Winding Down

Today my daughter asked me if I’m looking forward to going back to my old ways after the Whole 30 is over next Sunday.  I paused, reflected and realized the Whole 30 did its job: it redefined me as an eater.  I was out of control, both with bad choices and self control.  I was back to eating pretty much whatever I wanted.  When I saw that 242 on the scale after a month of yo-yo-ing I almost panicked.  If it was this easy to get from 190 to 242 in a little over a year, my trajectory had me right back at 300 by 2019.  There was this moment of defeat, which now I’m calling bottom.  It wasn’t nearly as desperate as last time but it was a very necessary intervention.  Whole 30 pulled me out of that pit and gave me the tools and means to get back on my self again.  What am I looking forward to?  

  • Eating a piece of pizza with my family.  Trying VEGAN pizza.
  • I’m interested in leaning vegan.  I found alternates that surprised and pleased me.
  • I’m excited that food is fuel, again.  Not entertainment.
  • Fake.  Meat.  I miss that.  A lot.  
  • A variety of protein sources.
  • I am looking forward to eating a piece of chocolate every once in a while.
  • Control.  I’m back in control and I love it.

I won’t miss:

  • Worrying about SWYPO.
  • Not being able to cook creatively.
  • Eggs and tofu.  Mostly eggs.  🤢 I’m so sick of eggs.

See, moving forward I don’t want to go back to my old ways.  I want to stick with these ways.  I’m finding it pretty accessible and I like the food.   I don’t cheat on this, at all.  ,I feel bright and alive.  I’m not tired and I’m losing weight.  It’s my ridiculously slow pace, but still.  I’m losing weight again.  And honestly?  The first time I lost weight it was all about health and saving my life.  This time I want to be cute again.  I fully agree that I’m cute now, but when the way I feel matches my perception of myself I will feel so cute.  Watch out.  

Year 3 of the Hot Chocolate 15k

I undertrained, underplanned and underprepared but by golly, today we ran the Hot Chocolate 15k!  I love this run.  We get to wind through the downtown Seattle area, past Pike then back toward Woodland park via the Aurora Bridge.  The past two years have been really HARD for me.  The weather hasn’t helped, either.  But this year?  This year the race went by really fast and before I knew it I was headed back into the city!  I think it has a little to do with confidence and experience.  This isn’t my first Hot Chocolate run, it’s not my first time on this course and it’s not even my longest distance.  Maybe I’m at the point where nine miles is fun?  Maybe???  As I ran today I had random noticings that I texted to myself, so I’m just going to share those, here:

  • There were two really older dudes running together.  Clearly their running relationship went way back as they chatted on and on, mile after mile, white hair blowing in the breeze.  I tried to catch up to them but they were too fast for me and all I could think was that when I’m in my 80’s and I’m working with a limp like that one guy had, I sure hope I have the tenacity to run nine miles with a good buddy.  It was beautiful.  Fitness and friendship goals all over the place…
  • Some people have fabulous costumes.  I tend to like the more subtle ones that make me feel like I’m being let in on an inside joke, so I loved one woman’s Stitch, of LILO and Stitch, costume.  It was just Stitch colored and had markings to look like him and it made me think I need to start getting creative….
  • Which brings me to my next topic: I need to make a rainbow tutu.  I have the rainbow hat, socks and schwings, I just need the tutu and I’ll be a vision.  Or something.
  • Wedgies.  Butts.  There they are in front of me as I’m running for two hours and they’re what’s moving around in front of me, bouncing, wiggling, jiggling, flexing so I often find myself unintentionally just butt watching.  In a race like today’s one becomes a booty anthropologist.  Everyone is wearing tight stuff, butts are out.  Big or small, flat, round, wide, long… But what makes me most studious are the people with the mega wedgie.  Like, their running pants or shorts are so high up in their crack that the cheeks are separated into two entirely singular entities.  You can see muscle tone and it gets pretty intimate, sometimes.  😂🤣🤣  I wonder how that feels.  Maybe it’s an excellent way to run, I don’t know….  Anyhow, it would drive me CRAZY to have a wedgie of that magnitude driving a wedge betwixt  my own situation and I want to ask!  Not to make a scene or embarrass them- I truly want to know.  To each their own, though!  To be clear, having a wedgie is fine, I just wonder at the effectiveness at reducing chaffing and just that wedgie feeling rubbing around in there for nine miles, you know?
  • My favorite moment of the day was when I was on my way back across the bridge and you get to see the people who are last.  The walkers, bringing up the rear with a sweeper car slowly stalking them.  No pressure, right?  There was this one lady, though, looked new to running, chubby, third from last, but she had a cheering squad!  I’m assuming here, but her husband, who was not in the race, he had signs, cowbells and three little boys who were parading around and next to her as she made her way across the bridge.  They must have seen her right at the start bridge and they started making a hullabaloo, letting everyone on that bridge know that she was loved and they believed in her.  YOU CAN DO IT!  GO MOMMY!  WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!  It was a gorgeous display of love and support and I couldn’t get enough of watching them.
  • Because this was my third year in a row, I get a medal for being a legacy runner.  Who knew?  They were out of them, though and are mailing it to me.  Lol

