Monday, August 30, 2010

Doctors orders

I visited the doctor this morning about my back pain. Last Friday, I decided I couldn't 'power through' the pain anymore so I made an appointment to see my primary care doctor.

First of all, the doctor basically told me to stop running and that I shouldn't run again until I lose a considerable amount of weight, especially without the guidance of a trainer. I understand that there are avid runners out there that think this is horse malarkey, but honestly I don't think she is off base. I weigh 318 pounds. When I think about what the impact of that much weight does to every bone, joint, muscle, tendon, ligament and every other part of my body with each step when I am running, I realize it's too much to risk. I can still have the life goal of running a 5K, it just won't be by the end of this year.

My pain is thought to be muscular so all you can really do is treat the symptoms and rest. So, my doctor prescribed some pain meds and Lidoderm patches for my back and ordered bed rest for 2 days. After I got home around lunch time I took the 3 pain meds prescribed and was knocked out for a couple hours this afternoon. It was really heavenly.

As far as my workouts, I will take this week off from exercise then resume walking and water aerobics 3-4 times a week. I still plan to walk the 5K in October and will be looking for to see if there is a 10K that I can walk towards the end of the year or the beginning of 2011.

With no working out this week, I will need to watch what I eat more closely. This is truly going to be hard for me because 1) being home all day tomorrow I know I will want to snack, snack, snack; 2) I always want ice cream and fast food when I am home sick from work and 3) I just made some Butternut Squash brownies.

The brownies, inspired by my favorite food blogger, resulted from mixing together 1 can of Trader Joe's organic butternut squash puree and 1 box of Pillsbury milk chocolate brownie mix. This was the result:

Not exactly healthy. They are approximately 150 cals per square.
Delicious? You bet! And a perfect "home sick" treat.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weigh in - Week 12

Last week's weight 320.4
This week's weight 318.2

2.2 pounds LOST this week

11.2 pounds lost since June 2010

I just want to mention that I am just 18.8 pounds from my goal of losing 30 by the end of 2010. This will also put me under 300 pounds, which is really the prize I have my eye on.

I've had an Ah-HA moment this week: you have to listen to your body and react when it tells you something.

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, yesterday I was resting my back because for the last two weeks I've had lower back pain. My body was telling me to rest even though I am missing my Couch to 5K training. Sitting at home all day left me bored and I may have had a few extra snacks I wouldn't have had otherwise. I was worried the day of inactivity, plus the extra calories would reek havoc on my weigh in. But in reality I LOST 0.2 pounds from yesterday morning to this morning. My body knows what it's doing, I just have to continue to listen.

I also realized that the scale really is your friend. Until I started this blog, I had never owned a scale. Never. And I never wanted to own a scale. I would weigh myself at the gym or get my number at the doctor's office, but I was never interested in tracking my progress.

It took some adjustment when I first brought it home. I would weigh myself everyday and obsess whether the scale had moved or not. Realizing this obsession, I moved the scale from being out in the open in the bathroom where I would see it every morning when I woke up to the bathroom linen closet. I only pull it out when I need to weigh myself and have cut down to weighing just 2-3 times a week. I usually check myself Thursday and again Saturday just so I can see if I need to bump it up for the weekend.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New recipe and continuing back pain

General Tso's Chicken (almost) from Now Eat This by Rocco DiSpirito

I am in love with the concept of Now Eat This the (newish) Rocco DiSpirito cookbook where he takes traditionally bad for you comfort food recipes (like mac & cheese, hot wings, jalapeno poppers) and turns them into healthy versions.

I am constantly taking my favorite recipes and trying to make them "healthy." Seriously, ask my roommate because she is usually my guinea pig - and sometimes things don't turn out so well.

One of my 101 in 1001 items was to make 20 recipes from this cookbook. Tonight marks recipe #3 and it turned out mighty tasty. The only thing is that instead of dealing with making the tangy Asian sauce, I bought Trader Joe's version of General Tso's sauce. It was a bit higher in calories and sugar than Rocco's recipe, but I'm all about ease in the kitchen.

The important part was that the chicken turned out crispy. I served the chicken and broccoli over brown rice for a completely Asian inspired meal.

As I mentioned this was my 3rd recipe from Now Eat This. I've made the jalapeno poppers (two thumbs up!) and the mac and cheese, which did not turn out very well, but I think I substituted a few too many items. I will attempt that one again.

Back Pain

I've been resting resting resting this week.

My back is continuing to give me problems. Primarily in the mornings when I wake up and it's really stiff. I try to do a few stretches in the morning, but it's mainly painful to stand or walk so getting ready in the morning is quite a challenge.

Yesterday, I actually moved a stool from the kitchen to my bathroom so I could sit while I did my hair and makeup. I felt so....pathetic.

At this point, running is on hold. I haven't completed a Couch to 5K run since last Sunday. I'm still going to sign up for the Oktoberfest 5K, but I may just have to walk it. I did go to water aerobics this week because in the past I've found it to do well for my back. The class on Friday was really good. It was with the instructor that I like and a small group, so I was able to go slow, steady and focus on stretching out my back.

