Commit to Being Healthy| 20 Days Before Race Day

WOW! Today is the day after seven months working towards my 5K goal of being healthy! Twenty days before the race has always the critical crunch time were habits could slip or go extreme. I decided to caution on the side of not over doing it, but still keeping a watch on diet leading up to the morning of the fun run.

Here is the twenty day recap before race day…

How was I successful?

After all the celebrating the 4th of July with an all American BBQ, it kept the rest of the days in check with adding a little more fruits and veggies at all meals. The food trucks at work did not call to me at all, but the awesome chicken salad did! The weather here in Seattle has been interesting again. Some days it has been overcast, and other days it is sunny. Even on the overcast days, I still was able to get out and exercise.

What didn’t go so well?

During the last twenty days there has been some stress of moving to a new job (more coming on this transition later). Seems like most of the past months I have been dealing with stress in general. At some point by the end of the year I may finally get a handle on the job stress. Stay tune for that!

how I am feeling?

Feeling I can finish strong in the 5K! Feel I still have some improvements to make as I continue with my healthy habits.

How I kept motivated?

Motivation over the last twenty days came more from the fact I will be running around the ballpark and get to see a baseball game after completing the fun run. Also what motivated me is I get to support a cause close to my heart and have fun doing it at the same time.

I give myself 4/5 stars

Commit to Healthy|180 Days Becoming Healthy

The month of June is the month of birthdays in my family which means cake galore! I mean eating Trader Joe’s chocolate cake three times this month is overload when you think about it. Also June kicks off the summer BBQ season which means all the lovely healthy stuff appears on the grill with the not so healthy stuff. Yet as the days dwindled down until the 5k run in July, it was crunch time to get ready for 3.1 miles around T-Mobile Field. Which also means I did indulge in a ballpark hotdog while watching the Mariners play on my birthday weekend.

Yet June was a stressful month with all the changes again happening in my life (it has become a pattern in my life I am trying to break). Stress is never easy to, and when you are under it for a long period of time it does things to you.

So lets dive into it…

How was I successful?

With the opening of farmer’s markets and the abundance of spring produce, I have no excuse not to eat my veggies. At work I found a way to keep the salad eating thieves away from my lunch and had more days of healthy eating then last month (150 days). I started to take my lunch outside when the weather is nice and get those much needed vitamin Ds.

At home I have started eating more of the Mediterranean diet then Whole30 stuff for dinner each night. Deep down inside I have always had a thing for authentic Greek and Italian food. After reading countless scientific studies, the Mediterranean diet will whip you into fighting shape by eating it for four days you will become 6% speedier in running then when on a western diet. Good news for my 5k!

Spending time with friends helped with some of the stress. As I have pointed out in a blog post earlier this year, baseball fields have a way of letting you forget the stress of the outside world a few hours. Spending those hours with friends made it better. Spending time with nature as well lead to a few moments where stress melted away for a little bit.

What didn’t go so well?

Stress did not go so well this month! I have noticed a pattern lately since starting this commit to healthy, and that it how I handle stress. I’m not talking stress on my body through physical means, but through mental and at times spiritual means. A part of being healthy is have a healthy coping mechanism for handling stress, and I need to figure this out real fast. I realized there was been time I almost lost my sh!t or cried at work. Maybe it is the BS I’m dealing with or I just need a real break.

Also Mr. Oreo made the whole eating healthy hard when I spotted these in store!

Oreo now has dark chocolate double stuff Oreo’s and these are dangerously good! I mean I could eat the whole pack in one sitting if I could. Also they pair well with Rose, which is also millennial’s dream.

What can I do differently?

One: I can start getting a hold of my stress and managing it better then I have recently. It maybe just the fact I am starting to burn out again come summer time. Two: really keep myself from going down the rabbit hole of stress eating with Oreo’s or other baked goods. Three: self-care needs to be a priority again.

How am I feeling?

Stressed out and need to figure out how to not be all the damn time. But, at least I feel better about my continue progress of committing to be healthy.

What motivates me?

Still progressing towards my goal of finishing strong at the 5k in July and mental, physical health as well.

I give myself 4/5 stars

Girls Day At The Ballpark| Mariners vs. LA Angles

What more could be perfect then spend a birthday at the ball park? After all I did spend two months hammering out a four part series about it. The birthday ballgame was the Seattle Mariners vs. LA Angles, and it was little league day. During game pauses, the camera caught many of the kids dancing to the music on the jumbo screen. This made for a very entertaining day.

