Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What a difference a few good days make...

I am definitely feeling better today.  I might even feel a tiny tiny teensie bit badass.  Mostly, its because I am eating better and exercising (and not beating myself up).

My breakfasts are the same pretty much everyday - 2 egg whites (although now having SOME yolk because they are farm fresh and I am supposed to taste the difference in the yolk), 1-2 slice(s) of bacon (2 slices if I don't eat the egg yolk) and a piece of fruit.

Lunches are the same pretty much everyday - big ass salad, cucumbers, bell pepper, protein of the day (like chicken or whatever I have for leftovers), fruit (grapes are my go to for salad) and 1/4 avocado.

Dinners are where I mix things up and try new things.  Here are a couple of pictures of my last 2 dinners.  I really don't use recipes much, nor do I pay attention to measuring stuff - but I did actually use a recipe this weekend.

I tried a new crock pot recipe on Sunday.  I love crock pot sundays.  Fix and forget.  The recipe was in a crockpot cookbook that I need to give credit to, but I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was - sorry crockpot people.
The basics directions are:

  • salt and pepper 2 lbs of pork loin and put in bottom of crockpot
  • dump 1 chopped apple, sweet potato (large) and red onion on top
  • mix in separate bowl 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and then dump on top of the whole thing
  • Crank the crock pot on to low and put the lid on.  Walk away and come back in 6-8 hours.

This was awesome and I highly recommend it.  I think you could cut out the brown sugar or at least half it.  And it makes delicious leftovers!  I've even put some of the pork on my big ass salad for lunch.

Big Ass Salad - mexican style
Ok, then tonight I whipped up this awesome salad:
layer the following:

  • greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • orange bell pepper
  • steamed corn off the cob (OMG - I don't care if corn is not paleo it is delicious and grew from the ground and isn't processed)
  • ground beef with sauteed onions and garlic, seasoned with chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, garlic salt.  I don't know how much of each spice - I just sprinkle it on and hope for the best.
  • top with a scoop of guacamole

*TIP - did you know Sam's has an awesome selection of fruits and veggies?  They are not all organic, but some are (like the greens) and are super cheap.  If you eat as much of the good stuff as I do, you can buy this stuff in bulk and it won't waste.

Hoping for an even better tomorrow!

P.S.  I did Fight Gone Bad 5 this past weekend - I forgot how freakin hard this WOD is - check out this face on the left - that is me - the first one  - I look like I am about to die.  This is me on the right when I finished - yes, it was that terrible.  However, when I do lay out on the floor like this, I know I have worked as hard as I possibly can and all you can do is lay on the floor and leave a sweat angel.

Photo from Jonathan
Totally unflattering photo by Jonathan

Monday, September 27, 2010

Power Day

November 9 is my power day.  I just realized that this was coming up.  This year is a big one too.

I honestly can't recall why I call this day my power day.  The gist of this day is that I celebrate the anniversary of doing something SUPER difficult.  I acknowledge and remember the perseverance and determination it took to do this something.

This year I am celebrating the 10th and 5th anniversary of quitting smoking and drinking respectively.

I smoked for 15 years people.  15 years!  I quit cold turkey 10 years ago.  A group of my friends decided to quit and we picked November 9 as our date to quit.  I didn't really want to quit, I LOVED smoking, but I was subjected to peer pressure.  Anyway, I haven't taken a single drag since.  Not one.  And, I'm the only one out of that group that remains successfully smoke free.

And the drinking - well lets just say Melinda likey the drink way too much.  So I quit cold turkey with that November 9 as well.  I purposefully picked November 9 to quit drinking to remind me that if I quit smoking, I could do anything.

This year for my power day, I am going to work towards reaching a weight that, by BMI standards, no longer classifies me as obese.  That is 179 pounds.  I know the BMI is crap, but I don't want to be obese on anyone's charts.  I got really close during the paleo challenge, but then I effed it all up and have a ways to go now.  Essentially, I need to lose 30 pounds in 43 days.  Wow, I think that is not likely.  But, I am going to try.  And wow, wouldn't that be something to celebrate on my power day!

I have tried to reach this goal before, but I haven't tried to use my power day powers to reach it.  Activating super power day powers today!

