Tuesday, July 31

545a-fried egg, 4 chicken sausage, 2 sl GF toast, c reg w T coconut milk, supps
7a-few grapes, can Zevia
730a-Americano w SF syrup
10a-Uberbar, 2c half-caff
12p-personal training
130p-6oz tilapia w onions, c stir fry, med apple, oz almonds, can diet cherry Coke, supps
530p-3.02m walk/run
630p-salad w HB egg & half avocado & red wine vinegar*, 4oz chicken w roasted cauliflower & tomatoes, 2c fruit (grapes, strawberries, blueberries), 2 mallows, supps
Throughout day-5 quarts water**

*Hop tip: want low-calorie salad dressing? My entire bottle of RW vinegar is 34 calories!!

**I had a quart of water down before I left home this morning. Will try to make that a new habit. Secret weapon: lemon slices make it extra refreshing, and if you are green like me, you can keep those slices in the bottle (or pitcher) that you reuse over and over...they will keep your water refreshed many times!

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, 830-530. Up for b/r at 230a, otherwise solid. Nice!

Body: Pretty stiff when I got up, tight in lower back, but good once I got moving. Session felt wonderful. (Note to self: duplicate Sun/Mon sleep & nutrition & workouts just like this next week!) Seem to be developing "pullup elbow" on right side. Eve walk/run felt great, probably could have done straight running, but trying my best to be restrained and intelligent.

Brain: Doing really well. Rested. Confident. Happy.

WOD: Diligent. I feel like I say this all the time, but god damn it all to fucking hell, I WILL STICK TO MY PLAN THIS WEEK. It's a good plan. It's an easy plan. It's going to lead me to my goal. If I still can't hack it, then clearly I need someone else to make my plans for me.

No being can do everything.
A whale, though huge, cannot fly.
An eagle, though swift, cannot swim.

Monday, July 30

5a-c reg w stevia, supps
6a-can Zevia
730a-2c reg
930a-can Zevia
1045a-2c reg
12p-3.49m run w Lisa
230p-Uberbar, supps
530p-6oz chicken, salad w hb egg & half avocado & red wine vinegar, c grapes/strawberries/blueberries, supps
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

IF: Fasted until afternoon snack pretty easily. Hunger pangs at 930a; hiked up the fluids. Cold at 1030a; drank some nommy coffee. Hunger pangs again at 230p, plus feeling cravings, so ate a snack.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed. Couldn't fall asleep (tired but not sleepy), got up after half hour and just took a Bendadryl. Woke just before 5 without alarm.

Body: Calves still redonk tight, but the rest is feeling good. Run went well; apparently I do not use my calves in my fat shoes! Standing at desk got very old today...I guess because it's Monday, but also today just felt like it was the longest...possible...day...ever. And I already felt that way at 2pm, ugh! This was mostly brain, but knees got pretty "fat" feeling.

Brain: Doing well today. Looked back at eating pattern and decided to simply set an intake goal. This week: 1650. Not remotely drastic. Feels too high, but I've got to begin with something easily achievable. I took my fasting template and started adding meals & calories (it took a LOT) to get it to 1650, and it amounts to this plan: Mondays, fast at least until an afternoon snack; Wednesdays & Fridays, skip breakfast. That's it. Otherwise, 3 meals & a snack every day. Plus, suppers & weekend meals all went in at 650. I literally double-checked my formulas to make sure, because it seemed like way too much food! And it kind of is - it's definitely not going to create a large deficit, but it will create some momentum, which will be more successful (long-term) than setting an unachievable goal and beating myself up when I miss it.

I toyed with doing the Warrior Diet for the week (basically fast until supper, then eat as much as you want) but I think it might be a bad idea to encourage me to eat 1000-calorie meals. After eating my 3 ribs last night, I felt as though I could have easily eaten the rest of the rack. Not because I was hungry, but because I simply wasn't full. I believe my hunger signals are pretty fucked up.

(Diet Summary post has been updated.)

Great Pic: Obviously, this is what was happening to me:

Sunday, July 29

7a-c reg w T coconut milk, supps
830a-4.32m run/walk
930a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, donut holes, 2T coconut butter, 2c decaf w T coconut milk, supps
12p-protein pudding, few grapes, few strawberries, few blueberries
1230p-can Zevia
3p-coconut macaroon
4p-2T coconut butter, mini Larabar
7p-3 ribs, .5c stir fry, protein pudding, supps
Throughout day-3 quarts water

IF: Ran fasted in AM; tried to stretch from giant brunch to supper, but couldn't make it without snacks.

Sleep: 8.25 hours, 1030-645. Solid. Shockingly tired at 4pm, napped 5-6 on couch.

Body: Very tight calves. Low back still tight in AM. Did a long lower-back warm-up from book, and left for run feeling pretty great, other than calves. AM run was interesting. Felt so good that I was going quite fast, and decided I should dial it back with walk breaks to make sure the next two runs would be tolerable.

PM run didn't happen. Took the nap intending to run when I got up, but I still felt dog ass tired, even after an hour of being up & moving. Like pure exhaustion, depleted, not just dragging. I fuzzily asked Hop a stupid question, he was a little short with me, and I almost cried! No idea why.

Brain: Good all day until very disappointed in tiredness and overeating.

Saturday, July 28

7a-bag pork jerky, protein bar, 2c reg w 2T coconut creamer, supps
730a-20-minute walk
8a-basement lifting
9a-micro cake w coconut butter & SF syrup, c reg w T coconut milk
10a-bottle DCP, half s sunflower seeds
1230p-bunch of shrimp, med potato, pile raw veg (broccoli, peppers, grape tomatoes), bunch of fruit (strawberries, melons, grapes, pineapple, blueberries) w fruit dip*, c reg, bottle diet A&W
330p-walked about a mile trekking to park, around park, back from park
530p-bottle DCP, s sunflower seeds
830p-roasted eggplant w TC guacamole, protein bar, pumpkin & mallow "pudding," bunch of GF donut holes, peach tea w coconut milk, supps
Throughout day-2 quarts water

*Mom made this fruit dip that was fantastic: coconut milk, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon...how could it NOT be great, right?

Sleep: 8.5 hours, 1015-645. Up at 315 for b/r, digestive issues woke me, and that's also what woke me at 645. Odd, but whatever; the sleep was solid again!

Body: Very good. Took the AM walk because calves were crazy tight and I wanted to play around with foot strike a little, without running. Calves stayed tight all day. Digestive system pretty pissed off, for unknown reasons. Lower back fine most of day, tightened up quite a bit around 4pm, and stayed that way. It did not like all of the driving. Again, though, purely muscular.

Brain: Doing excellent. Loved the morning workout. Visited my brother's critters (2 old goats, a new baby goat, a fat little pony, a ton of baby guineas) and then a big family gathering in Little Falls. At the park, I immediately climbed the pole of the swingset, then taught/helped some of the kids do it; also, swinging is fun for adults, too!! Tripped to St Cloud, then groceries, then home finally at 8pm. Didn't get much done, but it was a nice fun family day. Oh, I did burn up my racing stripe with all the time outside this afternoon, so my runner's tan should look a little less freakish.

Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing your responsibility to make things happen.
-Stephen Covey

Friday, July 27

645a-c reg, supps
730a-c reg w T coconut milk
8a-2c decaf w stevia
930a-Americano w SF syrup
1p-2c decaf tea
2p-1.99m run to NSS
415p-2.39m run from NSS (side trip to bank)
6p-2 hours wandering around Stearns Co Fair
7p-can diet Pepsi
9p-2 fr eggs, chicken sausage, sl GF toast, 2c decaf w T coconut milk, 2c grapes, homemade popsicle, supps
Throughout day-1.75 quarts water

IF: Ate supper only, plus a little fat in the AM coffee. Got chilled at 1p, grabbed some hot tea; otherwise I felt just fine all day! Yes, even while wandering around the fair with the family. Nothing there I could eat anyway, and somehow didn't feel deprived, even when I fetched kettle corn for them. Brain is clearly in a wonderful place.

Wasn't going to eat supper, but after figuring out my short morning timeline for lifting & family event, I decided to eat a super late supper and lift fasted instead.

Sleep: 9.5 hours, 9-630! Incredibly solid...thank you, deadlifts!

Body: Sore glutes, all else is normal. Low back only feels a bit tight, much improved over yesterday. Calves tight after runs, wore Merrells, to be expected. All felt fine standing/wandering at fair.

Loved the NSS blog post on recovery...it's akin to the Whole9 health equation, but to me it's a full step better, because it takes away some of the vague subjectivity by applying numbers. Still subjective, but it's like the difference between "How do you feel?" versus "Scale of 1-10, how do you feel?" - the second question is far more useful to me. (Should I be an accountant, or should I be an accountant?!) The tool shown also really hits home to me that a day of fasting = serious stress on the body. To even hit reasonable recovery, I would have to do everything else.

Brain: Really good. Ready for a productive day/weekend that includes a lot of family socializing. Should keep me from noticing the hubster is missing.

WOD: Steadfast. As in, stay strong and hold tight to my plan.

