagnosis I finally found something that helped with the pain- turns out I have a low thyroid.

In February the doctor put me on levothyroxine and the results were amazing.  My pain was reduced almost immediately.  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me.  It was like a nearly 2 year monkey was finally off of my back.  My recovery from exercise improved considerably; thereby allowing me to push harder in my sets and train more frequently.

Last week, for instance, I had 5 days of intense training, one right after another. These were no ordinary workouts and yet Sunday came around and I felt pretty good.  A little bit of pain but nothing compared to the overwhelming, almost debilitating pain I experienced last year.

This was all very exciting! On Tuesday I went in for my second follow up appointment.  My trainer had noticed I had gained weight in February but I had dismissed it as one of those things.  You can imagine my shock that I was back up to 284! I blame the medicine because its the only major change that has occurred during that time period.  I was so frustrated.  Don’t most people lose weight when taking thyroid meds?  Naturally my freakish body can never have a normal reaction to anything.  It always has to be complicated.

Basically my doctor told me that the thyroid meds mess up your metabolism in good and bad ways.  Unfortunately they make you super sensitive to bad carbs and sugar.  Now I was not eating much sugar previous to this appointment but I was trying to work it in with moderation.  Evidently with this medicine I can’t have any of it. 😦

Its frustrating because in many ways I feel like I am setting myself up for eventual failure.  Nobody is perfect all the time in a diet and clearly moderation is not good enough.  I gained nearly 15 lbs since I started taking the meds despite my careful eating and training!

The thing is that I feel great! I feel energetic and healthy.  I think I look great.  So why does the stupid scale matter?  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Its just I worked so hard to lose that weight.  Took 3 years out of my life and to see it go away was so disheartening.  Thank goodness for my music because it was the lift I needed this week.

I also get frustrated being on the extreme diets because I feel like they make me super self-critical and over-introspective.  I feel guilty for everything I do, nothing seems quite good enough.  That’s why I avoided dieting for so long because it turns me into this person I hate.  People say ‘don’t diet.  Just make small lifestyle changes’.  Well, I’m sorry but small lifestyle changes don’t work.  I gained 15lbs on moderation and lifestyle changes!

For some reason going hard core is the only thing that seems to work and I refuse to have weight loss surgery. It seems like I’m stuck. Ahhhh! And then I think of that woman on the plane who wouldn’t sit next to me and I remember that so many people still see me as a fattie who disgusts them.  The whole thing makes me crazy and feel so frustrated.  I don’t know what to do but to try with the sugar fast and not give up.

In the end, I feel like I have to chose between feeling good and pain free and losing weight.  That is a really lame decision to have to make.  At least with the sugar fast I can tell my doctor confidently that I am doing all I can to eat right and exercise.  If I can’t keep it up forever well that’s a choice for another day.  I can do my best today and if I still gain what else can you do?

I just have to keep reminding myself that I did not start this process to improve my appearance.  I really didn’t.  I started this process because I wanted to have energy, to do more, to be more active.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to say I haven’t achieved that goal.

If it was the choice between looking a certain way and feeling pain what would you pick?  Be honest! Maybe God just wants me to look like this for some reason?  He’s gotten me to a healthy point but getting below 250 (my dream) seems to be an impossible task. I’ve been working so hard for over 3 years. Maybe I need to try something else? I don’t know but I am trying my best to not feel defeated and to keep trying. That’s all I can do- keep trying.

Still, its been a bit of a downer of a week.  Thanks everyone for your support no matter my size.  Thanks for reminding me that I’m still a good person and I’ve still accomplished great things no matter my weight.  Forget the stupid scale! (or at least try to…Sigh)

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/body-image/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/maggie-goes-on-a-diet/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/skinny-skinny-skinny/

Before and After Scams

So how many times have you seen an ad for a diet and it shows a before and after photo of a participant with amazing results?  All the time.  Well, 20/20 had an expose on the diet industry on Friday and while most of it was old hat to me this segment stood out.  Evidently its an internet sensation with over 8 million hits but I’d never seen it.  I just had to share it with all of you:

I personally hate dieting and I know lifestyle changes are the important thing but let’s be honest to have significant results you do need make changes, which could be interpreted as a diet.  I sometimes feel resentful of all the sacrifices and things I have to give up. I’ve got a bit of a rebellious streak and I hate being told no.  I have friends who don’t eat dairy, grain, all meat, red meat, all starches,  fruit, all sweeteners, are vegan, vegetarian, eat raw, only organic etc. Not to mention no fast or processed food ever.  I even have a friend who won’t eat mushrooms because of some perceived health problem.  It sometimes makes me a little crazy.  You are going to take all that away from me and mushrooms…

