Saturday, April 3, 2010

new workout idea!

Some days, workouts look like this:

And I think those are the most fun :)

It's spring break for the city of Minneapolis, which means I have a lot of bored kids on my hands. What did we do to solve that? Made pancakes and went to the park. What a blast! The weather right now is GORGEOUS, and it was so fun to just sit outside and play. This ended up being my workout for the day, and it was blissful. Who wants a sweaty, stinky gym when you can run out in the fresh air?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I watched both episodes of Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" last night and... wow. Blown away. I think it's going to be a weekly show? But being the bum I am, I always catch TV when it's free on my computer :) You can watch it here if you're interested- it is completely worth it.

It really made me think more about kids and food. I work with youth, and honestly their diets are disgusting. They coat EVERYTHING in ranch dressing. Everything. Risotto? Yup. Lasagna? Yup. All of it. The only way I can get them to touch a vegetable is if it's covered in ranch, and only then it's carrots and nothing more. Fruit? Rarely. And only if it's from a can, coated in syrup.

This show had Jamie Oliver, a world-famous chef, going into a school and trying to revamp their food lunch program. The kids hated his food, which wasn't surprising. The saddest part was watching a 16 year old boy get tested for diabetes. The family's eating habits had become out of control.

The whole thing opened my eyes to just what the kids of this world are eating- pizza for breakfast (literally), chicken nuggets for lunch, and then chicken nuggets for dinner. Mind-boggling. Our ever-beautiful First Lady has also started taking notice of our kids' health, and has started initiatives to get childhood obesity under control. I can only pray that something, SOMETHING, works. Otherwise our kids have a bleak future. Ick.

In lighter news, today it hit 70 degrees in Minnesota!

Being that March is typically the snowiest month, this is the highlight of my life. I love me some sunshine. Tomorrow I'm taking a bunch of my youth to eat pancakes and then to the park to enjoy the gorgeous ABOVE 70 day! It's their spring break, and they hate it- what kid hates spring break?! They say it's awful because it's boring. Oh, to be 13 again :)

Get out and enjoy that sunshine with a long, slow, thoughtful walk. You definitely won't regret it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

what's YOUR empty well?

I'm going through a counseling program at my church. It's wonderful and awful all at the same time. You basically deal with your emotions, the ones you shove way down and try and cover up with other things. Or you try and find your identity in something- your job, your body, a relationship, anything. You throw everything you have into it, thinking "if I could just get THIS under control, my life would be perfect!".

But it's an "empty well". You keep trying to fill it up, but it never works. So then you feel like a failure, like you're doing something wrong. So you push harder, put more into the well. But it's not working. You end up frustrated, miserable, and feeling like a horrible person. You're nasty to be around, and unhappy even with yourself. Recognize the cycle?

One of my "empty wells" is most certainly control in every aspect. If I can control x, everything will be roses! If I can control my food, I'll be happy. If I can get my work under control, everything will be perfect. If I could control my husband's choices, THEN we'd have a great marriage. If I just get my exercise under control, I'll finally lose weight.

The problem is there's so much more to it. There's so much underneath all of that, and ultimately, it's that desire for control that will be my demise, pulling me away from everyone and everything around me. I don't mean to be dramatic, but it's so true for me. The more I try and control my husband, the less time he wants to spend with me (who wants to be controlled?!). The more I try and control my food and exercise every second, the angrier I become with myself.

This was a light bulb moment for me! I still think it's perfectly ok to want to (and actively try to) lose weight. But there's a line between HEALTHY and OBSESSIVE. And you can cross it before you know it. By giving up the control I feel I need to have, and roll with the punches from time to time (re: no panic attacks when a food shows up that I don't know the calorie count for or I *gasp!* miss a workout), I'll stay on the right side of the line. Amen. Now I just need to put that into practice :)

Sidenote: I'm watching Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" online right now and I'm in love. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't wait to write more about it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

the return!

I'm back, finally! It was a short trip, but it completely wiped me out. We got in late Sunday night (after working all day Sunday, then traveling) and my friend picking us up from the airport got in an accident on the way- nice. She ended up cracking her radiator, so we had to pull over at a gas station and have her car towed. We finally made it back to her house about 1 am, and crashed about 2 or 2:30? Because I'm slowly (or quickly) becoming my Grandma, I woke up at 8 WIDE AWAKE.

