Saturday, December 22, 2012

Week 3 is good, eating off plan, and shin splints UGH

Just when I thought I might have to skip Week 3 for loss and jump to Week 4, this Week 3 was pretty good. I think I only have 2 days in, the third will be Sunday. But it wasn't as terrible after I had resigned myself to give up and attempt Week 4, that is before I actually looked at Week 4.

Week 4 has some 5 minute runs.

Lets go back to this week. The last few weeks have had no knee pain, but the interior front part of my shin (is the shin in front only?) is bothering me. Before it was just a thing you kinda notice. But this week it started while I was running and then for a bit afterward. Today, it was really hurting. I was able to run through it, maybe a 3 on the pain scale, no more than a 5. Thank goodness for the Wong Baker Faces Pain Scale. As I write this, they still kind of hurt. This is clearly getting serious.

Before I move on to the shins, I want to mention my killer cramp. I am always getting a cramp on my right side. I thought it was from eating or my coffee some mornings, but that's my liver, the stomach is on the other side. Apparently this is extremely common, at least for military PTers. And it's a side stitch. I need to do a bit more side stretches and really avoid eating or drinking. (see the link)

How to Avoid Stomach Cramps When Running

On to the shins. It could be anything from weak muscles to strong muscles. Correct me if you know something my Google search did not pull up, please! It's not my shoes, because those are brand new, well, they do not have 300-500 miles (!?) on them. I am lucky if I am pushing 50 miles at this point, over the course of a few months. My "run" is maybe 1.5 miles, which includes all my walking, warm up, and cool down time.

As for exercises, I already do the toe raises. I did find one that says to put toes together and heals out and do the raises. I will add that and see.

If minimal, shin splints are inflammation of connective tissue, which is what I thought when I felt it. Actually it felt like something was being slowly ripped from the bone. I guess it's all the same. Inflammation of the sinuses is pressure, in the airways is labored breathing (think of asthma, one type, anyway).

Causes: either 1) too much heal strike -Which I don't do now after my knee problems, I am trying to strike on my middle to front while visualizing a full distribution of weight on my foot and spreading my toes- or 2) overuse from push off with toes. (see link)

The Whole Story on Shin Splints

Guess it's No. 2.  The article also says treadmill use. Apparently I need to put the mirror next to me to make sure I am striking under my body or just behind it.

I am not running too much with no space to rebuild. I learned that the hard way the first few weeks and with my kneed problems. Not to mention I am battling laziness. I am lucky if I get 3 days in a "week." Guess I need to call my running buddy and ask for advice. Good thing she is a nurse, and my diet coach ;-)

Let's not talk about food. I underestimated the time I needed to reorder and I ran out of my diet food. Literally. Usually I have a week or two left over, just in case! I was debating going off it for a while to see, as you have previously read. But instead of loading up on groceries and stocking up on stuff to eat instead of the MF food, I was going to wait for DH to come home so I am not loaded down with food for him that might not get eaten and will therefore call to me.

What I did not foresee was my jump from healthy house food- I totally skipped healthier take out all together- to nasty fast food. I had a coupon, I decided to use it. I got something else there because I was STARVING and I did not want soda at breakfast. A bad time all around. I ate it and it was disgusting. I was so mad. I went through all my food coupons and through them right away! Now, by disgusting I mean that it was fine, how it should taste, but not what I wanted, not healthy, and not.... me.

I am proud of myself for that, for the not liking it part. But it's still a low point. I should have just spent the money and gone shopping alone instead of waiting to spend time with my husband an making better choices through peer pressure. Not that all of his choices are good, but it's still more helpful when someone is there to say," do you really need to be eating that? Don't sabotage all your hard work...."

And hard it is. I had planned to get on the treadmill (now that its getting to the 20's at night!) to walk every day I am not running. But on my non run days, I could be running-back to not having a schedule-and so I talk myself out of it because I don't want to run. Or I am hungry. Needless to say, I only got on the treadmill once to walk. I may have written about that. My body was so jonesing to run. I actually had to keep from saying, just one minute won't hurt... Yay, I am turning into a real runner.

