Monthly Archives: June 2014

How Do You Shop For Clothes While Losing Weight?

I need new jeans really, really badly. Not only are the jeans I have from when I was in my early 20’s (and therefore they’re far too low-cut), many of them have holes in inconvenient places, and they’re all starting to fall off my ass.

This is a good thing. That means I’ve gone from wearing a size 20 to a size 12/14 (depending on the brand). But I really need new clothes.

Between my home and my office is an outlet mall. I stopped by on the way home today, hoping to find some jeans that fit me prior to my business trip this weekend. I went to two stores (Banana Republic and Ann Taylor) and didn’t find a single pair of jeans that fit me and didn’t look like mom jeans.  I also seem to be between sizes (medium and large) in t-shirts and dresses.

I’m definitely not going to find what I need at the outlet mall, because the selection is far too limited. But I hate shopping even in normal situations, and I don’t want to invest in good clothing that might not fit me in a few months. I know I should probably go to a thrift store, but I don’t have the patience to sort through a bunch of stuff. I’d rather go to a big department store (although the thought of it makes me want to gag), where I have rack after rack of clothes to choose from. But I’m not going to like it.

I don’t even know what size I wear, since companies are anything but consistent in their sizing. This makes shopping even more frustrating, because I have to bring two or three sizes of every garment into the dressing room. And then I feel like a jerk because I leave without buying anything.

I’m hoping that when I reach my goal weight, I can go on a shopping spree and enjoy every single minute of it, because I’ll be investing in clothes that I plan to wear for a few years (probably a decade, given my adherence to fashion trends). But for now, it’s just not appealing.

How do you deal with clothes shopping when you’re in the middle of a weight loss journey?

Food Log

I did pretty well again today!

Breakfast: Peanut butter granola bar, string cheese, apple
Lunch: 1 cup split pea & ham soup, carrots & cucumber with black bean dip, 1/2 cup rice mixed with 1 cup spaghetti squash and 1/2 cup roasted mushrooms
Snack: 4 oz fat free Greek yogurt with 1T strawberry jam, 1/2 cup skim milk
Dinner: Grilled turkey & cheese sandwich

32 Weight Watchers Points Plus

Work From Home Win

I’m in my second week of a MWF telecommuting arrangement. I was very excited for this to begin because I commute about an hour each way to work. I figured working from home would give me time to get in a run and more time to cook real food for dinner. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would want to eat everything in the house while I sat here, alone, all day.

The first week was a disaster, eating-wise. I’d go downstairs for a “quick snack” two, three … maybe four times per day.It was ridiculous. This week has been different. I’m committed to tracking, and this morning I Got up before work and got my run in!

June 25 Run Photo

I actually look pretty happy in that photo. It was nice and peaceful this morning. I saw a lot of other runners and walkers out. I ran around the lake, which was gorgeous. But mostly, I was happy to be done. Although it was a cool 61 degrees, it was 100% humidity. I was a sweaty beast.

When I got home I had just enough time to shower and make a nice post-run breakfast.

Egg Breakfast After Run

I stayed pretty busy during work. I grabbed a healthy snack in the morning, a filling lunch, and a snack when I packed things up for the day. Dinner was blah thanks to some somewhat rancid butter that I put on my spaghetti squash. After dinner, Aaron and I went for a one hour walk. That’s right—two chances to earn Activity Points today!

If I can replicate this success most days that I work from home, I should be in pretty good shape. Here’s my food log for today.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice whole wheat toast, apple
Snack: String cheese, .5 oz walnuts
Lunch: Oatmeal (1/2 cup dry) with 1 cup chopped strawberries, 1 T strawberry jam, .5 oz walnuts
Snack: Peanut butter granola bar
Dinner: 4 oz salmon burger, 1/4 cup peach salsa, 1/2 cup white rice (spaghetti squash that didn’t get eaten)
Snack: Popsicle, 1/2 cup grapes

35 Weight Watchers PointPlus
13 Activity Points earned

 

Weekend Recap & Weigh-In

I’m sitting here eating a bowl (4 oz) of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 T of freshly made strawberry jam, trying to will myself into believing it tastes like the custard in the freezer.

It’s not that far off, actually. And the jam is delicious.

Next to me is a big bunch of grapes, because I’ve decided I can eat as many of them as I want tonight, as long as I don’t eat the custard.

Ah, the games we must play to resist the allure of salt, sugar, and fat. But this is supposed to be a weekend recap.

All things considered, I had a great weekend, weight-loss-wise. There was one minor setback, which thankfully did not show up on the scale.

