Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paleo Day 3

Today is day 3 on Paleo and how do I feel? Well at the risk of sounding super cheesy, I feel great!

The intestinal gas level has decreased dramatically, as well as the bloat. I have kept pretty strict to Paleo with the exception of a small amount of milk in my coffee and a Tbsp of light Mayo in my tuna salad. Yesterday as an experiment I had a cup of pineapple greek yogurt-one of my favorites- and I immediately started to feel the bloating and gas. Next time I'll go for pureed pineapple with a little almond milk blended in. I don't get that 4pm ravenous hunger followed by sluggishness anymore. I'm going to keep trying! I know I'm doing a good thing for my body and as I get better at recipes and substitutions I'm sure I won't hardly notice the change.

Making Real Changes

April 6 I posted about clean eating and some details about food and its effect on my body. Well as the month drew on I feel like I was doing ok, but not great.

While my mom visited, it was kind of anything goes because we were in "vacation" or "celebration" mode. Does your family celebrate with food like mine? Yep, even though we had splurged at SeaWorld and at the San Diego Zoo, my mom was still stressing about what dessert to make for me on my "birthday celebration dinner". I could care less and was pretty sugared-out. But mom just felt that I would be missing out if she didn't celebrate "properly" with a dessert. I love that woman, she fusses over me. While she visited I had the worst digestive symptoms ever: constipation, farting, bloated, etc. I'm not sure it is ever worth the splurge! It is downright uncomfortable and embarrassing.

The week after Mom left my eating habits got better, more back to normal. So why was I still having issues? I probably would not have thought twice about all of the gas. Gas is a part of a healthy body and is a normal process. But one night my husband told me, "You literally have the worst gas of anyone I have ever known." I seriously couldn't disagree with him. It had gotten bad! Then Monday night I had a horrible case of bloating around 4pm that lasted until at least 7pm. It was time to make a change, because I can't live like that!

So Monday night in my desperation, I did some searching on the internet. I wrote down possible causes as: Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Lactose Intolerance or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And of course I surveyed some friends on Facebook. A familiar answer that run true to me was the Paleo Diet (way of living). I had to admit to myself that it was time to give it a try for real.

Let me tell you, I am not a diet person. AT ALL. I can't stand the word! I don't like listening to people tell me that they tried this diet and that diet, or that they "can't" eat things for fear of ruining their diet. The worst is when someone grabs a sweet or something of that sort and says it means they are "being bad". I honestly do not know what it is about the word diet. I guess in a way I am stubborn about food. I love food! And ain't nobody gonna tell me what I can and cannot eat! I think the reason "diets" drive me nuts is that they are very superficial and almost always don't get to the bottom of why a person needs it in the first place! They are just a band-aid solution.

But the Paleo way of living isn't a diet, it is a different way of looking at food. Scratch is a different way of looking at your body. Instead of looking at the food pyramid and trying to find balance, it is about really understanding what is in each food and what that food does once it is inside your body. It's not about what you can and cannot have, it is about what your body needs and does not need. It is really interesting and incredibly valid! Want more information? Check out these links: The Paleo Diet,, and one more article on understanding the premise of Paleo.

The simplest way to put it!

I don't embark on this new journey lightly, nor with a whole heap of enthusiasm to be honest. I love bread, I love carbs, I love sweets! Oh sugar, how I love thee! Dairy, you are a very close second to my heart. But...I don't love how these things are making my body feel. And in a sort of tough-love manner, my body is telling me it wants other things. My plan is to go as Paleo as possible at first, and then reintroduce an item here or there to test my tolerance (not just to bring it back but more as an experiment). Then if I can't get around a carb item, I will try my best to choose a gluten-free option. If I can't get around a dairy item, I will try taking a Lactaid or other digestion aid.

Lastly, you may be wondering...if this is a running blog, why all the talk about eating? Well let me tell you. I haven't been running a lot but when I am running a lot, I don't notice the effect of the food I eat on my body. I don't notice a pound here or there. I don't feel sluggish with sugar because it burns away so quickly. I don't feel the effects of dairy so much because it seems that gas works itself out during runs. Even though I have been walking a lot, these issues have still been hanging out and are a good enough reason to make a real change.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quick Week Recap

Well, it has been a lame 10 days or so! I took the weekend of the 19-20 off to recover from some soreness, then I honestly can't remember what all happened last week. I did have a great session of physical therapy on Thursday and promptly that night I came down sick which lasted all weekend long. This morning I'm feeling much better and can finally breathe through my nose again! But it is weird that early last week I did not log any walks. I think I Mom-brained that one or something.