FYI - I'm back on the Weight Watcher wagon.  It works for me.  I'm going to eat mostly paleo, but use Weight Watchers to track my food and manage the amount I am eating.  Weight Watchers also helps me manage "cheat meals" - but really this just means, you can eat anything on Weight Watchers as long as you are accountable for it.

Wish me luck friends.  Its a mother flippin life long battle.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A message to my body from my brain

Dear body,

I'm so sorry to have been treating you as a human garbage pail the last few weeks.  I've fed you cakes, pizza, burgers, and various baked goods in massive quantities.

I can understand why you have reacted the way you have.  The bloating, heart palpitations,  gas, swollen feet, chest pain, and the overall jiggling of your parts are all normal reactions to ingesting crap food.  The crap food is spewing excess insulin and causing widespread inflammation.

This excess insulin and inflammation can cause all sorts of nasty irreversible damage to you.  Diabetes, Heart Disease and hypertension are just a few of the nasty diseases I am setting you up to get.  This is already in your genes, so we have to work extra hard to keep these diseases at bay.

In addition, you are sending horribly hurtful messages to me.  So many so, that I am having a terrible time trying to fight them off. These hurtful messages are making me think I am not good enough and a failure.  I am therefore keeping us isolated from our friends.  I would much prefer you send me messages of well being and kindness.  Maybe even some of hope and forgiveness.

I see that my actions are causing these things to happen.  We must remember that if the problem is not hunger, it cannot be solved with food.

Consider this my wake up call.  Only I can stop this cycle of hurtful behavior.  I will do my best to make better choices when it comes to what I feed you.  I will keep track of what I feed you and I will ask for help when I find myself reaching for crap.

Looking forward to new messages being sent.

M's brain

P.S.  You are no longer fitting into your clothes.  This really must stop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Holy Grail of Run Suck - the MetroDash!

Enter and finish five mile obstacle course challenge thing - CHECK!

Holy crap people!  I did it!  I really did it!

2008 morbidly obese, totally out of shape Melinda would have NEVER believed that this was possible.  I mean climbing one flight of stairs or walking T-Boz up our neighborhood "hill" left me panting like T-boz on a hot day.

But 2010 badass athlete Melinda now BELIEVES anything is possible!  Bring it on life!
I got a bib and everything!  I'm legit!

Here is a recap of the challenge:

Map and Challenges were announced the week prior.  The MetroDash people tell you the challenge points and what order to do them, but it was up to you to determine the route.

My team was coming in at all different times and to be honest, there was no plan or strategy.  We hadn't even gotten together as a team prior to the big day.  The team was pretty laid back about the whole thing.  I on the other hand was super nervous and really needed to know what to expect.

So my two awesome friends and I came in the night before and prepared by driving the course and finding possible cut throughs.  They had me memorize my route.  I was so nervous and they were so helpful.  We then had a steak dinnah...(special inside joke).

Then, we got up and arrived and I caught up with my team.  There was still no plan so I was really anxious.  I needed some sort of stability to ease some of the nerves.

Whatever.  Last minute, the rule guy, who wasn't the most inspiring, said no cut throughs in the cemetary.  YIKES!  All of my routes started and / or ended in the cemetary.  So much for preparation.  However, my preparation did come in handy later on when I could help out with directions.

So we were off.  In total, the course was about 4.9 miles in length.  There were 6 Challenge Points.  Each Challenge Point had a suggested number of reps for men and women.  For the first 2 challenge points, I did as many as I could which was usually more than the suggested number.  Later, I did only the suggested number - it was enough.  I should also note, it was quite warm and humid.  I was grateful to have practiced in the heat.

The whole plan to do run/walk cycles was out the window almost immediately.  I was just running when I could and walking when I felt like I couldn't run.  I think I could say I ran at least half if not more of it.

The first Challenge Point was about 3/4 mile from the start and was Tabata* Squats.

*Tabata is a type of timed exercising:  do 20 seconds of all out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds.

The second Challenge Point was about 1/4 mile from there and was Tabata Push Ups.  From there it was about 1/2 mile back to the start for the "Gauntlet".  So far, no rest in between challenges or running.  Run Suck was about 8-9 at this point.

