Monday, March 27, 2017

Maintenance - What I Eat Now

A reader recently emailed me with some questions/topics relating to my Ask Me Anything post.  I guess I figured, because I've been living this "maintenance" life for so long now, that what I do is pretty boring, eating-wise, but she was interested enough to ask, so I decided to take pictures and keep a few notes on what I ate for a week.  Here's what the reader said to me:

Please start talking about your healthy food choices again. Blue Baker is obviously great, but a routine diet of their items is certainly not what is keeping you in the same size all these years. To keep from returning to where you started, you are constantly having to make the better food choice. That takes an enormous amount of inner strength! You have a lot to offer us on that topic, too, so don’t think you don’t. With your hubby gone for work a lot, you have made it a habit to make healthy choices, when it could much more easily be a drive-thru, junk-food, food-fest (I remember those days for myself!). So continue to share with us, how to you talk yourself into maintaining those healthy choices. What goes through your head when you’re making your food choices these days?

This post represents a week of my eating in March.  Jeff was traveling, so most of my meals were solo.  Toward the end of the week, as my long run on Saturday was looming (for this week, I was looking at running 11.5 miles), I started trying to increase my carbs a bit, plus I can't really do much in the way of salad/veggies, especially the day before the run, or my stomach rebels during the run.

I am not the poster child for eating a perfectly-balanced meal every day; what you are seeing here is real life for someone who used to be really overweight, lost a bunch of weight, and has managed to keep most of it off without hyper-focusing on every morsel that goes into my mouth.

Tuesday - exercise:  4 mile run
  • Breakfast:  Protein drink and black coffee (x3) after my run.
  • Lunch:  Leftovers - bacon from BB, about 4 oz of OJ, toasted sourdough baguette from Panera with about a teaspoon of butter.  I had dinner plans with a friend so I was eating light.
  • Snack:  Iced nonfat latte (no sweetener) while doing a quick grocery shop - I don't usually stop at Starbucks while grocery shopping but the store I was at had one inside, plus I had a freebie coming to me.
  • Dinner:  The restaurant we went to has added some new menu items, so we made a quick decision to try their chorizo queso with guacamole and chips.  It was pretty good!  Because I had the queso and chips, I didn't get fries with my pesto turkey burger.
How this was maintenance for me:  I ate fairly light during the day in anticipation of dinner out, plus I didn't get fries with the burger since we had an appetizer.

Wednesday - exercise:  none (rest day)
  • Breakfast:   Black coffee (x2).
  • Lunch:  Half of a huge salad from Salata - I got it to go, with dressing on the side, and brought it home for both lunch and dinner.  The salad was made with romaine lettuce, herbed chicken breast, broccoli, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, hardboiled egg, dried cranberries, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, and apples. 
  • Snack:  Banana, then two Dove Dark Chocolate Promises.
  • Dinner:  Other half of the huge salad.
How this was maintenance for me:  I planned on doing the huge salad to make up for the lack of veggies/fruit over the previous day (and let's be fair, probably the following day as well).

Thursday - exercise:  2 mile run
  • Breakfast:  Black coffee (x2), protein drink, more coffee, and a Clif bar at the gift shop.
  • Snack:  Chocolate cookie, bite of snickerdoodle cookie at the gift shop.
  • Lunch:  Homemade chicken salad sandwich (350 calories), tiny dill pickles, Sun Chips (I went back for a second handful after I finished what was pictured).
  • Dinner:  Split a burger and fries with Jeff
  • Dessert:  Frozen Yogurt (and look, you can see the sides of the cup - that's my goal with self-serve, to not fill up the cup)
How this was maintenance for me:  My breakfast gets squeezed in as I don't have a lot of time between running and getting ready for my volunteer stint, so I usually end up bringing whatever I have on hand to eat at the gift shop while we're getting the store ready to open.  The cookies were free that day; I didn't end up eating one because after one bite I could tell it wasn't worth the calories - the other cookie, however, was delicious.  A staff member came in to buy chocolates for all of her group and had Rosalie and I choose one for ourselves as well, which was very nice.  I saved mine for later because I wanted to savor it and not take a bite and then have a customer come in and have to slam it down - if I'm going to eat those calories, I want to enjoy them!  I didn't eat lunch until close to 2:00 pm.  I was just going to have a bowl of cereal for dinner and the sea salt caramel for dessert but Jeff, who'd been out of town all week, got home earlier than expected, so I went with him to return his rental car and then we stopped for dinner out.  This day was a victory for me because I didn't eat the sea salt caramel treat when I came home for second dessert - hey, it's been known to happen!