I suspect that many of the "failures" of Cycle 3 came from this: when I feel good, I try to fast & cut calories AMAP, because I'm worried that I'll fail at my weekend plan - this way I can "bank" my deficit early in the week. So in a sense, I've already given myself permission to fail over the weekend. Then when the weekend comes, I've gotten myself so depleted with all the cut calories & fasting that I simply can't stop the physical binge urge.

So my plan needs to be more moderate across the board: fast on Mondays & Fridays all day if I feel good enough, cut out Wednesday breakfast (gives me an extra half hour of sleep), and then stick to a "3 meals & a PWO snack" plan Tues/Thurs and over the weekend. No more attempts at banking deficits during the week so that I "can" overeat on the weekend. This way I should not be depleted physically, so the only challenge is mental, in simply not using the weekend as an excuse to overeat.

In all truthfulness, I should be able to get by on fewer calories during the weekend, because my workouts are easier and sleep is better and stress is lower. Probably true for all of us. Baby steps of progress in simply realizing that.

Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.

Thursday, July 26

615a-fr egg, s chicken sausage, sl toast, c reg w T coconut creamer, supps
7a-2 mallows, c reg w T coconut milk
815a-2c reg
10a-2c half caff
1130a-personal training
1p-6oz tilapia w onions, 2c stir fry, oz almonds, can diet cherry Coke (shush, HK), supps
630p-6oz tilapia w onions, 4 raw carrots w salsa, c steamed eggplant w red wine vinegar, protein cake, 9 fresh-picked organic raspberries, 2 mallows, supps
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

IF: None today: full fast tomorrow. Urge was to skip supper just because I'm feeling so motivated this week and I want to "make up for" vacation weekend. Slapped that idea out of my head and treated it like a normal Thursday. Aim is to break even on calories in/calories out.

Going forward, I am going to try replacing "meal 2" with a snack (half calories of a meal) and see how things go. If that snack is something as delicious as a Lara/Uberbar then it should be tolerable. I hope.

Sleep: 8.25, 945-6. Woke w/o alarm, but was up for bathroom again at 215. The hell! I think that was too much water too late in the day. Will work on that.

Body: Decent. Hammies a bit heavy but good by session time. Low back bugged post-session. Muscle, not disc, not worried. Sat for hour in meeting.

Brain: Good. Feeling snacky & wanting dessert after meals...thinking it wouldn't hurt to have a little bit of [insert snack here] - but then I stop and remind myself that I can do that in maintenance, but I can not do that now & still expect fat loss. Also managed to resist buying nuts at Fleet...they are everywhere!

Started easing back into pullups at home this week. Trying to remember to knock one out every time I walk into the computer room. Doesn't amount to many, maybe 5 a day at this point, but it's helping shift the brain back over into "attack mode."

Added to vision file for Saturday: Craved VEGETABLES on vacation.

Added to vision file for today: 205x1 deadlift after failing at it since May 30.


WOD: Determination. As in this, from my vision file:

Wake up with determination.
Go to bed with satisfaction.

North Shore (a summary)

Pictures galore


Itinerary of a wonderful vacation

-drive to Duluth
-hike 6.36 miles northwest of Ely's Peak, like an idiot
-drive to cabin in Little Marais

-drive to Grand Marais for breakfast
-hike Pincushion
-chill in Grand Marais harbor
-hike Lookout
-chill in Cascade River
-gondola ride up Moose
-back to cabin for supper & treats at the campfire

-breakfast out
-hike Oberg
-chill in Onion River
-hike Carlton
-chill in Temperance River
-back to cabin
-supper on the grill & campfire treats

-breakfast out
-hike Trudee
-chill in Baptism River
-touristing: visit coconut place, Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse
-drive a loop off 61 to see the back woods
-BBQ supper out
-back to cabin for campfire treats

-pack and leave
-hike Ely's for real this time
-lunch at Famous Dave's for Hop's birthday
-vacation OVAH

Wednesday, July 25

5a-c reg, supps
6a-c reg w T coconut milk
630a-taught class (did warm-up)
8a-2c reg
12p(restauarant)-salad (romaine, black olives, diced tomatoes, salsa, pico, roasted chicken) w balsamic, 2.5c reg, supps
7p-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, 5 carrots w/ TC guac, c grapes, supps
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

Tip: Taco salad bar at the Holiday Inn for LAPW meeting lunch. I made a huge and delicious salad by taking all the fillings (less cheese) - and topping with the balsamic vinegar I had brought along myself. It was not a challenge at all to bypass the shells and refried beans (although I do love me some refried beans!) and I didn't feel the least bit deprived.

IF: Back at it. Would've gone all day but for the LAPW meeting. Hungry (and cold) just before meeting, quite cold again at 430. Good timing!

Sleep: In bed 8 hours. At least half hour before falling asleep. Woke at 215 for b/r, then woke often after that. Here I thought I'd sleep really well being back in my own bed. Damn!

Body: During class warm-up, felt awfully stiff & sore. Very seriously considered skipping yoga in favor of a nap, but felt better after lunch, found some energy. Or got some from the caffeine. Either way.

Brain: Did not want to return to real life at all. But coping!

WOD: Commitment. Today this means: I intend to make a solid commitment to the next four weeks. No more excuses, no more "Well, I didn't sleep well, so I'll eat a little extra." If I don't sleep well, I'll drink more water and/or back down on workouts, but I will not eat more. I have thousands of calories stored in my fat cells; use them up, body! I am also making a commitment to consistency in meal sizes/macros so that I can get a better grip on how I feel in relation to workouts, etc. If my food varies wildly, then so does my training fuel, and how then can I judge whether the problem with deadlifts or pullups or a simple run is my fuel or my technique or my plan or the heat or whatever? Control as many variables as possible.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They're either speaking or preparing to speak. They're filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people's lives.
-Stephen Covey

Tuesday, July 24

530a-4 plain hot dogs, half cantaloupe, 2c reg w coconut creamer
630a-half bag baby carrots, 2c reg w coconut creamer, supps
645a-50 burpees
9a-1.05m hike, Ely's
945a-2oz nuts, bottle diet cherry Pepsi
1230p (Famous Dave's)-roasted chicken, baked ham, cole slaw, fries, few chips, 2c reg, supps
330p-half Larabar, 5HE
4p-personal training
5p-half Larabar
730p-2 carrots dipped in salsa, c stir fry, bunch of coconut butter
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

Sleep: 7 hours, 10-5. Solid, but SERIOUSLY: what is with the need to wake at dawn?!

Body: In AM, tight hip flexors only. Not looking forward to ride home! Burpees felt better than expected, though I confess I had to talk myself into it, and the first five really sucked. Climb to Ely's was a piece of cake, but hip flexors required the warm-up walk to it. Hip flexors continued to tighten up on drive home. Walked into FD looking like an old lady. Body would rather climb mountains than sit in a car! (Or perhaps simply rather not sit in a car after climbing mountains, suggested Dustin.)

Session was rough on me, didn't quite have "it," hot and sweating, pretty fatigued (unexplainble, right?!)...anyway, tomorrow is a rest day, may do yoga after work only...lots of quality sleep in My Own Bed, I should be feeling normal again soon!

Brain: Great. This has been an incredible weekend. Despite the many physical feats, it's been 100% rejuvenating. I can't quit marveling that just 5 years ago, I would've likened this to fat camp, not vacation!

Again, thanks to NSS for introducing me to the glorious beauty of the Superior Hiking Trail, and as always, thanks to Dustin for making me into the strong little freak that I am.

Also thanks to all the downtime with feet in the river, I've decided on my ideal house location: in the woods, with a river running through it, in the middle of a cornfield. Shouldn't be too hard to find, nor too expensive, right?

Monday, July 23

7a-2c reg w coconut creamer, NC
730a-TRX & burpees
8a-bottle v8, supps
9a-6oz sirloin, 2 fr eggs, crispy hash browns, 3c reg
10a-6.6 mile hike, Trudee
130p-s pumpkin seeds, bag maple ham nuggets
3p-.75 mile hike, Gooseberry Falls
330p-Larabar, s 5 hour energy
345p-1 mile hike, Split Rock Lighthouse & Palisade Head
6p-tiny garden salad, giant pork loin*, few fries w mustard, diet Pepsi, supps
9p-microwaved non-s'mores (graham crackers dipped into melted chocolate & Sunbutter...outta mallows)
Throughout day-GOWAD in effect!

*I must expound. This "pork loin" was the size of a roast, and better than bacon. Yes, that is what I said: better than bacon! A nice strip of fat all the way through, the juiciest meat ever, and literally the size of a turkey breast. The menu called it a pork loin, the ticket called it a pork chop, I called it perfection!!

Sleep: Ugh. In bed 7ish hours, max sleep was 12-6. Tired but coping well. Helped to step outside in peaceful perfection and start the day off right.

Body: Not depleted like yesterday morning, but certainly fatigued. Right calf still tight initially but better as we got hiking.

Hike felt excellent. Body strong all the way up, let Hop lead down since I'm so slow then, but I kept up well as he was finally slowing down. Which is good, I was starting to get mad that he had no problem keeping up!!

