Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Katie: Week 27

Good news!...

Current weight: 140 pounds
Last week's weight: 141 pounds
Total weight loss: 30 pounds!! (again)  :)

Well, I feel like I'm back on track.  Hooray!  Let's hope I'll stay on track this time.

A few things I've done this past week to help meet my goals?

First off I've been having a hard time (still kind of am) fitting in two servings of veggies every day so, I finally did what Alex has been telling me to do for years.
I bought a big thing of celery (or whatever healthy food it is you want to have on hand) and cut it up as soon as I got home from the grocery store so it was in ready-to-eat pieces.  Alex also puts her cut up veggies in baggies so they're easy to grab and take with you to work or school or whatever, but I just put mine in this tupperware since I don't have to head off to work or school.

For better or worse (and I'm pretty sure it's for worse) I still kind of have a childish relationship with celery and I prefer it with some crunchy peanut butter.

I'm pretty sure this far outweighs whatever benefits I might be getting from the celery, but--hey--you've gotta start somewhere, right?  Better to at least eat celery with peanut butter than to just eat peanut butter with something else that's not so healthy.  And, actually, I got kind of sick of the peanut butter toward the end of my little snack, so I haven't been tempted to do it again.  Although the celery does taste quite satisfying with some roasted red pepper hummus.  Yummm.  (Is that any healthier?)

Secondly, it's been hot out.
 Really hot out.  Hotter than the temp was when I took this picture.  So what have I been wanting to eat all day?  Ice cream.  I want ice cream.  All the time.  All kinds.  But we're holding strong on our no treats rule, so I haven't been eating ice cream.  I'll have a little no fat fruit sorbet every now and then and it's nice and cold, but it's just not creamy and soothing like ice cream is.

And here I would like to, once again, credit this appetite for bad things curbing method to Alex, who has, once again, been telling me to do this for years.  (Yeah, it's not really any mystery why she's so much skinnier.)  Instead of ice cream, I've been eating sliced up bananas with fat free whipped cream.  Yum.  (Sorry, I swear I took a picture of this, but now I can't find it.)  Fulfills my "1 serving of fruit each day" goal and my ice cream craving.  Oh, and guess how many calories 2 tablespoons of fat free whipped cream is?  20.  20 calories.  Hello!  So sometimes I have this treat even twice a day.  And do I feel guilty about it?  Not.  A.  Bit.

Oh, and I think you all know by now not to consistently count on pictures of me since I'm a total space case about it, but here are a few pictures of me from this past week.  Taken by me.  With the timer on the camera.  So... yeah.
I know, I know, tinyheadwaterbed.  As usual.

Here's me in my new favorite size 8 jeans.  Love them.

And a weird picture (again: self timer) of me wearing my new comfy, bright, fun, light, size medium shirt.  Awesome.

So, my goals I'm going to focus on for this week:

-at least 50 crunches every day
-go on a walk or run every day
-eat at least 2 servings of veggies every day
-eat at least 1 serving of fruit every day
-no treats!  (Although I'm not putting this on my chart because I don't really struggle with this enough that I feel the need to check it off.)

Also, I've been thinking a lot about adding a water goal for myself again (as in drinking more water), but I hate having to keep track of how much I drink.  And now that it's hot out I find myself dumping out the water in my water bottle and filling it back up with cold water multiple times a day, so it would be even more of a pain to keep track of.  Any ideas?

Oh, and I don't think I ever showed you a picture of my beloved yoga ball, so here it is.  It's a 75cm Reebok brand ball.  I'm not wild about the bright green color, but it only cost about $17 with tax which is by far the cheapest I've seen anywhere, including online.  I bought mine at our local ShopKo.  So... there you go.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday Walks

Last night I was discouraged. So I walked. And prayed. I found friends. We laughed. And smiled. And then I walked home and went to bed. Early. And this morning I woke up, wondering if I was still discouraged. So I prayed. And thought. And walked. And then I knew that everything would be ok. Everything will be ok. How great it feels to move and stretch and pray and be still. Wishing you all a moving week!

Picture taken by me in California, 2009.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kathy Week 26: It Ain't Pretty

Kathy's Week 26 Stats:
Today's Weight: 140
Last Week's Weight: 139
Starting Weight: 151
Total Weight Loss: 11 pounds

The Bad News:
I have regained another pound. 
Had a week of teacher training = mostly sitting. 
Too many snacks. 
My refrigerator is out of control, crammed with 2 households' worth of food.
Not enough exercise.

