Week 46 Weigh in (maintenance struggles)

I've been really conflicted about whether to write this post or not. I really don't want to write a post that sounds negative and whiny; but, readers always tell me how much they appreciate my honesty with the struggles in regards to weight loss/maintenance, instead of only writing about the successes. I've never tried to paint a picture that implies I have maintenance all figured out--I think it's something I'll struggle with forever--but writing about the struggles is hard. It's embarrassing. It's shameful. 

I'm struggling right now--a lot. I've never been one to make excuses for my weight struggles, and I won't do that now. I know exactly where I'm going wrong, and I own that. I just hope that by writing it out, I can come to some sort of solution.

Running and an update on Monica

Well, I knocked two more runs off of my Cookies Summer Running Checklist. The first was a run with the kids yesterday. The kids have been doing a GREAT job at following their training plans. They've really surprised me! They haven't skipped any runs, and they haven't even complained about them.

Last week, I decided to order Eli a Garmin on Amazon. Jerry and I each have one, and Noah got one for Christmas in 2014. Eli was always borrowing one of ours for his runs. I thought since he's doing so well at sticking with his training, I'd get him a Garmin of his own.

Cadillac weekend

Well, the weekend went much differently than planned. Jerry and I had a hotel booked in Cadillac for Friday and Saturday nights, and we were really looking forward to running the 10K on Saturday. I hadn't yet registered for it, because we kept holding out hope that we could get a couple of friends to come with us and run the relay; so, we planned to just register the morning of the race.

On Thursday, I wanted to see what time the race started, and when I looked at the site, I noticed that there actually wasn't a 10K this year! There was a 5K, half-marathon, marathon, and marathon relay for teams of four people. Neither of us was prepared to run a half, so that was out of the question; and we really didn't like the idea of doing an out-and-back 5K when the 6.9-mile loop around the lake was exactly what we'd been looking forward to. I posted on my Runs for Cookies Facebook page asking if anyone would be interested in joining Jerry and I as a relay team, but that was a no-go.

Cookies Summer Running: Rover Run

Yesterday morning, I hadn't been planning to go for a run, but I was feeling kind of energetic, so I just decided on a whim to go run a few miles. I wanted to knock one of the Cookies Summer Running items off the checklist, so I skimmed it quickly and was planning to do the "Generous Run"--where you leave a few quarters in random spots on the run for other people to find.

Then I remembered the stupid birds from Monday, and I really didn't want to go. I know it sounds ridiculous to be scared of birds, but they are terrifying when they're squawking and dive-bombing your head. They don't just do it once, either; they will follow me up to a quarter mile down the road sometimes. Running faster doesn't do anything, because they're faster than I am of course, but my heart RACES and it feels impossible to catch my breath. Then, for the rest of the run, I'm extra paranoid every time I see a bird.

Week 45 Weigh-in (and healthy summer indulgence ideas)

Ugh, it's days like this when I'm glad that I'm doing the "moving average" weight instead of my actual weight on Wednesdays. This past weekend was full of food: hamburgers on grill Friday, catered food at the zoo and a barbecue at our friends' house Saturday, another cookout on Sunday for Father's Day... so much food!

This is exactly why summer is so hard for me. I have no problem with the holiday season in November and December, but when it comes to food and drinks all summer, I have this summer attitude that gets me in trouble. It's not even that the summer foods are irresistible (well, except ice cream--I could live off of that!) but more of the idea of summer foods.

August 2015 at a beer festival with Brian and Becky in Portland

Fruity drinks, cooking on the grill, going out for ice cream on a hot day, getting fried foods at the fair (Lord, help me, come August!)... it all has this sort of romantic ideation around it for summer.

Summer Solstice Runs

It is officially summer!

Yesterday, I was a little torn. I wanted to get my Smashrun badge for doing TWO solstice runs--one at sunrise, and one at sunset--but when I created the Summer Running Checklist, I specified the solstice run to be at 6:34 pm EST. That meant in order to meet the requirements for Smashrun AND the Summer Running Checklist, I'd have to run at sunrise (5:57 am), at summer solstice (6:34 pm); and sunset (9:12 pm). My kids had baseball games at 5:30, so I chose to skip the 6:34 run and just do the sunrise and sunset runs.

I had my alarm set for 5:30, and I really didn't want to get up that early after having such a busy weekend! If the summer solstice wasn't just once a year, I definitely would have chosen to sleep in. But I forced myself out of bed and got dressed to run.

Father's Day Weekend, part 2

...continued from Father's Day Weekend, part 1...