Brain: Pretty darn good considering the low sleep. Loved the hike, enjoyed two state parks, did some off-61 driving to kill time before supper at the BBQ joint, so we got to see some purty backwoods. Also found a local coconut-product seller; got shredded flakes, butter, and vinegar. Vinegar!

POTD: Hop is a good scout.

Sunday, July 22

615a-2c reg w coconut creamer, many pinches coconut flakes
7a-bag pork jerky, 2c reg
630a-yoga, TRX & burpees
830a-2 fr eggs, 2oz ham, pile fried potatoes, 3c reg, supps
10a-Hiked 2.41 miles, Oberg
1015a-Kind bar, s pistachios, half Uberbar, few seeds
1215p-Hiked 3.61 miles, Carlton
During-s Ultima
215p-Half Uberbar
330p-2oz mixed nuts, bag snap peas
4p-2 hour nap
7p-3 hot dogs, 3 sl bread, 2s baby carrots, 2 cans Zevia, some seeds, supps
930p-2 microwaved s'mores, Uberbar
Throughout day-4 quarts water

Gallon of water each was genius idea, felt fairly good all day. I also found a sad little market that had some fruit and veg for me, finally. Never thought I would crave them so badly!!

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 10-6. Improving! Felt tired in AM though. I am supposed to be getting MORE sleep on vacation! Two hour afternoon nap.

Body: Calves very tight, right more than left. Feeling a little depleted. Took it easy in AM with yoga and just two TRX moves along w burpees. Did 10 long, deep breaths between sets, and felt better after finishing than when I started! Caveat to training outdoors: it is not too zen to kill mosquitos while doing yoga.

First hike: easy. Basically just a hike around the summit to the many overlooks. Chilled in Onion River afterward.

Second hike: a real true climb, harder. Felt good but hot and tired at very end. Right shin gave a few niggles so I told Hop no running allowed today. Chilled in Temperance River afterward.

Brain: Good, but a little tired. Even Hop was feeling better than me today, the nap was pure need for me. Gorgeous views gave a boost!

Pic of the day: Lake Superior from our cabin. Ahhhhhh.....

Saturday, July 21

530-bag pork jerky, 2c reg
630a-10 burpees, TRX fun, 10 burpees
9a-omelet w ham & bacon & maple sausage (I renamed it the "Sabrina" omelet), side of fruit (banana, blueberries, green apple), 2c reg, supps
10a-Hiked 5 miles, Pincushion
1p-Larabar, bag pork jerky, supps
2p-Hiked 4 miles, Lookout
330p-oz pistachios
4p-Hiked half mile, Moose
430p-half s sunflower seeds
530p-3 chicken sausage, T mustard, packet Sunbutter w 4 graham crackers, 2 raw mallows, 2 cans Zevia, 2c decaf w coconut creamer
9p-2 pumpkin pie irons
Throughout day-2 quarts water

No grocery stores anywhere near us. I am craving vegetables big time!

Note: I am posting dailymile workouts but I can't link to them. Use the widget on your right if you care to see details.

Sleep: 6.5 hours in bed, 1030-5. Woke up naturally about 430 and tried to fall back...too early, again, but felt rested.

Body: Great! Vacation day 2 = 20 burpees, plus all the core/upper body moves in the book that came with TRX. All TRX work should be done outdoors. And also I think NSS should do a TRX class...how much fun would that be?!

First hike felt great. Longer than expected, got thirsty. (Packed in water on all later hikes. Tomorrow we will buy a gallon of water each as a gallon for the two of us is all we went through today. Definitely not enough. Will also make some into Ultima to avoid salt binges.) Chilled knees down in Grand Marais harbor post hike.

Second hike felt harder. Need more water. Calves getting tight. (In Vibrams yesterday, Merrells today, fatties tomorrow.) Chilled calves and feet afterward in Cascade River.

Third hike was nothing. Gondola up, traipse around the top until the biting flies got to us, gondola down. Back to cabin.

Brain: Great! Hop actually ran a few times today...it's a start!! So desperately wanted to be running today, especially the first one when I still felt fantastic.

Also, the view from Pincushion was simply breathtaking. I had tears in my eyes, that's how incredible it was. Thanks be to NSS for bringing me up here last October to fall in love with the northland!!

Pic of the day: Fitness anywhere!

Friday, July 20

545a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, salad w balsamic & half avocado, c reg w T coconut milk, few pinches coconut flakes, supps
1015a-half Larabar, 2 marshmallows, few grapes, 2c reg
1045a-bottle diet cherry Pepsi
1215p-half oz pistachios, bottle diet Dr Pepper
3p-6.36m hike
530p-3.1oz jerky, s sunflower seeds
8p at the fire-.5oz pistachios, 2 chicken sausage, Larabar, foil packet s'mores attempt, 5-ish plain mallows, can Zevia, supps
9p-10 burpees
Throughout day-2.5 quarts water

Sleep: 7 hours in bed, 1030-530. In late but woke up naturally...too early, but felt rested.

Body: Still have sore glutes/hams. Thanks Dustin! Digestive system freaking out due to last night's fat-eating fest and AM influx of vegetables.

Otherwise excellent. Hike felt wonderful despite being under-hydrated and low on food. Getting out of the car an hour after hiking suuuucked. Must remember to stretch after the next one!

Brain: Day 1 of vacation, doing great! Many last-minute chores knocked out before Hop even twitched a toe. Yay, productivity!

Drive up was good, bunch of reading knocked out.

We did not climb Ely's. Road work and flood damage had our vehicle approach totally different in a new lot so I was turned around. Basically, at our first T I went left instead of right so we hoofed it all over the place N of the actual peak. I kept getting upset with myself and then reminding myself I was still walking in the North Woods with my husband, and wasn't that wonderful? Which it was, of course.

Our cabin is great except very close to the road, which is very loud. Can't hear traffic inside, but sitting at the fire ring is not as peaceful as hoped. Damn. But at night and at 5am, it's pretty lovely.

Pic of the Day: Washed-out bridge on Skyline Drive. It looks familiar but I'm not sure if it was on the 50k route or I am just imagining that.

Thursday, July 19

6a-c reg w 2T coconut milk, supps
730a-c reg
830a-tall Americano w SF syrup
930a-2c decaf
1145a-1.69m run to Lake Bountiful
2p-played yard games (I was sweating, it goes down as pink!)
3p-30-ish min kayaking at Lake Bountiful
345p-1.68m run back to TS
4p-sl egg bake, 2 chicken sausage
830p-2 sl egg bake, T cashew butter (ugh), 3T coconut butter, 2T coconut flakes, homemade popsicle (nom!),
930p-oz pistachios
Throughout day-4 quarts water

IF: Plan: all day long. Wanted to eat breakfast, as I felt kind of crappy when I got up. Stuck to my plan. Used pullups for motivation. Then I felt REALLY crappy at 11am. Gave in and ate. Felt crappy after kayaking, too, so I ate again. At home in eve? Just plain ate like I was dying. God damn it all.

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed! 9:30p-6a. Got to bed late due to yoga; woke without alarm at 5, dozed until 6. Got up feeling well rested.

Body: SORE. Hams & glutes are very pissed at Dustin! Bit of general fatigue going on.

Brain: Not really up for fasting today; over the past month, when I felt like this, I went ahead and ate. This time, tried very hard to stay strong. Today needed to be a fast day to make some fat loss happen and return a little momentum to my efforts. I realize that I just spent 4 weeks at maintenance, but they didn't feel like maintenance. I still felt like I was dieting that entire time - because I was (just 1-2 days would blow up each week). So while my body got a break, my brain did not. And today I'm feeling the body's fatigue again, just like I did the first 8 weeks, and I just don't want to feel like this. But that's what fat loss feels like. And it sucks.

And I just couldn't quite hack it.

But I'm kind of questioning whether I need to hack it...strictly by the numbers, I spent a month at maintenance. But strictly by appearance...I may have been in a small deficit...maybe. I'm not objective enough to be able to tell...and I have no objective measurements like weight or inches. Dustin?

Afternoon was team huddle, quite fun; included yard games and kayaking and running. Eve at NSS was even fun, very productive. But once I got home: dog tired. Eat-y. Should have gone straight to bed.

WOD: Success. I do not feel successful today. I set a goal, I totally missed it. I need to start building up some small successes again, get that flywheel turning, however slowly!


Be so good they can't ignore you.
-Jerry Dunn

Wednesday, July 18

445a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, .5c sauerkraut, c reg w T coconut milk, Larabar, supps
6a-c reg
630a-taught class (did warmup, demo'd moves)
745a-Americano w SF syrup
830a-2c decaf
10a-chicken sausage, sl egg bake, .5oz almonds, supps
1145a-personal training
115p-choco banana protein ice cream
330p-sl egg bake, .5 avocado, chicken sausage, Caveman Cookie, supps
6p-weightlifting randomness
7p-yoga w Sarah
Throughout day-4.5 quarts water

IF: No supper. Again training so big breakfast, small snack, solid PWO nutrition. Skipping supper was easy due to oil change, yoga, etc. Just no time!