I admit I was feeling kinda cocky when I hit 136 in early June. Figured I had this weight-loss thing down, could relax a little here and there. Then we had a wedding. And the stress of the end-of-the-school-year. And the transition of my daughter, son-in-law, and their 4 children moving out after living here for 18 months. 

Too many naughty foods, not enough (self) control when making eating choices.

And you see where it has landed me. "Hello, my name is Kathy, and I love to eat..."

But there is some Good News:
During the teacher training last week, I spent the week sitting next to Evelyn, the Foods teacher from my high school. (Back in the day we used to call them Home Ec teachers.) Evelyn was working on an amazing unit for her classes, to help teens make healthier food choices, and she was basing her lessons on our old friends, the tools at mypyramid.gov.

I was supposed to be on hand to help her infuse more writing into her lessons, so she kept checking in with me about the different steps of her lesson, and the more she showed me just how cool this website is, the more I could see how it was going to help me get back on track. 

I weighed 139 all week, until yesterday morning. After a week of mostly sitting, and snacking on the yummy little foods they kept putting out in front of us (which I kept munching on because so much sitting, even next to a wonderful partner like Evelyn, had me yaaaawwwwnnnniiiinnnngggg big time in the afternoons) the big 1-4-0 has come back to haunt me.

SO: I am registered on mypyramid.gov. I am set to use the tools. I am going to enter every single mouthful this week into the tools at mypyramid.gov, and I am going to regain (self) control of the decisions I make about what goes into my mouth.

I am not going to sit all week! I am going to be physically active every single day.

I am cleaning out the fridge today, and making a menu plan for the week, and shopping for delicious healthy ingredients to help me stay on track.

I'd write more, but...I have lots to do! See you next week!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Aye Aye Aye!

So I promise that I haven't forgotten about you Skinny readers...I really have just forgotten that it was Thursday for the past couple of weeks! And then I remember on Friday and I don't want to take up Frugal Friday's room to post- I am sorry!

I guess it is only too appropriate though- I have not been feeling 100% lately and thus my exercise and nutrition goals have kind of gone out the window...nuts. It is far too hot here and my runs are getting more and more difficult, but I am still slowly trucking on. One thing that has really helped me lately (I know this isn't new to most people but I hadn't made myself do it yet) was eating protein in my breakfast. Too often I am satisfied with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles or an applesauce for my morning meal...and then I wonder why I feel sluggish in the mornings!?!?!

So my challenge to you is to try and include protein in your breakfast this upcoming week and see if it makes a difference for you- do you have more energy? Are your workouts easier? Are you just plain nicer than normal in the morning hours? Try some protein and see what happens...

And I PROMISE that next Thursday I am going to have a really great post!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Katie: Week 26

This will be short...

Current weight: 141 pounds
Last week's weight: 141 pounds
Total weight loss: 29 pounds

Happy Birthday to me!  I turned 24 on Sunday!  Woot woot!

I've got a lot I want to get done today, so I'm going to keep this short.  Things are the same, basically.

Although I'm done lifting weights!  My body will miss it, but my schedule and my family and I will not.  I had kind of checked out and was feeling done with it for weeks now.  However, I am planning to continue to do crunches every day since they have definitely been helping my core strength.  (And hopefully they'll help me trim down my pudge there in the mid section.)

Also, Bryan and I had started our whole "no treats until we both reach our goals" thing, but then it was my birthday and I made the executive decision for both of us to cheat so we could enjoy birthday treats.  And I'm glad we did.  But now it's time to be for reals.  Except I still have a Cold Stone gift certificate for free ice cream for my birthday that I haven't used yet.  We might still use that.  And I'm not going to feel guilty about it if we do.  But, other than that, no treats!

And I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat healthier all around.  Despite all the junk we've eaten these past few days, when I went in for this last round of testing for the weight lifting study, the guy that gave me my results said that my cholesterol was the lowest he'd ever seen on anybody.  (Given, he's just a student, so he probably hasn't seen that many people, but still.)  And I'd like to keep it that way.  I asked him what gave someone low cholesterol and he said that it's a number of things, of course, but that it's mostly related to what foods you eat.  Which was encouraging to hear.  I also, by the way, have impressively low blood pressure.  More than once when I've had someone taking my blood pressure they've looked at me astonished, shaken they're heads, say they must have done something wrong, and repeated the test.  It's usually about the second or third time they do it that they realize it's not a fluke.  So at least I have some vitally important things going for me!

