Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Weigh-in 3.2

Weight on July 15: 278.6
Today's Weight: 282.6

4 pounds GAINED

I just spent the last 10 days in 4 different cities between work and vacation....Columbus-Indianapolis-Chicago-Minneapolis....whew

Yes I could have traveled and not gained 4 lbs. If I didn't drink so much in Chicago, if I watched what I was eating and how much of it I was eating just a little closer, and I could have gotten out of bed and exercised while I was gone, but it happened and I'm still swinging around on these 5 lbs.

I leave for New Orleans on Friday to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday, so I don't foresee it getting much better than this next week. I'm not going to torture myself, I'm just going to start back to my normal exercise routine and watch portions this week before I leave.

I'm in no place to make an empty promise that I won't go overboard in NOLA. School starts when I get back and hopefully a normal work routine will benefit me in the healthy living realm.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Go ahead and throw tomatoes - A very special 5k race giveaway!

When I first saw the sponsored post on Facebook about the upcoming Tomato Dodge 5K in Nashville, I was semi skeptical. I've come to be used to seeing a hot new specialty theme race announced every other day - everything from ass kicking mud and obstacle races to paint and glow fests. But one where the participants would be pelted with squishy fruit?

Inspired by the La Tomatina Festival in the Valenician town of Buñol, the Tomato Dodge combines history and fitness into a unique event.

From the La Tomatina Wiki page:

La Tomatina (Spanish pronunciation: [la tomaˈtina]) is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.

"Purely for fun" - no further description needed for me, I love fun! With a tomato pit to jump in and ambush zones to race through all while throwing the red bombs at other racers, this race is sure to meet the organizer's objective of "giving people a reason to get outside, get moving, and have a blast."

So my last question was, "won't they hurt?"

A simple answer is no, they "soak and squish these tomatoes so that they're soft on impact." To see more about the action packed race in the Tomato Dodge Presents: Run, Throw, Dodge video.

After seeing me comment on Twitter about the craziness of what they were doing the Tomato Dodge marketing team handed over a free race entry and TWO of my Nashville readers.

So, I've signed up to run this crazy race on August 17th. Do you want to join me? I'm giving away TWO free race entries right now!

All you have to do is comment below by Monday, July 22nd at 11:59 pm CST and I will draw 2 winners at random to be notified on Tuesday morning. the winner will receive a free entry to the race on August 17th in Nashville good for use by 7/24. Travel to Nashville and/or lodging is not included.

Disclosure: The nifty people at Tomato Dodge supplied me with a code for a free race entry for myself and two race entries to give away. All opinions are entirely my own. I’m pumped to do another theme race!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan (and no oil) Pesto Sauce

I'm a huge fan of pesto. And basil in general. There's nothing better than a fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil salad in the summer.

But I digress...

We are here to talk about pesto. The thing where overgrown basil plants are made into a beautifully delicious, cheesy, oily delicacy. Yum.

However, most traditional pesto recipes call for 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups of olive oil - yikes! Even with the health benefits of olive oil that is a huge calorie bomb.

Enter a recipe I discovered 3 years ago: Katie's Raw Vegan Pesto Sauce

It's a wonderful take on the pesto flavor without all the calories, fat, and dairy (if you watch that sort of thing). It's delicious on raw veggies, as a flatbread topping and even as a pasta sauce. You can see the original recipe at the link above and here are my changes to a batch I made this week:
  • Used 1 tsp dried ginger rather than fresh
  • Used 3 oz almonds soaked for 24 hours rather than pine nuts (I would recommend walnuts over almonds if the cost of pine nuts deter you)
  • Left out jalapeño, but would recommend it!
  • Recommend starting with 2 T of water and adding a tablespoon at a time to get right consistency - mine was a little thick
Made a flatbread out of a whole wheat wrap, grape tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

Paired it with roasted cabbage and a simple roasted beet salad for a complete meal!

Have you ever lightened up a traditionally high in calorie recipe? Did it remind you of the original? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Weigh-in 2.2

Just a quick post for weigh in this week because I don't want to fall off the wagon.
Weight on July 7: 276.2

Today's Weight: 278.6

2.4 pounds GAINED

So it happened again, lose a lot, gain a little. I tend to do good Sat-Tues and then fall off the wagon Wednesday-Friday. I don't sometimes Tuesday blends into Wednesday or Saturday blends into Friday, but generally I'm "on" 3-4 days and then "off" 3-4 days.

