Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Friday - Garlic Stuffed Peppers

I played around with a few things in the kitchen last night. Good thing I had my camera handy and decided to take a few pictures along the way.  It turned out to be a family favorite! This one is SUPER easy, takes little or no time to prepare, has great flavor, and is a definite people pleaser!

Paige's recipe for Garlic Stuffed Peppers:

What you will need:
1 lb Ground Turkey
3 large Green Peppers or 4 small ones
2 Egg Whites or 1/4 cup Reddi Eggs/Egg Beaters
1/2 cup Oats
1/3 cup Ketchup
2 cloves of Crushed Garlic
2 TBLS Soy Sauce

Cut the tops off of the green peppers, wash and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in bowl thoroughly. (I use my hands.) 

Fill each peeper evenly with mixture and either bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or cook on the grill on low for 25-30 minutes.

It's that simple! The best part about this meal is not only is it quick, easy, and healthy, but it's also a great way to use those peppers you might be growing in your garden this summer.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seattle Rock N Roll - Recap

I've wanted to sit down and write this post out sooner than later, but it's taken me a few days to regroup and get back into things. I tried to shorten things and cut parts out, but then I kept adding them back in. I know this is a much longer post than you are used to reading, but bare with me on this one. If it's longer than your liking, I promise I won't be offended if you chose not to read on and check back in a few days when things resume as normal again. 

We headed to Seattle on Thursday so we'd get there in time to pick up our race packets and enjoy Friday at the fitness expo. What's the fitness expo? In a nutshell, it's a big room full of hundreds of vendors, free food, and speakers to listen to. We first listened to John Bingham who wrote the book Courage to Start. (I think last year was the author of Born to Run.) Then we mingled around, sampled all sorts of free food, took goofy pictures of ourselves in their photo stand, visited the onsite sports medicine doctor, and filled out swag bags with large amounts of free handouts and treats that kept being thrown our way. Great way to spend the day before the race. 

I had been very diligent about the caring of my feet, so we visited the local gym both Thursday night after the long drive over and again Friday evening before the race, to use the hot tub and soak my feet. It has become something I do often to help with healing and recovery, so they appreciated it.

Friday afternoon set in and the weather in Seattle began to not look so promising for our run the next morning. Rain, cold, and more rain. I had laid out all my clothes the night before so I'd be ready to go in the morning. I woke up several times in the night to the sound of the rain just pouring. The thought came to me, "This could be miserable!" Don't get me wrong. I love running in the cold and a light shower of rain but a downpour? No thank you. I remember laying in bed just listening to the rain pound against the roof and windows just praying to God that he would see fit that the weather would make a turn, and that the 24,000 people who came to Seattle to run this race would be able to enjoy themselves. I then must have drifted back off to sleep because the next thing I knew it was time to get up, and I didn't hear rain like I'd heard just a few hours earlier. We got ready and just as we were heading out the door the toilet decided to overflow all over the floor. Yep, 4:40 in the morning and we're mopping and cleaning as we're trying to get ourselves out the door. It wouldn't be normal to not have a minor kink in the road on race day, right? A load of towels later, we grabbed our breakfast and headed out the door. We made it across the floating bridge and to the exit with plenty of time to make it to our pre-paid parking garage before traffic was at a standstill. We barely made any movement for 30 minutes and our 6:00 a.m.  must-be-parked-in-your-parking-garage time had come and gone. I started to stress at this point. I know being from Seattle that it's hard enough to find a parking spot on a normal day, let alone when 24,000 people are trying to do the same thing. As we finally started to make some progress we were diverted the opposite way in which we needed to go. The thought of what to do next started to race through my mind when not more than 3 blocks up the road we pulled into a parking lot and parked the car. In a real parking spot. It was that easy! And it was FREE! In some ways I think it was God's way of helping us get to where we needed to be so we could get to the starting line before the race began. We quickly gathered our things, I literally ate breakfast on the run (heading to the start area), and we headed off. We dropped our bags at the row full of UPS trucks and headed off to the dreaded porta-potty line. Best part about this was that because the race had technically already started the lines were rather short. SCORE! Just as we finished we hopped in our corral and it wasn't but a few minutes later that the horn was blowing and we were off.

