5 Diet Hacks . . .

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. . . That Aren’t About Food

Maybe hacks is too strong a word, but I know that these five things are so important that you are very unlikely to lose and maintain your loss until you’ve addressed most of them.

Last year I shared some of the ways that I maintain my weight loss in the post here. Today I am joining the Friday Five 2.0 from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share the hacks that will help you lose weight, but have nothing to do with food.

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It’s not about what you’re eating
I say this often: it’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what’s eating you. Just changing what you eat will never work long-run — you have to delve into why you’re eating that way.

Think about what you can add/Deprivation
Deprivation never works. It always back fires. Cutting out whole food groups rarely works long term, unless, of course, you have a health issue.

Instead of approaching your eating with the view of what you can’t eat, try to think about what you can add in:

  • More fruits & veggies
  • More protein
  • More vegetarian meals
  • More healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados)
  • More unprocessed carbs (sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, starchy vegetables)
  • More hydration

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Love yourself
Unhealthy eating habits often stem from not accepting yourself at any weight, low self esteem, and poor body image. Of course there can be many reasons, but how often have you thought “if I only weighed ______” or “looked like ________”, I’d be happy?

It’s not always easy to love yourself when you’re not where you want to be — I totally get it, because yes, of course, like most women, even at a healthy weight I can still struggle with it. Not all the time, but there are days, especially if my weight is up a little bit and I can see that in my face.

But just like running is almost 75% mental, so is a healthy lifestyle. Your thoughts control your actions. Working on self love is sometimes even more important than what you put into your body, because in the long run, loving yourself will help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Positive affirmations and meditation are both great tools to help you learn to love yourself no matter what. Self care is important, too. If you’re not taking care of yourself, what exactly are you saying to yourself? That you’re not worthy of being pampered? That you are the least important person in your world?

Make it a game
Eating healthy doesn’t always have to feel so hard. Sometimes having a little more fun with it makes it easier. That’s why I’m enjoying the Feel Great in 8 challenge so far — you get points for healthy habits, and each week during the challenge some categories (fruits, vegetable, protein, etc.), increases what you need to do to earn your points. Maybe that’s not your idea of fun, but it’s a challenge (hence the Feel Great in 8 Challenge) and I love a challenge.

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What is your why?
I saved the most important one for last. Why do you want to lose weight? What’s your motivation? Looking good is a given; we all want to look good. That’s probably not the real reason why — for the real reason, you have to dig deep. The good news is that once you find your why, you are more likely to be successful — as long as you keep that why in mind.

My why? Well, there are many. Yes, to look good. I worked and do work damn hard to maintain a healthy weight. I have more energy when I maintain a healthy weight — more confidence and self esteem, too, and who doesn’t want more of that?

My real why? To age well. I want to live better, not longer (although better and longer are the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). I have watched many relatives age, and not particularly well, including my parents. I know what I don’t want. I am willing to work hard for what I do want.

To come up with your own why, consider using the five whys, which might look like this:

  1. Why do you want to lose weight? So I can fit into all my cute clothes without struggling.
  2. Why is it important to you to fit into your clothes without struggling? So that I feel happy when I get dressed.
  3. Why do you want to feel happy when you get dressed? It makes my day seem easier.
  4. Why does it make your day seem easier? Because it makes me happy when I can fit into any clothes in my closet.
  5. Why does it make you happy when you can fit into any clothes in your closet? Because it makes me feel like a success.

Feeling successful is a good why, although it may not be your real why. Still, you can see how using the five whys (keep asking why about the answer you come up with ) will help you dig deeper.

You might also be interested in:

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

What is your why?

Are you looking to eat healthier?

What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss?

Danette May 30 Day Challenge Review

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Pancakes. Waffles. Chocolate covered strawberries. Pasta. Does that sound like punishment for you?

I have been following Danette May for several years. Several times a year, she runs a 30 day challenge, focusing on both mind and body. I have wanted to try it, but it was never the right time . . . I was always training for a race.

That was no different this summer. But I thought to myself “there’s never a good time” and it’s true. Life is always in the way, but I knew my clothes weren’t fitting the way they should and that bothered me.

I signed up for the August challenge — and I’m very happy that I did.

What’s included :

  • Price: $47
  • 3 Day Detox
  • Meal plans for 3 meals + up to 3 snacks per day (including vegetarian options for many recipes — although not many vegan options), released weekly
  • Weekly Meditations
  • Weekly workouts: Pilates and Bodyweight
  • A few motivational emails each week
  • A private Facebook group for support

3 Day Detox
When you sign up you get links to your materials. It includes :

  • A welcome email with a link to the private Facebook group and a overview of the program
  • An email with links to the meal plan, meditations, and workout plan/video
  • An email asking you to take some time to think about your “why”
  • An email detailing some of what you might feel

I didn’t have all the ingredients ready for the “detox” bcause I signed up the day before the challenge started — I recommend signing up a week before it starts (the next one is 9/18).

It is a detox, but not as harsh as many. So I winged it. Something Danette said you shouldn’t do in her introductory videos. Oh well. She also said you shouldn’t exercise hard during the first week — yeah, but I’m training for a half! Oh well again.