I have a doctor appointment on Monday morning. I kept putting off going to the doctor thinking it would just go away. I've dealt with lower back paint, attributed to my weight, for most of my adult life. Three years ago I suffered terrible spasms while I was driving and ended up in the ER. The things I've found that help are heating pad, lots of Advil and Icy Hot pads/gel.

The advice I received from Danny with Run University was to moisten a wet towel and heat it up in the microwave as hot as I could stand about 30 minutes before bed. I tried this a couple times and I honestly just found that the towel would lose it's "heat" too quickly. I was spending more time running back and forth between my room and the microwave than I could keep it on my back. It did feel good when it was hot and one my back, so I don't discount his advice, I just find the heating pad to be more convenient.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freezer challenge

After the roommate was trying to stow some things given to us by friends moving to Qatar for 11 weeks (yes really, Qatar), it was decided that our freezer space is out of control. We have one of those bottom drawer freezer things and it is to the point of fullness that I am scared to open it in fear that I will not be able to close it. Or that frozen food will jump out and attack me.

So our new household challenge is to NOT buy anymore frozen food until everything is eaten out of the freezer. The goal is for each of us to eat at least one thing from the freezer each day.

I took some before photos (Click for larger version):

Really, these photos do not even do our freezer justice with its layers upon layers of frozen, high sodium foods. The depth of what our freezer actually contains does not even begin to take shape in these photos. Take note:

- We have THREE packages of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- The two fake meat products in the photo does not begin to show the amount we have in our possession. There are - boca burgers, black bean burgers and marsala burgers.
- There are probably 3-4 bags of frozen broccoli waiting to be consumed.

Really, what do 2 humans do with this much food? We eat! Healthy of course...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I've noticed....

Is it awkward for anyone else when people start to notice that you're losing weight? Especially when these are people that you may see every day, but they don't really KNOW you. I feel like when people say, "you've lost weight!!" what they are really saying is, "I've noticed that you're a fatty, and now you're becoming more of a chubby chunker and I've noticed."

Then I want to say to them, "Hey dude, I'm just trying to be un-morbidly obese."

Of course this is just my cynical thought process. The non-cynical side of me (that 3%) thinks it's nice people notice. Even if it is only like 15 pounds (amount I've lost since December).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

weigh in

Last week's weight 321.4
This week's weight 320.4

Weight lost this week 1 pound

Total weight lost since June 2010: 9 pounds

The scale really surprised me this week. On Thursday I was showing a 4 pound weight gain. It doesn't really make sense. I've had cake almost every day this week and my fair share of fast food too. I keep thinking, "maybe my scale is broken." But I'll just take this and run with it making sure I continue to improve my eating habits.

The first step was going to the grocery store yesterday. After making this Gingery Garlicky Tempeh last night, I reincarnated the leftovers into an egg, tomato, tempeh, feta cheese mess with a slice of Ezekiel bread and a tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Dreams spread after my run this morning. All inspired by my favorite food blogger - HEAB.

Oh yes, and I said "my run." (I use that term losely - it's more of a fast walk/joggish.) I started Week 3 of Couch to 5K today. I have to admit, while it has sometimes been challenging, I've never thought I couldn't do it. Today there were 2 segments where you run for 3 minutes. As I thought about running for 3 minutes straight pre-run it gave me a bit of anxiety. But I actually did really well on the first one and on the second one I only struggled for the last 30 seconds.

My main problem with running right now is the back pain it is causing me. I am armed with some advice from Danny Haralson with Run University. I'll chat more about the issues I'm having and the advice he gave me later this week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

cake, cookies and birthdays oh my!

Hello my name is Emily and I have a baked good addiction. Luscious cakes, chewy chocolate chip cookies, crusty bread. Anything with flour, sugar and eggs is my weakness.

This week has defeated me with TWO different kinds of cake, oreo balls and chocolate chip cookies. It was the roommate's birthday, I cannot be held responsible. Actually, I'm kidding, I know I can. I didn't HAVE to have a piece of cake every day for the past 6 days. I could have have chosen to go to the grocery store and pick up healthy food for meals and snacks.

Afterall, that's what this is about - choices. Right?

I was thinking today - as I was eating chocolate cake, of course - I never want to be that person that feels like she can never eat a piece of cake on her birthday or have french fries. You know, every once in awhile. But, I also need to get out of this habit of eating this type of food regularly - as in once a week or more.

I've only recently began to admit my food issues. Did you know it's not normal for you to eat Swiss Rolls while hiding in the pantry as a child? But that's what I grew up doing. I eat more when I'm alone. I make bad choices when I get too hungry. I can't stay away from the appetizers at a party. I eat out of boredom. I am a binge eater.

I know I have issues. I just am still learning how to battle them.

I weighed myself this morning for a mid-week check in and I'm up 4 pounds. Given what I've eaten this week - cake, ice cream, cake, a quesadilla, cake, chips and salsa, cake taco bell, and more cake - I can't act like I don't know what's wrong.

I started this post with the intention of posting my progress in inches, but after pouring these words on the page I think I'll save it for tomorrow.

