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I lie!

I lie, in both meanings of the word.  Right after pressing publish this morning, I did not go out for my run.  Instead, I laid down on the floor for a good 10 minutes, simply being and then stretching.  Sometimes I am skeptical of the mantra, listen to your body — is your body really telling you to take today off AGAIN? — but on the rare occasions that i do listen to my body,  I am thankful and I realize I do need to listen.  Thanks OhSheGlows and HEAB! Angela from OhSheGlows and Heather aka HEAB both talk extensively about their experiences with overtraining/getting in a running rut/rest/taking a break from exercising, or some iteration of that topic, and reading through their thoughts caused me to do some self-analysis.  I won’t elaborate now, but I’m pretty sure I have not been listening to my body lately.  The self-analysis needs to continue, but i am glad I listened this morning.  Afterall, I do have a gym session planned for tonight, so it’s not like I’m making excuses to not exercise.  Instead, i’m pulling in the reigns so that I don’t take myself down the path of overtraining. 

After my meditation/stretch session, I finished unpacking my suitcase from my trip to NJ over 10 days ago!  That was a major success for this Monday morning!  If only I weren’t at work while others are home thinking about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Columbus didn’t REALLY discover America?  No reason to stop working — so says my boss.

Not recommended by me

Eating breakfast early when you wake up at 3:45 AM is NOT recommended by me!  I did that this morning and I am deeply regretting it.  First of all, I did not eat a very enjoyable meal, more like a smattering of less healthy snacks.  Secondly, upon waking up, my body was filled with mixed messages – tummy was full, but my mouth and mind wanted to eat!  Alas, I already consumed enough in the early morning hours.  I foresee a mid-morning snack in my future.  Thirdly, I guess I shouldn’t even call it “breakfast” because the pre-4AM meal did not so much break my fast and energize me for the day.  Instead, I ate it while half asleep and promptly returned to bed, therefore missing out on all the benefits that breakfast usually provides.  Oh well. Live and learn.

I am now enjoying a nice, hot mug of coffee before heading out for a morning jog.  I am going to take it easy because I am not feeling my best, but the run will help calm my nerves and prepare me for the day in the office — no, I do not have off to celebrate Christopher Columbus!  I think all of the non-profits in DC adamantly refuse to recognize federal holidays other than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July as a way of admonishing the government for its sub-par work ethic.  Government employees as a whole are often guilty of having a clock in/clock out mentality.  Then, there is Congress, which is only in session so many days out of the year.  So, there seems to be an attitude among non-profit DC-ites that we work FOR REAL, while the Washington politicians only do so now and then.

I don’t know who works harder, or more efficiently, but what I do know is that ignoring federal holidays in protest of government waste is not my idea of effective protest!  Rant over!  It’s time to run, and I think the sun is coming up.

***Did you get my awful pop music allusion there?  Ihave a terrible habit of somehow relating all things to music lyrics.  I swear, there are lyrics out there that can be appropriately applied to all aspects of life!)***

Anyway, I am not taking pictures yet, because I am lazy.  And short on time.  And the picture I wanted to take – of my 75% off Vitamin Shoppe loot  – got dispersed between work, home, my weekend bag, and my mouth! before I got a chance to capture it in its bargain glory. 

Just trust me. It is amazing loot and I may have to go back for more.  The granola, chocolate cover bananas, fried fruit, and mango are to die for!  The Cape Cod trail mix was also wonderful, but I failed to restrain myself around it last night, so I don’t think I need any more of that!

Breakfast this morning was an Apple Cinnamon breakfast bar and a bunch of CApe Cod trail mix. So good, but oh so bad!  Mid-morning snack was pumpkin seeds. Yum yum.

Lunch is going to be soup and salad at Potbelly’s.  Just what I need after trail mix overload last night and this morning.  Though, it’s lunch with the supervisor.  Hopefully, it goes swimmingly.  Tad bit nervous!

Hit the Jackpot!

I abandoned my blog in recent weeks, and there are reasons for that.  But now, it’s time for me to get back on track with my fitness regimen, and jumpstart my healthy aspirations.  For various reasons, I fell into some unhealthy eating habits, and I starting to really notice the effects.  I’ve been feeling it on my runs, and I think I’m starting to get a ‘little buddy’ of my own!  (“Little buddy” is what my dad affectionately calls his expanding tummy.) I’ve never really had a little buddy before, so this is NOT good!   I usually notice it first in the back region when I put on a few pounds, so to feel it up front too is so very not good!