The first day is a lot of liquid and no solid food. Except I had some solid food. I did follow as best I could, but I subbed in a smoothie from a different plan, and added in one of the meals from the next day.

The second day was different smoothies (but everyday includes dandelion tea and that master cleanse drink — you know, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice,  and cayenne pepper in water?). Speaking of the detox drink, I didn’t have any cayenne pepper. So I just added ACV to my usual water with lemon juice in the morning (yes, that’s the first thing I drink).

Eventually I bought some cayenne and have been adding that in, too.

Oh, and I didn’t have any Dandelion Tea, either. Dinner, however, was solid food — but a light quinoa dish.

And the third day was supposed to have a smoothie for dinner, but a solid food meal for lunch. Again, I added extra food and moved things around.

The verdict: some of the recipes were tasty, some were okay but nothing was so bad I had to choke it down. Other people didn’t quite feel the same way.

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Lots of yummy food

Days 4 – 6
Once you get past the detox, you can swap lunch for dinner, snacks from one day to another, and so forth. Basically no sugars and no chocolate (other than occasional protein powder and cacao nibs).

I’m rather surprised that dairy is allowed. Not a lot, and not regular milk, but yogurt and cottage cheese and a small amount of regular cheese occasionally.

I rarely found myself hungry. I enjoyed the food. And cravings had already dropped off big time. And of course I particularly enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie dough balls. I also really enjoyed the bok choy bacon salad

Weigh in on Thursday (started the plan on Monday): -.8 lb

Week 2
Foodwise things get easier in the second week. While it’s highly suggested you stick to the plan, it’s also okay to switch a lunch for dinner, or a snack from one day to a different day — which means you can work more with leftovers and not have to prep nearly as much. I rarely did the meal plan exactly as laid out — I’m a rebel that way!

Things like oats and honey and/or maple syrup (in moderation) are reintroduced.

Still few cravings (and no chocolate, outside of cacao nibs) — if you can believe that! Again I really enjoyed so many meals, rarely was hungry, and rarely had cravings. A couple of my favorites from this week was the artichoke pizza and the banana walnut quinoa.

Danette does warn you that it’s not unusual to gain weight this week, which is exactly what happened to me. But just .4 lb. Which might also be due to the fact that I was feeling better this week and was able to exercise more — I’ll usually see a temporary increase if I’m exercising more.

The workouts, however, get harder. Because I’m training for a half marathon, though, I don’t end up following the workout schedule. And there is no adaptations for people who are training for something (and I never asked about that, either). With more food this week, though, and the reintroduction of some carbs, I found it was easier to fuel workouts properly.

Weigh in on Thursday: + .4

Week 3
Week 3 reintroduces . . . wait for it . . . chocolate! Yes, you get to eat some chocolate this week. The previous weeks had chocolate smoothies and a chocolate avocado pudding I really enjoyed, but this week it’s real chocolate.

There are also a couple of recipes using chocolate + coconut oil — I found both to be really good (chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered almonds).

Some of the recipes also repeat occasionally — which is good if you like leftovers — I do! The sweet potato antioxidant salad was so good I plan to serve it on Thanksgiving. The salmon burgers have become one of my go-tos.

The workouts continue to get harder, but they’re still bodyweight. In this week you do both the new bodyweight workout plus occasionally the Pilates workout from the first week on some active rest days.

Weigh in on Thursday: -.2

Week 4
When I first looked over the recipes for week 4, I was underwhelmed. Even now that I’m finished with the challenge (but continuing to use many of the recipes — more on that in a bit),

Some people in the Facebook group were disappointed that some of the recipes this week were repeated more often. As I said above, I like leftovers. While I will say that it wasn’t my favorite week recipe-wise, I didn’t feel deprived at all: hello, chocolate mug cake, french toast, filling protein pancakes and watermelon banana booster.

The workouts continued to progress, Pilates continued to be in there for active rest.

The one downside to week 4 was it became a real push to join the monthly site called Forever Fit. I enjoyed the program, so I started a trial membership and I know I’ll be joining. In fact, if you do sign up for the next challenge, I suggest taking advantage of the offer to try it out for a month for $1 when you sign up for the challenge (my trial membership was 2 weeks for $1) .

Suddenly mentors, as they’re called, were appearing in the private Facebook group and talking about Forever Fit. Danette made videos about it. It just seemed a little too pushy for my taste; I won’t lie.

All the materials are yours to keep so yes, you can do it again on your own. But just like Weight Watchers, the accountability and support of a group are what really make the difference. People — myself at one time included — think I know how to do this; I don’t need to pay for it. Guess what? It’s the rare person that’s successful on their own.

Weigh in on Thursday: -1.4

Pros and cons
When it comes to food, I’m pretty adventurous. When it comes to weight loss, I’m willing to try new things — nothing drastic; no cleanses for me, no cutting out entire food groups. So this isn’t the first time I’ve joined a challenge/reset — but I do feel this was the first time I joined a challenge and really felt this was a lifestyle that worked well for me.

