Day 7: The Holiday Work Party

Today’s the day: Bowling Holiday Work Party.  Yikes.  I think I’ll be ok.  I usually can do ok, eating-wise, in public situations like this, as there are people watching (judging, says my cynical self), so my willpower can stay high.  (my issues are more when I’m alone and no one is around!).  I’m more concerned about the bowling part.  I’m not a good bowler, and I’m not crazy about the shoes for a number of reasons.  First, the ‘are they clean’ thing and second, I have big feet so I always end up in men’s shoes.  I don’t care what anyone says – you can tell they are mens shoes.  I am also a socially awkward penguin and not a fan of forced socialization or small talk.  Perhaps I should view this as an exercise is letting go of my insecurities and being more in the moment.

socially awkaward penguin

In other news, I need to start scouring Pintrest and the Interwebs for recipes to make this week, and start putting together a game plan for Christmas week at my parents house.  The Kindle version of the Well Fed cookbook  was on sale for $1.99 yesterday, so I bought that and found a few things I might try.

I threw the raisins out.  They are destructive to my efforts.  I can’t have ‘finger food’ around because my stop button is broken.  I just keep diving in for handful after handful.  It’s not productive and reinforces bad habits.  I’m not eating because I’m hungry, I’m eating because it’s something to do while watching TV, cooking, reading, etc.  No more finger food for the next 23 days.

I’m not doing food pics today because it’s all repeats.  Nothing exciting.  I need to get something new in rotation because I might be getting a little bored with some leftovers.

Breakfast: 7 am, 3 eggs, kielbasa sausage, zucchini (the usual!)  I am such a creature of habit, which is why it’ so hard for me to break bad habits, and to recognize which ones really are bad.

The party: 11:30 am – 2 pm.  A few carrots, celery, tomatoes, some pulled pork and grilled chicken.  Here’s a life lesson for you:  It’s probably best to not eat chicken from a bowling alley.  It did not sit well with my tummy.  My salad idea fell apart, and I actually had a weak moment.  I got hungry around 10, so I went downstairs and bought a packet of trail mix.  It was bad on two counts: a) my habit of picking at a bag of food until it’s gone, and b) I know it had all sorts of bad stuff on it.  I need to be be more prepared!  I had a hard boiled egg, but it was in the car.  I was so hungry that I knew it wouldn’t last for me, either.  I plowed through the trail mix, so by the time I got to the party I wasn’t as hungry as I was earlier.

It was interesting, it wasn’t that hard to stay away from the food at the party.  It kind of looked gross, what with being in a bowling alley, and my group was on the other side of the room from where the food was set-up, so it was fairly effortless to stay away.  The hard part came after I was leaving and mentally getting ready for the weekend.  This is normally when I’d not worry about dinner and stop and pick something up (a sub, pizza, or something likewise) and perhaps even a bottle of wine to tide me over for the few days.

The party itself was actually fun, too.  I get myself so worked up about these things, I need to just relax.  We bowled a couple games (I did 112 on one and 101 on another).  Bowling is hard!  It really does take some skill and coordination to do well at it.  But, not for me.  I’m not a bowler for the same reason I’m not a golfer – too frustrating, and you stay still for too long.

On my way home, it started to sink in just how hard it’s going to be during Christmas to stay away from the goodies.  I called my parents and my mom was making Christmas cookies.  She started describing them and I could just picture them and the display on Christmas Eve.  Then I started thinking more – my sister’s probably going to want to drink a night or two over break.  That’s when it dawned on me just how much strength and willpower I’m going to need over the next few weeks.  I know in my brain that what I’m doing is right, but I can see how falling back into old habits will be so easy to do.  This weekend I normally am baking tons and tons of Christmas cookies, drinking a lot of wine and watching Christmas movies.  This weekend, I’ll have a normalish weekend, but I’ll still watch the Christmas movies.  Sober.

Early dinner: 4:30 pm, more cabbage soup with kielbasa and sauteed mushrooms.  I’ll probably have something small later tonight, but I was starving.  I only had that little bit of pulled pork and the awful chicken for lunch, so I figured I could eat a little early.


