Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wanna box?

After a long day of working out, I sat down to watch Biggest Loser. During this episode they had them boxing. Something about watching them box and really work off the frustration they were feeling, inspired me. Since then, I've been on a mission to box.

I promptly grabbed my laptop, sat on the sofa and googled boxing lessons in MD. Who knew boxing lessons can be so expensive. I didn't even find any private lessons! They were all boxing "gyms" so to speak and with some very high monthly membership fees at that!

After realizing that wasn't really option for me, after all, I already belong to a gym, I remembered just that...Hey! I already belong to a gym and that gym, has a punching bag! Lets not forget that I also already have a personal trainer! Go me! So, not long there after, I had a little chat with the most awesome personal trainer in the world and asked him to teach me to box.

Tonight, instead of our usual personal training session, I got a boxing lesson and loved every minute of it. Nothing like being able to hit that punching bag with every ounce of strength and frustration you have.

Lesson 1 - Don't hit the personal trainer in the face. - Thankfully, I didn't. Go me!
Lesson 2 - You always have a stupid side...mine is my left.
Lesson 3 - OMG, boxing is knuckles were bright red, my hands hurt so badly after that they were shaking and I could hardly write out my check to pay for the session. Apparently that is normal since I don't spend my day punching people. Lets hope it gets easier!
Lesson 4 - When kicking the punching bag, don't kick with your toe. Kick with the top of your shoe, the laces. Kicking with the toe is extremely painful.
Lesson 5 - Boxing when the Fibromyalgia is acting up, not the best idea. But I did it anyway. =o)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beets? Yes...Beets!

I've noticed in the last few months that beets seem to be popping up every where on restaurant menus. Beets? Really? Even cheesecake factory has a new "small plate" - Beets with Goat Cheese. Mention goat cheese and usually, I'm all over it. But add some beets in there and well, I wasn't brave enough to try it.

I don't recall ever actually trying beets as a child and yet, at the mere mention of them, my first thought was always, ewe. Until recently that is. I spent a wonderful afternoon visiting my girlfriend, Jen and her wonderful fiance, Arlo. Somehow, beets came up and Arlo was very excited about these pickled beets that had been given to him as a gift...."want to try he asks". Sure, why not, I'll usually try anything at least once. As he goes off to find the jar and bring me back a fork, Jen informs me that she thinks beets taste like dirt. Just what you want to hear before taking a bite of a pickled beet! Haha. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed the beet, I even had a second and possibly a third! It had a great, earthy yet somehow, sweet taste to them. He then began to tell me that he roasts them with a little olive oil and just how wonderful they taste. I admit, I promptly went to the grocery store and bought a couple of beets. Why not, at this point, I was curious. I'd always read they were very healthy for you and I"m always looking for new healthy, exciting ways to cook.

After getting home from the grocery store, the beets promptly went into the fridge, after a momentary hesitation, are they suppose to go in the fridge? Who knows. But into the crisper drawer they went for the evening and were promptly forgotten. Several days later I came upon them by accident and decided to throw them in the oven and give them a try. Unfortunately, I didn't google just HOW to roast beets before attempting to do so and being impatient, I didn't let them cook long enough. Out they came and although the little bit that I had was very good, I hadn't let them cook enough.

As Sunday is my shopping day, I picked up some beets while I was there and this time, googled "how to cook beets in the oven" and gave it another go. Round two, fabulous! This time they were cooked all the way through, the skin peeled right off and they tasted wonderful. Also, not only did I cook the beets, but the beet greens! I mixed them in with some marinara sauce and it was just Delicious!

I suggest you check out this site and give the beets a try!