Just working on making good decisions one at a time. Alcohol has to go, but that's a post for another day. This week I leave Wednesday night for some combined business/personal travel, which will put me in 4 cities in 10 days....AGAIN.

Summer is almost over.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fitbloggin' - The People

If you've attended Fitbloggin' before then you know that the #1 draw is THE PEOPLE. If you haven't been, but have read any recap, then you have read about THE PEOPLE. No matter what way you slice it, the Fitbloggin' community is a special one and one I'm so grateful to have discovered it.

There are a few people who made my experience at Fitbloggin' just so very awesome and it wouldn't be fair if I didn't introduce you to them and their respective space on the interweb!

Erin - Living Made Healthy - Erin was my Fitbloggin' roomie and we shared a hotel room Thursday night without even meeting until Friday morning. Now, in normal life this would be completely awkward, but in Fitbloggin' life this is NORMAL. Sharing rooms with complete strangers - or those you only know from the interwebz...totally socially acceptable. I couldn't have been luckier with my roommate choice and gained a new friend from it. And big news - Erin and her husband are expecting their first little one in January!

Kari - My Weighting Place - There are so many great things to say about Kari, but to sum it up, Kari is my long lost soul sister. Case in point: we both ran the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon a year and 5 days before we met at Fitbloggin'! And we actually met in the bathroom, but didn't officially introduce ourselves until later when a group of us were setting out to dinner. She has lost 165 pounds and is a huge inspiration and cheerleader for me. She encouraged me to run the 5K and stayed with me (along with Erin) at my pace. There is just so much awesomeness that can't be fit into these few sentences, but know she is bursting with amazing!

Kari and I with the *THE* Laughing Cow
Sarah - Losing Weight and Having Fun - Sarah and I have been "Twitter friends" for ages. I didn't do a very good job of surveying my followers for Fitbloggin' attendees, but we managed to meet up on Friday in the Clean Eating session. She was my main gal to pal around with - from a lovely walk around downtown Portland, to dinner both nights, and lounging on the hotel's rooftop bar.

Alan - Sweating until Happy - I can't even tell you how long I've been following Alan and interacting on Twitter. Always a positive light, he reminds me daily to persevere and be optimistic about life. Fittingly, Alan was the first person I ran into at the registration table Friday morning when I finally got down there. Big hugs were had and the weekend wouldn't have been the same without his company hanging out in the hotel lounge with friends until the wee hours of the night.

Emmie - Skinny Emmie - Which brings me to Alan's Fitbloggin' partner in crime...I've known Emmie for about 2 years. Emmie's blog was one of the first ones I stumbled on when I was getting ready to set up mine (same first name + google, bless you universe). It's not really necessary to tell you her accolades because you already know and love her,  but I will tell you anyway because she is awesome: lost over 100 pounds, finished a half-marathon in 2011, has persevered through an injury for 2 years and has not given up. She was my wino partner in crime at the good-bye reception and my night owl friend to boot. I owe a lot of this weekend to her.

Me and Erin; Me and Alan: Me and Renee; Me and Alyssa
Alyssa - Double Chin Diary - Another person I met for the first time in Portland that just "got" me. The most hilarious you will ever meet nd just all around fun to be around. Plus, we have the SAME EXACT PANTS! You can't even get them anymore, I have literally been on the hunt for pants like these for YEARS - and Alyssa has a pair and understands my plight. My goal is to get to the West Coast before the end of 2013 to work out with Richard Simmons, frolick on the beach and put my toes in the Pacific Ocean (all probably while Alyssa tells an inappropriate joke and I choke on laughter).

Mel - The Daily Mel - Another veteran "followee" I have been interacting with on Twitter for ages. A Tennessee gal at heart, she now lives in Southern California. We literally went all day Friday without meeting up and I made it my mission to track her down and give her the biggest hug. She is witty, is an awesome Twitter conversationalist, and all-around solid person to call a friend.

Renee - Run, Laugh, Eat Pie - Renee is an expat who has lived in the Netherlands for the past 19 years where she traveled from to attend Fitbloggin'.  Renee and I had a pop-up coffee date when we both headed out of the hotel lobby at the same time. She entertained my obsession with Stumptown Coffee - a Portland favorite. I may have gushed a little too much about my love for coffee and Sbux in general, but that's ok. I'm a coffee fiend and not afraid to admit it. Just by talking to Renee you know that doesn't live her life through excuses and that is totally kick ass.

