Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: November 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

What I’m Thankful For – Pt 2

So a few glasses of wine and some writing did the trick.  Also – crab salad sandwiches.  Seriously, this is my new find.  One whole can of lump white crab is only 60 calories (and is a buck twenty five at big lots).  I mixed it up with some light mayo, celery, and onions, and ate one melt (with light cheese and some pickles with the mixture) on an arnold’s sandwich thin and then put the rest of the mixture on another half of a thin.  All being told, probably about 300 calories and it was like a feast, especially mowing down a half a bag of snow peas and some hummus too.  I got some good quality writing done, and I went to bed happy.

I woke up today and had a wonderful morning yoga, and braced myself for the crazy.  So far, no crazy.  My butt has escaped the teeth marks that I expected it to have this morning.  It may only be a deference until Monday, but after 4 days off, I’ll be ready to deal with it.  I’m going to put my head down, enjoy the quiet, and get the last thing on my to do list done before I slide off into long weekend mode.

But not without a show of gratitude.  This year, I am thankful for (in no particular order or importance):

-Being able to continue to pay mortgage and live comfortably with minor modifications even through a one income + one unemployment check period.

-That my Zliten got a job, back in the industry, making enough that we can start pumping up that savings account again.

-For a full time job in a stable company that is seeing success even through this crappy economy.  It may not be the favoritest job I’ve ever had, but it sure beats the hell out of just about any alternative right now.

-That I’m leaving another year fitter and healthier than I went into it.

-For things that happen just at the right time to keep me sane/engaged/awake/hungry for more.

-For amazing technology that is part of my life.  My phone can internet.  For 15 bucks per month, I can listen to just about any song I ever want.  With the push of a few buttons, my car can tell me turn by turn how to get home from ANYWHERE.  A web page that I can put my turn by turn run and how much time it took, and it will tell me my distance and pace.  I’m not talking astrophysics here, just those little conveniences that make life a little more…ahhh.

-Luxuries like pest control service and the alarm company.  These were things that we considered giving up during the lean times, but then relented when 1) we had a mouse in the house, and instead of dealing with it ourselves, we just called the dudes and within a day, the mouse was gone and the entry point was patched up and 2) we had a break in where the dude opened the door, the alarm went off, and he didn’t even take anything.  Even the easy pickins.

-The fact that my parents now live a short drive away, and we can see them more often.  And in not-week-long doses that drive us both a little batty.

-My wonderful friends.  Another fun year of outings, parties, potlucks, fun, and games. 😉

-Maintaining a healthy weight.  It may not be my ideal or my happy weight, but I can’t look in the mirror and hate myself.  Besides those nagging little imperfections, I don’t mind my nekkid.

-My headspace shift in the last year from exercising and eating for weight loss to eating to fuel my exercise, and exercising for accomplishment and sport.  It may make losing harder, but it feels like a more sustainable and healthy place to be.

-I am finally at a place in my life, where I can decide what I want to do, set some concrete goals and put a plan in place, and more often than not get there, and if not the moon that I’m shooting for, I usually end up among the stars (to paraphrase that quote badly).  I wanted to lose weight, and while I’m not at my final goal, I’m beyond my wildest expectations back then.  I wanted to run a half marathon in 2 hours – I ran it 16 mins slower – but seriously, who cares?  I went through a 3 month training program where the only person I was truly accountable to was myself, and finished.  Now with NaNoWriMo – I might not finish in a month but I’ve got a solid plan to keep at it and the realization that I CAN DO IT.

-To be married to the most wonderful Zliten in the world, and that we had an awesomely fun friend and family filled destination wedding that was totally worth all the stress.

-The awesome fit/health/food blogging community who stop by here to read my rambles.  Seriously, you deserve a freaking medal sometimes.  You all understand what I go through like no one else does sometimes.

-Amazing advances in media.  Instead of having to cope with just what’s on TV when it’s on and synchronizing our watches (remember having to be home at 8 for your favorite show every week and watching all the commercials? ha!), we can be amused anywhere, any time, by anyone with the internet.
Case in point:

I’m sure there’s much more I’m forgetting, but I’ll wrap this up for now. Happy Thanksgiving out there, bloggie folks. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and remember – if you gobble gobble, you should also waddle waddle! ::grin::

Happy Tweetsgiving – Part 1

So, here it is.  I find myself in a LOUSY ASS mood today.  I even blargharlargalarghed in the comments at poor Mizfit, who being the mayor of blogsville, spread the word that today was the day to post what we were thankful for, and link back to HERE, who started the idea of tweetsgiving, and everyone in the twitter and blogosphere should share what they were thankful for.  And apparently leave our participles dangling.  Oh yeah, dangle that participle baby.

