Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Deck is Stacked

I swear sometimes the "healthy living" cards are just stacked against you...

I brought ‪#‎healthy‬ leftovers to work last Friday but the boss took us to lunch, so today I came in planning to eat those. Sadly, they'd gone bad. OK, so I tells myself, "SELF: you're still going to eat reasonably well today!"

and I go online (consciously saving myself the pressure of ordering in person, caving and getting a greasy burger or other sandwich) and order a lovely salad to pick up. I resist the urge to mindlessly order a delicious cookie to eat with said salad. I freaking love those cookies. I click "SUBMIT ORDER" and I go to pick up my delicious salad. SANS cookie.

When I get there, I end up having to wait a while despite ordering ahead (and despite the fact the place was virtually empty, no customers ahead of me). No prob, I'm cool as a cucumber. I pay.
Cashier says, "Sorry for your wait. I hope you don't mind; I put a cookie in the bag to make it up to you. Have a great day!"

Monday, January 11, 2016

A New Year Starts with... Dieting with The Hubs

The Hubs determined he'd like to lose some weight in the new year.  Furthermore, he was adamant that he wanted to do this through diet changes alone ("I go up and down stairs all day at work I get plenty of exercise!").  So, although I don't really care for "dieting," I am going on a Diet with him.  Because we support each other.  He puts up with a VERY messy house while I go on long runs while training for half-mary's; the least I can do is join him in a little crash dieting.  Hell, we all know I'd like to lose a few pounds too, and if we don't do a CRASH crash diet, what's the harm?

The Hubs' idea was not SO radical... no "shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, etc," although he did briefly entertain eating nothing but protein bars for breakfast and lunch.  I told him I just couldn't get behind that plan.  Think of the cost, for starters!  (That got him.)

He felt the best approach was to make nothing but CHICKEN BREASTS, RICE, and BROCCOLI for dinner every night for a month.  This basically means nothing but CHICKEN BREASTS, RICE and BROCCOLI for lunch as well, since that's kind of how we roll in our household.  After several days of discussion prior to the New Year, we agreed to be a bit more flexible.  it's CHICKEN BREASTS, RICE (white or brown, dealer's choice), and ALL THE VEGGIES YOU CAN HANDLE, COOKED ANY WAY YOU CAN THINK OF for dinner every night.  And the rice will be MEASURED - one cup per meal, and if you still feel hungry, more protein and veg.

He's eased up on the 30-Days thing.  We're going to follow this routine, I think, until he JUST CAIN'T STAND IT NO MO'.

So Sunday became a Food Prep Day, including preparation of what is a bit of standard for me at this point (but the boys don't exactly go gaga for it) - Roasted Root Vegetables. This batch included onion, turnip, parsnip, carrots, rutabaga, radishes and fresh, already-cut-in-half Brussels sprouts that I found in the Buy This Quick Before It Goes Bad section of my favorite produce department.  (AKA the Rotting Fruit Area) I've been adding these veg to bulk up my lunches and / or serve as a side dish with whatever The Hubs makes all week long.

As you might imagine, this quickly turned into a Creative Cooking Challenge.  We're 4 days in, and I've already decided I need Yummly on my side.  I found a recipe yesterday that I tried out.  CHICKEN BREASTS, White RICE (we are low on brown, not enough to make a meal... #GroceryShoppingFail), a TON of mushrooms, and, in fact, roasted BROCCOLI and cauliflower.  It made a great sauce by basically creating your own home-made version of the condensed mushroom soup you might otherwise use, and I really liked it.  The Hubs didn't love it but it was OK.  The Kid thought it was GREAT.  (Big Mushroom fan, that one.)  I tweaked it based on what I had on hand (added onion and actually steamed, then pureed, a half a Rutabaga and put that in the sauce too) but here is the recipe I used.

I made this!
One day this week I made CHICKEN BREASTS Fajitas, except I added a half a turnip to the fajita vegetables (leftover from Roasted Root Vegetables I'd made on Sunday, didn't want it to go bad... thought maybe no one would notice.) And of course, we served it over RICE, not on a tortilla.

