Monday, February 28, 2011

Three cheers for organization!

Do you remember this post? Where I shared my embarrassingly disorganized pantry area?

That post was way back in September:

As Peter Walsh says, "No one makes good choices in a messy kitchen". And it's so true. It just stresses me out to even look at it.... My goals for the space include moving the table away so that we can more easily access the shelves. Having all food neatly organized so that I can quickly see what I have and what I need more of. Since one of my goals is to cook at home more, I've been working to make the kitchen more of a space I want to spend time in and that includes the pantry. Stay tuned!

How could I prepare healthier meals at home when I couldn't even see what food I had on hand? I seriously didn't even want to unpack my groceries because it meant navigating a maze of clutter to get to the pantry shelves. I had some great intentions for the space, but I gotta tell you, it got worse before it got better. With roomies who have long since moved out (but left a box or three hidden beneath the clutter), and four current roommates navigating laundry, storage, and a pantry area; this room quickly got out of control.

But no longer!!!

The amazing organizer (and my dear friend) Autumn over at Space for Living, visited recently and totally transformed the space. And even though the pics are pretty dramatic, they still don't do it justice!

Autumn's awesome before and after pic

And I'm so excited to report that the pantry area has since become a haven of organization! I am able to quickly and easily see what I have on hand, and make choices about what I want to use that day!

Check out the full post and details of the transformation over here at Space for Living!
Thank you Autumn!!!

P.S. When I went back to look at the September post there's a comment from Autumn where she says she wants to dive in and help tackle the space. And it really did happen! Love it!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


A follow up to my last post.
I received an email from a good friend who'd just read the post and her email had hints of gathering the troops for an intervention. So, I figured I should do a follow up.

My workout was anything but terrible, horrible and no good!
But I wanted to keep it real in my post. That's really how I was feeling this morning and I promised I'd share this journey even when it wasn't pretty. But I hope the take away from the post is that I want to knock out the negative self talk and be present and grateful in this journey.

When Coleen and I first started training we did intervals at the track, walk the curves and run the straights and we felt like rockstars! And I'm a huge fan of run/walk workouts. But something about how the leg cramps came back combined with our training group already being up to 5 miles (and me feeling far from that distance) that just got that grumpy grump voice going as I tried to get into the workout this morning. I want to toughen up a bit and get better at hearing that voice and saying "Nuh-uh! You're not going to get me down. I'm up and here and grateful for what I can do in this moment. Here I go... wheeee" (or something like that).

And the 5-1 alcohol to water ratio... well I promise that's not usually how I roll. And I am not up in the club (not even close actually). But no excuses, it's just a good thing for me to pay attention to-- how those drinks (and their accompanying calories) can creep up on you.
The 5 drinks I'm talking about from yesterday went like this: I had 2 mimosas in the morning with my roomies, a glass of champagne with a friend as we toasted her birthday that afternoon, and then later that night 2 more drinks. And I can only think of one good solid glass of water that I had all day. That's no good! It's well over 1,000 calories in alcohol. Can we say self-defeating? Plus, it left me feeling lousy this morning.

So I'm not swearing off alcohol completely but I want it (like cookies) to be a sometime treat and not turn into a habit.

Don't worry. I'm being much nicer to myself this afternoon. xo

B and the terrible horrible no good workout

That's all I could think about for the first 15 minutes of my workout this morning. Yes, harsh, I know.

I met up with Coleen for some treadmill time (did I mention it snowed in SF on Friday). I didn't have a specific goal in mind, but I guess about 30 minutes or so seemed good. I love that 30 minutes of running seemed so impossible a month ago and now "if I can get in 30 minutes that'd be sufficient" haha. But 5 minutes into todays run I started getting those pains in my legs again. The ones I talked about in this post.

