runner girl: week 4 (grief)

Sometimes you’ve just got to survive.

EXERCISE

We did not complete the fourth week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. This was supposed to be a “recovery” week and it happened to fall while we were scheduled to be out of town. Exercise while traveling is already difficult, but I had high hopes of sticking to the plan. Unfortunately, life took a different turn.

Monday morning, the 14 year old, my mom, and I rose early and hit the road. Mom did part of the run/walk with us, which was fun. I was sweating up a storm due to the humidity, which isn’t something I’m used to since living in Colorado. Later, we played in the pool for a few hours, and while that didn’t count for many steps (not sure how it knows I’m not walking when I’m swimming or treading water), it was a good additional workout.

I thought maybe I had injured my big toe (tripped) a couple of weeks prior (I’ve broken it before), and by Monday evening it was really bothering me. So, I decided not to walk on Tuesday, but rather swim with the girls and my mom instead (the guys were working at a golf tournament). This proved to be a good thing for my body. It needed a break and I wasn’t too worried about it since I had planned to continue the schedule the rest of the week.

Well, I was awakened early Wednesday to the sound of my mom rushing through the house. My grandmother had taken a bad turn and she needed to get on the road to be with her (an almost 3 hour drive). While I helped mom get ready, she got another call… the call. My grandmother was gone.

I no longer cared about anything but helping my mom. Yes, in hindsight, going out for a run after mom left probably would have been helpful, but I just didn’t care. I ended up caring for her animals and sifting through pictures to gather some for the funeral. I spent most of Wednesday crying.

My family stayed at my parents’ house until Friday afternoon so we could care for their livestock, and then we headed over for the visitation Friday evening. Most of Saturday was funeral, more visiting with family, and the drive back to my parents’ house. This is a stark contrast to the 90th birthday party we had planned for her on Saturday.

There were moments when I thought about the run/walk schedule and wondered if I should have pressed through anyway, but I had to reach a place where I let it go. I needed brain space for other things and I chose to release the workout plan.

NUTRITION

What I refused to let go of though, was my food boundary. By the end of the week, I reached 35 days on the nutritarian diet and it was far from easy. Just being out of my normal routine is difficult, but couple that with the fact that I generally cave at some point when I’m at my parents’ house… it was already a challenge to keep my mind in the right space.

Then my grandmother died. Then more overnight traveling. Then restaurants. Emotional and temptation overload. It is only by the grace and strength of God that I didn’t cave. There were times when I had to wait hours to eat because what was available wasn’t within the nutritarian guidelines. Others were eating… the smells… oh my Lord in heaven, I prayed and prayed…. and prayed some more.

I did get emotional and cranky once, which was brought on by grief, temptation, the smell of Mexican food, and hunger. I had to apologize for my rudeness and thankfully they were understanding.

I had gone into the week with the resolve of “I will not break my boundaries… no matter what!” Of course, I also had no idea what the week had in store. Had I known, I probably would have decided to take the week off and resume next week. Coming out on the other side though, I can say with absolute certainty that sticking to my boundaries actually helped me to grieve properly. Instead of stuffing my emotions with food, I felt them, processed them, and took them to the Lord for comfort. This is new territory for me, but I feel like I’ve come away with increased confidence.

My resistance muscles were worked really hard, and with God’s help, I am stronger for it.

I didn’t take my scale out of town with me, so I don’t know if I released weight or not. I think I probably did, but it isn’t unusual for me to swell initially when I go to lower elevations. I was afraid if I had swelled due to travel, and it showed on the scale, I might not stick to the program while away. I’ll weigh again next week though.

runner girl: week 3

Now it feels like we’re beginning to make some progress. Three weeks is a significant benchmark in any habit change process.

EXERCISE

We completed the third week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. Jogging three consecutive minutes at the top of each interval was tougher than I had hoped. My body just couldn’t seem to find a groove for some reason. I tried to remind myself to go slow though. The husband stayed in the back of our little formation, which helped some, although it was somewhat stressful to hear so many foot strikes behind me.

The workout on the 18th was the most difficult. We had to go downhill, with the wind on the outbound part, and uphill into the wind on the return. The 15 year old remarked that if we jumped into the air, the wind would probably push us backward. My legs were screaming during the fight to maintain some semblance of a jog. Plus, it appears maintenance has dumped a bunch of rock/pebble/sand on the trail and it felt like we were constantly battling tripping/twisting hazards and sand pits.