Sleep: In bed 7.5 hours: 9-430, up early due to class. Sleep was solid, though probably only 7 hours.

Body: A little sore in legs, yesterday's squats...worse in afternoon!

Brain: Doing great!

Hot $ tip: Nuts are on super sale at Fleet, almost every single kind.

WOD: Attitude. I'll just share the quote that inspired this WOD:
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
-Charles Swindoll
Pic of the Day:

This is where I'll be living Friday to Tuesday:

Fire ring! Grill! Shelter!
What else could you possibly need?
Well, maybe a hammock. 

I. Can. Not. Freaking. Wait.

Here's the description (keep in mind it's only $100 per night...cheaper than most hotel rooms!):
The Nest is a charming little cabin originally built in the late 1800's as a homestead. In the spring of 1996 we took it down to the bare shell and totally rebuilt it from the foundation up. The Nest now has knotty pine interior, with wall-to-wall carpet. It's one room has a Serta Pillow top Queen sized bed a hard wood table and two chairs a reading chair with ottoman, a 20" flat screen TV with DVD that picks up local and Satellite and a CD clock radio for rainy days and cool evenings. We have also added a small Dimplex fireplace and the Nest now has Air Conditioning.
For those who wish to cook the cabin is equipped with a Microwave oven, a toaster and coffee pot (well stocked with coffee). There is also a small 1-1/2 cubic ft. refrigerator and a gas grill with a side burner outside on the deck and an inside cooking griddle

The Nest is only 14' x 16', but we did manage to install a bathroom with a nice hot shower. It has a pocket door (for space saving), with a pedestal sink in the main room, also a vanity mirror and medicine chest. The room is well lighted and has a bank of windows that overlook the lake.

The exterior of the cabin is Cedar sided, and has a shed roof over the entry and all along the side, suitable for grilling on rainy days. It has a large deck and a fire-pit right out front. Although the cabin sits about one hundred feet off the road, it has been well insulated, and has five large Spruce trees shielding it from the road. When inside the cabin you forget the road is even there.

The Nest has been held out as allergy free, so please NO SMOKING in the cabin. There is a great view from the Nest and of course you are free to roam our shoreline.

We hope that you enjoy your stay in the Nest as much as our past guests have, and as much as we enjoy sharing it with you.

I might not come back, friends.

Actually, I do legitimately worry there's no way this vacation can possibly live up to my high expectations.

Except I think it will, as I'm not asking for much at all: hiking on the SHT (one of my mostest favoritest places EVER), biking, lazying, grilling, campfiring, sleeping, reading...just pure bucket-refilling time!

...with some burpees & TRX-ing thrown in to keep it "me."

Tuesday, July 17

530a-1.5 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, c stir fry, Larabar, c reg w 2T coconut milk, supps
645a-2 marshmallows, c reg
730a-2c reg
945a-chicken sausage, Uberbar, 2c decaf w stevia, supps
12p-personal training
130p-choco banana protein ice cream
330p-oz almonds
6p-salad w avocado & balsamic, med green apple, oz macadamias, sampling pureed strawberries & nut cream for popsicles, supps
Throughout day-4.5 quarts water - when I make a concentrated effort, it's not that hard!

IF: None today. Training today & tomorrow means I need to pack in high-quality nutrition and boost calories some. Ate a large breakfast, then a lighter mid-morning snack for less in my belly at training, to see how that felt - which was good. Nothing but high-quality nutrition for the rest of the day.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed. Solid hours. Lovely hours. Woke-without-alarm hours. Beautimonious!

Body: Great! Digestion a little fucked up, rather bloated this morning, not really sure why. Rice syrup? Calves initially a little bit tight from yesterday's run, and tighter again in the afternoon as well. Jump rope?

Sat for 1.5 hours in meeting.

Diet Summary post has been updated. Cycle 3 is going down as a maintenance cycle. Numbers are way high. But curiously, pictures do not reflect it. The higher caloric difference comes from fat; carbs actually went down compared to first two cycles. Curious, indeed.

Brain: Great! An "assorted rambling" kind of day:

For our team event on Thursday, I need three words, phrases, or pictures that "exemplify who I am or what I stand for." I will either be writing the word or drawing the picture...which means Wonder Woman is out. (I am an accountant; I cannot draw!) I came up with: barbell (encompasses all health-related things), heart (as I am a bleeding heart), and a smiley face (as, usually [blog bitching notwithstanding] I am quite happy and content with my life).

Monica had to tweak our Ragnar legs (team name: Nasty Smelling Situation!), and the outcome is half sad. I had initially requested to be in Dustin's van, since that way if I had issues, I'd have his brain to pick - or, more likely, he could talk me back from the ledge. However, after spending time myself trying to tweak things, I came to realize that I'd probably have to pick between Dustin & Lisa....so I told her in that case, put me with Lisa. I know my presence would also benefit HER in return, while Dustin probably couldn't give a crap about me. So...I'm in with Lisa, and not Dustin. Damn. But I guess this means I simply WON'T have any issues, right? Right!

My new legs (runner #11, 2nd shortest, 2nd easiest):
-4.0m moderate: 242' elevation gain, 111' loss; approximate run time of 7:17pm; NW out of Pepin, WI.
-4.9m hard: 330' gain, 134' loss; approx 4:14am; along the river north out of Hudson, WI.
-4.9m moderate: 317' gain, 320' loss; approx 11:18am; on the running paths along the Mississippi in St Paul, sweet!

Hot $ tips: From Joy: Menard's has PB Cookie Larabars for only $0.75 and Chocolate Coconut for $1, right in the entryway. From me: Pete's has my beloved BBQ Pork Jerky for only $4.99. Walgreen's has (or had on Friday) their nuts on sale.

WOD: Sunshine. Hey, that's me! No, really, that was my nickname in high school. And that's why I have a sun on my shoulder blade. So I brighten people's day...when I leave. Ha!

I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else.
I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.
-Ken Venturi

Monday, July 16

5a-sl egg bake, Uberbar, c reg w 2T coconut milk, supps
6a-half Larabar, c reg
630a-taught class; did warmup & some stretching
10a-c stir fry, 3oz tilapia & onions, .75oz almonds, 1 Caveman Cookie, c half-caff, supps
11a-3m run/walk (in Merrells)
12p-s Ultima
2p-salad w avocado & balsamic, 3oz tilapia & onions, 4 macaroons, supps
630p-macaroons, zucchini chips, samples of marshmallow fluff & choco-banana protein ice cream, supps
Throughout day-4 quarts water

IF: Planned an all-day fast. Crap sleep shot that down. Ate when hungry instead, then snacked for supper on the homemade goodies.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, but wide awake 130-230 at least. Seriously considered getting up to eat or read or something, but forced myself to stay in bed.

Body: Pretty decent. Just a little bleah due to sleep. Digestion improving, but that also means I feel a bit depleted again. Gah.

Acne reaction started on Friday. Have pinpointed the two sausages I nabbed Wed morning at RFL breakfast. They had soy. Two giant ugly depressing cysts that take two weeks to heal - no food is ever going to be worth that, especially not cheap-ass sausages from WalMart. When the fuck will I learn?!

Brain: Pretty decent. Just a little bleah due to sleep and huge to-do list at work. And super disappointed by last week's nutrition numbers, but working hard to ignore them for now and take this week day by day.

Random: I found a crazy list of burpee variations. I'm wondering if my husband would leave me if I added the Prisoner Burpee Challenge to the weekend's plans.

WOD: Courage. When I am feeling unsure and timid and on the spot and allathat, I can't say I really channel any kind of courage. Thinking in those terms tends to make me more nervous, actually. What I do is this: act as if. Act as if I am confident and sure and ready, and just do it. I think of it more as fake courage, a la "fake it til you make it" but it works for me.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill

Read This: Whole9

The Language of Food, a post from the smartest people in the world:
Linking your food choices with your self-worth is damaging and destructive. You are worth more than the food you put on your plate. Your value as a person has nothing to do with ice cream or broccoli.

Thinking of yourself as a good person or a bad person based on your food choices is damaging and destructive. You can be a good person who makes a healthy choice, or a good person who makes an unhealthy choice… but either way, you can be a good person.

Extra good reading for this particular eater, after 5 straight weeks spent eating at or above maintenance, despite grand plans otherwise.

Sunday, July 15

8a-Uberbar, c reg, supps
10a-4?5?6? almond flour pancakes w SF syrup, scrambled eggs w ham & onions & peppers, 5ish sl thick bacon, sparkling OJ, many c reg w coconut milk
230p-batch banana pancakes w coconut butter, .5c homegrown raspberries, s chicken sausage
630p-few coconut meringues, few slices zucchini chips
830p-few coconut meringues, few slices zucchini chips
Throughout day-4 quarts water

IF: No supper, because I felt totally incredibly stuffed and bloated and gross...sadly, I think it was that sparkling OJ: high fructose corn syrup in the tonic water. It was only an ounce so I thought I'd be fine. Stupid overly sensitive body!

Sleep: In bed 8 hours, 1130-730. Took a while to fall asleep. Up at 430 and 445 for b/r.