C looked over from the elliptical machine and mouthed "you okay". Clearly the look of sheer panic on my face had been a give away that something was wrong.
I pointed to my calf and frowned.
"It's okay. Just take it slow." She tried reassuring me but it took another minute or two before I eased down into a walk and started taking some deep breaths.
"You're probably just dehydrated", I heard Coleen say.

I just kept breathing, trying not to suck in the air too fast, but instead keeping the breaths even and deep. I tried imagining that my deep breaths were traveling all the way down to the cramp in my legs, easing the pain.

"This is a terrible, horrible, no good workout Bethany. What's the matter with you!" is NOT the mantra I wanted on repeat but it kept popping up. Breathe. Breathe. About 6 or 7 minutes later the cramps in my legs had eased up a bit and I upped the speed on the treadmill. 3.8 mph... 4.0... 4.5.... I tried to think of long strides and deep breaths.

This may sound like a whole lot of processing for a treadmill workout, but I really did have to talk myself down. And this is a part of training right? Some days are going to feel great and some are going to be tougher. I gotta ease up on the whole negative self talk thing if I'm going to do this and this. A ton of emotions swirling, plus yesterdays 5 to 1 alcohol to water ratio, left my legs feeling like lead (more on the whole alcohol conversation in another post).

But they weren't lead and I was able to lift them, a step at a time. And I ran for 15 minutes or so and then did a nice long cool down. So total it was a 45 minute run/walk/run/walk/cool down and a distance of 2.5 miles. Not too bad for a morning when I didn't even want to get out of bed. We headed back to C's for coffee and a yummy egg and tofurky sausage scramble. A perfect start to the day actually. I'm heading into the rest of the day trying to keep coming back to those kinder "self-love" filled thoughts. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rain or shine

Yesterday was our track workout. We ran on the outside of the track since there was a soccer game going on. The loop was longer and after 2 "warm up" laps I was certainly feeling it.

The workout itself was a kind of zig zag path instead of just our usual laps.
Up and over a little hill on the side of the track,
up the bleacher steps,
down the length of the track,
down the bleacher steps,
Up and over the hill on the opposite side of the track
up the bleacher steps,
down the stairs. Repeat x4.

I know it's kind of hard to picture the loop in text form and usually I try to squeeze in a picture, but with 2 hills and 2 flights of stairs I was just trying to remain upright. After the 4th loop we were to stretch, fuel up a bit and do 4 more! As much as I know these workouts are a time to push yourself, I had to ease up a bit. I finished the first 4 loops and then I walked 2 more loops as a cool down and then stretched.

I think it was about 2.5 miles including the warm up. I was so sore today!

Today we got an email announcing Saturdays workout.
So Saturday could be quite a challenge depending on the weather. Don't let that keep you from running. Come prepared for bad weather, wear your training shirts, both of them as layers, wear an outer jacket that is weather resistant and windproof, gloves and a hat are a necessity....

Saturday is not just supposed to be a challenge... it's supposed to SNOW! For the first time in 30 years! SNOW in San Francisco. I'll keep you updated! But it does look like Saturday may be a treadmill workout for me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Name calling

A man (a stranger) called me "fatty", right there on the street. I don't want to give him any more of my energy by writing down the whole exchange. I wish I had avoided interacting with this individual entirely. But our paths crossed, and it just sucks that he knew right where to hit.

Should you defunk the funk?

Doesn't she look at ease and calm?

What I find particularly interesting about my funk yesterday is that I was so desperate to not feel blue (going for walks, reaching out to friends), that it never occurred to me even once that I could just sit still with it. I had to actively do something. Have you ever heard that saying? "Don't just do something, sit there."

It made me laugh a little thinking about my mad scrambles for relief from my blue mood. I definitely have/ and do navigate depression. So when I feel blue, I tend to get a little panicky because I don't want it to get to feeling unmanageable and big.

I am grateful for a growing toolkit of "defunking tools", but sometimes I think the best tool of all is a pause button in the form of a deep breath, knowing that the blue isn't permanent. (And reminding myself that while a donut (or 3) certainly is a delicious distraction, it does not offer any sort of real healing/ relief).