Alright, so no big deal.  Move more. Eat less. I already hit the gym or run regularly, but I could definitely mix things up and focus on strength training more.  Eat less and better quality food is where my real work needs to be done.  With that in mind, I set out after lunch (my packed lunch of clean eats chicken salad!) to grab a healthy snack.  On a whim, I strolled into The Vitamin Shoppe down the street, and I hit the jackpot of healthy snacks!

This location is closing at the end of the month, so all snacks and protein bars are 75% off!!!!!! It was amazing.  All sorts of all natural, organic (expensive) foods that I’ve been dying to try were now on sale for a fraction of the cost.  So, I stocked up. And I might just go back tomorrow!  I got all natural granola, trail mix, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, chocolate covered goji berries and bananas, dried cranberries, chia goodness cereal!, Balance bars, and maybe even more.  I am taking a picture of this loot when I get home tonight!  I think it’s a sign that eating better can be easy, fun, and delicious!  So long as I show some restraint. :)

Now, I’m off to take a glorious run and then hit the gym.  Partly cloudy and 69 degrees.  Perfect for running!

T-17 Hours

Yes, in less than 24 hours, I will be sitting down to take the LSAT.  In my efforts to not freak the Fu%! out, I thought I’d take a moment to blog.  Seeing as the lsat is a test of mental endurance and confidence,  I am grateful for my marathon training and general commitment to physical fitness.  However, my training schedule has NOT been grateful of my pre-test practice and anxiety.  The last few weeks have been a major impediment to my training, in terms of increasing mileage, improving time, fueling properly, and keeping up my strength- and cross- training.  I feel like I have turned to mush!  Also, while running helps me release some of the added stress this upcoming test has brought on, the extra stress has caused me to have some of my worst runs ever!!  Yesterday, my endurance was shot.  However, in keeping with my mantra of “You are stronger than these emotions”, I allowed myself to mix some walking into my run.  Instead of getting frustrated, I added a couple miles to my walk-run to focus on keeping my mileage up rather than consistent pace.  Then, I also added a set of 1oometer sprints to my workout.  I really liked being able to run as fast as I could for just a short period of time.  My endurance may have been shot yesterday, but I certainly had some nervous energy pent up and ready to push me through sprints.  I might have to go do some more of them this afternoon.

The last few weeks have also allowed me to experience how stress wreaks havoc on my body.  Apparently, I am one of the best emotional eaters on this planet.  No joke.  I have found myself eating all kinds of sugary, carby snacks and treats that usually never make it past my lips.  Not at all out of restriction, but because I simply do not crave junk food.  I train hard and my body wants quality nutrients.  Enter supreme stress and anxiety, and my body’s desire for nutritious fuel gets overloaded with alien-cravings for carbs of all kinds, but preferably of the high sugar variety.

And now, on the day before my test, I am thinking about how important it is for me to eat nutritiously today and to not overeat tonight in order to keep my mind clear and focused.  YET, why not keep this in mind at all times – -throughout the weeks of studying that have preceded today? Throughout any time of increased stress in my life?  From this experience,  I think I am learning that I need to pay attention to my stress levels and be especially mindful of what I am eating in times of increased stress.  Since stress will be an undeniable aspect of life, I think I need to get a better grip on stress management — focusing on how stress can either wreck your diet or your diet can wreck your stress.  I know that eating right can help reduce stress, while poor eating habits can simply add more stress to an increased stress load.  Things to think about tomorrow….

Grown-up Sick Days are no fun

Remember when the idea of staying home sick seemed like so much fun in elementary school?  Yeah, well, staying home as an adult in the real world is NO fun.  First of all, you actually have to be sick in order to (legitimately) stay home, and then, if you are sick enough to stay home, you REALLY don’t feel well.  And you don’t have a mom to bring you campbell’s chicken noodle soup, cinnamon sugar toast, popiscles, or whatever else your heart desires.  It’s just you and the germs, hanging out alone.  Today, I am home sick, most likely because of a wicked ear infection.  I have had various flu-like symptoms for the last 9 days, and then yesterday, my ear started hurting like mad!  It feels like it is full of fluid and it is driving me crazy.  In an hour and a half, I’ll be at the doctor, and hopefully I will be relieved of this awful feeling.  I might just leave early to go there because I can’t wait any longer.