So, I know this sounds totally negative, but again we felt like rock stars because we only encountered one other runner on that morning. I told the kids, “This is what makes you a runner – when you get out in these conditions and tough it out to the end.” Hopefully next week will be a little easier.

I was genuinely trying to earn a couple of available Garmin Connect Badges this week and walked away with the 20K Steps Badge, I Am The Night Badge, and Challenge Champ Badge.

I have been very sore and probably need to be more diligent about foam rolling.

NUTRITION

28 days on the nutritarian diet. I think, for the most part, the cravings have subsided. If they come, it’s a very fleeting thought. Another thing I noticed this week is that I am finally sleeping better (and through the night most nights). Thank you, Jesus!

My eyes look brighter most days, but I’m still battling “fat eyes” frequently. I struggle with the fact that all I can see is how overweight I am (I call this fat eyes). I get it no matter how big or small I am, so I must renew my mind and talk to the Lord about it frequently. The enemy and my flesh try to convince me that I’m not doing enough and I should be looking better faster. God reassures me that I am doing all I can and I need to trust Him with the results. Before I weighed Friday morning, I was convinced I had gained weight. You see, I don’t feel like I look any different than I did four weeks ago. Even though some of my clothes are clearly too big for me now, I just cannot see it yet.

My body released another 1.2 pounds this week, which is a blessing considering I’m working with a crazy thyroid. That’s 11 pounds in less than 4 weeks (weighed Friday), so clearly something must be getting smaller even if my eyes try to convince me otherwise.

runner girl: week 2

It feels like the weeks are flying by faster and faster… I sure hope not though!

EXERCISE

We completed the second week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. I did not enjoy the third one (5/12) because I felt like I couldn’t breathe through the whole thing. We were running at a slightly higher elevation and the grade was slightly steeper, but obviously at a faster pace too. The husband pushed us a bit without realizing it, so I think he’s either going to jog at the rear of our little group or jog on his own in the future. After that workout I am dreading the next one, and I don’t need that mental hurdle right now.

I’ve been feeling really sluggish around 2 pm every afternoon and Tuesday was really bad. I can probably thank my thyroid issues for this, but normally I would go to the kitchen for some kind of “pick me up” to make it through the rest of the day. Since we’re not snacking between meals… and 2 pm is obviously not a normal mealtime… I crashed on the sofa. I didn’t know what to do about it, I just knew I felt miserable. So, I spent some time working on my Bible study and I prayed. I ended up googling thyroid stuff for a bit, but just couldn’t find anything in cyberspace to help immediately with the intense fatigue.

Then, as I lay on the sofa in lethargic frustration, the thought came to me that I haven’t done a T-Tapp workout in a while. I argued with myself that working out requires energy… energy I didn’t have. I don’t know if it was divine intervention or what, but I found myself rising and heading for the TV remote. I loaded up the 15 minute basic workout (plus). Normally, I would fast forward through the intro, but I didn’t that day. I’m sure I listened to the intro when I first got the DVD, but I didn’t remember her saying that the workout helps with autoimmune disorders… thyroid… etc. I know her book talks about those things though so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Suddenly, my “can’t want to” changed to “I’m willing to try”.

Painfully aware that it had, in fact, been a while, I pressed through to the end, and by the time Teresa Tapp announced we were finished, I felt much better. My eyes were brighter even.

On Sunday, when the fatigue hit, I just gave in and took a nap (which I rarely do).

NUTRITION

Another week on the nutritarian diet. One thing we’re realizing is that we can celebrate without it being centered around food. We had a date night… we stuck to the plan. Our oldest daughter came home from college for the summer… we stuck to the plan. Mother’s day was Sunday… we stuck to the plan. It was actually nice not to experience a food hangover or worry about how what I ate might affect the scale.

I’m not saying off-plan foods didn’t cross our minds, certainly they did, but it really wasn’t that difficult to resist the temptation. I like feeling better more than eating those old foods. Plus, renewing my mind about why I wanted them really helped me see that the reasons were silly and fleeting.

My body released another 1.6 pounds this week, and I’m certainly happy with that. I think my clothes feel looser… at least some of them anyway.

runner girl: week 1 (take two)

My emotions have been all over the place this past week… taking its cues from the weather I guess. Crazy weather (crazier hormones), but we managed to stay the course.