I think a lot of what I was feeling yesterday was overwhelmed. Today I decided to breathe and put a pause on actively thinking about any big decisions and instead focus on some smaller victories. So I organized a bit, and swept in front of our door and in the hallway, I drank good coffee and went through some pictures that made me smile. And I dug out a few keepsake images I have in my greeting card box that never fail to make me smile. I took a pic of a few of them to share with you.

Attempting to love all of me-- every inch.

Decluttering and creating space for miracles!

They look so joyful to me!!

Off to our track workout. Deep breaths!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Defunking the funk

Some days you just can't defunk. And I'm not talking about stink. I'm talking about that murky blue that you seem to wade through all day long.

After feeling so totally proud of myself yesterday, my blue mood today took me by surprise. It was a tough, self-sabotage, just can't shake it kind of a sad day.

I have definitely worked hard to gain some tools designed just for days like this. I was able to pull out a few of them including calling a good friend, taking a walk out in the sunshine, talking through a tough moment with my cousin, and cooking a yummy comforting stew for lunch.

They didn't totally shake this mood, but I was glad to have them in my toolkit just the same.

I also ate some things I knew wouldn't help in the long run. And even though the sweets seemed to help comfort in the short term, I don't want emotional eating to be the tool I turn to when I am feeling down. And I call emotional eating a tool because it does serve a purpose and it is a choice that I have. But it's not a choice that will move me towards my goal of a healthier me. "Any tool is a weapon if you hold it right." Sorry, couldn't resist summoning a little Ani D. for this occasion.

Heading to bed early. Sleep and sweet dreams are in order.

Monday, February 21, 2011

3rd mile's the charm

After my treadmill 5k success, I gotta tell you, I was so nervous for tonights training run. I'd actually had four treadmill successes in a row; each one a little tiny bit faster and a teeny bit further than that one before. And even though they were tough, I still felt more comfortable and control on the treadmill.

Since it'd been rainy and freezing, I'd had a perfect excuse to run on the treadmill instead of outside. Tonight though, I knew I needed to head back outdoors for the regularly scheduled training run.

I sent Coleen a text at 3:48pm
Embarcadero run together?
I nervously awaited her reply, which came just a few seconds later.
Yes :)
Alright, there you had it. It was on. We were running outside. I checked the training chart and it said we were meant to run 3 miles tonight.
That made me even more nervous. I knew I'd done it on the treadmill, but outside there was wind and resistance and and and....

But guess what... Yup, you saw it coming... I did it!

They announced the 1.5 turn around mark was at Mason, and when I got there I have never been more happy to see that street sign.

I stopped there and stretched for a few minutes and then after a minute or so of walking I took off again! This time felt different. I was still feeling the strain, but I actually was able to turn my little jog into an actual run for about 10 seconds at a time or so. I'd pick a pole in the distance and decide I'd "sprint" to that pole. I didn't make it there at a full sprint every time, but I was able to run/jog the whole rest of the way.

It felt like real progress. My legs were super stiff but no where near the pain I had been experiencing during this run here.

So yes! Small but mighty sweet success indeed!

P.S. Fabulous gettin fit blogger Britt just completed her first half marathon and it's so inspiring! You can read all about it here! I'm still quite a few months out from my half marathon (5 months to be exact) so it's great to read about someone who has just completed 13.1 miles o fun.

Green thumb alert

Not quite a green thumb... but certainly a good start.

My Grandmother has a gorgeous mint plant on her front porch. I asked her how she gets it to grow so big, and her response? "Oh that old thing? I just forget about it most of the time. But when I remember I just sprinkle a little water on it." Of course she makes it sound so simple. I like to think I inherited my Grandmother's laugh (though really her laugh is one of a kind) and maybe her patience (not really, but I'm working on it). One thing for sure, I did not inherit her green thumb.