PS: I finished W2 on Couch to 5k tonight. Saturday I will start W3 - I'm 1/4 the way to completing a 5K! That's 25% bitches!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I actually weighed myself yesterday when I woke up, but I just never got around to posting it.

Last week's weight 320.8
This week's weight 321.4

0.6 pounds gained this week

Total weight lost since June 6th - 8 pounds

I was up for a loss this week then the weekend happened - mexican food, birthday party and no exercise. I can't be mad about the gain, but I am frustrated about this bouncing around I am doing...lose, gain, lose, gain. I just can't seem to get over the 320 hump into the teens for more than a couple days.

I think it's time to start tracking calories again. It's the only way to accurately know what I am putting in my body and how many calories I am consuming.

Also, who wants some cake, cookies and oreo balls? Because we have ALL of that in the house right now. Happy birthday KG!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday musings

I don't really have anything interesting to say, but I just wanted to take a moment to gloat and say that I completed day 1 of week 2 of my Couch to 5K training yesterday! It WAS really hard - I had a lot of stinkin' thinkin' thoughts like, "why the hell do I think that a 320 pound person can RUN?" And, "how in the hell am I going to run 3 miles in less than 2 months?"

The fact is, I might not get to the running 3 miles mark in 2 months. It may take longer, but I am still going to complete the Oktoberfest 5K and HOPEFULLY run it. If I don't run all of it, I will sign up for another 5K until I can run the WHOLE. DAMN. THING.

A busy weekend is ahead - a wedding, a birthday party, Tomato Arts Fest, yard work to do and the roommate has company in town until Monday.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quick weigh in

Just a quick note to post my day late weigh in. I weighed this morning because I was traveling this past weekend.

Last week's weight - 322.6
This week's weight - 320.8

Total lost this week - 1.8 pounds
Total lost since June 6th - 8.6

Heading to the gym after work for my 3rd Couch to 5K run. I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Couch to 5K - Day 2

I was able to run each interval for the right time durations today. What a victory! Only on day 2 and I was able to keep up. I'm not focusing on the pace as much as the time duration, but after 30 mins of run/walking I had completed 1.56 miles. I ran at a 4.0 pace and walked at a 2.9. At a 1 incline the entire time. In the end I am only doing about a an 18 min and 45 sec mile, but I am running and that's the goal.

I will do the last day of week 1 on Sunday (hopefully) and then move on to week 2!

This weekend I'm visiting my hometown of St. Louis for a birthday celebration tomorrow night and lovely gathering for a friend who is pregnant. After this weekend I'll get to show you all my first sewing project and cross off an item from my 101 in 1001.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Couch to 5K - Day 1

After a particularly trying day at work, (I'm not sure anyone other than myself will ever understand the frustrations of building 13 versions of a html email.) I didn't even hesitate heading to the gym afterwards - proud of myself for that one.

I go to the free employee gym, which is a nice perk. However, with over 22,000 employees and only approximately 9 tredmills this poses issues at times. Today was one of those times. Every. single. machine. was. occupied. I had to wait about 10 minutes for a tredmill and wait I did. Have I mentioned I don't particularly like the employee gym? Only skinny, fit people go to the employee gym. People that like to work out. I don't fit in there. I like the Y alot better, however, the budget just isn't allowing for an extra $45 a month bill. So, to the employee gym I go.

My main point is, I completed all of the week 1, day 1 time committment - 30 minutes of run/walking for a total of around 1.45 miles.

Here's how it broke down:
5 minute warm up at a 2 incline and around a 3.0 pace.
3 intervals of 60 secs running, 90 seconds walking, done at a 4.1/2.7 pace (still at the 2 incline)
4 intervals of 60 secs running, 2 min walking, done at a 3.9/2.7 pace (decreasing the incline by half each time until the last interval was 0 incline)
5 minute cool down at 2.7

So I didn't complete day 1 as prescribed by the program, but I DID complete 30 minutes of run/walking! My speed isn't ground breaking, but I just listened to my body. When I felt like I couldn't go further, I took my recovery walks to 2 minutes instead of 90 seconds, but I never walked longer than 2 minutes in between runs.

Previous C25K attempt

Not sure if I mentioned this but around January of this year I tried Couch to 5K for the first time. I did week 1 twice and fell off after doing week 2. So after 3 weeks, I quit. This time I am only planning on repeating the week if I don't feel like I have accomplished that week's intervals. If I get to my 3rd run this week and cannot keep the 60/90 second pace, then I will repeat week 1. My main goal is to not quit.

Unfortunately, I haven't built that much time into my training schedule, I only have 10 weeks until my race, so this may mean I run/walk the 5K in October and then fully run another 5K in November or December. We'll see.

Has anyone else tried the Couch to 5K program? What were your results?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2 pound gain

Just as I suspected, I gained 2 pounds this week. I can't be mad. Although I've watched what I've eaten for the most part, I haven't worked out in 4 weeks. Plus with my 6.8 loss last week, this was bound to happen.

Last week's weight 320.6
This week's weight 322.6

Total gain this week 2 pounds

Total lost since June 6th 6.8 pounds

Headed to a new, local gourmet burger restaurant for a friend's birthday lunch. Even though it's my "free" day, I'll try to make a good choice!