Within the first few minutes of the run we were running right down the streets of downtown Seattle. I was loving it! (I knew from that point that I was going to like this year's course far better than last year's running-from-Tukwilla-to-downtown course.) We were passing by all the big tall office buildings downtown and it was bringing back memories of visiting my parents at work as a kid, as they both worked downtown in those buildings. The atmosphere was great. People running, bands playing, sun peeking out, people lining the streets cheering.  I almost forgot for a moment I was running. I was so enjoying the moment and what I was doing. We ran like this for a while and then I could see up ahead that people were making a left turn. I think this was around mile 4 or 5. As I got closer and turned the corner myself I looked ahead and saw the people up ahead of me running straight up this huge hill. I chuckled and said, "Seriously? We're running up that?" I almost couldn't believe it. It was huge. (FYI - if any of you watched to preview video of the course...well, that didn't come close to being accurate as far as showing you the hills.) But up and over we went and it was practically like sitting down to scoot down the other side. From there we ran along Lake Washington for several miles and what a beautiful site it was. We were entertained along the way and enjoyed fellow runners, spectators' signs cheering us on, and just being outside. It wasn't long before we were getting close to mile 9 and yet another shorter, steep hill that ended up in a mile-long tunnel. We actually ran this part of the course last year so I knew it was coming. It was my least favorite part last year and it was where I really hit a wall. First off I don't like being claustrophobic in any way and to be in a mile-long, dark tunnel with several hundred people breathing, (so there is not fresh air to breath) was not my idea of fun in the least bit. This time around as I entered the tunnel, it wasn't that far into it that TJM said, "You can do this! Go to a happy place and stay there." At first I couldn't even see the other end of the tunnel. I could tell it was going to be a long mile. Then I got my mind in the right spot, went to a "happy place," got into a groove, and just ran. It was as if I'd almost forgotten where I was at for a moment, and before I knew it I was coming out the other side saying "That wasn't so bad!"

The first 9-10 miles actually went by rather fast. For the most part I was really enjoying myself. I wasn't scared or worried like I was last year. I knew I could run a half marathon.  It was just a matter of keeping my feet happy. I was so enjoying the miles, people, scenery, and the runner who stuck beside me. (TJM that would be you.) It was after we ran past Century Link and Safeco field (mile 11) that we did a windy hill and that is when for the first time my feet started to talk to me. (Usually they complain around mile 4 or 5.) They weren't bad. I think the hills were just starting to get to them at this point. As we continued on the next mile, which was a gradual climb up the Alaskan Way viaduct, they began to feel more painful, heavier, and altogether sensitive. I could see the top of the viaduct and just kept telling myself, "I just need to make it to the top of this hill and I'll be fine." I could see the Space Needle at this point so I knew the finish wasn't that far off. I wasn't moving fast, as my one foot was not happy, but I was moving. It wasn't long before we were at the top and I figured it was home-free from there. As we ran down a small hill and made a slight turn I saw up ahead my worst nightmare. Yep, another tunnel. I couldn't believe it. Not now. I'm too close to the end. I remember my mind started thinking all the bad "What if's?" TJM was being as encouraging as one can be. Building me up. Encouraging me as we got closer to the tunnel. (I on the other hand didn't want anything to do with that tunnel and it showed in words and actions.) It was the craziest feeling in that very moment. I'm not sure I can even describe it. As TJM was talking to me trying to get me through the moment, my mind immediately wanted to do exactly what she said but it was as if my body wouldn't cooperate. As we entered the tunnel my body even flailed about as if it was going to rebel against me. Arms flapping, body hunched over, and my feet dragging along. (Yes, I'm sure it was quite a site to the many spectators.) I could feel my feet start to act in the same way they had acted just weeks before when I ended up dropping on the side of the road and couldn't move. I kept praying. Not here. Not now. I'm almost done. I've almost made it. I knew I had to pull it together. I quickly said a prayer as I ran through that tunnel, got focused, started repeating all the good "what if's" and off we went. I wasn't sprinting by any means but I was moving and I wasn't catastrophizing either. Slow and steady wins the race right? The last tunnel came and went and we rounded that last corner.  I could see the finish line. Yep, at the top of yet another hill! Only in Seattle would one end a half marathon on a hill. As we neared the top of that final stretch it was all I could do to grab TJM's hand and together we crossed the finish line for the second time. We did it! I did it! My feet did it!