Anyhoo, I find myself in a LOUSY ASS mood.  I don’t think that adequately describes it.  Given any sort of outcome, today is the day I wouldn’t have found any of them favorable.  Given the winning lottery ticket, I would have been bitching about paying the taxes on it, and not being able to decide WHICH Rolls Royce I was going to buy.  That kind of mood.  Where you know you’re being ridiculous, but just can’t find a way to pull yourself out of it, and really just don’t care.  I’m so rarely in a bad mood I almost want to indulge myself sometimes.  Like, I’m still pretty grumpy but I’m almost laughing at myself because I know how silly I am when I’m pouty like this.

So yes.  For the 3rd time, LOUSY ASS mood.  Some crap at work that I loathe to go into on my blog, some frustration at poor planning on my part in my social calendar, and some wanting people to bend to my will without luck, and nothing was goddamn going my way.  I was also ridici-busy so I was also grumpy that I wasn’t able to put up my fuckity fucking post about being fucking grateful for a bunch of awesome fucking crap in my life.

LOUSY ASS MOOD.  Did I mention?

I had thoughts like – “If only everyone in my life can leave me goddamn alone and let me do what I want, maybe I could actually be a novelist/marathoner/90 lb waif/whatever flavor of the month Quix dream is.”  But that happened once.  I worked and worked and worked and worked to try to be something until it encompassed everything else in my life.  Once I took the blinders off I was so shocked at how much the rest of my life was in ruin, I changed.

So thank you, to my family and friends, for saving me from myself.  I want to dedicate this post to you, even if very few of you read this.  Besides all the normal stuff – being there for me, good times, hugs, support, etc (which I will surely go into next post when I feel a bit more sane), I want to talk about all the completely selfish and weird reasons I am lucky to have all the people in my life.

If it were just up to me, and I was just alone in my own vaccuum, it would be all work and no play.  I would spend every waking moment trying to be something or do something or better myself.  I would stock my fridge full of rabbit food and lean meat.  I would probably workout hours per day, and then write until I fell asleep.  Or I would go back to school and start at one end of the catalog and work my way through.  I might learn how to program my own games.  I might be able to finally lose all the weight without all those temptations around me and finally wear those super skinny jeans without the tummy pudge pokin’ out.  Hell, I might be able to run something more than this rinky dinky little blog.

I forget to have fun.  I forget to make those awesome memories like margaritas at sunset on the lake.  Or lounging around in PJs all day finishing a game.  Or the fun of cooking a huge feast for people who either like my cooking and bartending skills or were at least nice enough to pretend.  Or my bachelorette party where I rolled 10+ girls deep with a penis crown all night.  Or staying up late on a stolen weekday and talking about life.  Or laying in the grass in my yard and looking up at the clouds and trying to figure out what they all look like.  Or the cruise where we played at least 6 rounds of mexican train (dominos) and all took turns winning.  Or, the pinnacle of awesome – our wedding where we had so many awesome and loving and supportive people around us celebrating our special day where I felt like a pretty pretty princess.

Besides being awesome human beings, you keep me from being too much…me.  Without someone to help balance me, and remind me that there is life outside megamaniac mode, I get way too focused and then just frizzle-fry-burn out.  I might curse your name when I’m running a little hungover or behind on my writing, but seriously, I would be one boring evil genious without ya’all.  That occasional piece of cheesecake make all the salad days worthwhile.  The promise of drunken hookey days make those ass-dragging technical meetings where I don’t understand anything but have to take notes bearable.  The fun times might not contribute to any goals I have in life, but the memory and the promise of more makes the responsible things just that much more ok.

Most of all – I am thankful for my Zliten.  He’s the one that has to deal with the day-to-day, and he’s gotten very good at knowing when I need to be left alone in my little mad-scientist world, and when I need to be pulled the heck out.  I am thankful for him in many, many, many other ways that are way too plentiful to go into here.  But today, I am most thankful for him and his ability to monitor my crazy and pull me out of it before I lose it completely.

Now, a little more wine and back to NaNoWriMo-ing.  I might not make my 50k words but I’m going to try.  A more coherent and all inclusive thankfulness list in the very near future, I promise.

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 1

So, let me just wrap up last week before I get on with it.  It was pretty much a bust.  I injured myself and couldn’t run Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday I had an event to go to and still felt a little stiff, and apparently I had something emotionally to work out as Zliten and I stayed up until 4am drinking on a weekday, so I was too exhausted Thursday after slogging through a tough day at work hungover on no sleep.  Yeah.   Hello, me 3 years ago.  I did get up and do a 6 mile run and a killer DDR circuit Friday and Saturday, but I am still very disappointed with how much I’ve let distance running lapse this summer, and how HARD that was to just keep up a pace that was about what I’ve targeted my long run pace to be (around 9:45 per mile).  Sunday, I counted 6 hours of shopping as my cardio.

Yet again this week, I am terrified of the scale.  Not that I think I did that badly, it’s just this irrational thing that happens once I let go of tracking, I think I’m going to just start gaining and gaining.  I don’t trust myself yet to really know what to do without the numbers.  We will see.  A healthy day today and a nice long run tonight, and I’ll be ready to hop on tomorrow morning so I can give a “start weight” for the half process.

While my goal is still to get down to under 150 by December 31st, I am not going to actively try to cut calories very low for the rest of the year.  I reached my low weight of 150.2 a few weeks into half training last time just with increased exercise (before my appetite caught up).  Maybe this will happen again!  Regardless – pushing my body to run harder, better, faster, stronger is more important than losing a few lbs as of today.

So, let’s get on with it.

Basic Half Marathon Goals:

-Using the FIRST half marathon methodology (of course, an amalgamation of lots of different plans though), I’m going to be ONLY running 3 days per week.  But the running days, they are killer.  Most Mondays are sprints days.  They vary between 4×400 to start out with (with a mile warmup and cooldown) and 5×1600 (same).  Wednesdays are tempo runs, ranging from 4-8 miles before the taper.  Friday/Sat/Sun (one of these days): is the long run, progressing from 5 miles this week to 12 miles before the taper.

I noticed that I am a lot better and fresher with a day off between runs and feel like I can expend more effort.  I also remember feeling like slogging through some of those 4-5 mile slow pace weekday runs were pointless.  I totally get the 3 quality runs per week idea and the research shows that most people PR with the training.  It also means I can keep up with DDR and weights as well without feeling like I have to squeeze it in.

-I’m going to try the “lots of food/good food” type approach.  Trying to limit my intake during training was like trying to ask a dragon politely not to breathe fire.  So I’m going to give myself permission to snack as much as I want on APPROVED things, like veggies, jerky, pistachios… and probably find some healthy, whole grainy carb type things.  I will keep my meals unchanged.  This is not going to be an excuse to hit the buffet and eat 1500 calories.  I will also NOT eat out of the fridge.  This has to stop before it starts.  If I want a modest snack of turkey pepperoni, a bowl of pistachios, and a tub of mixed greens, I need to serve it to myself and take it at least to the couch.

-My “pie in the sky” goal is sub 2 hours.  My 5k time translated into half marathon time says I should be able to do it.  The reality is – I’m just much better at short distance speed than I am picking up the pace beyond my “run forever” pace of about 10:30-11 minute miles once I get in the double digits.  My realistic goal is to beat my time from the last one.  My “the-day-is-shite” goal is just to finish without walking.

This week is a little weird as I’m doing a 5 mile race on thanksgiving.  I haven’t trained for it for crap, but I think with race day jitters I can at least pull out a 45 minute (9 min mile) pace.  If not, hey, I ran 5 miles Thanksgiving morning before I stuff my face with turkey, and I got a groovy shirt.  Totally win.  So this week is:

Monday: 5 mile pace (let’s call it a tempo)

Tuesday: DDR circuit (these are still kicking my butt wonderfully)

Wednesday: yoga/rest

Thursday: 5 mile RACE (let’s call this my long run)

Friday: DDR circuit

Saturday: 4×400 sprints (1 mile w/up + cool down, 400m recovery in between)

Sunday: rest

Normally, it would be run M/W/F, DDR circuits Tu/Th, but the race mucks this up.  I already screwed up the ability to run this all outside (unless I decide tonight to hit the track for 5 miles in the dark…hmmm…didn’t think of that before) but unless the weather brings forth some icky icky clouds I’m golden for sprints at the track on Saturday.

