Stats for the First Race in the 12-5 Challenge and Sunday Weigh Day

I weighed this a.m. at 153.6 – not a great decrease in weight – but it does mean that the 4 pounds lost last week are really off, and not water weight.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to challenge myself with twelve 5k races – one per month.  I’m thinking this will motivate me to actually get out and jog/run/sprint/walk – whatever I can do in order to enjoy these races more and more each month as opposed to feeling ill prepared and sore the next day.

So, yesterday I ran my first 5K – it was small local high school fund raiser, so the perfect one to start the year.  Even so, I challenged myself with sprints along the way in between walk intervals and it was very fun running over the finish line!.  My legs and, especially hips, are pretty sore, so I’m determined to get some road time in before the next one.

I was one of three in the 57-66 age group, and came in first – woo hoo!

Here are my stats: 77th overall place out of 98 participants,  I took a total of 44 mins, 34 seconds, and averaged 14:21 minutes per mile.

I now have the goal of finishing the year with 10 minutes miles!

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Sunday Weigh Day – More Research

I weighed this a.m., but didn’t have a chance to post.  I weighed 154 even.

After watching a couple of TED talks last week, I decided to fully embrace a diet higher in fat. then protein, a low in carbs – and mostly from nuts and veggies.  I have to say I feel great!  I even had beer three times this week, and a glass of port, yet the scale finally moved!

Here are the links to the two TED talk – very interesting stuff:

A Dr.’s perspective on Carbs and Type 2 diabetes.

Here’s the one where this person ate 75% fat – and he lost 450 pounds!

This is experiment has been much more satisfying than the liquid diet experiment from last week!

Who Needs Carbs When You Can Have Sausage Balls?

OMG, you’ve got to try these!

I’ve always loved the family sausage ball appetizer. But they use Bisquick, which is not for the low carb life.

I substituted the same amount of almond flour plus 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda and, holy crap, it worked!

Can’t wait to have a couple of these little gems for a quick breakfast!

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Recipe:

  • 1 lb. roll spicy sausage – I used Jimmy Dean hot sausage
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (medium or sharp)
  • 3/4 cups almond flour with 1/2 tsp baking power and 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed in

Preheat oven to 375 degs.

Mix shredded cheese in with almond flour mix.

Thoroughly mix sausage into cheese/flour mixture.

Roll out 1″ to 1 1/2″ balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes until brown.

“Sprint” Weight Loss Plan Doesn’t Reach the Finish Line (More Research Reveals Shift in the Diet World)

Sunday weigh day – up 2.2 pounds – now 158.2.

The best thing about experiments, it just that – they are experiments – when the outcome is not what you expected, then you move on instead of feeling like a failure.

Good thing my week of liquid was just an experiment – I lasted just two days.  I quickly became tired of the sweet flavor of the smoothies and decided to try and add more of a “savory” broth to the liquid diet.  To do this, I bought canned chicken and rice soup and strained the liquid for the broth.  It tasted OK, but I didn’t feel great afterwards.  The second day I tried it with a beef based soup, and again didn’t feel great afterwards.  I also got a bit more heartburn.  That could have been from the soups – not sure.  Then I decided to go for the low-calorie Sprint, but ended up getting fixated on sandwiches and pasta and I basically carbed-out.  Thus the weight gain.  Clearly I am really bad at measuring and limiting my volume of consumption.

So, that didn’t work for me!  One of the replies to my last post talked about Dr. Phil’s 20/20 diet.  I read a little about that and believe it to be a bit too regimented for me as you have to eat certain foods.  But, it seems better than just a low-calorie diet.

Weight Watches has a “new” idea for 2018, that they call “Freestyle”.  I haven’t looked at WW for quite some time – last time I checked them out, they were totally on the point system.  That plan never worked for me because, as I said, I am too impatient (and busy) to weigh and measure everything.  Then it seems WW started allowing “zero” point foods like veggies.  Now, they have a huge shift to over 200 “zero” point foods, including “eggs, skinless chicken breast, fish and seafood, corn, beans, peas” and more.  Other foods carry points that are not just related to calories.  It depends on the food composition.  One blogger stated that a Starbucks fancy coffee and scone blew her entire allotment of WW points but only added up to about 800 calories.  Aside from WW still seemingly being fixated on the old fashion “fat-is-bad” bandwagon, they are at least recognizing protein-based foods and fresh fruit and veggies are better than processed grains and sugar.

