Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday 13, the Saturday, er, Sunday edition.

Dear Diary,

A week in the life of an aspiring fitness freak. Most of which has nothing to do with fitness, or with freaks. During which, I realise that my iPad is set to British spelling autocorrect, not American spelling. I won't bother changing this, because I am lazy.

13. Glasses. This past week, I made an appointment to be evaluated for LASIK. As part of that process, I was asked not to wear my contacts for three days beforehand. At first I was like, groan, but I dutifully hauled out my favourite dark-rimmed, nerdy square glasses that I had before nerdy square glasses were cool, and unexpectedly realised that I had forgotten that I like how I look in glasses.

I always felt like my face is a bit asymmetrical and I feel like the glasses make it seem more symmetrical.

And I think I look all smart and shit.

So, I canceled the LASIK eval and decided to get some glasses at Zenni optical. I read about them in Howard Clark's book. My son fell on that sword for me, and reports that not only are they high quality, but far cheaper than he would have paid elsewhere. I might buy different colors for outfits.

12. Recovery, and training. I have discovered that training isn't just for the race. It's for the recovery as well. Case and point: I just did a five-ish mile, fairly strenuous hike/trail run for the first time since the 100k I did three weeks ago. It was not easy. It was slow, a bit painful, and I felt heavy. I'm certain that this is as much due to the lack of training I had going into the 100k as it is the 15-20 lbs I've gained. Neither helps. But I've done as long a run before and recovered much faster. So, it's not just about the race. The training I mean. It affects recovery, too.

11. glasses. As a test, I did that hike/run in my glasses. It was no big deal. I barely noticed them. The last time I wore glasses regularly, I was running 5ks as my longest run. I thnk I'll get some tinted ones from Zennioptical for sunglasses.

10. Diet. I fell off the diet wagon just a bit this week, I'm not sure how much because I didn't log my food. But, I'm proud of how I did today, because weekends are usually my diet Waterloos.

9. Reading. When I was younger, I read voraciously. I plowed through Shogun in a couple of weeks in the fifth grade, and read almost constantly after that. I can remember sitting in the back of Algebra class in high school and reading Flowers in the Attic while Mr. Ayers taught. Or rather, worked problems and expected us to intuit them. Luckily, for me, that actually happened. It's a knack, I guess, and how I wound up as an algebra teacher later on.

So. Thirty years and three master's degrees later, I hated reading. I just couldn't sit still long enough to enjoy a good read. After looking forward to being able to read for pleasure, I have lost the ability to do that. The only way I can figure out how to overcome this is to start reading things I'm truly interested in at the moment. I subscribed to Cooks Illustrated and started reading the articles, and then bought a used copy of American Classics by the Editors of CI. Now I'm working my way to a genre of books called "Cooking Memoires". I've already seen Julie and Julia, so I'm looking forward to reading the book, and the same for toast, by Nigel Slater. I've order used copies of these, and some others. I think I might re-read Fried Green Tomatoes, too.

8. Empty nest, part Deux. Mini-Baboo is moving out this weekend. I won't lie. I have had two grown children living with me, in turn, for the past 20 months. I am looking forward to having my house back. I feel very strongly, and Sweet Baboo agrees, that the stress of having moochers, however beloved they may be, has at least treated contributed to our weight gain. We've each gained between 15 and 20 lbs. It's easier to cook for two and have nothing left over. It's easier to buy just what we need for a week or two. I can select quality ingredients again with a eye in organic, sustainable practice, instead of trying to feed a moose. I predict success. I am already less hungry.

7. Oh and did I meantion my kid is moving out? I have plans. I will be turning my guest bedroom back into, well, a guest bedroom. I will be turning my spare bath back into the spa-like oasis that I have dreamed of. Scented candles maybe. or oils. Off-white cushy linens. Shit in pretty baskets. Oh yeah, y'all. I may even hang dried bunches of flower and herb in there, too. No more man-child means I can make it dainty. I may even do some more Martha Stewart shit, like here. Or here.

6. Diet food. I want to share this recipe with you: (above) honey basalmic chicken. It's awesome. Tasty and has six ingredients. And just look at the calorie count! I used thighs, by the way. And agave nectar. Not because I'm falling for that glycemic index bullshit. Because I had some on hand.

5. Also, this iPad app: Basil. I love this app. It lets me import recipes from ANY web page and store them. Love, love, love. I only put in the ones I really like, like the one above. AND EDIT THEM.

4. cooking day. I made a whole mess of Seitan for the week. I have about 15 lbs of gluten flour, so it's easy. I use recipes from vegan epicurean. Why eat seitan? Well, because it's almost a perfect food. It's cheap, easy to make, nearly completely protein. It's a great diet food.

3. Food makeovers. I figured out that when I took the cheese and bacon off my salads, why, they are now low calorie! Go figure.

2. Workouts. A little behind, already. I make a firm commitment not to miss any workouts this week. I love, love, love watching John Steward and Steven Colbert each morning on the treadmill. It's all the news I want to digest this time of day. First, I eat my steal-cut oats, and then depending on the day, I either run on the treadmill or do power 90. There are just two tiny problems.

First, there is a pain in the front of my left leg that hurts. Feels like shin splints. It's keeping me from running. This is very frustrating.

Second, the music on the Power 90 DVD--mind you, this is a great workout--is totally pornagraphic. It's all, bow chicka BOW bow and I feel self conscious working out. I keep expecting a blonde in a UPS uniform with hot pants on to show up on the set, looking all surprised at the oiled, sweaty bodies. Oh, well, she says, as long as I'm here...

1. I need a mantra. Some that come to mind include,

one hour of workout is better than a whole day of being cut in half by the work clothes I squeezed my fat ass into today. Or,

that whole "more to love" is just something good husbands say to their fat wives so they don't sit on them.

Ideally, though, mantras are short and catchy. Better sweaty and fit than sweaty and fat. No, wait. They are supposed to be empowering, right? Put that scone down, fatty. No, that's not it.

I'll keep working on it.




  1. I'm sure some of your clients could help you come up with a mantra that would be worthy.....

  2. I laughed out loud about your comments on mantras. I have put on close to 10 pounds since my first 140.6 a little over 2 months ago and am sadly realizing that just because I am an ironman finisher does not give me license to eat anything I want. Back to the drawing board.

  3. Julie & Julia was ok, but I recommend these: My Life in France by Julia Child herself and As Always, Julia (letters between Julia & Avis DeVoto, friend and editor). Also rec Dearie (new Julia Child bio). I'm on a Julia Child kick after reading Dearie. The author does gush a bit, but Julia is such an engaging and accomplished person with such a varied life, can't quite blame him. What really comes through is Julia's real joie de vivre, her enthusiasm and exuberance and the way it's unleashed when she finds her love of cooking - wow. (her relationship with her husband and some of their experiences are also very interesting) Reading Dearie made me want to read about her life in her own words (thus her short memoir) and that led me to the letters. I'm so loving the book of letters - what interesting women, what a friendship! (I have some other Julia Child-related books yet to read as well) I don't care really about the cooking - I love to read about people who are full of energy and joy for the life they've built. I really like the auto-bios by Chrissie Wellington and Dean Karnazes for that reason, both fascinating and well-written.

  4. Fab not Flab
    Fitness not Fatness


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...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary, For the first time in 7 years I have a goal. It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess...