Plans change

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So, the old myasics.nl plan wasn’t working, partly because I am just way too busy right now to be setting aside the time it takes to run 16 kilometres. I have started a new plan for a 10K, but with four days running per week instead of three so each running event is short.

I got a bit bummed out and nonchalant about all of this, and took at least a week off of running. I did some ab workouts, especially at the office during my RSI prevention breaks. Mostly I am just wigging out. I have a guest lecture to give on short notice this week, and two more damn chapters to write.

Then I have more work to do after that. Bugger.

But, on the plus side, I feel pretty good with my diet. Being totally in charge of cooking and eating meant I was damn near vegetarian the whole time my partner was away. I also avoided all unnecessary desserts, from the birthday cakes brought into the office to the random munchies in the evenings. When I needed something sweet I had fresh fruit and yogurt, or a banana, almond milk and unsweetened cocoa powder smoothie. I also had some dark chocolate stashed in my drawer at work, but seriously. I bar of chocolate lasted me for weeks, so it is all good.

 

Results? I am starting to get visible vertical lines on my abs! Woo hoo! I can definitely feel strong, hard muscles underneath, and it seems (at least to me) that the layer of fat is getting smaller. I have asked to borrow the callipers again to check my body fat percentage. For now, enjoy this belly shot!

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Run, run, run, run, run, run awaaaay!

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I went out for a long(ish) run yesterday, which was in many ways a bit disheartening. I have lost so much pace! I completely forgot how to get to the zen of running and had a bit of a panic attack instead.
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And I noticed that I was not using good form or foot strike. Le sigh. Well, it is all back to square one I suppose.

Also, the partner and I decided that we would like to sign up for some local 10K races to keep us motivated, and probably a half marathon in April. I just had a look and there are 2 tens in March super close by to ours. Score!
There is also a half in April that we could do. It is not terribly close, which is ok. More importantly, it is not flat. We have been training on the super flat for about… oh… 4 years now? A hilly race will be quite a change. Still, why not try something new, eh? Core muscles will need a hell of a lot of work if we are going to manage that.

In other news, the shop was out of almond milk (really?!?) so I got rice milk instead, in regular and chocolate flavours. I tell you what, chocolate rice milk in your porridge gives you a weird choco-crispy sensation from the oats.

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As promised last week, I want to talk about sports bras. They are not typically considered sexy, especially not the ones that really work. The ones that cover a lot of space, have wide straps, flatten the girls down to prevent as much wobbling as possible. Not really the commonly portrayed image of feminine beauty that society force feeds us, is it?

But when I was running I felt sexy. I felt strong, and powerful, and capable. I felt like I could do whatever I wanted and then make a getaway before anyone noticed that I wasn’t supposed to be doing that.

What does this say about beauty and attraction and sexiness? That to be beautiful is to be incapable? Sexy demands being hobbled by absurdly high heels? Ravishing only applies to those on the verge of asphyxiating due to a whole body spanx?

Personally, I like the natural look most of the time. I spend a lot of time taking care of my skin so that it looks healthy and beautiful, but I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I like bright coloured clothes, sparkly belts, fun scarves, etc. , but I refuse to wear something that is uncomfortable, which is why I only own one pair of heels (and often go barefoot). I actually wear sports bras often, even on days when I am not necessarily planning to work out, because I feel really sexy when I feel comfortable and confident. And on its own, not too many sports bras count as sexy, but when part of a life-size, kick-ass, women package, they are a tool of power.

I just wish it were easier to get them in my size.

Watch what you eat

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So, for all my curious readers (cricket sounds…) I thought I would share a bit about what I eat on a normal day. Today, in fact, and only what I have eaten so far. Not sure what will be for tea later.

Today’s foodosity began with… Drum roll, please… Porridge! You guessed it. Oatmeal again. On the other hand, I did experiment with the liquid. I used almond milk instead of water. It tasted quite nice, and seemed to be less adherent, which made it easier to wash up. However, since I use a small non-stick pan and a rubber spatula, stickiness is not really an issue.

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Is that an entirely unreasonable amount of alcohol in the background (I hear you cry out en masse)? Yes it is. It has been there since a pre-holiday party. Not sure where to put it because we don’t really have suitable place for a liquor collection. I am working on it though. Post cooking, porridge looked like this.

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It was plenty sweet enough from the almond milk, but I will probably go half water/half almond milk in the future. This shot also shows the background hooch a little better. For example, you can see that none are particularly empty. That is the kind of party I rock these days.

But today is a work day, so I packed myself a lunch and set out, and here it is!

