March fitness update: 3/1-3/15

I keep track of all my workouts in fitocracy.  If you would like to join fitocracy and view my workouts there, here’s the link to my page.  If not, I’ve included them here.  My workouts for the first half of March:

3/1/2013 – Rest

3/2/2013 – Running

13.1 mi: 2:02:45 (Albany Half Marathon and a new PR!)

3/3/2013 – Hot yoga and Weightlifting

Hot yoga: 1:30

BB-BP: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 75 lbs 1sX4r
BB-DL: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 125 lbs 1sX5r
BB-OHP: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 55 lbs 1sX5r
BB-PR: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 60 lbs 1sX5r
BB-S: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 120 lbs 1sX2r, 115 lbs 1sX3r
DB-C: 20 lbs 1sX8r
DB-SB: 20 lbs 1sX15r
RT: 20 lbs 1sX15r

3/4/2013 – Rest

3/5/2013: Running
4 mi: 43:01

3/6/2013: Running

1.8 mi: 19:49 (New shoes, need to break them in!  Also, calves still tight from the half marathon)

3/7/2013: Rest

3/8/2013: Running

5.1 mi: 54:51

3/9/2013: Running (Spartan Sprint) and Burpees
4.6 mi(?): 1:48:14 (No asthma treatment prior to run)

Burpees: 4sX30r (couldn’t complete 4 obstacles)

3/10/2013: Rest (Calves tight from Spartan)

3/11/2013: Rest (Calves tight from Spartan)

3/12/2013: Running

5.1 mi: 57:51

3/13/2013: Rest (Calves tight from Spartan)

3/14/2013: Rest (Calves tight from Spartan)

3/15/2013: Running

6 mi: 1:09:27

Total achievements for the first half of March:

BB-BP: 80 lbs -> 75 lbs
BB-DL: 130 lbs -> 125 lbs
BB-OHP: 60 lbs -> 55 lbs
BB-S: 125 lbs -> 125 lbs

Running: 38.5 miles

Progress towards 2013 fitness goals:

BB-BP: 61.5% of BW
BB-DL: 102.5% of BW
BB-S: 102.5% of BW (Goal Achieved!)

Running: 18.5% of 1000 mi goal

Fun facts:

None for lifting, but I ran almost as fast as an opossum!

Not the cutest thing, but can run up to 7 mph!

Not the cutest thing, but can run up to 7 mph!


BB = Barbell
BP = Bench Press
C = Curl
DB = Dumbbell
DL = Deadlift
OHP = Overhead Press
PR = Pendlay Row
RT = Russian Twist
S = Squat
SB = Side Bend


Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Pictures, Weekly Update

March Week 2: No Sugar and thoughts on trigger foods

Week 2 and we are going to talk about trigger foods and eating food someone else has prepared. I mentioned last week that someone made a meal for me which included sugar (honey), when I had consciously decided to not eat sugar this month. I figure that this is a good situation to talk about.

A fair number of forums and message boards dedicated to healthy eating have threads discussing how to eat healthy (however that may be depending on the type of diet the person is on: low-calorie, low-carb, low-sodium, low-fat, high-protein, gluten-free, etc.) when you may have little or no control over what is being served. This may include eating at restaurants, where some options are available, or eating at someone’s home, where you may not be able to say something unless you have an allergy or extreme aversion to a particular food item.

As is the case, some people are able to put aside their personal dietary goals for a meal so as to not offend their host. Some people have certain triggers and cannot eat foods which may send them into a spiral of unhealthy habits again. I know that I have some foods that I have trouble stopping eating until they run out, chips and salsa and cheese and crackers we talked about in my last post. There are other foods which I have the same relationship with, and so avoid them if I can.