My Gma has plants that were brought by visitors to the hospital when I was born! Her plants thrive with seemingly no effort. I love visiting her plants... a huge orange tree, rose bushes, succulents, and of course the bursting mint plant.

On a visit last summer, she gave me a cutting of the mint plant, which quickly thrived and then just as quickly withered. My mother brought me a cutting in the fall when she visited me. It didn't last. But third time was indeed the charm. My third little cutting was snagged during my visit in the late fall and it is officially thriving!
Why all of the fuss over a mint plant?

It's the start of my herb garden!!!

The herb garden I never knew I wanted. When my mint plant really began taking off, I called my Gma and announced, "my herb garden is doing so well!"
"What herb garden?"
"Remember the piece of mint? It's doing so so well!"
"That's not an herb garden."
"It is, Grandma, it is!! It's the teeny tiny start of my herb garden."

I haven't actually used the mint yet, but it smells so good and is just as lovely.
The 2 pics above show it in different light, that's why one is so bright green and the other a bit deeper.

Does anyone else have an herb garden (or even a burgeoning one)?
What exactly do I use my mint for...? Hmmmm...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homemade 5K

Autumn said that I'll know I'm "officially" a runner when I'll run in the rain.

I am not there yet.

This past week has been cold, wet, and rainy. I had already ditched out on the Wednesday night track workout in favor of some treadmill time. As Saturday's run approached, the coaches sent us a reminder with the email header proudly announcing the run was happening "Rain or Shine". This did not surprise me. As much as this training program touted the first 8 weeks as perfect for novice runners, everyone else on the track seems to have already found their stride. It's not intimidation that kept me away on Saturday though, it was the sheer freezing temperatures.

I know it's snowing in some parts of the country, but 40 degrees and raining (even hailing for a bit) does not feel like running weather. It seems like perfect cocoa weather. Mmm cocoa and a yummy brunch. With those little baby potatoes fried up with butter and rosemary, and banana pancakes, and bacon, and mimosas.... Yes. That is what 40 degree Saturday mornings make me crave.

Despite the overwhelming urge to consume 2,000+ calories in one sitting via brunch coma, I opted instead to hit the treadmill again. I convinced myself to go down there for a 20 minute jog. That's it, that's all I have to do. I kept repeating this to myself as I laced up my shoes and donned my "gear".

When I got down to the gym it was fairly crowded (this is the gym at my friends condo complex- I've been dog-sitting for her so that means I get to squeeze in some gym time too). I started stretching a bit waiting for a treadmill to open up and finally opted for an elliptical machine. I want to like the elliptical machine. It's gazelle-like no impact strides ought to be a relief for me; instead though I feel kind of bored. I much prefer the treadmill with its easily tracked mileage and straight and narrow path. Maybe it's the sheer will that it takes to keep me from falling off of the treadmill that keeps me alert, because I know many people find the treadmill quite boring.

After 15 minutes of elliptical time I'd had enough and so I hopped off, warm enough to do some real stretching. I positioned myself near the treadmills, but also far enough away so as not to stalk the treadmill in that annoying way that would inevitably only make them stay on longer.

Once on the treadmill I immediately felt done. But at this point, I'd been in the gym for about 25 minutes and I wanted to keep my promise to myself to get in 20 minutes of treadmill time. When I got to 20:00 I decided to go to 30:00. The distance from 0:00 to 10:00 and from 10:00 to 20:00 feels unequal, as if somehow the seconds become stretched and more labored. So 20:00 to 30:00 felt near impossible, but I got there. And then somehow, I decided to keep going. Once I told myself that I could stop anytime I wanted because I'd reached my goal, I suddenly relaxed and had more energy. I told myself that anything over 30:00 was just money in the bank and I should just go til I wanted to stop.

I kept going for another 15:00 minutes! To 45:00 and a 5K!!! That's right!! 3.1 miles. Now I know that 3.1 miles on the treadmill feels markedly different than outside on the pavement, but no matter! I was so proud of myself I wanted to cheer. (And I did a little even though there were other people in the gym with me.

