Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cake for Breakfast

Goals for today:

-Keep portions under control
-try to squeeze in my greens and fruits!
-dance off some calories

Today, my youngest and last aunt (out of 9) is finally getting married, which means lots of delicious food and cake. and more cake. and a big cake and more food. (pictures later)

I woke up feeling groggy this morning and a run would definitely fix my mood. I was thinking about the Chicago 10k in 2 weeks and decided to time myself. I PR'ed it :D "unofficially" but I did. Back in April, I finished the Chi Town 10k at 52 minutes. Today, I did it in 50:28. The day of the race my goal is to finish it at least at a 49:59. *fingers crossed* 

Time Trial 10k,  50:28 

The weather, in the 70s, made it a whole lot easier. Hopefully we get lucky with some good weather on the 12th. *fingers crossed again* This mornings run was beyond amazing. Except for one thing. I was having stomach issues. I know next time to never eat dairy the night before. Turns out I slept walked and ate cereal with some milk and a little ice scream. This only happens when I fall asleep and I'm craving something or I'm stressed. But anywho! Note to self: no dairy before a race. My stomach felt super bloated. 

Afterwards I made myself a protein shake for breakfast. Wasn't in the mood for any solid food so I took it to work. 

Note to self: buy skim milk, had to use 2% but eh.. potato potahto

During my "lunch" hour, more like breakfast, some ladies in the cafeteria were cutting a cake for the birthday girl. I was offered some not once. Not twice. But at least 10 times. I kept thinking if I was being rude? Should I have accepted the cake and took it home? Thrown it out? I felt guilty after standing up to leave, and once again they asked me to take a piece. Crap. I really felt bad. 

So is it bad declining sweets or food in general, when people offer it to you?
What would you do in my place? 

PS. going to need more protein powder! I need suggestions! 

Have a good weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's F-F-F-Friday!!

Welp, yesterday I felt like crap. Sore. Tired. Sleepy. Moody.
And only ran a mile. womp womp.

But today's finally Friday!!! :-)

Today's workout didn't go as planned BUT still got a workout in :-)
How? Took my workout clothes to work and worked out during my lunch break. Booya! (Sadly, I forgot my towel... :-( lol thank god for hand dryers)
I think I might make this a habit. Friday's is usually a hectic day (12hrs of work, two separate jobs) so its hard to get my workout done.

Took this beautiful picture while on my way down my usual route. It reminded me of those super cold, near 0 degree runs during the winter. The plan today was to get at least a 2mile run and it turned out to be 2.75. Good enough. It beats walking around campus for an hour just to kill time haha..

its so prettty!! :)
Reasons why I love UIC
-its a 5-10min bus ride to target :) or walmart :D
-I can run to lake shore drive and call it a warmup
-there's a Chase, Wendy's, Subway, Jimmy Johns, Yogen Früz, AND UPS Store 5 mins away
-I forgot about Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins...
-there's a cool ass gym on campus
-I get free food all the time for working on campus (Yee!)
-25min train ride to Water Tower! (...and the -underconstruction atm- Nike Store ;)
-I have to love it because I will be spending the rest of my 20s here... hahaha


It's "Weigh-In" Friday!!!
*...drum roll*

And there's good news!!!!!
Last weigh in was on the 22nd(?) and I was 135.6
Today: 134.0!

Day 5 - NO Munchkins.

Hadn't touched a munchkin all week. Bam. Some stale ones are still staring at me from about 15 feet away. (Coworker actually took out a measuring tape to measure it... hahaha)
Luz- 1, Munchkins - 0.

Day 5 - "Lose 10+lbs" Plan

Workouts- Haven't been 100% dedicated but still worked out, so I won't beat myself up.
Eating-wise, I've been eating my meals regularly, trying to squeeze in veggies and fruits. Having a hard time with meat... since I don't know how to cook really well. >_<
So instead I drink protein shakes after my hard workout for the mean time. And eat my usual peanut butter. Every morning without fail.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Favorite Snacks

So.. I'm trying to come up with a list of things I usually eat when it's not time for Lunch or Dinner yet but I feel hungry. Usually I have snacks throughout the day, packed and ready to go, and then have a big meal during dinner.
The following snacks vary from fresh fruit to packaged snacks. Follow the portion size, or else the calories will be off. I would suggest to go for the natural snacks, since they offer more nutrients and fiber. The processed snacks may contain artificial sweeteners and added ingredients. Also remember, calories are approximations

Natural Snacks
  • Banana (~100cal)
  • Apple(~100)
  • 1 cup of diced pineapple (~80cal)
  • 1 cup of strawberries (~50cal)
  • 1 cup of grapes (~62cal)
  • 1 orange/1 cup of sections of orange (~80cal)
  • half an apple, sliced, with 1tbsp of peanut butter (~140cal)
  • half banana w/ 1 tbsp PB (~140cal)
  • 1oz of almonds, about 24 pieces (~165cal)
Processed Snacks
  • PopChips (16 Chips) 96cal
  • Mott's Natural Apple Sauce No Sugar Added, 1 container/~1/2cup (50 cal)
  • 1 cup Organic Valley Chocolate Lowfat Milk (160 calories)
  • 1 Fiber One Brownie (90cal)
  • 1 bag of Orville Redenbacher's 100 Calorie Pack Popcorn
  • Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, strawberry (~80cal)
  • Fiber One 90 calories bar
  • 1/2 whole wheat bagel thin w/ 1tbsp of PB (~140cal)
  • 1/2 whole wheat bagel thin w/ 1 Laughing Cow cheese wedge (~90cal)
  • Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists, 8 sticks (110cal)
  • Special K Berries Cereal (110cal for 1cup) + 1/2 cup of skim milk (45cal)
 ***Do NOT snack if you're not hungry