EXERCISE

We got in all three scheduled workouts (The Beginning Runner’s Handbook), and added two more people to our little walk/jog group. We ran in the cold and rain this week, and decided we felt hard core for doing so. Plus, we had to work around an out of town jaunt to experience the Newsboys united tour concert.

I’ve added my daily step total to the spreadsheet. Obviously, I do more walking than what is indicated by formal workouts. Since I’m actively trying to reach my step goal now (10K/day), I thought it should be listed. Nothing super exciting to report from this week, except that attending a concert is very conducive to racking up steps.

I did earn a few more Garmin Connect Badges in the past two weeks. I think the coolest one was called “well oiled machine”, which I received for improving my running VO2Max levels.

I’m not paying attention to those numbers right now (although, eventually I will care), but it’s cool to get notified that something improved.

NUTRITION

Yes, we’re still doing that nutritarian diet thing. Even more impressive is that we were able to do it on a weekend road trip. How? We took our meals with us. That’s right, I planned ahead and packed all our food for two days.

Normally, we eat in the car, but it’s rather difficult to eat a salad while you drive, so this time we built in a little extra travel time to stop and eat lunch both days. We ended up eating outdoors in the sunshine and it was such a nice break in the drive. One of the times we even ventured off the beaten path to a quiet little park… birds chirping… breeze blowing… lovely.

I cannot tell you how badly I wanted junk food over the weekend though… oh my goodness! Clearly, snacking while on a road trip is heavily ingrained in my system. We did chew gum, which helped a bit.

After the concert, we were exhausted and my mind kept going to our normal routine of grabbing take-out on our way back to the hotel. We had eaten the Tailgate Chili I brought at the hotel before we headed to the venue, but we were so hungry after hours of worshiping with the Newsboys.

Of course, after singing about breakthroughs (Zealand) and being free (Peter Furler, Newsboys), I certainly knew I wasn’t going to cave, but I was genuinely famished… and sweating (Texas is warm). Fortunately, the 14 year old had made us a “strudel” recipe she found in my Eat to Live Cookbook. So, we had that instead instead of our usual junk feast. Yum!

Sunday, when we rolled back into town, we had to shower and head back out for the 15 year old’s piano/voice recital. I cannot even begin to describe how strong the urge for french fries was. I was whining about it to my husband, but mentioned I was afraid I’d gain weight if I ate them. He replied by asking me if french fries were good for my thyroid. Um, no, not at all. Well played, Husband!

Plus, I truly feel God has asked me to give up certain foods for now and eating french fries would certainly be acting in disobedience for me. We didn’t have french fries, but we did have a frozen fruit “dessert” that the 14 year old made in our own kitchen that night.

So, how did the scale pan out last Friday? My body released 1.2 more pounds. At first I was a bit disappointed, but then I renewed my mind about the scale and was able to thank the Lord instead of grumbling. The fact that the scale is actually moving should be a celebration when you’re working up against thyroid issues.

Another week has passed, and now it’s time to focus on the current one.

runner girl: walking resumed

Well, that illness really knocked me back a bit, but I’m thanking the Lord I was able to resume walking, plus, pay closer attention to what I stick in my pie hole… which wasn’t pie this week (more about that later in this post).

EXERCISE

I hadn’t planned to walk 7 days, but the weather was so incredibly nice after we got out of church on Sunday. The sunshine called my name and I just could not refuse.

Still not a speedy walker, but you know what, I don’t care. It felt good to move. There’s nothing like forced rest to really make you appreciate the ability to exercise. Remember, this runner girl wants to run again and our journey through The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule should start over next week… so exciting.

NUTRITION

I did a lot of praying as we resumed the nutritarian diet because I know it isn’t an easy program to adopt (I was doing this before our house flooded April 2017). The husband agrees that I’m in charge of the food… so, using this power, I’m being very picky about what I purchase. Have the kids complained? A little. Overall though, they’ve all been very supportive.

One thing I do differently, I allow for some raw honey (my parents keep bees). While sick, I began having a morning cup of hot lemon/honey water instead of decaf coffee. I needed to eliminate coffee anyway and this is a better option for me. Besides, it’s not that much honey… especially when compared to the amount of refined sugar I consumed before. If you’re thinking, but won’t that affect your weight loss, check this out…

My body released 7 pounds in the first four days. Soooo, clearly the honey wasn’t my problem. I normally weigh on Friday so I had the husband check the scale and tell me the difference. He thought it was for a week and said, “Wait, what? This is just in four days?”

