Introducing…

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Published on: April 12, 2011

…my new running partner!

Her name’s Belle, and while she might not look like she’s ready to run, believe me — I’ll be struggling to keep up with her!

As you can tell, she’s a tough-nosed dog, born on the streets, made for fightin’…

…or maybe not.  Maybe after her tummy rub.  Perhaps she’s just the cutest thing ever.  It’s also possible that I’m slightly biased.

Belle came to me in a roundabout kind of way:  a story of No-Good people and Do-Good people.

I had gotten an email from a friend of mine:  her co-worker — the Do-Gooder in this tale — had found a dog muzzled and tied up to a bench outside a laundromat.  The dog was hungry and scared, and when Do-Gooder inquired, found out that she had been there for days.  She had very recently given birth to a litter; she still was carrying milk.

Now, don’t get me started on the No-Gooders:  the person who abandoned her after she gave them the puppies they wanted.  The people in the business who KNEW that she had been out there for days (and it’s the Midwest in March!  It’s not like it was a balmy 65 degrees outside).  It really is beyond my comprehension how people can be like this.

But Mr. Do-Gooder, he took action:  untied the poor girl and brought her home with him.  Took her to the vet, fed her, got her all cleaned up.  And wanted to keep her, but realized that the best thing would be to find a good home for her, as he already had another dog and a small living space.

The email went out to me.  And it was like the stars aligned:  when I moved last month, one of the big upsides was that I’d be able to get a dog.  But – I wanted to wait. Wanted to get settled in and unpacked. Wanted it to be the “right” time.

It seems as though the “right” time picked me … so after exchanging a few emails with Mr. Do-Gooder, I went a met her and was immediately smitten.  She was friendly and curious, energetic, athletic and sweet. Everything I had been looking for.

And so, I brought her home with me.

It seems like she’s settling in nicely, too.

It’s been a joy to have Belle around (though – admittedly – she can be a little shit from time to time – good thing she’s so dang cute!) and I think I might have hit the jackpot with the universe dumping her in my lap, without me having to do one lick of work to make her mine.

 

 

Does moving boxes count as a workout?

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Published on: April 1, 2011

I hope so, because that’s been the bulk of my physical activity the last two months or so.

Which seems like a long time to be using that as an excuse for not training, doesn’t it?  And even LESS of an excuse for not blogging, I suppose.

But – it’s what I’m going with.  I’ve never claimed creative excuses as my strong suit!

My life’s been all manner of chaos for awhile, and just seems to now be settling down into a new normal, a new routine — something that I’ve been desperately waiting for.

I’ve got my old house rented out, so there are no more trips back out there to check up on it, which I’ve appreciated.

My (human) roommate has been moved in for almost 2 months now and we’ve managed to not only not kill each other, but actually co-exist pretty well.

And I’m slated to get my new (doggie) roommate on Tuesday!

So – everything’s falling into place.

This weekend will be the final push to get everything unpacked — I had gotten around to everything that I needed on a day-to-day basis, but had gotten tired and mostly bored with the process once that had been accomplished.  But this weekend?  I’ll be a an Unpacking Whirling Dervish!

I figure I should — even in the midst of the cardboard and bubble wrap flying! — be able to cobble some workouts together this weekend (if for no other reason than to have a legitimate excuse to not be unpacking for a bit).  And then starting next week?  At it full-time, with gusto, zeal and a resolve not seen around in here months.

And my 4-legged roomie-to-be is an energetic tyke:  she should force me outside even if I don’t exactly feel like it.

That’s the plan.  Just trying to get it done.  Yet again.

 

 

Friday PSA

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Published on: January 28, 2011

When your trainer greets you with a smile and a twinkle in her eye, and says, “So, can we work your legs hard today?” under no circumstances should you say yes.  Well, not unless practically needing a walker to get around for the next few days appeals to you.

Just trust me on this.

January 1st, take 2: an update

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Published on: January 26, 2011

Just a quick note.

