Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A food history...

Reminder that this blog is going to be more of a foodie blog than a runner blog for the moment so if that ain't yo thang... mosey on.

I thought it'd be interesting to give a history of my experiences as an eater, over eater and occasional dieter. Since I am working my way through Intuitive Eating, this is a reminder that no two experiences are the same. Well, here is mine.

I can't really remember a time when I wasn't overweight or at least bigger than normal kids. Seeing pictures, I know that I wasn't from about babyhood to maybe 3rd grade? Truth be told there was no major trauma that triggered my desire for food. As an only child, my family moved often and I found myself always trying to make new friends. It was tough, but I think that struggle helped me find my humor because everyone likes the funny kid.

I didn't like being seperated from my parents or forced to play outside because I was often alone. I remember finding pleasure in food then and while I wasn't an unhappy kid, I still sought out pleasure and comfort where I could find it. My parents didn't shame me for eating or over eating, I would guess this stems from their personal struggles with weight.  We often referred to ourselves as the "fat family" as if that label took the sting out of the fact that we were fat and not happy about it. Food was really not a source of discussion in our house because it was always available. I ate what tasted good as often as I wanted with no regard for health or nutrition.

That's it.

Fast forward to college and I am 270lbs.

Fast forward to my wedding day and I am 285lbs.

Fast forward to my turning point and I am 293lbs.

I am miserable and a bit defeated. Let us not forget all the valiant attempts I made to diet and exercise. Once my joints acclimated to the exercise, the act itself wasn't unpleasant. However, I would always crumble under all of the rules of every diet I had tried. I had no clue how to eat like a "normal" person.

On December 21, 2009, I had gastric bypass surgery.


I spent the first six months on the couch, losing weight and feeling sluggish. In hindsight, gastric bypass is really medically induced starvation. Your stomach is tiny, your guts have been rerouted to prevent nutrient absorption and it isn't an altogether pleasant experience. Whoever thinks it is the "easy way out" has certainly never travelled down that road. Losing a rapid amount of weight in a short time changes your identity, it changes the way you're able to relate to people since food is the center of so many outings and it often changes relationships with those closest to us. It is probably the most isolating experience I have ever gone through because no one close to you knows what it is like.

Surviving on milk, sugar-free pudding and creamed soup for months is HARD. Eating portions the size of medicine cups is HARD. Watching your hair thin is HARD. Losing every ounce of muscle tone you have is HARD.

Was it worth it? Absolutely because that drastic choice lead me to where I am today. It gave me a head start and a chance to live the active life I always dreamed of. I am 100% certain that if I had not gone through that experience, I would be heavier, unhappier and still have no idea what to do about it.

When my weight loss stalled at 215lbs and my diet advanced, I got off my ass and started running. Running represented everything I could not do before I had surgery and I became obsessed. Running filled the hole once occupied by food and I literally believed I became an entirely different person.

As my body began to adjust to the operation and the "honeymoon" period ended, I was still left to face my food issues.

Post weight loss surgery, the diet I was given was unmanageable ESPECIALLY for a person who regularly engages in hardcore exercise. Honestly, I don't consider it to be healthy for the long term, but that is just my not medically qualified opinion. The physicians I worked with agreed that eating less than 50-75 carbs a day would not be adequate for marathon training, but it was still their recommendation. Also, I am not willing to limit my exercise to control my appetite, as recommended, so I've gone my own way. I don't drink 8oz glasses of milk for my two snacks a day, as recommended. I don't start every meal by consuming a meat-based protein, as recommended. Guess what? I'm okay. I have had some weight fluctuation as I have worked on my eating issues and my emotion issues, but I'M OKAY.

It feels good to say that to you. While I am a private person, I am in fact just a person with my own experiences and I am not ashamed of this one. It has taken awhile to get to that point quite honestly and while I would not call myself a proponent of weight loss surgery (MY GOD it is not for everyone), I cannot deny that it has served me well.

I plan on continuing the journey I have started by shifting my focus to the "how i eat" instead of the "what" because I believe therein lies the source of my struggle.


ps: Of course as I post this I am thinking of all the remarks and accolades I have received about losing weight "the right way." Well, I understand that some of you may feel mislead by my silence, this was my "right way."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Sunday I completed two actions totally contradictory to one another.
  1. I signed up for Fit In Heels' Diet Bet.
  2. I picked up the book Intuitive Eating and started reading it.
Guess which came first?