Friday - exercise:  none (resting up for long run Saturday)
  • Breakfast:  Black coffee, Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup Grape Nuts (trying something different instead of granola).  I could have gone with less Grape Nuts as that ended up being a lot of crunch in my yogurt.
  • Lunch:  Split with Jeff - chicken shish kabob, rice, veggies, naan bread and baba ganoush
  • Snack:  Cantaloupe, handful of pretzels
  • Dinner:  Split a burger and fries with Jeff
  • Dessert:  finally ate that sea salt caramel from Thursday
How this was maintenance for me:  Splitting two meals.  This was a carb-heavy day on purpose, in anticipation for our long run the following day.

Saturday - exercise:  11+ mile run
  •  Breakfast:  Bottle of chocolate milk, a couple sips of OJ, lots of coffee, three pieces of bacon, and the raspberry/dark chocolate scone.
  • Lunch/Dinner:  Chips and salsa, beef fajita roll up with a lime dressing on the salad greens, rice, a few bites of beans, a few chips dipped into the queso, and most of the guacamole.
  • Dessert:  Half a Bundtlet cake.
How this was maintenance for me:  Quite frankly, it wasn't.  After such a long run, I got everything I wanted at Blue Baker - of course, I couldn't eat it all as my stomach usually doesn't allow for much when I run a lot of miles, but I had options, dang it!  It's pretty much an eat whatever day.

Sunday - exercise:  that would be a big fat NONE
  • Breakfast:  Black coffee (x3), banana, leftover cranberry walnut muffin.
  • Snack:  Some pretzels because I could reach the bag while lying on the couch with animals on me.
  • Dinner:  Huge salad from Salata; did not come close to finishing it. 
How this was maintenance for me:  I went with my hunger cues and didn't have lunch - I was pretty hungry for dinner (as was Jeff) so we went to Salata, but neither of us finished our salads.  We gave it a good try, though!

Monday - exercise:  megaton of housework including vacuuming, ironically, a megaton of pet fur, plus 8 loads of laundry.  If I were counting steps, I'd have a lot on this day.
  • Breakfast:  Black coffee (x2), plain nonfat Greek yogurt with dried cranberries and granola
  • Lunch:  Clif bar
  • Dinner:  Chicken salad sandwich, tiny dill pickles, Sun Chips (plus more after I finished these)
  • Dessert #1:  Air-popped popcorn
  • Dessert #2:  Dove dark chocolate Promises
How this was maintenance for me:  I had my old standby breakfast of Greek yogurt/fruit/granola, which holds me for quite a while.  I was busy all day with household chores, and then grabbed a Clif bar to eat right before I took Paco to the vet in the afternoon.  Dinner was early, right at 5:00, as I was pretty hungry at that point, and then I was still sort of hungry, which resulted in popcorn and then chocolate.  I pretty much ate most of my calories at the end of the day - eh, it happens.


Other notes regarding this particular week's meals:
  •  What I didn't show in the pictures is the amount of water I drink on a daily basis - I have a couple of 24 oz. Tervis tumblers that I'm constantly refilling throughout the day; I'd guess that I drink at least 100 ounces of water, if not more, every day, which also helps to fill me up.
  • I'd been craving some Sun Chips and bought a bag - I love them with chicken salad sandwiches and even put them inside the sandwich.  But even though I put a reasonable handful on my plate, I went back for more each time.  This is why I don't buy chips very often.
  • Because Jeff was traveling so much over the last few weeks, I made an effort to meet up with friends for several dinners; while I'm fine with being alone, it's not good for me to spend every meal, every day, all by myself.
  • I get into food ruts with certain meals, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it kind of goes to show that no matter what, I still get food cravings.  The only difference is that more often, it's for big salads, or a 350 calorie homemade chicken salad sandwich, instead of Taco Bell's Big Box meal (I was so embarrassed when I realized it was marketed for men's appetites) or a McDonald's Extra Value Meal (plus an extra cheeseburger).  I'm not perfect, but I'm a heck of a lot better than I used to be when it comes to eating.