I’m 3 days into my second try at starting my New Year’s resolutions.  And how am I doing?

Not too shabby, actually.  I’ve hit the treadmill every day so far — nothing jaw-dropping, not even close — but I’ve gotten it done despite the fact that I had absolutely no desire to sweat at all.

And you know what?  I felt better for having done it.  Lesson learned?  Perhaps.

My nutrition hasn’t exactly been spot-on, but at least I’m no longer consuming crap like it’s about to be outlawed.  Or heavily taxed.  Even just a little moderation in my diet has trimmed a few pounds off.

So far, so good…

Of course, today I’m close to dead on my feet (or, dead on my ass, since I basically sit in front of a computer all day).  The last thing I want to do is train.  But, sweat I will.  It helps that I have a trainer beatdown scheduled (this is why I pay for someone to inflict pain… it’d be too easy for me to skip otherwise)… and while I’m there, I might as well run a little, right?  Make better use of my time?  Exactly.

I suppose that’s MY state of the union address.  At least for right now.  Let’s see if I can keep this going for a few more days at least…

New recruit

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Published on: January 14, 2011

One of my very favorite things to do is to bring someone new into my world of triathlons and running.  Sometimes they are reluctantly dragged into it, kicking and screaming, quite sure that they’re going to absolutely hate it.  Other times they have no idea what exactly they’re agreeing to but go into it willingly enough, until – of course – they figure out that, um, yea, this might not exactly be fun (let’s just say there was a long night of drinking after a softball game where I talked a friend into doing her first 5k the next morning… picking her up at 5am… hee).

I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the middle of picking up and moving.  And one of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity I’m going to have to get myself a training partner!  I’ve always talked about how I dislike the solitary aspect of training, and how I’m much more a social-triathlete than a competitive one, so this is like a gift from the training heavens.

Yes – I’m taking in a roommate when I move.  But that’s not who I’m referring to.  By being closer to work, and closer to people who will be able to help out, as soon as I’m settled in?  Yea, I’m getting myself a four-legged training pal.  And I cannot WAIT.

Last time around, my dog was the epitome of lazy:  I would leave him home for 11-12 hours at a time and when I would get home?  He’d look at me from his perch on the couch and cock his head at me as if to say, “Tired?  Wanna nap with me for awhile?”  Yup.  I had the best dog.

But he was never a runner.  And that was my fault – I got him from the pound when he was older and I never took the time to properly train him on leash.  He would be okay walking, but running?  He would either be sprinting ahead or stubbornly stopping to sniff and mark things behind me.

This time around I’m doing it right.  I’m going to make sure I make the effort to train the new recruit to run with me.  Make the new pooch a motivator for me to get off my duff and get outside, too.  Gotta walk the dog, right?

I’ll probably go the same route as last time — go to the pound, find a dog that needs a good home and some lovin’ (and who’s already been house-trained!).  And one that will give me the puppy-dog eyes guilt trip when I’m sitting on the couch, ice cream in hand, instead of pounding out some miles, dog at my side.  My future pup has NO idea that he’ll be one of the few dogs around that will BE the trainer as well as the one being trained!

Yup – I’m indoctrinating the newest breed of triathamutt.  Super Dog!

The thrill is back

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Published on: October 1, 2010

I’m baaaaacccckk!

Not only has my run fitness ambled back into my life after a long-extended vacation, but my fire to race and compete has also decided to make an appearance.  I was actually starting to think this was nothing short of impossible, so I’m just a little impressed.  And overjoyed.  And a little scared that it’s going to vanish again, but… whatever.

It started out innocuously enough; I had woken up fairly early on Sunday morning and flitting through my head was, “Hmmm, I could easily have some breakfast, ride into town and do the Harvest 5k that’s going on this morning.”  And then I opted against it — it seemed like a perfect, lazy Sunday and why did I want to go out and ruin it by working hard and stuff, right?