Anyway, if you'd like to see more pictures of me from this past week, you can read the post I wrote on my regular blog about my birthday celebration(s) HERE.  Hope you all have a great day!

P.S. This is mostly just for me so I'm on track in some way, but here are my goals for this week:

-do 50 crunches every day
-go on a walk or a run every day
-eat at least 2 servings of vegetables every day
-eat at least 1 serving of fruit every day
-no treats! (except maybe for Cold Stone)

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Race Results!

Whew! Is it just me or does it take forever to catch up on reading blog posts sometimes? I got way behind. And then I feel bad for not leaving comments for people. I truly want to be supportive and responsive, but when I leave a comment a week after the post went up it just seems less relevant. Have you ever experienced this? I guess it's bound to happen to each of us at some point. But now that I am all caught up on the great things everybody has been posting the last two weeks, it's time to share my race results.

The Helvetia Half Marathon 2010 was incredible! It got me all excited about running another half marathon this summer. My goal was to finish all 13.1 miles in less than 2:30. I had finished the Tacoma Half Marathon last summer in about 2:45, so I figured this was a reasonable goal. I admit, I was afraid to talk about my goal, though, because I didn't know if I could do it. The course has a reputation for hills and I was pretty sure my training had prepared me. I ran the first 8 miles faster than I expected and was way ahead of my goal pace until a nearby runner exclaimed, "Only 5 more miles!" Gross. I did not want to think about another 5 miles at that point. I slowed down. The last three miles my partner went ahead (and ultimately finished 4 minutes before I did) and I alternated between running and walking because running slower just felt terrible.

The last 20-30 minutes I was really wondering if I would meet my goal. I happened to ask a man next to me what time it was and he renewed my hope; it was 10:22 and the race had begun at 8:00. Then I started to think I could still do it. I had eight minutes to finish, plus the time that had lapsed before I even crossed the start line (it takes a while to get 5,000 runners across the start line). So I ran faster and stopped as little as possible. I hit the turf and was running at a full sprint. I passed the lady in the picture that appears just ahead of me. I crossed the finish line and my time was 2:22! I was so happy. Here is a picture of me, Juliette, and Terecit.
It was a gorgeous day and I loved it. We received finisher's medals, free burgers, all the Jamba Juice we could drink, and even a loaf of yummy whole grain bread. And that was all on top of the race shirt (Juliette and I are sporting them in the picture), a couple energy bars, and gift certificates for Old Spaghetti Factory, Jamba Juice, Cinnabon, and a workout music website. I definitely got my money's worth in this race and I had a great experience. It was partnered with a 10K race and the organization was great. I highly recommend it!

I love all the race excitement we have going on here at The Skinny. Alex, you inspired us all with your bi-athlon. Way to go, Katie and fellow racers on the 5K! Your next one will be even better; I wish I could run it with you. Kathy, congrats on registering for The Best Dam Race with Mark. Thanks for letting me know about it. I'm still trying to put together the rest of my race schedule for the summer. Isn't this so fun? I feel like I have a runner's high just talking about it.

What are some other races and events going on in your area? What active things are you going to get involved in this summer?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kathy Week 25: Uphill Battle

Kathy's Week 25 Stats:
Today's Weight: 139
Last Week's Weight: 137
Starting Weight: 151
Total Weight Loss: 12 pounds

This is not going in the right direction. I have gained 3 pounds since Week 23. Ugh. 

What is going on? My workouts in the gym in the mornings are getting sooooo sluggish. I don't feel strong and wonderful anymore.

Is it all the rain? Maybe that's part of it. I usually have a pretty perky attitude about Oregon's drippy days, but this spring is starting to seriously get on my nerves. 

A few other things that have happened recently, or are still going on...

1. A daughter's wedding 2 weeks ago. Wonderful and happy, but a certain amount of stress, of course. And some naughty leftovers that I confess...well, they're gone now.

2. The end of my regular school year on Monday. Slightly stressful because we had to cram the last week into 3 days due to budget cuts, and then people bring in treats to the staff room. I did resist some of them...