Body: My digestive system apparently thought of Relay as a serious stressor, but finally gave up the ghost this morning. Felt a bit fatigued, depleted & dehydrated. Hit water early. Otherwise rest of body feels good, no specific aches or pains as a result of Relay. Yay!!

Had intended a basement lifting session, but just never quite found the gumption. Took it as a sign that I needed more rest.

Brain: Doing well. Big to-do list both at both home and work, trying not to stress and just take things one line at a time. Brunch with Heather & Joy was lovely and delicious. Except for the digestive aftermath.

Food prep:

-pound tilapia & onions
-package chicken sausage
-stir fry (zucchini, cukes, kale, fennel, red onions, Flavors of India, pork bone broth from last weekend)
-zucchini chips (using dehydrator...didn't really work out)
-coconut meringue cookies...not recommended as regular food intake! Just wanted to experiment.
-still have egg bake and salads

Real friends are those who when you've made an absolute fool of yourself, don't feel that you've done a permanent job.
-Stephen Covey

Saturday, July 14

12a-5.04m run
130a-salad w pepitas & balsamic, oz cashews, banana, 5 hour energy, supps
2a-~1.5m walking (Merrells here onward)
4a-~4m walking (=8m total walking)
5a-shit ton of squats blowing out luminaria, felt super strong
530a -1m run w Brett
6a-Larabar, bag jerky, 2c decaf w SF syrup from Holiday (where I bought reg almost exactly 24 hours earlier!)
630a-bunch of cashews, coconut butter (yeah, that happened), supps
430p-2 fr eggs, 1.5 sl bacon, quart whole strawberries, micro cake w walnuts, 2c decaf w 2T coconut milk, can Zevia, supps
10p-coconut butter, salad w pepitas, walnuts, craisins, balsamic, supps
Throughout day-4 quarts water

Sleep: To bed at 715a. Up for b/r at 10, awake around 3ish but dozed, up at 4. The keys: ear plugs, sleep mask, nappy kitties!

Got up feeling rested but not energetic enough to hit the races, especially being super damned hot. Sounded way too draining to be worth the effort. Lazed and read instead.

Body: Run felt awesome. Tempted to keep going but listened to my Inner Dustin, telling me I had nothing to gain and too much to risk by doing so. Joined Brett for his final mile just because I couldn't resist. Happy I did, felt surprisingly good!

14 foot-miles in a single day...hello, excellent Ragnar training!

After getting up in pm, I was a bit stuff and sore but that is it. Much better than I expected to feel!

Brain: Forgiving the extra eating. Not at all surprising that I did, just happy it was carb-less. Somehow my carb cravings have been totally replaced with fat cravings. Interesting.


Take care of your character and your reputation will take care of itself.
-Stephen Covey

Friday, July 13

5a-fr egg, 1.5 sl bacon, sl toast, oz cashews, c reg, supps (hunger/habit)
545a-oz cashews, c reg w T coconut milk (habit/craving)
615a-2c reg w SF syrup (craving)
9a-bag pork jerky (hunger)
12p-salad w balsamic, Uberbar, (hunger)
130p-can diet cherry coke (caffeine, duh)
3p-s pistachios, s pumpkin seeds, bottle diet Pepsi, (craving)
6p-3oz pork loin, sl egg bake, c grapes, .5c blueberries, Joy's almonds, bottle diet Pepsi, supps (hunger)
10p-bag jerky, Uberbar, can diet cherry coke (craving)
At RFL- 2.5m walking
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

IF: Nada, per Chief.

Sleep: 830-430...up once for b/r, woke naturally at 4 tho did snooze once. Fairly rested but definitely not ideal, starting to feel the impact of the week. Crap!!

Body: Little stiff in morning, low back was sore. Went away as I got moving, as expected.

Brain: Doing well. I like starting the day at NSS...so much energy so early in the morning! And everyone is happy and friendly...unlike most of my mornings when it's just me being BLEAH and Putnam tends to be the same.

WOD: Unstoppable. Word of my LIFE.


If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race. It's up to you.
-Dave Scott, U.S. Triathlete

Thursday, July 12

415a-2 fr eggs, 2 sl bacon, 2 sl toast, micro cake w T coconut butter, c reg, supps
6a-half Uberbar, c reg w T coconut milk
630a-taught class, did warmup & finisher
730a-Americano w SF syrup
930a-greens smoothie, oz almonds
12p-personal training
2p-sl egg bake, 3oz pork tenderloin, c grapes, 1 Caveman Cookie, supps
4p-few grapes, few raspberries, few strawberries (cleaning up team treats!), few spoonfuls coconut flakes (to balance the pure carbs)
630p-oz cashews/walnuts, supps
Throughout day-4 quarts water

IF: No real supper, just two snacks.

Sleep: In bed 7.5 hours. Should've been 8.5 but Hop's alarm work me at 4am. GAH. Oh well, sleep was solid, and I did feel very awake at 4. Ate an extra large breakfast and spent a bit of extra time reading to ease into the day.

Body: Really good. No issues!

Have I mentioned my posture observation? If so, too bad, I'm doing it again. When standing, I tend to balance half up on the balls of my feet. Belly juts out, lower back curve is over-emphasized. This was a problem when my back was acting up, but now I also noticed what this does to my appearance.

Try it yourself: Stand this way sideways in front of a mirror. Then bend your knees just slightly, shift your weight back into your heels (you should be able to briefly pick up the balls of your feet here) and watch how your core engages: your belly pulls in, back flattens out.

If you can't see this, well, either I can't explain it right, or maybe you've got too much belly fat to see it. That's where I once was. But now I can finally see it! I don't know how to keep fixing myself until standing that way becomes automatic, but I am determined to do it!

Brain: Really good. $1210 raised for Relay, against a goal of $1000! SO impressed by all my peeps!

Last night I stood in front of the mirror in bra & underbritches (I just love using that word), and objectively analyzed my body. Really & truly: objectively. And I realized that I liked what I saw. If that was someone else standing there, a friend, I would say and mean: "You look great!" So you know what? I fucking told myself that. And believed it. That's worth every single pound of iron I've moved, every drop of sweat, every mile, every uneaten slice of bread, every temporary feeling of deprivation. I wish that I could bottle that feeling and take a hearty dose when I feel awful and snacky and cravings threaten to overwhelm me.

WOD: Dream. About tomorrow, about next year, about 5 years from now. Where do you want to be in terms of personal achievements, career achievements, house, family relationships, retirement accounts, vacations? I don't know where exactly I want to be. I have many dreams, much more enthusiasm than I do energy. I wish I could find a focal point that feels RIGHT. Still open.


Once upon a time, a caterpillar and a butterfly were sitting on a branch. The caterpillar admired the butterfly’s wings and brilliant colors.

"How can I become a butterfly?" the caterpillar asked.

The butterfly answered, "You have to want to be a butterfly so much that you’re willing to give up being a caterpillar."

I love this.



Fuck caterpillars, my friends.

Be a butterfly.

Wednesday, July 11

415a-3oz pork tenderloin, Larabar, c reg, supps
530a-c reg w 2T coconut milk
615a-c reg
7a-Americano w SF syrup
730a-c reg
930a-4.5oz pork tenderloin, sl egg bake, 2 sausage links, .5 banana, can Zevia, supps
115p-Uberbar, oz almonds (note: this did not tide me over at all - I was very hungry again at 330p)
6p-2c cauliflower dipped into TC guac, oz walnuts, oz cashews, greens smoothie attempt, can Zevia, supps
Throughout day-3 quarts water

IF: I really wanted to do a fast day. Or a half-fast day. My Wonder Woman ambitions revealing themselves, I guess. However, I am only just getting my sleep hours normalized and don't want to overdo things now, when I'm about to overdo them on Friday again. So: 3 meals + 1 snack.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. FINALLY. Had to go to bed at 830pm to make it happen, and also took a Benadryl to ensure solid sleep (I know, I know). Up once for b/r, otherwise was very solid and I woke at 4 without alarm. Dozed til 430.

Body: Feels great! A little overall fatigue, but today is a full rest day, so I should be back up to par tomorrow!

Sat for meetings: 2.5 hours. Standing in heels for 4 hours at breakfast was not smart. Only 1"...yeah-but-still. Just wasn't thinking when I got dressed in my purty new skirt!

Also, an FYI, my Diet Summary post got updated last night.

Brain: Doing well. Helping with the Relay breakfast was so much fun that I got a real boost from it despite being here at 6am. Dropped a little and I got very sad, almost teary, seeing the new product unveiling at work. So many things looked incredible and I could eat maybe 2-3 of them - spice/sauces,  not the super fun things. Had to tell myself to be grateful that I don't need to use willpower as often as everyone else. (But really? I do. I still have to resist nuts or my own homemade treats or massive piles of delicious bacon.)

An 11-hour day...ugh. Dustin, how the fuck do you do this all the time? While dealing with so many people the whole day? And remain pleasant & upbeat & likeable? I think it's quite clear that I could do your job for approximately 13 seconds.

WOD: Accomplish. This brings to mind a single question:
What do you want to accomplish today?

