All in a Pair of Shoes

**Knee and Hamstring Update**

Well I have still been having a lot of problems with my legs.  It started with my right hamstring. Now My quads and especially my knees have really been bothering me.  Even when I'm not exercising.  I decided to take some more time off.  And now I'm just exercising four days a week. We got a gym membership.  I have been doing the bike.  That has felt so good on my knees. I have started out just doing it for 20 min on the lowest level possible.  I have also been icing my knees every day.  A friend of mine suggested building up my leg muscles so they would be stronger and less likely to get injured.  And she also said I really need a pair of good shoes.  So... today I went to Fleet Feet and got a pair of shoes.  They are very comfortable.   I also learned a lot about feet while I was there.  They watch you walk and run.  And also
 measure and size you for shoes.  So far I would definitely recommend going there to get a pair of shoes.  I'll let you know for sure once I try them out. 


New Food Ideas

I made two things recently that I enjoyed.  They add in carbs for dinner, but they are healthy choices. 

Cheesy Quinoa
Cook quinoa according to package instructions.  Then in separate pan saute:  green and red bell peppers, onion, basil, and mushrooms in fat free cooking spray.  Add quinoa and fat free mozzarella cheese to pan.  You can add other vegetables.  I served it with tilapia cooked in the skillet and okra.  (I'm not actually sure where this brand of quinoa came from because it was given to me, but I'm sure any is fine)

Basil Chicken Pasta
Whole wheat penne pasta. I sautéed bell pepper, diced tomatoes, basil (next time I will add the basil later for more flavor). Then I added the pasta, and already baked chicken breasts (baked in oven 170 while at church with basil and garlic powder), fat free mozzarella, and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. 


SUGAR... You know the thing you love and hate at the same time.  Sunday was my husband's birthday and let's just say the sugar won that fight. We had a date night Friday night to Cheesecake Factory.  I had planned all week to have a piece of cheesecake Friday night. I ate the entire thing myself. That started the downward spiral. Saturday I was home alone baking this birthday cake. 
Big mistake.  When you are hungry, you already have sugar in your system, and you are by yourself, I don't recommend this at all.  Man was I a weakling.  I ended up eating a servings worth of cake batter. Then on Sunday of Course I had to have a piece of the actual cake.  

So I am now on day 3 of the sugar detox. It sounds like a joke, but seriously.  I have not had this bad of cravings since the beginning.  Once I got over the hump of not having it, it wasn't nearly as bad. Your body craves sugar more when it's in your system.  My sister helped me realize a good goal which also led to a new life reality.  She suggested waiting until my birthday to have desert again.  That will be two weeks of no sweets.  Once I had the goal in mind it made it much easier. Well, easier, we can leave out the much. 
Life Reality:  Sweets are okay, and fun to have.  But having it does effect the cravings for more. So I plan to look ahead at my calendar and pick the next "sugar date."  When it comes, I will enjoy it.  But it will be planned and an end will be in sight.  That way all the other times when it's in front of my face it will simply be, "no it's not scheduled".  Otherwise there are always sweets around and I will be eating more sweets than anything else.   Sounds a little cooky, but this I think this regimen will help me. 


Emotional Roller Coaster

Why is it that changing my food habits and exercising is such an emotional roller coaster for me.  My husband doesn't understand that part at all.  Food and emotions do not belong anywhere near the same sentence as far as he's concerned. 

But for me, it totally is.  I started out so pumped and motivated.  The majority of the time I have continued to feel that way.  The last two weeks have been very challenging for me.  I've hurt my leg, which has slowed me down with the exercising.  But yet my appetite has increased majorly. Along with my desire to eat foods that have not even been that much of a temptation for me up until this point. Every single day- several times a day- I have had to remind myself of my goal and pray for perseverance.  I have stood at the pantry door praying that I will choose wise things to eat so I can finish up the goals that I have set for myself.  Last night Jonathan walks in the kitchen to find me standing in front of the pantry with my eyes closed.  He laughed and said, "What are you doing?"  I said praying.  I actually do that a lot lately, right here. 

It's not that I think that choosing to have a "cheat" would be horrible or the end of the world.  It's just the talk that's going on in my head of - this is too hard, I can't do this forever, I may as well just quit.   All lies I know.  I just have had to talk back and forth to myself. The whole reason I'm doing this is to choose a healthier lifestyle and take care of my body.  Weight loss is not the ultimate goal.  I guess my flesh has just gotten caught up in that. 