  • Meals plans that map out every meal
  • Flexibility — the ability to swap lunch for dinner, breakfast for breakfast, snack for snack (after the 3 Day Detox)
  • Mind-body connection: weekly guided meditations
  • Weekly Workouts
  • Private Facebook Group for support
  • 3 meals and up to 3 snacks per day
  • A lot of new recipes — I still haven’t tried all of them
  • I quickly found most cravings gone
  • Guidelines for when you go on vacation
  • Guidelines for eating out
  • While I didn’t lose a lot of weight — or inches! — the difference in how my clothes felt was pretty amazing
  • Several emails per week with encouragement and more information
  • Money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • A lot of meal prep — you’ll spend more time in the kitchen than you’re probably used to
  • The detox isn’t easy, but definitely doable
  • The mealplan for the week is released on Friday. I tend to avoid weekend grocery shopping when possible, so it made shopping for what I needed a little difficult.
  • I actually found the private Facebook group not that exciting — there are thousands of woman (mostly) from all over the world — I do better in a smaller group where you can really get to know some people. I actually do like the private Facebook group for the ongoing Forever Fit community. There are still thousands of women (mostly), but I find useful information in there and there are challenges and inspiration, too.
  • Towards the end it feels like a really hard sell to join the Forever Fit community.

A word to the wise: the next challenge starts on September 18. If you’re interested, I’d suggest signing up early and getting your materials so you can do your shopping. I signed up last minute and couldn’t start right away — my kitchen is always pretty well stocked, but I still had to go shopping. And it seems like a lot of food for those first three days.

You can sign up with my referral here

Disclaimer: I do not earn any money by promoting this challenge, but I can potentially earn prizes by referring people. That’s not why I’m referring you — I wouldn’t mind a prize, but I also know that while some of my blogger friends are able to easily maintain a healthy weight, many are like me and it’s a struggle. I hope that people who have read my blog for a while know that I only recommend things I truly believe in. And don’t forget, there’s a money back guarantee (I didn’t use it, so I don’t know how easy it is).

I’m sure some people wouldn’t have the time or interest in that much meal prep, but the truth is, food shouldn’t always be fast and yes, you’re worth the investment of time. You may end up spending more than you’re used to at the grocery store, too, but again, I’m willing to spend money on good food.

Others, I’m sure, will not be thrilled with meditations, but I’ve already talked about how much I feel guided meditations help me.

You don’t have to be perfect. I wasn’t. I did not follow the detox exactly. I still went out to eat.  I got the yummy granola bar from Leah’s Cakery that I love so much. I was doing a different exercise program already, so although I worked in the workouts, I didn’t always do them as many times as it’s suggested.

Finally: I lost 2 pounds. Not much for a month, right? But it’s a good loss for me. I’m at a healthy weight, but at the higher end of a healthy range and I could feel it in my clothes. It was never just about the number, though. I felt better about myself, and my clothes fit a lot better. I have one pair of jeans that will get tight when my weight creeps up — which is had (both the weight and the tight jeans), and by the end of the month they were loose on me again.

 

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

Have you done an eating reset you enjoyed?

Do you enjoy plans that involve the mind/body connection?

What is your best tip for getting back on track?

Is running the golden ticket . . .

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. . . to weight loss?

Yes. No. Maybe.

Some runners have won the genetic lottery: all they have to do is run (or start running) and the weight just melts off. It’s usually not quite that simple for the rest of us.

Abs are made in the kitchen
No doubt you’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen. I am not a medical professional, a nutritionist, or a personal trainer, but through my own journey and my observations of others’ journeys, I believe it to be true.

You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Sooner or later, it will catch up with you. There’s no reason to punish yourself for eating “badly” by trying to exercise it off. It doesn’t work, anyway, and most likely will do far more damage than good in the long run.

Can you lose weight without exercising? It will probably come off slower, but if you eat healthy, most likely you will lose weight. Exercise has so many benefits, so far beyond losing weight — I’m not advocating not exercising. I’m just saying do it because it makes you feel good, not because you think you need it to erase too many indulgences.

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Not all calories are create equal
Forget about calories in, calories out
Many people believe that weight loss is a simple equation. Burn off more than you take in  and you’ll lose weight. Running happens to burn more calories than many types of exercise. Which is why so many people (myself included) turn to running when they think they need that little something extra.

If it were truly that simple, far fewer people would have weight problems. Not all calories are created equal. You can eat 200 calories of donuts or 200 calories of a nice sirloin. A steady diet of donuts is not going to help your waistline, no matter how carefully you calculate calories in vs calories out.

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Yup, I gained weight training for this half
#thestruggleisreal with runger
It is very easy to overestimate the amount of calories you “burned” and innocently overeat to “refuel”. Which is exactly how I ended up gaining weight training for my first half marathon.

How ironic is is that I started running to help bust through a weight loss plateau, only to end up gaining even more weight? It’s not an unusual story, either.

Yes, fueling properly for runs and refueling after long runs is very important. In fact, doing it properly can even (sometimes) knock out that runger (hunger from running). But . . . and you knew there would be a but, right? But it often takes a lot of experimenting to find out what will slay your runger but not pack on the pounds.