3. Another daughter and her family moving out of my home. This is happy news, of course, for me and my daughter, but it's still chaotic in the midst of the moving. And while I am happy that my son-in-law now has a job after being unemployed for six months, and while I am thrilled for my daughter and family to have their own home again, and while I can't wait to have my house back, I am mourning at the same time because they are moving clear across the country. Beloved grandchildren, long distance grandma...enough said.

All those stressors, plus the weather, and I'm just not myself. I suppose it's nothing that a few days of sunshine and some "down time" can't fix. 

Meanwhile, remember last week's 43 Things? Here's how I'm doing so far:

1. I bought permits for Mark and me to hike Mount St. Helens on August 24.
2. Mark and I have penciled in a week of backpacking 16-21.
3. We are scheduled to camp at Sparks Lake August 9-13, so I should be able to attempt my swim then.
4. I've written 34 pages of my thesis so far.
5. I've started to play with the calendar on my iPod (hard to let go of paper/pencil...)
6. I did a mini yoga workout last night because my back was hurting...it's better this morning.
7. We roasted marshmallows in the backyard last week with grandkids.
8. I played around with taking pictures of myself last week.
9. And even though it's not on my 43 Things, I also registered Mark and me for the Best Dam Run in September.

Finally...sorry, but no updated pictures of me this week. It would be boring. I look just the same, except that I do have a new summer haircut that I like. Maybe I'll post a photo next week. Today I'm just...not in the mood. 

Dear Skinny readers, if you have any tips on how to get out of a middle-aged weight-loss slump, I would love to hear them.

And if you're having sunshine, please send some my way! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Healthier Alternative to Syrup: Frugal Food Friday

Our kids love waffles and pancakes.  What kid doesn't?!?  We make them more frugal by making our own syrup, but that still isn't exactly healthy.  Hubby's family has a long tradition of putting ice cream on top of hot waffles...which is delicious...but neither healthy nor frugal.

We have come up with a good alternative.  It's certainly not as cheap as homemade syrup, but is healthier and delicious.  We don't do this everytime we make waffles, but it is a nice once-in-a-while treat when we can get fruit on sale. 

I found strawberries on sale yesterday.  I bought extra.  We ate one carton then and there.  The other three cartons I washed, sliced up, bagged them, and popped them in the freezer.  We also like to keep some bananas (already pealed and broken into chucks) in the freezer.  Then this morning we put the frozen strawberries, bananas, a little vanilla, and a little sugar( or other sweetener) in the blender and blend up some smoothie.  Then we put the smoothie on top of the waffled.

Almost like the ice cream Hubby grew up with on waffles...but healthier...and at least as affordable.

...and since I totally forgot I had Frugal Food Friday coming up today...I didn't take pictures...but they are SO yummy!

You can also make the waffles a little healthier if you make them with half whole-wheat flour.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speaking of races...

Speaking of races (see my mom's post below), I'm thinking about running this 5K.  Anybody want to join me?  Registration is $25 now (if only I had registered sooner!), but I think it would be a lot of fun.  Plus, check out those t-shirts.  Pretty cool, right?  Anyway, if anyone's interested in being my running buddy, let me know.  I haven't actually registered yet, but I think I'd like to.

The Best Dam Run

Isn't that a great name for a 10K walk/run along the beautiful Clackamas River on a September Saturday?

Hey Northwest walkers and runners, you might want to sign up! The registrations just opened. Here's the link.

I just signed up my husband and me as walkers for this event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

just a thought

i was preparing a lesson about sacrifice and liked the simple definition the book gave: giving up something good for something better. i like the idea of thinking about that when faced with unhealthy things that look delicious.

and, a question: what do you think about time-sensitive goals? as in, i'm going to lose 15 pounds by christmas. does putting a deadline on it freak you out or motivate you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Katie: Week 25

Sorry I'm so late!

