Tag Archives: nutrition

The Comeback Kid

26 Jan

Dear readers,

After an extremely long hiatus of nearly 8 months, the Skinny Pink Ninja has returned. It’s been a super rough time on my end, and I have to admit I just shut down for a while. The love of my life is James Bond. No really, he is. He has a secret government job that sends him away on long assignments with very little to no contact with me. 

I’ve always considered myself fiercely strong and able to overcome just about anything, but my guy is my Kryptonite, my Achilles heel. Living without him and only getting a 3 line email every 2 months was agony. I tried to keep going, but I was definitely in a depressed funk. My fitness level dropped tremendously during that time and I was just focusing on getting out of bed and trying to live my life. I also got mono during that time and was sick for about 2.5 months. Then there was family drama with my dad having emergency back surgery and some other health issues. 

So between all of that, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I gained almost 10 pounds and was barely keeping my toes in the water at the gym. I still ran and worked out, but it was only about 2 days a week instead of my former 4 – 5. I didn’t really care about keeping track of my food intake or anything, because that was my comfort during a hard time. I was mad at myself for giving into the sadness, but I just couldn’t help it. Worrying about someone you love, who is halfway around the world and in extreme danger is a full time job. 

He was supposed to be home permanently this month, but sadly the government took him from him again for another 2 – 3 months. Luckily he came back for a visit last week and we had a great talk that helped alleviate some of my fears and neuroses. The bad news is he’s got to do this another few months and then he has to move to Washington, DC. The good news is his contract is up in December and he is quitting. He is done and tired of being James Bond. He plans to move to Colorado after his contract is up so we can attempt a normal life. So in the meantime, once he’s back from other continents, we have to travel back and forth to see each other, but after all we’ve been through that seems so easy. 

I felt better after our talk and have decided to pick myself back up again. I can’t let the PInk Ninja get down. I’ve gone back to writing down my food and making smarter choices about what I eat. I started a new workout regiment this week with a new trainer and actually got 3 solid days in. I’m going to start distance running again tomorrow. I’m signing up for the Denver Colfax Half Marathon in May. 

I did manage to complete my third half marathon two weeks ago. When my guy left in May, I signed up for the Disney World Full Marathon. Unfortunately, thanks to mono taking me out for about 3 months, I had to downgrade my registration to a half marathon. I had a lot of trouble training due to the fatigue that held on from mono and my overall depression. Nevertheless, I finished the race. The conditions were fierce—85 degrees and 75% humidity. It was brutal and I barely finished in a tragic 3:40:43. But, in all honesty, I was most proud of finishing this race than my other halves. It took everything I had to overcome the heat, the mono, the sadness, the stress in my life and pull out that finish. 

Completing the race helped me a lot. I feel like my fighting self again. I know I’ll get the 10 pounds off and I know I can finish my next half marathon. Not only is my goal to finish, but I want to PR and finish under 2:57:03, which is my best finishing time. I’m still scared to death about my love’s safety and it’s going to be a long 2 – 3 months waiting for him. But we’ve overcome the worst and have made it through. Now it’s up to me to pick myself back up again and return to my former self. 

It’s a long road to the next finish line, but I have done much harder before, I know I can do this. 

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Going, Going…Gone

12 Mar

Following the marathon in October, I gained 3 pounds. It really didn’t start until November as a result of the holidays but mostly due to the fact I was working 70 hours a week. I wasn’t eating right and I definitely wasn’t getting my exercise in. I felt awful, but there was nothing I could do. I was so exhausted and so busy, I was just trying to keep sane. In January, things finally calmed down at my office and with my freelance work so I was able to get back into a routine.

The routine had its ups and downs. I was definitely going out to eat more to socialize with friends who I hadn’t seen during my busy time. So the 3 pounds wasn’t budging. Three pounds doesn’t sound like much, but if you let 3 slide, then it becomes 5 and then it becomes 10 and down rabbit hole you go. I was fretting about the 3 pounds, but I knew it’d come off eventually.

One of the hardest thing was getting a regular workout schedule going again at work. With a new promotion came new responsibilities and less time. However, my workouts are important not only for weight maintenance, but they help me greatly with stress. So I started marking them on my email calendar as a meeting so people wouldn’t schedule things at the office during this time. It really worked! I was able to leave and get my workout in. The interesting thing is that my work still got done. So it was okay to take some time for myself.

