Just Like That

So one thing I neglected to mention was after the run that possibly put me into crazy territory, I started to experience some soreness behind my knee. It was weird because I’m very good about listening to my body, and it didn’t hurt AT ALL during the run itself. But right when I stopped, it felt kind of tight and strange, so I stretched it out and then walked around a bit.

As Sunday went on, the pain got worse and worse. I took a little Advil and told myself to just go to sleep, nothing was wrong, I’d wake up in the morning and everything would be fine.

Not so.

After going to bed, I woke up a few times in the night if I moved a certain way with a sharp pain on the back of my knee. I woke up on Monday and it was REALLY sore. I could still walk, but it was really stiff and sore and there was no way I could run. When I was at my desk at work, I kept trying to convince myself it was fine because while sitting I could barely feel a thing, but as soon as I stood up, I would practically hunch over in pain. I called the sports medicine doctor to make an appointment, and it turned out they could see me the next day, which was two weeks ago today.

When I woke up on Tuesday, the pain was a LOT better than it had been the day before when I called the doc. If it was an 8 on Monday on a scale of 1 – 10, it was more like a 3 on Tuesday. I still decided to go to the doctor to see what he had to say and make sure I hadn’t done anything major, though the amount of relief I felt made me know nothing serious was wrong.

After seeing and talking to the doc, and having him poke around for some diagnostic testing, he told me I had strained my hamstring. He said it’s not a major injury, but more of nagging one and that I would need physical therapy. I let him know that I am training for a half marathon (which is just two weeks from Sunday – argh) and he said to just play it by ear and see how my body responds to the PT.

I was told I could run a few 3-4 mile runs that week but to stop if it hurt at all, and I was able to knock out a 3.5 miler the next day and feel good. I felt back in the game.

When I was in San Francisco, I ran only once and did 5 miles on the treadmill, which I thought would be more forgiving than running outside, and though I was told to only do 3-4, I was supposed to do 10 so I felt like I was being agreeable. Well, turns out, 5 was too much. The next day I was in a lot of pain again, and once I got back from San Francisco, I had my first few PT appointments.

I’d never been to PT before, and the first appointment was basically just a diagnostic one where I spoke to the doctor, she asked a ton of questions, testing the strength of many different muscles, and came up with a plan of action. She gave me some stretches to do twice a day, and then I went back the next day and she gave me some exercises to do (single leg presses, balancing on one leg, foam rolling, and then two things using a band).

My prescription for PT is to go twice a week for the next 3 weeks, and to play the half by ear. I’ve been able to run up to 4 miles without pain, but haven’t done a longer run since the 9 miler that caused this, and the pain flares up a lot if I run more than 2 days in a row, even shorter ones. So annoying.

At first, I was realllllllllllly pissed. I started running almost 60 pounds ago and have never had an injury of any sort. I’ve trained for several half marathons half-assed where I haven’t done any cross training, stretching, or strengthening, and this time, I had been doing everything right. I honestly was feeling on top of the world with training, and so good about where I was with running and fitness in general! But now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had time to process it, you know what I realized?

It’s not the end of the world.

Sure, it sucks. I was 3/4 of the way into training, and I may not be able to run the half. Even if I can run it, I won’t be as prepared as I was going to be and likely won’t “kill it” because I’ve had to step down my training so much. That said, it’s much, much, much more important that I listen to my body right now and take it as easy as I need to. Being injured is frustrating, and sometimes I look at people running and am a little envious, but I’ll get back there. I just need to focus on PT, listening to the doctor, and getting healed.

Moderation with Treats–Is It Possible?

Moderation is and always has been one of the things I struggle with the most in many areas of my life. Part of this as it pertains to healthy living is because of my inclination to classify foods as good or bad. In this month’s Attune Foods post, I make an argument that goes against popular opinion – that food really is good or bad – and how much I still struggle with having treats in my diet without going overboard.


Click over to read about when I started struggling with this mentality and where I am now with it.

I’d love it if you could weigh in over there on where YOU are with moderation in your diet and any tips or tricks you have.

Wednesday Weight Check #9

Another Wednesday, another weigh in vlog.

I had a small loss on the scale this week and was honestly pretty upset that it wasn’t more when I weighed in, but after reflecting on it, I am OK with it. I know that weight loss is especially slow going when I’m this close to my goal, so I’ll take it.

I did a really good job of getting in my healthy fats this week, mostly in the form of avocado and olive oil,. While it obviously didn’t make the scale move much more, I did feel more satisifed, and absolutely love avocado, so I think I’m going to keep it up.

I leave for California a week from today which I know is going to be really challenging as it comes to weight loss, so my goal for this week is just to stay on track and keep the scale moving in the right direction before my trip.

Are you good about getting healthy fats into your diet? What are your staples for getting in it?