Friday

On Friday, I worked from home. And thanks to being super busy with work, I didn’t have time to eat my way through the pantry. I also was able to squeeze a lunch run in. I thought that if it was less than 70 degrees, 92% humidity wouldn’t feel too bad. WRONG! I cut the run short at a little over 2 miles … but I got out there.

June 20 Run Photo

Then I went to visit my parents. Mom and Dad cooked a healthy meal.

June 20 DinnerAfterwards I took my mom to the Cherry Berry (her first fro-yo experience). We both diligently weighed our yogurt prior to adding toppings to make sure we had a 4 oz serving, and then only used fresh fruit. We had a tasty treat for 3 PPV. Here’s what Friday looked like:

Breakfast: Apple with 22g almond butter, string cheese
Snack: Carrots with black bean dip
Lunch: Green salad topped with roasted beets & 1 oz goat cheese, pumpernickel toast with butter
Snack: Grapes
Dinner: 3 oz beef (shishkabob), lots of roasted veggies, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup skim milk
Snack: 4 oz frozen yogurt with fresh fruit

PointsPlus: 28
Activity Points: 5

Saturday

Saturday had the start of another great day. I had a healthy breakfast, avoided all but one tiny cheese sample at the farmers market, and got some activity in. My mom got a bike last year, and I haven’t ridden one in over a decade. I wanted to see if I still enjoyed it, so I took hers for a spin. I covered 4.75 miles in just under 30 minutes, and had a blast. I’ll now be searching for a bike on Craigslist.

June 21 Bike Photo

Then I made a healthy lunch, and headed out to meet up with some classmates to work on our dissertations. That’s where the derailment happened. I was working on the construction of my survey instrument, and realized I didn’t know the appropriate statistics to use to answer my research question using the types of data I’d be collecting. This is a big deal. To cope, I ate a bag of Gardetto’s and a Twix bar. Then, I put my head down and figured out that I need to do a crosstab analysis and use a nonparametric analysis of variance. I’m sure this is all very exciting for most of you 🙂

After almost 5 solid hours of work, we convened at a local restaurant. This was a planned splurge, so I felt good about my delicious meal. I had a Mezcal margarita, meat and cheese board (shared), asparagus summer salad, and a couple bites of a goat cheese cheesecake that I shared with my friends.

Meat & Cheese Board

Goat Cheese Cheesecake

If that was the end of the splurge, I would have been fine. But we adjourned to a friend’s house and she put out snacks. And I just kept eating them. For no reason. Cheetos Puffs (which seriously tasted like styrofoam, but I kept eating them), peanut M&M’s, Jr Mints. I’m not going to break it down, but I’m fairly certain I ate at least 96 points on Saturday. Might as well call it an even 100. And I earned 2 activity points.

Sunday

Woke up and had breakfast with my brother and nephews. Scrambled eggs, 2 slices of bacon, and a heaping portion of fruit salad, with a glass of skim milk. After teaching the boys all about the herbs growing on Grandma’s porch, mom and I headed out for strawberry picking. We picked 52 pounds of strawberries!

52 pounds of strawberriesWe picked until about 1:30, and then I had to head home. I was very proud of myself because I chose to get a 6-inch ham sandwich (no cheese) from Subway, instead of a burger and fries.

I got home and got to work on the strawberries. Dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich and a salad topped with strawberries (of course), goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic dressing. After processing all these strawberries (they’re frozen, jammed, dehydrated, and soon to be turned into fruit leather), I also had a bowl of custard (maybe a cup) topped with strawberries. I didn’t weigh or track anything on Sunday. I’m guessing it was about a 45-50 point day. I was on my feet a lot of the time, but didn’t track the activity.

Monday

Although not technically the weekend, it seems to fit here. I had a normal 6-point breakfast of scrambled eggs and asparagus with cheese. Lunch was leftover quinoa and sauteed greens with fruit salad (probably about 10 points). Dinner was two types of pizza – asparagus & garlic scape and strawberry/basil/goat cheese. Didn’t figure out the points for these, but I’m guessing around 15. But … the custard bug hit me in the afternoon. Probably close to 15 points worth. Probably another 45-50 point day. I really need to weight and track.

Tuesday’s Weigh In

Weight Loss Ping Pong

Down 2.4 pounds! I’ll thank my lucky stars. Notice the ping-pong pattern of the last few weeks. It’s not doing anything to get me closer to my goal. I need to be on the ball this week, especially considering that I have another nice meal (with coworkers, this time) on Saturday, and I’ll be eating out Saturday – Wednesday because I’m traveling for work.

I’ve finished eating for the day (except for the 0 PPV bowl of grapes serving as my custard insurance plan), and I’m at 31 PPV. Not bad. No activity, though. There’s still time to rectify that if I get off my butt.