I cut back drastically on eating out. For one thing, I was tired of it. It doesn’t taste as good as homemade food and it was no longer a special treat I enjoyed. I made sure I allotted time to cook my meals and take my lunch. I got back to recording my calorie intake regularly as I had sometimes let it lapse.

Today, the 3 pounds is officially gone. It’s not much, but I can tell the difference in my clothes. I feel better too. Mostly I just feel good that I caught it before it turned into a serious number. That’s the key. If you put on a few pounds from the holidays or a vacation, it’s okay. It happens. Just make sure to get on top of it before it gets out of control. Put workout appointments on your phone or email calendar to make sure you get them in. Take time to record your food. These are all simple steps to success.

Healthy Recipe: Crispy Ranch Chicken

14 Feb

I love fried chicken. Seriously, one of the best foods ever. But, it’s definitely not the best thing for you and it’s a pain in the butt to make. I’ve always been skeptical of baked chicken recipes that promise fried chicken crunch. I’ve tried a few, and they always ended up mushy and definitely crunch-less.

However, I found a recipe on SparkRecipes.com yesterday that definitely has crunch! It uses Rice Krispies for the coating and you bake it on a cookie sheet. It’s an extremely simple recipe that is delicious, has a serious crunch factor and is only 245 calories a serving. I served it with a little bit of pasta and some corn for a tasty and easy dinner.

Spark Recipes: Crispy Ranch Chicken

Cooking Done Right Saves Lives

30 Jan

I just read an article this morning on ABC News about a new Food Network show coming out called “Fat Chef.” Part of me thinks its’ release is damage control over Paula Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, but whatever the reason, this sounds like a good program. An award winning pastry chef, Michael Magnano, started out the show over 500 pounds. It wasn’t even so much from his own sugary concoctions, but rather working late hours at the restaurant and eating fast food meals. On the show, he goes through a 16 week boot camp of sorts to learn how to cook healthy and start exercising.

Although I’m not a huge fan of reality TV, I think this show sends a great message. It doesn’t sound like it has the extremes of Biggest Loser, but encourages healthy weight loss through healthy methods such as changing recipes and portion control. Michael has lost 115 pounds and has run a 5K race. He has also gotten off his diabetes medication.

I think in this day and age of fad diets and pills/juices that promise to lose weight, it’s refreshing to see a show go back to the basics. Healthy cooking, portion control and exercise will not only let you lose weight, but you have a much higher chance of keeping it off. The average person can watch that on TV and think I can do that. The average person cannot watch Biggest Loser and think oh yes, I have 6 hours a day to devote to the gym.

If you’re wanting to lose weight, start slow with a food journal and healthy food substitutions. Gradually cut back your portions and try to get more physically active. It takes small steps to make big changes.

Ninja Niblets: January 19, 2012

19 Jan

A few quick niblets and tidbits to get you going this week.

Awesome Workout Songs To Add To Your Playlist

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) by Kelly Clarkson – I’m seriously obsessed with this one, it is so motivational and really gets me pumped!

International Love by Pitbull

Good Feeling by Flo Rida featuring Sia

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj

Mr. Know It All by Kelly Clarkson

Fitness Magazine: Calorie Cheat Sheet

Do you really know how many calories you’re eating? Or what you think is only 100 calories is probably much more than that. This quick cheat sheet from Fitness Magazine divides up some popular foods into categories of 100, 250 and 400 calories. You’d be surprised at how quickly things add up.

Shape Magazine: 8 Reasons to Lift Heavier Weights

Lifting weights is an essential part of working out and just as beneficial and sometimes more so than cardio work. Women especially veer away from weights thinking they’re going to bulk up and look like a guy. Not so. Our muscles can only get so big since we don’t have testosterone, so don’t worry about looking like the hulk. Instead, weightlifting will give more benefit to your cardio workout. If you have good, strong muscles, you will burn up to 100 calories more in the next 24 hours after a cardio workout. It also helps prevent injury and osteoporosis. Grab a dumbbell and get curling!

Fitsugar: Motivational Quotes

Feeling the blahs today? Don’t feel like getting your workout in? Try flipping through this photo gallery of motivational quotes. I bet by the end, you’ll be out the door running to your kickboxing class!