Day 6: Rest Day

Ahhhh…today is a rest day.  I know my legs were jacked from yesterday, so I’m going to take today off (except for probably some yoga and core work this evening).  Plus, it’s about 15 degrees outside, so it’s fine with me not taking my chances in the dark on the ice-laden roads of Newark.  (I know, I could do the treadmill…I kind of hate the treadmill.  It has it’s place, but a casual foundation run isn’t it.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about my training schedule for the next two months.  I’m going to do two 70.3’s this year, Syracuse and hopefully, Princeton, with a handful of local running and tri races sprinkled in between.  I’m trying to figure out where I should focus.  Obviously, some basic base building, but I think I need to get into the weight room a little bit.  Nothing crazy; you will not catch me clean and jerking 100s of pounds, but I should do some squats, deadlifts, chest and shoulder presses and some really targeted core work.  I’ll start with it the week between Christmas and New  Years (my favorite week of the year because work is closed!) as well as find my way back to the pool again.  I want to be able to average about 11-12 hours/week by the end of February.  (in the beginning of March I’m going to see my aunt and uncle in Napa for a week, so it’s a natural transition time).

I get very worried about adding intensity, particularly to the run (the bike and swim are fine with intensity).  I tend to get injured really easily, usually in the form of hamstring or calf pulls), whenever I incorporate speed training, like tempo or intervals, into my running.  I think I’ll keep doing basic foundation runs for January, while concurrently working on my strength in the gym.  In February, I’ll start doing some shorter intervals/fartlek runs and see how I respond.

My big thing with training is being consistent.  I’m really great at pulling a big weekend, but then I’m toast for the rest of the week.  That’s part of the reason why I think it’s so important to work through the Whole30, because I think the nutrition lessons I learn as part of it will support better recovery and stabilize “my stuff” (metabolism, hormones, all that fun stuff) so it’s easier for me to be consistent.  I don’t want the tiredness, crankiness and mood swings => those all lead to missed workouts.

In case you were wondering about one of the men in my life, here he is, in all his 14-year-old, snowy glory.  Love him to death!!  He’s such an old man, and he’s always been like that.  He’s the dog version of Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men.

Snowy Doc

Breakfast:  7 am, three eggs, sausage patty (last ones!), zucchini

Breakfast 12/12

This morning was busy with meetings, so I didn’t sit down at my desk until around 11:45.  I was so hungry.  I plowed through some cashews like nobody’s business.

Lunch:  12:30, no picture :(.  Ate out at Freddys and had a chopped salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, pecans, cucumbers, broccoli and a few other things.  The dressing was this awesome cilantro lime dressing, which I’m not 100% sure is complaint, but it’s delicious.  Had lunch with the guys, so I chose this which is mostly good.  Although…Randy’s buffalo chicken sandwich and fries did look good, too.

The afternoon went by pretty quickly.  Tomorrow is our office holiday party; we’re going bowling!  I haven’t bowled in forever.  I’m sure I will not be good.  But, neither will anyone else.  There’s supposed to be “Bowling Fare Food”, which does not sound at all Whole30 compliant, so I’m going to have to both improvise and prepare.  I think I might just do an early lunch.  I made a salad for today that I didn’t eat, so I think I’m going to bring that and eat it on the drive over.  (the party starts at 11 am).  By the time I get there, I should be full enough so I can bypass the bad stuff, and then finish up when I get out.  After the party, we get the rest of the day off.  Score!!

Maybe I should start my Christmas shopping…

I had some carrots and almond butter around 3:30, and then some raisins when I got home from work.  I need to get rid of the raisins.  They’re like crack to me – I can’t eat just one.  I should have had a hard boiled egg instead.

Dinner:  6:30 pm, Cauliflower soup, kielbasa sausage and sauteed mushrooms (same thing as Tuesday so I’m recycling the pic because today it didn’t look nearly as pretty).

Dinner 12/11

Still good the second time around.

I’m tired tonight.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night, so I’m hoping to get to bed a bit earlier tonight.  I think it’s a good night to watch a few New Girl episodes and hit the hay.  Nothing too exciting today, but I know it’s going to be a busy weekend coming up.  Eric is coming in next week so we can do our little holiday thing.  I need to clean the bathrooms, grocery shop, give Doccie a bath, Christmas shop, meal plan, cook food and get in my workouts.  And, it’s supposed to be bad weather.  Whatevs.  One more week and then a whole week and a half OFF!!  SOOO excited!!