Go answer it.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, July 10

1a-fr egg, s chicken sausage, c asparagus in coconut oil, sl toast, micro cake w 2T coconut butter, 2c decaf w 2T coconut milk, c NC (I'm counting this as yesterday's calories)
630a-3oz pork tenderloin, Uberbar, c reg, supps
730a-1 caveman cookie, c reg w stevia
1015a-3oz pork tenderloin, sl egg bake, can Zevia
1115a-oz almonds, med apple
12p-personal training
2p-5oz tuna w 2T mustard, s sesame crackers, Larabar, supps
530p-red bell pepper dipped into Todd County guacamole (avocado & salsa), c asparagus w balsamic, 4.5oz pork tenderloin w T honey mustard, c grapes, 2c decaf, supps
Throughout day-3 quarts water

IF: Planned to skip supper due to eating at 1am, but decided all this low/poor sleep meant I should get in some quality nutrition today.

Sleep: In bed 845-1215, up for b/r, could not fall back. Wide awake, and very hungry, and w cramping guts besides. After an hour, got up and ate a good fatty coconutty meal. In bed again 245-615. 7 hours total, I guess, but I felt a lot better the first time than when I stayed up.

I wonder if this is telling me: don't fast when you're already super duper low on sleep...?

Body: Tired but otherwise things feel good. Session felt damn good.

Brain: AM: I am tired and don't want to be here. Annoyed at everything and everyone. PM: Barbells make everything better, especially Sabrina's brain.

WOD: Drive. I'm too tired to blather coherently about this (not that any past blathering was coherent) so this is all you're gonna get: Find your inner drive and let that push you to your destination.

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

Monday, July 9

5a-c reg, supps
6a-c reg w stevia
630a-taught class, did warmup with them
730a-Americano w SF syrup
9a-2c reg
1130a-can Zevia
12p-3.51m run w/ Lisa (some walking)
630p-1.5m barefoot walk to hang purple ribbons
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

IF: Full fast day. Felt hungry when I got up, but it went away within minutes. First chills didn't come on until 11am, along with some more hunger pangs. And yawns. Chills & hunger pangs came back at 4pm. Stayed strong.

Sleep: In bed 5 hours: 12a-5a. Halp! Fueled by adrenaline and caffeine, though I tried to limit that to reasonable amounts and only before noon.

Body: Doing surprisingly well. Tight/sore hams and glutes still, and left Achilles is tight, but no real issues. Pushing fluids like my stomach is on fire! Run was okay, felt like the weekend caught up to me. Going to be really careful the rest of the week so I'm not garbage by Friday. Shins/ankles/feet all felt fine. Upper body got fairly tight in afternoon. Kept resetting posture but it got hard to stay upright in general!

Brain: Again, doing surprisingly well. I'm not letting myself think that today will suck, simply planning to get through it just fine then go to bed as early as possible.

I forgot to mention a couple fun weekend tidbits: Hop's boss has a double-decker racecar trailer. I did several pullups on the second deck Saturday night. On Sunday night at the races, I discovered I could just barely reach the beam at the tip top of the grandstands. So I did a pullup there, too! Being strong is awesome.

Dustin: Relay for Life this Friday. My original plan was to run 5 miles Friday eve and 5 miles Saturday morning, Ragnar style. Probably not something I should try to get away with at this point. So please give me your ideas on how to do this without risking injury. Dial it back to 3 miles instead? Run 2 laps + walk 2 laps til I hit 5 miles? Just run once since either way, I'm going to be doing plenty of walking? I can't decide whether straight miles w/o walking or pure distance would be happier on the brain, and not certain the body will respond poorly either way. (I will not run on Wednesday.)

Another question for Dustin, or anyone else: Heard any good books lately? I'm going to have many hours of available iPod time at Relay. I'm almost done with my Self Compassion book (so good, BTW, that I actually think I'll get the hard copy as well so I can refer back to some sections). Conveniently, Audible is offering 20% off extra credits right now. Share your recs!

WOD: Achieve. I've got a pretty self-motivated high-achiever mindset and could go on and on about this particular word. But I'll stay succinct with what the WOD means to me today: it means to achieve my many ambitious goals, despite the poor foundation laid with the weekend's low sleep. A full fast day, a nice run with Lisa on her birthday, an efficient and effective work day, a successful Relay fundraiser at Lillian's ($110!!), and helping to Paint the Town Purple for Relay as well. Plenty enough ambition for a normal day, extra credit to do it on low sleep. But I will, because I know that I can.

Food prep: More than a little screwy due to the racing special, but here is what I've got to work with this week:
-Tuesday night I put two pork tenderloins in the slow cooker overnight. (Then we used the yummy flavor-filled juices in the pot of baked beans for the parade. Genius!)
-Pizza egg bake.
-This one's from yesterday: I cut 3 Larabars in half and re-packaged them in zip bags. Often I'm just looking for a little meal add-on or a tiny snack, and like everyone else in the world, it's nearly impossible to eat half of a treat like this. But if the package only has half, I can easily just eat half!
-Salads will be made this Tuesday night.


Don't let that which cannot be done stand in the way of that which can.
- John Wooden

Sunday, July 8

745a-2 sl egg bake, Uberbar, orange, 2c reg w 3T coconut milk, supps
11a-Uberbar, bag jerky, can diet Coke
1215p-lightweight powerlifting session
During lifting-2 Ultima
2p-2 SP cranberry cakes, s chicken sausage, can Zevia, supps
At races-2.5s sunflower seeds, bottle diet cherry Dr Pepper, can Zevia
Throughout day-2 quarts water

IF: No supper. But a whole damned bag of seeds ain't much different, GAH.

Sleep: In bed 6.5 hours, sleeping for a max of 5.5. Very tired. Very long day. Too much caffeine.

Body: Very sore glutes and hams still. Sheesh! Tight calves, nearly cramped overnight in bed. Selected racing seats that would let us stand up while we were there for eight. ungodly. hours.

Brain: Doing well, considering the low sleep. Beautiful day. Squeezed in most of my chores before the super early races. Lifting felt really good, definitely helps. Races were good, but started to crash a bit at 10. Not a surprise. Managed to stay outwardly nice and normal.

The best way to get the last word is to apologize.
-Stephen Covey

Saturday, July 7

6a-2 fr eggs, 2 sl bread, chicken sausage, c asparagus in coconut oil, c raspberries, c reg, supps
8a-5.25m trails w Lisa
during run-2s Ultima
11a-2 Cranberry Sweet Potato Breakfast Cakes, 2 sausage patties, 2c reg, can Zevia, mini Larabar, supps
2p-s turkey pepperoni (while making pizza egg bake)
3p-salad w half avocado & balsamic, 2 sausage patties, T roasted pepitas, Larabar, can Zevia,
530p-can diet Coke
7p-can Zevia, 1.5s sunflower seeds
9p-bottle diet Pepsi
Throughout day-3.5 quarts water

IF: Intended to skip breakfast but felt so stiff and achey that brain needed food. Instead ate three nice filling meals then nothing after 3pm besides caffeine and Amy's addictive seeds.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed. Awake in wee hours (husband) and when alarm went off at 451a...I am a genius who set Hop's alarm for 630a but turned on MY alarm! Dozed from then til 6a. Felt okay but planned an afternoon nap to make it to end of races.

Body: Stiff and achey first thing. Outer right shin tight. I have learned that morning aches tend to go away so I paid little to no attention. And they had totally disappeared by the time I was meeting Lisa. However, glutes & hams are NOT HAPPY after the Prowler session. Walked several small hills in second half of run for just that reason.

Brain: Doing well. Worried about having morning cravings or overeating but I was just fine, probably because the run was going to be with my favoritest running partner of all time. And it was as wondertastic as expected! As was brunch with Amy. Did not have time for an afternoon nap, but I was able to just kick back and relax with my kits & a book.

Food prep: Pizza egg bake: Saute a couple onions with your fat of choice (I used coconut oil and whatever grease was in the pan) - do not skip this step, it is totally worth it! Dice the following into a 9x13 baking pan: big can black olives, container fresh mushrooms, green & yellow bell peppers, package turkey pepperoni (perfectly acceptable to eat one serving while doing so). Add your carmelized onions. Chop a bunch of fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on top. Crack a dozen eggs into a bowl, mix, pour over top (could also use egg whites). Bake at 350* for an hour. Cut into 12 squares and divide into containers for the week's breakfast & snacks. Smear a little tomato sauce on top for extra flavor. Or salsa. Or cheese, if you can. Freezes & reheats just fine!


Experiences that will strengthen your character: getting audited; getting fired; waitressing; vacationing with your three best friends.
-Lesley Dormen

Friday, July 6

6a-2 sl French toast w cinnamon & stevia & 2T SF syrup, chicken sausage, c reg, supps
7a-c reg w 2T coconut milk
730a-half-hour walk delivering paychecks
8a-Americano w SF syrup
10a-3oz pork tenderloin, c roasted veg, Larabar, 2c decaf w stevia, supps
1150a-oz almonds
1215p-personal training
2p-salad w half avocado & balsamic, Larabar, bag jerky, supps
730p-can Zevia
Throughout day-4 quarts water

IF: No supper. Wanted to fully recover from Prowler before tomorrow's run, though, so I threw in an extra little snack.