 

Paula Deen’s Not So Shocking News

17 Jan

It was finally revealed yesterday by Paula Deen that she has Type II Diabetes. The Southern chef who is most known for using multiple sticks of butter in every recipe has kept quiet about the disease despite persistent rumors for years. It’s not really surprising that she does have diabetes given her extremely high fat, high calorie recipes and that she’s overweight. However, I find it irresponsible that she’s hidden for so long and continues to cook in the same manner.

According to People Magazine, Paula said she doesn’t want diabetes to stop her from enjoying the foods she loves. While I fully understand that and believe one can be healthy following the “everything in moderation” rule, I’m not so sure it applies to her situation as much. To me, it sounded more like she was in denial. Granted, towards the end of the article, she did say she was going to lighten up a few of her favorite recipes, but overall I got the feeling she doesn’t plan to change much.

If she weren’t in the public eye, I suppose that’s her decision then. She knows the risks of continuing her high fat cooking lifestyle with diabetes and it’s her choice to live that way. But, I think as a celebrity, she has a responsibility to the public. By adopting such a laissez-faire attitude, I think it shows that she doesn’t think diabetes is all that serious. In reality, it is very serious and when it’s not in control with medication and lifestyle changes, it can cause extremely serious health problems as well as early death.

Obviously she can’t give up her favorite Southern favorites for the rest of her life. I fully get that, but she should give them up the majority of the time in order to stay healthy and encourage her fans with the same health issues. Splurge on holidays with decadent macaroni and cheese, but during the rest of the year, Paula should focus on making all of her recipes healthy. If she’s as good of a chef as she is perceived, it shouldn’t be hard for her to convert her recipes to healthier options.

The obesity rate in this country is skyrocketing and so are diabetes diagnoses. As a public figure, she can do so much to educate people about the disease and help those struggling with proper diet and nutrition cook healthy, but tasty meals. Right now, I’m really disappointed with the way it is being handled. I hope to see changes from her in the future that will not only benefit her own health, but the health of the public.

Here I Go Again…

16 Jan

I apologize for not posting the last several days, but I was on vacation. To celebrate my mom’s upcoming 60th birthday, we took a family trip to San Francisco, a city I had never previously visited. I really loved the city on the bay, it was gorgeous. What surprised me though was how many runners were around. I’m in good shape and live at high altitude, but the San Francisco hills were killing me just walking around. Yet, I probably saw about 100 runners throughout the weekend including around 60 on Saturday alone in groups.

Normally when I go on vacation, I take my workout stuff with me, but since this was a short trip and I was trying to conserve precious luggage space, I chose not to. One of the pluses and minuses to going on vacation is eating out a lot as well. I love to try new cuisines and restaurants, but now that I eat fairly healthy most of the time, it was draining. By Saturday morning, I was done eating food and wanted to run. I longed to join the runners I saw out on the Pier 39 boardwalk. I was so incredibly jealous that they were running, and I was walking to breakfast! Wow, just a few years ago, I would have had the thought “those people are crazy, thank goodness I get pancakes soon.”

We got back later yesterday, so this morning I woke up to go for a run. I told myself if I could do 10 miles then I was going to sign up for the Colorado Springs Super Half Marathon on February 5th. I haven’t run over 4 miles since the marathon in October with one six-mile exception two weeks after the race. I’ve been so busy and the holidays were crazy, I stuck to 3 – 4 mile runs on the weekend.

Well, it felt awesome to run today. I was so grateful to be out on a windy, but otherwise lovely day. I didn’t look at my Garmin or care what time I was clocking. I just wanted to run and run and run. The last 1.5 miles were a challenge. My body was a bit angry. First I put it through several miles of walking San Francisco’s hills, but then I took it out for 10 miles after a 3 month rest. But I manage to plod through and finish my 10 miles.

I’m sore and tired from being out of practice, but I feel great. I am definitely signing up for the race. I’m not looking to PR and most likely won’t, but I am looking forward to getting back into long distance racing. I love that high and that feeling once it’s done. It is truly glorious.

So just a few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to go out to a restaurant. Instead, I’m dying to run 13.1 miles. Half marathon in 3 weeks? Bring it!