Stephanie - Athlete at Heart - A Midwestern girl like me, Stephanie is my active living inspiration. From triathlons to half-marathons she is kicking butt in it all! She was kind enough to hang out with me for dinner both nights and join Sarah and I on the rooftop bar Saturday afternoon.

Me and Stephanie at the Goodbye Reception
Kari, me and Erin post-5K

Martinus, Alyssa, and Dre having fun post goodbye reception
The people I've talked about here doesn't even BEGIN to include everyone I met, connected with, was inspired by, or intend on keeping in touch with. It is just a VERY SMALL group of the people I hung out with over the 3 days I was there.

Every session had a Live Blog written about it, so if you are interested in reading more about Fitbloggin' and the content head over to the website.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly Weigh-in v2.0

So this is me starting over. We aren't focusing on the past anymore. Sure, it's still part of my story, but it's not going to determine where I go from here.

I've written so many of these "starting over" posts in the last few months, I can no longer promise this won't be another false start. But I can promise I will try.

New Starting Weight (7/1): 282.0

Today's Weight: 276.2

5.8 pounds LOST

So this is where I'm starting from, although I'm trying to not focus on the past, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I thought I'd never see these numbers on the scale again and it's a little majorly disappointing. One thing I took away from Fitbloggin' is that I need to release the hold the scale has on me. Yes, I will continue using it as a tool. But the number on the scale does not determine my success or failure. It does not determine my worth, my strength, or my happiness. All it will be from now is ONE of the tools I use weekly to measure if what I am doing is working to become healthier.

Yesterday was also time for firsts

Yesterday I did something I vowed I would never do - ran over 3 miles in the pouring rain.

It's been raining in Nashville for 3 days - today I finally see the sun! So to say I had a case of cabin fever yesterday - the third day straight of rain - is an understatement.

We did four sets of 90 second run/90 second walk, 3 min run/3 min walk. It was a bit intense on the hills of Nashville, but I survived and ran all the intervals. It's also sort of refreshing and freeing to run in the rain.

No this wasn't me post shower - I was this soaked!
Afterward, I made my traditional post-race breakfast: scrambled eggs and sauteed potatoes. I was out of spinach, so I added grated zucchini to the eggs. It was REALLY good! It will be a new "add veggies to my eggs" rotation for sure!

And iced coffee for sure!
Then yesterday afternoon, I explored a few waterfalls east of the rain. See a theme for yesterday? My quads are killing me this morning, but it feels so good.

When you are training for a race, do you run in the rain if your schedule calls for it?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Upcoming 5K and Joining a Running Group

Since I hadn't posted in almost a month before I attended Fitbloggin' last weekend, I decided that I should probably check in and talk a little about my fitness goals lately.

Yes, I did a sprint tri in May, but I wouldn't say I was anywhere near trained for that race. I was able to complete it just with my everyday fitness level. What can I do if I actually train for the next one?

I don't know if I'll do another tri this season. There's one I have my eye on in August - and in Tennessee the season even goes into October, so there's still time. But I'm traveling for two weeks at the end of this month and then I'm only back for a week before I go to New Orleans for my cousin's 30th birthday.

But I do have a race on my calendar: East Nashville's Tomato Arts 5K on August 10.

This will be my 3rd year running this race. Last year I set my 5K personal record there. It's one of my favorites even though it is in the dead heat of the summer.

I decided back in May that I needed to mix things up a little bit with my workouts. I wasn't finding the motivation to keep a regular gym schedule on my own, so I've reached out to friends to make workout dates and I joined a running group for 5K training.

Let that sink in.

The girl who hates group exercise, joined a running group. Yep.

A local running group - East Nasty - does a C25K training group every year for the Tomato Arts 5K called "Potato 2 Tomato". I enlisted my co-worker to join with me and we signed up.

We are on week 3 of 3x a week group runs. This week I have felt strong and was able to move towards the front of the large pack we were in Wednesday night. It actually feels good to be back to running regularly again.

Overall I'm still not sure if group running is for me. The survey is still out on that. But it's keeping me motivated to do the training runs and since I would like to beat my PR from last year, doing the training is a serious necessity in my life right now.

Do you prefer to exercise solo or with a workout buddy/group?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday America!

The Fourth of July has long been one of my favorite holidays. For me, it's like Christmas in July - always spent with family at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where I grew up going during the summer. My grandfather on my mom's side built a house there with his own two hands (my dad and uncles helped) in 1987, and it is where I perfected my swimming, diving, paddle boating, and water skiing skills as a kid. Not to mention I got to spend every holiday weekend with my cousins - 17 people in a 2 bedroom, 1 loft, + 2 bathroom house really brings you closer together.