If you have ever read Intuitive Eating or a book like it, you know that within the pages there is one absolute: Diets are bullshit. Of course they say that more eloquently and have case studies to explain the diet mentality, but hey that is the bottom line.

So, how do I reconcile a Diet Bet along side a journey to become a more intuitive eater? Well, it was an easy choice for me as the Diet Bet lasts for 27 more days and the benefits of learning to really eat intuitively can last a damn lifetime. Thus, I am going to focus on re-learning the appropriate way to eat and fuel my body. If that happens to help me hit my Diet Bet target then so be it and just to prove that the scale isn't my focus, I am not going to weigh myself until the final day of the Diet Bet.

Goofy Diet Bet weigh-in photo courtesy of Aaron. 

You won't see an increase in food logs, calorie counting or tracking of any kind because that isn't intuitive eating.

You may see an increase in exercise. The 9th principle of Intuitive Eating is "Exercise- Feel the Difference." When I run or do yoga before work... I feel the difference all day long and I also eat a bit more and that is OKAY. It feels amazing and I feel like I am honoring my body. I also spent hours Sunday pinning YouTube exercise videos that looked challenging.

Weighted burpees are no joke, just sayin'.

Oh, I am also going to use this blog to document my journey through the Intuitive Eating process. (Note: This is a legit experience and I have no affiliation with the authors/publishers whatsoever.) So if you have a healthy and "normal" relationship with food, you may want to take a vacation from my blog. If you have any interest in Intuitive Eating or have even picked up the book... stick with me and we can learn from each other.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dam to Downtown 10k: Part Deux

Saturday I ran the Dam to Downtown 10k for the second time. Spoiler alert: I did not PR the race, but I did finish under my goal of 1:10.
Aaron Scheer is not a fan of the 5:30am wake up call. Thankfully he is a fan of me.
The times aren't posted yet (small race) and I forgot to stop my Garmin (small brain) but I think I came in +/- 1:07. This race is one of my favorites for two reasons.

  1. It is a point to point!!!
  2. Scenery. Lots of running in the country, I got honked at... BY COWS!
  3. Bonus reason: I am convince that 10ks are the perfect distance. You don't have to carry and food and you don't have to run at quite the barfy effort of a 5k.
I can't say I love them, but I sure do respect those hills. UP...down...UP...UP...UP...down. Does anyone else think running downhill is way harder than up? There's a super steep downhill at the end of Kimball before we turn onto Dubuque. MY QUADS!

Anyyyyywayyyyy wanna see a photo of a desperate woman close to the finish line? Yeah, I thought so.
Hey those girls in green were in front of me foreverrrrr.
Nope, not getting 147th place... I AM! BAHAHAHA
Running that race made me want to sign up for 20 more, but I won't. I committed to another next weekend and then I'll be on hiatus for a bit.


PS: I joined Katy at Fit In Heels' Diet Bet! I'm excited to lose a few lbs and gain a few dollars. The pot is up to $900!!! I'll gab more about that later, but I weighed in today and I have my food/workouts prepped for the week. It is on!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dear Treadmill,

I take back all the bad things I said about you. I said that you were boring and torturous and I may have even used the word "hate" once or twice.

I actually began reminiscing on our new found closeness during my run this morning. I was marveling that even when I felt kinda slow, I was still hanging at a 10:15 pace. I didn't feel too winded and then it hit me...


I have spent the last month of frigid mornings running away on my beloved Proform and zoning out to Hulu. I finally look forward to this time and running on a treadmill has really forced me to keep a consistent pace. Out on the pavement, you feel tired and you can dial it back a notch to find your comfort zone. Hell, I do it all the time without even realizing it. On the treadmill... you have to push the SLOW button of shame.

I have also started making my last mile on the treadmill my fastest. Speed on a treadmill is like running in a protective bubble... I won't trip on a sidewalk crack or slip on limestone... it just feels safe. Maybe someday I'll actually do repeats and strides and whatever... yeah I probably won't.

As you can see, the 21 Days is alive and well.
I feel like I've got the habit in the bag, but instead of getting cocky... I plan on seeing this shit through.

Do you love or loathe the treadmill?