Yesterday morning, the kids gave Jerry their gifts, and he loved the books! It's fun to see what kids think about and what they remember. The kids went to church with my parents, and when they got home, we headed up to White Lake, Michigan for an event at Pet Supplies Plus. This sounds like a totally odd thing to do, especially on Father's Day, but Jerry was really excited about it. Purina has a new line of cat food called Muse, and Muse was hosting an event in the store parking lot called Natural Nirvana that was all about cats. As you know, we are huge cat-people, so this sounded like fun for us ;)

They had a trailer set up with "cat space" (little cubbies and scratch posts, etc) and there were three adoptable cats in there. We got to go inside and play with the kitties.

We all fell in love with a female tortoiseshell named Olivia. My kids were begging to adopt her (I knew that would happen!).

Father's Day Weekend, part 1

(This ended up being a really long post, so I turned it into two posts.)

What a busy weekend we've had! It's funny--most of our weekends are pretty uneventful, but when we do actually have plans, it seems like we have things going on all weekend long. Jerry happened to be off work this weekend, so it was nice to be able to spend time with him!

Throughout the last week or two, I'd been having the kids work on a gift for Jerry. I bought these books called The Story and Me and My Dad, which are fill-in-the-blanks books about their relationship with their dad--things like his best jokes, things he taught them how to do, phrases he says often, and embarrassing moments. It was the perfect age-appropriate book for my boys to fill out for Jerry (they also have these books for moms, grandmothers, and grandfathers).

Anyway, on Friday, Jerry had to work half a day. I went for a long run while the kids were at baseball practice, and then we went to get the pictures for the gift books developed. (Choosing pictures with the boys was fun!

Baseball drama and longest run in two months

Things did not go well at Eli's baseball game on Wednesday, so I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to take care of the issue. It's a long story, but basically, Eli's coach is ALL about winning. He threw a tantrum like a two-year at the second game, and then this week, he was being kind of ridiculous in his coaching methods. My priorities for Eli's summer baseball are: 1) Have fun; 2) Play ball; and 3) Be a good sport, no matter what. This isn't a competitive league--it's just for kids to have some fun during the summer! But Eli's coach's priorities are: 1) Win; 2) Win; 3) Win.

I'd been biting my tongue about his attitude... until Wednesday's game.

Week 44 Weigh-in

I don't have a whole lot to say, so I'll just do a quick weigh-in and overview of this week.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a MUCH better week as far as my eating goes. I kept my calories at a decent maintenance level (although, I still haven't figured out just what the right amount is for me to maintain--I'm going to continue to experiment). I ate around 2,100 per day, with two days being higher than that (around 3,000). My weight is down just slightly from last week.

There have been a few things this week that have been helpful in stopping the overeating.

Journaling and speed work

I don't want to jinx anything, but ever since I stopped the no-grocery-shopping challenge last Monday, I've been doing really well with my eating. I've been eating what I really want, feeling satisfied with normal-sized portions, and my calories have been at a good maintenance level. (And interestingly enough, I've been craving fruits and vegetables more than ever this week.)

At my last therapy session, my therapist wanted me to start writing down the times where I feel urges to overeat or binge (or just eat when not hungry), and what I was doing before I got the urge. I've been doing it all week, and it's been very interesting, if nothing else!

Summer Running Checklist

I've been working on a project for the last couple of days, and I'm excited to share it with you! I was out for a run last week when I started thinking about how miserable running in the summertime can be. When it's 85 degrees and humid, the last thing I want to do is go for a run.

I tried to come up with ideas about how I could make running in the summer a little more fun. After I hit my big 10K goal in April, I didn't set another running goal. I worked so hard all winter to reach that goal, and right now, I'd rather just run to stay in shape and feel good about myself. So, rather than trying to stick with a training plan when I'm not really training for anything, I came up with an alternative: a checklist of fun runs.

Success Story Saturday (a possible new series)

I'll get to the Success Story Saturday idea below, but I wanted to share this first. I stopped doing the Motivational Monday series months ago, because I just wasn't receiving many submissions anymore, and I think the series kind of ran its course. I really enjoyed reading about people's accomplishments, though, and I still love getting emails from readers who tell me about running their first 5K or hitting a big weight loss milestone, etc.

I received this email from Allison recently, and since she mentioned that she had always hoped she'd be able to submit a MM post one day, I really wanted to share her accomplishment!

Week 43 Weigh-in

I almost completely forgot to post a weigh-in today! My Wednesday Weigh-in ritual has changed a lot since I started doing the moving average weight instead of my actual Wednesday weight, so it's actually pretty easy to forget.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I have not had a good week as far as my eating goes. I was having such a hard time feeling satisfied without eating what I truly wanted (due to the no-grocery-shopping challenge). I hadn't realized how important eating what I was craving was in staying binge-free and maintaining my weight--by eating what I really want, I feel more satisfied with smaller portions, and I don't go looking for snacks between meals. When I don't eat what I'm really craving, I could probably eat everything in the house and not feel satisfied. Hopefully that makes sense.

