Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Thoughts: Bathing Suits, Coasters, and Cruises

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

I'm feeling good and I'm encouraged by the progress that I have been making. It's all positive. We are just 5 months away from Jamaica and I can taste it. Although if truth be told, I'm happy to have that 5 months. I've been home from DC for 3 weeks and I've lost 5lbs . I wouldn't mind losing more.

I'm seeing muscles that I haven't seen in a while. My lung capacity is improving. My clothes fit better. But, I'm not where I want to be yet. I have been getting some pool invites and they have been terrifying. I have no desire to get my bathing suit out. I haven't worn it since last summer. I didn't feel super comfortable in it then so I would like a little more time before I attempt that again.

I have a meeting in Wilmington, NC next month. It's most of the day on Saturday so I would like to leave early on Friday morning and drive straight to the beach. That gives me 4 weeks to feel a little better about a public bathing suit outing.

Getting away has been a challenge, but for the second year in a row I got a season pass to Carowinds for my birthday. I try to go at least once a month. I'm a Roller Coaster junkie. I love the adrenaline. I love the speed. I love the excuse to scream at the top of my lungs. It's also a little nod to Dad's memory. He is responsible for my love of roller coasters.

The only problem I have with Roller Coasters is the seating. When the harness is over the shoulders my boobs provide extra cushioning I suppose. When the harness comes up from the ground and presses in on your hips, well that's just embarrassing when they come by and push down on it.

I love going to Carowinds for the thrill rides, but it's also a guaranteed day of steps. It's good all around. I take protein bars with me and drink water all day. The last time I went I was super excited that I had to pee so much. It was hot, but I was staying hydrated. While I was there I made note of my vegetarian options. I found cheese pizza, cheese quesadillas, and veggie burgers. I may try the veggie burger next time. I'm not very optimistic though. It's at the same location where I got the turkey burger last year that I was so excited about and then it was super salty.  But, I'm willing to give it a try.

For some of the rides they have cameras that capture your reaction. I know where they are located and pose every chance I get. And yet I hate just about every picture taken. Why? Well they seem to be taken as all of the fat travels upward. To be honest, I walk by and cringe at the thought of checking out the pictures. I’m afraid of what I will see.

There's really only one that I like. Lol. Shout out to Ms. Tracy for being a Roller Coaster Rockstar with me.


I had plans to go to Carowinds after work on Thursday, but the girls that I was going with opted for sleep instead. Boo!  I'm currently trying to recruit them for a do-over for this Thursday. Cross your fingers.

Okay, so back to the cruise. I've been feeling nostalgic and looking through pictures from my last cruise in 2014.  It was a wonderful week. I ate amazing healthy food. I got up for sunrise every day and did laps on the track. I came home lighter than when I left.  It was glorious.

I've been looking at the excursions for our ports and I'm excited. I would like to do something that's active. I don't want to just lay around, although I'm so exhausted right now that it's not such a bad idea.

I'm trying to channel that time now. I'm doing pretty well. That 5lbs is nothing to sneeze at. My goal right now is another 5 before my trip to Wilmington next month. That's a pound a week. That is a realistic and attainable goal. It's also at a rate that makes it easier to maintain.

I'll keep you posted.


Have a Blessed Evening,

Jennie
xoxo


****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jhendersonfit

Snapchat: jhendersonfit

Saturday, July 7, 2018

I chaperoned a youth trip to DC and came back a Vegetarian - Part 2

Hello Beautiful People,

I ended my last post having just had my first meal as a vegetarian. Since I didn't know that was the plan when I woke up I wasn't fully prepared for what was to come. Luckily I had a protein bar in my bag.

The original plan for Monday night was to order pizza for dinner. That would have been easy for me.  Unfortunately, we hadn't been given all of the information and instead of our evening activity being close to where we were staying, we had two hours to eat and get 17 people over to Arlington. Um...

Luckily I used to work in Arlington so I suggested that we take the metro over and eat there before getting on the bus the rest of the way. It had been a long time since I worked there, but I knew there were places to eat near the metro. Most of the kids wanted to go to Chipotle. I had a bad reaction to a meal there years ago so that was ruled out for me. I offered that I could just eat my protein bar. Right by Chipotle was a Potbelly. That would do.

I actually got super excited when I saw the menu. I ordered the Mediterranean Flat. It's made with zippy (spicy) hummus, feta cheese, artichoke, cucumbers, roasted red peppers on a multigrain flatbread. It's basically a different form of my Hummus Pita Pizza. It was a tad spicy for me, but it was delicious. Yay!



