April’s side dish of turkey tales

Salutations, blog readers!   Happy END-OF-NOVEMBER!  It’s been a crazy month and I’m quite stoked to see it come to an end and make way for a brand new month – THE LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR! OH, THE EXCITEMENT! WOOOO!

The Thanksgiving holiday arrived early in my circle of friends as we all feasted on copious amounts of shared food the weekend before so by the time the actual Thanksgiving came, my stomach was prepared to just say NO!  So much in fact, that when I awoke on Thursday morning at the first light of the silver fog shining through my window, my body immediately went into food rejection action by forcing me to spend some time bonding with my toilet rather than staying in bed and irritating my sister, Alyssa.   As I sat on the edge of my bathtub, I sent out my first Thanksgiving appreciations for the day to myself for scrubbing clean  the toilet only 12 hours previously the night before.  It’s funny because every time I throw up it conveniently happens to be within a very short time span of the last time I cleaned the toilet.

I came back into the room and told Alyssa my deepest regrets for letting myself eat Burger King’s onion rings the night before.  I knew my sickness was from the onion rings because this had happened to me months ago, perhaps the last time I had eaten them.  My body has a very poor time handling high-fat foods ever since I made the change in my eating habits to consuming mostly unprocessed whole foods.  Alyssa and I were supposed to be going on our first “Turkey Trot” together and I was worried that she might not believe me as we both knew that waking up to go walking in the cold on a day off was not at the top of my “MOST EXCITING THINGS TO DO” lists.

However, the Turkey Trot was still indeed on the top of my “MUST DO” list as I didn’t want to let Alyssa, my friend Melody, or all you lovely blog readers down.  I called Melody and let her know my ailments and said I wanted to drive separate in case I started to get sick again and had to come home.   Twenty minutes later we were pulling up to the parking lot and I was already feeling much better.

Our walk was up in the same region that I’m used to hiking so I knew that I could make it.  The only trouble I ever really have is on the first majorly steep hill that Alyssa discussed but by the time we trudged our fat asses up to the very top, I knew both of us were feeling very proud of ourselves for doing it.   We both fought battles with ourselves that morning with not knowing whether or not we would be able to survive such a walk. In the end getting those six miles done became a matter of dedication and a desire to just do it no matter what our minds or bodies were telling us.  If I had been on my own though, I know I would’ve spent my morning in bed under the fluff of my comforter instead.  Having other people that I felt dedicated to is what really got me out there on that hill that day.

How about you guys, how do you stay dedicated to your work out goals?   Is it easier to stay dedicated when you have people fighting the battle with you?

Until next time,

2012 Turkey Trot – My First 10k

April and I about a mile in.

Hello! Yes, blog friends, I have FINALLY received the card reader I complained about not having several times this week. Which means… PICTURES! VOILA! (Did you know that word is “Wah-lah!” For the longest time I just wrote wahlah. Had no idea it was Voila. Anyways, random is me.) So! All week I had been pumping myself up to do the third annual Petaluma Turkey Trot. Sure, I’d need to wake up earlier than I do for work, and sure, it’d be 44 degrees when we started, and sure, a large portion of the trail was up a steep, rocky hill. But, SURE, I could do it!

I arrived in Petaluma the night before and my sister and I spent the night awake and giggling like we have too many times. Finally, we knocked out around 1:45 AM, and I awoke the next morning to the blaring alarm clock set 14 minutes too fast (I guess delinquency runs in the family). My sister had an ailment that could have prevented her from going, but I’ll let her tell you all about that tomorrow. (She’s a trooper! Go April!) We got dressed, got in the car, and were on our way!