In doing my “Sprint” plan, I violated one of my basic premises of why the our plan of 3-years ago was so successful – it was because it was a life-style shift and not a diet plan.  And, we never had to “give up” any food.  The basic premise was to eat clean most of the time, but not sacrifice the occasional bad-for-you food if you really wanted to eat it, especially when at a celebration or other special event.  The plan generally fits well with any occasion.

The other key was to cook and be prepared.  I’ve gotten very lazy on this front.  I do love to cook, but I’ve used the excuse that work has been so busy.

Today I start anew – here’s how:

  1. Make list of my favorite foods that fit well with the original FFF plan;
  2. Go grocery shopping;
  3. Cook and prepare the food to make this next week easy-peasy and stress free!

Back to the Starting Line – Time to Experiment

Back to the starting line – literally.  I weighed myself this a.m. and am back to 156.  To make matters worse, I have all the other I’m-too-fat symptoms:  really achy joints, heartburn (burned through 1 large bottle of Tums this last month), tired, lousy sleep, irritable, miscellaneous aches and pains, MY CLOTHES DON’T FIT!

I’ve been eating lots or processed grains and sugar, including wheat, candy, pizza (including calzones Friday night), cheese cake, cookies, and I have NOT been eating my go-to feel-good staple – big salads with full-fat dressings, which I ate (and thoroughly enjoyed) almost daily when loosing this weight on this blog, let’s see – starting in 2013.  Holy crap has it been 5 years already???

I’ve been thinking a lot (make that non-stop) of why it is so hard to go back to what easily worked before – and I believe that’s why – it worked “before”.  I am a creature of change – I’m known to re-arrange the living room or my office just because. I love new clients, new cases, new business ventures, and New Year’s Day because each represents new beginnings, new challenges, new ways to improve, plus, importantly, the opportunity to make it better than before.

Even when starting a new “healthy living” strategy, I love the research, the planning, the preparation, and the enthusiasm I feel because it’s something new and challenging.  But, doing what I’ve done before doesn’t provide the same excitement.

So, how can I infuse that excitement into getting the weight off this go ‘round?  I have an idea.  I’ve developed what I am going to call the “Get-Healthy Sprint Plan”.  The term “sprint” when used in the business world means the short period of time to achieve a deliverable, process development, or project interim goal or milestone.

As applied to my Plan, it means the short period of time when you follow a specific unique weight-loss plan. For example, there are a million “diet” plans out there, from doctor managed liquid diets to low calorie to low carb.  The problem is that anyone who has had success on one, or maybe all, and who has reverted back to their old ways that got them into the fat-zone again, usually dreads going back to what worked for them before.  This is because each diet requires you to give up the types of food you traditionally have loved that got you into trouble. And most of us have lives where being stringent for long periods of time interferes with our happiness.  Plus, when we find ourselves in situations that are normal for just living our lives, like a business dinner, colleague happy hour or wedding, we fail to achieve perfection that one day and boom – we’ve been catapulted from the diet boat and we find ourselves really struggling to swim over and climb back on.

Also, there is so much contradictory information as to what’s bad and what’s good for us that even when we’re humming along successfully on a specific plan, we can’t control the questions harboring in the back of our minds, such as:

  • “Does it really hurt me to eat grains?”
  • “Can I really eat as much fat and butter as I wish?”
  • “Does my metabolism really get jacked up on a low-calorie diet?”
  • “Does it really come down to calories in and calories out”?
  • “Do juice fasts really cleanse?”
  • “Do my innards even need cleansing?”