Friday, March 24, 2017

FMM - Good, Bad, Good

Good:  It's great to have knitter friends - Cary went through her stash and very nicely gave me a bag of mostly sock yarn leftovers for my throw:
YAY!  It's nice to have some new colors in the throw.


Bad:  Earlier this week, I walked by my kitchen window and glanced down at my succulents to discover that most of the leaves from one of my newest plants had fallen off.  At first I wondered if one of the animals had hit it in their enthusiasm at seeing a squirrel outside, but the next day when the rest of the leaves fell off, I began to suspect I might have over watered it.  This particular succulent's leaves are much plumper than all of my other plants, and while I'm watering them every week or two, maybe this one didn't need as much water.  Here's what it used to look like:
It was so pretty - I loved the purple and green leaves!  

And here's what it looks like now:
Cue sad music.  

Of course, knowing how succulents propagate themselves so easily, I had to give it a go with the fallen leaves:
I was out of clay pots, so this dish works for now.

I don't have much hope of getting a plant to look like it did when I brought it home from Home Depot a couple of months ago, but who knows - maybe it'll work out.  Can't hurt to try at this point.


Good:  I've been volunteering at the hospital gift shop for two years now, and while I really love it, there's one aspect of the job that I hate...and that is the uniform.  From having to wear khaki pants, which show every lump and bulge on my legs, to a button-down shirt, which has never been my favorite style thanks to having a bigger bust, getting dressed to go to work has always been a downer for me.  I was complaining about this to Jeff last week and wondering out loud why we couldn't wear a polo shirt that was embroidered with our logo - a lot of other employees had them, so why not the volunteers?  Well, ask and ye shall receive!  I saw Kendall, our volunteer coordinator, yesterday morning and asked if I could order a polo shirt and she ended up hauling out two boxes of polos that were embroidered with the wrong logo (volunteer instead of regular employee) on them.  Rosalie and I got to choose a couple of shirts, for free!  So now I have a teal shirt and this pretty purple shirt:
I texted this picture to Jeff to show him my clothing victory.

At least the dumb khaki pants don't feel so bad with a better-fitting shirt - plus the color is much more "me" than the royal blue of the button-down.  Rosalie also chose a teal shirt so we can be twinkies at times, plus she got a pink shirt - we were pretty happy campers yesterday:
Two very happy volunteers!

Sometimes, it's the little things that can bother me, like an ill-fitting uniform...and sometimes, it's the little things that can make my day, like a beautiful purple shirt.  


We are running a race on Sunday - it's just a 5 miler for most of our group, which seems pretty tame at this point considering I've been running 5 miles during the week with Diane.  Should be fun, though, and of course there will be breakfast afterward.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WWU - 11+ Miles, Kill Me Now

Seriously, every time I run a really long distance I wonder what in the hell I was thinking.  Because it's hard, so hard.  And at some point during the run, I usually end up going through the five stages of runner's remorse - for this particular run, it started around the 8 mile mark and it went something like this:
  • Denial:  This is getting hard but I've totally got this.  I can do it!
  • Anger:  Dang it, why am I slowing down?!
  • Bargaining:  It's OK, I'll just go a little slower.  I can do this, right?
  • Depression:  Fine, I'll walk this hill.  And that hill.  And maybe a little over there...
  • Acceptance:  It didn't go how I wanted, but I finished the run.
This was Diane's 18 miler, and we had a pretty good plan set for her route and who was going to be running with her.  She and Jeff met at 4:00 am and ran 6.5 miles; I thought they'd be at a certain spot around 5:30 am, so Cary and I met up there and saw their blinking lights in the distance - we couldn't have timed that any better!  We ran another loop, and then Jeff and Cary dropped off, for a total of 11.5 miles (Jeff) and 5 miles (Cary).  Diane and I refilled our water bottles and set off again - I just realized that this route had us running to the access road of the freeway at two different points...that's one way of knowing that you're running a really long distance!