These are just some of my favorite things to eat :-)
I will try to update this list as I think of more things to add


DAY 3 NO Munchkins - ...they are really tempting me today, but I had one cookie last night for being so good yesterday with my eating. So I am satisfied :)

DAY 3 "Lose 10+lbs" Plan - So far, eating-wise everything is okay. I feel hungry every morning now, which is good. I eat my dinner earlier now. This morning I had a banana and chai tea. Forgot to eat the rest of my breakfast but had a salad with a bagel thin and cheese wedge for lunch. Followed by applesauce and pineapples for sweet snack. Working-out wise, Monday I did p90x, yesterday I ran short 3 mile recovery and today's plan is to do a good 5 miler and p90x chest and back after work.

I decided I'm going to make Fridays my "Weigh-In" days!
Crossing my fingers, hopefully I lose something for this weeks hard work :)

Give me ideas on what to add to my list! :-)

Race Recap: Chicago Women's Half Marathon

Ok, so this might be a little late but I couldn't help write a race recap for my very first half marathon.

I think that, overall, I picked the perfect half to start off with. It was an inaugural all-women's race. I had registered 20 days earlier and I hadn't really been following a plan or training for a half but I had already been running distance all winter and had placed in a 10k in April. I thought, why not? So I registered... with 20 days to prepare.

The race was mostly lake shore trail but still enjoyable. I lined up at my corral with colorful pink, purple, orange gear everywhere, I could definitely tell this was an all women's race. I lined up at the 8:30 pace corral. The announcer began with a speech, commemorating all the women runners. I thought that it gave the race a special touch, the theme was "Why Do You Run?". And at the end of the race, for the last maybe 2-3ish miles, there was signs on the side of the trail that really made you tear up lol. (Before the race, I wrote "For Myself" on my hand just to keep me going to the end, it worked). I seen girls with stuff written on their shirts like, "For My Mom" or "For my sister" hand written on their backs. Awww..

The water stops were about 1.5 to 2 miles apart, which was convenient. The trail isn't really hilly except at the end, and somewhere near the beginning. There was also a GU station, which I still haven't bothered to try it.

The only downside to a race on the trail, is that it gets really congested in the beginning for about a mile or 2. For me, that was kind of perfect. It kept me from speeding off and starting off too fast. I settled into a comfortable pace the whole time. I remember seeing the first 3 girls already on their way back and feeling relieved. Almost half way there :-) The miles flew by, until I hit mile 9. After that, they started slowing down, by a lot. My legs starting giving out and throughout the entire race, I always stopped at the water stops. I knew that the last water stop was about 0.75 miles or more like a mile from the finish line. So I took my time, and drank water and continued to what was the hardest mile in my life. There was a hill about .2mi from the finish line, stupid hill. A lady collapse nearby me, it looked like she had cramped up going up the hill. Ah. I freaked out a little so I tried going up slower and calmly. After the hill, I saw the finish line and started sprinting. I passed up a few women who looked like the uphill had taken the last of them.

Finishing was the best feeling I had ever felt. I knew all along I could finish but my goal was to finish under 2 hours and I did, with 3 minutes to spare. I will definitely do this race again next year and I definitely recommend any girl to do it too. I will never forget this race. Because the finish line was only the beginning :-)

At the end, the were giving out ice cold towels, bananas, bagels, frozen kefir (?), water and gatorade. The shirt was simple and girly, except I'm not really a fan of sleeveless shirts with a v-neck and more like a tank kinda girl, so when I wore the shirt, it made me look man-ly-ish. It was also in black (the race was in 85-90degree weather, seriously?) I wish it had been neon pink, or atleast white but hopefully they change it next year. The medal was pretty, with the Chicago Women's logo as the design. The only thing that was missing on it, was the date.

June 24, 2012 Chicago Women's Half Marathon (1:57:17)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do Not Underestimate Clouds

Thunderstorm + Running = no good.
Thunderstorm + Running + iPhone = disaster.

Monday night after a p90x session, I rolled my legs. So I thought, "they don't feel so bad, I should run tomorrow morning". Yeah :-). This morning I wake up on time, change and rush out the door. When I'm around a mile and half away from my house, I thought I could make it back in time before the rain came down. I look up at the sky. Holy moly..

BEFORE the storm
Yeah. The clouds were taking over. I thought, "eh a little rain ain't gonna stop me".
I think that set the clouds off because next thing I know it started raining like crazy. Then the wind started going all crazy. Garbage and rocks and I dont know what else was hitting my face. Yuck. Need. To. Find. Cover.