It may not be the golden tick to weight loss, but running can help
I personally believe that long distance running is not the secret to weight loss. Strength training, HIIT, Tabata — these are the sort of workouts that really torch fat. Basically, anything where you’re getting your heart rate up and increasing your muscle mass. Again, I am not a medical professional.

If you do decide to take up running and you’d like to lose some weight, here are my tips:

  • Don’t worry about “refueling” for short runs (anything under an hour). It’s not necessarily wrong, especially if you haven’t eaten in a few hours, but it’s also not necessary.
  • Don’t just run easy all the time. Your body adapts to exercise very easily, and then it can take more and more effort for the same results. Do some speedwork. Run some hills. Vary the distance.
  • Don’t forget the strength training. Not only will it make you a better runner (maybe even a faster runner), it can also help prevent injury. A side benefit is that it will make you look as if you’ve lost weight even if you haven’t. Check out my post “5 Reasons to Be a Killer B” here for where you can get some great workouts geared towards runners.
  • Don’t forget the protein. Protein will help you feel fuller longer and it helps you repair and rebuild those hard-worked muscles.
  • Don’t forget to visit on Friday when I’ll be sharing some tips on how to prevent those rungries from happening in the first place.
Here are a few more resources about running and weight loss:

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

Was weight loss a factor for you in starting to run?

Did you continue to struggle with weight loss once you started to run?

Do you feel that you “have” to exercise when you’ve eaten something “naughty”?

 

It’s a small world after all

esoteric

Esoteric: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge of interest

There are a few things that interest me that are esoteric: they are things you cannot understand unless you have experienced them. Some of them are things that people think they can understand, or are also interested in, but unless you’ve been there, done that, trust me — you don’t really get it.

So a small, esoteric group of people will totally get this post. Other people will have suggestions, or sympathy, no doubt.

Most of us cluster somewhere in the middle of statistical distributions. But there are lots of bell curves, and pretty much everyone is on a tail end of at least one of them.
–Virginia Postrel

Getting out of BOTP
If you don’t know what BOTP stands for, which is back of the pack, by the way, chances are you have never been there. And you don’t understand the frustration of being there, either.

Or maybe you were there once due to illness or injury. Still not the same thing as coming in consistently BOTP.

Just as I don’t know (yet) what it’s like to be DFL (dead friggin’ last) or to have the sweepers right behind me. I might sympathize with those who have been swept or been threatened to be swept, but I’m not a part of that esoteric group.

You may think you understand how it feels to be BOTP: most of us do want to get faster, to do better, to challenge ourselves.

As the quote above says, we almost all are outside “normal” at some time. And it’s frustrating.

But unless you’re a BOTPer like me, who puts in the work, but remains BOTP, you just don’t understand. You don’t have to play the violins here, I’m not looking for sympathy or advice — just remember you have to walk (or run) a few miles in someone else’s shoes before you can truly know them.

If you’ve ever won an age group award (and weren’t the only person in your age group), then you don’t understand. If you’ve ever had a bad day and found yourself unexpectedly in the BOTP, then again, trust me, you don’t understand.

Some of you do, though.

Weight loss & weight management
Almost everyone, it seems, wants to lose weight. It’s not really an esoteric goal. To have struggled to maintain your weight your entire adult life, to have more than just vanity pounds to lose — more than once! — that’s an esoteric group.

Maybe not for runners — or maybe it is. It seems as though most of the runners I meet are naturally thin. Of course most of the women would love to drop a few pounds, but they’ve never really been heavy or struggled with their weight, so they don’t understand why I’m so careful about what I eat.

And yet I know I’ve seen plenty of heavy runners, too. You know, those ones that are always passing me in races? Runners come in all shapes and sizes. Good runners come in all shapes and sizes, too, which always blows my mind!

There are a lot of diseases that run in my family and being overweight can contribute to them. When I lost weight in my late 20s, it was mostly vanity (and tired of always being tired). Now, in my late 40s and early 50s, it’s a lot more about being healthy.

So no, you may never understand my approach to eating or my need to maintain a certain weight. That’s okay. I know why I do it, and that’s the most important thing.

One thing I know for sure
We all have things we go through, and struggle with, that only a small group of people really understand, and that, to me, is the definition of esoteric.

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

What esoteric groups are you a part of?

Would you rather not be a part of those groups?

Do you feel there are things about you other people just don’t get?

Totally rad — good or bad?

radical

Radical: favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions

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A radical weight change

I have gone through a few radical changes in my life. There’s the battle with my weight.

There was becoming a runner. That was definitely totally rad. I was the girl who would do anything to get out of gym, and running was not something I was into. So I would have laughed at you if you’d told me in my 50s I’d be running — and long distances, too!

In fact, if you’d told me I’d be running half marathons when I started to run, I’m pretty sure I would have laughed at you then, too.

Some other radical changes involved moving. Moving from MD to VT to get married. 7 years later, moving from VT to TX — just because we had the opportunity. 17 years later, moving from TX to NY — it was that, or Mr. Judy would be looking for a new job.

I embraced some of those moves; others I was not happy about at all.

Then there was going from the crazy cat lady to the lady who wanted a dog (don’t worry, I’m still a crazy cat lady, too). And from the person who wasn’t going to get a second dog to the one that had the overwhelming feeling she was meant to adopt Lola.