Update: I walked for an hour! 5 Activity Points 🙂

Finally, A Day Of Healthy Eating

I did it! I didn’t cave and eat a Twix bar, doughnut, peanut butter bar, cake, or other calorie-laden treat today. AND, I did it while having hardly any groceries in the house.

Breakfast: Kashi Trail Mix granola bar, light string cheese, fruit salad, coffee w/ skim milk

Lunch: Green salad topped with pickled veggies scavenged from the refrigerator (radishes, beets, green beans) and goat cheese, 1.85 oz pumpernickel toast topped with 2 T almond butter

Snack: 4 oz fat-free greek yogurt with 1 T homemade peach jam

Dinner: 1 cup quinoa & dehydrated tomatoes, roasted asparagus, baby bok choy, and sauteed greens, topped with a fried egg.

Dessert: Raspberry popsicle

Total: 30 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

I should have gotten some activity in, but it was raining and I’m using that as an excuse. Tomorrow is a run day.

Quinoa & Spring VeggiesWasn’t dinner gorgeous? I love how orange the yolks of my Three Brothers Farm eggs are.

I feel especially good about this because I didn’t have any of my meals planned out in advance, and still managed to pull something together. Let’s see if I can repeat this tomorrow.

 

Humid Hump Day Run

I told myself I was going to wake up early today and run before it got hot and humid outside. But Mother Nature sent us severe thunderstorms overnight and through the morning, so I decided before going to bed last night that I’d skip it.  I didn’t want to be a slacker, though so I went out right after dinner. It was about 73 degrees and 83% humidity. The sun was still shining bright. I set out for a 5K, determined to go slow. And I remembered to take my water.

The first mile was alright (turns out, it was my fastest, even though I felt like I was crawling). The second mile was going ok, but I had to stop to let a car go through an intersection, and I swear that stole my mojo. I took a couple short walk breaks after that. At the 2.5 mile mark, I was mostly in the shade, and started giving myself mini goals to hit. At 2.8, I knew I could run the rest of the way. There was definitely not a sprint to the finish line, but I stuck it out. And I felt like this:

June 18 Run PhotoI’ll be pretty excited if I can run a 43:24 5K (14:00 pace) in August . So maybe that’s my goal. And then perhaps I can shoot for a 38:53 (12:30 pace) at the Run Into The New Year. Yes, I’m already thinking about winter races. If registration opened today for the GLM Winter Race Series, I’d sign up for entire thing and dream of 10 degree weather. I can deal with snow and ice, I guess.

Here are the rest of today’s run stats.

June 18 Pace Chart

June 18 Splits

Weekly Weigh In

It’s not good, folks. I weighed in yesterday morning, and I gained back every single ounce I lost the week prior. This isn’t a surprise. I had way too much of things like this:

Occupaws Guide Dog Graduation Cake

and not enough of things like this:

Asparagus OmeletteThere were days I didn’t track, and I could have gotten more activity in, and I got addicted to garlic sea salt sourdough and sweet & salty peanut butter bars. I’m not acted like a person that is committed to weight loss, which is unfortunate because I’m only half way there. And I ate three of those stupid peanut butter bars today. Stay away from them. They are the devil (and they taste so good).

I haven’t been successfully planning my meals. Either I don’t plan them at all, or I plan them and eat something different just because I feel like it. Like tonight, I was supposed to have a roasted beet salad with a slice of pumpernickel bread for dinner. Instead, I had a pumpernickel grilled cheese sandwich and one of the devil bars. Get it together, Liz…

Summer Running: Not Having A Blast

So this is how I felt during my run today:

June 15 Run Photo

I was on the road by 8:50 a.m., just 20 minutes past my target time.  When I left, it was just over 60 degrees and 53% humidity. It was 70 degrees when I finished. I ran the first mile at a good-for me pace, and then the walk breaks began.

June 15 Pace Chart

I was able to pick it up for the last half mile, but this was hard. I learned quite a few things on this run.

Tips For Humid Summer Running

  1. When running in the summer with any significant humidity (or high temps), I need to bring water with me, no matter how far I’m running. By mile 2 I was panting and would have killed for some water.
  2. All of the advice I’ve read in running magazines to throw pace goals out the window during hot/humid runs and run by feel is good advice. I need to follow it. I’m not training for a race right now, let alone a time goal, so my pace doesn’t matter.
  3. If I want to run somewhat comfortably in the summer, I need to get up early and get out there before the sun has gotten very high in the sky. Like … maybe before 6:00 a.m., even on the weekends. Today’s conditions were nothing compared to what I can expect for the hottest/most humid days in a Wisconsin summer.