Many of the discussions in those threads mention having a smaller portion or “just a little bit” of what is served, after-all, the host put time and effort into preparing this meal. This isn’t an issue for the people who have the will power to eat a little bit of anything without “falling off the wagon.” However, if someone puts out cheese and crackers and wants me to have some, it takes conscious will not to mindlessly eat all of them. Because that is what I can do sometimes, mindlessly eat while talking to someone, while on the computer, or while watching television. Some people can have a bar of chocolate in their house and have a small piece every now. Others can’t have a bag of cookies otherwise they will eat them all in one sitting.

So, what is the “trigger foods” person to do when their host brings out a cake after dinner? No one wants to reject what is being offered, that is rude to some degree in most cultures. A non-main dish that you are not comfortable eating can be a bit easier. One option is to be honest; compliment their effort (“This looks lovely!”) then mention that while you would love to have some, you have to watch your calorie/sodium/fat/carb intake. You could even throw a family history in there if one exists, “I have to watch my carbs/sugar since diabetes runs in my family.” Being honest may open the discussion to critiques of eating habits, which is something some people are not comfortable with. Especially if the host is eating the macaroni and cheese with wild abandon and you are drinking water. Another option when pressured to eat something, which would might work best with a dessert, is to take some with you when you leave. You can then do with it what you please: give the brownie to your partner, give the slice of pie to a friend, or, if you can handle it and think they may ask later how you liked it, take the tiniest bite and immediately toss it in the trash. I generally dislike lying to people, which is why I say to take a bite.

A main dish can be much harder to get around. If pasta is your trigger and they come out of the kitchen with an eight layer lasagna, what can you do? No where does etiquette state that we can just ask the host to run back into the kitchen and make something else. To a degree, this depends on your relationship with your host and their personality. Are they sensitive (moms, grandmas, close friends) or is hosting a big deal to them (neighbors, coworkers, social friends)? Are they someone you don’t want to offend (bosses, social leaders, prominent community figures) or are they critical and you just don’t want to put up with their comments (frenemies, friends-of-friends, distant relatives)? If possible try to eat some part of what is offered: eat the lasagna filling but not the noodles. Also, fill your plate with a side and just a little of the “trigger food.” A good host should just ask if you were satiated, not interrogate why you didn’t eat something. If they ask, mention that the lasagna/hamburger/chili cheese dog was good just a bit heavy/you filled up on salad before.

If you are ok with lying, then the list of excuses to not eat food someone else prepared opens right up: food allergies/sensitivities, doctors’ orders, etc.  As I said, I don’t like out-right lies, and lying about food allergies/sensitivities can get you in trouble if you turn down red velvet cake with walnut cream cheese icing due to a “nut allergy” and then, a few weeks later, you eat a salad topped with pecans in front of them.

One other option, of which I am not a fan, is to avoid the situations where you might have only options where there is no food that you feel comfortable eating. I don’t like this option because you are cutting out social situations from your daily life, which is an important part of living! If there is a way to go to the event and not eat or be exposed to your specific trigger foods, then try to go. If your company is ordering pizza for a lunch meeting, you can bring leftovers to eat and claim that they will go bad unless you eat them. If you are like me and cook like you have to feed an army, it’s not even a lie! Some meals I can eat on twice a day for several days before all the food is gone. You can then park yourself as far away from the pizza as you can get and still be there and participate. Another option is to bring “the healthy item” to a potluck. In many social circles, there are usually only one or two healthy items at these events. Load up your plate with whatever you brought and some “non-trigger” dishes someone else brought and then get away from the table. Converse with people away from the tempting fried chicken, pasta salad, or whatever it is you want to stick your whole face in and inhale like a vacuum. Another option is to visit the feeding line last, if your trigger food is a popular item, it may be gone by the time you go to eat.

One thing to remember, it’s usually just one meal. If you indulge for one meal, or even if it turns into an all day binge, you can always pick yourself up and start again tomorrow. If someone is going to be making food for you on a regular basis, talk with them about foods you avoid. The best option is to make it more of a conversation, “these are the things I don’t eat, what are some of yours?” They may not understand why you want to avoid certain things, but hopefully they will respect your request.

Oh, so how did I do on week 2 of no sugar? Much better than last week, I got through the week without indulging in any sugar-added foods. I’ve also cut back a bit on the chips and salsa and cheese and crackers. Overall, doing pretty good!  Let’s celebrate with a picture of acrobats from a renaissance years ago!

Awesome face!

Awesome face!


Filed under Food, Pictures, Weekly Update

March Week 1: No Sugar

Ah, I was already in March a few days before I remembered to check to see what my challenge was for the month. As such, I had a couple lapses the first week. I did have a bit of sugar the night before and day of my half-marathon. Do you forgive me for having about 1/4 cup of chocolate pudding 12 hour before I ran 13.1 miles? How about the 8-ish ounces of orange juice the morning of? I also had a package of apple cinnamon oatmeal the day I remembered to check which challenge I was in for March. Then I had something lovingly prepared by someone else which had honey, which I couldn’t really turn down.

Other than those small mistakes, I have been very good. I haven’t really craved sugar since about November, so this month shouldn’t be too “challenging” to keep going. My new thing is to eat ALL THE CHIPS AND SALSA, and CHEESE AND CRACKERS. I’m going to try to cut those way back soon, as I can sit and polish off over half my days’ calories with those two snacks in under an hour. I’ve essentially replaced sweets with salty, which is not something I was intending. Maybe the second half of this month should be devoted to abstaining from those two snack combinations.

I like that idea! Look out March 15-31, we’re about to take up some better snack habits!

Yeah, I won't be having any of these...

Yeah, I won’t be having any of these…

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February Week 4 and Summary: Japanese Chainmail

I guess I just need to take a break from this particular hobby for a while.  I spent a lot of time looking stuff up and just not wanting to make anything I found.  I would rather not make something than to spend time on a piece that I won’t wear.  So as to not disappoint, here’s a picture of a cat asleep in a pot!

Sleepy kitty

Sleepy kitty

I like making things but I’m not one to have one of everything, maybe it’s time to start making things for others.  My aunt had me make some earrings for my cousin for Christmas, which was pretty fun.  So, who wants something made for them or someone else?

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February Week 3: European Chainmail

I’m having trouble with the last couple weeks.  I haven’t found anything I want to make!  I have a nice european 6-in-1 bracelet that I made a couple of years ago that I wear every now and then.  A couple of years ago I made a gridlock choker (twice!) that I gifted away.  Since then, I haven’t found a european weave piece that I am really inspired to make.  Oh well, here are some ghost crabs to look at.

Ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) fighting over a burrow

Ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) fighting over a burrow

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February Week 2: Helm Chainmail

This week I wanted to practice some helm weave. It is a weave that can have some interesting challenges due to aspect ratio restrictions, but I like it because it lays flat.  I chose to make some earrings!

Helm chain earrings

Helm chain earrings

I don’t have much in the way of green jewelry and so decided to incorporate some color into the earrings.  This is a fairly easy weave that only took about twenty minutes or so to make, probably done while watching some Netflix.  On to the next weave!

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February Week 1: Persian Chainmail

Wow, I am way behind on posting my February accomplishments (of which most were done in March, don’t tell anyone!).  Most often, I have the post written but haven’t taken the pictures off my camera yet.  I have made one persian weave piece before, and that was later hastily wrapped and given in a white elephant gift exchange. I’m pretty sure that the person who received it has never worn it. So it was about time to make another. Supposedly, the half-persian 3-in-1 is the easier of the persian family to weave. I’m not sure I believe this, but I started it anyway.

Trying to keep the weave stable

Trying to keep the weave stable

And then I set it down for a couple hours and couldn’t remember how to weave it again. It stayed at that length for about 3 weeks until I finally figured out that I had been weaving it upside-down (maybe?) the entire time. I finished it and it looks pretty good!

Half Persian 3-in-1 Necklace

Half Persian 3-in-1 Necklace

It doesn’t lay very flat, which I prefer in my jewelery, so I may try a full persian next time. I do like it though, so I’m not giving this one away!

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