My plate is GREAT!

As a member I always hated the Weight Watchers “Great Plate” week. If I am being 100% honest here (and I always am) it is literally my most hated topic in the history of topics. 

The great plate…a way to manage and control your thanksgiving meal. That's all fine and dandy but really it would be nice if we could just relax. 

My plate is greater. Why? Because I will put whatever the hell I want and however much I want on my plate.

Listen, I am not saying go balls to wall here. I am not saying to grab the pan full of stuffing and RUN! I am not saying when someone asks you “would you like a piece of pie?” you say “no, I want the whole damn pie!” What I am saying is…this is a holiDAY. It is ONE day. A single date.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty damn good most days of the week. I track all of my food. I plan out my meals and snacks. I save my weekly points and earn up extra activity for special occasions that will be requiring eating food. I try to make up for when I have garbage days. I am pretty obedient with my eating. So guess what?? I give myself a f%*king break on the holidays. I do not deprive myself of anything. I don’t put anything “off limits”. Hell, I even get a second helping if I want.  And you know what this allows me to do?? Eat without guilt and ENJOY my meal. And you know what that enables?? Control.

I don’t go absolutely insane. And if I do have that 3rd helping of mashed potatoes (seriously…potatoes…seriously) SO WHAT?!?! It’s not like I go all crazy and eat everything on site just because I’ve decided not to follow some stupid plate or Thanksgiving guideline. I mean holy shit, have we become so obsessed with sticking to plan that we forgot to relax sometimes?! You gotta relax, man. I speak from experience when I say that being that strict and not letting yourself enjoy something as simple as a single.freaking.meal will do your mind AND body absolutely NO good!!

To quote my boy Eric (many of you know him @TheMochnacz )“I think Thanksgiving is truly the one holiday that is about food. And I just don’t think you can happy sitting at that table with your family munching on rabbit food. And if you deprive yourself of all the stuff you want on the big day then you know you would angrily be eating all those leftovers until New Years. It will be a holiday shame spiral!”

I hit my goal and became a Weight Watchers Lifetime member right in the timeline of Thanksgiving to Christmas…I didn’t go crazy and not enjoy the holidays. I did exactly what I do today….enjoy the day. Thanksgiving isn't an eating contest yet we treat it like it is so therefore we put all these strict guidelines one ourselves that really are not that necessary. 

The holiday shame Eric said, not only are you opening the door to possibly having an all out regret fest with food, but by not allowing yourself to take it easy & enjoy some treats you are also opening the door to guilt & shame that can follow & consume you from here till New Years. Don't allow that to happen! Be easy and forgiving on yourself. 

Things I do that ease any guilty that might come along…I always go out for a run in the morning. I have always gone out by myself for a run to help me clear my mind and prepare myself for the day ahead. I reflect on what I am thankful for, and I get to earn some activity points while doing so. I also bring a “safe dish”…usually a side dish that I know the exact points for and is healthy for me to pig out on if I feel the need to. Also, because I indulge in a lot of mash potatoes (Seriously….potatoes) and I basically like to drown them in gravy, I bring my own jar of fat free gravy. No one is offended (and even if they are too bad) and the taste is pretty much just as good.  And yes, I usually do track my points but not always and not everything. And sometimes I just track “100 – Thanksgiving” and call it a freaking day. Maybe it’s way over, maybe it’s way under…either way I’ve tracked, accepted and enjoyed. For those who do want to strictly track their Points then you should check out my girl Dani's Thanksgiving cheat sheet

Just remember that it is a holiDAY not a holiWEEK!! Take it easy on yourself and just remember that YOU are in control of your meal. 

Have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving!! XO

I will be me...

I like McDonalds. I am obsessed with their grilled southwest chicken salad. And their French fries are basically my kryptonite. I even have a phone case that is a mock up of their French fries. I don’t care what people say about them. I don’t care what is “really in them” blah, blah, blah.

I’m a runner but I don’t need to look like one 24/7. I can wear high heels more than I wear running sneakers. I’m still a runner. I can wear clothes other than race t-shirts and running capris. I’m still a runner.

I do not have to give two flying fucks about crossfit. (Sorry to my Crossfit friends)

I do not have to care if my food is organic or not. I don’t have to care about Gluten if I don’t want to (and for the record, I don’t).

I do not have to try Beachbody or Wrap my body up like a mummy…just like you don’t have to care about Weight Watchers.