Runners World has these and more great tips for running in humidity.

On The Bright Side…

For short distances, I can run a lot faster now than I can when I started my half marathon training. Even with significant walk breaks, I beat my average time since I started using Nike+.

June 15 SplitsI used to be excited to run a 14:41 mile. Now, I can clock that even while walking a decent portion of it.

Based on the Runner’s World advice, I’ll check the temp/humidity every morning before I run. If it’s less than 70 degrees and below 40% humidity, I’ll consider my pace an indicator of my current abilities. If it’s warner or more humid, I’ll just get out there with a goal to finish my daily mileage.

(Hey Meg, did you see I sort of copied you with my song-based blog title?)

The Run That Felt Terrible But Turned Out To Be Awesome

Three days in, I’ve followed my post-injury training plan to a T. A 1-mile run on Wednesday, 60 minute walk on Thursday, and a 2-mile run this morning. I had to stop and walk a couple times today, and when I finished up my run I was kind of down on myself. I was thinking, “When will I get my fitness back?”

Well, there was a reason I was winded and needed some walk breaks. I was below a 13 minute mile for the first half-mile! At one point, I was even below a 12 minute mile. That would have been fast for me when I was at the peak of my half marathon training (the race seems like a distant memory now). Even with what I deemed “significant” walk breaks, I averaged a 13:39 pace. I’ll take it.

June 13 Run Photo

Once I looked at the data from my run, I could reframe how I feel. I haven’t lost my fitness (my 12:00-13:00 pace actually felt like a slog), but I may have lost a bit of stamina. I imagine in a week or two it will be back. The idea of running five miles today was exhausting, and a month ago that was my normal mid-week run. I’m confident I’ll be there again (as long as I can keep getting up early and avoiding the heat).

I completed day 12 of the 30 Day Ab Challenge last night. 55 situps, 65 crunches, 33, leg raises, and a 42 second plank. I was able to muscle through all of it, although my hip joint make a terrible grinding/popping noise when I do the leg raises. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s a bit disturbing.

One last thing before I jump in the shower and sit down at my desk for work (my new part-time work at home arrangement is awesome!)—I know most of the people that read my blog are like me: back of the pack runners. Check out this bog post from the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half for a glimpse into the back of the pack, from a runner who’s normally at the front. Kudos to Runner’s World—they actually called attention to the post on their site, apologized, and asked for feedback from their readers. The comments on both of these pages might be an interesting read for anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to be in the back of the pack. Although the finish line was still fully set up and no water stations vanished at my half marathon, I definitely think it felt different for me than for those that finished in 1:30:00 – 2:30:00.

First Run Post Injury

Today was a pretty awesome day. I went for a run. It was only one mile, but my ankle didn’t hurt. I huffed and puffed a bit more than usual, but I expect that to take care of itself in a week or so. AND, I didn’t lose any ground as far as my pace was concerned (today’s mile was 13:14) and I didn’t feel like I was pushing it at all.

June 11 Run Photo

I’ve already created my running schedule for the rest of the month. I’ll do two miles on Friday, three miles on Sunday, and then settle into 3-5 miles, three times per week for the rest of the month. Two days per week I’ll either take a one-hour walk or go to the local state park for a hike, and one day per week will be a rest day. I’m also plugging along with the 30 Day Ab Challenge. Although it’s June 11, I’m on day 10 because I completely spaced out and missed Monday’s workout. I figure I’ll just skip an upcoming rest day, so I should be back on track in two days.

In other awesome news, there is a strong possibility that the pound of doom is gone. I somehow managed to lose 2.6 pounds last week, bringing me to 172.2. This is .9 pounds below my April 8 weight, when I started battling the pound that would not get lost. Granted, I did not put up much of a fight … but I’m ready to focus on my goal. In 87 days I will be on a vacation of a lifetime, which includes a hike through a vineyard, a bike ride along the Danube River, and a hike around another German river … not to mention potential runs through gorgeous cities like Vienna and Prague. I set a random goal of weighing 160 for that cruise. To get there at this point, I need to lose about one pound per week, consistently. I can totally do that if I don’t eat junk and stick to my fitness plan. Then I’ll probably gain 5 pounds on vacation 🙂

Since I missed the mud run and Ragnar (boo!) I don’t have any races on the schedule at this point. I’m eyeing the Pumpkin Run, a local 10K in October. I’ve never run a 10K, so that might be fun. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to racing in the summer. Heat sucks. Maybe I’ll just sign up for the winter race series and a spring goal race, and keep the summers low key. Or maybe not. There’s talk of a Milwaukee Marathon for 2015…. 😉