I've been encouraging The Kid to snack healthier, too. Or at least keep the fresh produce from going bad.  With limited success.  

These apples are still here, and if you have any suggestions for what do with them... I'm listening.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wait, I signed up for WHAT?

So I just registered for a new race.  In the registration process, they asked to get to know me better.  Here is what I wrote (partially copied from my Twitter profile):

I'm Chris. My occasional blog posts can be found at CPAGrrrlStrongerFasterBetter.blogspot.com.  
I run, I eat, I occasionally swim, I struggle with my weight.
I #wycwyc (pronounced "wick-wick!"),
I am a #261FearlessAmbassador and
I #StandwithPP.   
My crazy runner friends talked me into doing my first Triathlon and I'm writing this before starting any training at all, and quite frankly I am scared out of my wits.  So things are just as they should be.   
So there you have it.  I'm registered for my first Triathlon.


How in HELL did this happen?

Oh right, my awesome crazy runner friends provided a TON of Positive Peer Pressure, and after several days of researching and looking up training plans and debating whether my relaxed approach to training could actually get me ready for such a thing, I decided to DIVE IN.

The course is described as:
The Gildan Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon is a sprint distance triathlon in and around Centennial Beach. The swim course takes place in the Centennial Beach Reservoir, guided by lane markers and swim buoys and supervised by a large team of lifeguards. Our “Swim Angels” will also be available as a measure of encouragement and added safety. The bike course is two laps on paved roadways throughout the Naperville area and the run traverses paved roads and paths through Riverwalk Park. 
They add:
Please note: there will be a a two hour cut-off time to complete both the swim and bike portions of the race (from the last wave). In addition, there will be a three hour cut-off time to complete the entire race (from the last wave).
.75-kilometer (.5-mile) swim | 21.4-kilometer (13.3-mile) bike | 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run

The swim is, of course, the scary part.  I learned how to swim better about 18 months ago, and have been practicing occasionally since, using the indoor pool at my gym.  I was VERY pleased to find that "Centennial Beach" is really a POOL and not a lake environment, since I have a real problem with lakes.  [They kinda gross me out.  They're just like big stagnant pools of water, who wants to swim in that?  Yuck.  This California Grrrl says give me an ocean or a pool, please.] But I digress.  Back to my weak swimming skills.

YAY!  It's a pool!  Image courtesy Google Earth
Swimming a 1/2 mile is scaring the crap out of me.  I can barely swim 2 laps without a break now.  Speed will be of NO concern in this race; only finishing the swim.  A 13-mile bike ride will take me a little over an hour, and a 5k after all that might take as much as 45 minutes (!) but it all sounds like a cake-walk once the swim is done.  Based on the cutoff time, I will have to finish the swim in under 45 minutes or get serious about going faster on my bike.  Hmmm.  I think a test-swim is in order, and quickly.

I've gotten my hands on a free training plan that looks like it will suit my needs (and has a long enough timeline that I can build in all the flexibility I'll need to make that work).  And I guess I'm going to baby-step my way to participating in my first Tri.

I'll be #wycwyc-ing the HELL out of this.

I repeat:  HOLY CRAP!  Can't look much into the future on this one; one step in front of the other.  Step 1:  go for a swim this weekend.

CPAGrrrl, OUT.

Monday, January 4, 2016

To the Gym Rats of the World

An Open Letter to the Gym Rats of the World (Whom I Would Very Much Like to Emulate):

I joined the throngs of new and returning gym goers tonight after work. Love that my gym was still not overcrowded. 

I read somewhere that only like 8% of them (us) stay consistent throughout the rest of the year. I once again strive to be part of that 8%.

I had a challenging bike ride and 30 minutes of strength training (back, biceps, core) and The Hubs made a super healthy dinner for us. 

So, gym rats of the world, relax! You'll have your space back soon. Meanwhile, throw some encouraging words at the newbies and (me) those who are recommitting, and hope to attain Gym Rat status by this time next year.