2 Steps Forward, 6 Months Back

Six months ago, my husband and I were on a journey to get healthy. We had plans, and charts, and shopping lists. We had apps, and schedules, and I had this blog which was still in its infancy. We joked about Kale, and were eating mostly vegan, all the while laughing about how crazy we used to eat. We were on a great path until six months ago when my husband got really sick.

We spent 4 months going to doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. We stopped cooking, we started eating out all of the time, and working out took a backseat to a string of doctors visits and medications. I worked full-time while my husband home schooled our two kids from bed. I was terrified and exhausted and doing whatever it took just to get our family through the days, weeks, and months that followed.

Our bank account was bleeding money and I was bleeding willpower. Every pound we had worked so hard to shed, jumped back on for the ride.

In November, my husband was healthy again and when seeing his new doctor she told him very bluntly, “You’re fat.” It sounds really awful, but it wasn’t. She wasn’t saying it to be mean or condescending. She was saying it because he honestly needed to hear it. Hell, I needed to hear it. He’d just spent 6 months incredibly ill and had he been a healthy weight, that 6 months might have been easier on his body. That night we went home with new found determination and a sense of what we needed to do.

We put away the apps and joined the YMCA. I loved Couch to 5K and perhaps in the future I will do it again, but what I needed was accountability; the kind that comes with having to get in the car and go work out in front of people. He needed it too. I even took it a step further and joined Zumba. Now I was in a class where the instructor would know if I missed a day and could harass me until I provided a damn good reason for it. After awhile, other classmates would notice who was absent too. Joining Zumba was the best decision I ever could have made in regards to my health.

Have you ever tried to dance hip hop after eating french fries or a chicken quesarito? I have and never will again. Zumba is not just a workout, it’s a built in “don’t eat Sh*t” detector. You will throw up faster than Pitbul can scream, “DalEHY!”

The coolest thing? My husband joined Zumba too after realizing what an amazing calorie burn it provides.

It’s been 6 weeks since we joined the YMCA and in those 6 weeks, we’ve each lost 12lbs of our 100lb goal.

I’m writing this post because honestly? Life happens. I could angrily dwell on how it’s been 6 months since my last update and how the 12lbs I’ve lost really don’t matter because I’m still heavier than I was 6 months ago, but that would be stupid. 12lbs is a small victory and even small victories are victories.

So here’s to me updating more often, and staying accountable 🙂

Also, did you know eggplant is delicious!? Mind blown.

Holy mother of…

Everything hurts.

The backs of my ankles, the fronts of my ankles (bear with me I have no idea what my muscles are called), my calves, my knees, my hips, weird muscles in other weird places, the one piece of hair I missed when shaving my legs; they all feel like Uncle Vinny took a baseball bat and beat the $*%& out of me, and not with the lightweight metal kind of bat, with the nice piece of ash kind of bat.

As I limped into Earthfare to procure a few things to go with dinner, I could feel my whole body telling me to just collapse on the floor next to the plantains.

For the first time in 6 weeks, I was unable to complete a run. I mean, I did this week’s Couch to 5K, but for some reason completely unknown to me, I could not complete all of the runs even though I did this exact same workout just 48 hours ago. Sure it’s been hard these last few weeks, but I’ve always been able to dig down and dig deep to keep going. Today? Today it felt like my feet stopped sending signals to my brain and I was running on stubs.

“Okay fine,” I said to myself. “Just walk this &!#*^.”

So I did. I walked the &!#@^.

I ran when I could, and walked when I had to. In the end I was pissed, but I was drenched with sweat, my heart racing. Clearly I had a great workout and at any point before these last 6 weeks, I would have been happy. So why not today?

Then it occurred to me.

I’ve not been thinking about Couch to 5K as exercise. I’ve been thinking about it as a competition. I wasn’t angry that I didn’t get a good workout. I was angry that I lost a war with my iPhone.

Then the light bulb went off.