Current weight: 141 pounds
Last week's weight: 141 pounds
Total weight loss: 29 pounds

Me and Lisa before the race

Well, sorry I'm posting so late.  As you can see, there's nothing much exciting to report as far as weight loss goes.  However, I do have some (somewhat) exciting news and that is that Bryan and I have decided not to eat treats anymore for a while.  Basically, on Saturday night (after we had eaten waaaay too many treats that day) Bryan said he was thinking of giving up treats until he could fit into his wedding suit again/get down to 150 lbs.  (Hint: He's already not very far from his goal.  Am I a little jealous?  Yes.  Yes I am.)  But we decided we'd give up treats together and that neither of us would eat treats again until Bryan weighed 150 lbs/fit into his wedding suit again AND I got down to 125 lbs.  It's already been great to not be the only one to decline treats.  It's nice to have someone else around to tell people, "Oh, that looks really good, but no thanks.  We're trying to not eat treats."  If you've ever had to say that over and over for months and months then you know what a relief it is to have some back up and not always have to be the one to say it.  Although I will be totally honest here and tell you all that my birthday is on Sunday and I totally plan to eat birthday treats.  After all, you only turn 24 once.  So there.  And I'm sure we'll make other occasional exceptions for other things too, but in general we will be treat free until we BOTH reach our goals.  Bryan's always been super supportive of me trying to meet my weight loss and health goals, but it's even better having him on board in this way too.

 Bryan and the big O on the sidelines waiting for the race to start

 Everybody waiting around for the 5K to start

 Me and Sarah before the race

Oh!  And I'm sure you're all wondering how the 5K went on Saturday.  Well, it went great.  Although we didn't make great time.  Sarah (my running buddy) had the flu and was throwing up the day before.  She was a trooper and participated anyway, but we didn't run very much of the race due to her feeling like she was about to puke most of the time.  I could tell she was feeling pretty miserable through most of the race and I'm super proud of her for sticking with it.  We power walked most of the way and kept up a pretty good pace.  And we definitely weren't last!  Hooray!  Then once we could see the finish line we ran the last little way.  Bryan got a great picture of us running on our way in to the finish line.

 Sarah and me running in to the finish line

Lisa ran the 5K with us too.  Although she was a lot faster than we were.  Haha.  Here's Lisa on her way in to the finish line.  She came in waaaay before us.  See her up ahead in her white t-shirt?  Way to go Lisa!

Lisa on her way in to the finish line

Here are Sarah and me after the race, eating our post-race carbs (free pizza from Little Caesars--whoop whoop!).  Nothing like eating junk right after you exercise.  (Ha!)  Also, please note that Sarah and I were numbers 194 and 195.  :)

Sarah and me after the race

Overall, I'd say it was a great experience.  I definitely plan to participate in another 5K again in the future and try to actually run most of it.  But, for this time around, it was mostly just fun to do it with a friend.  :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kathy Week 24: 43 Things

Kathy's Week 24 Stats:
Today's Weight: 137
Last Week's Weight: 136
Starting Weight: 151
Total Weight Loss: 14 pounds

Whew! What a week! Our daughter Maleena got married last Saturday, and yesterday was the last day of school, finals, grading, etc. It's been a whirlwind. So what can I say? There were lots of yummy leftovers from the wedding, and too many last-week treats in the staff room. I'll do better next week!

Yesterday for the final in my writing class, I had my students write 43 Things. Why 43 Things? Here's a comment from a website: 

"People have known for years that making a list of goals is the best way to achieve them. But most of us never get around to making a list. 43 Things is great for that! Make a list on 43 Things and see what changes happen in your life. Best of all it’s a way of connecting with other enthusiasts interested in everything from watching a space shuttle launch to grow my own vegetables."

I have never used the 43Things website for anything except inspiration to make my own lists, but if you enter your list on the website, you can get ideas from other people who want to accomplish similar goals.

While my students were making their lists (which they had to turn in to me, and which I will mail to them in September so they can see how they did over the summer), I wrote my own list of 43 things I want to do this summer.

Hike to the top of Mount St. Helens  Backpack 50 miles with Mark  Make a writing room  Read the 1993 journal  Write 250 pages of my thesis  Get a pedicure  Lift weights (almost) every day for 1 month  Do a yoga workout 1x per week  Reclaim my kitchen  Go someplace in Oregon I’ve never been  Make a dress  Visit my parents  Run a mile  Swim across Sparks Lake  Make a quilt  Paint the upstairs doors  Hold hands with Mark every day this summer  Print out all my writing  Organize the tool drawer  Watch the movie David gave me  Go to the beach  Camp on the beach Lose 5 more pounds by September (132)  Learn to use the calendar on my iPod  Learn to use 3 other applications on my iPod  Take the grandchildren backpacking  Skype with distant grandchildren  Send letters to distant grandchildren  Spend a day with Sheila (fun things)  Find a new favorite restaurant  Go to the High Desert Museum  Go to the Kam Wah Chung Store  Submit writing to High Desert Journal  Submit writing somewhere else  Write 5 poems  Write a letter to Ann  Do the sun salutation to the dawn  Roast marshmallows in the backyard  Finish the WAP with Sheila  Pay off most of the credit card debt  Learn to take pictures of myself  Clean out the family file drawer  Visit Maury