I even used my phone to snap a little blurry pic as I "crossed the finish line". Hooray!

Feels like progress to me!

Friday, February 18, 2011

You mean I'm not the only one?

I promise, I am neither vain nor silly enough to think I was the only person struggling with issues around weight and self-confidence and then blogging about it. I just didn't think about it.

For the whole of last year I blogged in a bubble. I shared the blog with a few of my closest friends, and thought about sharing it broadly, but until this January I kept it pretty private.

I don't remember which blog I saw first. But after I stumbled across one healthy living/ weight loss blog it was like unlocking the door to a thousand.

I think it's telling that I started sharing this journey in a bubble. I have spent too long feeling ashamed of being heavy, of "struggling" with my weight, of "taking up too much space". And it is scary to talk about what you weigh, and admit insecurities.

But this truth telling and shame removing is a powerful and important thing. This journey is hard because it goes deeper than just the number on the scale. So the "eat less, move more" is great as a general rule, but harder to implement when emotions, fear, and history are there to navigate too. Not that I'm making excuses. I get it... "eat less, move more". But it sure does feel easy to say and hard to do sometimes... a lot of the time.

I'm grateful that I get to read along as others navigate this journey too. Community matters. That's why the weight watchers meetings were so important. There were folks you were accountable too and there were also folks also struggling along with this journey too. I don't have a blog roll up of the sites I'm reading yet, but I shared a few in this post. I also wanted to be sure and share this caution sign from Tara over at Life Changing Journey (formerly 263 and Counting).

This has come in handy lately. So, thank you Tara! And thank you all you fierce, fabulous, bloggers out there telling your truths; it's inspiring me to tell mine.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


A P.S. to my weekend adventures post...

What's up with the Long Beach airport and this horrible poster at security.

Two "big people" are the naked ones with the huge No! across it and "too much divesting". Not only is this whole poster bizarre, but it's also pretty fatphobic in my reading of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekend adventures

My family...

I started writing "my family is..." and then I just stopped. I have no idea where to go with that sentence. I just know I love them and they love me. I spent the weekend in my hometown celebrating my Grandmothers 80th birthday! Such a joy!

On Sunday (pre-all-you-can-eat gourmet buffet brunch) my Uncle and I took a long walk around the shoreline. It was such a warm and gorgeous day and I felt happy to be there soaking it in.

For some reason there were not one, but two pay and weigh scales on the boardwalk. No, thank you.
After our walk I did make it to the hotel gym for a very quick but productive run. I had a goal to at least get a mile in. At the mile mark I went to 1.5 miles and I think I could have run for longer!
The treadmill feels so very different. I still found myself struggling a bit, but I was able to go much faster than when I'm out there on the group runs trodding along.

Hotels clearly have standard posters/ graphics that go to all the different properties in the chain. There will be no making snow angels today, says the Press Telegram.

Beautiful birthday brunch with my Grandma! Cheers to the start of a new decade!

Delicious chocolates for Valentine. I only chose my favorite one to eat and shared the rest.

Sunshine greeted me when I arrived and a beautiful sunset was the view as I got on the plane to head home.
The weekend also featured one of my lowest and my highest step counts ever! Saturday 2, 263 steps, but Sunday 18,796 steps! Since my goal is at least 10,000 a day, that kind of balances out right?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Self love

Homesick for my fam.

Raining up a storm.

Fell hard, even though I was wearing rain boots.

Attempting to find reset button.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why hello there sunshine!

I'm visiting family this weekend. (My Grandmother's 80th birthday!!!)

I'll be missing the run with our SF training group on Saturday; but I did bring my running shoes so I can get in a workout at the hotel gym.