Not exercise.

If Couch to 5K is not exercise, and is instead a game of will, well then…BRING THAT $^%* ON!

48 hours till the rematch.

tiffwork

 

 

How not to spend two weeks…

I have a confession to make. While I have maintained a 95% vegan lifestyle since the start of this whole Kale eating thing (just kidding, I’ve not had Kale in a month), I have not done Couch to 5K in two weeks. TWO WEEKS.

My excuse? My 33-year-old husband has been referred to a neurologist for an issue with his brain and the stress level at my job has reached epic, horrible proportions.

This morning G and I forced ourselves to get out and get a run in and it was miserable. Two weeks of not running and then jumping right back into the groove? I nearly threw up all over the green-way.

I learned a valuable lesson as I was doubled over in the heat, my lungs burning, sweat running into my eyes, and my stomach threatening to spill its meager morning contents all over the pavement.

Exercise is important no matter what is going on.

Unless my legs are broken, I need to run. Unless I am dying from pneumonia, I need to run. Unless there is a lightning storm every single day in a single week, I need to run.

This morning, I ran. I didn’t want to. I complained the whole way there, and had a miserable attitude about it, but I did it.

It’s been 8 hours and I still feel less stressed, less hungry, and generally less angry than I’ve felt the last 14 days.

The moral of this story?

Run on.

 

Day 25, or something like that…

Three weeks in on a 99% vegan diet. I’ve gotten surprisingly good at it which is weird. I thought I’d be trying to sneak glasses of chocolate milk or cut up a block of cheese to dip in peanut butter by now. Turns out, soy chocolate milk is amazeballs and peanut butter tastes awesome on toast with raisins on top. It’s like my own version of ants on a log, because let’s face it, celery is gross.

What am I eating?

I generally eat fruit for breakfast which works perfectly for me because I never have any time. Grabbing a banana, a few apples, or some berries while heading out the door to work is insanely easier than having to wait for frozen waffles to get crispy enough for me to consider done (pop them twice!) only to then slather peanut butter on top. Lunch is usually left overs or anything Mexican or bean and guacamole related. The farmers market downtown has a vendor with amazing vegan tamales on Wednesdays so that has become my new thing. Dinner is a wide array of awesome vegan foods from lentil “meat” loaf, walnut tacos, and tofu and cashew-cheese stuffed pasta shells, to plantain taquitos and veggie burgers. We are constantly trying out new dishes and then we force them on our friends.

Surprises

I get full extremely fast. After about 10 days, my stomach decided it would get on board and now enjoys very much its ability to shut me down. I finally just put up the dinner plates and started using desert plates for food.

My grocery bill has gone down. Planning ahead and doing 95% of our shopping at Trader Joe’s or local farmers markets has seen a big decrease in our weekly grocery bills. This has somehow segued into us planting our own garden. Knowing absolutely nothing about how to grow anything, we now own a little army of corn, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, leeks, tomatoes, spinach, leaf lettuce, carrots, zuchini, squash, watermelon, pumpkin, and herbs. Go big or go home, right? They might make it to the summer.

Running

Probably the biggest accomplishment of the last 25 days is that I can now run for 3 minutes without stopping. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you how hard it was to go from running 30 seconds without stopping to three minutes. It took three weeks of interval torture. Next week we go to 5 minutes and I already want to throw up thinking about it.

Weightloss

6lbs. Not the 10lbs I was hoping for, but I’ve learned something humbling these last 25 days. If 6lbs down is all it takes to be able to run 3 minute increments, jog up 6 flights of stairs without having a near asthma attack, and to convince me into an anger run after a stressful day at work, then the next 44lbs are just going to make it easier. Day 25 and counting…

 

 

 

That moment when raisins become candy…

It’s day 7 and I’ve lost 3lbs. I’m feeling pretty awesome about that and even more awesome about the fact that today is running day. I know, right? I’m actually excited about it. This shit’s getting weird.