Tuesday was a little cooler and most of our activities were where we were staying so the kids got to sleep in. I had a mild panic attack thinking that I wouldn't be that active. So I made a plan with Mr. John to join him on his morning walk. We got up and walked up to the Lincoln Memorial and then came back. It was a good 4 mile walk to start the day.







I did stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way back for a large Butter Pecan Iced Latte. It was the BEST!

Since we weren't leaving the building until dinner time, we had planned on making sandwiches for lunch. We bought deli meat, cheese, peanut butter, and jelly. I had originally planned on a turkey and cheese sandwich, but that was no longer an option. We still had bananas so I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich instead. It's one of my favorite sandwiches.

The dinner was a Dollar challenge. We were all given $1 and needed to figure out how to feed all of us.  We talked about how important protein was. It became a bit of a challenge because one person was allergic to peanut butter and one person was allergic to eggs. I'll spare you the drama and details, but the kids chose spaghetti with meat sauce. I got to put shredded cheese on mine.  My little win was that they did get some whole wheat pasta too.




Wednesday we were back at DC Central Kitchen. I was fully prepared to raise my hand when they asked if anyone had an aversion to working with meat. They didn't ask. I mentioned this and she said that they didn't have meat. They still had lots of corn to shuck. Alright!  I'm on board with this.

I was in line to wash my hands when Chef Jonathan called me over. He needed a couple adults because they had some more chicken to cut. It wasn't whole chickens, but my face turned green at the idea. I told him how I felt and he said he understood.  I was off the hook.  I got put on onion duty instead. Ugh.  I want corn!  And just like that I cut my finger on the onions. It wasn't a bad cut, but I moved to corn duty quick.

We left at lunchtime and headed over to the holocaust museum.  Our timed admission was for 2pm so we ate at the Cafe.  I have to say, they had a fantastic menu.  I had a hard time choosing what to get. I chose the Tomato and Cheese sandwich (it doesn't sound that exciting, but just look at it!) and a side of a Falafal Salad.

It was another delicious.

Before we went into the museum I got to spend a little time with two of my girls. I just love them.





It was a somber couple of hours going through the Holocaust museum.  It's hard to feel good about the food in your belly as you walk through. I'll just leave it at that. Please go visit if you get the chance.

After we were done at the museum I was excited to leave the kids and head out to see my family for dinner. Mom finished up in her classroom that afternoon and this marked the beginning of her retirement. YAY!

While I was home over Memorial Day weekend we talked about where we would go to eat. Once we discovered that one of my favorite places to eat was nearby the decision was made. We were going to Chuy's Tex Mex!  Now when this was decided it was with my intention to get the Chuychanga. It had the best roasted chicken in it. Oh it melted in your mouth. Damn it! Why did I have to cut up those chickens?

I stayed strong and went with the cheese quesadilla. I know it's a lot or cheese for the day, but shared a room with 16 other people and really didn't want the black beans. I was trying to be thoughtful.




Thursday was our free day. We had a scavenger hunt around the Monuments and Memorials. Then we would break off into smaller groups to go to some museums. I was really excited because as many times as I have walked around DC, I had never been on the other side of the Tidal Basin. I had never been to many of the memorials.

We talked to the kids the night before to discuss our lunch options.  We could make sandwiches and sit under a tree to eat at any time or we could wait until we got to the museums and eat at one of the cafeterias. That's what they chose.

We started off a the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  It was beautiful and incredibly humbling.



Next up was the FDR Memorial. I was unprepared for how much it would affect me. It is a beautiful Memorial for an incredible Man. It quickly became my favorite Memorial and not just because of the lack of stairs. 



We had one more Memorial before we stopped for a break.  First we were off to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. 




It was another impressive Memorial and I wish that we had more time there and I wish I wasn't so hungry. It was now lunchtime and we still had several places to go before lunch. So we left and headed towards the Lincoln Memorial and stopped at a refreshment stand on the way. I got a refreshing lemonade and ate a protein bar. I needed the strength for the stairs that were to come. 


It was later than we had planned so we had decided to head towards the Museum of Natural History and eat there as a group before we split off. We would walk through the Vietnam Memorial and past the World War II Memorial. We really lucked out with the weather. It was hot, but not as hot as previous days. We had some clouds and breeze and that helped with the walk. We had brought water, but not enough. 


Eventually we made it to the Natural History Museum. The Cafeteria was under construction so we ate in the temporary cafe that was set up for sandwiches. I struggled at first, but I found a Tomato, Mozzarella, and Pesto sandwich. I also got some fresh fruit and an iced coffee.


It was good, but a little too much bread. The sandwich was a little dry, but I've recreated most of it several times and it's yummy.