This whole time I had my iPhone in my hand. Crap. So I stuck it in my shorts and started running back home. AHHH more wind and hail..? or what felt like hail. My poor phone :( The more I ran, the more my phone wanted to fall out. Even thought it was underneath my clothes, I knew it wasn't safe :(

Crap. I'm going to be late for work. I ran home, showered, packed my lunch and then...

McSpeedy saved the day :)
and drove me to work.

If he hadn't come and saved the distressed Luz, then this post would've been longer, and I would've cursed out the CTA a couple times. AND most likely, would have been late to work.



-3 mile recovery run (?) Check! lol Legs are feelings great.

-As for breakfast, treated myself to some Chai tea
Half a whole wheat bagel thin w/ peanut butter :)

***Day 2 of NO Munchkins.
-I made it a goal everyday, when I walk into the office, not to touch any munchkins.
It's 9:55am, and so far so good :-)

***Day 2 of "Lose 10+ lbs" Plan, yeah! so far clean eating and yesterdays p90x session really got my arms sore. but feelin' great ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Race Recap: Rock N' Roll Half Marathon

Before The Race
The night before the race, I felt my eyes were starting to droop a little around 9ish. I thought 'YAY! I'm going to get some sleep tonight'. Wrong! I went home, started syncing music to my iPhone, next thing I know it's freakin' 1:30am. Shit.
(Rookie Mistake #1: you get too nervous/overwhelmed/excited, you forget to sleep.)

I'm screwed. Things like this always happen to me of course.. so I played it cool. finished putting together my stuff and went to bed. Woke up right before my alarm at 4:55. Put everything in my bag. The only thing that was missing was my race clothes. So I went to check on them (I had left them drying in the dryer the night before). They were still wet. A big WTF. So I reset my dryer and went back to check and double check my stuff to bring to the race.
 (Rookie Mistake #2, have ALL your stuff ready, including your race clothes laid out the NIGHT before the race.)
By the time I was heading out the door, I took a banana. Another WTF. I forgot to eat something small to have some fuel. (RM #3, eat something small hours prior to start time.) I still had an hour to digest this banana. Picked up McSpeedy (the bf) and drove downtown. We got super lucky trying to find parking. We passed only 1 parking lot that was closed and the next one we scored! Woohoo. It was about 6'oclock. Half an hour till race time. We were both nervous. (Nervous was an understatement..of course)

So we got ready in the car, paid for parking, check last min things and we were off.
I looked at the time. It was around 6:22... No lie.
We tried running towards Grant Park. We had no clue were exactly the race started. Haa.. (RM #4, KNOW and carry a map of the course, especially w/ the start line on it) Ha..
We asked one of those traffic people if the knew, thank jebus they had a flyer of where it was located.
We literally ran to start line. On our way there, my water belt was a little uncomfortable. It was the first time I had it on since I purchased it. (RM #5, never use new gear on race day). So I fumbled with it as I was running, and BAM!. Next thing I know, there's water all over my leg and shorts, and none left in my little water container. Great...

We get to the corrals and I see we were wayyyy behind, in like corral 15'ish.
McSpeedy was in corral 1, and I was in 3, how the hell were we going to make it in time.
I hear the announcer start off the race. Shit.

So I jump over the gates and run down the sidewalk until finally eying corral 4. I thought, this is better than nothing. So we both started off there. Had 2 seconds to rest and we were off...

Shit. Shit. Shit.
I had no water. I was already worn out. My mind was everywhere. I felt horrible for not preparing properly. But this wasn't going to stop me from running this race. I started up my Nike+ app, and just focused on how the hell I was going to do this.
I honestly can't remember most of this race. I was too caught up in my thoughts. I ran my first mile at 7:53. Woah. Way too fast for what I had in mind. I think my legs were still thinking about reaching the start line. After that I tried keeping a steady pace not slowing down too much, and not going out too fast. I remember eying the 1:45 pacer. My Goal time one day. Sadly, I only stayed with him for about half a mile-ish.. I don't know how long after that, I see a herd of people and there he is, Mr. 1:50.

Alright Luz! You have to stay with him. Too bad it was only about a mile or 2 before I lost sight of his little flag. (Having no contacts on didn't help one bit. RM#6: wear your glasses to be able to see where you are going)

Oh no... The last thing I wanted was for Mr. or Mrs. 2:00 to pass me up.That was my greatest fear throughout the whole time.
I started taking my Shot Bloks at around mile 6, right after I remembered...that I had forgotten to take off my compression shin sleeves. Ha.. Nice one Luz. So I rolled them down to my ankles. These kinda bother me when I wear them for too long, today was not the day for that.
At Mile 8, I took another Shot Blok and I started choking on it. Haha.. I was laughing at myself. I need to chew and stop day dreaming and get on with this race. I had no idea where the mile marks were, maybe because I had no contacts, or maybe because I wasn't really paying any attention to my surroundings, but I had missed almost all of them. Except of course the 5k, 10k and some other ones.
Mile 9 rolled around and it hit me, I only had 4 miles to go. ( I had to lie to myself at this point and rounded it down and told myself only 3.9 miles to go, just to make me feel better)

I kept trying to pace myself with other runners around me and also stopped a couple times for water/Gatorade. No GU for me. I can hardly remember stopping at the water stops...
The wet sponges helped with the stickyness from all the Gatorade I spilled on myself. :)
I believe those were after mile 10ish.. maybe 11.