I think most of all I miss baking.  I never make anything with yeast or that smells nice any more.  I never get out my cake decorating supplies.  In fact, my fondant has gotten all hard.  A sad, sad site…

Anyway, I do the best I can and am happy with my progress.  I’ve been training really hard for the upcoming race in the Great Salt Lake and I’m confident I will finish.  (First practice in lake this Wednesday!).  I’m certainly giving it my all.  This week I did 4 intense training sessions (I got a massage today and the lady said my upper back was total tightness.  That’s a swimmer for you!).  I also ate very well, including attending a raw food class on Tuesday that was a lot of fun (it was exactly what you would expect a raw food class to be like in every way.  Kate and I even got scolded for talking in class!)

You just have to keep plugging away day-by-day, try to make good choices, and don’t by into the quick fixes, trends and scams.  It will only lead to depression and a rapidly decreasing pocket book.

 

Breakfast Burritos

Since I started my fitness quest one of my greatest food struggles has been eating a good breakfast.  I just have no appetite in the morning and what appetite I do have usually craves high carb items such as cereal or toast (and don’t get me started on french toast and cinnamon rolls!).  I like eggs well enough the rest of the day but in the morning cooking them and getting a pan all dirty seems like the biggest burden in the world!

With a few exceptions most of the ready made breakfast foods are terrible for you and very expensive (was just at store and package of VitaTops cost $5.39!).  This left me frustrated and most of the time hungry through lunch (and usually through my morning work out).

So, one of the reasons I wanted to get a new freezer was to be able to easily make green and otherwise healthy smoothies and freeze breakfast meals in advance.  This would allow me to have a healthy breakfast without dirtying pans each morning or coming up with something to make.  I had seen freezer breakfast burritos on pinterest and thought I should try my hand at making a healthy version. Today I was at Sunflower Organic Market and their frozen vegetables/fruit was 2 for $3, a great deal!

Without a real recipe I purchased what sounded good to me for my burritos, came home and set to work. You could of course use non-frozen vegetables.  It just saved me some chopping and prep time.

The finished product! Healthy Breakfast Burrito

(I’m going to try to do my recipe Pioneer Woman style because I just finished her book and read her new cookbook.)

Breakfast Burritos Healthy-style!

24 low carb multigrain tortillas (60 calories, 2 grams fat each.  If I do it again I’d try to find slightly bigger tortillas to have more room to fold)

2 lbs chicken sausage removed from casing (I used a green chile chicken sausage they sell at sunflower)

2 bell peppers color of your choice diced

1 large onion diced

1 bag flat leaf frozen spinach thawed and moisture squeezed out

2 10 oz bags frozen thawed sweet potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 bags 10 oz frozen mixed mushrooms, moisture squeezed out and diced

Cook pepper and onion in olive oil until soft.  Add chicken sausage, mushrooms and spinach.  Once chicken is cooked add sweet potatoes.

In a separate bowl whisk:

2 dozen eggs

2 cups of milk

Grate 1 lb of pepper jack and sharp cheddar and add to your preference

(Next time I would add a healthy dose of hot sauce because I used almost 1/2 a bottle once it was cooked to give more flavor.  It sounds like a lot but when you see how much I made it really wasn’t overly spicy.  I thought the chili sausages would have more spice.  A spicy pepper or two wouldn’t be bad with the bells depending on your spice preference)

I then put half of my meat mixture in a mixing bowl and left the other half in my dutch oven (it was too much to cook together even with my large dutch oven).

I poured half of the egg mixture over each meat mixture.  The bowl I put in the microwave and stirred at 5 minute intervals and the dutch oven I cooked over the stove top.  They both turned out really good! Once cooked I put the mixture on cookie sheets (and added hot sauce for more flavor)

The stove-top version
the microwave version

Then I took a heaping 1/3 cup of filling on each tortilla, rolling it up and folding the ends in.

The assembly line!

I ended up with 2 dozen burritos and extra toppings which I food savered for later. I’m now doing a light freeze so they are easier to work with and then will wrap and food save some of them.  I should have a nice reservoir of breakfasts to enjoy for some time!

The finished product. Healthy breakfast burritos for many days to come!

I’m excited about this project and look forward to making many more variations.  It could be really good with tofu or steak.  Whatever you like.  Test it out and see what you come up with and put it in the comments section.  We all can work together to be healthier and still have tasty, affordable food.  🙂  Enjoy!