We hit our turn around point and headed back a couple miles toward our still-closed new road, but going that direction, we had a couple of steep hills and we walked them.  I thought I was just getting tired from the hills, but once we turned onto the new road, my legs were done...and we had about 3 more miles left to go, which doesn't sound like a lot until you add them to the 8.5 miles already done.  We'd arranged for Jeff to meet us somewhere along the new road to bring water for our final refill; he was there, and I really, REALLY wanted to get in the car with him and be done with this run.  But I didn't want to abandon Diane.  I also didn't want to interfere with her run, because she was doing great.  I mean, amazingly well - at this point, she was at mile 15 and looked like she could go another 11.2 miles with no problem.

Diane pointed out to me that maybe I needed more fuel than just Tailwind (I started with a 24 oz bottle of it, and refilled with another 24 oz bottle); I'd hoped to make it through the run using only Tailwind, but I guess it just wasn't quite enough for that many miles.  And really, once she said that, I realized that I was just out of energy; I wasn't hurting worse than any other long truly was a fueling issue.  I had some Bolt chews with me so I started eating them but I was still going really slow and I didn't want to mess with Diane's momentum.  We were coming up to a point on our route where there's about a half mile out-and-back jigjag, so Diane took that while I went straight, mostly walking as I ate the rest of the chews.  We figured she'd catch up to me fairly soon.  I started running a little and walking a little and by the time she caught up to me I was feeling better; we finished the run with Diane hitting 18 miles (a new distance record for her!) and 11.15 miles for me.

I got in my car and drove to Blue Baker to meet up with everyone; on the way, my radio played "Hurts So Good" and then "Stayin' Alive" - both songs couldn't have been more appropriate considering how I was feeling!
The face of someone who just ran 18 miles!  Jeff with the assist of not only miles, but extra digits in order to show Diane's new record mileage.
The face of someone who survived running 11+ miles, with soaking wet hair thanks to 100% humidity and fog rolling in toward the end.
All the food - in reality, over the course of three hours I managed to eat the bacon, the chocolate milk, the scone, a couple sips of OJ, and lots of coffee.  I really should stop getting two pastries after my long runs, but it all looks so good!
Another game of pass the baby was played with Mason!  He's three months old and is smiling and laughing now. 


A few people have commented that I must be doing well as I'm not hurting/injured with running so much, and until a couple of weeks ago, I would have agreed with them, but things are starting to hurt a bit - new things, like my knees, which rarely bother me except for when I need new shoes (and I only have 200 miles on my favorite pair, so that shouldn't be the issue); my left shin is also starting to hurt, and my hip flexor on - you guessed it - my left side was really sore a couple of days before Saturday's run.  I started doing some stretches for the hip flexor and was pleasantly surprised to get through the run without it bothering me, nor did it bother me afterward (I'm still doing the stretches, though - insurance at this point).  I do use my BFF Buffer every day on my sore muscles and that helps immensely, but the truth is, running this many miles puts the hurt on my body.

Also in the comments, some people have mentioned that I might as well run a half marathon now.  I briefly looked running a half marathon in April, but after the windy 10 miler a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I didn't want to run a race just because I was semi-trained for it...for me, running that many miles is still quite a challenge both mentally as well as physically, and I've done too many races where I wanted to quit partway through them.  I have a five mile race coming up this Sunday, and I'm actually looking forward to that one - were it a half marathon, I don't think I'd have the same attitude.

I'm trying to be kind to myself when it comes to running; yes, it's a challenge, and a good one as I do enjoy it, but I don't want to end every long run with the feeling of for that reason I'll stick to helping my friend get to her goal, and keeping "my" long runs to a more reasonable number for me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

File This...

File this under TOO TRUE:
Allie posted this to Jeff's Facebook page a day after this exact scenario played out - tax time is stressful!


