Saturday, July 31, 2010

When is it time to stop logging your food?

It seems like it's a hotly debated topic every time someone new reaches maintenance on the CK forums. It's almost as bad as the "Should I eat my exercise calories back?" question!  There are basically three strategies for a new maintainer to take when it comes to logging their food:
    • Cease logging entirely and attempt to eat intuitively
    • Continue logging 100%
    • Log x% of days a week
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekly Friday Weigh-in

Weight: 125.6
BF: 18.4%
Measurements: 34-26-33.5-17.5

Not so bad! I've decided I'm going to start tracking all three sets of vital information about myself on the blog in order to get a better picture of how I'm doing. Weight is only one facet of the maintenance phase, body fat percentage and measurements help me see if I'm doing a good job overall.

More after the break!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Very draining week

I have written up several posts this week, but I find them all to be inadequate. Perhaps I'll edit and rewrite them over the course of the next week and post them. I'm extremely drained this week and I attribute it to my monthly lady problems.  I hope to be back to to my bright, vibrant goose-hating squirrely self on Monday. 

My training run yesterday was 10K, and it was the first time I actually ran 10K outdoors.  It was rough but I pushed through and completed it.  Tomorrow I've got 11x400m repeats planned (insert audible groan here) at the track in Acton.

If someone had said to me 5 years ago, that I'd be training to run a 5K in under 27 minutes I would have laughed in their face, which makes the following John Bingham quote all the more poignant to me:
The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Revisiting my circuit training...

I'm a boring person.

I've eaten the same breakfast for over a year now, deviating from it infrequently at best. I simply don't see the point of changing a good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, yeah? Every morning I wake up and I'm just as excited to eat my oatmeal (with peanut butter and bananas!) as I was the morning before.

It's just my thing, being boring. I am okay with it.

However, I haven't changed my basic circuit training workout in years. In fact, the initial iteration (can you tell I do software?) of this workout was given to me in 2008 by a personal trainer at the Raytheon gym and I've been doing the same style workout since. I mean sure, I've changed the exercises up a little bit but I'm bored of it. That means it's time for a change.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ugh, speed work!

Weekly Weigh-in: 123.6
BF: 18.4%

Today was my second speed workout  (9x400m repeats) for my seven week training plan. UGH! I have decided that speed work is a necessary evil in becoming faster for the race but that I'm not overly fond of it.  I do enjoy seeing how fast I can run my 400m repeats though and I was dead on for about 2 minutes per 400m (8:00 minute/mile pace), but dang! It leaves me completely drained afterward, though I don't suppose the torrential downpour helped me at all.

Here are my lap times:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Low-key day

I got my first laser hair removal treatment today! It definitely did not hurt very much and I'm barely red. Waxing hurts way more.  I have another one in four weeks, hopefully after that one I'll see a pretty solid reduction in hair growth.

No workouts today since it was a planned day off in my training plan.

I am thinking about doing a series on making pizza dough. Hopefully the first post in the series will be on Friday or Saturday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I don't have black thumbs!

Most of my gardening is limited to Plants vs. Zombies, which is not really gardening at all. So when I saw these little babies growing, I was ecstatic:
In the center, I have three cosmos and around the edge are the convolvulus.  Hopefully I won't kill them before they flower and I'll be able to share some pictures of them!

Today's workout was a race rehearsal and I completed 1.5 miles today at an average pace of 8:53 minutes/mile.  I'm pretty impressed with myself actually. I think I'm definitely adjusting to the heat and getting faster. I can't decide whether or not I should take tomorrow as a total rest day or do some circuit training, I don't want to overdo it but circuit training is pretty low-key.

I made some Pink Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream frosting last night and brought them t to work for review today. You can check them out here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I wonder...

Sometimes as I'm falling asleep my brain likes to wander off and think strange thoughts. Last night for example, as I was finally falling asleep I had the following thought:

What if your life was like the Truman show? Only instead of it being a movie, it was a series with episodes on DVDs?  Could you watch your life from a third person perspective?

I suppose I should preface this by saying that that thought was most likely spawned off a thread of thinking I had while I was running yesterday. It occurred to me (shortly after my death wishes to the family of geese I ran by) how I have become the woman I always wanted to be.  I am fit, strong, healthy and confident, which is a far cry from the girl I was at 13.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I...own a bikini?

My weekend didn't quite pan out as I had intended.  I wanted to go visit my family in NH on Saturday, but alas work had other plans for me. I couldn't get any lab time on Friday so I decided that my best bet was to leave early (at noon!) and go shopping for a bathing suit, then come in for four hours on Saturday.

I succeeded in my goal of finding a bathing suit but I'm not sure whether I have the courage to wear the bikini top I purchased. Fortunately for me, I also found a corresponding tankini to wear with the bottoms that looks just as good.  Now I need an excuse to go swimming!