Something else that’s getting weird? I am full most of the time. I get full so much faster eating nearly all vegan and because of that, we have a lot of leftovers in our fridge right now. This worked to my benefit this morning because I brought some leftover tofu “cheese” filled pasta shells to work for lunch and Gman didn’t have to tackle me to keep me from taking his breakfast (the weirdo doesn’t eat breakfast food).

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This morning I was trying to get out the door for work and grabbed a banana for breakfast and decided I wanted to take some raisins with me. I’ve basically not had sugar in a week so I was really looking forward to these raisins. I searched the cabinets, the kitchen counter, then asked the Gman where the hell the raisins were. I finally found them on the floor next to Julibean’s bed. Yes, I did steal raisins from my 10-year-old this morning. Why? Because at this point, raisins have become candy.

Some of you have been asking on Facebook for copies of the recipes we are doing. I will start linking them and then writing down any changes we make.

Happy Friday!

I have mastered the smoothie

This will be a short blog because it’s almost 1am, I am still working, and I barely remember what happened today. I think I mastered the smoothie this morning, at least for me not #^$&%*^ it up is mastery. 1 1/2 frozen bananas and 10 strawberries does not equal shaved ice.

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Leftover pot pie for lunch followed by a lentil loaf for dinner. I didn’t even know what a lentil was before today. Scratch that, I’m still not entirely sure what a lentil is, but fake meatloaf rocked.

loaf

So that was my day…tomorrow is another Couch to 5K because Gman hates me.

Night!

!&#* is the word of the day

What was a blissfully easy day yesterday, turned into a full blown disaster today. It all started with breakfast, and a smoothie the consistency of a snow cone.  I had the bright idea of throwing frozen watermelon, frozen banana, and frozen blueberries into a blender expecting a smoothie and then realized that I basically had just created 3 flavors of crushed ice. I then had the even more brilliant idea of tossing in coconut milk. What resulted was a coconut/watermelon/banana/blueberry frosty. After 4 bites and a brain freeze I gave up and ate a leftover vegan blueberry muffin.

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When lunch rolled around I made a bean dip that came out so dry I was grateful there wasn’t any leftover sour cream in the house or I might have caved.

With two disasters down, I turned my focus towards dinner and managed to successfully complete a vegan pot pie. It wasn’t pretty, and I hand made everything including the biscuit on top, but it was edible. The weirdest part? Trying to convince myself that cashews could actually create a cream sauce. My mind was blown and either it tasted like pot pie, or after 3 days I’m starving and have started to hallucinate.

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About an hour after dinner it was time to head out to a nearby green-way to start Couch to 5K. I had been dreading this for 3 days and by the time we got there and got started, I was getting physically sick to my stomach as the little Siri voice counted down the warm-up. After 5 minutes, it was time to run. At first all I could feel was my ass bouncing and I had a fleeting thought of, “Oh, so this is how the weight will peel off. It will just jiggle its way out.” After a minute, I was a little out of breath but otherwise unscathed. This went on for 15 minutes, walk, run, walk, run, walk, run. By the halfway point I was audibly cursing and my kids were laughing. Gman and the boys were way ahead of me, but I had more endurance and noticed I could maintain a run for longer periods, albeit slower. With 6 minutes left in the workout, I felt like some mafia boss had taken a steel beam and broken my legs. At the point where I thought I could not survive anymore, the little phone voice yelled in an excited tone, “COOL DOWN!” I would have collapsed on the ground in sheer relief but my muscles were acting on memory and propelled me forward. Once we got home, Gman grabbed a heating pad and I sank into the bath. After what seemed like ages, he mentioned that I must be enjoying it since I had been in there so long, and I lied that yes, the bath was amazing. In reality, I couldn’t actually move to get out of the tub.

So today was a !%#* kind of day, but I’m not starving and not dying, so I’ll just take it one awesome and then horrible day at a time.