We ate a lot of salad and I made two batch soups for the week (we have 4 people in the house doing this). The thing that changed from day to day was breakfast and maybe “dessert” (blended frozen fruit based stuff). Doing a salad bar prep a couple of times a week was so helpful and I will continue it.

There were a couple of times I mourned the loss of my old favorite foods, but thankfully I was able to renew my mind and move past it. Seven days off my old food drugs and feel more in control of my thoughts and actions.

Ok, another week down… moving on!

runner girl: cough, cough

I haven’t been this sick in a really long time. It’s been over a week, I’m still dealing with it, and it’s moved into my chest now. I spent most of the last week laying around, but I wasn’t completely unproductive (more about that later in this post).

Needless to say, my quest to complete The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule is off to a rocky start. At first, I was really angry about this, but it’s a good thing I’m currently going through Barb Raveling’s new Bible study, RALLY. The Taste For Truth Support Group (Facebook) is going through this and last week we were on the chapter about letting go of your “have to haves”. Realizing the reason for my anger was my death grip on my “have to haves” helped me to relax a bit and just rest.

So, as you might have guessed, my spreadsheet was rather unimpressive this week:

The plan for next week is to get some walking in and pray this nasty bug leaves soon. I’m also returning to a nutritarian diet. My immune system seems to be out of whack, so merely being vegan isn’t enough. I’ve read several of Dr. Fuhrman’s books, but recently checked out The End of Dieting as a means of reigniting my motivation. During the foggy days of illness, I’ve also been perusing Kristen’s site, Hello, Nutritarian, for added inspiration. Love her fridge photos!

In February, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and while I don’t agree with her spiritual views, I’ve been “magical tidying” my house since February 5th. It’s not a quick process, but lately I’ve been working on my “Kitchen Komono” (as she calls it).

Using Kondo’s method of “Tidying Up” (keeping only what sparks joy), Kristen’s inspiring fridge photos (which are gorgeous), and other tips gleaned from the myriad of books I’ve read, I am starting the day with a fridge full of veggie goodness:

And my dry goods “pantry” organized:

I’ve placed most of the non-nutritarian stuff out of immediate eye-sight to keep the temptations at a minimum as well. I also have a small pantry pullout with canned beans/veggies for convenience meals, but most of what I eat will come from these two places. This little bit of organization took me a week because I’d work for a few minutes and then have to rest… of course, there were whole days where I hardly got out of bed.

I had the husband record my weight this morning, but I don’t plan to look at the scale for a bit myself. My goal is to eat for health and let the weight-loss be a nice side effect. So, while I do want to know what’s happening there, I’m hoping weighing blind will lessen the scale’s impact on my life.

Well, that was last week 🙂 Hoping to get this runner girl back on the road soon!

runner girl: week 1

Well, the first week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule began great, and then we had a weather detour in the program. Still we managed to complete all three workouts this week.

I feel like I probably look ridiculous when I “run” as I’m trying to keep it slow. I looked up several videos on how to focus on proper form and go slow. I’m convinced I look silly, but I didn’t care because I was getting out there and doing it.

The husband and I felt a little under the weather, but it didn’t seem bad enough to skip getting in the workouts. In fact, I felt recharged after, which is highly unusual for me when I’m first starting back to running. Usually I feel pretty worn out and am dreading going out again, but not this time. Going much slower proved less taxing and more motivating.

Plus, my new Garmin Forerunner indicates I’m getting stronger – that’s always encouraging. I even added a bit of jump rope for good measure.

Unfortunately, the week didn’t end as well as it began. Frigid weather (and snow) blew in again on the 13th and we probably should have forgone the workout in the cold on the 14th (although Garmin gave me a Frosty Badge for that one). The workout itself wasn’t difficult, but my body went through some dramatic temp extremes during it. It didn’t once cross my mind that I might have already come down with the 15 year old’s cold (had already gone through the husband and the 13 year old) and any bit of strain would push me over. Well, I was down for the count shortly after we got back and spent all of the 15th in bed.

I hoped this would help me recover more quickly than everyone else, but you’ll have to wait till my next post to find out if it did. Most of this week, I stuck very close to eating Nutritarian… not perfect, but close. That came unraveled once I realized I was truly sick though. There are go-to foods that being sick triggers a craving for and I gave in.