Keeping On

Today marks day 15 on the Whole 30!  I’m officially halfway through and I feel all kinds of normal and fine and good.  I think having the cold really distracted me from feeling weird or having sugar withdrawals, I feel really normal!  Here are some noticings, though:

  • I had a couple of sore spots on my tongue for a few months- like sensitivity to acidic or spicy foods- that I’ve been wondering about and they’ve magically healed up.  
  • Drinking coffee with just a splash of almond milk is no big deal anymore.  I have decided to maintain this habit moving forward.  There’s no reason I need a giant, sweet, sugary, 300 calorie drink to start my morning every day.
  • I’ve totally adjusted to my anxiety medication and don’t have to eat a meal with my pill anymore.  In the morning, I have my coffee, a banana and I’m juuuuust fine.  Thus, my overeating and anxiety around this issue is all but gone.  This fear and resulting anxiety are the primary cause of my recent weight gain.  Their absence should make my healthful future with a healthy diet attainable again.  
  • Being a vegan doesn’t seem like a compromise or difficult anymore.  There’s plenty of good stuff out there.  The only non-vegan food I’m eating right now is an egg in my breakfast bake and the odd bit of ghee, but I’m certain I could find a replacemen for both. 
  •  Cashew cream is surprisingly versatile and replaces a lot of the dairy textures that I desire and seek.  It’s not going to fool anyone, but it stands nicely on its own as another option that is more than acceptable to me.
  • TMI: My colon has to be thrilled with my fiber intake.  My poop is like a pile of sawdust.  I’m eating so much fiber, no sugar and no gluten so things stay loose and I imagine things are really nice in my large colon, now.  I don’t have uncomfortable bowels or anything, but it’s nice to be like ok, this is normal, I’m not alone…  
  • My energy is great.  I’m not tired or anything.
  • Eating this healthy isn’t more expensive than eating all the other stuff.  Packaged and refined foods give fresh eating a real run for the money, literally.
  • I miss chocolate more than anything else.  I’m glad I get to eat it again shortly.  It’s nice to realize that when this is over, it just means I can add things back in.  I can include chocolate in the future.
  • I had my first cheat.  Wanna know what it was?  I put regular instead of raw cashews on my fried cauliflower rice and decided to eat them instead of picking them off.  Big cheat.  Whatta rebel.
  • I eat the same thing all the time. I had originally planned on photographing and posting every meal, but when you eat fried cauliflower rice every day and sweet potato and apple breakfast bake every day….  Yeah.  It gets tedious to find new ways to make it look good to Instagram so I scrapped that plan.  I still post to it, but not like I thought I would.
  • I’m losing weight!  I can do this!

One of my greatest sound bites and takeaways from this experiment is this advice: hunger is satisfied by any food.  Cravings are satisfied by specific foods and have little to nothing to do with actual hunger.  I have a lot of cravings and I’m getting more and more successful at identifying which is which.  I’m amazed to realize that I’m not hungry that much, but food calls to me often.  This should be helpful, moving forward.

I joined an accountability group on Facebook this week.  A friend of mine, last year, who most people would think didn’t need to lose weight, joined and lost a few pounds and gained a new sense of health.  She looked pretty great before, but after?  She glowed.  I wanted some of that.  I figured there are worse ways to spend thirty smacks, so I threw my hat in the ring.  Turns out that the person who loses the most wins the pot, too.  I don’t have designs on winning, but every week I will weigh in with a photo and share it to the group.  There are people who weigh from as low as 119 all the way up to 425.  There are men and women and we are all there for the same thing: support and accountability.  So far, it’s been a really positive experience and I’m pretty happy with it.  Since my weigh in on 3/1, my scale has already changed!  🙂 So far, since 1/1/18, I have lost ten pounds.  I’m not going to complain about that.  Instead, I’ll just keep busting my booty and moving forward!