Will also throw in here that I have also become a lima bean convert after recently trying a fabulous lima bean, asparagus, pistachio nut salad at a party. The fresh/frozen lima beans definitely don't compare to those in a can, which is all I remember trying as a kid!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week in Review

Why is it so hard to get up early on a Monday morning? Had the alarm set and was certain this would be the week I made it all 5 days. Nope...back to bed I went until 7 am. Decided since I worked out for 8 days straight, I deserved a "rest day". Didn't make it up Tuesday am either, but I did make it up Wednesday. Go me! Also did abs this week on Wednesday and Friday, the only two days I made it up at 6 am. =o)

Met up with CCJ Tuesday night for a great 6 mile run and did an awesome 8 mile run Thursday evening, all on my lonesome! Thank goodness I made it to 8 miles! Of course, this was after I shared the fabulous peanut butter ripple cheesecake with a friend at lunch. I needed the run after that!

Thank goodness I worked out Friday morning because I enjoyed some mediocre steak quesadillas and wings for dinner at Happy Hour! Hopefully I worked some of that off doing spin Saturday morning CCJ too!

Less than 30 days until the Baltimore 10 Miler! I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Marathon?

I started running two years ago. I ran my first race, the Baltimore Women's Classic-5K, in Jun 2009. I ran my second race, the Catonsville Fall into Fitness-10K, in October 2009. Currently, I am training for my first 10 mile race, to take place in June 2010.

I've been asked several times if I'm going to run a half marathon next or even a marathon. Originally, my doubts about running anything longer than a 10 mile race had to do with, shall we say, ways of relieving myself. If I'm racing, I want the best possible time I can get. That doesn't include a 20 min stop at the port-a-potty.
Right now, the prospect of running a 10 mile race is daunting. Two weeks ago, as I struggled to run 7 miles, I wondered if I wanted to run longer races. I wasn't sure I wanted to run the 10 mile race. Running was much more fun to me when I was running shorter distances for fun and exercise, not because I HAVE to, in order to make it through this race. I could work on my speed when running 4 miles. When trying to run 10 miles, I have to focus on completing the miles, not how fast I'm running them.

Over the weekend, I was reading a runner magazine passed along to me by a friend. In it, was an article stating it's actually healthier for your body to run the shorter distances than it is to run the marathons. I found myself very happy to read this article, thinking it gives me a good reason to keep running the shorter races and not focus on what I picture to be my next goal. Yet, sitting in traffic today, I found myself behind a vehicle that had one of those 26.2 stickers on it. I sat there staring at that sticker and thinking that I wanted one. I want to be able to say I ran a marathon. If only once, I want to be able to say I did it.

Does that mean I'm going to do it? I don't know yet. But I suppose it is a possibility. For now, it's the 10 mile race. I suppose a half marathon is only 3 miles reason really not to do it. In theory, if I can run 10 miles, I can run 13, right?

Soup or Sodium?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had lunch at Houlihan's on Friday. What I didn't mention, was the side of sodium that came along with my meal.

I ordered their Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Salad Lunch Combo. The salad consisted of marinated shrimp, asparagus, arugula, tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette. Along with the salad, I chose a cup of their chicken tortilla soup. Both were delicious and if it weren't for the large amount of tortilla strips in the soup (I only ate half!), I wouldn't even have considered being worried about the calorie intake of the meal.

I am happy to say that Houlihan's has their nutritional information posted on their website. However, I am not happy about what I found. Imagine my shock when I realized it wasn't the calories that I needed to be concerned about, but the amount of sodium in my meal.

Currently, the recommended intake of sodium a day is 2,400 milligrams. However, we typically range between 3,000 - 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day. Given my history with high blood pressure, I have gotten use to cooking with low sodium products and trying to watch my intake there, as much as I do my fat and calories.

Grilled Shrimp Combo - 1,094 milligrams of sodium
Chicken Tortilla Soup - 2,108 milligrams of sodium

Imagine my shock when I realized that in one meal, I've just consumed 3,202 milligrams of sodium. That's more than the recommended amount, in ONE MEAL. I haven't even had dinner yet! How about some soup with my cup of sodium. Some salt with my shrimp?

I expected the soup to probably be about 1,000 milligrams. But over 2,000? And it wasn't until going back to their website for a second time to verify the numbers, that I noticed how much sodium was in the salad.