I remember seeing the 11th mile mark. I had around 20 minutes to finish, if I was going to beat the 2 hour mark. I was starting to freak out. 2 miles to go. ONLY 2 miles to go. Where did the miles go?! (my legs thought differently) I kicked my pace up a little. I was really tired. But I kept thinking 'pain is temporary...pain is temporary...pain is weakness...' I didn't want to have a feeling of regret, like last time. I didn't want to think I didn't push myself hard enough. I crossed mile mark #12, one mile to go, and I looked at the big ol' clock. Shit. I remember it being in the 1:50s already. Damnit, I'm not going to make it. I was dying. I was starting to lose my cool.. I felt like I had failed.. I wanted to break 1:57 so bad. At that point I wanted to cry and give up. But something inside of me just kind of took over. Whatever it was, it helped me focus on finishing. I gave it my all. I would speed up and slow a little down, and speed up again. I knew in my heart, no matter how tired I was at mile 13, I was going to sprint to the end.

I tried keeping a fast-ish pace (or so it felt at the moment). Then I saw the big 13 mile mark. I read in big numbers 1:58. I didn't care. All I knew was that I wanted to finish this strong. I might have not been prepared in the beginning. I might have screwed up. But I had a choice to really dig deep. And with the help of a running dude up ahead of me in a dark blue shirt, I made it my goal to try to beat him. I ran as fast as I could, I felt like my body had gone numb at this point.
never underestimate a girl ;)
I guess it was all the adrenaline? I just wanted to cross that freakin' finish line already. With every last bit of energy I had inside of me, I crossed that line. The one that scares you, yet makes you feel so proud. The one that can either defeat or define you...

I stopped my timer. 1:56. I didn't know whether to trust it or not. So I made a side note to check the results later. I didn't want to celebrate just yet, I had stopped it twice during the race due to bad GPS reception. Don't celebrate just yet Luz..

McSpeedy was waiting for me at the finish line and seeing him snapped me back to reality. It was over. So of course my body suddenly got all funky and I had no intentions of eating anything because I knew for a fact my stomach wasn't going to put up with it. I drank water, a little warm gatorade (yuck..).
Got some Jamba Juice (should've taken more;) and my medal and went to sit down with McSpeedy.
mmmm.. Jamba Juice... *drools*
my white flower stayed on!
I couldn't help buy a flower from Fellow Flowers the day of the expo. Such inspiring women.

our recovery snacks. chocolate milk is amazing.
My legs felt horrible, my body ached everywhere. We took lots and lots of pictures and just walked around, trying to loosen up. Drove back home and after a nice shower, we looked through all the pictures and just laid around the entire day. Had a home-made "taco" salad (which was just lettuce, tomato, onion, hot sauce with some taco meat -from his tacos lol- on top of all the lettuce.. :-P ) in the afternoon and laid around some more. I was really curious about my official time... So we both checked online to see if they were up. And there they were.


Moment of truth.
I wasn't going to beat myself up for not PR-ing this race. The weather was just off. Too hot and humid. My mind was off. I had been day dreaming 90% of the time lol
So I checked my time. Click. and there it was.

1:56:32. ONE FIFTY SIX!!!!!

AHHH!!! I couln't believe it!!! I really couldn't. I didn't hit 1:55 by 32 seconds like I wanted to.. But that 1:56 felt so good. Just thinking if I hadn't really pushed it at the end, I wouldn't have been able to feel the way I feel now.

After a race, you might think back at things you would've changed, 'if I hadn't stopped at that last water station for so long..' blah blah blah.
But at this point, I didn't regret anything. My soreness today says it all. I really dug deep inside of me, and gave it all I could. And that's what matters :-)

Overall the race was fun and not so enjoyable because of the heat. The course was a little hilly, although I don't remembering struggling that much. and it was a nice view coming down lake shore towards McCormick. I hated the stupid tunnel at the end. With my sunglasses on, I felt completely blind. Other than that, the goodies at the end were perfect. Ice pops, Jamba Juice, chocolate milk, bagels.. and so on.

We'll meet again 13.1...
See you in September.

July 22, 2012 Rock N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon (1:56:32)

Running has taught me that I can do anything
 just as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pre-Race Jitters

Ahhh! So, I don't know how to feel about tomorrow's race...but I do feel very nervous.
Should I feel confident? Overconfidence can sometimes bite you in the ass. Under-confidence(?) can keep you from pushing yourself. This morning I ran 2 miles, just to see how my body was feeling. I ran in my new Asics Kayano 18, and felt like I was running on clouds. :) ah.
But I'm not going to run in them, since I'm not sure yet how they'll hold up after miles 9, 10, 11, 12, and that last .1

I took wednesday, thursday and friday off. (friday by accident, was suppose to run before work, oops!)

I felt like I have been on vacation. And I haven't really been strict about my eating, woops :(
So I'm not going to be surprised if I gained a little weight. Thank god the race is finally tomorrow so I can go back to my workouts. I didn't want to get injured or be sore days before the race. I was actually being patient :) yay me. I also got all my last minute goodies in the mail Wednesday. I am addicted to online shopping at RunningWarehouse. Free 2-Day Shipping! :D come on. nothing better than that.