Weekend Kitchen Experiment

This weekend, my big kitchen experiment was with my new crockpot. Into it I threw:

    • 1 diced large onion
    • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 4 ounce can diced green chilis
    • 1 cup chunky salsa

I let it cook on low for 5 hours while I tried to find ways to entertain myself and ignore the delicious smell taking over my apartment. After that time, I took the chicken out, shredded it with two forks, and then put it back in the crockpot on high with the cover off for 1 hour to reduce the cooking liquid. [Half of] the finished product:


And it is/was DELICIOUS. Moist, flavorful, and a little spicy from the salsa and chilis. Yum!

The entire recipe yielded 10 servings, so I froze half (what is pictured above) and kept half for use this week. It worked out to be 2/3 cup of the shredded chicken mixture per serving, for 4 PointsPlus a pop.

So that is kind of the theme for this week’s menu plan because I tend to only cook 1 or 2 nights during the week, and then use big batches of things I make over the weekends to carry me through the rest.

Here’s what my week is shaping up to look like:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Pumpkin Oatmeal w/cottage cheese + pumpkin pie spice Mexican Chicken Salad w/black beans, corn + cilantro Lentil + Feta Salad Soft boiled eggs w/English muffin, turkey bacon + fruit
Tuesday English muffin w/PB + banana Chicken soft tacos w/corn tortillas + side salad Greek yogurt w/honey crisp apple Black bean and corn quesadilla with cilantro
Wednesday Pumpkin Oatmeal w/cottage cheese + pumpkin pie spice Mexican Chicken Salad w/black beans, corn + cilantro Lentil + Feta Salad Out with friends – Sushi
Thursday Greek yogurt w/ cereal + banana Chicken soft tacos w/corn tortillas + side salad Lentil + Feta Salad Grilled tofu w/sweet potatoes + veggies
Friday Pumpkin Oatmeal w/cottage cheese + pumpkin pie spice Grilled tofu w/sweet potatoes + veggies over greens Greek yogurt w/frozen berries Out for Mexican!


And here’s what my week is looking like exercise-wise:

    • Sunday: Ripped in 30 Week 1 + 2 – first time trying this and I loved it! Similar to The Shred but no strength training move is more than 30 seconds and it’s all different moves. Refreshing!
    • Monday: 4 mile run
    • Tuesday: Running Intervals + Weights
    • Wednesday: Rest
    • Thursday: Cross train w/strength training
    • Friday: Rest
    • Saturday: 8 mile run

I’ll do a full update on half marathon training soon since I’m now 1/3 through it, but that’s the plan for this week!

How many nights a week do you cook?

Lots of Firsts

I know the first day of fall isn’t officially until Saturday, but this week has brought a lot of firsts that sure make it feel like fall is already here!

This morning was the first time I saw a temperature starting with a “5” when I went out for my run… plus when I got back home after!

photo 1

Today marks the first time I’m using my new crockpot:

photo 4 (4)

To make maple syrup and dijon and mustard slow cooked pulled pork!!

photo 3 (2)

I can’t wait until I’m home to eat it for dinner tonight!

Last night was the first night I didn’t turn on my air conditioner since pre-summer. I also didn’t turn it on this morning, while getting ready!

This morning is the first time I’ve had canned pumpkin this season:

photo 2 (1)

It’s also the first time I’m having oatmeal in I can’t even tell you how long!

And, perhaps most excitingly, today is the first day I’ve been able to comfortably wear my size 10 black dress pants (again) for work without them looking inappropriate!

photo 5 (4)


Have you had any good firsts this week?

Wednesday Weight Check #6

Another Wednesday Weight Check video with results from yesterday’s weigh in!

Weight Watchers Weigh In #6

Check out to clip to hear what I really struggled with this past week, as well as a summary of what I’ve been doing for activity. As promised in the video, here’s a link to the spreadsheet where I track my activity.

Goals for this week:

    • Plan my splurges better.
    • Track everything that I eat.
    • Keep up with half marathon training.
    • Sleep at least 7 hours per night.
    • Go grocery shopping Thursday or Friday so my fridge is stocked for the weekend!

Also, for your reading pleasure, I came across this article yesterday through the Wall Street Journal about food cravings and found it really interesting, so I wanted to share!

What sorts of foods do you find yourself craving? How do you handle your splurges throughout the week?

Wednesday Weight Check #5

Another Wednesday Weight Check video with results from yesterday’s weigh in!

9-11 Weigh In Results

Watch the clip to hear the results and also hear what I’m doing better this time around with losing weight.

Goals for this week:

    • Focus on staying on plan this week so I have extra Points to work with since I’m going out of town Saturday night.
    • Keep up with half marathon training, with a long run of 6 miles this weekend.
    • Focus on eating less processed foods and getting in all my Good Health Guidelines.
    • Be mindful of what I’m putting into my body.
    • Get a lot of sleep – I do so much better when I do!

What is your #1 focus for this week?

Wednesday Weight Check

It’s frustrating when you feel like you’ve done everything right and the scale doesn’t move. I know I need to focus on the things that I CAN control, like how many times I work out, how much I eat, etc. etc. but man is it annoying when you can’t make the scale do what you want it to! I know it’s a journey (hello blog title) but its tough when you don’t see the results you want and deserve. Ugh!