Is that much salt in our food really necessary? Is it not possible to provide us withdelicious, restaurant quality food in a manner that is healthy and affordable? It seems as though the answer is no.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week in review

Monday, May 10, 2010

My goal this week was to get up every day at 6 am to get in a morning workout.

This morning I was suppose to do my P90X CardioX and Ab Ripper routines. However, it's only Monday and already I've failed! The alarm went off, I got out of bed, brushed my teeth and decided it was too cold and I went back to bed. How pathetic! That means I had to workout after work and miss my target excursion. I'm bummed, but I only have myself to blame. At least I got my workout in and didn't talk myself out of it this evening after getting home. Had to stay away from the couch so I didn't get comfortable. That was the key to this evenings success!

Also proud to say that a few of us went out to lunch today (rare for me during the week), to Amicci's for a friends birthday and I ordered a shrimp salad with a healthy red wine dressing. I also sparingly sampled a couple of other plates but was well behaved. Now I can enjoy a small slice of homemade strawberry pie, compliments of my friend Katie. Thanks Katie!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today, I was suppose to meet a new running partner, CCJ, to run 6 miles at Patterson Park but unfortunately, the weather had different plans for us. Instead, I worked an hour late and then drove straight to the fitness center at my apartment complex to hit the treadmill. The fear being, if I went home first to feed the cats and change, I wouldn't make it back out of the house. Glad to say I accomplished today's goal and ran 6 miles. Even better, I did it in 1:00:17. Nice to see my pace back up there and away from the 12 min pace I've been keeping lately.

Also met my goal of getting up at 6am this morning to complete my hour long P90X stretch workout. Was a great way to start my day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Didn't make it out of bed this morning at 6 am to do my cardio and ab routines. However, I did make it to the gym after work to do my upper body work out and managed an ab routine there. My goal is to have arms and abs of steel by year end! Yeah right! One can only hope!
A confession though....I had a mini twix, a mini snickers and a semi-sweet dark chocolate nugget with almonds today. Yummy! Hey, I can justify the nugget! It's DARK chocolate AND has ALMONDS! Right? Right?

I'm still hoping for a week where I make it up at 6 am, EVERY WEEK DAY, consecutively!

Oh and the best part - I managed to get in my target excursion and found a shrug to go with tube dress I plan to show off this weekend at a Spring Gathering!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I thought about going back to bed for a minute or two but when I rolled over, I realized just how stiff I was and thought stretching would go along way. I was glad I did it afterwards. It not only eased up the Fibromyalgia, but the sore muscles from working out.

Met my new running partner, CCJ, at Druid Hill Lake this evening. I was suppose to run 8 miles but if I calculated correctly, only made it through 7.75 miles. My right knee and both my thighs were in pretty rough shape in that last quarter. Maybe next week. My 10 mile race is on June 19th, so I have a little over a month to finish training.

However, I was so sore when I got home that I soaked in a hot bath. Would have been better for the body if I had some Epsom salt, but not this evening.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Woohoo! I managed to get up and exercise at 6 am THREE days this week! Last week I'm pretty certain it was only two, so I'm already improving! Did my cardio and abs this morning knowing, I wouldn't be exercising after work.
Also enjoyed lunch at Houlihan's with a couple of girlfriends from work and enjoyed a delicious corn tortilla soup and a jumbo shrimp salad. Who said eating heatlhy can't taste good and be affordable? They have awesome lunch entrees.

Instead, I made some healthy chicken and black bean enchiladas. I've been trying to make a new recipe each weekend to freeze for fresh "prepared" meals instead of frozen meals. I've noticed I loose more weight when I'm eating less processed foods.

Now lets hope I make it through the Spring Gathering without too much damage! Good thing I have a Spin and Zumba class Saturday morning and I'm running 6 miles Sunday morning!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week in review

I started the week at 141.5 (Monday, 05/03) and weighed in today at 136. Awesome! I pulled my sh*t together this week and got it in gear. There were hard runs, tough upper body workouts and even tougher ab workouts, but it all paid off. I even managed to get up at 6 am a couple of days last week to work out before work.