Since no one can really answer these questions with anything close to 100% certainty, I’m going to experiment.  And that brings us back to my “Sprint” plan.  I am going start a new one-week “Sprint” diet-cycle each Sunday (starting with the liquid diet, since I’ve never done that before).  Then, for example, I’ll go to low carb, then low calorie, and then, perhaps, do a “juice fast”, then back to low carb, then to liquid, etc.  That way, I’m always starting a “new” plan.  Also, I never have to give up a specific food type for very long.  If, for example, I crave pasta or fruit while I’m low-carbing it, it would just be a matter of a week until I can re-introduce it into my diet under a low-calorie Sprint.  I’m also thinking this system can work well when looking at the week ahead and picking the specific Sprint diet plan that will mesh the best for upcoming life obligations.  I have no social or business events this upcoming week that involve food, so liquid Sprint it is!

For my liquid Sprint, I am going to drink smoothies made from high-quality protein power, with blended frozen fruit and almond milk.  For variety, I may add in a few servings of off-the-shelf juices or blended juices, like carrot juice or veggie-fruit juices.

And, before you think “Oh no, this first Sprint is not healthy”, just how healthy is it for me to carry around 30 extra pounds that were created by eating junk?  And, after all, it’s only a week!

What Holds Me (P) Back?

It’s been several years now (like 20 years) since I’ve wanted to be able to say:  “Hello, my name is P and I’m a triathlete.”  I’ve signed up for many races, only to pick up the t-shirt on registration day, yet not participate because I didn’t ever train for it.

About seven years ago, over a two-year period, I did two sprint triathlons (1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run) and then an Olympic distance one (about 1 mile swim, 24 mile bike and 6 mile run).  The Olympic distance one was extremely difficult, especially because my training was pretty much non-existent.  Nonetheless, for each race, I loved the comradery among the participants (though most of us had never met each other), I loved the encouragement of the people on the sidelines, I loved the fanfare at the finish line, but mostly, I loved the true sense of accomplishment that stayed with me every time a wore the event T-shirt – it’s the “I did this” sense of accomplishment.

For me, it’s an entirely different sense of accomplishment than my work and career give me, regardless of what I accomplish on a professional level. For example, I recently took the Hawaii bar exam (16 years after passing the California bar), and, though passing it was a relief, it did not bring with it a very strong sense of accomplishment.   I’m not sure why.

Could it be that those of us who have spent a lifetime attempting mostly mental and professional goals, take them for granted when achieved and simply move on to the next one?  Are we so trained to achieve these types of goals that we fully expect it of ourselves and such achievements have become routine or mundane?   Maybe.

If so, then, perhaps, despite achieving what many would consider professional success, we find ourselves with the feeling of a void in our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, when I am in the moment, working hard at my profession, I do experience satisfaction and even joy.  But, at the end of the day, I admit, I feel like the old saying “is that all there is?”

I am also fortunate to have a great family who I know will always be there for me and I enjoy my time with them.

But, I am thinking that there is some other part of me that craves a new challenge – something physical and measurable to achieve.  If that is the case, then why do I not carve out just a little time each day to pursue it?  Is it because I look too far into the future and say to myself – “To be a GOOD triathlete, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time training!”    Do I sabotage myself by thinking “Oh, you can never spend the time it would take because you are too busy with work”?  Or, is it simply a deep down fear that training will be hard at first, perhaps make me hurt, or that I won’t ever be “good” at it?

I’m not sure what negative thoughts or fears are holding me back at this point.  So, I am going to try my best to embrace a message from the “Big Magic” book that I talked about in my last post, and pursue my dream without regard to what any one else thinks.  So what if it turns out that I am not very “good” at it?  All I know is that if I do not at least sincerely pursue this dream, it will be one of those things that I will live to regret not doing.  Here’s to doing!

P’s Early Morning Thoughts

For the past month, no matter what time I go to bed, I wake up around 4:15 a.m.  I have been getting up, because just laying there makes my mind think about all the to-do’s at the office that are not done.  So, I get up and sit for a bit in the quiet, drinking a nice cup of coffee (with heavy cream, of course).  Inevitably, I end up thinking about three main topics (1) wanting to get in shape, especially wanting to do a triathlon again, (2) wanting to have more fun, and, most important to both (3) how to make the time for both.   But, as I become more awake, these thoughts and desires begin to fade and the work to-do’s take their place in my brain.