Anyway, this morning I was back up and at 'em! I have also started using MyFitnessPal again because I want to put specific, measurable effort toward losing the extra pounds I have tacked on since the surgery. Right now I'm sitting around 146 lbs and I'd like to be more like 138 again. Besides the number on the scale, my body shows the extra fat a bit now and my insides haven't felt super awesome lately. For the first time ever I am researching colon-cleansing/balancing because I've been on this rollercoaster of bouts of constipation or ultra-gassiness ever since my surgery. So I'm working on adding some thing and subtracting others. I hate getting older. I long for the days I could eat whatever and my body would just burn it or metabolize it no big deal. But alas, I am in my 30s.

Oh speaking of my age, my birthday was on the 22nd! Happy Birthday to Me! I still like my birthdays. I don't know if I will ever begin to dread birthdays. Every season of life brings new experiences, challenges and adventures. Why would I dread that?

This morning I already got my 2-miler out of the way, plus did some gardening, plus did some housework and I'm on a roll with intake logging so I'm feeling good! Let's hope I can keep the momentum as the week goes on :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Walking and Progress!

Last week was busy! My kids were on spring break and my Mom visited. I hardly had time to sit at all let alone sit and log workouts so I am finally doing it!

But...this last week was a breakthrough week! After physical therapy, I was cleared to start some activity, bits at a time while evaluating how my Achilles is handling it. The weather was awesome, and it went really well!

Monday: 1 Mile never felt so good! Even at 15:55 per mile, it felt like I was speeding to the finish line in first place!

Tuesday: I got back out on the road with a different route for 1.40 miles. I love exploring my neighborhood on foot again. My leg was still feeling great, tolerating 1+ miles really well.

Wednesday: Still seeing how far I can push myself I pumped the mileage a bit with a long loop adding up to 2.35 miles! I thought for sure I would be really feeling it this evening but my leg still felt great! I couldn't believe it. Walking is working!

Thursday: Our family walked all over SeaWorld, me for the first time without my walking boot. I was tired by the end of it (total of about 7 hours, start and stop, and standing) but not overly sore or hurting.

Friday: 2.17 in the California sunshine, and I managed to cut almost a full minute off per mile!

Saturday: San Diego Zoo walking! We walked a lot more this day, since the SDZ is huge and even with in-park transportation you just end up on foot a lot. By the end of this day, I was tired and my leg a little sore.

Sunday: Easter, I took the day off. This evening I found myself up on a ladder nailing up bistro lights on my outdoor patio. I also found myself lifting the ladder some which is more lifting than I have tried in a very long time.

Monday: My leg was sore this day so I took the day off.

Tuesday: I took Tuesday off too and have just been stretching and such.

I will admit I did not do the best this week with massaging my incision and only did the strength exercises a few times. It was a busy week!

Today I am headed to physical therapy and will get to do a good amount of time on the recumbent bike which I'm looking forward to. I have been feeling fat and lame with how well I have been doing and the low-cardio I get but I'm really glad to be walking again. I know it is going to help make a difference!

And...*drumroll* I registered for an event! May 10, I will be walking (jogging some maybe?...probably not) the Girls on the Go 5K here in San Diego. It will be a celebration of Mother's Day weekend as well as my rehab progress. I know I will be able to walk a 5K by then and I'm so thrilled to be able to do that!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And She Walks...

Today I get to start logging workouts again! They are walks, not runs, but in my book they count because they are part of my journey back to running

Yesterday's 1-Miler!

Today's route took me a little longer, 1.4 miles!
Here's the thing...I never thought I would value walking so much. It is where I started however, after my babies were born and I wanted to get some exercise in. Before I was a long-distance runner walking was my go-to. It has become my go-to again, but for a different reason.