Tomorrow I have a race, Hot Chocolate Run, that I haven’t trained for.  First the injury then bronchitis and I can safely say I haven’t run farther than six miles in six months.  Tomorrow’s race is nine miles.  I’ll probably be walking like a duck for the first half of next week.  This race forced me to really think about nutrition on run and whether or not it is a cheat from Whole 30.  I decided to take unsweetened applesauce on the run and I’m going to drink that cup of hot cocoa at the end with glee.  I’ll bypass the fondu, but I cried thinking about that hot cocoa this morning.  I am so excited!  Seriously!  I’m planning to run nine miles tomorrow so I can justify a cup of hot cocoa.  LOL!  I know, according to the Whole 30’s rules and bylaws that I’m really supposed to start over completely, but I’m planning to let it slide and just keep trucking.  I think this is only my first Whole 30 and there will be more that come along after it until I get to where I want to be with my body.  I’m even considering going *gasp* vegan!

Whole 30 Like a BOSS

Today marks day number seven of the Whole 30 and guess what?  I’m doing great!  I am so proud of myself, I haven’t cheated by eating off plan on purpose once.  Not once!  And there were opportunities…  Like when I smelled Doritos and had to actively redirect my brain to focus elsewhere.  Or when I came home to Friday night pizza night and I couldn’t participate.  Each time I’ve had to pull up my big girl panties then seek out my satisfying alternative.  They do exist and I’m in shock at how well all of this seems to be going.

When I think about why this seems easy it comes down to me being the kind of person who does really well with defined boundaries.  I like having things and practices on and off the list.  As a vegetarian, I’m used to looking at a menu and having a very small selection.  As a fat girl, shopping was limited to very few stores with very little square footage dedicated to my person.  I had to make do.  Refocus.  Try a different route. 

My replacement hat came in the mail today! Squeee! Congrats to me for losing 5 pounds!

It’s working, too.  I feel good.  I’m not tired or spacey.  I’m not hungry more than normal.  The strangest thing?  With the exception of eggs, it’s vegan.  I’ve always wanted to try being vegan but was afraid to do it.  Now I’m learning that it’s not so hard and the eggs are my least favorite part of any meal.  On top of that, I weighed in at 230 today which means I’ve lost nine pounds since 1/1/18!

I forgot to take a pic of my 230, but I swear it happened more than once! Lol

  I feel so happy to be back to myself again.  Truthfully, I’ve been feeling a bit lost.  My identity seemed in flux and I wasn’t too sure what to think about myself.  I felt myself morphing back into my old self and I felt powerless to her, my inner fat girl.  This fresh start was just the perfect thing to redirect myself with a new plan.  My previous way of doing things kept leading me back through a cycle where I’d be successful for two or three days then I’d trust myself to make smart choices.  That inevitably turned into problematic habit building and I’d end up losing any momentum I got in those three days at the beginning!  This time I feel like I’m back.  For realz!

Thoughts on Whole 30 SWYPO Stuff

I’m almost  finished with day three of my Whole30.  So far so good.  I think my timing for starting is good for me because I’m not having too many cravings, I’m not hungry and I’m not prowling for food.  Could it be that I’m eating right so my body is happy and satisfied?!?!  What a thought!

One thing that I’m sort of struggling with is making sure that my food is whole.  Let me explain.  According to Whole30 plan, we are not supposed to make fancy, compliant pancakes or desserts that replace the ones we like because the goal is to shift one’s entire way of eating.  We want to change habits, not just lose a couple of pounds.  There is this acronym SWYPO which means (and I’m not making this up) ‘sex with your pants on.’  The idea is that having sex with our pants on, while satisfying and meeting our needs, is not nearly as good as with our pants off.  Instead of having sub-par experiences with compromised foods that are compliant in ingredients but not in spirit, instead we aim to enjoy the foods we are eating.  Find new favorites.  You get the idea.  So the other day I was eating spaghetti squash with tomatoes and it was just meh.  I added a tablespoon of cashew cream and it blew my mind!  So good!  It was like vodka sauce!  Later I was in a cycle of self congratulation with myself and realized I may have accidentally SWYPOed!  I started dialing everything back to basics after that and was essentially looking at a plate with squash, lentils, vegetables and never shall they touch!  I couldn’t imagine the author wanted me to do that and I realized the idea isn’t to restrict foods, necessarily, rather explore and integrate whole, healthy foods.  Almost everything is an imitation of something, this is no different.  When I try making Whole 30 brownies is when I need to regroup!

If you’ve spied those sweet potato waffle things on Pinterest and wondered… give them a try. I like them!

Whole 30, Day 1

Welp, I made it!!  I was honest to goodness worried about starting a restrictive nutrition plan on a Sunday with access to my kitchen all day long, but today was a solid success!  I ate the foods I prepared when I got hungry for them and everything went pretty well.