Monday- we were off to a full day of New Orleans fun. We went to see my friend try on her wedding dress (I LOVE WEDDING DRESSES!), and had lunch at an awesome little hole-in-the-wall bar/po' boy shop. If you don't know the beauty that is a po' boy, let me enlighten you. Big crusty bread as the base, then you choose the protein (meat, shrimp, veggie, potato, turkey, pretty much anything!), then it's all "dressed" with a pepper/onion mix, mustard, mayo, geez. Needless to say I'm not at all surprised Louisiana is one of the unhealthiest States. I ate all the middle, but no bread. I just couldn't do it!

Tuesday- up bright and early to go visit my friend's school (she does Teach for America, which is like AmeriCorp to get great teachers into inner city "bad" schools) and it was humbling. The building was falling apart, they had NOTHING, and the kids were... tough. I just can't imagine. She's my hero! Then we were off to the French Quarter for the day and it was beautiful- such gorgeous weather. The Quarter is the classic area of Mardi Gras and what most people associate New Orleans with. It's wild, busy and the architecture is incredible. We walked and walked, and had a beignet (a little doughnut covered in powdered sugar) and eventually a daiquri. Which came with a shot of alcohol. I'm also not surprised everyone in New Orleans is drunk.

We ended the day with a great trip for ice cream (um, sorry Jesus. Lent doesn't count on Spring Break, right?!)- or sorbet in my case- that we ate at a park right across from Tulane University.

Then it was time to come home! So sad to leave. I love New Orleans so much, which surprises a lot of people. In the faith community, New Orleans is often thought of as "the Devil's city" and that its debauchery is not for the faint of heart. But clearly I don't go for that, and I find it's history and surroundings incredible. The architecture is unlike anything I've seen. The people are relaxed and friendly. And it's just SO MUCH FUN! Everyone everywhere is smiling and just so happy to be there. I love it!

And then I worked a marathon day yesterday. Nothing like being thrown right back in, eh? But today I have off, so that makes up for it :) As soon as I get some pictures I'll post them up for all to see. Until then, it's right back to healthy eating. I was really impressed with the balance I used on vacation. Sure, I ate some things that weren't the healthiest (French pastries, margaritas the size of my head) but I did something I don't normally do- I listened to my body. If I wasn't hungry, I didn't eat. I had a daiquri for lunch one day because it's what I wanted, and after finishing, I wasn't hungry. Not ideal, but the "old" me would have enjoyed a great FULL lunch because "I WAS ON VACATION!" This is the time for gluttony! But not this time- I ate when I was hungry, ate what I was craving, and stopped when I was full. I'm calling that a success!

Friday, March 19, 2010

stress + food = bad idea!

I have an addictive personality. I know that.

- I was overweight my entire life, and over 250lbs by the time I graduated

- I started drinking at 13, and binge drank regularly until I cleaned up at 16

- I stated doing drugs around 13 (I think?) and would binge on those as well

hmmm... seeing a theme here? I rarely have a "taste" of something. I marvel at the fact that people can have a bite of something and pass on the rest. I open a box of cookies? I eventually eat so many it just makes "sense" to finish off the box. Right.

Even to this day, I can have A drink- but the entire time I'm thinking about the next one after that. So I don't drink often. And I still have the same feelings with food; if I'm stressed out, my mind IMMEDIATELY thinks about the food I can eat to numb it.

It's kind of annoying; I'd really like to be over it. But alas, right now I'm not. I hope that some day I will be, but for now, I just have to keep trying to get better at dealing with emotions rather than immediately thinking about the vice I can use to run away from it.

All this heaviness to say, yesterday was stressful. And I wanted to EAT. Seriously, I was ready for a binge. Luckily my husband was around or I really think I might have. After talking with my husband about it, I just went to bed which was a huge help. Being awake was dangerous at that point!

It's a little frustrating that I still have that urge to binge, and not only that, that my mind instantly goes to food when I'm stressed. And honestly, my head thinks "Ooh, THAT will make me feel better!" and I have to stop myself and think- what on earth are you saying to yourself?! At least I'm getting better at recognizing it for what it is, that's a step in the right direction.