So MONDAY! Will be "Day 1" back on my Tone/Lose 10+lbs Plan

Wednesday Food Log

Bagel thin + PB

Grapes & Watermelon
side salad
bagel thin w/ cheese wedge

Homemade chicken salad

Night Snack
Cereal + Milk :( oops lol

Thursday Food Log

the usual

bagel w/ cheese wedge
side salad

@ Jason's Deli
-Salad bar w/grilled chicken
-yogurt w/ apples,banana bits, and grapes
-chocolate pudding
-vanilla cone

yumm! :) can't help indulge a little 

POP! Chips

Friday was just hectic. Still not an excuse for my bad eating today
bagel thin w/ PB

couple of Air Heads

side salad
bagel w/ cheese wedge
graham cracker cookies
mexican - tostada w/ sour cream, salsa and beans

Night snack
milk + cereal
cookies :(

**you can see I eat about the same food everyday.. I don't get bored of it. But I do need to restock my fridge :( lol

Definitely a bad day, it maybe the nervous-ness of the race coming up, hormones or just issues right now. But this morning is a new day and had watermelon for breakfast after my 2 mile run :)


WOOT WOOT! Let's see what goodies I score ;-)
Posting pictures later. 

ps. I'm working on my Recipe page... slowly but surely.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My "Diet" Secret

So, every since I started losing weight, I've kept a low profile...ish. Mostly because I'm busy with school, work, working out, racing, with the boyfriend, or "cooking" something weird in my kitchen. 9 out 10 times when a family member sees me after months of not visiting, I get the same question over and over. What do I do? What do I eat? What's my secret?

Warning: This is the first time I'm writing this out so it might be confusing, long, and boring.

Here's a quick list of things that have worked for ME. Keep in mind many things. It wasn't easy and of course I fell off the "wagon" many times. Always going back and forth, losing and gaining back the weight but then I found a "rhythm" and things started becoming a habit. I did something that was not too different, not drastic, just something that I know I can stick to. (I will be bolding what I think is more important, you can skip all the shinanigans and just read the bold print if you'd like lol)

1. Logging Your Food
So first thing I did, was start counting calories and logging what I ate on a regular day. I use this amazing app called Lose It! It's available online as well as Android and iPhone. So, I began my journey of logging my food every single day. Trust me, I would only do it occasionally at first, but then it stuck. AND its on your phone. Genius. 

The app has ALOT of tools for you to use. and I mean ALOT!

-When you log you're food, it asks you how much you ate (FOOD PORTIONS are very important so I suggest buying measuring cups and spoons)
-You can see online what food groups you've consumed (eating based off the Food Pyramid was essential for me, my meals were based off this handy dandy poster :)
Basically- Breakfast should contain 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 protein and optional fruit/dairy
Lunch/Dinner should contain 1/4 carb, 1/4 protein, half plate should be veggies
-There's a little bar, which is your calories for the day, and if you go over, it WILL turn red, letting you know you've gone over.
Woops, had a little too much cereal late last night :-(
-The app also lets you list a goal weight, and depending how much and how fast you want to lose it, it will suggest a calorie intake goal for the day. Don't start out too fast wanting to lose 2 pounds a week. and don't beat yourself up if you go over your calories, it takes time to adjust.
-You make friends online, and motivate each other! :) MOTIVATION IS KEY!

2. Watch Your Food- Foods to Eat and NOT to eat
I recommend reading the book Eat This, Not That! I think it gives you an easy head start on foods you should watch out for when you're eating out. It's a book full of easy food swaps that will save you calories. There's different versions out now, Grill This, not That! another genius idea. Keep in mind, fast food is bad no matter what you buy. So I try to keep my foods clean, and make stuff at home that's quick and easy. So they came up with Cook this, Not That! ha. Genius I tell you.

I didn't really eliminate any foods from my diet... because eventually that is what is going to kill you. You are going to WANT it and crave it. So keep it simple. Make food swaps. Instead of a cookie, have a piece of dark chocolate with strawberries. Don't stress over it. 
The ones that I occasionally eat (by occasional, I mean when there is ABSOLUTELY no alternative or way out) are:
  • soda
  • mayo
  • fruit juices
  • white bread
  • cheese
  • adding sugar to anything
  • 2% or whole milk (Skim milk please!)
  • sugary cereals 
  • fried foods, choose grilled or charbroiled instead

By avoiding empty calories, you WILL see a difference. Ask yourself, "Do I really need to add mayo to my sandwich?" Automatically, it will save you around 150 calories depending also on how much you use (PORTIONS!). Something that helped me was first to lower the amount of food and watch how many times a week I drank soda, minimizing every week until I no longer wanted it.

DRINK WATER! I never drank water like I do now. Running has helped me fall in love water and stay away from fruit juices, because really, you are just drinking sugar (empty calories). NO! :)
Instead, eat an orange rather than drinking the juice.