Have I mentioned I love hotel gyms? They have towels, and water, and current magazines and sometimes even fruit. I pretend it's a marvelous day spa. I put my towel around my neck and dab my brow as I walk around peering at the various equipment. Sounds obnoxious huh? But it keeps me entertained and truthfully there's rarely anyone else in the gym while I'm doing this little dance.

Oh and I'm writing this from my Grandma's house and I just have to share this... She just got an iPad. I downloaded a free version of that angry birds game for her. She's hooked! A second ago, she and my grandpa were playing angry birds fussing at each other about how to get the bird to launch the farthest. My mom was on the cell phone and on an iPad at the same time! Oh technology. I suppose that's my cue to sign off. Happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2.5 miles o fun

Track workout tonight.
Exhausted at the moment! But wanted to update because tonight I SO did NOT want to go to the track. But... since I'm practicing consistency I went!!! And 2.5 miles later I got to go home and enjoy a glass of wine and dinner my roommate had cooked. I felt very grateful for the warm welcome home.

So much more to update, but for now, I am happy to announce that it's week 2 of the training and my body is still very much adjusting (so sore). But I feel proud of myself and that feels lovely.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Summer in February

It's not really Summer, but you could have fooled me on Sunday with temps at over 75 degrees. (Though today, it's cold again).

On Sunday, I decided to go for a run. I needed to get out of the house, into the sunshine, and out of my head and the blues that were getting me down. I didn't quite have a plan until for some reason I decided to be a tourist in my own city.

I've walked (halfway) across the Golden Gate Bridge. I've driven across it dozens of times. But, I've never traversed the whole thing on foot. So, I mapped out my bus route, and before I knew it I was at the base of the bridge.
According to the googling I did, the bridge is 1.7 miles long including approach. I was able to run quite a bit of it out and back. And while I did take some breaks (to snap pictures, and to breathe!) I definitely tried to push myself to keep going. I would tell myself, "I can make it to that next pylon." And I did! Twice.
I wish I could say that running along the bridge was serene. But really it's kind of like running alongside a freeway. Even with my headphones in and music on, the noise from the cars was incredibly loud.

My attempts at self-portraits.

The bridge might look pretty deserted in these pics, but trust me, at the bases of the bridge and up to the first pylon there were hundreds of people. They were all taking pictures, so technically my run was probably captured in countless family albums, sweaty me chugging along in the background.

As I reached the opposite side of the bridge and turned around, I ran by a couple that I had passed a minute or two earlier. The man gave me such a genuine smile and a thumbs up; I couldn't help but smile back.

Lovely, lovely day.

Good morning good morning good morning

That title is the beginning of the song my mom would sing to wake me up in the morning. It was cute when I was 7, not so cute when I was 17.

Some of you early risers may not feel the full impact of my shock at waking up at 6:30am, but for me, it's pretty darn amazing.

Last night, I was so excited to share my pics from Sunday's run. I'd been daydreaming about it all day (I was in jury duty and it was gorgeous outside, so I had to keep channeling the sunshine from Sunday). When I finally did get out of court I had a surprise invite for a Monday night cocktail to celebrate my birthday (belated-- my bday was in December, but if it was up to me I'd celebrate all year long).

Needless to say, by the time I got home at around 8ish, I was pooped. Jury duty is intense, you have to pay such close attention to everything! And so many dates and names and timelines. So, I decided to go to bed. At 9:30pm!! That's a new record for me the former nightowl. Something about this new running schedule and the rapt attention needed for the trial and the cocktail.... ahhh sleep never sounded so good.

So here I am bright and early. I am packing my lunch today (more on that later... for now though I will say I spent $20 at lunch yesterday! Eeek!) so I only have a quick minute to post some shots from my Sunday morning walk.

I woke up on Sunday with a serious case of the blues. It was so hard to get going. I finally convinced myself I just needed to get up out of bed and go wash my face and brush my teeth. Doing that spurred on the energy to get dressed, and then to get out of the house for coffee. I took my coffee and walked up to the park. I was met with such gorgeous evidence of an early Spring that I couldn't help but smile.