Then, at the last minute in a reckless burst of energy, I threw on some shorts, a shirt and my running shoes, hopped into my truck and drove the 10 minutes to the race site.  There were runners everywhere already and I could already feel the anticipation tinged with anxiety tinged with enthusiasm tinged with the all-too-familiar “why the hell am I doing this, anyway??”.

It was a perfect running morning — sunny, but a chilly 52*.  Started out as an almost windless day, though that luck ran out before the race began and the breeze became something to negotiate.  I paid my money, got my lucky 999 race number and then wandered around, trying to keep warm, amazed at the number of people this local event brings in.  It seems I wasn’t the only non-lazy crazy person in town.

Soon it became time to do a little stretching and convincing my legs that we had some work to do (easier said than done!).  Ran easily around the block a few times, then tacked a couple sets of strides on the end of that, which dumped me right into the starting corral, to nervously shift back and forth until the gun went off.  I had very little in the way of race strategy planned; mostly I was determined to go out hard and hang on tight.  I knew I’d have the wind at my back for the first half of the race and would fight it coming back — my thought was to gain as much as possible while having a bit of a boost (you know, like Red Bull giving you wings).

The gun went off and the first quarter mile was a frustrating stop-and-start effort of not running over the walkers who mistakenly seeded themselves at the front of the start corral. After finally finding some free pavement, I felt myself get into a groove.  I wasn’t wearing my Garmin, so I ran by feel:  hard, but not yet blowing up, feeling like I was on the edge of something I might be able to hold for the full 3.1 miles.  You know, pretty much just winging it.

The first mile came up quickly:  having to run around so many people had kept me mentally occupied, I’ll say that much  And – at getting it in around 8:05, I was pretty happy with this pace.  The best I had run in the recent past (within the last year) was an 8:30m/m pace so this was a little morsel of unexpected happiness, like finding a quarter on the ground.

The second mile started to remind me what it was like to actually RACE a 5k, but the wind was at my back most of the way, and I pushed forward, trying not to think about running against that wind.  As the second mile time clock came into view, I was shocked to see a number that started with 15:xx.  Huh?  I did a mile in something sub-8?  Uh oh…I think I’m in trouble…

By the time I was partway into the third mile, I was painfully reminded that while a 5k is a short race, it’s 3 miles of red-lining agony if you’re doing it right.  And I think I was at least in the ballpark of doing it right.  By the time I had about a half mile to go, my stomach was rumbling about not wanting to hold on to breakfast anymore.  We negotiated, I asked for another 4 minutes, give or take, and somehow we came to an uneasy truce.  I kept up my pace as best I could, and finally threw myself across the finish line, ready to hurl.

And I couldn’t believe what I saw when I stumbled into the Finish corral:  24:28.  Really?  Is that possible?  Not only a sub 8:00 m/m pace, but my fastest 5k time in probably close to two years?  Again… really??  I didn’t know how, but I figured someone was pranking me…

But no – it actually was true!  And I was amazed, smiling ear to ear like a fool.  And really damn proud of myself.  See, for the past month I’ve been busting my butt to run more.  It won’t seem like a lot to most, but I had put in a couple of consistent 25 mile weeks, running 5-6 days a week, and apparently – every once in a while – training and hard work pay off.  Huh. Whodda thunk it?  (On a side note – it was kind of like when in college my senior year I came to the mind-bending conclusion that reading the lecture material BEFORE class would actually help me understand it better… I mean, that was pretty electric stuff I was coming up with there)

The last time I did a 5k — almost exactly a month ago, actually — my time was 27:09.  So… a month of training garnered me almost 2.5 minutes on my 5k time? Wowsa.  That was quite the revelation.  And motivator!  My brain instantly went to:  “…with just a little more training, maybe some interval and tempo runs, maybe I can get myself back to my 7:30m/m pace days… and perhaps – just maybe! – I could ROCK the Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon…”  If I’m not careful, pretty soon I’ll be scheming on how to qualify for the Olympics…

I haven’t felt this stoked about anything that causes me this much work in just about forever.  Or, at least it feels like that.  I keep half-wondering when I’m going to wake up and return to my “eh, who cares…” self that I’ve been the past two racing seasons.  And then I think — I wonder what happens if I can keep this going?