I don’t have to “stay out of bars” if I want to stay sober. I am a grown ass woman and I can put myself into any situation I want. I know what I can handle. I know what a temptation is & I know when I need to avoid it & when I’m ok with dealing with it. This is my battle, not yours.

I don’t have to pretend to like certain brands because like 99% of my friends on Twitter like that brand.  I mean seriously…I almost vomited trying to consume those things! They are NOT practical!

I don’t have to be an “ambassador” of something in order for my blog and my views to be relevant.

I don’t need to be anything but me. Take it or leave. Love it or hate it. I will be me and you will be you and that is what makes all of this so inspiring. Sometimes I get opened up to something that I didn’t think I cared about before, and vice versa. I don’t judge anyone for taking a different path on their journey…I respect it and commend it. It inspires me to take MY path, and in turn I hope that inspires you to take yours.

Now cue the beat...

The Burn

Sunday I did something that was a first for me…I ran TWO races in the same day. It was The Burn Run 5K and 10K.

2 races. 2 medals. 2 starting lines. 2 finish lines.

I was pretty excited going into it. The day before at Fleet Feet I got to do some shopping thanks to a wonderful and very generous blog reader who gifted me with a gift card that allowed me to get some much needed running essentials that I just don’t have the $$ to ever get.  I was able to buy some good gear that will allow to me get out and run in the cold weather. I was pretty pumped. Buying running gear & picking up a race bib…I felt like a real runner again, lol.
Thank you again with all my heart to the wonderful person who allowed me to get these gifts. XO
But race morning I woke up in not the best condition. I have been fighting a cold all week in hopes that I would not get sick for this race. Unfortunately I woke up with some awful sinuses that morning. I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't have any energy and was just BLAH all over.

Then my friend Mary had text me in the morning asking if she could run with me. Of course I said “Yes!” I have never ran a race with anyone but I do know that I have loved running with all of my Lake Effect friends (& she is one of them). I could have really used the boost and I could tell that she could as well. I warned her about my not feeling well and that I still run slowly as a snail so if she ever wanted to break away to go right ahead. I am always fearful of holding others back. But she reassured me that she just wanted the company and the support to stay out there. Well…we ended up needing each other. Me more than her maybe.

This race was much harder than I had anticipated...not just physically but more so mentally.

I couldn't get out of my head. I started out a little fast in the 5K and I think the struggle that came with trying to keep up with that kind of just got to me. I was ready to run, but I wasn't ready to fight. I wasn't in the mood to battle, physically or mentally. When the 5K was done I was seriously contemplating being done with running that day. I thought to myself “I’m not losing any $$ by not doing the 10K. All I am losing is a medal…and oh yeah, my dignity…and giving up on myself, AGAIN, and in front of all of my friends.” I did *NOT* want to run that 10K. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to run. I didn't want to walk. I wanted to just quit Sunday all together.
But I got my ass to the 10K starting line, because I promised Mary that I would run with her. And because I promised myself. I wasn't absolutely in pain or so sick that I couldn't breathe so I really had no great excuse to get myself out of it.

When we started the 10K a friend of Mary’s named Heidi came up & asked if she could run with us. She ran the 5K hard and was just looking for a nice 10K. At first I was scared, because again, I didn't want to hold anyone up. But she insisted that she didn't care as long as we kept moving forward. Having her there was great. And since my breathing was so erratic thanks to my cold/sinuses it was awesome having her and Mary there to chat so I could try to focus my attention to their conversation since I couldn't participate in talking too well. (I swear I promise to be a better communicator next time, lol.)

I think I definitely hit a semi-wall at one point. And if it wasn't for Mary & Heidi being there to distract me with their conversation I would have most definitely stopped completely. When we passed the firehouse where we were all parked & was a little less than the ½ way mark,  I had contemplated over and over again in my head about whether or not I should just quit and go back to my car. I wanted to stop so badly. I was done. But I couldn't leave my friends…I couldn't do that to myself.

I had to stop and walk a lot. I was hurting. The physical pain was real. It was really real. I kept apologizing and then I felt bad about apologizing so I would apologize for that. I thought at one point that Heidi was going to slap me, LOL. I wouldn't have blamed her. I wanted to hit myself too. But I thought going all “Fight Club” in the middle of a race would really bring some unwanted attention my way.

I finished though!! I couldn't have done it without my girl Mary or Heidi there by my side and we all finished together. 2:06:47 was my combined time for both races (it was a gun start). It was fight from the start to the end and every bit in between. But I never quit. I never gave up.
What in the hell is with my hair?! How long did I walk around with my hair like that?!?!
At least there are TWO MEDALS around my neck to distract your eyes away from it ;)
I can’t do too much about the mental condition that I was in. That happens. It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. But I overcame that. I powered through the negativity that was in my brain:

{I’m holding these ladies back….why am I so slow still…why can’t I run like I used to…I’m still so overweight…why do I have to keep stopping…why can’t I breathe…why do I suck…they are just taking pity on me…I'm hurting because I'm too fat...I’m not part of this group, they just feel bad for me…I suck}

Yup…I am always successful at being my own worst enemy. The thoughts didn't stop as soon as my feet did. Honestly I am still on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. But the high of finishing that race and knowing that I never gave up...that I never quit...well that negates any of those awful thoughts that I had. 

One thing that I CAN do something about though is my physical condition. Fact is…I need to stop hoping on miracles when it comes to larger races. I need to stop pulling a rabbit out of hat and hoping I can finish. I've always done this. Even when I was running faster I wasn't really training properly. How I managed to run my very first marathon in just under 6 hours is still hard for me to believe. I need to train. And training to me right now has been running 2-3 miles twice a week with a kind of but not really long run on the weekend. Now I've always been a 3-4 days a week run kind of gal. It’s not really that which I am disputing. It’s the effort. I could do longer distances during the week. I could keep increasing my long run on the weekend instead of the cap off at the usual 6 miles. I could add in sprints and intervals (just don't start putting math in there because that's when I lose any & all interest). 

I can’t expect to get any faster or be properly conditioned for these longer runs if I don’t put in the work. Just like how I put the work into losing weight by tracking my food, counting my Points, measuring my portions, I have to have to put in the work on my running if I want to get back to those not so hard 9-10 minute miles and an easy, breezy, beautiful 6 miles.

By not conditioning myself physically I am hurting myself mentally as well. My next big race is the Lake Effect Half Marathon. My focus and work will be put into that race. And it is time that I try to follow some sort of training plan. Time to start working on bettering my pace from what it is now instead of just wishing it to be what it once was. 

I've seen what my body can do without the training…I think I can amaze myself if I see what it could do with the training. 

*Want to send a quick thank you to all of the directors, organizers and volunteers who were part of The Burn Run, It was a great race and the medals are SWEET!! I will definitely be back next year.

**And another extra special thank you to all of the Lake Effect crew. Having you guys there was incredible. You guys really have changed running for me (in a really good way).

***And an extra, extra special thank you to Mary. I am so thankful to have you as a friend and to have had you by my side yesterday and any day. XO

Eat, eat, eat!

I seem to have this problem lately...
I can’t stop wanting to eat like… ALL. THE. TIME.
It’s all I want to do. Eat. Eat. Eat. All the live long day.
When I am done eating all I can think about is “what I will eat next?”
Even when I am eating I am thinking about eating.  (And I don’t just mean making sure that I don’t chew my tongue off or something)
I'm thinking about eating even as I type this. (Maybe I *am* eating as I type this. It's my blog so I don't have to tell you if I don't want to! ;P )
I want to eat till I am obnoxiously full. I want to eat until I am stuffed.
I want to eat until I can eat no more.
But I don’t.
So I just sit here and try to control my damn self.
I try not to think about lunch while I’m eating breakfast.
I try to tell myself to slow down, put the electronics away and enjoy & savor my food. (I’m a bad girl at this)
I try to tell myself that when I am done with that meal that I AM DONE WITH THAT MEAL.
I try to tell myself that I am content and that feeling content is better than feeling stuffed.

I find something else to do.
I chew gum.
I look at my Weight Watchers E-Tools app and see my points for the day dwindling down.
I get on my iPad and look at food, pretend I am eating it, lick the screen & drool.
I go for a run or workout. (Not gonna lie…this option doesn't happen often, LOL)
I have a cup of coffee.
I snack on some veggies or fruits.

I try. I try my best to not making eating a sport. Now you might say I am not eating enough (not true) or that I am not eating the right stuff (kind of true) but really it is just the plain and simple fact that like anyone with food issues, or addictions issues or any kind really, that you will have moments where the cravings are intense. Sometimes they last minutes, sometimes days, sometimes weeks.
So I am just putting this out there...that lately I just want to eat all the damn time! 

What do you do to keep from becoming an eating machine when the hunger monster is chasing you?
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