File this under DANGIT:
My little Haviland dish, that I've had since I was 18 or 19 years old, broke the other day!  This is why I can't have nice things - well, for longer than 35 years or so, I guess.  I'm going to try to glue the pieces back on, once I figure out what glue works best with porcelain.


File this under HAHAHAHA:
Jeff was using Google Maps on his phone a couple of weeks ago, looking at the distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, when he said "Why is Trump's head on my map?"  Allie and I thought he was joking, but nope, there it was.  I figured it had to be some sort of trolling thing, but some Googling led us to discover that it was from a site Jeff visited that was documenting hate crimes against immigrants by Trump supporters.  Which is sad to see, but good that it's being documented.  However, last week his map looked like this: 
And for someone who doesn't like Trump to begin with, it's pretty annoying to see his face when you're just trying to drive somewhere.  That doesn't stop me from laughing at Jeff's exasperation, though.  Just to be clear, I'm laughing at the faces, not at the amount of hate crimes.  That is pretty horrendous.


I was playing around with Siri when they had a promo tied in with the Lego Batman movie, and this came up.  Thanks, Sam.


File this under AWWWWW:
Baby Mason wore the sweater and hat that I knitted for him recently!  He's pretty adorable, and quite the dapper little dude in his church outfit!


Friday, March 17, 2017

FMM - It's Curtains For Us

New curtains, that is!  Thanks to delaying our long run from Saturday to Sunday last weekend, we had the energy to install our new curtain rod and hang the blackout curtains in our bedroom.  Of course, it didn't go without some minor issues, such as my realizing that the curtains I bought at Ikea were 98 inches long, and I didn't have that much wall space to work with.  I briefly considered hemming them with my sewing machine, but chances of me getting both panels hemmed the exact same length were iffy, so I went to plan B, which was to look for another set of curtains.  Target had a lot to choose from in the 84 inch length, plus I had a 30% off coupon; the bonus is that we both like the color of the new curtains better, so it all worked out in the end:
Turns out, it's pretty hard to take a picture of closed blackout curtains without having to turn on every light in the room - they really do what the name implies!
I can't get over how nicely the color ties the room together with the bedding and the chair in the corner.
Close up so you can see the color and texture - these are the Tara Eclipse curtains in Teal.

While Jeff was installing the curtain rod, I was pulling all of the furniture away from the walls and doing a much-needed deep vacuuming.  I dusted, and ended up not putting back the little LED clock on my nightstand - mostly because I don't use it for an alarm - but I wondered if not having that bright red light in my face at night, combined with the blackout curtains, would make for a better night's sleep.  Jury is still out on that as it's only been a few days, but I think it's helping.  It definitely is a much darker room at night now.


We had a treat last Sunday while we were at Blue Baker, in the form of getting to see one of the bakers make bagels!  This guy is so friendly - he always waves at us when we come in and has the biggest smile on his face.  He's very good at what he does - quick and efficient - and it's fascinating to watch what he makes.  I don't know that we've really been around to see the bagels being made, but what first caught our eye was that he was making round balls out of the dough.  Then he took some, flattened them out a bit, and sprinkled cinnamon sugar in the middle before making it into a ball again - and then he rolled the top into more cinnamon sugar - OOH!  That's how the cinnamon bagels are made - they have the best chunky topping on them that goes really well with cream cheese:
Cinnamon bagels in the making. 

Then he started with whole wheat - first he made the dough balls and let them sit for a bit, then he pulled them apart to form the traditional bagel shape:
He lifted the tray to show us and oops, they started to slide off!  Good thing he caught them in time.

Even though I was not hungry, it was all I could do to not buy a bagel now that I'd just gotten to see how they were made.  It was really fun to see this process; we keep saying that one of these days we need to take a bakery tour, as everything they make is so delicious!


There's a reason why I don't like gardening, and it's bugs, critters, and the like.  Jeff does all of our outdoor planting - I can handle the indoor succulents, but I just don't like surprises when I work with the plants.  Case in point:  the other day when I went out to water, I reached for my sprayer nozzle and this lizard jumped out and scared me:
No SIR - you need to get off of my watering station!

