Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Running, Eating and Momentum

I am on a roll.  And that's a good thing.  In the past I've written about things being so much easier when your motivation is high, how it's almost like riding a bike downhill. Well, I'm riding that bike and the wind is in my hair and I'm entirely feeling the wheeeeeee!!

Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner.  We went to a cafe that serves California type foods.  We were seated next to where the servers pick up the food and I eyeballed a plate of fried chicken coming out of the kitchen.  Yum, I love fried chicken.  But I remembered how restaurant fried chicken often disappoints me, unless they really know what they're doing it's often dry and lacking in flavor.  That memory was enough to move me on to other ideas.  Part of this journey is identifying that not all foods - even one you might call a favorite - are good all the time.  There is such a thing as bad fried chicken.  Plus I had an 8 mile run planned for the morning so something a bit more carby seemed like a good idea.

So I settled on the angel hair pasta with shrimp and tomato.  I ordered it with a request for light use of oil.  And I ordered a side of sauteed veggies, also asking for light oil.  While I was eating my meal I realized the two would go lovely together so I tossed the veggies in with the pasta and voila - a good dish just became great.  This also reminded me of something I've done a tiny bit of reading on, the concept of Volumetrics, which is based on the knowledge that we tend to eat the same volume of food throughout the day, even if the calorie count, the density, etc, varies quite a bit.  Turns out, the amount of food we eat has a greater impact on how full we feel than the number of calories in the food.  So Volumetrics has you bulk up the volume with veggies, broth based soups, etc.  It's not really anything new, right?  Eat more healthy foods, but it's a good reminder to fill up our plate with fruits, veggies, etc.

Reminds me of a study that showed if people ate a broth based soup before their meal they ate less during their meal.  I could have told them that but a study is always nice to reinforce it.  The take away on that is if you show up to a restaurant starving try to start with a broth based soup if it sounds healthy.  Anyway, back to my eating.  Here's a picture of my pasta dish - doesn't it look yummy?

I ate the whole thing and then we went to frozen yogurt.  What with my planned 8 mile run I decided it was a good time to indulge.  Sunday morning came bright and early, I was up at 6:30am and on the road toward Cavallo Point - a picturesque spot near the north end of the Golden Gate bridge - by 7:15am.  I met up with a group of folks that organize runs for both fun and exercise/training. I decided to try this run with NO energy supplements to see if it improved my GI issues.

This was my view from the parking lot.  It was a chilly morning, probably in the mid-50's.  Ok, chilly by my California standards.  I know my readers in the east are laughing at my definition of "chilly".  We ran a route that took us up and over the bridge.  Some people were running 6 miles, some 10, and we ran at various paces so it wasn't long before I was running solo, which I expected.  It's easier actually.  I took in the tourist watching, the view and enjoyed the fog clearing a bit as the morning went on.  Here's my route:

Golden Gate Bridge Route, Full Garmin Stats here
I ran the 8 miles in 1:26:55 for a 10:52 pace.  I felt great, even with the hill up to the bridge just about doing me in on the first mile.  After the run I picked the kids up from the soccer field where they'd been playing with Miguel and took them home.  Unfortunately the run caused my memory to glitch and I totally forgot to take them to a birthday party at noon.  But the good thing is they got invited to a late afternoon birthday party at the last minute so we went to that.  They had a great time playing in the sand and kicking around the soccer ball.  I spent a good amount of time just watching them play.  As well as having a few handfuls of chips and guacamole.  I passed on the beer though, I think it would have put me to sleep.  Here's my angel covered in sand.  We took her shirt off to clean her up but she just dove back into the sandbox!

With all the chips and guac I tried to go a bit light on dinner, having some red beans, avocado and pico de gallo.  But that left me feeling unsatisfied, physically but mostly psychologically.  I just felt that it wasn't enough food, especially given the running, so I started trying to talk myself into eating and ended up piling a plate full of leftover chow mein.  I was about to eat it when the kids distracted me.  Thank goodness, it gave me pause - "Why are you eating that crap?  You know it's not what you need.  It's fine if you're hungry but make a better choice than chow mein." - so before I had a chance to regret it I scurried back into the kitchen and put it down the garbage disposal.  Whew!  In the end I had a bowl of Kashi GoLean with cinnamon and Almond milk.  MUCH better choice and one I felt good about.

Monday morning and I'm back at it.  I had a physical therapy appointment...took a picture for you guys!  This is Kate helping me do the Bird Dog.  She's helping me to focus on building up those stabilizer muscles, keeping my core tight, etc. 

After meeting with Kate I spent some time with the trainer doing the rest of my exercises.  She asked me about my other stuff I do at the gym.  I'll spare you the details but in summary she said I need to cut back on more than just my ab stuff.  A lot of my other weight training exercises are too much for my back right now.  I have to "go back to basics".  You could have heard me whining and whimpering from the parking lot I bet.  But I just have to remember this is to get me well, and I really want my back to stop hurting, so I agreed to cut back more on some other stuff too (like dumbbell flies, I am going down to five pounds).

Lunch was a salmon cobb salad with the dressing on the side (hold the cheese).  It was super yummy and with a big glass of water I felt very satisfied. After work I hit the gym and did 25 minutes on the upright bike, Level 8, and legs/shoulders/core after.  I don't mind saying I rocked the gym - well, as best I can given all my back stuff. 

In the evening I had dinner plans to go over mother's club business.  My mother's club volunteer duties are almost over.  I'll still be volunteering but I won't be a co-director anymore.  So we were meeting to make next year's budget.  I'll miss the social aspect but I won't miss all the meetings, emails and phone calls.  At the restaurant I debated on ordering a glass of wine but in the end decided I'd rather have dessert.  I had a steamed clams app and then a chop chicken salad for my entree.  I asked for the dressing on the side as well as some balsamic vinegar. I drizzled the vinegar on the salad and dipped a few bites in the dressing. Another satisfying salad.  Nothing on the dessert menu was calling out to me, plus I didn't want to dampen my good-eatin' momentum so I had a scoop of raspberry sorbet for desert.  Very good.

I have a few very exciting things happening with both my private practice and this blog.  I'm going to wait to announce them until it's more of a done deal but ohmygosh - we're going places people!  And I couldn't be more excited at the prospect of reaching more people, maybe inspiring someone to see that it CAN BE DONE if you want it and don't give up. 

Good restaurant choices, salads with dressing on the side.  Desert was raspberry sorbet, no alcohol.

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