Back to 2 dogs — definitely a radical change!

And, of course, my must recent radical change was adopting Bandit. It was fast (too fast) and it was almost as fast that we found out all his issues. To say it’s been a bumpy ride might be the understatement of the century.

You know what?

That first year with Chester wasn’t so great either, although Bandit definitely has far greater issues than either Chester or Lola. I still have hope that Bandit’s story will ultimately be positive.

In fact, I was amazed on Thursday: we ran into a neighbor he hasn’t met on our walk that morning. Just a couple of weeks ago, no doubt there would have been growling. He walked up to her tail wagging. I gave her a treat to give him and he sat down without me saying anything. And we continued to walk with her for about half a mile and he was happy as a clam.

I had met this new neighbor a while back, while walking Lola, and chatted with her then, so I knew that she liked dogs. And by Bandit’s reaction to her, I could tell that would be okay to have her give him a treat.

Is radical change good?
It doesn’t seem that way at the time — none of my radical changes were easy: not the weight loss, maintaining that weight loss, starting to run, trying to keep running injury free, or adopting dogs.

As I like to say to Mr. Judy, life isn’t meant to be easy.

In the end, though, it almost always turns out well.

One thing I know for sure
Change will happen, whether we want it to or not. Some changes in my life I was more than glad to make; others I feared; and others I really just didn’t want to do.

A life without radical changes is a boring life. We are meant to stretch, and learn, and grow.

People often say that a bad event is a ‘blessing in disguise.’ Trust me, experience will teach you that some are unbelievably well disguised. Everyone gets fired, or decides to make a radical change at some point. Everyone suffers setbacks.
–Tom Freston

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

What radical changes have happened in your life?

Do you embrace or fear change?

What goes around comes around: TOLT

No big theme today, I’m back to Thinking Out Loud. Let’s dive right in with Lola, shall we?

She is getting older; going on 11

Lola is driving me crazy
She’s such a sweet dog, she really is. But she came to us at 10 months old with no training whatsoever, after having lived in several homes.

She is housetrained, but once in a blue moon she’ll have an accident. In fact my pet sitter said she was having accidents when we were in Seattle, and that’s the first pet sitter who’s had that problem.

She’s definitely not sick, in fact she’s suddenly decided she doesn’t want to use our backyard much. She won’t go out until almost 10 am in the morning (and she typically goes to bed around 8pm, even earlier than me!). Then she won’t do anything for many hours after our walk, either.

Keep in mind she’s a 10 lb chihuahua, so think small bladder here.

It would all be fine and dandly if I felt I could trust her, but after the pet sitter incident, I don’t think I can . . . despite all evidence to the contrary.

Busted!

Giz, just cause
I keep thinking it’s time to get rid of that box and packing paper. It’s been a couple of months, after all.

But he’s still having fun with it. Cheap toys.

Time travel fascinates me
Not that I actually think you could time travel, but give me a book or movie about time travel, and I’m all over it. Two of my favorite books are The Time Traveler’s Wife and Outlander (affiliate links), both of which deal with time travel.

For the longest time The Time Traveler’s Wife (which I read long before it was a movie) wan’t available on Kindle. I just couldn’t understand. But now it is! So I bought it and reread it for the tenth time (not actually keeping track, but I’ve read it a bunch of times).

And then decided to just immediately reread it. Because I can never seem to keep track of all the back and forth, and I always think if I just pay better attention I could . . . probably not, but it never disappoints me.

Speaking of Outlander
Not long ago I read all the reasons it’s all so highly improbable and illogical.

I don’t care!

It’s also a great love story, a page turner, and yes, there’s that time travel again.

It makes me very sad that I don’t have any cable channels. Maybe someday I’ll have to do one of those free Starz trials so I can binge watch it.

Anyone watching it? Is it worth it?

Time after time
When I was a kid, I read books so many times I swear I almost had them memorized. The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings. Watership Down. Little Women. The Prince of Tides — obviously I didn’t read that one when I was a kid, but I’ve read it quite a few times.

We didn’t have kindles (or computers) back then, and we didn’t have online shopping, so not nearly as much instant gratification. And yeah, we had to get up to change channels on the tv too!

Anyhoo, I’m still a fan of revisiting old friends — books and movies. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the best memory. Maybe it’s because there’s always something new to discover.

A “quick” word on weight loss
As in, it isn’t quick and there ain’t no shortcuts.

I see/hear/read it time and again — and heck, I think it sometimes too: I only lost 1/4, 1/2, 1 pound . . . we want it to be quick. It doesn’t work that way, and if it does, most likely you’re not going to keep that weight off.

Slow and steady wins the race. Seriously! 1-2 pounds a week is normal. It will be more in the beginning, glacial at the end. If you’re smaller or older, it’s more likely to be even less.

Don’t forget you’re creating a healthy lifestyle, and that takes time. Slow gives you time to adapt to the changes and make them permanent, which helps you to keep the weight off. Forever.

Eyes on the prize, people!

And speaking of a healthy lifestyle . . .
Mr. Judy has been slowly making some healthy changes over the last couple of years. He’s decreased his portion sizes. He actually eats some salad and a vegetable or two now.

