Day 2: Adjusting

Today’s Happy Note: I had an interesting class this evening!  Score.  So far I have felt mostly sleepy and bored in school, but I think it’s just my body/mind transitioning back into student mode.  The one this evening was called Narrative and Human Rights.  Cool, no?

I only had two classes today.  I have three, normally, but Iyengar Yoga doesn’t start until next week.  I’m pretty excited about it!  Confession: I feel asleep about eight times in my seminar this morning.  It’s the same slightly crazy prof I wrote about yesterday.  I have the pleasure of having him for two classes.  Happy happy joy joy.  He seems interesting though, and most definitely knowledgeable.  The problem is that he is so knowledgeable that he spends the entire class talking about the background to the background of the history of the material he’s teaching.  That doesn’t even make sense but I swear that’s what he does.

Harumph.

Marathon Training: Wednesday’s are usually an “easy” day on my plan.  Today consisted of four sloooooowwwww miles with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile.  I took advantage of my very open day to squeeze in 40 minutes of weights at the gym too (arms/abs).  I always forget how much I walk during school days.  I probably did about 3 miles walking today as well.

Eats:

Gloppy-looking 1/3 cup of oats with a fresh peach and an invisible scoop of sunbutter (~2 tablespoons).

Snacky day (also had another spoonful pb).

Lunch!  Don’t let this innocent looking smoothie fool you; it has four servings of produce!  Frozen berries, half a banana, spinach, and cucumber slices (plus almond milk and vanilla protein powder).  I really liked it, but it needed ice.  This is one of the great dilemmas of my life: my mini fridge freezer is too small for an ice tray. I need ice in my life.  I crave it — I chew on it (I know it’s a terrible habit) and think it makes smoothies infinitely better.  I can easily go through a whole tray in one smoothie.

So now my life (and my smoothies) are iceless.  I don’t know what to do.  Help!  Anyone have any ice-making solutions?

I did indeed bring my own nut butter to The Lite Choice (in my defense, I only had the AB in my bag because I was on my way back from WF).

Stir fry leftovers (shrimp, rainbow chard, yellow squash, broccoli,  yellow pepper, coconut, peanut dressing) with brown rice for dinners.  Just had some hot cocoa to end the day, with a little dark chocolate melted in (my favorite way to eat it).

I feel like this is a good, healthy intake for a day of moderate exercise.  I can never tell if I am eating too little, enough, or enough. Eating is a funny thing because every body is different. I am proud of myself, though, for trying to figure out what works for me.  I feel pretty good right now, like I had enough but not too much.  I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap, so I try to think of my eating only in terms of myself — also, I need to remember that most of my friends and peers are not training for a marathon and running 40-50 miles a week right now.  So when I’m with friends and they don’t snack after dinner (or after lunch, or after breakfast, or after snack, or…), I need to not freak out and think I’m being weird or overeating.  I just need to remember to listen to my body.  It gets easier everyday that I do it. 🙂

I hope you all had splendid, happy Wednesdays!

FYI, L has been on vacation so I’ll be at therapy on Friday this week.  Thereafter I *think* I’ll be switching to Thursdays for the rest of the semester.

Goodnight friends!

Thoughts On Yoga

Today’s Happy Note: Best. Yoga. Class. Ever.

I know that not everybody is into yoga, and that’s fine, but it really has been life-changing/saving for me.  I can enter class seething, panicked, distraught, weepy, or in pain.  And leave relaxed, smiling, calm, joyful, spiritual.  Today we did a lot of inversions, balances, and twisting, including one pose I have never done before that I could not find any name for or picture of online.  It is basically what the top person is doing in this photo, only upright, with back foot and hand on the ground:

Hangle Dangle

Source

Anyone have any ideas?

What I loved most about class today was that my emotions started coming up, uncontrollably.  As my body physically opened up I could feel the things in my heart pouring out as well. I have heard Averie (who is giving away some awesome hemp products here) and other yogis talk about this before but have never felt it.  Well, I have news for you: this is not one of those crazy newfangled yoga things.  It really happened — I was alternately smiling and crying during class.  It was wonderful and soothing to let things out of my body like that.

I think yoga has made me more spiritual and more comfortable in my own body.  It calms me down and lifts me up at the same time.  It helps me realize that I do indeed know God, in some guise or other, and that I have this wonderful, amazing body that I need to treat well.  I run because it makes me feel clean and strong, in heart and body and mind, but yoga adds an element of spirit, I think.

