Friday, October 31, 2014

Where's the Balance?

I'm sorry for the absence.  Things are looking up and I promise to be more committed to blogging.

I'm still on hiatus for writing about the physical side, but I want to focus on the nutrition side of things. 

I will say that when it comes to food everyone has an opinion.  I'm not about to start harping the fact that you should follow this diet or any other particular one. 

I have tried Whole30 last year and really loved the way I felt afterwards.  Unfortunately, I ended up sick, it was the holidays, and it just went downhill from there.  Not to mention Whole30 is a very strict diet for 30 days. Whole30 is similar to Paelo, only instead of just cutting out grains, it also cuts out legumes, dairy, and sugar.  If you're interested, I highly suggest reading the book, "It Starts with Food" by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. 

What I do know is when I followed Whole30, I ate better.  I felt better, but I couldn't stick with it.  I will say though that my husband and I started eating more at home and far less processed foods.  I quit shopping in the middle of the grocery store.  Most importantly, I was SHOCKED to find out how much sugar was in EVERYTHING!  Sugar is added to so many things and then we wonder why we are addicted to it.  If you don't believe me, try to stop eating and drinking everything with added sugar.  Believe me the cravings will come and they are not pretty. 

My problem isn't so much doing eating, but more so why am I here again?  I started this last year, where would I be if I had kept it up?  I try hard not to beat myself up about these things, but seriously...again?!? 

Then the bigger question becomes where do we find the balance?  In "It Starts with Food" they talk about at the end how it is going to be ok to go back to eating those cookies on occasion, but do so with purpose and mindfulness.  So when you finished your 30 days and you really miss pumpkin bread, then go ahead and make some.  But then sit down and enjoy the slice of pumpkin bread.  Don't simply inhale while walking around doing other things. 

I have tried many other things, but I have gotten tired of the information overload.  So I hired a dietician to work with me.  After the initial assessment I felt confident.  We are going to meet over time and make slow changes.  I haven't been perfect, but I'm logging my food in myfitnesspal and being honest with myself, what I am eating.  I'm also become more conscious of when I'm full.  So slow baby steps.  Hopefully to make lasting changes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What is Beauty?

I am still on a hiatus of writing about my training, but have decided in the meantime, I'll blog about some other things halfway related to the triathlon journey, just not my any possible physical activity.  

Lately, I have read a lot of blog posts and articles, as well as seen videos all discussing beauty.  The most recent "scandal" in this area is the newest winner of the biggest loser weighing in at 105 pounds after starting seven months prior at 260 pounds.  People said she was too thin, anorexic.  Many horrible things as well as others leaping to her defense saying she looks amazing.  

We have fashion magazines that have tall woman weighing in at 120 pounds to be a size zero.  There are many who say how wrong this is, that we need to stop objectifying women.  We need to teach our girls and daughters that that isn't beauty.  But what is beauty?