The original plan was that half of the group would stay at the Natural History Museum and the other half would go to the National Gallery of Art. We would all meet up at the Air and Space Museum. However, we got a little surprise. We got to go on a behind the scenes tour of the Natural History Museum thanks to a friend of the family of one of our kids. It was cool and the kids really enjoyed it. 

Our time was short, but my group still got to go to the National Gallery of Art. We would meet everyone at a Starbucks in Chinatown before dinner.  I was so excited. There was a special exhibit of Cezanne's portraits. Impressionism is my favorite period of painting. I had never seen his portrait paintings. It was glorious. However, the stairs to get into the museum and the stairs inside were going to be the end of me. My knee was throbbing. 

Sadly the museum closed earlier than we thought. Ack. We had a lot of time to get to Chinatown.  It wasn't that far and we all decided to walk the half mile and enjoy our time. We got to Starbucks only to find that the seating area was closed.  I wanted to die. I needed to elevate my knee so bad. 

Soon we were reunited with everyone and walked around looking for a place to eat. We stumbled upon a little place called Eat First and they had room for us. 


I'm not going to lie. I was in a slight panic about this meal. I knew it was coming, but I had been dreading it. I like Chinese food, but I am not adventurous with it and usually stick to my Sesame Chicken or Sweet and Sour Chicken. You get the picture. What could I eat? I scoured the menu and figured I would go safe with some appetizers. I chose the Vegetable Spring Rolls and the Egg Drop Soup.   And then I saw Sesame Cold Noodles. I quickly googled them and added that to my order. I was unprepared for how they came: covered in peanut sauce.



It was very thick and didn't really spread out, but it was good. It was also very filling and I couldn't even finish it.

Sadly we didn't have an empty chair and I wasn't able to elevate my knee at this time. When dinner was over we walked around a little more and I was getting extremely irritable and short on patience.  And then the tears came. I couldn't stand it any longer. My knee hurt so bad from all of the stairs during the week, standing on it the majority of the day,  and all of the walking that it made me cry. I tried to fight it and bite my lip. I didn't want kids to see and scare them, but it didn't work. So we found a spot to sit and I got to elevate. I sat like that for a while and oh it made it so much better. It wasn't all better, but I was done for the night. Two of my kiddos offered to go back with me. We got a little ice cream first. That makes everything better you know. Just that resting time made it easier to walk. We were a little sad with me limping and Abby in her walking boot being pushed in the wheel chair by James. They offered me the chair, but I weigh a bit more than Abby so I declined. These kids are great and we got a little quiet time before everyone came back. It was needed since we were leaving in the morning. That day was 27,305 steps. Every one of them was earned.  As painful as it was, it was still a wonderful day.

Friday morning we packed up and headed to Union Station.  I needed coffee so badly. So I went back to Pret A Manger. While I was there I decided to look and see if there was anything that I could get for lunch. I hit the jackpot. They had a wrap and immediately caught my attention: Avocado & Toasted Pine Nut. YES! It had avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, yogurt dressing and pine nuts on a whole grain wrap. It was so tasty that I have recreated it multiple times since I got home. I also grabbed a small salad that had quinoa, spring mix, avocado, tomatoes, and egg.  Additional snacks for the train included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a pack of almonds. I was all set.


I was tired when I got home and I had clients the next morning, but I was overly excited about going grocery shopping and finally having control of this new Vegetarian Lifestyle. I may have gone overboard, but I didn't have much in the fridge and I buy a lot of fresh ingredients.


So here we are. Today is Saturday July 7th and I have been a Vegetarian since Monday June 18th.  Today is Day 20th and I haven't looked back. If I could make it work during week 1 while I was out of town and unprepared for this change, then I knew that it was the right decision for me.


Have a Blessed Evening,

Jennie
xoxo


****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jhendersonfit

Snapchat: jhendersonfit

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I chaperoned a youth trip to DC and came back a Vegetarian - Part 1

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

Last week was one that I had been looking forward two and dreading forever. I was excited because I knew I would be chaperoning a youth trip to Washington D.C. for a long time. I also knew that it would probably be a food disaster for me.  There would be a lot of eating out.

We started the week last Sunday taking the train up. We packed snacks, but it was a 10 hour train ride and there was a cafe car. We would be going to dinner when we arrived, but we needed lunch. I had seen that there was a Quinoa Kale Chicken Caesar Salad on the menu, but I was skeptical. I'm not a fan of prepackaged salads. One of the young men ordered one and I saw that it looked decent. And it was. I really enjoyed it. The next person who ordered it ordered the last one.  So that made me a little nervous about counting on that salad on the way home. I needn't worry though. Something big was about to happen.