Thirty two years never looked so good! And a great start to another year of anything possible when you looked at this view from the beginning of the game. Just by the view we had great seats! Even eating one ballpark brat, countless handfuls of white cheddar puffs, and a few peanuts, I just could not beat how good it felt to pig out for once (training for the 5k is hard at times). Next month I will be running around this field for 5k so I look forward to “running” the bases.

I’m so thankful for these wonderful friends who made the day fun and exciting! Even with the seats being in the sun, we all some how survive the heat and may have sunburns to prove it. Also the arrow pointing to me is in reference to the other girl on my left is my birthday twin.

The game was interesting with at least one home run by the Mariners, but alas, the Mariners lost to the Angles. Maybe at the next ball game I attend the Mainers will win! Keeping fingers crossed!

Commit To Healthy|150 Days Becoming Healthy

With the start of the month being national taco day, and all the BBQs from that point on, no wonder I had to really ramp up the workouts. Also the fact someone kept taking my lunch a work a few times so the food truck was being frequented more than it should have. The thing is, becoming healthy becomes even harder when someone keeps stealing your healthy lunch you made. I never thought someone would steal a salad, but then again people do weird things when hungry. At least they returned the empty containers back to the fridge in the end.

So with drama here is the low down on what happened 150 days into becoming healthier me.

How Was I Successful?

Packed a healthy lunch for work- for someone else to eat. At least I did make a healthy lunch so I give myself points for this. Also the fact I have not been eating at my desk, but being more social with others and taking walks around the business park has helped to get me ready for the 5k in July and to relax before jumping back into work for the rest of the day.

Lake Washington

Earlier in the month we had a lot of nice warm sunny days where relaxation by a body of water was perfect. After a stressful days at work, and all the things life throws in the mix, finding time to relax has become priority. A few friends and I have been doing a Bible study on Thursday nights at one of their houses. Just being near and hearing sounds of waves lapping in the background as we discuss a book in the Bible has an amazing calming effect needed to get through Friday.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

Who the f8ck keeps stealing my salad?! The fact I had to eat off the food truck more than I would like to have done, this was not something I would count as a success this month. Besides eating off a truck is unhealthy and EXPENSIVE as hell, and not to mention buying the healthy ingredients can be expensive, it did not deterred me from at least having two other meals that day healthy.

I started to have one to two glasses of Ros`e and Juanita’s chili chips after work every Friday. I call it stress eating with the chips, but as person who does not see herself identifying with millennials I sure am getting into the whole wine thing.

Rose and chips after a long week at work

What Can I do Differently?

Put my lunch in this cooler like bag next time

Image result for biohazard lunch box
Think Geek

I’M KIDDING.. well maybe not.

Another thing I could really do differently figure out how to workout in the morning without feeling icky afterwards. I think eating too soon after a workout maybe the culprit, and this coming month I need to figure out how to best go about eating breakfast without it making me sick afterwards.

How Am I Feeling?

In almost two months I will be running 3.1 miles around a stadium and right now I feel as if I could do it.

What Motivates Me?

I keep typing the some thing to this question but it is true. What is motivating me is the 3.1 mile 5k I will be doing in July and the Mariners game afterwards. Also just the fact I am getting healthier and stronger every week.

I Give Myself  3/5  Stars this month due to consuming not so healthy options for lunch after having my lunch stolen a few times.

Baseball As A Road To God|Part 4

Whew this has been one long stretch to write this series on this blog. In the last installment of this series I will be going though the last three innings to the final destination, the clubhouse. The place where baseball legends never die.

7th Inning: Saints and Sinners:

When I think of saints and sinners in baseball, the movie Sandlot comes to mind. There are references to Babe Ruth littered throughout the whole movie, and yet one scene that comes perfectly clear of saints is the chewing tobacco scene before the fair ride. “Chaw-saving for a good time.” Well you know exactly what happens after they chew it.

the sandlot chewing tobacco GIF
Chew Scene
The Sandlot

So how does it play into saints and sinners? Think about how the group of boys look up to the ballplayers of the day (1950s) and doing the same things as they do. Perspective is often central to how a fan feels about a ball player. The very definition of sainthood serves to make human beings whom we other humans can relate. Its an induction into a honor society of those who are the best of what we can be. Baseball celebrates its heroes, the legends, and immortalize them into what is called the Hall of Fame. Same goes for religion where Christians have a number of ordinary humans who managed to before immortalized as saints (Mother Theresa).