Looking Back : Now : Ahead

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Published on: September 23, 2010

Back

Remember how 2009 was going to be the season of not racing?  Or, at least, not racing seriously?  Well, somehow that year never really ended and morphed into 2010… now deemed The Second Season of Not Racing Seriously.

Mostly, my mojo never really returned.  I had signed up for IMWI but couldn’t up my training even to the most basic level required to start the 20-week program.  And so, shortly after making the official decision to be IM-less in 2010, I stopped doing much of anything.

That’s not to say I was a complete couch potato.  I did actually do some racing … but I’d term it more “Social Racing”.  I did a sprint triathlon in June with the girls and had a blast.  Did the Horribly Hilly Hundred bike ride that I was utterly unprepared for (apparently, a half dozen bike rides, the longest of which was 25 very flat miles doesn’t actually do much to train you for 70 miles of HILLS) and while it was a sufferfest, I enjoyed the challenge of it (though, my riding partner was probably ready to ditch me for all the whining I did!).

Along with that, there was a duathlon, a half marathon and a few 5k’s here and there, just to keep things interesting. And I wasn’t trained in the least for any of these things.  But that wasn’t the point — I was out there to have fun, and that’s exactly what I accomplished.  Go, me!

Now

And in the here and now, I’ve discovered the secret to making myself a fun, motivated, productive member of society (it’s easy:  get enough sleep!) and along with that my mojo ambled back into the picture.  All of a sudden, I WANTED to run.  WANTED to train and get faster and even hurt a little along the way.  Big change.

Along with that came the ability to put down and step back from the cookies and ice cream and clean up my diet (which, will be a post in the future, undoubtedly).  And this might seem a little unbelievable, but I swear it’s true: dropping a few pounds can make running a little less painful and aggravating!  Yes indeedy, lessons are certainly being learned in these parts.

So, basically, I’m eating right, training hard and actually – honestly – remarkably – enjoying the experience and effort.

Ahead

Since I’m training, there must be something out there that I’m training for, right?  I mean, really, anyone who knows me understands that I rarely take up this kind of thing without some sort of goal in mind.

And this case isn’t any different:  I’ll be heading to Vegas in December to race the Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon!  When I first signed up for it, it was strictly an excuse to head out for a weekend of gambling, drinking and other debauchery.  Sure, there was 13.1 miles of running in there, but I had already proven that I could do that while still drunk, so I was covered in that respect.

Then, when things took a turn for the healthy, I started having thoughts:  what if I trained a little?  Perhaps did some speedwork?  Log a decent amount of miles?  At some point, I turned the corner from “YAY! Drinking and gambling!” to “YAY! Drinking, gambling AND racing the half marathon with a definite time goal in mind!”  It’s a sickness, I tell ya.  I can’t help it.

I’ve picked out an aggressive half marathon training program that will have me out on the streets 5-6 days a week.  One thing I’ve discovered:  I used to think that running caused injuries and so I would try to smash more miles into fewer days to give myself more recovery time.  This time around?  I’m running the same kind of mileage, but spread over more days. And you know what?  My body seems to like this better.  Amazing.  And whether it’s partly the new diet (and weight loss) or the muscle gains (from my continued strength training) or the long-ass recovery time I’ve had since, say, 2009, who knows.  What I do know?  Not only am I running with less pain, but I’m enjoying it more as well. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, why don’t ya.

So, aside from working on my blackjack skills, I’ll be spending the next few months running my little tail off.  And I’m waiting until that race is in the books before I make any decisions about next year, but I’ll clue you in on what I’m thinking:  2011 just might be The Year Of The Marathon!  Of course, this is all dependent on how this whole half marathon thing goes, but next year just might be the year that I make friends with 26.2 miles.

If nothing else, it should be an interesting journey…

The Secret

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Published on: September 15, 2010

Shhhh… I’ve got a secret:  I know the answer to all of life’s problems.