After we arrived and got settled in on Sunday night, we walked to the grocery store. One of my jobs was to adjust the shopping list. For most of the meals we would be eating out. But, we would need breakfast for 17 people for 5 days, plus a packed lunch, and snacks. We had a list to base it on, but that was for half as many people. It would be easy to just double it and be done, but I wanted to add some things and lose some things. There are no pop tarts for breakfast or snack when Ms. Jennie is around. I cut out the pure sugar cereals. The cereals I picked still had some sugar, but they also had bran. And considering the vegetables these kids didn't eat, it was necessary. I made sure to include wheat bread with our white bread. I added cheese sticks and carrots to the shopping list and dropped bagged snacks since they brought so many extra for the train.  My favorite part was when they all lost their minds over the 45 bananas that we bought. I made sure they were all shades of green and yellow. They thought I was insane.  And don't you know that we were out by day 3 and had to buy more.

Sadly the cheese sticks were bad, but you wouldn't know until you opened them up. We ran out of bagels. That was big. The cereal went, but not as fast. I'm pretty proud that we got lemonade and iced tea mix and we didn't open either. It was water all week long.

So Monday morning rolls around and I get up early. And let's face it, I didn't sleep much anyway. Monday we needed to dress in long pants because we were going to be working at D.C. Central Kitchen. They prepare 5000 meals a day from donated food. Did I mention that it was close to 100 degrees? It was a hot day to be walking around in jeans.  I'm proud though, we got there 15 minutes early and were assigned our hair nets and aprons. They showed us a video about kitchen safety and asked about food allergies and aversions to working with meat. And then we were given our assignments.

Since the kitchen runs on donations it is a lot of seasonal food that is about to expire. There were hundreds of cases of corn for them to shuck. They weren't super excited about that. There was a request for adults to cut the chicken. So myself, Pastor Ward, and Mr. John got to do that along with a college sophomore Ethan. Please note that I missed the instructions and pretty much only ever work with chicken that's already been cut up.

So here I am ready to help. I will do the gross job, but I am seriously jealous of the corn shucking. I don't know how many chickens we had in total, but there were many trays with around 12-15 raw formerly frozen chickens on each one. That means they are thawing. That means their juices are escaping. Fun stuff.

I have mentioned before that I wanted to try being a vegetarian. I knew it would be hard and I knew that in order for me to make this a permanent thing something was going to need to happen. I have avoided the documentaries because I didn't know if I really wanted to make this a for real thing. I had already mostly given up red meat, I couldn't really think that I would be able to give up chicken too.  Although if you've ever driven through a chicken farm regularly, it's not that hard to imagine. I might have been able to make it through this morning unaffected, but I'm still beyond grossed out by my half cooked cheeseburger from a couple of months ago.

Okay so back to the chickens. I was given my very large knife and went to bring chicken number one over and get started. Everyone else seemed to be done their first one before I was able to cut through my first appendage. Bone ain't easy. So visually here is short little me with the lip of the counter digging into my rib cage. I have said many times that it's harder for me to cut things because sometimes my arms are a little more elevated than the usual person. Trying to cut through bones like that is even harder. I probably needed a step stool to make it easier. Add to that the gigantic container that we were putting the cut parts in. I had to reach far to put the chicken in. I was in the middle and pretty close to it. Some chickens were harder to cut then others.

I butchered my first chicken pretty bad (pun intended). But, I was proud of myself when I got a good chicken I felt invincible. Then the next chicken would be tough and all I could do was focus on the naked wings.  Those naked wings were my downfall.  The guys said to pull on the wings and legs and you could dislocate the bones to make it easier. For me that wasn't a good feeling. It helped, but ugh.

Chef Eric came by and I asked him to show me how to cut it right.  It looked so easy when he did it. But, it was like it was my first time when he left and I forgot everything he showed me. After about an hour I made the declaration that I was never eating chicken again.  I wasn't kidding. I know they thought I was joking, but something changed in me that morning. I knew something traumatic would need to happen to get me to make the change. Some people may laugh at my use of the word traumatic, but that's what it was to me.

About halfway through our time Chef Jonathan came over and asked for 2 of us to stop cutting. I volunteered immediately. But, be careful what you wish for. He wanted us to start pulling the cut pieces out of the container and prep them with seasoning then put them on the trays. We had a giant bowl to put them in and then douse them with oil and toss in seasoning and stir it up. Remember when I said that the chicken was in a big container. There was lots of ice put in it that was melting. So here I was reaching into this container and pulling out chicken parts and putting them into the bowl. Pinkish/Reddish liquid was coming out with it and splashing on me. *Shudder*. Mr. Ethan and I took turns doing that. I was getting an irritation on my arm from leaning into the container. Did I mention that the floor now had some of that juice all over it? ugh. I felt like I was covered in chicken juice.