My walks feel pretty good. Funny thing is that my body feels them just as much as I was feeling my runs so that is good. It is great to be getting some cardio in again. My lower leg ends up worked at the end but not sore, which is exactly where I need to be. I'm even pulling my foam roller back out for after these walks. The combination of a few extra pounds and new exercise and my hips and ligaments are tight! I was looking back to earlier logs and it is hard to believe that Vegas was the first week of this month! The walking I did there nearly killed my leg but somehow this last week all of the walking I did was a piece of cake! Yes!!

Today is also the 1-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. It is emotional for anyone who is a runner. I remember when I heard about it. I think I was late to the party actually because at the time we were sitting and watching our eldest son's track meet. Another mom (an IronMother) was talking in a low voice to her husband and searching for text messages from friends. I knew a mom at Boston too (thankful a speedy one who finished a couple of minutes before the blasts). Anyway, I am kind of nosey sometimes so I asked her what was going on and was everything ok. She told me and it took my breath away. I almost didn't believe it. I mean why would someone have a motive to attack a marathon? It was like a bully out to destroy something beautiful just because they were unhappy with themselves. I'm sure the motives are more complicated than that, but that is how I felt. I mean Boston is such an amazing accomplishment...even just to be there is an honor. I was sad for the racers who never got to finish, whose spectator family members were harmed, and for the runners who were harmed as well. It should not have happened. It was so senseless.

In a small sense I really associate with those who suffered that day. Today there are quite a few stories of resilience and rebuilding circulating. That is where I am. I have been broken down and it has taken me a long time but I'm slowly rebuilding. My injury was definitely not as tragic, nor as melicious. I stand with you Boston still, and though my journey is slow, I will be back, and continue to press forward just like you have.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Clean Eating

Lately I have been reminded how important really sticking to clean eating is. I don't have a hard time usually, and my body tends to crave clean foods. With the buffets in Las Vegas last weekend and a few trip ups this weekend, I'm going to give it more focus this week. My body has not been feeling good. I have equated a few things:

Refined sugar = headache
Processed foods = Indigestion and "gut rot"
Too much caffeine = jittery and shaky, desperate for food
Not enough water = sluggish and mistaking hunger for thirst

The one that has been the most difficult for me has been the sugar. I love sweet things! Sometimes it will be really great rolls or something of that nature too. So in a way I am thankful that my body has been reacting this way and conditioning me to eat less of the refined sugar.

Clean's easier than you think, and your body will thank you for it!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Too much walking in Vegas, but great PT after!

Last weekend we went to Vegas! It was a lot of fun, but a lot of walking-too much walking! I ended up walking a lot the first night and making myself super sore so I wore my walking boot the rest of the time.

I also wore a swimsuit while there and took a picture because, well, I haven't been active lately and I figure a where-I'm-at photo might be good

Yay, there I am! I have my lower half conveniently covered ;)
Yesterday was physical therapy. I really felt like I rocked it this time! I mentioned to my therapist that I had measured my calves to compare so she measured too and my left is growing-yay! I am now just an inch difference.

We discussed Las Vegas and activity, etc. I know my PT days are numbered at this point but I'm scared not to get to go because all it takes is one "Vegas" situation and I overdo it. It never feels bad at the time, I always feel it the next day. You know how you are supposed to listen to your body? Well that doesn't apply at this point. You have to calculate and simply cut yourself off of activity at a certain point, and you won't necessarily feel pain so it is frustrating! I want to keep going and going!

The great part about yesterday is that I got to do a solid 30 minutes on the recumbent bike and I was dripping sweat by the time it was over. It felt awesome!
Eating well hasn't been too difficult lately either. I'm just doing what I can to cut out things I don't really need or want (1/2 the mayo, or substitute mustard instead; not buying snack foods or desserts, not doing much baking) and I have been loading up on veggies and keeping a really great salad mix in the fridge. I have to admit all of the added veggies have been making me quite gassy...something I hope will eventually sort itself out! We'll see...

And last but not least, a wonderful thing happened today at PT. I have gotten to know another patient who comes to PT the same time as I do, every week. He is an elderly gentleman who seems to suffer from some arthritis. We have chatted the last few weeks and today I talked with his wife also. The great thing was that as he was telling me how his journey has been long and quite slow, I was able to encourage him. My words were simple, "Well sometimes all you can do is just not give up!" and then he winked and said, "Right back atcha" This exchange really made my day. You see, even though I haven't been performing at the top of my game, there I was, able to encourage and inspire someone. That was a great feeling.