Unfortunately, my legs were so worn out from Thursday's 7 mile run that I had to skip my Saturday morning work out, but the rest day definitely helped my body heal and be ready for today's run, which was the best I've felt in the last two weeks. The weather was beautiful and my body was feeling well rested.

The Fibromyalgia wasn't too happy this week, but it'll get over it. That's what the meds are for right!? More than one day when there was an extra dose of Lyrica and even a bit of Tramadol. They are my friends. It's hard to keep it all balanced sometimes, between what I know I can do and what the FM is willing to let me do.

The goal this week? Get up EVERYDAY at 6 am to work out and start my new and improved routine meant to increase cardio, work on my abs and upper body. I may even be able to upgrade to 8 lbs! Woohoo!

Possibly the best part of the week, I may have found two running partners! One for my Sunday morning runs and the other for my Tuesday and Thursday runs. I met one of my new running buddies this morning and though DM slowed down a bit and didn't really complete all 5 miles (he took a short cut back), we were able to finish the run together and are looking forward to meeting again next Sunday. I hope to meet my 2nd running buddy, CCJ, Tuesday evening for a 6 mile run at Patterson Park and again for an 8 mile run at Druid HIll Lake. Go us!

And a special thanks to my good friend Sandy, who gave me a gift card to for my birthday. I ordered a hydration pack to keep me hydrated on my runs. Can't wait till it arrives. Thanks Sandy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Good Dr - 1! Health Care Insurance - 0!

I take two different prescription drugs for the Fibromyalgia. The first is an anti-inflammatory called Celebrex and the second is for pain, Lyrica. Up until 2010, my mail order costs were $30 for 90 days worth of Celebrex, which I took once a day and the same cost for 90 days worth of Lyrica which I took twice a day. In January, my prescription drug costs doubled to $60. I did not anticipate this and I certainly hadn't budgeted for it in my flexible spending plan for the year.

In order to afford the cost, I started taking the Lyrica only once a day. Unfortunately, this meant more symptoms. As for the Celebrex, I had no choice but to continue taking it as prescribed.

I recently saw my Good Dr and explained to him the situation. His response..."Two can play at that game" and he promptly wrote out a prescription doubling my regular dose of Celebrex to twice a day with the theory that the cost would still be only $60. I thought, you're crazy...never going to work, now I'm going to get a bill for $120. Why on earth would the cost be the same if you're doubling the dose, therefore, doubling the amount of pills they have to give me?

Imagine my surprise when my shipment arrived yesterday and they gave me 180 pills of Celebrex for $60. The same cost as 90 pills. So whether I take it once a day or twice a day the cost is the same. The the prescription was written. I was shocked and pissed off too! Are you kidding me? How much freak'n money are these companies making?

Next up, the Lyrica. The Good Dr was kind enough to give me free samples of the Lyrica he had in the office so I wouldn't have to continue taking my medication only once a day and in the meantime, he had also doubled that prescription. I'm excited to see what will happen when I mail that one in too! Lets hope it's the same!

Score one for the Good Dr!!!

To those of you that have mail order to your Doctors. It's worth a try!

Monday, May 3, 2010


yo·ga - 1.a school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.
2.any of the methods or disciplines prescribed, esp. a series of postures and breathing exercises practiced to achieve control of the body and mind, tranquillity, etc.
3.union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.

I've tried a yoga class before and I've actually enjoyed it. I've also tried my P90X Yoga DVD which only left me frustrated with the positions and bored with the repetition of it all. But tonight, I was in a better place, minimal pain and thought, lets give it a try.

At 5 pm, I quickly changed at the office into my gym clothes, attempted to speed my way through traffic to get to the chiropractor by 5:45 pm (I didn't), rushed my way through the appointment, to finally get to the 6:30 pm yoga class. And now, after an hour and a half of nothing but rushing, I am asking my brain to silence itself as I attempt to liberate myself with Yoga. Easy right? Not so much.

