Friday, August 31, 2012

Banishing the scale

Well, more like putting it in time out. For the past year and half or so I've been a daily weigh-er. I know, I know, a lot of folks disagree with it. For a long time I've felt like I was one of those special people (I'm special, alright) who can use it like the tool it is and not let it adversely effect their outlook on a daily basis. That said, my weight swings wildly throughout the week, especially as I inch closer to goal weight. As a result, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that lately the number on the scale in the morning, most certainly has, at least temporarily, totally been effecting my attitude. My husband called me on it a few weeks ago and he is right. (There ya go, honey. You've got it in writing.)

So I put the scale away. I'll bring it out once a week, of course. Let's not get crazy here. But no more daily weigh-ins for a couple of weeks at least. You see, I hesitate because I feel as if not weighing myself and keeping myself in constant check will result in me ballooning back up again. Immediately. Like...POOF! The rationale mind tells me, "You're still journaling all your food.That is all you need." But the stupid part of my brain clings to the familiar and easy to understand. The stupid part of my brain is going in time out with the scale for awhile.

In other news I got to wear this at work last night. Pajama Time, don't you know.
You are so insanely jealous right now. I know it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Perfect Morning

A horsey ride and a trip to Target. Does it get any better?

I hate to sound so much like a damn Pinterest-Ecard-thing, but it's true. By the way, where are these things coming from? Honestly, I'm getting concerned there is a group of mid-level, female, Saturday Night Live writers from the 90s locked up in some basement somewhere subsisting only on red wine, chocolate and snark, churning these things out for some dark force trying to divert attention away from better pieces of comedy on the interwebs and keeping the American attention span as short as humanly possible.

But I digress.

When you're a horse, all the world is a buffet.

I haven't ridden Mercedes in months. We don't ride often in the summer anyways, but a couple of months ago it seemed as if  her age was catching up with her. She had some swelling and lameness and long story short (shocking, I know) it appears that it has been arrested and we seem to be all systems go once again.

There are few things in life more wonderful than a fast, but collected Running Walk down a country lane on a beautiful morning on a horse you love. You non-horse-people will just have to trust me on this one. Add to this the fact that a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure I'd ever get to ride her again...well, that's just the 74% Dark Chocolate Icing on the Almond Flour Cupcake, my friends.

And then I ran by Target to pick up just a couple things I needed.

HA! You ok? I'm sure you fell off your chair laughing at that one. I NEEDED to pick up some eye make-up remover, a greeting card and some sort of present for a retirement party tomorrow. Total should not have been more $35. 

What I actually bought:
Dryer Sheets (That's kind of a need, no?)
Another pair of workout shorts. (They weren't on sale, but they are just like my most favorite weekend/lounging shorts in the world, and I haven't seen ones like it in forever, but they're in a different color  and you just know the original ones will meet some kind of untimely demise sooner rather than later and...yeah)
A cute see-through knit top (I got nothing.)
Pistachios (I'm down to maybe 4 servings at home...and I lurve those Archer Farms jars the nuts come in)
Lara Bars (It's all part of the Primal experiment. I'm doing this for you-people!)
Digital Food Scale (My old one is analog. Need I say more?)
Make-up Brush/Oil Blotting Tissues (Oh, right..and you expect me to believe you walk by that ELF make-up section without putting anything in your cart?)
Some kind of Berry Sparkling Water crap
Diet Coke (So sue me. I'm gettin' there.)
Greeting Card/Gift bag/Compass/First Aid Kit as the retirement gift. (The retiree is supposed to be doing more camping and traveling. Get it? I'm such a card.)

So, yeah $141.43 total. I may have a problem. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm normal! No, really! I have proof!

Too many of life's precious moments have flitted away over the past week while sitting around with this as my view.

It's a shame you really can't make out the lovely pink and green pedicure I gave myself over the weekend. You can however, see how freakishly long my feet are.

Not to worry though, this was just my annual Thyroid check-up. As the title of this post implies, my thyroid levels are all normal. Which is great and means no changes needed to my Synthroid. Even better, the thyroid is behaving itself and not growing any grapefruit-sized tumors like it did 4 years when I had to half of it removed. So at least I got that going for me.

A lot of people like to blame Hypothyroidism for weight-gain and/or difficulty in losing weight, while research has shown that it only causes weight gain in a VERY small number of folks. But and this is a big but (HA! You see what I did there?) it can result in a lack of energy in a lot of it's sufferers. The bottom line is if you are low on energy you aren't going to feel like being active, or taking the time to prepare and plan meals, etc. On top of that, I am finding that so much of the crap in the Standard American Diet (or SAD as Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint calls it) and even some food we think of as healthy (I'm looking at you soy) are really wreaking havoc on our Thyroids. So more and more of us will be suffering from it.