Of course, I did see a post from a real runner, a friend on facebook, that he ran 20 miles today. Makes me sick. Haha, not really. But I do have along way to go. As I was stretching after my run, I looked down and noticed some skin and fat rolled over my ankles. Now, I have nice ankles, I always did. I used to hate how large my calves where, I didn't care that it was muscle. It just wasn't feminine, sexy enough. But the fact that the calves tapered to a nice, smaller ankle was redeeming, in the least. I really hadn't thought of it in that light until a gym class in high school. We were all nitpicking our bodies and to my calve complaint a very sweet girl replied, "at least you have ankles. I am skinny but I have cankles. There is just no shape. That is embarrassing." And she was right, they were what we would call canckles, but without the fat body to go with it. I never thought badly about my ankles after that. A few years ago I even accepted my calves.

Now they are kickass! Literally, since something is going on with my shins now....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Walking the Las Vegas Strip and Skinny Feet

Monday I ran. Then went to yoga. We had a sub, which I knew we would. It started out pretty minimal but by the end my legs were killing me. Our focus was on the Warrior poses, which need strong thighs. I should have taken a bath or jumped in a friend's hot tub. Bad, bad idea to run first. The entire time (which was not boring at all!) I kept thinking, sink deeper, don't run before yoga, sink deeper, don't run before yoga...

I made a delicious, absolutely delicious vegetable soup. Sauteed about 4 chopped green onions, 1 green peppers and about 10 fresh mushrooms in olive oil. Then added in 4 chopped zucchini. I put about a cup of water to help it boil down so I didn't have to stir it. By the time I checked it was a mush close to burning, but I bet that was the secret. I filled the pot up with water and add the chicken bullion and some garlic powder. That was it. After it cooked for a bit I threw in half a head of cabbage, shredded. I figured with minimal spice it would be blah, has in the past. Man, it was to die for.  I literally had to go to bed so I couldn't eat any more. 

Tuesday morning, the walk from my car to my office, about 100 meters, was torture. My leg muscles were killing me. I could even feel the "inner thigh" part. So, awesome yoga, really got the work out I needed, but I was dreading later tonight and the walking of.... dun, dun, dun, The Strip.
A friend from college came to town for a conference and we decided to get together on Tuesday. She wanted to try a buffet that had vegetarian options and didn't care about the price. I tried to dissuade her, noting that I had a car and could drive us anywhere. More for the cost, she had just spent a hot $20 for a salad because the buffet she had tried had minimal options for her. But also because I am not buffet starving lately. I am doing really good staying on track and not over eating.

So we walk the mile from her hotel to the location of the buffet. We tried the Wooden Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. I was very impressed. I was able to get my fill and not eat my usual of rice, beans, or breaded things. I did try the duck confit ravioli, two in a white cream sauce. I was actually walking right past the pasta section and headed for something green when I overheard two skinnies talking about how "they only have one duck confit left, we can come back later so we can both get one..." So I politely checked out the spaghetti and sauce and snagged it as soon as they walked away.

This was partially buffet mentality, one left! But more because I recognize duck confit from my travel and food shows. Had one of them taken it I would not have gone back for it. As a matter of fact, I ate one whole ravioli, the pasta was very nice, and took the stuffing out of the other. The sauce was good but I did not sop it up. Go me!

This was a small buffet by buffet standards here. I could actually find my seat again. I would definitely go back. The cheese selection was wonderful, I found kale salad, they had a huge bowl of giant crab legs that no one noticed, it was conveniently at the far wall. Had I not been with a friend and planning on going out on the town, I would have skipped everything else and mowed on that alone-politely taking only a few and returning. I hate people who take them all and leave nothing for anyone else. HATE is the word.