Wanna know what it is?

Okay, here goes:  get enough sleep.

Yup.  That’s it.  Get enough sleep.  And not just on the weekends, or a good night of it here and there, but consistently, almost every night, get enough sleep.

I bet you expected something funnier, eh?

You might be one of the Sleep Blessed:  one of those chosen few who feel really good after just 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night.  That’s all you need to get your batteries recharged, recover from the previous day of stress or workouts and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to hop out of bed and face the day.

Me?  I’m not so blessed.  I’ve mentioned it before – it takes 8-10 hours of sleep a night to transform me into someone you’d want to be around.  I can get by on 7 a night for a while, but it wears on me and makes me a touch cranky.  And 6 hours a night (which is about what I had been averaging)?  Really – take my word for it – don’t come near me.  Especially if you’re one of those perky-with-5-hours-a-night type people.  I just might accidentally run over you with my car.  Twice.

For so long — years, really — I’ve been chronically sleep-deprived.  It’s one of those things that I joked about but knew on some level that it was reality.  But I never fully realized how profoundly this impacted me every single day.  When I talked about always being tired, that was the god’s honest truth:  I could sleep anywhere.  Given an opportunity to nap?  Minutes and I was out cold.  And a nap wasn’t usually 20 minutes — it was 1-2 hours.

Fitting training into this equation has always been difficult for me — an epic struggle between hitting the street and hitting the couch.  And?  The couch usually won that battle, at least more often than not.

And then about 6 weeks ago after having weeks of sleep-related issues, I started going to bed at 8pm.  Yes – the sun was still shining and I was trying to fall asleep – but the result?  I now get a luxurious 8 hours of sleep a night during the week.  And then on the weekends?  In bed early (sometimes as early as 8-9pm) and up early, but with no alarm and usually I’ll manage 9-10 hours of deep, refreshing sleep.  Now that’s livin’ right!

You know what happened?  After about a week of getting enough zzz’s, I turned into a sleep evangelist (or for the more secular, a late-night Sleep Is Awesome!! infomercial in my best Billy Mays voice) — I felt so incredibly good and couldn’t stop talking about how such a basic thing as sleep could make everything all rainbows and sunshine and butterflies (perhaps I went a touch overboard…).  I couldn’t wait to tell everyone that I knew how damn easy it was to feel like you could conquer anything that life had to throw at you (fine print:  I have no kids or husband or social life to get in the way of getting enough sleep, so “easy” might be somewhat subjective, and, of course, your mileage may vary).

Truthfully, I haven’t felt this over-the-top awesome in years.  YEARS.  Literally.  It’s not like my problems have gone anywhere, but my ability to deal with them?  So much better than before. Now that I spend my days more awake (without the aid of huge caffeine boosts), my thinking is clearer, I have more energy, and I’m ready to grab life by the tail and shake it around a little, just for grins.

It amazes me that it took me so damn long to put this together.  I mean, sure, I’m no rocket scientist, but you’d think that falling asleep during, well, everything, would have been a clue. Or perhaps the fact that I could ingest barrels of caffeine and not have it even make a dent in my nonstop yawning.  Perhaps I was too tired to make the connection.

I know, I know – I sound a little insane, don’t I?  Again – I just can’t seem to find the words to convey how good things are now.  I feel like I’ve spent the past 4+ years walking around in a fog, rarely feeling anything more than just okay, instead of regularly feeling good.  My friends and family have noticed my improved mood and positive attitude.  My boss even noticed that I didn’t look nearly as worn out as I usually do (he’s one of the good guys, but occasionally manages to put his foot in his mouth).

And while going to bed before the good TV shows even start might make me a bit of a loser, now that I know this secret, I don’t think I can go back.  I’m hooked on feeling awake and alive and energetic and – basically – awesome all the time.   Who needs a social life, right?