Today during my run I found out that my fancy pair of sunglasses are actually sport sunglasses. I was quite pleased by this discovery because it was really hot and sunny today.  Even the geese didn't move to hiss or honk at me as I ran by.  As usual, I shook my fist at them and wished death upon their families.  Stupid evil geese!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Staying confident in the face of travel

Traveling, be it for business or pleasure seems to put fear into the hearts of even the most stalwart weight loss veteran. It need not be so terrible however! I recently returned from a 3-week business trip to Norway and was not only able to maintain my weight but actually increase my general fitness.  I will share my secret with you:

That's right, there's only seven measly items there. Seven measly items that can easily fit into anyone's suitcase or carry-on luggage.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I was a wuss today.

Weekly Weigh-In Stats:
Weight: 125.2
BF: 19.3 %

Today's workout was my first speed workout. It was obscenely hot and humid out so I decided to wuss out and use my treadmill. It was still tough.  I think these workouts will be an excellent measure of my progress.  I did 7x400m repeats at a roughly 6.8mph pace. Next Friday will be a set of 9x400m repeats, hopefully next week the weather will be less hot! I think the workout was also a bit tougher because I haven't gotten enough rest the last few nights. I'm hoping to catch up on my sleep this weekend.

I've made it into chapter two in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, which is on eggs.  I never realized how interesting eggs actually are.  I will be attempting to make some of the egg dishes in the near future so perhaps I'll document it here.

I think it's sleepy time for me now. So beat!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What a difference a year can make!

Sometimes I like working for Raytheon.  Today at my (free) company provided health screening was one of those times. Last year, they started providing free health screenings to its employees in their most recent undertaking: Mission Health. Being the health conscious individual (some might say nut) that I am, I signed up to get one.

These were my 2009 results:
Total Cholesterol: 157 mg/dl (less than 200 mg/dl is normal)
HDL Cholesterol: 57 mg/dl (these are the good ones, you want a higher number of these)
Total-to-HDL ratio: 2.4 (less than 4.4 is good for a woman)
Non-Fasting Glucose: 100 mg/dl (normal is for non-fasting is less than 200)
Blood Pressure: 130/86 (normal is around 120/80)
BMI: 27.89 (classified: overweight)
Waist Circumference: 36" (increased risk factor of obesity related diseases)

My cholesterol was just good last year, not excellent. The ratio put me at a low risk of heart disease, and my non-fasting glucose was normal. My blood pressure was a little high, I was classified as overweight and I had a 36" waistline.

I had a couple of "HOLY CRAP!" moments when I got my results from this year's screening:

Total Cholesterol: 142 mg/dl (-15 from 2009)
HDL Cholesterol: 74 mg/dl (good gods! +17 from 2009!)
Total-to-HDL ratio: 1.9 (wow! -0.5 from 2009)
Non-Fasting Glucose: 89 mg/dl (having a very normal non-fasting glucose level is huge for me!)
Blood Pressure: 122/82 (ok so this is still a little high, but I get nervous when they take my bp!)
BMI: 23 (classified: normal)
Waist Circumference: 28" (a little bloated from lunch but still -8" from 2009!)

These numbers just help reiterate how living a healthy lifestyle gives both visible and non-visible results.  YAY!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I should be sleeping, but...

Scott and Lacey came over for dinner, cookies and board games tonight, yay! I lost at Settlers of Catan (again) but at least now I better understand how the game is played. Maybe I'll win some day in the future.

I was pleased to have Eric there to help me shape the pizza dough.  He did an excellent job, they were all round! They definitely looked less stupid than when I shape pizza dough.  I  also made some impromptu chocolate chip cookies using the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from my Baking Illustrated cookbook, and I've yet to find a bad recipe in the entire book. The resulting cookies were true to form, thick and chewy.  They would make nice ice cream sandwich cookies.

I was able to get my four miles in before dinner.  Today's workout had me run the magic mile in the middle of my run. The worksheet said the first magic mile wasn't supposed to be run at true race pace, but just pick it up a little bit. My time was 9:58 min/mile. Not fantastic and definitely slower than my two previous race paces.  I'm hoping it's just an outlier due to the weather, but we'll see. My training plan says to run a magic mile every week and keep comparing times. I'll just have to shoot to beat my initial magic mile time next week.

I had actually set my Polar RS300X and it's footpod up to automatically record laps every 400m, so I didn't even have to do any button pushing the entire run. That feature is really fancy, especially when you've finally calibrated your footpod.

I'm still not through the dairy chapter in my On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen e-book.  The chapter has moved onto cheeses and I find myself mildly repulsed by the concept of cheese when it's broken down scientifically.  Cheese is essentially the controlled rot of milk, and I've never been a big fan of milk.

I did use some of my new knowledge this past Monday however! I made butter with the leftover heavy cream I had on hand from the cupcakes I made for my other blog (Nuts about Cupcakes!).  Maybe I'm crazy, but I can actually taste a difference when I use it.  It's more flavorful and a touch sweet. I'm looking forward to trying out a baking recipe with my own freshly made butter to see if it makes any differences.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”

-George Sheehan 

Monday, July 12, 2010

I have a new book obsession!