We showed up at the park at 8:38, where everyone was supposed to be meeting at 8:30. There were no turkey trotters in sight. Plenty of cars, but no people. Had we missed the turkey trot? Indeed we had! But, since we are super hardcore and were determined to come home with the glow of pre-feast fitness victory, we relied on our pal Melody’s trusty sense of navigation (and her phone) and created our own route. We were initially going to do the 5k track, but as we got going, catching up and BSing about life, the Sonoma Aroma filled our lungs and we were filled with motivation and inspiration, fueled by perspiration. We trudged forward, stopping to check out cows and compare manicures.

Reached the top of Helen Putnam Park without going into cardiac arrest. YAY!

Right before this picture was taken, I was sitting on a bench, breathing heavily, half wondering if I had overdone it on the huge, steep hill leading up to the nature trail called Helen Putnam Park. I had pushed myself forward, but it was a long, steep climb and all of a sudden I felt really out of breath and could tell I was having a pollen reaction, combined with hauling 50 extra pounds up a huge hill. (Long story short – when you have crazy allergies like I do, if you suddenly take in a lot of pollen or an inhalant, your body gets a little… fuzzy feeling. This can happen even with allergy meds ,and it sucks – it’s kind of like feeling super super tired all of a sudden yet panicky at the same time. It’s a big fat fail.) I sat on the bench, feeling frustrated and wondering why this all had to be so damn hard. Hadn’t I just said I was feeling more in shape? I said this aloud to my friend Melody (who has lost 70 pounds – SUPER STAR! She’s amazing!) – and she provided even more weight loss wisdom. “It’s hard, but you have to push through it. Just keep going. Just. keep. going.” She enunciated the last three words, and I realized, she’s right. Everything I’ve ever done that’s been worth doing has been HARD. Victory and success doesn’t come without major perseverance. I got off the bench… and I kept going.

The beautiful Petaluma, California

The rest of the trail was awesome, as we got on top of these hills which then took us through a beautiful wooded area, dappled with morning light and gently rolling fog. Once I made it past that hill, the rest of the hike was gravy. We were jolly and laughing the whole way down, proud that we had done something so good for ourselves on a day that’s usually good for the soul but bad for the arteries. By the time we got back to where we started, we had clocked 6.9 miles – just over a 10k, and according to MyFitnessPal, a 910 calorie burn. I think I need to make this a new Thanksgiving day tradition, because it made the rest of the day feel so rewarding. I felt great after my workout and I’m proud to say now that I can walk a 10k.

April, Melody and I after our Turkey Trot.

Have you or would you ever participate in a “turkey trot”?

Wednesday Woohoos!

Hello everybody! So sorry I missed a Thailand Tuesday yesterday. Since the holiday break I have been getting back into the swing of things with work and getting ready for our trip! Woohoo! So – all day yesterday, it never occurred to me to step on the scale. My weight was just… not really on my mind. Other than sweating it out at Zumba, I didn’t want my mood to change based on three numbers. So I gave myself a pass. You know how in Weight Watchers you could pick a week to not weigh in? Yep, I’m using my “Thailand Tuesday Pass” pass. I don’t even necessarily think my weigh in would have been “bad” – but after last week’s frustration, I want to take away the focus on the NUMBER and instead focus on how my life is changing. Let’s begin! (PS I so want to write about Thanksgiving, but I refuse to do it without pictures and my new card reader comes tomorrow!).

Yummy Erewhon Strawberry Cereal!

Before I started my weight-loss journey, I never ate breakfast. I would roll out of bed, shower and basically starve myself until lunch time, when I would pig out. Once I stated meeting with a dietitian, I realized how important it is to fuel your body in the morning. Lately I’ve been loving cereal with ice cold milk – like this super delicious Erewhon Strawberry Crisp cereal. I’m in love with Special K Red Berries but when I found out Erewhon makes a gluten-free, organic, non-GMO option, I had to convert. The lovely folks at Erewhon/Attune sent me a box to try and I’m in looove. My favorite way to have it is with a sliced banana. Woohoo for a healthy, delicious breakfast!

Feeling great after a six mile hike!