No MOO for me

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Published on: September 12, 2010

As I write this, there are some athletes who have already crossed the finish line, the speedy ones who have put 140.6 miles behind them and have officially earned the title of “Ironman”. More athletes are still out on the course — on the run course, by this time of night — gutting it out for the 15 or 16 hour finish, or maybe just wanting nothing more than to get in under the 17 hour time limit.

I was supposed to be one of those people out there today.  Well, at least I paid my money to be one of those people out there.  And, instead, here I am, writing a blog post (and yes – and a long overdue blog post, at that).

Obviously, Ironman Wisconsin (affectionately known as IMMoo) didn’t make my race schedule. I really wanted to give it a go, wanted to be able to hear those words:  “Laura, you are an IRONMAN!”, but it all came down to me not being able to commit to the overwhelming amount of training.

Way back in March or so, my IM dreams started out on a rocky note:  I spent a few weeks trying to put in the 8 hours of training that was the starting point of the most basic IM training plan out there.  And you know what?  I wasn’t even able to do that.  I made excuses — some legitimate, some not so much legitimate — and I skipped sessions and failed to have the desire to rearrange my life to accommodate swimming, biking and running.

My main issue?  Even before all the hours of training a week, I was always tired.  By the time I stepped back in the house after work (and that was 12 hours, usually, because of my commute), what I wanted most was to nap.

And my mood and attitude closely follows the amount of sleep I get.  I’m an 8-hours a night kind of girl, and during the week I was lucky to be averaging 6 hours.  And funny how being chronically sleep-deprived impacts everything from the ability to make decisions to having the motivation to go out and sweat and follow a training plan.

The other deciding factor was the realization that I’m much more social than I ever imagined. Whodda thunk it?  And the idea of all that solo training?  Honestly, it depressed the hell out of me.  I knew that I’d have company on some of the longer training bike rides if I wanted, but other than that, I was pretty much on my own.  And how much fun would THAT be?  When instead I could be strength training at the gym with my trainer?  Or out playing softball?  Or tennis?  Or any of the other things that would fall by the wayside if I were training for an IM?

So, I gave up the dream.  Which sounds overly dramatic to me, since in reality it wasn’t a big thing but more of an acknowledgment that this wasn’t something I wanted badly enough or could handle at that point in my life.

And truthfully?  As I’ve followed my friends online throughout the day, I’m not at all regretful about not being out there with them.  I know in my heart that if I had really tried to push my way through the training, the likelihood for injury or breakdown would have been extremely high.  I’m very much at peace knowing that it’s better the way it worked out.

An IM race might be in my future — I haven’t given up the idea completely — but it’s on the back burner for the time being.  It seems like every triathlete I know is doing IMWI 2011, and I find myself getting a little caught up in the madness, but know that next year probably isn’t my year either.

So, the upside?  Instead of being somewhere in the middle of the marathon, wondering why the hell I had signed up for this insanity, I’m at home, watching Hoarders (which always makes me feel better about the little bit of mess in my house!) and virtually cheering on all my friends while sipping a lovely glass of red Zinfindel.  That doesn’t seem like so bad a trade-off, now, does it?

I’ll get there someday, of that I’m pretty sure.  It just might end up being a 70th birthday present to myself!

How sweet it isn’t!

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Published on: April 4, 2009

As many of you realized a long time ago, I think I’ve gone a bit mad.  Off the deep end.  Not all the lights are on.  And all that.  This time, though – there’s proof:  I’m giving up sugar.

Yup – I’m sweet enough as it is, so no need to sweeten me up even more, right?

I’ve been on a mission since December to lose weight and lean up, and the past few months have had me at a relative stand-still.  I’m seeing gains in strength (mostly due to my awesome personal trainer), and inches are (very) slowly going away, but overall progress just isn’t what I want it to be.

So, I thought:  let’s shake it up.  Do something drastic to get my body’s attention.  And so the No Sugar Adventure was born.  I first mentioned it as a possibility on my virtual triathlon home and it was met with a mixed response — there were a lot of very supportive responses (and more people than I thought who came out and said that they had done it and had great results) and a few responses like I would have made (“WHAT?! That’s just CRAZY talk!!”).  But overall, the feeling was generally positive – most thought that it would be just the kick in the pants that my diet would need.