What's on YOUR list of 43 Things?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Canned vs. Frozen: Frugal Food Friday

I've made several tasty healthy recipes to share since my last Frugal Food Friday post...and things were so crazy at dinner time, I forgot to take a picture...so now I'll just have to make them again...YUM!

Anyway, I thought I'd share something new that I'm trying.  The more processed a food is, the more nutrician and flavor it loses.  Therefore in general...fresh is best, frozen next best, then canned.  Canned food can also be quite expensive, not to mention all the packaging that goes into canned.  (We don't have can recycling here, so we save them up for a visit to parents who live in more enlightened parts.  I just cannot bring myself to thrown cans in the trash.)  I try to buy frozen veggies when possible, but then they tend to get freezer burned if I buy them in big bags.

So...maybe all of you already do this...but it just occurred to me.

I bought my big bag of corn a week or so and did the same thing I did with my beans a while ago.  I filled up an empty can with the corn.  Dumped those in a ziploc back and repeated until I had a lot of 1 can size baggies of corn, ready to pull out and substitute into recipes calling for canned corn.  Then all those little baggies go in a big baggie, so they're double protected from the freezer burn.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Katie: Week 63

It's not really my 63rd week.  It's my 24th week.  That 63 was a little joke I picked up from my wonderful, funny in-laws.  I won't bother to explain except to say that, in the Lewis family, when someone is being a sir grumps-a-lot (like when you're losing a board game and getting really mad about it or when someone tickles you and you're not in the mood so you throw a fit or something along those lines) everybody tells you you're 63.  Or, if you're big enough to admit it, you tell everyone else you're 63.  Which usually makes you laugh a little.

Anyway, I said week 63 because I was not in the mood to post today.  At all.  See, I was 140 last week.  And somewhere in the middle of this past week I was 139.  Then 138.  The skinniest I've been in so long!  The skinniest I've been in years!  And then I got cocky.  Thought I could eat whatever I wanted.  Chocolate chip cookies looked good.  Super big mini M&M cookies looked good.  Double Stuf Oreos looked good.  Ice cream looked good.

You get the picture.  It's a sad picture.  It's a picture entitled: "This week's weight: 141."  Even though I was 138.

I fluctuate so much between wanting to sacrifice goodies to reach my goals and wanting to "enjoy life and be realistic."  The truth is, I was enjoying life when I was goodie-free.  But it's hard to tell that to a cookie.  You tell the cookie that carrot juice tastes good and what does it do?  It sticks out its tongue at you and points to its chocolate chips.  Little mean cookie.  And yet, it's so full of good feelings and happy memories and yummy tastes.  How can a cookie be so good and so bad at the same time?  I struggle with that.  All the time.

Anyway, so there's my weekly update.  The good news is, Sarah is back!  And we went on a walk this morning.  Which makes everything in my life seem to fall back into place.  Our 5K is this weekend.  Bryan says you can walk 3 miles in 45 minutes.  Hopefully we'll do better than that.  Wish us luck!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fuel For Race Day

My half marathon is this Saturday and fueling is on my mind. Carb-loading can be complicated and controversial, but I like to keep it simple. The basic concept is to store up glycogen (an easily-accessed fuel) by increasing carbohydrate/starch intake and decreasing activity. This allows you to have energy as well as hydration because the carbs store water. Here are some carb-loading and nutrition tips from Runner's World magazines and experienced running friends of mine.