I know all that said, I do have a lot to be proud of from this past week, including:

    • Working out 6 (!!!!) times
    • Getting back into the kitchen
    • Feeling in control with food all week
    • Getting up before work 2x this week to run
    • Making good choices throughout the week

Here’s to a better week scale-wise next week.

Oh! And let me leave you with this sweaty (blurry) picture from this morning:

photo (4)

This is after clocking in 3.0 miles outside at an 8:55 (!!!) pace. Take that, scale!

In Her Words: Monica’s Story

I’ve moved around a lot because of my work and ended up in 4 different states in a 9-year period.

Every time I moved, I gained 30 pounds. As you can imagine, this this really added up over time.

Emotional eating to deal with the stress coupled with inactivity due to 60-hour work weeks really took their toll. I tried dieting and exercising many times but couldn’t seem to make the changes last longer than a few weeks. I would think about how much I had to lose (about 100 lbs.) and how long it would take and get discouraged pretty quickly. It took so long to see any results on the scale, I usually gave up before my efforts could be effective. Who wants to be on a miserable diet if it doesn’t even work? Might as well forget about it, or, my favorite, “start on Monday.”

The catalyst for my lifestyle change was a lot of failure and a lot of planning. Also, a particularly unflattering photo pushed me over the edge into the “I’ve got to do something—anything—about this” mindset.


I thought about making a change for months before I actually did. I read the healthy living blogs and focused on a few ideas that people who were successful with weight loss identified as important to them. For one, the stress I felt thinking about how long it would take to lose weight was overwhelming until I read a blog where someone wrote “the time is going to pass anyway…might as well do some positive things for yourself along the way.” This really hit home with me, since I could easily imagine being obese three years down the line just because it would take too long to lose weight. So I decided that, since the time is going to pass anyway, I might as well make some changes that at least open the door to the possibility of a healthy future.

I started by tracking my food intake without making any changes to my diet.  After I got the tracking down, I started making small changes that I built upon over time. I use fitday.com and have tracked every bite of food I’ve had for the past 2 years. Other than a few days off for vacation and Christmas each year, it all gets tracked, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I try to eat healthfully, but there’s no food I’m not allowed to have. My goal for calories is to take in fewer than I expend, and that’s about it!  Sometimes that’s 1,000 less, sometimes it’s 500 less, sometimes it’s 10 less.  If the balance is in my favor, I call it a win.  I have found that counting my calories and tracking is the most important factor in my weight loss.  I think tracking the bad days is even more important than tracking the good days.  I truly believe that knowing exactly how many calories I take in on a bad off-track day has helped me keep some semblance of control.   There’s something powerful about just being aware.

The second most important thing I did was to start running.  I did the couch-to-5k program and learned to run, albeit very slowly.  I now run for an hour 3 times a week (still slowly), and try to work in some group fitness classes and weight lifting here and there. I built up to it gradually, but always pushed myself as far as I could.  It was fun to watch my fitness improve quickly–much faster than the weight came off–and was a good way to see progress and feel better.

Now, at 80 lbs. lighter, I have so much more energy and I feel so much better physically and mentally that I go out of my way to find ways to move more in my regular life. When you’re so overweight it really is uncomfortable to be active, and embarrassing when you are huffing and puffing next to your thin walking partner. But after getting in shape (which, like I said, occurs MUCH faster than weight loss!) it really truly becomes fun to challenge yourself physically and move more, and those calories add up.

The third most important thing involved working with my thoughts around eating and exercising. I stopped thinking about weight loss, and started thinking about being healthy.  When you have so much to lose, the whole process seems overwhelming. I had been trying to lose the weight for a long time, and I would go on a diet for a few weeks, see no change in my weight, and give up.  The scale seems to register what I did weeks ago, and this can be really frustrating if you’re looking to the scale for motivation.  Instead, I found some good mantras to focus on (No unhealthy decision I make in the future can take away the healthy choices I made today) and focused instead on how much better my body feels when I feed it healthy food and give it some exercise and enough sleep.  And after a while, the weight finally did come off.

Photo on 2012-08-24 at 16.22 #4

I’m nervous about reaching my goal weight, because I do think maintenance will be more difficult than weight loss for me.  I have lost and re-gained weight before, and I know the odd aren’t in my favor.  But I’m very hopeful about keeping this healthy lifestyle going.  It’s still one day at a time, and will be something I have to work on for the rest of my life.  I sometimes get a bit too anxious about missing a workout or eating something “bad” and I can be too obsessive, but if I’m worried that I’ll fall back into my old ways if I relax at all. Another thing I’m working on is body acceptance and being grateful for all my body does for me, regardless of weight. But I’ll never stop enjoying good food.

Thanks so much for listening, and for sharing your healthy living adventures online. I have learned a lot from many of you. Never in my life did I imagine that I would have a weight loss success story of my own. It’s unreal!

Best Wishes to All!

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