For additional food examples, they had wild boar sliders, leg of lamb-which was delic, just missing mint jelly-and a good bit else I cannot remember. Looking at what to me is high ticket items, I can see why the buffet was the price it was. But there was fancy silverware, good heft to it, and the server poured our water out of a fancy bottle on the table. The ambiance was really amazing. There was none of the rush around, feed your face, pressure to leave your table for the next group, feeling.

I did indulge in some desserts. What I liked was they were in tiny portions. And I used the Two Bite Rule. It felt like such a waste, but you only need two bites to get the full flavor and texture. So I sampled a few and left them. All delicious.

Now that I think of it, I tried a fancy mushroom risotto. That was very yum. But again, two bites. I tried a ... kidney shepards pie, scrapped off the potatoes- not bad, but still tasted like offal, so maybe I should have had a bite of the mashed potatoes- and liver. Bleh. I am going to keep trying liver until I find a way I like it. I think elk was also somewhere but I didn't try it. So again, the price to make these, and the presentation of the food, was amazing, and worth the money to try it. In my opinion.

After about 5 hours of chitchatting while eating and closing the restaurant, we walked the rest of the strip and checked out the insides of some of the casinos and hotels. We took the monorail as far as it would go. I could have walked but by that point I could feel a blister building somewhere near the ball of my food. A sock must have bunched in my sneakers. Yes, I wore sneakers, slightly more fashionable than running, but better for walking than heals or some such ridiculousness. I wanted to check out the Air Bar at the Stratosphere, but was worried they might turn away my jeans. We never made it that far, so it didn't matter.

I think I walked at least 2 miles that night. I was exhausted when I got home and Wednesday my legs were really killing me. My foot still hurt but no blister, at least not one which erupted. As soon as I felt it while walking the night before I was afraid for my Couch 2 5K. I didn't want another set back, and the bottom of my foot is not something I could run through.

I was not feeling the run on Wednesday so I pushed it off to today. I have lunch plans so pushed it off until later. Now its noon and I am starving and haven't heard back for the lunch plans. So maybe I should have just ran this morning and got it out of the way. This week only gives me 2 days instead of three to run. I guess as long as I do it my Week doesn't have to start on Monday.

I was starving when I got home yesterday. I had the soup, still delicious, and had bought some smoked tofu to try as my protein. Not bad. I cut a third of it as the portion size and then I thought to check my diet food chart. The whole package was 7.5 oz, into thirds. I need 15 oz of tofu protein for my daily lean and green. Crap! So I got to eat it ALL. It was like cheating, but not. I didn't add any other protein but I was able to get all my MF meals in so I wasn't too low for the day.

Trying to figure out what to wear today, I tried on a hand me down dress from a friend that I got years ago. I always had to squeeze into it, never actually got any farther than the bedroom. It was not stretchy at all. I saw it on the hanger and figured, Why not? Fit beautifully. Not too tight, loose enough for me to let my belly hang out. Wicked! Before it was like pigs in a blanket, now its loose so I can hide my hips without a girdle or stockings.

Actually I didn't gain a pound from the buffet, not one! I bet it was all that walking. 

I decided jeans and T depending on what we were doing. After a convo with a friend about unused dresses and shoes, I decided to throw on my go-to shoes. I love them, so comfy and fit me perfectly. My feet are too skinny. I walked right out of them. Such a sad non-scale victory. I am glad, don't get me wrong, but I did not get my wear out of them. And they fit perfect. It is so hard to find comfy, stylish, heals.

Actually, I just wore these our for our anniversary in October. So in one month I lost enough size in my feet that they do not fit. It is a bit cold in the house whereas before it was sweat drippingly hot. That may have something to do with it. But a sad day. Guess I have to go shoe shopping!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Measurements and MF TSFL support

Week 3 Take 2 finished today, in Take 3. But oh well. It was slightly easier. I really need to walk on the treadmill on off days to stay on schedule. This weekend pushed off Day 3 because I was hanging out with friends. Yay! I really tried to get it in yesterday but dinner was rushed and I was exhausted when I got home at 8 pm. I did, however, hang out in my workout gear all day trying to get to that end of the house.