SALADS: people think that by ordering a salad from Wendy's or McDonalds, they are doing something good, but actually making your own salad at home is loads better. Restaurant salads may contain tons of cheese and salad dressing that may actually do more harm than good.
Cooking at home is better alternative than eating out, keeping in mind you watch what you add to your food and your portions. Of course life gets in the way and there is no time, so what I do is if I'm on the run and need a quick lunch fix, I go to BK or McD's and order a side salad with a grilled chicken wrap on the side. I know I know.. I just said no take out food, but hey, a side salad with no dressing and grilled chicken on it sounds REALLY good compared to something else on those menus.  I add the chicken to my salad and VOILA! mini salad. You can also order a Whopper Jr w/o mayo, without sabotaging your calorie intake for the day.

**Instead of eating out for lunch at work or school, make yourself your own little lunch box, with safe snacks you can munch out throughout the day, instead of running to the vending machine.

3. Exercise!
Yeah, I know. Boo! exercising sometimes isn't what you want to be doing at 5am every morning, instead you want to sleep. I get it. BUT that is where flexibility comes in.
Try fitting in times when you know you're available, and stick to it.
Try waking up 20 earlier and workout for a good 10 minutes, then increasing the workout time as you get better at waking up earlier.

The goal here is to schedule a time, where you know you will not fall back. If you tell yourself off the bat that you're going to wake up at 5am every morning from now on, it might work, it might not, because you are taking a risk of sleeping in your workout days and never get it done.

-Start out slow
-if you get bored, add variety (do an activity that you ENJOY doing)
-join a gym
-ask your friends who have been following a program, what they are doing/if you can tag along

Personally, I started out jogging short distances (maybe 2 blocks at a time) and I have build up from there ever since. Keep in mind, I first attempted "running" in 2009, it is now 2012. I took my time and never gave up. Be consistent with your workouts and log them too. Keep them handy on a wall calendar.

-At the moment, I try running 4-6 days a week and TRYING really hard 2-3x's/week to fit in time for strength training (aka P90x :), try it, and you shall fall in love with it too) 

4. Keep Track

This worked for me really well... and it made me feel like I accomplished something when I looked back on how much I've done. It also helps keep you on track by constantly reminding you of your goals.  Place all your charts somewhere you can see them. I have them on my wall, next to my mirror, where EVERYONE can see them. At first, I would cover them, because I didn't want anyone judging or asking about it. Soon enough, I felt proud of my little charts and always felt like telling everyone who came in my room about them :P
-LOG your weight on the same calendar or make a separate charts
-STICK to your regime
Not everyone likes keeping track of every little thing, like I do. But to me, it's helpful when it comes to knowing where I'm at and also when I'm feeling less motivated. I look at these charts and think how much I've done, NOT how much I have left to do. Sometimes I even find an old journal I use to write down my weight and workouts, and I really can't believe how far I've come. It gets a little emotional sometimes haha. (I'm a girl, give me a break)

If  losing weight was easy, then everyone would be thin.
You have to set small goals in order for you to not get discouraged.
By setting yourself small goals, you are more likely to stay on track overall.
I created my weight chart with 1 and 5 pound increments, every time I marked my chart and filled my little bar, I came closer and closer to my goals. 
Began Jan 31 2011 at 176 lbs
Current as of July 18 2012 at 135 lbs
What worked for me:
-A good way to keep yourself motivated is to read about other peoples success.
-Follow other bloggers who are struggling like you are, or those who have accomplished their goals
-Sign up for newsletters, such as Eat this Not That. those friendly reminders will keep you busy :) they also include yummy food suggestions, which is always a good idea if you get bored of your same meals everyday. 
-Read books or magazines
-and even write a blog about yourself ;)

And that is my secret, not a big secret huh? :)

*Always keep in mind, every one is different.
And being thin, doesn't define beauty.

Don't think of it as a "diet". Something you start and are bound to fall out of. Think of it as a lifestyle change. Changing your bad habits to good ones. It's all mind over matter. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



They suck even more when its 80+ degrees outside (at 6am). And you decide to sleep in instead of running your planned 5 miles. My weekend (running-wise) was no fun.

Saturday- Rest Day (it was raining, I was tired :P )
Sunday - LSD (10 miles)

Sunday's run was horrible. I slept in.. again and I had 10 miles planned in my had. I stepped outside around 10am and BAM! its 95+ degree outside. Or atleast it felt like it. The worst weather, in my opinion, is when its really hot, no wind, and it's super humid. The last thing I want to do is to walk outside. But I pushed through every freakin' step, until I did those 10 miles. I thought about turning back so many times. Things got a little freaky at mile 5, I had to walk and then lay down for a little while since I started feeling a little sick and lightheaded. After that 5 minute break, I told myself to stop if I needed to, didn't want to end up on the sidewalk...unconscious. haha.

 Recently, I've been having massive stomach cramps after a long run. And dizziness. I know it's because I don't hydrate properly, or cool down, but I'm still not certain what exactly it is. It randomly hits me, short or long runs, hot or cold (they're more likely to hit me long runs tho).

Well that settles Sunday.
Monday morning comes, I sleep in, go to work and by the time 5pm comes and I'm getting home thinking "YEAH I'm def going to run!!! BRING IT"... I lay down and watch tv, take 5 min nap, do laundry and other things around the house...and think about skipping today's workout and call it a Rest Day :). I was putting my workout off.