I'm sure I'll venture out and do half marathons other than Seattle but the Seattle Rock N Roll will always have a special spot in my life. I plan to run it each year. You see, I lived most of my life there and most of that was spent living in a heavy, fat, unhealthy body. There is something very therapeutic and forgiving about going back and running that race. Not only that, it's extra special to be able to take my best friend, one of my huge supporters in this whole weight loss journey back home with me every year to run it with me. She is truly a Christlike advocate in every way.

What was my time? I know some of you will want to know this part of the puzzle so I will share. I did the race this year in 2:24. About ten minutes slower than last year. Am I disappointed with this? Nope, not at all. Was I trying for a PR?  Nope. I honestly had told myself that I would be happy with 2:30 considering everything my feet have been through the past year and still trying to heal. Then to add all the hills I wasn't expecting on top of it, to come in at 2:24 I was thrilled! It made it all that more of a victory. Do I still at some point want to PR my race from last year? Of course. Is there a little itch in me to someday run a half in under 2 hours? Sure! How will I get there? One day at a time and one foot in front of the other. Why? Because I am a runner! I am the runner God is with.

P.S. On a side note: We took a detour on the way home and left our mark on the Oregon Coast. This is how we roll after running a half marathon!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

What NOT to Eat on a Road Trip

Does heading out the door on a road trip ever sound daunting when trying to lose weight? Sitting all day in the car? What are you going to eat along the way? It's interesting to me how many times "naughty" options are available along one freeway. Take a look at just a few pictures I captured yesterday.

Kinda scary huh? I realize most of these food establishments might offer a "light" menu or even a salad as an option, but my advice is to steer clear regardless. I've never really been a grease eater but I know plenty of people who are. They try to be healthy by ordering the salad and then order fries on the side! (bad idea)

Personally, I stick with two options on a road trip. (I only wish I would have figured this one out years ago.) Hit Subway or BMOF (bring my own food) . Subway is great not only because it's fresh and non-greasy but there are signs for Subway at virtually each passing food exit. In fact, my kids have spent hours counting Subway signs on extensive car trips. (I never realized how many are out there!) Not only that, my kids love Subway. If they had the choice, often times Subway would be picked instead of McDonald's or Burger King.

Today wasn't a Subway day for me as I had dinner in mind upon my arrival, so I stuck with BMOF.  

I think the key in being successful at this is planning ahead. So often before we head out the door on a trip, especially if we're planning to be gone more than a couple days, the idea is to clean out the fridge and get rid of things, right? Not having to worry about going to the store until returning? You're thinking......Oh, we'll stop and eat along the way.  I always try to keep a few things around to take and if I happen to be out, I'll hit the store. Today was some crackers, cheese sticks, nuts, and fresh fruit. YUM! 

Another thought: Isn't it interesting that one of the most common things to do on a road trip is eat? Yep, it's true. Why is that so? Because we're bored and/or have nothing else to do to pass the time except snack the time away. Try putting all your food in the trunk and forcing yourself to stop every couple hours along the way, get out stretch your legs for a few minutes, and grab a quick snack. Not only will you feel better but you'll be pacing your eating and not gorging, which is what happens all too often when traveling down the road.

One last thing I might mention about BMOF is that it's the cheaper option in most cases. For the amount you spend on one value menu at a fast food stop including the drink, you can buy several food items to take along the way. 

