Wednesday, March 8, 2017

An Overdue Update

As outlined in my recap of the Austin Marathon, I had the suckiest marathon of my marathoning “career.”  I finished with my slowest time ever.  But you know what?  I finished.  I didn’t give up.  I listened to my body and I didn’t get injured.  Though my hamstring was bothering me a fair amount for a few days post-race.


As a result of the marathon, my PT decided to let me take the week off from any work sessions and I just had 2 soft tissue appointments.  Those were Monday and Saturday.  So I didn’t have PT at all on Thursday like I usually do.  So I made plans with David to meet him for lunch at our favorite SoCo (S Congress Ave) food trailer, Burro Cheese.  After the marathon, I had gotten the distinct pleasure of trying a new-to-me one of their sammiches and it was absolutely delicious, called the VIA 206.  Going into Thursday, I didn’t know if I’d try yet another one of their sammiches that I hadn’t yet tried (I’ve had the Waylon & Willie, sans pepperoncinis, the Burning Mac and the VIA-something, which had balsamic fig jam on it, but doesn’t seem to be a regular offering per their online menu…booo).  I ultimately decided to just get the VIA 206 again.  It was really good.  It was funny because the cashier remembered me from the marathon!  Right next to the Burro Cheese food trailer is a Juice Austin trailer, so we were checking out their menu and all decided to get a juice each.  I opted for the Grind me up Scotty which has cold brew coffee, spinach, bananas, peanut butter, almond milk and I think one more thing in it.  It was delicious!  It’s always fun hanging out with David and his roommate, Ragan. 
I’ve managed to lose about 10 pounds since February 20th and I’m pretty stinkin’ happy with that.  I’ve felt a lot more balanced and less stressed lately, so I know that has everything to do with it, I’m sure of it.  A few weeks ago, I just randomly stopped one of my OCD behaviors that I really hate that I do: chew on my cuticles.  Then, in the past week and a half, I have stopped eating as much.  I mean, it’s not like I’m not hungry, because I am.  It’s more that I just don’t have the overwhelming urge to eat when I’m not truly hungry.  This makes me sooooo happy!


Last weekend, I went and saw the movie Split.  I loved it!  There were some awkward scenes, but it was really well written and acted.  There’s a nice twist in the final scene and you realize it’s a sequel to another movie from a few years back (nope, not going to spoil it for you, you’ll just have to watch it!).  So awesome.  Total nerd moment for me!


Last week on Sunday night, my friend Hannah and I went out for karaoke.  There was hardly anyone there so I got to get up to sing 5 times!  I sang 3 songs that I have never sang before and I think I totally rocked them!  It was 2 Amy Winehouse songs and a Gretchen Wilson song.  Then I butchered a Tina Turner song that I’ve sang before but couldn’t remember how the verses went (oops), and then of course rocked my usual Duffy song.

Physical therapy last Monday morning was pretty kick ass.  We’re no longer focusing solely on my hip drop issue.  Now, we’ve moved onto speed and power!  So the sessions are more like personal training/run coaching where I get more of a nice workout in.


Last month, a friend regifted a Wi-Fi all-in-one printer to me.  I thought it was a superior model to the one I already had, however, it’s not.  Soooo, I did some online window shopping and found a printer I really, really want.  I had already sold my old printer to a friend, so I was kinda stuck with the new one.  So, I opted to make it a temp printer and then next month I’ll buy the way nicer one that I’m now eyeballing.  It’s got lots of excellent stats, plus it’s attractive…which is always a good thing, no matter what you’re talking about.

I had really bad allergies that may have also been a cold.  I’ve been on the border of miserable as a result.  My sinuses keep closing up, forcing me to use this god awful OTC nasal spray.  I try doing saline rinses, but it’s not helping with the swelling up in there like it usually does.


Saturday I did 2 running events.  The first was the Warrior Dash obstacle course 5K.  I LOVED the obstacles.  Didn’t really care too much for the muddy trails between them, but I enjoyed myself for the entire hour and 36 minutes it took to complete it…haha.

Later in the evening I ran a half marathon.  It went horribly.  I have lost so much fitness over the last 2 months…it’s practically depressing.  I know I’ll get my running mojo back again.  I’m just hoping it’s sooner rather than later, you know?  I mean, in December I ran a really hilly half in 2:03 and change.  In January I ran one in 1:59 and change.  Saturday’s half?  Yea…2:39:59.  Ugh!  This shall pass and I will be stronger because of it.

Sunday, I had to go pick up a super cute stamp and die set I ordered online from Joann’s…it’s a little cactus holding a sign and there are like 6 or so different sayings you can stamp into the sign!  Love it.  While I was there, I picked up 2 reusable bags that I couldn’t resist.