Yet what fans think players are saints, could be in fact a sinner. Yes I went there! If ballplayers are judge on their performance on the field, they would look like saints of the sport. But when you think of it, they are simply sinners or worst, nasty people at times. Now not all are nasty, but when you hold someone up to the highest, the not so great things are swept aside. See reputations do in fact follow on and off the field as most major athletes can attests to. Baseball shines a spotlight on each player on the field and in some capacity the player is fighting their own demons or moral dilemmas. Professional baseball is played by humans, surprising-if hardly- the sport reveals the human propensity to cut moral corners. Even as far as cheat. Baseball like in religion, judging others is a flawed endeavor whether in professions or in athletics because it is done by fallible humans. Still baseball celebrates both flawed heroes and it’s saints in equal measure.

7th Inning Stretch

Anyone who has been to an intense ballgame or religious service is well aware of the intermission. At the church I attend there is an intermission between praise worship singing and the preaching in the form of going around shaking hands in fellowship. The same can be said of baseball, where as a community of fans and players go through the age old tradition of a rousing version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” No announcement, no request, just rise from the seat as a congregation and break from the intensity of action on the field. Just as different faith denominations, baseball does not have an uniform version of the seventh inning stretch. Each team, each stadium has traditions in which the all moving parts come together in unity. Really the seventh inning stretch is moment of prayer, a reflection, a pause of self awareness, and setting stage for the next moments of the last two innings. A moment of stillness before the storm.

With the stretch completed…. the ball, sacred symbol and reality, remains in play for all, and the game of life.. I mean baseball game continues.

8th Inning: Community:

The community of baseball has a power to bring people together in expanding levels of relationship: parents and child, neighbor and friend, community and city, state and the nation. Think of those summer days watching a game, all assembled as one in a park sharing in the awesomeness of the moment together with like minded people. Community made up of many different groups of people in one common shared belief. Collection of rituals, tall tales, homespun charm, carefully passed down from one person to the next. Same goes for religious faith where the belief is not confined to sect, class or race. A common faith of mankind. The community of rooting for one’s own team is accessible to anyone who simply revels in the beauty and gifts of the game. As of date the game reaches not only the American people, but around the world. Japan’s love affair with Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees runs deep. The community of baseball fans in Japan would lead the Mariners to play their first game of 2019 season in Tokyo against the Oakland A’s.

Image result for seattle mariners season japan
Ichiro signing for fans in Tokyo Japan
Seattle Times

The best thing about baseball is the last attraction flows from the game’s ability to bring people together to create community to foster bonds of lasting power based on shared memories and experiences. Not only from a fan base, but also from a players base as well. Think about all the players in little league, middle school, high school, and college who build a community or are a part of a everlasting community for the rest of their life. Religious communities are more than the congregations that gather for services, but a community that shares a same belief and lasting bond. Baseball communities large or small is where the spirit lives beyond what appears to eyes and mind.

9th Inning: Nostalgia:

Baseball, almost alone among our sports, traffics unashamedly and gloriously in nostalgia, for only baseball understands time and treats it with respect.

Stanley Cohen

This inning is really about the myth of the eternal return. The throwback journey from baseball’s present to its past and back again. Nostalgia is one of baseball’s defining attributes according to John Sexton. The game’s past shadows its present, and there is conjured for instruction, to prod memories, and revive dormant emotions. On the road to God, Christians pay tribute to the past while in the present. The same rituals done over millennium still being done today, each paying respect to those who have come before in form of memorials. In baseball there is one important respect to the originals, the numbers stitched to the present player’s back. Today numbers memorialized a great player, each one retired for all time on a that team or in the case of Jackie Robinson, on all teams. These numbers are plaques marking a person’s life in baseball, as plaques are laid where a love one has been called home to the Lord. The practice of retired numbers started when Gehrig courageous revelation he was suffering from the disease (Gehrig Disease) that killed him and Babe Ruth’s in 1948 when dying of cancer. Old uniforms and numbers in baseball, as is in religion, are venerated and treated with respect.

Image result for Gehrig number
Retired Yankees Numbers
INSC

How can this be similar to religion you ask? Mircea Eliade wrote “nostalgia for origins is equivalent to a religious nostalgia.” We as humans desire to recover the active presence of the gods; we desire to live in a world as it came from the Creator’s hands. The pure, fresh, and strong aspects of the world. See the journey home (as it is in baseball’s ultimate goal) is what Eliade called the myth of eternal return; going beyond marking an event to reliving it. A ceremony (liturgy), a memory celebrated, and religious man attempts to approach the gods to participate in being. The past and present are more clearly linked, one enhancing, informing the other. The dialog between the past and present causes us to touch a spot deep within ourselves-to thank God for what has been.