So, I somehow managed to drag a triathlon friend into the mix so I’d have someone to whine to, and starting Monday we’re both going sugar free.  In some ways I’m going to be pretty strict about the parameters of this little challenge… of course, none of the obvious sweet stuff.  Also, no artificial sweeteners (good-bye, my lovely Diet Pepsi… it is you I’ll miss the most…).  Any food that has any form of sugar as one of the top 3 ingredients is also out.  I may also toss a no alcohol edict into it as well, though I haven’t completely decided about that yet (and also – this would not be all that difficult for me).  I also don’t think I’m going to allow myself a “cheat day” once a week.  I find I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person… moderation doesn’t suit me especially well.

What I will allow:  all sorts of fruit – not giving up this!  And this is in no way a no/low carb diet — with the training I do, I think it’s counter-productive to eliminate carbs from my meal plan.  Also, I will allow sugar in the form of gels/blocks/energy drinks but only in conjunction with training (and no, that rigorous walk from my desk to the bathroom cannot be termed “a workout”).

I’ve been thinking ahead to what the biggest challenge is going to be — as I reviewed my diet, I found that on a routine basis, I didn’t have a whole lot of sugary foods (aside, perhaps, from my diet pepsi addiction). Still – there are things that will be difficult.  I supplement my diet with all sorts of bars — fiber bars, protein bars, meal replacement bars… you get the idea.  Mostly it’s a relationship of convenience.  When I need a mid-morning snack, it’s just so easy to pick a bar from my stash at work and gobble it up.  Now I’ll need to do more planning since a lot of those convenience foods will be off-limits.

Another possible challenge isn’t necessarily mine, but rather the people around me who will have to deal with me, god help them!  Not only will they have to hear me constantly saying, “no, thank you – but I gave up sugar and can’t have any of your kindly-offered evil” but will also have to deal with my moods as I break the sugar addiction.  If we all make it through this unscathed, I’ll consider just that a miracle.

A lot of people have asked me why I’m doing this (though, usually, it’s more of a, “Why in the name of all that is sweet and good would you want to do this??!?”) and I’ve got three main, over-riding goals:  the first is to make such a drastic switch in my nutrition that my body has no choice but to let go of some of the weight it’s so desperately hanging on to.  The second is to consume more whole foods and much less processed crap.  And the third is to see if people who have gone before me are right — that once you give up the sugar, the cravings for it all but go away.  We shall see – I’ll remain a skeptic on that until I experience it for myself.

As I mentioned, I’m not starting this until Monday.  So, what does one do while biding their time before giving up all sugar?  Take every advantage of a sugar-filled life, of course!  My well-thought out plan is to eat SO MUCH crap and junk food over the next two days that I hit Monday morning with the biggest sugar hangover ever.  EVER.  That way, I’ll spend my first day of this plan totally not even wanting any sugar.  I mean, how brilliant is that strategy?

But seriously, in a very weird way, I’m looking forward to this change of lifestyle.  I’m ready for something new, ready to take on something that’ll be a little more difficult.  And I’m telling everyone that I come across about what I’m doing, so that there’s a better chance I’ll be held accountable!  I’m less likely to be surreptiously plugging coins into the vending machine if I know that one of my co-workers might catch me and turn me in to the No Sugar Police (they exist, don’t they?).

I understand that I’ll only get as much out of this as I put into it.  If I cheat, the only person I’m hurting is myself.  Sneaking candy – whether anyone knows or not – does not earn gold stars.  And the plan is to report in here a couple times a week with at least a short note to let you know how I’m faring – what’s easy, what’s not so easy, and who I want to kill so I can get through them to the homemade cookies that someone brought in to the office.  So – ya’ll have something to look forward to now, right?

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Welcome , today is Friday, December 15, 2017