Most likely, I got sick last week because I was eating all kinds of things I don’t normally eat while I was in NJ.  I didn’t check for wheat in the ingredients, and fooled myself into thinking it was ok.  Combine that with returning to DC while the seasons are changing, stress and anxiety surrounding the upcoming LSAT, and you get a big fat case of illness.  This is yet another case of circumstantial evidence for me that my immune system falls apart in response to stress.  I know from before that my wheat/gluten intolerance developed later in life (at age 20) as a result of stress and a weak immune system.  Back then, I was put on a gluten-free diet, and my symptoms improved almost overnight.  I learned that my body could not properly process the protein in wheat and consuming wheat products became a further stressor to my weakened immune system.  Removing wheat from my diet, as well as controlling other stressors in my life,  allowed my immune system to strengthen over time.  Years after the initial gluten sensitivity diagnosis, my sensitivity lessened a bit, so that if I accidentally ate something with wheat in it, I was able to digest it fine.  However, it had been awhile since I had the stress of a looming deadline or test in my life and I eased up on monitoring my food.  Big mistake!

Now I know that it is tremendously important for me to maintain a wheat-free, possibly even gluten-free, diet in order to maintain my health.  I do not want to get this sick again, simply because of something I ate.  My response to wheat consumption can range from mild to severe adverse effects, depending on my stress levels.  HOWEVER, since the wheat protein actually becomes a stressor to my body, even if I do not have any significant stress going on in my life, wheat consumption will still give me problems.  So, it is time for me to re-educate myself about wheat intolerance, and reacquaint myself with a wheat-free diet.  I do not know yet if I need to eliminate gluten as well, but it is off limits for now.

So, today’s gluten-free eats have included the following:

Breakfast:

Protein pancake – 3 egg whites plus 1/2 scoop Protein powder

Celery and carrots plus 1.5 T. Almond Butter

Coffee w/ skim

Lunch: 1 cup cottage cheese, lotsa broccoli with a little tomato, and a small handful of Puffins

Snack 1: 1/2 banana with a 1/2 T. Almond Butter

Alright, time to get my ear drained. YESSSS!

The Truth Hurts

Literally…in this case, the truth about my wheat allergy.  Over the last 2 weeks, it has been confirmed that I am indeed allergic to wheat.  Over the last few months, I have tried to incorporate small amounts of wheat into my diet.  THat seemed to be going fine, so about 2 weeks ago, I decided to begin adding more wheat products to my diet.  Suddenly able to eat so many foods that I could not enjoy before (since last finding out that wheat is a no-no for me), I was in chewy-carb heaven.  But my bliss could only last so long.  In retrospect, I can now see that my body has been experiencing averse reactions to the wheat.  To be more precise, I have had stomach pains, muscle aches, and flu-like symptoms for the last 2 weeks.  They got progressively worse until I had full-blown hay fever. Additionally, I have had extreme fatigue, rashes, and severe depressive episodes.  It took me a while to put two and two together, but I am sure of it now.

The only downside is that this means no more Ezekiel Bread, wheat-based wraps, cereal!, granola made with wheat, baked goods, crackers, pretzels, etc.  I need to go back to the wheat-free diet.

This is disappointing because I thought I could be normal again, but the pain I have been in these last couple weeks is not normal!  Part of the reason I wanted to reincorporate “normal” wheat foods is because I grew self-conscious about my dietary needs again.  I had successfully embraced it before, but in recent months, my self-confidence regarding my diet shattered, and I didn’t want to be ‘different’ anymore.  I think this was a result of recent stress.

This has been a major setback, but I can recover from it.  At least i know how to eliminate the havoc thas was wrought on my body over the last few months!  And honestly, I enjoy the wheat-free diet.  I like my sweet potatoes and brown rice, and I have not been eating them recently AT ALL!  I’m going to change that tonight with a trip to TRader Joe’s!

Anyway, time for a super small lunch since I cannot handle much food right now.  My tummy is hurting from the intense wheat consumption yesterday!

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