Nope, not me. So I changed as soon as the sun went down (it was too hot during the day) and headed outside. I was thinking of doing a short 5 miler since I missed it in the morning, but my legs were feeling great! I guess since I was going so slow on Sunday. I ended up doing another 10 miles and getting home around 10:30. Stomach cramps after my run threw me off my groove. I guess gulping down water wasn't such a good idea. I went right to bed. For sure, this will be my last long-ish run before this weekends Rock N' Roll. I don't want to die in this weeks heat before the race ;)

Monday: 10 miles

For today, I have run club and I'm estimating about a 2-3 mile run with the rest of the group. Looks mighty hot outside.

Monday & Tuesday Food Log
The usual half bagel thin (whole wheat) w/ PB*
Chai tea

Packed Snacks
Diced pears
Applesauce :)
 greek yogurt

Side Salad
Half bagel thin w/ cheese wedge

Monday afternoon snack: POP! Chips
and banana w/ PB before run
since I felt sick, couldn't eat my dinner :(

Tuesday's planned dinner: Subway chicken salad :D

And.. ofcourse I cheated on Monday morning with 2 munchkins and a cookie
Tuesday morning it was 1.5 munchkins lol :D

New Discovery @ Target!
-I love target, period.
-I love target even more when they have packaged goodies like 100 calorie packs of the real good stuff, unlike cookies and all that junk. I found this treasure on the peanut aisle.
100 calories almond and walnut packs. Now I won't go over my calories if I wanna add some to my yogurt or salad those mornings when I'm in a rush, typically everyday ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grow some balls

Yeah I said it... I couldn't help write out how annoying it is to read about guys getting chicked and their reactions afterwards. Take for example this guys post. He claims, if a girl is faster than he is, she is either:
-on steroids
-some kind of alien (?)
-or a man.
Give me a break. It's like what happened to Katherine Switzer when they tried to PHYSICALLY remove her from the course, right before crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon, when women were thought to be 'physically incapable'. Guys, get over it. Seriously, if you don't want to get chicked, then run an all-male race. :)

I understand that guys egos are reinforced with physical accomplishments and being able to do things girls can't do. But, nowadays, women are more independent.
What about us girls? It took a lot for me to actually tell people I worked out, that I ran. I was shy to even bring up running because I didn't look like a runner. And it took a long time to even sign up for my first race because I didn't believe in myself. I applaud those girls who do believe in themselves, and have the balls to cross these stupid gender barriers. Have you seen those girls that can lift and bench like guys and have rock-hard abs? I applaud them. There has to come a time when gender barriers have to be crossed. Who said girls can't have muscles and guns? Who said girls can't outrun a guy? I was shy to say before, but I love doing strength training. I love doing weights, push ups, sit ups, anything that gets my upper body sore the next day. So am I guy just because I can probably do more push ups than a weak guy? No.

This girl couldn't have said it better.

"Only one thing is more fragile than the weakest of women: the male ego."
Sorry, I had to vent a little.
There. I'm happy :) haha..

Sidenote: 10 DAYS!! for RN'R!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FOOD!!! and more food.

So, I walk into the office Monday morning. And what do I see?

This!         ...and THESE!!

Ah... RUN for your gut lives!
Ofcourse, I couldn't help myself. And took one.. or two munchkins.  Let me tell you, it took alot of work to walk away from those evil boxes.
It is more painful when you're starving ...and there is only vending machine food... AND you forgot to pack lunch. Well! thank jebus I hardly ever forget to pack my lunch or atleast some healthier alternatives. One thing I learned was to always ask yourself, "do I really want this?", "is it going to sabotage my entire day", "Have I worked out/Will i?", "Is it worth it?". Well on Monday morning, it was sure worth it. Everyday, I let myself cheat a little. Whether it's a handful of chips, chocolate milk (mmmm), chocolate or some gummy worms.. I don't beat myself up over it and go back to my usual routine afterwards.

And that is why you should always pack something for emergencies like those up there.
Peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel thin :)
Now doesn't that sound alot better?

Ah.. relief. :)

In reality, I use to find food to be my enemy before I started seeing it differently. I didn't know about portion control and logging calories. I couldn't eat my PB&J without going over my calorie intake (after smothering about 3 tablespoons on 2 pieces of white bread plus the Jelly!). Yeah, that's where I was messing up. Nowwwww I know where all the weight came from! :O

Ofcourse I can never NOT eat my peanut butter. Literally, I eat peanut butter every day. Without it, I would go crazy. Good source of protein right? Anyway, I downsized from smothering all that tasty stuff on my bread and now measuring with TEASPOONS. and use wheat bread. Mmmm. Healthy! and Delish.

I now call my lunch bag my Emergency Food Kit. Because it has everything I might need in case of an emergency. If only it had red stripes instead of purple.
Good ol' Emergency Food Kit. (BTW that's my breakfast w/ snacks most mornings, I haven't got bored of it... yet)
-Peanut Butter (2tsp)
-Pineapple & grapes
-Whole wheat bagel thin (or waffle or toast)
-Cheese spread (for half a bagel)

It comes in handy when I'm craving something from the vending machine or the convenience store (or donuts). Anything that I pack from home is usually better than what they sell here. I walk around aimlessly trying to find something worth my money (and worth the calories!). That is, when I run out of goodies in my bag. it wasn't all like that before. It took a while for me to get use to not buying snacks at the stands and eat sugar-loaded stuff for breakfast. Find time during the day to plan out meals, atleast an idea of what you might eat or buy at the grocery store. As time passes, and you stick with the plan, everything becomes a habit. But that story is for another day..