The paces frighten me.  For an approximate 9:10 goal pace, which is a 2 hour half, here is what they want me to train at:

400s – 1:58 (no problem)

800s – 4:02 (again, no problem)

1600s – 8:25 (no problem in theory, 5 of these in one workout will be KILLER though)

tempo: 8:55 per mile (err, 8 miles below 9 minute miles? sceeery!!!)

long run: 9:40 per mile (this will be pretty brutal too, but I feel more confident about this than the tempos).

Wish me luck!  Anyone ever done 3 day per week running training, or at least focused on quantity over quality miles?  Any suggestions on making improvements on long distance pace?   My brain just seems to get intimidated and shut off the ability to really push myself above a 5k.

NaNoWriMo:
I’m about 9k words behind.  I’m going to try and rally this week… but that would mean almost 2700 words per day.  What I’m going to do if I *don’t* finish is to dedicate at least 1.5 hours after work 2 days per week and 3 hours on a weekend day EACH WEEK until I finish.  Unless I’m really inspired to talk about it before then for some reason, I’ll let you in on how I did December 1st.

And, if you made it through this far, let me reward you with this gem.  I feel greeeeeeeaaaattt!  Baaaaabiiiieeesss!!!!  Happy faux-Wednesday if you’ve got a short week like we have for Thanksgiving!  If not, happy Monday to the lot of ya.

Without Really Noticing…

I’ll go into it more Monday, but this week sorta fell apart on me.  However, it’s Friday, I’m feeling good, I’m totally psyched to hit the gym for a super killer treadmill workout tonight, and most importantly, I’m feeling totally uninjured, rested, and healthy.

It just hit me yesterday thinking about how I’ve changed over this whole getting healthy thing in general by reflecting on the week.   Even in the last year.  When I get frustrated that I haven’t lost much weight, I have to remember that I been maintaining a huge loss.  I have a completely different headspace than I used to.  Here are things I did without really noticing…

Some examples:

Peanut Butter Pie in the breakroom yesterday.

4 years ago: “Pie, fuck yeah!  Can I have 2?”  Then later, scolding myself for being so weak.

2 years ago: “No thanks.”  Then being freaking obsessed over peanut butter pie for the next week.

this week: “Oh yum!”  Taking a slice, eating about half, and throwing the rest of it away because it was just too much for me.

Mindlessly pigging out on what’s in the house because my tummy is ravenous.

4 years ago: frozen pizza, chips and dip, cookies, ice cream (yes, all in ONE night).  Feel depressed and crappy physically and mentally after the sugar and fat buzz wears off.

2 years ago: 100 calorie packs, sugar free pudding, low fat cheese and reduced fat crackers (though certainly not all at once!).  Feel still slightly unsatisfied, but mentally I convince myself I have had enough and need to stop to stay in my calorie range.

this week: raw veggies, turkey pepperoni, jerky, veggie pasta salad, fruit, pistachios, small amounts of full fat cheese (over the course of a few days).  Feel satiated, feel a little guilty, then think about what I actually ate, and laugh.

Not working out for a week due to injury/exhaustion/other crap:

4 years ago: “Duh, I don’t have time with work.”

2 years ago: “OMG OMG I’m going to get fat again this is horrible my life is ruined.”

this week: “Eh, that’s the way it goes.  So looking forward to hitting the ‘mill tonight now that I feel good!”

Seeing a ridiculously unflattering picture of myself:

4 years ago: “Damnit, why am I so fat…”  No way is anyone seeing this.

2 years ago: “Ugh, and THIS is why I am so not done losing weight.”  No way is anyone seeing this.

This week: *laughter* “Man, this is SO not going up as my facebook profile pic.”  Eh, why not, you can laugh with me.  Still not going up on facebook though.  Seriously, who squished my face like that and how am I not falling over from my massive chest?

I am certainly not perfect and I still have my freakout moments and make stupid decisions, but I am taking today to appreciate the strides I have made.  It may take me 50 bazillion more years to take off this last 20 lbs, but at least it’s not gaining.  I may not be completely vain-happy here, but I am certainly happy with my health and what my body can do, and how I feel more like I’m running on energizer batteries instead of just the crappy generic store brand that’s half dead.