Have you tried yoga?  It seems like most healthy living bloggers either love it or hate it.  I am definitely in the loving it camp.  I do recommend trying a few different classes, styles, studios, gyms, or videos before giving up; each experience is different and you really need to find what works for you.  Polly’s videos are always a good place to start!

My absolute favorite studio in NYC is Yoga Vida. Highly recommended, and relatively inexpensive.

The eats:

Diet snapple iced tea and plain oats with soymilk and PB.

Tuna made with plain yogurt and hummus, giant pile of steamed veggies.  I know everyone thinks they’re boring, but sometimes I lover plain and simple lightly steamed veggies.

Two afternoon snacks is the way to go.  PB and chocolate chip Larabar and a basically empty AB jar with plain 2% Fage (I’m in love  — the fats are pretty much miraculous), frozen blueberries, and Justin’s chocolate PB (didn’t really go with it, taste-wise).

I realized that recently I have been falling into the blogger-comparison trap.  I think, “healthy living bloggers should have one afternoon snack, dinner, then a small dessert, or two afternoon snacks and no desserts — I must be overeating!”  BUT this is what works for me.  And I never eat (or want a morning) snack, and I keep main meals a bit smaller.  So there.  I can have two afternoon snacks and a dessert if that’s what my body wants.

Random WF bowl.  It had arugula, walnut/grape chicken salad (my favorite kind), a few bites of potato, black bean udon noodles, shredded zucchini/summer squash, and marinated kale salad.  I am NOT a kale girl, but I really liked this one.  It had shredded carrots, cabbage, and lots of balsamic.

Blurry raspberry protein shake: vanilla soy milk, half a banana, handful frozen raspberries, lots of ice, half scoop of vanilla whey/soy protein, and a few spoonfuls of coconut sorbet.  Topped with dark chocolate and chocolate PB.

A good day of eats — lots of variety, lots of nutrients, good portions that kept me full but not too full.  My belly is a happy belly right about now!

Some days I feel like all my meals/snacks involve nuts or nut butter.  I really truly believe that, if it came down to it, I would say PB is my favorite food.  Oats, Greek yogurt, apples, and carrots are all tied for second place. 🙂

What’s your favorite food?

Thoughts on yoga?

Grainy Day

Today’s Happy Note: Sleeping in!  I don’t work until 10 some mornings.  I passed out at eleven last night and woke up at nine this morning.  I felt wonderful!

Today was just one of those days where I wasn’t happy, wasn’t sad, wasn’t angry or excited or anxious.  It’s not that I didn’t feel anything, it was all just sort of murky.  Hard to describe.  Not really like I was in a funk but just sort of…cloudy?  Not gloomy though.   I am generally a very emotionally sensitive person and I feel things very deeply; this was almost a welcome break.  I wasn’t depressed or moody at all.  I guess the day just sort of glided by and now that it’s over I can’t quite characterize it — like it was a grainy photograph.

I spent two hours with friends this evening doing stuff for work.  I had a really wonderful moment somewhere in there where I forgot about all my problems.  I love how friends can do that.  I realized that I wasn’t thinking about food or money or sadness.  I wasn’t berating myself over my size.  I was just me.  I love how being with people I care about sometimes solves all my problems.

Friends and loved ones, of course, cannot fix everything.  Sometimes there is a deeper sadness.  But, as L has helped me figure out, it is possible to survive the sadder times.  I will survive.

A few weeks ago I was having a particularly anxious day at therapy and L asked me what helps me calm down.  Running, reading quietly, taking a nap, and just sitting with someone I love who cares about me.  That last one really is a big thing, and I am coming to see more and more lately how healthy relationships affect me.  When I told her my list, she said simply, “I care about you.”

It was one of the nicest things someone has said to me in a long while. Reason number 14224 why I love her.

Do I add nut butter to everything I eat?  No.  Just most things.

Confession: I just realized that part of the reason my dinners never fill me up is that I am afraid to have it in more than one plate or bowl.  Which means there is usually only one thing involved, and that is never enough!  Tonight I had a big bowl of oats with peaches and dark chocolate and a small bowl of yogurt with coconut and a sprinkling of trail mix.  It did the trick.

I have been loving me some grains lately — literally craving them, which is pretty unusual for me.  I tend to fear excess carbs, but let’s face it: no one ever died because they were eating too much oats and brown rice and millet.