Yesterday was hectic.
I needed an "Easy" Button ASAP. I did not feel one bit like myself. School and work were really stressing me out, after a long day I honestly didn't want to drive back to school and run with my running group. I needed a nap. and FOOD.
But I still went, and I felt great afterwards! :)

Which brings up a good point about working out.

Unless you are in real pain, working out will make you feel WAY better than how you were feeling before. AND you will never regret it.
It's like tylenol, except you have fun and burn an extra load of calories).
Running with a group is different than running solo. For one, you socialize with others about the one thing that brought you guys together, RUNNING! :)
We talked about running gear, hydration, and upcoming races. In all, they're your running family. (and we're all UIC students, which gives us another thing in common)
After the run, I felt re-connected to my normal chipper myself. They (running + friends) are like your free inexpensive therapist. I couldn't help feeling so grateful again. And yesterdays run reminded me of how lucky I am. To RUN. To have frienships. Yeah... Deep stuff. haha. But on a serious note, it gave me that little push this morning to go out for another run, I thought "Something is better than nothing." Since I had snoozed my alarm this morning, my 7 miler was now cut to a 5miler (plus being late to work + pay for cab +risk getting called at for being late). I didn't mind. So I went out there this morning, for a beautiful run, faster and better than any of my recent ones. Like I said, deep stuff. haha :P
 (2 of our runners)
Ofcourse I had to reward myself (for being such a good sport) with a healthy takeout dinner, after the run last night
VOILA! Turkey Breast Sammich on Wheat Bread! 

I was too lazy to make anything for myself and my boyfriend. So he treated me to Subway (my number 1 place for quick safe dinner/lunch/breakfast!)
No, I did not eat the whole thing. Good thing my McSpeedy (aka- the boyfriend) has a big appetite ;)

See below, I am not kidding

Aww isn't he the cutest? ;P

PS! 11 days till ROCK N' ROLL!
Ahhhhh...I'm trying to avoid looking at my calendar as much as possible. Summer is flying by and the thought of it ending makes me sad. But it also makes me panic about my upcoming races. I'm crossing my fingers for a strong (below 1:57) finish. ;)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


So yesterday I was browsing around reading blogs, race recaps and all that junk and came across a written piece of work that got to me. I will forever have this post bookmarked. :)

Sometimes we need inspiration and motivation to keep on going.
We need that little "push" like those few yards from the finish line, the rush to just keep on going
and finish what you started.

Sometimes I lack that motivation, recently anyway, and feel like maybe I've lost that spark. That little feeling of satisfaction after a run. Maybe because I'm putting to much pressure on myself, maybe the weather, but whatever it is, was all gone after I read this blog. I have faith that I will finish my second half marathon, stronger than my first. After my first half, I felt that maybe I didn't push myself hard enough (Chicago Women's Half). I finished at 1:57, right below the 2 hour mark. In my head, I had the 2 hour mark as my goal, my instinct was to run at a comfortable pace and finish. I don't regret feeling comfortable the whole way, but I feel like maybe I could've done better. But who doesn't feel that way? "I could've done this/that better". Yeah Yeah yeah... Not going to beat myself up.

BUT. I have another chance to push myself. The Rock N' Roll Chicago half is coming up in just 2 weeks, just 4 weeks after my first half.

Can I break my 1:57?

Is it possible? Well yeah, anything is possible right.
But lately the weather has been extremely hot, and my runs have SUCKED.

Just thinking of finishing under 1:57 gives me the butterflies. But I know that to get there, I will have fight and push to the last second on that big clock. I am not going to be able to control the weather that morning, but I will fight.
In my head I'm going for a sub 1:55, maybe even a 1:50. But that's just crazy talk ;)

And for the next two weeks, whenever I'm not feeling like my running-self, I will keeping remembering how far I've come.

You can do anything if you set your mind to it.

Monday, July 2, 2012


HOLY CRAP! November feels like a LOONGGG time ago. And looking back at that post, I feel like I have honestly accomplished alot. Actually, more than I thought I would ever accomplish.
Not only do I still run, but

-I completed my first Half Marathon (under 2 hrs! Yeaaah!)
-I could run at a sub 8 min pace.. still have to run a 5k to see how fast I could really go ;)
-and I've also lost about 40 pounds and am currently trying to maintain this weight (although trying.. not so much..but trying to lose atleast another 10 ;) That would be nice and it would also improve my time LOL.

This made my day. How come I don't remember typing up that post? Hmm.
Anywho! I will def need to log a run tonight.
Haven't been feelin it lately. Need some new motivation or a new playlist.. or new clothes. or new SHOES?!
Yesss, I'm looking for new shoes AGAIN! (I'm a girl, what do you expect?)
Plus this helps keep me motivated to train for my next Half.. dun dun dun in 20 days.

Hopefully I will find my new shoes after work today, whats better than shoe shopping?!

Deciding on these... or these... decision decision.