Favorite shows to watch while running?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mishappens: Days 7-10

Mishaps happen... thus Mishappens.

Yesterday was a crap day. I wished I had taken a day of PTO to lounge around with my spouse, but I didn't. I slept in, I ate a package of M&Ms before 9:00am and my attitude was in the shitter. I had been working on some contracts and they were giving me epic troubles. Really nothing makes me happier when a four hour project turns into an eight hour project.

However, bad crap aside... I had a HUGE victory. I got home last night... after drinking a couple beers and eating some fried food. I did not weigh myself as punishment. I did not feel guilty or like a loser. I gathered my running clothes up and set my alarm for 5:00am.

Tuesday will be better. One bad day, one slip, one order of fries... doesn't matter. In the grand scheme of my life, I am still committed to my health and while I needed some decadence and pity today... tomorrow will be better.

Allow me to explain what this victory means to me. It means that I have finally been able to accept that I am a work in progress. There is no all or nothing here and just because I tossed Monday away... Tuesday is waiting to shepherd me back.

Being committed is not the same thing as being perfect.

Cue the choir. AAAAAAMEN

I am back.

Do bad food/workout days make you feel guilty?
How do you come back from it?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday or Easter or Whatever

Happy Easter to all the Jesus folks out there. I would have been happier if Target had actually been open... alas it twasn't meant to be. 

This Sunday was full of accomplishment, let's discuss. 

#1: 5lbs down! BOOM! I've been tracking my food and working out and still allowing a few treats. It feels good and whenever I think 5lbs isn't much, I'm going to grab this weight. Progress!

#2: 5 miles ran... in the sunshine! Now I'm over the moon at that pace and there's no point in lying by saying I didn't bust my ass to eeep in under 11:00 min miles. Still outta shape you know. Also, I'd like to say that the trail I was running on was half obstacle course and half sand. Seriously. Oh and it was windy! See so that is really like an elite pace if you consider my terrain. bah ha ha

#3: THE WEATHER! THE WEATHER! It has been in the 50's the last few days and I just can't get enough! Oh how I've missed the sun on my dang face and Flaherty.

Still on track with the 21 days, still feeling awesomeeeee. I'll post a recapper of those tomorrow and I am becoming so aware that while I'm being a bad ass with all the stretching/foam rolling... I need to cross-train and lift and crap. Why is running so much more fun?


ps: Have you ever seen a cuter meal planning helper? Nope, I think not.
Yes, my robe has hearts on it. Yes, I wear it all the time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome to my 1st attempt at assembling a "What I Ate Wednesday." Feel free to stalk the pros over here.

It was kind of fun to put this together, I doubt I'll be a weekly WIAW guru just because my food tends to be the same which is super boring to look at.

However, I get some questions about what I eat (especially now that I am meat-free) so here it is...

Snacks! I be snacking on the regular.

I consume my second breakfast around 9:30am, this week it has been 1/4 cup of Quaker Oats, 1 small diced apple, cinnamon and a splash of maple syrup. HEAVEN!

Afternoon snack is down the hatch around 2:30pm- it is always vegetable based i.e. the above pictured broccoli and roasted red pepper hummus.

I drink a mineral water if I crave some fizz because pop is the devil and HELLO CARA CARA oranges are soooo delicious and so in season right now.

On to the reallll foooodddd. Breakfast was a pomegranate Chobani topped with  whole wheat Puffins and the other half of my banana. the 1st half was consumed pre-workout. Lunch was left overs, I dumped some BBQ Tofu and veggies on top of romaine lettuce. I have a serious love for Stubb's BBQ sauce AND tofu so it is easily one of my favorite dishes. Dinner was two yolky eggs with avocado, a sprinkle of pepper jack and salsa.

Oh and let me share my foodie find of the week...
I'm not going to say that I ate this whole can in 4 days but...

There! Done! 
Kind of boring right?

What was the tastiest thing you ate today?? This isn't a food, but I had an unsweetened Mango Black tea from Caribou today... it was spring and heaven in a glass. Ahhhh


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Days 4-5-6

Well for those of you living in the past, I decided to do a little 21 Day kick start to creating a new healthy habit... early morning exercise.

So far it has been pretty awesome. No internal dialogue, I am just downright mechanical about getting up and putting my workout clothes on. Thinking leads to bargaining which leads to hitting the damn snooze.