While I was taking a picture of the scary lizard, I noticed a hole in the ground, which means that something is living there, ack:
Jeff said it's most likely a frog hole...but what if it's NOT?? 
Paco was being a big brave dog, checking it out.  Luckily whoever is living there didn't come out when that nose poked its way inside the hole!

So now we better get some rain on a regular basis because thanks to that lizard and the hole in the ground right by the patio, I can't water my plants.  OK, I'm kidding - I'll water them - but not without a thorough look-see before I reach for can't be too careful when it comes to these wild creatures, right?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WWU - All The Miles!

I am a low mileage runner.  Even when I'm in the depths of my training for a half marathon, I rarely hit 50 miles for the month; I checked my running logs and the last time I had a 50+ mile month was in 2015 (I had several in that year).  I run less miles than a lot of runners and I'm good with that; it works for my body and my level of pain tolerance, as I call anything in the 8+ mile range the hurtin' miles.

However, in helping Diane with her marathon miles, I've racked up 34 miles already for March, and we're not even halfway through the month!  What the what??  It's pretty crazy; I didn't set out to do this, but bumping up everything, from our usual 2.25 mile weekday runs to 4 or 5 miles, plus my running half of her long runs with her has meant that the miles have added up quickly.

Last Thursday, we ran 5 miles.  Y'all.  Five miles is normally a long run for me!  But there we were, running it before work.  I haven't run five miles in my neighborhood in forever (or maybe ever, I can't remember), so I figured out a route - just to give you an idea, here's my notes that I took as I was mapping it out on Map My Run:
I can't read my writing, either...

We had a good run, until suddenly we both ran out of energy - for whatever reason, neither of us thought to bring any fuel for this five miler, which goes to show you how differently we looked at a weekday run vs. a Saturday long run...on a Saturday, for 5 miles?  We'd have used fuel for sure.  But not on this run; we had our handheld water bottles because it was warm and muggy, but that was it.  Lesson learned on that one.  A secondary lesson for me would be to note that it's pretty challenging to run 5 miles and then stand up at the gift shop for the next four hours, but I survived.

On Saturday, Jeff and I woke up extra early to meet at 5:30 am to run 10 miles with Diane.  As we were driving to the clubhouse, it started to rain.  We got there and parked behind Diane's car and it started to pour.  It was already warm and (obviously) humid and then with the rain?  We quickly nixed the run and decided to do it the following day.  That is the beauty of a smaller group of running people - you don't have to run if the weather is bad, especially if it's supposed to be clear the next day.  So, we went home and back to bed; all three pets slept with Jeff which was pretty cute.  He'd been out of town and I guess they missed him.

On Sunday, Jeff and I woke up extra EXTRA early, thanks to Daylight Savings Time starting overnight.  I knew a cold front was supposed to have blown in, and it did - the temperature was 48 degrees, yay!  I got dressed and went outside with Paco and immediately came back inside and changed into warmer clothes as it was windy and really cold.  Even still, when Jeff and I walked outside to get in the car, he decided it was cold enough to need gloves and earwarmers, so he went back inside to get them for us and I'm really glad he did, because that wind was biting!  I finally thought to check the "feels like" temperature, which said it was 42 degrees, with north winds of 16 mph with even stronger gusts.

We met up with Diane and took off running, hoping to warm up.  It was cold and yes, super windy!  We were about a mile into the run, going down a sidewalk, when I thought I saw a big pile of dirt (like, almost as tall as I am) ahead of us on the sidewalk.  It was really dark, but sure enough, when we got closer that's what it was, so we had to do a little off-roading and step through the rain-soaked grass into the street to go around it.  We kept running into these dumb dirt piles, which was a pain.  Naturally this was on our out-and-back section, so we got to deal with them a second time.  I think they are digging holes to put in street lights, which are much-needed on this stretch of roadway and will be wonderful to have, but running through a construction zone was not fun.