After jury duty I'll share the pics from my run that afternoon, for now though, here's a sneak peek!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday EARLY training

Today's training was bright and early; necessitating an early to bed, early to rise attempt. Once we got to the starting site trainees had the option of going 1 mile or 3 miles.

I loved that we were running along the ocean and this time since it was nice and bright I took in as much of the scenery as I could muster. (When I wasn't navigating a painful left calf.)

(Please no remarks about how dry my leg is in this pic, I have since applied lotion.)
Each time I start to run I get the worst stabbing pain all up and down the outside of my calf. Why is that? It doesn't feel like a shin splint since it's on the outside of my leg, but it gets worse with running. Is it just because I'm carrying so much weight right now and my body is adjusting to this new routine?

I felt so discouraged not being able to keep up because of the shooting pain in my leg. I am going to google around today to see if I can find some exercises for it. I found great exercises to strengthen your leg but this feels like a stretching issue?

Coleen had some great tips and thinks it's a matter of strengthening and says it's probably the way I push off from my stride. She of course had the exact names of the muscles, but I've forgotten them already.

We'd gone about a mile when Coleen suggested a mini detour.

It was so absolutely beautiful out. And made me almost forget my little woe is me moment on the path a few minutes earlier.

That's me soaking it all in.

I'm proud of us for getting out there! One step at a time, Bethany, one step at a time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Not so healthy

I'm still dreaming about that jambalaya! I don't think it was particularly healthy though. I'll have to see if I can make a healthier option so I can eat it more often. My roommates are such good cooks!

Since it was movie night, J started us off with a heaping bowl of freshly popped kettle corn. Admittedly we both thought it was so much healthier than it was. (I can dream right?)

When J first glanced at the box she thought it was 180 calories per bag. But upon closer inspection we saw there are 3 servings of unpopped kernals in each bag. Although, since it's in pre-wrapped bags we don't ever see the unpopped kernals.

I had to share this nutrition label (see pic below) because it was just so confusing.
While it gives you the calories for 1 cup popped, there are actually 4 cups in each serving and 3 servings in each bag. So 12 cups in each bag.... Right? Is this confusing to anyone else but me?

Typically I find nutrition labels pretty easy to navigate, but this one is a doozy.

I hear they are going to start putting calories and fat grams on the front of packages so customers can get a quick snapshot. Would that help you when you are shopping? Would it motivate you to leave higher calorie eats out of your cart?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit begins

Our house has been all abuzz. For the last few days the house has smelled so wonderful and delicious as my roommate J zips around the kitchen, cooking and prepping. It's Chinese New Year, the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit and tonight I was invited to partake in the spoils.
Heaping bowls of jambalaya, curries, pastas, wines, ciders, s'mores, kettle corn.
Not a "traditional" feast perhaps, but a spread that would make anyone swoon.
I don't even know where to start with logging tonights feast.

J says that today is setting the tone for the whole year. Oh dear.
I had a late morning and was rushing to court (day 2 of jury duty).

I stopped for a Chai and left with that plus a blueberry scone (22 grams of fat and 460 calories). Then instead of catching the bus as I'd intented (parking is near impossible near the courthouse), I took a cab, lest I face the rath of the judge for being tardy.

This messy morning felt all too familiar last year. I'd be heading to work, grasping at things that I knew would keep me afloat. Even if these things were costly to my pocketbook and my waistline.

According to this site, the year of the Rabbit is marked by "A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year." Funny, I feel like I'm just starting this fight. So maybe it's an invitation to stop struggling and look at how I can ease into this journey. Making choices little by little that lead me where I want to go.