Then I had the party for the finishers of the Distance Challenge.  I got my ¼ zip pullover.  It’s a nice color of orange.  I really wish it was an actual jacket of some sort…either a rain jacket or something along the lines of the Rock’n’Roll series jackets.  Oh well.  Maybe next year, right?  I ended up with 3 very tasty free beers because people kept giving me their drink tickets!  I didn’t win the raffle I put my raffle ticket into.  Oh well.

Then, Sunday night was karaoke again with Hannah, and this time Heather went with us.  I attempted a new-to-me song and I don’t like the way it sounded to me, so I won’t be doing that one again.

Monday, I got a text saying my new metal food dehydrator was ready for pickup at Walmart.  It wasn’t supposed to be ready until after 6pm, but it was ready early!  YAY!  So I went and picked that up and am so excited to use it this weekend!  I’m going to make some salmon “jerky” (aka: salmon “candy” because it’s not all the way dried out…just like half dried…the way I make it).  I haven’t had it since before my plastic piece of crap Ronco literally disintegrated last year sometime. 

I’ve discovered that I love seaweed snacks.  I’ve been eating the heck out of them lately.  They’re so satisfying and low in calories.  A great filler food.  Plus they’re high in all sorts of good for you things.  And I think they’re quite tasty. 

And now for some pictures of my cats...

Monday, March 6, 2017

Embracing a Gluten-Free Life

Last summer something began to dawn on me.  Whenever I would eat processed carbs I would get (this may get a little TMI, just sayin’) heart burn, gas, headaches, and achy joints.  As time went on, these symptoms got worse and worse.  After a lot of thinking, I think it all started after I’d lost about 80 pounds.  Sure when I was at my heaviest I had heart burn all the time.  All. The. Time.  I was so incredibly uncomfortable in pretty much every possible way.  The heart burn went away the more weight I lost.  Then at about 80 pounds lost, that’s when I started noticing that processed carbs didn’t really agree with me.  But I was in denial.  So while I would attempt to abstain from them, it never lasted long.  Usually I would abstain during the week and then on the weekends it was whatever goes.  Burgers, pizza, you name it.  I mean, I didn’t go hog wild, but I did allow myself to eat at least one meal of whatever I wanted to eat. 


Last summer when my doctor switched me to a new medication, I no longer had the urges to shovel food into my face all day every day.  I dropped about 25-30 pounds pretty quick and was totally in love with my body.  One side effect of this weight loss?  Increased sensitivity to all processed carbs.  All of them.  The level of my symptoms went up so many notches at this point.  Then over the following months, my symptoms not only continued getting worse, but new ones started popping up.  Now it seems I get eczema, or at least an eczema-like rash, on my hands.  It’s itchy and scaly and I don’t like it. 


I finally put 2 and 2 together and accepted the seemingly obvious fact that I have either developed a gluten intolerance or I had one the whole time but the symptoms weren’t obvious or whatever.  It’s been a struggle to say the least.  I did discover when I tried paleo for a little bit late last summer into the early fall that I felt fantastic.  There are absolutely no processed carbs on a paleo diet.  Lots of protein and natural carbs (fruits, veggies and the like).  Due to another medication change I regained almost all of the weight I had lost over the summer, much to my frustration.  The urges to stuff my face came back.  The boredom eating, the anxiety induced eating.  You name it. 


Finally, the last few weeks, I’ve made an actual effort to be as gluten free as possible.  I love gluten free bread.  It’s so tasty and dense it’s quite satisfying.  Also recently, those urges have gone away yet again.  I’m down about 10 pounds and have just another 10-ish pounds to go to be where I was last summer.  I’m starting to like what I see in the mirror again and am happy with my progress.  I’ve noticed over the last few weeks as I’ve mostly abstained from food containing gluten that if I do eat anything with gluten in it, it hits me FAST.  And it’s not pleasant.  So I’m going to make a continued concerted effort to remain as gluten free as possible and truly embrace it as my new life.


I’ve found all sorts of gluten free substitutions for my favorite foods.  Rice pasta is perfect if I want pasta.  Or shirataki noodles are also a great option.  Annie’s Organic has a fantastic gluten free mac’n’cheese!  I’ve discovered that a nearby bakery has gluten free scones on Tuesdays…not sure how that’ll really work for me as I’m usually working overtime at work on Monday nights and am dead to the world Tuesday morning.  Maybe I can figure something out.  I’ve also discovered that so many places cater to gluten free, albeit for an upcharge, but it’s still nice to know and I don’t mind paying the extra money to make sure I’m not miserable.  Jason’s Deli for instance has a gluten free option.  There are multiple places where I can get a burger with a gluten free bun…Fuddrucker’s, Hopdoddy’s, Twisted Root to name a few.


It’s a completely doable life, I just have to embrace it and accept it as how my life will be now.  Will I be 100% abstinent from gluten?  Probably not.  I will probably have the occasional item containing gluten and I will suffer the consequences as a result.  At least until my symptoms get so bad that they are not acceptable at all.

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