Today was slightly easier, like 0.01. Still in my head, my body was a bit better with the run. My breathing is shallow but more even.

Someone I know here and through a facebook page posted looking for TSFL support. Knowing that that means my MF diet I private messaged her to say I am also on it. She asked if we could communicate and meet up to form a support network. I was touched and so much more motivated now that I am a sort of mentor. I offered with one woman stationed overseas, but she was lax in returning my emails even though she was the one to request. That is how it goes.

Back to this new chick, she has a coach but has not tapped into the resources available so I will try to mention that slowly in case she is interested. My sister did the diet plan and also had no idea, which is such a same. I found so much support through their various channels, and even made some friends across the country and around the world. Chat room, blog for only MF members, areas to log meals, calories, measurements, scale readings, graphs and reports for easy tracking, a profile to make personal and post pictures, and a message board to connect through, among others. I have been really lax in using it all which I am sure is why my weight loss has also become lax.

I should place another order but I want to wait until after the holidays. I am doing pretty good right now maintaining, and even losing while on a maintenance plan as opposed to the weight loss. Self determined and administered, I should say. 

So anyway, I decided to log into the website to familiarize myself with it in case this chick has questions.  I logged my weight this morning and my measurement, which I haven't done in well over a year.  Today minus in inches: Arm -1.5, Chest -2, Waist -4.5, Hip -6, Thigh -2.5.

For a cumulative total of Arm -2.5, Chest -4, Waist -6.5, Hip -9, Thigh -3. Not bad at all. I think I like these numbers better than the stupid scale.

 Arm -1.5, Chest -2, Waist -4.5, Hip -6, Thigh -2.5.
 Arm -2.5, Chest -4, Waist -6.5, Hip -9, Thigh -3.0

I think my plan for tonight is to eat some of my homemade veggie soup with tofu as protein. "Veggies" include green onion, mushroom, green pepper, zucchini, and cabbage. I put that in quotation marks as we all know mushrooms are a fungi. Then its off to yoga.

I need to swear off facebook for a while. My reading and movie watching, not to mention my two other blogs, are far behind where I would like them to be. I am staying up to all hours of the night which throws off my sleep and the rest of the day. So I am not surprised this past week was a bit of a drag.

Interestingly, I am reading through an old Science Illustrated magazine and found an article that details experiment data showing better cognitive function in adults and children who are more active than those in the control group. No wonder I am doing so well on my "Hardest" Sudoku puzzles. At least better than I was!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Droppin' Lbs's like its HOT

180.2 Woohoo. And that was after lunch out with the girls yesterday. I know, I know. It might jump up tomorrow, or even after I eat breakfast and have my coffee. But I just had a feeling, a skinny feeling.

After lunch yesterday, a friend and I went shopping. I had about 5 places on my list to hit and we made it to one and an extra because it was right next door. I need some new button down business casual shirts and at least one pair of jeans because one pair I own is just huge one me. Belt and all. The others are also showing signs of serious bagginess.

We went to Old Navy first. I have shopped there for years, even at my more healthy weights, because they were cut for rounder girls. I didn't have the rounds in all the place, but it was more affordable than other stores. I was on a serious budget with students loans and all the rest, you have to remember. So I grabbed two pairs of each style of jeans: a 16, which is probably what I am, but who knows since my other jeans are a different brand, and a 14, because hope against hope, I might fit in one and find the angels singing, lights flashing, music twinkling moment when I find the perfect pair, like I did when I first PCSed here.

Let me tell that story just in case it never made it to the blog. I had packed clothes to drive in, mostly workout shirts repurposed from older t-shirts, maybe something slightly nicer for dinner, and workout shorts or yoga pants. Welcome to the new base. We are invited out. I have no pants, save for my one pair of jeans not packed by the movers, which were to be comfy for driving or dinner. I was told there are no malls here. You have to go to the Strip. Not a chance. As it turns out there are plenty of malls, and relatively close by, just not as close as we were used to. Welcome to suburban sprawl, post strip mall eyesores. Good luck finding a strip mall. So I go and try on these new skinny jeans. Eh, and then one, a size 14 -WHAT? has the lights changing, the birds chirping, angels singing, the whole nine yards. Dude! But there was something on them. So I put them back and grab another off the shelf and head to the check out. Luckily, I bought others because when I got home, lets just say, every curve of areas that should not be seen, were. These were not the same size, cut, or shape as the ones I tried on. I was so crestfallen.