Now, the ultimate question: since I’ve missed an entire week of running, I have my pick of workouts.  Long and slow, tempo run, or sprints?  The treadmill is my oyster!  What awesome have you done this week without really paying attention?  Happy weekend all!

A Polynesian-ish Feast

Last saturday found us hosting a Polynesian feast at the casa to celebrate our wedding with the peoples in Austin that couldn’t make it to Vegas (and the ones that did, too – hey, I love excuses to throw shindigs).  Here is the spread.

Warning #1: If you’re hungry, you should probably come back.

Warning #2: I am decidedly NOT a food blogger.  My pictures suck.  Most things I actually used recipes for and modified very little (which is SO UNLIKE me), so I’ll give credit where I can.

So, here we go…

Appetizers:

Veggies and homemade onion dip: self explanatory

Homemade Lumpia: So not pretty, but so yummy.  These were gone every time a batch came out.  Recipe here.  We made some with pork, and some veggie for our veggie friends (and they were delicious both ways).  We tried to fry them, but since we suck at wrapping them baking them was better (and healthier too so yay!).  We served two dips with these, a homemade sweet and sour sauce and a spicy sesame soy and garlic reduction .  I wish I could credit the sweet and sour sauce, but I have NO IDEA where it came from.

  • 1 small can pineapple juice (or juice from a 15-1/4 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation:

Mix all together and cook over medium heat until thickened.

The Spicy Sauce was simply made by sauteing the garlic with a little sesame oil, and then adding a bunch of less sodium soy sauce and chili sauce until it was a little less watery.

Main Course:

Pork Ribs.  Oh these were tasty.  They were teriyaki-ish in flavor, but since Zliten did them, I’m not exactly sure what goes in them.  They were gone about 10 minutes after I sliced them up.

Chicken Katsu – so bad for you but so awesome.  I did these with the panko crumbs I won from Mara’s Blog!  Recipe here.  Normally I probably would have baked these for just me, but DAMN the panko was awesome fried.  These went with katsu sauce (again, this must have come from somewhere but I don’t know where… however, I think this is pretty standard as it tasted EXACTLY like I remembered):

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
pepper to taste

Vegetarian Ramen, recipe here.  This was devoured pretty quick by meaties and veggies alike.

Spicy Pina Colada Vegetarian Curry, from my brain.  We served this with jasmine rice (not pictured). I put this together REALLY quick so I don’t have specific portions.  Just make taste the sauce and make sure it’s ok.  It’s probably ok.   I spiced this up with a BUNCH of rooster sauce, but a lot of people liked it mild.  Not my favorite, and we had the most leftovers of this as anything, but I kept getting compliments.

5 carrots
1 head cauliflower
1 can chick peas
1 large green pepper
1 bag of frozen peas
1 can of pineapple
1/2 can of lite coconut milk
2/3 jar of korma sauce
Cilantro to taste

Throw giant bag and marinate for a few hours.  Then, toss in a wok or a big pan and cook on low for about 30 mins (or until the veggies are the right consistency).

Sesame Ginger Salad – this one was more asain but OH WELL.

Ass ton of mixed greens
Small can of water chestnuts
cilantro to taste
Onions to taste

Toss with pepper to taste, sesame ginger dressing (I use fat free newman’s own), and chow mein noodles.

My awesome pasta salad, which did not go with the theme but I care not.  I wanted pasta salad, but couldn’t bring myself to make a mayo-y hawaiian type macaroni salad.  No one complained.  Mara – the extra utensils came in handy.  I used EVERYTHING you sent except the chicken broth (and that doesn’t last too long around the Casa De Jank).

Desert:

I knew everyone would be so full by then, so I didn’t put much effort into it.  I made some key lime bars (from a box), and set out a fruit tray.  The bars went quickly, but I’m enjoying the fruit leftovers this week as snackies.

I’m sad I didn’t get drinky pictures, but we served Mai Tais and Pina Coladas.  These recipes were for the whole picture (not each, heh):

Mai tai
2 shots light rum
2 shots dark rum
1/2 shot lime juice
1 shot orange crack
1 shot orgeat syrup
fill blender with ice
Cherry juice and cherry for garnish

Pina colada
4 shots light rum
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup pineapple

It was a blast!  I remember why I only do those parties so often now, it’s a lot of prep and work, but it was so worth it.  I have a feeling the next one won’t be until around birthday time, so I’ll have to think of a good theme… until then, your favorite crazy wahine signing off!

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