Now onto the reason I was on the road trip in the first place. Yep, it's that time. Time to Rock N Roll! Whether my feet are ready or not, tomorrow's the day I run my second half marathon. Here's a sneak peak.

(Click on the picture and it will give you a virtual tour)

Oh yes, and a picture of my dinner I was telling you about that awaited me upon arrival. Seattle + sushi = YUM!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scale vs No Scale

Personally I think scales are evil. (I don't use that word often so you know my thoughts on this one must be serious.) Some things to think about...

Things the scale does in your favor:
May or may not accurately keep track of lost pounds

Things the scale does NOT do in your favor:
Plays mind games with you.
Fluctuates whenever it wants (without permission mind you)
Adds stress
Is an obsession
Is never consistent
Is depressing
Easy to compare with others

It's obvious that without hardly thinking about it the list of negatives has far out listed the positives. All the more reason to get rid of the scale. I'll be honest, maybe getting rid of it altogether isn't best for everyone. I think each situation is different and should be looked at carefully. I know for me, as I was losing my weight (and remember, I had a lot to lose), it was nice to have the scale around so I could visually see the numbers fall off since I didn't notice a difference in my body for quite some time. After I lost the first chunk of weight, I continued to use the scale as a guide, but I mostly went off of measurements and how I felt. How you feel I think is key if you're going to make it a lifestyle. 

Once I hit my goal, (Jan. 2011) I've committed to getting on the scale only once a week. I personally picked Wednesday (mid week).  It's a chance for me to check in and make sure I'm still in check, but for the most part I go on how my clothes fit. I figure even if my body changes in some way, as long as I can still fit comfortably into those size 6's, I'm good to go. Not only that, when I tend to let my clothes do the guiding, it's just another confirmation that I've truly adopted a lifestyle change. For so many years I was concerned about my weight, what the scale said from one day to the next, and if I could ever fix it. What a wonderful feeling it is to just feel normal for once. Like I fit in with everyone else.

I know the scale is a part of life, but I'm glad I've gotten away from the addiction of it. It was a bad one. Just like any other addiction out there. If we aren't careful, it won't take long for it to destroy us. It's SO much better to LIVE life, eat what you want, (in moderation of course) put your trust in God, and use your clothes as your guide to success. Personally, my clothes are the best scale out there!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Do You Know a Sabotager?

What exactly would qualify a person to be a sabotager? Answer: Anyone who says or does anything to slow or discourage your weight-loss progress. Believe me, one might think this is crazy to even think people would do such a thing, but the reality is that it happens more than you think. Not everyone out there is always dishing out compliments or passing words of encouragement along. I know for me, I had times of discouragement and frustration, and it wasn't because of what my body was or was not doing. It was because of the things that were said  to me by others. 

It's not unusual for people to give me a hard time about my food choices whether at a family dinner, a large gathering, or at work. It happens. Common things said are, "Paige would never eat that!" or  "Paige, don't watch what I'm eating." What about "You eat naughty things?!" Or how about "If the skinny girl is going to eat some then I guess it's okay!" It's like being talked about as if I have cooties or some sort of disease. Then there are the ones who try to dress me and tell me what I should and or shouldn't be wearing. (Seriously?) Or what about the people that ask me about my workouts or my running regimen and then do everything they can to out do me and my goals. Always comparing to my routine and how they can do it better or faster. (Sad but true.)

These people are sabotagers. And the sad thing is that even though I've been hurt by them time and time again, there is a side of me that feels sorry for them. Sorry that they are so unhappy that they feel the need to out do or be better than others. You see, that's the problem. Most times these sabotagors are people who are struggling themselves with some aspect of their life and it honestly makes them feel better to make comments and excuses about your food, make wardrobe suggestions, as well as make you feel as though they are out doing you in some way when it comes to getting in shape.  