I decided to journal my food a little differently this time.  I’m posting everything I eat to a new Instagram feed, so if you’re wondering what a vegetarian person eating the Whole 30 way consumes, click here and follow!


A few things:

  • I need some soy sauce.  Bad.  I bought the wrong kind and it’s guh -ross!!  It’s made with black sesame seeds and is 2x concentrated.  That’s what you get for assuming all soy sauce is created equal at the Asian food market.
  • I also need some almond butter.  It will be a salve that soothes, I’m certain.
  • Plantain chips are about to become very important to me.
  • Cauliflower rice does not taste like rice, it only looks like rice.  Once it’s in your mouth it is definitely cauliflower no matter how much like rice it looks.  Cauliflower is nummy, but it’s good to be aware going in that you can’t fool your mouth that easily!
  • Cinnamon on sweet potatoes is heavenly.
  • I got the sugar bug around 4:00, ate half an apple and it did the trick.  Phew!
  • Cashew cream is easy to make and it actually tastes really good!  Soak a cup of raw cashews overnight in 2 cups of room temp water, pour off the water the next day, add 1/2 a cup of water and blend it up until it’s creamy smooth.  I added salt, lemon and nutritional yeast to make mine more cheesy.  It isn’t going to fool you into thinking it’s cream cheese or sour cream, but YUM!  You won’t care!

I happened to come down with a vicious cold this morning so I sat around in a stupor all day.  I did important tasks like making my bed and drawing in my bullet journal.  Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow and can work out.

Clean Eating with Dirty Whole 30

Why is it dirty?  Because if it’s dirty I’m more interested.  Like my music: if I clutch my pearls and gasp with shock, I loooove it!  Calling it the Dirty Whole 30 makes it sound mysterious and luridly licentious even though it is none of those things.  It’s just really clean eating.  Ha!

But I digress.  I’ve been struggling, yo.  For real!  I lost that fiver in January, earned an injury and dialed my focus back so far from Diet and exercise that I actually bounced up to 242 before I settled back down to 234.  I always wonder how much I’d weigh if I managed to avoid all that bouncing up and down the scale… back when I was at my healthiest I ate a lot of raw food.  My plate was filled with fruits and veggies, rarely did I rely on carbs.  I felt good when I ate that way.  I performed well and I’m really having a hard time getting back to that low carb/clean eating way of life.  The Whole 30 seemed to be a really good way of getting back to basics.

In a nutshell, the Whole 30 is a 30 day, fairly restrictive eating plan that is designed to rethink and redesign your relationship to food and your eating habits.  Sugar is the one I’m most concerned about.  I’m certain that I have a keen sugar addiction right now.  I won’t be eating any refined carbs, no sugar, no dairy or animal fats.  The program relies heavily on meal planning and preparation so that when you are confronted with a weak moment, you have something to eat.

I will be allowing a couple of alternates that will hopefully not impact the results.  I’m going to allow eating in between meals.  The plan’s ideal is to rely on three meals with minimal snacking.  Vegetarian food is processed through the body more quickly than a meat eater’s diet.  That means I will get hungry faster and if I want to be successful, I am going to have to plan for that by having some bananas and apples ready.  Another thing I’m going to allow is when my parents come over in a week.  I promised to make posole and I’m just going to enjoy the evening rather than worry about being on a diet and not eating this meal I’ve been planning to make for my dad for a month now!  Additionally, there are some allowances made for vegans and vegetarians by the program author so it is possible to do whole 30 without the animal flesh focus, I’ll just be inclusive of more tofu and eggs.  I think I’ll hate eggs by the end of this.  LOL

Things I am Planning on being Challenged by:

  • Morning coffee- this will be an adjustment.  I can have coconut cream but no sugar.  I will definitely need to experiment with my caffeine in the morning!
  • Night snacking is going to be tricky.  I have a big nighttime habit that is doing me no favors presently.
  • Cutting soda pop- I will still have seltzer water but diet root beer is one of my primary crutches.  Losing that will be difficult.  Not impossible, but it’s going to challenge me.
  • I’m slightly worried that I won’t want to exercise because of the nutrition shift (low energy?).

Things I’m planning on looking forward to:

  • Most people lose between 10-30 pounds.  I will appreciate that.
  • Beat my sugar addiction!
  • Realizing the power of me- I know I can do this!
  • Opening up my palate to more flavors again.
  • Getting healthy!!
  • I’m honestly more excited than worried and that is a very good thing.