Like I wrote last week, I feel like I’m making new progress with fitness. I’m learning to make the gym less of a “Should I” and more of an “I Will”. Yesterday after my allergy shots I felt kind of blah and was pretty much going to blow off my zumba class. My friend texted me that she’d be there, and I threw on my clothes and rushed out the door. Afterwards, I felt so good – and we even stayed after class to do 30 sit ups each. My attitude is starting to change from fitness as an option when it’s convenient to more of a “prescription” for my good health and mood. This makes me happy! Woohoo for fitness!

Last week when my sister and friend Melody and I did our 10k Turkey Trot, I had some of those feelings of “I’m the only fat person out here, I shouldn’t be here.”. And then as I climbed that mountain, and huffed, and puffed, and almost felt like I was having a heart attack, I broke through. I stomped those thoughts out and powered on, until the only thing left behind me was my self doubt. Fitness is one size fits all. You do not need to be thin, muscular or gorgeous to be fit. I saw this picture on George Takei’s Facebook post and I loved it. Woohoo for healthy habits at ANY size!

So that’s all I got for today! I promise I’ll be back soon with posts all about my Thanksgiving and Turkey Trot and a super special hard apple cider recipe. 🙂 Have a great week! Woohoo!

I’m a versatile blogger!

Hi Everybody! I hope you’re easing back into your work-week routine. I had wanted to blog about my first ever 10k (Yes! I hiked a 10k! I still can’t believe it myself) and Thanksgiving but I can’t find my camera cord to load pictures. Booo. But, in the meantime, I have been nominated for a “Versatile Blogger” award from one of my favs, KJPugs! If you haven’t checked out KJ and her blog, you should. She blogs about her life in Florida with her chef husband and adorable puggies. We have a lot in common, like working from home, being obsessed with nail polish, loving brussels sprouts but not the side effects, and sharing a general awkwardness about life. It’s safe to say we’d be besties if we lived near each other.

Here are the rules: If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award! Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to their blog. Answer the 15 questions the nominator left for you. Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award with a link to their blog. Ask those bloggers 15 Questions.

Here are KJ’s questions for me!

If you could domesticate any animal and have it as a pet, what would you choose? This is a tough one, because when I saw the fictional mini giraffes from Sokoblovnksy farms I thought, wow, that would be amazing. But I think off the top of my head I would say a hippo. There is something magical about hippos – their tiny little ears, their huge, round bodies, the fact that there are more hippo fatalities in Africa than by crocodile! So maybe they wouldn’t be a good pet. Well, round two. How about I just stick with the whole mini giraffe thing?

What U.S. city would you most like to live in? Least? I think I would die of boredom if I lived somewhere like BFE, Montana. I prefer to be fairly close to a big city – within 20-30 miles. I would most like to live in Pasadena, San Rafael or Big Sur, California.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I have mastered the art of super fast morning routines. If I have time, I’ll be ready to go in 15 minutes – if I’m in a rush – a quick coat of mascara, deodorant and boom! I’m out the door.

What stereotype/clique were you in during high school? I think I fell with the band nerds/gothy/punk rock kids group. I tried really hard not to be cliquey and mostly hung around exclusively with my best buddy Katelyn. But if I was in a “clique” it was definitely the misunderstood artsy kids.

If you had to eliminate a major holiday (Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas- those type) which would it be? Why? I’d ix-nay Easter. As someone who is not super religious, this holiday is just an excuse for me to eat ham and Cadbury eggs.

What is your favorite shape of pasta? Rotini, hands down.

What is your favorite season? I love summer because I’m out in my backyard all the time, but I have to say I really do love the holidays.

If you could start over and pick a different profession, what path would you take? When I was younger I often thought about going into the medical field, maybe to be a pediatrician. Once I got into college and realized how many math classes that would require, I chose my creative path of writing and English. Copywriting and social media has been a great career for me so I don’t think I would change my profession, but if I had to, I might head into the medical realm.