The backup was my size 16 capris. I was so excited to have capris again. I am very particular with my style, unless someone gives me hand me downs, because then I don't have to pay for them. I had one pair back in the skinny, healthy days... healthy, I was never skinny, but I like saying it...that I just did not like when I bought them, maybe they were a present. The color was strange, kind of acid washed. But man, did they fit me in exactly the right way. I grew to love them and hated the day I gave them away to be loved by someone else. These new ones were a good fit, just looked like regular jeans, compared to my fave pair which were, as I said, multi colored, and textured in some spots. Not just the color but the fabric bunched. And those had some serious fabric, not like some I am buying now... I need to move up in the world and go to a mall.

Shortly after the party and invites, I started noticing those newly bought capris just were not fitting, they hung a bit. I even tried to shrink them to no avail. So I belted them and dealt with the sag in the back instead of the dreaded too small crotch of the 14s. Plus, I had shorts, most of my jean shorts were stand up only. You know, they look great and fit when you stand up, but if you sit, forgedaboudit. This works with shirts, too. I am notorious (to myself) for putting something on, checking the mirror, great, and going out only to sit with friends or at work and have random button popping or spillage. You must check the yoga chair pose, or sit in an actual chair.

Back to present time. None of the 16s fit. Two of the 14 did not fit, too big. In stead of, what 5 styles, I came out with two 14s. With jeans you have to do the chair pose, because it can pucker in the back. These still did, they weren't amazing, but they fit in the right areas, it was nothing belt could not help.

Now, family and friends pay attention here. Actually, this is just for Mom and Karen, my sister. For once in my life my thighs are not the issue, its the belly bulge. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For most of my life, my muscular thighs made jeans of any style impossible. Think of sitting, walking, bending over. I would squeeze into them and probably looked like I had an impairment walking. They fit the bum, the belly, or more like under it, perfectly. More recently, I had more leg room because I was buying to fit my belly.

The Couch2 5K has paid off, which is what my friend said while shopping after she saw me go in with 10 pairs and come out with one. The legs are seeing the most change because I am targeting them, the rest is harder to mobilize. I also know that I pull a killer plank, with yoga twice a week, my core is solid which helps to make it look and be larger with a nice thick slab of fat over it. If only I were a brisket... Matter of fact my core always was wicked. My high school friends were wowed that they could stand full weight, both feet on my stomach and not fall or squash me. I was not surrounded by skinnys, this is a new norm. I might actually have a picture of that somewhere...

So I am describing my plight to my friend, who is boyfriend shaped, and we are commiserating in the clearance section. And then she tells me to try maternity clothes. She was prepared for me to be shocked, but I have bought maternity dresses and shirts before, although I did not realize it until I had them home and tried to figure out the size. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it! So she is explaining it to me and I am sure I looked incredulous, thinking my belly will be full hanging out. So I tried on one. They only had a bunch of size 12s. Fine, I'll try it. But at a 12, we shall see (keep in mind two pair of 14s already did not fit). WOW. Perfect. They covered where I needed it and then the stretchy fabric covered my belly and made sure the pants did not pucker exposing my undies. As I looked to see what it would like if it were exposed, I realized it would look just like if I had a cami or tank under my shirt. Score. Double score because the fabric went over my belly to act exactly as a cami or tank. I bought them!