Finally, we were out of the dirt pile zone and into another mess - thanks to the rain, dirt runoff from more streetlight installation on our nice, wide-sidewalk road meant we had to be extra careful not to slip in the thick sludge.  Between that and the wind, it was slower than usual running.

We hit the water stop at mile 4.5 and I refilled my water bottle and added more Tailwind.  Aside from about 6 or 8 Sports Beans eaten at mile 3, this was all the fuel I used for the entire 10 mile run, and it worked out really well.  Next week I'm going to try running with only Tailwind and see how that goes.

We finally got to the closed road, where we could run right down the middle of it without worrying about vehicles.  It was great, except that the wind kicked up plus I guess with no houses or trees around us, we just felt the wind more, so those miles on that road were rough.  At one point we were running on a slight incline, fully into the strong winds, and I'll be honest, I just wanted to turn around and go home.  But I think we were at mile 8.5, and it would have been silly to quit so close to the finish, so I kept going.  Jeff said something along the lines of "I think Shelley's had it - she's stopped talking" and he was right.  Dang that wind!  Even Diane later said that this run felt harder than her 16 miler the week before, so it wasn't just me.

Once we were back at the clubhouse, we quickly changed into warm, dry clothes and zipped over to Blue Baker, where Patrick, our favorite counter-guy, was working on learning our names - last week, we discovered that he refers to us as "pumpkin muffin" (Cary), "diet Coke" (Diane), "extra butter" (Karen) and so on.  Not sure what I was (probably "bacon on the side") but it was really funny.  As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach - here's what I ordered:
Bacon (on the side, LOL), a blueberry scone, and a cranberry walnut muffin, with lots of coffee.

But here's what I brought home for later:
After four miles, I could have devoured everything, but my stomach shuts down once I hit the longer miles.

The muffin and scone were good the next morning, too.  This Saturday has Diane running her longest run yet - 18 miles!  I will be with her for part of those miles, but I'm not sure how many just yet.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Turning That Frown Upside Down

I'm sure I'm not alone in stating the obvious - we all have those days when nothing feels quite right, even though nothing particularly has changed.  Last week I was there.  Although I'm running more than ever, and focusing on making good-for-me meal choices, I was feeling blah.  It doesn't help that no matter what size I am, my stomach is always larger than I'd like, and couple that with wearing capris for my runs, which cut into my stomach no matter what size or how high or low the waist is, I was not in the greatest of moods.

A flip of my weekly calendar page showed that I had my hair appointment on Wednesday with my usual cut and highlights - all the good stuff.  Sure enough, I walked out of there feeling fabulous, and that feeling has stayed with me since then.  Nothing has changed except for my hair - I had more layers cut into it to take advantage of my natural waves, and of course the highlights brighten everything up.  But that's it - my stomach still looks the same, my clothes still fit the same...and yet?  I feel lighter, and my mood is much better.
During - all foiled up with highlights.
After - laughing because I tried to get my hairdresser in the shot with me and she literally dove out of sight yelling "NOOOOOOO!" (her hair wasn't done, haha).

Can a haircut really make that much of a difference?  I have to say yes, and I bet a lot of you will agree.  It's not that I spend a lot of time on my appearance, nor do I constantly look in the mirror (or the modern-day equivalent, take selfies), but on a subconscious level, when my hair starts to get overgrown, it drags me down.  How else to explain the fact that when I put on my capris to go run the next day, I didn't get that UGH, my stomach is so gross feeling...and believe me, nothing else had changed aside from the hair - I didn't miraculously have a body transformation overnight.
A real after - in the parking lot of the grocery store.  Had to document this style as I probably won't be able to replicate it.
Couple of days later, this is what I was hoping for - nice curls with minimal effort (aka all I have to do is scrunch my hair a bit while I blow dry).

I don't know why something like hair can lift me up or bring me down, but that was the only change I made last week, and my mood did a 180.  For good mental health, I'm glad I always schedule my next hair appointment when I'm there for my current one because obviously this is something I need to keep up with.  And I guess it could be anything - getting your eyebrows done, or your regular manicure, or whatever - but somehow, just a little bit of beauty pampering really makes a difference, doesn't it?