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As you can see, irritatingly healthy. In list form, this is what I had:

  • Wholewheat roll, with marmite on the top, grainy mustard on the bottom and a vegetarian sandwich “meat”, cucumber slices and ruccola… arrugula… rocket. Whatever.
  • A lengthwise cut carrot.
  • About a third of a red bell pepper, cut into slices.
  • About and inch and a half of cucumber, cut into slices.
  • A small handful of sugar snap peas.
  • A small handful of broccoli florets.
  • A celery stick, cut into three short sticks, and a small pot of light peanut butter with some dried cranberries mixed in. Celery is used to scoop out some of the peanut buttery cranberrified goodness before being crunched with delight.
  • A small selection of dried fruit.
  • A small banana.
  • Two mandarins.

Oh yes, so tasty, with the added benefit of being easy to keep next to my keyboard for all day, guilt free snacking. I ate everything but the mandarins, which are a little bit sticky and so not great for eating while typing, and some of the dried fruit, mainly two prunes. With this much fibre, I don’t really needed the… uh… notorious effects of prunes.

Now, go out and be fruitful!

I got the backslider blues…

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Unfortunately, it looks there was a bit of a time lag over the festive season. As much as I thought I had got away with it, the chocolate, carrots cooked in masses of butter, and totally excessive amounts of fried potato products have caught up with me. I have the backslider blues cause all my work and progress has been lost in wobbliness.

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Sigh. Nevertheless, the picture came out better because I took it in the front room instead of the bedroom. Better light, also warmer. It is now just too chilly to be getting dressed in the bedroom. Ahh, winter. How you try my patience.

The plus side is that I am back into a routine. Working a typical 8 hour day means I get several WorkRave motivated 10 minute ab workouts per day, I am walking the 2 kilometers to work every morning and another 2 to get back home, and I am in charge of my food again! Hooray!

Porridge breakfasts might change as well, since I found several recipes for overnight oatmeal on one of my favourite hipster-ish blogs. You didn’t think that my blog name was totally unrelated to my style, did you? Sucker.

To lend even more credence to my hipster credentials, I am considering ordering a few of these bad boys to give me some more healthy lunch and snack options. Today I did bring celery sticks with a little pot of peanut butter and dried cranberries (so delightful) but who wouldn’t want a coordinated bento set in a mason jar to tote all that about, eh? You know you do.

I am also considering buying a 24 hour fitness wearable, like the fitbit flex or the jawbone up. I already have a heart rate monitor that I used for intense exercise sessions, but I would be interested in a total day perspective, and maybe even sleep quality. I actually had the second worst dream ever in my life last night. Like the first worst that I can remember, it involves insects and my feet. I wonder what that is all about. I also have an android smartphone, so that rules out a few wanker (Oops, I mean Apple) based options. Anyone want to give me feedback on those? How do they work for you? What do you like or not like about them? What do you find useful or annoying?

Peanut butter and belly sandwiches.

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So, a week has passed and not much change is visible. In fact, I may even be a little less muscular than I was last week? Weird.

But it doesn’t really matter too much. This is a long term thing and I am still getting used to making little changes that should (eventually) all add up.

What is in store for me this week? Well, the porridge for breakfast continues. Today’s edition contained cut up dried apple and too much cinnamon. I didn’t realize that the cap wasn’t on the spice canister properly, so a HUGE whack of cinnamon came out, almost causing a cinnamon challenge moment. Nevertheless, I persevered. I also packed myself a healthy and sensible lunch of some Hairy Dieter’s skinny lasagne, two mandarins, a banana and a handful of sugar snap peas for snacking. I love sugar snap peas. I love them so much.¬†
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Also on the cards is more ab workouts during the day. I have WorkRave on my computer to help prevent RSI and unbearable pain, which encourages me to take an eight minute break about every 55 minutes. I have been using these breaks to do some stretching, some press ups and crunches, etc. But the industrial grade carpet in my office is not so nice. I brought in a foam pad to make it easier for me to do those mid-day mini-workouts. Planking will certainly be less painful on my elbow skin, if not any less painful on my core muscles.

One of my previous challenges was the 100 press up challenge, which involves training yourself up to the point that you can do 100 press ups in a single go. I only made it to about 45, but I certainly felt better about myself with those 45 than I did with the pitiful 2 that I could do when I started. I am contemplating another go on that challenge, but right now I have a bit much going on. Holiday season always takes up a lot of time, for travel, shopping, cooking, gift wrap, etc. I am also mere months away from finishing my PhD. And I just started a new batch of sourdough starter (I have named it Barnaby Plankton). It looks like the press ups is going to have to sit on the back burner at least until the new year, if not until after I finish this blasted degree. But I am kind of looking forward to taking it up again. I like press ups. They feel good. And they are probably a good way to prevent RSI, so 10 or 20 a day (most days) seems like a good idea all around.