I only found out that I had a kind of Hypothyroidism when a Doc I went to for a head cold noticed I had a huge tumor in my neck. Yeah, kind of another reason to not be overweight....when you're so heavy you don't notice a grapefruit growing out of the side of your neck, it's time to lose weight. Anygoiter, once all was said and done, and we got my levels evened out my husband and I could not believe the difference in my energy level. Oh wait, you mean you're not supposed to just crash onto the couch for hours after work every night? Huh. Who knew?

So all that said, as much as I think in some ways blaming a bum Thyroid is a cop-out for not eating right and being active, an untreated one can be. So get your blood checked, and if you need it, take you meds!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Primal Day in the Life

I'm proud to say stupid TS Isaac did not thwart our plans for a little Crossfitting at home last night. We waded to the Shop and made up our own little routine.
   20 jumping jacks (instead of the quick jog 'cause of the flooding)
   Usual series of active stretches
   3 rounds of 10-5-10 squats/push-ups/sit-ups
Casa de Fuchs WOD
  3 rounds of:
  30 Squat and Tosses with our 10 lb medicine ball (30 each, back and forth to each other)
  50 jumps on our jump ropes.

Short, sweet and sweaty, just hows I like 'em.

And now a quick rundown of what I'm eating today, 'cause I know you care...

Not the prettiest of breakfasts, but it tasted good.

Breakfast was 1/2 an avocado, Jimmy Dean Turkey Links, and one egg scrambled (using coconut oil) with spinach. The eggs are from my own chickens. That's about as Primal as you can get. Go, me! The Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage links, not so perfectly primal. They're cool in that they are all protein, but some may argue to the fact that they are mass produced and I'm sure there is a bit of sugar in them. But for my personal Primal Plan they are included. So there.

Some day I'll learn to take pretty blog-food pics, like the cool bloggers. But for now we'll go with gritty realism.

So what we're looking at here is a Red Delicious apple. I really wish I could branch out more into other types but RDs really are the only ones I like at all. The bag o' nuts are a 1/2 cup of pistachios. They make me happy. The weird thing is that I only discovered I liked them a few months ago. I swear I've had the palate of a four year old most of my life. The mess in the container is a Primal Shepard's Pie that is AMAZEBALLS. Here's the recipe. I kid you not when I say that it is every bit as good as any other Shepard's Pie I have EVER had. And I'm a bit of a Shepard's Pie connoisseur, my friends. Of course, the only real difference is that we're using Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potatoes. If you've been on the Healthy Train for any time at all then you already know about the magical illusionary powers of cauliflower. For the record, Blogger seems to think that illusionary is not a word. But disagrees. Suck it, Blogger. Anydistraction, whether you are into the Primal thing or not, try the Primal Shepard's Pie, you will not regret it.

Moving on.....

This is a very boring picture. I apologize.

I like to have a snack on the way home from work. I find that 3:00 is too early, and once I get home it is too late. Today it is carrots and turkey jerky. Say "turkey jerky" out loud. No, really. I'll wait. Tell me that didn't make you smile. Anyturkyjerky, I often have macadamias or pistachios, depending on whether or not I had them at lunch, as my commute snack. But Dave brought home a bunch of Jerky the other day, so why not?

Dinner tonight will be steamed asparagus and a crockpot Rump Roast dish courtesy of the lovely Julie at It's supposed to look like this when it is done:

Some how I sincerely doubt mine will be that pretty.

So my Jerky Turkeys, that is shaping up to be what will be going in my mouth-hole today. I hope only good things find their way to your's as well.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting my Primal on. Oh, and Shingles. I have the Shingles.

Seriously? Who even gets that? Me, evidently.
It's a mild case though and they've got me pumped full of Valtrex (No, it's not HERPES-Herpes) and Prednisone and a little Tramadol for fun.
The worst part is that I was closing in on two weeks eating according to the Primal Blueprint and had dropped a few pounds. I finally broke through that plateau I've been camped out on all summer. I saw the south end of 180 for the first time in over a decade and then a few days on the Prednisone and BOOM back to 181. Fingers crossed it's just water retention and will go away quickly when I finish with the Prednisone tomorrow.

So what's the Primal Blueprint diet/lifestyle/WHATever like? I thought you'd never ask. In short, if I had tried it when I first started trying to get to my act together I would not have done well on it. It would have been far too drastic a change, forgoing all grains, sugars, etc. It's all about just veggies, fruits and meat when you're Primal. However, over the last year I have been eating less and less processed foods as well as less rice and potatoes and certainly way less breads and other grains. And it goes without saying that the processed sugary stuff has been on the No-Go list for quite some time. So, that said...moving to a more strict Primal Diet really hasn't been that much of a transition.And there are some really great aspects to it. Did I mention it's ok to put butter on your veggies??!! I know, right??!! Turns out good fats and good carbs and/or protein together = a good thing. Fats of any kind and bad carbs = Fattty Fat McFatterpants.