Three hours could not end soon enough. Eventually it did. We were scheduled to eat there before we left. The menu: Chicken, corn, spinach, collard greens, and mashed potatoes. I got everything but the chicken.



Thankfully I had a protein bar in my bag since my plate was seriously lacking in it.  This was about to become my biggest challenge.

That was 10 days ago. I have not had meat since.  Stay tuned for Part 2 when I talk about the trials and surprises that awaited me as I began this journey during a week away from home.

Before I go let me just add one thing. When we went back two days later I was on Onion chopping duty. The gentleman next to me was a regular volunteer. He asked what I did on Monday. When I told him that it was whole chickens he said he wished he had been there. I asked why and he said that they rarely get whole chickens. We were there on a special day. I'm happy that we were able to be a part of that. Protein is so important. I don't begrudge anyone from eating meat. It's just not my thing anymore.

Have a Blessed Evening,

Jennie
xoxo


****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jhendersonfit

Snapchat: jhendersonfit

Monday, May 7, 2018

Dealing with Grief during Birthday Month

Hello Beautiful People,


I am seriously a giant ball of emotions all day long. Some days I am so tense to keep myself from crying that I have chewed my lip raw.  I need to add that that is how I am in public. In private I am a huge blubbering mess.  I could be sitting and watching Trading Spaces and all of a sudden I will see myself walking in and seeing Dad for the first time since I knew he was sick and how fragile he looked. It comes out of nowhere and I don't know how to hide from it.

When I was home for Easter last month the Pastor said something that stuck with me. He talked about a very short period of time in which 4 members of his family passed away. He talked about Grief and how when you are grieving and going about your daily routine no one knows. The example he used is that no one offers their seat on the subway to you.  I wish it was still cool to wear 'mourning' clothes. Although in my own way I have done just that since Dad passed away. I have worn his sweatshirts like they are my armor.

I love my friends and family and they have been good about checking in with me. And I think that I'm pretty good about sharing  when I am struggling. Except I just publicly acknowledge it. I don't actually talk to anyone about what I'm feeling. But, there comes a point when I don't want to share everything because I don't feel like everyone will understand. And then I become irrationally upset that they have no idea why I'm feeling down.

I know everyone grieves differently, but I just plain suck at it. I mean I am like a Gold Medalist in Sucking at Grief. I can push down and lock up those emotions with the best of them.  I am so terrified of the tsunami of emotions that would envelope me that I do everything possible not to let them out. This, I know, is so not healthy.  It's not good. I'm snappy with people for no reason. I shut down from friends and hibernate if I have the chance. I'm not dealing with my grief at all.  And I know after some people read this they will say that I can talk to them anytime I need to. I know that I can. But, that doesn't mean that I will. That's all on me.

For several months I have passed a sign at the church down the street from the house. It's for a Grief share. I looked at the church website, but I couldn't find anything about it. It didn't matter though, because it was for Wednesday nights and I have confirmation with the kids at my church. After feeling like my insides are melting because I cried so hard I decided that I needed to take another look.  Last week I looked it up again and found some more information. I wasn't sure if it was similar to an AA type meeting where anyone could go at any time. It is not. It's a structured meeting. I know this because I reached out to the Pastor who leads it.  This one ends in a few weeks, but I am going to go for the last two.  The Pastor is trained in Grief counselor and has offered to meet with me outside of the meeting. I really need this.

And as I type this I feel stupid. We just postponed this week's confirmation event, but I said I would set up a video chat. I could have gone to the meeting instead. Although Wednesday is my birthday and I'm not sure that's how I want to spend the evening. 

So now you know what this current trigger is. Every milestone without Dad is hard. And there have been so many.  I have almost not wanted to celebrate this birthday.  I have pretty much avoided planning anything. Birthday month has been super low key. 

This is from the last Birthday that I celebrated at Dad. Since my birthday falls around Mother's Day it has been notoriously hard to get friends together that weekend. However, every 5 years we would celebrate at Dad's at the beach. It is a little less hard to get people to go to the beach. This was 5 years ago so that means this would be the year to spend with him.



I've been pretty good controlling my stress eating lately, but I will confess that when I stopped at the grocery store today, I got a large white chocolate bar and ate the whole thing.