Today was a rest day.  Normally I do weights and kickboxing on Mondays, but between a long run yesterday and speed work tomorrow, I wanted something a bit calmer.  I did a little over three miles walking and 20 minutes of yoga and abs.  I don’t like waking up super early to run and would prefer to do it around three or four, ideally, but it is going to be hot hot hot tomorrow so I know I have to get out by seven.  Uh-oh, that means it’s past my bedtime now!

Goodnight, sleep tight.

Oh, and hello new readers!  Don’ be afraid to say hello. 🙂

Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: Getting out of the city!  Got to go visit a college in PA with my babies (aka high school students I work with).  It showed me that I am a capable leader and mentor.  Plus, it was kinda nice driving through the Poconos.

This has gotta be a major quickie; I might just have the busiest day of my life tomorrow — including a sweet surprise that I promise to blog about (with pictorial evidence, of course)!

Yesterday workout: 6 miles (2 GP — general pace –, 2 tempo, 2 GP) plus four accidental walking miles.

Today was not the best day in terms of eating OR marathon training.  With the training, I was supposed to do an easy three miles with strides; I just decided to swap that out with Friday’s rest day.  I am so busy during the middle of the week.  Hopefully that settles down once school starts.  I walked a few miles and did some gentle stretching.  Eating: I did take pictures of everything, and most of it was relatively healthy, but it was too much.  I know I wasn’t hungry for all of it.  Do you ever just feel like you desperately need to eat even though you aren’t hungry? Oh well.  Tomorrow is a new day, and there are far worse things in life than consuming extra calories via almond butter, fruit, yogurt, and dark chocolate.

I am proud of myself because, even if my eating is still not perfect, I am beginning to recognize my patterns. I know Monica is working on this right now too and it is harder than it sounds.  Am I hungry?  Sad?  Ecstatic?  Confused?  Do I eat a lot in the evening?  Do I feel fuller when I have PB for dessert or cereal (PB!)?  Am I lonely?  Am I restricting and then overcompensating?  Am I eating enough to fuel me through a six or eight mile run — or am I using that as an excuse to eat too much?

I DON’T have all the answers, but I AM realizing that the journey is pretty fun.  I am learning so much about myself.  For example, I just noticed something important today: computer troubles=eating troubles para Caronae.  Nothing stresses me out quite like a computer problem — even if it’s something really small.  So I have noticed this, and I know that I have an arsenal of alternative tools (i.e., not emotional eating): beautifying myself (painting my nails, eyebrow plucking, doing my hair, getting a massage), and curling up with tea and a stack of magazines.  Those are just two little things that make me happy right now!

A few eats:

Bacon has been involved.

Yum!

Therapy Tuesday

Today was characterized by our shared laughter.   I don’t really know how this happened — certainly not everything I said (or L said) was funny — but it happened, and once we started finding humor or joy in things, we couldn’t stop.  It was lovely.  I had two main announcements to make (both of which you already know):

1. I am applying to law school in the fall and,

2. I am going to be running the marathon come November.

I honestly just haven’t had a chance to tell L either of these things yet.  I started with number one.  I was a little bit surprised by her reaction, which was not one of warmth, and undying support.  Looking back, I guess I didn’t really need that anyways.  Sometimes I feel like L knows what’s best for me even when I don’t know what’s best!  Anyways, she basically encouraged me, but also reminded me that I am young, that I can and should do more research, and that I should think about what exactly this means to me and what I want to do with my life.  These are big questions that I am not necessarily ready to tackle, but I am glad she reminded me that, at the very least, that can be floating around in the back of my head.  I was mildly annoyed at her because I sort of thought she was lecturing me and sounding exactly like my mom does about school stuff.  I felt as though she was telling me that I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m a baby and blah blah blah.  I told her this and she sort of gently pointed out what she really meant and noticed that I was doing a bit of projection of my mother onto her.  Point taken.

But I was feeling a bit wound up, unsettled, and anxious at this point.  But: I let her in.  I let L know about this, about the turmoil that was mounting inside me over such a small thing.  And one of the things she said actually comforted me quite a lot: I stated that when this happens — when I get anxious and panic in the moment of therapy — I feel like I’m wasting my(limited) time with her, and she said that this is my life; this is real and these are my feelings and what better thing than for them to happen in the moment with her, so that she can help me figure them out?  Brilliant!

She sort of walked me into talking about the marathon, even though I didn’t want to.  And guess what?  Again,  I ended up feeling better.  She is so damn smart sometimes it scares me.