And the best part? Dark fucking Chocolate! Fine, it's supposed to be an occasional indulgence, not an every day food, but hey at least it's on the "legal" list.

A part of me wishes I had learned about this sooner. 'Cause honestly you guys, the more I read about the science behind it the more I think "Duh! Of course! Why isn't this common knowledge??!!"  Then again, the benefit of not being an early adopter is the fact that you let everyone else figure out the ins and outs first. Since I'm just getting on the Paelo/Primal wagon now, there is already a metric crap-ton of awesome blogs and sites with all kinds of recipes for you-name-it. The go to if you want to learn more about the Primal Lifestyle is Mark Sisson's site. But my current fav for recipes and general snark is this one that my Crossfit Trainers, Jeramy & Larry, turned me on to. Great stuff.

This is Julie from Isn't she amazeballs? I want to be able to do what she                                              does and look like that. And the cool part is....I feel like it may actually be somewhat attainable.

Oh and did I mention in the previous post or two how the Crossfit and the Paleo/Primal stuff is all mixed together? Yeah, there's that. Which is cool. Even though I am starting to get a bit of a "one of of us" vibe.

Pardon me now, while I go try to figure out how we're going to get our Crossfit workout in tonight despite Tropical Storm Isaac's never ending rain-bands.

Resistance is futile. We will assimilate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I survived! (barely)

Well, I did my 2nd ever Sprint Triathlon last Saturday. My first one was about 14 years ago, done at the tail end of having lost about 50 lbs. Wherein afterwards, I quit watching what I was eating and exercising regularly and...BOOM! Fat again. Lessons were learned, though not actually put into practice for another 12-13 years.

Anyhoodles, my friend Dani and I went up the night before so we wouldn't have to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning the day of the race. Which was good, girly fun. We picked up our race packets and drove around the course. I feel as if no one who hasn't seen it with their own eyes believes me, but Clermont has some SERIOUS hills! Thankfully, they are only in the last few miles of the bike portion, and there are just a few very small ones in the first mile of the run. It was really fun to get excited about something like this with another woman. Dave enjoys the Adventure Races and we really enjoy our alone-time traveling to and from, but he doesn't ever get...I don't know...giddy, the way Dani and I did. Which is probably a good thing really.

Can't say I slept all that well the night before, despite claiming to Dani I was relaxed as can be. My sub-conscious clearly had other ideas. But we woke up ready to go and headed to the race site and started setting up our transition area, bouncy and silly with nerves.

I don't care who you are, but you never feel as badass as when they Sharpie your number onto your arms and legs. They also write your age on the back of your left calf. I found it endlessly amusing the entire race to see people's ages as I passed them or they passed me.

One of these things is not like the other.....(my bike,I'm not being self-deprecating)

So, the race. The swim SUUUUUUUUUUUCKED! I wasn't panicing, I wasn't even getting beat up that much by the other swimmers. I started the race repeating to myself, "Take it slow, take it slow" and I still hit the water with what I assume was adrenaline kicking. As a result, I never once got into that head down, front crawl/freestyle stroke I'd been practicing twice a week for 2 months. No matter how I tried to slow my breathing down, I just could not keep my head under. And of course the goggles started to fog up, and then the next wave started to catch up to me. UBER-frustrating! So I side stroked, front crawled with my head out of the water, back stroked and doggy paddled my way through the .25 miles. The moment I was out of the water I was raring to go. Don't get me wrong, I expected the swim to suck, but I didn't forsee not being able to front crawl/freestyle at ALL. But no worries, I shook it off and didn't let it get to me that almost all of the bikes were already gone by the time I got to the transition area. 

The bike and the run were great. A great workout of course, but...dare I say? Yes, I shall. The bike and run were fun. Some people passed me and I passed some people. I didn't have to walk the bike up the couple of mean hills, nor did I have to take any walking breaks during the run. In fact, my run time met my best previous 5K Race time. I'm not ashamed to admit that I am SUPER proud of that. In fact, I got stronger and faster as the run went on. I was actually surprised how quickly it was over.

As I was coming into the chute, they were playing "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. I'm not going to lie, I started tearing up. Like a lot of folk, I'm really affected by music and after everything I've done/gone through  in the past year and a half....well, I felt like I had my own little soundtrack.

The announcer pronounced my last name as "Fucks" as I crossed the finish line.
 Yes. Yes, I do good sir.