After purchase we headed next door to Ross to check out the maternity pants. Apparently that Ross is quite a bit cheaper than the one by her house. The maternity pants did not cut it. Bulge in the wrong areas. One pair of jeans, maybe, but the pockets were almost on my side hips, probably for a much larger bum. MY BUM IS SMALLER NOW, YAY! Hey, I will take encouragement where I can get it, I have no qualms about comparing myself to a pregnant chick. You should have seen some of my skinny friends prego, they stayed skinny. We even found some dress pants, but the cut was just too small for me, again, down there, ugh. Oh well. I will just bide my time and fit into my Express 12s I bought decades ago thinking I would lose weight to fit them. Well, cross your fingers, I am on the fast track now.

I ended up buying a rather ugly shirt, but it was only $6 and good for a club or nice bar (ruined=throw it away with no guilt! If it survives the washer it will be a miracle). And a SIZE TWELVE, you heard it right, a size 12 Calvin Klein dress, 1950 style. 12. TWELVE. My new shopping buddy found it. Or maybe I did. But she grabbed it and put it at my hips and said, yup, it will fit, go try it on. I did to prove her wrong, but we were having fun flying in and out of the dressing room. Let's say first off, it was not going on. Full unzip, over the head, and rolling the fabric down. In dresses, if it zips over the belly the hardest part for me is the back. Not because I can't reach but I apparently have quite a bit of upper back fat that never seem to migrate to my breast in the front.  Maybe its a new evolutionary trait. Well, this dress zipped up. It was tight, didn't want to. But man did it fit.

I go out to show my friend and I can see out of the very corner of my peripheral vision the guys waiting for wives lose their jaws. As I am talking to my friend and we are debating the finer points of the dress fit, I am also listening to the guys chatter a whispered commentary. They were disagreeing with me that it was too small, too tight at the bum, my belly shows... It was amazing. Who needs gay friends when you can over hear a secret conversation of members of othe oppoiste sex saying you look great in terms that are completely respectable? The fact that these guys were debating it with each other almost made me bust out laughing. I saw noticeable smiles when I decided I would take it and promptly walked back into the dressing room. Of course, a gay friend would not have let me walk out with that hideous $6 monstrosity. And he would say, listen to the chatter, girl! Can't get more real that than! -And yes, you, I am channeling you. You know who you are.

Now it was tight, too tight for me. But some girdles, which I own, will whip those Jello hips into shape. I couldn't breath very well, but the belt buckled and my belly was actually not the problem. It was this stupid backfat. I had to buy it. It was only $40. Even if I just try it on at home, like The Blue Dress I posted about before. Shopper friend said its the perfect dress to take pictures in. One every week to show my progression. Now I just need to buy some shoes!

As I was walking to the cashier, I found another dress like mine for half the price. I picked it up, said friend held it, and they were similar, one had a bit of a collar, definitely a knockoff, if that is possible given the classic look of the dress. But it was my friend who said, oh feel the difference in fabric, and then put it to my hips and promptly said, No Way.  I like my find. Quality clothing with no, or minor (I didn't see any), blemishes, for an affordable price, score.  And a size 12! What?!

Results: three (3) new pair of pants and 1 dress. I might take some of the pants back. I really only need one. But I will wash all my jeans, which are now in laundry, and try them all on and see if any need to go. That will justify the jeans. Actually, I had a coupon in my email, so I saved $20. That was almost the price of the cheapest pair of jeans. 

Now, lets move on to this exercise plan. Today is my last day to run Week 3, Take 2. I am not ready to move on. I am still struggling with the time, my breathing, and it's just not easy yet. I have to accept the fact that I may miss my goal runs. Oh well, they will be here next year. Or I can travel to it if I am not here. I just want to make sure its easier, a breeze before I add to it. No point in pushing because I lack the motivation as it is. I am seeing results, I don't want to stop while I am on a roll.

I was starting to wonder how to run a 5K when the training is only 30 minutes. I think the point is to bring you up to par and then you work on the distance and speed once you can "run" straight through. We already addressed how my run is a friends fast walk. 

So next week will be Week 3 Take 3. Good thing the Arabic numbering system goes on ad infinitum. Maybe I will be ready to run my first 5K in the heat of the desert summer instead of cool of winter. Talk about skinny then!!