A 5K plan and update on grocery challenge

Noah and Eli had great games yesterday! I was pretty much obsessed with this little basset puppy at Eli's games...

He was so cute! He kept grabbing a blanket and playing tug of war with himself.

I'm glad to see that there is so much interest in the 5K plan that I wrote! There are a ton of 5K plans around the internet for beginner runners, as well as experienced (fast) runners; but I realized there really aren't many that are geared toward experienced runners who are at the middle or back of the pack and want to improve their times. Just because some people may be slower doesn't mean they are inexperienced or aren't trying to improve their times!

Quick Monday Bullets

Eli has a double-header game tonight, and Noah has a single game, so I am just going to write a quick post of bullets about the weekend. Nothing much was happening this weekend anyway!
  • On Saturday morning, I went to some city wide garage sales with the kids and my mom. I haven't been to garage sales in a long time! I didn't have much luck on Saturday, other than a couple of pairs of jeans. I got a bunch of nice Under Armour sweatshirts for Noah to wear in the fall for $1 each, which was a great score. Eli found a Lego set (a 184-piece Batman set) for 50 cents (and it wound up having all the pieces included!) For 50 cents, it was definitely a risk worth taking. 

Our own little field trip

Noah's last track meet was yesterday, so things should be calming down a bit for the summer. It was kind of crazy for a few weeks, with both track and baseball going on. I managed to get an awesome picture of Noah at his meet yesterday. If he would just wear running shorts, he'd look like an elite in this photo! ;)

He was running the 70-meter dash here, and he finished in 11 seconds--which means he was running about 14 miles per hour. I honestly don't think I could do that, even if it was for just 70 meters!

RECIPE: Ham and Swiss Bubble Up Casserole

I've been kind of obsessed with the "bubble up" casserole variations that are floating around food blogs. Basically, the only constant ingredient is biscuit dough--all the other ingredients are varied to make all sorts of different casseroles. Anyway, I had a bag of shredded swiss cheese in my fridge that I needed to use up before it went bad, and so I decided to make my own variation of a bubble up casserole... Ham & Swiss!  It turned out to be absolutely delicious (probably my favorite bubble up I've made so far).

Ham & Swiss Bubble Up Casserole

2 small (8 oz) cans of buttermilk biscuits (the kind that are 3 biscuits per serving)
8 oz. diced ham
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups milk (I used whole fat milk)
6 oz. shredded swiss cheese
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Cut each biscuit in half, and then in half again (so you get four pieces from each biscuit) and put them in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Toss the ham into the dish as well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the Italian seasoning, and very gradually stir in the milk. Stir constantly while you add the milk, so that it stays smooth and you keep the roux from being clumpy. Once all the milk has been added, heat until it just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cheeses. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce into the casserole dish, and stir to combine the biscuits, ham, and cheese sauce. (It will look like there is way too much sauce, but the biscuits will "bubble up" while baking.) Bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes (take it out when the biscuits just start to brown on the edges of the dish).

Serves 6. Nutrition info is using whole milk and full fat cheese.

Global Running Day

Apparently, yesterday was "Global Running Day". I have no idea what that means, except that people were posting about running all over social media--I loved it! ;)

Bart Yasso, from Runner's World magazine, posted about making yesterday the "World's Biggest RUNch"--meaning, everybody running at lunchtime, globally. I did run at lunch time, but my reasons were more for procrastination than the camaraderie of a group virtual run, haha. I didn't have anything going on yesterday until the afternoon, so I really enjoyed a quiet morning.

Finally, at around 11:30, I headed out for a "RUNch". I did a running workout I haven't done in a very long time--if ever? I think maybe I've done it once or twice. Anyway, I'm talking about a Fartlek run. Fartlek means "speed play", and a Fartlek run is basically where you vary your speed during the run without rhyme or reason.

Week 42 Weigh-in

I'm glad today starts a new week of maintenance! This past week has been a bit of a struggle for me.

I was excited about doing the no-grocery-shopping challenge, but I wasn't thinking about what it would do for my eating habits. Over the past 10 months, I'd gotten used to eating whatever I wanted, which helped me to feel satisfied with smaller portions. Since we're not grocery shopping for a month, my options are limited to what we have at home (plus fresh produce).

I still eat things that sound good to me, but if given the option of ANYTHING that I want, I would probably make different choices. Anyway, due to not feeling entirely satisfied, I've been eating more of other stuff to make up for it, and my "moving average weight" is creeping upward.