My buddy came in just a few minutes behind me, and was just as emotional as I. She's lost 90 lbs in the past 2 years, after a lifetime of being overweight. Therefore being able to participate in these kinds of things and finish strong (and not even last!) is a huge, HUGE deal for us. Up until recently I know we both felt like odd balls at the 5Ks, etc. THOSE people are real athletes, we're just recovering fat chicks trying to keep up. But I think I can speak confidently for both of us, that we feel, nay, KNOW we are real athletes now. Not Olympic ones mind you, but athletes all the same.

Rare photo of me sporting just the jog bra. I couldn't express to you how few fucks I had to give at that point to anyone who might have thought I was still too heavy to do so.

Oh! And did I mention that I podium-ed?

Yeah, that would be because I was the ONLY woman in the Fat Tire Division. But for the record, 
I finished in 1:36:48. Had I entered my age group I would have been 6th out of 9 and if I had done Athena I would have been 4th out of 6. Overall, I was 228 out of 270. Considering, I thought it was a very real possibility that I could come in last, I am happy as a clam with my times. 

All said and done, will I be doing another Tri? Probably not. As much as I like swimming laps in the pool, snorkeling in the ocean, etc I just flat out find absolutely nothing enjoyable about the open water swim in the Tri. Sure, the bike and run is a challenge, but I still enjoy them. The swim. Not so much. At all. There are way too many other types of races and events that I enjoy ALL aspects of (Pangea Adventure Races FTW!) to bother with ones that I don't care for...particularly ones that I don't care for that also require the most time away from everything else I enjoy doing in life. 

I'm super glad that I did it. Especially that I got to share the experience with my friend. But in the future you are a lot more likely to find me riding my fat tire in the woods than on the roads.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I haven't been real inspired to write lately. Strike that...I do sometimes think of something I'd like to post, but by the time I have the time to actually DO it, the inspiration has flitted away, far out of my tiny, puny brain. 

I've continued to journal my food via the WW app on my iPhone up until a few days ago, but more on that later. Since we aren't doing either of the nocturnal Adventure Races, I let myself get roped into planning for a Sprint Triathlon in Clermont, FL. The distances are: 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and 5K run. I did this event about 13 or 14 years ago, right after the first time I got real fat and then lost a bunch of weight. Unfortunately that time (aaaaand another time) I got at or near goal and I did the old "Ok, I'm done dieting now!" which of course resulted in me being that goal weight for...oh, I don't know... a day, maybe? 

But I digress...the Tri is this Saturday. I followed a training program for the first 3 or 4 weeks, and then modified it for the last 4 weeks to accommodate the Cross Fit Dave and I have been doing three times a week. In short, I'm ready. I'll be back of the pack fo' sho'. But I'm fairly confident that if I am last the one to finish it won't be so late that everyone else will have packed up and gone home. 

The Tri training and Crossfit have been great, I've definitely seen improvement in terms of muscle gain, and I've reached new personal bests at a 5K on the 4th of July AND I came in 3rd female at a Run-Yak on Saturday. A Run-What-Now? The Run-Yak was a 2.5K run, 3K paddle, 2.5K run and super fun! I wish I knew what my splits were because I am pretty confident that I hit another personal best 5K time on that one, but I only have my total time. Oh well.

All that said, I haven't really lost any actual poundage in the past couple months. I've gotten as low as 180 once....ONCE. But for weeks now I've been bouncing up and down around 182. I have my suspicions regarding eating too much on the weekends and then throwing myself into starvation mode during the week with all the Tri training and Crossfit. 

I've been a big believer in the Primal/Paleo methods of eating, so I finally downloaded the book and the cookbook and after the Tri, I'm going to make a real go of it. Realistically, I see myself doing a modified version long-term, but to try to reset my "set point" I'm going to try to be pretty strict for a couple of weeks with it and also INCREASE my calories from 1500-1600 per day during the week to 2000. I really think the move to finally eliminate the startchy and processed carbs and upping the calories a bit will do the trick.

I have no plans to do another Tri, but the Adventure Races start back up again in September. We both can't wait. We really miss them. We also both want to continue with the Crossfit. Aaaand, we've got some more Obstacle Races coming up in the fall too.

I guess there is no getting around the fact that fitness and fitness related events are our biggest hobby right now. How cool is that? My friends and family are probably sick of hearing me say, "I never thought a year and a half ago I would be....." But it's true. I'm still amazed everyday with how much I have changed my eating habits, my health and my body.

The bulk of the weight-loss is done. Experience has taught me that now is the most dangerous time. Which is why I am so very glad we've made healthy eating and fitness a part of our lifestyle as a family. And why I want to continue to grow and learn regarding nutrition. Therefore, hopefully, I'll be posting here more often as I journey more deeply into the Primal lifestyle and continue down this road of health and wellness.

Stay tuned.