All of my workouts, aside from Day 5, have been really enjoyable. I just couldn't find my groove for some reason and fumbled around with a workout DVD for 20 minutes until I got irritated. Oh well, that happens. The important thing is that I was up and dedicated because not every workout or run is a good one! However, this morning I was able to bump the treaddie up another .5 comfortably.


I never stick to any sort of challenge so it feels pretty awesome to already be over 25% through this one.

See that big tomato slice? That's my piece... Aaron ate the rest. 
The Scheers have also been going through a hardcore pizza phase. I am craving pizza with EVERY VEGETABLE IMAGINABLE on it ummm pretty much every day. Then I sprinkle garlic powder and red pepper flakes on top and pretty much swallow it whole. I have determined that I make the best pizza because you tell a pizzeria what you want... but it is never quite right.

My perfect pizza: thinnest crust possible! cooked well done, extra sauce, super, super light cheese, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, artichoke hearts, red onion, black olives and jalapenos. Come over, I'll make you one! 

What is on your perfect pizza?

Do you do homemade pizza or prefer to order out?


Lesson Learned: Drink your water or your damn cat will.

Friday, March 22, 2013

21 Days

There's a bunch of research and hulabaloo out there that says it takes 21 days to form a habit. Then, there is equal amounts of research saying that is a bullshit arbitrary period of time and it really takes much longer.

Well, I am going to be an optimist and go with the 21 dayers. I think about changes I have made and ones that just haven't stuck... the number makes sense to me. How's that for scientific evidence?

What habit am I hoping to form?
Daily early morning exercise!

I have come to realize that while I enjoy an extra hour of sleep, it isn't making me a happier, fitter person.

So, I am going to take 21 days and get up at 5:00am like a damn robot and get it done.

Even on Saturday? Yep.

Even on Sunday? Nope, Sunday is the damn day of rest and really my only opportunity to spoon past 7:30am. Sunday will forever be mine. Oddly enough I have no problem getting my workouts in on Sunday either. This is my blog, I make the rules. Sundays just won't count as part of the 21 so it'll take longer than 3 weeks to get there, but danggit I'll get there!

Day Two! 5k on the treaddie with Ryan Hardy.
 Of course I'm going to count this shit down via Instagram (are we stalking each other? My link is on the top right!) and Facebook.

Today was Day THREE!

Kanye helped me blast my last five minutes. Thanks dawg.
 I ran 15 minutes, did a 30 minute vinyasa yoga dvd and then ran another 15 minutes. In short, it was awesomeeeee.

Any good habits you want to start?


PS: 5:00AM snuggles with my Ritchie because I can.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hard Truths

Well last night, after my dear husband provided some honest feedback, I had to face a hard truth.

I do not exercise after work.
I am nearly incapable of it.

I know, of course I CAN... I am thinking of all those "if you want in bad enough" inspirational shots from Pinterest, but whatever. I am spoiled. I like to work out at the precise time and in the precise outfit I want danggit.

After spending 8 hours multi-tasking and kicking all sorts of ass in the office... I just don't have the mojo. Instead I'd rather cook some dinner and snuggle with Aaron on the couch while watching old episodes of Project Runway on Hulu.

I have been in this love/hate relationship with my 5:00am alarm. I snooze once for exactly 9 minutes and then I have a quiet debate with myself.
It is soooo warm in here...Aaron's guys don't spoon enough... you should run after work and spoon now... yes... yes see how nice that feels.

And then I'm back asleep in 2 minutes.

If I am extra ambitious I will hit the snooze TWICE!

Oh wow that extra 18 minutes of sleep felt so nice and refreshing... you could really use a little have had such a long week even though it is only Monday...

Then, I just flip my alarm to a more sensible 6:00am.

My workout has successfully been procrastinated and we all know I'm not picking up the slack at 5:00pm.

Sooooo this morning, after my hard truth my internal dialogue went something like this...

Get up now or don't workout for ANOTHER day...the treadmill is the best choice after all the chili I've been eating...the basement is going to be so cold... I can just run and watch the new Mindy Project...she's so funny.

And I was up! 5:09am workout done. Faith in myself reaffirmed for another day!

When do you workout?

What gets in your way?