He even came home from work the other day and showed me he put an app on his phone to track his steps.

They are small steps, but they are a step in the right direction, so to speak. You can’t overhaul your life all at once and expect it to stick. Making small changes that don’t feel like a huge effort are the way to go.

WTG, Mr.Judy!

Speak to me, peeps. Answer a question in the comments or let me know what you’re thinking out loud this Thursday:

 

Do you reread books or watch movies multiple times (and which ones)?

What’s your thoughts on time travel?

How long do you keep boxes around for your animals/kids to play with?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

5 Reasons it was Good to Be Sick

Let’s clarify that: why it was good to be sick before my half. I know being sick doesn’t sound like a good thing, but you’d be surprised — sometimes it just might be a blessing in disguise. Although it’s always better to be healthy!

I actually had a completely different post about 75% done, but then this popped into my mind, and it sort of fits in with the fitness theme for this week’s Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the RunAnd it’s just what’s been on my mind — I guess subconsciously, I was working on this post!

Let’s look at the obvious first
And that would be that obviously it’s better to be sick before your race than during your race.

It helped me to up my fluid intake
When I’m sick, I make more of an effort to drink a lot of fluids. I’m usually pretty good on a daily basis, but I really step it up when I’m sick. Lots of tea and soup.

That behavior can probably be traced back to the time I got so dehydrated from a fever I passed out. I almost ended up in the hospital!

Hydrating well before a half marathon is a good thing.

It helped me to take much needed rest
Since all my halfs are racecations, there’s just always a ton going on before I even leave. Thankfully I wasn’t so sick that I couldn’t move, so I was still walking Lola, I managed to get my runs in, but I’d do something, then I’d lay down and watch tv. I was definitely getting in way more rest than I normally do.

I also caught up with Gray’s Anatomy — I hadn’t watched the episodes I taped since March.

I’m still trying to take it a little bit easier, but there’s a ton of stuff to do. Before 9 am this morning I:

  • Got Mr. Judy’s breakfast together
  • Fed myself and the animals
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Emptied the dishwasher
  • Walked Lola
  • Dusted downstairs
  • Vacuumed downstairs
  • Emptied and cleaned a litterbox

And I have a lot more to do today! But I’ll be laying down and resting again for a bit after I post this blog.

It helped me to eat clean
I know a lot of people tend to go for comfort food when they’re sick, but I tend to clean up my act when I’m sick. Up the freggies, lower the sugar, stick to whole foods as much as possible.

This is never a bad thing.

It helped me to drop some weight
I know what you’re thinking: it’s all water weight and it’s just going to come right back on. Well, it probably will come right back on, but only because I will be traveling and eating out and running a half.

I wasn’t so sick that I lost my appetite, but I wasn’t as hungry. Right now I’m back to normal, back to eating normally, and almost back to exercising normally. And over the last couple of weeks I dropped a couple of pounds to my lowest weight in at least 15 years.

I think some of it actually had to do with Passover and the fact that I took oatmeal out of my diet completely for a week. When I saw what that did for me, I still had oatmeal before my long run last week, but I did try to continue to cut back on the oatmeal and continue to concentrate on whole foods, freggies, and less sugar.

Since I lost weight two weeks in a row, I don’t think it was water weight. And I know running always feels better when I’m at a good weight. The challenge now will be to continue to try to eat clean on the road.

I’m pretty sure I’ll gain some weight while I’m away, and I won’t lie — it makes me a little sad, since I’m just 1 1/2 lbs away from where I want to be. But that’s life, and I’d rather travel and run my half then let my weight take over my life.

 What sorts of foods to you turn towards when you’re sick?

 How do you eat healthy when you’re traveling?

It Was Me All Along (book review)

 

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A weight loss journey
It Was Me All Along” (affiliate link) really spoke to me. It fit perfectly into my weight loss/management theme this past week (see my vlog and my post about why weight loss isn’t punishment if you missed it).

So many similarities between myself and the author, Andie Mitchell:

  • Love of food
  • Bingeing on food
  • Always looking for the largest cupcake, cookie, etc.
  • Using Weight Watchers to lose weight

There was a major difference between us: I didn’t have an alcoholic father who was out of work and died, homeless, when I was a young girl.

No, my father is still here (as of March 2016 — he turns 90 this month!), and he wasn’t an alcoholic. I cannot blame my struggle with weight on any major childhood trauma. I can’t even really put my finger on when my love of food (which my entire family shares, so I come by it naturally) turned into a way to cope with being an introverted adolescent.

Which brings me to one of the major differences between me and Andie: Andie’s mother really showered her with unconditional love. She never restricted food, she showered her with love (in between working multiple jobs to keep them afloat), and always told her how much she loved her. Except for one instance when Andie came home from college and her mother was shocked at how much weight she had gained.

My parents love me, of course, but there was a lot of “you would look so pretty if you just lost some weight”. Despite the fact that they weren’t thin themselves! Even to this day, my mother tells me how great I look and sometimes I want to scream that I’m so much more than my weight! Another similarity between myself and Andir, after she lost the weight.

Another major difference between myself and Andie is that she lost the weight very young. Compared to me, anyway. It took me a year to lose about 40 pounds when I was in my late 20s. It has taken me literally years to lose the same amount of weight in my late 40s to mid 50s.

In some ways, I actually think that is a good thing — for me — losing weight slowly means you are taking your time to build healthy habits, and the weight loss is more likely to stick.

It’s very frustrating, of course.

You’re not done when you lose the weight
One thing Andie struggled with, as many people who lose a great deal of weight do, was going too far in the opposite direction: becoming very controlled and restrictive about what she ate, for a time, after she lost the weight.

I can relate to that, to a degree. When you lose a fair amount of weight, there’s always the fear that it will come back on. Overnight. In one meal.

It’s an irrational fear, of course, because weight doesn’t come on that fast (and sadly comes off even slower). But it’s normal, and I’ve felt that fear too. I still struggle with it, in fact, and I’m trying to get to a place where I’m more at peace with food. It’s hard, though. It takes time. Only someone who has been there can understand because no, it’s not normal, and to gain a lot of weight, well, let’s face it — that’s not normal, either.

Just as Andie was more extreme in her bingeing than I was, she was also more extreme in her food restriction, too. To the point of leaving a restaurant one time, early in her journey after losing the weight, because not having control over her food and the choices she had to make were just too overwhelming to her.

I have never gotten to that point, thankfully, but going out to eat or to a party can still make me anxious sometimes, and for the same reasons: I can’t control what choices I have, and of course, there’s the fear of gaining back all the weight in just one meal. Silly, I know, but there it is.

In the end I identified with Andie a lot more than I didn’t. Maybe only people who have truly struggled with their weight and food can truly understand this book. I certainly fall into both categories!

Would I buy this book?
I found it an easy, enjoyable read. I was really shocked when I read reviews of the book and many called her writing sophomoric. I really enjoyed her writing! Flowery, yes, but again, maybe you have to be the sort of person who truly understands that level of food addiction to understand the language, too. Our brains really are wired differently.

But would I buy the book? No, I wouldn’t; it’s not a book that I plan to read again and again. I took it out of the library, and that is what I would recommend if you plan to read it You can also check out Andie’s blog.

See what other bloggers thought of “It Was Me All Along” at Wendy’s bookclub:

Taking the Long Way Home

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I’m also linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Today’s theme is your running uniform.

 

Running skirts, of course!

That would be a running skirt, probably 75% of the time (it’s often tights during the winter, but even then, sometimes it’s a running skirt). From Skirtsports, of course (well, not always, but again, probably 75% of the time).

And you can get yourself some SkirtSports love 20% off (regularly priced items) with code CRJ20. Because #REALwomenmove!

Is food more than fuel to you? Have you ever binged?

Taking the Chocolate out of Chocolaterunsjudy

 

Don’t worry, I don’t need to change the name of this blog. I still eat chocolate. Almost every day. But I’m going off the reservation (again!) for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

Getting to know me
I am including my first (I think) video of myself talking a bit. If you’d like to hear how this Yankee sounds. I am sooooo not good on camera. I can’t begin to tell you how many takes it took me to get a semi-good video. But at least now you can hear me (if you care to) and see what I look like when my hair isn’t sweaty, in a ponytail, or flattened by a hat, which is about 75% of my life.

Leave me a comment if you want to “hear” more from me. Or just give me tips on how to take a good video!

Memorable blog names
So I touched briefly, in the video, on why an easy to remember blog name is important. Only if you want to share your blog with other people! No doubt most of your readers will find you via the Web, but even then, have you ever read a blog and a few days later tried to recall the name of it?

Or you’re at a function or party and realize the people you’re chatting with would be interested in your blog. Maybe you just whip out your cell phone and show them, but what if you have to just tell them and hope that they’ll remember it and can actually spell it?

So yes, your blog name is important. It should be short, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Not that that’s always easy considering everything is already taken these days!

Losing those last few pounds
That’s what I’d like to do, anyway. And yes I’ve been saying that for basically almost three years now. It’s not completely vanity pounds. Weight Watchers works for me. To not pay WW, I need to maintain my weight within 2 pounds of my goal weight. My goal weight, by the way, is set at the very top of my weight range (basically a healthy BMI).

Have you ever tried to maintain your weight +/- 2 lbs?

It’s hard, y’all!

I’m actually quite good at maintaining my weight. Within about 5-6 pounds. Which is quite healthy. The problem is I’m maintaining the wrong weight.And when I’m more than a couple of pounds over my goal weight? Yes, I can see it in my face and other places. Just a few pounds is a lot on a petite woman.

Not to mention that extra pounds make running more difficult.

I really want to get to the point where I can go on vacation, gain a couple of pounds, and come home and not be stressed about having to take those couple of pounds back off. I’d like to go out to eat the night before my weigh in and not worry about what that sodium will do to the number on the scale.

I will always be on the more fluffy side of a healthy weight, and I’m okay with that mostly, but I would dearly love to get to a place where I didn’t have to always be trying to lose weight. Especially because training for halfs while trying to lose weight — which is basically all I know — is really hard!