As I'm laying on the floor listening to the instructor ask us to inhale and exhale using various parts of my body I am unfamiliar with, I'm already wondering if Yoga is for me. Only about 10 minutes into the class and I am having a silent argument within my head, actually shushing myself, because all I can think about while laying on the floor, simply breathing, is that I should be running, or taking spin, or on an elliptical machine. I could even be at home making tonight's dinner, making lunch for tomorrow, even packing my gym bag for tomorrows run. But what I can't do, is quiet my brain.

Let's be honest...for a woman, this is extremely difficult. Unless you are a master at meditating or a yoga-ologist (yes, I realize that may not be a real word), women are ALWAYS thinking. You ask a man what he's thinking and if tells you nothing, he is probably telling you the truth. But if a woman tells you she's thinking about nothing, she's probably just had 10 different thoughts in a span of 5 minutes. They might all be meaningless, but she's thinking. A women NEVER stops thinking.

Apologies...back to the topic at hand. Just as I'm considering leaving the class, we raise ourselves from the floor to begin our first "Sun Salutation". It is at this point that I realize our instructor is a giraffe. Please do not think I mean this to be disrespectful, as I do not. I happen to think giraffes are beautiful creatures. This woman is tall, fit and incredibly flexible; her legs move gracefully and with such ease, all the while I can barely manage to put my left arm over my head, reach my right arm back, grabbing my right ankle to hold it in place and "balance" for several minutes. As I'm watching my classmates follow along with no issues, my mind is already wondering and thinking about how I will blog about this later and wondering if I can catch up with my personal trainer before he leaves to discuss boxing lessons.

Not even a half hour into the class and I silently roll up my mat, grab my socks and shoes and tip toe out the door, hoping no one notices. I realize at this point that yoga to me, is nothing but a bunch of vocabulary words I can't pronounce, with definitions I won't even pretend to know and balancing acts I can't perform.

Yoga is most definitely not for me. I don't think my mind, nor my body, can handle the silence.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Which is it?

For those of you unfamiliar with Fibromyalgia (FM), it's a little like Arthritis and a whole lot more. You get your aches and pains in various joints, but might also have temperature issues (extreme hot/cold), soft tissue tenderness (you bump into a wall and you can't breath because it feels like your skin is on fire). For some people, there is even the extreme fatigue. For me, my biggest hurdles are the pain and the soft tissue tenderness.

On a good day, all or most of the pain is managed with medication and exercise. However, exercise too much or not enough and I could have a flair up. Sometimes, after a good/tough work out, my joints hurt, my muscles hurt and I'm trying to differentiate between what's normal post work out soreness and whats the FM pain. Even during a work out with my personal trainer I'm pointing out what hurts and asking, is that the workout? No, he says, that's the FM. After a run and my lower back hurts - did I screw it up? Did I throw it out? Should I not do that work out or is it the FM?

These days, there seems to be a lot of flair ups, making it difficult to want to work out, making it difficult to get motivated. Last night as I lay in bed the pain was in my right hand for a bit, then it moved to my left foot, then up to my knees. Sometimes the pain stays in one place, those days I am thankful. But when it randomly moves through out the body with no pattern, those are the days when I reach for extra dose of medication and hope its enough becuase I know I need to do it all again tomorrow. Last night was one of those days. it seems manageable. Just finished a 3.5 mile run and feeling decent and hoping to make it through an upper body work out.

Oh, by the on the scale this morning as Sunday is my usual weigh in day....141.5. Ouch. But seeing those numbers today is what helped get my arse out the door to do my run this morning. Sometimes we all just need a good reality check from time to time.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Started off with good intentions

I woke up this morning with the intention of getting back on the wagon. I ate my banana, my 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup Kashi cereal and then I drove to Druid Hill Lake with the intention of running 7 miles. Just as I was completing my 3rd mile, the area was taken over by hundreds of walkers coming down the hill for some kind of walkathon.

Great, I'm glad people are exercising, that's wonderful, but have some respect for the people that were there before you, that are say...running, biking? Keep your dogs on short leashes and the strollers and the walkers off to the right, so the bikers and runners can finish their work out.