I don't want messy mornings marked by chaos.
If I could have a do-over my morning would have gone something like this:
7:15am wake up before my alarm feeling quite well rested. Stretch.
7:20 Start coffee brewing and head out for a 20 minute walk.
7:45 Fix oatmeal, eat and hop in the shower.
8:00 Finish getting ready, grab pre-packed lunch
8:30 Head out the door and catch bus that is perfectly timed and pulling up as I arrive at the stop.
8:50 Arrive at courthouse with 10 minutes to check email or read or just sit and breathe.
But it didn't go like that at all. And that's okay, it's just that I think I make better decisions when I'm not rushed and stressed. Don't we all?

What about you? What's your ideal morning like?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

3rd time is the charm (almost)

Just a quick post before my heavy eyelids close for the night.

I reread my last post about our training and I want to be sure I clarify that I did not run all 40 minutes! Not yet anyway! But I did finish all 40 minutes and I was so proud of myself for being there and moving along, even if it was slow.

Tonight was our 3rd training! After a day of being indoors and hardly moving from my seat (I had jury duty), I was actually excited to work out.

Wednesday's are track workouts. Coleen and I headed back to Kezar for a warm up run, a dose of "track etiquette", and our first timed run with the SF marathon training group. There were several groups working out at the stadium and it felt like a totally different place at night, surrounded by elite runners training for triathalons and the like.

No matter! I made it there! This marks a total new record for me. I've never been a consistent runner and 3 times in one week just amazes me! I ran almost the whole mile with only a tiny bit of walking. I am excited to report my first time.

2/2/11 Timed mile/ Track run 15:42

Most of the other trainees were far faster but I actually didn't do too much comparing. I think I was just so focused on getting one foot in front of the other, I didn't have time to worry about being lapped by the other runners.

Coleen told me that one of the trainers had stopped her on the way out and said "You and your friend looked great out there. You kept a nice even pace. Way to go!"

I'll keep you updated as we progress! Our next training is Saturday morning at 8am! Yowsa!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sign me up!

You know I loooove me some Oprah!

Don't panic. This isn't my tattoo. Apparently there are a few others who love Oprah too...

I am signed up for every mailing list on Every day emails pour into my email box from Oprah herself (c'mon, let me pretend...), each one bursting with tips to live your best life.

Today's email asked "What's Holding You Back From Feeling Great?"

Good question, right?
According to this article the three things that contribute most to your sense of feeling good are:
Confidence, Freedom, and Connection. I'll buy that.

They even offer a quiz to help you identify gaps, where one or more of these 3 elements could be lacking.

You can take the quiz here as part of "The Feel Good Challenge"

The quiz focuses on fitness, diet, and stress.

In the Fitness category I scored low in my fitness confidence, and high in my fitness freedom and connection.

They broke it down by saying I'm open and excited to try new types of exercises (this is true). And I feel like I have folks I can turn to for support (like you all!)

The fitness confidence being low was interesting to read. The low score summary said that maybe my goals are unrealistic or are not matching up with my motivation or inspiration. I definitely feel like taking a closer look at my goals was crucial. It helped to put things in perspective for me and focus on what I really want, and that's to feel healthy and more connected in my body (no matter what the scale says).

I loved the recommendation given; "kick off a positive feedback loop". Once you've achieved a goal (no matter how small) you can totally build on that success to help move you forward. I want to be sure to build milestones into my goal so that I can celebrate successes along the way.

In the diet section, I scored High in the confidence, freedom and connection categories. This was a surprise since I feel as if my food is the area I struggle with most.

Same with my stress section, high in all three areas! This was definitely not the case tonight when I ate not one but three donuts on my way home. I had resisted when I was on the way to my friends house, but on the way home I had a headache and I was tired and the stresses of the day somehow felt like they would disappear on the other side of consuming a donut.

This is almost never the case.

Usually even if I'm eating something I know isn't going to help the situation, I'm at least semi enjoy it. The yuck feeling comes later.
Right after, I usually just feel discouraged and wonder where the pause button was.

Confidence, Freedom, and Connection. Definitely food for thought.

Image of Oprah tattoo found here
Donut spread image found here