As a lawyer, my first instinct it to ask how is the word defined.  According to Merriam Webster Online beauty is defined as:
1:  the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit :  loveliness
2:  a beautiful person or thing; especially :  a beautiful woman
3:  a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
4:  a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance <that mistake was a beauty>
Of course, having studied some psychology and a bit of biology, I also know that as humans we are attracted to "beautiful humans", meaning that science can define beauty.  The most symmetrical one's face is from left to right and top to bottom, the more attractive one is.  For example, one study found that most people are around 5 or 6 on a 10 point scale.  The highest ever recorded is Brad Pitt who scored around an 8, if I remember correctly.  Interestingly, Angelina Jolie is only a 7 because her lips throw off the balance, a feature that she is known for.  So really the scientific definition seems to match the first of the dictionary definition, qualities that give pleasure. 
But do we, the "regular" people define as beauty?  I see blogs about woman who call themselves curvy or big and they love who they are.  I see Facebook status about thin women who say they are tired of people calling them out about being thin.  I just read a blog this weekend that complained how women say they want to be "toned" and don't understand that it means muscle.  Then went on to talk about how all the media towards women is focused on losing weight, not gaining muscle.  Just look at men's magazines, they talk about muscle, they are getting right, but no they are not.  Men's magazines are just as bad as defining what men should look like.  They objectify men as well.  They all talk about building muscle and working out.  Because every guy should be ripped.  They show photos of guys without their heads.  Just look at any men's underwear commercial or add.  You see a six pack of abs and no head.  Let's not get into wrestling.  I have known many guys with eating disorders as they try to stay in their weight class.    It can be really bad.  So no, the men do not have it figured it out either, just no one talks about it, which is probably worse.
As I sit here, I know I have a goal to lose 20-30 pounds this year.  I would like to get rid of the weight I put during law school, the bar exam, and the last... well... yea, 7 years.  Ugh!  I want to do it to be healthier for me.  To feel better about my body.  You read things about how you shouldn't obsess over your weight in front of your children.  So exactly will I tell my children some day if I need to lose weight. Or they see me working on losing weight?  I really have no idea. 
I know when I look back at my journals from high school I was OBSESSED with losing weight.  If I only I could lose 10 pounds, 20 pounds, that boy would like me or I would fit in better.  Ironically, when it is said and done, the weight I was in high school was pretty perfect for me and it is where I want to get back to.  But I don't know how much of that obsession was from the media, friends, home.  I really do not know.  I still don't know. 
As I got ready for my hubby's work party this weekend, I told him I needed awhile to primp.  He told me that wasn't necessary because I was always beautiful.  I didn't tell him that the primping wasn't for him, but for me.  :)  (I guess he'll know that if he reads it.). I wanted to shave, pluck eyebrows, do my hair, etc. for me.  Then I began to question, how much of it was for me v. what the media tells me to feel beautiful?  How much is it my own influence?  Should I really do all of these things to feel good? 
Finally, I decided that I didn't care anymore to have this topic consume me.  I am putting it out here for others to comment or hopefully at least think about.  I have decided that to be beautiful means that you are taking care of yourself to be healthy.  It means you care to do things you need to do to put your best face forward.  Maybe that is to wear makeup, maybe it is to simply brush your teeth and hair.  You should eat healthy because it is good for your body, but it should also include the occasional indulgence as well (whatever you decide that should be).  It should probably include working out, but the type that you enjoy.  For me, that happens to be triathlon, and show jumping (jumping horses over fences) for others it is yoga, swimming, or walking.  Do things that make you smile be it knitting, reading, or calling a friend.  Just being you is beauty.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sorry for the Silence

Occupational hazard of being a lawyer, you know what you're supposed to do.  I know that if I would have a client with any matter that could end up in court I would tell them to not write about it, put it on Facebook, or anything else.  So that means, I need to follow my own advice.  Because my injury has to do with a car accident, I need to wait until it is concluded before writing anything public.

So I apologize for the silence and continued silence.  As soon as it is done, I will pick back up on the blogging. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

Still no training....

Well had my follow up with the doctor today.  No solid training for at least another month.  I'm bummed but not surprised.  My race season is going to be over at this point.  I really do not believe I can be ready for a oly distanee tri by labor day with only a month of training.  I just don't see it happening.  Maybe I'm just being negative nelly, but at the same time I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my long term track.  I want to be still racing in this sport in 10, 20 years.  If so, then it is important to listen to the doctors and do as I'm told. 

Thankfully in the meantime I have been released to walk 20-30 minutes a day as my back tolerates and I can start biking on a stationary bike.  Doc doesn't want me on my road bike for awhile because I have to be bent over.  I can also start yoga and do moves as tolerated.  At least I can start moving on more regular basis.  It will help me be less crabby.  I know Fiance has had enough of my crabbiness since I don't have any outlet for the various stresses in life.  I'm a happier person when I get my workouts.  Not to mention I feel better about myself. 

Food can use some work as usual, but I am at least cutting back.  It will take awhile to get back in the grove totally, but it helps to at least be living in the same town as Fiance.  We cook dinner most nights now and eat at home a lot more.  So at least healthier that way. 

Its a step forward and I will take it.  In 2 to 3 weeks I can probably start swimming a bit too, so I'll totally take it. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Voices Are Back In My Head

After 6 months of training, I started to feel really good about myself.  The weight loss had slowed, but I still had my training I could feel good about.  I could see inches lost and miles gained.  Now, I still sit here unable to do anything until at least Monday morning when I go back to see the doctor.  I'm not healed, I am a bit better than I was, but definitely not healed.  So I'm fearful of what he is going to say.