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed, 915p-545a. Dozing for roughly the last hour, but otherwise it was solid. Glorious.

Body: Achey in morning. Noticed rather heavy legs while climbing stairs delivering checks. Weird. Slight ache outside bottom right shin, more tightness than anything, and not where it hurt before. Good going into session, jello coming out. Got my money's worth!

Brain: Very good. Busy with almost-fun things at work, session was great despite Prowler beat-down, and even managed to sneak outta TS at 3:30 since I was at a point where I couldn't finish anything else. Hit up job #2, which I also love, and then errands and home for a night of bill-paying. Which I love to do. I = dorkiest dork that ever dorked.

WOD: Inspire. This WOD encourages me to stay true to my goals so that I can inspire others.

I want everyone else to know that I came from a place of no fitness, no strength, half-assed nutrition, no coordination, no sports in high school...and look at me now. I am not special. I am not unique. I am just like you. Anyone can do what I have done. It's persistence alone that has gotten me where I am.

I started to run for weight loss alone, then had chronic injury issues, realized that I missed running and actually loved it, saw & ditched 7 unhelpful doctors, kept seeking help until Dustin fixed me, and then I qualified for Boston, won a 10k, won a 5k, completed a 50k and...stay tuned for what is to come!

I actually didn't feel I needed Dustin any more once I was running again, but he sucked me into the world of lifting and then I fell in love, gained tons of strength, achieved goal after goal, became a group fitness instructor, participated in a powerlifting meet, have a squat rack in my basement, and again...stay tuned for more!

I discovered Paleo eating cured the awful cystic acne that depressed me daily, and although I initially couldn't imagine a life without ice cream or bread or pizza or beer, I'm doing fine with modified substitutes, and I have discovered a love of pure, natural, delicious fruits and vegetables that will nourish my body to a ripe old age and fuel all the future running & lifting I've promised myself.

Again: in all of my accomplishments, there is only persistence. That's why I blather about every bit of my life on this blog. I want you to realize that just like you, I struggle, I have setbacks, I doubt myself, I get depressed, I have days of total surrender to the stress of life...I've had a shit ton of setbacks, mental and physical and emotional, but I never give up. Persistence.

I'll tell my story to anyone and everyone because I want people to understand that anyone can improve their health and appearance and confidence and LIFE in the exact same way:
-Eat the foods you know you should eat, and stop eating junk with no nutritional value.
-Find exercises that you enjoy, that are fun activities to look forward to, not chores you dread.
-Do these things over and over and over until you become the person you want to be.

It worked for me, and it will work for you.

The real key to your influence with me is your example...the kind of person you truly are-not what others say you are or what you may want me to think you are...Your character is constantly radiating, communicating. From it, I come to instinctively trust or distrust you and your efforts with me.
-Stephen Covey

Thursday, July 5

545a-fr egg, s chicken sausage, sl toast, c stir fry, Uberbar, c reg, supps
7a-c reg w stevia
745a-2c reg
10a-3oz walleye, 2c roasted veg, oz almonds, supps
12p-3.52m run/walk w/ Lisa
2p-salad w .5 avocado & balsamic, sm banana, Uberbar, supps
545p-kayaking w/ Amy
during kayaking-s Ultima
Throughout day-3 quarts water

IF: no supper. Easy since I didn't get home until just past 7 anyway.

Sleep: 9 hours in bed. Solid. In at 830p like a child, awake naturally at 530a. Wunnerful.  Except when I had a lovely wee-hours wakeup from Oscar, sleeping on his side with paws against me, suddenly digging every claw into my back. Ouch!

Body: Good! Neck tweakage is back, didn't notice it yesterday. Tight/sore hams but were fine while running. Didn't feel anything in them yesterday. Tuesday's squats? During run, took a walk break when my ears started popping, just didn't want to push too hard. I really don't feel acclimated to running in the heat at all.  Also, I keep getting a blister on my right foot. I wonder if that is caused by the instability I can feel while walking, though I haven't noticed (or paid attention, more accurately) while running.

Surprisingly tired & unmotivated at about 3pm. Drank more water and sucked it up, buttercup.

Brain: Improving from yesterday a little. Helping most: reading The Four Agreements  and listening to Self Compassion  audiobook last night/this morning. Also helping: being so busy at work that I can't dwell on anything personal. Although I very quickly fell into "I don't want to be here" mode because there was So. Much. To. Do. Noon run w Lisa helped a lot, then again overly sensitive in the afternoon, then boosted up by kayaking w/ Amy and a chat w Hop. Feeling markedly better by end of day.

WOD: Care. To me, today, this means I need to take care of myself. I need to stop beating myself up for being imperfect and accept that I'm always doing the best I can with what I have.

The essential thing in life is not so much conquering as fighting well.
-Baron De Coubertin

Wednesday, July 4

6a-c reg, supps
7a-3.48m walk (65 min) in Vibrams
9a-c reg w stevia, few taste-testing bites of pork tenderloin & baked beans, s Ultima
12p (ish)-hot dog, 3oz pork tenderloin, Larabar, c fruit, 2 cans Diet Coke
430p (ish)-2 hot dogs, 2s SP chips, .5c pineapple, few snap peas, can Diet Coke, fiber supps
530p-1.87m walk (34 min) in Merrells
7p-Uberbar, supps
Throughout day-3 quarts water

 Limited myself to afternoon snacking with everyone else only, plus an Uberbar post-sweaty-damned-walk.

Sleep: 9 hours in bed. Up in wee hours wide awake (husband, cats), hit b/r, took a while to fall back. Woke naturally about 5, dozed a good hour.

Body: All-over achey when I got up. Upper back, thighs a bit tight/sore. Walks both felt great, was neat to realize how much I could feel abs working as I messed around with my form.

Brain: Doing well, walk was good me. Peace and quiet and beauty. After that, pretty busy with setup of food, garage, etc, and also a shitty bonus: upset with husband for not coming home til late last night...then more hurt when he offered zero apology after I told him I was mad. Are all men this oblivious, or just mine? Had a nice little sobfest telling him that it feels like he never wants to spend time with me, which makes me feel awful. I do suspect this has been a part of the stress in the past month.

Parade/people over was a good time, but I got mad/sad again at clean-up, as Hop was busy boozing with his buddies and continued the party over at the neighbor's/Sidewalks without a word to me. Top buddy: his coworker, with whom he already spends 50-60 hours per week. So once again...it hurts. As did how many of my bestest friends did not come over for the parade, without a word about it. More hurts. This made me want to eat, naturally, but I wrote this on my hand: Being strong is the best revenge.  It helped keep me from turning to food for comfort. I also made a trip to Alex for CSA shares, which meant I was out of the house. Got back at 730, straight into the shower.

Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, July 3

5a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, 2 sl toast, c reg, supps
630a-c reg w T coconut milk, few raspberries
730a-Americano w SF syrup
10a-3oz walleye, 2c roasted veg, oz almonds, 2c decaf w stevia, supps
12p-personal training
130p-bag jerky, med banana, supps
7p-salad w avocado & balsamic, fr egg, s chicken sausage, micro cake, supps
Throughout day-4.5 quarts water (I had a quart down already by the time I got to work - gold star!)

Sleep: In bed 8.5 hours. Woke in wee hours but fell back without getting up. Wide awake 430-ish, dozed for a while, got up at 5. Did not need to get up until maybe 6, GAH. Took a long, slow, leisurely, reading-filled breakfast to make up for it - a full hour!

Body: Feels good. Stiff & achey first thing but nothing specific. Neck feels tweaked again, though! This time, I think I must have slept wrong. Nothing happened yesterday. Weird. Session felt fantastic. Helped not to dwell for more than 1 second on last week.

Brain: Doing light years better. I feel normal. Happy. Hooray! Unfortunately, I can't pinpoint exactly why. But I'll do what I can to stay here.

At training today, Steve was taking pictures of the "Train Your Trainer" extravaganza and I got super self-conscious because I was wearing a very snug tank along with my always-snug shorty shorts. Back in the locker room, I had to go look in the mirror at what I expected would be Muffin-Top City. And guess what...I looked fine. I did not have any poochy fat rolls spilling over - I even went out to have Heather take a picture to remind me that I look fine. (She was on the phone, though.) But I want to remember that feeling of truly "getting" that I am not fat...I've just got a little more belly fat than I'd like to have. That's it.

I then had a simple little "ah ha" moment: no matter your size, wear things that fit. If that means you back into your "fat jeans" for a few months, fine, do it - no one but you knows they are bigger anyway! And even you will be fine with it, because you will look so much better in them than in jeans that are a size too small. And if you look better, you'll feel better, more confident, better able to make smart decisions, bringing you back to a healthier happier body composition. For me, that means stop pushing myself into those thermometer jeans for a few more weeks. And I bought some new less-snug workout shorts at Target. Wear what looks good TODAY.

WOD: Stronger.