  • Carb-load for the week leading up to a marathon, three days leading up to a half marathon. There is a lot of debate over carb-loading for shorter distances. I say, there's no harm in trying it out.
  • Get your carbs from a variety of sources: grains, dairy, fruits & veggies, and legumes. Everybody thinks of pasta, but potatoes are even better on the glycemic index.
  • The last 2-3 days of carb-loading, 70% of your caloric intake should be carbs. Adjust (decrease) fat intake to allow this.
  • Don't worry about gaining water weight while carb-loading because it will help more than it hurts you. Keep drinking that water.
  • Favorite carb-loading foods: bagels (Thomas' whole wheat), apples, granola bars, oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon, carrots, fruit juice, and my personal favorite... french fries.
  • No matter what, eat something for breakfast the day of the race. I like a banana and a bowl of raisin bran cereal. Plus a half of a whole wheat bagel if the race start time is a couple hours away.
  • Rest the day before the race.
  • Along with great food, be sure to get great sleep the week before the race.
I noticed a remarkable difference in my running when I carb-loaded for my marathon. My marathon felt a million times better than my 20-mile training run and I attribute it wholly to how I was fueling my body. I plan to carb-load this week starting Wednesday. Tomorrow I run 5 miles, then just two or three on Thursday. Carb-loading is exciting for me because it is the only time I am really strict with my food. I know it works. It prepares me and gets me excited for the race.

Do you have any experiences with carb-loading? Have you noticed a difference in your workouts as you change your eating habits? What foods have helped or hindered you in your exercising?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kathy Week 23: Sunshine!

Kathy's Week 23 Stats:
Today's Weight: 136
Last Week's Weight: 139
Starting Weight: 151
Total Weight Loss: 15 pounds

I live in the Pacific Northwest, in a notoriously rainy region. It is gloriously green around here, but you don't get green without moisture! I rarely complain about the rain, even when I'm out camping and hiking. I have learned to buy good rain gear (it can be expensive, so I buy one piece at a time) and just get out and go! 

However, this spring has been a doozy for rain. We had a week or so of gorgeous sun in February. March was its usual rainy self. It rained every day in April. It rained almost every day in May. It's rained every day in June so far until...today! It's supposed to start raining again tomorrow, so I wanted to hurry outside and take this week's photos for you:

I am so excited to be down by 15 pounds since January! That's an average of 3 pounds a month; a nice, steady, healthy rate of loss. I feel healthy and strong. Hooray!

I'm still going to yoga class once a week and the Curves gym 3 mornings a week. Here are some fun moves we learned in yoga last Tuesday:

The half hand stand. I can maintain this for almost a minute. I'm practicing this pose regularly, to increase my arm and shoulder strength. I'd like to be able to hold it for two minutes or more! (My trunk and legs are supposed to be at a 90 degree angle - I didn't quite get there on this practice. But it's fun to do and I'm getting better at it!)

The standing half moon. I practice this on both sides, for balance, leg strength, and a core body workout. (Still trying to get that outstretched leg up a little higher, so that I'm straight out...I'll keep practicing!)

Speaking of the rain...last Monday my husband Mark and I were signed up for a 10K walk. But...you guessed it...it was so rainy that we backed out. Mark has a jacket and pants that are water repellant, but not water proof, and we didn't think it would hold up to 6 miles in 2 hours of steady rain. (To tell the truth, I had to coax him a bit to undertake a 10K in the first place, and I didn't want to push him out into the rain and have it end up being his last 10K.

The race was to begin at 8:30 am, and we had planned to leave the house by 7:30 to take care of registration. At 7:30 it was raining pretty hard. By 8:30...it stopped raining! Oh, no! No way to get to the starting line in time, now.

Can you guess what we did instead? Does the word "biathlon" pique your interest? Click here to find out how we had a great athletic morning after all. And then come back and leave me a comment about how you make the best of rainy days.

Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy the sunshine, wherever you are!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Making a list, checking it twice...

No, it is not Christmas. However one of my favorite things to do is check things off a list...I make lists for everything! I decided to capitalize on this and use this new format instead of trying to make myself write down things I eat in a food journal...which, while is a good idea and works for some people, it is like pulling teeth for me- I just hate it and can't make myself do it!

So I made this handy little chart for myself- some of the categories have more blocks than they really should, but it is so I aim high in those areas (yes, I know my own weaknesses very well!) Basically I check off a block for every serving of food I eat in the appropriate category. At the end of the week I give myself an overall grade in each category (just however I felt I did in each area, A to F...it is just a random, arbitrary grade) and then make a goal to raise my grade in at least one area the next week.