I'm not so afraid to lose my races this year.  It is not what I wanted, but I can live with that.  It is that I want to run, bike, and swim very, very, very badly.  I am at my parents house and love to run in this area.  Its a challenge and requires work, but it is where I first really started running and loving it.  I just want to go for a run and that can't happen.  I want to take my bike on the Wabash and ride for an hour like we did when we were kids, but again that can't happen.  I can handle no races, it stinks, but I can live.  Its the no working out that is killing me.

On top of that my working out is my sanity.  Not only does it make me feel good it makes me sane.  There is nothing better during or after a frustrating day to just go pound out some miles on foot or bike or in the pool.  The world and everything you mad at goes away.  Now, I have all of these frustrating things in my life and no outlet.  I need to find out, but I'm not really sure what it is.  I certainly can't horseback ride.  No training.  Walking only works for so long. 

Now, now the voices are back telling me that I am fat.  Telling me I am lazy.  Telling me those really awful things that you know you shouldn't say about yourself.  I am fighting that they are not true because if I wasn't injured I could run 5 miles, swim a mile, bike 20 miles (at least).  I know this body has countless hours of training in it and will again.  I just want them to shut up!  I am fighting with myself to make them go away.  Just go away!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rest, rest, and more rest

After the car accident and my ER trip last Thursday, I followed up with my regular doc on Monday.  He said no training for a minimum of two weeks.  Its not like I feel like training because my back hurts.  Today is horrible because we had our engagement pictures last night.  Who knew that posing in standing and sitting positions could create so much pain.  But the pictures had to be done because the clock is ticking.  

I am really, really, really trying to focus on the positive.  The doctor gave me exercises to do at least once per day which should strengthen my core, which is always an added bonus.  I can focus on wedding planning without having training take up more time of my day.  Its easier to eat less because I'm not working out. 

In reality, I just want to cry.  I am no longer able to race Omaha on July 21.  There is just no way its going to happen.  I'm not even sure if I will be able to race Hy-Vee at the end of my season.  There will not be time to get another race because a) the weather will start cooling and b) the wedding will be about 6 weeks away at that point.  I am just so angry, sad, hurt.  I realize that things could have been much worse, but at this point when I'm not allowed to do much of anything it stinks.

My car is totaled.  Training is on hold.  Weightloss, let's not go there right now.  My edurance and fitness...I feel like its running out the door. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Road Block

Today took an unexpected twist.   I went out over my lunch to run some errands.  In fact, I was going to pick up my new running shoes as well as some more boxes to work on finishing back up the house.  On my way to Red Dirt Running, I had to stop for a red light.  A heard something, which I now realize is screeching tires and BOOM!  The next thing I know shattered glass was all around me.  I had been seriously rear-ended while waiting for the red light.  Pretty sure the car is now totaled.

After being checked out by an EMT who stopped on his way either to or from work (not really sure) some firefighters, and my mother it was assessed that I was probably ok, but should seriously consider going to the hospital.  The woman who hit me was very nice and admitted it was her fault.  She also fault awful.  I felt a bit bad for her because she was supposed to be leaving soon for vacation.  Neither one of us really needed this as a start to an upcoming weekend. 

After the sheriff said we could go, I went with my mom to the emergency room to get checked out.  My back, especially mid to lower back was sore along with the left shoulder.  Plus I was getting a headache, even though I didn't hit my head.  At the hospital I got x-rayed and they said everything was negative on the x-ray, but that I had severe strain/sprain of my back and shoulder.  They told me to start back on the pain killers and anti-inflammatories I was on for my muscle tear from the fall. 

Nothing like making serious progress from a race, only to tell your coach you have to take at least a couple of days off.  We had planned to do some break since I am moving this weekend, but this was exactly on the schedule.  Not really what I was going for.  Needless to say I'm more than a little furstrated, especially consider I can't sleep right now. 

Oh well, all I can do is take care of myself.  If I learned anything from my injury is that I have to take care of myself now or it will only get worse.  So here's to taking it easy for who knows how long.