L was happy for me about the marathon.  Sometimes I wish she could be more involved in my real life.  But it was nice today to have that brief moment where my real life and therapy sort of merged.  That was new.  And to have everything be sort of light — I actually don’t think I cried at all, which is highly unusual.  It was just like the littlest things about our relationship became humorous; like we know each other so well that we can laugh about each other, at each other.

So today was new.  Refreshing.  Intense but calming.  Funny, real, jarring.  Wonderful in many ways.

A Thing About Cravings.

Today’s Happy Note: Well, you might say that I am msot definitely caught up on my sleep….

I went to bed at eleven last night, planning to get up at 7:45 for a run and be at work by 10.  When my alarm went off, I decided to sleep in until 8:30…okay, no problem, I would still get to work on time.  8:45 rolled around and I dragged myself into the kitchen for a pretty awesome smoothie (Silk vanilla soy milk, 1/2 scoop chocolate/peanut/caramel protein powder,loads of ice, and half a banana.  All topped with Kashi heart to heart and some crunchy PB).

And then I went to my room to check email and promptly feel back asleep…until 2:00.

I have not done that since high school!  I would wake up every hour or two and think, okay, it’s time to get up now, but it was like I was in a stupor.  It was the deepest exhaustion I have felt in a long while.  So I basically slept for 15 hours.  I know I am still “sick” on the inside, so I guess it kind of makes sense, given that I have been doing a lot in the last week or so.

I made lunch when I woke up and did work on the computer (for the other job) for a few hours.

I had a mild freakout at lunchtime, when I realized that all I wanted was oats.  Carbs?  At lunchtime?  Never!!!!!!  But.  I wanted the damn oatmeal, with a fresh peach, cinnamon raisin PB, and melty dark chocolate.  This lunch proved to me how important it is to eat what I want: my body knows what it needs.  Oatmeal at lunchtime is not going to make me fat. I know this.

I might lose the weight a little bit faster if I ate salads for every meal, but I can guarantee that I would be a pretty miserable human being. 🙂

Lunch dessert (what, you don’t have lunch dessert?!?!):

Coconut popsicle and baby dark chocolate truffle.  This was eaten so late, I never had an afternoon snack.

I finally left the house around four.  At first, my brain went in to extreme mode and thought “geez Caronae, you have already been so lazy and immobile and gluttonous (that one’s not even true!) today that you should just stay in.  Just make yourself more miserable, you don’t deserve to go out for a walk or get to the gym.”  This is utterly ridiculous.  Does anyone else do this?  I hate my all or nothing mindset.

But I got out anyways!  I walked to the gym and lifted for about 45 minutes, then took a class called Sports Conditioning.  It was really fun and a great workout!  Not quite as good as my beloved kixkboxing, but still awesome.  We did lots  of cardio/strength mixtures, with jumping, abs, and running thrown in.

I was happy that I got out of the house (apartment) and did something.  No effort to move is ever too small.

I did some house tasks before dinner.  We started here…

And ended here:

Yes, that is the biggest pile of sauteed rainbow chard (and spinach!) man has ever seen.  I ate about half of what I cooked.  It was pretty spectacular.  Topped with two sunny-side up eggs (I love love love runny yolks) and bell pepper strips.  With a peach on the side!

This dinner was pure love.  I was craving some fresh veg and protein.  The chard and the eggs were from the farmer’s market.  Can’t wait to go restock my veggies (and chocolate milk of course) tomorrow!

Funny thing about dark leafy greens: as we all know, our greens are good for us.  They are rich in Vitamin K and I actually really enjoy them; cooked, raw, in omelets, stir-fries, smoothies, salads, wraps.  But.  Vitamin K interferes with the coagulation coefficient of the blood thinners I have to take (namely, the Coumadin).  In the past, Coumadin patients were advised to totally avoid greens and other veggies rich in Vitamin K.  But then, people like me, for whom that would not be possible, came around.  Okay, so maybe it’s not that simple, but you get the point.

The solution?  I can either eat no dark leafy greens at all or eat lots.  I chose the latter. 🙂  That way, it will still interfere with the drug, but they can simply give me a higher dose consistently.  My dosage is still creeping up; we’ll see how high I have to go.  I am not giving up my chard, bok choy, spinach, collards, arugula, etc.  Never!

I made a giant batch of iced tea and have already had two huge classes.  I use chamomile tea bags, a packet of stevia, and a few teaspoons of honey.  Summer perfection.

Dessert was of course consumed:

Raspberry chobani with Godiva raspberry dark chocolate and a tablespoon of Justin’s chocolate almond butter.  There are no words.  This was like a decadent ice cream sundae.  I’m in love.