Whole30: This time, GAME ON!

I have a lot of thoughts about what should go into this post, as I have a lot of reasons and objectives I want to sort through during the next 30 days.


I have a mixture of motivations for taking this on now, as the holidays are approaching fast and furious.  At first glance, seems like it might be setting myself up for failure and for that reason, I initially resisted thinking ‘it’s futile to even try – I’ll just disappoint myself (again) and get frustrated and feel even worse‘.   Then, I thought about it and why it was so horrible to do it ‘during the holidays’.  For me and my life, the holidays aren’t really that much of a stresser.  It’s still me and Doc at home (with Eric making occasional appearances), I still have to work and deal with the ‘goodie of the day’ in the kitchen (it doesn’t really happen on a daily basis, but sometimes it seems like it does!), I still have to deal with getting all my work and personal stuff done, I still have to figure out how to get training sessions in, etc.  It didn’t seem like there was really a good reason not to do it now.  So…off I go!

I’ve tried this a few times and end up failing miserably, usually somewhere around either the 4-5 day or 10-12 day mark.  It’s at those points where I feel like I’ve got it figured out, I can do this!.  In reality – I don’t, and the fact that I would stop then just proves that I don’t.  The reason I break is usually one of the reasons I (subconsciously) started in the first place: I was relying on food for something other than nourishment.  That has to stop if I want to continue to work towards my goals.  I can’t eat for emotional reasons and expect to run a fast half or full marathon, it just won’t work.  I really want to run a fast half and full marathon.  I really want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  In order to reach those goals, I have to figure out how bad I really do want it, and how far I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone in order to do so.  Because I’ll have to, there’s no question about that.


I’m really nervous about a few things, based on my past attempts at Whole30.  I’m fearful of the things that caused me to fail in the past, the false confidence, unwillingness to be uncomfortable (in hopes that one day it will be comfortable!).  I’m fearful of being tired, of having craptastic workouts, of being hungry and surrounded by non-compliant options.  I’m worried that I won’t allocate enough time or budget to food prep, or that I’ll choose the wrong foods to prep and end up hating what I made (which will send me straight to Subway).  Over the next few days, I’m going to document my strategy for dealing with those things once they happen.  Because I know they will happen.

Why try, Again?

I’m normal and healthy, medically speaking.  My BMI is around 24, I don’t have abnormal blood markers, I’m active, I don’t drink a lot and I don’t smoke, so as the medical community are concerned, I’m good.

But in my eyes, I’m not.  I’m also a triathlete, and I want to be good.   I don’t want to merely be a participant (not that there is anything wrong with that!  It’s all about your goals and what you want to get out of it), I want to kick some ass.  I’m over being at the front of the middle-of-the-pack (or if I’m lucky, back of the front-of-the-pack).  In order to do this, I need to be healthy.  I don’t think I’m necessarily unhealthy, but I do think there are aspects of my metabolism and body comp that could be better.  If I want to really become a better triathlete, I need to shake things up, somehow.  This is my attempt to do that, to (hopefully) re-set my metabolism so that I burn fat more efficiently, stabilize my blood sugar and cravings and reconnect with food to understand it’s role as nourishment, not comfort.

I’ve eaten probably an 80/20 Paleo/SAD for the past few months, so I’m not sure what to expect at the start.  I guess that’s why I always fell off the wagon, too.  I figure, I’m healthy, I eat Paleo for the most part – who cares or why does it matter if I have a few slices of pizza?  It matters.  At least, for what I’m trying to accomplish as an athlete, it matters.

My Commitment

I’m using this blog to help me be accountable.  I need this, because when you live by yourself, it’s very easy to eat an entire bag of peanut butter M&Ms and not have anyone know about it (not that I’ve ever done that..:)).  Blogging daily about my experiences will also help me sort through some of the issues I know will come up, giving me an outlet to process those.

Over the next 30 days, I promise to:

  • Blog every day, the good, bad, the ugly
  • Not check MyFitnessPal (I will put it into my “Never Use” folder on my phone)
  • Be honest
  • Not weigh myself
  • Make it 30 days

Here goes something!!