Have a Blessed Evening,

Jennie
xoxo


****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jhendersonfit

Snapchat: jhendersonfit

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Personal Report Card: Eating Right: B+ and Hydration: B-

Hello Lovely Ladies and Gents,

Last month I led a Healthy Eating Workshop at church. I was in my element. I loved planning it and leading it. I ran out of time because quite frankly I could talk for hours. Unfortunately I had a time limit of 2 hours. It was hard to narrow down what I wanted to talk about. What I really wanted to talk educate about are the different food groups and what we should eat and what we should avoid.

As I talked about each group we had different healthy foods served for tastings. I went overboard on that, but I wanted to make sure people knew that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring. I'm still planning a post detailing the Workshop, so I won't get into it now. Stay Tuned...

Anyway, there's nothing like planning a Healthy Eating Workshop to really make you pay attention to what you're eating.  I'm really pretty good, with my food, but I've been branching out lately and that's been fun. I'm pretty faithful about eating my garden salads, but I've been jazzing them up with special guest ingredients. Sometimes I've added roasted red peppers. Sometimes I've added berries. Sometimes I've added marinated artichokes. I've also been experimenting with different vegetable sides.  It's been delightful.

One of the dishes that I made at the Workshop inspired a Birthday Celebration at work. It made me squeal with delight. I can't tell you what we made just yet since I'm going to talk about the Workshop in a future post. Just know that everyone was delighted with their food and many people stepped out of their comfort zones and tried something new. That's what it's all about Ladies and Gentleman,

I have been able to indulge a little while eating out. However, one excursion did not go so well and it might actually put me off of hamburgers for a while. I have been craving a burger and I didn't really get a good one after the Half Marathon. That's my usual splurge. Well last week I was out to lunch, I won't mention where because I really like it and I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I ordered my burger medium done. I cut it to eat with a knife and a fork and I gradually noticed it was getting pinker as I cut. The third of the burger that I ate was fine, but the rest was almost completely rare. They made me a new one and I ate it (after cutting all up first). I should have just asked for chicken instead, but I honestly was starving and I couldn't think. I had eaten all of my steamed vegetable side and was trying really hard not to eat all of the complimentary bread. I haven't been physically sick, but mentally I have replayed it a hundred times and it's made me want to stop eating all together. I very rarely eat red meat (pun intended haha). I mean seriously it's like 4 times a year. I may be off of it for the rest of the year.

So my food habits are pretty good. I just need to control the stress eating sweet tooth.  That leaves my beverages. I'm the self proclaimed Hydration Police and yet that's where I'm struggling. I'm still drinking more water than most people, but I'm not getting my fill in. I'm compensating with too much coffee and sometimes some wine. You you follow me on social media it probably looks like I have a coffee IV hooked up. That's really not the case though. I make a 10 oz coffee in the morning and more often than not I still have some in there by lunch time. The problem is that I'm nursing that coffee all morning. If I'm out all day I may get a second coffee in the afternoon, but I try to keep it to a small.

I take multiple travel cups/mugs everywhere I go, at least at the beginning of the day.  I have a coffee and a cup of water/unsweetened iced tea. So I've been trying to drink the water/tea in the 30 minute car ride on the way to preschool It's been pretty good, except that it usually hits me a an inconvenient time. Oops.

The good news is that I do have to pee relatively soon after my water. That's a pretty good indication that I'm not dehydrated (my arch nemesis).  I'm being very conscious of my water intake right now. Especially when I'm more active that's when I need to increase it. Not to mention that the weather is getting nicer and hotter.  Water is nature's way of cooling your body temperature.

So how much water are we supposed to drink?  The number that you hear all of the time is: 8 glasses of 8 oz of water a day. That's so intimidating to so many people. First of all, 8 oz is nothing in this supersized world that we live in.  Second of all, it doesn't have to be in liquid form. Lots of fruits are water based. Think watermelon!

How much water you need to drink depends on many factors: age, weight/height, and activity level.  I hate to say: go by your thirst level. Because honestly most people don't think they are thirsty. That doesn't mean that your body doesn't need water.

Check out this article from FitnessJockey.com to figure out how much you need to drink:

https://fitnessjockey.com/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/


Alrighty kids, I have a painting night ahead of me so I shall bid you adieu for now.

Have a Blessed Night,
Jennie
xoxo




****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973




Snapchat: jhendersonfit

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rock'n'Roll DC Half Marathon Part 2

Hello Beautiful People,

Before I tell you all about race day, I forgot to tell you something about the day before.