Another thing I have learned about cravings: if I don’t eat what I want for dessert, I will end up overeating/emotional eating afterwards.  So I ate this “big dessert”, but now I know I won’t be raiding the cupboard in an hour or two!  So simple.

I hope everyone is having a most wonderful week.

Here’s to hoping that my 15 hours of sleep last night means I am wide awake tomorrow!

Goodnight!

Adventure Saturday: Ocean, Body Image/Weight Concerns

Today’s Happy Note: Vitamin D overload.  Sunshine! 🙂

I ended up walking 5 or so miles yesterday; I also did a 20 minute yoga core download.  Today I did 3-4 miles walking, 2 miles running (on the beach!!!) and lots of playing in the water.

I had an awesome beach trip.  I always forget that Manhattan is so close to the ocean.  Twas lovely!

Confession: I felt so unbelievably, ridiculously fat in my swimsuit.  I wanted to hide in the changing rooms and cry.  I told my dad that I should not be allowed on the beach without a sign that said “whale.”

And then I hate myself for hating myself so much.  Oh, the irony.

The reality is that, between the GI illness and the hospitalization, I have gained about ten pounds.  I am not someone who could afford to gain ten pounds.  I’m pretty sure this makes me borderline overweight.   I don’t care so much about that label as feeling good and feeling confident.  I don’t feel either right now.  I feel enormous.

I am not necessarily mad at myself: I have hardly been able to workout in the last month, and I have been quite stressed.   I respond to stress by eating emotionally and gaining weight easily.  Seriously, I probably even gained weight when I had my GI thing and all I could eat for three or four days was the occasional piece of toast.

I played on the beach today for hours and ended up having a lot of fun; I dug my toes into the sand, ran up and down, jumped over the waves, swam through the waves, and bothered my sister (endlessly entertaining).  So I am not entirely focused on my body, but it is still there.  It’s this painful, nagging thing in the background.  It’s like something isn’t quite right, and my body knows this, physically and mentally.

The thing that works best for me is not obsessing, but not being lax either.  Counting calories, tracking meals, only “allowing” certain food: none of this works for me. This all creates more tension and anxiety and makes me more sad and I feel worse about my body and I end up eating more.  Funny how that cycle works.  But at least I can recognize it.  In fact, I think I do know what works: eating three wholesome meals a day (plus an afternoon snack and a small dessert), with lots of healthy fats, protein, and veggies, and not snacking in the evening.  It’s as simple as that.

Pretty straightforward.  That’s my plan.  I do intend to use the blog to keep myself accountable. Accountability is where I have failed in the past.  So I intend to do a tiny little check-in with myself when I post, mostly to note whether or not I have been mindlessly eating in the evenings.

Once in a while, I might share a full day of eats.  Like today, since I figured it would be a good idea to have a baseline image of how much I need in a day on an active day where I don’t overeat.

I am sorry if this upsets anyone: if you feel like this would not be a good idea for you to read about, PLEASE skip over it.  I would not want to hurt anyone, especially if you have a history of ED/disordered eating.

Breakfast was flax oatmeal (TJ’s brand) with part of a peach (would have used it all but parts were squishy and I hate that) and a giant scoop of AB.  One of my favorite breakfasts!

Lunch=giant salad with cucumbers, zuchinni, carrots, microwaved eggs, and avocado.

Afternoon snack — it was super melty since it had been at the beach with me all day and it was a hundred degrees!

A few bites of coleslaw and a giant Asian chicken salad for dinner (the size of my head).  You can’t see the chicken and other toppings, but I promise they’re there!

On the left is a peanut butter cup shake I had before going to a play with my dad and sister.  Right was my before blogging/bed snack of a small Godiva truffle.  I REFUSE to go without dessert.  Ever. Regardless of my weight.  I’m sure this is some kind of dieting sin.  But I don’t care.

So there you have it.  I do want to lost a bit of weight.  It’s very hard for me to find a balance between vigilance and obsession; I am aiming to use the blog to help me find a balance over the next few months (that won’t be the only thing on the blog though, don’t worry!).   Due to my body’s natural  (and rather unfortunate) chemistry/metabolism, I do need to have a certain vigilance.  It sounds bizarre, but if I am not careful and I gain weight now, I could screw over my fertility in the future.  Very random, I know.  But I want to be a mother more than anything in the world and so I am not going to take any chances with this.

Any thoughts?