Today has been much much better. I'm hungrier than normal, which makes me think two long runs this week are catching up with me. So far today eats have been ok:

Breakfast- 1/2 c. oats with flax, almond butter, apple

Lunch- portabella chicken sandwich thing from Applebees (NASTY- ick. My mom loves Applebees, and I can't stand it. This was the best thing I could find on the menu, and definitely not worth it)

Snacks- 1/4 c. oatmeal with almond butter (I love this snack- so filling, most of the time- apparently not today though!), 2 rye crackers with laughing cow

Dinner- 1/2 c. lentil vegetable soup with a flatout wrap, a few bites of the crust of my husbands pizza :)

Snacks (what can I say, I love snacks!)- 1 cup thawed frozen berries, 1 fiberone key lime pie yogurt, unsweetened coconut, sprinkle of puffed rice and walnuts (so so good! the best I can do for a sundae when I'm not eating sweets)

I just guzzled two gigantic glasses of water in hopes that my stomach stays full. At this point, I could eat dinner. Again. What a weird hungry day! Love that tomorrow is Saturday. And I get to sleep in- triple word score.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

it's Thursday!

Which means:

I woke up, threw on some clothes, ran to work, inhaled a bowl of oatmeal (plain, cooked in water, which was surprisingly good- with a T. of peanut butter), work work worked, staff meeting, and inhaled this lunch:
(really really good for a frozen burrito!)

... and flew over to campus for my afternoon class, where I'll sit for 3+ hours, then jet off to pick kids up at school, go back across town to youth group until 9. Whew. Thursdays wear me out. It's all wonderful things and I love them though, which is KEY. I could never ever maintain my busy and hectic lifestyle if it were things I didn't want to do. I have a hard enough time some days where it seems like I haven't had a chance to breathe... and I LOVE what I do. Imagine if I hated it? Ick.

One year ago last spring I took a HUGE leap of faith and left my full-time teaching job. I liked it ok, but it was not at all what I wanted to do long-term. It was now or never, and I took the plunge; I quit, went back to school, became an intern (at 25- yikes) and learned to live a simpler life. We've given up a lot as far as monetary "things" go (we sold a beautiful home to rent, we can't go out for dinner like we used to, things like that), but I wouldn't trade it for a second. I had to really evaluate what I was doing with my days- time is so so precious. I needed to be doing something (or at least working toward) that I loved, or at least didn't want to claw my eyes out every day.

I'm insanely lucky to have an amazing husband who told me to jump- and held my hand right there the entire time, even when we had no idea what that meant! It's taken a year, but things are finally falling into place. I just forget sometimes how much courage that leap really took. I could have stayed at my job, I could have passed the time, I never HAD to finish my degree. But now? I'm so much happier. My anxiety (which was literally making me sick and wreaking havoc on my body) has gone away. I wake up so excited about what the day will bring. And the future? I still have no clue, but I'm really excited to see what unfolds :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a green snack!

... and I totally spaced taking the picture. Forgiveness please.

I finally got around to using the coupons for free Fiber One Yogurt we got at the PriorFatGirl meet up. They're not sold at Trader Joe's, so the fact that I actually sought these out is saying something in itself!

The verdict?

They're good, for what they are. I mean that in the nicest way.

The good?
- 0 WW Points (or only 50 calories)
- a great sweet alternative (I debated whether or not these fell into the "sweets" category per my Lenten goals, and decided they weren't)
- easy and portable
- actually filling for few calories

The bad?
- ingredient list longer than my arm
- many ingredients I can't pronounce
- expensive

I had one container over some thawed frozen berries and mixed in a little plain Greek yogurt to lessen the artificially sweetened taste. And sprinkled some unsweetened coconut on top. And a few rice puffs. It was a really really good snack! I don't know if I'd ever buy these with my own money, but hey, they were free. And the key lime pie flavor was a GREAT St. Patty's Day treat :)

Now onto the festivities! Wahoo! Our small group (Bible study-like hang out time) is having a "fun night" and playing games, bringing green snacks, and overall GREEN merriment. This is my FAVORITE holiday, not sure why. It's just so much fun! It's my first year not teaching preschool, and I'm feeling a little lacking in the fun shamrock times (I feel the need to stamp a shamrock out of a green pepper or make a green construction paper chain!), so tonight should make up for it :) Be safe, and have fun!