Click HERE to view the GoogleDocs Spreadsheet

For some reason this really works for me- it motivates me to get more fruits and veggies and water into my day and limit my snacks, candy, and dessert. I hang it on my fridge with a pen attached so it is really accessible. Maybe it will help some of you...try it out!

Have a great day!

picnic food!

Picnics are my very favorite. Back in the single summertime days, Katie and I went on many many good ones. I think we usually had pretty healthy foods, but picnic fare can easily turn fatty and sugary and processed (those things are so easy to pack!).

Some of my favorites to bring along:

-lots and lots of fruit and fruit salad (not with whipped cream or pudding or any of those fruit salad ruiners--just make sure there are chopped strawberries in there and the whole thing becomes nice and syrupy)
-veg for eating plain (little tomatoes, sugar snap peas) or dipping (carrots, celery, cucumber)
-a good dip (hummus is my favorite and has no dairy to get hot and rotten)
-favorite salad (cucumbers + tomatoes + avocados + sea salt)
-tabouli (packs well and tastes great made from a package)
-crackers and cheese

I know Katie posted about Hungry Girl long ago, and I recently found that the site has a whole lot of "bite it/fight it" recipes--good old recipes made much healthier. I saw this potato salad recipe and want to make it for our next day out to the park.

The Good German Potato Salad
1 head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
10 oz. baby red potatoes, roughly chopped
3 cups dry coleslaw mix
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp. precooked real crumbled bacon (like the kind by Oscar Mayer)
2 tbsp. Hellmann's/Best Foods Dijonnaise
1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Place cauliflower and potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl with 1/3 cup water. Cover and microwave for 6 minutes. Stir, re-cover, and microwave for 8 minutes, or until tender. Once cool enough to handle, drain excess water and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add coleslaw mix and onion. Stirring frequently, cook until soft and slightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add contents of the skillet to the bowl with the cauliflower and potatoes. Set aside.

To make the dressing, combine all remaining ingredients except scallions in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 tbsp. water, stir, and microwave for 1 minute, or until warm. Mix thoroughly.

Add dressing to the large bowl with veggies and potatoes, and toss to coat. Add scallions, gently mix, and serve! (P.S. If you're making this ahead of time, refrigerate and then warm it up just before serving.)


Serving Size: heaping 3/4 cup 
Calories: 85 
Fat: 0.75g
 Sodium: 324mg
 Carbs: 16g
 Fiber: 3.25g
 Sugars: 6g
 Protein: 3.5g

You can find this and other recipe swaps here.

What do you bring on picnics? And, please go on one soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Katie: Week 23

Woot!  Woot! 

Current weight: 140 pounds
Last week's weight: 143 pounds
Total weight loss: 30 pounds!!!!!!!!!!

I guess that's what happens when you throw up a lot and then have no appetite for days.  Hopefully I won't bounce back up again.

Goals chart from this past week...
Well, obviously I did not meet my goals 100% this week.  Can you tell my body and I have not been getting along this past week?  For those of you who didn't read my whiny post on Sunday, I'll give you the quick version of what I've been through this past week:

-been having extra bad back and neck pain and daily headaches for the past couple of weeks
-Thursday: went to see the chiropractor, had some things adjusted, was given some advice
-Thursday night/early Friday morning: threw up violently due to what I'm sure was food poisoning
-Friday: laid in bed all day
-Saturday: had a lazy day
-Sunday: woke up super, super stiff and cranky
-Monday (yesterday) we did (among other things) the following:

Went for a little family hike with Lisa.
Don't be fooled by that shady look on her face.  She loved being in the backpack and fell asleep in it on the way back down.
The view from the top of the waterfall.

Then we hiked back down and had a really healthy lunch.

After that, we all got back in the car and headed up to IKEA where Bryan and I bought...
...this little desk!

We decided it's time we stopped stooping over the laptop from the couch, so we got this little desk.  And we're planning on getting a yoga ball to sit at the desk with to help with my posture problems.  But I'm completely at a loss for what kind and size of yoga ball to buy.  I'm about 5'4", so should I buy a 65cm ball or a 75cm ball?  Does anybody know?  I don't.  Or does anybody know if there's a store that had a bunch of them inflated so I can go and try out the different sizes?  If any of you have suggestions or recommendations please please please let me know in the comments.

Anyway, we did some other stuff yesterday, but I'm getting bored talking about it (although it was fun to do), so... the end.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.