One of my favorite things so far is definitely making my whole 30 bullet journal.  Making the pages is helping me to clearly understand what I will be doing for the next 30 days!  My whole 30 will take place between February 18th and March 19th.  Prepare to read a lot about it here!  Ha!

I’ve got this.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm…

So.  Official pictures from the My Bettter Half Marathon came in and I’m noticing an alarming trend of getting fatter.  That’s a 40 pound weight gain right there.  The first year was the year I was doing 2016 miles in Run the Year.  I was a machine, running my butt off.  I was in great shape, training like a champion.  The next year, last year, I was coming to terms with my extremely challenging class and was dealing with the stress with a lot of eating.    This year definitely shows that progression.  I’ve gone from curvy/pleasantly plump to fat and I don’t like it one bit.

My Better Half Marathon/10k Year 3

We headed out to Seward Park for our third year running  My Better Half Marathon/10k on Sunday, February 11th.  We ran the 10k version, of course.  Gigi ran like the wind, Jude and I chugged along behind.  I always love this race because it really does make me walk my talk.  I always say I want to celebrate events without it always having to be centered around a pile of food, and this race certainly allows me to celebrate Valentine’s Day without gaining ten pounds!

This race was my maiden voyage since my knee injury that I’ve been babying.  I was fully prepared to cut the race into a 5k if need be, but when I came around for my second loop, I was feeling frisky and fine!  I kept up with my super slow jog (14 minute miles, y’all) and was able to finish the whole run with just about half a mile walking.  I haven’t been able to train with all the healing and resting so it felt GREAT to finish the whole thing and to have run almost all of it!  I did pay in soreness, though.  Wow.

When I got home I made my race schedule for the year and realized how many races I have in March!  I have the Hot Chocolate 15k on 3/4, the Big Climb around the 25th and Shamrock Run 5k on 3/17!  That means I really need to get some training miles in, and guess what the weather is supposed to do on this long weekend, perfect for training miles?  SNOW!  Ha!  Of course!

* I’m still fundraising and am 100 shy of my goal.  If you are interested in supporting me on my climb and cancer research, please donate.  Even a dollar is helpful!

Also, don’t forget-  if you register for an Orca race, use code tamarashazam18 for a 15% discount!  

Hello Miss February

My injury played some serious head games on me.  That twang hit my hip and knee and I lost it- all of my determination, my stamina, my hope.  I just plopped down, threw my hands up and started singing the woe is me tune about how nothing is going my way.  That I’m stopped at every turn and why oh why did this happen?  Yeah.  I had a nice little pity party full of giving up.  I went to the doctors and was basically told to take it easy but I was pretty freaked out.

The Lj’s at Multicultural Night repping our Deutsch roots. 🙂

Anyhow, on Friday I kind of woke up and wondered what the heck happened.  Sure, I had a minor injury, but it was minor.  Minor.  Then I happened to look at some pictures of myself from as recent as last summer, when I thought I looked fat, and I didn’t look fat.  I looked great!  Again: what was wrong with me?  A little disgusted with my attitude, I decided to take stock of my accomplishments:

  1. I lost five pounds.  While I was super disappointed to not lose the nine I wanted to lose through DietBet, I did lose five pounds.  That’s nothing to sneeze at.  Five pounds is great and I should be celebrating, not feeling ashamed.
  2. My exercise was consistent.  I didn’t want to run a bunch outside, but I was getting it done and the work was showing on the scale and in my body.
  3. I have gained 40 pounds since my all time low of 190.  It makes sense that working out is harder for me and will take some adjustment.  I’ve got a lot more moving and shaking on my frame!
  4. I have a big fat roll around my middle that wasn’t there last year.  I really despise it (not an accomplishment, more like a consequence, but somehow it belonged in the list 🤣).
  5. Running is tricky and I have a bunch of races in front of me, but that doesn’t mean I have to run them all.  Some can have distances adjusted and others don’t have to be attended at all.  I have a gym membership and should use it as much as I need to eat the workouts I need to see the outcome I want.
  6. I want it.  Bad.  I want it so bad that I decided I’m truly invested in doing the work that will get the results!

To that end, I decided to go to Zumba today.  I danced wimpy, just to make sure things old go well, and they did!  I didn’t do all the squats or lunges or leaps.  If there was a bunch of jumping, I kind of hopped in place, if that makes sense.  I was pleased to note that I still sweated my butt iff, my heart rate still soared appropriately and I got a good workout without the injury.  I feel like I’m back. 🙂

I’m planning on going to spin/lift tomorrow and Zumba on Thursday.  I’ll see about squeezing something else in, as well.  Here we go again!  I’ll try for four-six pounds this month and we will see what happens.