After reading half the sample on my Kindle, I purchased On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. I'm very taken with this book and I've only read a portion of the first chapter on dairy. It's a $30 e-book (holy crap balls!) but I think it's going to be well worth it.  I already understand why adding lemon juice to milk provides a decent substitute for buttermilk, and not only that but that I could easily make my own buttermilk. How crazy is that? I could make fresh buttermilk and have delicious homemade pancakes on the weekends! And I'd even be able to butter them with my own freshly made butter.

I even have a willing test subject for my future experiments. That's right, I'm looking at you Eric. :)

I think I might have missed my calling. I get so much more excited about cooking and the science of cooking that I might actually rival Alton Brown when it comes to enthusiasm. I can only imagine how excited I'll be to reach the chapters pertinent to baking.  My head might explode from the veritable treasure trove of knowledge that book provides.

In other news, I went for my first run of my new training plan today, and I even used my newly calibrated Polar footpod.  It was about 85° F but felt more like 90°F with the evil humidity.  The first 2 miles weren't so terrible because the sun was hiding behind some clouds which looked like rain clouds, but no dice.  It would have been pretty good if it'd rained. I love running in the warm rain, it's one of life's simpler pleasures.

Oh and I did run by a small cluster of geese about nine minutes into my run. I shook my fist at the f'ers because there was goose crap everywhere on the sidewalk. I can't wait until the bastards leave for the winter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Productive Saturday

I slept in today even! Though I suppose most people wouldn't consider 6:30AM on a weekend sleeping in...anyhow, while I eat eating my scrumptious oatmeal this morning I perused my new issue of Cooking Light.  I found a recipe for Ciabatta French Toast with Orange Marmalade, which inspired me to try it out tomorrow morning. 

After breakfast I headed out to the local Ace hardware store in search of some plant pots and some seeds. I ended up with some chives, some sort of convovovuleua plant (I'm going to call it the confoozled flower from now on), and some cosmos.  Hopefully I'll actually be able to grow them instead of killing them.  I don't have a very good track record with plants.

I made a quick stop at the local grocery stores afterward to pick up the week's food supplies. It is so much easier to shop when the stores open on a Saturday. No one else is awake at 8AM on a Saturday to get in my way. It's great!

I hit up Bed Bath and Beyond after lunch. It really wasn't much of an adventure, but I ended up spending  more than I had intended.  I went in expecting to come out with just a set of Henckels but some how I left with the set of Henckels, a bigger rolling pin, a nice silicone mat to go with the rolling pin and a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid.  The meat grinder is so I can start grinding my own meats, I hear it produces better results when you cook!

I even managed to calibrate the footpod for my Polar HRM today. I've been putting that off since I got it back in December.  I didn't actually test out how well it works yet, but my next training plan starts on Tuesday so we'll see then.

Friday, July 9, 2010

First weekly weigh-in after Norway

Weight: 123.6
BF %: 18.9%

Admittedly I thought that my weight would be lower and I would be freaked out by how much I accidentally lost while I was away. However, 123.6 is acceptable and I'm content to remain there. The accuracy of my Omron Body Fat Monitor is questionable, but I take the readings under the same circumstances each week so even if 18.9% isn't dead on, it indicates that I did lose some fat while I was in Norway.  

I just got my car back last night, eeee! I'm so happy I drive about and do the things I've wanted to since I got back.  Purchasing some new running shoes is at the top of my list, since I've got some serious mileage on my current pair and I can tell they're getting a little beat up.

My run today was miserable, I was only able to eke out 4 miles at an 11 min/mi pace, which is slow for me. That's what this disgusting hot and humid weather will do to you when you're not ready for it though.  Norway was much cooler than Massachusetts and my body just isn't used to it yet. I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'll be alright, but expect some more complaints about how hot this weather is. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hjem, Heimat, home!

This is my last entry from Norway! YAY! I would like to talk about how this trip has been an adventure in self-reliance but honestly I don't really feel like writing a lot out.  Mostly I just feel impatient that I'm not on the plane to Boston yet.  According to FlightStats, my plane from Amsterdam to Boston will be arriving almost 55 minutes early, which would be pretty darn sweet. If that's actually the case, then I'll be home in approximately 12 hours. eee!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An icky subject

Runner's Trots. Icky. Just icky.  It seems that after every long run (>5m) I have these days results in me fleeing to the bathroom for the remainder of the night after completing the run.  I'm going to have to really start analyzing why this happens because I'd really like to be able to run a 10K without feeling like tiny knives are stabbing me in the intestines for hours afterward.  I think I may have to take some Immodium prior to the Running with the Wolves 10K later this month unless I can figure out why this keeps happening.  I have no idea how many people actually read this blog, but if you're a runner and you have any sort of idea as to how to fix it, I'd appreciate a comment!