The good news is that you don't have to let these people ruin your progress. This was a hard lesson for me to learn as I fought with the idea of why people would do such a thing, but then I quickly was reminded that God has given me a strong sense of strength and will power in all of this and regardless of what others think and say, I am fighter. I fought long and hard for what I've gained and the body I now have. Nothing or no one has the right to take that away from me. 

Some of the things that helped me along the way: Hold tight to the positives. Make a list of the victories. And Don't let ANYONE sabotage your progress! You are the star of your own show. Let no one for any reason get the glory in this except for God.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Food Friday - Tex- Mex Chili

We tried this last week when it was cold and rainy, and it was a hit!

Thick -Tex-Mex Chili

Thick Tex-Mex Chili
1 Onion, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 T. Jalapeno, minced with seeds
3 c. Diced Tomatoes
1 ½ c. cooked Kidney Beans
1 ½ c. cooked Pinto Beans
1 ½ c. Frozen Corn
2 t. ground Cumin
1 t. Chili Powder
½-1 t. Salt
½ t. Black Pepper
½ t. Cinnamon
1 pkg Soy Crumbles (optional)
1 c. Water or Vegetable Broth

In a 5qt saucepan, sauté onions, garlic and jalapeno over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients, except soy crumbles, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Add soy crumbles and cook for 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve plain or on top of brown rice or whole wheat pasta!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tempted to Eat Something? Try this!

Have you ever felt the urge that you're in need of something sweet and you need it NOW? I know this has happened to me on more than one occasion and often times I really don't need anything.  I just think I do. I've heard people say, get yourself a big glass of water, but for me I drink so much water as is, that doesn't always work for me. What does? As crazy as it might sound........BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
There seems to be something about that taste of toothpaste that changes my taste buds in the moment, and I no longer feel the urge to have the sweets or snacks when it's not time to have them. (Remember moderation.) The other thing I like about it is that the taste seems to hang around in my mouth long enough to distract even the thought about snacking. Before I know it I've moved on to another part of my day and am ready to eat the next time I'm due for a snack or a meal. 

Other things that might help are breath mints and or gum. I'm not a huge gum eater, but I know of others who say that seems to help in moments like these.

Happy Brushing! And remember it's not that we don't want to allow treats and snacks into our lives. It's just got to be the right time and in moderation. If we can't control that, we'll end up back where we started.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

"Healthy" Cheese Sauce!

If you know me well enough, you'd know that two of my favorite things are cheese and dipping. I seem to like cheese in and on everything, and if I can dip something in a sauce or dressing, my day just got better! Problem is, cheese can be very fattening if you choose to eat too much, and we all know anything dipped in ranch and other high calorie condiments can be dangerous. So, here's a little secret for you today. You can have the best of both worlds with this yummy "healthy" cheese sauce I'm about to share with you. 

You will need the following:
1 small yukon gold or russet potato
1/2 c. carrots
1/2 yellow onion
Fill a pan with about 1/2 inch of water, bring to a boil, put veggies in water, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer until veggies are soft. 15 minutes.

When veggies are soft, drain the water but reserve it, pour them into a blender and add:
3 Tb. water
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. cashews

Blend until creamy.  You may need to use the reserved water to get the blender going, usually about 1/2 c. is enough.

That's it! Set it aside to use with whatever you like. Who knew cheese could be so healthy? And very tasty too. (Yes, even though there is no cheese in the recipe, it really does taste like cheese!)

I chose to serve mine over a baked sweet potato with steamed broccoli. Other options may include: Steamed carrots, grilled chicken, in an omelet, or whatever else sounds appealing. 

Note: For having a family that consists of "dippers" they all enjoyed it too. My son even got out the tortilla chips and had nachos!

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

What if?