Clubhouse

Baseball is defined by wonder and amazement; it is defined by elements of faith, doubt, conversion, accursedness, blessings-all associated with religious experience-the spirituality of the game. Baseball is as in religion is a deep faith that cannot exist inless there is doubt, its handmaiden as John Sexton points out, confronting doubt is a central challenge on both religion and life from the earliest Christian theologians to the Seattle Mariners journey to a Wold Series game.

1st base is temptation, 2nd base is sin, 3rd base is tribulation. Jesus is standing at the home plate, he’s waiting for you there. Pitcher is Satan, Solomon is the umpire and the lead off man is Daniel, who gets the first hit. The game’s home run is hit by Job, wielding the ‘strong bat’ of prayer. The chorus ends with a rousing “Life is a ball game,” but you’ve got to play it fair.

Sister Wynona Carr “Life Is A Baseball Game”
the sandlot GIF
Good o’ Babe Ruth
The Sandlot

Baseball through in through is a game of life and one of the many roads to God. Each inning in a person’s life is played out in one game, whether loose or win, you have to play if fair.

After all…”you are killing me smalls!” 😉

For the whole series:
Parts: 1, 2,3

Baseball As A Road To God: Seeing Beyond the Game, by John Sexton

Commit To Being Healthy|120 Days Becoming Healthy

There are only three to four months a year where people are not celebrating something with food. So technically you have to navigate through the rest of eight to nine months trying to avoid going over board. April isn’t one of those months, especially when you come off forty days of giving up something in the food category called Lent. No wonder when Easter/Passover comes around you are shoving hot cross buns in your mouth while taking out the chocolate Easter bunnies like Mr. Mc. Gregor in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

hungry animation GIF

BUT…. I manage to contain myself when it came to those oh so wonderful little chocolate bunnies. I only had one and it was Cadbury.

How Was I Successful?

At the beginning of the month I had to move desk space at work again (cue eye roll, really??), but this meant moving far away from the candy dish full of mini Kit Kats and M&M (maybe a Snickers bar in there too) to a whole new section where the green juice and Raisin Bran cereal people hang out . Yep I’m counting this as a successful point in the month-don’t judge me! Also having a desk faraway from the the break room meant those left over lunch meeting stuff was never seen by me until the end of the day.

On the fitness side of things I started to get really into training for the 5k I will be running in July. Just walking during lunch along the trail behind the building and getting a good run in early in the morning has helped to bring back the running stamina needed to get through 3.1 miles around the stadium. I will admit it has been a few years since I last trained for a 5K let alone a half marathon. In the process of the last month I have seen a significant loss of weight compare to the first two months of the year. You can call it motivation when another 4lbs comes off. Along with walk/run training part, I have been back to weight lifting to help in the process of building muscle to replace the fat I am loosing.

Last month I talked about eating at my desk most days due to having so much work to slog through. Instead I take my lunch and a book to read when no one in the break room wants to talk to me (a common thing really. Is that healthy?) to the break room to get away. At one point I drove to Woodenville to get lunch at Shake n’ Go to get away for awhile. Not taking my work home with me and allowing myself time to unwind from a stressful day has helped so much. Just setting those boundaries has helped with having a weekend I can now call “me time.” Commit to being healthy is not all about diet and exercise, but also being healthy mentally. I wrote a post a week ago regarding me trying to be everything to everyone.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

With Easter comes BREAD!! I grew up as a bread kid. I would hide pieces of bread in my room to consume later. At one point my parents had to hid the bread from me or lock the bread box! Just as Oprah has said many times, I love bread and I could eat nothing but bread everyday if it meant I could not get fat (chocolate too!). I’m with you Oprah! The fact is every Easter comes hot cross buns, resurrection rolls, and anything with yeast in it. I may have over indulged in the baked goods at work, home and even church. Easter Sunday the church had pancake breakfast before both services. Yep I had a helping of two pancakes and shame on me because I knew better.

What Motivates Me?

Motivation is to establish healthy habits, and get myself ready for the 3.1 miles in July. But lets be real, its the fact I’m loosing “extra” weight that is motivating me to keep going. Having coworkers and friends saying I look more healthy than before helps during the moments when I almost want to give up on bad days.

What Can I do Differently next month?

The first few months this year I was on Whole30 for 90 days and in April I decided to take a month off from doing the program. In May I will be going back on Whole30 again to reset after Easter indulgences. With the local farmers markets starting to open around the area, getting fresh produce for my Whole30 will be easier and keeping with my goals of getting as much healthy fresh food as possible.

On the fitness side of doing things differently, I will be continuing with the couch to 5k training plan for July. If the weather becomes more sunny, maybe getting off the treadmill in the morning for a run in the morning would be great.

I Give Myself 4/5   Stars for this month!