Obviously, that didn't happen so after completing my 3rd mile I headed home with the intent to run at least another 3 in my own neighborhood. By the time I got home it was already 74 degrees out and it didn't take much to talk myself out of finishing my 7 mile run for the day.

But still in a healthy, happy frame of mind, I stopped at Panera for lunch and had a delicious Mediterranean salmon salad before joining my girl friend and her little girl and dog, Lucy for a leisurely afternoon walk. Again....I started off really well.

However, on the way home I saw a crowd of people outside Rita's and I thought, wow, ice cream would be really good right now. I thought it through even farther and thought, let me go to Giant since its on the way home and pick up Skinny Cow ice cream. This way, I'm still getting my treat but it won't be so bad. This decision here was my down fall....

Walking into Giant I see that they are giving out hot dogs and a beverage if you are kind enough to donate $2 dollars to children with cancer. How can I NOT give to children with cancer? I pick up my Skinny Cow ice cream cones and leave with a hot dog and a cherry crush soda. The first soda I have had in a VERY long time, that isn't diet (they didn't have any) and wow, sweet, but tasty. This was bad choice #1.

Bad choice #2? I chose to stop at a Giant directly behind a Chipotle. Have you been to a Chipotle? They have only the best chips and guacamole in town and amazing burritos. Having just finished my hot dog, I'm thinking chips and guacamole would be a nice side. Pull over, go inside and what happens? Out of my mouth comes a request for a large quesadilla with carnitas meat, along my chips and guacamole. I don't even know where that came from! And lets not forget the side of sour cream to go with it. As if I really needed any of this. All the while I'm thinking and knowing, I shouldn't be doing this. I'm doing this because I'm sad. I'm doing this for no good reason, yet, I do it anyway. This my friends, is what they call emotional eating.

After having enjoyed my wonderful meal, I promptly fall asleep on the sofa and dream away the afternoon. Later I wake up and decide to watch Biggest Loser in hopes of finding inspiration and all I can think is, I have no excuse. I could have been exercising instead of sleeping. I could have been exercising instead of eating. I need to get my arse back in gear and stop eating like this. And this my friends, is what lead me to the start of my blog.

And while I'm being honest, I should admit to having the single serving of cannoli chips and dip from Varcarro's in Canton this evening and then coming home to finally eat the skinny cow ice cream I had bought earlier in the day, but hadn't actually gotten to at that time. I don't even want to try and think about the calories I consumed today and obviously, didn't work off.

Lets hope tomorrow is a better day.

Where I've Been...Where I'm going

On January 1, 2008, I weighed in at my highest ever...209 lbs. I was in an unhappy relationship, an emotional eater, unmotivated and recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and pre-diabetes.

To be 29 years old and just told that I was pre-diabetic, that scared me. That is what motivated me. I didn't want to be sick. I didn't want to be unhappy anymore.

It took some time to get the medication worked out for the Fibromyalgia, but I signed up at the gym and began taking water aerobics classes. I found that even though I couldn't walk on a treadmill for 3o minutes, I could be in the water and work out for an hour and not hurt as much.

I lost 40lbs in the first year and began working out with a personal trainer to lose another 30+ lbs.

I reached my goal of 135 lbs in October 2009. I had been hovering about 136/137 until now, which brings me to the reason for this blog. The last three months have been pretty tough. I had a tough breakup, fought a staph infection for a few months without even knowing it then and an allergic reaction to the medication for it and loads of family drama. Even got on a plane to fly to CA to say goodbye to my mother because were going to take her off life support, only to have her live. Talk about an emotional roller coaster.

So now, here I am, above 140 for certain, but afraid to get on the scale and still eating and not really exercising. I'm suppose to be training for a 10 mile race in June and I'm struggling to get focused again and need something...need someone to get me there. I posted on Craigs List in hopes of finding a running partner, but no such luck just yet. So I thought why not start blogging about it, why not start talking about it. Maybe it'll motivate me to get back on track again, maybe if I feel like I'm reporting to people, it'll keep me more in check.
So here I am, a Woman on a Mission, to get focused again, to get back on track, to get back to my goal, to maintain and to tone up and be where I need to be.