I have bought a few books over the last couple months in an attempt to re-direct some of my energy to personal growth and the active, fun life on which my early morning brain dwells.  The latest book is called “Big Magic“, which explains how to live a “creative” life.  It does not advocate quitting your “day job” – instead, it encourages you to run with those ideas that pop into your head that will unleash your creativity and, which, given the chance, will bring you unmatched joy as you pursue your creativity without fear of what others may think.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but it is a really good read, plus, I am opening my mind to the concepts it discusses.  In the meantime, I still search for the answers as to how to be the best “director” of my own life to reach my goals, both personal and professional.

A Real Pizza PIE

Pizza is one of my all-time favorite things – especially when it has become the end-of-week ritual with a nice cold beer. We’ve tried to make pizza with alternative crusts, like cauliflower crust, and, while it kinda works, there is the cauliflower taste and it takes a relatively long time to prepare.So, I was wondering if you can just make the pizza like a pizza, but without any crust at all – and voilà a real pizza PIE!  (One peperoni and one hot Italian sausage).

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HOW TO MAKE:

  1. For both I sautéed a bunch of sliced crimini mushrooms, let them cool and the layer at the bottom of the pie pan, which I had greased with butter.
  2. While the shrooms were sautéing, I cut the Italian sausage into discs and browned them.
  3. I layered the sausage discs on the mushrooms on the sausage pizza.
  4. Then I layered in pizza sauce in both pans and spread it evenly over the mushrooms (and mushrooms/sausage).
  5. It seems I am rarely satisfied with pizza sauce at restaurants since it is generally bland.  So, I sprinkled the pizza sauce with black pepper and garlic powder.
  6. Then I layered on shredded mozzerella cheese, then added pepperonis to the non-sausage one and added sliced green ripe olives to both.
  7. Baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees – and they were awesome.  Can’t eat with your hands, but they actually scooped out well with a spatula.

P’s Meals: Saturday 11/28 and Sunday 11/29/15

I took photos, but I seem to have deleted some of them due to clearing memory off my cell phone!

Saturday:

Cukes and blue cheese for dippin’, plus olives and feta from the Deli at Sprouts:

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Later I had cheese and a handful of Jilz crackers.

I made a pot of homemade cream of mushroom soup since it was a cold afternoon, then took Tigger the Doberman for a 3-mile walk.

I baked pork chops for dinner with a side of sautéed green beans, red peppers, onions and pepperoni.  A very good dinner!

Sunday:

I got up with a leisurely cup of coffee and then headed out for a three-mile hilly trail hike.

First meal was a bowl of taco meat with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Then I went to evaluate three Dobies at a local shelter to see if a Dobie rescue wants to take them in.  All three were nice dogs so I am hopeful that they can find homes.

Snack on-the-go was a plate of Jilz crackers with peanut butter:

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Later I had nuts with coffee:

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For dinner I sautéed onions with Hillshire Farm kielbasa and hot sausage, and added red and green peppers, and then simmered in beer until the beer cooked down – ate two bowls because I love this stuff!

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P’s thoughts on Being Perfect

Ok – so I have been feeling bad the last couple years that I’ve had so much trouble staying on plan.  I know it is the best, easiest, most diverse plan to be on and I still find myself touting its virtues.  Yet, when I am touting, I feel like a sham (and am ashamed) because I have slid so far back into the Old P.

I’ve not been perfect and it really bothers me!

Despite feeling down, I was researching soups in an effort to bring more tasty recipes into my life and I ran across this blog by Kyndra Holley.  She even got a book deal based on her success with the paleo/primal/low carb eating style, yet confessed this August about not being perfect.  She gained her weight back in a relatively short period of time due to work and life pressures that she allowed to steal her focus from the healthy lifestyle she promotes.

Her point that no one is perfect really hit home and it is great to know I am not alone out there with the ups and downs of trying to live well!

Here’s her post about starting over.