I've only NOT been there over 4th of July twice in my life - once in college when I spent the summer working at a fireworks stand and another time a few years ago when I decided to stay in Nashville for whatever reason.

But in my memory there's always been a reason - work or otherwise.

This year I'm not there and it's killing me. I'm in Nashville. With no reason to be here and I'm alone. Somehow practically everyone I know has made plans to jet out of Nashville for the long holiday weekend, leaving me with a lot of "me" time. Something that I haven't quite been comfortable with over the last several months.

Increasingly, it kills me to be alone. In my earlier years, I used to HOPE to be left alone. Now I can't stand the thought of not having plans for these 4 days off from work I have.

But here I am.

I'm trying so hard to not turn to food to quell my loneliness. History shows me that only makes the feelings worse. Instead, I hope to spend this rainy day catching up on rest, reading, and blog work.

Do you have any holiday traditions? What have you done if you've had to move away from those traditions as you've grown older?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Initial #Fitbloggin 2013 Thoughts

It's taken me way longer than I thought it would to process the last weekend spent in Portland attending my first Fitbloggin conference. And the process of taking it all in is still in full swing. To put it plainly, the weekend exceeded expectations - and was more inspiring, motivating, and uplifting than I could ever have imagined.

I returned to Nashville Sunday night with a huge smile on my face. Despite my late arrival the night before, the next day at work I felt energized. I've been really struggling with how to put the weekend into words, but basically it's what I seriously needed to pull me out of the funk I've felt over the last 6 months.

I missed the opening events (ice breakers and reception) Thursday night because I took the last flight out of Baltimore - where I was at for work the days leading up to Fitbloggin, but as soon as I walked down to breakfast Friday morning I felt so much love, support, and community on the 6th floor of The Nines Hotel.

I only "knew" (you know - internet knew) about half a dozen people and I had only met 1 person in real life, but as soon as I walked in I met 10 people within about 30 minutes. I walked away from the weekend having talked with AT LEAST a third of the people there and have SO MANY new friendships to show for it. When I wanted to grab dinner - there was a group of people ready to go. When I wanted to check out the rooftop bar, I had someone to join me (and then others join us). When I was on my way to walk and get coffee alone, there would be someone on their way too and they would walk with me. Friends stayed up with me way too late just talking about everything under the sun. These people didn't care that my blog doesn't get 30K hits a month or that I don't have 5,000 followers on Twitter. They just get me.

I'm going to admit something that's so hard for me to write here on a public blog, but it plays into how I was feeling as I sat on the MAX train with tears in my eyes, looking at Mt. Hood in the distance, riding to the airport Sunday after leaving the Hotel. And it's my honest reaction. Recently I started feeling pretty lonely here in Nashville. The friends I made at Fitbloggin just GOT me. They could understand the words that came out of my mouth before I even spoke them. They wanted to hang out with me. They invited me to tag along with them. They weren't worried that I didn't fit in with a preformed group of friends they already had plans with. They were welcoming and the amount of love that everyone showed each and every person they had only just met was so inspiring. And so many have already messaged, texted, and Tweeted at me since leaving Portland. My heart is truly filled with love.

But I don't want to focus on the sadness I felt leaving Fitbloggin'. I want to write more about the fabulous time. I probably won't ever sit down and write a minute by minute recap (let's be honest - there is just too much that went on). But I spent the weekend learning so much more about myself, and positioning myself to be ready to ACCEPT my own love and be VULNERABLE to accept the love of those around me. I attended sessions of subjects that were outside my everyday knowledge (Clean Eating). I spoke in sessions about my struggles, and my successes. I learned more about blogging. I attended a large group yoga class and even when it was out of my comfort zone (flow vs. gentle) I STAYED. And I MODELED IN AN ACTIVE WEAR FASHION SHOW! Yes, me. Up on stage with 300 pairs of eyes on me. Unbelievable.

Of course the swag was awesome. All the rumors are true. Fitbloggin' has the BEST swag around. Shoes, fitness wear, gear, and nutrition were all given away. I hope to incorporate my favorite items in upcoming blog posts.

I know this post it a little "Kum by ya". But I hope to post more about the experience - like pictures - in the upcoming days/weeks. (And post more regularly!)

Have a great holiday weekend! Who's doing a 4th of July race?