My mind has really been playing tricks on me lately.  I've spent so much time catastrophizing about my feet and this upcoming half marathon I'm running in two weeks, that it really has me in a bad spot. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the idea that one day my feet can run 9 miles in the pouring rain and love every minute of it.  Yet a three mile run a few days before or after that has my feet in a total tizzy and me feeling like it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It's as if my spirit and I want to do one thing but I'm living in a body that is broken and will only cooperate on occasion. In fact, here are a few of the things my mind has been telling me lately:

What if my feet don't get better?
What if I never can run like I did before?
What if my foot cramps up during the half?
What if I can't get the charlie horse to go away?
What if I can't breathe because I've been missing runs?
What if my toes go numb?
What if I can't make it up the hills?
What if my feet feel heavy that day?
What if I can't keep up?
What if my feet are throbbing?
What if I have to walk? 
What if I can't finish?
What if....what if.....what if?

Not good, I know. After some wise council and a good talk with a friend, I've decided I need to fill this head of mine with all the positive what ifs. It's not always an easy thing to do but just trying it the last couple hours has brought hope and a bright spot into my day.

What if I wake up race morning feeling great?
What if my feet don't cramp up?
What if I feel light on my feet?
What if the nerves in my feet don't bother me to run up hills?
What if I experience no charlie horses?
What if I can turn a corner without my feet hurting?
What if I can run the whole way?
What if I feel like I can breathe?
What if I can run pain-free?
What if my feet are happy?
What if I hardly notice them?
What if I feel like I could run forever?

For me right now, all my what ifs seem to be about my feet. Maybe your what ifs are about your weight or exercise? Regardless, I know for me, If I can find peace and joy in the second list of what ifs, then regardless of what happens on race day, I'll be a winner!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

This is What I Know....

I know what it's like to weigh nearly 300 pounds.
I know what it's like to want to eat where no one can see me.  
I know what it's like to wake up in the morning felling very bloated and full.
I know what it's like to look at myself in the mirror and cry because of the disappointment I see.
I know what it's like to have to ask for a seat belt extension when boarding an airplane.
I know what it's like to eat a whole box of Kraft macaroni and cheese all to myself.
I know what it's like to always be pulling at the front of my shirt to hide "the roll."
I know what it's like to start a new eating plan only to have it fail.
I know what it's like to sit in a chair and hear myself wheeze.
I know what it's like to have red marks in betwenn my thighs from them rubbing together.
I know what it's like to shop in the "fat lady" section at the store.
I know what it's like to eat becasue I am bored.
I know what it's like to grow out of clothes.
I know what it's like to have a closet full of clothes that I've already grown out of.
I know what it's like to crave bread and pasta.
I know what it's like to live in a fat body.
I know what it's like to feel constant indigestion.
I know what it'a like to cry myself to sleep with who I've become.
I know what it's like to not want to get up in the morning.
I know what it's like to have no motivation.
I know what it's like to think it's impossible.
I know what it's like to send the family off on a hike or a bike ride and have to stay home due to size and no energy.
I know what it's like to be a failure at something.
I know what it's like to catch my "fat" self in a 360 degrees mirror.
I know what it's like to have to suck it in to button the pants.
I know what it's like to hope the weather is cold enought to allow me to hide under a jacket or vest all day.
I know what it's like to feel like people are staring at me when I go out to eat at a restaurant.
I know what it's like to aviod the camera and not want to be in pictures.
I know what it's like to feel hopeless.
I know what it's like to give up.
I know what it's like to be made fun of.
I know what it's like to want to be like everyone else.
I know what it's like to feel trapped or like a prisoner in my own body.
But the good thing is, this is what I also know........

I know what it's like to set goals and accomplish them.
I know what it's like to treat my body like it's worth something.
I know what it's like to be determined.
I know what it's like to smile
I know what it's like to be normal.
I know what it feels like to crave healthy food.
I know what it's like to climb a mountain.
I know what it's like to have hope.
I know what it's like to ride the rides at the amusement park.
I know what it's like to buy clothes that fit.
I know what it's like to say "thank you" when someone gives me a compliment.
I know what it's like to share with others my testimony of what I've been through.
I know what it's like to dream.
I know what it's like to work hard.
I know what it's like to eat what I want in moderation.
I know what it's like to be happy.
I know what it's like to be in control.
I know what it's like to not be afraid of the camera.
I know what it's like to be a size 6.
I know what it's like to encourage others.
I know what it's like to have energy.
I know what it's like to cook healthy.
I know what it's like to love what I see in the mirror.
I know what it's like to enjoy shopping for clothes.
I know what it's like to love to exercise.
I know what it's like to feel healthy.
I know what it's like to learn to run.
I know what it's like to have people tell me I'm beautiful.
I know what it's like to run a half marathon.
I know what it's like to lose 133 pounds.
I know what it's like to think "I can do anything!"
                         I know what it's like to be a winner.
This is what I know!