I mentioned that while I was at the expo I got "what I thought was a magnet" for mom. That's what I get for her. They had a guitar shaped one, but that's similar to the last one I got her. I saw one that was a guitar pick shape so I bought that for mom. It wasn't until we were at carb loading night that mom let it slip that it was actually a pin, not a magnet. Seriously?  Grr...first the shirt then the non-magnet. I won't even mention that I was so distracted once I realized that I got the wrong shirt, I got off the metro at the wrong stop.  My head was NOT in the game.

What a wonderful thing a good night of sleep is. It was like a miracle when I woke up the morning of the race. I woke up completely anxiety free. I had an energy that I hadn't had in a long time.

First and foremost, I am happy to report that I had no trouble pooping. It's always a huge concern for me on race day because I will NOT poop in a porto-potty. I'll take a DNF and hop on the Metro Home first.

It was a beautifully sunny and cold morning as I drove to Aunt Carol's. I opted for braids and ear covers.  I don't wear my contacts much anymore, but I wanted sunglasses for the day. I looked pretty cute I must say.


One of my favorite moments of race day is the obscene amount of spandex as far as the eye can see. Maybe it's because of the two different start times or maybe it's because more people drove in, but there was not much spandex at all this morning. It made me sad. But, we did get a new metro car for the ride in so Hooray.





The wind entering the Metro at Federal Triangle was crazy strong. Oh this can't be good.  I had chosen to wear the shirt that I got for one of my December races. I'll give a shout out here to Under Armour for the shirts that have a breathable turtleneck to keep out the cold. GENIUS!




Instead of bringing a throw away shirt, I opted to bring one of my foil blankets that I got from a previous race. In case you wonder about them, they help trap your body heat after a race. You continue to sweat, but the sweat stops evaporating and in the cold it can make things much worse. Plus, warm muscles are easier to move than cold muscles.  Anyway, I figured I would wear it for a mile or two until I warmed up and then drop it at a water stop. I was happy to see other people had the same idea.

When I was at the expo I asked the St. Jude peeps how many people were running for St. Jude in the race. My jaw dropped when they said about 800. I had seen some numbers about how much had been raised because of the race and I did an inner dance. By race day almost $400,000 had been raised by runners during this race only. How truly amazing. Thank you to everyone who donated for me.

I was anxious to get started so I ducked in to one of the corrals and joined them. I had told Aunt Carol that I wasn't going to run at all.  The only time I planned was at the end if I had anything left. Naturally as soon as I crossed the start line I was running. She saw me. lol. Busted!  It didn't last long. my brain overrode my body and I pulled to the side after half a mile.



The first 2 miles were almost the same as before. There was a little change in the route, but not much different. And then as we finished mile 2 and passed the Lincoln Memorial( Hey Abe!) we took a right turn. Umm. We didn't go over the bridge to Arlington this time. I got immensely sad. That is usually one of my favorite spots during the race. Instead we headed straight up the Rock Creek Parkway towards the Watergate Hotel. 

I rolled up behind this woman and just LOVED her personalized shirt. I think I need to have one made for my next race. The back said: " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  - Phillipians 4:13. I let that sink in and reflect on it. God was going to get me through this.


 


As we passed the Watergate we then took a turn and headed back towards the Lincoln Memorial. Weird. We were on a multi-lane road going under many underpasses. Sadly there were many homeless neighbors living in this area. It hurt my heart.  All I wanted to do was pull over and give them everything that I had.

As we approached the Lincoln Memorial I met a woman who had knee surgery recently. We commented on the new course and both preferred the bridge to Arlington route. We also both discussed the upcoming Hill (yes, I capitalized it on purpose...it's that intimidating) and how we were saving ourselves for it. Haha.

At the next turn around I was passed by a blind athlete. I have seen this done at several races and I'm always awe inspired by this.


One thing that I didn't expect was to run into Santa. Haha. I've seen him during my December races, but this was a first for March. Nice legs Santa!



Not far behind Santa was the sag wagon. And there was my motivation to keep moving. Early in the race I expect it to be pretty close behind me. It's when I get closer to the end that I worry. On Mile 4 I was about 1 mile ahead of it. I just had to hold that pace for 9 more miles. Piece of cake.

On Mile 5 I saw a sweet hug. I'm guessing it was a mom who surprised her daughter on the route. It was so sweet. I took a picture of their hug. And then I stopped and asked them if they wanted me to take their picture.


My favorite cheerleader was on mile 6. I've seen Mr. Incredible in both Philly and DC at the Rock'n'Roll races. He always makes me smile. On a side note, I'm super excited about the Incredibles 2 coming out soon. 



Okay, so you may be asking yourself "I thought she was going to take off the foil blanket after a couple of miles." So did I, but I realized that I was not overheating and as I looked around most people were still wearing their extra layers. It was cold. 