Let’s say reincarnation is real… what would you want to come back as? A cat with a good home. For reals. My cats get attention, food, water, love and a cal-king sized bed in which they sleep in 20 hours out of the day. And when they’re bored with that, they can chase birds in the backyard and lay in the sun. Sign me up.

What TV show can you not stand to sit through an episode of? Ugh, Survivor. I think I get irritated because the hypothetical situations and games the contestants have to do have nothing to do with survival! As in, you’re stranded on this tropical island, so go ahead and crawl on your stomach and assemble a puzzle of exotic looking statuettes and then throw a disk around a peg and swing on a rope to rescue a bag of sand. Survival skills FAIL. I also get angry that all of the contestants look like they stepped out of an Abercrombie ad.

What is your favorite dessert? Popcorn. I know it’s not technically dessert but it is to me!!!

What is your favorite article of clothing that you own? Pajamas! I have this magical pair of flannel traveling gnome pajamas that my former boss Charlotte got for me. They’re super soft, roomy and warm, and they’re the best thing ever to lounge around in.

What is your earliest memory? Hmmm. I can’t really think of one!

Would you give up wearing ALL makeup for a year for $1,000? Nope. Sounds shallow but I have what I call swedish ghost eyelashes (blonde!) so I like to wear mascara. I feel more confident with it on!

What is your favorite Disney movie? Alice in Wonderland – I always loved the singing flowers.

Ok! Now it’s my turn! I’m tagging these five people- but anyone else feel free to play along!

1) Bella from Bella On the Beach
2) Monique from Monique Is
3) Alicia from The Wonder Wall

4) Dre from Mission Meltdown
5) Laura from Luckiest in Love

Here are your questions 🙂

1) What is your favorite day of the week, and why?
2) Do you have any pets? What are their names?
3) What do you sleep in every night?
4) What are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping?
5) What’s the best thing you cook?
6) What is your favorite thing about yourself?
7) Do you wish mythical things like unicorns, fairies, vampires and dragons were real?
8) What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
9) Can you whistle?
10) If you had 24 hours left to live, what would you do?
11) Are you a spender or a saver?
12) Do you name your cars?
13) What’s your least favorite thing about the place you live right now? (Mine – the tiny bathroom! Ugh!)
14) Do you believe in ghosts?
15) What is the last thing you ate?

The External Costs of Thanksgiving – By April

Most people think of eating a 2,000 calorie meal as something that only would happen if you dined on a fast food meal of McDonald’s or another fast food chain.  You wouldn’t have to eat much besides a large-sized “value” meal to rack up those calories in a single meal.  But most of us, especially those who are trying to maintain their svelte figure, avoid eating meals that have any calories that go into a 4-digit count of numbers.

But tomorrow in America comes a holiday that encourages it’s already overweight population to eat a meal that easily can reach thousands of calories within a single setting.

I took the time to see the average calorie content using Myfitnesspal.com and was actually surprised that the meal I plan to eat tomorrow falls just under 2,000 calories.   I wasn’t even including the calories that would count for a second helping!

Are you wondering the nutrition facts of some of the most popular Thanksgiving dishes?  Check out what I discovered:

So what can we do to NOT eat a ginormous amount of calories on Thanksgiving?

Apparently I need to stay away from those sweet potatoes with marshmallows since they’re coming in as my biggest problem with a whopping 460 calories!

You can make a low-calorie sweet potatoes with just a bit of butter and cinnamon and I bet that would knock down the calorie content by a great deal.   You also could eat straight vegetables rather than ones covered in cheese or cream of mushroom soup, the way my Midwestern family prefers.   You also could avoid the stuffing and have a smaller slice of pie, or perhaps no pie at all!

Besides the extra calories many of us Americans consume on Thanksgiving… there are some more external costs than just the extra pounds we may gain.