Please, for the love of Pete, think Kanye here, not Kelly freaking Clarkson:
Work it harder, make it better,
do it faster, makes us stronger,
more than ever, never over,
Our work is never over.
Every second you have a choice: you can get stronger, or you can get weaker. In body, in mind, in spirituality.

In front of the fridge, gripping a barbell, at your desk, with your spouse, on a long run, with a book, with your child, in front of the mirror - in every situation you have a choice: do you make yourself stronger by putting your full focus into the moment, devoting yourself to health, knowledge, growing, learning, loving, absorbing every bit of the moment that you can?

Or do you make yourself weaker by zoning out, judging, doubting, multi-tasking, turning negative, just plain overthinking?

Choose strength. Be fully present in each and every moment. It sounds simple, but we all know it's not easy. You will probably always have to work at this. However, it's worth the effort. This moment, right now, at all times, is the only one moment you are ever guaranteed to have. Let it make you stronger.

A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.
-Wayne Dyer

Read This: Beautiful Badass

Stop Weighing on the Scale – Why, How to Get Better Results, and a Challenge

If you weigh yourself daily or in an obsessive-compulsive-fashion, or if your mood is easily affected by the number you see on the scale, you can definitely benefit from ditching it. Do you freak out if the number increases by a mere half pound? Yep, this article is for you.


Monday, July 2

515a-c reg, c NC (forgot supps til supper)
6a-Uberbar, c reg w 2T coconut milk
630a-taught class, did warmup only
730a-2c reg
10a-3oz walleye, c roasted veg, Uberbar, 2c decaf w stevia
12p-2.84m run/walk w/ Lisa
230p-salad w .5 avocado & balsamic, oz almonds
630p-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, 2 sl toast, 2c decaf w 2T coconut milk, handful raspberries, supps
Throughout day-2 quarts water

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. Up at 215a for br. GAH. This has been happening a lot lately...causing stress? due to stress?

Body: Feels great. Well rested and loose and ready to DO SOMETHING. Thrilled to run with my friend Timmy - felt good despite the god-awful heat. Great Ragnar training!

Lot more sitting today due to payroll processing.

Made a Thursday night kayaking date with Amy and this plan for Wed/Thurs: walk 30-60min Wed AM and PM, run Thursday noon. Toe-in-the-water for true Ragnar training.

Brain: I'm doing well. Started listening to Paleo Pepper's podcast last night, the first of which talked a lot about loving yourself. One of the tips: believe what people tell you. When your friends and family call you beautiful and smart and wonderful...they are right. Believe them. The voice in your head that disagrees and thinks you suck is WRONG. Whenever you hear that negative internal voice talking, shut her (or him) up; override it with the voice of one or all of your people. Immediately. And this may have nothing to do with body comp; whatever your self-doubt issue, be it your job or parenting or whatever, choose to hear the positive things that others tell you, tell yourself they are true, and act as if you agree with them.

WOD: Calm. Moderated emotions. No freakouts. Don't let your highs get too high, don't let your lows get too low. This is how I used to be, actually. Why am I now such a rollercoaster of emotions? I miss mellow.

Optimal health does not demand achieving the ideal body. True, holistic, radiant health instead demands nourishment and care. It demands prioritizing the needs over the body over the way that it looks, and it demands dropping any kind of warfare mentality. True health begs of us to work with our bodies, in partnership, and to nourish and nurture them in our health and weight loss journeys rather than try desperately to cram them into shapes they are not designed for.

-Stefani Ruper (aka Paleo Pepper) in a genius Whole9 post
PS, you really should go read that post. Es muy excelente.

Relay for Life

The Douglas County Relay for Life is on Friday, July 13th, and there are many ways you can help out! 


Here are 13 ways to participate and help us create a world with more birthdays:

1) Join the Tastefully Simple HQ Team.

2) Donate to our team or a team member.

3) Help to Paint the Town Purple on Monday, July 9th, at 6pm at Big Ole. You'll receive ribbons to tie around lightposts downtown – a fun family activity, bring your kids & bikes!

4) Shop at Lillian’s on Monday, July 9th, 4:30-7pm, when 10% of proceeds will go to Relay (more info).

5) Eat at Culver’s on Tuesday, July 10th, when 10% of proceeds will go to Relay.

6) Eat breakfast here at Tastefully Simple on Wednesday, July 11th, when 100% of proceeds will go to Relay.

7) Participate in the silent auction here at TS on Wednesday, July 11th, when 100% of proceeds will go to Relay.

8) Bake treats by Thursday, July 12th, for the team cakewalk fundraiser at Relay (ask me for info).

9) Make goodies by Friday, July 13th, for the team snack sale at Relay (ask me for info).

10) Decorate a luminaria (contact me or Lynn Swenson or Linda Baltes) in memory or in honor of a loved one (no donation necessary).

11) Come to the Relay for Life (see below for timeline & events).

12) Deliver fresh hot coffee to Relayers in the wee hours – 3am is especially helpful!

13) If you're an early bird, help clean up from 6-10am on Saturday, July 14th – and get free breakfast afterward! (And if you're a TS team member, you can get paid for it by using your volunteer time!)

There are also many things to do at the Relay for Life event itself besides walking – bring the whole family!


5-6pm & 7-9pm Meal (burgers, brats, hot dogs, chips, beans; free will donation).

5:30pm Free pizza to our Tastefully Simple participants.

11pm Free pizza & subs to participants (provided by Relay).

6am Free breakfast Saturday morning (at Tennessee Roadhouse) for those who clean up.


Tastefully Simple snack sale — Culver’s treat cart — face painting — Massages by Lynn (TS's own Lynn Swenson) — dunk tank — KITC-made bracelets and ornaments — glow sticks — cupcakes — book sale — fruit smoothies — hair extensions — and probably more!

At 11pm Tastefully Simple is doing a cakewalk fundraiser with several baked-goods prizes leading up to a fancy cake made by Lucky Cakes (TS's own Macaille Mahoney).


Livewire DJ — Rockin Horse Peter — Johari Tribe (belly dancers) — Rockettes — vintage car show — children's games — photo booth — and more!

At 3am Tastefully Simple is doing coconut bowling, not a fundraiser, just a fun activity – game lasts until the coconuts are destroyed!


6-7pm Opening ceremony

Dusk (9pm or so) Luminaria lighting ceremony

11:30pm Fight Back ceremony

5:15am Closing ceremony

Sunday, July 1

8a-2c reg w stevia, supps
10a-c senna tea
230p-bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, c snap peas, 2 carrots, Uberbar, supps
4p-more snap peas, 2oz raw cashews
630p-c stir fry, c grilled veg, half chicken breast, chicken wing, 1/3c fresh raspberries w 2T coconut cream, supps
Throughout day-2 quarts water

Sleep: 9 hours in bed. Yes. Last night I left the races early because I was so damned tired. Up for br in the wee hours (ha, is that where the phrase came from?!) but right back into bed until I couldn't sleep anymore. I don't know why I need so much sleep all of a sudden, but I'll do what I can.

Body: Feels good. Little stiff but nothing from the runs Fri/Sat. Woot! Spent 5.5 straight hours (literally, the only breaks I took were to visit the bathroom) deep cleaning my sty of a house. That was enough of a workout to keep me from the squat rack. Worn. Out. However, I could appreciate my flexibility and strength as I twisted myself into weird positions while scrubbing my floor by hand, or as I stood on tiptoe on a chair to clean the ceiling fan, or easily hopped up onto the bathroom sink to wipe down walls.

Also, I did around 5 sets of 3 DL WG pulls throughout the day.

Brain: Making conscious decision to get back on track. Will ignore the last two weeks, start a fresh new cycle with the new month. Also counted out only 7 weeks to Ragnar. This has me thinking more scientifically about my nutrition, hoping that will take some of the emotion out of it. I'm also not buying any more coconut butter for a long time!

Thinking about how the Whole9 folks constantly say NOT to IF when stressed, that it simply adds so much more stress to your hormonal system that it will outweigh the benefits. Since I've been mentally stressed (though I still can't pinpoint why), perhaps this is why I'm struggling to fast or avoid binges again. (Frankly, I have been feeling much like I did during tax season: going through the motions of life, all the things I "must" do, and not enjoying much of anything. No "flow." Again, I don't know what's causing this! That makes it a fuck of a lot harder to figure out what to to about it.) Anyway, thinking about how fasting adds more stress shifted me into moderation for today. I'm still not sure what I'll do this week since my schedule is thrown off with the holiday, probably no full-day fasts but just skipping meals here or there.

Food prep: 
-5 salads: romaine & red leaf lettuce, carrots, snap peas, parsley...light on veg this week, didn't restock at grocery store.
-bone broth: pork bones, leftover 29:24 pork roast juices, chicken broth, onions, garlic, slow cooked all day on low.
-3 s stir fry: olive oil, summer squash, cilantro, radishes, Flavors of India spice mix, bit of bone broth to deglaze the pan because I burned it!
-Grilled vegetables: bit of olive oil + frozen Ploughshare veg (broccoli, carrots, peppers, snap peas, green beans) + onions + garlic in tinfoil = easy and delish!
-2 packages chicken sausage cooked & ready to eat.

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
-Marion Wright Edelman