One of the race sponsors is Geico. Now I'm a State Farm girl, but I get so emotional during their mile. Leading up to the Hill they have blue boards posted with pictures of soldiers what were killed in action. It always chokes me up. Many of the soldiers died a decade ago. And so many of them were so incredibly young. I only saw 2 names who were older than I am. The majority of them were just babies.



After the pictures end, they have volunteers holding American Flags all of the way up the Hill. And they are cheering you on. 
 

And then it was time for the Hill. When I saw it this time, I thought "Oh it's not so bad". And then I started up it. It hurt like hell. It was the first time that I thought I might quit. I mean I really thought I was done. But, I knew I couldn't stop until I got to the top. And then once I was there I knew I would finish. If I could beat the Hill, I could finish.

Someone asked me if there were lots of great signs. I didn't see too many, but I did see an unusually large number of people dressed in animal costumes. I mean I guess it makes sense with how cold it was. It's just a little weird to say "No, there weren't that many signs, but I got high fives from a Squirrel and a Bunny".

Not long after I finished the Hill my Rocky Theme song came on. I'm tempted to do a race listening to it on repeat.


While we were in Adams Morgan I saw a woman wearing a shirt that I must get.


There are many things that I like about this race, but hands down my favorite part is the Drumline that plays as you finish mile 8. You can hear them about a quarter of a mile away.  Then you round a corner and head down the hill and they are there waiting for you. I could stop and listen to them all day.



Time for a mental and physical check in. How was I doing?  Well I had finished 8 miles. I only had 5 to go. Honestly, I felt good. My pace hadn't really dropped and my legs felt good. I was not going to quit. I still worried about my leg muscles tightening up. They generally did after 10 miles on this course, but I was feeling good.




After 10 miles I was feeling great. I still had my foil blanket on. I knew that one thing that I had going for me was that my muscles were warm and that was good. I couldn't let them get cold or they would definitely seize up.  So my muscles felt good, but then something happened. It has happened during every DC race. My breathing became a HUGE issue after 10 miles. I have never had this issue with any other race to this extent. Honestly, if you tried to force me to run those last 3 miles, it was physically impossible. I couldn't take a deep breath. My pace slowed down, but I was still moving.

With 2 miles to go, Santa joined me. OMG that was all I needed. Seeing the little kids' who where cheering on the sidelines react to Santa was the greatest gift I could have been given. I forgot about the race and just enjoyed their complete and total joy.

The last portion of the race is a gradual incline as you veer around to the right. Why races end like that kills me. But, I was never so happy to hit that incline. I was doing it. I was finishing the damn race!

I saw Aunt Carol and cousin JC waving by the finish line. I was so happy. As I approached the finish line I heard my name being announced. They also mentioned that I was a St. Jude Hero and that made me smile. That smile was immediately replaced by heavy sobs as soon as they put that medal over my neck. I couldn't let too much escape though because I knew I would never be able to recover.  I was missing my Dad so much and Oh all of the emotions that were hitting me could knock me over.

I limped through the finishing area. I threw out my foil blanket and replaced it with a brand spanking new one. I got my banana an chocolate milk. I was soon realizing that I had a very long walk around to the stands where Aunt Carol and JC were. I wasn't sure how much longer Ms. Brittney had. Should I wait around here for her or try to get to them and see her finish?  I decided to head over.

It felt like FOREVER, but I did it. I made it literally as she was getting ready to cross the finish line. You GO Girl!



Aunt Carol and I sat and waited on the the bleachers while JC went to find her. I had some of my snacks and we watched some pretty amazing Senior athletes finish the marathon. They inspire me to no end.  After a little bit we decided to go see if we could find them. I couldn't sit too long or I would never get up.


We headed over to the merchandise tent to see if I could get the right shirt this time, but sadly they were sold out. Dang it. I did get this awesome commemorative wine glass though. I broke it in the next day.  Don't worry about the shirt though. We ordered a new one online. Hooray!  Mom liked it so much she wanted to keep the other one.  Works for me.


The next morning we went to breakfast. Afterwards I needed to stop at Starbucks. I had been coveting this ceramic travel mug since Thanksgiving. I promised myself that I would not get it until I finished the race. It was worth the wait. And now every time I use it, I am reminded that I am capable of so much even when I doubt myself.


Have a Blessed Night,
Jennie
xoxo




****Please note****


 If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com 
Check out my Facebook Page for Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

http://www.
facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAFormerFatGir

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: hugsnsmile


Instagram: Jennie5973




Snapchat: jhendersonfit