Our Thanksgiving habits easily brings in over 1 BILLION dollars to the American economy, according to Gobanking.com.  That’s nice and all but how much of this food is actually being consumed and how much of us can really afford to spend $20+ on a turkey and all the dishes to go with it?  What could we have done differently to celebrate this holiday of “thanks” by making others feel even more inadequate for not being able to provide a large slaughtered bird and eight other dishes to go with it?

Tomorrow as you sit down with your family, your friends, or maybe even by yourself I would like us all to think about the impact that our Thanksgiving meal has on our bodies, our nation, and our world.  We live in a country that makes it easy for us to celebrate gluttony and forgive our overindulgent habits but at what TRUE cost?




Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 6

Hello friends! Last night, after another great cardio workout, I thought to myself “I’m going to get on the scale tomorrow and have lost like FOUR POUNDS! Yes! I can feel it!” Well… I got on the scale this morning and I lost a number FOUR… but it was .4. WOMP WOMP. Cue the sad clown music.

Not quite where I want to be after six weeks, but I’m going to try not to be a Debbie Downer…

My initial reaction is to cry, throw things and break the scale. Well, thankfully, I have two very wise men in my life – my husband and my brother. Husband reminded me that I’ve been working hard and looking and feeling better – and I can’t get too discouraged. My brother surprised me with some major wisdom – see our chat below to see what I mean (When did he grow up? In my mind he will always be 12 years old and fishing for crawdads from the neighborhood creek.)

Here’s what I know is working:

1) I’ve been really good about cardio, and I can feel it. I have more energy, it’s not as “hard”, and I’m feeling calmer and less stressed than usual. I clocked in 5 hours of sweaty, hard cardio exercise this week which is major for me. So I have to applaud myself for that. I even mastered 10 minutes on the stair machine last night, which was a big deal for me!

2) I’m consistently tracking on MyFitnessPal and have stayed within my daily range which is 1,600 calories. I’m going to meet with my dietitian next week to see if I maybe need to reduce calories further (I hope not, but think I might have to!). I’m eating lots of veggies, whole grains and lean proteins, and making smart choices when I go out to eat.

3) Here’s a few items of miscellany: I sometimes wonder if I need to go “no brain” on the food and do something like Jenny Craig. What’s the feedback on Jenny Craig? It sounds really, really expensive and I know I’d miss cooking – but I wonder if I need to be on something that’s already pre-measured and portion-controlled. Thoughts? Also, I officially need to take my measurements today. For weeks like this where I’m a grumpzilla after my weigh in, it would help to know if at least SOMETHING is shrinking (and please God, don’t let it be my boobs). I’m waiting to get a call back from the doc about my thyroid test. Could this be a missing link?

There’s also some pressure when you blog about your weight to log in every week and have a glowing success story for your readers. I even thought to myself this morning, “Do I need to fib a little bit? People aren’t going to want to read that I had another subpar week.” Shameful, I know. I think sometimes that I should stop blogging about weightloss since I never seem to succeed with it, and go back to writing about things I’m good at – how the cat got caught in the birdbath, how to talk to people on social media, how to make the best stovetop popcorn ever. And while I let myself have a little bloggy pity party, I remembered that this blog isn’t about writing some fancy, nice happy ending story. It’s not fiction. It’s reality. It’s about my goal to lose weight, and unfortunately, since it’s real life, it’s not always going to be cheery sparkle rainbow unicorn poop. Ya feel me?

So that’s what’s up on Thailand 20 Tuesday. Maybe I should rename to this to Thailand Trying Tuesday. Thailand Torture Tuesday. Thailand TinyLoss Tuesday. Thailand “Sometimes I think I’ll be fat forever” Tuesday. Thailand “I can’t wait to go to Thailand even if I am the same weight” Tuesday. Thailand “At least I’m healthy” Tuesday. Thailand “Is it Wednesday Yet?” Tuesday. Yes. Or maybe something more simple… just Thailand Tuesday. 🙂 Till next time.. I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on. How are you doing today?