Needless to say the last few weeks have left me to feel emotional, and a little nutty.  My prayer is that I will continue to try and bring glory to God through the way I take care of my body.  I had to break a lot of bad habits.  I guess now that my body has gotten in the groove my mind is having to catch up. 


Bum Leg

Well a week later, and there's no improvement.  If anything it's gotten worse.  I took a couple of days off.  I also went swimming in my parents pool a couple of times.  The swimming felt great. Getting back in the water for laps made me realize how much I used to enjoy it.  If it weren't for the 15 minute drive, I would do that every morning.  Although it didn't seem to help my leg heal extremely quickly, which is what I was hoping for.   So this morning I started back out in our neighborhood.  I just walked for 45 min. and did 5 - 1 min. runs throughout to keep my heart rate up a little.  I ended with some crunches and push ups. It's really hard not to get discouraged when I'm not able to run as much as I was.  But, I'm really trying to keep my perspective.  The whole reason I started this was to take care of my body in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  

So, here's my pep talk to myself:  I have lost 27 lbs in 2 months. I am down three sizes and in pants I haven't been in since High School.  I feel great (other than an occasional limp due to a bum hamstring).   I am in the habit of eating healthy and feeding my family healthier foods. And all of these changes have helped me grow so much in my relationship with the Lord.  It has helped me to rely on him when it's not easy.  It has also helped me to turn to him with the cravings.  I can truly say that a lot of really bad habits have changed.  So even if I'm not exercising the way I want to be, or the way I thought I would be, I am still accomplishing my goal.  God has been faithful to pull me through these new changes. 

In anticipation of the winter, to hopefully find an exercise that doesn't hurt, and also to change things up a bit, we are thinking about getting a gym membership.  There's one just a minute away and I would be able to do a lot more strength training.  We're praying about it.  So who knows, maybe there will be a little bit more variety coming my way. 



So I've talked before about how I've been walking and building up to running.  I have been trying really hard to go slowly and gradually build up.  I walk for a good 5-10 min.  Then I stop and stretch.  Then I had gotten to where I was running 17 min then back and forth running/ walking until my 45 min. was up.  Well this past week my right hamstring has started hurting.  It's gradually gotten worse to where now it hurts even just walking regularly.  This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.  I want to be able to exercise for the rest of my life.  I wasn't just doing it to lose weight.  So I have decided to slow things way back down and add in some muscle strength training.  I'm going to walk in the mornings for 45 min. - no running- (at least for a few days).  And I am going to do some leg lifts, weights, crunches and various things at night.  Several people have told me how important it is to alternate cardio and muscle training, so I'm going to give it a try.  Hopefully my leg will heal and I can get back in to some running.  I was finally starting to enjoy it. =( 


Too Much Salt

Have you ever noticed nights after you eat mexican, chinese, or anything else high in sodium the way it makes you feel?  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot, like my skin is tight, and I'm really thirsty.  Well since I've been changing the way I eat, I haven't felt like this at all.  I have completely taken added salt out of my diet.  I also watch the content of sodium in the things that I use that are already prepared for me.  

Well... yesterday was a half-cheat day.  My in-laws were here for the day and I knew we would be eating lunch and dinner out.  I have only had a few cheat days since I started and it had been several weeks.  So I decided yesterday I would have a few exceptions.  We ate lunch at Baja Burrito and dinner at Olive Garden.  These are two of my favorite restaurants.  At Baja for lunch I got a wheat burrito with chicken, beans, rice, lettuce, pico, salsa, cucumbers.  I didn't get the cheese or sour cream, but I knew that it would have a lot of salt and butter in the rice, chicken, and beans.  Hoping to counterbalance the sodium, I had several glasses of water with my meal.  At Olive Garden for dinner I got the Venetian Apricot Chicken.  I had looked it up online beforehand and new it was a sensible choice.  It had grilled chicken (I asked for the apricot sauce on the side) broccoli, and asparagus.  But once again I knew the food was all prepared with salt and butter (the customary way of food preparation in our culture). So once again I had several glasses of water to drink with the meal.  Well all this to say I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful.  I was burning up.  My hands and feet were swollen.  I felt so thirty.  It took me a while to go back to sleep.  This morning wasn't much better.  It also made the morning run much harder.  I'm thinking goodness is salt really that bad.  It makes me feel miserable.  It definitely was not worth it.  I don't say all this to make people feel guilty about eating out or even eating salt.  More just to be conscious of what salt does to your body and the amount of it you take in.  It's very obvious that with my body it makes me retain large amounts of water which makes me very uncomfortable.  That also makes me wonder what it's doing to my body that is harmful.