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Running in the Rain!

It's been on my mind for a few days to write about my run last Saturday. There were so many elements of that run  that were good, I don't seem to want to forget any of them. First off I should start by saying, for some, this run may not have been ideal. It was raining the entire way. Not just a light sprinkle but RAIN! In the past I've enjoyed my rainy runs but this was the first time it rained that long and that hard the entire duration of the run. We headed out (Tam and I) and the first thought that went through my mind when we ran down the road in front of her house was..."Oh, this is going to be fun!"(I think I even said that to her.) We were off to do a nine-miler and I was loving every minute of the cool, overcast weather and the water that was misting my face. It wasn't long before I realized not only would we be running in the rain but we'd be puddle jumping along the way. How fun is that? It definitely added a new twist to things. Ironically, my feet felt great. (This came as a blessing and of great surprise to me considering the one and only run my feet allowed me to do the week before was a run that 3.75 miles into the run my foot gave out, cramped up and I immediately dropped to the ground, threw off my shoe and was crying in pain on the side of a busy road.) I wasn't wearing the best jacket as far as keeping the water out is concerned, so by mile six I was pretty much soaked. The jacket just stuck to my arms and my legs looked as if I just stepped out of the shower. My feet at this point were starting to get tired but I think most of that was the extra weight they were carrying due to the fact that my shoes and socks were water logged. Often times when I run, just because my feet aren't 100% yet, they feel heavy but to add two shoes full of water to the mix was an added bonus. I know at this point my running partner was not enjoying the moment at all and was probably wondering what in the world we were doing running in these sort of conditions (not to mention she was fighting a cold).  Something about her dedication to me and helping me be successful as a runner is something I cherish. 

We continued to press on one mile at a time and by the time we finished mile nine, I think we both were ready to be done for the day. Even though I say that, I so enjoyed that run. It was cool, we got wet, (maybe a little more than anticipated) and most importantly my feet were happy most of the way. It made for a happy Paige the rest of the day.
 P.S. This was an after effect - when I got home and took my shoe off this is what my toe was trying to tell me. Mmm, I didn't feel anything during the run but for some reason with the running and moisture/friction I ended up with a purple toe. Does it hurt now? Yep! 

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School Lunch

 Today being the last day of school, I thought I'd share with you what my lunch has consisted of for quite some time. You see, I tend to go in phases and find it easy to eat the same thing at lunch for several weeks. In this case, I found this selection to be one of my favorites so I've eaten it for several months. So what is it that I've been hooked on? Here you have it: 

Whole Wheat sandwich thin (100 Calories)
1 Pink Lady red apple (72 Calories for medium apple)
1 cheese stick (80 Calories)
1 Tablespoon of peanut butter (100 Calories)

Total calories for lunch: 352 calories!
As crazy as it sounds, this has probably been my favorite meal of the day for a while. I look forward to it. It's a treat. Probably because I enjoy peanut butter, I love cheese, and the Pink Lady apple is SOOO tasty!

As far as my choice of peanut butter, I prefer the Valencia Peanut Butter with roasted flaxseed. The only down side is that the only place I've been able to find it is at Trader Joe's and we don't have a Trader Joe's anywhere near where we live. (I guess I'll be stocking up next time I'm near one.)

Now that school is out for the summer, who knows what my next phase will be and what I will get hooked on eating for lunch. The wheels are starting to spin but this one will not be far out of my reach. 

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