Tire Flips!  Sled dragging in background...
The "Gauntlet" included TRX rows, tire flips, slam ball, box jumps, kettle bell swings, sled pulling and getting over an 8ft wall.  Now on paper, I was not at all concerned about the "Gauntlet".  However, at the first station I was concerned.  It was hot, I was so thirsty and already very tired.  But I just kept moving.  I was starting to think I may not be able to finish.  I was so fatigued and was not even half-way through!

The Wall of Team Effort
Approaching the 8 ft wall, and feeling defeated, my team begins to assemble around to help me.  As I began to climb up, with plenty of pointers from my team, I started thinking that I am totally going to be able to get over this wall.

Giggly Melinda
Well, I allowed my team to help me and I got over that damn wall.  And I was so proud and happy!  Of course I got all giggly.  Then I found some confidence, which I needed, to get me through the next portion of the challenge.

Challenge Point 4 was about 1.5 miles away and was lunges and bear crawls.  Did I mention it was ONE AND A HALF MILES AWAY?

I was still riding the wall high and so I got hydrated and off I went.  I ran / walk the 1.5 miles people.  And it felt like FOREVER.  I thought we would never get there.  I had driven it the night before, and it felt like forever in a car too, so at least I knew what to expect.  The good thing for me to maintain my confidence was to see MANY of my fellow challengers walking.  It was like we were all on the same page.  Which surprised me.  Now don't get me wrong - there were a slew of people blazing through and passing and lapping us and what not (most of these yelled encouraging stuff at us), but there were also plenty who struggled just like me.  Plus, my pals were driving to the next challenge and shouting encouragement as they drove by.

Run Suck was weird right here.  It was like kind of bad, maybe a 6 and then after awhile, it was like a 4.  I know, weird right?  But this had happened in practice too.  Its like the more you do it, the less the suck factor.  Which is counter-intuitive if you ask me.  And, I noticed that when I felt like it was a 4, my head tilted to the right.  WTF is that about?  What am I Forest Gump?  Anywho - not saying I didn't walk a whole lot, but the running I did do didn't suck as bad as it did in the beginning.

Lunges and Bear Crawls
So we got to Challenge Point 4 and the lunges and bear crawls were no big deal, except for we were doing them in grass full of goose poo.  I was starting to have some fun at this point.  Well, at least I was a bit more relaxed.  Finally.  I think it was because I was almost halfway finished and I actually believed I was going to finish this bitch.

Challenge Point 5, Tabata Star Jumps was about 3/4 mile away.  ALMOST EVERYONE walked.  It was all uphill.  Brutal.  I kind of even think we were strolling by this point.  Perhaps everyone was exhausted.  Thank goodness my friends had driven over to Challenge Point 4 because they were able to give us hydration.  So we hydrated on the way to Challenge Point 5.

Challenge Point 6 (the last one!!!) was Tabata Situps and was about 1/3 mile away and not uphill, so the running began again.  The run suck factor here was probably at 6 again.  I started feeling my hips after the walking.

From there we were in the homestretch.  About 1/2 mile away was the finish line and I couldn't believe I had done this.  Run Suck was maybe 5 at this point.  Here comes the head tilt.  I just wanted to get there.  I could see me and that finish line.  Run Forest!  Run!

Mother Effing Finisher!

And I FINISHED!  It ended up taking me just under 2 hours.  I never really looked at my time, but this is what I was told.  All I cared about is the fact that I crossed that line.  They handed me a sweet finisher's medal and I immediately looked for my people.  I hugged my 2 pals and got pretty teary.  I think I was just so amazed that I had done this.  And relieved.  And maybe content.  All that preparation and anxiety and nerves and fear and expectation and training - falling off me crossing that line.  Relief.  Yes, I believe it was relief.

I am proud of myself - this was a tough one mentally and physically.  Would I do it again?  Not sure.  I think I might.  Warrior Dash anyone?

I do want to thank my coach (Satan, aka Erin) for helping me learn to run. But more importantly, for believing in me and encouraging me when I needed it most.  She took time out from her life, to help me.  And I am grateful.  Thanks to Jo and Holly for coming with me - having you both there was so comforting.  I also thank my friends for supporting me and putting up with my obsessive quirks!