Don’t get me wrong, either: most of the time I’m pretty happy with how I look, what I weigh, and what I eat. In fact, that’s part of the problem — it would be easier to buckle down and stay the course and lose those last few pounds if I wasn’t happy with myself.

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Life wouldn’t be fun without some chocolate now & again

Giving up a little to gain a lot
I am the girl who thinks that dessert isn’t dessert unless it’s chocolate. I am the girl who looks at almost any recipe and thinks that it would benefit from some chocolate chips.

So yes, it’s incredibly ironic that I named my blog Chocolaterunsjudy and here I am, trying to reign in my chocolate tooth. I will still eat it, because life without any chocolate would be too sad, but I won’t add it to all.the.recipes.I won’t eat it every day.

I will eat more whole foods, more savory breakfasts, more freggies. Small changes can add up to big changes.

Don’t be sad for me, fellow bloggers and readers, because at some point I’ll throw in a few chocolate chips whether or not a recipe calls for it. Just not all the time!

weight
Same dress, 30 lbs lighter

I am very proud to have maintained a 30+lb weight loss for roughly 3 years. It’s hard work but it’s worth it. Because I don’t want to go back to being the girl on the left side of the photo above.

I am also confident, that no matter how long it takes me (years, probably), I’ll get where I want to go. And confident is tomorrow’s Wednesday Word, by the way. You might want to swing back and see what I — and other bloggers — think about being confident tomorrow.

 

Tuesdays on the Run

I’m linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Do you struggle with those vanity pounds?

I am participating in Kristy’s Grow Your Blog Hop  (thank you, Kristy, for hosting it!). You might want to hop on through and discover some new blogs, too.

I love you, now go away: Spilling over high tea

Seriously, I do love my husband. I ought to; we’ve been married over 30 years now! We might have the strongest marriage of all our siblings (one is separated, one sort of hates each other’s guts but stay together, one seems pretty good but those children make it hard to work on the marriage).

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High tea: any wonder I’m planning that for my birthday?

That doesn’t mean I don’t like a little alone time now and again. More time to enjoy my tea (hot beverage of choice; not a coffee drinker here).

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date anyway.

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that my husband was out of town just overnight this week. It was a nice little break. For me, anyway.

I love my husband, and having lived apart due to his job in the past, I know that while I can live alone, I’d rather live with him.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a little break once in a while: more computer time to work on the blog, watching the movie I really want to, making the meals I really want to.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that deviating from my training plan (which I just barely began) always makes me anxious.

And then I get sick, and all I want is to be able to move again!

I wasn’t really sick this week, but I was feeling a little off, with muscle aches and a slightly elevated temperature.

I took a few extra rest days, but seriously, with grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, dog walking, animal caretaking — it’s hard to rest!

So rest meant a couple of days with very little formal exercise (yet I still managed to almost get in close to 10,000 steps those days).

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I like to plan . . .

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I have you, my fellow running bloggers, to thank for not sticking strictly to my training plan, which had barely even begun.

On my own I probably would have.

I channeled all my fellow bloggers who are so good at listening to their bodies to help me feel a little calmer about those extra rest days.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I think blogging is easier if you work outside the home.

Before you jump down my throat, let me explain. My guess is a lot of people are chained to a desk at work and they’re at least part of the time commenting and answering comments while multitasking at work.

I am not terribly attached to my phone, and so I will work on the blog for an hour or two in the morning and then I am on to other stuff or out running errands (and no, I rarely check my phone while I’m out — the cell phone is not the best way to get a hold of me!).

Granted, I don’t have all those pesky work tasks and meetings interfering in my blogging time.

I’m not a millenial, so I didn’t grow up with a cell phone attached to my hands.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I just have real trouble documenting my life. I know that people are drawn into blogs with photos, but as I said, I don’t always have my phone around (or iPod, since that’s what I use to take photos with usually) and most of the time I just don’t think about taking photos.

It’s just not a way of life for me. But it makes for a kind of boring blog! I’m working on it. Any tips for me?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that blogging is good for my shopping addiction. Oh sure, sometimes it’s bad for it too, but I find I often don’t have the time to shop online that I did before I devoted so much time to my blog!

This is not a bad thing.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you had an epiphany about Weight Watchers, or really just weight loss in general, while I was in the shower the other day. Doesn’t everyone have the best thoughts in the shower?

Anyway, I’ve had more than one Weight Watchers friend who has been hugely successful on the program. And then eventually they decide it’s no longer working for them and they quit Weight Watchers (insert your “diet” of choice there).

And they begin gaining back the weight they’ve lost.

And that’s just the problem: they’re viewing it as a diet and not a lifestyle — or, in other words, that it’s something you do temporarily and then you go back to your “real” life.

Except all those things you did to successfully lose the weight? You can’t stop doing them if you want to maintain your weight. Trust me on that — I have learned that in 25 years of weight loss/maintenance efforts.

Yeah, it really kind of sucks sometimes. Only it really doesn’t. If going to weekly meetings, planning what I eat, and tracking what I eat are the tools I need to maintain my weight, they’re a small price to pay.

Diets are temporary. Healthy habits are a way of life and will help you to maintain and not struggle so much.

Take it from someone who struggled for decades!

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Do you diet or do you make healthy lifestyle changes?